Game: England v West Indies, Test Match
Date: June 6-10, 1991
Venue: Emerald Headingley
Stage of the series: First of a five-match series
England: GA Gooch c, MA Atherton, GA Hick, AJ Lamb, MR Ramprakash, RA Smith, RC Russell w, DR Pringle, PAJ DeFreitas, SL Watkin, DE Malcolm
West Indies: PV Simmons, DL Haynes, RB Richardson, CL Hooper, IVA Richards c, AL Logie, PJL Dujon w, MD Marshall, CEL Ambrose, CA Walsh, BP Patterson
Toss: West Indies, who elected to field first
England secured their first home Test victory over the West Indies since the summer of 1969, also at Headingley, and they did it in convincing fashion. A low-scoring contest with no Yorkshire representation was swung England’s way by a second-innings century by captain Graham Gooch, while the hosts’ fielding was superb. Although the series finished drawn 2-2, a period of Calypso dominance on English soil was halted, starting with this win in overcast and chilly Leeds. Both sides failed to reach 200 in their first innings – England 198 and the West Indies 173. Then it was Gooch who gave England the upper hand, carrying his bat for a fabulous unbeaten 154. Strong square on both sides of the wicket, he underpinned a score of 252, including 6-52 for Curtly Ambrose. The visitors, including Yorkshire overseas player to be Richie Richardson, made a solid start to their pursuit of 278, reaching 61-1, but debutant seamer Steve Watkin (3-38) and four wickets for Phil DeFreitas turned the tide England’s way, eventually by 115 runs.
A match suiting the bowlers – overcast and cold conditions – saw England’s new ball seamer Phil DeFreitas impress with four wickets in each innings and match figures of 8-93 and Curtly Ambrose claim a second-innings six-for. So for England skipper Graham Gooch to hit 154 not out, which was the only score above 73 in the match, it was no surprise that he should claim the man-of-the-match award. England handed debuts to Graeme Hick, Mark Ramprakash and Steve Watkin, and Ramprakash in particular inspired a superb fielding display with a run out and a diving catch in the covers in the first innings. This contest has recently been shown in an hour-long highlights show on BBC, and it is available until mid-July on their catch-up services such as IPlayer.
Result: England won by 115 runs