First Test Match


Toss: Pakistan. Test debuts: England - N.H.Fairbrother.

A number of controversial decisions, Broad's refusal to walk when given out, and Gatting's post-match allegations of unfair umpiring all overshadowed a magnificent bowling performance by Abdul Qadir. The Pakistan leg-spinner returned match figures of thirteen for 101, having also taken ten wickets against England at The Oval three months earlier. His first-innings analysis of nine for 56 was the best in Test cricket by a Pakistani. Indeed, it was the best by any bowler against England; only H. J. Tayfield and A. A. Mailey had previously taken nine wickets in an England innings.

England's decision to bat first was an obvious one in view of the pitch having been under-prepared to favour the three spin bowlers included by Pakistan, England opted for two, Emburey and Cook, and with Capel subsequently bowling only three overs, the decision to omit Hemmings looked even more curious as the match progressed than it had before the start.

But for Broad's 192-minute vigilance for 41, and stout resistance from Foster, French and Cook at the end of the innings, England would not have reached three figures. Foster's 39 was his highest in Tests. Qadir had come on after just ten overs to determine England's fate, yet when Pakistan batted, Emburey and Cook were disappointing. Mudassar's ninth Test hundred on the sub-continent, and his tenth in all, took him 323 minutes and included eighteen fours. His 50-over partnership of 142 with Miandad took Pakistan to a commanding lead of more than 200, although when 24 Miandad was given a life by French off Cook, a miss England could ill afford in the circumstances. The England wicket-keeper did not give one of his tidiest displays, and next day he seemed fortunate to be awarded the stumping that dismissed Qadir. Certainly the volatile Qadir could not believe the decision by Shakeel Khan, and he exchanged words with the umpire and the England captain before leaving.

England had already been upset at several umpiring decisions in the first innings, notably from Shakeel Khan, but worse was to follow. When this same official adjudged Broad caught behind off the left-arm spinner, Iqbal Qasim, on the third afternoon, Broad stood his ground. Almost a minute elapsed before Gooch persuaded him to go. A number of other decisions also angered England, who were eventually dismissed for 130 half an hour after lunch on the fourth day. This equalled their previous lowest total against Pakistan, made at The Oval in 1954.

Broad was later severely reprimanded by the tour manager, and many observers considered him fortunate to escape a heavy fine. Mr Lush criticised the umpiring at the same time, and after the game Gatting was even more severe in his comments. Mr Stewart, the team manager, was also upset. However, although England undoubtedly received a raw deal, not one of the three appeared to acknowledge that the batting had been woefully sub-standard. The attendance throughout the match was even more abject, as indeed it was to be for the entire series. When the first ball was bowled, fewer than 200 spectators were at the ground to see it.

Man of the match: Abdul Qadir.

Close of play: First day, Pakistan 13-0 (Mudassar Nazar 11*, Ramiz Raja 0*); Second day, Pakistan 277-4 (Ijaz Ahmed 27*, Asif Mujtaba 2*); Third day, England 47-4 (M. W. Gatting 6*, B. N. French 4*).

© John Wisden & Co