Second Test Match

Pakistan v England, 2nd Test, Faisalabad

One of the most acrimonious Test matches in history almost brought about the cancellation of the tour, while the bitter rows that led to the loss of a whole day's play, and half an hour from another, might have cost England their chance of levelling the series.

Gatting won another good toss on a pitch which had again been prepared for the spinners, and this time England also included three slow bowlers. Broad's 421-minute hundred, his first of any kind since his 112 in Melbourne almost a year earlier, was the cornerstone of an England total well above par for the conditions. He shared half-century partnerships with Gooch and Athey, and put on 117 with his captain before reaching his century in the penultimate over of the day. Attacking the spinners, Gatting himself made 79 off only 81 deliveries, including fourteen fours, a masterly innings apparently sparked by anger at what he considered to be another display of abject umpiring.

The official who most upset him during England's innings was Shakoor Rana, and three deliveries from the end of what had been an absorbing second day, with Pakistan struggling at 106 for five, the two of them became embroiled in an exchange which produced a situation provoking headlines in countries with only the vaguest interest in cricket. The incident occurred when Gatting moved Capel up from deep square leg to prevent a single. He had, he said later, told the batsman, Salim Malik, what he was doing. However, as Hemmings came in to bowl, Gatting signalled to Capel that he had come close enough, whereupon Shakoor Rana, standing at square leg, stopped play to inform Malik of Capel's position. Shakoor claimed that Gatting had been unfairly moving the fielder behind the batsman's back. Gatting informed the umpire that he was, in his opinion, overstepping his bounds. The language employed throughout the discourse was basic.

Shakoor's refusal to play on until he received an apology from Gatting was suspected by some of having more than a little to do with Pakistan's parlous position, and by the time Gatting's enforced apology had restored an uneasy truce, six hours of playing time had been lost. Ironically, a further three and a half hours were then lost to rain and bad light on the fourth day.

Having bowled Pakistan out for 191 by the close, England began the final day with a lead of 101. By lunch (106 for two), they had increased this to 207, Gooch giving them a good start with 65 from 74 balls. But Pakistan bowled just 24 overs in the morning session, and when four wickets fell in half an hour in the afternoon, England had little hope of victory. Realistically, their chance had evaporated once Pakistan refused to make up for the lost third day, Gatting's declaration left his bowlers 100 minutes in which to bowl out Pakistan, and they did not even get this long. In keeping with the conduct of everything to do with the match, Miandad called his batsmen in when the last twenty overs were due to start. That the Laws make no provision for such an early closure did not prevent the umpires from drawing stumps immediately.

Man of the Match: B. C. Broad.

Close of play: First day, England 254-4 (B. C. Broad 101*, N. G. B. Cook 1*); Second day, Pakistan 106-5 (Salim Malik 54*, Aamer Malik 1*); Third day, No play; Fourth day, Pakistan 191.

© John Wisden & Co