Third Test Match


Toss: Pakistan.

A strip devoid of grass stood out in contrast to the lush outfield of the Gaddafi Stadium and caused the Pakistan captain no small amount of annoyance. This was to be a match for batsmen, with the possibility of a result minimal. The twin strike at the start, Srikkanth playing on as he shaped to leave a ball from Akram in the second over and Sidhu leg before to Imran in the third over, soon became irrelevant as Manjrekar and Azharuddin carried on from where they had left off in Faisalabad. Azharuddin, without the short ball to contend with, proved an elegant strokemaker; Manjrekar batted on, steady as a rock. For the third successive Test Pakistan had two new players, and one of them, Shahid Mahboob, was to bowl his medium pace in long spells. Imran shouldered the rest of the burden after Akram had stiffened up and strained his groin on the first day. Manjrekar coasted along serenely to his maiden double-hundred, and when he ran himself out his 218, made in 511 minutes off 401 balls and containing 28 fours, was the highest score by an Indian against Pakistan. His partnership of 186 with Shastri for the fourth wicket was also a record for India against Pakistan, and on the third day India passed 500 to record their highest total in Pakistan.

Miandad, on the ground on which he had marked his Test début with a century, celebrated his 100th Test appearance with another, a unique double. He thus emulated M. C. Cowdrey in scoring a century in his 100th Test, and in all he batted for 369 minutes (291 balls) for 145, his 22nd Test hundred. The previous day Aamer Malik had completed his second successive Test hundred (113 off 276 balls) and later on the final day Shoaib Mohammad achieved his first Test double-century, off 335 balls in 486 minutes with nineteen fours. The Pakistan innings stretched beyond the scheduled close, in the mandatory hour, to accommodate Shoaib's double-hundred. In fact, play had to be restarted after the scoreboard had given Shoaib the landmark prematurely, and the players were already leaving the middle. The Indian seamers had some respite, with their spinners bearing the burden of the attack as Pakistan advanced to their second-highest total in Test matches and their highest against India.

Man of the match: S. V. Manjrekar.

Close of play: First day, India 255-3 (S. V. Manjrekar 132*, R. J. Shastri 33*); Second day, India 458-5 (M. Prabhakar 44*, S. R. Tendulkar 34*); Third day, Pakistan 159-1 (Aamer Malik 60*, Salim Malik 30*); Fourth day, Pakistan 416-3 (Javed Miandad 84*, Shoaib Mohammad 90*).

© John Wisden & Co