Third Test Match

Pakistan v England

At Karachi, January 18, 19, 20, 22, 23. Drawn. Starting with Brearley's mishap and the England party's objection to the presence of three Packer players - Mushtaq Mohammad, Zaheer Abbas, and Imran Khan - at the Pakistan nets, the events leading up to the Test were far more dramatic than anything seen on the field of play. If the three players had not been withdrawn from selection on the eve of the game it might never have taken place.

Once again a Pakistan pitch was condemned. By the fourth day it was evident that another Test and another series in Pakistan were to end in dull stalemate.

England's acting captain, Boycott, afterwards blamed the wicket, the constant distractions and interruptions, and Pakistan's attitude to defeat as a national disaster as the causes of the failure to get positive results. Few would challenge his views.

There was some chance of Pakistan getting into a good position at the end of the third day, when they finished only 36 behind with five wickets in hand. Miandad had gone to the last ball to give Edmonds his third success for 44 runs.

However, Edmonds continued in the same destructive mood when the match was resumed. At 243 the important wicket of Wasim Raja was taken, thanks to a fine running catch by Gatting, and in the end Pakistan's lead was cut to 15.

Bowling better than in any of his previous tests for England, Edmonds took seven for 66 in 33 overs. No England bowler has done better in Pakistan - indeed only five, Allen, Pocock, Gifford, Underwood, and Birkenshaw have taken five wickets in an innings, with Allen's five for 30 at Lahore in 1961-62 statistically the best.

On the fourth morning, Edmonds, who worked tremendously hard throughout the tour to improve his bowling, took four for 22 in eleven overs. Significantly five (for 27) of his seven wickets came after changing ends. With his high arm action, delivery close to the stumps, and a follow-through demanded by Boycott and Barrington, the Middlesex slow left-arm bowler was highly impressive.

England batted painfully slowly. They took nine and a half hours to compile 266, but there were several interruptions and six leg-before decisions. As so often happens in the most contentious of all forms of dismissals, some did not pass without controversy.

Pressure was maintained by Iqbal Qasim and Abdul Qadir, who took seven wickets between them and, as ever, were impressive. Only one ball behaved abnormally - a googly from Wasim Raja which spun and lifted and, not surprisingly, was too good for Miller.

Gatting, in his maiden Test, was out to a googly to which he offered no stroke in his first innings, and to a full toss in his second. In contrast, Mohsin Khan hit an attractive 44 in his first Test innings. Mudassar Nazar also showed his undoubted class.

England had one over before lunch on the fourth morning, and were a dismal 114 for the loss of Rose at the finish. For no sound reason the match resumed some minutes late on the last day, and only eight overs were completed in the first hour. A stoppage of twelve minutes occurred while oranges, thrown from the crowd, were cleared from the ground.

At one period Boycott went through 18.7 overs with one scoring shot for two, and he was eventually caught at cover off a skimming drive by Miandad throwing himself forward. He later complained that the bounce was so low that it was hitting the bottom three inches of the bat. England batted through, and by mutual agreement play ended an hour early. No one complained.

© John Wisden & Co