Third Test Match

NEW ZEALAND v PAKISTAN

At Auckland, February 23, 24, 25, 27, 28. Drawn. This was Pakistan's 99th Test match and Mushtaq's 55th: he thus equalled the national record set by his brother Hanif. The game was remarkable for the performance of the Pakistan wicket-keeper, Wasim Bari, whose catching dismissed seven of the first eight batsmen - a world record for dismissals in a Test innings.

It was a good toss for Mushtaq to win, for the pitch played well throughout the match, except for the first morning when it was damp and vividly green. New Zealand, sent in, lost their first five wickets for 60. The Pakistan seamers performed very well before lunch, especially an unlucky Imran, but New Zealand contributed to their own disasters with some unrealistic strokes. After lunch, there were runs to be made and New Zealand effected a spirited recovery to reach 254. Coney made his best Test score, 82; his height and reach enabled him to drive effectively, and he scored his runs from 149 balls. Pakistan made determined efforts to halt the revival, and the over-rate at the end of the innings was a beggarly 9.7 an hour. In New Zealand's domestic Shell Series cricket, the teams lose points if they fall below thirteen overs an hour. Hadlee, with seven 4's in his not out 53, enlivened the late stages of the New Zealand innings.

The Pakistan innings started dramatically, Talat was out at 5, Zaheer was missed off Hadlee next ball, and Majid fell at 22, straight after an argument about the replacement of an illshaped ball. Miandad (two and a half hours for 30) and Asif (nearly as long for 35) helped Zaheer in stands of 96 and 77. Zaheer scored his sixth Test century in under four hours, but took another two and a half hours to add 35.

By lunch on the third day, Pakistan were in front and a big lead looked likely as Mushtaq (three hours for 48) and Imran, much more aggressive, batted on after lunch. Hadlee was mainly responsible for the margin being no more than 105. Off the field in the morning and early afternoon with an ankle injury and a strained thigh, he came back to wrap up the innings with some extremely spirited bowling. In his last 46 deliveries he took four for 12, and became the first New Zealander with five wickets in a Test innings six times.

In New Zealand's second innings, the Pakistan fielding was more costly than New Zealand's had been at Christchurch. Miandad dropped four catches, some of them simple ones. New Zealand had successive stands, after the early dismissal of Edgar, of 51, 33, 46, 74 and 56 - a slow retreat. Burgess, missed at 18 and 29, made his best score of the series; Coney again batted ably and Lees showed vast improvement in his handling of the fast-medium bowling.

At the end of the fourth day, New Zealand were 126 ahead with five wickets standing. But there was more rain in the morning, a stop-start period of cricket, and soon after Burgess had made a token declaration, the skies opened and the series came to an end.

© John Wisden & Co