Second Test Match

AUSTRALIA v PAKISTAN

Pakistan never really recovered from the loss of half the side for 90 runs in the opening session of play after being sent in to bat. Australia, on the other hand, were much encouraged by brilliant batting and fielding from the recalled Darling, the Man of the Match, and achieved a comfortable win within the last hour of play. The withdrawal of Yallop because of injury gave Hughes the opportunity of becoming the first Western Australian to lead the national team, and it also enabled the season's leading scorer, Moss, to move into the Test arena at last.

A small attendance of 8,550 saw Majid steer Hogg's second ball of the innings most comfortably to fourth slip; and when Hurst, erratic at first, changed to Hogg's end, he soon reduced the innings to 49 for four. Mudassar was caught behind from a ball which appeared to touch pad rather than bat, Haroon followed quickly, and Wright brilliantly rose high to gather a top edge from the aggressive Zaheer. Miandad and Asif then added 41 in a determined stand that was broken in the last over before lunch when Darling raced from cover to throw down Asif's wicket as he attempted a sharp single. Despite a painful finger injury, Mushtaq defended stoutly as Miandad monopolised a stand of 86, only to be run out by another brilliant throw from Darling. Imran observed care as Miandad - capitalising on being dropped twice in Hogg's tenth over - progressed to his sixth Test century, scored in four hours with thirteen boundaries. When shadows on the wicket stopped play at 5.39 p.m, Pakistan had recovered to 240 for seven.

To prevent a repetition of the light problem, the ACB decided to commence play half an hour early for the remainder of this early-autumn Test. When the Pakistan innings folded before lunch, Javed Miandad was unbeaten on 129 after a useful eighth-wicket partnership of 52 with Sarfraz. In the afternoon, Australia proceeded to 180 for three, Darling and Hilditch putting on 96 - Australia's soundest opening stand of the season - before Hilditch, hooking, got a top edge. When Darling, on 75, surprisingly missed a drive and was leg before to Mudassar, he had hit eight boundaries in his entertaining stay of nearly three and a half hours. He favoured leg-side shots, even after being dropped hooking before he had scored.

Australia eventually went 50 runs ahead on the third day, but their highest Test score of the season had occupied nearly nine and a half hours against an attack weakened throughout by the absence of Mushtaq. Border top-scored with 85 but, after opening brightly on the previous evening, he was at the crease for thirteen minutes short of six hours and altogether failed to take advantage of the favourable conditions. Moss and Whatmore also disappointed in the light of their normal propensity for attractive cricket. Imran was the most dangerous of a very limited, defensive attack.

Majid completed a pair - well caught in the gully by substitute fieldsmen Laughlin in Hogg's first over - and, from 19 for one overnight, the position deteriorated to an overall lead of only 103 runs when Yardley ended Haroon's invaluable innings of 47 with a brilliant catch at square leg off the fiercest of hook shots and then, 1 run later, trapped Mushtaq leg before as the sixth dismissal. Through all this, Asif had played with his customary style, and he now added all his skill and experience to monopolise a partnership of 92 with Imran. Showing the same capable defence as in the first innings, Imran contributed 15 of the runs before becoming Wright's seventh victim of the match - brilliantly taken by a diving leg-side catch near the end of the day's play.

Asif completed his century in three hours, fifty minutes with fourteen choice boundaries and on the final day he scored 33 of the 39 runs added as the last four wickets fell. Australia - with almost four and threequarter hours to achieve their objective - again received a good start with 87 runs on before Hilditch was given out to the controversial handled ball decision. Darling wasted no time reaching his second fifty of the match and he was still in complete charge when brilliantly run out by substitute fieldsman Mohsin Khan. Border, in company with Moss - now showing much command - kept up the momentum, and success duly came in the closing stages of the match to square the series. The aggregate match attendance was 21,847.

© John Wisden & Co