First Test Match


Toss: Australia. Test debuts: Australia - G.M.Ritchie.

Pakistan won by nine wickets. Australia won the toss and batted on a fair, true pitch. They began poorly, losing Wood in Imran's second over, trying to withdraw his bat from an in-swinger. Laird was run out just before lunch and although Dyson drove and square cut powerfully, Australia's 218 for five at the close of the first day was inadequate considering the excellent conditions. Tahir Naqqash then demolished the innings by taking four wickets in eight balls the next morning. When Pakistan batted, umpire Mahboob Shah's rejection of a catch at the wicket from Mohsin Khan at 33 drew an angry response from the Australians, and the day ended in unusual fashion with Mohsin being given out handled the ball. Playing a ball from Lawson, which fell behind him, he instinctively brushed it away from his wicket with his hand. Haroon Rashid and Zaheer Abbas had moments of good fortune, but their punishing hitting enabled Pakistan to take a substantial lead. Zaheer was dropped three times, twice by Border and once by Bright, and the Australians never overcame these flaws. Mudassar Nazar, batting at No. 6 because of an ankle injury, provided an unbeaten half-century.

On the first day there had been a hint of mischief to come when a marquee was set alight. On the third day the gradually increasing practice of rocks, vegetables and other missiles being thrown at the Australian fieldsmen caused Hughes to take his side off the field on two separate occasions. Fourteen minutes were lost before lunch and another 25 before tea. Political agitation, drawing attention to the military involvement in government, was suggested as being the root cause of the trouble.

Imran's confidence in Qadir - he had pressed hard for his inclusion - proved more than justified when, with the pitch still hard and true, he mesmerised the Australians in their second innings with a superb display of bowling. He claimed five for 19 in 78 minutes after Imran made his usual early breakthrough, and Pakistan cruised to victory on the last day.

© John Wisden & Co