First Test Match


At Bangalore, September 14, 15, 17, 18, 19. Drawn. Ruined by the loss more than seven hours' play owing to rain, the match ended in controversy and chaos. Not until just before lunch on the final day did both sides complete their first innings, with Pakistan achieving a token lead. At the start of the twenty overs representing the last hour, India were 97 without loss, Gavaskar having just reached his 50 in 156 minutes.

After ten more overs, Gavaskar, still in hurry, had got to 64. Sensing a chance to reach his 28th Test hundred, to put him within only one of Bradman's record, he hastened to 84 in the next four overs. In terms of the clock, the match ended at this point and the Pakistanis started to leave the field, without reference to the umpires, who made vain efforts to stop them. The umpires and the batsmen stayed in the middle, while the small last-day crowd, angered by the walk-off, threatened a major disturbance. The Pakistani viewpoint was that the requirement of 77 overs to be bowled in a day had been fulfilled. The umpires' counter-argument was that twenty overs in the last hour took precedence over this. After a 23-minute stoppage play eventually ended on a farcical note for, although the umpires had insisted on the overs being completed in the first place, they drew stumps as soon as Gavaskar had reached his hundred off the first ball of the final over.

This last day was the only one of the five to be free from interference by the weather. The first day was shortened to just over two hours and while four hours' play was possible on the second, another 111 minutes were lost on the third. In the circumstances there was never any prospect of a result, though fortunes flowed and ebbed sufficiently to suggest that the match could have proved exciting.

Despite 42 in 169 minutes by Gavaskar, India, who chose to bat first, were 85 for six at one stage of their first innings, owing to loose batting. Tahir Naqqash was Pakistan's main wicket-taker in an innings which occupied almost all of the first three days. India's first three wickets fell to the gentle medium-pace of Mudassar Nazar, but their total achieved respectability through a record seventh-wicket stand of 155 between the all-rounders, Madan Lal and Binny, the latter's unbeaten 83 occupying 355 minutes. Pakistan, also as a result of indifferent batting, were 99 for four at one stage. Their recovery was based on a gritty 99 by Miandad, who was out to the only reckless shot he played in 283 minutes, but they would have fallen behind India's total but for a stubborn 64 by Wasim Bari and the tail-end resistance of Iqbal Qasim, who scored 9 in 85 balls.

© John Wisden & Co