First Test Match

AUSTRALIA v PAKISTAN 1983-84

Australia brought in Phillips to open the batting and in his first Test match he made a splendid century after Australia had been put in. This was a defensive move by Pakistan's acting-captain, Zaheer, there being enough grass on the pitch at the start to have encouraged Australia's four fast bowlers. After the early loss of Wessels, Phillips and Yallop added 259 in 267 minutes, a record stand for Australia for any wicket against Pakistan.

There were five left-handers in the first seven of the Australian order, and Yallop won an important psychological battle with Qadir when the leg-spinner came on, scoring most of the 38 runs which came in his first spell of five overs. None the less Australia had one major piece of luck when Phillips, on 39, swept Qadir and an awkward catch was dropped by Miandad at deep backward square leg. Phillips's 159 took 307 minutes with twenty 4s. He drove and square cut especially well, and was out only 6 runs short of the highest score ever made by an Australian in his first Test, the 165 not out by Charles Bannerman in the first Test match of all. However, A. Jackson, 164, and K. C. Wessels, 162, both against England, still separated Phillips from Bannerman.

Australia had reached 330 for three by the end of the first day against some very ordinary bowling. Rain delayed the start until two o'clock on the second day. An intruder had scooped two shallow holes in the pitch during the night, but they were too wide of the wickets to matter, and on the resumption of play the Pakistanis did well to contain the Australians, Azeem Hafeez (left arm over the wicket at a fast-medium pace) returning his best Test figures. Left with 70 minutes batting on the second evening Pakistan lost four wickets for 24 to Lillee and Hogg, the latter at one stage having three wickets for no run in ten balls. Although, next day, the diminutive Qasim Omar fought bravely for 150 minutes, Pakistan never recovered from their bad start. There was more substance to their batting when they followed on, but they never looked like saving the match on a pitch which gave the Australian fast bowlers plenty of bounce. The main destroyer was again Rackemann, who had match figures of eleven for 118 and he was named as Man of the Match. The attendance for the four days was 34,271.

© John Wisden & Co