First Test

England v Pakistan

Norman Preston

At Lord's, July 27, 28, 29, 31, August 1. Drawn. Pakistan emerged with much credit from this closely contested match. At one time they were reduced to desperate straits, but Hanif, their gallant and talented captain, defied the England bowlers for nine hours while making 187 not out, his solitary Test century in England.

Asif Iqbal, batting number nine, emphasised his all-round ability by getting 76 at a crucial stage while his stand with Hanif yielded 130, a record for Pakistan's eighth wicket against all countries.

Subsequently, England rain into difficulties, but a stand by their captain, Close and D'Oliveira who put on 104 for the fifth wicket in the second innings eased the situation.

Finally, Pakistan were set to make 257 to win in three and half hours with the pitch still in good condition. They preferred to play for draw and their lack of enterprise could not be excused.

At least they might have made some attempt at this reasonable target of 73 runs an hour, but Ibadulla and Burki scored only eight in forty minutes and 23 in the first hour. It was the sort of cricket that has caused attendances to fall so alarmingly at first-class matches in England. In reaching 88 for three wickets Pakistan averaged 32 runs an hour.

For this Test, Pakistan called on four players outside the touring party holding professional engagements in the U.K., Ibadulla, Intikhab, Mushtaq and Nasim.

Although England soon lost Milburn after Close had won the toss, sound batting by Russell, Barrington and Graveney took the total to 282 for two on the first day when half an hour's play was lost after tea due to inferior light. Coming together at 82, those two stalwarts Barrington and Graveney emphasised the value of class on the big occasion. For the first time Barrington hit a century in a Test at Lord's.

Intikhab who bowled Russel round his legs with a beautifully flighted ball which dipped late, took this wicket in his first over and he waged a keen duel with the batsmen for most of the day. Salim and Asif bowled with plenty of life and generally the Pakistan attack proved efficient.

Whereas only two wickets fell on Thursday, bowlers came into their own on the second day with twelve victims and England were left very much in the ascendancy.

First there was a delay of seventy minutes following heavy night rain, for, although the pitch had been covered and was playable, worn patches on the tavern side of the square from previous matches were so wet that there was a possibility of the fieldsmen slipping about.

In the end the umpires decided the fitness of the ground and after events left the impression that had play been resumed sooner, as Close desired, England might never have checked the landslide caused by some fine pace bowling by Salim and Asif.

Within thirty-five minutes of the resumption England lost five wickets, those of Barrington, Graveney, Close, Murray and Illingworth, for the addition of 10 runs. Barrington, who hit seventeen 4's, had batted five hours, ten minutes for his 148 and his stand with Graveney (eleven 4's) realised 201 in three and three-quarter hours.

At lunch England were 309 for seven, but afterwards D'Oliveira used the square cut and cover drive and when last out he had hit one 6 and nine 4's.

Fine bowling by Higgs marked his return to the England team when Pakistan began their reply. He removed Ibadulla, Mushtaq and Burki and when late in the day Hobbs accounted for the dashing Majid, Pakistan finished with four wickets gone for 78.

On the third day, Saturday, when play was restricted to four and a quarter hours, Pakistan put on only 155 runs while losing three more wickets. At times the score board scarcely moved, but the majority of the crowd of 18,000 appreciated Hanif's determined rearguard action.

Just after lunch Asif joined Hanif in their big stand and when at five o'clock the game ended for the day Pakistan were 233 for seven. Hanif had then reached 102 in five hours, fifty minutes, and Asif 56 in two and a quarter hours.

Despite a blistered hand which had kept Milburn off the field on Friday, he took his place and the misfortune to drop the most vital catch when Hanif was 51 and the total 121. The Pakistan captain hooked D'Oliveira and Milburn running in from below the Warner Stand failed to hold this surprise offering.

Monday was Pakistan's day. With Hanif making more than half his side's runs -- he hit twenty-one 4's -- they finished only 15 runs behind England. Then, after both teams and officials had been presented to The Queen, they removed Milburn, Russell, Barrington and Graveney for 95, so that England, with one day left, wound up only 146 runs ahead with six wickets left.

Victory was possible for either side at the beginning of the fifth day, but Pakistan saw their chance fade in the first ninety-five minutes, when d'Oliveira and Close raised their stand to 104. Hanif posted five men close to the bat for Intikhab and seven for the medium-paced Asif and not until the runs began to flow did he move his men farther afield.

So England, who got themselves into trouble through the early batsmen pressing for runs, were able to set a reasonable task, which Hanif declined.

Time lost during the match amounted to three and three-quarter hours. Pakistan scored only 442 runs in twelve hours, twenty-five minutes, while losing thirteen wickets compared with England's 609 runs in thirteen hours, twenty minutes for nineteen wickets.

© John Wisden & Co