Second Test

England v Pakistan

Norman Preston

Toss: Pakistan. Test debuts: England - G.G.Arnold, A.P.E.Knott; Pakistan - Niaz Ahmed.

England won with two and a quarter hours to spare after virtually two days had been lost to the weather, including the whole of Monday.

This was a most depressing encounter owing to three storms, the first on the Tuesday before the Test began, when the end of the pitch nearest to the City was flooded through the water getting under the covers. The same thing happened on Sunday night.

That victory went to England was due to the inexhaustible patience of Barrington, who occupied six hours, fifty minutes making his not out 109, his first Test century at Trent Bridge. Opinions differed about the difficulties of the rain-affected pitch on a cold miserable day.

Apparently Barrington, after seeing Hanif, Cowdrey and Graveney all caught when trying to drive, decided that this was a suicidal stroke under such conditions.

With plenty of time at England's disposal after they had shot out Pakistan for 140, he never departed from his rigid policy of watchful defence. Any progress he made on the third day when England averaged 32 runs an hour came from cuts, leg sweeps and the cleverly placed stroke between mid-wicket and mid-on. He hit only five fours, but England, who led by 112 at the week-end were positive that Barrington had decided the issue and that Pakistan were unlikely to make them bat again.

For this match England, for various reasons, made six changes bringing in Boycott, Cowdrey, Titmus, Knott, Arnold and Underwood for Milburn, Russell, Illingworth, Murray, Snow and Hobbs.

The two new caps each proved their worth; Knott held seven catches and Arnold took three wickets on the first day when Hanif won the toss and Pakistan batted on a firm true pitch. Hanif surrendered the initiative to the bowlers by making only 16 runs in ten minutes under two hours.

A violent thunderstorm turned the ground into a lake and cut short the first day's cricket by an hour and a half when England had scored four without loss. It was estimated that the City Fire Brigade pumped away 100,000 gallons of water and consequently only seventy minutes' play was lost before lunch on the second day, on which altogether the cricket was cut short by two and a quarter hours, England taking their total to 119 for four.

On Saturday, Barrington plodded on and on and after the blank fourth day, Close declared. The pitch was too soft to offer encouragement to Higgs and Arnold, but Higgs played his part in dismissing two key men, Burki and Hanif. The Kent players, Knott and Underwood, did most to subdue Pakistan and credit also went to Close as a tactician; three times a wicket fell immediately he changed the bowling.

Of the Pakistan batsmen, Saeed Ahmed alone caused England any anxiety. Top scorer for his side in each innings, Saeed drove firmly and hit nine 4's while making 68 out of 85 but in the end lofted a drive to mid-off. A.Bull, a Nottinghamshire colt, fielded smartly as substitute for D'Oliveira and caught Asif in the deep.

Underwood finished with five wickets for 52 and Pakistan lost for the first time since Hanif became captain in 1964. Under his leadership they had beaten New Zealand twice and drawn seven Tests, including two with Australia, in Karachi and Melbourne. They were, indeed, unfortunate to meet such atrocious weather in Nottingham.

© John Wisden & Co