Second Test Match

PAKISTAN v. ENGLAND

At Hyderabad, March 16, 17, 18, 20, 21. Drawn. Again the result was indecisive, yet at lunchtime on the last day it seemed unlikely that England would escape defeat. When they began batting for the last time, 82 behind on the first innings, there were only five and a half hours left, and on a grey grassless pitch which had held together well there seemed no real danger. Yet they lost their opening pair, Amiss and Denness, both of whom had been ill, without a run scored, and when the fifth wicket fell they were still five runs behind with three and a half hours to go. Then, with fine, composed batting from Greig and Knott who put on 112 for the sixth wicket, they were saved.

Such an ending was hardly foreseeable when England were scoring 487 in their first innings with Amiss contributing his second successive Test century. His first fifty took him three hours, yet such was the momentum his innings developed that by the time he was dismissed for 158 he had batted only five and a half hours. For the first time on the tour he had batted with the savagery that marks his play for Warwickshire, and the highlight of a stand of 168 with Fletcher was an hour in which 79 runs were scored off only 15 overs.

With Underwood and Pocock putting on 55 for the last wicket, a record for England against Pakistan, England should have felt safe. In the course of the innings Pakistan had failed to run out Amiss when 56, the bowler dropping the ball, and had dropped Knott, who made 71, at 24. Those two failures, both elementary ones, probably cost Pakistan the match.

Indeed, because of them it seemed possible that they might even lose it when they were 77 for three. Yet from that point they staged a massive batting recovery with Mushtaq as its heart with a near faultless innings of 157 in eight hours. In the early stages Mushtaq was accompanied by Asif Iqbal who scored 68 in a stand of 153, displaying his usual charm of stroke despite the pressure.

After him came Intikhab to score his first century in Test cricket with a display of power that will remain in the memory of every England bowler. In his first 45 minutes, Intikhab scored 50 runs, and in that time he won a tactical victory for Pakistan by hitting Pocock out of the attack. Pocock, bowling better than at any time since the third Test against India, had taken four of the five wickets that had fallen and immediately he turned his offbreak no more than an inch over the top of Intikhab's middle stump. His anguish increased as Intikhab hit the next four balls for 18 and then struck him for six more in his next over. Probably only Rodney Marsh of all the other players in the world could have played an innings of this sort. When Intikhab was out after four and half hours, he had hit four sixes and 15 fours. And on a ground staging its first Test, he had even found time in the nineties to go into the crowd on the boundary line to ask them to stop running on to the field.

© John Wisden & Co