Second Test Match

England v Pakistan

Norman Preston

At Lord's, August 8, 9, 10, 12, 13. Drawn. Rain and leaky covers spoilt this match, but when cricket was possible Underwood excelled in exploiting damp patches. Taking five wickets for 20 and eight for 51, he finished with thirteen for 71.

He was the first Englishman to capture eight wickets in an innings in a Lord's Test since 1934, when following a storm on the Saturday night and sunshine throughout Sunday Hedley Verity -- the pitch was never wholly covered in those days -- took fifteen Australian wickets on the Monday.

If England were unfortunate that no play took place on the last day when they wanted only 60 to win with all their wickets intact, at least justice was done considering that previously all the bad luck had fallen on Pakistan. On the first, third and fourth days with rain interfering, play was extended one hour until 7.30 p.m.

Pakistan were extremely happy on the sunny first morning when Intikhab won the toss and looked for a total of about 500. During the first hour Sadiq and Majid responded so handsomely that 51 runs were taken off the England seam bowlers and a mammoth score was in the offing, but the weather changed and no more cricket was possible for five hours. Yet with the extra hour allowed, three more hours were available that day.

With the sun shining with full warmth, everyone realised that in Underwood, England possessed the ideal left-arm slow to medium bowler for the occasion. Denness brought him on immediately, but half an hour passed before he was able to make the ball turn and lift at varying speed and height. Hendrick, although wayward in control, broke the opening stand at 71 by getting Sadiq leg before. Soon Greig was operating at the pavilion end and in his first over he induced Majid to lift a half-volley to Old at square leg, whereupon Underwood, with the pitch becoming more spiteful, carried all before him.

The young left-handed Wasim Raja hit straight to good purpose until he was last out to a mighty drive, but Greig fielding in the deep, ran across the sight screen and, leaping in the air, brought off a remarkable left-handed acrobatic catch.

With fifty minutes possible to test the England batsmen, Intikhab declared and his enterprise was rewarded, Amiss falling to a fine close catch by Sadiq following a lifter from Masood. Then Lloyd and Edrich confidently saw England to 42 for one at the close.

Pakistan fought back spendidly on the second day, being very well served by their pace bowlers, Asif Masood, Sarfraz and Imran, while Intikhab, at a vital point, removed Edrich with a sharp off break that the Surrey captain turned to short leg.

Brilliant fielding at cover by Asif, who threw down the wicket at the bowler's end, ran out Greig and reduced England to 118 for six. Yet the last four wickets put on 152 more runs, thanks mainly to Knott, who found capable assistants. The best was Old, for he was unafraid to hit straight and was the dominant partner in a stand of 69. On his departure, Knott shaped more freely until he was last out, having seen England to a valuable lead of 140.

Showers cause much interference on Saturday when again the fortunes of both sides fluctuated. The faster England bowlers made little impression and Sadiq again batted splendidly, but he saw Majid and Zaheer fall to Underwood who now had no help from the pitch, but always commanded respect with his accurate length and varied pace.

The loss of three men for 77 with so little to spare was serious for Pakistan, but Mushtaq and Wasim Raja overcame the crisis with two masterly displays, the experienced Mushtaq exercising a steadying influence on his exuberant young partner. They took Pakistan to 173 for three at the week-end with two days remaining.

Much rain fell on Sunday and on Monday morning, and again the covering did not contain the water down the slope which soaked the pitch. The Pakistan manager, Omar Kureishi, accused M.C.C., in an official protest, of an appalling show of negligence and incompetence in not covering the wicket adequately.

M.C.C. replied through their secretary, Jack Bailey: "It is deeply regretted that the covering did on this occasion prove inadequate. Even more comprehensive precautions than those which had previously kept the pitch and surrounds dry throughout three days and nights of heavy intermittent rain were taken, but the deluge overnight and this morning meant that some water escaped on to the wicket."

"M.C.C. have experimented continuously, and have spent many thousands of pounds over the past few years in trying to devise a means of overcoming a covering problem which is made extremely difficult by the slope at Lord's, and by the necessity of having at the same time, to allow air to circulate under those covers which are on the pitch. I am certain that the head groundsman and his staff have done everything that could humanly be asked of them in order to provide a good wicket and keep it that way."

Not until 5.15 was the match resumed on Monday and while the pitch at the nursery end was unaffected Underwood again found the surface at the pavilion end ideal for his turn and lift. For half an hour, Mushtaq and Wasim Raja, who had put on 96 on Saturday, survived before a smart left handed catch by Lloyd at short leg removed Wasim and from that point Underwood became virtually unplayable.

Within the next hour Pakistan were all out for 34 more runs, Underwood having taken six wickets for nine runs in 11.5 overs. Mushtaq resisted England for four and a quarter hours and hit nine 4's and the gallant Waja (three 4's) batted three and three-quarter hours.

The match marked the retirement from the Test Match scene of Charlie Elliot. This was his 44th Test as umpire and only Frank Chester stood more times, his Tests numbering 48. Elliot was a model sportsman excelling as a player at football (Derby County) and cricket (Derbyshire) and finally as a first-class umpire who always carried out his duties in a dignified manner. Full attendance 65,373; receipts £50,445.

© John Wisden & Co