Third Test Match

WEST INDIES v PAKISTAN 1957-58

All else in this crushing defeat for Pakistan was overshadowed by the feat of Garfield Sobers, the West Indies 21-year-old left-hander, in beating the Test record individual score, 364 by Sir Leonard Hutton, made for England against Australia at The Oval nearly twenty years previously. Sobers passed that by one run and was still unbeaten when West Indies declared at the vast total of 790 for three. So elated were the crowd of 20,000 at Sabina Park that they swarmed over the field and the pitch became so damaged that the umpires ordered repairs and the last fifty-five minutes of the fourth day could not be played.

Sobers' monumental innings was his first century in Test cricket. On a perfect pitch he made strokes freely throughout, hitting thirty-eight 4's and batting for ten hours eight minutes, compared with thirteen hours twenty minutes by Hutton. Two factors greatly helped Sobers: the sadly depleted nature of the Pakistan attack, and the splendid support of Hunte, who helped him in a second wicket stand of 446. This, the second highest stand in Test cricket, fell only five runs short of the record for any wicket, 451 by Sir Donald Bradman and W. H. Ponsford for Australia against England at The Oval in 1934.

Kardar, Pakistan's captain, went into the match with a broken finger on his left hand, yet he bowled 37 overs of his left-arm spinners against doctor's orders. Mahmood Hussain pulled a thigh muscle after only five balls in the first over of the innings, and did not bowl again; Nasim-ul-Ghani, another left-arm bowler, fractured a thumb quite early in the long West Indies' innings. So Fazal Mahmood, who sent down a phenomenal number of overs for a bowler of his pace, and Khan Mohammad were left as the only two fit regular bowlers. Sound batting by Imtiaz Ahmed, Saeed Ahmed and Wallis Mathias gave Pakistan a good start on the first day, but a shower next day helped the seam bowlers E. Atkinson and Dewdney, who brought about a collapse. Wazir Mohammad batted gallantly in a bid to stave off defeat in the second innings, but with Mahmood Hussain and Nasim-ul-Ghani unable to bat West Indies secured victory after only forty minutes' play on the last day.

© John Wisden & Co