Second Cornhill Test

ENGLAND v PAKISTAN

David Warner

Toss: England.

This game never took off as a contest but spectators were saved from total boredom by four splendid centuries - from Ijaz Ahmed and Moin Khan for Pakistan, Stewart and Knight for England. Once England decided to field four seam bowlers and no recognised spinner, it seemed highly unlikely that they would have enough variety to bowl out Pakistan twice, and so it proved. The load on the shoulders of Caddick, Mullally, Lewis and Cork was too heavy; it was something of a surprise that at least one of them did not break down.

The all-seam policy was an obvious mistake by England's selectors. But they could claim that their decision to include six batsmen - rather than trying to find a No. 6 who could bowl - was justified. Stewart relished his return to the opener's role, while Knight, displaced to No.6, calmly responded with a maiden Test hundred. Although their hopes of getting more than a draw surfaced only briefly, on the final day, England came out of the game with the greater credit: their batsmen showed that Wasim Akram and Waqar Younis could be tamed. Each of the famous pair took three wickets - but each paid with over 100 runs.

Once again, a Headingley Test was marred by trouble on the now infamous Western Terrace. Around 200 people were ejected on Friday and Saturday for unruly behaviour, widely reported to have racist overtones. Yorkshire president Sir Lawrence Byford, formerly Chief Inspector of Constabulary, witnessed the trouble at first hand on Saturday and, shaken by what he saw admitted that Headingley could lose Test cricket if the hooliganism was not stopped. A member of the TCCB executive committee, he found himself having to prepare a report for that body on the disturbances and what action Yorkshire intended to take.

England's squad had three changes from the one for Lord's, with Crawley, Caddick and Irani replacing Hick, Brown and Ealham. This time, Lewis and Hussain were fit; Irani and Salisbury, were left out. On winning the toss, Atherton had to decide whether to bat, risking a damaging assault from Wasim and Waqar on a slightly green pitch, or hope that his own, lesser, bowlers could make an impact. He chose the second course, which looked promising when Mullally had Saeed Anwar caught cutting and Caddick bowled an excellent opening spell in his first Test since April 1994. Caddick caused problems for both Shadab Kabir and Ijaz. But Ijaz soon exposed the limitations of England's resources. After losing Shadab and Inzamam-ul-Haq, he settled into a 130-run stand with Salim Malik, who grafted hard for his first fifty of the tour. Ijaz had scored 141 out of 233 when he chased a slower ball from Cork which started wide and was going wider. He had batted for 279 minutes and 201 balls, striking 20 fours and two sixes, and made the first Test century at Headingley for Pakistan, but Moin Khan was soon working his way towards the second. He was a last-minute selection, because Rashid Latif was injured, but seized his chance by becoming the first Pakistan wicket-keeper to score a hundred against England. Moin was given several chances, however. He was still on his overnight eight when Mullally dropped him at long leg off Caddick; on 18, Stewart caught him off a Mullally no-ball and he was dropped again on 84, playing a return drive to Cork's left. By that time, he had added 112 with the unwavering Asif Mujtaba, a seventh-wicket record for Pakistan against England. But the next statistical landmark was for England, when Moin's opposite number, Russell, caught him to reach 150 Test dismissals. Cork, always expecting a wicket, was rewarded for his enthusiasm with five, but he did not outbowl Caddick, who deserved better than his three. The other two wickets went to Mullally; Lewis gave away 100 runs without ever looking as if he would do much.

England's innings was in its third over when a high-class delivery from Wasim nipped back and found Atherton's inside edge. But Stewart and Hussain rattled along nicely, and Saturday, after a rain-delayed start, belonged to Stewart. His wristy play, his early sighting of the ball and his urgency at the crease all combined to blunt Pakistan's pace attack and prevent Mushtaq Ahmed from gaining the initiative - though he did claim the only wicket to fall in the afternoon session, that of Thorpe. Meanwhile, Stewart went to his century. His sheer joy spilled over as he got to the milestone with a three off Wasim, but the press were more excited by what they fancied was merely lukewarm applause from Ray Illingworth, the chairman of selectors.

With Crawley gone for an enterprising 53, Knight began to establish himself in a stand of 108 in 21 overs until Stewart, growing tired, drove back to Mushtaq. He had made 170 from 315 balls with 24 fours, overtaking Ijaz's two-day-old record for the highest score in England-Pakistan Tests at Leeds. Rain made deeper inroads on the fourth day; England could not resume until 12.45 p.m. and then Pakistan were unable to begin their second innings. Between the showers, Knight reached 113, helping England to a creditable 501 and a lead of 53. This time, Illingworth greeted the century by climbing on a chair to make sure his enthusiasm was appreciated.

Pakistan looked fallible on the final morning. Shadab, dropped at slip off Mullally's fourth ball, was caught and bowled by Lewis, and when Cork had Anwar taken behind, the score was 34 for two. Another quick wicket could have had the tourists in difficulties but Inzamam's forceful 65 killed off England's hopes.

Man of the Match: A. J. Stewart. Attendance: 43,423; receipts £893,659.

Close of play: First day, Pakistan 281-6 (Asif Mujtaba 19*, Moin Khan 8*); Second day, England 104-1 (A. J. Stewart 52*, N. Hussain 37*); Third day, England 373-5 (N. V. Knight 51*, R. C. Russell 0*); Fourth day, Pakistan 0-0 (Saeed Anwar 0*, Shadab Kabir 0*).

© John Wisden & Co
 
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