Sixth Test Match

India v Pakistan 1979-80

Pakistan's first innings declaration, with a deficit of 59 runs, followed by an exciting and volatile spell of fast bowling from Imran Khan, sustained interest in the match until the last hour. Pakistan who had already conceded a winning lead in the series to India, were placed to win this Test,at varioius stages, but eventually had to go on the defensive to save themselves from a third defeat.

Viswanath, captaining India for the first time, won the toss - a considerable advantage as the pitch did not look too well prepared. It was slow, with an uneven bounce, and ther was an area at one end from which the ball tended to lift abruptly.

Although Pakistan's totals in the series had not exceeded 300 since the first Test, the two changes they made in their side involved the sacrifice of a batsman to accomodate an extra bowler. They replaced Mudassar Nazar, their only century-maker of the series, with the reserve wicket-keeper, Taslim Arif (playing him as a batsman) and recalled Ehtesham-ud-Din, the seam bowler, at the expense of Zaheer Abbas.

The first day went well for Pakistan, with Imran, now fully fit, bowling with much fire, and Ehtesham-ud-Din, accurate and thoughtful, making good use of conditions favourable to swing. The first four Indian wickets fell for only 99 runs, and Pakistan would have struck more deeply had Sikander, hitherto Pakistan's most successful bowler, not gone off the boil. India recovered to end the opening day at 205 for five, thanks to a partnership of 88 between Gavaskar and Patil, playing in his second Test. If not thoroughly organised in defence, Patil batted in exciting fashion to make 62, having reached his half-century off only 79 balls. At 35 he gave a return chance to Sikander, the missing of which proved a considerable reverse to Pakistan.

Pakistan put down three more chances on the following day, twwo of them fairly easy ones in the slips by Majid. The dogged Yashpal Sharma and Kirmani maintained the recovery begun on the first day, and in spite of Imran's magnificent bowling India achieved a total of 331. Notwithstanding the early loss of Sadiq Mohammed's wicket, Pakistan looked every bit like matching India by scoring 263 for four at the end of the third day. Taslim, playing in his maiden Test, batted stoically for seven hours for his 90 and shared partnerships of 92 with Majid and of 73 each with Miandad and Wasim Raja. Majid played with uncharacteristic caution to bat for three hours, but from the manner in which Miandad played, India got off lightly by dismissing him for only 50. Wasim Raja again proved a difficult obstacle. Taslim, dropped at gully when he was only 4, seemed chastened by this escape for a long time, but he chanced his arm against the second new ball and was narrowly deprived of a century on debut.

Asif declared after only ten minutes on the fourth day, and less than three hours later, Pakistan looked set for a brilliant triumph, having reduced India to 92 for six in their second innings. Imran had taken four of the wickets - the first three in an opening spell of eight overs. India's distress was to some extent brought about by Gavaskar's inability to open the innings because of a throat infection, but even when he came in at 48 for four he could not check the collapse.

There were signs of Pakistan's advance being halted, while Gavaskar and young Patil, once more in fluent form, were together. Then Patil, at 31, got himself run out. However, the depth of India's batting again stood them in good stead. Yashpal, Kapil Dev and Ghavri batted for a total of four hours thirty-nine minutes and collectively produced 88 runs. Nor were numbers ten and eleven easily subdued. Though Yadav and Doshi jointly contributed only 9 runs, they extended the innings long enough to give India a chance of survival. Doshi, the last man, stayed with Ghavri for an hour, having faced a good few bumpers from Imran in this time. Ghavri was missed at gully, off Imran, a slip that opened up an escape route for India.

Pakistan were left to make 265 runs in 280 minutes. Their task was more difficult than at once seemed apparent, for the pitch was worn and quite slow in pace, making free stroke-play difficult. India bowled superbly in defence of their position, although it must be said that their over-rate was on the mean side. They bowled thirteen in seventy minutes before lunch and twelve in the first hour after the break. At the end of it, Pakistan were 70 for two. The only time Pakistan speeded up their scoring significantly was when Miandad and Asif put on 42 for the fifth wicket from eight overs. They were still together when the last hour began, with 143 wanted from twenty overs, but Asif was run out in the fifth of these, and Miandad gave Doshi a return catch two overs later. With 103 still wanted, Pakistan now gave up the chase and although India moved on to the attack in an effort to take the last four wickets, Imran and Wasim Bari easily held them at bay.

© John Wisden & Co