Almost to the day, 64 years ago, Pakistan played their first Test against India in Delhi. They had a man who would become a legend opening the batting - Hanif Mohammad - and a man who was quite possibly the first of the long line of irresistible Pakistani seamers - Fazal Mahmood. The magic wasn't instantaneous though. Pakistan lost by an innings and 70 runs.
The swiftness with which Pakistan bounced back in the second Test made it seem like they were playing possum in the first. India were missing three of their players - including Vinoo Mankad, who had picked up 13 wickets in Delhi - and the visitors capitalised. A mere 15 minutes into the fourth morning in Lucknow, they had wrapped up victory by an innings and 43 runs.
Nazar Mohammad faced Pakistan's first ball in Test cricket. Eight days later, in the Lucknow triumph, he had completed their first century. "He carried his bat for 124 not out in eight hours 35 minutes and set up an innings victory," the Wisden Cricket Almanack says. "He was the first player to be on the field throughout a Test. A domestic accident damaged his arm and ended his career. He became a coach, selector and one of Pakistan's best cricketing raconteurs."
Fazal Mahmood's performance against the MCC in 1951-52 helped convince Lord's to grant Pakistan Test status. He was the first to pick up 10 wickets in a match - five in the first innings and seven in the second - to seal India's fate in Lucknow. He was the first from Pakistan to 100 Test wickets. And he would captain them too. Tall and handsome, with wavy black hair, he even snapped up ad deals from Brylcreem; he was Pakistan's first poster boy.
First triple centurion
Despite it being 58 years since Hanif Mohammad made 337 from 970 minutes at the crease, it remains the longest innings in Test history. One of the bravest too. With a lead of 473, West Indies had made Pakistan follow-on in Barbados. It was only the second day and back then Tests were played for six. It was in this setting that the legend of the original Little Master gained steam. "He turned cricket in Pakistan from the preserve of the Lahore educated elite into the mass sport it is today," wrote Scyld Berry.
First series win
It didn't take too long. Three years after their introduction to Test cricket in 1952, Pakistan trounced New Zealand in Karachi and Lahore to claim the three-match series. Offspinner Zulfiqar Ahmed bowled 83 overs while maintaining an economy rate under one and bagged 11 wickets to boot in Karachi. Imtiaz Ahmed became the first wicketkeeper to hit a double-century in Tests in Lahore as Pakistan's final four wickets added a whopping 450 runs.
First series win overseas
They had to wait 20 years for this. But it may well have been worth it. In conditions vastly different to their own - Wellington, Dunedin and Auckland - Sadiq and Mushtaq Mohammad - brothers of Hanif - proved run-making ran in the family. Intikhab Alam, until recently a beloved Pakistan team manager, couldn't give away 20 runs without picking up a wicket; the legspinner topped the charts. Four of the top-five run-scorers in the series were Pakistani.
First time at No. 1
It was a two-month reign in August and September 1988. But it was special. It was recognition of the fact that they had never been beaten in a series for three years. Imran Khan led them to India and beat India for the first time in a series. He led them to England and beat England for the first time in a series. He was just getting started.