Third Test Match


At Melbourne, December 11, 12, 13, 14, 15. Pakistan won by an innings and 82 runs. Australia preferred a fast-bowling attack on the controversial MCG pitch, though they came to regret it. There was nothing to encourage them as Pakistan scored 245 for three on the opening day, and finally closed their first innings at 500 for eight on the second evening. Mohsin Khan lifted a simple catch just before lunch on the opening morning, but Mudassar and Majid added 141 for the second wicket, Mudassar batting 273 minutes before failing to control a sweep shot. Miandad and Zaheer put on 128 in 143 minutes before Zaheer - earlier dropped by Wood - was caught and bowled for 90. Wasim Raja and Imran also enjoyed themselves before Miandad declared. The faster bowlers, Lillee, Thomson and Alderman, bowled 88.3 overs between them without taking a wicket, whereas Yardley, with off-breaks, took seven for 187 in 66 overs, bowling with great perseverance.

Having scored 15 runs without loss at the end of the second day, Australia batted slowly to add a further 182 while losing four wickets on the third. Wood and Laird put on 75, Wood going on to his century next morning, scored in 368 minutes off 298 balls with just three 4s - the third-slowest century on record by an Australian batsman. Australia's innings faded when they had appeared likely to save the follow-on, their last four wickets falling for 7 runs; and when they batted a second time, only Laird, with a fighting 52, offered any opposition.

In Australia's first innings, Imran Khan became Pakistan's highest wicket-taker with 142 dismissals, finishing the match with 144. Iqbal Qasim, slow orthodox left-arm, took seven wickets in a convincing Pakistan victory. Greg Chappell, Australia's captain, complained to the Australian Cricket Board about the condition of the Melbourne pitch, being supported in this by the Pakistan captain, Javed Miandad.

On no single day did the crowd number 10,000. The total match attendance was 33,743, a serious decline on previous years.

© John Wisden & Co