Test Match

The unplayable Mahmood

At Karachi, October 11, 12, 13, 15, 17. Pakistan won by nine wickets. By this emphatic success the youngest member of the Imperial Cricket Conference confirmed the excellent impression formed two years previously when they defeated England at The Oval. Perhaps the Australians, travel weary, suffered some reaction as the result of their strenuous tour of England, and the immediate change from grass to matting without any prolonged practice in the altered conditions could not have been easy for them. Nevertheless, Pakistan established control of the match from the early overs and they seldom looked like letting the initiative slip away.

As at The Oval, the central figure in their victory was Fazal Mahmood, the medium-paced bowler. He took thirteen wickets for 114 and was never mastered. Fazal, maintaining an accurate length and varying his swing with a mixture of leg-cutters and breakbacks, began Australia's troubles by taking the first six wickets for 26 in sixteen overs. Khan Mohammad, the only other bowler used, was responsible for the remaining wickets, and Australia were all out shortly after tea. Pakistan lost five wickets cheaply before Kardar, using bolder methods,and Wazir Mohammad came together in a partnership which produced 104. Although the tail collapsed--Lindwall completing 200 wickets in Test cricket--Pakistan gained a lead of 119.

Australia batting again, did little better against the same combination of Fazal and Khan, though Benaud and Archer shared a sixth wicket stand of 64. Curiously, Pakistan made heavy weather of getting the 69 runs needed to win, much to the displeasure of the crowd. They were still six short at the end of two hours forty minutes' batting crawl and as the following day was one of mourning, on the anniversary of the death of Liaquat Ali Khan, first Prime Minister of Pakistan, the victory celebrations had to be delayed until the fifth morning of the match.

© John Wisden & Co