Second Test Match


At Calcutta, February 11, 12, 14, 15, 16. Drawn. Gavaskar's decision to opt out of this match for personal reasons - he was thought to be unhappy at his treatment by the Eden Gardens crowds - brought to a close his run of 106 consecutive Test matches. India, in trouble at 149 for five after being put in by Imran, fought their way to safety through a combative innings of 141 by Azharuddin, his fifth Test century. Kapil Dev, with 66 off 117 balls, joined him in a record 143 for India's sixth wicket against Pakistan, and when he was out Binny, recalled to the Test team in place of Yadav, saw another hundred partnership posted. However, Binny's moment was still to come. On the third day, allying the new ball to the late evening breeze from the Hooghly, he sliced through the Pakistan middle order with a spell of four for 9 in 30 balls. Next morning he added the wickets of Qadir and Tauseef to finish with career-best figures in 25 Tests.

Thanks to Salim Yousuf, Pakistan had averted the follow-on, but there were almost two days remaining when India batted again. Arun Lal, who replaced Gavaskar, made his second fifty of the match, but India's batting was so slow that the declaration gave Binny little time to produce his late-evening formula again. He nevertheless accounted for Shoaib in the five overs before the close, a hint of what might have been. On the final day, the night-watchman, Salim Yousuf (216 minutes), Miandad (235) minutes) and Salim Malik (93 minutes) set about saving the match rather than considering the challenge of scoring 340 runs in just under even time. India were handicapped by an injury to Maninder, who had bruised his spinning finger in attempting to catch Ramiz Raja in the first innings, although the possibility of his bowling out the Pakistanis on the last day was remote. His economical first-innings figures were as much the product of the grim application of Rizwan-uz-Zaman and Ramiz, both of whom batted for approximately five hours, as of any spin on a pitch that became true and easy.

Man of the Match: R. M. H. Binny.

Close of play: First day, India 225-5 (M. Azharuddin 51*, Kapil Dev 39*); Second day, Pakistan 57-1 (Ramiz Raja 25*, Rizwan-uz-Zaman 0); Third day, Pakistan 215-7 (Salim Yousuf 21*, Abdul Qadir 2*); Fourth day, Pakistan 16-1 (Ramiz Raja 7*, Salim Yousuf 4*).

© John Wisden & Co