First Test Match


At Lahore, November 21, 22, 23, 24. New Zealand won by 44 runs. Toss: New Zealand. Test debuts: Mohammad Wasim, Zahoor Elahi.

New Zealand won their first Test since November 1994 - since when they had lost eight and drawn seven - and only their second on Pakistan soil. The first, in 1969-70, was also in Lahore. Their key player was Doull, who bowled superbly for match figures of eight for 85. The long-awaited victory arrived half an hour after tea on the fourth day, and it might have been much sooner but for an unbeaten century from 19-year-old debutant Mohammad Wasim.

Scoring was not easy on a pitch of low bounce, and there were 15 lbws given by Shakoor Rana, standing in his first Test for three years, and Zimbabwean Russell Tiffin. Pakistan captain Wasim Akram, who had damaged his shoulder, was missing and Saeed Anwar took over for the first time in a Test. Even without Wasim, New Zealand's first innings was devastated in two sessions by Waqar Younis and Mushtaq Ahmed. Mushtaq picked up three for eight in 16 balls, reducing the score to 83 for six, while Waqar claimed three for 12 in his second spell; it took a last-wicket stand of 38 to prevent a complete rout.

The tourists struck back in the evening: Doull grabbed four wickets as Pakistan slid to 52 for five before bad light spared them the last ten overs. Doull added Salim Malik next morning on his way to career-best figures. But, after the ball was changed, having gone out of shape, a fighting fifty from Moin Khan, including 11 fours, salvaged the innings and provided a lead of 36.

New Zealand's openers wiped out that deficit, before three quick wickets for the spinners, plus another first thing on the third morning, left them 88 for four, which Waqar soon made 101 for five. The turning point came when Cairns, on seven, edged Mushtaq to the gully where Inzamam-ul-Haq dropped him. Reprieved, Cairns hit a superb 93 at more than a run a ball, with 12 fours and three sixes, as he and Fleming added 141 for the sixth wicket. Fleming battled on, with valuable support from Doull in what turned out to be another vital last-wicket stand, and remained unbeaten, eight short of his elusive maiden Test hundred, after 280 minutes. There had been some wayward Pakistani bowling, and Waqar had strained his side, but Mushtaq finished with career-best match figures of ten for 143.

Pakistan were left a target of 276, and humiliation loomed when they lost half their side for 42 by the close. Play was delayed by heavy dew on the fourth day. Then Mohammad Wasim, who had failed to score in the first innings, showed unflinching temperament. Despite being hit on the helmet by a bouncer from Cairns before reaching double figures, he drove and cut with relish. Moin and Mushtaq helped him add 151 for the seventh and eight wickets and he become the fourth Pakistani to score a century on Test debut shortly after tea. He even gave his side an outside chance of victory - they were 45 short when he ran out of partners.

Man of the Match: S. B. Doull.

Close of play: First day, Pakistan 52-5 (Salim Malik 11*, Moin Khan 5*); Second day, New Zealand 88-3 (S. P. Fleming 12*, N. J. Astle 3*); Third day, Pakistan 46-5 (Salim Malik 15*, Mohammed Wasim 0*)

© John Wisden & Co