First Test Match

Pakistan v West Indies

Tame though the finish was, the contest for the first four days was attended by intriguing fluctuations of fortune.

On a normally high-scoring ground, the first-innings totals of both sides were moderate. This was because intermittent rain on the two days before the Test had got under the covers and given the pitch unusual life. In fact, the start on the first day was delayed until lunch.

The back of the Pakistan batting was broken during the afternoon. They were 111 for five, Roberts taking the first four wickets, and had every catch stuck, West Indies would have taken even stronger command. Ironically, the catches fell out of such sure hands as those of Lloyd and Richards.

Pakistan reached 199 and of the 88 added on the second day, 57 came from a brave last-wicket stand of 57 between Sarfraz Nawaz and Asif Masood.

With a blustering wind at his back, Roberts bowled with fury. He made liberal use of bumpers, one of them striking Intikhab Alam on the head. Fortunately, no serious injury was inflicted. Boyce, no less aggressive, took three for 55.

West Indies' reply was promisingly launched by a very confident Fredericks and Baichan, playing his First Test. They put on 66 for the first wicket, but West Indies were 139 for four at the second day, Sarfraz and Asif Masood having bowled superbly. Sarfraz continued to scourge the West Indies on the third day, although a masterly 92 not out by Kallicharran enabled them to take a small lead.

Pakistan had to overcome a crisis of 58 for three before reaching 153 for four at the end of the third day. The pitch played much more easily after the rest day and Pakistan went on to declare at 373 for seven. An earlier closure could possibly have brought them victory.

Mushtaq Mohammad, with a sound 123, was at the heart of Pakistan's recovery and Asif Iqbal, Wasim Raja and Aftab Baloch all lent a hand. A stand of 116 between Mushtaq and Aftab (60) for the sixth wicket put danger absolutely behind Pakistan.

West Indies got nowhere near their target. The bowling, sometimes negative, ensured that. Nor were West Indies in danger of defeat at any time, although they suffered an early shock at 30 and lost Kallicharran and Richards in the same over after lunch. Baichan made a patient 105 not out, the ninth West Indian to accomplish the feat of scoring a century on début.

© John Wisden & Co