First Test Match


At Madras, February 3, 4, 6, 7, 8. Drawn. An emotive and significant series got off to a fine start in a good atmosphere at a venue which was not on the original schedule. There was success for Kulkarni in his first over after Pakistan had chosen to bat, but Shoaib, with a painstaking maiden Test hundred, and Miandad, batting for 225 minutes, established the innings. Miandad was 6 short of his fifteenth Test century when he was smartly run out by Vengsarkar at silly point as he stepped out to Maninder. A middle-order collapse against the turning ball left Pakistan somewhat exposed before Imran Khan played a delightfully correct innings. Wasim Akram, with five sixes and six fours in his 62 off 102 balls, took the leading role in their stand of 112, a record for Pakistan's eighth wicket against India, with the result that Imran was still only 68 when the last man, Tauseef, joined him. However, they remained together for an hour and a half as first Imran reached his hundred, after six hours six minutes' batting, and then went on to his highest Test score, which contained five sixes and fourteen fours.

A marvellous 123 off 149 balls by Srikkanth, whose two sixes and eighteen fours included two fours and a six off successive balls by Imran, settled India well into their reply. His partnership of 200 with Gavaskar was the highest for the first wicket against Pakistan by any country. As well as Gavaskar, Vengsarkar and Amarnath were dismissed when in sight of their hundreds, and on a wicket that was still playing superbly the match meandered towards a draw. Of the bowlers, Maninder Singh performed well enough for the Pakistanis to draft the 39-year-old Younis Ahmed on to the tour as a left-handed counter to the potential threat of India's left-arm spinners.

Man of the Match: Imran Khan and K. Srikkanth (shared).

Close of play: First day, Pakistan 247-5 (Salim Malik 14*, Abdul Qadir 2*); Second day, India 15-0 (S. M. Gavaskar 10*, K. Srikkanth 5*); Third day, India 290-2 (M. Amarnath 33*, D. B. Vengsarkar 39*); Fourth day, India 527-9 (N. S. Yadav 6*, Maninder Singh 7*).

© John Wisden & Co