Third Test Match


Toss: India.

Rajasthan's first Test match - the Sawai Mansingh Stadium became the 61st Test ground - was overtaken by events: first by the visit on the second day by General Zia, Pakistan's President, as part of his Cricket for Peace mission, and then by controversy over the repairs to the pitch following the thunderstorm and heavy winds which swept aside the covers and soaked the ground that evening.

Before these incidents, the talking points were the recall to Pakistan's Test team of Younis Ahmed after 17 years 111 days and the dismissal of Gavaskar, Imran's first ball taking the inside edge and ricocheting off Gavaskar's ultra-light pads, low to third slip. It was the third time in 123 Tests that the Indian opener had fallen to the first ball of a Test match. Thereafter, India's innings progressed laboriously. Azharuddin, revealing a penchant for successive centuries, took 183 balls for his sixth hundred in Tests, while Shastri appeared content on occupation, batting seven hours for his seventh.

Attention after the rest day centred on the pitch, which was sprinkled with sawdust. The Pakistanis claimed this had been used to dry the pitch, thus changing its nature; the Indian officials in defence claimed that it had been blown there from the outfield. The umpires dragged their feet over a resumption as Imran threatened to refuse to bat, and they eventually defused the situation by abandoning play for the day. This virtually condemned the match to yet another draw, which Pakistan ensured by batting until after lunch on the final day. Ramiz, with 114 off 279 balls, was their bulwark after early Indian inroads and Imran, with eleven fours in his 140-minute 66, slipped his side past the follow-on figure next morning. India's attack, already without Maninder, was further depleted when Binny injured his ankle in the nets and was unable to bowl.

Man of the Match: R. J. Shastri.

Close of play: First day, India 228-4 (M. Azharuddin 72*, R. J. Shastri 22*); Second day, India 459-8 (R. M. H. Binny 3*, N. S. Yadav 5*); Third day, No play; Fourth day, Pakistan 228-6 (Imran Khan 21*).

© John Wisden & Co