1954 Pakistan-England Test Series: Fazal Mahmood helped Pakistan level four-match Test series 1-1

Scene of 1954 The Oval Test

From our correspondent 

ISLAMABAD:  In 1954 Pakistan visited England for the first time for a four Test-match series which ended in a 1-1 draw.

The first Test held at the cricket headquarters Lord’s from June 10-15, 1954, ended in a draw under the captaincy of Abdul Hafeez Kardar. After the first three days marred by rain with not a single ball being bowled Pakistan were dismissed for 87 in the first innings in 83.5 overs with openers Hanif Mohammad (20) and Alimuddin (19), stumper Imtiaz Ahmed (12) and tail-ender Zulfiqar Ahmed (11) were the only batters entered into double figures.

JB Statham (4-18) and left-arm spinner John Henry Wardle (4-33) destroyed Pakistan’s batting. England, in reply, declared their innings for 117-9 in just 31 overs, claiming 30 runs lead. Opener Peter May (27) and wicket-keeper batsman TG Evans (25) were the top scorers.

Khan Mohammad (5-61) and Fazal Mehmood (4-54) did the main damage and were the only two bowlers who bowled entire 31 overs without any break. Pakistan then scored 121-3 in 52.2 overs till end of the game. Waqar Hasan remained top scorer with 53 and Hanif Mohammad chipped in with 39. Maqsood Ahmed made 29 not out. Bailey, off-spinner Jim Laker and left-arm Chinaman Denis Compton claimed one wicket each. Alimuddin, Khalid Wazir and Shujauddin made their Test debut for Pakistan in this match.

Meanwhile in the second Test held from July 1-5 at Nottingham England showed class performance and conquered Pakistan by an innings and 129 runs. Right-arm pacer Bob Appleyard (5-51) bowled disastrously to dismiss Pakistan for 157 in 65 overs in their first innings. Abdul Hafeez Kardar led from the front with 28.

England, in reply, declared their innings at 558-6 in 139 overs, gaining a huge lead under the captaincy of David Sheppard who also rose to the Bishop of Liverpool.

Denis Compton (278) and Reg Simpson (101) shared 237 runs for the third wicket stand. Compton struck 34 fours and one six in his massive effort. Khan Mohammad was the pick of the bowlers with 3-155 in 40 overs.

Facing a deficit Pakistan were skittled out for 272 in 112.4 overs in their second innings to face a humiliating defeat. Maqsood Ahmed (69) and Hanif Mohammad (51) fought bravely against the lethal bowling from England. Statham and Wardle took three wickets each while AV Bedser and Appleyard got two wickets each. Pakistan gave Test caps to Ebbu Ghazali, Khalid Hasan and Aslam Khokhar.

The third Test held between July 22-27 at Manchester ended in a draw as again three days play could not be made possible due to rain. Denis Compton continued with his splendid form as he chipped in with 93 to enable England declare their first innings at 359-8 in 129 overs. Tom Graveney (65) and Wardle (54) also did well for the hosts.

Fazal Mehmood (4-107) and Shujauddin (3-107) were effective with the leather. Shujauddin was basically a left-arm spinner. Pakistan, in reply, perished for only 90 in 56.5 overs with Hanif Mohammad (32), Imtiaz Ahmed (13) and Waqar Hasan (11) only managing double figures.

Wardle took 4-19 in 24 overs while Bedser and off-spinner McConnon claimed three wickets each. After being forced to follow-on, Pakistan scored 25-4 till end of the game in their second innings as the last two day play could not be made possible due to rain. Alec Bedser, right-arm pacer, got 3-9 in eight overs.

Now the fourth and final Test at The Oval from August 12-17 was very important for Pakistan and they lived up to the billing to win it by 24 runs to level the Test series 1-1 thanks to hostile bowling from fast bowler Fazal Mehmood who took 12 wickets in the match. Pakistan posted 133 all out in their innings with Abdul Hafiz Kardar top-scoring 36. Stumper Imtiaz Ahmed and Mehmood Hussain made 23 each. Pacer Frank Tyson was the pick of the bowlers with 4-35.  Peter Loader got 3-35 and Statham claimed 2-26.

In response, England were bowled out for 130 with Compton scoring 53. Fazal Mehmood produced excellent figures of 6-53 in 30 overs. Mehmood Hussain claimed 4-58 in 21.3 overs. After gaining three runs lead Pakistan posted 164 in their second innings to set 168-run target for England. Wazir Mohammad top-scored 43 not out. Zulfiqar Ahmed made 34. Wardle claimed 7-56 in 35 overs.

Chasing a tricky target on a dangerous pitch England were dismissed for 143 and thus lost the game with Peter May top-scoring 53. Compton chipped in with 29. Fazal Mehmood claimed 6-46, finishing the match with 12-99 to emerge as Pakistan’s hero.

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