Pak-England 1974 three-match Test Series ends in a 0-0 draw; Zaheer Abbas hits 240 at The Oval

From AZ Aamir 

Following a 0-1 loss in the three-match Test Series in 1971 during which Imran Khan also made his Test debut, Pakistan visited England for the fifth time in 1974 for another three-match Test Series which ended in a 0-0 draw. On the tour Intikhab Alam was again Pakistan’s captain and England were led by Mike Denness.
The first Test in Leeds ended in a stalemate. Majid Khan (75), Sarfraz Nawaz (53) and Zaheer Abbas (48) enabled Pakistan post 285 all out in their first innings. Pacer Chris Old and Geoff Arnold took three wickets each while Mike Hendrick claimed two. In response, England perished for 183 to concede 102 runs lead. Opener David Lloyd top-scored 48. New-ball partners Asif Masood and Sarfraz Nawaz grabbed three wickets each while Imran Khan claimed 2-55 in 21 overs.
After securing a substantial lead, Pakistan were folded for 179 in their second innings to set 282 for England to win. Mushtaq Mohammad (43) and Imran Khan (31) impressed with the bat. Pace-trio Arnold, Old and Hendrick took three wickets each.
England, chasing a tough target on a difficult wicket, then reached 238-6 in 107 overs when game ended. John Edrich (70) and Keith Fletcher (67) were the prominent contributors. Sarfraz Nawaz took 4-56 in 36 overs. Shafiq Ahmed, the opener, made Test debut.

Meanwhile the second Test at Lord’s also did not yield any result as a substantial part of the outing was wasted by bad weather. Pakistan declared their first innings at 130-9 with Sadiq Mohammad scoring 40 and Majid Khan 48. Left-arm spinner Derek Underwood captured 5-20 in 14 overs. Tony Greig, off-spinner,  took 3-23.
England, in response, were folded for 270, securing 140-run lead, with stumper Alan Knot scoring 83. Chris Old (41) and opener John Edrich (40) were the main contributors. Asif Mehmood took 3-47 while Intikhab Alam and Imran Khan got two wickets each.
Mushtaq Mohammad (76), Wasim Hasan Raja (53) and opener Sadiq Mohammad (43) enabled Pakistan to stage 226 all out in their second innings to set a target of 87 for England who reached 27 without loss at stumps on the second last day. The final day’s play was washed out due to rain with Pakistan surviving a certain defeat. Left-arm spinner Derek Underwood produced career-best figures of 8-51 in 34.5 overs, finishing with 13-71.

The third Test at The Oval also ended in a draw due to major innings from Zaheer Abbas who made 240 and England’s Dennes Amis’ 183. Zaheer smashed 22 fours in 410-ball 240 to guide Pakistan to 600-7 declared in their first innings. Majid Khan (98) and Mushtaq Mohammad (76) ably backed Zaheer, a run-machine. Bob Willis, Underwood and Tony Greig claimed two wickets each.
Amis then hammered 183 and Fletcher struck 122 to help England score 545 all out to concede a 55-run lead. Amis had retired hurt on 178.  Intikhab Alam led from the front with 5-116. Pakistan then scored 94-4 in their second innings till end of the game with Wasim Raja making 30. Arnold, fast bowler, got the wickets of Sadiq Mohammad (4) and Zaheer Abbas (15).

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