On September 16, 1988, Javed Miandad scored his fifth double ton in Test cricket at the National Stadium, Karachi. He was brought in as captain for the series against Australia. Pakistan totally dominated Australia and secured an innings win. Sarang Bhalerao takes a look at one of Pakistan’s famous Test wins.
Pakistan had a new leader: Javed Miandad, who was given yet another captaincy stint in the absence of Imran Khan. In the first Test match of the series, Miandad showed why he was considered as the most dangerous batsman of his era. His double ton was a compelling case-study in which protagonists: concentration, shot selection and patience stood out.
After winning the toss, Miandad had no hesitation in batting first on a wicket that was expected to wear on as the game progressed. The wicket had absolutely no grass and it was dry. It was a laborious task for the fast bowlers to extract any kind of movement. Bruce Reid made early in-roads though. Off the second ball of the match, he had Mudassar Nazar’s wicket. Soon, the other opener Ramiz Raja too departed, caught by debutant Ian Healy off Reid to leave Pakistan in some trouble.
Shoaib Mohammad and Miandad took charge of the situation. The Australian bowlers — Reid, Tony Dodemaide, Steve Waugh, Tim May, Peter Taylor and Allan Border — tried hard but the duo was batting with supreme confidence. The Australians were unlucky not to get Miandad’s wicket early-on as the close leg-before appeals went in favour of the Pakistan captain.
Shoaib and Miandad added 196 for the third wicket. Shoaib batted for close to five and a half hours and hit 15 boundaries. Just before the close of play, he was bowled by Waugh for 94. Miandad, at the other end, was well set. He was batting on 95 at stumps on Day One accompanied by nightwatchman Tauseef Ahmed.
On the second day morning, Miandad brought his 18th Test hundred. Tauseef, by now, was confident and Miandad had a lot of talks to him in between the deliveries. The fourth wicket partnership between the two yielded 67, before Tauseef was out caught by David Boon off May. That is Tauseef’s highest Test score.
Australia by now found it difficult to dislodge Miandad. Their best chance was to attack the new batsman. Saleem Malik bided his time and supported Miandad during their fifth-wicket alliance. The pair added 114 off which Malik scored 45, which came in almost three hours. Australian shoulders began to drop; they were going through the motions.
Miandad brought up his fifth double ton in the final session of Day Two. That was his fifth double ton. It was an innings that put Australia on the backfoot. The ball had started to spin prodigiously and batting was going to be tough for Australia, especially against Iqbal Qasim, Tauseef and Abdul Qadir. Miandad was soon dismissed before the end of day’s play for 211, caught Boon bowled Reid. The innings lasted for 636 minutes and for 441 deliveries. It was punctuated by 29 boundaries and one six not to mention numerous solid defences which Australia at one point found impossible to breach.
List of Javed Miandad’s double tons upto that point:
The special feature about Miandad’s double hundreds was that they were scored against five different opponents. It was his second double ton at the National Stadium.
This innings was not chanceless though. Wisden writes: “When finally dismissed for 211, having had at least three lives and survived some confident lbw appeals early on, he had batted for 590 minutes, faced 439 balls, and had passed Pakistan’s previous highest score against Australia (210 not out by Taslim Arif at Faisalabad in 1979-80). His innings included a six and 29 fours.”
Pakistan finished Day Two at 438 for six. They batted for close to 40 minutes on Day Three and Miandad declared the innings at 469 for nine.
The Pakistan bowlers tortured Australia with pin-point accuracy, especially from the spinners. It was a track tailor-made for Qasim. The previous year he had bowled Pakistan to a win over India at Banglore along with Tauseef. Australia batted for 122 overs for 165. Qasim had flattering figures of 39-24-35-5. Only Taylor showed some resistance by scoring his maiden Test fifty. He managed to hold the fort for 251 minutes and ran out of partners.
In the second innings, Australia were bowled out for 116 in 64.4 overs. Qasim picked up four wickets. This was Pakistan’s biggest win over Australia, by an innings and 188 runs.
Miandad’s innings was solely responsible for this carnage. The spinners exerted a lot of turn and put the Aussie batsmen in strife since they had runs to play with. Miandad’s class, Pakistan’s classic bowling and the visitor’s struggle were the striking features of this one-sided contest.
Pakistan 469 for 9 decl. (Javed Miandad 211, Shoiab Mohammad 94; Tim May 4 for 97, Bruce Reid 4 for 109) beat Australia 165 (Peter Taylor 54; Iqbal Qasim 5 for 35) and 116 (Iqbal Qasim 4 for 49) by an innings and 188 runs.
Man of the Match: Javed Miandad
(Sarang Bhalerao hails from a family of doctors, but did his engineering. He then dumped a career in IT with Infosys to follow his heart and passion and became a writer with CricketCountry. A voracious reader, Sarang aspires to beat Google with his knowledge of the game! You can follow him on Twitter here)