On February 8, 1973, Mushtaq Mohammad and Asif Iqbal put on a partnership of 350 against New Zealand at Dunedin. Such was the power of that stand that Pakistan scored 400 in a day and helped them seal their first victory in New Zealand. Nishad Pai Vaidya looks back at the day.
On February 8, 1973, Mushtaq Mohammad and Asif Iqbal constructed a partnership way ahead of their time. To score 300 runs in a day in Test cricket is an effort, but consider the fact that they amassed 350 in no time and Pakistan scored 400 in a day. This may seem to be a Test match in the modern era, but the fact that it happened in the 1970s shows testament to the pair’s remarkable feat on one fine day at Carisbrook, Dunedin.
New Zealand and Pakistan faced off in the second Test at Dunedin, commencing on February 7, 1973. Honours were shared in the first Test at Wellington, a game that saw the debuts of Wasim Raja and the great Sir Richard Hadlee. Mushtaq did not play that game. For Dunedin Test, Mushtaq replaced opener Talat Ali as Zaheer Abbas did the duties with Sadiq Mohammad.
Pakistan captain Intikhab Alam won the toss and chose to bat in the second Test. Sadiq, who had come off a big ton in the first innings, powered his way along and led his side’s cause. However, rain played spoilsport as Pakistan finished the day on 107 for two.
Resuming on Day Two i.e. February 8, Sadiq was run out with the score on 126. That brought Iqbal to the crease to join forces with Mushtaq. Initially, they warded off a tough period and were slow to score their runs. As Wisden reported, the pair could only muster 40 runs in their first 80 minutes together. But, once they came back after the lunch break, it was utter domination from both of them. They took the attack to a bowling attack comprising of Dayle Hadlee, Bruce Taylor, Bevan Congdon and Hedley Howrath to name a few.
Mushtaq and Iqbal had survived the testing phase and were ready to go on to make a big one. Such was the carnage, that out of the 400 runs scored on Day Two, 316 were scored in the last four hours, as reported by Wisden. As they went about their job, milestones kept falling and they raced past 400. The 350 of the partnership was just up when Iqbal was dismissed by Taylor. Those 350 runs were added in a matter of mere five hours and was a remarkable feat for that time.
With the score exactly on 500, Mushtaq also fell, but not after he had scored 201. He had mustered those runs in only 383 minutes. Iqbal’s 175 had consumed 275 minutes. Pakistan ended Day Two on 507 for six and Intikhab declared the next day at the same score.
- Intikhab’s spell of seven for 52 helped Pakistan bowl New Zealand out for only 156.
- Pakistan imposed the follow on and Intikhab was at it again with four for 78. But this time, Mushtaq stole his thunder with five for 49 as New Zealand were bowled out for 185, which handed Pakistan a victory by an innings and 166 runs.
- The third Test at Auckland was drawn, which handed Pakistan the series.
- Mushtaq and Iqbal’s 350-run stand remained a record for any wicket for Pakistan until 1983, when Mudassar Nazar and Javed Miandad added 451 against India at Hyderabad, Pakistan. Currently, the Mushtaq-Iqbal partnership is the fifth highest for Pakistan.
Pakistan 507 for 6 decl. (Mushtaq Mohammad 201, Asif Iqbal 175; Dayle Hadlee 2 for 100, Bruce Taylor 2 for 91) beat New Zealand 156 (Ken Wadsworth 45; Intikhab Alam 7 for 52) and 185 (Vic Pollard 61; Intikhab Alam 4 for 78, Mushtaq Mohammad 5 for 49) by an innings and 166 runs.
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