Home > Features > Moments in history >

Wasim Akram accomplishes rare all-round feat in Test match

The day Wasim Akram accomplished a rare all-round feat in a Test match

Wasim Akram’s effort of scoring a hundred and taking five-for in an innings in the same Test saw him emulate that only two other Pakistanis have achieved © Getty Images

On January 22, 1990, Wasim Akram blazed his way to a maiden Test hundred. With that knock, he made his way into the elite list of players with a century and five-for in the same Test. Karthik Parimal looks back at that marvellous innings that saved the day for Pakistan at Adelaide.

The second Test between Pakistan and Australia at Adelaide, that took place in the January of 1990, will forever be etched in Wasim Akram’s mind. Firstly, he collected a five-wicket haul that constrained the possibility of the hosts taking a huge first innings lead in response to Pakistan’s 257. Then, his heroics with the bat played a major role in arresting his side’s slide in the series, for they were beaten in the first Test at Melbourne by a healthy margin of 92 runs. Akram essayed a brilliant century on January 22, 1990, on the fourth day of the Adelaide Test, alongside Imran Khan, to steer Pakistan out of troubled waters.

An unpleasant situation

The visitors were on the backfoot right from the commencement of the tour. They were hammered in the first Test at Melbourne, and their batting department was found wanting yet again in the first innings of the second Test. Nevertheless, they crawled to 257. In response, Australia scored 341. Although they chalked out a lead of 84 runs, at one stage, it looked as though they would surpass 400 when Ian Healy and Dean Jones occupied the crease. But Akram’s timely interventions proved to be instrumental.

Pakistan’s start to the second innings was disastrous, but with Merv Hughes churning out one of the best spells of his career, there is little a batsman can do. Within an hour, Pakistan’s top four batsmen – Shoaib Mohammad, Rameez Raja, Saleem Yousuf and Ijaz Ahmed – were victims of Hughes’ pace, and the side was reeling at 22 for four. Javed Miandad and Imran Khan tried to remedy the situation; however, the former’s persistence came to an end after scoring 21.

In came Wasim Akram, with just six runs ahead and five wickets remaining, and little did anyone expect his innings to change the course of the game.

Maiden Test century

Akram scored his first runs of the match by angling the ball square off the wicket to the off-side to pick up a couple. A few deliveries later, he edged one between the slips and the ball sped away to the third-man boundary. Despite the initial tentativeness, he sweetly timed a ball off Hughes that beat the packed off-side field and made its way to the fence a few balls thereafter. This shot reinforced the fact that Akram was no mug with the bat, and that his knock of 52 in the first innings wasn’t a flash in the pan.

When the partnership was worth 19 runs, Akram presented a difficult opportunity to Greg Campbell off the latter’s own bowling. Campbell, bowling around the wicket to the left-handed batsman, was required to deviate from his regular path of follow through in order to complete the catch, and hence, understandably, grassed it. Nevertheless, there have been instances of bowlers hanging on to such difficult chances.

Post that short hiccup, Akram played carefree cricket. He pummelled the ball down the ground on multiple occasions and played some blistering drives off every bowler. At one point, there were seven fielders on the off-side, yet, Akram managed to penetrate the field with nonchalant ease.

Whenever there appeared to be a lapse in his concentration, skipper Imran Khan’s calming influence at the other end played a vital role. During one such phase, when Akram was fishing outside the off stump almost every delivery, Imran went down the wicket and talked sense into the youngster’s head. However, Akram left no stone unturned to muscle any bad ball that was hurled at him. There were no naïve hits; just proper cricketing shots.

Shortly after reaching his half-century, Akram survived a leg-before wicket appeal off the bowling of Hughes. Replays confirmed the fact that the ball had pitched well outside the leg stump and that the umpire had called it right. Thereafter, the tall, sturdy left-hander scored three boundaries off Hughes – two glorious drives and one hit straight down the ground off a slower delivery – thereby bringing up a new record partnership for Pakistan against Australia for the sixth wicket (116). Spinner Peter Taylor too wasn’t spared as Akram scored the only six of the innings in his over.

A pull off Hughes to the leg-side fence brought up Akram’s maiden Test century. There wasn’t any wild display of emotion; a raise of the left hand, followed by a handshake from his skipper before acknowledging the crowd concluded the celebration. He seemed aware of the pending task at hand.
Twenty-three runs later, he was bowled off Campbell, just a delivery after surviving a caught-behind appeal. He batted for 244 minutes for his 123, and there were eighteen fours and a six in his innings. He was rightly adjudged the Man of the Match as Pakistan went on to save the second Test and the remaining Test at Sydney too.

In Australia’s second innings, it was Jones who amassed yet another ton.

The elite list

Akram’s efforts helped him join the select band of players who scored a hundred and took five-for in an innings in the same Test. Mushtaq Mohammad and Imran Khan were the two other Pakistanis who had achieved this feat until then. Akram was, and still is, the only other entrant from Pakistan.

Brief scores: Pakistan 257 (Javed Miandad 52, Wasim Akram 52; Carl Rackemann 4-40) and 387 for 9 dec. (Imran Khan 136, Wasim Akram 123; Ravi Shastri 4-45) drew with Australia 341 (Dean Jones 116, Mark Taylor 77; Wasim Akram 5-100) and 233 for 6 (Dean Jones 121, Mark Taylor 59; Tauseef Ahmed 3-80).

(Karthik Parimal, a Correspondent with CricketCountry, is a cricket aficionado and a worshipper of the game. He idolises Steve Waugh and can give up anything, absolutely anything, just to watch a Kumar Sangakkara cover drive. He can be followed on Twitter at https://twitter.com/karthik_parimal)

West Indies tour of India, 2014

Oct 20, 2014 (14:30 IST)   at Kolkata

Pakistan vs Australia in UAE, 2014

Oct 22, 2014 (11:30 IST)   at Dubai

West Indies tour of India, 2014

Oct 22, 2014 (19:00 IST)   at Cuttack

Zimbabwe tour of Bangladesh, 2014

Oct 25, 2014 (09:30 IST)   at Dhaka

South Africa tour of New Zealand, 2014

Oct 27, 2014 (03:00 IST)   at Hamilton

More

South Africa tour of New Zealand, 2014

Oct 24, 2014  at Mount Maunganui

South Africa won by 72 runs

South Africa tour of New Zealand, 2014

Oct 21, 2014  at Mount Maunganui

South Africa won by 6 wkts

West Indies tour of India, 2014

Oct 17, 2014  at Dharamsala

India won by 59 runs

West Indies tour of India, 2014

Oct 14, 2014  at Visakhapatnam

Match cancelled

Pakistan vs Australia in UAE, 2014

Oct 12, 2014  at Abu Dhabi

Australia won by 1 run

Photos

Pakistan vs Australia, 1st Test at Dubai

Videos

Amla feels Proteas more acclimatised to conditions

Pakistan eye victory as Australia reel at 59/4 at stumps on Day 4

Suresh Raina gifts Aditya Garhwal an autographed bat

Dwayne Bravo says West Indies pull-out had everybody’s consent

Bangladesh gain upper-hand over Zimbabwe at stumps on Day 1 of 1st Test

David Warner and others with records related to hundreds in consecutive Test innings

Australia Australia tour of UAE 2014 Australia vs Pakistan Australia vs Pakistan 2014 India New Zealand New Zealand vs South Africa New Zealand vs South Africa 2014 Pakistan Pakistan vs Australia Pakistan vs Australia 2014 South Africa South Africa tour of New Zealand 2014 South Africa vs New Zealand South Africa vs New Zealand 2014

Pakistan vs Australia 2014: Younis Khan considered skipping Tests

Michael Clarke: Younis Khan is one of the gentlemen of our game

Duleep Trophy 2014: Central Zone to meet South Zone in final

Pakistan eye victory as Australia reel at 59/4 at stumps on Day 4

Pakistan vs Australia 2014: David Warner admits that Australia is not scared of big targets

Younis Khan scores 26th ton to establish Pakistan record

Younis Khan becomes seventh Pakistani cricketer to score two hundreds in a Test

Virat Kohli and others with 20 ODI hundreds

David Warner and others with records related to hundreds in consecutive Test innings

Strangers, Brothers and Cricket— the English novelist CP Snow’s lasting passion for the game

Fan of the Day

Suraj Gowda

Suraj Gowda

642 Posts | 9 Fans

Virat Kohli's Family Meets Anushka Sharma

अभिनेत्री हुमा कुरैशी ओरिफ्लेम की ब्रांड एंबेसडर

Has Bigg Boss 8 made Karishma Tanna the most hated person?

Pranab Mukherjee returns home after visit to Norway, Finland

Revealed: First look of Amitabh Bachchan-Farhan Akhtar’s Do!

7 reasons why having sex during pregnancy is great for your health

Videocon Infinium Graphite with gesture control feature launched, priced at Rs 10,499

Rupee up 19 paise against dollar in early trade

Twitter introduces Audio Cards to listen to music directly from your timeline

Also on cricketcountry.com

Play Fantasy Cricket & Win

Cash Daily! Click here