Pakistan register their maiden Test win routing India in 1952 Lucknow Test

Fazal Mahmood took a total of 12 wickets to help Pakistan beat India by an innings and 43 runs in the second Test of the 1952 series at Lucknow © Getty Images

On October 26, 1952, Fazal Mahmood bowled Pakistan to a comprehensive win over India at the University Ground, Lucknow on a jute-matting wicket. The surface perplexed the Indians casting a shadow of doubt in their minds. Sarang Bhalerao looks at the maiden triumph of Pakistan over their arch rivals.

The three-Test series between the arch rivals was an interesting proposition. The matches aroused a lot of interest since Pakistan was erstwhile a part of the Republic of India. The series began at the Ferozshah Kotla, Delhi with India thrashing Pakistan by an innings and 70 runs mainly due to Vinoo Mankad’s 13-wicket haul. India scored 372 and then dismissed Pakistan for 150 and 152. Barring Abdul Hafeez Kardar and Amir Elahi (the two had previously played Test cricket for India) every member of the Pakistan team were making their debut.

The action shifted to the University Ground, Lucknow where a jute-matting wicket was on offer. India won the toss and chose to bat. India lost Datta Gaekwad early for six bowled by Maqsood Ahmed. Gul Mohammad was out leg-before to Maqsood for blob. Vijay Manjrekar and Gogumal Kishenchand fell for three and zero respectively off Fazal Mahmood. A 33-run stand between opener Pankaj Roy and Polly Umrigar ensued before Mahmood Hussain dismissed the latter for 15.

Roy fell 10 runs later leg-before to Fazal. India skipper Lala Amarnath fell for 10 and India just about managed to reach the three-figure mark. They were bowled out for 106 with Fazal picking up five for 52.

Pakistan negotiated the first day without losing any wicket and scored 46. Nazar Mohammad was unbeaten on 21, while Hanif Mohammad was batting on 25. On Day Two, Hanif was dismissed for 34. Nazar and Waqar Hasan took Pakistan past the Indian total and the home team were chasing leather. Lala Amarnath snubbed Waqar and Imtiaz Ahmed in quick succession.

Nazar was rock-solid. He was defending the spinners with a dead straight bat and scoring runs off the loose deliveries. He had held one end up. India managed to pick up Maqsood (41), captain Kardar (16), Anwar Hussain (5) and Fazal Mahmood (dismissed just before stumps for 29). Nazar was unbeaten on 87 at the end of Day Two where Pakistan lead India by 133 runs.

On Day Three, Nazar and Zulfiqar Ahmed built a strong stand of 63, which forced India into submission. Nazar notched up his maiden ton. India dismissed Pakistan for 331, thus conceding a lead of 225 runs. Nazar became the first Pakistan batsman to carry his bat through the innings.

India were jolted early yet again as Mahmood Hussain had Roy dismissed for two. From thereon it was the Fazal Mahmood show. He bowled an unremitting line around off-stump and moved the ball at will. The Indian batsmen were at sea facing Fazal. Kishenchand (20) fell to Fazal, Manjrekar was out leg-before for three. A well-set Gaekwad was dismissed by Fazal for 32 and to compound the matters further, Gul Mohammad was out immediately for two. All of a sudden the prospects of an innings defeat loomed large upon the home side.

Indian skipper Amarnath played positively. He played his shots and looked comfortable. Umrigar fell to Fazal for 32 and by this time the writing was on the wall and when Hiralal Gaekwad fell to Fazal for eight, Pakistan were close to wrapping up the Test match on the third day itself.

Amarnath then took over and dominated the attack. Wicketkeeper Nana Joshi played second fiddle to Amarnath during the eighth-wicket stand. Just before the close of play, a 55-run promising stand was nipped in the bud by left-arm spinner Elahi. Joshi fell for 15. In the same over, Ghulam Ahmed fell and India were reeling at 170 for nine.

Pakistan managed to take the final wicket on the fourth day morning and thus recorded their first ever Test match win in only their second Test match.

The chief architect of this win was Fazal Mahmood who took a total of 12 for 94.

What followed

  • India won the third Test at the Brabourne Stadium in Bombay by 10 wickets and the remaining two games were drawn.

 

  • Fazal Mahmood took 12 for 99 against England at The Oval in 1954 and helped Pakistan win their first Test in England.

 

Brief scores:

India 106 (Pankaj Roy 30; Fazal Mahmood 5 for 52) and 182 (Datta Gaekwad 32, Polly Umrigar 32, Lala Amarnath 61*; Fazal Mahmood 7 for 42) lost to Pakistan 331 (Nazar Mohammad 124*; Ghulam Ahmed 3 for 83) by an innings and 43 runs.

(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)