The two-wicket win against Pakistan at Dunedin in February 1985 remains one of the most epic Test matches to have been played in the southern hemisphere. It was a match in which legendary players achieved unforgettable feats: Richard Hadlee took his 250th wicket in Tests, Javed Miandad completed his 5,000 runs and a certain teenager named Wasim Akram announced his arrival at the biggest stage claiming a 10-for. It was a contest full of twists and turns. However, the match will be remembered Miandad’s war of words with the umpire.

One person who took the cricketing world by storm was Akram. His ploy to pepper the batters with the short-pitch stuff was a visual treat. Lance Cairns was back in the hut with a hairline fracture in his skull, trying to fend a lethal bouncer from Akram. Thus, the onus shifted on the last pair of Jeremy Coney and Ewen Chatfield.

They were not recognised for their batting abilities; and with red-hot Akram going hard at them, things were only heading one way, that is, down.

Blackcaps were chasing a total of 278. Coney and Chatfield wrestled hard to put to Pakistan on the back foot. Miandad , probably, took the aggressive tactic to get the better of the tail-enders.

Akram almost killed the number 11 batsman on the final day. Emotions were running high. Pakistan were desperate to wrap up the match.

The target was looking almost impossible for the Kiwis, but Chatfield held the fort, and slowly but steadily started stitching a vital partnership with Coney at the other end. Given Coney was the better batter, Javed cleverly strategized to give away a single to the him to get Chatfield on strike. Chatfield displayed guts and took body blows like a boxer in a ring.

A little tiff again took place as Akram was being denied to put the last nail in the coffin. He was overdoing the bouncers and was getting predictable. Akram lost his cool when the umpire approached him, asking him to play the game in the right spirit. Miandad aggressively jumped in and questioned the umpire, as there is nothing mentioned in ICC code of conduct as he was bowling shoulder length ball not bouncers. He argued with the umpire and the mild banter almost turned into a scuffle. In return, the umpire warned Akram, but the reaction didn’t go down well. Miandad had already made up his mind of going ahead with the strategy.

Akram bowled another ferocious bouncer that hit Chatfield’s helmet, again. The umpire, by now, had lost his cool and was compelled to give an official warning.

However, Chatfield and Coney crawled to victory, as they combated like soldiers on a battlefield.

Later, Coney expressed his desire of hitting few big shots and highly praised Chatfield’s unconquerable will to win the match. He said, “There was always the temptation to want to hit out get a few fours and reduce the gap, but you just had to plug on and let the runs pile up. He [Chatfield] had it under control. He shielded me from the bowling for quite a long time.”

This article first appeared at CricLife.com

(Abhishek Kumar is a cricket devotee currently staffing with Criclife.com. He can be followed at abhicricket.kumar and @abhishekkr2593)