The first home test of 2018 begins today when England face Pakistan at Lord’s; therefore we’re going to bring you a touch of nostalgia to put you in the mood for some good old fashioned test cricket. New guest writer Haroon Khalid, who is a bit of a fearsome fast bowler himself, has penned the following look back at the summer of 1982, when a young Imran Khan led Pakistan in England for the first time. Enjoy!
The summer of 1982, as in the case of 2018, was split between two touring teams. The first half of the summer saw England beat India 1-0 in a three match rubber with Kapil Dev starring for the tourists. The second half of this self-styled “summer of the all-rounder” (which incidentally was the name of Patrick Eagar pictorial review of the Summer) pitted the home side against a Pakistan team led by their new and charismatic captain called Imran Khan.
England won the two match ODI series comfortably; and the first test, although not without a few scares, at Edgbaston by 113 runs. The second test, scheduled for the middle of August, was played at Lord’s. This incidentally also represented the first time this correspondent, as a 13-year-old, made his first trip to HQ.
For this game, England were without their captain, Bob Willis who had to withdraw with a stiff neck after suffering a bouncer barrage from Imran Khan and Sikander Bakht in the first test. In his place came Robin Jackman, recalled for the first time since the 1981 West Indies tour. The captaincy was passed for the first time to a 25-year-old David Gower.
Imran won the toss and decided to bat. Pakistan lost Mudassar Nazar (more of him later) for 20 with the score at 53-1. Mansoor Akhtar came together with Mohsin Khan for a 146 run partnership with the opener in sparkling form. By the close Pakistan reached 295-3 with Mohsin 159 not out.
The visitors lost two wickets, notably Zaheer Abbas for 75, in the morning session of the Friday before a prolonged rain break put the brakes on Mohsin’s progress. Indeed, the interruption meant that he spent most of the day on 199 not out.
At the resumption, late in the evening session, a gentle glance to fine leg off Botham brought up the opener’s 200. A few balls later, a more forceful flick off Jackman was caught by Tavare just behind square leg. Mohsin’s innings came at a strike rate of almost 52 and contained 23 boundaries. The lower order, namely wicket keeper Wasim Bari and leg spinning magician Abdul Qadir hurried the score along to 428-8 at the close of day two at which point, Imran declared.
The morning of the third day, Saturday, was bright and sunny as England commenced their first innings. Their immediate target, 229, was to avoid the follow on. Although losing Tavare for 8, Randall and Lamb held firm against a fierce Imran before both were respectively dismissed by Sarfraz Nawaz and Tahir Naqqash.
Botham and Gower led a fightback putting together partnership of 68 until Qadir removed the England all-rounder. The Lord’s crowd was then treated to a wrist spinning masterclass by Qadir. He took a further three wickets with the England lower order batting line-up becoming tangled in a mix of leg breaks, top spinners, flippers and googlies. England finishing the day on 226-9, still three short of the follow on target.
After Gatting added one run to England’s overnight score on the Sunday morning, Jackman was adjudged lbw to Imran for nought. With more indifferent weather forecast, and with only one days bowling effort expended, Imran enforced the follow on.
Hitherto, the series had been wretched for Mudassar. He’d earned (what we called at school) a “silver” duck pair at Edgbaston. In this match, he’d only managed 20 when Pakistan batted and bowled 4 tight yet wicketless overs in England’s first innings. However, he’d clearly had something inspiring for his Sunday breakfast. Coming on from the Nursery End (ostensibly to allow Sarfraz and Imran to switch ends), he reduced England to 9-3 taking the wickets of Randall, Lamb and the England captain.
With backs to the wall, Tavare dropped the weightiest of anchors and started the rebuilding effort with Botham, the former spending over an hour on nought. However, the remainder of Sunday was interspersed with the threatened rain and frustrated the Pakistan effort to push for wickets. That said, the play that was possible saw an enthralling tussle between Botham and Qadir with the former firstly frustrating the leg spinner and then getting the better of the duel. England finished the day on 95-3 with Botham having passed 50.
Part way through the morning session of the fifth and final day, Mudassar took his fourth and fifth wickets. First, Botham caught at gully for 69 and then Gatting seduced into slashing at a long hop caught by Bari. 132-5. Although England lost Pringle and Grieg, Tavare remained obstinate before being dismissed for 82 to, given the circumstances, a rather injudicious shot to Imran. His vigil lasted 406 minutes and 277 deliveries. When he reached fifty, it was second slowest half century in test history (and remains so today).
Some late order resistance by Hemmings, Taylor and Jackman consumed valuable time and the draw looked on. Nevertheless, England were eventually dismissed deep into the evening session for 276. Mudassar finished with 6-32.
Pakistan required 76 from eighteen overs. Sensing history, Imran sent in the more frenzied Javed Miandad to open with Mohsin Khan. Going at almost a run a ball, Miandad cut the first ball of the 13th over to the backward point boundary to seal a ten wicket win. This represented the first test victory by Pakistan at Lord’s and only their second win in all since the Oval test of 1954. Deservedly, Mohsin was adjudicated as man of match for his first innings double hundred.
The third test of this absorbing series resulted in nail biting a three wicket win for England giving them a 2-1 win. Botham was the stand out performer for the home side with a first innings half century and nine wickets in the match. Imran finished as man of the series.
In 1982, three of the four greatest cricketers of the era (or indeed any other era), were on display in England that summer. Kapil Dev finished as man of the series for the Indian leg of the test season, Ian Botham scored heavily including a blistering 208 at the Oval, and Imran took 21 wickets cheap wickets. Only Richard Hadlee was missing that year. We would have to wait until 1983 to marvel at the New Zealander’s feats.
That said, for one mesmerised thirteen-year-old, the summer of 1982 was indeed a summer for the All-Rounder. Oh, and it was all on free to air telly as well…just sayin’.