Pakistan vs New Zealand First Test Lahore 1976-77 – Javed Miandad Debut Century
Javed Miandad debut century wasn’t a miracle. He made his debut century against New Zealand in the first test match played at Lahore in 1976–77. Despite the failure of Majid Khan, Sadiq Muhammad, Mushtaq Muhammad, and Zaheer Abbas in both innings and half-a-dozen dropped catches at a crucial stage in New Zealand’s second innings, Pakistan won the first Test by six wickets—a victory that at times looked like a foregone conclusion. Mushtaq Muhammad, in his debut as captain of Pakistan and the second member of the Muhammad family to get this honor, ably led his team to this richly deserved win.
New Zealand, with only four-and-a-half days of first-class cricket in Pakistan behind them and still unused to the hot climatic conditions, entered the Test at Lahore with all the odds against them. However, Richard Hadlee soon had Majid Khan, Sadiq Muhammad, and Mushtaq Muhammad back in the pavilion while Mike Burgess disposed of the in-form Zaheer Abbas, and soon Pakistan was reeling at 55 for 4.
At this stage, with the Kiwis in command, new Test cap Javed Miandad, the recruit for Sussex, in partnership with the much-experienced Asif Iqbal, then took control and led a run riot, adding 281 for the fifth wicket. Asif Iqbal‘s welcome return to form came at a time when his place in the Pakistan team was being questioned by many. However, it was young Javed Miandad who was truly magnificent. To play with such gay abandon in his Test debut in such trying circumstances was proof of his talent.
He was the second Pakistani to score a Test debut hundred, Khalid Ibadulla being the only other, having scored 166 at Karachi against Australia in 1964 on his test debut. Just when Pakistan might have been thinking of a score of over 500, P.J. Petherick struck at 336, getting Javed Miandad, Wasim Raja, and Intikhab with successive deliveries to claim a debut hat-trick.
New Zealand’s dismissal for a paltry 157 runs on a good batting strip surprised everyone, but perhaps lack of match practice and two tiring days in the field adversely affected the concentration of their batsmen, who were uneasy first against the seam bowling of Sarfraz Nawaz and Imran Khan and later the brilliant leg-spin bowling of Mushtaq and Intikhab Alam, who were included in the Pakistan team half an hour before the commencement of the match in place of Sikander Bakht.
Forced to follow on, the Kiwis fared better in the second inning. Therefore, the brilliant innings played by Mike Burgess (111) and R.W. Anderson (92) and rearguard action by W.K. Lees and Richard Hadlee (42 each) left Pakistan to score 101 for victory with little consequence. Majid Khan and Sadiq Muhammad scored 49 for the first wicket, but then the fall of Mushtaq and Zaheer in quick succession led to a revival of New Zealand hopes.
Javed Miandad, with the confidence of 163 runs in the first inning behind him, soon put an end to this. His winning stroke, a beautiful six off P.J. Petherick, brought the first-ever victory to Pakistan at the Gaddafi Stadium, which was commissioned 16 years ago.
As players dashed towards the dressing rooms to escape the invasion by the spectators, Abdul Hafeez Kardar, BCCP president, must have heaved a sigh of relief, as at long last Pakistan had produced a result to match the organizational efforts of the Board. This is indeed a memorable match for Mushtaq Muhammad, Javed Miandad, and P.J. Petherick.