The 11th October went down in history as one of the most memorable days in Test cricket but not for the right reasons.
If I was going to write a piece on advertising all the positives associated with Test match cricket then rest assured the game that took place on this date in 1956, between Pakistan and Australia, would not be mentioned.
It was the first day of the one-off Test match at the National Stadium in Karachi that set a record, that still stands, for the slowest day in Test match cricket. Australia had won the toss and decided to bat first on a matting pitch but their innings was nothing short of a disaster. They had a side full of talent with the likes of Allan Davidson, Richie Benaud, Neil Harvey, Keith Miller and Ray Lindwall but they could only muster 80 runs before being dismissed.
It took the Australians 53 overs to reach their 80 runs and was more than off putting to the watching spectators. Pakistan, in what was the first ever game between the two sides, only used two bowlers in the first innings. Fazal Mahmood produced figures of 6-34 in his 27 overs whilst his fellow opening bowler, Khan Mahammad took 4-43 in his 26 overs.
Towards the end of the day Pakistan also batted and they too struggled as they reached 15-2 at the close. The game, as expected, lasted the full five days with Pakistan eventually emerging victorious by nine wickets. Pakistan responded to Australia's poor first innings total by reaching 199 in their reply.
They then dismissed the Aussies for 187 in their second innings, with Mahmood taking 7-80 and Mahammad 3-69, before reaching their victory target of 69 on day five for the loss of one wicket. Hopefully it will be a long time, if ever, before we see another day's play like the one witnessed on the first day of this Test. Thank goodness Test cricket is now played at a much faster pace even when the going is tough.
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