Little Master – Hanif Muhammad’s match saving 337

It was December 20, 1957 when Pakistan Cricket Team departed from homeland. Islands of Westindies in Atlantic Ocean were their destination. Pakistan and West Indies were going to play against each other for the first time. After a long and tiring journey, Pakistan Cricket team reached there and started playing some practice matches against local teams.

Before the commencement of first test match, Hanif Muhammad attracted the media by his game. Journalists and analysts declared him as the biggest hindrance for WestIndies.

First Match of five test match series started on January 17, 1958 at Kensington Oval, Bridgetown, Barbados. Abdul Hafeez Kardar, captain of Pakistan, lost the toss on his 34th birthday. Alexander, West Indian Captain, elected to bat on that batting paradise pitch. West Indian captain declared their innings after scoring 579 runs with the loss of 9 wickets, on 2nd day. Conard Hunte and Edec Weekes scored centuries. Hunte had scored 142 on his debut.

Pakistan had to bat for 15 to 20 tough minutes at the end of 2nd day. Hanif Muhammad and Imtiaz Ahmad survived for the next day scoring 6 runs with out any loss. Next day proved to be the day of destruction for batting side of Pakistan. They were all out only on 106 runs just before the lunch time on the 3rd day. Pakistanis had to bat again after being forced to follow-on. They needed 473 runs to avoid the innings defeat and almost three and half day remaining in the game.

On January 20 1958, third day of the match, at 2:37 local time, Hanif and Imtiaz came again on ground to open for Pakistan, Second time on the day. Hanif might have never thought at that moment that he is going to play a historical innings. Both openers proved that evening was better than morning.

It looked like Imtiaz had already decided to play aggressive game this time. He hit beautiful strokes all around specially his strokes against Gilchrist were marvelous. It seemed like he was taking revenge of his LBW on Gilchrist’s ball in the first innings. He was again given LBW on individual score of 91 runs in GilChrist’s over. It was a disputed decision made by Umpire because the ball was clearly missing leg stump. This first wicket of Pakistan fell on 152 runs.

On the other hand, Little Master, Hanif Muhammad was playing with a lot of concentration. He was carefully watching each and every ball, leaving all those deliveries which were out side the off stump. He just waited for bad deliveries with patience and once he got such a ball he punished that hard towards boundary line.

At the end of third day, Hanif Muhammad and Alim-ud-Din were batting with out any more loss. Pakistan’s total score was 162 for 1. Individual score of Hanif was 61 runs which he had made in 153 minutes.

On the fourth day when match started, Pakistan needed more 312 runs to avoid the innings defeat. Three whole days were remaining. On fourth day Pakistan’s total reached 339 with the increment of 178 runs on the day four. Pakistan lost only one wicket during day four. Hanif had completed his century just before lunch. Second wicket of Alim-ud-Din fell at 264. Though Aleem had made only 37 runs but he contributed in a 110 runs partnership with Hanif Muhammad. He was replaced by young player Saeed Ahmad.

Hanif Muhammad played very well on the fourth day and again unbeatable. Gilchrist could not get the required bounce from pitch. EStE Atkinson and DStE Atkinson were looking dangerous bowlers specially all rounder EStE was bowling well on his debut. Hanif had made 161 runs after batting for 453 minutes at the end of fourth day.

There was no change in the behavior of pitch even on the day five. It was still a batting paradise like first day. For any batsman who wanted to stay with patience and determination, it was very easy pitch. During 5th day play, West Indies could get only wicket of Saeed Ahmad. Saeed was caught behind by Alexander on Smith’s ball. Pakistan lost this third wicket on the total of 418 runs. Hanif and Saeed 154 runs for fourth wicket partnership in 265 minutes. Then came Wazir Muhammad, elder brother of Hanif Muhammad, to bat with Hanif.

After tea, in last session of the fifth day, at 4:22 local time, Pakistan leveled the score of West Indies avoiding the innings defeat. When Pakistan was at 491 with a lead of 18 runs, West Indies captain took the new ball as another hope. But Hanif and Wazir plyed the remaining time in the day sensibly. At the end of day five, Pakistan’s total was 525 for 3. Individual score of Wazir was 30 runs. Hanif had been playing for 753 minutes. Pakistan’s lead over West Indies was of 53 runs at end of day five.

On the sixth day, pitch was playing very slow. Fast bowlers were unable to bounce the ball but on the other hand spinners were creating problems for batsman by turning the ball. Every run required a lot of struggle to be taken. After increment of 14 runs, Wazir had to leave the ground on a caught behind appeal, for which decision was given in the favor of bowler. Fourth Wicket fell on 538 runs. This was Hanif’s fourth 100+ partnership breaking the world record of three century partnerships made by Len Hutton (England) in 1938 vs Austrailia. After 14 minutes of post lunch session, Hanif completed his triple century after playing for 858 minutes. After some time he crossed 325 of Andy Sandham(England). Now Wally Hammond (336*) and Bradman (334) were between Hanif and Hutton’s 364. When Hanif was batting on 328, his partner W. Mathias got LBW on EStE Atkinson’s ball.

West Indians were again hoping for a victory at this stage. They thought that their expert batsman can achieve this total if they happen to get the remaining wickets before tea. But Hanif and Kardar survived the session. When they were leaving the ground for last tea break of the match, total of Pakistan was 623 for the loss of 5 wickets. Pakistan had got a lead of 150 runs over West Indies. Hanif had indeed defeated he defeat. He was batting at 334, the highest score made by the great Bradman and was 31 runs away from World Record of 364, made by Hutton.

Hanif might be thinking about the milestone of 364 at that moment. When tea-break ended, only 90 minutes were left in the match. Hanif was batting on 337. Then the unbelievable moment came. Hanif tried to play a ball to thirdman. Ball was traveling out side the of stump. It was silent every where. Spectators were stunned for a moment. It was unbelievable but no doubt Alexander had caught his edge behind the stumps. When Hanif was coming back to pavilion. Everyone stood at his place praising him. Though honeybee could’t brake the world record of that time but he had made a unique world record. And that record was of batting for a long time. He played for 16 hours and 10 minutes that is 970 minutes.

When Hanif came back, Pakistan’s total was 628 out of which 337 were scored by Hanif Muhammad. He did it with the help of 26 fours, 16 threes, 40 twos and 105 singles. Two more wickets were down one after the other after Hanif’s dismissal. Pakistan declared their innings on 657 runs for 8 wickets down. West Indies made 28 runs in last 40 minutes of the match and it ended in draw.

In this historical innings Hanif made many World Records. First four partnerships were of 100+. No team had made this much highest runs in 2nd Innings of a match, Pakistan made 657. Difference between the first and second innings scores of Pakistan was 551, that’s also a world record.

Today world record is made by Brian Lara (400* ) and second is Metthew Hayden (380). At third numbers again Lara stands with his 375 runs. For Pakistan Inzamam-ul-Haq is second person doing 300+. He made 329 runs against New Zealand in 2002 at Gaddafi Stadium Lahore.

It was December 20, 1957 when Pakistan Cricket Team departed from homeland. Islands of Westindies in Atlantic Ocean were their destination. Pakistan and West Indies were going to play against each other for the first time. After a long and tiring journey, Pakistan Cricket team reached there and started playing some practice matches against local teams.
Before the commencement of first test match, Hanif Muhammad attracted the media by his game. Journalists and analysts declared him as the biggest hindrance for WestIndies.

First Match of five test match series started on January 17, 1958 at Kensington Oval, Bridgetown, Barbados. Abdul Hafeez Kardar, captain of Pakistan, lost the toss on his 34th birthday. Alexander, West Indian Captain, elected to bat on that batting paradise pitch. West Indian captain declared their innings after scoring 579 runs with the loss of 9 wickets, on 2nd day. Conard Hunte and Edec Weekes scored centuries. Hunte had scored 142 on his debut.

Pakistan had to bat for 15 to 20 tough minutes at the end of 2nd day. Hanif Muhammad and Imtiaz Ahmad survived for the next day scoring 6 runs with out any loss. Next day proved to be the day of destruction for batting side of Pakistan. They were all out only on 106 runs just before the lunch time on the 3rd day. Pakistanis had to bat again after being forced to follow-on. They needed 473 runs to avoid the innings defeat and almost three and half day remaining in the game.

On January 20 1958, third day of the match, at 2:37 local time, Hanif and Imtiaz came again on ground to open for Pakistan, Second time on the day. Hanif might have never thought at that moment that he is going to play a historical innings. Both openers proved that evening was better than morning.

It looked like Imtiaz had already decided to play aggressive game this time. He hit beautiful strokes all around specially his strokes against Gilchrist were marvelous. It seemed like he was taking revenge of his LBW on Gilchrist’s ball in the first innings. He was again given LBW on individual score of 91 runs in GilChrist’s over. It was a disputed decision made by Umpire because the ball was clearly missing leg stump. This first wicket of Pakistan fell on 152 runs.

On the other hand, Little Master, Hanif Muhammad was playing with a lot of concentration. He was carefully watching each and every ball, leaving all those deliveries which were out side the off stump. He just waited for bad deliveries with patience and once he got such a ball he punished that hard towards boundary line.

At the end of third day, Hanif Muhammad and Alim-ud-Din were batting with out any more loss. Pakistan’s total score was 162 for 1. Individual score of Hanif was 61 runs which he had made in 153 minutes.

On the fourth day when match started, Pakistan needed more 312 runs to avoid the innings defeat. Three whole days were remaining. On fourth day Pakistan’s total reached 339 with the increment of 178 runs on the day four. Pakistan lost only one wicket during day four. Hanif had completed his century just before lunch. Second wicket of Alim-ud-Din fell at 264. Though Aleem had made only 37 runs but he contributed in a 110 runs partnership with Hanif Muhammad. He was replaced by young player Saeed Ahmad.

Hanif Muhammad played very well on the fourth day and again unbeatable. Gilchrist could not get the required bounce from pitch. EStE Atkinson and DStE Atkinson were looking dangerous bowlers specially all rounder EStE was bowling well on his debut. Hanif had made 161 runs after batting for 453 minutes at the end of fourth day.

There was no change in the behavior of pitch even on the day five. It was still a batting paradise like first day. For any batsman who wanted to stay with patience and determination, it was very easy pitch. During 5th day play, West Indies could get only wicket of Saeed Ahmad. Saeed was caught behind by Alexander on Smith’s ball. Pakistan lost this third wicket on the total of 418 runs. Hanif and Saeed 154 runs for fourth wicket partnership in 265 minutes. Then came Wazir Muhammad, elder brother of Hanif Muhammad, to bat with Hanif.

After tea, in last session of the fifth day, at 4:22 local time, Pakistan leveled the score of West Indies avoiding the innings defeat. When Pakistan was at 491 with a lead of 18 runs, West Indies captain took the new ball as another hope. But Hanif and Wazir plyed the remaining time in the day sensibly. At the end of day five, Pakistan’s total was 525 for 3. Individual score of Wazir was 30 runs. Hanif had been playing for 753 minutes. Pakistan’s lead over West Indies was of 53 runs at end of day five.

On the sixth day, pitch was playing very slow. Fast bowlers were unable to bounce the ball but on the other hand spinners were creating problems for batsman by turning the ball. Every run required a lot of struggle to be taken. After increment of 14 runs, Wazir had to leave the ground on a caught behind appeal, for which decision was given in the favor of bowler. Fourth Wicket fell on 538 runs. This was Hanif’s fourth 100+ partnership breaking the world record of three century partnerships made by Len Hutton (England) in 1938 vs Austrailia. After 14 minutes of post lunch session, Hanif completed his triple century after playing for 858 minutes. After some time he crossed 325 of Andy Sandham(England). Now Wally Hammond (336*) and Bradman (334) were between Hanif and Hutton’s 364. When Hanif was batting on 328, his partner W. Mathias got LBW on EStE Atkinson’s ball.

West Indians were again hoping for a victory at this stage. They thought that their expert batsman can achieve this total if they happen to get the remaining wickets before tea. But Hanif and Kardar survived the session. When they were leaving the ground for last tea break of the match, total of Pakistan was 623 for the loss of 5 wickets. Pakistan had got a lead of 150 runs over West Indies. Hanif had indeed defeated he defeat. He was batting at 334, the highest score made by the great Bradman and was 31 runs away from World Record of 364, made by Hutton.

Hanif might be thinking about the milestone of 364 at that moment. When tea-break ended, only 90 minutes were left in the match. Hanif was batting on 337. Then the unbelievable moment came. Hanif tried to play a ball to thirdman. Ball was traveling out side the of stump. It was silent every where. Spectators were stunned for a moment. It was unbelievable but no doubt Alexander had caught his edge behind the stumps. When Hanif was coming back to pavilion. Everyone stood at his place praising him. Though honeybee could’t brake the world record of that time but he had made a unique world record. And that record was of batting for a long time. He played for 16 hours and 10 minutes that is 970 minutes.

When Hanif came back, Pakistan’s total was 628 out of which 337 were scored by Hanif Muhammad. He did it with the help of 26 fours, 16 threes, 40 twos and 105 singles. Two more wickets were down one after the other after Hanif’s dismissal. Pakistan declared their innings on 657 runs for 8 wickets down. West Indies made 28 runs in last 40 minutes of the match and it ended in draw.

In this historical innings Hanif made many World Records. First four partnerships were of 100+. No team had made this much highest runs in 2nd Innings of a match, Pakistan made 657. Difference between the first and second innings scores of Pakistan was 551, that’s also a world record.

Today world record is made by Brian Lara (400* ) and second is Metthew Hayden (380). At third numbers again Lara stands with his 375 runs. For Pakistan, Inzamam-ul-Haq is second person scoring 300+. He made 329 runs against New Zealand in 2002 at Gaddafi Stadium Lahore.

Speak Your Mind

*