15th March 1979: Sarfaraz Nawaz does it for Pakistan

  • Pakistan bowler Sarfaraz Nawaz played a crucial role in winning the first Test in Australia
  • The hosts were 305-3 in the second innings and were winning quite comfortably
  • Nawaz’s brilliant 7 wickets collapsed the entire middle and lower batting order of the opposition

On 15th March 1979, Pakistan’s Sarfaraz Nawaz did some magic with a new ball and a reverse swing that sent the team cruising towards victory. Pakistan was touring Australia for playing a series of two Tests. Now 73-year-old, Nawaz was a brilliant bowler and one of the pioneers of reverse swing. In his career, the bowler has taken 177 wickets in 95 innings in Tests.

The match began with Australia enforcing the opposition to bat first after winning the toss. The men in green played an immature inning with none of the players getting past the 50 run mark and on 196, the entire team was sent back to the Pavilion with Mushtaq Muhammad scoring 36 as the highest score for his team. Rodney Hogg’s four-for provided massive aid to the Australians.

The Kangaroos’ first inning wasn’t much far off from their counterparts. Dav Moore scored a 43 off 147 balls and that’s the highest any Aussie player could score in the entire inning. After playing 61.6 overs their entire team collapsed on 168 with Imran Khan scoring a fabulous spell of 18 overs taking four scalps. 

For Pakistan, the second inning went better than the first one. Majid Khans brilliant 108 ton and a 59 form Zaheer Abbas racked up 353 (declared). Rodney Hogg and Alan Hurst took three wickets each. 

Day 5 saw the hosts comfortably cruising towards victory. In the afternoon they were 305 for 3 while chasing 382. But when Sarfaraz Nawaz was handed the new ball, he went berserk with it. He cut and swung the new ball with such forceful tactics that Australia lost seven wickets in 33 balls scoring just one run in the meanwhile. From 305-3 to 310 all out happened in just minutes and team Pakistan clinched an astonishing victory over the hosts. The second Test was won by men in yellow and the series was drawn. 

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