It was the first of the 3-Test series between Pakistan and West Indies at Faisalabad, which started on October 24, 1986. It was the period when West Indies’ Tests side were in their prime, led by the great Viv Richards. But in that dominating period, it was only Pakistan that troubled West Indies the most and on a few occasions, their domination came close to an end.
Having won the toss, Pakistan decided to bat and were bowled out for a mere 159 against the fiery pace attack of West Indies team; comprising Malcolm Marshall, Patrick Patterson, Ton Gray and Courtney Walsh. Gray led the pace attack by taking 4 wickets, while it was Marshall who started it all by dismissing first three Pakistani batsmen. Patterson got two scalps.
In reply, West Indies could post only 248 and gained the crucial lead of 89 runs. It was Wasim Akram’s brilliant spell of 6 for 91, which helped Pakistan bowl out the star-studded Caribbean side for a decent total.
However, Pakistan bounced back strongly in their second innings by smashing 328; courtesy Saleem Malik’s 61, Wasim Akram’s 66, Qasim Umar’s 48 and Mohsin Khan’s 40. Marshall, Gray and Roger Harper scalped two each, while Walsh got three and Patterson took one.
West Indies now were given a stiff and tricky target of 240 with more than a day left in the match. In those days, West Indies had established the reputation of chasing such totals with ease but this match came as a one-off rare for them.
It required only a leggie and pacer Imran Khan’s lethal bowling which thwarted the Caribbean batting line-up. Skipper Imran started by dismissing both the openers at 16, followed by Qadir’s brilliant spell as in no time, half of the West Indies side was back in pavilion inside 20 runs.
Richie Richardson was trying his best and was the only batsman from West Indies to stay for long at the crease. He faced 54 balls and scored 14 before he got caught out by another one of Qadir’s special. At the end of fourth day’s play, West Indies were in tatters as they were 9 down for only 49. Imran had taken 4 wickets, while Qadir had already grabbed another 5-wicket haul.
It required one more day for Pakistan to celebrate their win and the last wicket was taken by none other than Qadir again. Post this victory, Qadir’s spell read 9.3-1-16-6, which remains one of the best spells of his career.
West Indies were bowled out for mere 53 and Pakistan won the contest by a big margin of 186 runs. It was the lowest total by any team in a Test innings in Pakistan; beating the previous lowest score of 70 by New Zealand in 1955 at Dhaka. It was also West Indies’ lowest Test innings total in an overseas match, however, they came close to better it in 2000 at Lord’s but escaped it as they were all out for 54 against England.
Following this Test, West Indies bounced back brilliantly and thrashed Pakistan by an innings and 10 runs in the second Test. Although the final Test and series ended in a draw, it was one of the rare series’ which West Indies could not pull off in that dominating period. Moreover, it seemed like West Indies put all their aggression in the 5-ODI series, which took place in between the Test series. Pakistan lost the ODI series badly 4-1.
Pakistan 159 all out (Imran Khan 61; Ton Gray 4-39) & 328 all out (Wasim Akram 66, Saleem Yousuf 61; Courtney Walsh 3-49) beat West Indies 248 all out (Richie Richardson 54, Desmond Haynes 40; Wasim Akram 6-91) & 53 all out (Richie Richardson 14; Abdul Qadir 6-16, Imran Khan 4-30) by 186 wickets.
Player of the match: Wasim Akram