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1987 Bangalore Test — a win to savour

Updated Mar 20, 2017 10:00am


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It was March 1987, three decades ago, when Pakistan snatched victory from the jaws of defeat to win their first ever Test series in India. In days of home umpires, famous for their loyalties to the ‘home’ team, Pakistan had to swim against the tide at Bangalore, which they indeed did and emerged triumphant.

India, the then world champions, were virtually unbeatable at home. On the other hand, the mighty West Indies, under the captaincy of Sir Viv Richards had just left Pakistan after a closely fought series.

The concept of ‘neutral’ umpires was presented when two umpires, V.K. Ramaswamy and P.D. Reporter, officiated in two of the three Test matches.

India failed to compliment ‘neutrality’ when Pakistanis arrived for a five-match series. Four Tests ended in high scoring draws. Tauseef Ahmed and Javed Miandad, who missed out the fourth Test at Ahmedabad, were back for the final Test at Bangalore (now Bengaluru). Imran Khan elected to bat on a spinning track on 13th March 1987. Pakistan managed a paltry 116 in the first innings, bamboozled by spinner Maninder Singh who captured 7 wickets.

Although Saleem Malik top scored with 33, the last wicket stand of 18 between Tauseef and Iqbal Qasim proved vital as it took the visitors’ score past 100.

In reply, the home side was well set at 102-4, but some brilliant work in the outfield reduced India to 145, restricting their lead to just 29. Pakistan’s spin twins Tauseef and Iqbal ripped through the Indians with 5 wickets apiece.

After lunch on the second day, Pakistan started its second innings with Ramiz Raja and Javed Miandad. It was the second time in his career that Miandad had come out to open the innings, the previous occasion being in 1982 at Lord’s where, too, Pakistan had emerged victorious.

The pair put on a valuable 45 runs before Javed was dismissed for 17. Despite chants and appeals going against them, ‘Imran’s tigers’ roared on. Saleem Malik put on 32 for the third wicket with Ramiz, and the same amount of runs with night watchman Iqbal Qasim for the fourth wicket to keep the scoreboard ticking. The day ended with Pakistan reaching 155 for five, gaining a lead of over a hundred.

The case for neutral umpires was really strengthened when a half-hearted appeal tempted umpire Ramaswamy to raise his finger. Standing his ground, Iqbal Qasim showed his bat to the umpire, which made him reverse the decision.

The second innings eventually ended on the third day at 249. An undefeated 41 from wicket-keeper Saleem Yousuf strengthened Pakistan’s position, as he put on 51 runs for the ninth wicket with Tauseef. Maninder managed 3 more wickets, completing ten-wicket haul in the match.

Needing 221 to win, Sunil Gavaskar started the proceedings with dashing opener Kris Srikkanth. With just 15 on the board, India lost Srikkanth and Mohinder Amarnath on successive deliveries to Wasim Akram. A mini collapse by Tauseef was averted by a fighting Gavaskar and India ended day three at 99-4.

16th March was a rest day, and both Pakistan spinners had a chance meeting with former Indian skipper Bishen Singh Bedi. During chit-chat, Bedi pointed out that his protégé Maninder Singh could have been more successful had he tried ‘not to spin the ball too much’.

The ‘rest day’ did it for spinners and they did the rest the next day. On the fourth day, Iqbal tried ‘not to spin the ball too much’ and held remarkable return catches off Azharuddin and Ravi Shastri, reducing India to 155-6.

Skipper Kapil Dev too left six runs later. Gavaskar, who earlier got a charmed life when the umpire turned down a catch from a diving Rizwan-uz-Zaman, was ironically caught by Rizwan in the slips; off Iqbal Qasim, when the target was still 41 runs away. He was dismissed four runs short of what could have been his 35th century.

This also turned out to be the last Test of the legendary batsman, who became the first player to score 10,000 Test runs.

With Tauseef removing Shivlal Yadav, the fate of the match hung in balance. At 192-9, Binny hit a massive six off Tauseef, reducing the target and bringing the crowd to its feet.

Tensions ran high, but Tauseef had been in similar situation just 11 months ago in Sharjah when he was asked to take a single off the penultimate ball to give Javed Miandad the strike which he duly did. He then witnessed Miandad’s amazing six sinking India and destroying Chetan Sharma’s career. Could he do it again? The crowd was partisan here and Tauseef was required to do more than just tap and run to the other end.

India was inching closer. Tauseef went in, bowled a faster one, and had Binny caught behind when the score was 204. The visitors had pulled off the impossible by 16 runs. Pakistani players were hysteric, jubilant as Tauseef performed a sajda to celebrate a most improbable victory recorded in Pakistan cricket history.

Pakistan won the Bangalore Test, and with that the series. The spin duo took nine wickets each in the match. Former captain A.H. Kardar, the man behind Pakistan’s only win in India prior to this match was in the commentary box and it is said that he couldn’t control his emotions and blurted out, ‘We have conquered the Hindus.’

Despite their heroics, it were not Tauseef or Iqbal but Gavaskar who was named man of the match for his innings which failed to save India.

Published in Dawn, March 20th, 2017


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Comments (81) Closed

Shahryar shirazi Mar 20, 2017 10:01am

I strongly reject " we have conquered the Hindus" statement. Its a myth and Mr Kardar never said that. Recordings are available in thr Radio Pakistan archives

amumiya Mar 20, 2017 10:13am

good for nostalgic ,what is present ,did we even qualify for internationals ?

vin Mar 20, 2017 10:14am

Glory days of the past.

CHAND Mar 20, 2017 10:15am

It was not umpire Ramaswamy what led to neutral umpiring concept. For those who have good memory, the repeated act of Shakkur Rana which prompted Mike Gatting to pull out the visitors series was unprecedented in the cricket history and forced the council for neutral umpire. Imran once said, give us Kapil & Gavaskar from India and no team on earth can beat us and Gavaskar said on this further, give us two umpires from Pakistan and we would beat any team.

Phathan Mar 20, 2017 10:16am

Stupid comment by Kardar. Honestly destroyed the fun of reading the article. I saw the match on black and white TV. We should get out of this mindset.

Ramd Mar 20, 2017 10:21am

Congratulations well done again...running down the neighbours again...write something positive...

Manu Mar 20, 2017 10:27am

"we have conquered the hindus" shows the mentality of the Pakistani people at the time. And I wonder why the author complains of the umpires not being neutral, if they even overturned a decision after a Pakistani batsman showed the umpire his bat! This is an offense in international cricket.

Yourstruly Mar 20, 2017 10:40am

Honestly, a stupid article in current circumstances.

ASB Mar 20, 2017 10:48am

I remember this test well. We had out Grade XII exams. We did not find any overt umpiring errors but admired Imran who had said he would love to win a series in India and did it! We wished we had similar captains in India who would play cricket just as passionately. The article truly describes beautifully the feelings of Pakistan team but does great disservice to one of the best test innings seen by many. Gavaskar's innings is etched in our mind and he was wrongly given out after being caught off the arm guard by Rizwan-uz-Zaman (maybe I am wrong and should revisit the you tube for this).

The umpiring in India was in all probability biased (again you tube could help me) but for poor umpiring I would look no further than the 1982-83 series where Imran Khan bowled superbly (he became our hero too) but umpires also gave plenty of decisions in favor of the home team, and a few 'late calls' on no-balls. Kardar's comments if true are a sad reflection of our collective thiking.

Zakir hussain Mar 20, 2017 10:48am

Gone are those days..with current kohli's side they will beat 99 times out of 100

Salim Mar 20, 2017 11:04am

It indeed was a memorable victory. The contents takes one back 3 decades ago and make them feel they were in the ground throughout 4 days. There was no need to include the so called "myth" though; such things only create bad taste.

SAEED MASOOD Mar 20, 2017 11:08am

This article pinches the Hindu and pro Indian Audience. Need of the time.

saudagar Mar 20, 2017 11:06am

@Shahryar shirazi ,even if he would have said ,thats perfectly fine sir ,we need to understand the mood and emotion after winning against stern enemy ( game )
i am an indian who accept this as natural reaction !

Omar Sadiq Mar 20, 2017 11:23am

The hindus know that with Misbah and Younis still in the Pak team, the Kohli led team will have a 50-50 chances of winning. They are waiting for these 2 to retire, then wait and watch; all of a sudden not only the Test World Championship will be announced (in India) and the Indian team will agree to play Pakistan.

ASB Mar 20, 2017 11:38am

@SAEED MASOOD No my friend. The need of the time is to learn to work with each other. Something both India and Pakistan are yet to learn.

KK Mar 20, 2017 11:39am

Have you even seen the ranking lately? Also try not to even get knocked out before the world cup begins.

Kranti Mar 20, 2017 11:50am

Former captain A.H. Kardar, the man behind Pakistan’s only win in India prior to this match was in the commentary box and it is said that he couldn’t control his emotions and blurted out, ‘We have conquered the Hindus.’ But world cup is the matches which counts, not these middle

Kranti Mar 20, 2017 11:49am

@mandy and they are praying daily to win at least one world cup match against us for the past 50

point of view Mar 20, 2017 12:06pm

A.H. Kardar forgot, Azharuddin (an India Muslim) was part of the Indian Team.

Salim Mar 20, 2017 12:24pm

A memorable sporting event indeed! The article takes one back 3 decades and gives the reader feeling of high action drama on the field. The so called "myth" really spoils the otherwise good work by the writer. Such comments, even if really made, only create the bad taste and should be avoided. My apologies for neighbors who were rightfully disappointed.

D.K. PAMNANI Mar 20, 2017 12:34pm

It is like an old Man now remembering his youth days.

basil Mar 20, 2017 01:24pm

@Kranti . test cricket is a superior foam of the game, to say that matches in world cup are the one that only counts is laughable.Ask any top cricketer and he will always say that test cricket is the real deal!

Faisal A Malik Mar 20, 2017 01:30pm

Remeber listening the radio commentary and it was mesmerizing and hearstopping till the end. A team lead by a tiger defeated a host team, backed by a boisteroud crowd, through grit and determination.

ASB Mar 20, 2017 01:32pm

Gavaskar was given a MoM in this match because it was an incredible innings on a minefield of a pitch against two top class spinners bowling magnificently. He nearly won the game for India.

Hope the author is not implying bias here. Else, he may want to view the innings.

khalid Mar 20, 2017 02:34pm

Recall watching the test and also welcoming the victorious team at Lahore airport. This was by far the worst case of biased umpiring I have ever seen in my life! I also remember Imran's post match interview. He did not complain about the umpiring, as far as I remember!

azmat shah Mar 20, 2017 02:35pm

@Zakir hussain You may be right but dont under estimate Pakistan as yet. remember, we white washed the same Aussies in our not -so Home ground in UAE while the Indians (the strongest team ever in your words) are leveled at 1-1 at the minute. When did India last drew a series in England? we did it last year. We got to number one spot however briefly, but without playing a single test on the home ground. Unthinkable for Inida :)

Desi Mar 20, 2017 02:40pm

Stop living in the past and look at present. No progress can be made if we just sit on our laurels and don't try to be better in the present. Our current team loses 6 tests in a row and we are talking about what we did 30 years ago. Don't ignore present and bask in the glory of past.

Bob Mar 20, 2017 02:52pm

The Pakistanis should give credit to Mr. Besides I have a, former Indian spinner who tipped their bowlers indirectly to spin slowly.

abhimanue Mar 20, 2017 03:05pm

@SAEED MASOOD one of the worst comment so far I have read

Bob Mar 20, 2017 03:13pm

Pakistanis should give credit to Indian former spinner Bedi who tipped them, though indirectly to bowl slower spin to get good results out of the wicket.

Mirza Mahmud Askari, Dhaka Mar 20, 2017 03:16pm

Old story, old pride. Looking for new pride.

Ash Mar 20, 2017 03:25pm

Now we can only read about our glorious past.... these days we have players who keep coming in top news for all wrong reasons.... most recently for PSL fixing saga!

AXH Mar 20, 2017 03:57pm

One of the may services of Imran Khan to cricket was to push for neutral umpires.

KB Mar 20, 2017 04:05pm

When we will stop whining over all these decade old stories. What we have new and good with our sports.

RAMMOHAN HR Mar 20, 2017 04:17pm

@ASB Bravo!!!! You just echoed my sentiments.

Dr. Salaria, Aamir Ahmad Mar 20, 2017 04:35pm

For sure, it was a great and historic win three decades ago by Imran Khan and his cornered tigers on the Indian soil.

Unfortunately, even in this age and time, it is astonishing and mind boggling to note that the Indian umpires are still biased and unfair.

It is unbelievable that surrogates and successors of former Indian umpires V.K. Ramaswamy and P.D. Reporter still exist in the current ranks and columns of Indian umpires fraternity, whose members are are still favoring their own players, especially on the Indian soil, directly or indirectly, explicitly or implicitly, knowingly or unknowingly.

The on-going test series against Australia on the Indian soil provides ample proof and testimony to the fact that Indian umpires don't let off even an iota of a chance to favor their own players and time and again, they become biased against Australia and Australian cricketers.

Agnostic Hindu Mar 20, 2017 04:32pm

Everything is made into a conquest and conquer, including sports, arts and even family relationship. Everyone succumb in this constant battle and none enjoys life.

Bikram Mar 20, 2017 04:48pm

Satisfying ego with past success.

Adnan Jidaker Mar 20, 2017 04:56pm

@CHAND If Indians are so good , why the gulf is large between their away and home records?? Any justifications, explanations??

Abhimanue Mar 20, 2017 04:57pm

The past is already gone, the future is not yet here. There's only one moment for you to live, and that is the present moment”

― Gautama Buddha

Linusandran Mar 20, 2017 05:15pm

@basil ... that is your personal taste. I find Tests are boring especially the empty stadiums. I am pretty sure that the players prefer to play in filled up stadiums. And I believe that the players prefer to win a world cup rather than a Test series.

Blue warrior Mar 20, 2017 05:22pm

@Dr. Salaria, Aamir Ahmad DRS technology has been used in present series u seem not knowing this fact. Watch the series first & then make accusations .

braingain Mar 20, 2017 05:33pm

@Omar Sadiq Exactly the type of comment that would encourage Misbah-Younis to carry on beyond their 50s and not retire

imran Altaf Mar 20, 2017 05:47pm

Oh the Glory days, but lets forget what is happening today in education, health, economics and worst of all politics.

Malik Mar 20, 2017 05:53pm

@Kranti we want you to be proud of something mate. We have big heart unless India who doesnt want to play Pak in bilateral series just out of fear of losing.

salman Mar 20, 2017 06:18pm

@CHAND I have heard Clive Lloyd saying the same for Umpire Saroop Krishan (famous LBW of Majid Khan to Ghavri out side the off stump)

salman Mar 20, 2017 06:26pm

@ASB Please refresh your memory there were at least 3-4 extremely close cases against sunil In India during the 1980 you could not give Gavaskar out LBW unless it was 110% plumb marginal calls always went against the winning team. However 80 was an era where I can tell you that every team favored home team including the mighty West-indies. However Imran was the first captain in the world to ask for neutral umpires.

Raj Hundal Mar 20, 2017 06:28pm

Bishen Bedi gave important tips to Abdul Qadir about the Bangalore pitch.......and Bedi was criticized in the Indian media about the tips he gave to Qadir.....Qadir was famous for double barrel appeal...

Iftikahr khan Mar 20, 2017 06:30pm

@CHAND On the history of neutral umpires. The undeniable fact is that Pakistan was the first to propose this concept in world cricket in early eighties (By Noor Khan who was also chief of Hockey federation). And when for several years nobody else supported it, Pakistan unilaterally invited neutral umpires in 1986 in the home series against non other than mighty West Indies of the eighties.

So any suggestion that Pakistan was depending on umpires to win is tragic to say the least.... Also consider that Pakistan was much better performer in the away tests as well so dominance at home was natural.

Junaid Ali Mar 20, 2017 06:31pm

Mr kardhar never said that this is all propaganda and it was not the first we've beaten India even now we've won more matches against them in both ODI and test

Iftikahr khan Mar 20, 2017 06:36pm

Kardar was distinguished cricketer and diplomat. He could not have said those words. The writer should not have written it without having undeniable confirmation, nay! even with confirmation... especially when the person is no more to confirm or deny it....

What he said in the commentary could be all reviewed

Zak Mar 20, 2017 07:15pm

Pakistan too good. Btw, Kardar never said, "we have conquered the hindus" but an indian newspaper made it up to whip up anti pakistan feelings in india after they lost the series. Kardar specifically denied it and referred to indians commentators present with him as witness. Kardar was a very polished person and thoroughly professional. But we know their media and their standards.

Manzoor Mar 20, 2017 07:32pm

What was the contribution of the mighty Imran Khan in this mighty victory of Pakistan?

atif Mar 20, 2017 08:15pm

@Zakir hussain play with us; last time we played india in india in a one day series, u were beaten.

FrankensteIn Mar 20, 2017 08:25pm

@CHAND and yet we were the one's who asked for neutral umpires. At least we foresaw the future and were not mayopic like our Indian counterparts

Amazing Mar 20, 2017 08:33pm

@CHAND agree 100%

skumar Mar 20, 2017 09:01pm

I saw this match live and how thrilling it was . Cricket was the winner especially spinning. Iam sure kardar a model sportsman never said such thing . sunny's innings is acknowledged to be the best by all a lesson on batting on turning track , despite ending up on losing side. . This match was always recalled by everyone fondly for its glorious stuff

Khan Mar 20, 2017 09:09pm

The credit for introduction of neutral umpires goes to Imran Khan. It's a myth also that he asked for Kapil Dev or Gavaskar to be part of Pakistani team. If that was rue then he could have asked for Hadlee, Botham or Border before asking for those two.

Abid Mar 20, 2017 09:11pm

@CHAND Sorry that's not true. Indian Umpires were the worst when it came to favoring home team. Who can forget the famous Umpire Punjabi for unduly favoring Indian team. Umpire Shakoor Rana had to discipline Mike Gatting when he violated the rules and was trying to set the filed after the bowler had started the run up. This is just for memory sake and put the history correct.

Lone wolf Mar 20, 2017 09:30pm

Such fascination to conquer the Hindus.You might have ruled us for years, leaving undeniable marks on our land. But deep within you still know - you were never able to conquer us.

qazi Mar 20, 2017 10:49pm

I remember the day, and how my fellow NEDians celebrate it near the cafeteria. What a moment that was.

Oracal Mar 20, 2017 10:52pm

Mugal were once in their glory after looting and ransacking all of India but at the end they defeated then selves such is the human history. The Indian civilization is 8-9000 thousand years old, they have have survived to date. Remember it is a game of skill,luck and some strategy

Iftikahr khan Mar 20, 2017 11:07pm

@Raj Hundal I think you meant 'Iqbal Qasim'.

Abdul Qadir did not played in this test. Miandad famously convinced Imran before this test to drop first choice Qadir in favor or Iqbal Qasim because of the pitch and it turned out to be master stroke. He was also promoted in batting order in the second innings just because he was left hand batsman and scored very valuable runs and was able to negotiate maninder singh better than right hand batsmen.

And yes Pakistan did appealed aggressively, they would have been foolish not doing that in those days of no accountability. All the players were good friends otherwise. Miandad's and Gavaskar's likeness to each other is well known and documented.

Yogi Mar 21, 2017 12:20am

@Shahryar shirazi Even if he said that its nothing as compared to what Indian politicians have to say in 2017. However, I believe a man of Kardar's caliber will not say something like that

Gurpreet Singh Mar 21, 2017 12:28am

Its unhealthy to keep living in the past.

a. Ali Mar 21, 2017 12:25am

@amumiya ... funny and sarcastic view.

Naveed Mar 21, 2017 01:35am

Memories of my past. I remember a big poster from somebody on the wall of arts block in Edwards College, Peshawar "Pakistan out for 116, do we know how to play". I wrote down on same poster next day "India gone for 145, watch for sensational game". For next five days, pupils kept commenting on the poster. I took down the poster in the end and still have it. Wish could have posted a scanned copy here.

Abrar-ul-Haque, USA Mar 21, 2017 02:16am

I firmly recall that match and particularly the night before the last day. I couldn't sleep all night just imagining/dreaming for the six wickets we needed.

Kris Mar 21, 2017 03:24am

I remember listening to the commentary of this match on the radio. The pitch was a rank turner. Players from both sides struggled on this pitch. Still remember Iqbal Qasim's performance even though Abdul Qadir was more popular during those days.

Enjoyed reliving the memory of the match.

gp65 Mar 21, 2017 03:51am

@Dr. Salaria, Aamir Ahmad "The on-going test series against Australia on the Indian soil provides ample proof and testimony to the fact that Indian umpires don't let off even an iota of a chance to favor their own players and time and again, they become biased against Australia and Australian cricketers."

Test cricket has had neutral umpires as in umpires from countries other than those that are playing the test match for a very long time. I am not sure how you came across an Indian umpire officiating a test match between India and Australia.

baanke khan Mar 21, 2017 06:31am

Things are lot different after 30 years.

AliPasha(USA) Mar 21, 2017 07:11am

The Muslims rules the Hindus and India for almost 600-700 years.I don't understand what Kardar meant by that we have conquered the Hindus.

javed wani Mar 21, 2017 07:44am

they were legends. i never watch imran maidad or ramiz playing, i was born very late.. but after learning about their talent. i wish all of them in the present team

ASB Mar 21, 2017 08:38am

@salman Please read my reply above. As I said, it is very possible would have happend and . 1980 tour was when Asif Iqbal's team toured India. Sikandar Bakth skittled India out for 126 in Delhi (I remember a tumbling caught and bowled by him). Tasleem Arif made 90 in Calcutta. Similarly it is often said that Javed Miandad could not be given out lbw in Pakistan.

Imran's suggestion was good and I am glad it was taken up. Biased umpiring was the bane of cricket at that time (I also remember poor umpiring in Australia and New Zealand)

Shamim Mar 21, 2017 09:05am

Instead of preparation of my exam of 10th class, I watched this fascinated test match.

Phani Mar 21, 2017 10:16am

@ASB You are right. Gavaskar was given out, when the ball hit his forearm. I don't remember if the umpires are biased, but Gavaskar was certainly not out. He played a gem of knock on a turning pitch, and finished his career on a grand note.

BNJ Mar 21, 2017 02:56pm

Good article

Abhimanue Mar 22, 2017 07:39am

@gp65 come on he is a docter for him circket is a another thing.

Abhimanue Mar 22, 2017 07:51am

@Phani oh yes have seen this test match on black and white tv set and I can say without any favour that have seen one Of the best knock of gavakser on sequre truning wicket.Those days quality and talent in all teams was very high Standard compare to this era . You cannot compare 50 run Of gavkeser against marshel, lilly, bothem, hadley and Imran on uncovered pitches thats too without halmet with today 100 run on any wicket.

pakistani Mar 22, 2017 05:11pm

Great win for Pakistan. Pakistan were full of legends at that time. Miandad, Imran, Wasim, Tausif, Iqbal, Abdul, Salim, Rameez.......

Indro Mar 23, 2017 07:06am

Wonderful match. Many great contributions from both side. Such test matches are better than short form of cricket any day. Anyone who questions Gavaskar's MoM award does not understand cricket. Period.