In 1951, an MCC XI travelled to Lahore to play Pakistan in a four day match. It was the first ever match between any England XI and Pakistan – This report originally appeared in the 1953 edition of Wisden Cricketers’ Almanack.


At Lahore, November 15, 16, 17, 18, 1951. Match drawn.

Although in the end they saved the game easily, MCC again found themselves struggling. The grass pitch was at its fastest on the first day and Khan Mohammad, who had played for Somerset, made the ball fly a food deal. He attacked the stumps throughout and gave the batsmen an uncomfortable time, especially against the occasional bouncer. Robertson showed good form for an hour and forty minutes and Graveney helped him add 71, but the next best stand came from the last pair, Statham and Tattersall, who put on 54 in forty minutes.

The pitch became slower as the match progressed and Pakistan steadily built up a big total. The sixteen-year-old wicketkeeper-batsman Hanif Mohammad shared in an opening partnership of 96 and stayed two and three-quarter hours for 26. He showed an extremely sound defence but few attacking strokes. Nazar Mohammad again batted well, but a fourth stand of 168 between Ghazali and Maqsood Ahmad really placed Pakistan on top. Maqsood, a stylish played, batted four hours forty minutes for 137, and Kardar, the Oxford Blue and Warwickshire all-rounder, who captained Pakistan, drove strongly.

Facing arrears of 174, MCC lost only one wicket, Khan Mohammad’s pace being completely nullified by the dead turf. Robertson and Spooner led off with 109, and Spooner and Graveney added 259 for the unbroken second stand. Spooner’s 168 (one 5 and sixteen 4s) took almost six hours and Graveney’s 109 just over four hours.

Expecting a reasonably quiet time in Pakistan, MCC found the standard of cricket higher than


At Lahore, November 15–18, 1951. Drawn.

MCC 254 (77.1 overs) (J.D. Robertson 61, R. Tattersall 32*; Khan Mohammad 5-84, Amir Elahi 4-97) and 368-1 (105 overs) (R.T. Spooner 168*, T.W. Graveney 109*, J.D. Robertson 70); Pakistan 428-8 dec (162.4 overs) (Maqsood Ahmad 137, M.E.Z. Ghazali 86, Nazar Mohammad 66, A.H. Kardar 48).