14th November 1981 saw one of Pakistan’s lowest Test innings. The Test match also had one of the most controversial incidents on a cricket field, an event which Wisden called as ‘One of the most undignified incidents in Test history’.
Pakistan was touring Australia under the captaincy of Javed Miandad. The teams met for the first Test at WACA in Perth and Pakistanis had early success as a combined bowling performance helped them all out Australia for 180. All the bowlers got at least one wicket each in the innings with Imran Khan being the best in the pack with 4/66. For Australia Graeme Wood top scored with 33.
But Australia made a strong comeback. Dennis Lillee and Terry Alderman bowled beautifully in the opening spell. Both the Pakistani openers were dismissed for a duck. Even their best batsman Miandad could score only six as Pakistan slumped to 26 for the loss of eight wickets. They made somewhat recovery thanks to a chanceful 26 from Sarfaraz Nawaz. They were bowled out for 62 as Lillee took 5/18 and Alderman 4/36. Jeff Thomson could bowl only two overs and took one wicket. This was Pakistan’s lowest total for the next 20 plus overs before they were bowled out for 59 and 53 against the same opposition at Sharjah.
But there was still more drama left.
Australia’s second innings effort was much better as they scored 424/8 thanks to a century from Kim Hughes (106) and 85 from Bruce Laird. Pakistan’s target was 543 and they were trying their best when on the 4th afternoon there was an altercation between Lillee and Miandad, two very outspoken characters. Miandad tried to take a run and in the process collided with Lillee. Once Miandad was returning to his position apparently Lillee kicked him and an angry Miandad tried to hit Lillee with his bat and the players had to be separated by the umpire Tony Crafter. It gave birth to a huge controversy and finally Lillee was suspended
for two One Day International matches. Interestingly both the players later mentioned a different angle of the same incident in their respective autobiographies and put the blame on each other.
Eventually, Australia recorded 286 runs on the 5th day as Bruce Yardley picked up six wickets with his off-breaks.