Pakistan International Airlines "PIA" made a goodwill tour of Ireland playing eight days cricket in nine. Nothing like this had happened in Irish cricket before. 15 players, all employed by the airlines, made the tour. 11 of them were Test players. They included the great Hanif, who is Pakistan's greatest batsman. Now 35 he has played to date in 54 tests since 1952. Six of the players had played Test cricket against England in Pakistan last winter. They were Hanif, Pervez Sajjad, Wasim Bari, Asif Masood, Shaftqat Rana and Mohammad Ilyas. The tour began in Strabane in a one-day match against North West. This match was won by PIA but the two-day match against NCU at Shane Park was drawn with PIA on the verge of victory.
Ireland brought back their injured players Monteith and Waters to replace Harrison and Ensor. The match ended in two days. It was played on a bowlers wicket throughout. There was a small crowd despite good weather but, because of the wicket, scoring was slow and strokeplay impossible. The wicket was certainly underprepared but the elements conspired against the ground authority. They flooded the wicket in a dry spell. Rain followed and the wicket was never dry enough to roll properly. A heavy dew on the morning of the match was a further complication.
Ireland batted first. Reith and Pigot started quite well although Asif and Salim were both moving the ball. At 15 Reith mis-hooked a short ball from Asif and was caught at short square leg. Waters joined Pigot and in 50 further minutes 22 runs were added. The advent of the spinners brought a collapse. The wicket took a great deal of spin but it was still damp and slow but the ball came at varying heights. Pervez is the number one Pakistan slow left-arm bowler and Afaq is a clever legspinner who bowls an odd offspinner. Afaq began the collapse by catching and bowling Pigot with his second ball. At 40 Anderson swept at Pervez and was bowled round his legs. Waters and Duffy added 14 but Duffy only faced two balls and was caught at slip off the second. He played back to Pervez, the ball kicked and Duffy was not in line. Two runs later Afaq had Waters caught at first slip. He had scored a solid 20 in 77 minutes. O'Riordan also faced only two balls. He made a convulsive jab at the second from Pervez and was caught at slip. At lunch the score was 62-6. Dineen hit two fours and scored 11 off eight balls. He was then caught at the wicket one-handed on the leg side off Afaq - a very good diving catch. At 73 the last three wickets fell. Hughes was stumped off Afaq; Monteith was caught at long leg off Pervez and Colhoun was caught at the wicket. The innings lasted 131 minutes and 32.3 overs were bowled.
Ireland gave their three quicker bowlers 22 overs between them. They took two wickets but the spinners, in 38 overs, took seven wickets. In view of what happened in the Irish innings the spinners should surely have bowled earlier. Goodwin, in his second over, had Wasim Bari caught by Colhoun on the leg side. 6-1-0. Rehman Ali was joined by Hanif. Together they added 25 in 45 minutes. At 30 Hughes replaced O'Riordan. In his second over Rehman Ali mis-hooked Hughes and was caught at short leg. At 32 Monteith replaced Goodwin. The last ball of his first over popped a little and Zaheer was caught by Duffy in the gully Shafqat and Hanif slowly added 24 for the fourth wicket. 50 came up in 89 minutes and Duffy had come on with the score at 48. At tea the score was 56-3.
At 57 Shafqat was smartly stumped off Monteith for 16. Four runs later Duffy had Hanif caught at square point off one that lifted a little. Hanif batted 107 minutes for his 21. Two balls later Mohammad Munaf lofted Duffy to Dineen at deep long-on, a catch was dropped. The miss was not expensive. At 64 Duffy took another good catch at gully from a thick edge by Munaf off Monteith. 13 were added for the next wicket in 33 minutes. Masoodal Hassan had battled over an hour for five. He was then sent back by his partner, Afaq, for a hit to extra cover. Goodwin ran him out with a throw to the bowler. Two more wickets fell at 77. Afaq was caught on the leg side by Colhoun off Duffy and Salim was caught by Colhoun off Monteith when well down the wicket. Asif and Pervez added nine for the last wicket. Asif was dropped at slip by Reith and he eventually became Colhoun's fifth victim at the wicket. PIA were all out for 86 at 6 PM. They had batted 177 minutes and 59.5 overs. Monteith returned his best ever bowling figures of 5-31. He kept a good line and spun the ball a lot. Duffy was a perfect foil with 2-18 in 17 overs. Colhoun's five victims (four caught and one stumped) equalled the record of CR Cuffe against the Australians in College Park in 1938. Four catches in an innings equalled a record shared jointly by Colhoun himself and AP Kelly.
With 20 minutes left Ireland went in to bat again. Pigot failed to get his bat away from a ball from Asif and was caught by Hanif at slip. Colhoun came in as nightwatchman and Pervez replaced Salim after one over and Afaq came on for Asif after two overs. At the close the score was 8-1.
Next day the wicket was dry but soft. The ball kicked and leapt from Pervez. His flat trajectory and fastish pace suited the wicket and no one could play him with comfort. Asif bowled two overs before Pervez came on. Masoodal Hassan, an offspinner, came on at the other end. Reith was missed off a stumping and at short leg. Then Colhoun was bowled by Masoodal at 14. In Masoodal's next over Reith drove without being at the pitch and was caught and bowled. 15-3-9. Pervez then tried to get Anderson to sweep at him. He pitched outside leg stump and spun across the wicket to the amazing field of three short legs. At 21 Waters was caught at slip off a "cow" shot and Duffy bagged his second "pair" for Ireland when he was caught at slip off Pervez when half forward. Duffy faced nine balls. Anderson and O'Riordan put on 13. Then Anderson swept at a ball from Pervez which was on the wicket and was bowled. Dineen was bowled in the same over lunging forward. Hughes scored eight and stayed with O'Riordan while 18 were added for the eighth wicket. O'Riordan was playing very well and Masoodal did not concede his first run until his 57th ball. Hughes was caught at the wicket and Monteith lofted his first ball to deep long on - both off Pervez. O'Riordan and Goodwin now played very well for the last wicket. In 31 minutes 39 in valuable runs were put on. The pair batted for nine overs. Pervez, of course, stayed on while Masoodal Hassan gave way to Asif and Afaq for one over each before returning. Goodwin hit a straight six off a no-ball from Afaq and three fours with an assortment of golf shots. O'Riordan was batting very well with the wicket possibly becoming a little easier. The lunch score was 69-9. Eventually Pervez had Goodwin caught at slip after the innings had lasted 45.3 overs and 91 runs. Pervez took 7-27 in 20.3 overs after having 6-13 in 15.4 overs.
PIA needed 79 when they went in at 2:55 PM. Salim opened with Rehman Ali. O'Riordan and Goodwin bowled two overs each before Duffy and Monteith came on. The openers, in fact, put on 46 in 69 minutes. Both played dourly but carefully. At 18 Ali survived a confident appeal for a catch at the wicket off Duffy. Anderson was put on at 23 to allow the bowlers to change ends. He was given a second over and the two cost 12 runs. Reith then dropped a rather easy slip catch off Duffy. Eventually Monteith got Ali LBW when half forward. Hanif faced 10 balls and before he had scored he failed to spot a ball from Monteith which came in with the arm. He was LBW without playing a stroke. 52-2-0. One run later Afaq was caught behind by Colhoun off Duffy. Shafqat came in and at 56 the usually reliable Goodwin dropped Salim at mid-off off Duffy. At tea the score was 61-3. In 12 minutes after tea 20 runs were scored to win the match.
On what should have been the third day of the match and exhibition was played with the players mixing about to form two teams. Following this, on a beautiful wicket in Cork, an exciting two-day match against Munster was drawn.