Wednesday, December 30, 2020
Pakistan’s middle-order batsman Fawad Alam added a new chapter in books of resilience on Wednesday by pulling off an interesting match against the kiwis at Mount Maunganui.
Alam scored a brilliant 102 off 296 deliveries, resisting the attack by New Zealand bowlers for around six hours and 36 minutes.
He added an important 165 for the 5th wicket with his counterpart Mohammad Rizwan.
This is the second Test century for Fawad Alam, who debuted in 2009 against Sri Lanka and scored a century on his debut. However, he was dropped from the Pakistan team in November 2009 and made a comeback only in August 2020.
The promising batsman waited for more than 11 years and five months to reach the three-figure milestone - the longest ever wait for a player to score another Test century without a war in between.
Warren Bardsley of Australia had to wait for 14 years and India's Syed Mushtaq had to wait for 12 years – but both players witnessed World War I and World War II between their respective milestones.
Although Pakistan couldn’t accomplish what it initially planned, Alam's persistence in the field and his on-point partnership with Rizwan was a beam of hope for Pakistani fans.
Fawad, who scored 102, stayed on the wicket for 396 minutes which is the longest stay on the wicket in the 4th innings of a Test by a Pakistani batsman outside Asia in the 21st century.
Asad Shafiq stayed on the wicket for 336 minutes in Brisbane against Australia in 2016.
He faced 269 deliveries, again – the most by a Pakistani batsman in the fourth innings of a Test outside Asia in 30 years.
Along with Mohammad Rizwan, Alam added 165 runs for the 5th wicket and the partnership lasted for 380 deliveries - Pakistan’s longest 4th innings partnership in terms of balls outside Asia.
Rizwan stayed on the wicket for 285 minutes, which is the longest stay by a Pakistani wicket-keeper in the fourth innings of a Test match.
The first test didn’t end up the way Pakistani fans would’ve wanted, but with Alam's comeback, they surely have found new hope and a player on whom the team can depend.