Pakistan have just done the unthinkable!
No one thought that the test match could be saved. No team in the history of 5-day test cricket has batted 172 overs to save a test match!
The sheer epicness of this is just mind boggling. Especially when one considers the way Pakistan batted in their first innings.
It was a monumental effort led from the front by their supreme leader, Babar Azam, with magnificent support from Mohammad Rizwan and Abdullah Shafique.
Babar created a number of records during his match saving epic innings of 196, which I will get to in a minute.
Before that, let this sink in.
I believe that facing 172 overs, the most any team has faced to save a test match in the history of 5-day test cricket, is the proudest moment in Pakistan’s test history!
Coming back to Babar’s history making 196.
This is what Babar achieved today:
1. The highest score by a Test Captain in the 4th innings of a test match.
2. The highest score by a Pakistan batsman in the 4th innings of a test match, and the 7th highest score in the 4th innings in the history of test cricket.
3. Babar faced 425 deliveries during his epic knock – the 4th most balls faced by a batsman in the 4th innings of a test. The highest is Micheal Atherton’s 492. It is the first time any batsman has faced over 400 balls in the 4th innings since 1995!
4. Babar batted for 603 minutes (10 HOURS!) – the 2nd highest number of minutes spent at the crease in the 4th innings of a test match, behind only Atherton’s 643 minutes.
Babar wasn’t alone in this monumental knock. He was ably supported, first by Abdullah Shafique and then by Mohammad Rizwan.
Babar and Shafique put on 228 runs for the third wicket, which laid the platform for Pakistan’s rearguard action.
This is what they achieved today:
1. Pakistan’s 2nd highest partnership in the 4th innings of a test match.
2. The 8th highest partnership in the 4th innings of a test match.
3. They faced 520 deliveries, more than half of the 1,032 deliveries the entire team faced. This is the most number of deliveries ever faced by a pair in the 4th innings of a test match!
What Pakistan achieved today will go down in history as arguably the best effort ever to save a test match.
It will take a few days to sink in for all of us.
And we will surely remember it for a long time to come.
This Pakistan team under Babar Azam is truly special. They exceeded a lot of expectations during the T20 World Cup last year, and today they went above and beyond at a time when no one really thought it was possible.
Babar, the white ball batsman, is hands down the best batsman in the world. He has played memorable knocks in both ODIs and T20Is for us to remember him forever.
Despite that, Babar the captain and Babar the test batsman, were still criticized.
After this Karachi Test, Babar has shunned all those critics away too. He is growing in stature as a captain with every match, and after today’s 196, Babar the Test Batsman has well and truly arrived!
In my view, the sheer magnitude of this epic 196 is greater than all those white ball innings combined.
It will not be long before we all see Babar at the top of the batting charts in Test cricket too.
And it will not be long before we all see Pakistan dominate across all formats of cricket!