11 things you did not know about Pakistan’s history with sixes
In the recently concluded Dhaka Test match, we managed to break another world record. During Pakistan’s second innings, Misbahul Haq scored a six on Taijul Islam’s ball, making Pakistan the first Asian team to hit 1,000 sixes in the Test format. Pakistan achieved this feat in its 389th test match.
Since this is an astounding achievement, I feel it would be great if we dwell upon a few facts regarding Test match sixes.
1. Except for Pakistan, several non-Asian counties have crossed the 1,000 sixes or more in Test matches record, which include Australia, West Indies, New Zealand, South Africa and England.
2. Alongside this feat, Pakistan also has the second best six-hitting ratio in Test matches amongst Asian teams, with 2.58 sixes per match.
3. Surprisingly, Bangladesh, which is supposedly one of the weaker Asian teams, has the best six-hitting ratio at 3.05 sixes per match. This is because they got their Test status at a time when the Test-match dynamics were changing and overall scoring rates in Test innings were higher.
4. India, so far, has scored 995 sixes in 487 Test matches and they have played at a ratio of 2.04 sixes per match. They have the lowest per Test six-hitting ratio amongst Asian teams.
5. The first six in Test match history was scored by J Darling of Australia against England at Adelaide during the 1897/98 Test series. This was the 55th Test match, from its inception.
6. In nearly 140 years of Test-cricket history, we only have one incident when the first ball of the Test match was smacked for a six and the honour for achieving this feat goes to Chris Gayle, who hit the first ball of the match for a six during an innings against Bangladesh at Dhaka in 2013.
7. Pakistan’s journey of sixes in Test-matches began during the inaugural Test-series that they played in 1952 – this was when the national team toured India. It was in Lucknow, during the second Test match of the series, that debutant Zulfiqar Ahmed batting at number nine for Pakistan hit India’s left-arm medium fast-bowler, Nyalchand Shah, for a six. This was the first ever six by Pakistan in their Test-cricket history. For poor Nylachand, this was the only Test match he played for India.
8. Pakistan’s match against New Zealand, which was played at the national stadium in Karachi during the 1976 series, is fifth in the list of most sixes hit in a Test match. This Test match is remembered for Majid Khan’s feat who became the first Pakistani to score a Test century before lunch on the first day of the match. Pakistan’s match against West Indies played at Kingston during the 1976 Test series is 37th in this list. Although this seems to be a low ranking but this shows the flare Pakistan batsmen possess as West Indies was the most feared team of that era and to hit their bowlers for sixes was a daunting task.
9. Pakistan, in its Test cricket history, has come across many aggressive batsmen, but surprisingly, the record for most number of sixes in a Test innings is accredited to Wasim Akram who, in his innings of 257 against Zimbabwe at Sheikhpura during the 1996/97 series, scored 12 sixes. This is also the world record for most number of sixes scored in a Test innings. Wasim broke the 63-year-old record of Wally Hammod, who had scored 10 sixes in an inning in 1933.
10. Three Pakistani bowlers, namely Danish Kaneria, Yasir Shah and Zulfiqar Babar, jointly hold the record for being hit on for most sixes in an inning. Each of them hit seven sixes in an inning. Kaneria's was by West Indies during the Multan Test in 2006, while Shah and Babar faced their predicament against New Zealand at Sharjah in 2014.
11. In the list of most sixes scored in a Test career, two Pakistani players sit at the 22nd and 27th positions respectively – Younus Khan with 58 sixes and Misbahul Haq with 53 sixes. Javed Miandad is 34th in this list.
Pakistan, in the time to come, will surely score more sixes and our history will have more interesting facts and figures but Pakistan needs to build on its success in Test matches to improve its performance in one-day cricket as well – because without being able to perform magnificently in all formats, Pakistan’s achievements in Test matches would not make much of a difference for the national team’s image.
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