BRISBANE: Asad Shafiq’s fighting knock in the first Test against the Aussies earned him a unique place in cricket record books, when he went past Sir Garfield Sobers’ record of eight centuries at number six.
Shafiq, who has now made centuries in Australia, England, South Africa, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka as well as three on his home patch, is now the proud owner of the most Test hundreds batting at number six, with nine of his 10 coming from that position.
He became the only player in the 139-year history of Test cricket to have scored nine centuries playing at this position. Sir Sobers’ legendary Test career ended in 1974, meaning he has broken a 42-year-old record.
And what makes this effort more important is the fight back he posed to the Australian pace machine at their home ground chasing 490.
His 137 runs knock in the Brisbane is his joint-highest score in the 52 Tests, matching his 137 against New Zealand in Sharjah in 2014 which also came in a losing cause.
And this is not the end, Asad’s partnerships with Mohammad Amir (92), Wahab Riaz (66) and YAsir Shah (71) made into the record books too. This was the first time in the Test history that there is a 50 runs partnership for 7th, 8th and 9th wicket in a chase.
Asad Shafiq has a hundred at Oval, one at Cape Town and now in Brisbane, which is, according to Sanjay Manjrekar, is ‘exceptional for a player from the subcontinent’.
It took him 140 balls to reach his hundred, making it the second fastest of his ten Test hundreds – the 123-ball 100 against New Zealand at Sharjah in 2014 remains his quickest century. Of the 25 instances of Pakistan batsmen scoring a hundred in Tests in Australia, Shafiq’s 140 ball effort is joint-fourth fastest besides Majid Khan and only behind Ijaz Ahmed (137), Saeed Anwar (133) and Mohammad Yousuf (117).
Pakistan’s 450 in fourth innings is also the fourth highest scored by a team chasing the target after England (654/5), New Zealand (451) and South Africa (450/7).