Pakistan smash fourth highest total in fourth innings

Source:  Samaa Published in Sports on Monday, December 19, 2016

BRISBANE: Though Pakistan lost to Australia by 39 runs on Monday, the side made the country proud by showing their brilliance away from home at Brisbane’s Gabba ground in the first Australia test.

Surmounting a target of 490 runs, Pakistan’s remarkable world record chase fell short of just 40 runs on Monday and finished its fourth day at 382 for 8 with all out at 450 all out on the fifth day.  Thus, Pakistan became the only team that made two 350-plus totals chasing big targets this decade.

Asad Shafiq won laurels by crossing Sir Garry Sobers by hitting 2716 runs in 46 matches with the help of nine centuries. Sobers could hit eight tons in 44 tests.

Asad Shafiq also came up with another feather to his cap as he hit a century not out at the Gabba in the fourth innings. Previously, he had hit two fourth-innings fifties too.

It should be mentioned here that Pakistan set a new record at the Gabba ground by making a highest total in the fourth innings while chasing a bigger total. Earlier, England made the fourth-innings highest at the Gabba in 2006-07 series. It is pertinent to note here that no visiting team could have ever chased more than 200 here as the only highest target chased here was 236 by Australia against West Indies in 1951-52.

Meantime, the highest total chased in any test match was 418 by West Indies against Australia in Antigua in 2003. Pakistan’s 450 is the fourth highest fourth innings total in Australia preceded by 450/7 by South Africa and 451 by New Zealand. While, England tops the list with 654/5.

It is pertinent to note here that among 27 batsmen with 1000-plus runs, Younis Khan came up with the third best average of 55.42 in the fourth innings of tests. Khan’s 65 was his third half-ton while chasing a test total outside Asia.

Last but not the least was Azhar Ali’s ace performance with 71 runs in the fourth innings made him the only Pakistani batsman who averaged over 50 in tests this year. This was his second consecutive fifty followed by his 58 runs in Hamilton in previous test. –SAMAA