Pakistan's Abid Ali who became the first player in history to score a century on debut in two different formats – in ODIs (112 against Australia at Abu Dhabi on 29 Mar 2019) and in Tests (109* against Sri Lanka at Rawalpindi on 15 Dec 2019) became the first Pakistani and the ninth Test batsman to register centuries in the first two Tests of their career. Incidentally, Abid is yet to appear in a T20I match. Only time will tell if he can manage to register a three-figure score in his T20I debut too.
Note: West Indian Lawrence Rowe (in 1972) and Pakistani Yasir Hameed (in 2003) registered twin centuries in the debut Tests but did not make 100s in their second Test match. Likewise, Pakistani Wajahatullah Wasti in 1999 and late Phil Hughes in 2009 made centuries in each innings of their second Test match but did not do so in their debut match. Therefore technically, these players also have two Test hundreds to their credit after their second Test match.
Alvin Kallicharran, Sourav Ganguly and Rohit Sharma made 100s in their first two Test innings, emulating Rowe and Hameed.
Naseem emulates Nasim
Pakistani paceman Naseem Shah became only the second bowler in Test cricket history to claim a five-wicket haul as a 16-year old when he claimed 5/31 against Sri Lanka in the recent Karachi Test match. He emulated another Pakistani namesake Nasim-ul-Ghani, who claimed 5/116 against West Indies at Georgetown in March 1958. Nasim-ul-Ghani, a left-arm spinner, at 16 years, 307 days, thus became the youngest Test player to claim a five-wicket haul. Naseem Shah at 16 years, 311 days became the second-youngest player. However, he is now the youngest pace bowler to do so in Test cricket.
Flatter to deceive
It’s not often we find sides dismissing an opponent for a total of less than 200 on the opening day of a Test match and then go on to lose the Test match. In the recent Karachi Test match, Sri Lanka lost the game by 263 runs after dismissing Pakistan for 191. On three occasions in their Test career, Sri Lanka had the ignominy of losing a Test match after dismissing their opponent for less than 200 in the first innings. Meanwhile, it was Pakistan’s ninth such victory after being dismissed for less than 200 while batting first. The two tables below have the details:
Successive batsmen scoring 100s in same innings
Four or more batsmen scoring centuries in the same innings have occurred on 23 occasions, including the two instances of five batsmen doing so. However, in the Karachi Test match, the top four Pakistani batsmen managed to register a three-figure score. This is only the second time in Test history this has happened. And in one other occasion successive batsmen managed to achieve this in the middle order.
Details are given below:
Successive centuries by top four batsmen in batting order (1 to 4)
For India vs Bangladesh, at Mirpur, May 2007
Dinesh Karthik 129, Wasim Jaffer 138*, Rahul Dravid 129, Sachin Tendulkar 122*
For Pakistan vs Sri Lanka, at Karachi, Dec 2019
Successive centuries by four batsmen in batting order (4 to 7)
For Pakistan vs India, at Faisalabad, Jan 1983
Javed Miandad 126, Zaheer Abbas 168, Saleem Malik 107, Imran Khan 117
Starting the series with a bang!
James Anderson became the first Englishman at Centurion to claim a wicket of the very first ball of a Test series. He, in fact, becomes the eighth bowler in Test history to achieve this for the ninth time, with West Indian Pedro Collins doing so on two occasions and interestingly the same batsman – Bangladeshi Hannan Sarkar.
High economy five-wicket hauls
England’s Jofra Archer in the Centurion Test match became the only fourth bowler in Test history to claim a five-wicket haul with a very high economy of 6-plus.
South African-born Kiwi Neil Wagner in the Boxing Day Test at Melbourne became the seventh New Zealander to claim 200 Test wickets in his 46th match. What has been remarkable about this unsung performer is that he is now the second quickest Kiwi to claim 200 wickets behind Sir Richard Hadlee, who achieved his landmark in August 1983 in 44 Test matches. Only 14 left-arm bowlers have managed to claim 200 Test wickets and Wagner is now the second quickest to achieve this after India’s left-arm spinner Ravindra Jadeja who claimed his in 44 Tests, recently in October 2019. This means Wagner is now the fastest to 200 Test wickets by a left-arm quick.
Longevity among pacers
In the Centurion Test match, England’s James Anderson became the ninth player in history to appear in 150 or more Test matches. He thus became the first full time pace bowler to appear in 150 Test matches.
Note: South African Jacques Kallis appeared in 166 Tests while delivering 20232 balls (3372 overs)
In December, we had Abid becoming the first batsman in cricket history to register three-figure knocks in both his ODI and Test debuts. Two weeks later, South African Rassie van der Dussen became the first batsman in history to make 50+ scores on debut in each of the three formats.
* (all records mentioned above are complete and updated until 30 Dec 2019)