Pakistan cricket has seen many ups and downs during the year 2016. They struggled in the limited over formats, whereas, kept the good form going in Test cricket as they also attained the top spot in the ranking for a brief period of time.
There have been some remarkable performances by both the Pakistani bowlers and batsmen. At the year end, here we are discussing some of the powerful performances of Pakistani cricketers during the year across all formats of the game.
Mohammad Amir’s furious spell against India during Asia Cup 2016
Since Mohammad Amir returned to the international cricket earlier this year, his spell against India during the Asia Cup T20 has depicted his true potential. Pakistan were defending a small total of 84 runs and it seemed like it would be a walk in the park for the solid Indian batting line. However, Amir’s spell made the game interesting. He took 3 wickets in 4 overs for 18 runs. Amir’s figures at a point were 3 wickets for 3 runs in 2 overs. Unexpectedly, Indian fans had their heart in mouth before Virat Kohli and Yuvraj Singh got their team over the line.
Misbah Ul Haq’s match winning century at Lord’s
Playing at Lord’s is always special for cricketers and scoring a ton or taking a five-for there is always a dream for them. Pakistan’s skipper, Misbah Ul Haq played an exceptional knock at the Mecca of cricket. Pakistan were playing a Test match for the first time at Lord’s after the embarrassing incident of spot fixing and they had to create a positive image. The skipper lead from the front and scored a match-winning century for his team that also got his name on the Lord’s Honour Board.
Younis Khan’s courageous double-ton at The Oval
On the tour of England, Younis Khan was struggling miserably. He was hopping all around the crease and was unable to score any significant runs till the fourth and the last Test of the series at The Oval. But, the legend bounced back and proved why is considered as one of the best in world cricket. He scored 218 off 308 deliveries that helped Pakistan a historic draw of Test series on English shores. The draw earned Pakistan the no.1 spot in Test ranking for the first time since the new ranking system is introduced.
Sharjeel Khan’s flamboyant 152 runs against Ireland
Before Pakistan started off their ODI campaign against England, they played a two-match ODI series against Ireland. The first match was abandoned due to rain and in the second game it was Sharjeel Khan’s on Irish bowlers. He scored 152 runs off 89 deliveries with the help of nine 6’s and sixteen 4’s. He became only the third Pakistani to score 150+ in 50-over format after Saeed Anwar and Imran Nazir. Pakistan won the game by 225 runs.
Babar Azam joined the elite club
The young Babar Azam did justice to his talent in the three-match ODI series against West Indies. He scored three consecutive tons and became just the 8th batsman in the world to do so. He also became the highest scorer in a three-match ODI series with 360 runs surpassing South Africa’s Quinton De Kock’s 342 runs against India.
Azhar Ali’s triple-century
In Pakistan’s debut of pink ball Test, Azhar Ali struck a triple-century against a fragile bowling attack of West Indies. He achieved the feat of becoming the first batsman to score a ton in Test cricket under lights. He also became the fourth triple-centurion for Pakistan after the great Hanif Mohammad, the legend Inzamam Ul Haq and the veteran middle order batsman Younis Khan. Azhar Ali remained not out on 302 runs.
Asad Shafiq’s heroics against Australia at The Gabba
Pakistan once again proved their unpredictability during their first Test of the three-match series against Australia. They were down and out in the first inning of the match, but made an outstanding comeback in the second inning chasing 490 runs. Asad Shafiq played a fighting knock of 137 runs that took Pakistan to just on the verge of a momentous victory, but, they fell just 40 runs short from the win.