HAPPY BIRTHDAY MISBAH-UL-HAQ: Misbah-ul-Haq has been one of the finest cricketers produced by Pakistan even though he had a comparatively shorter career span. Though he made his international debut in 2001, Misbah came into the limelight after his call up for the 2007 T20 World Cup. He became the top run-getter for his side in the tournament and almost took them to the title with his innings in the final against India.
He did not look back after this point and built himself an illustrious career for himself.
Later, Misbah was appointed as the captain of the Pakistan cricket team and he finished off his career as their most successful Test captain. Out of the 48 Tests that Pakistan played under his leadership, they won 26 and also became the number one ranked team in in the format in 2016. While he had an impressive career as a captain, his contribution to Pakistan as a batsman can never be undermined either.
As he celebrates his birthday today on May 28, we look back at some of his most memorable innings in Test cricket.
- 101* v Australia, Abu Dhabi, 2014
For most of his career, Misbah had an image of a batsman with a restrained approach but he played in a very ‘unlike Misbah’ fashion and equaled the record for the then fastest hundred in Test cricket, batting against Australia in 2014. He scored an unbeaten 101 in just 56 balls – drawing level with the legendary Viv Richard. His innings helped Pakistan to register their then-largest victory over Australia, by 356 runs.
- 114 v England, Lord’s, 2016
At 42, Misbah is the oldest captain to score a century in a Test inning. He scored a crucial 114 runs against the English side during the first Test of the England tour in 2016. Walking in when Pakistan were in a tricky spot at 77 for 3, he kept his nerves and partnered with Younis Khan and Asad Shafiq in the middle. The century was special and he celebrated by doing pushups on the ground. Pakistan went on to register a 75-run victory in the contest.
- 102 v England, Dubai, 2015
England were in a strong position when Misbah came in to bat after Pakistan lost 3 wickets for 85 but what followed after that was just pure class. Building partnerships with Younis (56) and Shafiq (83), he took Pakistan to a total of 378 -all out. A remarkable bowling effort from Wahab Riaz and Misbah’s 87-run knock in the second dig sealed a 178-run victory for the hosts.
- 82 v India, Delhi, 2007
Pakistan may have lost this contest but it was Misbah’s 82 against India during the 2007 Delhi Test that kept the visitors from an embarrassing show. In an innings where every other batsman struggled to get 30, he scored 82 with an 87 run partnership with Mohammad Sami for the 9th wicket.
- 161* v India, Kolkata, 2007
After a loss in the first Test in Delhi, Pakistan faced India in Kolkata for the second match. India had a solid start to the match and went on to score 616/5d in the first innings. Pakistani top-order batters looked under pressure and they were suddenly 85/3 when Misbah came into bat at number 5.
He kept his feet firmly on the ground and started building a partnership with Kamran Akmal, who also went on to score a century. After 207 runs partnership with Akmal, Misbah made 91 runs stand for the seventh wicket with Mohammad Sami to save Pakistan from following on. His unbeaten 161 helped Pakistan to draw the match.