Pakistan is facing off West Indies in their historic 400th day-night Test at Dubai International Cricket Stadium featuring pink ball. Following is the stats analysis from the opening day of the first Test:
The Men in Green posted a mammoth 279 for 1 at the end of day one in Dubai. The opening partnership of Sami Aslam and Azhar Ali saw them jolting down a marvellous 215-run stand. This is the fourth best opening stand for Pakistan in Tests. It is the fourth double century stand by the openers of Pakistan and their third against the Caribbean side. The previous opening double century stand of 219 came against the same rivals in Bridgetown 16 years ago.
The last time both openers faced 200 or more balls in an innings of Test was 19 years ago. Ijaz Ahmed and AamerSohailachieved the feat against West Indies in Karachi in 1997. At the Dubai International Cricket Stadium, the ODI skipper faced 268 balls till the end of the day whereas Aslam faced 212 balls.
Ali and Aslam faced a total of 407 balls from their opening wicket partnership which is the highest for Pakistan in an opening stand (since ball-by-ball information is provided). The last best longest stand was 339 balls faced by Imran Farhat and Salman Butt.
Pakistan have seen only three number of century opening partnership in the first innings of a Test match in the last 20 years.
Azhar have now bagged 11 centuries from 50 Tests and equalled Mohammad Yousaf’s record. Only two Pakistani players have smashed more centuries than him from this period. Hanif Mohammad and Younis Khan hammered 12 centuries at this stage of their career.
The 31 year old has shrugged off critics after the spectacular stint on the opening day in Dubai. He had only recorded 193 runs as an opener from last seven innings. Azhar could not even bag a fifty and his best was 49. Furthermore, his last 10 centuries all came at number three.
Sami posted his career best 90 from eight innings he has been part of. He jolted down 82 and 70 in Edgbaston against England prior to this match.
This is the first time in 11 years that an opening pair posted more than 200 against West Indies outside the Caribbean Islands. Matthew Hayden and Michael Hussey achieved the feat when they jolted down 231 runs in Hobart in 2005.