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Hanif Mohammad: Star of Pakistan Cricket

Hanif Mohammad was one of the finest cricketers of Pakistan. His knock of 337 runs against West Indies in 1957-58 was his most memorable in the history of cricket. It remained the longest inning in Test history and stayed the longest in all first-class cricket for more than 40 years.

He had bat for an amazing 970 minutes during the innings at Bridgetown. The star was born in Gujarat India on 21st December 1934. Hanif was trained by Abdul Aziz who had played at Ranji Trophy for Jamnagar. Aziz was the father of Indian cricket SalimDurani. The veteran was famous for his defensive style of play as he never hit the ball in the air. He was also the originator of reverse sweep. In his famous 337 runs against West Indies, Pakistan was trailing with 473 runs on the afternoon of the third day.

However, he stood on the crease for almost 16 hours and led his side to draw the match. Brendon McCullum was able to break the record of scoring triple century in the second innings when New Zealand faced India two years ago. Nicknamed Little Master, Hanif broke Don Bradman’s record for the highest individual first-class innings in 1958-59. He made a spectacular 499 before getting run out on his fifth century. 35 years later Brian Lara was able to break this record in 1994.

Overall the Pakistan cricket hero bagged 55 first-class centuries with an amazing average of 52.32 from 238 matches.Hanif could also bowl either from left or right arm and kept wickets on several occasions. He collected 53 wickets from 238 matches and had a brilliant economy rate of 3.27. Hanif played 55 Test matches and posted 12 centuries and 15 fifties. Hanif had a Test batting average of 43.98 from 97 innings. However, he is also known for playing the slowest Test innings as he registered 20 runs from 223 balls at a strike rate of 8.968. The Junagadh native debuted in the Test match on 16th October 1952 against India in Delhi. His last Test match came against New Zealand at Karachi in 1969. Hanif passed away at the age of 81 due to respiratory problems which were triggered from the lung cancer. He was diagnosed with lung cancer in 2013 and went for surgery in London. The star returned to his home well after the treatment but the cancer continued to spread.

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Raza Khan

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