Sri Lanka vs Pakistan: Abdullah Shafique joins Sunil Gavaskar in elite list after Galle Test heroics

Pakistan’s 22-year-old batting sensation Abdullah Shafique led a record-setting run-chase as the visitors gunned down a 342-run target against Sri Lanka at the iconic Galle Cricket Ground on Wednesday, July 20. Shafique entered record books with his composed and calculated knock on a challenging pitch on which Sri Lanka spinners were letting the ball rip.

Abdullah Shafique remained unbeaten on 160 as Pakistan pulled off the highest successful run chase ever by a team in the final innings of a Test match at Galle, going past Sri Lanka’s best of 268 against New Zealand in 2019.

Shafique showed grit and determination as he survived close calls on more than one occasion in a knock that lasted 408 deliveries. Shafique hit only 7 boundaries and a six during his marathon knock on the last two days of the gripping Test series opener in Galle.

Sri Lanka vs Pakistan, 1st Test Day 5 Highlights

By batting in excess of 400 deliveries in the final innings of a Test, Babar joined an elite list of batters, which includes his captain Babar Azam.

Former England captain Michael Atherton holds the record for the most number of deliveries faced in the 4th innings of a Test match – 492 against South Africa in Johannesburg in 1995.

Shafique joined the elite list, which includes Atherton, Herbert Sutcliffe (England), Sunil Gavaskar, and Babar, at the 5th spot.

MOST BALLS FACED IN 4TH INNINGS OF A TEST

Atherton – 185 in 492 balls in 1995 vs South Africa in Johannesburg
Sutcliffe – 135 in 462 balls in 1928 vs Australia in Melbourne
Gavaskar – 221 in 443 balls in 1979 vs England in London
Babar – 196 in 425 balls in 2022 vs Australia in Karachi
Shafique – 160 in 408 balls in 2022 vs Sri Lanka in Galle.

It was also Abdullah Shafique’s highest score in Test cricket as the young opener led the stunning chase which gave Paksitan a 1-0 lead.

“As a youngster, he showed his class and temperament,” Pakistan captain Babar Azam said of Shafique on Wednesday.

Shafique had stitched a 101-run stand for the 4th wicket with captain Babar, who led the batting unit from the front with a fifty in the second innings and a stunning hundred in the first innings.

“Babar is one of the best in the world. We have learnt so much from him. I enjoyed batting with him in the middle,” Shafique said of his captain.

Pakistan also jumped ahead of Sri Lanka in the World Test Championship standings with only South Africa (71.43%) and Australia (70%) above them.

— ENDS —

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