Century on debut and never again (May 2021)

Scoring a century on Test debut is not as difficult as one may think. As many as 108 players have scored 110 centuries on their Test debut, including LG Rowe and Yasir Hameed who scored centuries in both innings.

There are several who failed to score a century after their debut. The full list (up to 15/05/2021) is given below.

Players can drop off this list (as Fawad Alam did after over 11 years). Some current players (from PP Shaw downwards) can be reasonably expected to score another century sooner or later.

The most Tests played here are 25 by Yasir Hameed and 24 by L Amarnath. The latter was an useful bowler and a relatively better captain (by Indian standards of those days).

The most 50s scored after debut are 8 by Yasir Hameed and 7 by SK Raina. The latter was more successful in limited-overs matches, and was one of the first to score a century in a T20I.

Now we look at those who never crossed 50 after their debut.

Ganteaume played in only one innings. RE Redmond is not here as he scored a century and a fifty in his only Test.

The most Tests played among these players are 12 by van Zyl and 10 by DR Smith.

Fawad Alam (again!) got off this list after over 11 years.

There do not seem to be any current players here.

Records of Zimbabwe-Pakistan Test series-May 2021

Another one-sided series which was a common feature of the last few months.

Here is a full record of Tests between these teams:

Zimbabwe has only won 3 of these Tests. But they have been significant, as the first win in 1994-95 was Zimbabwe’s first win (though they lost the series 2-1). The second in 1998-99 ensured Zimbabwe’s first series win abroad. And the third in 2013 was one of their rare drawn series against a major team.

Highlights of this series: Babar Azam won all 4 of his first 4 Tests as captain.

Abid Ali’s 215* is the highest for Pak v Zim in Zim, surpassing Younis Khan’s 200* in 2013. The Pak v Zim record is still Wasim Akram’s 257* in 1996 at Sheikhupura.

He also became the first to make a score of 215* in a Test. Several others have been dismissed on 215, most recently MA Agarwal and M Labuschagne.

Nauman Ali (97 and 5-86) came close to becoming the first to make a century +5wi for Pakistan against Zimbabwe. PA Strang had already done this for Zim v Pak in 1996. That was the same match in which Wasim Akram scored 257*.

Fawad Alam now has the most centuries (4) without a score between 50 and 99. The previous “record” was 3 centuries by Ravi Bopara. However, it should be mentioned that ED Weekes made 5 centuries before making his first fifty (that too in 5 successive innings), and GA Headley went a step ahead with 6 centuries before stooping to a fifty.

Test cricket returns to Pakistan

The last Test in Pakistan was scheduled to be played from March 1 to 5, 2009.

There was no play after the second day. A contemporary report:

https://www.espncricinfo.com/story/_/id/22788732/sl-cricketers-injured-terror-attack

And the scorecard, for what it is worth:

https://www.espncricinfo.com/series/13778/scorecard/388994/pakistan-vs-sri-lanka-2nd-test-sri-lanka-tour-of-pakistan-2008-09

Since then, Pakistan has played Tests only away or at neutral venues (mainly in UAE, also 2 in England). There have been a small number of T20Is and ODIs played in Pakistan in the past few years:

T20Is in Pakistan since March 2009:

T20Is in Pak since 2009

ODIs in Pakistan since March 2009:

ODIs in Pak since 2009

It is also apparent that any Pakistani player who made his Test debut since 3 March 2009 would never have played at home until now. They are:

Pakistani Test debutants after Mar 2009

It can be seen that these 46 players include the present captain (Azhar Ali) and the previous captain (Sarfaraz Ahmed) who made their debuts in 2010, besides key players such as Asad Shafiq and Shan Masood. There is also Fawad Alam who made his debut in Sri Lanka in 2009 but has not played any Test since that series, but may well play in the forthcoming series.

And there are others such as Saeed Ajmal and Mohammad Amir who came and went without ever playing in a home Test.

You can see a review of past Tests between Pakistan and Sri Lanka here:

https://abn397.wordpress.com/2017/10/13/review-of-pakistan-sri-lanka-tests/

Note that their last meeting was in the UAE in late 2017, when Sri Lanka won 2-0. They were among the very few teams to beat Pakistan in a series in the UAE.