Nawaz Sharif’s cricketing career

As this is being written, it appears likely that Imran Khan Niazi will be the next Prime Minister of Pakistan. While he may be described as one of Pakistan’s finest cricket captains, it is an open question whether he will be successful as a PM.

His adversary Nawaz Sharif was a cricketer of a sort-though he played only one first-class match in which he scored a duck and did not bowl or take a catch. The summary of his career is here:

http://www.espncricinfo.com/pakistan/content/player/42259.html

If one wants to find out details of the match he played in, it is not in Cricinfo but can be found in other sources such as www.cricketarchive.com

I am giving the link for the scorecard here, though it will probably not be visible unless you have paid the subscription for access to the site.

http://cricketarchive.com/Archive/Scorecards/33/33876.html

This match was between Railways (NS’s team) and PIA “B” at Karachi (Gymkhana Ground) on 10/11 Dec 1973. Unusually for a 4-day match, it was concluded in two days when Railways won by an innings and 68 runs. This was a quarter-final of the BCCP Patron’s Trophy. Railways went on to win the trophy, defeating PIA “A” in the final.

A brief summary of the match in question:

Railways 238

PIA “B”  51 and (fo) 119.

As mentioned above, Nawaz Sharif  scored a duck. He was the No 2 batsman, and did not bowl or take a catch.

His team-mates included two international players in Arif Butt and Mohammed Nazir who played in a few Tests. The latter took 11 wickets in the match.

The PIA team did not have any international players. There was a Saeed Ahmed who batted at No 11, though he is not the one you are thinking of.

NS also appears in one “miscellaneous” one-day match which does not have List A status. This match was played between Lahore Gymkhana and England at Bagh-e-Jinnah, Lahore on 7 Oct 1987, as one of the warm-up matches for the Reliance World Cup.

This stadium was earlier known as Lawrence Gardens and had hosted a few Tests in 1955-59.

http://cricketarchive.com/Archive/Scorecards/201/201432.html

In this match England won by 129 runs, with NS batting at No 2 and bowled by DeFreitas for 1.

(Thanks to Pradeep Ramarathman for remembering the second match).

 

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The fine art of minnow-bashing

The term “minnow-bashing” was often heard in World Cup cricket matches where the non-regular teams often came to grief against the major teams.

Now the women’s T20I teams of India and Pakistan have shown that they are better at minnow-bashing than their male counterparts. The occasions came in the course of  the ongoing Asia Cup which is a T20I tournament in Malaysia. As we will see, the Malaysian team have been very gracious hosts.

The 6 participating teams are India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Thailand and Malaysia. As the last 2 are not regular teams, their matches are not counted in women’s T20I records.

India started the process by dismissing Malaysia for 27 and thus winning by 142 runs:

http://www.espncricinfo.com/series/1148042/scorecard/1148048/malaysia-women-vs-india-women-1st-match-womens-twenty20-asia-cup-2018/

Pakistan did almost as well, dismissing the hosts for 30 and winning by 147 runs.

http://www.espncricinfo.com/series/1148042/scorecard/1148058/malaysia-women-vs-pakistan-women-11th-match-womens-twenty20-asia-cup-2018/

Thailand has also done quite badly, without ever crossing 100. But they did beat Malaysia by 9 wickets:

http://www.espncricinfo.com/series/1148042/scorecard/1148055/malaysia-women-vs-thailand-women-8th-match-womens-twenty20-asia-cup-2018/

The league matches continue on June 9, which features Ind v Pak, SL v Th and BD vs Ma.

The final on June 10 will probably be between India and Pakistan.

Review of England-Pakistan Tests-2018 (2)

After covering general results and batting figures in the first part, we move on to bowling figures:

Most wickets (25 and above):

Most wkts-25

Qadir has by far the most wickets and Anderson is unlikely to overtake him. Broad and M. Amir are next among current players

Best innings bowling (including all 7wi and above):

Best innings bowling

Qadir again at the top. No good performances in the last few years. In fact the 2018 series did not see anyone take a five-for.

Best match bowling (including all 10wm and above):

Match bowling

Underwood and Qadir lead. Nothing from the current series, though Woakes and Yasir Shah are there from 2016.

Bowling averages (Minimum 2000 balls, all instances):

Bowling average

Anderson has by far the best bowling average, followed by his partner Broad. Qadir is somewhat further down. M. Amir is also there from the current series.

The best economy rates are by Iqbal Qasim (1.82) and DA Allen (1.90). The best strike rates are by by Waqar Younis (48.5) and almost the same by Anderson (48.6).

Fielding records:

Most dismissals (15 and above):

Dismissals

Wasim Bari has by far the most dismissals, followed unexpectedly by Kamran Akmal. Bari and Sarfraz Ahmed have the most stumpings. Cook, Miandad and Younis Khan share the record for non-keepers.

Best innings fielding (5 or more dismissals):

Innings fielding

Sarfraz Ahmed has done this in 2015, 2016 and 2018.

Best match fielding (6 or more dismissals):

Match fielding

Wasim Bari and Kamran Akmal (!) have the record of 8 dismissals. Bairstow had 7 in 2016. Greig and Hick have the most catches (6) by non-keepers.

Best dismissal rate (Minimum 20 innings, 0.500 and above):

Dismissal rate

Knott and Taylor lead, while Asad Shafiq and Cook have the most among current players. Trescothick and Atherton have the best rates for non-keepers. Sarfraz Ahmed has not played enough.

Overall all-round performances (see criteria):

AR overall

Botham and Broad lead, followed by Intikhab Alam at a distance. Imran Khan does not seem to have played enough.

All-round match performances (50 and 5wi):

AR match

Imran and Botham appear here twice apiece, along with some unexpected appearances by Abdul Qadir and others. Qadir has one of the rare doubles of a fifty and ten-for in a match, while Botham had a century and 8-34.

 

 

 

 

Review of England-Pakistan Tests-2018 (1)

The two-Test series between England and Pakistan ended with an anti-climax on the third day of the second Test, making the series an 1-1 draw. The previous series in 2016 was a 2-2 draw.

Here is a summary of all Tests between these teams:

Overall reults

The overall tally is 25-21 in favor of England, helped mainly by a 23-12 lead in England.

At Lord’s, Pakistan now leads 5-4 with one draw. At Leeds, England leads 6-1 with 3 draws.

In this series no one scored a century and took a five-for. So the Lord’s honors boards are unchanged.

Batting statistics:

Most runs (750+):

Most runs-750

Cook leads here. Among current players Root and Asad Shafiq are far behind.

M. Yousuf has the most centuries (6). The most 50+ scores are by Inzaman (15), Mushtaq Mohammad (14) followed by Cook  and Salim Malik (13).

Highest innings (175+)

Highest innings-2016

Note that no one scored more than 80 in this series. The only big score in 2016 was by Root (254).

Batting averages (minimum 20 innings, all instances):

Highest batting average

Cook and Asad Shafiq are the highest among current players. Imran Khan did not bat in enough innings to reach this table.

To be continued.

Previous encounters between Ireland and Pakistan

As the first Test between Ireland and Pakistan gets under way, we look at how they have fared in the shorter formats.

ODIs between Ireland and Pakistan:

Ire v Pak ODIs

There have been other 50-over matches between these teams before Ireland got ODI status, but those details are not readily available. Those matches were generally part of Pakistan’s Test tours of England.

We see that 7 ODIs between these teams have been completed. Pakistan lead 5-1 with 1 tie. However it is their first encounter which is remembered, when Ireland’s “beginner’s luck” at the 2007 World Cup played a large part in Pakistan’s early departure. (Similarly Bangladesh spoiled India’s party in the same World Cup).

The scorecard of that first match: http://www.espncricinfo.com/series/8039/scorecard/247465/ireland-vs-pakistan-9th-match,-group-d-world-cup-2006-07/

A few members of Ireland’s team on that occasion will be playing in the inaugural Test starting on May 11.

Only one T20I has been played between these teams, which was at the 2009 T20 World Championships. Ireland had got into the Super 8s essentially by defeating Bangladesh. Pakistan won by a large margin. Pakistan went on to win the championship, while defending champion India did not reach the semi-finals.

Again, a few members of that Irish team are playing in today’s Test.

Ire v Pak T20Is

Scorecard of that match:

http://www.espncricinfo.com/series/8604/scorecard/356012/ireland-vs-pakistan-21st-match,-group-f-world-t20-2009/

The importance of Sheikhupura

The city of Sheikhupura in Pakistan was in the news recently:

https://www.geo.tv/latest/192419-sikh-pilgrim-who-went-missing-in-pakistan-found-from-sheikhupura

There is a happy ending as he was promptly deported to India a few days later.

Sheikhupura is on the route from the Atari/Wagah border to Nankana Saheb, where special trains from India run occasionally for the benefit of Sikh pilgrims. The main stations on the way are Lahore and Qila Sheikhupura:

Qila Sheikhupura

There is a video on Youtube produced by a passenger on of the pilgrim trains, showing it passing through these stations.

Nankana Saheb is not really a major railway station. Timetables of the 1930s and 1940s show it as a wayside station served by two pairs of passenger trains between Lahore and Shorkot Road (now Shorkot Cantt). In recent years an express has started running on this route which stops at Nankana Saheb and several other stations.

Those who follow cricket closely would remember that Sheikhupura had staged two Test matches and two ODIs in the 1990s. The first Test was against Zimbabwe in 1996, where Wasim Akram’s record of 12 6s in his 257 not out is still a world record. With Saqlain Mushtaq (79) he put on 313 for the 8th wicket which was the new Test record.

This record was surpassed by Trott (184) and Broad (169)’s partnership of 332 against Pakistan at Lord’s in 2010. Given the later disclosures of various tricks being played by Salman Butt and his friends, it is quite likely that they were “allowed” to run up large scores.

In that match in 1996 Paul Strang scored a century and took a five-for. He remains the only one from Zimbabwe to achieve this in a Test.

In 1997 this venue hosted another Test against South Africa. Nothing much happened as 3 days were washed out.

While Test matches did not return here, the people of Sheikhupura were more fortunate than their neighbors in Gujranwala. The one Test there (against Sri Lanka) in 1991 saw only one day of play before the weather played spoilsport. There are several other venues in India and Pakistan which have hosted only one Test so far.

Sheikhupura also features in jokes where it is supposed to be the home of Sheikh Pir, who wrote the plays attributed to Shakespeare. Tamilians disagree as they say the plays were written by their scholar Seshappa Iyer.

There is a lesser-known Sheikhpura in Bihar state in India, on the Gaya-Kiul route:

Sheikhpura (Bihar)

Records of Pak-WI T20I on April 1, 2018

Here are the records which were set in this match, which was one of the most one-sided T20I matches ever. First, the scorecard:

http://www.espncricinfo.com/series/18597/scorecard/1140069/pakistan-vs-west-indies-1st-t20i-wi-in-pakistan-2018/ 

All figures are correct on April 1, 2018.

Lowest-ever T20I scores (85 and below):

T20I lowest

Live link: http://stats.espncricinfo.com/ci/content/records/283172.html

We see that WI’s total is among the lowest in all T20Is, but still ahead of the record of 39 all out by Netherlands in 2014, in the course of the T20I World Championships. Their previous lowest was 79/7 against Zimbabwe in 2010, which you can see in the above total. The previous lowest all-out total was 101 against Sri Lanka in 2009, in the course of the T20I World Championship.

Pakistan recorded its joint-highest T20I total, as it had also made 203/5 against Bangladesh at Karachi in 2008. This is however not too high in the all-time list of high T20I scores, which is headed by Australia’s 263/6 against Sri Lanka in 2016.

Highest T20I totals by Pakistan:

Pakistan highest

And Pakistan also recorded its highest margin of victory:

T20I highest margins

It can be seen that it is the second-highest margin (by runs) in all T20Is, surpassed only by Sri Lanka’s demolition of Kenya in the first T20I World Championship. It is also the largest victory margin in matches between full members. Pakistan’s previous record was 103 runs against New Zealand in 2010.

Live link: http://stats.espncricinfo.com/ci/content/records/283283.html