Review of England-Pakistan Test series, 2016

The series was drawn 2-2. The overall record in 81 Tests between these teams is 24 won by England, 20 by Pakistan and 37 drawn. Tests have also been played at neutral venues (all in the UAE). Results vary considerably among venues, as you can see here:

Overall table

Starting with batting, here are all those who scored 750 or more runs in Tests between these teams:

Batting-runs

Cook and Inzaman head this list, followed by other current players Younis Khan,Misbah, Root and Asad Shafiq.

Highest innings scores (175 and above):

Batting-indiv score

Root and Younis scored 200+ in this series.

We also see that the most centuries scored were 6 by M. Yousuf, followed by 5 each by Cook and Inzamam. The most scores of 50+ were 15 by Inzamam, followed by 14 (Mushtaq Mohammad), 13 (Salim Malik) and 12 (Cook).

The highest averages (30 and above, minimum 20 innings batted):

Batting avg

Among current players, Cook has the highest average (just above 50). Younis Khan is close behind with 46.

Now for bowling:

The most wickets (30 and above):

Bowling-wkts

Abdul Qadir is far ahead of everyone else, including the present leaders Anderson and Broad.

Qadir also has the most fivers (8) followed by Imran and Underwood with 4. Qadir also took 4 tenners, while no one else has achieved this more than once.

Now for innings bowling (7wi and above):

Bowling-innings

Nothing outstanding in recent years, other than Ajmal’s 7-55 in 2012.

Match bowling (9wm and above):

Bowling-match

Woakes and Yasir Shah took tenners in this series, while Ajmal had done so in 2012.

Bowling averages (minimum 2000 balls bowled):

Bowling avg

This includes all 16 bowlers with the qualifying number of balls bowled. It can be seen that Anderson has the best bowling average, Iqbal Qasim the best economy and Waqar Younis the best strike rate.

Now for fielding:

Most dismissals (15 and above):

Fielding-overall

It can also be seen that Bari and Kamran have the most stumpings (4), Bari the most catches by a keeper (50) and Miandad and Younis Khan the most catches by non-keepers (20).

Best innings fielding (5 or more dismissals):

Fielding-innings

Sarfraz Ahmed achieved this during this series.

Best match fielding (6 or more dismissals)

Fielding-match

Bairstow and Sarfraz Ahmed appear here from this series. Also note that Greig and Hick took 6 catches as non-keepers.

Dismissal rate (minimum 20 innings and 0.500 dismissals/inning):

Fielding-avg

Mohammad Hafeez has the highest rate among current players, followed by Younis Khan.

All-round performances:

Overall (see criteria in table):

AR-overall

Botham clearly leads Intikhab here. Imran Khan does not seem to have played enough against England.

Match all-round performances (at least one 50+ and one 5wi):

AR-match

Imran and Botham appear here, along with Qadir with an unusual fifty plus 10wm. Botham scored a century and took 8wi in 1978.

 

 

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Rail Quiz no 3

Today we move to the railways of Pakistan.

Mardan-2

This station serves a small city in Khyber-Pakhtunwa (formerly NWFP). Today the city may be famous for a leading cricketer who was born there:

http://www.espncricinfo.com/england-v-pakistan-2016/content/current/player/43652.html

Also see this article: http://www.radiotnn.com/mardan-railway-stations-reopening-not-possible-in-near-future/

The station has not seen any train traffic since 2007. But once it held an unusual record for the railways of South Asia. What was this record?

If you can’t think of the answer right away, read the above article again and also check its location on Google Maps etc. (No, this has nothing to do with Abbottabad and its most famous resident).

Souroshankha Maji got it right-Mardan was, for many years, the northern-most junction in South Asia. This will be apparent from the map of the “Pakistan Western Railway” which probably dates from the mid-60s, when the railway network was virtually at full strength. The closure of lines started some years ago, starting with the minor branch lines in Sind and the NG lines close to the Afghan borders.

PWR in 1969

(From “Couplings to the Khyber”, PSA Berridge, 1969)

(Note: the metre gauge lines are not shown distinctly in this map, though the narrow gauge lines are. At that time the MG lines ran from Hyderabad (or maybe Mirpur Khas) to Khokhropar, the Jamrao-Pithoro loop and Mirpur Khas to Nawabshah.)

As you can see, Durgai was then the northernmost station in South Asia. It did exist prior to partition, so it was the northernmost station in British India as well. The Mardan-Charsadda branch was built in the 1950s, making Mardan the northern-most junction in South Asia.

Since around 2000 the Nowshera-Durgai and Mardan-Charsadda branches have been closed-even though Mardan is the second largest town in Khyber-Pakhtunwa, ahead of better-known places such as Abbottabad. A study of the current Pakistan timetable shows that the branch from Attock City Jn to Basal Jn is still open, thus making Attock City Jn (formerly Campbellpur Jn) the northern-most junction in South Asia. Next would be Taxila Cantt Jn (formerly Taxila Jn) which still has a branch to Havelian.

Nowshera (formerly a junction) would appear to be the northern-most station in Pakistan today, considering that the Peshawar-Landi Kotal line has been closed for several years.

In the mean time Sopore (followed by the larger Baramulla) have become the northern-most stations in South Asia. However, the Kashmir valley line is not yet linked to the rest of the Indian Railways network, whose northernmost point remains at Katra, with the slightly larger town of Udhampur a little further south.

Udhampur was the terminus for several years, but theĀ  station has rather primitive facilities compared to Katra’s showpiece station.

And this is the southern end of the Kashmir valley railway, close to the 11 km long Pir Panjal tunnel.

Banihal

 

 

The rail tunnel in Baluchistan which appeared on a currency note

The Khojak tunnel on the way from Quetta to Chaman on the Afghan border was one of the earlier marvels of railway engineering in British India. Opened in 1892, it was 12,870 feet long (2.44 miles/3.92 km) and was the longest rail tunnel in South Asia until the Konkan Railway came along over a century later.

The location of most lines in Baluchistan can be seen here: (Kandahar is a little beyond the border at Chaman).

Bolan

The story of the alternative routes to Quetta is a long and complicated one and will have to wait till another day. Suffice to say that that the Bolan route involved gradients of 1:25 for several miles which was far more severe than any BG or MG main line anywhere else in undivided India. And double tracks were also used because of the slow speeds although there was little passenger traffic north of Quetta.

You may note a station called Hindubagh on the NG line to Fort Sandeman. As you may guess, it became Muslimbagh while the terminus became Zhob before the line closed around 1990.

You can also see the long lonely line to Zahidan in Iran starting off from Spezand. With luck, it has been running passenger trains twice a month for the last few years.

The southern end of the Khojak tunnel started near Shelabagh station. Note the double line though the tunnel.

Khojak

And this scene appeared on earlier Pakistani currency notes:

Pak note Khojak

(This note was in circulation from 1976 to 2005.)

A longer article about this tunnel can be seen here:

http://pakistaniat.com/2006/12/18/railways-khojak-tunnel/

This site (which became inactive in 2011) contains a number of other articles about Pakistan’s railways by Owais Mughal.