Abdullah Shafique- The Steadfast Opener Pakistan Long Searched For

Pakistan have long searched for a reliable opener but it seems like the search has come to an end with Abdullah Shafique. He is the 22-year-old batsman who has already made a mark on the cricketing world by playing only six tests in total. His appearance in PSL wearing Lahore Qalandars’ jersey had already left the aficionados quite impressed with his talent. Now, he is receiving praise from all over the world due to his exceptional batting in international cricket. 

Historic chase at Galle by the Shaheens

On 20th July 2022, Pakistan became the team to implement the highest-ever chase at Galle and the second-highest chase by the boys in green in test cricket. Moreover, it was not only the second highest chase in Sri Lanka by an away team but also the second consecutive 300+ chase by Pakistan in Sri Lanka. It wouldn’t be wrong to say that Abdullah Shafique played a huge role in making the shaheens secure a victory. 

An exceptional display of batting by Abdullah Shafique 

It was his 6th test match, and the target was to chase 342 runs in the 4th innings on a difficult pitch. Abdullah didn’t give in to the pressure and made sure his team didn’t have to go through the pain of losing an away test match. He was familiar with the pain as one of his old tweets states, “a test match loss always hurts” The right-handed batsman not only made the Pakistan cricket team cross the line but played an innings that test cricket would remember for a long time. The records are proof of it. 

The making of new records and breaking of old records

In 2015, Younis khan made 171 runs facing 47% of the balls while chasing 382. In 2022, Abdullah Shafique made 168 facing 46% of all balls. His innings, which consisted of 408 balls, included seven fours and a six. If we look at the list of names of Pakistani players who scored massive runs in a successful 4th innings run chase, Shafique has grabbed the second position while Younis Khan remains on top of the list. 

The part-time singer has only played six tests in total but has already been part of two historic matches; one at Karachi in March, where Pakistan drew the game, and one at Galle in July, where Pakistan ended up chasing the target. 

Abdullah’s stay at the wicket lasted for a total of 524 minutes which made him the first batsman in test cricket history to bat 500+ minutes in a successful effort to chase. Moreover, him facing 400 plus balls in the 4th innings made him become the 5th batsman to do so. He had an average of 118.66 in the fourth innings. It is by far the highest by any Pakistani batsman. Gordon Greenidge was the only batsman to remain not out in a successful fourth innings chase. However, the record has changed since Abdullah has done the same.

Scoring runs in test cricket is no easy task, especially if you have just made your entry in it. However, Abdullah Shafique surely is an exception as he is just behind Sunil Gavaskar, Don Bradman, and George Headley with 720 runs scored after 11 innings at an average of 80.00. If a thorough look is taken at the national records, then he tops the list as nobody in Pakistan test history has scored as many runs as him after 11 innings. 

He has left Javed Miandad (654 runs), Saeed Ahmed (619 runs), and Saeed Anwar (607 runs) behind. He also has two centuries and four half-centuries in his record. Consistency is another of his attributes that deserves acknowledgement. His individual score from all the 11 innings, which are 52, 73, 25, 44, 136*, 13, 96, 81, 27, 13, & 160, would make anybody recognize his potential. 

Appreciation from the skipper and cricket enthusiasts around the world

Since the young lad has played brilliant innings, everyone is singing his praises. The skipper, Babar Azam, who also scored a century in the test match, is also extremely proud of Abdullah’s innings. 

His remarks are as follows:

“The way Abdullah Shafique plays, so clean and with his focus, he will have many, many more such innings. I hope that he becomes one of the best openers in the world” 

Some of the tweets which appreciate his brilliance are listed below:

Abdullah would have a great future in singing, and it would not be an overstatement that he is going to have a bright future in cricket too. This means the national team’s future is in safe hands. Here’s to Pakistan’s win and Abdullah’s batting. 

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