Rawalpindi Cricket Stadium: A Batting Paradise or a Bowler’s Nightmare? 5 Centuries Telling the Tale!

PSL 8 is currently in full swing, with the finals quickly approaching. One of the highlights of the tournament has been Rawalpindi, which has proven to be an ideal batting paradise. The stadium has witnessed the breaking of numerous records, with an abundance of runs and centuries scored.

History of Rawalpindi Cricket Stadium 

Step into the world of Rawalpindi Cricket Stadium – a place that has been entertaining cricket fans for almost three decades! was founded in the same year that Pakistan won the World Cup, way back in 1992. It played host to its very first match in 1993, when Zimbabwe visited Pakistan.

As the country looked towards the 1996 World Cup, Rawalpindi was chosen as the venue for the second Test match against Zimbabwe. Karachi had already hosted the country’s first Test, but it quickly became the country’s 14th Test ground.

In 2001, the stadium got a facelift with the installation of floodlights, just in time for the Australian tour of the region. However it wasn’t always a batting paradise but in its early days, it was considered to have one of the most pace-friendly pitches in the sub-continent, making it a challenge for even the best of batsmen.

What’s more, the stadium is located just 20 minutes from the country’s capital, Islamabad, and is the only proper international stadium in the region. Over the years, it has hosted several tests and ODI matches, although not a big number of international T20 matches have not been played here yet. 

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Revival of Cricket 

In 2009, the attack on the Sri Lankan team in Lahore shook the cricketing world and left Pakistan in a state of shock. It also meant that no international cricket matches were played in the country for almost a decade, leaving fans devastated. The stadium, like other grounds in the country, was left unused during this period.

However, thanks to the relentless efforts of the PCB, the country’s international cricket scene was finally revived in April 2018. The revival came with the hosting rights of the Pakistan Super League (PSL), which was a huge moment for Pakistani fans.

And it wasn’t just the fans who were happy; the players too were thrilled at the prospect of playing in front of their home crowd after such a long time. Rawalpindi was one of the grounds that was selected to host the PSL matches, and it proved to be a fantastic venue for the tournament.

The revival of the sport in Pakistan has been a huge boost for the country, and the Rawalpindi Stadium has played its part in this. Today, it stands as a symbol of the country’s resilience and determination to keep the sport alive and kicking. 

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Pakistan’s Batting Paradise: Hosting Australia and England

Rawalpindi Cricket has long been known for its pace-friendly pitch, but in a bid to neutralize the bowling prowess of the Australian team, the PCB turned it into a batter’s dream. Unfortunately, this strategy backfired spectacularly, resulting in a draw that left Pakistan humiliated in front of the world.

However, it’s important to note that things have not changed since then. Before Australia and England toured, Green Jersey played against South Africa, the wicket provided a much better balance between bat and ball. The pitch was not overly friendly to any particular type of bowling or batting, making for a more evenly contested match. 

The ground has had its fair share of ups and downs in terms of pitch conditions, and the recent England tour was no exception. On the first day of the Test match, England scored a staggering 506 runs, indicating that the pitch was once again a flat track.

While this might be disappointing for those who prefer a more even contest between bat and ball, it’s important to remember that pitch conditions can be affected by a variety of factors, including weather conditions, preparation, and maintenance.

It’s also worth noting that despite the high-scoring nature of the pitch, the match was not completely one-sided. The Green Team managed to make a comeback, with a few notable performances from their bowlers, showing that even on a pitch that favours the batsmen, good bowling can still make a difference.

Batting Paradise: PSL Season 8 

Step right up to the ultimate batting paradise, where runs flow like a river and boundaries are as common as the sun rising each day. The Pindi Stadium is undoubtedly the star of the show in this edition of the HBL PSL, playing host to a whopping 11 matches so far. And it’s not just quantity that this stadium boasts, but also quality.

In this cricketing heaven, five centuries have already been scored, with batsmen dominating the game and showing off their incredible skills. But it’s not just about individual brilliance, as teams have also been able to chase down some mammoth totals here. With scores of over 240 being chased twice and 202 once, making it the highlights of a One Day Match. This ground has shattered records left, right, and centre, with some even being broken twice! 

Multan vs Quetta – Match 29 

Pindi witnessed the record-breaking match at the batting paradise, where Multan Sultans faced off against Quetta Gladiators. Multan set a new high-scoring standard, making an astonishing 262 runs, led by Mohammad Rizwan. Quetta fought back, scoring 253 runs, creating a total of 515 runs, the highest-scoring game in the world. Usman Khan broke the fastest century record in PSL history, taking only 36 deliveries, and Abbas Afridi stole the show from Quetta Gladiators with a hat-trick and a fifer.

Multan vs Peshawar – Match 27 

In this match, the record for the fastest century was broken for the second time, with Usman Khan achieving it just two days after Riley Rossouw. However, Saim Ayub and Babar Azam played classy innings of 58 and 73, respectively, while M. Haris and Tom Kohler-Cadmore displayed power-hitting by scoring 35 and 38 off 11 and 18 balls, respectively. This led Peshawar to a total of 242. However, Rossouw stole the show by scoring 121 off 51 balls with a strike rate of 237, while Pollard also contributed with a quick-fire 52 off 26, helping Multan chase down 243. Abbas Afridi also played an important role as he notched up four wickets for his team. 

Quetta vs Peshawar – Match 25 

In this match, Babar Azam played an outstanding inning, scoring a century with 115 runs off just 65 balls, leaving the audience mesmerized. Saim Ayub also played an impressive inning, contributing 74 runs off 34 balls with a strike rate of 217. This helped Peshawar reach a total of 240 runs. However, their efforts were in vain as Jason Roy stole the show with his unbeaten 145 off just 63 balls, with a blistering strike rate of 230. Along with Roy, Hafeez, Smeed, and Guptill also played small but impactful innings to help Quetta achieve a comfortable victory.

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Islamabad vs Multan 

Islamabad, playing in their home ground didn’t upset the fans as they were able to chase a big total of 209. Shan Masood and Time David hit 75 and 60 respectively to get their team to a total of 206. But Munro, Shadab and Faheem had different plans as they scored 40, 44 and 51 getting their team over the line. 

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What to Expect From the Future? 

Rawalpindi has been turned into a batting paradise due to management issues and pitch curators. Sadly, PCB is also encouraging these types of pitches which is a reason why people, are not fully enjoying this edition of PSL. And if this continues, the ground will have to pay a huge loss and face a lot of criticism as done in Australia, England Test series. PCB needs to take rapid action on this and bring back the old glory and old pitches which has been turned into such wicket. 

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