Thursday, December 26, 2013

Record Breaking Series for Shehzad, Hafeez, and Pakistan!

Pakistan sealed their second successive ODI series win after defeating Sri Lanka comprehensively by 8 wickets in the 4th ODI.

It was Sri Lanka's tormentor-in-chief, the one and only, Pakistan's professor Mohammad Hafeez who once again notched up an unbeaten century, his third of the series, to take Pakistan to a comfortable victory with over 8 overs to spare.

A Pakistan innings without Misbah walking out to the middle has been a rarity for a long time considering the number of times he has had to save Pakistan from a collapse. Last night, it happened for the second time in 4 ODIs thanks to the tremendous form that Mohammad Hafeez and Ahmed Shehzad have been in.

Hafeez' has had a rollicking year in ODIs during which he has knocked 5 centuries, more than what he managed in his previous 9 years of international cricket (ODIs only).

The Pakistanis have established many interesting feats during this series that they have dominated.

1. Misbah overtook Virat Kohli as the leading run scorer in ODIs this year. His tally of 1,322 runs is well ahead of Kohli and with 1 ODI to go against Sri Lanka he can gain a significant lead and end the year as highest run scorer in ODIs.

2. The only man who can overtake Misbah is his Vice Captain, Hafeez, whose third century in four ODIs has taken his tally for the year to 1,260 runs.

3. Hafeez became only the 6th batsman overall and 2nd Pakistani batsman to score 3 centuries in a bilateral ODI series. He has scores of 122, 140*, and 113* in this series.

4. Hafeez has hit 5 centuries in ODIs this year, which is the most ODI centuries hit in 2013. Shikhar Dhawan also has 5. Hafeez has 1 more innings left and is in with a chance to break several more records.

5. Ahmed Shehzad scored his 4th ODI century in the 2nd ODI of the series against Sri Lanka. At 22 years and 26 days, Shehzad became the youngest Pakistani batsman to hit 4 ODI centuries, beating Salman Butt's record of reaching the feat at the age of 23 years and 35 days.

6. Ahmed Shehzad also became the fastest Pakistani batsman to hit 4 ODI centuries when he got there in only his 37th ODI innings, beating Saeed Anwar's record who hit his 4th ODI century in his 38th innings.

7. Both Ahmed Shehzad and Mohammad Hafeez started this series with their career batting averages below 30. Now they average 33.39 and 30.95 respectively.

8. When Pakistan won the 3rd ODI of the series against Sri Lanka, it was their 78th ODI win at the Sharjah Cricket Stadium. They equalled the record for most victories on a single ground, which is held by Australia with 78 wins at the Sydney Cricket Ground.

Interestingly, both Pakistan and Australia have a W:L ratio of 2.10 at the respective cricket grounds.

Pakistan's record reads: P 116, W 78, L 37, T 1; While Australia's reads P 120, W 78, L 37, NR 5!

Let's wait for Friday and see what more Shehzad, Hafeez, and Pakistan can achieve.

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