In an extraordinary display of talent and consistency, Saud Shakeel, the Pakistani batsman, etched his name in the cricket record books during the second Test against Sri Lanka on Wednesday. Shakeel achieved a remarkable feat by becoming the first player in Test history to score 50 or more runs in each of his first seven matches.
Before Shakeel’s feat, the likes of Sunil Gavaskar (India), Saeed Ahmed (Pakistan), Basil Butcher (West Indies), and Bert Sutcliffe (New Zealand) had managed to score half-centuries in their first six Tests of their career, but none could match Shakeel’s consecutive seven.
Last week, Shakeel’s talent shone brightly as he secured his maiden double century in Tests, making him the first Pakistani batsman to accomplish this feat on Sri Lankan soil.
However, during the third day of the second Test, Shakeel’s impressive innings was cut short by Sri Lanka’s Asitha Fernando, who dismissed him on 57 during the afternoon session. This breakthrough took Fernando’s wicket tally to three.
Despite this setback, Pakistan’s batsmen put up a strong performance, with Abdullah Shafique scoring his maiden double century and Agha Salman remaining unbeaten on 132. Their brilliant batting effort allowed Pakistan to reach 563-5 at stumps, securing a commanding lead of 397 runs in their first innings at Colombo’s Sinhalese Sports Club.
Salman, in particular, showcased aggressive cricket, in line with Pakistan’s new playing style in this series, and reached his second Test century with a boundary.
Unfortunately, the match also saw wicketkeeper-batsman Sarfaraz Ahmed retire hurt after feeling dizzy, possibly due to a blow he received on his helmet from Fernando’s delivery. He was substituted by Mohammad Rizwan.
Shafique had an outstanding match, surpassing 150 runs for the second time against Sri Lanka and surpassing his previous Test best of 160 not out.
Pakistan resumed the day on 178-2 after Tuesday’s play was disrupted by rain, but they resumed their innings with determination and skill.
Overall, the second Test proved to be an exciting encounter for cricket fans, with individual brilliance and team effort on display. Pakistan’s previous victory in the first Test of the series by four wickets has set the stage for an intriguing and competitive tour.