KARACHI: Shoaib Malik’s fairytale comeback to Test cricket after a five-year hiatus couldn’t have been more significant as the 33-year-old right-hander became the sixth Pakistan batsman to score a double century against England.
Resuming Wednesday’s second day of the first Test in Abu Dhabi, Malik converted his overnight score of 124 into a colossal 245 before his marathon 10½ hours innings came to an end after tea.
In seventy five Pakistan-England Tests so far, only 10 multiple individual hundreds have been scored with the list overwhelmingly dominated by Pakistanis who have hit eight double centuries.
Zaheer Abbas, who earned the famous Asian Bradman title after becoming the first man from this country to make a double century against England in 1971, and Mohammad Yousuf, are the only Pakistan batsmen to score two double centuries against England.
Zaheer’s maiden appearance against the Englishmen at Edgbaston saw the elegant right-hander plunder a memorable 274, which is still the highest score for Pakistan against England and overall, the second best individual effort after England’s Denis Compton who amassed 278 at Trent Bridge against A.H. Kardar’s 1954 touring team in only the second Test between these two countries.
Three years later in 1974, Zaheer was at it again as he played a flawless innings of 240 at The Oval during Pakistan’s unbeaten tour under the leadership of Intikhab Alam.
Yousuf emulated Zaheer’s feat by amassing 223 at Lahore in England’s last tour of Pakistan in 2005 before making 202 in 2006 at Lord’s during a golden period when he eclipsed the great Viv Richards’ record of most Test runs (1710) in a calendar year by piling up 1788.
Apart from Zaheer and Yousuf, Mohsin Khan, Javed Miandad and Aamir Sohail — the only left-hander in this list — had hitherto made double tons against England before Malik, while England’s only other double century against Pakistan was made by their captain Ted Dexter, who struck 205 at Lahore in 1962.
Double centuries in Pakistan-England Tests:
278 — D.C.S. Compton (England) at Trent Bridge, 1954
274 — Zaheer Abbas (Pakistan) at Edgbaston, 1971
260 — Javed Miandad (Pakistan) at The Oval, 1987
245 — Shoaib Malik (Pakistan) at Abu Dhabi, 2015
240 — Zaheer Abbas (Pakistan) at The Oval, 1974
223 — Mohammad Yousuf (Pakistan) at Lahore, 2005
205 — E.R. Dexter (England) at Karachi, 1962
205 — Aamir Sohail (Pakistan) at Old Trafford, 1992
202 — Mohammad Yousuf (Pakistan) at Lord’s, 2006
200 — Mohsin Khan (Pakistan) at Lord’s, 1982
Published in Dawn, October 15th , 2015