Years and years of neglect endured by Fawad from various selection committees will always be talked about whenever he achieves something special. History repeated itself as Fawad scored a century on his first Test at the National Stadium, Karachi having accomplished the same feat on his maiden first-class appearance on this very ground in 2007. As the cricket fraternity celebrated Fawad’s excellent innings, seething regret and anger was directed at those who kept the 35-year-old away from performing at the highest level.
It took Fawad 4,218 days between Test centuries as the last one he scored was way back in 2009 when he hit 168 on Test debut against Sri Lanka while opening the innings. Since then Alam has played just six Tests having made a comeback in 2020. Only Warren Bardsley (5,093) and Mushtaq Ali (4,544) have a longer gap between two Test centuries. Fawad’s century is also the only one by a Pakistan batsman in the fourth innings of a Test in New Zealand. There are nine batsmen who have played more than 250 deliveries in the fourth innings after coming in to bat at No. 5 or below. Only five faced have more than the 269 that Alam did. The last player to achieve this feat was Moeen Ali against Sri Lanka in Leeds. Only six players have achieved this in New Zealand and just two since the turn of the century.
380 balls faced by Alam and Mohammad Rizwan during their 165-run partnership was the second-longest stand for Pakistan in Tests where ball details are available. The highest is still Shan Masood and Younis Khan’s 400 deliveries faced against Sri Lanka in 2015. There are three partnerships that have added more runs than Rizwan and Fawad’s 165 in the fourth innings for the fifth wicket in Tests. This is also the second-highest stand by a Pakistan pair away from home in the fourth innings and the fourth-highest by any pair in New Zealand. Pakistan have played more overs only on three other occasions in their Test history and only once did they manage to draw the game though. TW