Mohammad Yousuf’s phenomenal form with the bat during the current year continues as he plundered another fifty and a century in the 2nd test of their on going test series against West Indies. His aggregate for the current year now stands at 1562 and is just 148 runs short of Vivian Richards’s 30 yr old record of most test runs in a calendar year. With two more chances to bat in the third test, Mohammad Yousuf will be definitely looking at breaking that record and even if he falters in 190s, which denied him three double hundreds in this year, it will not stop him from achieving it.
Mohammad Yousuf is the first batsman in test cricket history to have got dismissed thrice in nervous 190s and his seventh hundred this year also equals the record for most number of centuries in a calendar year jointly held by Sir Vivian Richards and Aravinda De Silva. Like Mohammad Yousuf, Brian Lara too may aim for achieving a test record when he leads his team in the 3rd test at Karachi to become the first batsman to reach a career aggregate of 12000 test runs. With his 9th double hundred and 34th test hundred he is now just 96 runs short of that milestone.
Brian Lara’s second hundred of the series is his 34th in test cricket which puts him just one century short of Tendulkar’s all time record for most centuries in test cricket.
Brian Lara’s 216 is his 19th score of 150 or more which eclipses Don Bradman’s record of 18 scores of 150+.
Brian Lara also achieved a rare feat of registering a century before lunch of a test match day. Coming to the wicket after West Indies lost their first wicket (Chris Gayle) on day 3 of the test match Brian Lara shred Pakistan bowling attack to pieces by reaching his century of just 77 balls in the penultimate over before lunch. He scored exactly hundred runs during the session before lunch and provides the 19th such occasion. He also provides only 6th occasion of a batsman scoring century before lunch starting his innings in the same session. Four of those occasions were on the first day of a test match. Lara also becomes the first player to hit a century before lunch on two separate occasions.
Brian Lara’s hundred is the seventh fastest century in terms of number of balls received.
Shivnarine Chanderpaul’s 100th test appearance puts him in the company of 41 other test cricketers who have appeared in a century of test matches for their country. He is 8th West Indian to join the club which consists of 10 Australians, 8 Englishmen, 6 Indians, 4 Pakistanis , 3 South Africans, 2 Sri Lankans and one New Zealander.
During the course of his innings Brian Lara hit 26 runs of Danish Kaneria’s 30th over making him the first batsman in test cricket to have registered 26 or more runs in an over on two separate occasions. Brian Lara already holds the record of scoring most runs in an over in tests having hit Robin Peterson's over for 28 runs in the 1st test of the 2003/04 series at Johannesburg.
During his 2nd innings score of 191 Mohammad Yousuf reached the career milestone of 6000 test runs. He thus becomes the 44th batsman in test cricket and 3rd Pakistani after Javed Miandad and Inzamam ul Haq.
During his 2nd innings knock of 56 Younis Khan reached the career milestone of 4000 test runs. He thus becomes the 97th batsman in test cricket and 8th Pakistani to do so.
During his knock of 89 Dwayne Bravo reached the milestone of 1000 test runs. He thus becomes the 426th batsman in test cricket and 46th West Indian.
It is very rare in test cricket that three batsmen from the same side hits a half century in each innings of a test match. Its only 7th such occasion when Pakistan’s Imran Farhat ( 74 & 76) , Younis Khan (56 & 56) and Mohammad Yousuf (56 & 191) did it in the Multan Test. Last time it happened was 30 years back, and then too it involved three Pakistani batsmen against NZ at Karachi in the 3rd test of the 1976/77. However the record for most batsmen scoring fifties in each innings either from one side or from both sides was achieved in the fourth test of the 1968/69 series at Adelaide. in which as many as four batsmen from Australia, Bill Lawry (62 & 89), Keith Stackpole (62 & 50), Ian Chappell (76 & 96) and Doug Walters (110 & 50) hit a fifty in each innings. Added to that two batsmen from WI, Basil Butcher (52 & 118) and Gary Sobers (110 & 52) too did achieve the record making it only occasion when six batsmen made fifty in each innings of the same test match. Other Test matches in which three batsmen from the same team scored fifties in each innings in chornological order are England vs. Australia in the 5th Test The Oval, 1948, India vs. West Indies at Kolkata in the 3rd test 1948/49, West Indies vs. England in the 4th Test Port of Spain, 1953/54 and West Indies vs. Australia in the 4th Test at Adelaide, 1960/61.
Mohammad Yousuf with his 4th test hundred in as many matches provides 14th instance of a batsman hitting a century in four consecutive tests. Don Bradman holds the record for making it to six consecutive tests whereas South Africa’s Jacques Kallis has done it in five consecutive tests. Bradman also provides two other such instances and Ken Barrington of England and Matthew Hayden of Australia are the only other batsmen to have done so on more than one occasion. They both did it twice in their test career.
If Brian Lara and Mohammad Yousuf continue their batting success from where they left of in the second test, Karachi test promises to be a feast for all statistically minded followers of the game.