Azhar’s milestone year, Bird’s MCG love

Azhar Ali became the fifth Pakistan batsman to score over 1000 Test runs in a year © ESPNcricinfo Ltd

5 Pakistan players with 1000 or more Test runs in a year, including Azhar Ali who got to the mark on Tuesday with his unbeaten 139. He emulated Mohsin Khan (1982), Inzamam-ul-Haq (2000), Mohammad Yousuf (2006) and Younis Khan (2006 & 2014), and is one run short of the third-highest tally (1090) by a Pakistan batsman in a year.

26 years since a Pakistan batsman at No. 6 or lower struck two 50-plus scores in a series in Australia. Wasim Akram (52 and 123) did so in 1990. Asad Shafiq (137 and 50) has done so in 2016.

5 Azhar’s position on the list of highest scores by Pakistan openers in Australia. At the top is Mazid Khan with 158 at the MCG in 1972-73. The six best scores by Pakistan batsman in Australia have all been made at the MCG or in Adelaide.

3 Times, in as many innings, that Misbah-ul-Haq has been picked up by Jackson Bird in this series. Misbah has scored only four runs off Bird in 31 deliveries and averages 1.33 against him, his worst against a bowler who has dismissed him more than once in a series.

17.80 Bird’s bowling average in first-class matches at the MCG, his best at a venue where he has played more than one match. He has 30 wickets in six games here. In this series, he has picked up nine wickets so far, the most by a bowler from either side.

51 Threes run by Pakistan batsmen in four innings, which is already their joint-highest in a series since 2001. They ran 33 threes in the first Test, all while chasing 490, and 18 so far in second. They also ran 51 threes in four innings against Australia in 2014-15.

55 Runs made by Pakistan in the last ten overs before rain stopped play on the second day. In the process, their overall run-rate went past three for the first time in the innings. Azhar and Mohammad Amir are in the middle of an unbroken partnership of 42 runs for the seventh wicket, scoring at 6.46 per over.


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