Pakistan’s middle-order batter, Saud Shakeel, showcased his exceptional batting skills in the ongoing first Test match against Sri Lanka at Galle. With an unbeaten century, Shakeel played a crucial role in steering his team from a precarious position of 101 for 5 to a commanding total of 381 for 8. This remarkable innings not only helped Pakistan recover but also earned Shakeel the distinction of holding the record for the most aggregate career runs by a Pakistani after the first 11 innings of his Test career.
Shaking up the Innings: Saud Shakeel’s Heroics
In a match full of twists and turns, Saud Shakeel’s left-handed batting proved to be the saving grace for Pakistan. The 27-year-old batter exhibited incredible resilience and skill, scoring an unbeaten 161 runs off 254 balls, which included 15 boundaries. His brilliant knock turned the tide in Pakistan’s favor and ensured a strong first-innings total.
Making History: Record-breaking Performance
When Saud Shakeel reached 141 runs, he surpassed Abdullah Shafique’s record of 720 runs in the first 11 innings of his career. Shakeel’s aggregate runs now stand at 743, making him the highest-scoring Pakistani batsman in the initial phase of his Test career. The accomplishment is a testament to Shakeel’s talent and potential, solidifying his position as a valuable asset for the national team.
A Trailblazing Start: Shakeel’s Half-Century Streak
Adding another feather to his cap, Saud Shakeel became the fifth player in the history of red-ball cricket to score six half-centuries in his first six Test matches. This exceptional feat further highlights Shakeel’s consistency and adaptability in the longest format of the game. If he manages to score a half-century in the second Test match, Shakeel will etch his name in history as the only batter to achieve seven fifty-plus scores in his first seven matches.
A Glimpse of the Current Match Situation
As the first Test continues to unfold, Pakistan finds themselves in a promising position, leading by 77 runs with two wickets in hand. Saud Shakeel remains unbeaten on his magnificent score of 161, while Naseem is providing support with 1 run to his name. The team’s fighting spirit, combined with Shakeel’s heroics, has set the stage for a potential victory.
A Stellar Partnership: Shakeel and Agha Shine
Throughout his innings, Saud Shakeel received valuable support from Salman Ali Agha, who played a crucial role in Pakistan’s recovery. Agha’s fantastic knock of 83 runs off 113 balls, including nine boundaries and a six, complemented Shakeel’s efforts splendidly. The partnership between Shakeel and Agha proved instrumental in propelling Pakistan to a formidable total.