Fawad the folaad
Pakistan’s middle-order batsman Fawad Alam has brought up a career-defining Test century against New Zealand at Bay Oval in Mount Maunganui on Wednesday. Though the tourists lost the match by 101 runs but Fawad Alam’s 102-run innings proved that he was the main resistance who stood like a rock against the ever-testing New Zealand bowling attack.
The Pakistani side was in dire straits at Mount Maunganui, crumbling to 4/75 in pursuit of 373 runs for an unlikely victory in the fourth innings.
But Fawad Alam combined with newly-appointed captain Mohammad Rizwan survived more than 63 overs at the crease together in a gritty 165-run partnership.
Alam made his Test debut way back in 2009, plundering a century in the second innings against Sri Lanka. But the left-hander was dropped after three matches, and was not given another opportunity at Test level until earlier this year.
Alam scored 30 first-class centuries in the 4,188 days between his two Test tons.
MOST DAYS BETWEEN TEST 100s
5093 — Warren Bardsley (AUS), 1912-1926
4544 — Syed Mushtaq Ali (IND), 1936-1949
4188 — Fawad Alam (PAK), 2009-2020
Fawad Alam:— ICC (@ICC) December 30, 2020
1st Test hundred 👉 13 July, 2009
2nd Test hundred 👉 30 December, 2020
Never give up 💪 pic.twitter.com/3Iu9pvDQ2I
Fawad Alam is a genuine middle-order batsman. They made him open on Test debut in SL and he scored a 100. In next series, they put him at 3 in NZ cos seniors Yousuf & Malik didn't want to move up. Fawad failed and dropped for 10 years. He's playing this Test cos Babar is injured.— Mazher Arshad (@MazherArshad) December 30, 2020
Just want to ask those who ignored Fawad Alam for eleven years. Isn’t it a shame? It’s not the hundred, just see the meaning, the purpose behind it. Guts, self belief & commitment reflected. Not replying but still Fawad is asking a question. Why was he ignored?— Dr. Nauman Niaz (@DrNaumanNiaz) December 30, 2020
Since making his first-class debut in 2003, Alam has compiled 12,724 runs in the game’s longest format.
Alam made headlines during the Test series against England in August for his unorthodox batting stance.
As the bowler runs in, Alam faces his opponent front on before adjusting into a more traditional stance at the last second.
It’s undeniably bizarre, yet the Black Caps were unable to penetrate his defence for 269 deliveries.
Alam was eventually removed by New Zealand paceman Neil Wagner for 102, gloving a short ball through to the wicketkeeper.
The dismissal set up a thrilling conclusion at Bay Oval, with the hosts needing four wickets from the final 22 overs to secure victory. But the Black Caps managed to snare the last scalp with less than five overs remaining in the day, ending a thrilling contest.
But the match belonged to Fawad Alam who stood like a folaad (iron) against the tricky New Zealand attack for so long. Though he could not take his side to win or safety but still he was able to demonstrate that Pakistan would not give up easily.
For hosts, after dominating the Test match in the early days finally realised that it was not a cakewalk as they would have earlier thought.