Misbah-ul-Haq and the golden robot

It’s a difficult gear change from second to 14th, but today Misbah-ul-Haq managed it. Doctor Deadbat transformed into Professor Pulverise and equalled Viv Richards’ record for the fastest-ever Test hundred off 56 balls.

For some batsmen, quick scoring is a numbers game. They play aggressively all the time and a handful of their innings come off. What’s far more impressive is when it’s a one-off. Misbah’s innings is pretty much the only fast-scoring attempt he’s ever attempted. Likewise the fifth-fastest Test hundred, Shivnarine Chanderpaul’s 69-ball effort also against Australia. That was another cracker. En route to his hundred, Misbah also took the record for the fastest Test fifty after going three better than Jacques Kallis’s 24-ball effort against Zimbabwe.

As much as we love Shahid Afridi, you can keep your Gilchrists and your Gayles. These are the innings we value. The inexplicable ones.

A major contributor to this innings was Steve Smith. As a bowler, Smith certainly has a golden arm (he dismissed Younus Khan in this innings). However, quite often that golden arm appears to be part of a golden robot who is employed as a waiter in a Michelin-starred restaurant. It’s not buffet bowling. It’s more accommodating than that. Fours and sixes are presented on a silver salver.

Misbah took 38 off 11 Smith deliveries today, but that isn’t intended to diminish his achievement. It’s just an observation. He still had to play the shots and those shots are certainly worth watching. Cricket Australia have thoughtfully uploaded a video of all the boundaries. Watch out for the straight sixes. They’re eerily similar to each other.

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17 Appeals

  1. A search for posts about Misbah Ul-Haq shows them to be almost entirely from 2007 when he was a slightly above age, slightly above mediocre test player who was soon dropped. His record-breaking, all-conquering, nation-inspiring run as captain following the 2010 collapse of Pakistani cricket has drawn little comment.

    I’m sure this says something about KC’s psyche but I’m working on what.

  2. Misbah’s problem is the middle gear in ODIs. He could always hit 6rs. Dangerous finisher in T20.

  3. Am I the only one disappointed that another statistical brick from the legendary Palace of Kallis has crumbled?

  4. Ritesh Banglani

    November 3, 2014 at 4:38 am

    A golden robot holding a silver salver? My eyes hurt just imagining that.

  5. Lancashire relegated, England “in transition” (i.e. crap), Wigan robbed, England RL robbed (yesterday), football still existing… the whole of my sporting world is doom and gloom at the moment.

    I wonder if there is anywhere I can turn for some succour, some small crumb of comfort to help me through the day, even if the pleasure I might get from this place is in reality a bit shameful, being rooted more in other people’s pain than in my teams’ glory. Let’s have a look at a random article on Cricinfo to see if anything there might help:

    “In the UAE, the Australian bowlers have collectively picked up 20 wickets across the series at an average of 80.15 per wicket. Never in their 137-year Test history have Australia leaked so many runs per wicket in a series, including one-off Tests. Never have they even come close.

    It is nearly twice as bad as when they were crushed 4-0 last year in India, where each breakthrough cost them 43.80 runs. It is worse than India’s worst, than Pakistan’s worst, than England’s worst, than West Indies’ worst, and much worse than South Africa’s worst. They have been so toothless it is hard to imagine they ever had teeth at all.”

    Mmmm, ain’t life grand.

  6. Any chance that we can import some UAE soil for the Ashes? And some Pakistani spinners?

    • We tried something a bit like that at Trent Bridge in 2013 and almost came a cropper.

      Beating the Aussies on home soil would seem a little more convincing if we were to beat them…

      …on home soil.

      As for Bert’s mood boosting posting above – on a grey, rainy autumn Monday, with heaps of work and no first class cricket in sight again for some while, we should surely raise a cheer to Bert for lifting our spirits.

      I knew the Aussies had been thrashed, but the sheer record-breaking nature of the demolition, at the hands of Pakistan’s second string (bowling at least) is surely cause for some glee. In the modern vernacular, the Aussies have suffered an epic fail.

  7. Mark Ramprakash (test average 27) has been appointed as England’s batting coach. I wonder what specific skills he will bring to the role. To quote directly from his entry on Cricinfo:

    “Ramprakash finally did what he hadn’t done for England: he conquered his nerves, came out of his shell and rose to the big occasion, scoring a perfect 40 for his salsa in the final. And he did it in a range of slinky shirts with not many buttons done up.”

    Ah, I see.

    • Style, rhythm, and a test average in the twenties? Are we sure he’s not been appointed as the West Indies’ batting coach instead?

    • “slinky shirts with not many buttons done up”…

      …Ramprakash is the very antithesis of Alec Stewart.

  8. I like Smith’s bowling. Obviously hasn’t done well (or looked like it) so far but I think he can be decent. In fact I like the look of his bowling more than most leggies I can think of. It’s just a question of pitching it on a better length every now and then. If nothing else I expect him to bowl some really good mini-spells over the next few years (or whatever). He’s the Phil Hughes of legspin.

  9. Nice little story of a guy who only hit 6 sixes in his entire first Class career:-

    The match was played in the Blue Mountains town of Blackheath between a Blackheath XI and a Lithgow XI to commemorate the opening of the Blackheath wicket. Bradman and his New South Wales teammate Oscar Wendell-Bill were guests of the Blackheath Team.
    In total, Bradman made 256 including 14 sixes and 29 fours. Midway through the innings Lithgow brought on Bill Black, who had bowled Bradman for 52 in a Kippax XI match at Lithgow in September, 1931.
    Over the next three overs Bradman’s scoring shots were:
    1st Over 6 6 4 2 4 4 6 1 (33)
    2nd Over 6 4 4 6 6 4 6 4 (40)
    3rd Over 1 6 6 1 1 4 4 6 (27) & 2 to Wendell Bill.

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