Sarfaraz Ahmed has been the subject of quite a few memes over the course of his career. However, don’t let that mask the fact that he is one of the best — if not the best — wicket keeper-batsmen that Pakistan have ever had in Test cricket. He proved that yet again in the recently concluded series against New Zealand.
Making a comeback in Test cricket after four years, Sarfaraz proved his worth with the bat by picking up 50+ scores in each of the four innings, and was recognized as the player-of-the-series for his efforts.
His knock in the fourth innings of the second Test was the standout, as he counter-punched a marauding New Zealand attack to score 118 off 176 balls. It was solely responsible for helping Pakistan almost pull off a spectacular chase.
Sarfaraz himself rated his century as the best of his career. Coming into bat at 80 for the loss of five, he held the chase together until he became the final dismissal with the score at 287 for nine. Pakistan took the safe route from there and settled for a draw.
Sarfaraz was rightly awarded both the player-of-the-match and the series, further cementing his legacy as an elite wicket keeper-batsman in the format.
Here’s a look at three records he broke during the series to further bolster the claim that the former skipper is the greatest wicket keeper-batsman to have ever played for Pakistan.
Most runs by a Pakistani wicket keeper-batsman in a 2-Test series
Sarfaraz Ahmed’s haul of 335 runs is the most scored by a Pakistani wicket keeper-batsman in a 2-match Test series. He overtook his own haul of 265 runs vs Sri Lanka in 2014.
In fact, his tally is fourth in the list of the most runs scored by a Pakistani batsman in a 2-Test series, only bettered by Younis Khan, Mohammad Hafeez and Javed Miandad.
Highest score by a Pakistani wicket keeper-batsman in the 4th innings of a Test
Moin Khan scored an unbeaten 117 against Sri Lanka in a losing effort in 1995, which was the record for the highest score by a Pakistani wicket keeper-batsman in the 4th innings of a Test match.
The 27-year-old record was finally broken during Sarfarz Ahmed’s fantastic innings of 118 vs New Zealand. Here's a fun fact - Moin Khan was also awarded the player-of-the-series award in the 1995 series vs Sri Lanka - same as Sarfaraz’s achievement this year.
Scoring 50+ scores in every innings of a 2-Test series - Sarfaraz Ahmed has done it twice
Sarfaraz Ahmed is one of only 2 Pakistani batsmen to have scored four 50+ scores in a 2-match Test series - Taufeeq Umar being the other batsman to have achieved the feat (vs South Africa in 2003).
In fact, Sarfaraz has done this twice - once vs Sri Lanka in 2014, and now vs New Zealand in 2023.
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