Pakistan left-arm spinner Nauman Ali entered the record books on Friday as he became the oldest debutant in 71 years to claim a five-wicket haul in a Test match.
Nauman Ali (34 years and 114 days) claimed sensational figures of 5 for 35 in 25.3 overs in the second innings of the first Test against South Africa at Karachi. New Zealand’s Fen Creswell (34 years and 146 days) holds the record for being the oldest cricketer to claim a five-wicket haul on debut. He achieved the record against England at The Oval in August 1949.
With his effort, Nauman Ali also became the 12th Pakistan bowler, and the first left-arm spinner, to take a 5-wicket haul on Test debut.
Thanks to the 34-year-old’s brilliant bowling, Pakistan bowled out South Africa for 245 in their second innings, leaving the hosts a modest total of 88 to chase and clinch the Test.
Nauman Ali dismissed South Africa’s top-scorer Aiden Markram for 74 and returned to clean up the tail, sending back George Linde, Kagiso Rabada, Anrich Nortje and Temba Bavuma to complete a memorable five-wicket haul.
Earlier, Nauman Ali became Pakistan’s fourth oldest Test debutant when he stepped on to the field.Miran Bakhsh (47 years and 284 days) is the oldest ever Test cricketer to play for Pakistan, followed by Zulfiqar Babar (34 years and 308 days), and Mohammad Aslam (34 years and 177 days ).
Nauman Ali and Fawad Alam: Pakistan’s oldies make a mark
While Nauman Ali has made a sensational Test debut, 35-year-old batsman Fawad Alam is also making an impression for Pakistan, returning to the team after a gap of over a decade.
Alam also scored 109 in the first innings of the first Test against South Africa in Karachi on Wednesday.
The left-handed batsman made 168 on his Test debut against Sri Lanka in Colombo back in July 2009. However, he soon lost his place in the Test team, and only made a comeback last year.
Alam’s next Test ton came against New Zealand at Mount Maunganui in December 2020. He registered his second Test hundred after 4188 days. This is the longest gap between Test hundreds for any player, excluding breaks caused by wars.
With his third Test hundred, Alam also created an unique record becoming the only batsman other than England’s Ravi Bopara to have scored three Test tons without a fifty.