Shoaib Malik is a well-known cricketer from Pakistan, who has been part of many successful campaigns with the national team. He was part of the squad that won the ICC T20 World Cup in 2009 and the ICC Champions Trophy in 2017. Despite turning 41 today, his fitness and recent form have ensured that he still has cricket left in him.
On his 41st Birthday, let’s eye at Malik’s flawless knocks adding delight to match irrespective of his age.
I. Fastest T20I Fifty against Scotland
Pakistan was already on top of their group in the T20 World Cup 2021, having won four out of five matches. The last and final group game was against Scotland and Malik led the team from the front with a scintillating knock of 54 runs off just 18 balls at a strike rate of 300. This knock earned him the title of the fastest Pakistani batter to score a T20I fifty. Malik’s entertaining innings included four boundaries and six maximums, and helped Pakistan post a score of 189-4. The green shirts went on to win the match by 72 runs.
II. 143 vs India in Asia Cup 2004
In the 10th match of the Asia Cup 2004 against arch-rivals India, Malik produced a phenomenal performance with the bat. After being put in to bat, Pakistan lost their opener Imran Nazir early in the innings. However, Malik utilized his experience and scored his ODI best of 143. He spent most of the time at the crease, playing 127 balls at a strike rate of 112.59. With Malik’s contribution, Pakistan posted a massive 300-9 in their innings and went on to win the match by 59 runs. To add to his already impressive performance, Malik also took two wickets in that match and helped restrict India to 241-8 in 50 overs.
III. 51* vs Afghanistan in Asia Cup 2018
In a crucial match in the Asia Cup 2018 in the UAE against Afghanistan, Pakistan was set to chase 258 runs in 50 overs. They got off to a good start with Imam-ul-Haq and Babar Azam scoring 154 runs together, but later on, the team lost a couple of quick wickets, putting pressure on them. However, Malik rose to the occasion and rescued Pakistan with a fighting fifty. He remained not out on 51 runs off 43 balls, including three boundaries and a six, and helped Pakistan secure a three-wicket victory.
IV. 245 vs England in Test (2015)
In the elite format of the game, Malik’s best performance came against England in Abu Dhabi in 2015. After being put in to bat, Pakistan scored 523-8d, with Malik contributing the highest score of 245 runs. His innings was laced with 24 boundaries and four maximums. Malik also partnered with opener Mohammad Hafeez to add 168 runs to the score, after Shan Masood walked off earlier. The Test match eventually ended in a draw.
V. 148* vs Sri Lanka in Test (2006)
In the first Test of the series against Sri Lanka in 2006, Malik stunned the home team with his performance. Pakistan was batting in their second innings and had to bat for at least 120 overs to save the match. Malik, who was then playing as an opener, stood up for his team and played for 121 overs, scoring 148 not-out off 369 balls, including 21 boundaries and two sixes. With Malik’s contribution, Pakistan scored 337-4 at stumps on the last day and drew the match.
Shoaib Malik has been a consistent performer for Pakistan throughout his career and has produced many memorable knocks. He may have turned 41 today, but his fitness and recent form show that he still has a lot more to do.
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