“Hasan Ali and Yasir Shah finished with individual bowling figures of 5 for 45 and 5 for 110 respectively and thus joined the elite list of bowling pairs with individual five-fors in a single Test innings”
There are many phenomena in cricket that are quite rare and happen only once in a while. Two bowlers claiming individual five-wicket hauls in a single innings of a Test match is one of those rare occurrences.
However, fans around the world were blessed to see such an instance of splendid bowling on Sunday, as Hasan Ali and Yasir Shah forced the Kiwis into the submission with individual five-wicket hauls, on Day 3 of the first Test of the series at Abu Dhabi. Their combined feats made it the 53rd instance that such an event was being recorded in the history of Test cricket.
The last time something similar happened was when the Bangladeshi bowlers Shahadat Hossain and Shakib Al Hasan ran through the Indian batting lineup in the first innings of the Chittagong Test back in January, 2010. So it took eight more years for us to witness yet another bowling pair achieving such a unique feat.
The match was very well poised in the morning of the third day as New Zealand began on an overnight score of 56/1 with Jeet Raval and Kane Williamson at the crease. They were cruising on nicely as both batsmen seemed well set at the crease once again after starting over. But Yasir Shah produced a stunning delivery from nowhere and squared Williamson up.
The delivery pitched on a good length towards middle and off stump as Williamson tried to defend it off the back-foot. But the delivery turned just enough to beat the outside edge of his willow and castle his off-stump. There were no words to describe that brilliant piece of bowling by Shah and the kiwi skipper had to return back to the pavilion in disbelief.
It was then Hasan Ali’s turn to prove his mettle as he sent Ross Taylor and Jeet Raval back to the pavilion in a space of four deliveries, just five overs later. It was then followed by a rescue act by the duo of BJ Watling and Henry Nicholls. They registered individual fifties and stitched together a partnership of 112 runs to dig New Zealand out of trouble.
However, Yasir Shah came on to bowl again and changed the direction in which the match was heading. He dismissed Nicholls, de Grandhomme, Watling and Neil Wagner in a space of four overs to reduce them from 220 for 4 to 227 for 8. He started it by dismissing Nicholls caught behind, followed it up with trapping Grandhomme lbw in the next over with a well deceived googly and finally completed his act by dismissing Watling lbw and cleaning up Wagner’s stumps in the over next to that. He had his five-wicket haul and looked good to pick up two more as well.
But the period was followed by a brief resistance from Ish Sodhi and Ajaz Patel who put on 22 runs for the ninth wicket. They were adding valuable runs to the Kiwi total but Ali came on to bowl and finished things off by cleaning up Sodhi first and then having Trent Boult caught by Hafeez for a duck. Ali took his fourth wicket of the day and it was his five-wicket haul as well taking into account his wicket of Tom Latham off the very first delivery he bowled towards the closing stages of the second day. Ali and Shah finished with individual bowling figures of 5/45 and 5/110 respectively and thus joined the elite list of bowling pairs with individual five-fors in a single Test innings.
Overall, it was the sixth time that two Pakistani bowlers claimed individual five-wicket hauls in a single Test innings. The last time when two Pakistani bowlers were involved in such an act was when Shoaib Akhtar and Danish Kaneria shook up the Australian team with their thunderous bowling performance at Melbourne in 2004.
|Hasan Ali, Yasir Shah||2018||5/45, 5/110||3rd||New Zealand||Abu Dhabi|
|Shoaib Akhtar, Danish Kaneria||2004||5/109, 5/125||2nd||Australia||Melbourne|
|Wasim Akram, Waqar Younis||1993||5/45, 5/22||4th||New Zealand||Hamilton|
|Iqbal Qasim, Tauseef Ahmed||1987||5/48, 5/54||2nd||India||Bengaluru|
|Sikandar Bakht, Ehteshamuddin||1979||5/56, 5/47||1st||India||Kanpur|
|Khan Mohammad, Fazal Mahmood||1955||5/73, 5/48||2nd||India||Karachi|
Table: List of Pakistani bowlers with the unique feat of claiming individual 5-fors in a single Test innings
Other Pakistani bowling pairs to achieve a similar feat, as shown in the table above, are Wasim Akram-Waqar Younis against New Zealand in 1993, Iqbal Qasim-Tauseef Ahmed, Sikandar Bakht-Ehteshamuddin and Khan Mohammad-Fazal Mahmood against India in 1987, 1979, 1955 respectively.
|Team||Instances of double 5-fors in a single Test innings|
Table: List showing teams with most number of instances of
double 5-fors in a single Test innings
Australia is the team with the most number of such instances (16) whereas England isn’t far behind with just one short of their tally. Pakistan stands at third with 6 instances followed by India (5), South Africa (4), Sri Lanka (3), New Zealand (2), West Indies (1) and Bangladesh (1).
Interestingly, this has been the only such incident recorded in this decade thus far which will finish in about 14 months time. The last decade saw bowling pairs coming up with such achievements on five occasions and the decade preceding that recorded 7.
Table: List of double five-fors in a single Test innings
recorded in each decade
Only three decades before—1921-1930, 1931-1940 and 1961-1970—have recorded only one such occurrence whereas it has always been more than two in a decade since international matches began. All thanks to Yasir Shah and Hasan Ali that we got to witness an instance in this decade, otherwise it would have been the first decade without such an instance in the history of international Test cricket.