One of Pakistan’s batting legend, Hanif Mohammad, succumbed to age-related illnesses at the age of 81 on August 11. Born in Junagadh in Gujarat, India, Hanif represented Pakistan in 55 Tests from 1952 to 1969. He scored an impressive tally of 3915 runs with 12 hundreds and 15 fifties at an average of 43.98. He is best remembered for his 337 against the mighty West Indies at Bridgetown in the 1957-58 season. Only a year later, he scored that famous 499 in first-class cricket before being run-out. Hanif’s score stood as a record until Brian Lara broke it with his 501 in the mid-90s.
Here’s a look at some of Hanif’s best knocks as a tribute.
337 vs West Indies at Bridgetown in January 1958: The Pakistan legend scored a triple ton in the most amazing of circumstances. Batting first, West Indies amassed 579 with tons from Conrad Hunte and Everton Weekes. In reply, Pakistan were bowled over for merely 106. A West Indies victory seemed a mere formality, but little did they knew what Hanif had in store. Opening the batting he occupied the crease for a humungous 970 minutes, and hit 24 fours in his priceless 337. The other opener Imtiaz Ahmed contributed 91, and Saeed Ahmed 65.
203 not out vs New Zealand at Lahore in April 1965: This time, Hanif got a double hundred batting first. Pakistan were in trouble at 62 for 4, but Hanif walked in and made things better for his team. He remained unbeaten on 203, having batted out in the middle for 445 minutes, and hit as many as 33 fours. Majid Khan chipped in with 80. For New Zealand, Barry Sinclair’s 130 ensured that the Test ended in a draw.
187 not out vs England at Lord’s in July 1967: Hanif scored 187 not out after England had made 369 thanks to Ken Barrington’s 148. While the top and middle order again crumbled, with Pakistan finding themselves in deep strife at 139 for 7. But, Hanif again kept the opponents at bay, ending unbeaten on 187, having batted for 542 minutes, with 21 fours. He got good support from Asif Iqbal, who chipped in with 76 from 197 balls. The match again ended in a draw.
160 vs India at Mumbai (Brabourne) in December 1960: Hanif starred in the show as Pakistan batted first against arch-rivals India. This time, he opened the innings, and made 160, having batted for 380 minutes with 17 fours. His innings eventually came to an end with a run out. He was out for a duck in the second innings, but both teams had done enough to secure a draw.
--By A Cricket Analyst