Misbah-ul-Haq is cricket’s new master blaster, after equalling West Indian legend Viv Richards’ record for the fastest-ever Test century.
The Pakistan captain equalled Richards’ 56-ball effort against England in 1986, edging Mitchell Starc to the third-man boundary to reach triple figures.
En route to the phenomenal achievement, Misbah also broke the record for fastest Test 50 in terms of balls (21) and minutes (23), eclipsing South African allrounder Jacques Kallis and Bangladesh’s Mohammad Ashraful respectively.
The 40-year-old cut his pursuit of history super fine; he was 92 from 54, needing eight runs off two balls to share the record with Richards.
But as he had done throughout a remarkable innings, he delivered, sending Starc over midwicket for four before his swipe to leg collected the edge of his blade and streaked away to the third-man fence, sending the normally reserved veteran into celebration mode.
Quick Single: Pakistan v Australia day four scorecard
Misbah, better known for his patience and ice-cold temperament, now has bragging rights over some of the game’s biggest hitters who had previously come closest to Richards’ record, including Adam Gilchrist (57 balls), David Warner (69) and Chris Gayle (70).
Video: Glorious Gilchrist at the WACA
The whirlwind knock included 11 fours and five sixes, as he hit handsomely down the ground off both pace and spin alike to record a phenomenal strike rate of 178.57.
At one point, 22 runs came from four Steve Smith deliveries, Misbah launching three sixes and a boundary to accelerate his innings into overdrive on the flat Abu Dhabi pitch.
Australia will rue a missed chance early in Misbah’s innings, when the right-hander was dropped second ball by Peter Siddle off Smith with only four runs next to his name.
Misbah and Azhar Ali (100 notout) also became just the second teammates in Test history to record two hundreds in the same match – the previous two to do so being Ian and Greg Chappell against New Zealand in 1974.
Congrats to Misbah on joining the original Master Blaster, Sir Viv with 56 ball Test Century.— Adam Gilchrist (@gilly381) November 2, 2014