Veteran’s 4188-day first in dream return

Pakistan batsman Fawad Alam has brought up a career-defining Test century against New Zealand at Bay Oval on Wednesday.

The tourists were in dire straits at Mount Maunganui, crumbling to 4/75 in pursuit of 373 runs for an unlikely victory in the fourth innings.

But Alam combined with newly-appointed captain Mohammad Rizwan to survive more than 63 overs at the crease together in a gritty 165-run partnership.

The 35-year-old Alam brought up his century in 236 deliveries, ending an 11-year drought in Test cricket.

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Alam made his Test debut way back in 2009, plundering a century in the second innings against Sri Lanka.

But the left-hander was dropped after three matches, and was not given another opportunity at Test level until earlier this year.

Alam scored 30 first-class centuries in the 4188 days between his two Test tons.

Fawad Alam of Pakistan.Source:Getty Images

As revealed by cricket statistician Andrew Samson, it was the third-longest drought between centuries in Test history.

MOST DAYS BETWEEN TEST CENTURIES

5093 — Warren Bardsley (AUS), 1912-1926

4544 — Syed Mushtaq Ali (IND), 1936-1949

4188 — Fawad Alam (PAK), 2009-2020

Fawad Alam:

1st Test hundred 👉 13 July, 2009
2nd Test hundred 👉 30 December, 2020

Never give up 💪 pic.twitter.com/3Iu9pvDQ2I

Fawad Alam is a genuine middle-order batsman. They made him open on Test debut in SL and he scored a 100. In next series, they put him at 3 in NZ cos seniors Yousuf & Malik didn't want to move up. Fawad failed and dropped for 10 years. He's playing this Test cos Babar is injured.

Just want to ask those who ignored Fawad Alam for eleven years. Isn’t it a shame? It’s not the hundred, just see the meaning, the purpose behind it. Guts, self belief & commitment reflected. Not replying but still Fawad is asking a question. Why was he ignored?

Since making his first-class debut in 2003, Alam has compiled 12,724 runs in the game’s longest format.

Alam made headlines during the Test series against England in August for his unorthodox batting stance.

As the bowler runs in, Alam faces his opponent front on before adjusting into a more traditional stance at the last second.

It’s undeniably bizarre, yet the Black Caps were unable to penetrate his defence for 269 deliveries.

Alam was eventually removed by New Zealand paceman Neil Wagner for 102, gloving a short ball through to the wicketkeeper.

The dismissal set up a thrilling conclusion at Bay Oval, with the hosts needing four wickets from the final 22 overs to secure victory.

Fawad Alam’s bizarre batting stance.Source:FOX SPORTS

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