England’s cricketers face their toughest test of the summer as they take on Pakistan in four Tests, five ODIs and a T20.
Stars to watch include Misbah-ul-Haq, Younis Khan, Yasir Shah and Mohammad Amir, who’s back in the team after a five-year ban for spot-fixing. The 1st Test at Lord’s starts on 14th July and Azimo has lined up some of Pakistan’s biggest hits and misses to get you in the swing.
Sharjah, UAE, 1989
Beating the West Indies in the late 1980s was no easy task, with the likes of Haynes, Richards, Walsh, Marshall and Ambrose lining up to take you to the cleaners. So Pakistan’s victory in the Champions Trophy was a superb effort. Wasim Akram was out for a golden duck, but revenge was sweet with the ball in his hands – he took a hat trick and ended up with figures of 5-38.
Melbourne, Australia, 1992
There are few bigger cricket stages than the World Cup Final and few bigger cricket grounds than the MCG in Melbourne, where Pakistan outplayed England in front of more than 87,000 people to claim their first ever ICC World Cup trophy. Earlier in the tournament, England had bowled out Pakistan for just 74, so a 22-run victory was sweet revenge.
Nairobi, Kenya, 1996
Shahid ‘Boom Boom’ Afridi certainly started as he meant to go on, smashing a 37-ball century against Sri Lanka in his very first international innings at the age of just 16. He walloped 11 sixes and six fours in this record-breaking knock using a borrowed bat. The record stood for more than 17 years before New Zealand’s Corey Anderson broke it in 2014.
Chennai, India, 1997
Back in the days when superfast centuries in ODIs weren’t the norm, Saeed Anwar managed to wallop the Indian attack for 194 runs off just 145 balls, with 22 fours and five sixes, until he was dismissed by Sachin Tendulkar. It was the highest ODI score ever and the record stood for more than a decade, until it was broken by, you guessed it, Sachin Tendulkar.
Cape Town, South Africa, 2003
Shoaib Akhtar’s career may have been plagued by injury and controversy, but the Rawalpindi Express will always be remembered as the first bowler to officially break the 100mph mark. The ‘fastest ball on earth’ was speed-gunned at 161.3km/h (100.23mph) against England’s Nick Knight during the 2003 World Cup.
…AND THE MISSES
Cape Town, South Africa, 1993
If we’re talking about lows, then we have to include Pakistan’s all-time lowest ODI score – a miserable 43 all out against West Indies, including no less than six ducks. To be fair, it could have been even worse – at one point the men in green were 26 for 9 – but it was still bad enough to cling on to the unwanted record for more than eight years.
Sharjah, UAE, 2002
Low scores in ODIs are bad enough, but a sub-60 score in a Test match is even worse. Australia, and spinner Shane Warne in particular, destroyed Pakistan in the first innings, knocking them over for just 59. Surely the second innings couldn’t be as bad? Oh yes it could – all out for 53. Australia won by an innings and 198 runs, and Warne finished with figures of 8-24.
Kingston, Jamaica, 2007
Perhaps Pakistan should have guessed an upset might be on the cards when they faced up to minnows on a mission Ireland in the 2007 World Cup in the West Indies. It was St Patrick’s Day, after all, the most important day in the Irish calendar. It was one of Ireland’s most memorable victories – and one of Pakistan’s most forgettable defeats.
London, England, 2010
At the age of just 18, Mohammad Amir became the most controversial figure in cricket in 2010 when he infamously bowled a series of no-balls to order in a spot-fixing scam. Some people think he should have been banned for life, but many will welcome back such a huge talent when he steps out at Lord’s in a Pakistan shirt on 14th July after his five-year suspension.
Dhaka, Bangladesh, 2015
The thought of being whitewashed by Bangladesh at cricket would have been seen as madness a few years ago. But here it became reality as Pakistan were humbled 0-3 in the ODI series and then also lost the only T20 match. The result saw Pakistan slip to eighth in the ICC rankings and led former skipper Imran Kahn to call it ‘a low point in Pakistan cricket history’.