Pakistan middle-order batsman Fawad Alam shined with the bat on Day 2 of the ongoing first Test against South Africa at the National Stadium in Karachi.
The left-handed stroke-maker smashed his Test career’s third century, and with his triple-figure mark, he joined an elite group.
Fawad is now the only Pakistan batsman to convert each of his first three half-centuries into a hundred. His first century came in 2009 against Sri Lanka in Colombo.
Then, 10 years later, Fawad made a comeback in the longest format and scored his second ton against New Zealand in Mount Maunganui in December 2020.
The 35-year-old joined England’s Ravi Bopara in an elusive list. Both Fawad and Bopara have converted all of their half-centuries into hundreds. However, George Headley holds the world record for having converted his first six half-centuries into tons.
Fawad came into bat when Pakistan were struggling on 27/4. He showed immense patience and determination to stitch crucial partnerships with Azhar Ali and Mohammed Rizwan before helping Pakistan take the first-innings lead with Faheem Ashraf.
Fawad added a 94-run stand with Azhar, who scored his half-century before Keshav Maharaj dismissed the former Pakistan skipper. Then, the Karachi-lad formed another 55-run partnership alongside wicketkeeper-batsman Rizwan, who was removed by Lungi Ngidi for 33.
Fawad did not just stop there as he further featured in another vital 102-run stand with Ashraf before Ngidi dismissed the centurion on 109.
Ashraf was cleaned up by Anrich Nortje in the 101st over. He scored 64 off 84 balls. At stumps, Pakistan have reached to 308/8 and are leading the visitors by 88 runs.
Here is how Twitter reacted:
What a gratifying story. Every time I see Fawad Alam score runs, my heart rejoices. 10 years denied him will never be returned, but all we can do is celebrate these apogee moments with him. Well played; #Fawadever👏👏👏.
— Ian Raphael Bishop (@irbishi) January 27, 2021
Fawad Alam has 3 centuries in Tests
First 100 vs SL when the trail was 150 and Pakistan were bowled out for 90 in the first inns. Second 100 vs NZ when Pakistan were 37-3 chasing 373. Third 100 vs South Africa after Pakistan were 27-4. #fighterbatsman
— Mazher Arshad (@MazherArshad) January 27, 2021
— Saj Sadiq (@SajSadiqCricket) January 27, 2021
When players like Fawad Alam scores, cricket becomes more beautiful, he waited for a Test spot more than a decade after his debut but his hunger and fighting attitude was never lost through this phase then bringing his best when he got opportunity. Total respect, Fawad. pic.twitter.com/35Gy9Vi0O2
— Johns. (@CricCrazyJohns) January 27, 2021
Fawad Alam slams his third Test century 🌟
— ICC (@ICC) January 27, 2021
— Wisden (@WisdenCricket) January 27, 2021
Fawad Alam is proof in sport never say never. What a story.
— Boria Majumdar (@BoriaMajumdar) January 27, 2021
fawad alam has a decade of missed hundreds to catch up on… #PAKvsSA
— Gaurav Kalra (@gauravkalra75) January 27, 2021
— K H A Y A M (@KhayamSays) January 27, 2021
About Fawad Alam pic.twitter.com/hIZqVHwwoH
— PSL Memes (@PSLMemesWalay) January 27, 2021
Fawad Alam peeling off hundreds in Test cricket with that beautiful beard and that extraordinary technique is very pleasing
— Will Macpherson (@willis_macp) January 27, 2021
Brings his hundred with a maximum, as Wasim Akram said, hero of the day, definitely, Fawad Alam! pic.twitter.com/slfxkzgFw4
— PSL Memes (@PSLMemesWalay) January 27, 2021
Top quality hundred by Fawad Alam. Came in to bat at 27/4. And he displayed a lot of character at his home ground—in his first Test in Pakistan. All his 3 Test hundreds came when Pakistan were under pressure; same was the case when he hit his only ODI ton (Asia Cup 2014 final)
— Sarang Bhalerao (@bhaleraosarang) January 27, 2021
Fawad Alam has been dismissed six times in Test matches from short balls (>8m).
He has only scored 69 runs from the 196 short balls faced in his career.
Balls per wicket: 32.6#PAKvSA
— The CricViz Analyst (@cricvizanalyst) January 27, 2021
– take a bow, FAWAD ALAM.
The name of grit & mental strength!
— Asif Khan (@mak_asif) January 27, 2021
Why was Fawad Alam left out for so many years? For being an ‘ugly’ batsman? If aesthetics equalled quality, Steve Smith wouldn’t have scored a run..#PAKvSA
— Hemant (@hemantbuch) January 27, 2021
Superb performance Fawad Alam!!! @iamfawadalam25 Brilliant Knock!!!! Not only justifying his inclusion but also raising questions why he has been out of the test team for so long. A great innings and hope he remains consistent. Keep Rocking!!! Very well done!!!
— Faisal Javed Khan (@FaisalJavedKhan) January 27, 2021
Fawad Alam resilience is exemplary. Shining star indeed!!! A hall mark of talent & hard work. Shine on & make Pak proud.
— Shehryar Afridi (@ShehryarAfridi1) January 27, 2021
Fawad Alam in his first appearance has performed better in Karachi than PPP govt in 12 years.
— Svengali (@Ronin212) January 27, 2021
Technique Schmeqmique! That was a glorious century. His 3rd in Test Cricket. Outstanding from Fawad Alam 👏👏👏 #PAKvSA
— Aatif Nawaz (@AatifNawaz) January 27, 2021
The entire Pakistan cricket system should be held accountable for keeping Fawad Alam out of international cricket. Honestly.
— Abhishek Mukherjee (@SachinAzharCT) (@ovshake42) January 27, 2021