Abu Dhabi | Misbahul Haq set a new record for the fastest Test halfcentury today as Pakistan piled up a lead of over 500 against the hapless Australians on the fourth day of the second Test. Misbah smashed fifty off just 21 balls with four boundaries and as many sixes to break the 24ball record of South African Jacques Kallis against Zimbabwe at Cape Town in 2004. At lunch Azhar Ali was unbeaten on 72 and Misbah was 52 not out as Pakistan, 2103 in their second innings, stretched their lead to 519 with seven wickets and five sessions left in the match.
Misbah cut loose after Younis Khan fell for 46, hitting three sixes and a four off one Steven Smith over. He then hit the spinner for his fourth six an over later. The skipper pushed paceman Mitchell Starc for three to reach his record in 24 minutes. The previous fastest fifty in terms of time was set by Bangladesh’s Mohammad Ashraful, who took 27 minutes for his halfcentury against India at Dhaka in 2007.
Misbah’s innings overshadowed Ali’s patient knock of 139 balls with four boundaries. Resuming on 612, Pakistan chased quick runs to set Australia a big target. After a 221run victory in Dubai, the Pakistanis are looking for their first series win over Australia in 20 years. The only wicket to fall in the morning session was that of Younis Khan, who went leg before to legspinner Smith.
He finished with an extraordinary tally of 474 runs in the twomatch series with twin hundreds in the first match and 213 in the first innings in Abu Dhabi, a Pakistani record for two Tests. Pakistan had scored a mammoth 5706 declared in the first innings and then dismissed Australia for 261.