Even Australia’s coach Darren Lehmann had to admit enjoying watching Test cricket’s new master blaster.
Pakistan captain Misbah-ul-Haq, whose form in the one-dayers was so bad last month that he decided to rest himself from game three against Australia, put himself in the record books alongside ex-West Indies’ skipper Viv Richards.
Misbah’s 56-ball hundred on Sunday’s fourth day of play in the second Test against Australia in Abu Dhabi included 11 fours and five sixes.
He finished unbeaten on 101 off 57 deliveries.
“It’s the biggest honour for me, said Misbah, whose tally of seven Test hundreds in 50 matches includes two in the Abu Dhabi Test.
“I am no way near to him (Richards).
“But scoring a hundred in a similar number of deliveries is really something that I will remember the whole of my life.
“Somebody ran to me when I was 80 on 45 balls informing me that I am just 10 balls away to make a record.
“But in either case I was trying to hit every ball.
“But it’s always good to have these sorts of records.”
Dropped at cover on four, Misbah reached 92 off 54 balls before hitting two consecutive boundaries to equal the world record, prompting the veteran to ran around waving his bat in celebration.
“He should have been out,” Australia coach Lehmann said.
“It was actually, dare I say it, good to watch that sort of hitting and break a world record.”
Twin centuries from Misbah and Azhar Ali have allowed Pakistan to declare twice on 6-570 and 3-293.
Chasing 603 to win, Australia will resume on Monday on 4-143 and facing a desperate struggle to bat through a full day for a draw.
Misbah said his plan had been to put pressure on Australia with a huge total.
“Get them out of the game completely,” the 40-year-old skipper said.
Pakistan lead the series one-nil and Misbah is poised to complete Pakistan’s first Test-series win over Australia since 1994.
Australia swept Pakistan three-nil in last month’s one-day series and Misbah is anxious to keep one eye on preparations for the World Cup in February in Australia and New Zealand.
“It was a really important situation for me considering what happened in the recent past and specially ahead of the World Cup,” he said.
“So it was important for me to get back in form and regain the confidence.”
FASTEST TEST CENTURIES
* Pakistan’s Misbah-ul-Haq 56 balls v Australia, Abu Dhabi, 2014
* West Indies’ Viv Richards 56 balls v England, St John’s, 1986
* Australia’s Adam Gilchrist 57 balls v England, Perth 2006
FASTEST TEST HALF-CENTURIES
* Pakistan’s Misbah-ul-Haq 21 balls v Australia, Abu Dhabi, 2014
* South Africa’s Jacques Kallis 24 balls v Zimbabwe, Cape Town, 2005
CAPTAINS WHO’VE SCORED TWO CENTURIES IN A TEST V AUSTRALIA
* Pakistan’s Misbah (101 and 101 not out) in Abu Dhabi, Oct 2014
TWO TEAMMATES SCORING TWO HUNDREDS EACH IN A TEST
* Ian Chappell and Greg Chappell (Aust) v New Zealand in Hamilton in 1974
* Azhar Ali and Misbah (Pakistan) v Aust in Abu Dhabi in 2014
RECORDS FOR TEAMS CHASING 600-PLUS TARGETS
* Wins: 0
* Losses: 13
* Draws: 3.