Watch: Having taken 1-226 in five Test innings, Mir Hamza doubled his wickets tally with his first ball of the second innings of the Karachi Test match.
Hamza is not express, and has struggled on the flat wickets this winter on his Test recall. He had debuted in 2018/19, against Australia in Abu Dhabi, on a pitch where Nathan Lyon took four wickets in six balls on the first day. Hamza got the wicket of Shaun Marsh but conceded 67 in 15 overs, and was left out of the XI for over four years.
However, after England swept Pakistan 3-0 in Pakistan earlier this winter, and with a change in the selection committee, the hosts recalled him – more than four years after that debut. In the absence of Shaheen Shah Afridi, Naseem Shah, and Haris Rauf, Hamza was the only specialist seamer of the XI (his new-ball partner Mohammad Wasim has batting credentials).
The medium-paced Hamza bowled 27 wicketless overs on a flat Karachi pitch, but was retained for the second Test match at the same venue. It seemed another error, for this time he returned 21-3-72-0 in the first innings. The much quicker Naseem, back in action after a recovering from a shoulder injury, got 3-71 on the same pitch.
At this point, Hamza’s career record stood at 1-226 from 378 balls. He was threatening to achieve the dubious records for the worst career average and strike rate in the history of cricket, which are held by Naeem Islam (average 303) and Roger Wijesuriya (strike rate 586).
All that changed in the second innings. Naseem started with a wide, and was hit for four by Tom Latham. Then came Hamza’s turn.
Hamza pitched up the first ball, slanting it into the left-handed Conway. The ball probably brushed Conway’s pad and crashed on to off and middle, and Hamza’s average was halved.
Conway became the 10th New Zealand batter to score a hundred and a duck in the same Test match (he got 122 in the first innings). Of the ten, Martin Crowe and BJ Watling have done it twice.
Watch Mir Hamza’s second Test wicket here:
Castled first ball! 🎯
— Pakistan Cricket (@TheRealPCB) January 5, 2023