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What does Shan Masood need to do to reach 1,000 first-class runs before the end of May?

What Does Shan Masood Need To Do To Reach 1,000 First-Class Runs Before The End Of May?
by Wisden Staff 3 minute read

Reaching the landmark of 1,000 first-class runs before the end of May in the English summer is one of cricket’s rarest feats, but Pakistan’s Shan Masood is maintaining the pace needed to make history.

Only nine times in history has the milestone been managed, and only two of those have come since the Second World War, with Graeme Hick in 1988 the most recent. Naturally, Don Bradman is the only batter to have done so twice.

There have been several notable near misses, with Nick Compton a day late in bringing up four figures in 2012. Masood has started his County Championship campaign for Derbyshire in blistering form, but he still has plenty of work to do.

Masood began with a pair of half-centuries against Middlesex, an impressive effort, but he was only just getting started. Consecutive double centuries followed in his next two games, before he added another 100 runs to his tally across both innings against Glamorgan.

That run has left him with a stunning set of stats – 713 runs at 118.83. Masood is more than 150 runs ahead of the next best tally in the country, Ben Compton’s 560 runs for Kent. But the Pakistan star will need to carry on at pace if he is to reach 1,000 in time.

Derbyshire have a week off in the next round of games, meaning that Masood has only two more matches before the first stretch of the County Championship ends and the T20 Blast starts.

That leaves Masood with 287 runs needed in a maximum of four innings, so he will still need to average at least 71.75. However, in two of Masood’s games he has batted only once. He made double hundreds in both of those games, but with some of Derbyshire’s other batters also in excellent form, there is no guarantee he will get a second go if he suffers a low score. If Masood bats in three innings, he will need 95.67 runs per innings, and if he gets two knocks, he will need 143.5 runs per innings.

Derbyshire’s two fixtures will come against Worcestershire and Nottinghamshire. The former are mid-table, with a win, a defeat and a draw so far, while Notts are the current league leaders and pundits’ favourites to win promotion. Notts boast a fierce bowling attack, including Test bowlers Stuart Broad, Dane Paterson and James Pattinson. No side has scored 400 against either Notts or Worcs so far this century.

The scale of Masood’s task is illustrated by the fact that despite his incredible start to the season, he still fell two runs short of a less-fabled record, with Compton scoring 715 runs in April in that 2012 season. That Compton was unable to crack four figures in time, even with that start, shows just how tough and ask Masood faces, and how impressive an effort it will be if he does manage to join Bradman and Co. in one of cricket’s most exclusive clubs.

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