Back on Pakistan’s 1996 tour of England, Pakistan batsman Ijaz Ahmed played a contender for the worst short in the game’s history within minutes of the Test series getting underway.
Pakistan, under the captaincy of Wasim Akram, won the toss and opted to bat first at Lord’s. The tourists started poorly, losing opener Aamer Sohail lbw to England debutant Simon Brown with just seven runs on the board.
The second wicket was far more memorable. Ahmed, batting at three, was bowled by Dominic Cork in a manner rarely seen in village cricket, let alone at a Lord’s Test.
Ijaz catastrophically misread the trajectory of a Cork inswinger, planting his front foot well outside off stump to a ball that pitched in line with the stumps and that would eventually hit middle.
So far out of position, Ijaz didn’t even attempt to put bat on ball, effectively leaving a ball that cannoned into middle stump. Pakistan recovered from that start to win the Test, largely thanks to the 218 runs scored across the Test by Inzamam-ul-Haq.
What makes the dismissal all the more confusing was the calibre of batsman. Ahmed would finish his Test career with 12 Test hundreds and a batting average just short of 40. In 1996, he was in the midst of a four-year career peak that saw him average 46 between the start of 1995 and the end of 1998.
He bounced back from that ‘shot’ on the opening day at Lord’s to score an important 76 in the second innings. He would finish the series with an average just south of 70, reaching 50 in every innings in which he was eventually dismissed. In the drawn Headingley Test, Ahmed top-scored for Pakistan with 141.
Pakistan eventually won the series 2-0.
You can watch Ijaz Ahmed’s horror shot below:
— Rob Moody (@robelinda2) September 20, 2021