Established in 1955, the National Stadium in Karachi is the largest cricket stadium in Pakistan.
The venue is owned by the Pakistan Cricket Board and has a seating capacity of 40,000.
The National Stadium is one of the five cricket stadiums in Karachi, after Asghar Ali Shah Stadium, Karachi City Cricket Association Stadium, Southend Club Cricket Stadium and the under-construction Rafi Cricket Stadium. Besides the National Stadium, Southend is the only Karachi venue to have international status
The first T20 international match at National Stadium was played between Pakistan and Bangladesh in April 2008. Since then, it has hosted seven T20Is and Pakistan boast a 100 per cent win record in those games.
Besides the Pakistan national cricket team, the National Stadium is home to the Sindh cricket team and Pakistan Super League franchise team Karachi Kings.
Let’s have a look at the T20 records at the National Stadium in Karachi, Pakistan.
Highest team total: Islamabad United’s 238/3 against Lahore Qalandars in a 2019 Pakistan Super League game is the highest T20 score at National Stadium. Cameron Delport’s unbeaten 117 guided Islamabad to post a mammoth score against Lahore. The Mohammad Sami-led Islamabad United eventually ran out winners by 49 runs after they restricted Lahore to 189/9 in 20 overs.
Lowest team total: Dera Murad Jamali Ibexes were dismissed for 55 by Lahore Lions in a 2014 T20 Cup game and it is the lowest total in a 20-over match at the Nation Stadium in Karachi. Opting to field first, DMJI were set a target of 178 by Lahore but three-wicket hauls by Mohammad Aftab and skipper Azhar Ali propelled the Lions to a comfortable 122-run victory.
Most runs: Pakistan captain Babar Azam has made 744 runs at the National Stadium - the most by any batter. Azam has played 16 innings in Karachi, and has scored eight fifties along the way. He commands a batting average of 62.00 and a strike rate of 127.61 at the venue.
Highest individual score: Uncapped South African top-order batter Cameron Delport holds the record for the highest individual score at National Stadium. Opening the innings alongside Luke Ronchi, Delport hit an unbeaten 117 off just 60 balls against Lahore Qalandars during an Pakistan Super League match in 2019. His effort inspired Islamabad United to a 49-run win.
Highest partnership: Karachi Kings’ Babar Azam and Sharjeel Khan’s 176-run stand for the opening wicket against Islamabad United in 2021 is the highest partnership at this venue. The record stand saw Sharjeel contribute 105 runs to the cause while Azam added 62 prior to his dismissal.
Most wickets: Pakistan pacer Mohammad Hasnain has scalped the most wickets at this ground. The 21-year-old has 21 wickets at the National Stadium in Karachi, averaging a wicket once in 13 balls.
Best bowling figures: Faheem Ashraf, a bowling all-rounder, has registered the best bowling figures at National Stadium. Representing Islamabad United, Ashraf claimed six wickets for just 19 runs against Lahore Qalandars in a 2019 PSL match that also saw the records for highest individual score and highest team score being made.
Author: William Paul
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Featured photo: AFP / Asif Hassan