The Sheikh Zayed Stadium is arguably one of the world's finest cricket grounds located in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.

Established in 2004, the Sheikh Zayed Stadium was built by South African construction company Concor for $23 million.

With a seating capacity of around 20,000, the Abu Dhabi cricket stadium has a large stand at either end, with the areas square of the wicket offering large grass banking for additional seating.

The Sheikh Zayed Stadium staged its first international cricket match, a one-day international (ODI) played between arch-rivals India and Pakistan in April 2006. Pakistan won the match by six wickets.

Four years later, it later hosted its first T20 international played between Afghanistan and Scotland during an ICC World Twenty20 Qualifier in February 2010.

Few months later, it hosted its first Test match that involved Pakistan and South Africa. The match ended in a draw. Since then, it has staged 15 Tests at this venue in men’s cricket. 

Let’s have a look at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium Test records and stats:

Sheikh Zayed Stadium, Abu Dhabi Test records and stats

Highest total

The England cricket team holds the record for the highest total at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium in Test cricket. During the first Test of England’s tour of the United Arab Emirates in 2015, the Alastair Cook-led visitors posted a huge total of 598/9d in their first innings against Pakistan. Captain Alastair Cook led from the front as he slammed 263, along with contributions from Joe Root (85), Ian Bell (63) and Ben Stokes (57) to help England register a record Test total at the venue. Earlier, Pakistan scored 523/8d in their first innings before they were bundled out for 173 in their second innings. The Abu Dhabi Test later ended in a draw.

Lowest total

England registered the lowest total at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium in Tests. Chasing 145 in the fourth innings, England were skittled out for 72 in 36.1 overs by Pakistan in Abu Dhabi in 2012. Left-arm spinner Abdur Rehman was the wrecker-in-chief for Pakistan as he picked up six wickets for 25 runs. For England, captain Andrew Strauss top-scored with 32. Earlier, Pakistan managed 257 in their first innings before bowling out England for 327. Pakistan scored 214 in their second innings to set-up a target of 145. Pakistan won the Test by 72 runs and later clinched the three-match series 3-0.

Most runs

Former Pakistan captain Azhar Ali scored the most runs at this ground in cricket’s longest format. The right-handed batter has accumulated 1,086 runs in 11 Test matches at an impressive average of 57.15. Azhar Ali has also slammed three hundreds and eight fifties at this venue in Test cricket. His former teammate Misbah-ul-Haq is second on the list with 994 runs in nine Test matches at a staggering average of 99.40.

Most wickets

Former Pakistan cricketer Yasir Shah picked up the most wickets at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium in Test cricket. Between 2014 and 2018, the leg-spinner bagged 46 wickets in seven matches at an average of 23.54. He claimed two four-wicket hauls and three fifers at this venue in Tests. Compatriot Zulfiqar Babar features second on the list with 22 wickets in five Tests.

Highest individual score

AB de Villiers registered the highest individual score at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium in Tests. Batting at number five, the former South African batter scored 278 not out against Pakistan in the first innings of the second Test in November 2010. His magnificent double century was laced with 23 fours and six maximums to help South Africa post a huge total of 584/9d . The match later ended in a draw.

Best bowling figures in an innings

Afghanistan cricketer Rashid Khan recorded the best bowling figures in an innings of a Test at this venue in 2021. The star leg-spinner registered brilliant figures of 7/137 to help bowl out Zimbabwe for 365 in their second innings. Rashid Khan dismissed Kevin Kasuza, Tarisai Musakanda, Sikandar Raza, Ryan Burl, Regis Chakabva, Donald Tiripano and Victor Nyauchi. Afghanistan rode on Rashid’s sensational bowling performance to win the Test by six wickets. 

Best bowling figures in a match

Sri Lanka’s Rangana Herath holds the record for the best bowling figures in a Test match at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium. The former left-arm spinner took 11 wickets during the first Test of Pakistan’s tour of the United Arab Emirates in 2017. While Herath took five wickets for 93 runs in the first innings, he scalped another six wickets for just 43 runs in the second innings. Herath’s incredible bowling performance powered Sri Lanka to a 21-run victory in Abu Dhabi. Rashid Khan also scalped 11 wickets against Zimbabwe in March 2021.

Highest partnership

Afghanistan’s Hashmatullah Shahidi and former captain Asghar Afghan recorded the highest partnership at this ground in Test cricket. Hashmatullah Shahidi and Asghar Afghan forged a massive 307-run stand for the fourth wicket in their first innings of the second Test against Zimbabwe in 2021. Shahidi scored unbeaten 200 while Afghan was dismissed for 164. Afghanistan won the Abu Dhabi Test by six wickets. 

Photo credit: Alamy