Most runs in a calendar year November 30, 2006

Yousuf's amazing run-spree

Mohammad Yousuf broke one of the longest-standing records in cricket, of most runs in a calendar year



Mohammad Yousuf: an unbelievable year © AFP

The year 2006 has been a spectacular one for Mohammad Yousuf. It started off with a 199-ball 173 against India at Lahore, and since that knock, he hasn't looked back, finishing with an aggregate of 1788, beating Viv Richards's tally of 1710 quite handily to wrest the record of most number of runs in a calendar year.

Begin as you mean to go, they say, and Yousuf has followed that maxim well. After starting off with that hundred at Lahore, he followed it with another hundred at Faisalabad, and only narrowly missed a hat-trick of hundreds, falling for 97 at Karachi.

Just how far ahead Yousuf is from the rest of the pack is evident in the table below, which lists the top run-scorers in 2006. Younis Khan makes it a one-two for Pakistan on the top of the list, but his tally of 1179 is well short of Yousuf's aggregate. Ricky Ponting is in third place, but with three more Tests to go against England, he must fancy his chances of getting the 122 runs he needs to take the second spot.

Most prolific batsmen in 2006
Batsman Tests Runs Average 100s/ 50s
Mohammad Yousuf 11 1788 99.33 9/ 3
Younis Khan 11 1179 65.50 3/ 6
Ricky Ponting 7 1058 105.80 6/ 3
Rahul Dravid 10 1046 74.71 3/ 7
Kevin Pietersen 11 1031 51.55 3/ 4

Yousuf finally ended the year with an amazing nine hundreds from 11 Tests and, with his 124 at Karachi, became only the sixth Pakistan batsman to score a hundred in each innings of a Test, joining Hanif Mohammad, Javed Miandad, Wajahatullah Wasti, Yasir Hameed and Inzamam-ul-Haq.

Yousuf scored plenty of runs in all the series he played in this year, but he saved his best for last - his series aggregate of 665 makes him the third-highest scorer in a three-Test series, behind Graham Gooch and Brian Lara.

Most runs in a three-Test series
Batsman Against Runs Average 100s/ 50s
Graham Gooch India, 1990 752 125.33 3/ 2
Brian Lara Sri Lanka, 2001-02 688 114.66 3/ 1
Mohammad Yousuf West Indies, 2006-07 665 133.00 4/ 1
Zaheer Abbas India, 1978-79 583 194.33 2/ 1

Though this was only a three-Test series, Yousuf still amassed enough runs to be among the top run-scorers for Pakistan in any series. Through the course of this innings, he went past several names, but fell short of Mudassar Nazar's aggregate of 761 in six Tests against India in 1982-83. It's interesting to note that Yousuf figures twice in the top four series aggregates for Pakistan, with both those performances coming in back-to-back performances this year.

Highest run-scorers in a series for Pakistan
Batsman Against Tests Runs Average
Mudassar Nazar India, 1982-83 6 761 126.83
Mohammad Yousuf West Indies, 2006-07 3 665 133.00
Zaheer Abbas India, 1982-83 6 650 130.00
Mohammad Yousuf England, 2006 4 631 90.14

S Rajesh is stats editor of Cricinfo