KARACHI - Pakistan’s out-of-favor wicketkeeper batsman Kamran Akmal Monday added yet another feather to his cap by completing 800 catches in first-class (FC) cricket.

Akmal, 35, is unpopular with cricket fans due to the perception of his wicket-keeping skills but he continues to defy this opinion with his performances at the domestic season. He reached the milestone of 800 FC catches during the Quaid-e-Azam trophy match at SBP ground, where he was playing super 8 round’s match for WAPDA against KRL. He claimed 7 catches in the match, 5 in first and 2 in second innings of the game.

Kamran is not only the first Pakistani but also the first Asian player to reach this milestone and only the second non-England player after Rod Marsh to achieve the feat of 800 first-class catches. Out of the 33 players to reach 800 FC catches, 31 are from England. With a total 865 dismissals behind the wicket, Kamran is also Pakistan’s most successful wicketkeeper in first class cricket. He was also the leading scorer in recently concluded National T20 tournament.

AZHAR ALI COMPLETES 10,000 First CLASS RUNS: Former Pakistan skipper Azhar Ali, who had troubles with his knee during the Test series against Sri Lanka, made a terrific comeback to the top level cricket when he hit a century in the Quaid-e-Azam Trophy playing for SNPL team. Azhar’s innings of 118 runs had 12 boundaries to go with it. He faced 228 balls during his smashing innings of 118 runs.

Azhar had not been involved ever since the knee problem he faced during the series against Sri Lanka. So in his very first game on return, one would think that the 32-year-old is in good nick and can make a national comeback soon. Ranked number 9 in the ICC Test rankings, this century by Azahar was 33rd in his first-class cricket career. During the course of the century, Azhar Ali also went past 10,000 runs in his first-class career.

Ali who made his Test debut in 2010 against West Indies has scored over 5000 runs for Pakistan with 14 centuries to his name. Last year he scored career’s first triple hundred against West Indies during the day-night Test. He missed number of games for Pakistan because of his injury. Ali flew to the UK to work out on his injury. He missed the ODI series against Sri Lanka and the domestic T20 trophy National T20 cup.

Pakistan is slated to travel to New Zealand in January 2018 to play 5-match ODI series and 3 T20I games during the tour. The first game will start on 6th of January when the side lock horns at Wellington. With the brilliant ton on return, Ali has surely made a strong case for himself to be selected for the side that will travel to the New Zealand for the series. Ali has hit 3 ODI centuries for Pakistan and the side can use his experience to good effect during the tour.