Shan Masood bowled for the first time in Test cricket in 2016 against England. It was a no ball and he had a tour to forget. Masood was dismissed on both occasions by James Anderson as he could manage a sum total of 71 runs from two innings.
Four years since Masood played in the familiar English conditions, he has matured a lot as a batsman. To score a century against England in England is no mean feat and the opener did it as he also held the innings together beautifully.
Masood started his innings on the backfoot, he did not attack the ball. He was patient in the build-up. The left-handed batsman faced 34 deliveries from all-rounder Chris Woakes and scored just nine runs off it, and if that does not shows his approach towards the game, add the five runs he scored from the 29 balls bowled by Dom Bess.
To add to the case of his patient approach, Masood did not care about becoming the slowest Pakistani to score a half-century in England. In fact, to his credit, he became the first overseas opener since 2016 to remain unbeaten in more than a century of deliveries in the English conditions.
On the second day, all eyes were on Babar Az after his fluent play. But the star batsman was dismissed early in the day as Masood went on to hog the limelight with a fine century as an opener in the English conditions before notching up his career best score of 156 runs.
The English connection
Perhaps, his finest knock which came in England, only adds to the connect he has with the country.
Masood, 30, pursued his early education at Stamford school, Lincolnshire before joining Durham University to study economics. He later joined the Loughborough University to study Management and Sports Sciences through distance learning programme.
And while he was pursuing his higher education, Masood also learnt cricket under former England wicket-keeper Graeme Fowler. For the uninitiated, Fowler earned 21 Test caps for his national team, scoring over 1300 runs at an average of 35.32.
The cherry on the cake, in his English connection, is his role model Alastair Cook. He wants to become a batsman like the former England captain.