On the first day in Rawalpindi, Harry Brook crunched 24 – six fours, all round the ground – off the bowling of the part-time left-arm spinner Saud Shakeel. It was an England Test record: the first time a batsman had hit six fours in an over, and the most runs a batsman had taken from an over.
“They were all bad balls, and I just tried to put them away,” he smiled. “I was always going to try to put the sixth one away. I was probably happier with that over than my hundred, to be honest.”
On the second day, the 23-year-old went bigger still. When the debutant leg-spinner Zahid Mahmood, who already had figures of two for 181, came on for his 27th over, Brook whacked him for 27. In just his second Test, Brook had broken his own record.
"One of the things Stokesy said this morning was we broken some records yesterday, let's try and break some more today. With the amount of runs we had on the board we had the freedom to go out and play however we wanted. I wouldn’t say I was being reckless until I got out, but no, I took the positive option and played my shots," Brook said after the day's play.
"I felt like reverse was quite a free option so I took it on first ball and then had to change and then it got later in the over and I was getting closer to the record, so my eyes lit up then.”
Here’s how he did it:
Ball one: 6
Zahid, a bit desperate, goes round the wicket in a bid to halt the flow of runs. He aims miles outside Brook’s leg-stump, but the right-hander quickly swaps his stance and switch hits him in the extra-cover region for six. On Thursday, we said there was a bit of both Joe Root and Jonny Bairstow in Brook. This was pure Kevin Pietersen.
Ball two: 4
Still round the wicket, another flat, ugly ball down the legside. Brook gets inside it and pulls behind square. A desperate dive from Naseem Shah, Pakistan’s best bowler, cannot save four.
Ball three: 4
This one is a bit floatier, perhaps, but Brook reverse-sweeps again. Flatter, lower and between fielders for four more.
Ball four: 4
Poor Zahid swaps to back over the wicket. Brook gets on the back foot and smears it into the legside. Pakistan simply do not have enough fielders.
Ball five: 6
By now sensing that it is happening again, Brook gets excited, skipping down and launching a stunning six over straight long-off.
Ball six: 3
“I was always going to try to put the sixth one away,” said Brook on Thursday. You cannot accuse him of dying wondering.
An ugly swipe, down on one knee, leads to a top edge over keeper and slip. It runs towards the boundary, but does not make it. 27 from the over.
The benefit of running three is that Brook stays on strike. He launches Naseem for four in front of square, then edges between keeper and slip to bring up his 150, from just 115 balls.
With his 116th, he picks out the man in the deep and the fun ends.