Hanif Mohammad, who had longest test innings ever, dies

FILE - In this Friday, June 27, 2008 file photo, Legendary Pakistani cricketer Hanif Muhammad, left, receives a life time achievement award in Karachi, Pakistan. Hanif Mohammad, Pakistan cricket's "Little Master," who lasted 970 minutes in the longest innings in test history, died Thursday. He was 81. (AP Photo/Anjum Naveed)
Anjum Naveed/AP

ISLAMABAD (AP) Hanif Mohammad, Pakistan cricket's ''Little Master'' who lasted 970 minutes in the longest innings in test history, died Thursday. He was 81.

Hanif died in hospital in his home town of Karachi, his son Shoaib Mohammad said. He did not give the specific cause of death but hospital spokesman Rasool Sarang said Hanif had cancer. He gave no further details.

Hanif played what remains the longest individual test innings against West Indies at Barbados in 1958, scoring 337 runs. At the time it was also the highest individual test score.

He also held the record of the highest first-class score – at 499, falling just one run short of his 500 – while playing for Karachi in 1959. That record lasted until West Indies' Brian Lara hit 501 not out in 1994.

Famed for his solid defense, Hanif scored 3,915 runs in 55 test matches with 12 centuries and 15 half centuries at an average of 43.98.