Babar Azam sets another big record; joins Virat Kohli in the elite list
Pakistan captain Babar Azam looked off-color in the Asia Cup 2022 with the bat. However, he ended that low-score streak with a brilliant century in the second T20I against England in the ongoing seven-match series at home. However, he then had some other below-average scores in the next three games, until the 6th T20I on Friday.
In the absence of No. 1 ranked T20I batter Mohammad Rizwan, the skipper took the responsibility and played a captain's knock to take his team to a 169-run total. Batting first, Pakistan made 169/6 in their 20 overs against England.
And the star with the bat was skipper Babar Azam, who played a wonderful unbeaten knock of 87* off 59 balls with seven fours and three sixes. It was all his effort that Pakistan reached a competitive total in their first innings, because it was once again an average performance from the other batters.
It was the 27th half-century for Babar Azam in T20 internationals. And with this 89-run knock, he also equalled the record of the fastest player to hit 3000 T20I runs in history. He is now the joint-fastest with the former Indian captain Virat Kohli, who also completed 3000 T20I runs in 81 innings.
Babar has now scored 3035 runs in 81 innings at an average of 43.99 and a strike rate of 130.09, including two centuries and 27 half-centuries. He also surpassed the run tally of Irish opener Paul Striling (3011) and now is in fourth place as the highest run-getter in T20Is.
Babar is just behind Rohit Sharma (3694), Virat (3663) and Martin Guptill (3497) in the all-time list. However, his brilliant knock went in vain as England chased down the target of 170 runs very easily in just 14.3 overs. For England, everyone played really well.
Alex Hales (27 off 12), Dawid Malan (26 off 18) and Ben Duckett (26* off 16) all contributed well. However, the star was opener Phili Salt, who scored an 18-ball fifty and won the "Man of the Match".
He made an unbeaten 88* off 41 balls, with 13 fours and three sixes. The seven-match series is level at 3-3, with the series decider to be played on Sunday at Gaddafi Stadium, Lahore.