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Pakistan won easily with Babar's world record century

  • Sports
  • 17 April, 2023 00:23:53

Photo: Collected

Sports Desk: Despite batting first, a situation was created as if Pakistan were chasing New Zealand's runs. But not exactly, that excitement is mainly for captain Babar Azam. With only 2 balls left in the innings, he needed 7 more runs to reach his century. As the Kiwi all-rounder bowled the ball outside off stump, Babar edged it over cover. Then he jumped to zero to celebrate a world record century. Babar played boundaries in two balls to achieve that feat. Babar, India captain Rohit Sharma and Switzerland's Fahim Nazir held the record for two centuries as captains in T20 Internationals so far. This time the Pakistani captain surpassed both of them. This is the first time that Babar has scored three centuries in the T20 format as a captain. Besides, Babar has also set the record for the second highest century in the recognized T20.

Chris Gayle (22 centuries) is the second highest with 9 centuries. Earlier, the visiting New Zealand lost the first match of the series by a narrow margin. However, even though Pakistan won the second match, the margin was not the same as before. Again, the excitement that was created during Babar's bat, was not even a drop during the Kiwis' batting. As a result, the hosts easily won the second match in a row. But apart from father, Haris Rauf had a big role in it. He was man of the match with 4 wickets in the previous win. Mohammad Rizwan and Babar gave Pakistan a good start after winning the toss and batting at the Gaddafi Stadium in Lahore. The two right-handed batsmen who failed in the previous match made a pair of 99 runs this time. Rizwan returned with a fifty off only 32 balls.

The keeper-batsman Rizwan was leading in this. His contribution was 27 in the opening pair's runs, touching fifty off 32 balls. He went ahead in the same rhythm and touched fifty off 32 balls. He scored 50 runs with 6 fours and 1 six. After such a start, Babar was supposed to make two hundreds with ease. But they have to deal with batting in the middle. Fakhar Zaman and Saim Ayyub, who got 47 runs each in the first match, returned before opening the run book in this match. Besides, Imad Wasim was cut behind by 2 runs. As a result, the hosts lost 4 batters for only 6 runs. After that, no more wickets fell.

Iftikhar Ahmed accompanied Babar who was batting on the way to the record. Babar increased the run rate by reaching fifty in 36 balls. Babar's run was 84 at the end of the 19th over. When he took a single on the first ball, it seemed that the chance of a century was over. But the Pakistan captain got a strike when Iftikhar changed the end of the next ball. James Neesham hit a great shot for a six and reached the 90 mark. Babar completes the magic figure by hitting boundaries in the last two balls. On the other hand, Iftikhar scored 33 runs off just 19 balls. The pair of these two scored 87 runs off 43 balls. Chasing a target of 193 runs set by Pakistan, the Kiwis failed to raise a single chance of victory. The two openers Tom Latham and Chad Bowes lasted a long time. But no one could stop the pace of the run.

Latham scored 19 runs off 20 balls, Bowes scored 26 runs off 24 balls. Rauf waved off the visitors after their departure. Will Young, Daryl Mitchell, James Neesham and Rachin Ravindra were not allowed to reach double figures. At the other end Chapman played his own shot despite losing a regular partner. He touched fifty off 30 balls. Chapman, the only notable run scorer in the previous match too, could not be accompanied by anyone. As a result, at the end of the scheduled over, their innings stopped at 154 after losing 7 wickets. Rauf took 4 wickets in the second consecutive match. Besides, Shadab Khan, Zaman Khan and Imad Wasim took one wicket each for Pakistan. Today (April 16) the two teams will meet in the third match of the series. Babar's team is already leading by 2-0.


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