Babar Azam

Celebrating Babar Azam: Top five T20I knocks

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Hit For Six!

When Babar Azam takes the field on Friday, 14 April for the match against New Zealand, he will become the third Pakistan player to feature in 100 Men's T20Is.

Shoaib Malik (123) and Mohammad Hafeez (119) are the two other Pakistan players to reach this milestone in men's T20Is.

The level-headed Pakistan captain is well known for his flamboyant batting style and along with Mohammad Rizwan forms an intimidating opening pair in T20Is. 

As we celebrate his 100 T20Is, let's have a look at some of Babar's top innings in the format.

Video ICC Awards 26 Jan 23
Babar Azam accepts the Sir Garfield Sobers Trophy for ICC Men’s Cricketer of the Year 2022

122 off 59 v South Africa, Centurion, 2021

Babar and Rizwan are a force to reckon with. While Rizwan plays the role of an aggressor more often, there have been times when Babar has blown away the opposition with his explosive shots. The third T20I against South Africa in 2021 was one such example. 

Chasing a formidable 204, Babar took the lead almost right from the start. After taking a couple of overs to adjust, he started pummelling the bowlers all over the park. His 50 came in just 27 balls and he accelerated after that with aplomb. He ended up with 122 off just 59 deliveries but unfortunately was dismissed with Pakistan needing just 7 to win, nevertheless having brought his side to the brink of victory. Pakistan then chased the total with two overs to spare. It was also Babar's first century in the format.

Babar Azam scored his first T20I century against South Africa in Centurion
Babar Azam scored his first T20I century against South Africa in Centurion

110* off 66 v England, Karachi, 2022

Babar's second T20I century was no less impressive and this time it came at home. After losing the first T20I, Pakistan needed to hit back. England batted first and scored 199/5. Chasing another 200 score was not going to be easy but both Babar and Rizwan were in a different mood altogether. Babar, in particular, led the charge, smashing 110* off just 66 deliveries as Pakistan registered a 10-wicket victory over England. It was Babar who hit the winning runs, an inside-out four through covers celebrating a dominating win.

Video cwc19 01 Nov 21
Babar Azam: pride of Pakistan

97* off 58 v West Indies, Karachi, 2018

Babar's first Karachi masterclass came in 2018, four years before his hundred; an almost century innings against West Indies at home. Batting first, Pakistan lost Fakhar Zaman early, who had opened the innings with Babar. The 24-year-old Babar Azam had only hit three fifty-plus scores in his career then and came close to scaling three figures when he took on the Windies bowling attack single-handedly. Pairing with Hussain Talat at No.3, Babar hit 13 fours and a six on his way to 97* off 58 deliveries. Pakistan put up a huge total of 205/3 and defended it easily with their strong bowling attack.

79* off 53 v New Zealand, Christchurch, 2022

Babar's 79* was not in an high-scoring encounter but a low-scoring chase against New Zealand's celebrated bowling attack in their own backyard. The Pakistan bowlers had done their job keeping the Black Caps down to 147/8 in their 20 overs. But the hosts were not going down without a fight. They removed Rizwan early and crippled Pakistan further with a second wicket, leaving them at 37/2 in the sixth over. But Babar kept going. He rebuilt the Pakistan innings, first patiently stabilizing them, then pouncing on the bad balls to put them away. He formed crucial partnerships with the middle order and though New Zealand got a couple of more wickets, they had no answer to Babar. The Pakistan captain remained not out as the visitors claimed a six-wicket victory in the 19th over.

Video cwc19 24 Oct 21
Match Highlights: India v Pakistan

68* off 52 v India, Dubai, 2021

The famous ICC Men's T20 World Cup 2021 match. While there were many heroes in the game, Babar's contribution to it cannot be forgotten. After India were restricted to 151/7, Pakistan went all out with the bat to bamboozle the Indian bowlers. Rizwan was sensational and Babar played the perfect fiddle for him. Both batters complemented each other and pummelled the Indian attack without any rest. Babar hit the winning runs helping Pakistan to their first victory over India in the history of the tournament.


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