Babar Azam was named the No. 1 batsman in the ICC Rankings for ODI as he overtook Virat Kohli. On the same day in the T20I format, the Pakistani skipper came up with a knock for the ages as he aced a stiff chase for his side with a swashbuckling hundred. South Africa who were playing without some of their ace players due to the ongoing Indian Premier League (IPL) came up with a much improved performance when they were put in to bat today by Azam.
Janneman Malan and Aiden Markram got fifties at the top of the order to set an excellent platform for a late flourish. Though the Proteas slowed down in the end, the damage had already been done by the openers. Rassie van der Dussen ensured the score crossed 200. For Pakistan, Mohammad Nawaz who has been in good form as of late picked up two wickets and kept things tight even as runs came aplenty.
Watch – Babar Azam’s celebration on getting to his hundred
In the chase, Mohammad Rizwan and Babar Azam batted like men possessed as they completely obliterated the South African bowling attack. Beuran Hendricks was taken to the cleaners as the bowlers looked absolutely clueless on a batting beauty of a wicket at the SuperSport Park in Centurion. Babar was the more aggressive of the duo as he kept finding the fence almost at will.
Both batsmen got to their half-centuries before Babar took it one step further and got to a hundred. The milestone was achieved in just the 15th over and on reaching the mark, Babar let out a roar before kneeling on the pitch in what was a truly spectacular moment. The skipper was ultimately dismissed by Lizaad Williams for 122 in 59 balls before Rizwan and Fakhar Zaman saw their side through.
Pakistan now lead the four-match series 2-1 with one more match to play. The match will take place on the 16th of April.