Mohammad Rizwan and Babar Azam have been under pressure due to their strike rates.© AFP
Babar Azam and Mohammad Rizwan batted like rockstars against England on Thursday in the second T20I in Karachi. Pakistan skipper Azam hammered 110 not out for his second T20I hundred while Rizwan scored an undefeated 88 as the pair completed a chase of 200 in 19.3 overs at a packed National Stadium. With 1,929 runs together, the Azam-Rizwan partnership has become the most prolific in T20Is, beating Indian stars Shikhar Dhawan and Rohit Sharma’s record of 1,743 in 51 matches. Azam and Rizwan have achieved the record in just 36 games. Pakistan’s 10-wicket win levelled the seven-match series at 1-1 after England won the first game by six wickets, also in Karachi on Tuesday.
The 203*-partnership between Babar and Rizwan – the highest in a chase in T20s – came a good time for the duo. After Pakistan’s Asia Cup final loss to Sri Lanka, Rizwan and Babar came under pressure. There were a lot of talks about the duo’s T20 strike-rates, but with their knocks against England on Thursday, they have shut up their critics.
Former England captain Nasser Hussain came out in support of the duo after Pakistan’s win. “If you think Babar and Rizwan have been the problem… you really haven’t been watching the last couple of years!!,” he tweeted.
If you think Babar and Rizwan have been the problem… you really haven’t been watching the last couple of years !!
— Nasser Hussain (@nassercricket) September 22, 2022
Azam, who endured a miserable Asia Cup earlier this month with just 68 runs in six matches, smashed five sixes and 11 fours off 66 balls, while Rizwan struck four sixes and five boundaries in his 51-ball innings. Azam’s hundred came off 62 balls, adding to his 122 against South Africa at Centurion last year. The pair reached 100 in just 11.2 overs — their seventh century stand together in T20I cricket.
England, however, went on to beat Pakistan by 63 runs in the 3rd T20I a day later to edge ahead 2-1 in the series.
With AFP inputs
Topics mentioned in this article