On Wednesday’s decider match of the three-match ODI series between England and Pakistan at Edgbaston, Birmingham, Pakistan skipper Babar Azam proved why he is the No. 1 ODI batsman. Babar Azam played a heroic knock of 158 runs off 139 deliveries, becoming the fastest player to score his 14th ODI century ((81 innings) in the process.
The 26-year old surpassed Hashim Amla to achieve the feat. Previously, Amla was the quickest to get to his 14th ODI century in 84 innings. The top five list in the category is completed by David Warner (98 innings), Virat Kohli (103 innings), and Quinton de Kock (104 innings).
Furthermore, the Pakistan team skipper also became the second captain of the national side to register a century in England after former cricketer Imran Khan, who had smashed an unbeaten century against Sri Lanka in World Cup 1983. Subsequently, he is now the first skipper of the country to achieve the feat against England on their home turf.
Babar Azam’s power-packed knock in the 3rd ODI
After failing to impress in the previous two ODIs, registering disappointing scores of 0 and 19 in the first and second ODI respectively, Azam regained his fiery form. He faced heavy criticism for failing to deliver as the skipper. But he shut the naysayers in the 3rd ODI on Wednesday.
Winning the toss, England sent the tourists to bat first. Babar Azam came to the pitch in the fifth over. He was a feast to watch! Starting slow, Azam gave no hopes as he faced 14 dot balls. However, he was just getting started when he began shooting fireworks of fours and sixes, registering a blistering career-best 158 runs off 139 balls before he was dismissed for a catch out by Dawid Malan. His stint was laced with 14 boundaries and four sixes. Azam stitched a third-wicket partnership of 179 runs with Mohammad Rizwan, who also played a valiant knock of 74 runs off 58 balls, taking Pakistan’s total to 331 runs.
Other milestones achieved by Babar Azam
During the match that accounts for one of the most glorious knocks of his career, the Pakistan captain accomplished some more iconic feats.
- Azam became the first Pakistan skipper to score a 150 in ODIs cricket.
- He registered his third ODI century on the England soil.
- For a skipper, his 158 is the third-highest score in England. The other two are by Kapil Dev (175*) and Glenn Turner (171*).
- His 179-run partnership with Rizwan is the highest partnership for any wicket by Pakistan against England.
- He surpassed Fakhar Zaman’s 138 knock, which he scored during the 2019 World Cup, to score the highest score by a Pakistan batsman against England in ODIs.
- Azam also broke Mohammad Yousuf and Zaheer Abbas’s record of most fifty-plus ODI scores against England in their home ground.