Chief Editor: Ansar Mahmood Bhatti

Babar Azam hits ton in English ‘Vitality Blast’ T20 league


SOUTHAMPTON (DNA) – Pakistani star-batsman Babar Azam scored a match-winning century against Hampshire in the Vitality Blast T20 league in England.

According to ICC, Babar, the no.1 batsman on the MRF Tyres ICC T20I Rankings, carried his bat for a career-high 102* in 55 balls in Southampton on August 9. The milestone came with a last-ball six over square leg – one of six sixes he struck in the innings, along with seven fours. The second fifty came in just 23 balls.

It took his side to 202/4. Babar then took two catches as Hampshire were reduced to 69/6 in 12.1 overs, before rain washed out the rest of the match.

Babar, who now has a career T20 average of 42.6 and a strike-rate of 123.73, has been in fine touch in the tournament. He is the leading scorer, with 425 runs in eight innings, 99 more than his nearest rival, D’Arcy Short. In the previous match between the same teams, he had made 95*.

“You can see that Babar is No.1 in the world for a reason,” said Tom Abell, the Somerset captain, who shared a 113-run stand with the Pakistani. “He is playing a different game to the rest of us with the shots he plays and how cleanly he hits the ball. For younger guys, it’s amazing to be up the other end and in the changing room.

“Some of the shots he plays just take your breath away. The beauty of Babar is that he plays proper cricket shots all the way through and we can bat around him”, he added.

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