Babar Azam equals Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma's spectacular T20I records with incredible match-winning 79 vs New Zealand

Oct 08, 2022 07:21 PM IST

Having struggled of late with his batting, the star batter looked in supreme touch as he fired an unbeaten 79 to help Pakistan win by 6 wickets.

Pakistan have moved on from their home series defeat to England last week as they won consecutive days in the ongoing tri-series in Christchurch, beating Bangladesh in their opener and host New Zealand on Saturday, in what is their final preparation for the T20 World Cup in Australia. And while it was Mohammad Rizwan who led Pakistan to a win the other day, it was captain Babar Azam against New Zealand. Having struggled of late with his batting, the star batter looked in supreme touch as he fired an unbeaten 79 to help Pakistan win by 6 wickets. And with the knock, Babar equalled Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma's spectacular world records.

Virat Kohli, Babar Azam, Rohit Sharma
Virat Kohli, Babar Azam, Rohit Sharma

After the bowlers restricted New Zealand to 147 for eight, Pakistan lost Rizwan early for just 4 off 12 balls and three deliveries later Shan Masood was dismissed for a duck. Pakistan then sent Shadab Khan at No.4 and together with Babar, the pair looked to rebuild the innings with their 61-run stand.

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Shadab was dismissed for 34 off 22 but Babar continued as he smashed 11 boundaries in his unbeaten 53-ball 79 to help Pakistan go past the target with 10 balls to spare.

En route to the knock, Babar notched up his 28th T20I fifty and hence levelled Kohli for having reached the mark in the same number of innings. Both stand atop in that unique list with 84 innings. This was also Babar's 12th half-century score while chasing which is now the joint third-highest by a batter in the format. He equalled India captain Rohit and now only stands behind Kohli (19) and Australia's Warner.

11 of Babar's 12 fifties while chasing have come in a winning cause which is now the joint second-highest alongside Warner. Only Kohli, with 15 such scores, stands atop.

"We have started well in the batting, me and Rizwan planned to utilise the first six overs and also the dew. We have a plan to send him up to charge the bowlers, he played well [on Shadab at 4]. Me and Shadab planned that I play all the way and he will go for his shots," Babar said after collecting his Player of the Match award.

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