Pakistan's opening pair of Babar Azam-Mohammad Rizwan surpass Rohit Sharma-Shikhar Dhawan to achieve momentous T20I feat

Published on Nov 03, 2021 08:26 AM IST

Another impressive feat is that Mohammad Rizwan now holds the record for the most runs in men’s T20Is in a year with 1661 runs and with at least two matches left.

Pakistan's captain Babar Azam, right, and Mohammad Rizwan run between wickets during the Cricket Twenty20 World Cup match between Pakistan and Namibia in Abu Dhabi, UAE, Tuesday, Nov. 2, 2021. (AP Photo/Aijaz Rahi)(AP)
Pakistan's captain Babar Azam, right, and Mohammad Rizwan run between wickets during the Cricket Twenty20 World Cup match between Pakistan and Namibia in Abu Dhabi, UAE, Tuesday, Nov. 2, 2021. (AP Photo/Aijaz Rahi)(AP)

As Pakistan became the first team to qualify for the semi-finals of the T20 World Cup with a 45-run win over Namibia in Abu Dhabi – their fourth straight win of the tournament – their openers Babar Azam and Mohammad Rizwan continued their stellar form in the ICC event. Babar and Rizwan put on yet another clinical batting performance, with both batsmen scoring half-centuries and putting on 113 runs for the first wicket.

With this, Babar and Rizwan surpassed India's decorated opening pair of Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan to become the duo with most century partnerships in T20I cricket. This was the fifth instance of Babar and Rizwan adding over 100 runs for Pakistan's first wicket, one more than Rohit and Dhawan's tally of 4. Babar and Rizwan also surpassed New Zealand's pair of Martin Guptill and Kane Williamson.  

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Surprisingly, all five century partnerships between Babar and Rizwan have come in the year 2021. Besides, they now have the highest runs partnership in all of T20 cricket in a calendar year, with their tally of runs reading a mammoth 967 runs in 2021. They have gone past Royal Challengers Bangalore's pair of AB de Villiers and Virat Kohli (916).

The list does not end there. Babar and Rizwan have also been involved in the most 50-plus partnerships in T20Is in a year. Against Namibia was the seventh instance of the two adding over 50 runs in 2021, one more than Guptill and Williamson six in the year 2016.

Another impressive feat is that Rizwan now holds the record for the most runs in men’s T20Is in a year with 1661 runs and with at least two matches left. He is next only to Chris Gayle (1665) in terms of highest runs in a year, which he looks set to surpass. He got there via his innings of 77 not out on Friday, and in the process overtaking his partner Babar (1607 in 2019) and India captain Kohli (1614 in 2016).

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