Pakistan vs New Zealand: Babar Azam scores third T20I century in 101st match

Babar Azam’s effort took Pakistan to 192/4 in 20 overs in the second T20I as the skipper had a 99-run stand with Mohammad Rizwan for the opening wicket. Rizwan scored a 34-ball 50 and shot six fours and a six to lay the foundation for a big total.

Babar Azam celebrates after scoring century. (Screengrab)

Rizwan got out in the 11th over as Matt Henry ended the duo from forging another 100-run stand. The New Zealand pacer wasn’t done yet as he bowled in-form Fakhar Zaman off his very first delivery to leave the Gadaffi crown stunned. New Zealand put themselves in a commanding position as Rachin Ravindra dismissed fellow rookie Saim Ayub in the very next over for a three-ball duck.

The middle-order collapse was confirmed in the next over with Jimmy Neesham dismissing newly-in Imad Wasim for just two runs. The crowd at this point feared the worst with Iftikhar Ahmed joining Babar in the middle. The fans still had hope with their captain and star player in the middle.

The hopes were not unfounded as Azam added 90 runs with Iftikhar for the fifth wicket while doing the bulk of scoring himself during an entertaining death overs. Azam went after spinners and pacers alike as the likes of Ben Lister (0/41), Neesham (1/48), and Henry Shipley (0/39) were taken to the cleaners by the skipper.

He brought his century in the final over by hitting Neesham for 17 runs in the final over, including a six and two fours). The boundaries came in the last two deliveries as he celebrate the century wildly.

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