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Friday Apr 02 2021
By
Web Desk

Pak vs SA: Babar Azam leaves Kohli behind by breaking another ODI record

By
Web Desk
Pakistani skipper Babar Azam (L) and Indian captain Virat Kohli (R). Photo: File

Pakistan cricket team captain Babar Azam is relentless in the pursuit of runs and continues his run of form against the Proteas. 

In the first ODI against South Africa, the Pakistani captain managed to score 103 runs in a classy inning that saw his team out of the woods against South Africa after Fakhar Zaman fell early on. 

Azam's century puts him in a league of his own as the cricketer becomes the fastest batsman in the world to score 13 ODI centuries.

It took the Pakistan captain only 76 innings to score 13 tons in the 50-over format.

Hashim Amla, India's Virat Kohli, and South Africa's Quentin de Kock — his contemporaries — scored 13 centuries from 83 innings, 13 centuries from 86 innings, and 13 tons from 86 innings, respectively.

Azam is currently placed at number 2 in the ICC ODI batsman rankings. Kohli occupies the number one spot but, according to a cricket statistician, Azam can surpass Kohli to become the best batsman in the world in the 50-over format.

Pakistan continue run chase against South Africa

South Africa on Friday posted a 274-run target for Pakistan in the first of three ODIs at Centurion, with help from middle-order batsman Rassie van Der Dussen's maiden ODI century.

After Pakistan won the toss and decided to bowl first, South African openers Quinton de Kock and Aiden Markram were contained early on by Shaheen Afridi and Mohammad Hasnain. But once they had settled in and the hard work seemed to have been done, both were dismissed for 20 and 19 respectively.

New captain Temba Bavuma contributed just a single run, as Hasnain picked his wicket, with Afridi the catcher. Soon after, van der Dussen was dropped in the slips by Asif Ali or the hosts would have been four down and all sorts of trouble.

At the end of 10 overs, South Africa were 43-3 and clearly second-best to Pakistan.

The fourth wicket fell in the 15th over when Faheem Ashraf had Klaasen caught behind.

Van der Dussen and David Miller stabilised the ship and formed a partnership that saw South Africa bring up their century in the 23rd over.

The 150 was up nine overs later as the pair made sure it was not going to be a one-sided inning.

The 116-run partnership finally ended on the final ball of the 36th over when Haris Rauf had Miller (50 off 56) caught behind.

The hosts completed their 200 in the 43rd over, with Van der Dussen in his 80s and Andile Phehlukwayo on the other end.

Van der Dussen's maiden ODI century was completed in the 47th over. In the end, he finished with a 134-ball 123 and helped his side finish 273-6.

Earlier, the visitors handed a debut to left-handed batsman Danish Aziz, who plays in the middle order.

When South Africa visited Pakistan earlier this year, they had a number of untested players in their ranks while their hosts are at near full strength.

This time, the roles have been reversed. Pakistan now have a number of young players in their ranks and the Proteas are at full strength.