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Tuesday Jul 13 2021
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Babar Azam rewrites history books in 3rd ODI against England

Pakistani cricket captain Babar Azam. Photo: File.
Pakistani cricket captain Babar Azam. Photo: File.

KARACHI: Pakistan’s cricket captain Babar Azam has added several feathers to his cap on Tuesday with his flamboyant innings of 158 runs in the 3rd ODI against England at Edgbaston, Birmingham.

Babar smashed four shots over the fence for a maximum and stroked 14 boundaries in his 139-balls innings that also brought his 14th ODI hundred – in his 81st innings — to make him quickest to reach the milestone of 14 ODI centuries.

South Africa’s Hashim Amla completed 14 ODI centuries in 84 innings while Australia’s David Warner took 98 innings to reach there. India’s Virat Kohli took 103 innings to reach this milestone.

This was also Babar’s 3rd ODI hundred on the English soil, making him the first Pakistani to do so. Saeed Anwar, Fakhar Zaman, and Imam ul Haq had scored two ODI hundreds apiece. Babar was already the first Pakistani to score 1000 runs on English soil.

The individual score of 158 was also significant on many accounts.

The score was the highest ever by a Pakistani captain in an ODI surpassing Shoaib Malik’s 125* against India in Karachi in 2008. This was also the highest by any Pakistani player on English soil, beating the previous best by Imam ul Haq who had scored an individual inning of 151.

Babar’s 158 is also the highest individual score by a captain in a match of any bilateral ODI series being played on English soil, beating 154 against Bangladesh by Andrew Strauss in 2010. Only two captains have scored more in an innings in England before Babar Azam – Kapil Dev 175* in 1983 and GM Turner 171*in 1975, both during World Cup events.

This is also the highest score by any Asian batsman at Birmingham’s Edgbaston Cricket ground. Babar’s average on this ground, 149.00, is the best by any batsman who has batted at least four times on this venue.

Babar today also equalled Azhar Ali by scoring 3rd ODI century as Pakistan’s captain. Jointly, the most ODI hundreds by a Pakistani captain.

Babar could have added another feather to his cap had he scored another 15 runs, that would have made him jointly the fastest to 4,000 ODI runs, jointly with Hashim Amla.

During the innings, Babar and Rizwan added 179 runs for the third wicket’s partnership. This was Pakistan’s best ODI partnership against England, for any wicket and at any venue.