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Babar Azam shatters several T20 records, scores third century as Pakistan beat NZ in second match

?: @TheRealPCB

Pakistan’s cricket team defeated New Zealand by 38 runs in the second T20 match taking 2-0 lead in five match T20 series here in Lahore. Babar Azam scored a century, helping Pakistan reach 192, while Haris Rauf took four wickets, keeping New Zealand at 154 in Lahore.

Pakistan’s captain Babar Azam broke several records and matched some others while playing 101st T20 match. While Babar Azam is the first Pakistani player to score three T20 International centuries, he is just 62 runs away from breaking Aaron Finch’s record for the most T20 International runs as a captain.

Babar Azam became the first Pakistani player to score three T20 International centuries, and only the second batter overall with nine T20 centuries, just behind Chris Gayle’s 22. He also became the first skipper in history to score three T20 International centuries, while India’s Rohit Sharma is the only other captain with multiple centuries.

Additionally, Babar Azam equaled the world record for most T20 international wins as a skipper with 42 victories, matching Eoin Morgan and Asghar Afghan. With three matches remaining in the series, Pakistan’s captain has a chance to break the world record for most wins.

Pakistan’s batting performance

Pakistan’s powerful opening duo, Babar Azam and Muhammad Rizwan, laid a solid foundation by achieving a fifty partnership in just 5.2 overs. This marked their 19th fifty partnership in T20I cricket, which helped Pakistan reach 59 for one at the end of the batting powerplay.

In the 10th over, Muhammad Rizwan reached his 24th half-century, as the pair prevented New Zealand from taking any wickets halfway through the innings. By the end of the 10th over, Pakistan had scored 98 without losing a wicket. Rizwan was caught in the 11th over, with Pakistan’s score at 99. The pair narrowly missed a century partnership by one run, which would have been a T20I record.

Pakistan’s second wicket fell immediately when Fakhar Zaman was dismissed on his first ball. Matt Henry, who took a hat-trick in the previous match, was on the verge of another hat-trick, but Saim Ayub prevented this from happening. Ayub, however, failed to impress in the second match, as he was caught on the boundary without scoring.

With Pakistan’s score at 105 for four, Babar Azam and Iftikhar Ahmed spearheaded the recovery, adding 87 runs in the final seven overs to bring the total to 192. Iftikhar Ahmed remained unbeaten on 33 off 19 balls, while Babar Azam scored his third T20I century off 58 balls, including 11 fours and three sixes.

New Zealand’s batting performance

New Zealand began steadily, not losing any wickets during the batting powerplay. However, Shadab Khan struck in the seventh over, dismissing Tom Latham for 19 runs. Imad Wasim took another wicket in the following over, bowling Chad Bowes out for 26 runs.

In the 12th over, Haris Rauf claimed the third wicket for Pakistan, dismissing Will Young for nine runs and leaving New Zealand struggling at 85 for three. Rauf crushed New Zealand’s hopes of leveling the series in the 15th over by taking the wickets of Daryl Mitchell and James Neesham, resulting in a score of 112 for five.

Facing a daunting task of scoring 81 runs in the final five overs, Mark Chapman fought valiantly and reached his fifty off 30 balls. Haris Rauf took his second consecutive four-wicket haul by dismissing Rachin Ravindra, leaving New Zealand at 131 for six.

Ultimately, New Zealand managed only 154 runs for seven wickets in 20 overs, giving Pakistan a 2-0 lead in the series.

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