Mohammad Rizwan and Babar Azam are under pressure due to their strike rates.© AFP
Babar Azam and Mohammad Rizwan smashed as rockstars against England in the second T20I in Karachi on Thursday. Pakistani skipper Azam failed to hammer out 110 for his second T20I hundred, while Rizwan scored an unbeaten 88 as the pair completed a 200 chase in 19.3 overs into a packed National Stadium. With 1,929 runs combined, the partnership between Azam and Rizwan has become the most prolific in T20Is, beating Indian stars Shikhar Dhawan and Rohit Sharma’s record of 1,743 in 51 matches. Azam and Rizwan have set the record in just 36 games. Pakistan’s 10-wicket win tied the seven-game run to 1-1 after England won the first game by six wickets, also in Karachi on Tuesday.
The 203* partnership between Babar and Rizwan – the highest in a car chase in the T20s – came at a good time for the duo. After Pakistan’s loss of the Asia Cup final against Sri Lanka, Rizwan and Babar came under pressure. There were many talks about the duo’s T20 strike rates, but with their knockout against England on Thursday, they have silenced their critics.
Former England captain Nasser Hussain backed the duo after Pakistan’s victory. “If you think Babar and Rizwan have been the problem…you really haven’t watched in years!!,” he tweeted.
If you think Babar and Rizwan have been the problem… then you really haven’t looked the last few years!!
— Nasser Hussain (@nassercricket) September 22, 2022
Azam, who endured a miserable Asian Cup earlier this month with just 68 runs in six games, hit five sixes and 11 fours on 66 balls, while Rizwan hit four sixes and five limits in his 51-ball innings. Azam’s hundred came from 62 balls, adding to his 122 against South Africa in Centurion last year. The pair reached 100 in just 11.2 overs – their seventh century together in T20I cricket.
However, England defeated Pakistan a day later by 63 runs in the 3rd T20I to take a 2-1 lead in the series.
With AFP inputs
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