Pakistan skipper Babar Azam on Wednesday surpassed India’s star batter Virat Kohli to register a new world record. Playing against Bangladesh in the Super 4 match at Gaddafi Stadium in Lahore, Babar scored 17 runs off 22 balls before becoming a victim of Bangladesh pacer Taskin Ahmed. However, the knock helped the right-handed batter reach 2000 ODI runs as captain. Babar did that in only 31 innings beating the world record holder Virat Kohli, who had achieved it in 36 innings.
South Africa great AB de Villiers is third on the list with 41 innings, while Australia legend Michael Clarke follows him with 46 innings.
Talking about the Pakistan vs Bangladesh game on Wednesday, Haris Rauf bowled a couple of hostile spells while Imam-ul-Haq struck a silken 78 as Pakistan secured a comfortable seven-wicket victory over Bangladesh.
Rauf (6-0-19-4) proved to be too quick for the Bangladeshi batters, who were also troubled relentlessly by Naseem Shah (5.4-0-34-3) after Shakib-Al-Hasan opted to bat. Bangladesh were eventually bundled out for a paltry 193 in just 38.4 overs, despite a 100-run stand and twin half-centuries by Shakib (53 off 57 balls) and former captain Mushfiqur Rahim (64 off 87 balls).
The target was never going to pose a problem for the hosts, who knocked it off in just 39.3 overs.
Even though Fakhar Zaman’s lean patch continued and Babar Azam was played on by a delivery from Taskin Ahmed that kept low, southpaw Imam was grace personified en route his 84-ball knock.
In all, he hit five fours and four sixes while anchoring the innings in company of Mohammad Rizwan (63 not out off 79 balls). The duo added 85 runs for the third wicket and ensured that there are no hiccups in the chase.
Two of his sixes — a pull-shot over mid-wicket off Mehidy Hasan Miraj and an inside out loft over long-off against Shakib bore testimony to Imam’s talent.
Pakistan will now head to Colombo once again to face arch-rivals India in their second Super Four game on Sunday.
Earlier, Bangladesh suffered two batting collapse — first the the top-order was blown away in the Power Play and the lower middle-order fell like a pack of cards towards the end of the innings. They were reduced to 47 for 4 during the first Powerplay and again lost six wickets for 47 runs between overs 30 to 39.
Rauf terrorised the batters with sheer pace while Naseem also added seam and swing with it.
(With PTI Inputs)
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