Pakistan skipper Babar Azam achieved a heroic feat on Day 5 of the second Test in Karachi against Australia. He helped his team draw the Test with a stellar knock of 196 and help maintain parity in the 3-match Test series.
In the process, he became the captain with the highest score in the 4th innings of a Test match. Babar’s 196 beat the previous record of 185 held by former England captain, Michael Atherton, who had achieved the milestone against South Africa back in 1995.
The 27-year-old Babar missed out on his maiden double century but will be proud of his contribution. His innings lasted for over seven hours and he faced 425 balls, nearly negating 71 overs by himself. In the end, the Aussies failed to bowl out the hosts despite having a go for 171 overs.
“This innings holds a lot of meaning for me” – Babar Azam
The knock was a special one considering the circumstances under which it was played. Down at 21/2 on Day 4 chasing a target of 506, Babar began rebuilding with Abdullah Shafique. Once the latter fell four runs short of a century, it was Mohammad Rizwan who accompanied the skipper.
“This innings holds a lot of meaning for me because the team needed it. We were realistic about the chase. We wanted to bat normally till tea, and then if we found ourselves in a situation where we could go for the chase, we were good.”
“But we lost wickets, unfortunately, so we didn’t really think of the chase. We needed to save the game. If I’d stayed for longer we might have tried to chase it,” Babar said after the game.
At the end of the day, what matters for Pakistan is that the series is still alive and they can take the confidence and momentum from this game into the next in Lahore.