Pakistan captain Babar Azam came to the party in the third ODI against England scoring his 14th ODI ton, albeit a bit late, as his team already lost the ODI series after defeats in the first two matches. Azam struck a brilliant 158 in the match to help Pakistan put up a formidable total after being asked to bat first.
Pakistan was coming of humiliating defeats by England who won the first ODI by 9 wickets and the second match by 52 runs in Cardiff and Lord’s respectively. The Men in Green came under heavy scrutiny for both their batting and bowling failures. The batting failed in both matches as Pakistan was bowled out for 141 in the first match and then couldn’t chase down 248 runs.
However, things got better for Pakistan in the dead rubber match in Birmingham, as Ben Stokes won the toss and chose to chase on a batting beauty. Fakhar Zaman fell for 6 runs, Imam-Ul-Haq, who had a terrible outing in the first two matches, scored 56 runs adding 92 runs with Babar Azam, who looked in complete control.
Babar Azam Reaches 14th ODI Ton In 81 Innings; Leaves Hashim Amla, Virat Kohli And David Warner Behind
Azam anchored the innings but scored at a good pace. After Imam got out, he got support from Mohammad Rizwan. Rizwan hit 74 in 58 balls with 8 fours and added 179 runs with Babar Azam. Pakistan ended up making 331/9 in their 50 overs. England’s Brydon Carse picked 5/61 and Saqib Mahmood picked 3/60.
However, the star of the first innings proved to be the Pakistan captain who showed the world why he’s the number one ranked ODI batsman and why he’s rated so heavily in the cricketing fraternity. He made 158 in 139 balls, hitting 14 fours and 4 sixes in his innings, taking Pakistan to a wonderful total, to say the least.
In this process, Babar became the fastest batter to reach 14 ODI hundred in terms of innings played. Babar smashed a boundary off English pacer Saqib Mahmood at the point region to complete his ton in 104 deliveries. It was a typical Babar Azam innings as the Pakistan skipper kept improving his strike rate as the time progressed.
On his way to his 14th century, Babar left the likes of Meg Lanning, Hashim Amla, David Warner, and Virat Kohli behind, to become the fastest as he took just 81 innings to get to the milestone.
Here is the list of fastest to 14 ODI centuries:
81 (innings) – Babar Azam – Pakistan
82 (innings) – Meg Lanning – Australian women
84 – Hashim Amla – South Africa
98 – David Warner – Australia
103 – Virat Kohli – Virat Kohli