Babar Azam
Babar Azam. (Photo: Twitter)

Pakistan skipper Babar Azam has now become the first-ever captain to notch up three half-centuries in a single T20 World Cup. He achieved this feat when he played a brilliant knock of 70 runs from 49 balls against Namibia in Abu Dhabi.

Earlier in the tournament, he had hit 68* off 52 versus India and 51 off 47 versus Afghanistan.

Babar Azam and Mohammed Rizwan continued their supreme form as they forged a 113-run opening stand against Namibia. The openers also became the first pair ever to aggregate 1,000 runs in a calendar year in T20 Internationals; the duo have also put on four century stands in 2021, most in a calendar year.

Babar Azam of Pakistan. Photo- Getty
Babar Azam of Pakistan. Photo- Getty

Babar Azam, Mohammed Rizwan fifties take Pakistan to 189

After electing to bat first, Pakistan openers Babar Azam and Mohammad Rizwan started off cautiously against in-form left-arm seamer Ruben Trumpelmann, who bowled a maiden first over.

The next two overs yielded only 6 runs before Babar Azam hit Pakistan’s first boundary in the fourth over. 10 runs came off the fifth over, bowled by JJ Smit. Jan Frylinck kept things tight in the sixth over, conceding only 6 runs as Pakistan ended the powerplay at 29/0.

The partnership grew as both the batters ran hard for singles and doubles before upping the ante: a flurry of boundaries came from the bat of both the right-handers before they tore into Trumpelmann, taking 18 runs, including Rizwan hitting the first six of the match in the 12th over.

Babar Azam, Mohammad Rizwan
Babar Azam, Mohammad Rizwan. Image Credits: Twitter

Rizwan then danced down the track to Loftie-Eaton to slam him for a maximum down the ground, as the century-stand came up in the 13th over. David Wiese provided his side with their first breakthrough, dismissing Babar for 70. Pakistan lost their second in quick succession with Fakhar Zaman edging Jan Frylinck.

Mohammad Hafeez then came out all guns blazing, stroking one boundary after another, racing to 32* off 16 balls. Rizwan, on 55 off 44, was looking for his breakthrough over and got in the last over of the innings: he whacked 4 fours and a six to JJ Smit, rumbling to 79* off 50 balls as Pakistan finished on 189/2.

Also Read: T20 World Cup 2021: If We Put Up Good Runs On The Board, We Can Defeat India By Bowling And Fielding – Hamid Hassan