Pakistan top-order batsman scored 115 runs in second ODI against Sri Lanka in Karachi
Pakistan top-order batsman Babar Azam was ecstatic after scoring his first century on home soil, during the second One-day International (ODI) against Sri Lanka at the National Stadium in Karachi.
Azam, currently one of the best batsmen in limited overs cricket, smashed a solid 105-ball 115 to lift Pakistan to 305-7 after the home team won the toss and batted.
“We enjoyed ourselves and the pleasure of playing in home conditions cannot be matched," said Azam during a press conference after the conclusion of the match. "There was no pressure playing in home conditions, as we had played PSL games and matches against the West Indies also.”
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The right-hander also spoke about the importance of pacing his innings and staying out in the middle for as long as possible.
"I go into every game with the intention of giving it my 100 per cent and play for as long as possible,” he said. "When I feel that I have to make a charge, then I take a chance and also think carefully about where to utilise my power-hitting and when to play fast."
Azam, who was also appointed as the vice-captain of the side for the ongoing limited-overs series against Sri Lanka, also reiterated that he was not keen on getting ahead of himself with regards to leading the side.
"This is a decision of the PCB and everyone is always ready to be captain but as for me I don’t think that far ahead and just focus on my game,” he said. "There is no pressure in being a vice-captain. I do try and learn things and I always share my opinion if Sarfaraz needs my advice."
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Azam, when on 54, also became the fifth batsman to complete 1,000 ODI runs in 2019 — behind India's duo Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma, and Australian couple Aaron Finch and Usman Khawaja.
The 67-run win on Monday gave Pakistan a 1-0 lead in the three-match series with the first ODI rained off in Karachi on Friday. The third and final match is also set for the same venue on Wednesday.