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Rassie van der Dussen praises 'world-class' Babar Azam

South African batsman believes it is hard to stop a batsman like Babar who has many boundary options

Rassie van der Dussen praises 'world-class' Babar Azam PHOTO: AFP

Middle-order batsman Rassie Van der Dussen heaped praise on Babar Azam after the Pakistan captain hit a stroke-filled 103 off 104 balls and shared a second-wicket partnership of 177 with Imamul Haq, who made 70, to lead the Men in Green to victory against South Africa in first ODI in Centurion on Friday.

While speaking in a virtual press conference after the aforementioned game, Dussen said it is hard to stop a batsman like Babar who has many boundary options available at his disposal.

“Babar is a world-class player. He is a guy who has many boundary options. The pitch also suited his game as it had consistent bounce. He played a great innings. He put pressure on our bowlers and put in a good performance to win the game for his team,’’ said Dussen.

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Babar, who scored his 13th ODI ton, became the fastest male player to achieve this milestone after taking just 76 innings.

The record was previously held by legendary South Africa batsman Hashim Amla, who took 83 innings to notch up 13 ODI centuries.

India’s star batsman and skipper Virat Kohli and South Africa’s wicketkeeper-batsman Quinton de Kock, both, took 86 innings.

Babar was ecstatic after his hundred but wished he had taken Pakistan over the finish line.

“I am delighted with my hundred. The plan was to take it deep, build a big partnership, and don’t lose focus. We wanted to stay till the end but unfortunately, I got out after scoring a century, Imam got out and we lost back-to-back wickets which created a little pressure on us,” said Babar after the match.