اردو

Record-setter Babar Azam helps Central Punjab ease past Balochistan

Prolific right-hander further cements his place as one of the best T20 batsmen in the world

PHOTO COURTESY: PCB

Pakistan’s prolific batsman Babar Azam became the highest run-scorer in T20 cricket in 2020 as Central Punjab thumped Balochistan by nine wickets in the ongoing National T20 Cup in Rawalpindi.

During his 64-run knock Azam went past Alex Hales’ tally of 895 runs to further cement his place as one of the best T20 batsmen in the world.

Azam also became the fastest to 1000 runs in National T20 Cup history, taking only 27 innings to reach the milestone.

Chasing a relatively easy target of 126 runs, Central Punjab finished the game inside 14 overs in commanding fashion.

Kamran Akmal and Azam, who scored his third consecutive fifty in the tournament, added 86 runs for the first wicket before the former was dismissed after scoring 33 runs from 27 balls.

Despite Akmal’s departure, Babar (64 off 40) knocked off the remaining runs with ease, alongside Abdullah Shafique (28 off 15), to help his side register a crucial victory.   

ALSO READ: Imamul Haq's slow batting cost Balochistan against Sindh: Ramiz Raja

Earlier, after being asked to bat first, Balochistan posted a modest total of 125/8 in their allotted 20 overs.

Central Punjab bowlers proved their captain’s decision right by reducing Balochistan to 36/4 inside nine overs. Openers Imamul Haq and Awais Zia could only muster five runs each, while Abdul Wahid Bangalzai (0) and Bismillah Khan (11) also failed to live up to expectations.

Captain Haris Sohail and Akbarur Rehman tried to steady the ship with a 44-run partnership but the innings remained bereft of momentum. Sohail top-scored with 41 runs off 36 balls, while Rehman scored 19 runs off 17 balls.

For Central Punjab, pacer Ahmed Bashir was the most successful bowler with figures of 4/23. Off-spinner Qasim Akram claimed two wickets for seven runs.