Tue, Nov 06, 2018 - Page 16 News List

Pakistan’s Azam breaks record in rout

AP, DUBAI, United Arab Emirates

Pakistan’s Babar Azam, left, plays a shot against New Zealand in the third Twenty20 international in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, on Sunday.

Photo: AFP

Pakistan on Sunday swept New Zealand 3-0 in their Twenty20 series with a 47-run win in the third and final match as Babar Azam became the fastest player to reach 1,000 runs in Twenty20 internationals.

Azam smashed 79 off 58 balls and Mohammad Hafeez made an unbeaten 53 in 34 deliveries as Pakistan reached 166-3 after captain Sarfraz Ahmed chose to bat.

When the 24-year-old Azam reached 48, the Pakistan opener became the quickest player to reach the 1,000-run milestone in his 26th Twenty20 match.

The previous record was held by India captain Virat Kohli, who achieved the feat in 2015 in 27 Twenty20s.

“I knew I had broken Kohli’s record,” said Azam, who hit seven fours and two sixes.

In reply, New Zealand captain Kane Williamson made a robust 60 in 38 balls before the tourists crumbled against Pakistan’s spinners and were bowled out for 119 in 16.5 overs.

“A brilliant team effort from us,” Ahmed said after leading Pakistan to their 11th successive Twenty20 series victory that also included a 3-0 win against Australia last month. “We needed 160-plus and our batsmen did it, with Babar Azam and Hafeez playing magnificent innings. Throughout the series we’ve taken wickets with the new ball and we’ve done well with the bat, too.”

Leg-spinner Shadab Khan grabbed 3-30 and ignited the collapse by removing Williamson and Glenn Phillips (26) in one over as New Zealand lost their last eight wickets for just 23 runs.

Left-arm spinner Imad Wasim (2-28) claimed the wickets of Mark Chapman and Tim Seifert in successive deliveries before debutant fast bowler Waqas Maqsood (2-21) ended New Zealand’s chase by taking the final two wickets.

“At the halfway stage, on that surface, that was a very good total from Pakistan,” Williamson said. “They’ve a very good bowling attack and we’ll try to keep learning from them in these conditions.”

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