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Pakistan v England 2022

‘King is always King’ – Babar Azam and Mohammad Rizwan lauded after unbeaten 203-run stand

by Wisden Staff 1 minute read

Pakistan chased down 200 to win with 10 wickets to spare against England in the second T20I, with Babar Azam notching a 66-ball 110 and Mohammad Rizwan making 88 in 51 deliveries.

Rizwan and Babar had been criticised for their low scoring rate up the order in T20Is of late. Since the T20 World Cup ended last year, the duo had piled on 486 runs together but at a run rate of 7.59 per over till the second match against England on Thursday.

Already one game down in the series, Pakistan were set a target of 200 to draw level. Rizwan, however, came out all guns blazing, racing away to his 18th half-century in 30 balls, and though Babar took time to get going – he was 38 off 31 at one point – he took on the initiative soon after, smashing two sixes off Moeen Ali in the 13th over.

Babar, who had averaged 11.33 in the recent Asia Cup, and slipped out of the top three in the ICC T20I batting rankings for the first time since February 2021 when the list was updated earlier this week, announced his return to form in style, bringing up his fifty in 39 balls. He showed no signs of stopping, reaching his second hundred in the format off 62 balls, as Pakistan raced away to victory.

Rizwan, who had been in the firing line after ending the Asia Cup with a strike rate of 117.57 despite topping the run charts, struck at 172.55 in the game, with Babar striking at 166.67.

Their performance was applauded on social media, especially by their teammates.

Translated: I think it’s time to get rid of Captain Babar Azam and Mohammad Rizwan. They are selfish players. If they had played with more intent, the game would have ended in 15 overs. The duo took the match till the last over. Let’s make this a movement, no? Absolutely proud of this amazing Pakistan team.

Translated: Remember, King is always the King and Babar Azam is a King. The world forgets easily. I’ve never seen a fighter like Rizwan. We will lose and we will win, but that’s a part of cricket. This is our Pakistan, this is our team.

Translated: People will criticise – their work is to criticise. Don’t pay heed.

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