Babar Azam breaks captaincy record, sits second to Gayle in overall list after stunning T20I century v New Zealand
Babar Azam reached new heights with his third T20I hundred against New Zealand today (April 15), bringing up a remarkable century on the last ball of the innings and claiming a notable record in the process.
After a customary big opening stand with Mohammad Rizwan – this time ended at 99 – Babar held the innings together, ensuring Pakistan got up near 200.
With three overs to go, however, it looked as if Babar – 65 off 46 at the time – might miss out on a century. He then hit Matt Henry for 16 runs in three balls to move past 80, before a good penultimate over from Ben Lister set the Pakistan captain back again.
With four balls to go, Babar still needed 15. With a six, a two, and two fours, he brought up his hundred on the last ball of the game, the milestone registered with a slap over cover and a roar to the skies. The noise in the ground was deafening as his teammates rose to applaud a masterclass.
Babar has earned a reputation as one of the most consistent short-form batters there has been, and this hundred brought him to new heights. He now has three hundreds as T20I captain – the most by any player – while his nine centuries in all T20s puts him in second place on the overall list, though he has some way to go to match Chris Gayle, who has 22 tons.
He, Virat Kohli and Rizwan are the only three players to average 40 in T20Is, with a cut-off of 2,000 runs, and Babar and Rizwan have a proud record as a pair. They have the most runs (2,651), most century stands (9) and most fifty-plus stands (19) of any T20I batting partnership in history, while their average (50.98), is also the best of any pair, with a cut-off of 1,000 runs.