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Watch: Babar Azam carves composed fifty on international debut

Watch: Babar Azam Carves Composed Fifty On International Debut
by Wisden Staff 3 minute read

Watch: Eight years ago in Lahore, a 20-year-old named Babar Azam made his first international outing, striking a measured half-century against a touring Zimbabwe side.

Babar was called up for the last fixture of the tour in which Pakistan carried out a whitewash series victory over The Chevrons, across three ODIs and two T20Is.

After Mohammad Hafeez and then-captain Azhar Ali’s 115-run opening stand got Pakistan off to a solid start, a fresh-faced Babar strolled to the crease with Pakistan 135-2 at the halfway mark.


As the middle-order around him looked in danger of squandering the base set for them earlier, a quintessentially cool-headed Babar remained resolute as he built his maiden international innings.

Babar reached 50 off 54 balls in the 45th over, with just four boundaries hit in the process, but crucially remaining at the crease – while the likes of Asad Shafiq and Sarfaraz Ahmed had fallen while risk-taking.

Babar would fall after being bowled by Chris Mpofu, helping his side to 296-6 from their 50 overs. Zimbabwe made a flying start to the chase, racing to 68 without loss from nine overs, before the rain came.

Babar’s mature debut knock would earn him a spot on the return tour of Zimbabwe later that year, before becoming a mainstay in the Pakistan squad. The rest is history.

Since then, the prolific skipper has appeared in 100 ODIs, averaging just shy of 60 – becoming the fastest ODI batter to reach 5,000 runs – leading Pakistan to the top of the ODI rankings for the first time in the process.

Watch the highlights from Babar Azam’s 54 from 60 balls on international debut here:

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