Pakistan on Friday faced a humiliating defeat at the hands of England in the sixth T20 International of the series but skipper Babar Azam played a sublime knock to match a record held by former India captain Virat Kohli.
Batting first, Pakistan made 169-6 with Azam playing an unbeaten knock of 87 from 59 balls. His innings included seven fours and three sixes. Azam helped Pakistan recover from an early shock of losing two wickets when their score was just 15 after 3.2 overs.
Thanks to an equally impressive knock by England’s Phil Salt that the visitors achieved the target by losing just two wickets with 33 balls to spare. Salt, also an opener just like Azam, remained unbeaten at 88 from 41 balls with his innings including 13 boundaries and three sixes.
Azam recorded his name in the record books immediately after scoring his 27th T20I fifty when he lofted the ball back over Richard Gleeson’s head to go past 3,000 runs in the shortest format of the game. He took 81 innings to achieve this feat. Virat Kohli too had taken 81 innings to score the first 3,000 runs of his T20I career.
Azam, however, could not stop his side from suffering a humiliating defeat.
Reacting to his side’s emphatic win, England skipper Moeen Ali said after the match, “I’m very happy, I thought the way we batted in particular was outstanding.
“We almost killed the game off straight away and it just shows if you stick to the process, you don’t have to just slog. We had proper cricket shots.
“I thought the seamers were also outstanding today.
“The difference is, if you don’t lose wickets early on you can keep on going. I thought tonight we were really impressive.
“Like I said, when we were playing the shots there was no slogging. There was a good base, good shots and that was a really impressive performance tonight from everybody.”
The seven-match series is now evenly poised at 3-3 with everything to play for in the last match.