Babar Azam gave a batting masterclass to steer Pakistan to a nine-wicket win within the third Twenty20 International (T20I) in opposition to South Africa at SuperSport Park in Centurion on Wednesday. Babar hit 122, his first T20I century, and shared a report Pakistan first wicket partnership of 197 with Mohammad Rizwan (73 not out) as Pakistan chased down a difficult goal of 204 with two overs to spare. Virtually the one flaw in a stunning batting show by the Pakistan captain was when he was dismissed with solely seven runs wanted, nudging an tried ramp shot off Lizaad Williams to South African wicketkeeper and captain Heinrich Klaasen.
Rizwan embraced his captain as he began on his manner again to the dressing room whereas a number of South African gamers ran to congratulate him after an innings of just about flawless timing and placement.
He hit 15 fours and 4 sixes off 59 balls.
Speaking in Urdu on the post-match presentation, Babar stated he was delighted together with his efficiency.
“I stick to my strengths,” stated Babar who earlier Wednesday had changed India skipper Virat Kohli because the world’s top-ranked one-day worldwide batsman.
Babar gave credit score to Rizwan, who for the second time within the collection remained unbeaten in a profitable run chase.
He identified that Rizwan was fasting throughout Ramadan however nonetheless was concerned all through the match each as wicketkeeper and batsman.
It was the perfect riposte by Pakistan, who took a 2-1 lead within the four-match collection after being well-beaten within the second match in Johannesburg on Wednesday.
Babar and Rizwan shared the fourth-highest partnership in all T20 internationals, whereas Babar made the very best particular person rating by a Pakistan batsman, beating 111 not out by Ahmed Shehzad in opposition to Bangladesh in Dhaka in 2014.
Babar’s earlier highest rating was 97 not out in opposition to the West Indies in Karachi in 2018.
It was Pakistan’s highest profitable run chase, eclipsing the 189 for six they made in opposition to the identical opponents in Johannesburg 4 days in the past.
It continued a run of excellent type by Babar in Centurion after he hit 103 and 94 in two one-day internationals earlier within the tour.
The closing T20 worldwide can be performed on the similar floor on Friday.
“They batted really well, they made a lot of good balls look bad,” stated Klaasen.
The skipper admitted South Africa had didn’t capitalise on a hard-hitting opening stand of 108 between Aiden Markram (63) and Janneman Malan (55).
By distinction, Babar praised his bowlers for coming again strongly after being punished by the South African openers.
South Africa completed with 203 for 5 nevertheless it was not sufficient on a floor with a fame for top scoring.
“We maybe lost a bit of momentum at the end,” stated Klaasen.
“We tried a lot of things but our display in the field was poor.”
Two misfields within the second over enabled Pakistan to get off to a fast begin, whereas Rizwan survived an easy catching likelihood to backward level off Beuran Hendricks when he had 51.
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