Record-breaking Azam trumps Hope and West Indies in first ODI

Babar Azam (Photo by Lee Warren/Gallo Images)

Pakistan captain Babar Azam became the first batsman to hit three consecutive international hundreds twice in one day as he anchored a five-wicket win over the West Indies in Multan on Wednesday.

As the No.

Opener Shai Hope threw a 134-ball 127 for his 12th one-day international century to help the West Indies to an impressive 305-8 – their highest record against Pakistan in Pakistan.

The victory gives Pakistan a 1-0 lead in three series of matches and 10 crucial points in the ODI Super League, a qualifying process for the 2023 World Cup (50 overs) hosted by India.

But when Azam and Mohammad Rizwan (59) fell in quick succession, Pakistan were in trouble with 50 balls from 32 balls.

Khushdil Shah lived up to his big hit, carting four sixes in his 23-ball 41 not out – three in a row in Romario Shepherd’s 47th over before Mohammad Nawaz scored the winning six in the final over.

Azam generously presented Khushdil with his Man of the Match award.

“I want to give him the award for his outstanding performance,” said Azam. “We planned the chase and showed intent, which worked in our favor.”

West Indian skipper Nicholas Pooran praised his team.

“Reaching 300 plus in difficult conditions was a big effort,” said Pooran. “I’m proud of the lads and although the result didn’t go our way but that’s cricket.”

Azam added 103 for the second wicket with Imam-ul-Haq, who hit 71-ball 65 after opener Fakhar Zaman fell for 11.

Haq hit six boundaries before making an easy catch and failing to hold a backswing from spinner Akeal Hosein.

Azam added 108 with Rizwan for the third wicket and during that stand spinner Hayden Walsh led to the third man limit for his 17th hundred in ODI cricket.

Azam hit two hundred in Pakistan’s last two one-day games against Australia in March/April this year.

He also hit three hundreds in back-to-back ODIs against the West Indies in the United Arab Emirates in 2016.

Former Sri Lankan Kumar Sangakkara has batted four consecutive centuries in as many games to top the table, while nine other batsmen have three consecutive centuries each once.

Azam caught out paceman Alzarri Josephh who finished 2-55.

Previously, the West Indies, who won and batted the Toss, were led by Hope and Shamarh Brooks.

Hope, who cracked 15 boundaries and a six, added an innings-building 154 with Shamarh Brooks after the visitors lost opener Kyle Mayers for three in the third over, who was caught and bowled by Pacer Shaheen Shah Afridi.

Brooks hit a polished 83-ball 70 with seven boundaries.

Hope collects 4,000 ODI runs

Fast bowler Haris Rauf, the home best bowler at 4-77, ended Hope’s knock when he threw him with a slower throw in the 44th over.

The scorching Multan heat — with temperatures ranging between 40 and 42 degrees Celsius (104 to 107 degrees Fahrenheit) — didn’t stop Hope and Brooks, who both fought with courage and strength.

Hope pushed Pacer Hasan Ali to cross the line to hit triple digits with 118 balls and also completed 4,000 ODI runs in his 93rd match.

He is the 11th West Indian batsman to reach the milestone in ODI cricket.

It was a brilliant one-handed dive catch from Shadab Khan in front of Nawaz on the short third man who fired Brooks but only after helping Hope recover.

Pooran hit three towering sixes in his 16-ball 21, while Rovman Powell made 32 balls from 23 and Shepherd took 25 balls from 18, while West Indies added 87 in the last ten overs.

West India’s best-ever game against Pakistan in Pakistan was 258-7 in Karachi in 1987.

The second game will take place on Friday and the third on Sunday, also in Multan.

Record-breaking Azam trumps Hope and West Indies in first ODI

Source link Record-breaking Azam trumps Hope and West Indies in first ODI

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