During the Asia Cup clash against Nepal on Wednesday, Pakistan’s captain, Babar Azam, notched his 19th ODI century, becoming the first to do so in this tournament edition. Babar’s remarkable achievement was punctuated by 9 boundaries as he partnered with experienced campaigner Iftikhar Ahmed (56), steering the Men in Green toward a competitive total.
In the face of an early wobble where both openers fell, Babar’s partnership with wicketkeeper Mohammad Rizwan (before his unusual run-out) and later with Iftikhar showcased his crucial role in steadying Pakistan’s ship. The skipper’s century was a testament to his skill and resilience.
The century, however, was not without its share of drama. Mohammad Rizwan’s unfortunate dismissal in the 24th over left Babar to watch helplessly as a seemingly routine single turned chaotic. Rizwan’s failure to ground his bat and his evasion of the throw led to the stumps being shattered, resulting in a run-out.
Twitter Reactions After Babar’s Century:
If minnow-bashing is an art, then Babar Azam is the Picasso of it.— Adarsh (@Adarsh914221) August 30, 2023
The king— Miraal🖤🇵🇰 (@Its_Me_Miraal) August 30, 2023
Is "Babar Azam" ❤️🔥 pic.twitter.com/LseuOo8DEt
very Well played by #BabarAzam— بلال چوہدری™🇵🇰 (@Chaudarybilal19) August 30, 2023
Choosing to bat after winning the toss, Babar explained that there was no added pressure of playing at home, emphasizing the team’s focus on enjoying the game and delivering their best performance. Meanwhile, Nepal’s captain, Rohit Paudel, expressed his team’s delight in making their Asia Cup debut, relishing the opportunity to perform on a grand stage.
Babar Azam Remarked: “I needed to take the team to a different level and change mindset. Now, we have at least 3-4 players in top-10 and when you set a standard, there will be expectations and you have to fulfil those expectations. Performances should be such that the team wins,”
Babar’s satisfaction with Pakistan’s current top rank in ODI rankings and the impressive presence of several players within the top-10 bracket was evident in his remarks on Tuesday. As the team continues to demonstrate its prowess, Babar’s century against Nepal not only elevated his stature as a captain but also showcased his ability to lead from the front in critical matches.