England’s premier domestic tournament, the Vitality T20 Blast, has seen the presence of several international stars in recent years.
Babar Azam, the number-one ranked T20I batsman in the world, is representing Somerset this season.
After a typically dazzling start to the tournament (42) against Worcestershire at Birmingham, Azam lost his way in the subsequent games.
Azam’s woes in Vitality T20 Blast
In the return fixture against Worcestershire, Pakistan’s premier batter failed to open his account. Azam could not register a double-digit score (6) against Birmingham Bears.
With three 50+ scores in the T20I and Test series against England, Azam appeared in decent touch throughout. But, he has averaged a dismal 14.5 in 2020 Vitality T20 Blast.
In Somerset’s recent game against Gloucestershire, Somerset captain Lewis Gregory was made to regret his decision to bowl first. Somerset conceded 203 runs in 20 overs and had no answer to onslaughts from Ian Cockbain and Benny Howell.
Cockbain registered a quickfire 50 off 27 balls, while Howell provided the finishing blows with his 18-ball 49*.
Chasing a daunting target of 204, Somerset received a sluggish start with Azam consuming 17 deliveries for 10 runs.
Looking at Azam’s struggle in his outing at Taunton on Sunday, Gloucestershire posted a tongue-in-cheek comment on Twitter.
“Rankings don’t matter on the pitch,” Gloucestershire captioned their post.
Gloucestershire Cricket also shared a one-minute clip encapsulating Azam’s struggle to pick left-arm seamer, David Payne.
Here’s the video:
— Gloucestershire Cricket🏏 (@Gloscricket) September 14, 2020
Will Smead’s heroics go in vain
Azam failed to find the middle of the bat and found the fielders consistently. The Pakistani batter looked to muscle his way into the knock. In the end, he gave a simple catch to Jack Taylor placed at long-on. In the ten deliveries bowled by Payne, Azam consumed six dot deliveries.
Meanwhile, Will Smead‘s knock of 84 off 49 deliveries went in vain as Somerset fell short of the required target by 11 runs. Somerset’s next game is scheduled against Glamorgan at Sophia Gardens, in Cardiff on September 16.