Babar Azam smashed his 13th ODI hundred while Imam-ul-Haq scored with a vital half-century before Mohammad Rizwan and Shadab Khan’s late contributions helped Pakistan seal a dramatic last-ball thriller against South Africa in Centurion.
Azam took just 76 innings to register his 13th century in ODIs and became the fastest to achieve the feat in men’s cricket. Australia women’s captain Meg Lanning, too, played 76 innings to reach her 13th ODI ton. Hashim Amla was the previous quickest to 13 tons in men’s ODIs, taking 83 innings.
Earlier, after put in to bat first, South Africa managed a total of 273/6 despite a stumbling start after losing three early wickets in the powerplay overs, thanks to a maiden international ton by Rassie van der Dussen and a fifty by David Miller.
Breif Scores: Pakistan 274/7 (Babar 103, Imam 70, Anrich Nortje 4-51) beat South Africa 273/6 (van der Dussen 123 not out, Miller 50, Shaheen Afridi 2-61) by three wickets.
“The wicket had a bit of moisture and we tried to utilize that, so credit to our bowlers for capitalising on that with the new ball. They took wickets in the powerplay and restricted them to 270 odd. I just told the bowlers to hit the hard length and not bowl boundary balls. We stuck to our plan and we restricted them. When I went in, I just want to play to my strengths. I was hoping to get a partnership with Imam and we got a big one. To be honest, when the wickets fell I was nervous and the pressure was on with that Nortje spell, and he bowled extremely well. Hopefully, we will learn from our mistakes. We need to take the confidence from this win into the next game and hopefully close the series,” the winning captain Azam said in the post-match presentation.
Here’s how Twitter reacted:
Wow. Nail-biting bana he dia.
What a win though. Well played both teams. #PAKvsSA
— Shoaib Akhtar (@shoaib100mph) April 2, 2021
Congratulations Team Pakistan 🇵🇰 for a good win. @babarazam258 💯 was a special innings to watch. Good contributions from @ImamUlHaq12 @iMRizwanPak @76Shadabkhan & @iFaheemAshraf @iShaheenAfridi Good start of the tour boys Well done 👏🏼 #PAKvsSA
— Mohammad Hafeez (@MHafeez22) April 2, 2021
— Saj Sadiq (@Saj_PakPassion) April 2, 2021
Pakistan first kept Pakistan in the hunt before threatening to do a Pakistan but eventually did a Pakistan to see them home.
— Nikhil 🏏 (@CricCrazyNIKS) April 2, 2021
Pakistan one of the most entertaining cricket teams to follow/watch. Unreal talent but every day can be so different than the last. Cracking win that today well done @TheRealPCB
— Niall John O Brien (@niallnobiobrien) April 2, 2021
— Ashwin 🇮🇳 (@ashwinravi99) April 2, 2021
Yaar team Pakistan
hamare dil se youn mutt khella karo!!
— Faizan Lakhani (@faizanlakhani) April 2, 2021
💪 No one has reached 13 ODI centuries in fewer innings than Babar Azam
— The Cricketer (@TheCricketerMag) April 2, 2021
— zainab abbas (@ZAbbasOfficial) April 2, 2021
— Sohail Tanveer (@sohailmalik614) April 2, 2021
— ICC (@ICC) April 2, 2021