Pakistan skipper Babar Azam led from the front and propelled his side to a nine-wicket win in the third T20I against South Africa at SuperSport Park in Centurion on Wednesday.
Azam hit a 49-ball century, which is now the fastest by a captain in the shortest format of the game. With the help of his maiden T20I ton, Pakistan chased down the mammoth target of 204 with two overs to spare.
Azam, who recently dethroned Indian talisman Virat Kohli from the top position in the latest released ICC ODI rankings, smashed 15 fours and four sixes in his 59-ball stay at the crease. His opening partner, Mohammad Rizwan, scored an unbeaten 73 off 47 as they added a record first wicket partnership of 197.
Pakistan has now taken a 2-1 lead in the four-match series.
South Africa 203-5 (Aiden Markram 63, Janneman Malan 55) lost to Pakistan 205-1 (Babar Azam 122, Mohammad Rizwan 73 not out) by 9 wickets.
Here’s how Twitter reacted:
— Imad Wasim (@simadwasim) April 14, 2021
Yet another superb win by Pakistan. Great performance! This new Aggressive & Go-Getter mentality is simply meritorious.Right attitude & great team effort. Led from the front by @babarazam258 & Dear @iMRizwanPak u are a champ!Must also appreciate @captainmisbahpk Welldone #PAKvsSA
— Faisal Javed Khan (@FaisalJavedKhan) April 14, 2021
Baber Azam & Rizwan shown sublime batting performance. A dream partnership by The openers. Boys in Green were at their best. Babar has simply proven that he is number 1 batsman of the world. Congratulations Pakistan!!! #PAKvsSA
— Shehryar Afridi (@ShehryarAfridi1) April 14, 2021
Brilliant Babar with Supreme authority wins another series. #PAKvSA
— Shoaib Akhtar (@shoaib100mph) April 14, 2021
— Wajahat Kazmi 🇵🇰 (@KazmiWajahat) April 14, 2021
— Ahmad Shahzad 🇵🇰 (@iamAhmadshahzad) April 14, 2021
— Farah Yousaf (@fara_yousaf) April 14, 2021
Pakistan have played some good cricket quite often since the pandemic. Congrats on what must have been an outstanding batting performance by Babar Azam and Rizwan again.
— Ian bishop (@irbishi) April 14, 2021
Most 100s in T20s since 2019
5 Babar Azam
3 Dawid Malan#RSAvPak
— Mazher Arshad (@MazherArshad) April 14, 2021
Babar Azam out after scoring 122. Highest individual score by a Pakistani in T20Is, highest individual score by anyone against South Africa. 197 for the first wicket with Rizwan, highest by any team in a run chase, highest for any wicket against SA, highest for any wicket for Pak
— Faizan Lakhani (@faizanlakhani) April 14, 2021
— Maz Bonafide (@MazBONAFIDE) April 14, 2021
Babar Azam "This is another milestone in my career, which will now require even more hard work & consistency in order for me to hold on to the ranking for an extended period of time, like Sir Vivian Richards from January 1984 to October 1988 & Virat Kohli for 1,258 days" #Cricket
— Saj Sadiq (@Saj_PakPassion) April 14, 2021
— Pakistan First (@APMLOfficial_) April 14, 2021
Winning with two overs to spare,quite a performance,great running b/w the wickets by Riz and Babar as well,fantastic all round. #SAvPAK
— zainab abbas (@ZAbbasOfficial) April 14, 2021