Pakistan vs England: Babar Azam record magnificent century as Pak won with 10 wickets
England had no answer for a majestic 200-run partnership between Babar Azam and Mohammad Rizwan as Pakistan levelled their Twenty20 series 1-1 with a 10-wicket win in Karachi.
The tourists were more than happy after posting 199 for five, with captain Moeen Ali making 55 not out in 23 deliveries, but were comprehensively outclassed by the home side’s openers.
Babar made a mockery of questions over his scoring rate at the Asia Cup, hammering 110 not out 66 balls, and Rizwan smashed an unbeaten 88 as they shared nine sixes and 16 fours.
England will be concerned about the lack of incision from their bowling attack, but the two chances they did generate against Rizwan were squandered as Alex Hales dropped him on 23 and Phil Salt spurned a stumping on 32.
Pakistan knew they would rely heavily on their elite opening duo, but they wore the burden lightly. Babar and Rizwan eased into their work, keeping pace with a demanding asking rate from off as they tore into four different bowlers in a chaotic powerplay.
Seamers David Willey, Sam Curran and Luke Wood all took some blows but Liam Dawson was unfortunate when he drew a skier from Rizwan only for Hales to spill it at mid-off.
As if to underline the gravity of the miss, Rizwan launched the next ball for six. Adil Rashid came close to bailing out Hales when his first delivery ripped past Rizwan’s outside edge as he left his crease, but Salt’s glovework let him down.
Having scored 87 in the first half of the chase, Pakistan still needed another 113 in the second half but never looked back as both batters sprinted to half-centuries.
Moeen brought himself on for the 13th over and was flogged for 21, Babar swiping two big sixes and Rizwan adding another. Two more followed as England’s banker, Rashid, failed to stem the flow.
Babar’s hitting became more and more consistent and he overtook his partner to reached a second T20 hundred from just 62 deliveries. Wood shipped 17 from the penultimate over, allowing Babar to finish things with three balls to spare