Babar Azam hits his 11th ODI hundred, 3rd quickest to 11 ODI hundreds
Pakistan’s Babar Azam moved past Virat Kohli to become the third-fastest to 11 ODI hundreds. Babar reached his 11th hundred in one-day internationals in just his 71st innings while Virat Kohli needed 82 innings to get to 11 ODI centuries. Babar Azam, who had scored 96 in Pakistan’s last ODI against Bangladesh during the 2019 World Cup, steered the innings for the hosts during the second ODI against Sri Lanka in Karachi on Monday. The first match was washed out without a ball being bowled at the same venue on Friday. South Africa’s Hashim Amla remains the quickest to 11 ODI hundreds, getting there in only 64 innings. Another South African Quinton de Kock had brought up his 11th hundred in only his 65th innings. Two years ago, former Pakistan coach Mickey Arthur had compared Babar Azam with Virat Kohli. But in February this year, Arthur conceded he might have jumped the gun in drawing that comparison although he added Babar Azam would be among the top 5 batsmen in the world very soon. What seemed like a mini-surprise at the toss with Sarfaraz Ahmed opting to bat first on a pitch that was under covers amidst a deluge for over two days, turned into quite a masterstroke. The strip was a typically Asian deck – slow, low, flat, something the openers, Imam-ul-Haq and Fakhar Zaman, took full toll of, notching up a fifty-plus opening stand. Just when things were meandering around with the batsmen milking runs for fun, Wanidu Hasaranga struck, with some help from Imam, who played around a rather straightforward delivery. The DRS did what the umpire couldn’t adjudge the LBW appeal to be plumb. Fakhar Zaman stroked his way to a quick fifty, but just when he’d have hoped to convert it into a big one, Hasaranga’s googly and an ungainly hoick saw him walk back after spooning a tame catch to mid-off. It paved way for the Babar show, with Haris Sohail giving him good company as the duo strung together a 111-run-stand in just 18.3 overs. Once again, just when it looked like they’d up the ante with their scoring rate, Sohail fell to the only way he could’ve been out to, running himself out in the greed to steal a non-existent single. Babar, scoring at close to a run-a-ball until this point, found another gear to his batting, Despite the pitch does look quite flat, and with the possibility of dew coming in which could make bowling change-ups tough, Sri Lanka has a stiff challenge up their sleeve in the chase. Get Breaking news and Latest News from India and around the world on GlobalPunjabTV.in. Like us on Facebook for news updates.