Pakistan captain Babar Azam on Friday continued his impressive performance in ODI cricket with yet another century as his team beat South Africa in a thriller at the Centurion.
Led by Babar Azam’s 13th ODI hundred, Pakistan won the first ODI against South Africa on the last-ball despite being in the driver’s seat for most of the match.
In the process, Babar became the fastest men’s international cricketer to score 13 ODI hundreds, going past the likes of other great players such as Virat Kohli and Hashim Amla.
Babar has taken just 76 innings to achieve the feat going past South Africa star Hashim Amla who until now was the fastest, having scored his 13th ODI hundred in 83 innings. India skipper Virat Kohli got there in 86 innings.
However, he was fortunate on Friday to have this feat of his in a winning cause. Despite being in a strong position in most of the match, Pakistan almost messed it up right at the end.
Pakistan needed just 3 runs in the final over. However, there was plenty of drama as Andile Phehlukwayo nearly delivered a miracle for South Africa. Pakistan’s Faheem Ashraf played out 4 dot balls before holding his nerve to hit the winning runs in a thrilling finish in the series opener.
Need to take the confidence forward, says Babar Azam
Babar Azam admitted in the post-match interview that he was nervous while watching the last few overs, but added that his team will take the confidence from the first match ahead into the series.
“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,” Pakistan captain Babar said after the win.