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Pak vs Aus: Babar Azam and Imam ul Haq create multiple records in second ODI

Pakistan’´s Imam-ul-Haq (R) celebrates with teammate Babar Azam (L) after scoring a century (100 runs) during the second one-day international (ODI) cricket match between Pakistan and Australia at the Gaddafi Cricket Stadium in Lahore on March 31, 2022. — AFP

Pakistan’s captain Babar Azam and opener Imam-ul-Haq registered separate records during the second one-day international (ODI) against Australia at Lahore’s Gaddafi Stadium Thursday.

The flamboyant batter, Babar, once again registered his name in the record books when he became the quickest batsman in the world to reach his 15th ODI hundred.

Babar smashed a century to surpass South Africa’s Hashim Amla in the list of taking the fewest innings to score 15 ODI hundreds.

The 27-year-old cricketer reached this milestone in the 83rd inning of his ODI career. Amla had scored his 15 centuries in 86 innings. No other batter could score 15 centuries in less than 100 innings.

Virat Kohli is 3rd on the list and took 106 innings to reach the mark of 15 ODI centuries.

Earlier, in the first ODI of the three-match series, Babar had become the fastest Asian batter to reach the 4,000 ODI runs mark, he was only one inning short of levelling Hashim Amla’s record quickest to 4,000 runs in ODIs.

Babar had earlier scored his 14th century in the 81st inning, 13th in the 76th innings — both quickest for the respective sequence number.

Babar breaks Imran Khan’s record

The right-handed batter also broke the record of former captain and current Prime Minister Imran Khan by scoring the highest runs as skipper against Australia.

In 1990, PM Imran Khan, while playing against Australia at Brisbane, had scored 82 runs, which was the highest total by any Pakistani against Australia until Babar broke it yesterday.

Babar Azam scored a century and played a fantastic knock of 114 off 83 with 11 boundaries and a six.

Imam ul Haq

Opener Imam entered the record books when he become the quickest batsman in the world to reach the ninth ODI hundred in his career.

Imam smashed the century, his 2nd consecutive in the series, and surpassed South Africa’s Hashim Amla in the list of taking the fewest innings to score the ninth ODI hundred.

The 26-year-old opening batter reached this milestone in the 48th inning of his ODI career. Hashim Amla had scored his ninth century in 52 innings, Quinton de Kock took 53 and Babar Azam took 61 innings to score their century in ODIs.

The left-handed batter has also surpassed legend Zaheer Abbas for scoring the most aggregate runs in ODIs after playing the first 48 innings of his career.

During his three-figure innings at Gaddafi Stadium Lahore, Imam surpassed Zaheer Abbas’ record of 2,166 runs in 48 innings. Imam has over 2,200 runs now.

The only cricketer in the world to score more aggregate runs than Imam is South Africa’s Hashim Amla — who had amassed 2,462 runs after batting the first 48 innings in his career.

Pakistani team’s record

Moreover, the Pakistan cricket team achieved its highest successful chase in ODIs when it defeated Australia in the second ODI by six wickets.

Babar and Imam’s centuries were crucial in helping Pakistan chase the 349 targets.

This is Pakistan’s highest-ever successful chase in ODIs. Before this, Pakistan had successfully chased the target of 327 against Bangladesh at Mirpur in 2014.

Surprisingly, this is only the seventh win for Pakistan while chasing a target of 300 or more. This was the 54th time when the Pakistan team was set a target of 300 or more runs in ODIs.

Pakistan’s total in the innings was 352-4, which is also Pakistan’s second-biggest total while batting second and highest ever total against Australia in ODIs surpassing the previous highest of 315-8 scored at the same venue in 1998.

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