After a series of low scores, Babar Azam stamped his authority by a commanding knock of 110 not-out, coming in just 66 deliveries. The Pakistan skipper together with Mohammad Rizwan also slammed a record-breaking opening stand as Pakistan crushed England by 10 wickets in a high scoring encounter in Karachi on Thursday evening. The pair added 203/0 in 19.3 overs in response to England's 199/5 in 20 overs, helping Pakistan make a strong comeback after going down in the series opener.
Out of the 203, Rizwan chipped in with 88 off 51 balls, an innings that featured five 4s and four 6s. The strong performance by Pakistan came at a time when the team has been heavily criticised for it's recent failures, with fingers especially being pointed towards Babar and Rizwan.
Many had slammed Rizwan for his slow strike-rate, despite emerging as the leading run-getter in the recently-concluded Asia Cup, where Pakistan finished as the runners-up. Babar, on the other hand, was dealing with some rare lack of form but his captaincy too had come under scanner after the Asia Cup final defeat against Sri Lanka.
Impressed with the show Babar and Rizwan put on Thursday, former England captain Nasser Hussain hit back at the critics. "If you think Babar and Rizwan have been the problem… you really haven't been watching the last couple of years !!" the ex-cricketer tweeted on Thursday night.
Babar headed into the match on the back of only 98 runs in his previous seven T20Is, which included 68 runs in the six Asia Cup clashes. He scored 24-ball 31 in the series opener on Tuesday. Meanwhile, Rizwan had also scored a half century in the previous match, which England won by six wickets.