World Cup 2019: Pakistan's Babar Azam becomes second fastest to 3,000 ODI runs

Updated: Jun 27, 2019, 09:41 IST | mid-day online desk

Babar Azam reached this milestone in his 68th innings, overtaking ex-West Indies captain Viv Richards (69)

World Cup 2019: Pakistan's Babar Azam becomes second fastest to 3,000 ODI runs

Pakistan's star batsman Babar Azam has become the second-quickest batsman to reach a milestone of 3,000 ODI runs, achieving the feat during his brilliant knock of 101*(127) against New Zealand in 2019 World Cup on Wednesday.

Babar Azam reached this milestone in his 68th innings, overtaking ex-West Indies captain Viv Richards (69).

South Africa cricketer Hashim Amla currently holds the records as the fastest batsman to reach 3,000 ODI runs (57 innings).

Pakistan right-hander Babar Azam also declared his unbeaten 101 runs against New Zealand in the World Cup match as the "best innings" of his cricketing journey.

Babar played a match-winning knock of an unbeaten 101 off 127 balls at Edgbaston on Wednesday to keep Pakistan's hopes alive of reaching the semi-finals in the ongoing tournament.

"This is my best innings. The wicket was very difficult and turned a lot in the second half. The plan was to go through to the end and give my 100 per cent," Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) quoted Babar, as saying after the match.

While chasing 238, Babar along with Haris Sohail stitched a 126-run fourth wicket partnership to place Pakistan in a comfortable position. The duo tackled the likes of pacers Trent Boult and Lockie Ferguson, and spinner Mitchell Santner to take Pakistan over the line in 49.1 overs.

"When we started, the plan was to see out Ferguson but when Santner came on, the plan became not to give wickets to him and cover up later when the fast bowlers come on. We are confident we are taking match by match, and hopefully, we will qualify. We are very focussed on this," Babar said.

With the six-wicket win, Pakistan ended New Zealand's unbeaten streak in the tournament. When the Asian team required just two runs from 10 balls, Haris fell short of his ground as Martin Guptill brilliantly run out him for 68, bringing Pakistan skipper Sarfaraz Ahmed to the crease. On the first ball of the final over, Sarfaraz hit the winning boundary and seal the massive victory for Pakistan in a match where they had no option but to win.

"Credit to Babar and Haris, the way they played on this pitch, it's some of the finest batting I've ever seen. It was a great team effort, we bowled well but we knew 240 was not an easy target on this pitch," Sarfaraz said.

Pakistan's campaign in this World Cup is turning out to be similar to that of the 1992 edition, the year in which the team lifted the Cup under the leadership of former cricketer and Prime Minister of Pakistan, Imran Khan. However, Sarfaraz said the team is not thinking about 1992 rather Pakistan's focus is on the next match against Afghanistan, scheduled for June 29 at Leeds.

"We're not thinking about 1992, our focus is the next match. We are very confident and hopefully, we'll do well. The crowd is always behind the Pakistan team and we didn't do well for them in some of our previous matches," Sarfaraz said.

Quickest to 3000 ODI runs

Hashim Amla - 57 innings
Babar Azam - 68 innings
Sir Vivian Richards -69 innings
Gordon Greenidge - 72 innings
Gary Kirsten - 72 innings

Inputs from ANI

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