Consistent all-format Pakistani skipper Babar Azam was once again present – scoring races and breaking records – at the first ODI against South Africa at Centurion’s Supersport Park. Chasing 274 points, Pakistan didn’t have a great start as they lost the wicket to opener Fakhar Zaman in just the third. However, a 177-year partnership between Imam-ul-Haq and Babar sent Pakistan into cruise control.
Babar Azam was his usual stylish personality as he tore up the bowling attack in South Africa. Laced with a few lavish blows, Babar hit 17 four on the way to his 13th century ODI. By virtue of the same, Babar broke the record for the fastest to reach 13 tons ODI in 50-over format.
The 26-year-old broke the record for former South African opener Hashim Amla, who had achieved the same number of centuries in 83 innings. While Babar accomplished the feat in just 76 innings. Indian skipper Virat Kohli is just behind Amla with 13 centuries in 86 races in the one-day internationals.
Thanks to the 177-year partnership between the two, Pakistan won the first game, albeit a late return from South Africa, which saw the game come to the edge but the visitors ultimately prevailed. Previously, Pakistan had won the draw and beat the home team.
Pakistan got off to a great start as they slashed South Africa by three points in the first 10 overs. However, a century of Rassie van der Dussen and fifty-something David Miller helped the home side reach a competitive total of 273, which wasn’t enough in the end.