Pakistan’s T20I captain and flamboyant top order batsman Babar Azam on Tuesday added another accolade to his glittering CV when he became the first Pakistani cricketer to score 1,600 T20 runs in a calendar year.
By doing so, Babar joined stalwarts like Virat Kohli and Chris Gayle as only the third batsman to achieve the feat in the shortest format of professional cricket.
India’s Kohli had scored 1,614 in year 2016 while West Indian Chris Gayle had scored 1,665 runs in 2015.
Azam, 25, remained in good form throughout the year. He played a responsible innings of 50 against Australia in second T20I on Tuesday to complete his 1,600th run in T20s this year.
Babar, in 2019, has scored 15 scores of 50 or more, including three centuries, in overall T20 cricket. He is also the first Pakistani to score three hundreds in a calendar year.
He was the top scorer in England’s Vitality Blast T20 where he smashed 578 runs in 13 innings for Somerset. In Pakistan Super League, he scored 335 runs in 11 innings for Karachi Kings while in the recently concluded National T20 Cup, Babar scored 219 runs in four innings for Central Punjab.
In T20Is this year, Babar scored 368 runs in nine innings with the help of four half-centuries.
Azam has scored 1,604 runs in 33 international innings this year (9 T20Is, 20 ODIs & 4 Tests) which makes him most successful Pakistani batsman this year.
Virat Kohli, with 2,047 runs in 38 innings and Rohit Sharma with 1,976 runs in 37 innings, are the only two batsmen who have scored more collective international runs than Azam this year.
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