Babar Ajam’s TON kept Pakistan Alive for Semi-Finals

Babar Azam’s unbeaten century lead Pakistan confirming a comfortable six-wicket win over New Zealand in their crucial World Cup fixture in Birmingham which keep hopes for them to play for semi-finals.

His unbeaten 101 on Wednesday, also made Babar became the second fastest batsman to score 3,000 ODI runs in 68th innings. Hashim Amla stands on the top who made 3000 ODI runs in 57 innings.

Winning the toss the kiwi’s made a slow start which leads them to reach 237 for 6 in 50 over. New Zealand’s all-rounder James Neesham scored unbeaten 97 runs in 112 balls kept hope for black caps to fight against Pakistan. Pakistani fast bowler Shaheen Afridi got 3 wickets for 28 in his 10 over spell.

Babar Azam and Harris Sohail’s partnership made the target so easy for Pakistan for that Newzeland never came back to the match. Babar’s century and Harris Sohail’s 68 lead Pakistan an easy win which makes extra pressure for England reaching towards semi.

Pakistan batting coach Grant Flower said, “He (Azam) is very special. I believe he is going to be one of the best that Pakistan has ever produced. He’s really hungry, is fit and still very young.

“I think he’ll have a really good career if he keeps his feet on the ground, which I think he will. He’s got Virat’s hunger. I think he could be (just as good) at some point in the future.”

Now Pakistan stands on the 6th position on the point table gaining 7 points combined with Bangladesh, one point behind from hosts England. New Zealand is second in the table on 11 points behind Australia, the only team who have qualified so far. The top four teams qualify for the semi-finals.

>Dipto Paul

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