Former Pakistan captain Babar Azam notched up a third consecutive T20I half-century, but, once again, it went in vain as his side lost the 3rd T20I against New Zealand. The Kiwis took an unassailable 3-0 lead in the 5-T20I series.
In the third T20I, on Wednesday in Dunedin, Babar Azam scored 58 runs in 37 balls with the help of 8 fours and one six in the chase of 225. Even though he was his side’s top scorer, this effort from Babar was nowhere near Finn Allen’s monstrous century. The Kiwi opener smashed 137 runs in 62 balls, and in the end, the hosts won by 45 runs, sealing the series with it.
A fan tried to catch Babar Azam’s six, but slipped; Pakistani batter gave a concerning reaction
Babar Azam’s only sixer came against the bowling of pacer Matt Henry. Henry pitched it short, and the right-hander latched on it with a sweetly-timed six that sailed over deep square leg. A spectator tried to catch the ball but lost his balance and slipped on the grass banks.
As Babar watched the fan slip, he gave a worried reaction by putting his hand over his head.
The video of Babar Azam’s reaction has gone viral.
— PSL Memes (@PSL_Memes_) January 17, 2024
Meanwhile, new T20I skipper Shaheen Afridi has come out defending against the criticism and questions on Babar’s strike rate in the shortest format. Even though Babar has notched up three consecutive fifties in this series, his strike rate of 157 has been criticized because the series has been played on flat pitches on which New Zealand piled up 226, 194, and 224.
In the post-match press conference in Dunedin, Shaheen said, “I had also said earlier that Babar was not out of form. We cannot judge him based on a few innings. He has played three fine innings in three matches in the series. He could not finish the matches in our favour. He needed someone at the other end to take the innings deeper. If there was another batter at the other end with Babar, we could have finished the game in our favour.”
The fourth T20I is scheduled for Friday in Christchurch.