AHMEDABAD: Pakistan captain Babar Azam on Saturday, scored his maiden ODI half-century against arch-rivals India in the high-octane ICC World Cup 2023 fixture.
Babar had a dismal record against India in ODIs, having scored only 168 runs in seven innings with a dismal average of 28.
Coming out to bat at number three after young opener Abdullah Shafique was removed by right-arm lanky pacer Mohammed Siraj in the eighth over, Babar Azam soon adapted to the conditions and scored with ease.
The right-handed batter put together an important 82-run partnership with Mohammad Rizwan and amassed the milestone in the process.
He reached his half-century in just 57 deliveries with the help of seven boundaries and ended a five-match streak without a fifty-plus score.
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Babar Azam was eventually cleaned up by Mohammed Siraj on the next delivery to mark India’s comeback.
For the unversed, Babar’s first appearance against India in ODIs was in the group-stage fixture of the ICC Champions Trophy 2017 and he could score a mere eight.
In the blockbuster final of the tournament, he scored 46 in Pakistan’s historic 180-run victory over India.
Babar scored in the forties twice against India in the 2018 Asia Cup and was dismissed for 48 by Kuldeep Yadav during the 2019 World Cup.
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In the recently-held Asia Cup 2023, Babar Azam was castled Hardik Pandya on 10, the last meeting of the two-arch rivals in the fifty-over format.
In T20Is, however, Babar Azam has thus far accumulated 92 runs in four innings with the best score of 68 not out.
Notably, when this story was filed Pakistan were reeling at 172/7 in 36 overs with Hasan Ali (1) and Mohammad Nawaz (2) at the crease.