LONDON: Pakistan’s ace batsman Babar Azam scored a superb unbeaten 55-ball century as Somerset thrashed Hampshire in the T20 Blast tournament on Friday.
Right-handed Babar, world’s top-ranked T20 batsman, struck six sixes to help the hosts post 202-4 at the Rose Bowl in Southampton.
Hampshire were 69-6 when rain brought about an early conclusion, on a night that saw three of eight scheduled fixtures abandoned because of weather. Babar has taken this year’s T20 Blast by storm — and Hampshire’s bowlers know about it more than anyone.
The 24-year-old made an unbeaten 95 at Taunton earlier in the competition — a game Somerset actually went on to lose — and was in a similar mood in Southampton on Friday.
He was not to be denied three figures this time, however, smashing the final ball of Somerset’s innings for six to take him to 102, reaching his best score in T20 cricket in the process.
It means the Pakistan batsman has now scored 197 runs in two T20 matches against Hampshire this year, remaining not out and batting for all 40 overs.
Babar even took two catches as Hampshire slipped to 69-6 in reply, with the arrival of rain meaning Somerset won by 63 runs on Duckworth-Lewis-Stern.
Published in Dawn, August 11th, 2019