Record-setting Azam leads Pakistan to another T20 series whitewash Babar Azam breaks Virat Kohli’s record for fastest 1000 T20I runs
DUBAI || Babar Azam became the quickest batsman to reach 1,000 Twenty20 runs as Pakistan whitewashed New Zealand 3-0 with a comfortable 47-run win in the third and final match in Dubai on Sunday.
The 24-year-old — ranked number one in Twenty20s — hit a punishing 58-ball 79 with seven boundaries and two sixes while Mohammad Hafeez hit a 34-ball 53 not out with two sixes and four boundaries to lift Pakistan to 166-3 at Dubai stadium.
Pakistan spinners Shadab Khan (3-30) and Imad Wasim (2-28) then hastened New Zealand’s demise to 119 all out in 16.5 overs as the Kiwis lost their last eight wickets for just 23 runs.
This also becomes Pakistan’s second series whitewash after romping past Australia 3-0 last Sunday.
Kane Williamson top-scored for New Zealand with a 38-ball 60, with eight boundaries and two sixes, while opener Glenn Phillips made 26.
Azam, when on 48, completed 1,000 runs in Twenty20 internationals in just 26 innings, bettering Indian Virat Kohli’s record of reaching the mark in 27 innings.
Azam’s rise has matched Pakistan’s elevation to the world number one ranking in Twenty20 internationals since making his debut against England at Old Trafford in 2016 when Sarfraz Ahmed took charge as captain.
Since then Pakistan have won 29 of their 33 Twenty20 internationals with only four defeats, taking their tally this year to 17 wins in 19 matches with two defeats.
Sunday also represented Pakistan’s ninth T20 win in succession since losing to Australia at Harare in July this year.
_Shadab also became the highest wicket-taker in Twenty20 cricket this year with 28 in 19 games._
The two teams start a three-match one-day series with the first match in Abu Dhabi on Wednesday.