Sunday Nov 03, 2019
There were no winners between Pakistan and Australia in the first T20I in Sydney on Sunday, but there still were some heroes and zeroes. We list them below.
The captaincy affected Sachin Tendulkar’s average in ODIs, it affected Brian Lara’s numbers but it did not do anything to Babar Azam. At least not in his debut as Pakistan’s T20I skipper.
The seemingly uncaptain-like Azam smashed an unbeaten 38-ball 59 laced with five 4s and two 6s at a very healthy strike rate of 155.26.
He may not be captaincy material but he sure bats like one.
Mohammad Irfan had bowled an over littered with half volleys and was deservedly taken for 26 runs. That one over had brought down the required run rate to a paltry 6.59. The Aussies would have cantered to the finish line.
But then it poured, much to the relief of the visitors and their fans. Rain certainly proved the difference between a resounding defeat and a 0-0.
The Australian innings lasted a little over three overs but that was enough time for their captain Aaron Finch to amass 37 runs. That’s just 13 short of a fifty. It’s crazy how much cricket has changed. A batsman is now capable of coming close to a half century when barely a handful of deliveries have been bowled.
This one now has back-to-back golden ducks on two different continents. Out on first ball in the last T20I against Sri Lanka and now out on first ball in the first T20I against Australia. When Umar Akmal did it, he suffered the wrath of the entire nation. But Fakhar Zaman, a bona fide blue-eyed of the powers that be, would probably cop no such criticism.
Of the 13 balls bowled by the gentle giant in his two overs, six went for boundaries, two were high full tosses, and another two were half volleys. He also bowled a no ball. This was Mohammad Irfan’s first match for Pakistan in three and a half years, and his rustiness could not been more evident than this.