Thursday Sep 17, 2020
Babar Azam on Wednesday silenced his growing number of critics in style, smashing a swashbuckling century for Somerset in a 66-run victory over Glamorgan in their Vitality Blast encounter.
The Pakistan T20 captain had been rather underwhelming since the Covid-19 lockdown, first failing to his three figures in the Test series against England and then taking 44 balls for his 56 in the second T20I defeat to same opposition.
Those displays saw him lose the top position in ICC’s T20I rankings. Meanwhile, his critics got more fodder after he failed to impress through the first four innings of the Vitality Blast 2020 for Somerset, who had re-signed him after much fanfare.
Azam, though, made his critics eat their words on Wednesday, not only scoring his first T20 century but finishing unbeaten with 114 runs to his name off just 62 balls at an astonishing strike rate of 184.
A usually classy customer not known for taking the aerial route, Azam this time hit 5 sixes to go with his 9 boundaries as he reminded the world that he has an extra gear, which he can use once he gets set.
His half-century had come off 34 balls, by which time the said top gear had not been hit. The next 50 needed just 23 balls. It’s needless to say the world was swooning again.