Pakistan batsman Babar Azam scored his second T20 century and in the process set up Somerset’s victory against Hampshire in the T20 Blast in England.
Babar batted through the innings and smashed an unbeaten 102 off 55 balls in Southampton on Friday and completed the milestone with a six of the final ball of the innings.
He struck six maximums along with seven boundaries, and took only 23 deliveries to get through the second fifty.
Babar’s ton took his side to 202/4, after which he contributed in the field with two catches to help reduce Hampshire to 69/6 in 12.1 overs before the contest was washed out.
Babar, who now has a career T20 average of 42.6 and a strike-rate of 123.73, has been in fine touch in the tournament. He is the leading scorer, with 425 runs in eight innings, 99 more than his nearest rival, D’Arcy Short. In the previous match between the same teams, he had made 95*.
“You can see that Babar is No.1 in the world for a reason," said Tom Abell, the Somerset captain, who shared a 113-run stand with the Pakistani. “He is playing a different game to the rest of us with the shots he plays and how cleanly he hits the ball. For younger guys, it’s amazing to be up the other end and in the changing room.
“Some of the shots he plays just take your breath away. The beauty of Babar is that he plays proper cricket shots all the way through and we can bat around him."