Skipper Babar Azam and wicketkeeper-batter Mohammad Rizwan have been to key to Pakistan’s success in the shortest format of the game for the last two years or so. The Babar-Rizwan pair on Thursday surpassed Indian openers KL Rahul and Rohit Sharma to achieve a massive record in the shortest format of the game. The duo registered their sixth 100-plus-run stand in T20Is, going past Rahul and Rohit, who have five 100 or more runs stands in T20Is. Babar and Rizwan achieved the feat during the third and final T20I against the West Indies in Karachi.
Babar (79 off 53) and Rizwan (87 off 45) added 158 runs for the opening wicket and laid the foundations for an emphatic Pakistan win. Their 158-run stand was also their fourth 150-plus stand as an opening pair, all of which came in the shortest format in 2021. The stand was also their second-highest stand as a pair after their partnership of 197 against South Africa earlier this year in Centurion.
Chasing a target of 208, Pakistan rode on the first wicket stand to win the game by 7 wickets and as many balls to spare. Earlier, West Indies had put on a massive total of 207/3 on the back of skipper Nicholas Pooran’s 37-ball 64 and important contributions from Brandon King (43), Shamarh Brooks (49) and Darren Bravo (34), respectively.
With this win, Pakistan clean-swept the Windies in the three-match T20I series. Both teams were supposed to play three ODI series, also in Karachi, after the conclusion of the T20I series, but that will have to wait till June 2022. The series has been postponed after nine members of the visiting squad tested positive for COVID-19.