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Babar Azam joins elusive list of T20I batters

Babar Azam, the captain of Pakistan Cricket tea,, became one of the few players to surpass 3,000 runs in the T20 format.

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Babar Azam, the captain of Pakistan cricket team, added another accomplishment to his resume by matching former India captain Virat Kohli’s feat on Friday against England in the 6th T20I to become the joint-fastest player in the shortest version of the game to reach 3000 runs.

The 27-year-old became the fifth player in the field for men and the eighth overall to reach the landmark. In addition, after his half-century (87 not out of 59) against England in the sixth T20I at Gaddafi Stadium, he became the first Pakistani batsman to score 3000 T20I runs.

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Azam was expected to lead the Pakistani innings because Mohammad Rizwan was not playing in this game. The captain replied by taking on the role of the anchor despite Pakistan losing a few early wickets in the Powerplay.

Within the first six overs, Azam advanced to 25 from 19 balls and recorded his 29th fifty-plus score in the format. After reaching his half-century in 41 balls and finishing undefeated on 87 off 59 balls, he picked up the pace in the final overs. Azam’s late aggressiveness enabled Pakistan to reach 169/6 in their allotted 20 overs.

Azam joined a select group of T20I batsmen who have scored 3,000 runs. With more than 3000 runs combined, the Indian combo of Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli leads the men’s T20I run total. The other members of the group are Paul Stirling and Martin Guptill.

Azam, though, tied Virat Kohli’s record for the format with 3000 runs in 81 innings. The only other two batters to accomplish the feat in fewer than 100 innings were Kohli and Azam.

Suzie Bates, Meg Lanning, and Stafanie Taylor have amassed more than 3000 runs in women’s T20Is. Babar is currently the eighth player in T20Is to reach the milestone.

Mohammad Hafeez, who has scored 2514 runs, is the next Pakistani hitter on the list, followed by Bismah Maroof, who has scored 2388 runs. Outside of these three Pakistanis, Shoaib Malik and Rizwan are the only other players with more than 2000 T20I runs.