Babar Azam breaks multiple records in Karachi Test against New Zealand - GulfToday

Babar Azam breaks multiple records in Karachi Test against New Zealand


Babar Azam gestures after scoring a century during the first day of the first Test match between Pakistan and New Zealand at the National Stadium in Karachi on Monday. AFP

Pakistan skipper Babar Azam on Monday set a couple of records as he struck a century to rescue the hosts from a precarious position in the opening Test of the series against New Zealand.

He now holds the record for the most runs scored by a Pakistan batter in a calendar year and the most fifties or more scored in a calendar year

The Pakistan captain broke the 16-year-old record for most runs scored by a Pakistan batter in a season held by Mohammad Yousuf in the first innings of the opening Test against New Zealand.

He now holds the record for the most runs in a calendar year by a Pakistan batter, going past Mohammad Yousuf's aggregate of 2435 runs in 2006. Batting on 54 not out at the end of the first session, Babar has 2477 runs across all formats in 2022. In third place is Saeed Anwar, who scored 2296 runs in 43 matches in 1996.

The half-century also means he now holds the record for most scores of 50 or more in a calendar year. This was Babar's 25th 50+ score, surpassing Ricky Ponting's record of 24 in 2005.

Despite the contrasting fortunes of the team in Test cricket this year, the skipper has shone in the format with more than 1000 runs in nine matches. In this calendar year, only three other batters have managed to hit the four-figure mark in Tests.

The 28-year-old is the top batter on the ICC Test batting record, holding on to the No. 1 position in the list.

BabarAzam-Southe  Babar Azam and Tim Southee pose for a photo with the Test series trophy in Karachi. AP

Babar hit his ninth Test hundred and Sarfaraz Ahmed returned to Test cricket after nearly four years with an impressive 86 as Pakistan overcame a top-order collapse to reach 317-5 against New Zealand on Monday in the first Test.

Babar was not out on 161 with 16 fours and a six and Sarfaraz — playing his first Test since January 2019 — grinded well in his long awaited 50th Test to give Pakistan an early advantage on a slow and dry wicket.

They shared a 196-run stand to lift Pakistan from 110-4 before Ajaz Patel (2-91) broke through late in the final session on Day 1 and had Sarfaraz caught in the slip with the second new ball.

Patel nearly ended Babar’s six hours of batting in the last over, but the Pakistan captain successfully overturned an lbw ruling through TV referral.

Both Babar and Sarfaraz dominated the three spinners and were untroubled against the seam bowling of captain Tim Southee and Neil Wagner in nearly two sessions after New Zealand had made early inroads.

Sarfaraz came good against the spinners with his sweeps and Babar made New Zealand pay a heavy price for letting him off the hook early with his trademark cover drives and flicks on the on-side.

Daryl Mitchel dropped a regulation catch when Babar was on 12 as the Pakistan skipper raised his hundred before tea off 161 balls with a six off Michael Bracewell (2-61) over midwicket.

Babar could have been run out in the first over after lunch but Devon Conway couldn’t hit the stumps at the non-striker’s end with the Pakistan captain way out of his crease when Sarfaraz refused to go for a quick single.

New Zealand, playing its first test in Pakistan in 20 years, had started well after Babar won the toss and elected to bat on a wicket expected to favor spinners.

Patel and Bracewell made an early impact after Southee brought on his slow bowlers as early as the fourth over at National Stadium.


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