Babar Azam has reinforced his standing as Pakistan’s talisman, scoring a commanding unbeaten century in the pink-ball tour match against Australia A in Perth.
Test stalwart Asad Shafiq also reached triple figures before Pakistan went to stumps at 3-336 on day one of the three-day clash. A strong Australia A pace attack led by Michael Neser and Jhye Richardson toiled as Babar (157no) and Shafiq (119no) piled on a colossal 276-run partnership.
The hosts weren’t helped by a pink Kookaburra ball which quickly lost its hardness and didn’t offer much even under lights on a tame Optus Stadium pitch.
Babar had a lucky escape when he glanced his second ball faced down the leg side and a diving Alex Carey was only able to get a fingertip to it. From there, it was a chanceless and masterful knock highlighted by the frequent use of a beautifully-timed straight drive.
Pakistan’s T20 skipper reached his century off just 126 balls and had plundered 24 boundaries by the time he walked off the ground. “He’s an exceptionally good player,” Australia Test hopeful Travis Head said.
“He’s obviously translated that (white-ball) form nicely today. “We’ll think of some plans over the next couple of days and the next couple of weeks, I guess, for the guys playing the first Test against him.”—Agencies