Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 12 December 2019

Babar Azam hits 24 boundaries during unbeaten 157 in Pakistan's warm-up match

Star batsmen adds 276 with fellow centurion Asad Shafiq against Australia 'A' in Perth

Babar Azam scored an unbeaten century for Pakistan during their warm-up match against Australia 'A' in Perth. Getty Images
Babar Azam scored an unbeaten century for Pakistan during their warm-up match against Australia 'A' in Perth. Getty Images

Pakistan batting mainstay Babar Azam continued his run-making form during the ongoing tour of Australia by hitting a quickfire unbeaten century in the day-night warm-up match against Australia ‘A’ on Monday.

Batting first at the Perth Stadium, Pakistan were in trouble at 60-3 with their top order – including new Test captain Azhar Ali – gone without making any sizeable contributions.

It was left to Asad Shafiq and Babar to steady the ship and they did that with aplomb. Shafiq scored an unbeaten 119 and Babar was giving him company on 157 when stumps were drawn.

The two added 276 runs for the fourth wicket to take Pakistan to 336-3 after 90 overs.

Babar was in an aggressive mood, taking just 197 balls to score his runs with the help of 24 boundaries. His strike rate for the innings was more than 79, which is excellent. The right hand batsman took just 126 balls to reach three figures in the pink-ball match.

Babar had a good time with the bat during the preceding T20 series, which the visitors lost convincingly to Australia. The T20 captain scored two fifties in three matches but could not stop his team from losing the series 2-0. Rain saved the men in green in the first match, otherwise Pakistan would have lost their top ranking in the format as well.

What must give Pakistan’s management confidence is the fact this was one of the stronger ‘A’ teams fielded by Australia. Their quicks are being seen as the next generation of Australian pace attack. Jhye Richardson, Michael Neser and Riley Meredith are some of the finest young prospects in Australia and that should fill Babar and Shafiq with confidence ahead of the two-match Test series.

Pakistan play another tour match after the ongoing one before the first Test in Brisbane on November 21.

Updated: November 11, 2019 04:39 PM

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