During the Peshawar Zalmi and Quetta Gladiators match on Wednesday, Babar Azam, the captain of Peshawar Zalmi, was criticized by Simon Doull for his slow batting approach while closing in on his first-ever PSL century. Babar was on 80 off 44 deliveries at one point, but he took an additional 16 deliveries to reach his century, finally achieving it by hitting a boundary.
Unfortunately for Babar and his team, Zalmi lost the match due to a record-breaking innings of 145 runs by Jason Roy, which is now the highest individual score in PSL history.
This was not the first time Babar adopted a cautious approach while nearing a century in T20 cricket. During a seven-match series between Pakistan and England last year, Babar played a match-winning 110-run knock in the second T20I, successfully chasing down the 200-run target set by the tourists.
In that match, Babar and Rizwan were cruising towards the target until the 17th over, when they required 24 runs from 18 balls to win the match. Babar was unbeaten on 98 off 58 deliveries at that time. However, in the 18th over, Babar missed the first two deliveries and then took a single to reach 99, with Rizwan also managing a single on the next delivery.
With Pakistan needing 22 runs from 14 deliveries, Babar decided to tap and run for a single to complete his century instead of trying to hit a boundary and make the equation easier for the team. In the end, Babar’s approach did not cost Pakistan the match, as they managed to score 17 runs in the next over and won the game with three balls to spare. However, the match did not end without a few nervous moments for the Pakistan fans.