The credit for Pakistan’s victory goes to the bowlers as they restricted South African batsmen to a chasable score, skipper Babar Azam said Friday after the Men In Green beat the Proteas in the 1st of three ODIs at Centurion.
“I give credit to the bowlers as they restricted [South Africa],” said Azam, who got the man of the match award for his century in the match, in the post-match ceremony.
The skipper said he and Imam tried to put up a good partnership to get runs on the scoreboard.
Imam and Azam combined made a 177-run second-wicket partnership.
Speaking about Anrich Nortje, who recorded a career-best 4 for 51, he said the bowler had bowled a good spell — one that had caused trouble for the Pakistan side.
“We will try to win the next match and win the series,” Azam added.
Pakistan got a brilliant start in their 274-run chase, courtesy their captain Azam and opener Imam-ul-Haq, the two combining for a 177-run second-wicket partnership.
But once Babar departed, all hell broke lose, and despite having the game within their grasp at multiple junctures, the thrill-seeking Pakistani tail took the match to the wire and needed a final-ball boundary to secure the match.
Moreover, Azam’s century puts him in a league of his own as the cricketer becomes the fastest batsman in the world to score 13 ODI centuries.
It took the Pakistan captain only 76 innings to score 13 tons in the 50-over format.
Hashim Amla, India’s Virat Kohli, and South Africa’s Quentin de Kock — his contemporaries — scored 13 centuries from 83 innings, 13 centuries from 86 innings, and 13 tons from 86 innings, respectively.