Babar’s knock helped Pakistan chase down a target of 204 with nine wickets in hand and 12 balls to spare. The Pakistan skipper faced 59 balls, in which he smashed 15 fours and 4 sixes.
“I was waiting for such an innings for a long time. I planned for it and felt if I got a chance I would grab it. I am thankful that I was able to deliver. I stuck to my strengths and my game plan was developed around team requirements. If you need 10 an over, you definitely have to play with urgency and for that, you have to take risks,” ESPNcricinfo quoted Babar as saying.
Chasing 204, Babar and Mohammad Rizwan put on an opening partnership of 197 runs with Rizwan playing a knock of 73 off just 47 balls.
“The partnership with Rizwan was outstanding. I give him credit for the way he played because it is really tough to play while fasting and despite that, he batted and kept wicket throughout. It takes a lot of courage and guts. The whole team takes inspiration watching him and it brings us confidence,” said Babar.
Babar’s stunning knock came on the very day he dethroned India skipper Virat Kohli as the number one ranked ODI batsman.
Talking about number one ranking, Babar said: “It had always been my dream to be number one and that has been fulfilled. There was lots of hard work, suffering, and sacrifice needed to get there. I have always been trying to improve my game with each passing day, learning new things and applying them. We all know cricket evolves and you have to keep up with it or risk getting left behind.”
With this win in the third T20I, Pakistan gained a 2-1 lead in the four-match series and the final T20I will be played on Friday at the SuperSport Park in Centurion.