After a gap of two years, Pakistan captain Babar Azam finally scored a Test century during the Men-in-Green’s match against Australia at the National Stadium Karachi.
The Pakistani skipper completed his century after sweeping Mitchell Swepson at fine leg in the 78th over.
This was Babar’s sixth Test century. The last time the Pakistani skipper had crossed 100-runs was in February 2020 against Bangladesh when they had toured Pakistan.
As soon as Babar hit the ball, the crowd and his teammates lauded the skipper for his “epic” century.
Pakistan are currently chasing a 506-run target and Babar is at the crease with opener Abdullah Shafique. At the end of day 4, Pakistan are at 192-2 and require 314 runs to win with 8 wickets in hand.
As soon as Babar reached the feat, his fans took to Twitter to praise the Pakistani skipper for leading the team’s fightback.
Here’s a look at some of them:
Even though the political temperature is high in the backdrop of the no-confidence motion against Prime Minister Imran Khan. PPP leader Murtaza Wahab and PTI’s Fawad Chaudhry showered praises on the Pakistan skipper.
It was not just the political divide, Indian spinner Ravichandran Ashwin also praised Babar for the century.
“Too good”, says sports commentator Zainab Abbas.
“Captain leading from the front”
PCB unveils list of players retained by PSL franchises for season 9
As the Pakistan Super League’s (PSL) season 9 is getting closer, the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) on Thursday released a list of players retained by all six franchises of the league.
The PSL’s ninth edition is slated to begin in February 2024.
As per the list, defending champions Lahore Qalandards retained their skipper Shaheen Afridi in the Platinum category. Islamabad United successfully retained their captain Shadab Khan alongside their top-trade Naseem Shah.
“Following the finalisation of all trades and retentions, Multan Sultans will now have the first pick in the first round of the Platinum category, after Multan and Quetta traded Iftikhar Ahmed and Rilee Rossouw between them,” the PCB said in a press release.
“Naseem Shah’s move to Islamabad United also saw their first-round Platinum pick exchanged with Quetta Gladiator’s third-round Platinum pick.
“Following Shan Masood’s move to Karachi Kings, their first-round Silver pick was exchanged for Multan Sultan’s fourth-round Silver pick. Owing to Imad Wasim’s move to Islamabad United, Islamabad’s first-round Silver pick has been exchanged with Karachi’s second-round Silver pick.
“Furthermore, Karachi Kings and Quetta Gladiators will be required to pick a local player in the Platinum category.
“As per the precedent, each of the six sides will have the Right to Match Card that will allow them to pick any player released from their roster during the draft.”
Lahore Qalandars (8): Shaheen Shah Afridi (Platinum), Haris Rauf (Brand Ambassador) and David Wiese (both Diamond), Sikandar Raza, Abdullah Shafique and Zaman Khan (all Gold), Mirza Tahir Baig (Successful relegation request) and Rashid Khan (both Silver).
Islamabad United (8): Shadab Khan and Naseem Shah (both Platinum), Imad Wasim (Mentor) and Azam Khan (both Diamond), Faheem Ashraf (Brand Ambassador), Alex Hales and Colin Munro (all Gold), Rumman Raees (Successful relegation request in Silver).
Multan Sultans (7): Mohammad Rizwan and Iftikhar Ahmed (both Platinum), Khushdil Shah and Usama Mir (both Diamond), Abbas Afridi (Gold), Ihsanullah (Brand Ambassador, Silver), Faisal Akram (Emerging).
Karachi Kings (8): James Vince and Hasan Ali (Diamond), Shan Masood (Brand Ambassador), Shoaib Malik (Mentor) and Tabraiz Shamsi (all Gold), Mir Hamza (Successful relegation request) and Muhammad Akhlaq (both Silver), Muhammad Irfan Khan (Emerging).
Quetta Gladiators (8): Rilee Rossouw (Platinum), Mohammad Wasim Jnr, Jason Roy and Wanindu Hasaranga (all Diamond), Sarfaraz Ahmed (Brand Ambassador) Abrar Ahmed and Mohammad Hasnain (all Gold), Will Smeed (Silver).
Peshawar Zalmi (8): Babar Azam and Rovman Powell (both Platinum), Saim Ayub and Tom Kohler-Cadmore (all Diamond), Mohammad Haris (Brand Ambassador) and Aamir Jamal (both Gold), Khurram Shahzad (Silver), Haseebullah (Emerging).
Some of the star foreign players registered in the top two categories:
Platinum: Daniel Sams, Ashton Agar (both Australia), Fazalhaq Farooqi, Mujeeb Ur Rahman, Noor Ahmad, Rahmanullah Gurbaz (all Afghanistan), Ben Duckett, Chris Jordan, David Willey, Dawid Malan, Luke Wood, Reece Topley, Tom Curran, Tymal Mills (all England), Sandeep Lamichhane (Nepal), James Neesham (New Zealand), Rassie van der Dussen, Imran Tahir (both South Africa), Maheesh Theekshana, Bhanuka Rajapaksa, Dasun Shanaka (all Sri Lanka), Kieron Pollard, Romario Shepherd, Brandon King Sherfane Rutherford and Kyle Mayers (all West Indies)
Diamond: Azmatullah Omarzai, Mohammad Nabi (both Afghanistan), Ben McDermott (Australia), Litton Das, Mehidy Hasan Miraz, Mahmudullah (all Bangladesh), Dan Lawrence, Gus Atkinson, Jordan Cox, Liam Dawson, Matthew Potts, Ollie Pope, Richard Gleeson, Sam Hain (all England), Tim Seifert, Martin Guptill, Chad Bowes (all New Zealand), George Linde, Lungi Ngidi, Reeza Hendricks, Wayne Parnell, Sisanda Magala (all South Africa), Dilshan Madushanka, Charith Asalanka, Dushmantha Chameera, Sadeera Samarawickrama (all Sri Lanka), Fabian Allen, Johnson Charles, Rahkeem Cornwall, Roston Chase, Shai Hope, Hayden Walsh (all West Indies).
Shan Masood hits double ton against Aussie Prime Minister’s XI
Pakistan Test captain Shan Masood Thursday knocked a double ton on the second day of the four-day game against Australia’s Prime Minister’s XI at Manuka Oval in Canberra.
Meanwhile, the Prime Minister’s XI posted 149-2 in 60 overs after Pakistan declared their innings at 391-9.
Masood, on the other hand, resumed his overnight tally of 156 to add 45 more runs to his score, reaching his third first-class double hundred. He ended with an unbeaten 201 from 298 deliveries, including 14 boundaries and a maximum.
Right-arm fast bowler Jordan Buckingham, who had taken three wickets the previous day, struck twice today to complete a five-wicket haul. He removed Aamir Jamal and Mir Hamza, who both went out cheaply.
Shan declared the innings after Khurram Shahzad was run out courtesy of a direct hit by Nathan McSweeney, with the scorecard reading 391-9 in 116.2 overs.
In return, Prime Minister’s XI opening duo of Cameron Bancroft (53, 128b, 3x4s) and Marcus Harris (49, 102b, 6x4s) put up a 96-run stand to give their team a solid start.
Abrar Ahmed provided the breakthrough for Pakistan, dismissing Harris in the 36th over. Right-arm pacer Khurram Shahzad trapped Bancroft LBW to provide Pakistan the second wicket.
Cameron Green (18 not out, 71b, 2x4s) and Matt Renshaw (19 not out, 60b, 1×4) batted together to add 37 more runs to take the total to 149-2 at stumps, with the side trailing by 242.
The third day’s play at Manuka Oval will resume on 0430 PKT.
Pakistan 391-9d, 116.2 overs (Shan Masood 201 not out, Sarfaraz Ahmed 41, Babar Azam 40, Abdullah Shafique 38; Jordan Buckingham 5-80, Mark Steketee 1-58, Nathan McAndrew 1-68, Todd Murphy 1-110)
Prime Minister’s XI 149-2, 60 overs (Cameron Bancroft 53, Marcus Harris 49; Khurram Shahzad 1-23, Abrar Ahmed 1-54)
Update on Naseem Shah’s injury
The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) on Wednesday provided a health update on pacer Naseem Shah, who suffered a shoulder injury during the Asia Cup and missed this year’s World Cup as a result.
He also underwent surgery in the United Kingdom.
“Pakistan fast bowler Naseem Shah started the final stage of his rehabilitation today at the National Cricket Academy (NCA) in Lahore,” the PCB said in a statement on Wednesday.
“The young pacer was injured during the Asia Cup in September, after which he underwent surgery in the United Kingdom. Following the surgery, he remained in the UK for two months for rehabilitation and initial training as the PCB covered his medical costs and he received continuous care from a team of expert medical staff.
“Naseem’s rehabilitation is being continued at NCA, Lahore under the care of a strength and conditioning coach, a physiotherapist and a doctor. Currently, he is doing light gym exercises and partial bowling practice and will start batting tomorrow.”
Earlier, the Pakistan Super League (PSL) side Quetta Gladiators’ premium pacer Naseem joined Islamabad United in a major swap deal.
Naseem was the topic of discussion among the cricket fraternity, and every PSL franchise was doing its best to get the 20-year-old on board after it was reported that the right-arm pacer had decided to leave Quetta.
Quetta now has received Islamabad’s first-round Platinum pick while the latter has bagged Quetta’s third-round Platinum pick.
There were strong rumours that Naseem might end up joining Multan Sultans, who recently got Iftikhar Ahmed in another swap deal, or Peshawar Zalmi, but Islamabad came out triumphant in the race to get the pacer’s signature.