Australia were 41-0 after 3.1 overs in pursuit of their revised 119-run target against Pakistan on Sunday when rain interrupted play for the second time, eventually forcing the first T20I in Sydney — already reduced to 15 overs — to be abandoned.
The opening up of the heavens saved Pakistan from a certain defeat, as in the prior over the Aussies had bled Mohammad Irfan for 26 runs and taken control of the match.
Thus, new captain Babar Azam escaped the ignominy of starting his era with a defeat as Pakistan did not go 1-0 down in the three-match series.
Apart from all this, Top-order batsman Babar Azam continued his dominance in the shortest format as he set multiple records during the abandoned first Twenty20 International.
Azam’s unbeaten 59-run knock off 38 balls, which included five fours and two sixes, was the highest score by a Pakistan batsman in his debut as captain.
The record was previously held by veteran all-rounder Shahid Afridi for scoring 50 runs from 37 balls in his captaincy debut against Sri Lanka in Colombo in 2009.
The 25-year-old also went past all-rounder Mohammad Hafeez in scoring the most fifty-plus runs for Pakistan in T20Is. Hafeez in 86 T20I innings has 10 fifty-plus scores under his belt, whereas Azam has 11 in just 34 innings.
The records didn’t stop there as Babar also became the only Pakistani batsman to score 1500-plus T20 runs in a calendar year.
Indian batsman Virat Kohli (1614 runs in 2016) and West Indies opener Chris Gayle (1665 runs in 2015) are the only other batsmen to score more than 1500-plus runs in a calendar year.
The Pakistan T20I captain has scored 1551 runs this year and still has two innings left against Australia to snatch the record for scoring most T20 runs in a calendar year from Gayle.
Babar’s next opportunity to break the aforementioned record will come on Tuesday, when the Men in Green take on Australia in second T20I in Canberra.