Mohammad Rizwan played a knock of 67 runs against Australia© AFP
Pakistan opener Mohammad Rizwan played yet another scintillating knock to help his team set Australia a huge target in thesecond semifinal of the ongoing ICC T20 World Cup in Dubai on Thursday. Rizwan shared a 71-run opening stand with skipper Babar Azam to give Pakistan the perfect start in the crucial encounter, after Australian captain Aaron Finch won the toss and decided to field. Rizwan took the onus on himself to set a strong platform for Pakistan and continued despite the loss of Babar’s wicket and posted a half-century in 41 balls, his third of the tournament.
While doing that, Rizwan became the first batsman in the history T20 internationals to complete 1000 runs in a calendar year. The wicket-keeper batter has been in outstanding form throughout the year and has continued in the same vein in this tournament. He had posted unbeaten scores of 79 against India and Namibia in the tournament earlier.
Rizwan was eventually dismissed for 67 of 52 balls. The launchpad set by him and Babar was used by Fakhar Zaman, who scored an unbeaten 55 off 32 balls to power Pakistan to 176/4 in 20 overs.
Rizwan’s knock has now taken him to a total of 1033 runs in 23 matches this year. This was his 20th T20I innings of 2021 and he has scored his runs at a Bradman-esque average of 86.08 and strike-rate of over 136. He has scored 10 half-centuries and a century this year so far.
He is closely followed by his captain Babar Azam, who has amassed 826 run sin 23 matches with 8 half-centuries and a century under his belt.
Prior to this year, the record for the most runs in a calendar year in international cricket’s shortest format belonged to Ireland’s Paul Sterling, who had scored 748 runs in the year 2019.
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