Pakistan captain, Babar Azam, scored the second slowest half-century for Pakistan in T20I history in the second match against South Africa at Johannesburg. Babar took 49 balls to reach his half-century, helping Pakistan set a target of 141.
The Proteas batsmen chased down the target comfortably, winning the match by six wickets, and leveled the series 1-1.
Former opening batsman, Shoaib Khan, holds the record for the slowest T20I half-century for Pakistan. He scored his fifty off 53 balls in 2008 against Zimbabwe. Pakistan won the match by three wickets, chasing down a target of 108 in the final over of the innings.
Babar has been heavily criticized in the cricketing fraternity for his low strike rate. His strikes at 127.69 which is not highly impressive, but his role as an anchor in the batting unit does not demand him to play with a much higher strike rate. One of Babar’s weaknesses in the T20 format is his inability to shift gears at his will. He looks to be playing in cruise control in every situation and is unable to hit big when required.
However, the blame for the loss is not on Babar’s shoulder only. The other batsmen around him could not contribute to the scorecard, putting enormous pressure on Babar to score big and at a high strike rate. Babar was the only one that dealt ably with the Proteas bowling unit as other wickets around him fell at regular intervals.