By Mushtaq A Subhani
Skipper Babar Rizwan and wicketkeeper-batsman Mohammad Rizwan shared a record opening stand of an unbeaten 203 runs to enable Pakistan to crush England by 10 wickets in the second Twenty20 International of the seven-match series, played at the National Stadium in Karachi on September 22.
This was Pakistan’s biggest win by wickets against England, and their second 10-wicket victory in T20I cricket after they defeated India at Dubai on October 24, 2021.
Pakistan became the first team to chase down a target of 200 or more runs without losing a wicket. This was, however, their third highest chase in T20 international cricket, following a 208-run successful chase against West Indies at Karachi on December 16, 2021; and a 204-run chase completed against South Africa at Centurion in April 14, 2021.
The 203-run stand between Babar and Rizwan is Pakistan’s highest opening stand in T20Is as the pair broke their own record of 197, scored against South Africa at Centurion on April 14, 2021. This is also the fifth highest partnership for the first wicket in T20Is.
This is also for the seventh time that the duo shared a century partnership — six for the first and one for the second wicket. Their six century stands for the opening wicket is also a world record.
During their 203 run-stand, Babar made 110 not out from 66 balls with five sixes and 11 fours while his partner Rizwan scored an unbeaten 88 off 51 balls with four sixes and five boundaries. Babar became the first Pakistani batsman to hit two tons in T20I cricket. His first was 122 against South Africa at Centurion on April 14, 2021. Only two other batsmen have so far scored centuries for Pakistan in the shortest format of cricket: Ahmed Shehzad (111* vs Bangladesh at Mirpur on March 30, 2014) and Rizwan (104* vs South Africa at Lahore on February 11, 2021).