Pakistan captain Babar Azam has broken multiple records during the fourth ODI match against New Zealand in Karachi, becoming the fastest batter to score 18 ODI centuries and reach 5,000 ODI runs. The cricket star achieved both milestones in his 97th ODI innings, outpacing South African legend Hashim Amla.
Amla, who previously held the records, took 101 innings to score 5,000 ODI runs and 102 innings to complete 18 ODI centuries. Babar Azam’s remarkable feat also ended his 11-month ODI century drought, converting his last eight ODI fifties into his 18th century. His 17th century was scored against the West Indies in June last year.
Babar Azam now leads the list of the fastest batsmen to reach 18 ODI centuries, followed by Hashim Amla (102 innings), David Warner (115 innings), Virat Kohli (119 innings), and AB de Villiers (159 innings).
In the ongoing fourth ODI match, New Zealand won the toss and chose to bowl first. Pakistan posted a massive total of 334 runs, with Babar Azam contributing 107 runs in 117 balls. Agha Salman also scored a half-century, while Shaheen Afridi and Mohammed Harris helped Pakistan achieve a strong finish with their cameos.
The Pakistan captain has been in exceptional form throughout the series, scoring 49 and 65 in the previous two games. Babar Azam’s consistency over the past few years has established him as one of the world’s best ODI players, with centuries scored globally and runs accumulated consistently.
New Zealand, missing several key players due to the 2023 Indian Premier League (IPL), has struggled to compete in the ODIs, although they managed to draw the T20 series. Pakistan has already secured an unassailable 3-0 lead in the series, largely thanks to Babar Azam’s record-breaking performances.