Imam, Babar hit record-breaking tons as Pakistan beat Australia by six wickets
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Imamul Haq and Babar Azam both hit record-breaking centuries Thursday as Pakistan beat Australia by six wickets to square the series in the second One Day International at Gaddafi Stadium Lahore.
Chasing a mammoth target of 349 to win, Pakistan reached 352 for four on the last ball of the penultimate over as Khushdil Shah delighted the fans with late fireworks as a traditional batting collapse was looming after quick departure of Babar and Rizwan Ahmed. Khushdil remained unbeaten for his 27 runs off 17 balls hitting two sizes and as many fours.
Pakistan’s opening batter Imam entered the record books when he became the quickest batsman in the world to reach the ninth ODI hundred in his career.
Imam smashed a century during the second ODI against Australia in Lahore, his 2nd consecutive in the series, to surpass South Africa’s Hashim Amla in the list of taking the fewest innings to score the ninth ODI hundred.
Imam scored 106 runs before being caught by Marnus Labuschagne off Adam Zampa.
The 26-year-old opening batter reached this milestone in the 48th inning of his ODI career. Hashim Amla had scored his ninth century in 52 innings, Quinton de Kock took 53 and Babar Azam took 61 innings to score their century in ODIs.
Later, Babar also followed the trend by becoming the fastest batter to reach 15th ODI hundred in just 83 innings three faster than Hashim Amla.
Fakhar Zaman also hit a half century before being bowled by Stoinis after scoring 67 runs. Both Imam and Fakaha gave Pakistan 118-run opening stand. Pakistan had never lost an ODI when Fakhar and Imam put on a century partnership so that streak remained intact too.
Earlier, Ben McDermott smashed a maiden century to guide Australia to a massive 348-8 in the second day-night international against Pakistan in Lahore.
The 27-year-old cracked 104 off 108 balls in only his fourth ODI, while Travis Head struck 89 and Marnus Labuschagne hit 59 after Australia were sent in to bat on a flat Gaddafi Stadium pitch.
All-rounder Marcus Stoinis added the finishing touch with a quickfire 49, with five boundaries and a six.
Pace spearhead Shaheen Shah Afridi -- who missed Pakistan's 88-run defeat in the first ODI with a knee injury -- gave the home side a breakthrough off the third ball of the innings when he trapped Aaron Finch leg-before without scoring.
But Australia scored at will after that with McDermott and Head adding 162 off 144 balls for the second wicket, hitting boundaries with ease.
Head, who scored 101 on Tuesday, smashed five sixes and six fours before miscuing a sweep off leg-spinner Zahid Mahmood, being caught by Shaheen at short fine-leg.
McDermott added another 74 with Labuschagne, and during that stand hit spinner Khushdil Shah over long-off boundary for six to complete a century off 102 balls.
He was finally caught off pacer Mohammad Wasim.
Despite Alex Carey and Cameron Green falling for five each, Sean Abbott chipped in with a 16-ball 28 to boost the total.
Shaheen finished with 4-63 and Wasim took 2-56, but Pakistan's Iftikhar Ahmed and Khushdil Shah conceded 95 runs in ten overs between them.
The third and final match is on Saturday, also in Lahore.
T. Head c Shaheen b Mahmood 89
A. Finch lbw b Shaheen 0
B. McDermott c Rauf b Wasim 104
M. Labuschagne c Shakeel b Khushdil 59
M. Stoinis c Azam b Shaheen 49
A. Carey c Rizwan b Wasim 5
C. Green c Iftikhar b Shaheen 5
S. Abbott c Rauf b Shaheen 28
N. Ellis not out 1
A. Zampa not out 0
Extras: (lb6, w2) 8
Total: (for eight wkts; 50 overs) 348
Did not bat: Mitchell Swepson
Fall of wickets: 1-1 (Finch), 2-163 (Head), 3-237 (McDermott), 4-272 (Labuschagne), 5-295 (Carey), 6-301 (Green), 7-343 (Stoinis), 8-347 (Abbott)
Bowling: Shaheen 10-0-63-4, Rauf 10-1-57-0, Wasim 10-0-56-2,Mahmood 10-0-71-1 (nb1), Iftikhar 4-0-38-0, Khushdil 6-0-57-1 (w1)
Fakhar Zaman b Stoinis 67
Imam-ul-Haq c Labuschagne b Zampa 106
Babar Azam c Labuschagne b Ellis 114
Mohammad Rizwan c Abbott b Zampa 23
Khushdil Shah not out 27
Iftikhar Ahmed not out 8
Extras (b1, lb1, w2) 4
Total: (for four wkts; 49 overs) 349
Did not bat: Saud Shakeel, Shaheen Shah Afridi, Mohammad Wasim, Zahid Mahmood, Haris Rauf
Fall of wickets: 1-118 (Zaman), 2-229 (Haq), 3-309 (Azam), 4-317 (Rizwan)
Bowling: Abbott 9-0-74-0 (w1), Green 6-0-35-0, Ellis 9-0-66-1, Head 4-0-28-0, Zampa 10-0-71-2, Swepson 8-0-50-0 (w1), Stoinis 3-0-23-1
Result: Pakistan won by six wickets
Umpires: Aleem Dar (PAK) and Ahsan Raza (PAK)
TV umpire: Asif Yaqoob (PAK)
Match referee: Mohammad Javed Malik (PAK)