Pakistan’s opening duo of Babar Azam and Mohammad Rizwan on Tuesday became the first pair to slam five-century stands in Men’s T20Is. Coming to open against Namibia in their fourth Super 12 Group 2 game in the T20 World Cup 2021, Babar & Rizwan added 113 runs for the opening wicket, slamming their second 100+ partnership in the ongoing showpiece event & fifth in overall. Babar & Rizwan are on a roll in the showpiece event and so are the Men in Green who have one foot inside the semi-finals.
Babar Azam 🤝 Mohammad Rizwan
— ESPNcricinfo (@ESPNcricinfo) November 2, 2021
Opting to bat first to test the batting, the Pakistan opening duo started off slow, adding just 29 runs in the powerplay. However, both Babar & Rizwan then started shifting gears and added 113 runs for the opening wicket in just 14.2 overs. While Babar scored 70 off 49, M Rizwan returned unbeaten on 79 off just 50 balls and helped Pakistan post a daunting total of 189/2 against Namibia.
Rizwan and Babar haven’t opened together for all that long, but have impressive records as a pair. Both the batters opened for the first time atop the order earlier in 2021. And, since then have slammed five-century stands – all in 2021. In 19 innings during 2019-2021, Azam & Rizwan have amassed 1134 runs at a staggering average of 63.00.
They surpassed the Indian duo of Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan and New Zealand’s Martin Guptill and Kane Williamson — both have scored four centuries in their partnerships.
Most Century Partnership by a pair:
Babar Azam, Mohammad Rizwan (PAK) – 5
S Dhawan, Rohit Sharma (IND) – 4
Martin Guptill, Kane Williamson (NZ) – 4
Ben Cooper, M O’Dowd (NED) – 3
Aaron Finch, David Warner (AUS) – 3
Top Five Men’s T20 World Cup Opening Stands: The Pakistan opening duo of Azam & Rizwan also became the first-ever batting partners in the world to amass 1,000 partnership runs in a calendar year. They’ve scored 1,041 runs this year in 17 partnerships.
1041 – Babar & Rizwan in 2021*
756 – N O’Brien & Stirling in 2019
662 – Cooper & O’Dowd in 2019
658 – Coetzer & Munsey in 2019
Meanwhile, Mohd Rizwan is just 4 runs shy of taking over West Indies batting legend Chris Gayle’s record of most T20 runs in a calendar year. Rizwan has scored 1661 runs in T20s in the ongoing calendar year and is likely to take over Chris Gayle’s record of 1665 runs in his next outing against Scotland on November 07, Sunday.
Most T20 runs in a calendar year:
1665 Chris Gayle (2015)
1661 MOHD RIZWAN (2021) *
1614 Virat Kohli (2016)
1607 Babar Azam (2019)
Babar Azam & Mohammad Rizwan had earlier scored 152 runs in the opening game against arch-rivals India to thrash India by a record 10 wickets defeat.
It is the biggest opening partnership in the history of the Men’s T20 World Cup and also Pakistan’s second-biggest partnership in a T20I for any wicket.
|Babar Aazam, Mohammad Rizwan (Pakistan)||152*||vs India, 24 October 2021|
|Chris Gayle, Devon Smith (West Indies)||145||vs South Africa, 11 September 2007|
|Kamran Akmal, Salman Butt (Pakistan)||142||vs Bangladesh, 1 May 2010|
|Gautam Gambhir, Virender Sehwag (India)||136||vs England, 19 September 2007|
|Andre Fletcher, Chris Gayle (West Indies)||133||vs Australia, 6 June 2009|
|David Warner, Shane Watson (Australia)||133||vs India, 28 September 2012|