The cricketing world witnessed a mixed bag of emotions from Babar Azam during the recent New Zealand vs Pakistan T20 series. While the Pakistan skipper’s exquisite batting drew applause, his fielding performance, notably a misfield near the boundary, sparked criticism. In the second T20I at Seddon Park, Hamilton, Babar Azam found himself under the spotlight for all the wrong reasons. During the ninth over, Finn Allen’s powerful drive seemed destined for a couple of runs, but Babar’s untimely fumble near the boundary allowed the ball to roll for four. This incident added to Babar’s recent woes, with poor outings and sloppy fielding making headlines.
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New Zealand’s Dominance Continues
Despite Babar Azam’s fielding woes, New Zealand maintained their dominance, reaching 138/2 in 13.1 overs. Finn Allen’s explosive innings of 74 runs and Daryl Mitchell’s cameo ensured a formidable total for the Kiwis. Pakistan, in reply, fell short, managing only 173/10 in 19.3 overs, losing the match by 21 runs.
Consoling the Cameraman
In a display of sportsmanship, Babar Azam consoled a cameraman whose equipment was shattered by a maximum from Daryl Mitchell’s bat. This incident showcased Babar’s character beyond the cricket pitch, underlining his commitment to fair play.
Despite the recent fielding mishap, Babar Azam redeemed himself in the first T20I with a sensational catch. Stationed at long-on, he silenced critics by taking a blinder to dismiss Glenn Phillips. This turning point not only sent Phillips back but also emphasized Babar’s fielding prowess.
The Turning Point
Babar Azam’s stunning catch in the 15th over, as debutant Abbas Afridi claimed his third wicket, marked a turning point in the series. The catch was a testament to Babar’s commitment to contributing in the field, countering the criticism he had faced for past lapses.