Pakistani top-order batsman Babar Azam has become the second fastest ODI player to reach 2,000 runs in terms of number of innings, equaling the record of Pakistani legend Zaheer Abbas.
Azam has consumed only 45 innings to score 2,000 ODI runs, being the joint quickest alongside Zaheer Abbas and Kevin Pietersen.
South African opener Hashim Amla is the only player to reach the milestone of 2,000 ODI runs in fewer innings than this. He took only 40 innings to reach the mark at the beginning of his career.
— ICC (@ICC) September 16, 2018
The prolific batsman scored 33 of 36 balls against Pakistan’s opening match of the Asia Cup against Hong Kong. He struck three fours and one six before getting out to Ehsan Khan.
Azam was congratulated across the social media by his fans for his achievement. The right-hand player is currently ranked second in the ICC ODI Batting Rankings.
Congratulations @babarazam258 on reaching the milestone of 2000 ODI runs ?. He is the joint quickest to score 2000 ODI runs for Pakistan alongside legendary Zaheer Abbas! #PAKvHK #AsiaCup2018 pic.twitter.com/X7osyhBmlx
— PCB Official (@TheRealPCB) September 16, 2018
Meanwhile, former champions Pakistan thrashed an inexperienced Hong Kong by eight wickets in a one-sided match to open their Asia Cup campaign in style on Sunday.
Pakistan’s bowling attack was too hot to handle for Hong Kong in Dubai as Usman Shinwari finished with 3-19 and Hasan Ali took 2-19, while leg-spinner Shadab Khan managed 2-31 to bowl Hong Kong out for 116 in 37.1 overs.
Pakistan then completed the chase comfortably for the loss of opener Fakhar Zaman (24) and Babar Azam (33), while Imam-ul-Haq finished on 50 not out after just 23.4 overs.
It proved another cakewalk for Pakistan, like their two previous victories against Hong Kong, by 173 runs in the 2004 Asia Cup in Colombo and by 155 in Karachi four years later.