He came, he saw, he conquered. In a must-win fixture for Pakistan on Wednesday, Babar Azam walked in, displayed nerves of steel and stayed till the end of the chase to send his side over the line with a six-wicket triumph over the unbeaten side of the tournament, New Zealand.
Green shirts, who were 110 for three at the halfway point of 25 overs, achieved the target in final over at the loss of four wickets, all credits to Babar Azam’s undefeated and marvelous 101-run knock.
“This is my best innings. the wicket was difficult and turned a lot in the second half. The plan was to go through to the end and give my 100%,” man-of-the-match, Babar, said at the presentation ceremony.
“When we started, the plan was to see out Ferguson. But when Santner came on, the plan became not to give wickets to him and cover up later when the fast bowlers come on. The fans support us here in Birmingham, it’s great.”
As Pakistan kept their hopes to reach the semis alive, Twitterati took to the social media platform to express their happiness and, obviously, to compare the young great Babar with his Indian idol, Virat Kohli.
Following the high-staked fixture, the growing legend took to Twitter to dedicate his ton to “SoniDharti (motherland)”.
— Babar Azam (@babarazam258) June 26, 2019
Prime Minister Imran Khan, a cricket legend himself, lauded the cricket team, especially the man of the moment, Babar, for “a great comeback”
Congratulations to our cricket team for a great comeback. Congratulations especially go to Babar, Haris and Shaheen for their brilliant performances.
— Imran Khan (@ImranKhanPTI) June 26, 2019
For PTI stalwart Aleem Khan, it was a “treat to watch Babar Azam” in action.
Well done team Pakistan!
The resolve, commitment & responsibility shown by our team today was unmatchable. It was a treat to watch Babar Azam & Haris Sohail taking it to the end. Team green is back.
Pakistan Zindabad! ??
— Abdul Aleem Khan (@aleemkhan_pti) June 26, 2019
‘Doosra’ legend Saeed Ajmal wanted Babar to “carry this energy on”.
Congratulations! Well played #TeamPakistan, Performed really well in last two games, lets carry this energy on. Babar Azam & Harris Shoail played incredibly well. #CWC19 #PAKvsNZL pic.twitter.com/LK1ehFO4Qy
— Saeed Ajmal (@REALsaeedajmal) June 26, 2019
Former speedster Shoaib Akhtar was absolutely delighted to see the “match-winning inning”.
Match winning inning from Babar Azam. Brilliant display of talent by Haris Sohail. What a class act he is turning out to be.
Shaheen Afridi bowled with pace & aggression.
Pakistan Zindabad. One step closer to the dream. #PAKvNZ #CWC19
— Shoaib Akhtar (@shoaib100mph) June 26, 2019
The ‘cool’ Misbah ul Haq also congratulated the young batsman.
— Misbah Ul Haq (@captainmisbahpk) June 26, 2019
Hirra Hassan observed that there is no comparison between Virat and Babar as the latter is “on the right path to be NO ONE”.
Babar Azam and Virat Kohli comparison in ODIs:
1000 runs – Babar 21 innings, Kohli 24
2000 runs – Babar 45 innings, Kohli 53
3000 runs – Babar 68 innings, Kohli 75
Babar Azam is on the right path to be NO ONE !
— Hirra Hassan (@Hirra_Hassan) June 26, 2019
“Babar azam…you beauty,” wrote anchor Kashif Abbasi.
Babar azam…you beauty. What a performance team Pakistan.. Shaheen afridi was super good today.may God bless u all. Made my day
— Kashif Abbasi (@Kashifabbasiary) June 26, 2019
Jaanvi was apparently ‘offended’ that Babar knocked his ton “before Kohli gets his”.
Get out, Babar! You can’t get your ton before Kohli gets his.
— Jaanvi ? (@ThatCric8Girl) June 26, 2019
ICC, too, was all praises for Babar.
WHAT A KNOCK! ?
Brilliant from Babar Azam to bring up his ? on a difficult pitch and put a win in sight!
— ICC (@ICC) June 26, 2019
Zulfi Bukhari, Special Assistant to the Prime Minister for Overseas Pakistanis, was also impressed.
Defeating the undefeated.. team green never ceases to amaze-top class batting by Babar Azam & Haris. Sensational stuff .. Shahbash boys! ??#NZvPAK
— Sayed Z Bukhari (@sayedzbukhari) June 26, 2019
“Still coming of age and already, by some distance, Pakistan’s best batsman,” wrote renowned Indian commentator Harsha Bhogle.
What a player this Babar Azam is. Still coming of age and already, by some distance, Pakistan’s best batsman. And the selection of Haris Sohail is a game-changer.
— Harsha Bhogle (@bhogleharsha) June 26, 2019
‘Lala’ noted that Babar’s hundred “made all the difference”.
Brilliant batting by Babar Azam and Haris Sohail, special win for Pakistan. Babars batting through the innings has made all the difference. The talent of Haris Sohail, his shot making is pure class. Pakistan are back in this World cup! #WeHaveWeWill #BoomBoomPakistan ????? pic.twitter.com/r6Xz3nwdQM
— Shahid Afridi (@SAfridiOfficial) June 26, 2019