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3rd ODI: Babar blazes to 158 as Pakistan post 331/9 vs Eng

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Birmingham, July 13 (IANS) Skipper Babar Azam struck a career best 158 (139 balls) as Pakistan’s batting finally came good in the third and final ODI against England on Tuesday and posted a challenging 331 for nine wickets in 50 overs.

With Babar going great runs and opener Imam-ul-Haq (56) and Mohammad Rizwan (74) scoring half-centuries, Pakistan posted a challenging 331 for nine wickets in their allotted 50 overs.

Playing against a makeshift England squad, after the originally selected player went into isolation after three players tested positive for Covid, Pakistan have struggled with their batting, putting up scores of 141 and 195 in the first two ODIs in which they were outplayed.

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With the series settled 2-0 in favour of England, the Pakistan batsmen played more freely and put up a challenging target for the hosts.

Babar came in after Fakhar Zaman was out early for 6, caught by Crawley off Saqib Mahmood. He raised 92 runs for the third wicket with opener Imam-ul-Haq and then put together a partnership of 179 with Rizwan.

However, they suffered a collapse soon after Rizwan was out, caught by wicketkeeper Simpson off seamer Brydon Carse, with the score 292/3. Only one of the remaining seven batsman managed to reach double digits.

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But Babar kept blasting runs from the other end and was the eighth batsman out with the score 328 in the 50th over. He struck 14 boundaries and four sixes during his innings.

Carse was the best England bowler on display as he claimed five wickets for 61 in his 10 overs.

Brief scores: Pakistan 331/9 in 50 overs (Imam-ul-Haq 56, Babar Azam 158, M Rizwan 74; Brydon Carse 5/61)

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— IANS

bsk/qma

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