Shoaib Malik becomes first Pakistani batsman to score 2000 T20I runs
HARARE (92 News) – Shoaib Malik became the first Pakistan batsman to score 2000 T20I runs.
The experienced right-hander achieved the personal milestone when he wrote himself into history books during the T20I tri-series opener between Zimbabwe and Pakistan at Harare on Sunday.
The Pakistan veteran became only the third batsman in history to register 2, 000 runs in the T20I format and the first from his country. The New Zealand duo of Brendon McCullum and Martin Guptill are the only previous batsmen to have attained the feat.
Malik reached the landmark during his unbeaten cameo of 37 runs which came off just 24 deliveries in Pakistan’s victory. The batsman has been in great form in the format for some time now and he was on song once again at the Harare Sports Club on Sunday.
The right-hander struck one six and two boundaries during his 24-ball stay at the crease as he and Asif Ali provided some much needed lusty blows towards the death overs for Pakistan.
The duo collected 61 runs from the last five overs as Pakistan posted a daunting total of 182-4 after being asked to bat first by Zimbabwe skipper Hamilton Masakazda.
Malik’s 2,026 runs in T20I cricket have come from 99 matches at an average of 31.65 and a strike-rate of over 122. In his last 25 innings for Pakistan in the format, the 36-year-old has scored 771 runs at an average of over 70 and a strike-rate greater than 151.
His explosive hitting in the death overs has been a hallmark of Pakistan’s climb to the No1 ranking in the T20 format. His excellent form has coincided with Pakistan’s run of 11 victories in their last 12 matches coming into the tri-series.
Though he is ranked 30th in the latest ICC rankings for T20I batsman, it won’t be a surprise to see Malik make a huge jump when the rankings are next updated after his fine showing in the two preceding T20Is against Scotland.