SHARJAH: Fast-rising one-drop batsman Babar Azam cracked a successive hundred to propel Pakistan to another dominating 337-5 in the second day-night international against West Indies in Sharjah on Sunday.
The 21-year old followed his 120 in the first game on Friday with another magnificent 125-ball 123 spiced with nine boundaries and a six as Pakistan, who won the toss and batted, took full advantage of another flat strip at Sharjah stadium.
Azam added 169 for the third wicket with Shoaib Malik who missed his ninth one-day hundred by ten runs, scoring an attractive 83-ball 90 with six hits over the fence and three boundaries.
Pakistan leads the three-match series 1-0 after winning the first game — also in Sharjah — by 111 runs on Friday.
It was another dominating batting by Pakistan, shredding the West Indian bowling at will, with Azam and Malik giving strength and Sarfraz Ahmed finishing it with 47-ball 60 not out.
Azam reached his second one-day international hundred with a single off Carlos Brathwaite, waving his bat and bowing down in delight.
He was finally caught off paceman Alzarri Joseph at long-on in the 46th over.
Malik was also ruthless as he reached his 38th half-century off 55 balls before hitting three successive sixes off left-arm spinner Sulieman Benn, one went out of the Sharjah stadium.
Azam and Malik steadied the innings after openers Azhar Ali (nine) and Sharjeel Khan (24) fell in the space of three deliveries with the total at 40.
Ahmed, who hit seven fours, helped Azam add another 73 for the fourth wicket as Pakistan added 97 in the last ten overs and 55 in the last five.
Joseph and Jason Holder took two wickets apiece.
Earlier, Pakistan skipper Azhar Ali won the toss and opted to bat first in the second of a three-match One day International (ODI) Series against the West Indies on Sunday.
“The surface is good. It will take the batsmen some time to settle, but there are plenty of runs on offer,” Azhar said.
Pakistan’s lineup remained unchanged, but the West Indies were forced to make a change after Shannon Gabriel was ruled out with a sore neck. Gabriel has been replaced by Alzarri Jospeh, who is making his ODI debut in the match.
Azhar Ali took strike, partnered with Sharjeel Khan, as Windies captain Jason Holder started proceedings. Holder will share the ball with Alzarri Joseph.
Pakistan won the first match of the series, giving them a 1-0 lead, building on their 3-0 whitewash in the Twenty20 series from which the current line-up will seek inspiration.
Holder blamed poor batting for his side’s demise in the first ODI. “We didn’t bat well, especially against spin,” said Holder. “We have to adjust and improve quickly,” he said.