PAK vs NZ: Twitter reacts as Babar Azam leads Pakistan fightback on Day 1 in Karachi Test
Babar Azam overtakes Joe Root to become the leading run scorer in Tests in 2022.
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Pakistan dominated the first day of the Karachi Test against the visiting Kiwis, thanks to their captain Babar Azam's glittering 161*. Babar, along with the former Pakistan skipper Sarfaraz Ahmed, battered the hosts with a mammoth fifth wicket stand after a flurry of early wickets. The Pakistan skipper also became the leading run scorer in Tests for the calendar year during his glorious innings and is well on course for a double ton as the home side finished the day at 317/5.
The hosts won the toss and decided to bat on a surface that had a bit of assistance for the slower bowlers. The first session saw the home side make a stuttering start to their innings, as they lost their first two wickets to stumpings, a first in 145 years in men's Test. New Zealand, under their recently appointed skipper Tim Southee, were all over the hosts, reducing them to 110-4.
However, Pakistan's fortunes transformed drastically in the second session as skipper Babar Azam and the returning Sarfaraz Ahmed turned the tables on the Kiwis. The captain led from the front, registering his eight-ton this year, the most by any batter in 2022. Sarfaraz, his partner from the other end, also vindicated his selection and registered a well compiled half-century on his 50th Test appearance for the Asian giants.
Babar Azam registers his name in the record books after a glittering ton
Babar breached the three-figure mark with a maximum and was well on course for a big score ahead of the second day in Karachi. The mammoth 196-run partnership for the fifth wicket sucked the life out of the Kiwis, who struggled to lay a glove on the hosts since a flurry of wickets in the morning session. The surface got increasingly flat as the day progressed, rendering the Kiwi bowlers toothless at the National Stadium. The former Pakistani skipper missed out on a well-deserved century after being dismissed for 86 runs at the fag end on the first day.
Earlier in the day, the Pakistani batters were criticized for their haphazard approach against the Kiwi spinners after losing three quick wickets in the morning session. The Babar-Sarfaraz partnership further highlighted that there are no demons on this pitch, and the home side would have been in an even stronger position had the top-order batted with more responsibility.
Here is how Twitter reacted to Babar Azam and Sarfaraz Ahmed's decisive partnership in Karachi:
Kaptaan and skipper ♥️♥️. @SarfarazA_54 and @babarazam258 pic.twitter.com/5jB6hPuRta— Shadab Khan (@76Shadabkhan) December 26, 2022
Great fight back from team Pakistan.— Fakhar Zaman (@FakharZamanLive) December 26, 2022
Another day another Hundred @babarazam258 ⭐️
What a special comeback @SarfarazA_54 Saifi bhai❤️ pic.twitter.com/TXrW9ax2TU
What a comeback innings for @SarfarazA_54 . U hve always been a special player. Never easy to b on the bench for so long & on a return u express urself . Lot of prayers— Wahab Riaz (@WahabViki) December 26, 2022
Top class hundred by @babarazam258 . 👏👏👏— Salman Butt (@im_SalmanButt) December 26, 2022
Sensational from Babar 👏#PAKvNZ | #WTC23 | 📝: https://t.co/HdzZd88nK3 pic.twitter.com/Hy6ozE36Re— ICC (@ICC) December 26, 2022
Silky as per… @babarazam258 #numbernine 👏👌🇵🇰 #PAKvNZ pic.twitter.com/LJKvMRj6AD— Danny Morrison (@SteelyDan66) December 26, 2022
Special innings 🙌— Pakistan Cricket (@TheRealPCB) December 26, 2022
©️aptain @babarazam258 marches on 💪#PAKvNZ | #TayyariKiwiHai pic.twitter.com/lxr1dw2Vf3
Pleased with Pakistan's performance today, great comeback after the early loss of wickets. Special praise for Babar for another outstanding innings. Sarfaraz proved his selection right, excellent performance for him under pressure.— Shahid Afridi (@SAfridiOfficial) December 26, 2022
It's stumps on Day 1: Captain Babar Azam's unbeaten 161 and Sarfaraz Ahmed's excellent knock puts Pakistan in a strong position.#CricTracker #PAKvNZ #BabarAzam pic.twitter.com/fAFdIuTgUq— CricTracker (@Cricketracker) December 26, 2022
abar Azam stood tall against the New Zealand spin attack 👏— Cricket Pakistan (@cricketpakcompk) December 26, 2022
Sarfaraz Ahmed made a strong return as he scored important runs for his team 🙌
Score card: https://t.co/MGd0sjpCzI#PAKvNZ pic.twitter.com/LMzA67vSOW