Shoaib Akhtar calls Babar Azam’s century ‘unique’

Legendary pacer Shoaib Akhtar (left) and Pakistani cricket team skipper Babar Azam. — YouTube/AFP/File

Legendary pacer Shoaib Akhtar termed Pakistani skipper Babar Azam’s impressive century against Sri Lanka “unique” as the captain led the team from the front.

Babar on Sunday smashed an impressive 119 before Sri Lanka bowled out Green Shirts for 218 on the second day of the first Test played at Galle International Stadium.

“Babar’s 100 yesterday was unique and in exceptional circumstances,” the former pacer said in a tweet.

“Batting with the tail for so long being a captain in tough Sri Lankan conditions is no small feat. What a talent he is,” Akhtar added.

Azam single-handedly took the tourists to just four runs short of Sri Lanka’s 222 as he put on a 70-run tenth-wicket stand with Naseem Shah.

Azam reached his seventh Test century with a four and single-off mystery spinner Maheesh Theekshana, who finally got the star batsman trapped lbw to end the Pakistan innings in the final session.

Azam got help from the lower-order batsmen including Yasir Shah (18), Hasan Ali (17) and Naseem, as Pakistan managed 133 runs for the final three wickets.

Azam shielded number 11 Naseem by facing most of the balls in a defiant show of batting.

He hit fast bowler Kasun Rajitha for three straight boundaries and later a six and four off Theekshana and Jayasuriya.

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