Former Pakistan captain Babar Azam was engaged in a funny moment with wicketkeeper Azam Khan during the second T20I against New Zealand at Seddon Park in Hamilton on Sunday, January 14.
Pakistan were invited to bowl first against New Zealand. The hosts put up a solid total of 194/8 in 20 overs. Finn Allen unleashed his firepower at the top as he smashed 74 off 41 balls at a strike rate of 180.49. Kane Williamson (25) and Mitchell Santner (26) chipped in with the bat. Williamson retired hurt with thigh injury.
For Pakistan, Haris Rauf scalped three wickets while Abbas Afridi picked two wickets. Pakistan's lead pacer Shaheen Afridi went wicketless while conceding 30 runs in his four overs.
However, funny celebration between Babar Azam and Azam Khan caught the attention. The incident took place in the 19th over when Azam dived to save the boundary behind the wickets off Haris Rauf. Babar Azam did shoulder-bumping with Azam Khan to celebrate but almost fell down. This left commentators in splits.
Azam Khan made his comeback to international cricket after almost a year in the first T20I against New Zealand. The 25-year-old was often ignored by selectors due to his fitness. However, Azam performed well in Pakistan Super League but found it hard to break into national squad.
Babar Azam, Fakhar Zaman score fifties but in vain
Babar Azam and Fakhar Zaman put on good show with the bat but their efforts went as Pakistan lost to New Zealand by 21 runs in Hamilton.
With a target of 195, Pakistan were bundled out for 173 in 19.3 overs. The visitors were reeling 10/2 when Azam (66) and Zaman (50) stepped up to turn the fortunes. The pair formed a 87-run partnership for the third wicket. However, the Fakhar Zaman's wicket turned the tables on Pakistan.
The entire pressure fell on Babar Azam who kept the Pakistan's batting steadied despite lack of support from the other end of the crease. Azam's wicket at 153/7 put a break on visitors run-chase. Shaheen Afridi flexed his muscle with the bat but failed to take through the finishing line.
For New Zealand, Adam Milne scalped four wickets while Tim Southee, Bean Sears and Ish Sodhi picked two scalps each.