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Babar Azam’s masterful century leads Pakistan to a crushing win over South Africa in third T20I

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Pakistan beat South Africa by nine wickets in the third T20 international as Babar Azam’s stunning century helped them to chase down 204 with time to spare; watch the fourth T20I from 1.25pm, Friday on Sky Sports Cricket and Sky Sports Mix

Babar Azam scored a stunning 122 from 59 balls as Pakistan chased down 204 at Centurion

Babar Azam scored a stunning 122 from 59 balls as Pakistan chased down 204 at Centurion

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Captain Babar Azam hit a record-breaking 122 to lead Pakistan to an impressive nine-wicket victory over hosts South Africa at Centurion and a 2-1 lead in the four-match Twenty20 series.

Mohammad Rizwan scored an unbeaten 73 as he and Babar, whose century came off 49 balls, shared a record 197-run partnership in a devastating display of batting that en abled the touring side to reel in South Africa’s competitive 203-5 with consummate ease.

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They won with two overs to spare after making 205-1, dispatching the home bowling to all corners of the ground.

    Third T20I scorecard: South Africa vs PakistanBabar Azam dethrones Virat Kohli in ODI rankings

Babar’s record T20 score for Pakistan, including 15 fours and four sixes off 59 balls, came a day after he became the top ranked one-day batsman. He is third in the T20 rankings and played an innings of finesse and guile rather than bludgeoning shots to underline his class.

Rizwan’s knock was overshadowed by his skipper but he was equally brilliant in a supporting role.

It was the second highest successful run chase in a T20 international at Centurion with a tiring Babar eventually out caught behind off the bowling of Lizaad Williams.

Janneman Malan and Aiden Markham shared a 108-run opening wicket partnership as South Africa got off to a flying start after being put into bat.

Markham made a half century for a third successive game before being bowled for 63 and Malan scored 55.

The last match of the series and Pakistan’s tour will also be played at Centurion, on Friday.

Watch the fourth T20 international between South Africa and Pakistan, live on Sky Sports Cricket and Sky Sports Mix (416) from 1.25pm on Friday. At 2.50pm, Sky Sports Cricket will switch to the IPL, with South Africa vs Pakistan staying on Sky Sports Mix.

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