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Babar Azam achieved second-fastest 3,000 ODI runs in today’s match

BIRMINGHAM: Pakistan batsman Babar Azam on Wednesday became the second-fastest to reach 3,000 one-day international runs during the World Cup match against New Zealand in Birmingham.

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The 24-year-old reached the milestone in his 68th innings during Pakistan’s successful chase of a 238-run target.

Babar took 11 innings more than South Africa’s Hashim Amla, who reached the milestone in 57 innings, but overtook West Indies great Viv Richards (69 innings).

Babar and Mohammad Hafeez (32) added 66 for the third wicket after Pakistan lost openers Fakhar Zaman (nine) and Imam-ul-Haq (19).

Hafeez was caught by Lockie Ferguson in the deep off the bowling of New Zealand captain Kane Williamson for 32 to leave Pakistan 110-3 before 126-run partnership for the fourth wicket between Azam and Haris Sohail.

Babar went on to reach his 50 off 65 balls with five fours. He eventually finished with an unbeaten century, helping Pakistan over the line with six wickets to spare.

Earlier, New Zealand reached 237-6 in their 50 overs, with Jimmy Neesham hitting a career-best 97 not out while Colin de Grandhomme made 64.

Left-arm seamer Shaheen Shah Afridi (3-28) starred as Pakistan reduced New Zealand to 83-5.

New Zealand were wobbling badly when the in-form Williamson was dismissed by leg-spinner Shadab Khan, who enticed the skipper into giving an edge to wicketkeeper Sarfaraz Ahmed when he was on 41.

New Zealand, who are second in the 10-team table with 11 points, kept the same team for the fifth match in a row.

Pakistan, who are joint-fifth, with seven points after the win, also kept faith with the side that beat South Africa at Lord’s on Sunday.

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