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Noopur Bhandiwad, Pune

Pakistan skipper Babar Azam rewrote history by becoming the fastest batter to secure 19 hundreds on Wednesday at the Multan cricket stadium in Nepal. This feat occurred when Pakistan played against Nepal during the opening Asia Cup. 

Joining the likes of Brian Lara, Mahesh Jayawardane, and David Warner, the 28-year-old Azam ranks third on the list of centuries among active players, with Virat Kohli (46) and Rohit Sharma (30) holding the first and second positions. Babar owned his 19th century in just 102 innings in the 42nd over. He also surpassed South African batter Hashim Amla, who held the same record in 104 innings. 

When we look at some other notable cricketers who have smashed their 19th ODI, former skipper Virat Kohli, who crowned his 19th ODI in his 124th innings, comes to mind. While serving as captain, Babar overtook Virat Kohli’s previous mark to set the greatest individual score in Asia Cup history. Along with him, we have David Warner notched up 19 ODI centuries in 139 innings and De Villiers, who reached his 19th in 171 innings. 

Babar is second in the list of Pakistan century-makers in ODI cricket after his impressive 151-run knock. This brings him to a stature equal to Pakistan legends like Javed Miandad and Saeed Anwar. However, Saeed Anwar, who currently has 20 ODI centuries, is the only Pakistani player with more ODI hundreds than Babar Azam. Babar needs only two more centuries to beat Saeed Anwar and become the Pakistani player with the most ODI hundreds. 

Pakistan achieved a staggering 342/6 in the game, powered by Babar’s 151 and Iftikar Ahmed’s unbeaten 109, his first ODI century. After losing two early wickets on a low score, Pakistan was at 24/2 after 6.1 overs, when Babar Azam hammered the Nepal bowlers all over the field.