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Mohammad Rizwan surpasses Virat Kohli to become the joint-fastest player to achieve 2000 T20I runs

Pakistan was convincingly thrashed by England in the first T20I series opener in Karachi, as their middle-order batting issues returned after a rocky Asia Cup campaign. Although the Men in Green would be disappointed with the defeat, Mohammad Rizwan’s prolific batting performance would have thrilled both the team and the supporters. The wicketkeeper-batter scored a quick half-century and passed the 2000-run mark in T20Is for Pakistan.

Mohammad Rizwan and his captain Babar Azam set the home team off to a flying start, putting the previous Asia Cup turmoil behind them. While Babar was out after a shaky inning, Rizwan went on his way. The fluid stroke maker reached 2000 runs in the format in his 52nd innings during his 68-run innings, becoming the joint quickest to do it alongside Babar.

He outperformed Virat Kohli (56), KL Rahul (58), and Aaron Finch (62) in a T20I across the border in Mohali. Rizwan is now the equal fastest to the accomplishment, along with his captain, who also broke the 2000-run barrier in T20Is in 52 innings last year against Zimbabwe. The Asia Cup’s highest run-scorer earlier this month was also the leading run-scorer in T20Is last year, with 1326 runs in 29 matches.

Unfortunately for Pakistan, Rizwan’s appealing innings were in fruitless, as the Pakistani middle-order hitters failed to capitalize on the robust start, and their innings finally faded out for a par score of 158/7 in 20 overs. This was not the first time Pakistani batters failed to show up, as they were heavily chastised for their performance in the just-finished Asia Cup final.

While the Pakistani bowlers gave it their best, the score was never going to threaten the visitors, who won with six wickets in hand and four deliveries to spare. Alex Hales, who returned to international cricket after a three-year absence, scored a half-century to help his team win.