Birmingham: Pakistan’s Babar Azam equalled West Indies batting legend Brian Lara’s World Cup record during his brilliant innings of 101 not out against New Zealand at Edgbaston on Wednesday (June 26).

The 23-year-old right-hander kept Pakistan’s hopes alive of a semi-final berth at the ongoing ICC World Cup 2019. Thanks to his ton and bowlers’ efforts, Pakistan halted New Zealand’s unbeaten run in the 10-team tournament.

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So far, Azam has accumulated 333 runs in seven matches at the World Cup 2019. He is fifth on the list of most runs by Under-25 batsmen at a single edition of the ICC showpiece event. He matches Lara, who achieved the mark in the 1992 edition.

The number one player in the list is India’s batting legend Sachin Tendulkar who scored 523 runs at the age of 22 in the 1996 World Cup. In that edition, India reached the semi-final where they lost to eventual champions Sri Lanka.

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It was Azam’s 10th ODI century and said it was his “best innings” as it came on a difficult turning pitch. He won the Man-of-the-match award.

“This is my best innings. The wicket was very difficult and turned a lot in the second half. The plan was to go through to the end and give my 100 per cent. When we started, the plan was to see out (Lockie) Ferguson but when (Mitchell) Santner came on, the plan became not to give wickets to him and cover up later when the fast bowlers come on.

“We are confident we are taking match by match, and hopefully we will qualify. We are very focused on this,” he said after the match.

Azam has two more league matches, against Afghanistan and Bangladesh, to go past Ricky Ponting and AB de Villiers who are the next two on the list. And he if continues in same fashion, Tendulkar’s record will be in danger.

Most runs at a single World Cup by batsmen under the age of 25

523 — Sachin Tendulkar (India) (1996)

372 — AB de Villiers (South Africa) (2007)

354 — Ricky Ponting (Australia) (1999)

333 — Brian Lara (West Indies) (1992)

333* — Babar Azam (Pakistan) (2019)