Pakistan wicketkeeper-batsman Mohammad Rizwan entered the record books on Saturday as he became the most prolific scorer in a calendar year in T20 Internationals.
During the second T20 against the West Indies in Guyana, Rizwan scored a brisk 46 from 36 balls at the top of the order. His innings helped the visitors post 157-8. And more importantly, the innings put Rizwan at the top of the pile in T20 Internationals.
The right-handed batsman now has 752 runs from just 15 matches in 2021, making him the top run-getter in a calendar year and that with the rest of 2021 ahead of him. Rizwan broke the record held by Ireland's Paul Stirling, who made 748 runs from 20 games in 2019. Rizwan's average in T20s this year is an astonishing 94 with seven fifties and one century.
Rizwan has found a new gear in his batting ever since he moved up the order, and he is now making the most of it.
"Batting up the order gives me freedom as I have played most of my cricket up the order at the domestic level," Rizwan told The National in a recent interview.
"I wasn’t a wicketkeeper initially but a good fielder. So I used to bat up the order. Initially I struggled in international cricket but now I am enjoying batting up the order."
The only other batsman who has been as prolific as Rizwan is India captain Virat Kohli, who made 641 runs in 15 matches in 2016.
Rizwan's innings, plus a fifty by captain Babar Azam, ultimately helped Pakistan emerge victorious. The Windies were restricted to 150-4, chasing 158, with veteran off-spinner Mohammad Hafeez returning incredible figures of 1-6 from four overs, including a maiden.