Cricket-Labuschagne says he learned from Babar’s masterclass in Lahore

Australia’s Marnus Labuschagne didn’t let the disappointment of defeat interfere with his appreciation of Babar Azam’s sublime century, saying he learned from the Pakistani captain’s masterclass on matchday two on a Thursday. Babar orchestrated Pakistan’s record pursuit of 349 with a masterful 114 from 83 balls, denying Australia an unassailable 2-0 lead in the three-game series.

The dapper right-hander, ably supported by fellow centurion Imam-ul-Haq, scored his 15th century ODI in 83 innings, which is the fastest of any batsman. “I enjoyed every minute of watching it – it was a shame it was against us,” Labuschagne told reporters after their six-wicket loss at Lahore.

“It was a very good round. I sat down and took some things into account for my own game to learn from this round. “To score 100 from 73 balls, he barely took the wrong foot . It was just phenomenal.”

Labuschagne also praised Imam but felt Babar’s dismissal early in Saturday’s decider, also in Lahore, was crucial to clinch the series. “I think if we can find a way to get him out earlier, put a bit more pressure on the mid-to-lower order, we have a chance,” the 27-year-old said.

“He knocked us out of the game and fair play with him. It was a great round.” Ben McDermott smashed his first international century for Australia and Labuschagne, who made 59, was delighted to be at the non-attacking end when his childhood friend raised his cent.

“We were best friends growing up in Australia. He was at my house almost every other day, driving home and we used to (play) in my garden,” Labuschagne said. “The hard work he puts into domestic cricket in the Big Bash and his four-day match has just come such a long way, and I was ecstatic for him today.”

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