Azam Khan put the hapless bowling attack of the Quetta Gladiators to the sword on Friday, tonking a 42-ball 97 to power Islamabad United to a total of 220 for 6 in their Pakistan Super League 2023 clash.
Azam smashed eight sixes and nine fours in his innings, including three back-to-back sixes he hit off Mohammad Hasnain in the 19th over. The third of this sixes, where Azam went down on one knee before swatting the ball on the leg side, was 102 metres long, which bounced on the roof of the stadium and went outside the ground. As the ball vanished into the Karachi night, the camera panned to the dressing room of the Gladiators, where Azam’s father Moin Khan, who is the head coach of the Quetta franchise, was watching the action shell-shocked.
That was some SHOT by Azam Khan 🥵🥵💥💥💥
— H A M Z A 🇵🇰 | Rocky’s Bdy 🎂❤️ (@HamzaKhan259) February 24, 2023
After the innings, Azam thanked his father, Moin, for the faith he had shown in his abilities.
“The way my father has supported me, it is special. A lot of people said I could not play, and that I would stay behind because of my father, but I am what I am because of him,” he said.
“To be honest, I knew I was in good form. I was batting well in the BPL and was trying to continue it. We were four wickets down and I was thinking of taking it deep. I have the belief that I can change the game at any moment… I practice range hitting so that I get a good idea about my strokes. T20 cricket is so fast at the moment and you need the acceleration at the right moment,” he said.
Azam’s innings finally ended on the last ball of their innings, with Odean Smith getting his out as he chased the triple-figure score.
“I was eyeing that century and if I would have gotten to the century, it would have been a huge milestone,” he said.