Cricket World Rewind: #OnThisDay - Fakhar Zaman becomes first Pakistan batsman to touch 200 in ODIs
July 20, 2018 - The 304-run partnership between Imam-ul-Haq, who was dismissed on 113 off 122 balls, and Fakhar Zaman became the highest ODI partnership, breaking the record of Sri Lanka's Sanath Jayasuriya and Upul Tharanga.
The Pakistan tour of Zimbabwe in 2018 will not be remembered for the competitive cricket it failed to offer but for the records that tumbled during the series.
Pakistan won the series comprehensively by 5-0, pocketing every match comfortably. While some or the other record was made or broken in every match, the 4th ODI made the biggest ripples.
When Pakistan's chance arrived to bat first, coach Mickey Arthur wanted Zaman to settle for nothing less than a double century and guess what, the explosive opener did oblige the coach.
Fakhar struck an unbeaten 210 off just 156 deliveries at a strike rate of almost 135. His 50-over stay at the crease included a jaw-dropping 24 fours and 5 sixes.
Zaman became the sixth man to reach the 200-run milestone in ODI cricket after Sachin Tendulkar, Virender Sehwag, Rohit Sharma, Chris Gayle and Martin Guptill. At the time, his knock of 210* was the fifth highest score in ODI cricket.
He also became the first Pakistan batsman to score a double century in white-ball cricket, breaking Saeed Anwar's 21-year-old standing record of 194 which he scored in 1997 against India at Chennai in the Independence Cup.
By the time, the first wicket fell in the 42nd over, Pakistan had crossed the 300 mark. The 304-run partnership between Imam-ul-Haq, who was dismissed on 113 off 122 balls, and Zaman became the highest ODI partnership, breaking the record of Sri Lanka's Sanath Jayasuriya and Upul Tharanga (286 against England in 2006).
The record for Pakistan's highest ODI partnership was held by Inzamam-ul-Haq and Aamir Sohail until then who added 263 runs against New Zealand 24 years ago. The opening pair of Imam and Fakhar bettered that record as well.
In the final ODI of the series, Zaman became the fastest batsman to reach 1,000 ODI runs from just 18 innings, getting past Viv Richards' record of 21 matches.
Zaman had a great time on the tour and added 515 runs from just 5 matches. This also helped him get past Salman Butt's record of most runs for Pakistan (451) in a 5-match series. His opening partner Imam scored 395 runs as the combined tally of the two stood at 910.
"I think today was my day. I knew about Saeed's record. Mickey [Arthur] told us before the toss that if we win the toss we are going to bat and he asked me to score a double ton. He was telling me the same thing two days before as well. Imam is playing really well and he keeps talking to me whenever I feel not comfortable. I'll try not to give them (middle order batsmen) the chance in the next game," a tired Zaman said after the knock.
After Imam's dismissal, Asif Ali joined Zaman in the middle and scored a quickfire half century off just 22 deliveries. This helped Pakistan to 399/1 from their 50 overs, giving Zimbabwe a target of 400. This was Pakistan's highest score in ODI cricket, breaking their previous record of 385/7 against Bangladesh in 2010.
It wasn't a surprise that Zimbabwe were bowled out for just 155 under scoreboard pressure and lost the match by 244 runs. In essence, Zimbabwe had fallen short of Zaman's 210 by 55 runs, no less.
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