BULAWAYO: Fakhar Zaman became the first Pakistan player to hit a double century in one-day internationals, racing to 210 not out in the fourth ODI against Zimbabwe on Friday.
That wasn’t the only record to fall as Pakistan batted first in Bulawayo and made 399 for the loss of only one wicket.
The visiting openers blazed to a world one-day record 304-run stand, which was also Pakistan’s biggest partnership for any wicket in ODIs. The final total was their biggest ODI innings.
The first-wicket partnership broke the record of 286 set by Sanath Jayasuriya and Upul Tharanga for Sri Lanka against England at Headingley in 2006. When Imam-ul-Haq was the first, and only man out, for 113, snapping the gargantuan opening partnership, Asif Ali arrived at the crease and increased the scoring rate as he mashed 50 from 22 deliveries to propel Pakistan past their previous highest ODI total, 385 against Bangladesh in 2010.
Pakistan already hold a winning 3-0 lead in the five-match series after routing the hosts in each of the first three matches.
After Pakistan captain Sarfraz Ahmed won the toss and batted, Zaman and ul-Haq quickly vindicating his decision, taking 59 from the opening Powerplay. Zaman was first to his 50 in the 18th over, from 51 deliveries, with a fierce drive through extra cover.
He was also first to his hundred, in the 32nd over. It was the third ODI century in his career and his second in this series. Ul-Haq followed six overs later, while the world record for an opening stand fell halfway through the 40th over.
Zimbabwe eventually struck when Ul-Haq top-edged a slog sweep off Wellington Masakadza’s left-arm spin to be caught in the deep, but Ali ensured that the runs kept flowing. While Zaman raced to his double century in the 47th over, Ali smashed five fours and three sixes to reach a maiden international fifty from just 22 deliveries.—AFP