Fakhar becomes first Pakistan batsman to score double ODI ton

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Fakhar Zaman

BULAWAYO: Pakistan’s prolific opener Fakhar Zaman added another feat to his credit when he smashed a double hundred against Zimbabwe, hence becoming first Pakistan player to achieve this record mark.

With his 210 runs Fakhar becomes first batsman in Pakistan’s ODI history to score a double century and stands as the country’s highest runs scorer in a ODI. Before him Saeed Anwar held the record of being the highest run scorer for the country with his 194 runs.

Saeed Anwar scored 194 runs against India back in 1997, which was highest score for any batsman in the world at the time.

Fakhar joined India s Rohit Sharma, Virender Sehwag and Sachin Tendulkar as well as West Indian Chris Gayle and Kiwi Martin Guptill as the only men to have scored a double hundred in an ODI.

The in-form 28-year-old took just 148 balls to reach the mark, the fourth fastest of all time behind Gayle s record of 138 balls, also against Zimbabwe.

It’s the highest ODI score in Africa and just the third double hundred to be scored outside the subcontinent.

Fakhar also eclipsed the Pakistan record for the highest ODI score, the 194 that Saeed Anwar scored against India more than 20 years ago.

Having bizarrely watched the first 22 balls of the match from the non-striker s end, Fakhar made up for lost time by crunching seven fours in bringing up his fifty from just 51 balls.
He then raced to three figures from 92 deliveries, his third ODI century and his second of the series, including 11 fours and a six.

Having already pocketed the five-match series, Pakistan showed no signs of slowing down as Zaman and Imam smashed the hosts’ bowlers all over the park and went past the 286-run mark for the opening stand set by Sri Lanka’s Sanath Jayasuriya and Upul Tharanga against England in 2006.

Pakistan blasted 399/1, their highest in ODIs – beating the previous record of 385/7 against Bangladesh in Dambulla in 2010.

While Imam (113) scored his third century in eight ODIs, Zaman, who had hit a match-winning century in the Champions Trophy 2017 final against India, surpassed Saeed Anwar’s previous record for Pakistan of 194. The southpaw – who remained unbeaten on 210 – became the sixth cricketer to smack an ODI double century.

This was also Zaman’s second triple-figure score of the series. In his four innings, Zaman is yet to be dismissed in this series and has already amassed a total of 430 runs.

Earlier, Pakistan captain Sarfraz Ahmed won the toss and decided to bat. The visitors, who took an unbeatable 3-0 lead in the series after bowling Zimbabwe out for 67on Wednesday, had the opportunity to experiment with their playing XI but opted to go unchanged.

There were two changes for the Zimbabweans, with Chamu Chibhabha and Prince Masvaure coming in for seamer Donald Tiripano and top-order batsman Tinashe Kamunhukamwe, respectively. – NNI