Fakhar Zaman's brilliance shines in record-breaking day for Pakistan as Zimbabwe slump to 244-run defeat

Waseem Ahmed 20/07/2018
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Fakhar Zaman became the first Pakistan batsman to score an ODI double ton.

Pakistan recorded their second biggest ODI win as they humbled Zimbabwe by a whopping 244 runs in the fourth game of the five-match series at Bulawayo on Friday.

Fakhar Zaman‘s double-century was the highlight of the day as Pakistan posted a mammoth 399-1 after electing to bat first. In reply, the hosts were bundled out for just 155 runs as Pakistan raced away to a 4-0 lead in the series.

Here, we look at the key talking points from a record-breaking day at Bulawayo.

PAKISTAN OPENERS BREAK WORLD RECORD

Both Pakistan openers, especially Fakhar Zaman, have been in scintillating form in the ODI series and they continued in the same vein on Friday as Zimbabwe’s bowlers were put through another grind.

Imam-ul-Haq was the initial aggressor in the partnership before he was overshadowed by Fakhar’s attacking brilliance. Imam made up for the disappointment of being dismissed for a duck in the third ODI as he notched up his second century of the series. The 22-year-old was completely at ease on a benign surface as boundaries flowed at the Queen’s Sports Club.

Fakhar, on the other hand, was his swashbuckling self once he got into his groove as he notched up only his third ODI hundred in just 92 balls. The pair recorded 304 runs between themselves for the first wicket before Imam was dismissed for 113. It is the first triple century stand in the format and is now the new world-record for the highest opening partnership in ODIs, going past the 286 put up by Sri Lanka’s Sanath Jayasuriya and Upul Tharanga against England in 2006.

FAKHAR ZAMAN BREAKS SAEED ANWAR’S RECORD

As if breaking the record opening stand in ODIs was not enough, Fakhar inflicted further misery on the hapless Zimbabweans as he became the first Pakistan batsman to register a double hundred in the format.

The 28-year-old is probably in the form of his life and he made it count as he went past the legendary Saeed Anwar’s 194 to notch up Pakistan’s highest individual ODI score.

The Pakistan opener characteristically dealt primarily in boundaries in his record-breaking innings as he became only the sixth batsman in history to breach the 200-run mark in ODIs. What was even more remarkable about his innings was the fact that he carried his bat till the very end after his phenomenal effort.

The opener’s tally of 24 fours and five sixes is the most boundaries scored in an innings by a Pakistan batsman, beating Saeed Anwar’s record of 28 boundaries during his innings of 194.

 YASIR SHAH IMPRESSES ON ODI RETURN

Pakistan leg-spinner Yasir Shah had not played an ODI for two years when he took the field at Bulawayo on Wednesday. The 32-year-old was picked in the ODI side in a bid to regain match fitness following his long-term injury layoff.

With the series also tied in the bag, Sarfraz elected to go with leg-spinners in the form of Yasir and Shadab Khan on Friday and the senior man did not disappoint on his return.

Yasir might not have been among the wickets in the fourth ODI but his 10 overs were as economical as they come. The Pakistan bowler conceded just 31 runs from his 10 overs and his display will bode well for the side’s long-term plan as they prepare for the 2019 ICC World Cup in England.

Yasir Shah played an ODI after two years.

Yasir Shah played an ODI after two years.

HOSTS DISAPPOINT ONCE AGAIN

If there was one game which embodied the doldrums Zimbabwe cricket is at the present, it was Friday’s ODI. The Zimbabwe bowlers and fielders were equally abject as Pakistan racked up a record total and their batsmen did not fare any better during the daunting chase of 400.

The gulf between the two sides has been cruelly exposed in the four matches so far and things are as bleak as they can be for the hosts. The fact that five senior stars made themselves unavailable due to the ongoing wage dispute has only been exacerbated by the injuries to Solomon Mire and Kyle Jarvis.

It has been a series to forget for the hosts in every aspect and they would do well to regroup as a unit after this latest humbling.

Plenty to think about for Hamilton Masakadza and his men.

Plenty to think about for Hamilton Masakadza and his men.

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Zimbabwe v Pakistan LIVE Score: Pakistan record 244-run win as Zimbabwe are bowled out for 155

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Faheem Ashraf has been among the wickets once again.

Zimbabwe and Pakistan will meet once again in the fourth ODI of the five-match series at Bulawayo on Friday.

The visitors have already sewn up the series and lead it 3-0 after three crushing wins in three matches so far. They will be eyeing a whitewash over the depleted hosts who have been struggling to cope in what has become a very one-sided affair. Pakistan skipper Sarfraz Ahmed won the toss at the Queen’s Sports Club and has elected to bat first. The men in green have opted to include pacer Junaid Khan and leg-spinner Yasir Shah in the playing XI.

Pakistan openers Fakhar Zaman and Imam-ul-Haq have started solidly with the duo adding a record 275 runs without any troubles in 39 overs. Fakhar has continued his rich vein of form by slamming his third ODI ton in just 92 balls while Imam is had got to the three-figure mark as well. The pair put on 304 runs for the opening wicket before Imam was dismissed for a well-made 113. Fakhar has gone on to surpass Saeed Anwar’s score of 194 as he notched up a maiden double hundred off just 148 balls. The left-hander remained unbeaten on 210 while Asif Ali played an entertaining 22-ball 50 cameo as Pakistan posted 399-1 in their 50 overs.

In reply, Zimbabwe have got off to a bad start with pacer Usman Khan dismissing Tinashe Kamunhukamwe in the fourth over of the innings itself. The Pakistan pacer was among the wickets once again when he had Tarisai Musakanda caught by Faheem Ashraf to reduce Zimbabwe to 36-2. The hosts lost two further wickets before the 15th over with Faheem getting into the action. The Pakistan all-rounder earned his second scalp of the day as he broke a frustrating 59-run partnership for the sixth wicket. Shadab Khan picked up four wickets to clean out Zimbabwe’s tail as Pakistan recorded a staggering 244-run win.

Do not miss any of the action from Bulawayo by following the live ball-by-ball updates in the link below.

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Twitter reacts to Pakistan star Fakhar Zaman's double ODI hundred

Waseem Ahmed 20/07/2018
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Fakhar Zaman became the first Pakistan batsman to score an ODI double ton.

Pakistan opener Fakhar Zaman wrote himself into the record books with an emphatic unbeaten double ton in the fourth ODI against Zimbabwe at Bulawayo on Friday.

After skipper Sarfraz Ahmed won the toss and elected to bat first, Pakistan openers Fakhar and Imam-ul-Haq put on a world-record 304-run stand for the opening wicket before the former carried his bat to notch up a special double hundred.

Fakhar’s unbeaten 210 off just 156 deliveries makes him only the sixth batsman in ODI history and the first from Pakistan to breach the 200-run mark and has seen him surpass the legendary Saeed Anwar’s score of 194.

All throughout social media, the tributes to Fakhar’s record-breaking feat have been pouring in.

Former skipper Ramiz Raza was one of the first to express his delight just days after he had wondered why no Pakistan was looking to get a 200.

The likes of Waqar Younis, Shahid Afridi, Brendon McCullum, Azhar Ali, Dean Jones and Saeed Ajmal all took to Twitter to praise Fakhar’s feat.

Waqar took aim at Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chairman Najam Sethi while praising the opener’s achievement. Sethi had recently caused controversy by agreeing that Pakistan cricket has no talent on a television show.

“Well done Fakhar Zaman. Super performance, to break Saeed’s record needed a special knock. Congratulations! This is the talent which some feel our country does not have,” the Pakistan pace legend wrote on Twitter.

Fakhar’s innings helped Pakistan post a staggering 399-1 in the fourth ODI at Bulawayo after skipper Sarfraz Ahmed won the toss and elected to bat first. It is the highest ODI total Pakistan have registered in their history, beating their previous best of 385-7 against Bangladesh in 2010.

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