The 28-year-old hit an unbeaten 210 in a 244-run victory in the fourth ODI on Friday – a feat that saw him become the first Pakistan batsman to score 200 runs, eclipsing Saeed Anwar’s 194-run knock more than 20 years ago.
Zaman was also involved in a 304-run opening stand with Imam-ul-Haq which is now the highest first-wicket partnership in ODI cricket. And Zaman revealed that it was the words from head coach Arthur that inspired him to make history.
“Thanks to almighty. Imam played really well in the start and he supported me well,” he said. “I think today was my day. I knew about Saeed’s record as well.
“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 ago as well.
“Imam is playing really well and he keeps talking to me whenever I feel uncomfortable and it’s great as we play (together) in domestic cricket.”
Zaman, who is just 20 runs short of becoming the quickest to 1000 ODI runs, said he was feeling tired at the crease but has warned Zimbabwe he plans to carry on his good form in the fifth and final ODI on Sunday.
“I was feeling tired in the field and hopefully I’ll get some treatment from the physio. I’ll try not to give them (middle order batsmen) a chance in the next game (as well),” he said.
Pakistan skipper Sarfraz Ahmed lauded Zaman and Imam for their fantastic start to the innings.
“That’s what we need when batting first,” he said. “Imam and Fakhar gave us a solid platform. It’s good that our top order batsmen are getting runs. When we go to field, our target was to bowl them under 160 and we executed our plans. We will try our level best to win the next game.”
Ajman Nawabs were crowned champions of the Rising Star Cup after defeating Ajman Lions by 40 runs in a thrilling final.
Electing to bat after winning the toss, Ajman Nawabs lost an early wicket when Anwar Khan was dismissed for just four runs. Captain Alishan Sharafu then followed him back as he was caught out off Trish Shetty for 26 runs. His innings included three fours and one six.
Nawabs was dealt another blow when Shoun Roger, who scored a century in his last game, was brilliantly bowled by a slow-off cutter by Marlon Malcolm with the batsman contributing for just four runs.
The momentum was with the Lions but Siddhant Agrawal and Niel Lobo came to the crease and formed a good stand with both players falling for 35.
Ayan Khan, who received an award for the Emerging Player of the tournament, added to the total with 25 runs while Safeerullah Khan, who managed 42 in his last game, fell for just two runs.
Although they were 140-6 in 34 overs, a quick cameo from Zuhaib Zuhair, who hit 11 runs including two fours and a six gave Nawabs a competitive total of 165-9 in their 40 overs.
Ronak Panoly finished with 1-21, while Shetty and Aizaz Sajid took two wickets each for Lions.
With 166 to win, Lions tinkered with their batting line-up and sent Shetty and Malcom to open the innings. But it proved to be an error as Marlon fell for a duck before Shetty was dismissed for 11 by Ayan Khan.
Saier Aamir also fell at the hands of Ayan being trapped LBW for three runs. Panoly and Haider Wasi Shah looked to settle the nerves but Nawabs got Panoly out for 22.
Shah was looking good at the crease but saw his team-mates dismissed at regular intervals. Despite the set-backs, Shah continued to frustrated Nawabs and reached his fifty before being bowled by Sharafu.
Nawabs got the final wicket to claim a 40-run win with Zuhair the stand out bowler with four wickets.
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