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.
Frankly I didn’t enjoy Pak’s win today. it was clinical alrite but colourless..didn’t have any magical moments to savour like a great bowling spell or a 100 off 50 balls. Why isnt a Pakistan batsman looking for a 200!! Why not.. if not against Zim then who against??— Ramiz Raja (@iramizraja) July 16, 2018
#Fakhar200 Now we are talking !! Salute and standing ovation 👏👏👏👏— Ramiz Raja (@iramizraja) July 20, 2018
Brilliant performance Fakhar Zaman! You're turning into a world-class opener. Richly deserved, champion in the making. #ZIMVPAK— Shahid Afridi (@SAfridiOfficial) July 20, 2018
Fakhar Zaman!!!You played a wonderful knock— Mohammad Yousaf (@yousaf1788) July 20, 2018
201* Not Out..👍👏
First Pakistani to score double ton.imam-ul-haq and asif also played well.Pakistan zindabad💚
Well played team Pakistan and Congrats to Fakhar Zaman to become the first Pakistani to score Double 💯 in ODI.— Saeed Ajmal (@REALsaeedajmal) July 20, 2018
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.
The left-armer took eight for 116 after Sri Lankan skipper Suranga Lakmal‘s decision to bat first had initially paid off as his side reached 116 without loss.
Openers Dimuth Karunaratne (53) and Danushka Gunathilaka (57) both scored half-centuries before being dismissed in quick succession by Maharaj, who then added Kusal Mendis, Angelo Mathews, Niroshan Dickwella, Dhananjaya de Silva, Dilruwan Perera and Lakmal to his haul, with paceman Kagiso Rabada clean bowling Roshen Silva in the meantime.
Keshav Maharaj 8/109 now the best figures by a visiting bowler in Sri Lanka— Mohandas Menon (@mohanstatsman) July 20, 2018
Prev: Yasir Shah 7/76 at Galle 2015#SLvSA
De Silva’s 60 was the most significant contribution for Sri Lanka, who ended the day on 277 for nine with Akila Dananjaya and Rangana Herath still at the crease.
Sri Lanka lead the two-match series 1-0 following a crushing 278-run win in Galle.
Both the Australia players were banned for their roles in the ball-tampering saga which erupted on the team’s tour of South Africa earlier this year. Warner was handed a 12-month ban from international and domestic cricket by Cricket Australia while Bancroft was handed a nine-month suspension.
Now, the duo fill be on the opposite sides in the NT Strike League with Bancroft’s Desert Blaze taking on Warner’s City Cyclones on Sunday at Darwin.
Warner, the former Australia vice-captain, has recently returned from his stint in the inaugural Global T20 Canada. The left-hander’s participation in the new T20 league along with Steve Smith was his first game-time in competitive cricket since being handed his ban.
Warner played for Winnipeg Hawks in Canada and was appointed as the skipper of the franchise midway through the tournament after Dwayne Bravo pulled out due to personal reasons.
The 31-year-old had a poor start to the tournament but found his form as the tournament progressed with a half-century in his side’s penultimate game against the Edmonton Royals.
Bancroft meanwhile, has been in fine form for the Desert Blaze this season and scored two half-centuries in the six matches in the T20 leg of the tournament.