Pakistan openers Fakhar Zaman and Imam-ul-Haq created history when they feasted on Zimbabwe’s bowling attack to put up an opening stand of 304 runs in the 4th ODI in Bulawayo on 20 July. The pair eclipsed Upul Tharanga and Sanath Jayasuriya’s opening partnership of 286 against England.
More history was in store, as Zaman carried his bat through the innings and became the first Pakistani cricketer to score 200 runs in an ODI. Pakistan reached a total of 399/1 in their 50 overs, with Imam being the only casualty in the innings.
The mammoth partnership lasted 42 overs and comfortably topped the Pakistani ODI record of 263 runs set in 1993, by Aamer Sohail and Inzamam-ul-Haq. Fakhar Zaman and Imam also managed the fourth highest partnership for any wicket in ODIs.
It was broken for the only dismissal in the innings by Hamilton Masakadza after 42 overs, with Musakanda grabbing the catch off a skier by Imam which failed to get to the boundary. He returned to the pavilion after posting 113 in 122 balls.
Zaman’s achievement in the same match is also momentous. He beat Saeed Anwar’s longstanding record of 194 for a Pakistani batsman in ODIs, and becomes only the eighth player to reach the 200-run mark in the world. His innings of 210* is fifth highest in ODIs till date.
The five match series between Pakistan and hosts Zimbabwe has already been decided, with Pakistan winning the first three games handily. And the fourth game also looks done and dusted with the visitors posting their highest-ever ODI score of 399 on the back of the opening stand, as well as a handy half-century by one-down batsman Asif Ali.