BULAWAYO – Fakhar Zaman blazed Pakistan’s first double century in a one-day international in a record 244-run victory against Zimbabwe on Friday.
Zaman’s unbeaten 210 off 156 balls guided Pakistan to its highest ever ODI total of 399-1 after Pakistan won its first toss of the series and elected to bat.
Zimbabwe’s dismal batting continued in the five-match series as it was bowled out for 155 in 42.4 overs to lose its fourth straight match by a heavy margin.
Zaman’s opening partner, young Imam-ul-Haq, scored 113, his second century of the series, as the left-handers notched another record-breaking 304 runs for the first wicket.
The triple century partnership was the highest ever for the opening wicket in the history of ODIs, and the fourth biggest ever for any wicket.
Zaman smashed 24 fours and five sixes. In the series he has already scored two centuries and a half-century with a match remaining on Sunday.
“Terrific effort by the two openers,” Sarfraz Ahmed said after captaining Pakistan to its second biggest victory in ODIs.
“When we went to the field our target was to bowl them out for 160 and we bowled them out for 155, which was really good. We will try our level best to win the next match, too.”
Zaman said coach Mickey Arthur wanted him to score a double century in case Pakistan won the toss and batted first on Friday.
And Zaman didn’t disappoint his coach. He and Imam virtually toyed with Zimbabwe’s inexperienced bowlers, who at times were wayward in their line and length.
Zaman reached his century off 92 balls when he belted spinner Wellington Masakadza to the cover boundary, while Imam soon followed him by completing his hundred off 112 balls.
Wellington Masakadza finally broke the world-record stand in the 32nd over when Imam, who hit eight fours, swept hard but found the fielder at deep midwicket.
Zaman surpassed Pakistan’s previous highest ODI score of 194 by Saeed Anwar when he swung Donald Tiripano’s full toss to midwicket for four, and reached his double century with a crisp cover driven boundary off Blessing Muzarabani in the next over.
“At the start, Imam was playing very well and supported me very well, but today was my day,” Zaman said.
Pakistan’s other find of the series, Asif Ali, hit a robust 50 off 22 balls as Pakistan beat its previous highest total of 385-6 against Bangladesh eight years ago.
Zimbabwe’s top order stumbled against Pakistan seamers Faheem Ashraf (2-16) and Usman Khan (2-23) before Shadab Khan quickly bundled out the tailenders with a four-wicket haul.
Scoreboard on Friday in the fourth one-day international between Zimbabwe and Pakistan at Queens Sports Club:
Imam-ul-Haq c Musakanda b WMasakadza 113
Fakhar Zaman not out 210
Asif Ali not out 50
Extras: (4b, 5lb, 17w) 26
TOTAL: (for 1 wicket) 399
Fall of wicket: 1-304
Did not bat: Babar Azam, Shoaib Malik, Sarfraz Ahmed, Faheem Ashraf, Shadab Khan, Yasir Shah, Junaid Khan, Usman Khan
Bowling: Blessing Muzarabani 10-0-77-0 (3w), Richard Ngarava 7-0-65-0 (1w), Donald Tiripano 10-0-85-0 (3w), Tendai Chisoro 10-0-56-0 (4w), Wellington Masakadza 10-0-78-1 (6w), Hamilton Masakadza 3-0-29-0.
Hamilton Masakadza c Azam b JKhan 22
Tinashe Kamunhukamwe c and b UKhan 3
Tarisai Musakanda c Ashraf b UKhan 10
Ryan Murray c Ahmed b Ashraf 5
Peter Moor c JKhan b SKhan 20
Elton Chigumbura lbw b Ashraf 37
Donald Tiripano b SKhan 44
Wellington Masakadza lbw b SKhan 2
Tendai Chisoro c UKhan b Malik 1
Blessing Muzarabani not out 1
Richard Ngarava lbw b SKhan 1
Extras: (6lb, 3w) 9
TOTAL: (all out) 155
Fall of wickets: 1-18, 2-36, 3-37, 4-59, 5-67, 6-136, 7-146, 8-153, 9-153, 10-155
Bowling: Junaid Khan 6-1-32-1 (1w), Usman Khan 5-0-23-2 (1w), Yasir Shah 10-0-31-0 (1w), Faheem Ashraf 7-1-16-2, Shadab Khan 8.4-0-28-4, Shoaib Malik 6-0-19-1.
Result: Pakistan won by 244 runs.
Series: Pakistan leads 4-0.
Umpires: Langton Rusere, Zimbabwe, and Ian Gould, England.
TV umpire: Russell Tiffin, Zimbabwe. Match referee: Ranjan Madugalle, Sri Lanka