Zimbabwe, 20 July: Fakhar Zaman continued his dream run in the ongoing tour of Zimbabwe as he became the first Pakistan batsman to hit a double century in ODIs in the fourth match of the bilateral series in Bulawayo on Friday.
Fakhar and Imam-ul-Haq blazed away to a record opening stand in ODIs – a partnership of 304 before the dismissal of Imam – as the visitors dominated proceedings at the Queen Sports Club.
Having already pocketed the five-match series, Pakistan showed no signs of slowing down as Zaman and Imam smashed the hosts’ bowlers all over the park and went past the 286-run mark for the opening stand set by Sri Lanka’s Sanath Jayasuriya and Upul Tharanga against England in 2006.
Pakistan blasted 399/1, their highest in ODIs – beating the previous record of 385/7 against Bangladesh in Dambulla in 2010.
While Imam (113) scored his third century in eight ODIs, Zaman, who had hit a match-winning century in the Champions Trophy 2017 final against India, surpassed Saeed Anwar’s previous record for Pakistan of 194.
The southpaw — who remained unbeaten on 210 — became the sixth cricketer to smack an ODI double century.
This was also Zaman’s second triple-figure score of the series. In his four innings, Zaman is yet to be dismissed in this series and has already amassed a total of 430 runs.
Earlier, Pakistan captain Sarfraz Ahmed won the toss and decided to bat. The visitors, who took an unbeatable 3-0 lead in the series after bowling Zimbabwe out for 67 on Wednesday, had the opportunity to experiment with their playing XI but opted to go unchanged.
There were two changes for the Zimbabweans, with Chamu Chibhabha and Prince Masvaure coming in for seamer Donald Tiripano and top-order batsman Tinashe Kamunhukamwe, respectively.