Fakhar scores 210no, ODI records tumble

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Imam UI Haq (R) and Fakhar Zaman of Pakistan gesture during the fifth one day international (ODI) cricket match between Sri Lanka and Pakistan at Sharjah Cricket Stadium in Sharjah on October 23, 2017. / AFP PHOTO / KARIM SAHIB (Photo credit should read KARIM SAHIB/AFP/Getty Images)

Opener becomes sixth man to score an ODI double hundred as Pakistan post the highest ever opening stand.

Fakhar Zaman has become just the sixth man and the first from Pakistan to score a double century in one-day internationals as he and Imam-ul-Haq posted the highest-ever opening partnership in ODI cricket.

The two left-handers added 304 for the first wicket in the fourth ODI against Zimbabwe in Bulawayo as the home side’s bowlers were hit to all parts of the Queens Sports Club.

Fakhar joined India’s Rohit Sharma (three times), Virender Sehwag and Sachin Tendulkar as well as West Indian Chris Gayle and Kiwi Martin Guptill as the only men to have scored a double hundred in an ODI.

The in-form 28-year-old took just 148 balls to reach the mark, the fourth fastest of all time behind Gayle’s record of 138 balls, also against Zimbabwe.

It’s the highest ODI score in Africa and just the third double hundred to be scored outside the subcontinent.

Fakhar also eclipsed the Pakistan record for the highest ODI score, the 194 that Saeed Anwar scored against India more than 20 years ago.

Having bizarrely watched the first 22 balls of the match from the non-striker’s end, Fakhar made up for lost time by crunching seven fours in bringing up his fifty from just 51 balls.

He then raced to three figures from 92 deliveries, his third ODI century and his second of the series, including 11 fours and a six.

Imam was far more sedate but also brought up his third ODI hundred and second for the series, taking 112 balls to reach the milestone.

The pair then began to eye the record books and when they moved the total past 263, they beat the national record for the highest opening stand in ODIs that had stood since 1994.

And they took the outright record for an opening stand when they moved to 287, moving past the record set by Sanath Jayasuriya and Upul Tharanga against England in 2006.

Imam was eventually caught in the deep for 113 from 121 balls at the end of the 42nd over, the partnership of 304 the fourth-highest for any wicket in ODIs.

But Fakhar continued the onslaught as he targeted Anwar’s 21-year-old record and brought up his 200 with his 24th boundary.

He finished unbeaten on 210, the fifth-highest score in ODIs and he also became just the 12th opener to carry his bat through the entire innings.

Pakistan finished with 1-399 from their 50 overs, their highest ever total and the highest in history for the loss of just one wicket.

HIGHEST ODI SCORES

264 – Rohit Sharma v SL, 2014
237* – Martin Guptill v WI, 2015
219 – Virender Sehwag v WI, 2011
215 – Chris Gayle v Zim, 2015
210* – Fakhar Zaman v Zim, 2018
209 – Rohit Sharma v Aus, 2013
208* – Rohit Sharma v SL, 2017
200* – Sachin Tendulkar v SA, 2010

HIGHEST ODI PARTNERSHIPS

372 – Chris Gayle & Marlon Samuels, WI v Zim, 2015
331 – Sachin Tendulkar & Rahul Dravid, Ind v NZ, 1999
318 – Sourav Ganguly & Rahul Dravid, Ind v SL, 1999
304 – Fakhar Zaman & Imam-ul-Haq, Pak v Zim, 2018
286 – Sanath Jayasuriya & Upul Tharanga, SL v Eng, 2006

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