Fakhar Zaman became the first Pakistani batsman and sixth overall to score a double-century in One-Day Internationals, when he smashed a career-best 210* off 156 balls against Zimbabwe in the fourth ODI at Bulawayo on Friday (July 20).
Zaman joined an elite list of players - Sachin Tendulkar, Virender Sehwag, Rohit Sharma, Chris Gayle and Martin Guptill - as the only players with double-hundreds in 50-over cricket. Moreover, he broke the 21-year long-standing record by Saeed Anwar to become Pakistan’s highest individual scorer in an ODI innings. Anwar had scored 194 against India in Chennai back in 1997
Opening the batting, Fakhar and Imam-ul-Haq (113* off 122 balls) blazed away to add 304 runs in 42 overs – the highest partnership for opening wicket in ODIs. Thanks to their herculean effort, Pakistan posted mammoth 399/1 in their stipulated 50 overs. Zimbabwe's dismal batting continued in the series as they were bowled out for 155 in 42.4 overs to lose the match by a huge margin of 244 runs.
Speaking at the post-match presentation ceremony, Fakhar revealed that Pakistan coach Mickey Arthur asked him to score a double ton if they bat first and he is glad to fulfill his wish.
"Thanks to almighty. Imam played really well in the start and he supported me well. I think today was my day. I knew about Saeed's record. Mickey (Arthur) told us before toss that if we win toss we are going to bat and he asked me to score a double ton. He was telling me the same thing two days before as well," Fakhar quoted.
Zaman was in all praise for his opening partner Imam, with whom he accomplished this historic feat.
"Imam is playing really well and he keeps talking to me whenever I feel not comfortable. We play together in domestic cricket,” he added.
Zaman completed his century in 92 balls and then stepped on the accelerator, reaching the 150 mark off just 115 deliveries. The southpaw hit 24 fours and 5 sixes in his knock which is also a record for boundaries smashed by a Pakistani batsman in an ODI innings.
Apart from the double ton, Fakhar has also scored two centuries and a half-century in 4 ODIs against Zimbabwe thus far. Furthermore, Zaman has made it clear that he would try to replicate the same performance in the fifth and final ODI, scheduled to be played on Sunday (July 22).
“I was feeling tired in the field and hopefully I'll get some treatment from the physio. I'll try not to give them (middle order batsmen) the chance in the next game," Fakhar Zaman concluded.