Pakistan’s batsman Imam-ul-Haq plays a shot during the final cricket match of a five-match ODI series played between Pakistan and host Zimbabwe at Queens Sports Club in Bulawayo.
Published in Gulf News, July 22nd, 2018
Fakhar becomes fastest player in history to reach 1,000 career runs in 50-over format
Bulawayo: Pakistan completed a series whitewash over Zimbabwe with a 131-run win on Sunday in the fifth and final match at Queens Sports Club in Bulawayo.
On another record-setting day for the visitors, Fakhar Zaman became the fastest player in history to reach 1,000 career runs in One Day International as Pakistan amassed 364 for 4.
Zaman broke the previous record of 21 innings by reaching the mark in his 17th innings in the course of a fluent half century. His opening partner Imam-ul-Haq was also in the runs once again, the pair adding their fourth century stand of the series.
They took the score to 168 in the 25th over before Zaman was caught behind for 85.
While he missed out on what would have been his third hundred of the series, Zaman did also claim the records for most runs in a five-match bilateral series with 515 and most runs scored between dismissals in ODIs, having scored 455 runs since he was last dismissed in the first match of the series.
On a morning for batsmen, Imam-ul-Haq went on to reach his third century of the series, and though Shoaib Malek and Asif Ali fell cheaply, the carnage continued with Babar Azam then racing to a century of his own from 72 deliveries, his second fifty haven taken just 17 balls.
In response, Zimbabwe showed much more stickability with the bat than had been the case in the first four games of the series.
Hamilton Masakadza and Tinashe Kamunhukamwe got going with a 66-run opening stand, Zimbabwe’s best of the series, and though Zimbabwe never looked like threatening Pakistan’s total, the middle order did at least hold firm.
Prince Masvaure made 39 and Ryan Murray contributed 47 — personal bests for both players in their short careers — and Peter Moor finished off with 44 not out in a 67-run stand with Elton Chigumbura, allowing Zimbabwe to reach 233 for 4.
Pakistan captain Sarfraz Ahmed said: “It was a great team effort. We wanted to finish on a high note, and Fakhar, Imam and Babar responded brilliantly. We need a one-month rest, we’ll go home and then back to training for the Asia Cup. We have a couple of big Test series too, after that.”
Fakhar was named the player of the series. “I really enjoyed it,” he said. “In 2016, I was with Pakistan A, and I enjoyed that tour a lot. It is the same this time too, with the Pakistan team. I was taking my time at the start, waiting to punish the bad deliveries, and that was the main thing for me.”