Pakistan´s Imam-ul-Haq celebrates his century during the third One Day International (ODI) cricket match between England and Pakistan at The Bristol County Ground in Bristol on May 14, 2019. Photo: AFP
Published in Geo on May 15th, 2019,
BRISTOL: Pakistan opener Imam-ul-Haq broke former India captain Kapil Dev’s record when he smashed a career-best 151 against England in the third one-day international at Bristol on Tuesday.
Imam became the youngest player to score more than 150 runs at the age of 23 in England, entering the record books by breaking Dev’s record who had scored 175 runs against Zimbabwe at the age of 24 in 1983.
The left-arm batsman took the advantage of a true pitch, small boundaries and a fast outfield to make 151 from 131 balls – the highest ODI score by a Pakistan player against England and fifth-best in the country’s history. He struck 16 fours and a six.
Imam went to his sixth hundred in 27 ODIs — and first against England — off 97 balls, helping Pakistan to set a target of 359 for England.
He surpassed his previous ODI best of 128 against Zimbabwe at Bulawayo last year.
However, his 150 went in vain as England chased down the target at a loss of four wickets in 45 overs to take 2-0 lead in the five-match series.
This was England’s second highest winning total batting second in an ODI.
Imam felt Pakistan had a total they could defend although their cause was not helped by some naive bowling from an inexperienced attack and slipshod fielding.
“The score was enough, 360 was a really good total,” Imam said.
“We just lost a couple of catches that cost us and our bowlers did not stick to the plan,” the 23-year-old left-handed opener added.
Pakistan have made several recent tours of England and in 2017 they beat arch-rivals India in the final of the 50-over Champions Trophy at The Oval in south London.
“We came here in the Champions Trophy so we know what these wickets are like,” said Imam ahead of Friday’s fourth ODI at Trent Bridge in Nottingham, where the teams can expect another ideal batting pitch.
“We know England are going to come hard at us, and we have to bowl better and play better cricket to win.”