On Friday, Fakhar Zaman etched his name in the history books to become the first Pakistan player to hit a double century in one-day internationals. Courtesy Zaman’s memorable knock, Pakistan crushed Zimbabwe by 244 runs to take 4-0 up in the five-match ODI rubber in Bulawayo.

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The 28-year old left-hander unbeaten 210 off just 156 deliveries, moving past the previous record for a Pakistan batsman set by Saeed Anwar with his 194 (vs India) more than 21 years ago. His innings was studded with 28 scintillating fours and five huge maximums. The innings also propelled Pakistan to their highest ever ODI total of 399/1 in their allotted 50 overs.

Fakhar shared a record opening stand of 304 with fellow left-hander Imam ul-Haq, who hit 113 off 122 balls. The triple hundred partnership also became Pakistan’s biggest for any wicket in ODIs.

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With this record-breaking stand, the Pakistan duo broke the previous record for an opening partnership in all internationals, set by Sanath Jayasuriya and Upal Tharanga for Sri Lanka against England at Headingley in 2006.

Imam then was dismissed by skipper Hamilton Masakadza (1/78), caught on the boundary for 113 from 122 deliveries. In reply, Zimbabwe were skittled out for 155 in the 43rd over, thanks to Shadab Khan’s 4/28, and Faheem Ashraf (2/16) and Usman Khan (2/23).

Zimbabwe’s 244-run defeat was their second heaviest in ODIs. However, they avoided that calamity only through a 69-run sixth wicket stand between Elton Chigumbura and Donald Tiripano.

Pakistan will eye a whitewash against Zimbabwe as the fifth and the final ODI of the series will be played on the same ground on Sunday, July 22.

(With Agency Inputs)