HARARE – En route to his third half-century of the T20I triangular series in Harare, Fakhar Zaman became the highest run scorer in T20Is during 2018 while also securing the record for scoring most runs in a series for Pakistan on Sunday.
The left-handed batsman, 28, also crossed the 500-run mark in the calendar year, becoming only the third batsman to do so after India’s Virat Kohli and Afghanistan’s Mohammad Shahzad.
Zaman has also secured his position among the top five Pakistani players with the highest individual score of 91 against Aussies.
— ICC (@ICC) July 8, 2018
Pakistan defeated Australia by six wickets in the final of the triangular series in Harare. Pakistan’s innings got off to the worst possible start with Glenn Maxwell picking up two wickets in the very first over of the innings. Debutant Sahibzada Farhan and Hussain Talat were not able to trouble the scorers and went back to the pavilion without even scoring a single run.
Captain Sarfraz Ahmed and Fakhar Zaman got Pakistan back on track with a brisk 45-run partnership but just when the Men in Green were looking to establish some sort of control, Sarfraz was run-out after scoring 28 runs.
Zaman kept on dominating the Aussie bowlers — despite the skipper’s dismissal — along with the experienced Shoaib Malik. The left-handed batsman was in unstoppable hitting form as he smacked the bowlers to all parts of the ground. He scored 91 runs of 46 balls which included 12 fours and three sixes while he also notched up a brilliant 107-run match winning partnership with Malik.
After Zaman’s departure Malik and Asif Ali ensured that Pakistan smoothly sailed over the line. Malik remained not out on 43 runs while Asif Ali stayed unbeaten on 17 runs.
This was also the highest successful run chase ever by Pakistan in T20I cricket.
Number 1 Ranking is retained, 9th consecutive T20I series win for Pakistan. 🤜🤜🤜🤜🤜🤜
— Najam Sethi (@najamsethi) July 8, 2018
Earlier Australia had set Pakistan a target of 184 runs, after Finch had won the toss and decided to bat first.
For Pakistan Mohammad Amir picked up three wickets while Shadab Khan claimed two wickets.
Zaman bagged the award for, both, player of the match and the series due to his brilliant batting.
From Navy sailor to Man of the Series
Born in Mardan, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Fakhar Zaman made his first-class debut for Karachi Blues in the year 2013. He moved to Karachi at the age of 16 and joined the navy. After a year-long tryst, he switched his attention to cricket and has managed to sustain that since then.
A left-handed batsman and a handy part-time slow left-armer, his methods suit the limited overs format. He had a fantastic run in the 2016 edition of the Pakistan Cup where he scored 297 runs in five games including 2 fifties and a century. Thus, ended up as the second highest run-getter behind Ahmed Shehzad. His stroke-filled 115 in the finale helped his team – Khyber Pakhtunkhwa to win the title.
Strong performances in almost every format at the domestic level meant he has a permanent spot in the Lahore Qalandars side for the second edition of the PSL. His ‘see the ball, hit the ball’ approach makes him a crowd puller and a package that is hard to ignore in shorter formats of the game. His pyrotechnics earned him a spot in Pakistan’s squad for the Champions Trophy in mid 2017.
And he grabbed the opportunity with both hands by being the Man of the final courtesy a sparkling ton in the finale against arch rivals India. Pakistan became the latest team to win the Champions Trophy and 252 runs in 4 games made Fakhar Zaman a poster boy in the Pakistani cricket fraternity. He was sidelined for the 1st league game against India but then was handed a debut against South Africa in the second game. A quickfire 31 off 23 balls started his international dream and he never looked back post that. Fifties against Lanka and England and then the icing was the ton in the finals.