ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Cricket has progressed well over the years; there was a time when no batsman from Pakistan crossed 150 runs in an innings but then for over a decade, Pakistan held the world record for highest individual innings.
As the eras changed and the game became more batsmen friendly, batsmen have now started to score double tons with India taking the lead with as many as 5 double hundreds including three by Rohit Sharma and one each by Sachin Tendulkar and Virender Sehwag. Pakistan’s Fakhar Zaman joined the list that also has New Zealand’s Martin Guptill and West Indies’ Chris Gayle, but in the process, he broke the national record held by Saeed Anwar for 21 years.
Let’s take a look at the way the highest score has progressed in Pakistan Cricket and find out how the game has changed over the years.
37 – Sadiq Muhammad (1973)
Pakistan Cricket team was amongst the best in the world in the 1970s but they didn’t have a good start to the limited overs international as they crashed to a 22-run loss to New Zealand at Christchurch in 1973. Chasing 188 to win their debut ODI, Pakistan team was bowled out for 165 runs in the 34th over. Sadiq Mohammad top scored the innings with 37 runs with brother Mushtaq scoring 27 and Wasim Bari and Saleem Altaf managing 21 each.
109 – Majid Khan (1974)
Chasing 245 to win in the first ODI against England at Nottingham, Pakistan began on a positive note with Sadiq Mohammad and Majid Khan providing the team an ideal start of 113. Majid Khan became the first Pakistani to cross the three-figure mark in the team’s second ODI, ending with 109 runs off 93 balls. His record stood for nearly a decade before his teammate from that match bettered it against Sri Lanka.
123 – Zaheer Abbas (1982)
The master blaster was in the form of his life in the early 1980s and that’s why when he scored 123 runs against a weak Sri Lankan side in Lahore, not many were surprised. He faced just 87 balls in his innings and hit 15 fours and 3 sixes to post the highest individual score by a Pakistan that stood for nearly 7 years.
126* – Shoaib Mohammad (1989)
The record once held by one Mohammad was now owned by another batsman from the same family; Shoaib Mohammad was not one of the best one day batsmen Pakistan produced (he was more of a Test batsman) but by scoring 126 not out against New Zealand at Wellington, he created a record that stood for more than 4 years. He faced 155 deliveries and hit 13 boundaries in the innings and could tell his children that at one time, no Pakistan had scored more runs than him in an innings!
131 – Saeed Anwar (1993)
He came, he saw and he conquered – that’s what the followers of the game said of Saeed Anwar whenever he went out to bat especially at Sharjah. During the end of 1993, he was in supreme form and scored 3 back to back centuries to equal Zaheer Abbas’ record; one of those centuries – 131 runs off 141 balls – was the highest individual innings by a Pakistani and since it was scored against the mighty West Indies, it was unbelievable as well.
137* – Inzamam ul Haq (1994)
Less than 6 months later, Inzamam ul Haq broke the national record of the highest individual score by a Pakistan by scoring 137 not out against New Zealand in the semi-final of the third and final Austral Asia Cup in Sharjah. It was scored in the same match where for a brief moment Aamer Sohail broke Saeed Anwar’s record and ended his innings at 134, losing the record to his partner at the crease by three runs a few overs later. But you can’t get away from Saeed Anwar after breaking his record, could you!
194 – Saeed Anwar (1997)
He was making a comeback to the national side after a mystery illness that kept him out of the game for five months; Saeed Anwar showed no signs of fatigue as he launched an attack on Indian bowlers in Chennai and despite getting injured during the innings, manage to break Viv Richards’ record of 189 runs which was till then the highest score in an ODI innings. He hit 22 fours and 5 sixes in his 146-ball innings that not only helped Pakistan win the match but also held the record for over a decade till Zimbabwe’s Charles Coventry equaled it in 2009.
210* – Fakhar Zaman (2018)
And then there was the poster boy of Pakistan Cricket Fakhar Zaman who broke Saeed Anwar’s record, created the record of most runs (515 runs) in a five-match series and reached 1000 runs in fewer innings than anyone else, ever. In the process, he also became the first Pakistani to score a double century in ODIs and ending the match at 210 not out with the help of 24 fours and 5 sixes at an astonishing strike rate of 134.61. Let’s see till how long he holds the record and whether someone breaks it soon or it stays for a long time, longer than the 194 that was once deemed unbreakable.