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Monday, December 11, 2023

Fakhar out to emulate Kumar Sangakkara with remarkable ODI streak


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Islamabad: Fakhar Zaman is currently winning praise from all and sundry and the in-form Pakistan opener gets the chance to continue his remarkable recent run and match the record owned by Sri Lanka legend Kumar Sangakkara when his side hosts New Zealand in the third ODI of their ongoing series in Karachi on Wednesday.

Fakhar became just the fourth Pakistan player to have scored three straight ODI centuries when he smashed an unbeaten 180 against New Zealand on Saturday and the experienced left-hander will

be going for four tons on the trot when the two teams next meet.

While a trio of consecutive centuries had occurred in men’s ODIs on 12 occasions, only Sangakkara has done it in four straight matches courtesy of his outstanding run for Sri Lanka at the 2015 ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup in Australia and New Zealand, the ICC reported.

Sangakkara reached three figures against four different sides – Bangladesh, England, Australia and Scotland – while Fakhar will have reached the milestone just against New Zealand should he register yet another century on Wednesday.

Fakhar’s blistering run commenced when he hit 101 against the Black Caps in Karachi in January

and the 33-year-old picked up where he left off during this series with scores of 117 and 180 not out to help Pakistan open up a commanding 2-0 lead in the five-match series.

Fakhar’s latest knock was the fourth highest by a Pakistan individual in a men’s ODI and captain Babar Azam revealed after the match the innings was one of the best he could remember.

“It’s one of the best innings I’ve seen. 20-30 runs too many we conceded. But the way Fakhar built his innings, and the partnerships we had one after the other was key,” Babar said.

Fakhar managed just 186 runs from eight knocks at the last ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup in 2019 and the veteran will be keen to contribute more when the next edition of the 50-over showcase commences later this year.

Fakhar believes he is a more mature player now than he was four years ago and said he was using

a new mindset at the crease to help him find his best form.

“I try to take some time at the start in one-day cricket,” he revealed.

“Every player works hard on his game at this level and same with me,” Fakhar added.


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