Afghanistan’s wicketkeeper-batter Rahmanullah Gurbaz became the third fastest player to smash five ODI hundreds with his swashbuckling 151 against Pakistan in the ongoing second match of the series against Pakistan on Thursday.
Gurbaz overtook Pakistan skipper Babar Azam (25 innings) and is now sitting behind the joint-first position holders, Quinton de Kock (19) and Imam-Ul-Haq (19). Afghanistan were helped to a solid total of 300/5, courtesy of a brilliant 151 from Gurbaz. This was their highest total against their regional rivals, Pakistan.
His century was also the first time that a wicketkeeper scored a 150 in men's ODI against Pakistan. The previous best by a wicket-keeper was MS Dhoni's 148 at Visakhapatnam in 2005. The 151 against Pakistan, coming at run-a-ball, with 14 fours and three sixes, is Gurbaz's fifth ODI ton, and it came in merely 23 innings.
This was the highest score by an Afghanistan batter against Pakistan and was also the first-ever century by an Afghanistan player against the nation. Their previous highest individual effort was Hashmatullah Shahidi's unbeaten 97.
Together with Ibrahim Zadran (80), Gurbaz added 227 runs for the first wicket, Afghanistan's second-highest partnership for any wicket. After being bundled out for merely 59 in the first ODI, Afghanistan showed a great fight with the bat in their second match in the series.
The strong start from Gurbaz, who suffered from cramps in between, and Zadran was followed by a slight wobble towards the death, but Mohammed Nabi's run-a-ball 29 helped them touch 300 in the end.