Kamran Akmal, Salman Butt score world’s highest T20 opening partnership

KARACHI, Nov 24 (INP): Pakistan’s wicket-keeper batsman Kamran Akmal and former captain Salman Butt put up the highest-ever T20 partnership for the opening wicket on Friday, creating a world record by scoring 209 runs between them.

The feat saw the two batsmen beat the previous best of 207 by Kent’s JL Denly and DJ Bell-Drummond against Essex in English county cricket. This is also the third highest ever partnership for any wicket in a T20 inning.

During the same inning, Kamran also became the first ever Pakistani and the first wicket-keeper batsman to score 150 runs in a T20 match.

The 35-year old out-of-favour batsman smashed 12 sixes and 14 fours to score an unbeaten 150 for Lahore Whites against Islamabad in National T20 Cup in Rawalpindi.

He also surpassed South Africa’s Quinton de Kock to post the highest individual T20 score by a wicket-keeper; the South African wicket-keeper had scored 126* before Kamran overtook him by scoring an unbeaten 150 today.

The opener is the first Pakistani and 8th overall to score 150 or more in a T20 inning. His score of 150* is the 10th highest individual score in the shortest format of professional cricket.

The inning has also helped Kamran Akmal to become the first Pakistani and only third overall player to score fifty or more in five consecutive T20 innings. Before 150 not out against Islamabad, Kamran had scores of 52, 65, 63 and 52 in the ongoing National T20 Cup.

Two other players to score five consecutive 50s or more in T20 cricket are India’s Virender Sehwag and Zimbabwe’s Hamilton Masakadza.

During the inning, Kamran Akmal also created a new national record of most sixes in a T20 inning by smashing 12 sixes, surpassing the record of 10 sixes in an inning by Bilal Asif.

Kamran’s individual score of 150 not out contributed 71.77% runs to Lahore’s total score of 209 – the highest percentage of runs contributed by a batsman in a completed inning.

The century was also Kamran Akmal’s third T20 hundred of his career, which is jointly the most by a Pakistani batsman along with Khurram Manzoor and Ahmad Shahzad.