Stats: Kamran Akmal, Salman Butt break world record for highest T20 opening partnership
Playing for Lahore Whites in the domestic National T20 Cup, Pakistan internationals Kamran Akmal and Salman Butt broke the world record for highest T20 opening partnership. Courtesy of their unbeaten stand of 209 against Islamabad in Rawalpindi, the pair broke the previous record of 207 set by Kent's Joe Denly and Daniel Bell-Drummond in August 2017.
The pair become only the third opening pair to record a double century partnership for the opening wicket. The previous record came when Denly and Bell-Drummond put on 207 against Essex at Chelmsford in the Natwest T20 Blast.
Overall, this is the third-highest partnership in T20 history. Virat Kohli and AB de Villiers hold the top two spots courtesy of two double century partnerships of 229 and 215* for Royal Challengers Bangalore in the Indian Premier League.
Kamran Akmal finished with an unbeaten 150 from just 71 balls and also became the first Pakistan batsman to score a 150 in T20s and only the eighth batsman overall to achieve that feat.
The 35-year-old also became only the third batsman in T20 history to score five 50-plus scores in consecutive innings. He joined Virender Sehwag and Hamilton Masakadza as the only others to achieve that unique feat as he recorded scores of 52, 63, 65, 52 and 150* in his last five T20 innings. His innings included 14 fours and 12 sixes and he finished with a strike rate in excess of 200.
Alongside him was Salman Butt, who played second fiddle for much of the innings but remained unbeaten on 55 from 49, helping them create a world record in the process. All this came against a bowling attack that had Pakistan internationals Umar Gul, Rahat Ali and Mohammad Irfan, who was the most expensive of the lot, conceding 48 runs from his four overs.
In reply, Islamabad were bowled out for 100 courtesy of three-wicket hauls for Asif Ali and Bilal Asif. Although there was just a solitary duck in the innings, only four batsmen got into double digits as they ended up losing the match by 109 runs.
The world record for highest T20I opening partnership in India was broken earlier this month by Shikhar Dhawan and Rohit Sharma put on 158 against New Zealand in the opening T20I at New Delhi.
Here is the complete list of highest opening partnerships in T20 history: