On Friday, Pakistani cricketers Kamran Akmal and Salman Butt created the record of the highest opening partnership in T20 cricket. Akmal scored 150* and Butt was unbeaten at 55* when they put up an unbeaten 209-run stand in the ongoing National T20 Cup. They beat the highest unbeaten partnership record for the first wicket in T20 Internationals held by New Zealand’s Martin Guptill and Kane Williamson. Guptill and Williamson had an unbeaten 171 runs incidentally against Pakistan at Hamilton in January 2016.
Kamran Akmal and Butt’s partnership also broke the previous record of the highest first wicket stand. A 207-run stand for the first wicket by Kent’s Joe Denly and Daniel Bell-Drummond set the scene during the NatWest T20 Blast in August. Denly and Bell-Drummond’s stint sank opponents Essex.
Akmal took an aggressive stance and smacked a 150 not out of just 71 balls with 14 boundaries and 12 sixes to his name. Butt chipped in with a 55 not out off 49 balls laced with eight fours. Akmal and Butt’s record partnership set the stage for a huge victory for the Lahore Whites. Opponents Islamabad were skittled out for a paltry 100 in 18.4 overs. Lahore bowlers Asif Ali and Bilal Asif took three wickets each. Akmal has surpassed Mukhtar Ahmed’s 126 for Sialkot Stallions against Karachi Whites in 2015.
Yet another record tumbled during the match, namely the most sixes in a T20 innings in Pakistan domestic: 12. The Lahore Whites had already booked a spot in the semis before this game. The margin of the victory ensured that they finished above their local rivals Lahore Blues and took top spot.
Despite his stellar knock, Akmal downplayed talks of a national squad recall. Instead, he is just focusing on his own game at the moment and nothing else. He is leaving everything in the national selectors’s hands to decide whether to call him or not.