Pakistan thrived in the shortest format of the game, ending the year as the top ranked side along with breaking several records in the other formats as well.
Pakistan’s opening batsman Fakhar Zaman, who started his one-day international career in the ICC Champions Trophy in 2017, completed 1000 runs in ODIs in 2018. He reached there in just 18 innings becoming the fastest in ODI history to the milestone and breaking the previous record, jointly held by five batsmen - Viv Richards, Kevin Pietersen, Jonathan Trott, Quinton de Kock, Babar Azam (21 innings) - by three innings. Fakhar had a highly productive series in Zimbabwe, aggregating 515 runs at an average of 257.50, during which he also became the first Pakistan batsman to score 200 in ODIs. His series aggregate is the highest for any batsman in a 5-match ODI rubber.
Fakhar along with Imam-ul-Haq stitched a marathon partnership of 304 runs in the fourth ODI against Zimbabwe - the first 300-run opening stand in ODI history. The previous record belonged to Sri Lanka duo of Sanath Jayasuriya and Upul Tharanga, who had put 286 against England in Leeds in 2006. It was also the highest partnership for Pakistan for any wicket and only the fourth 300-plus partnership in ODI history. Both Imam (113) and Fakhar (210 not out) scored centuries before the former was dismissed in the 42nd over. Pakistan finished with 399-1 - their highest total in ODIs.
Breaking a world record is one thing but breaking one held by Virat Kohli is extraordinary. Pakistan’s T20I opener Babar Azam cruised his way to 1000 runs in T20 Internationals in just 26 innings and surpassed Kohli who had done it in 27 innings. Babar reached the milestone in his last innings of 2018 when scored 79 off 58 balls in the third T20I against New Zealand in Dubai. He is also the quickest to score 1000 runs in terms of time – taking less than 2 years and 2 months. The previous quickest in terms of days was England’s Alex Hales.
Pakistan had a stellar 2018 in T20 Internationals starting off with a 2-1 series win in New Zealand and becoming the number one team in the ICC Rankings and finished the year with 17 wins, the most by any team in a calendar year. Pakistan at the moment are at a streak of 11 consecutive series wins which is another world record. They have not lost any series since Sarfraz Ahmed has taken over T20 captaincy following a debacle in the ICC World T20 2016 in India. Another remarkable aspect of their consistent run is they have won 11 successive matches while chasing.
Pakistan ace leg-spinner Yasir Shah had a dream run in the three-Test series against New Zealand in the UAE taking 29 wickets at an average of 19.03. In the process, he became the quickest to 200 wickets milestone in Tests breaking an 82-year old record of Australia’s Clarrie Grimmett, the leg-spinner who had done it in 36 Tests. Yasir took 14 wickets for 184 runs in the second Test against New Zealand leveling the national record of most wickets in a Test with Imran Khan – 14-116 against Sri Lanka in Lahore in 1982.