Imam-ul-Haq, the nephew of former legendary Pakistani batsman Inzamam-ul-Haq, burst onto the international cricket scene with a significant amount of pressure on his shoulders. Due to his close association with his uncle, the left-handed opener had to work hard during his early days to justify his selection in the squad. Over the years, he answered these critics, with the list of Imam-ul-Haq centuries testifying to the batsman’s talent.
Known for his flamboyant stroke-making abilities, Imam’s approach is pleasing to the eyes when he gets his shots right. Consistently churning out runs for his national team over the last four years, he is a reliable opener who has worked hard on bettering his technique. Strong through the offside, Imam has an array of shots in his books and Pakistan will be hoping that the opener continues to perform well for them.
A technically sound player, Imam had a stellar start to his international career. He got off the mark with a scintillating century against Sri Lanka on his debut making him the second Pakistani player to score a century on debut. He then continued his sizzling form in Zimbabwe, where Imam smashed three centuries to become the first batsman in ODI cricket to score four hundreds in the space of just nine matches.
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However, his start in red-ball cricket hasn’t been particularly inspiring. While pundits around the world are of the opinion that Imam has the technique and level head to be able to succeed in red-ball cricket, at present, this is yet to be proven. Speaking of his success, let’s dig deeper into some of the best Imam-ul-Haq centuries in international cricket and his overall career record across all formats.
- 1 Imam-ul-Haq centuries: Career summary
- 2 Imam-ul-Haq centuries: ODI, T20I and Tests
- 3 Imam-ul-Haq centuries: Near misses
- 4 All you need to know about Imam-ul-Haq centuries: His journey to the top
- 5 Imam-ul-Haq: Other records
Imam-ul-Haq centuries: Career summary
Imam’s maiden appearance in international cricket came at a young age when he was first seen in action during the U-19 Asia Cup 2012.
Subsequently, the batsman went on to make his international debut in 2017 where he starred against Sri Lanka with a sublime ton to become the second player from Pakistan to score a century on his ODI debut. In the following year, Imam flourished further by slamming three consecutive centuries against Zimbabwe which helped him garner more attention.
Iman has played across all three formats and has made 92 international appearances for Pakistan. The Multan-based top-order batsman has played 22 Tests, 68 ODIs, and two T20Is. It is worth noting that Iman has made more appearances in the longer formats of the game where he has amassed 12 international centuries. Overall, Imam-ul-Haq’s centuries comprise three Test and nine ODI tons, while he currently holds no centuries in the T20I format.
Scoring a major chunk of his runs in ODI cricket, most of the Imam-ul-Haq centuries have also come in the ODI format. Here, he has nine centuries and 19 half-centuries. In this format, the Pakistani averages 49.22 and has piled up 3003 runs. His remaining three international centuries came in the longest format of the game, where he averages 38.78 and eight half-centuries. However, the elegant left-handed batter featured in only a couple of T20I games for his country where he scored just 21 runs.
Imam currently holds 4498 runs across all three formats and has a consolidated batting average of 32.83. Let’s dive into the details of these iconic Imam-ul-Haq centuries that made him an indispensable asset for Pakistan cricket.
Imam-ul-Haq centuries: ODI, T20I and Tests
The 27-year-old is a charismatic opener and a ruthless accumulator at the crease who is particularly good at driving the ball on the up and flicking it off his hips. Here is a comprehensive snapshot of all the top Imam-ul-Haq centuries encompassing all three formats.
Imam-ul-Haq ODI centuries
Imam has played some brilliant match-defining innings in ODI cricket.
In 67 ODI innings, Imam has notched up nine centuries averaging 49.2 while maintaining a healthy strike rate of nearly 82.22. In addition, he has also scored 19 half-centuries in this format. Out of his total list of nine centuries, seven of them came in away conditions. Imam scored a majority of his centuries against Australia (two) and Zimbabwe (three) while he scored one century apiece against Bangladesh, England, South Africa, and Sri Lanka.
|103||Vs Australia||Lahore||29 Mar 2022|
|106||Vs Australia||Lahore||31 Mar 2022|
|100||Vs Bangladesh||Lord’s||5 Jul 2019|
|151||Vs England||Bristol||14 May 2019|
|104||Vs Ireland||Dublin, Malahide||21 May 2017|
|101||Vs South Africa||Centurion||25 Jan 2019|
|100||Vs Sri Lanka||Abu Dhabi||18 Oct 2017|
|128||Vs Zimbabwe||Bulawayo||13 Jul 2018|
|113||Vs Zimbabwe||Bulawayo||20 Jul 2018|
|110||Vs Zimbabwe||Bulawayo||22 Jul 2018|
The best Imam-ul-Haq century in ODI cricket came against England where he scored his career-best knock of 151. During a five-match ODI series in England back in 2017, Imam piled up some enormous runs at the top of the order in testing conditions to power Pakistan to their highest total against England in ODI cricket. He scored 151 (131) which featured 16 fours and one six. However, despite his splendid show with the bat, England chased down the stiff target with ease.
His second-best knock came during the early stages of his career when Pakistan toured Zimbabwe for a five-match ODI series in 2018. He stunned everyone with a stellar ton in the first ODI game scoring 128 (134). This fine knock helped Pakistan get over the 300-run mark and eventually set the tone for a massive victory as the hosts were skittled for just 107.
During the second match of a three-match ODI series against Australia at home, Imam scored his third-best century. Batting alongside Babar Azam, the pair put on a record partnership to help Pakistan complete a historic run-chase, with Imam playing a belligerent knock of 106 (97) that helped Pakistan chase down a mammoth 349 runs and seal the series in their favor.
Imam-ul-Haq T20I centuries
Imam hasn’t had the best of the outings in the shortest format of the game. The 27-year-old is seen as a much-preferred option for Pakistan in the longer versions of the game. He has only played one solitary match against Australia and England where he scored 14 runs and seven runs respectively.
He averages only 10.50 in this format and needs to have more games under his belt to bring his A-game to the fore.
Imam-ul-Haq Test centuries
All the Iman-ul-Haq centuries in Test cricket came on home soil. With over 1,400 runs, Imam has a potent average of 38.78 with three Test centuries under his belt. He has scored two centuries against Australia and one against England so far in his 22-match long Test career. Additionally, he also has eight half-century scores in this format.
|157||Vs Australia||Rawalpindi||4 Mar 2022|
|111*||Vs Australia||Rawalpindi||4 Mar 2022|
|121||Vs England||Rawalpindi||1 Dec 2022|
Imam achieved his highest Test score of 157 against Australia in the first match of the four-match Test series in March 2022. He scored an impressive 157 in the first innings and later followed it up with another magnificent ton of 111* in the second innings to keep Pakistan afloat. The match eventually ended in a draw.
His third century came in a losing cause against England during the first Test match in late 2022. After conceding a gigantic first innings total of 657, Imam and Shafique tried to defy the Pomps. Imam in particular played an innings of steel scoring 121 at a fairly decent strike rate of 58.45. His resistance soon came to an end as Pakistan were bowled out for 579. Later, he played a handy knock of 48 (77) in the second innings but that proved to be insufficient as Pakistan lost that game by 74 runs.
Imam-ul-Haq centuries: Near misses
On several occasions, Imam ran out of luck and was stranded in the nervous 90s. This has happened twice across Test and ODI formats. The most high profile of these was his dismissal on 91 in a high-octane run chase against Afghanistan at Hambantota earlier in August 2023.
In pursuit of 301, Pakistan lost wickets in clusters during the middle stage but Imam kept piling up the runs despite being under severe pressure. Just when he was beginning to up the ante, Mujeeb Ur Rahman dismissed him with a flighted delivery on 91 as he holed to deep mid-wicket. Pakistan earned a narrow victory in the end courtesy of Naseem’s last-over heroics.
The second time he missed out on a century was against New Zealand in a Test match at Karachi where he fell four runs short of a well-deserved century. Imam was stumped off a well-disguised googly by Sodhi during the 72nd over of the fourth innings leaving Pakistan in a heap of trouble. Muhammed Wasim’s heroics with the bat saved the day as Pakistan salvaged a draw in the end.
All you need to know about Imam-ul-Haq centuries: His journey to the top
Born in Multan on 22 December 1995, Imam-ul-Haq is the nephew of the current Pakistan chief selector Inzamam-ul-Haq. His ancestors hail from India who migrated from the Indian city of Hansi situated in the present state of Haryana in 1947.
Imam, for the most part, grew up in the shadow of his uncle Inzamam, who had established himself as a prominent figure in Pakistan cricket. Early in his career, he displayed glimpses of his sporadic performances in the Quaid-e-Azam trophy. In the Quaid-e-Azam Final in 2016, he achieved an impressive score of 200* for Habib Bank Limited. Adding to this, in the National T20 Cup final, he scored an unbeaten 59 runs for Lahore Blues and was awarded Player of the Match.
Due to his remarkable domestic performances, Imam earned his maiden ODI call-up in 2017. Making his debut against Sri Lanka, he showcased exceptional skill by scoring a swashbuckling century. In 2018, he was selected for Pakistan’s tours to Ireland and England. His Test debut took place against Ireland the following month and exhibited his resilience by scoring a fighting half-century in the final innings, leading his team to a crucial victory.
During the fourth one-day match against Zimbabwe in July 2018, Imam and Fakhar Zaman formed the highest opening stand in ODIs, accumulating a total of 304 runs. Throughout the series, the duo amassed a remarkable 705 runs together, setting a new record for the most runs scored by any batting pair in a two-nation ODI series.
With an increased amount of match experience, Imam began to flourish as a batter. In January 2019, during the third ODI match against South Africa, he became the second fastest batsman to reach 1,000 ODI runs, achieving this milestone in just 19 innings.
Imam-ul-Haq: Other records
Apart from the Imam-ul-Haq centuries that we’ve just witnessed, the batsman has his name featured in the record books for several other reasons.
During Pakistan’s World Cup clash against Sri Lanka on October 10, Imam became the joint-second-fastest batter to reach 3000 ODI runs. It took him 67 innings to reach this landmark.
In his first ODI, against Sri Lanka, Iman became the second batter for Pakistan, and thirteenth overall, to score a century on debut. He also ranks third in terms of the most ODI centuries (three) scored in a series.