Pakistan Claims No. 1 ODI Team Ranking After Sweeping Afghanistan

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In a thrilling three-match ODI series against Afghanistan, Pakistan emerged victorious, securing a clean sweep and claiming the top spot in the ODI rankings. Prior to the series, Pakistan was in second place, just two points behind Australia. However, with their dominant performance, Pakistan surpassed Australia and now sits at number one with 118 rating points.

This is the second time this year that Pakistan has reached the top spot in the ODI rankings. They first achieved this feat after winning four out of five matches against New Zealand in May. Unfortunately, they lost the last match to New Zealand, allowing Australia to regain the top spot temporarily.

The series against Afghanistan showcased a collective bowling effort from Pakistan, with standout performances from Babar Azam and Mohammad Rizwan. In the final ODI, Afghanistan faced a target of 269 runs but could only manage to reach 209, despite a brisk half-century from Mujeeb Ur Rahman.

Afghanistan got off to a poor start, losing key players Rahmanullah Gurbaz and Ibrahim Zadran early on. Shadab Khan led the bowling attack for Pakistan, taking 3 wickets for 42 runs. Shaheen Afridi, Faheem Ashraf, and Mohammad Nawaz also contributed with two wickets each.

In the batting department, Pakistan chose to bat first and posted a total of 268/8, thanks to half-centuries from Babar Azam and Mohammad Rizwan. Pakistan’s opening pair, Fakhar Zaman and Imam-ul-Haq, failed to provide a solid start, but Babar and Rizwan stabilized the innings with a partnership of 110 runs for the third wicket.

Rashid Khan of Afghanistan broke the partnership by dismissing Babar Azam, who scored 60 runs off 86 balls. After Babar’s dismissal, Pakistan suffered a collapse, losing four wickets quickly to reach 189/6 in 41 overs. Mohammad Rizwan was the top-scorer for Pakistan with 67 runs off 79 balls.

However, Mohammad Nawaz and Salman Ali Agha rescued Pakistan with a vital 61-run partnership for the seventh wicket, adding crucial runs in the death overs. Salman Ali Agha remained unbeaten on 38 runs off 31 balls.

Pakistan’s win was a result of a combined effort from both their bowling and batting units. Shadab Khan’s bowling prowess, combined with Babar Azam and Mohammad Rizwan’s solid innings, propelled Pakistan to the top position in the ODI rankings.

Now, Pakistan will look to maintain their number one ranking and continue their winning form as they prepare for future ODI series and tournaments.

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