Pakistan go into the Asia Cup as the number one ranked ODI team after defeating Afgahnistan in the 3-match series.
By PakPassion Staff (26th August, 2023)
Pakistan has once again asserted its dominance in the One Day International (ODI) format, soaring to the pinnacle of the MRF Tyres ICC Men's ODI Rankings, courtesy of a comprehensive 3-0 series whitewash against Afghanistan. This victory not only showcased their cricketing prowess but also allowed them to surpass Australia to clinch the coveted No. 1 spot.
In a series replete with exhilarating moments, Pakistan established its supremacy right from the outset. The inaugural ODI witnessed them craft a staggering 142-run victory, a testament to their exceptional bowling performance. The sequel was nothing short of a cinematic thriller, where the Men in Green, exhibiting sheer resilience, clinched a victory in the final over with just a solitary wicket to spare.
The decider saw Pakistan set a competitive target of 268, buoyed by stellar half-centuries from the dynamic duo of Mohammad Rizwan and Babar Azam. Even though there was a fleeting phase of instability during their innings, they regained momentum to post a formidable total on a challenging pitch. Afghanistan’s chase was kept under control thanks to Faheem Ashraf's initial breakthroughs, followed by regular wickets from Pakistan's spin arsenal. Despite Mujeeb ur Rahman's valiant quickfire half-century, the total proved to be insurmountable for Afghanistan. Shadab Khan emerged as the star of the bowling unit, bagging three crucial wickets.
Pakistan's journey to the summit of the ODI rankings has been nothing short of phenomenal. Their previous season witnessed them decimating West Indies and Netherlands in successive 3-0 whitewashes both at home and away. This momentum carried into 2023, where they clinched a series win over New Zealand. Even when the Blackcaps sought revenge in a subsequent five-game ODI series, Pakistan displayed their class, taking the series 4-1.
Australia, the erstwhile table-toppers with 118 rating points, now find themselves in the second position, while Pakistan enjoys the view from the top with 118.48 rating points.
As cricket aficionados eagerly await the Asia Cup and further ODI clashes leading up to the grand spectacle of the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup, it’s evident that the battle for supremacy among Pakistan, Australia, and India is still very much alive. One thing's for sure, the world of cricket is in for a riveting treat!