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Journey of Pakistan Cricket Team to ICC Rank 1 in ODIs

Pakistan Cricket has been in the spotlight since last year’s performance in the Asia Cup and the T20 Cricket World Cup. They reached the final game of both tournaments and have shown a promising future. 

However, their real achievement came in recent days when they scored a series win over Afghanistan by 3-0 and reached the number 1 rank in the ICC Charts of the ODI format. Babar Azam and his men are at the top of their game and have done exceptionally well in the 50-over format. The cricket betting sites have cricketing odds with them.

The journey wasn't easy but with lots of ups and downs and achieving the highest rank right before the Asia Cup and ODI World Cup will be a major boost for the team. Here is a list of Pakistan’s five memorable wins during the journey of reaching the top of the charts.

1) South Africa v Pakistan (April 2021, Johannesburg)

The first on the list is Pakistan’s win over South Africa in April 2021 at SuperSport Park Cricket Stadium. It was a high-scoring fixture where Fakhar Zaman gave his team a good start by scoring 101 off 104 balls at a strike rate of 97.12.

Skipper Babar Azam also scored a massive 94 off 82 balls at a strike rate of 114.63. Imam-ul-Haq partnered with Zaman and scored 57 off 73 balls. Hasan Ali played a cameo and scored 32 off 11 at a strike rate of 290.91.

Muhammad Nawaz and Shaheen Afridi shined with their bowling performance as they both picked up 3 wickets each.

2) Pakistan v Australia (March 2022, Lahore)

Pakistan pulled off a stunning six-wicket win over Australia in the second ODI in Lahore when Australia marked their return to Pakistan after 24 years. The series was exciting as expected but the 2nd ODI was the talking point.

The first ODI was won by the visitors and hence Pakistan was under pressure to bounce back and level the series. Shaheen Afridi picked up a 4-wicket haul in the bowling department.

Skipper Babar Azam scored 114 off 83 balls at a strike rate of 137.35 and Imam-ul-Haq scored 104 off 97 at a strike rate of 109.28. 

3) Pakistan v West Indies (June 2022, Multan)

Pakistan has always been a dominating team at their home ground and the same was witnessed by West Indies in 2022 during the 3rd ODI at Multan. Batting first, West Indies’ Shai Hope showcased his masterclass by scoring 127 off 134 balls at a strike rate of 94.78.

Haris Rauf shined with the bowl as he picked up a 4-wicket haul. On the batting front, Skipper Babar Azam took over the responsibility and scored 103 off 107 at a strike rate of 96.26. Imam-ul-Haq also played a crucial role by scoring 65 off 71 at a strike rate of 91.55.

4) Netherlands v Pakistan (August 2022, Rotterdam)

Pakistan defeated the Netherlands by 16 runs in the first ODI of the three-match series at the Hazelaarweg in Rotterdam in August 2022. Put into bat, Pakistan posted a challenging 314-6 in their 50 overs, thanks to centuries from Fakhar Zaman (109 off 102 balls) and Babar Azam (74 off 80 balls).

In reply, the Netherlands were bowled out for 298 in 49.4 overs. Mohammad Haris was the pick of the Pakistani bowlers, taking 3 for 41.

5) Afghanistan v Pakistan (August 2023, Hambantota)

One of the most thrilling of Pakistan came in 2023 in the ODI format which took them to the number 1 rank in the 2nd ODI against Afghanistan. Afghanistan came very close to defeating their arch-rivals but it was Naseem Shah’s performance in the dying moments which helped Pakistan to complete the chase.

Imam-ul-Haq scored 91 off 105 at a strike rate of 86.67 and Babar Azam scored 53 off 66 at a strike rate of 80.30. However, a four on the last ball of the match by Naseem Shah completely changed the destiny of the team.

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