After completely dominating Afghanistan in a three-match series in Sri Lanka, Pakistan recovered the top place in the ICC men’s one-day international (ODI) rankings on Saturday.
Prior to the series, Pakistan was only two ratings behind Australia in second position with 116. However, Pakistan surpassed Australia in the rankings, moving to the top place with a grade of 118 after “whitewashing” Afghanistan.
Pakistan has already occupied the top spot in the ODI rankings twice this year. They initially rose to the top after defeating New Zealand in a five-match series in May by winning their first four games.
They did, however, lose to New Zealand in the fifth and final game, which allowed Australia to retake the top place.
Earlier, a team effort by Pakistan’s bowlers, after half-centuries by Babar Azam and Mohammad Rizwan, helped Pakistan sweep Afghanistan in a three-match one-day international series.
In spite of Mujeeb Ur Rahman’s quick half-century, Afghanistan could only reach 209 in the third ODI despite being set a target of 269 runs.
The hosts had just 30 runs on the board when they lost their two top hitters, Rahmanullah Gurbaz (five) and Ibrahim Zadran (zero), in the tenth over of the chase.
With 3/42, Shadab Khan led Pakistan’s bowling assault. Shaheen, Faheem, and Nawaz each collected two wickets.
In the third PAK versus AFG ODI of the three-match series, Pakistan chose to bat first and amassed 268/8 thanks to linchpin half-centuries by Rizwan and Babar.
Fakhar Zaman and Imam-ul-Haq, Pakistan’s opening duo, were unable to give their team a strong start as they only managed to score 36 runs before returning. In the ninth over, Gulbadin Naib removed the earlier batsman.
He was able to hit five boundaries and score 27 runs off of 33 deliveries.
Imam-ul-Haq, the in-form Pakistan opener, was dismissed by Naib in the 13th over after making a shaky 13 from 30 pitches and striking only one boundary.
Mohammad Rizwan joined Babar Azam at the crease when the team was in trouble at 52/2 after 12.5 overs, and the two formed a solid third-wicket partnership.
Before Rashid Khan dismissed the Pakistan captain, Babar and Rizwan scored 110 runs during their careful stand, each scoring half-centuries. This gave Afghanistan a much-needed victory.
On his way to an 86-ball 60, he hit four boundaries and a six.
Pakistan lost four wickets in rapid succession after Babar was dismissed, including their stalwart Mohammad Rizwan, and slid to 189/6 in 41 overs.
Rizwan continued to lead Pakistan in scoring with a 79-ball 67 that included six boundaries and a six.
After the dip, Mohammad Nawaz and Salman Ali Agha put together a critical 61-run partnership for the seventh wicket and continued to add significant runs at a rapid clip in the last overs before Nawaz was bowled in the penultimate over.
He smacked two boundaries and a six in his quick 25-ball 30.
Agha, meanwhile, batted steadily throughout, scoring a 31-ball 38 that featured four boundaries and a six.
In the third ODI between Pakistan and Afghanistan, Fareed Ahmad and Gulbadin Naib each picked up two wickets, while Fazalhaq Farooqi, Mujeeb Ur Rahman, and Rashid Khan each claimed one victim.