Pakistan leapfrog to sixth place in ICC One-day rankings

Lynette Rowe
June 20, 2017

It was a remarkable tournament for Pakistan and Hasan Ali, who ended as the top wicket-taker with 13, was named Player of the Series for his fantastic bowling displays.

"Pakistan champion, rolled over Indian team", leading Urdu language Daily Jang printed across its front page. Pakistan had started disastrously when it suffered a 124-run thrashing at the hands of India, before it bounced back to defeat South Africa by 19 runs, Sri Lanka by three wickets and England in the semi-final by eight wickets.

They were clearly the better side on the day - there was intent, aggression and hunger to redeem themselves against their arch-rivals and they did so in emphatic fashion.

Fakhar Zaman, who scored two fifties and a hundred in the tournament, was among the top 100 despite playing just four ODIs.

The most recent global success for Pakistan in one-day cricket before Sunday was the 1992 World Cup win in Australia and New Zealand, when another unfancied side, led by talismanic all-rounder Imran Khan, beat England in the final in Melbourne.

On June 21, 2009, when the Pakistan cricket team last won a big ICC tournament, their captain Younis Khan bypassed the standard anodyne post-match press conference formula to make a statement.

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Fast bowlers Junaid Khan, Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Hassan shared 28 wickets between them in the tournament, while wrist-spinner Rashid finished with seven wickets with an economy rate of 4.73. They both can bowl as well so they might be required to be a part of the revival that can take the team into the top 5.

"I am requesting all of the countries, you must come to Pakistan", he said.

No team was expecting eight ranked Pakistan to bring such a laurel in the tournament, the legendary cricket said, adding that Pakistani youngsters proved it otherwise. When we arrived here, we just played like we have nothing to lose. Pakistan looked like a team who'd recently had two of their longest tenured batsmen retire.

With Babar Azam and Fakhar Zaman also coming of age, Pakistan's batting lineup appears to have the right blend of youth and experience, boosted by the solidity of former captains Azhar, Hafeez and Shoaib Malik.

Sarfraz paid tribute to the influence of a coaching staff led by Mickey Arthur, who took charge shortly before Pakistan's tour of England a year ago, where a Test series was shared but the ODI campaign lost 4-1. Since making his debut a year ago, he has been a revelation and it was about time he got into his mood in the biggest event of his career. "We've got the monkey off our back in terms of qualifying. That's the aim at the moment".

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