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Pakistan lose No.1 spot in ICC ODI Rankings 48 hours after scripting history

By India Today Sports Desk: Pakistan lost the No. 1 spot in ICC Men's ODI Rankings, 48 hours after they claimed it for the first time in history. The Asian giants were dethroned from the top spot after they failed to complete a 5-0 sweep of a visiting New Zealand side in Karachi on Sunday, May 7.

Pakistan scripted history on Friday when they became the No. 1 side for the first time in their history in ODI cricket, hammering New Zealand by 102 runs in the 4th ODI. They leapfrogged India and Australia to clinch the numero uno spot.

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5th ODI, PAK vs NZ: Highlights

However, a 47-run defeat to New Zealand in the series finale on Sunday saw them drop back to No. 3 spot. Australia, with 113 points are at the top while India are at the No. 2 spot with 113 points as well. Pakistan are No. 3 with 112 points as the race for the top spot heats up in the ODI World Cup year.

Babar reflected on the series win and conceded that they did not get the desired finish. Pakistan won the 5-match series 4-1.

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"t was a brilliant series, but didn't finish it the way we wanted. We didn't do well with the bat at the top and Agha and Iftikhar got a good partnership but we left too many runs for them," he added.

IFTIKHAR'S VALIANT EFFORT IN VAIN

On Sunday, New Zealand won the toss and opted to bat and posted a stiff total of 299 in 49.3 overs.

Will Young hit an 87-ball 91 after coming out to bat at the top of the order. There were significant contributions from the entire batting unit.

Tom Blundell (15) and Henry Nicholls got out early but captain Tom Latham stepped up and hit 59 from 58 balls.

Mark Chapman, as usual, provided the impetus in the middle overs hitting 2 sixes and 5 boundaries while Rachin Ravindra pushed the total toward 300 with a 20-ball 28-run cameo.

Shaheen Afridi was the pick of the Pakistan bowlers with 3 wickets while Usama Mir and Shadab Khan picked up 2 wickets each.

However, Pakistan's batting failed as their big guns Babar Azam (1) and Mohammad Rizwan (9) fell early.

Agha Salman (57) and Iftikhar Ahmed (72-ball 94) kept Pakistan's hopes alive but the chase withered off after they left too much for the end.

Iftikhar hit 2 sixes and 8 boundaries and remained unbeaten on 94 at the end but it was not enough as New Zealand tasted success for the first time in the ODI series.

— ENDS —

The Open Magazine of India by Artmotion Network (https://magazine.armotion.com/)

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