Pakistan is in striking reach of the top place in the MRF Tyres ICC Men’s ODI Team Rankings after establishing an unquestionable 3-0 lead in the five-match series against New Zealand.
Pakistan has controlled the series, having chased difficult totals in the first two ODIs and defended a hard total in the third match.
Following their decision to bowl in the opening ODI, Pakistan was given a challenging target of 289 runs, which they easily attained thanks to Fakhar Zaman’s century and valuable contributions from Imam-ul-Haq and Babar Azam.
They had a difficult time catching up to 337 in the next game, but the unflappable Fakhar came through with another enormous hundred, this time with the help of Babar and Mohammad Rizwan.
The top order of Pakistan has always performed well, and it did so in the third game as well, scoring 287/6 in Karachi and defending the score by dismissing the visitors for 261 in less than 50 overs.
Prior to the commencement of the series, Pakistan had a rating of 106 and was ranked fifth in the ODI rankings; however, after an outstanding performance at home, they have now moved up to third. New Zealand, who was ranked second, has dropped to fifth place.
Pakistan is now ranked third with a rating of 112, only behind Australia (113.286) and India (112.638). They would take the top spot with a rating of 113.483 if they win the fourth ODI today, with Australia falling to No. 2 and India moving up to No. 3.
However, Pakistan must win the fifth and final ODI on Sunday, May 7, in order to maintain its lead. If they lose the last ODI, they would drop to No. 3 and Australia will retake the top spot.
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If Pakistan wins the fourth ODI and the fifth game is called off or ends in a tie, they will still be in first place.
New Zealand’s hopes have been damaged by three consecutive defeats, and they are no longer in contention for first place. The Black Caps may move up to No. 3 if they manage to win the last two ODIs, while they are now ranked No. 5 with a rating of 108.