Pakistan 268 for 8 (Rizwan 67, Babar 60, Naib 2-36, Fareed 2-70) beat Afghanistan 209 (Mujeeb 64, Kamal 37, Shadab 3-42, Shaheen 2-31) by 59 runs
Dubai: Ahead of Asia Cup 2023 and the crucial ICC ODI World Cup, which is to be hosted in India, Pakistan on Sunday topped the ODI rankings, overtaking Australia.
Following their 3-0 ODI series sweep over Afghanistan on Saturday, Pakistan sealed the top spot in the ODI rankings.
Prior to the Afghanistan series, Australia was at the top of the rankings, with Pakistan placed second at 115.8 rating points.
However, the series win over Afghanistan saw the Babar Azam-led team leapfrog Australia at the top with 118.48 rating points.
The Baggy Greens dropped to the second spot with the same ranking points.
Zaka Ashraf, chairman of the PCB Management Committee, voiced his delight over Pakistan taking the top spot in the ODI rankings.
Though Pakistan had already taken an unassailable lead in the series against Afghanistan, winning the first two matches in contrasting styles, the third match assumed significance for the Babar Azam-led team as they were within a sniffing distance of Australia in the ODI rankings.
They won the first ODI by 142 runs at the back of a brilliant bowling display.
The second game turned out to be a nail-biter, with the Men in Green squeezing out a win in the last over, with the last pair standing.
The third ODI saw Afghanistan going down by 59 runs. Despite stumbling in the middle overs with the bat, Pakistan finished strongly on a slow pitch, posting a challenging 268.
Mohammad Rizwan and Babar Azam lifted Pakistan to a fighting score with half-centuries.
In reply, Afghanistan were rocked early, with all-rounder Faheem Ashraf picking up two wickets.
Thereafter, the spinner struck at regular intervals to dent Afghanistan's chances.
Bowling all-rounder Mujeeb ur Rahman, however, brought Afghanistan back into the contest with a combative, 26-ball half-century.
However, Pakistan prevailed in the end, winning by 59 runs.
Leg-spinner Shadab Khan finished with three wickets against his name, helping Pakistan complete a series whitewash.
Dominating the ODI format over the last year, Pakistan whitewashed West Indies and Netherlands 3-0 at home and away respectively. They followed it with a 2-1 series win over New Zealand at home in January 2023.
The Blackcaps then returned for a five-game ODI contest in April. Pakistan managed to win the series 4-1.
The 3-0 series win over Afghanistan helped the Asian giants to take the Numero Uno spot in the rankings.