ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif on Saturday applauded the “outstanding” performance of Pakistan in the fourth one-day international (ODI) against New Zealand which they won by 102 runs to secure the top international ODI ranking.
Skipper Babar Azam’s superb century helped his team score 334-6 in the first 50 overs after New Zealand won the toss and put Pakistan to bat at the National Stadium, Karachi.
Azam also became the fastest batter to reach 5,000 one-day international runs by breaking Hashim Amla’s record which he made in 101 innings. The Pakistani skipper hit the landmark in 97 ODI innings which included his 18 centuries.
“Today is a great day as Pakistan has become the top-ranked ODI cricket team,” said the prime minister in a Twitter post. “The manner in which the Green Shirts have defeated New Zealand to book a top slot in the ICC [International Cricket Council] rankings is simply outstanding.”
“Making the nation proud is skipper Babar Azam who earned the feat of completing fastest 5000 runs in ODIs and leading Pakistan cricket to this glory,” he continued. “My heartiest congratulations to Pakistan Cricket Team, PCB [Pakistan Cricket Board], Babar Azam and the nation.”
Previously, Pakistan’s highest ODI ranking was third which they attained in January 2018 and again in June 2022.
Najam Sethi, the top PCB official, also congratulated the team in a statement issued soon after the match.
“I hope our training will benefit us in the Asia Cup and the World Cup,” he said.