HomeAnalysisPakistan On The Summit In ICC T20I Rankings After...

Pakistan On The Summit In ICC T20I Rankings After Sealing Series Against Kiwis

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Pakistan reached the summit of ICC Twenty20 international rankings after sealing a fantastic series victory against New Zealand. The Asian giants won the three-match T20I series 2-1 to hand the Kiwis their first tournament loss at home in the summer. After what had been a dream summer time for Kane Williamson & Co., Sarfaraz Ahmed’s Pakistan side spoiled the party. The Champions Trophy winners won the third T20I by 18 runs on Sunday and thus sealed a rare series victory outside the sub-continent.

ICC T20I Rankings Top 5:

  1. Pakistan: 126 points
  2. New Zealand: 123 points
  3. India: 121 points
  4. England: 119 points
  5. West Indies: 115 points
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Pakistan scored a challenging 181/6 in 20 overs. New Zealand, in reply, were never up with the run chase, and managed 163 for six in reply. The defeat followed a 48-run loss in the second game, after New Zealand swept the one-day series and won the first T20I.
The consecutive defeats, following an unbeaten 13-match winning streak across all formats against the West Indies and Pakistan, put a dampener on New Zealand’s preparation for next month’s triangular series with Australia and England. Kane Williamson’s side will have another crack at the number-one ranking when they turn up for the upcoming T20I series.
T20I series result:

  1. 1st T20I: NZ won by 7 wickets
  2. 2nd T20I: Pak won by 48 runs
  3. 3rd T20I: Pak won by 18 runs

This has been a special moment for Pakistan cricket in recent history and the team can build on this to perform better in the upcoming season post the Pakistan Super League (PSL). After their ICC Champions Trophy hurrah in 2017, this series can be seen as another feather in the cap under skipper Sarfraz Ahmed.
ALSO READ: Kiwis Enjoying Perfect Summer At Home After ODI Series Win Against Pakistan
After the disappointing 5-0 series loss in the ODIs, it was a stellar effort from the side to turn up their heads and come back in a spectacular fashion and stun the hosts. Meanwhile, a report in Pakistan Today stated that the nation’s prime minister Nawaz Sharif phoned skipper Sarfraz and congratulated him and his teammates for securing the top position in the rankings.
“In his message, the PM appreciated the performance of the national team during the three-match series,” the PM office media wing said in a press release. Hundreds of cricket fans also thronged to the busy streets of Lahore carrying a special 70-foot long national flag to celebrate the achievement.
Pakistan fast bowler Mohammed Amir was adjudged the man-of-the-series award for his impressive display. Amir finished with three wickets and his excellent spell at the death in the last two games was a pivotal factor for the visitors.
Former Pakistan legend Waqar Younis praised the side for their hard work and discipline for the rise to the top.

Earlier, Fakhar Zaman starred for the tourists with 46 off 36 at the top of the innings. Umar Amin led a late charge that saw 58 runs scored in the final four overs.  Skipper Sarfraz Ahmed made 29, while Umar Amin chipped in with a quick 21 off just 7 balls.
Ish Sodhi and Mitchell Santner picked up two wickets each for New Zealand. Meanwhile, Trent Boult and Colin de Grandhomme scalped one each.
New Zealand were cautious in their chase, scoring just 32 runs in the first five overs. Pakistan could not claim the second wicket until the 13th over but Martin Guptill and Anaru Kitchen’s cautious approach meant that only 84 runs were on the board until then. Ross Taylor (24) and Santner (24*) also chipped in with their cameos towards the end, but it was not enough.
Shadab Khan picked up two wickets for Pakistan and was named the man of the match. Ahmed praised the team effort and the way his side refused to be bowed after a disappointing start to the tour. “They way we came back after 6-0, credit goes to my boys. They worked really hard and now we are again number one.”

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