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PAK vs NZ ODI: Fakhar Zaman gets massive boost in ODI rankings

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DUBAI: In-form Pakistan opener Fakhar Zaman has been rewarded for his run-scoring spree in the ongoing PAK vs NZ ODI series as the left-hander climbed to second place in the latest ICC ODI batting rankings.

Fakhar, who scored back-to-back centuries in the first two ODIs against New Zealand, jumped eight spots to second overall on the ODI batters’ list.

Pakistan skipper Babar Azam, however, retained his top position with 887 rating points.

“Fakhar has scored three ODI centuries on the bounce and rises to a career-best rating of 784 rating points and is now the closest challenger to his skipper despite trailing by 103 rating points.” said ICC on Wednesday.

“It means Pakistan now have three players in the top five on the latest ODI batting charts ahead of the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup later this year, with Imam-ul-Haq remaining in fifth place behind his two teammates and South Africa’s Rassie van der Dussen and India’s Shubman Gill.”

The 33-year-old’s sensational run in the 50-Over format began earlier this year when he smashed 101 against the Kiwis in Karachi in January.

He then picked up from where he left off in the previous series as he scored 117 and 180* in the first two ODIs, respectively, in Rawalpindi to help Pakistan take a 2-0 lead in the ongoing series.

Fakhar made his claim to a host of individual records during his match-winning knock that sailed Pakistan to a seven-wicket victory against the Black Caps in the second ODI.

He became the fastest batter not just from the country but from Asia to complete 3000 ODI runs and just the fourth Pakistan batter after Saeed Anwar, Zaheer Abbas and Babar(twice) to hit three centuries in three straight games.

It must be noted here that Pakistan will take on New Zealand in the third ODI of the five-game series today at National Bank Cricket Arena in Karachi.

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