Pakistan maintains its ranking point with a clean-sweep against Zimbabwe

Karachi: Ninth-ranked Pakistan has stayed in touching distance of seventh-ranked West Indies and eighth-ranked Bangladesh in the Reliance ICC ODI Team Rankings after completing a 2-0 series victory over Zimbabwe in Lahore.

With Sunday’s third ODI washed out, Azhar Ali’s men have stayed on 87 points with Zimbabwe two places and 43 points behind in 11th position. West Indies and Bangladesh are on 88 points each but the West Indies is ranked above the Asian side by a fraction of a point.

With Bangladesh to host India for three ODIs later this month and Pakistan to play five ODIs in Sri Lanka in July, the battle for the ICC Champions Trophy 2017 remains tight as England plus the seven next highest-ranked sides on the Reliance ICC ODI Team Rankings as on 30 September 2015 will progress to the tournament, which will be staged in the UK from June 1 to 19.

There were some notable performances in the Reliance ICC Player Rankings for ODI Batsmen with home side’s Pakistan’s Mohammad Hafeez rising two places to 32nd, captain Azhar Ali vaulting 24 places to a career-high 56th after scoring 227 runs and Haris Sohail moving up 17 places to 57th spot.

For Zimbabwe, Elton Chigumbura has risen one place to 59th after scoring 117 runs in his only game of the series, while Sikandar Raza has moved up 15 places to a career-high 77th after scoring 136 runs in the series, which included his second career century (100 not out) in Friday’s second match of the series.

In the Reliance ICC Player Rankings for ODI Bowlers, Hafeez has fallen eight places to 25th, however, his team-mate Wahab Riaz has continued his ascent and has risen 13 places to 52nd. There was also a career-high gain for Zimbabwe’s Sean Williams, who is now in 78th position, up seven places, after claiming series figures of three for 65.

Hafeez is the highest-ranked all-rounder coming out of the series. He has remained in fifth place, 18 points behind Australia’s James Faulkner, with Sri Lanka’s Tillakaratne Dilshan continuing to lead the way in first place.