Pakistan’s Afridi becomes No 1 ODI bowler after 3/23 against Bangladesh
A day after playing a key role in helping Pakistan lose their run in the ongoing World Cup, left-arm pacer Shaheen Afridi climbed to the top of the ICC ODI bowler rankings.
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Afridi took three wickets for 23 runs but with a maiden in his next nine overs at Kolkata’s Eden Gardens on Tuesday, helping Pakistan bowl Bangladesh out for a sub-par 204. Openers Fakhar Zaman (81) and Abdullah Shafique ( 68) later. the Babar Azam-led side chase down the 205-run target with more than 17 Overs to spare.
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The haul not only helped Afridi move to the top of the ongoing World Cup bowling charts as the joint-highest wicket-taker, but also helped him displace Australia’s Josh Hazlewood as the world’s No 1 ODI bowler. The left-hander moved to the top of the ladder for the first time since making his international debut in 2018.
His dismissal of Bangladesh opener Tanzid Hasan gave him his 100th wicket in just his 51st one-day international.
“I am happy to complete 100 ODI wickets but the most important thing is that all these wickets are for Pakistan and my goal is always to do something that helps us win,” said Shaheen .
Shaheen’s success in India came despite a lack of pace, prompting him to adjust his sights in the campaign.
“I watched some of the IPL matches this year and there wasn’t much swing,” said Shaheen.
“So I’m not that surprised. But this is not just for me, it is also for other left-armers like (Mitchell) Starc and (Trent) Boult.”
He added: “I knew there was going to be less swing so trying to keep the right line and distance is very important.”
Shaheen also praised fellow fast bowlers Haris Rauf (2-36 against Bangladesh) and Mohammad Wasim (3-31).
“It was not easy for Wasim to sit on the bench and then to get an opportunity he bowled very well in the two matches he played,” said Shaheen.
“Harris has pace and has played a key role in white-ball cricket for Pakistan. Pakistan cricket would do well to have bowlers like them.”
With the win against Bangladesh, Pakistan have six points from seven matches.
Not only do they need to win their remaining two games but they are also hoping for other results if they are to reach the semi-finals.
With inputs from AFP
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