Record Alert: Pakistan becomes the third team to complete 500 ODI wins
On April 27th, Pakistan cricket team created history by registering their 500th ODI win. They achieved this significant milestone by comprehensively thrashing New Zealand by 5 wickets thanks to the heroics of Fakhar Zaman (117 off 114) who powered them to an emphatic victory. They are now the third team to achieve this feat trailing just behind Australia (594) and India (539).
Their rise in ODI cricket dates back to 1973 where they played their inaugural One Day match against New Zealand at Christchurch. Although they suffered a defeat in their debut match, they would later go on to be regarded as of the fiercest teams in limited overs cricket. Pakistan are currently ranked 5th in the ICC Men's ODI Rankings with a formidable rating of 106. They have attained a phenomenal win record against Zimbabwe (87.09%), Bangladesh (86.48%), Sri Lanka (59.35%) and their arch-rivals India (55.30%).
The Landmark 500th Win
Their moment came when the men in green triumphed over New Zealand in their last encounter beating them convincingly in all departments. With the new ball in hand, Pakistani bowlers initially struggled to provide early breakthroughs and failed to contain the flow of runs. Their go-to bowlers featuring the likes of Haris Rauf, Shaheen Shah Afridi and Mohammed Nawaz proved to be on the higher side.
But the 20-year-old Naseem Shah emerged as the standout bowler as he returned impressive figures of 2-29 in his allotted 10 overs becoming the most economical bowler. He proved his worth in the death by bowling a good tight over which prevented the Black Caps from running away with a big score.
In reply, Pakistani openers Fakhar Zaman and Imam Ul Haq dominated the proceedings and amassed a staggering 124 run stand for the first wicket, nearly batting the Kiwis out of the game. The duo scored at a fairly rapid pace and shattered the figures Ish Sodhi, Daryl Mitchell and Adam Milne.
Zaman played the role of an aggressor and notched up a brilliant 117 (114) at a very astounding strike rate of 103. His quickfire knock at the top of the order allowed Pakistan to set up a solid foundation which eventually helped them get over the line with ease. And with useful contributions from Babar Azam (49) and Mohammed Rizwan (42), the men in green were able to seal a sensational victory by a very substantial margin.
Following their victory in the opening game, Pakistan have gained a 1-0 lead in the ODI series and have cemented their position as a strong cricketing powerhouse. With this win, they have now bettered their win ratio against the Black Caps with 57 wins under their belt. With the prospect looking bright for team Pakistan, all eyes are on the second ODI match which would kick off on April 29 at Rawalpindi.