Babar Azam breaks ODI record as Pakistan climb to top of rankings

Babar Azam breaks ODI record as Pakistan climb to top of rankings
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Karachi, Pakistan: Pakistan went to the top of the ICC Men's ODI Team Rankings with a win in Karachi in the fourth ODI against New Zealand.

Pakistan are the new No.1 team in men's ODIs after a massive win over New Zealand in the fourth ODI of the bilateral series in Karachi. The hosts, who now lead 4-0 in the series that has one game to go, have 113 rating points, and edge Australia and India by decimal points.

Pakistan, who were fifth with 106 rating points in the ODI rankings before the start of the series, were in top form as they chased down tall targets in the first two ODIs.

They went on to win the third ODI in Karachi by 26 runs to move to third in the points table behind Australia and India, going ahead of England and New Zealand in the process.

In the fourth ODI on Friday, a century from Babar Azam, his 18th in the format, and contributions from others helped Pakistan post a tall total of 334.

Babar became the fastest to 5000 ODI runs in the process, reaching the milestone in his 96th ODI innings. The record was previously held by Hashim Amla, who achieved the feat in 101 innings.

However, to remain at the top of the rankings at the conclusion of the series, Pakistan will have to make this a clean sweep by winning the fifth and final ODI on Sunday.

A loss in the final ODI will see them slipping back to No.3 and Australia reclaiming their No.1 ranking.

New Zealand will remain at the fifth spot irrespective of the result of the final game. Pakistan will also remain on top if the fifth match is abandoned or yields a no-result.