With a five-wicket victory against New Zealand in the first game of their five-match series, Pakistan recorded their 500th ODI victory.
In their 949th ODI match, Pakistan became the third team, behind Australia and India, to reach the 500-win milestone. Australia tops the list with 594 victories, followed by India with 539.
The feat was accomplished following Pakistan’s ODI debut in February 1973 and their first victory in the format against England at Nottingham in their second ODI outing.
New Zealand was sent in to bat and scored a respectable total of 288/7 due to Daryl Mitchell’s outstanding 113 and opener Will Young’s fast 86. This made Pakistan work for their 500th ODI victory.
In the opening innings for Pakistan, Fakhar Zaman and Imam-ul-Haq laid a strong platform.
As the pair began the chase with a 124-run stand for the first wicket, the 33-year-old Zaman would go on to steal the show with a fine 117 from 114 balls, while Imam took 60 wickets.
While Mohammad Rizwan, a batting mainstay, chipped in with a 34-ball 42* to help his side finish the chase in 48.3 overs, captain Babar Azam also made significant contributions with crucial runs before falling just one short of his half-century.
New Zealand and Pakistan have both locked up a place in the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup 2023, which will take place in India in October-November.
The ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup Super League team of Tom Latham has performed admirably, presently leading the rankings with 16 victories out of 24 games. With 13 victories in 21 games, Pakistan is fifth in the standings.
With a focus on getting ready for the impending premier event, both teams will want to maximise the four remaining ODIs in the series.