Hasan Ali becomes No.1 ODI bowler: Three Pakistan bowlers who have achieved the feat before him

Ashish Peter 20/10/2017
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Ajmal had a long rein at the top of the ODI bowlers rankings.

Pakistan pacer Hasan Ali has been garnering all the headlines in recent times with his bowling performances in the 50-over format.

The 23-year-old’s career best 5-34 in the third ODI against Sri Lanka in Abu Dhabi propelled him to the top of the charts of the ICC bowlers rankings.

Continuing his brilliant 2017 form, the pacer is also the leading wicket-taking charts in the calendar year with 55 scalps to his name.

Such has been Ali’s instant impact that the right-arm fast bowler has claimed the top ODI spot just 14 months after making his debut for the national team against Ireland in August of last year.

As the lanky bowler continues to draw plaudits for his showings, we look at three previous bowlers from Pakistan who have managed to attain the No.1 spot in the ODI rankings.

Saeed Ajmal

The right-arm off-spinner was the last Pakistan bowler to hold the top crown. The man most famous for his ‘Doosra’ or other one, had a brilliant 2011 which saw him scale that peak in November.

Ajmal had a dream three-year run between 2011 and 2013 where he finished each year as the top ODI bowler. He went on to play 113 matches for his country picking up 184 wickets at an average of 22.72.

His best figures came in a match against arch-rivals India during Pakistan’s tour of the country in 2013 where he claimed 5-24 at the Feroz Shah Kotla in New Delhi.

Ajmal was imperious at the start of the decade.

Ajmal was imperious at the start of the decade.

Saqlain Mushtaq

One of the greatest ODI bowlers Pakistan have produced, Mushtaq has a stellar record in the one-day game.

The right-arm off-spinner was perhaps the first to ever master the ‘Doosra’ and he took to the 50-over game instantly, becoming the then fastest bowler to 100 wickets.

Mushtaq was one of the rare spinners who could bowl equally well at the death overs being given the responsibility to do so on many instances.

He attained the top ranking in the ICC ODI bowlers category in January 1998. He would go on to play 169 matches for Pakistan, picking up an impressive 288 wickets at an average of 21.78.

Saqlain reached the top of the bowlers' ranking in January, 1998.

Saqlain reached the top of the bowlers’ ranking in January, 1998.

Wasim Akram

One of the greatest bowlers to have ever played the game, Wasim Akram was a brilliant exponent of swing bowling with express pace.

Having made his ODI debut in 1984 under the legendary Zaheer Abbas, Akram had a fantastic run in 1989 which bestowed him the honour of the top ranking in the ICC ODI table for bowlers.

He remains the highest wicket-taker for his country in the 50-over format with 502 wickets against his name in 356 ODIs.

Between 1986 and 1989, Akram completed a century of ODI wickets at an average of 22.71 and it was this form which culminated in him topping the rankings chart in October, 1989.

Wasim Akram reigned at top of the rankings in 1989.

Wasim Akram reigned at top of the rankings in 1989.

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Three key stats which show that Pakistan pacer Hasan Ali is the next big thing in cricket

Ashish Peter 20/10/2017
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Hasan Ali continuing to show he could be cricket's next big thing.

Pakistan pacer Hasan Ali has been creating waves recently in the 50-over game for all the right reasons.

The right-arm pacer’s 5-34 in the third ODI against Sri Lanka enabled his side to gain an unassailable 3-0 lead in the five-match series.

A key part of the Pakistan side which won the ICC Champions Trophy in England earlier this year, the 23-year-old bowler has had a fantastic 2017 to herald his meteoric rise in limited-overs cricket.

We take a close at the three key statistics which prove that Ali might just be the next big thing to come out in ODI cricket.

Meteoric rise to the top of the ICC ODI bowlers rankings

It has been only 14 months since the pacer made his debut for his country against Ireland in August 2016. The youngster however has continued to defy expectations though, becoming the new No.1 ranked bowler in the latest ICC rankings.

So remarkable has been Ali’s recent run with the ball that he has leapfrogged the likes of Imran Tahir, Josh Hazlewood, Kagiso Rabada and Mitchell Starc to claim the top spot in the rankings having played only 24 ODIs to date.

Ali is also the highest wicket-taker in the calendar year with 55 wickets, ahead of Liam Plunkett and Adil Rashid of England who both have 36 wickets each.

Fastest Pakistan bowler to 50 ODI wickets

In Pakistan’s win over Sri Lanka in the third ODI, Ali created history when he had Akila Dananjaya caught-behind by skipper Sarfraz Ahmed. That wicket meant the pacer had become the quickest Pakistan bowler to complete a half-century of dismissals, taking only 24 matches.

He surpassed Pakistan greats such as Waqar Younis and Saqlain Mushtaq who took 27 and 28 outings respectively to reach the figure.

The wicket also made the youngster the third quickest overall to the mark, jointly with Australia pace icon Dennis Lillee. Sri Lanka’s Ajantha Mendis remains the quickest taking only 19 games while Ajit Agarkar and Mitchell McClenaghan occupy the joint second spot, taking 23.

Ali surpassed Pakistan legend Waqar Younis who took 27 matches.

Ali surpassed Pakistan legend Waqar Younis who took 27 matches.

KNACK FOR A THREE-FER

So consistent has been Ali’s form in the last few months that he has remarkably picked up three wickets minimum on seven occasions in Pakistan’s last eight matches.

This run started in the ICC Champions Trophy where he was the highest wicket-taker claiming 13 wickets in the five games to lead Pakistan’s charge to the title.

He has continued that excellent showing in the ongoing ODI series with Sri Lanka with his 1-32 in the first match being his worst return in the past eight games.

Not only that, Ali also has three five-wicket hauls in 2017 so far with one each against Sri Lanka, Australia and the West Indies. This makes him only the fourth Pakistan bowler to do so in a calendar year with Shahid Afridi being the last to achieve the feat in 2011.

Hasan Ali won the Golden Ball award at the ICC Champions Trophy.

Hasan Ali won the Golden Ball award at the ICC Champions Trophy.

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Hasan Ali the new No1 ranked ODI bowler as AB De Villiers returns to top of batting chart

Ashish Peter 20/10/2017
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Pakistan's Hasan Ali is the new No. 1 in ICC ODI bowlers rankings.

South Africa’s AB De Villiers and Pakistan’s Hasan Ali have climbed to the top of the ICC ODI rankings chart in the batsmen and bowlers category respectively.

De Villiers recently returned from a four-month injury layoff to hit a career best 177 off just 104 balls to guide South Africa to victory in the second ODI against Bangladesh.

The Proteas batsman leapfrogged India’s Virat Kohli who dropped to second while Australia’s David Warner moved down to the number three spot.

Pakistan’s Babar Azam has meanwhile risen to the fourth spot in the table on the back of his successive tons against Sri Lanka in the UAE.

Hasan Ali’s march to become the fastest Pakistan bowler to collect 50 wickets in the one-day game has been rewarded with a rise to the top spot in the bowler’s rankings.

The 23-year-old has had a remarkable 2017 which has seen him claim three five-wicket hauls to become the leading wicket-taker in the calendar year with 55 to his name.

De Villiers' 104-ball 176 saw him rise back to the top ODI batsman's slot.

De Villiers’ 104-ball 176 saw him rise back to the top ODI batsman’s slot.

In the all-rounder’s rankings it is another Pakistan player who rules the roost with Mohammad Hafeez taking the number one slot in the latest rankings.

The 37-year-old all-rounder has been recently reported for a suspect bowling for third time in his career during the third ODI against Sri Lanka. Hafeez picked up one wicket in the match but was reported by the match officials and will have to submit to testing within 14 days.

In the team rankings front, South Africa’s win over Bangladesh has propelled them to the top of the table displacing India who had clinched the spot after their 4-1 win over the Aussies.

Virat Kohli’s men can still reclaim the top slot from the Proteas if they can clean-sweep the upcoming three-match series against New Zealand.

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