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.
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.
— ICC Media (@ICCMediaComms) October 20, 2017
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.
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.
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