Curated By: Purvi Khemani
Last Updated: September 18, 2023, 08:11 IST
It was a day of pure cricket magic for India at the Asia Cup 2023, all thanks to the wizardry of Mohammed Siraj. He conjured up a spellbinding performance that etched an indelible memory in the hearts of Indian cricket fans. It was his five-wicket haul that reduced Sri Lanka to mere mortals on the field. As Indians reveled in this remarkable victory on foreign soil, little did they anticipate the speedy culmination of the game. They bundled Sri Lanka out for a mere 50 runs in 15.2 overs, a target effortlessly chased down by Shubman Gill and Ishan Kishan in the seventh over. Consequently, India secured the final with 10 wickets to spare, along with a whopping 263 balls remaining. Meanwhile, on the other side of the border, Pakistani cricket fans were also celebrating!
This was unexpected, given the assumption that arch-rivals India’s triumph would be a bitter pill to swallow. So, why were Pakistani fans in such high spirits? The answer lies in Babar Azam’s team, which achieved the unthinkable by claiming the No.1 spot in the ODI rankings on that very Sunday. This unexpected turn of events allowed Pakistani cricket fans to revel in the joy and discover a silver lining in a situation where they might have expected mockery from their Indian counterparts.
Don’t believe us? Just take a glance at the ecstatic reactions from Pakistani fans who had initially planned for a casual Sunday cricket viewing with a bag of popcorn in hand, only to witness a stunning turn of events.
So, how did Pakistan manage to claim the top ranking? It all hinged on the outcome of the South Africa vs. Australia five-match ODI series in Johannesburg. After Pakistan had lost their No.1 ranking due to defeats against India and Sri Lanka in the Asia Cup 2023, their fate was in the hands of South Africa and Australia. Remarkably, South Africa defeated Australia, catapulting Australia to the No.3 spot and propelling Pakistan to the coveted No.1 position, with India settling for second place.
No doubt, this cricket ranking reversal was like a boundary hit for Pakistani fans, granting them a front-row seat to the victory party!