Pak hopes to narrow gap with fourth-placed India

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{image-pakistan cricket team_07042008.jpg}Lahore, Apr 7: Pakistan will aim to narrow the gap with fourth-placed India in the ICC ODI Championship table when it goes head to head with Bangladesh in the five-match series starting here from tomorrow.

Pakistan is currently lying fifth on 109 ratings points four behind India and two ahead of another Asian rivals Sri Lanka. If Shoaib Malik's side sweeps the series 5-0, it will earn one ratings points which will put it on 110 ratings points, three behind India and three ahead of Sri Lanka. However, if Bangladesh manages to win two matches in the series, it will drop Pakistan to 105 ratings points, the same as England but behind Paul Collingwood's side in seventh place when the ratings are calculated beyond the decimal point.

Pakistan's Mohammad Yousuf in fourth place is the only batsman from either side to figure in the top 20 of ICC Player Rankings for ODI batsmen while Bangladesh's Abdur Razzak in 16th position is the sole representative from the two teams in the bowling chart.

In the batting list after Yousuf, Malik, who also heads the all-rounders' list, is placed 24th while Yunus Khan (32nd) and Shahid Afridi (41st) are the home team batsmen in top 50.

For Bangladesh, Shahriar Nafees is the highest ranked batsman in 38th position while Aftab Ahmed (40th), Saqibul Hasan (49th) and captain Mohammad Ashraful (59th) are the other batsmen who will be aiming to make the upward movement.

Afridi has a good chance to return to top 20 as he is currently placed 21st and only eight ratings points separates him from 19th place India spinner Harbhajan Singh.

The matches of the series are to be played in, Faisalabad (Apr 11), Lahore (Apr 13), Multan (Apr 16) and Karachi (Apr 19).


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