Having done justice to their reputation of being the most unpredictable team in the game, Pakistan stunned the cricket world by handing their arch-rivals India a 180-run thumping in the title-decider at The Oval on Sunday.
The astounding win lifted Pakistan, who had entered the contest among the top eight teams as the bottom-placed underdogs, to surge past Sri Lanka and Bangladesh into the sixth place.
Bangladesh, who had earned their first spot in the tournament after 11 years, began the campaign with 93 points. Their only win came against New Zealand in the pool phase, which helped them edge Australia for a place in the semi-finals.
After bettering their achievement in an ICC event by reaching the last four for the first time, they suffered a crushing nine-wicket defeat against Virat Kohli’s men to exit the elite global tournament.
Bangladesh bowed out with 94 points but Pakistan, who had begun the tournament with 91 points, earned four points after clinching the trophy to be on 95.
Pakistan’s win in the final was all the more satisfying for the 1992 World Cup winners because their only defeat this edition came against the men in blue in the opener.
They beat South Africa, the top-ranked one-day side, and Sri Lanka to move into the semis, where they dismantled previously unbeaten hosts England with a ruthless show.
Sri Lanka, who crashed out from the group stages, are eighth with 93 points leaving the three successive positions in a tight race.
Pakistan’s climb puts the West Indies in a quandary. Ranked ninth at the moment with only 77 rating points to their name, the Caribbeans face an improbable race against time to finish in the top-eight before the Sep 30 deadline in order to get a direct entry into World Cup 2019.
Failure to do so will see the Jason Holder’s team having to play the qualifiers to seek a spot for the showcase event, which will also be held in England.
The top five positions in the table remained unchanged with the Proteas leading with 119 points and Australia trailing them by two points. India follow in third with 116 while England (113) and New Zealand (111) complete the top portion of the table.
Hosts England and the seven other top-ranked teams, as per the Sep 30 cut-off date, will play in the 2019 World Cup directly.