Pakistan Records: Most wickets for Pakistan in ODI matches

Pakistan has arguably produced the most high-quality bowlers in history. Here is a look at the players with the most wickets for Pakistan in ODI matches.

Pakistan has often produced some of the best bowlers, especially fast bowlers. From the likes of Wasim Akram and Waqar Younis to modern-day legends like Umar Gul and Shahid Afridi have dominated the bowling charts for a long time. These bowlers have the ability to win matches on their own. In this article, we will take a look at the bowlers with the most wickets for Pakistan in ODI matches.

Most wickets for Pakistan in ODI matches

Player Span Matches Wickets Best Bowling Figures Average Strike Rate Economy 5-wicket hauls
Wasim Akram 1984-2003 356 502 5/15 23.52 36.22 3.89 6
Waqar Younis 1989-2003 262 416 7/36 23.84 30.52 4.68 13
Shahid Afridi 1996-2015 393 393 7/12 34.53 44.78 4.62 9
Saqlain Mushtaq 1995-2003 169 288 5/20 21.78 30.45 4.29 6
Abdul Razzaq 1996-2011 261 268 6/35 31.53 40.48 4.67 3
Shoaib Akhtar 1998-2011 158 241 6/16 24.70 31.15 4.75 4
Saeed Ajmal 2008-2015 113 184 5/24 22.72 32.60 4.18 2
Imran Khan 1974-1992 175 182 6/14 26.61 40.99 3.89 1
Aaqib Javed 1988-1998 163 182 7/37 31.43 44.02 4.28 4
Umar Gul 2003-2016 130 179 6/42 29.34 33.87 5.19 2

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Wasim Akram

Pakistan Records: Most wickets for Pakistan in ODI matches

Probably the greatest Pakistani player of all time and the best left-arm bowler in the world, Wasim Akram has taken the most wickets for Pakistan in ODI cricket. Akram had complete control over swing and seam and often proved to be dangerous for the opposition batters with his ability to move the ball both ways. Akram took 502 wickets and is the second-highest wicket-taker in the world only behind Muttiah Muralitharan. 

Akram recorded his best figures against Zimbabwe in 1993 where he picked five wickets while giving away just 15 runs. His performance helped him win the Player of the Match award as Pakistan won the match by 7 wickets.

Waqar Younis

Pakistan Records: Most wickets for Pakistan in ODI matches

The third-highest wicket-taker in the world, Waqar Younis is behind Akram by 86 wickets. Unlike Akram, Younis often relied on his fast toe-crushing yorkers to claim his wickets. Younis still holds the record for the best bowling strike rate in ODIs for any bowler with more than 300 wickets. He also has the record for picking up the most number of five-wicket hauls in ODI cricket.

Younis recorded his best figures in the NatWest series in 2001 against England. The right-arm fast bowler recorded figures of 7/36 and helped Pakistan to win the match by 6 wickets.

Shahid Afridi

Shahid Afridi

One of the best all-rounders of all time in the world, Shahid Afridi ranks third on this list for the most wickets for Pakistan in ODI cricket. The leg-spinner picked 393 wickets in 393 matches. Afridi played an essential role in Pakistan reaching the semi-final of the 2011 World Cup and ended up as the highest wicket-taker for the tournament along with Zaheer Khan.

Afridi has the best bowling figures among the bowlers with the most wickets for Pakistan in ODI cricket. The Pakistani all-rounder recorded figures of 7/12 against the West Indies in 2013. His all-round prowess was on show as he scored 76 runs in just 55 balls in the first along with his 7-fer in the second innings.

Saqlain Mushtaq

Pakistan Records: Most wickets for Pakistan in ODI matches

Afridi is followed by another spinner on this list. Saqlain Mushtaq has picked 288 wickets and is the only bowler on this list to have a better strike rate than Younis. He started his career on a bright note and became the fastest bowler to take 100 ODI wickets a record which stood for a long time before Mitchell Starc, Rashid Khan, Shaheen Afridi and Sandeep Lamichhane broke it. 

Mushtaq’s best bowling figure in ODIs came against England in Rawalpindi. Mushtaq claimed bowling figures of 5/20 restricting England to just 158 as Pakistan chased down the total with six wickets in hand.

Abdul Razzaq

All-rounder, Abdul Razzaq features fifth on the list for the most wickets for Pakistan in ODI cricket. Razzaq picked 269 wickets and was a valuable asset for the ‘Men in Green’ thanks to his batting prowess. 

Razzaq recorded his best bowling figures in an ODI against Bangladesh in 2002 at Dhaka. The Pakistani all-rounder picked 6 wickets for 35 runs and restricted the hosts to just 220 runs helping Pakistan register an 8-wicket victory.

Shoaib Akhtar

Pakistan Records: Most wickets for Pakistan in ODI matches

One of the fastest bowlers in the world and unarguably the scariest bowler to face of his time, Shoaib Akhtar ranks sixth on this list. Injuries and off-field behaviour issues meant that the Pakistani speedster only played 158 matches picking up 241 wickets at a strike rate of just 31.15.

He recorded his best figures of 6/16 against New Zealand in 2002 in Karachi. All of his six victims were dismissed for single-digit scores including three ducks.

Saeed Ajmal

Saeed Ajmal

Age and bowling action hindered the growth of Saeed Ajmal. Ajmal made his debut in ODI cricket at the age of 30 years. The off-spinner played 113 matches for Pakistan and took 184 thanks to his almost-unreadable doosra. Ajmal during his seven-year-long career was often called by ICC for his bowling action which reduced the impact of his bowling. 

Ajmal recorded his best figures of 5/24 in a losing cause against arch-rivals, India in 2013. Ajmal’s 5/24 helped Pakistan to restrict India to a modest total of 167 but a batting failure in the second innings meant that Pakistan lost the match by 10 runs.

Imran Khan

Imran Khan

Probably the greatest Pakistan captain, Imran Khan is the joint-eighth-highest wicket-taker for his side in ODIs. Khan took 182 wickets at an average of just 26.61. The former Pakistani skipper recorded his best figures of 6/14 against India. Just like Ajmal he too was on the losing side of the match.

Aaqib Javed

Pakistan Records: Most wickets for Pakistan in ODI matches

Aaqib Javed is tied with his skipper on this list. Javed took 182 wickets in 163 matches in ODIs. He recorded his best figure of 7/37 against India in the final of the Wills Trophy in 1991. Unlike Khan and Ajmal, Javed’s 7-fer helped Pakistan register a win by 72 runs.

Umar Gul

Pakistan Records: Most wickets for Pakistan in ODI matches

Umar Gul’s career is a career of unprecedented highs and lows that could have ended his career. Gul with 179 wickets to his name appears at number 10 on this list. The right-arm fast bowler could have appeared much higher if not for a back injury in 2003-04. Gul took his best figures of 6/42 against England in 2010 helping Pakistan register a 23-run win.