Saturday, 20 April 2019

Babar Azam maintains top position in T20I rankings

DUBAI: Pakistan’s Babar Azam continues at the top of the batsmen’s list in the ICC Men’s T20I Player Rankings after scoring 151 runs in the South Africa series while Hussain Talat has gained 19 places to reach 56th position after aggregating 98 runs. Shaheen Shah Afridi has moved up 28 places to a career-best 48th position among bowlers.

Spinners Imad Wasim of Pakistan (up five places to fourth position) and Mitchell Santner of New Zealand (up four places to 10th) have also moved up in the latest rankings update that includes two other series which saw South Africa beat Pakistan and Nepal beat the United Arab Emirates by identical 2-1 margins.

India spinner Kuldeep Yadav has moved up one place to take a career-best second position after grabbing two for 26 in the final match against New Zealand which his side lost by four runs to go 2-1 down in the series.

The 24-year-old left-arm wrist-spinner accounted for well-set openers Tim Seifert and Colin Munro in the only match he played during the series and reaped immediate dividends. He is now only behind Afghanistan leg-spinner Rashid Khan in the table.

Left-arm spinner Krunal Pandya was another spinner to move up as he advanced 39 places to a career-best 58th while India openers Rohit Sharma (up three places to seventh) and Shikhar Dhawan (up one place to 11th) have made progress with some useful knocks.

For New Zealand, Kane Williamson (up one place to 12th), Ross Taylor (up seven places to 51st) and Tim Seifert (up 87 places to a career-best 83rd) among batsmen and Tim Southee (up seven places to 30th) among bowlers are some notable gainers.

For South Africa, left-arm fast bowler Beuran Hendricks’s eight wickets against Pakistan have helped him re-enter the rankings at a career-best 81st position while his compatriot Chris Morris has gained seven slots to reach a career-best 21st position after finishing with six wickets. Andile Phehlukwayo has also advanced 15 places to a career-best 23rd position with five wickets.

Among their batsmen, Faf du Plessis (up from 20th to 17th) and Reeza Hendricks (up from 73rd to 42nd) have been the main gainers.

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