Friday, 22 March 2019

ICC Test Rankings: Abbas rises to No.3

AFP

DUBAI: Mohammad Abbas was the hero of Pakistan’s series-clinching win over Australia in the Abu Dhabi Test, and also the star of the latest Test match rankings.

It was the Abbas show in Abu Dhabi all right. In the first Australia innings, he led the way with 5/33 to help Pakistan take a 137-run lead. Then, after the batsmen had set Australia 538 to win, he scythed through the top and middle order on his way to figures of 5/62.

Abbas’ tally after 10 Tests is 59. He’s already bagged four five-fors in Test cricket and this was his first 10-wicket haul in a match. No surprise then that he has dashed up the ICC Test Player Rankings for bowlers, all the way from No.14 to No.3 with career-best rating points of 829.

Only James Anderson and Kagiso Rabada are ahead of him, with 899 and 882 points.

Among the other Pakistani bowlers to make big moves up the ladder was Bilal Asif, who picked up three wickets in the first innings. With the six he got in the first Test, Asif now has nine wickets in two appearances, which has helped him get to No.52, a rise of 17 spots.

This was also a Test where many of the Pakistani batsmen got big scores without, remarkably, getting to three figures. Fakhar Zaman, on debut, hit 94 and 66. Sarfraz Ahmed, the captain, also had two good outings, scoring 94 and 81. Azhar Ali (64) and Babar Azam (99) also scored half-centuries in the second innings.

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