Junaid Khan enters top 20 in bowling ; Misbahul Haq at career-best sixth in ICC Test Player Rankings

Azhar Ali and Ahmed Shehzad move up
Junaid Khan enters top 20 in bowling ;  Misbahul Haq at career-best sixth  in ICC Test Player Rankings

KARACHI: Pakistan’s thrilling series-levelling five-wicket win over Sri Lanka in the third and final Test in Sharjah, has resulted in a number of their players moving upwards in the latest ICC Player Rankings for Tests. Leading the charge was Pakistan captain Misbah-ul-Haq, who has moved up two places to a career-best sixth in the ICC Player Rankings for Test Batsmen. The latest rankings update was released on Tuesday, a day after Misbah allied with Azhar Ali to fashion a thrilling chase on the final day.

Misbah is now on 824 ratings points, just two ahead of Sri Lanka’s Kumar Sangakkara who dropped down a place to seventh. Misbah, who ended as the second highest run-getter in the series with 364 runs, scored 63 and 68 not out in both innings of the Sharjah Test. Azhar player of the Match in the Sharjah Test for his knock of 103 in the second innings, has moved up three places to 22nd in the batting table. First-time century maker and the only other centurion in the Test, Ahmed Shehzad, has rocketed 66 places to a best-ever 67th, following his knock of 147 in the first innings. Shehzad’s opening partner Khurram Manzoor in 57th position, has also moved up by three places. Younus Khan in tenth place continued to be the only other Pakistan batsman in the top 10.

For Sri Lanka the only good news was in the form of captain Angelo Mathews who moved up a place to a best-ever 12th, after having scored 91 in the first innings of the Test.  Mathews was named Player of the Series for being the highest run-getter with 412 runs . Mahela Jayawardena in 18th is the other Sri Lanka batsman in the top 20, while outside the top 20, Prasanna Jayawardena in 49th has moved up by three places. Dilruwan Perera has entered the batting table in 78th position.

Meanwhile, Pakistan spinner Abur Rehman has moved up a place to career-best 13th on the ICC Player Rankings for Test Bowlers in one of the only two positive changes in the top 20. Rehman picked up four for 56 in the second innings of the Sharjah Test. But the most impressive jump was that of paceman Junaid Khan, who has moved up three places to 18th, to make the top 20 for the first-time ever. Junaid finished as the highest wicket-taker on either side with 14 wickets in the series.

Meanwhile, Sri Lanka’s pace duo of Shaminda Eranga and Suranga Lakmal have also moved up on the bowlers’ table. Eranga is now in a career-best 41st (up by four), while Lakmal has moved up three places to a best-ever 63rd. Sri Lanka’’s Rangana Herath in fourth place is the highest ranked bowler on either side, with Saeed Ajmal trailing him in fifth place just two ratings points behind on 787. The batting table is still headed by South Africa’s AB de Villiers with Shivnarine Chanderpaul in second place. The bowlers’ table is topped by South Africa’s Vernon Philander, with teammate Dale Steyn in second position.

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