KARACHI: Pakistan all-rounder Mohammad Hafeez has achieved a career-best ranking in the ICC Player Rankings for ODI Batsmen after finishing as the leading run-getter in the five-match series between Pakistan and Sri Lanka which concluded in Abu Dhabi on Friday. Hafeez aggregated 448 runs with three centuries, and for this performance he not only earned the player of the series award but has also been rewarded with a jump of 18 places that, in turn, has put him at a career-best 16th position. Hafeez has now become Pakistan’s second batsman to feature inside the top 20 with Misbahul Haq retaining ninth spot.
Besides Hafeez, opener Ahmed Shehzad has also achieved a career-high position after he scored 277 runs with a century and a half-century. Shehzad, who played in the ICC Under-19 Cricket World Cup 2008 and 2010 in Malaysia and New Zealand respectively, has moved up 23 places to sit in 21st position – just one ratings point behind New Zealand captain Brendon McCullum.
Dinesh Chandimal, Shahid Afridi and Sohaib Maqsood are the other big movers inside the top 100. Chandimal, Sri Lanka’s leading run-getter with 195 runs, has gained eight places and is now in 39th spot, Shahid’s 66 runs at an average of 33 with a strike-rate of 212 has given him a lift of four places to put him in 50th spot, while Sohaib has achieved a career-best 77th position after scoring 165 runs that has provided him a leap of 35 places.
In the ICC Player Rankings for ODI Bowlers, Junaid Khan, Angelo Mathews and Umar Gul are the biggest movers. Junaid finished the series as the leading wicket-taker with 13 wickets. This performance means he has rocketed eight places to a career-best 11th position. With Hafeez slipping in the bowling order to 16th, Junaid has now become Pakistan’s second highest-ranked bowler behind Saeed Ajmal who has strengthened his position at the top of the tree following his nine wickets in the series. Mathews has returned inside the top 20 in 18th place while Umar, who took seven wickets in three matches, has gained 13 places and is now in 43rd spot. Suranga Lakmal and Lasith Malinga were Sri Lanka’s best bowlers with six wickets apiece. While Lakmal has gained 10 places and is now in 87th spot, Malinga has dropped one place to 29th spot.
In the ICC Player Rankings for ODI All-rounders, Hafeez has regained the number-one spot. Hafeez had entered the series trailing Shakib Al Hasan by six ratings but now leads the Bangladesh all-rounder by 35 ratings points. In the ICC ODI Team Rankings, sixth-ranked Pakistan have gained one ratings point to retain its pre-series ranking, while Sri Lanka has conceded two ratings points to move a place down to fifth. The table is headed by India followed by Australia, England and South Africa.
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