Proteas retain top Test spot

2013-02-18 14:55

South Africa is guaranteed the number one position on the ICC Test Championship table at the April 1 cut-off date after their Test-series victory over Pakistan in Cape Town at the weekend.

Their victory yesterday means the Proteas cannot be overtaken by their closest rivals England, Australia and India.

The Proteas entered the series on 124 ratings points, and needed only to draw the series to retain the Test mace.

Their victory, by four wickets, in the Cape Town Test means even if they lose the third and final Test at Centurion, they will still gain one rating point to finish on 125 points.

It will be more than sufficient to give them the top spot at the cut-off date, irrespective of how the India-Australia and England-New Zealand series pan out.

If England wins all three Tests against New Zealand, it can achieve a maximum of 119 points; India can rise to as high as 112 points if it defeats Australia 4-0; and Australia can move to 121 if it wins all four Tests against India.

The Proteas will not only retain the prestigious Test Championship title, but will also earn nearly R4 million for the achievement.

South Africa’s Robin Peterson, who scored a crucial 84 in the first innings, has rocketed 44 places to claim 100th position in the player rankings.

Other Protea batsmen who moved up in the rankings are: Faf du Plessis up a spot to 33, Vernon Philander up three places to 85, and Dean Elgar up six places to 86.

Hashim Amla, who scored 25 and 58, retained his number one ranking.

Fourth-ranked AB de Villiers, who scored 61 and 36, achieved a career-best rating to date of 851, to lead fifth placed Kumar Sangakkara by nine ratings points.

However, he still trails third-ranked Shivnarine Chanderpaul by 28 points. Australia captain Michael Clarke remains in second place.

In the rankings for Test bowlers, Philander collected 32 ratings points for his figures of five for 59 and four for 40.

Dale Steyn was at the top of the rankings, 18 ratings points ahead of his new ball partner.

In the rankings for all-rounders, Jacques Kallis swapped places with Bangladesh’s Shakib Al Hasan, who reclaimed the number one position.

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