Herath returns to top five on ICC rankings

Rangana Herath (Getty Images)
Rangana Herath (Getty Images)

Cape Town - Sri Lanka left-arm spinner Rangana Herath returned to the top five of the ICC rankings for Test bowlers after registering his seventh 10-wicket haul, which helped Sri Lanka win the third Test by 163 runs and the series 3-0.

Herath, aged 38, recorded figures of six for 81 and seven for 64 in the Colombo Test against Australia, which helped him move three places up to fifth in the latest rankings which were released on Thursday morning.

This was Herath’s highest-ranking since he achieved fourth spot following the Wellington Test against New Zealand in January 2015.

The bowlers’ list was headed by England’s James Anderson, who led India spinner Ravichandran Ashwin by 12 points. Dale Steyn, who will feature in the upcoming series against New Zealand, was third, 17 points behind the India off-spinner.

Colombo Test centurions Dinesh Chandimal and Dhananjaya de Silva also made significant gains in the rankings for Test batsmen.

Chandimal rose six slots to reach 17th spot in a list which was headed by Australia captain Steve Smith, while de Silva shot up 30 places to 37th position. Kaushal Silva, who scored 115 in the second innings, also moved up nine places to 39th on the rankings.

For Australia, opener David Warner gained one place to share ninth spot with New Zealand’s Ross Tyalor, while Shaun Marsh, who struck the first century for Australia on the Sri Lanka tour in Colombo, jumped 13 places to reach 33rd rank.

Smith, who scored 119 runs in the first innings, retained his number-one ranking. He led England’s Joe Root by 28 points, with Kane Williamson aiming to move into second position when he takes the field against South Africa in Durban as he trails the England batsman by just five points.

Meanwhile, South Africa has its task cut out in the upcoming two-Test series against New Zealand starting on Friday, which it needs to win by any margin to overtake the opposition and move up two slots in the Test Team Rankings.

South Africa, who have never lost a Test series to New Zealand, currently have 92 points and are placed seventh in the list led by newly-crowned India while New Zealand are fifth with 99 points.

Sri Lanka, who completed a 3-0 whitewash over Australia in a home series on Wednesday, are in sixth position at 95 points.

A 2-0 win for South Africa in the series to be played in Durban and Centurion will lift them to fifth position with 98 points and will see New Zealand slip to seventh position with 94 points.

Even a 1-0 win for South Africa will see them climb to fifth with 96 points, leaving New Zealand with 95 points and behind Sri Lanka on decimal points at seventh position.

On the other hand, a 2-0 win for New Zealand will carry them to 103 points and a 1-0 win to 102 points, but neither will be enough to take them above fifth rank. South Africa will remain on seventh position in either scenario with a tally of 86 and 88 points, respectively.

Even a 1-1 draw will keep New Zealand in fifth position with 98 points and South Africa at their current 92 points.

Top 10 ICC Test bowlers:

1. James Anderson (ENG) - 870

2. Ravichandran Ashwin (IND) - 858

3. Dale Steyn (RSA) - 841

4. Stuart Broad ((ENG) - 836

5. Rangana Herath (SL) - 831

6. Yasir Shah (PAK) - 806

7. Mitchell Starc (AUS) - 792

8. Ravindra Jadeja (IND) - 781

9. Trent Boult (NZ) - 756

10. Morne Morkel (RSA) - 724

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