Herath becomes highest-ranked spinner in the world

ICC Ranking News

Sri Lanka’s Rangana Herath has become the highest-ranked spinner in the Reliance ICC Player Rankings for Test bowlers following the conclusion of the Colombo Test, which New Zealand won by 167 runs to draw the two-Test series at one-all.

Herath returned figures of six for 103 and three for 67 at the P.Sara Oval. For this performance, he has been rewarded with a jump of two places, which has put him in second position, ahead of Pakistan off-spinner Saeed Ajmal and South Africa fast bowler Vernon Philander.

Herath, whose 20 wickets in the series earned him the player of the series award, overall gained 56 ratings points in two Tests, which has put him 20 ratings points behind table-topper Dale Steyn of South Africa and six ratings points ahead of Saeed and Philander, who now share third position.

New Zealand fast bowlers Tim Southee, Doug Bracewell and Trent Boult are the other bowlers to achieve a career-best ranking.

The 23-year-old Southee, who played in the ICC U19 Cricket World Cup in Malaysia in 2008, has broken into the top 20 for the first time in his career by jumping 13 places to 20th position following his match figures of eight for 120.

Bracewell has moved up three places to 38th position after his two for 13 in the second innings while Boult has climbed 16 places to occupy 48th position after claiming seven wickets in the match.

In the Reliance ICC Player Rankings for Test batsmen, New Zealand centurions Ross Taylor and Kane Williamson have achieved career-best rankings.

Captain Taylor, who won the player of the match award for his contributions of 142 and 74, has broken into the top 10 for the first time in his career. Taylor, who played in the ICC U19 Cricket World Cup 2002, has claimed eighth place in the latest rankings after vaulting eight places.

Williamson, who captained the New Zealand U19 side in the ICC U19 Cricket World Cup 2010, has moved up 13 places and is now in 35th position following his scores of 135 and 18 in Colombo.

The only Sri Lanka batsman to move in the right direction in the table is Angelo Mathews, who has gained two places and is now in 26th position.

The news for Sri Lanka’s top batsmen is not particularly positive. Kumar Sangakkara, after losing his number-one spot to Australia captain Michael Clarke earlier this week, has slipped further after his double failure in Colombo. The left-hander, who scored zero and 16, has dropped two places to fourth position, while captain Mahela Jayawardene has slipped three places to 17th spot, Tillekeratne Dilshan has slid four places to 30th position, and opener N.T.Paranavitana has fallen three places to 46th.

In the Reliance ICC Test Championship table, Sri Lanka and New Zealand have retained their pre-series positions but Sri Lanka has dropped two ratings points while New Zealand has gained three ratings points.