Samaraweera earns career-best ranking

Courtesy: International Cricket Council

England seam bowler Chris Tremlett has broken into the top 10 of the Reliance ICC Player Rankings for Test bowlers for the first time in his career after producing a career-best bowling performance in the Southampton Test against Sri Lanka which ended on Monday.

The 29-year-old, 6ft 7in Surrey bowler took 6-48 in Sri Lanka’s first innings to finish the Test with overall figures of 7-114. This performance won him the man-of-the-match award and also earned him a whopping 92 ratings points which has given him a jump of 13 places into 10th position.

He has now become England’s third top 10 bowler behind Graeme Swann (second) and James Anderson (third). Tremlett is still in the qualification period – a bowler qualifies for a full rating when he reaches 100 Test wickets – and with England’s next Test assignment being against India next month, Tremlett can potentially improve his rankings further depending how he performs in the four-Test series which starts at Lord’s on 21 July.

That much anticipated match at Lord’s will also be the 2000th match in the history of Test cricket and the 100th between England and India, highlighting the enduring popularity and relevance of the pinnacle format of the game.

Tremlett had entered the series in 35th position on 426 ratings points and has finished in 10th position after securing 185 ratings points and moving up 25 places across the entire series thanks to his haul of 15 wickets which also earned him the player-of-the-series award along with Sri Lanka wicketkeeper-batsman Prasanna Jayawardena.

The other bowler moving up the chart is Sri Lanka’s Suranga Lakmal who has climbed five places to share 56th position with captain Tillekeratne Dilshan who missed the Test with an injury.

Rangana Herath, Sri Lanka’s highest-ranked bowler, is in 20th position after slipping down one place as Dale Steyn comfortably sits on top of the bowlers’ table.

In the Reliance ICC Player Rankings for Test batsmen, Sri Lanka’s stand-in captain Kumar Sangakkara’s has returned to third position after scoring his 25th career century which was his first in England. Sangakkara, who scored 119 in the second innings, has swapped places with Jonathan Trott who scored only four in his only outing.

England batsman Ian Bell has claimed a career-best ranking after scoring his 14th century in 65th Test. Bell, who scored an unbeaten 119, has jumped four places to 13th position.

Sri Lanka’s middle-order batsman Thilan Samaraweera has also broken into the top 10 for the first time in his career after following up his first innings score of 31 with an unbeaten 87 for which he has been rewarded with a jump of four places which puts him in ninth spot.

Eoin Morgan, who scored 71, has also improved his ranking by nine places and is now in 62nd spot while Kevin Pietersen has moved up one place to 28th position.

The batting table is still jointly headed by South Africa’s Jacques Kallis and Sachin Tendulkar of India, with the latter all set to drop to second position when the player rankings are next updated after the end of Jamaica Test between the West Indies and India.

Meanwhile in the Reliance ICC Test Championship tables, a 1-0 series win has earned England one ratings point which has put it on 116 while Sri Lanka has joined Australia on 107 after conceding two ratings points. However, Sri Lanka is ranked ahead of Australia after the ratings are calculated beyond the decimal point.