Pakistan players conspire to inspire series win in Pallekele

Dubai, July 8, 2015: Pakistan’s ascent to the number-three position in the ICC Test Team Rankings by defeating Sri Lanka by seven wickets in Pallekele on Tuesday has been propelled by stellar performances by Younus Khan and debut centurion Shan Masood, who have made significant gains in the latest ICC Test Player Rankings, which were released on Wednesday morning.

37-year-old Younus has climbed two places to sixth in the ICC Player Rankings for Test Batsmen following his player of the match innings of 171 not out to steer the visitors home and seal the series 2-1. It was Younus’ 30th Test century in 101 matches to date. In doing so, he has broken the Test record for the number of fourth-innings hundreds edging clear of an illustrious list of Sunil Gavaskar, Ricky Ponting, Ramnaresh Sarwan and Graeme Smith.

His match-winning third wicket partnership of 217 runs with Shan (125) was also Pakistan’s highest in Test history and enabled the 25-year-old, in his fifth Test, to leap 27 places to a career high 88th position.

Wicket keeper Sarfraz Ahmed has also broken into the top 20 for the first time in his career as his 78 not out in the first innings has moved him up four places to 17th.

For Sri Lanka captain Angelo Mathews, it was a bitter-sweet game as his 122 in the second innings, which was his fifth Test century, was not enough to guide his side to victory. Mathews has remained in fifth place in the rankings, 14 points behind his recently retired compatriot Kumar Sangakarra.
Dimuth Karunaratne’s 130 has elevated the Colombo-man nine places to a career-high 32nd, while other notable movers for the hosts were wicketkeeper Dinesh Chandimal (up seven places to 45th) and Upul Tharanga (up nine places to a career high 48th).

In the ICC Player Rankings for Test Bowlers, Yasir Shah of Pakistan has continued his fine recent run of form with match figures of seven wickets for 158 runs to move up four places to a career-high fourth place. The wrist spinner had started the series in 20th place and has gained 16 places, thanks to his 24 wickets in three Tests at just over 19 runs per wicket.

There were also career-high gains for Rahat Ali (who has moved up six places to 41st) and Imran Khan (up 19 places to 54th), as well as Sri Lanka bowlers Dhammika Prasad (up four places to 30th), Nuwan Pradeep (up nine places to 70th) and Tharindu Kaushal (up 10 places to 83rd).

Meanwhile, Bangladesh’s Shakib Al Hasan continues to hold a strong 40-point advantage over South Africa’s Vernon Philander in the ICC Player Rankings for Test All-rounders. —- ICC


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