Australia to stay on top of ICC Test Championship table

March 10th, 2009 - 9:49 pm ICT by ANI  

Dubai, Mar 10 (ANI): Ricky Pontings men hang on to the mace for April 1, cut-off date after taking 2-0 lead in series with South Africa.

After winning the second Test in Durban today, Australia has secured its place at the top of the Reliance Mobile ICC Test Championship table now that it has an unassailable lead in the ongoing Test series in South Africa.

Although the table is only updated at the end of each series, South Africa knew before the series started that it needed to win in order to move ahead of Ricky Pontings team by the annual cut-off date of April1.

Now that a series defeat for Graeme Smith and his men is inevitable, Australia can breathe easy in the knowledge that the Reliance Mobile ICC Test Championship mace will be returning with them to Cricket Australias headquarters in Melbourne along with a cheque for 175,000 dollars.

Consolation for the Proteas could still come in the form of a cheque for 75,000 dollars for being ranked second in the table when the cut-off date comes around.

But if Australia wins the third and final Test in Cape Town, South Africa will drop below India into third position and it will be Mahendra Singh Dhonis team that claims the prize money for coming second in the rankings on the April 1 cut-off date.

If the final Test in Cape Town ends in a draw with Australia winning the series 2-0, South Africa and India would be level on exactly 118 ratings points, meaning the prize money for coming second would be shared equally between them.

Before the series, Australias lead had been cut to five ratings points and a series win of any kind would have been enough for South Africa to go top.

But after its disappointment of losing 2-1 at home to the Proteas, Australia emerged stronger and more determined than ever to stay on top of the world.

If Australia wraps up the final Test it will go to 130 ratings points, some 12 clear of India in second. But a win for the Proteas will mean the gap is just nine points. (ANI)

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