Australia regain top spot in ODI rankings

April 4th, 2009 - 8:19 pm ICT by IANS  

Kumar Sangakkara Dubai, April 4 (IANS) Australia have regained the number one spot in the Reliance Mobile International Cricket Cuncil’s ODI Championship table after defeating South Africa by 141 runs in the first ODI at Durban.
Australia, which surrendered its top position after losing 1-4 to the Proteas at home, started the series trailing Graeme Smith’s side by one rating point. Victory in the first of the five one-dayers Friday has given Australia a jump of three points to 125, with South Africa on 123.

South Africa still has a chance to finish the series in the number one position if it wins the series 3-2 or better.

Australia need to win the series 3-2 while a 4-1 victory will put it on 127 points and will drop South Africa to third position behind India on 121.

Meanwhile, England’s 3-2 victory over the West Indies has earned Andrew Strauss’ side one rating point as it closes the gap with fifth-placed Pakistan to just three. The West Indies has stayed in eighth position on 92.

Kevin Pietersen, who complained of sickness during the West Indies tour, has slipped five places to 13th in the rankings for ODI batsmen. Pietersen scored 80 runs in four innings during the five-match series at an average of 20.00.

Pietersen’s fall has pushed other players up the rankings with Ricky Ponting (9th), Kumar Sangakkara (10th) and Sachin Tendulkar (11th) gaining two places each.

The batting chart is still headed by India skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni, followed by Michael Hussey of Australia in second place and West Indies’ Chris Gayle at third place.

The leading bowler is still Nuwan Kulasekara of Sri Lanka, followed closely by Black Cap Kyle Mills, Sri Lanka’s Muttiah Muralitharan and another New Zealander, Daniel Vettori.

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