Mohammad Shahzad is the first associate player to score a 1000 T20I runs © AFP (file photo)
Mohammad Shahzad is the first associate player to score a 1000 T20I runs © AFP (file photo)

Mohammad Shahzad broke into the top 10 of International Cricket Council (ICC) rankings of Twenty20 International (T20I) batsmen, thereby just adding to the recent achievements of Afghanistan cricket. Shahzad who stands eighth on the T20I player rankings in batting has entered the top 10 for the very first time in his career. On the other hand, his teammate and fast bowler Dawlat Zadran also bagged the eighth spot in the top 10 ICC rankings of T20I bowling. The opening batsman has jumped 12 places to eighth position after scoring 151 runs in two matches against Zimbabwe, including a 67-ball 118 not out in the second match. This is the highest T20I score ever by a batsman from an Associate Member and fourth overall. Full Cricket Scorecard: Afghanistan vs Zimbabwe 2015-16, 2nd T20I at Sharjah

Shahzad became the the first batsman from Afghanistan to score over 1,000 runs in T20Is. Even among all the other associate countries he is the first one to achieve the prestigious milestone.

According to ICC media release, Dawlat has squeezed his way into the top 10 of the ICC Player Rankings for T20I Bowlers, for a career-best eighth spot. This after Zadran took five wickets in the series, the highest by any bowler from either team, which has helped him move him up by six places. The medium-pace bowler bettering his previous best ranking of 10th achieved last year in Zimbawe after a similar 2-0 series victory over the hosts.

The other Afghanistan cricketers who benefitted after the series win against Zimbabwe are Mohammad Nabi and Hamza Hotak. Nabi has moved up five places to 20th, while Hamza has vaulted 43 places to 38th position.

Meanwhile, New Zealand’s Martin Guptill sealed the fifth place in the T20I ranking after the 19-ball 50 against Sri Lanka in the second T20I at Auckland. The batsmen’s list is headed by Australia’s Aaron Finch, followed by Virat Kohli of India and England’s Alex Hales.