Rashid Khan (left) scalped 9 wickets in Desert T20, while Mohammad Shahzad (right) scored 176 runs in the tournament    AFP
Rashid Khan (left) scalped 9 wickets in Desert T20, while Mohammad Shahzad (right) scored 176 runs in the tournament AFP

With the historic victory in Desert T20 2017 Challenge final, two Afghanistanis have retained positions in ICC T20I player rankings. Afghanistan beat Ireland by 10 wickets in the final to win the tournament, thus winning their first ever multi-nation tournament. Their opener Mohammad Shahzad played a blistering knock of 52 runs off 42 deliveries while chasing a mere 72. With that fifty, Shahzad entered record books by becoming the first batsman to score two fifties on the same day in different international matches. Shahzad, who had entered the top 10 ICC T20I rankings in batting in April 2016, has maintained his 9th spot in the list, preceded by Alex Hales (8), Joe Root (7), Martin Guptill (6), Faf du Plessis (5), Kane Williamson (4), Glenn Maxwell (3), Aaron Finch (2) and Virat Kohli (1).

On the other hand, spinner Rashid Khan, who scalped 9 wickets in the tournament, also maintained his position in ICC rankings for T20I bowlers. Rashid s current rank of 5th is currently the best by a bowler from an Associate Nation. Rashid first came to notice during ICC World T20 2016 by taking 11 wickets from 7 games. He moved to fifth position in rankings during the 3-T20I series against UAE in December 2016, where Afghanistan registered a whitewash victory of 3-0. He has an impressive economy rate of 6.14 in T20Is, which is the fourth-best among bowlers with 30 wickets.

Apart from Shahzad and Rashid, all-rounder Mohammad Nabi has also kept his place of fourth position on the list of all-rounders rankings. Nabi also gained one slot in the bowlers rankings and moved to 14th spot.