Pakistan narrow gap with top four sides in ICC rankings

Pakistan players celebrate their win in the third Test against England in Dubai Getty Images

Dubai: Feb 6, 2012

Pakistan have narrowed the gap with the top-four sides in the ICC Test rankings after inflicting a humiliating 3-0 a whitewash on world number one England although they remained stationed at number five in the table.

Pakistan had entered the series in fifth position on 99 ratings points and moved to 108 points and within striking distance of the top four for the first time since 2007.

Misbah-ul-Haq’s men are now just three ratings points behind India and Australia, and nine ratings points behind number-two ranked South Africa.

England, in contrast, has retained its number-one ranking which it has held since beating India in England last summer.

Nevertheless, Andrew Strauss’s side has plummeted from 125 ratings points to 118 ratings points to lead second-ranked South Africa by just one ratings point.

England have placed their lead in jeopardy before they head to Sri Lanka for a two-Test series starting next month.

Pakistan’s 3-0 series win has also kept alive South Africa’s chances of finishing as the number-one ranked side at the 1 April annual cut-off date and with it win a prize of USD 175,000.

To make this happen, the Proteas will have to win all the three Tests against New Zealand which will be played in New Zealand from 7-27 March.

For Pakistan, this is its highest rating since it climbed to 108 ratings points in May 2007. It is also the first time Pakistan has beaten England in all the Tests of a series in 22 attempts.

For England, it was its first series loss since 2008-2009 when it suffered a 1-0 series defeat to the West Indies while it is the first time since the 2006-2007 Ashes in Australia that England has lost all the Tests of a series.

Pakistan’s next Test series is against Sri Lanka in May-June and while it will have to win that series comfortably to retain its rating, it can gain a place or two depending on how the series in England this summer between the two higher-ranked sides in England and South Africa pans out. (PTI)