Magic Mehedi rockets up ICC rankings

Teenager Mehedi Hasan has rocketed into 33rd position in the ICC rankings for Test Bowlers after bowling Bangladesh to its first-ever Test victory over England.

Mehedi, who won the player of the ICC U19 Cricket World Cup 2016 award at the same venue eight months ago, returned match figures of 12 for 159, which gave him a lift of 28 positions.

The off-spinner had entered the player rankings last week after taking seven for 138 on his debut in Chittagong. Mehedi is now Bangladesh’s second highest-ranked Test bowler behind Shakib Al Hasan (15th).

The 19-year-old looks strong to gain further points and can potentially break into the 20 as he is still in the qualification period. A bowler qualifies for a full rating after he has taken 100 wickets, while Mehedi has claimed 19 wickets in two Tests.

The other bowlers to improve their rankings following the Mirpur Test were England’s trio of Chris Woakes, Ben Stokes and Moeen Ali.

Woakes, who took three for 30 in the first innings, moved up two places to 18th, Stokes achieved a career-high ranking of 21st after moving up two places following match figures of five for 65, while Ali gained two places to 25th spot after figures of five for 57 and one for 60.

In what turned out to be a difficult Test for batsmen, England captain Alastair Cook climbed one place to 11th following scores of 14 and 59.

Bangladesh opener Tamim Iqbal rose four places to 20th after scores of 104 and 40, Mominul Haque lifted one place to 26th after contributing 66 and one, Shakib Al Hasan moved to 27th position after moving up one place following scores of 10 and 41, and Imrul Kayes earned two spots to 53rd position after chipping in with one and 78.

England’s Joe Root dropped out of the top three. He slipped two places to fifth following scores of 56 and one.

Bangladesh’s 108-run victory in Mirpur also earned the youngest of the 10 Test playing countries eight ranking points. This means they are now on 65 points, just two points behind eighth-ranked West Indies.

In contrast, fourth-ranked England dropped to 105 points after conceding three points.

Meanwhile, Australia and South Africa will go head to head in a mouth-watering three-Test series starting in Perth on Thursday.

Australia are currently ranked third with 108 points, while South Africa are in fifth spot on 96 points. Any side making a sweep of the series will jump in the ICC Test Team Rankings.

A 3-0 win will put Australia on 112 points and ahead of Pakistan in second place even if the Asian side defeat the West Indies by 3-0.

In contrast, South Africa will join England on 105 points if they win 3-0 but will be fraction of a point behind in fourth place, whereas Australia will drop to fifth on 102 points.

A 2-1 series win for Australia will mean they will gain two points and South Africa will drop one point, but Australia will slip behind England by a fraction and South Africa will rise to 102 points when the series result is reversed.

Australia captain Steve Smith will start the series as the number-one ranked batsman, leading South Africa’s third-ranked batsman Hashim Amla by 59 points.

Adam Voges (seventh), David Warner (ninth), Faf de Plessis (25th), Dean Elgar (28th) and Quinton de Kock (30th) are the other batsmen inside the top 30 to feature in the series.

Amongst the bowlers, second-ranked Dale Steyn trails India’s number-one ranked Ravichandran Ashwin by 22 points, while Mitchell Starc is Australia’s highest-ranked bowler in eighth position – 69 points ahead of South Africa’s 10th-ranked Vernon Philander.

Bowlers outside the top 10 and aiming to improve their rankings include Josh Hazlewood (11th), Morne Morkel (13th), Nathan Lyon (14th) and Peter Siddle (19th).

In the all-rounders’ list, which is headed by Ashwin, Starc is the highest-ranked player from either side in sixth position – 15 points ahead of Philander.

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