Babar consolidates top spot among ODI batters

Pakistan skipper Babar Azam consolidated his position as the No. 1-ranked batter after his stellar performance against England at Edgbaston on Tuesday and Ireland captain Andy Balbirnie made a gain of 14 spots to move to No. 36, ESPNCricinfo reported on Wednesday.

Fabian Allen, meanwhile, entered the top ten among T20I bowlers after an impressive run against Australia at home, where West Indies are 3-0 ahead in the five-match series.

Azam’s career-best 158 in the final ODI against England at Edgbaston, which earned him eight rating points, kept him 16 clear of Virat Kohli, who is at second place.

Following England’s series sweep, there were two major movers low down in the tables. James Vince, who hit 102 – his first century for England across formats – rushed up 85 spots to No. 113 among batters, while Saqib Mahmood, who picked up nine wickets in the three games, gained 89 places to be 63rd among bowlers.

Ireland’s historic maiden ODI win over South Africa in their second fixture, after the first game was washed out, also led to some of their players making progress. Balbirnie’s 65 and 102 in the two games gave him a career-high 584 points as he gained 14 places to be ranked No. 36, while William Porterfield (up five spots to 74th) and Harry Tector (up 37 to 90th) among the batters, and Craig Young (up four to 78th) and Josh Little (up 22 to 86th) among bowlers moved up.

It wasn’t just Allen, who rose 16 positions, but there were a number of West Indians who made big strides up the tables as their team won the third T20I against Australia.

Of the bowlers, Obed McCoy, who has five wickets from two matches – including 4 for 26 in the first T20I – has jumped 15 spots to No. 38. while Sheldon Cottrell and Dwayne Bravo, with two wickets apiece so far, have risen by two places to 22nd and seven places to 37th, respectively.

Meanwhile, Chris Gayle, Andre Russell, Shimron Hetmyer and Lendl Simmons – all among the top five run-getters in the series at the moment – had their own gains too. While Gayle and Russell were tied at No. 103 after rising 22 and 38 ranks, respectively, Hetmyer has raced up to No. 62 by climbing 37 places and Simmons moved to No. 64 after gaining six spots.

Bangladesh beat Zimbabwe by 220 runs in their one-off Test in Harare, and Mahmudullah, who announced midway into the match that it would be his last in the format, gained 19 spots to get to 44th place after his 150* in the first innings. Liton Das, who scored 95 in that innings, rose 15 places to get to No. 55.

The bowling star for Bangladesh was Mehidy Hasan Miraz, who finished with a match haul of 9 for 148. He gained six places to get to No. 24.

And though Zimbabwe lost the game, captain Brendan Taylor’s 81 and 92 pushed him seven spots up to No. 28, while Blessing Muzarabani’s 4 for 94 in the first innings took him up to No. 45 among bowlers, a gain of six spots.

Originally published on ESPNCricinfo

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