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Ajmal and Hafeez achieve career-best Test rankings

KARACHI: Saeed Ajmal’s 11-wicket haul against the West Indies went in vain when the hosts defeated Pakistan in their first Test in Georgetown, Guyana, on Sunday.

But the off-spinner was rewarded for his brilliant performance on Monday when he achieved a career-best ranking in the latest ICC Player Rankings for Test bowlers.

In fact, bowlers from both West Indies and Pakistan have exploited the favourable conditions at Providence Stadium in Guyana and have made good progress in the latest rankings.

Home team captain Darren Sammy and team-mates Ravi Rampaul and debutant Devendra Bishoo, as well as Ajmal and Mohammad Hafeez, have all achieved career-best rankings after the low-scoring first Test of the two-match series. Sammy, who won the player of the match award for his match figures of 7-45, has vaulted 16 places to rise to 29th position, Rampaul has jumped 36 places to 58th spot after match figures of 7-75 while Bishoo has entered in 81st place after figures of 4-68 and 0-56.

For Pakistan, Ajmal has been rewarded for his match figures of 11-111 with a leap of 17 places that puts him in 31st position. Hafeez, who also bowls off-spinners, has moved up 11 places to 62nd position after figures of 2-22 and 1-15.

Pakistan’s fast bowler Umar Gul, however, is the only bowler to slip down the ladder after going wicketless. Umar has dropped two places to 17th position while Wahab Riaz has retained his 51st spot after figures of 2-59.

While the bowlers enjoyed bowling at Providence, the batsmen struggled throughout the Test.

The only batsmen moving in the right direction were Shivnarine Chanderpaul in seventh (up by one place), Umar Akmal in 37th (up by one place) and Asad Shafiq in 68th (up by five places).

In the ICC Test Championship table, seventh-ranked West Indies are now guaranteed to earn ratings points. Even if West Indies lose the second Test in St Kitts, they will earn one ratings point which will put it on 86 while Pakistan will retain their pre-series ratings points of 90.

However, if West Indies win in St Kitts, then they will win the series 2-0 and as such it will earn six ratings points which will mean they will move ahead of Pakistan on 91 ratings points.

In contrast, Pakistan will drop to eighth position and 85 ratings points after conceding five ratings points.