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Misbah and Ajmal secure career-best rankings

KARACHI: In spite of their below-par showing against a second string West Indies team, Pakistan have managed to retain sixth spot on the ICC Test Championship table.

After losing the opening Test, Pakistan recorded a convincing 196-run victory over the hosts in the second Test in St Kitts to draw the two-Test series.

Pakistan were in danger of swapping places with seventh-ranked West Indies after the home side had won the first Test by 40 runs in Guyana. However, captain Misbah-ul-Haq and opener Taufeeq Umar scored centuries in the second innings and spinners Saeed Ajmal, Abdul Rehman and Mohammad Hafeez shared 15 wickets between them to ensure their side doesn’t equal its lowest rankings which were introduced in 2003.

In the past eight years, Pakistan have thrice dropped to as low as seventh (June 2003, August 2005 and January 2010).

However, the drawn series means Pakistan have conceded one ratings point and are now on 90 with fifth-ranked Australia 17 ratings points ahead and West Indies four ratings points behind.

Meanwhile, Misbah’s third Test century has provided him a jump of eight places which has earned him a career-best ranking of 22nd. He is now the second highest-ranked Pakistan batsman after Younis Khan who is in 17th position despite missing the series.

Taufeeq’s fifth Test century has given him a boost of 20 places and he now sits in 53rd position. Umar Akmal is the other Pakistan batsman to head in the right direction as he is now in 35th position after rising two places.

In the ICC Player Rankings for Test bowlers, player of the series Saeed Ajmal has achieved a career-best ranking of 27th. Saeed, who had figures of 3-56 and 3-79, has moved up four places. Rehman, who had match figures of 6-120, has improved his ranking by nine places and he is now in 31st spot. Hafeez has also moved in the right direction and is now in 56th spot.