ISLAMABAD: Left-handed batter Fawad Alam and left-arm fast bowler Shaheen Afridi have achieved career-best positions in the MRF Tyres ICC Men’s Test Player Rankings after helping Pakistan win the second Test against the West Indies in Kingston to draw their two-match ICC World Test Championship series 1-1.
Alam’s unbeaten 124 in the first innings has helped him shoot up 34 places to 21st position. While Shaheen has gained 10 slots to reach eighth position after a 10-wicket match haul that helped seal a 109-run victory and won him the Player of the Match award. Afridi is the highest-ranked Pakistan bowler in the new rankings, eighth on 783 points.
Afridi was relentless in Jamaica, with the fiery left-arm quick picking up 18 wickets across the two matches, seven more than the next-best bowler, Jayden Seales. Taking eight wickets in the first Test, Afridi went on to claim career-best match figures of 10/94 in the second match, spearheading Pakistan’s charge to a 109-run victory at Sabina Park.
Relentless throughout the four innings, Afridi took a wicket roughly every four overs, at an average of just 11.27, dismissing seven West Indian players at least twice in the series. West Indian wicketkeeper Joshua da Silva fell to Afridi in three of the four innings.
Afridi has enjoyed a stellar start to his Test career, having taken 76 wickets in 19 matches at an average of 25.25. Matching similarly impressive starts in ODI and T20I cricket, Afridi is proving to be a key figure across all formats for Pakistan.
Fawad, who has struck four centuries since his return to Test cricket in August last year, had a previous best of 47th position attained in May this year while Afridi’s 18th position before this Test was his highest. Shaheen, who also finished as the Player of the Series with 18 wickets, had started the series in 22nd position.
Captain Babar Azam and Mohammad Rizwan, the two Pakistan players ahead of Fawad in the batters’ list, have also gained. Babar’s scores of 75 and 33 have helped him advance one slot to seventh position, two below his career-best fifth position in August last year, while Rizwan is back in the top 20 with scores of 31 and 10 not out.
Babar was consistent with the bat across the series, reaching 30 in all four innings and passing fifty twice in tricky Sabina Park conditions. He finished with 193 runs, more than anyone else in the series, at an average of 48.25.
Left-arm spinner Nauman Ali is another one to gain in the latest weekly update to the men’s rankings that is carried out across formats on Wednesdays. His three-wicket haul in the second innings has helped him progress from 48th to 44thposition.
For the West Indies, all-rounder Jason Holder has advanced six places to 37th among batters with scores of 26 and 47. Fast bowler Jayden Seales, the most successful after Shaheen with 11 wickets in the series, has also moved up.
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