South Africa’s Faf Du Plessis and Zimbabwe captain Brendan Taylor have achieved their career-best rankings to date in the Reliance ICC Player Rankings for Test Batsmen, which were released following the conclusion of the Harare Test between Zimbabwe and South Africa on Tuesday. The Proteas beat the hosts by nine wickets to win the one-off Test between the neighbours to retain the number one position on the ICC Test Team Rankings table. Narrowly missing out on his fourth Test hundred, Du Plessis scored 98 in the first innings, followed by five not-out in the second.
His performance has fetched him a gain of two places in the rankings table to push him up to 16th position. This makes the 30-year-old the third batsman from South Africa inside the top 20, with AB De Villiers in second and captain Hashim Amla in fourth places. Taylor, whose figures from the match closely resembled those of Du Plessis, rose seven spots to enter the top 20 for the first time in 19th position.
The 28-year-old, who represented Zimbabwe in two ICC Under-19 Cricket World Cups (2002 and 2004), scored 98 runs in the match, including a captain’s knock of 93 in the first innings. Opening batsmen from both teams, Hamilton Masakadza and South Africa’s Dean Elgar, have also registered their career-best rankings to date. Both players have gained seven places to occupy 55th and 58th positions respectively.
Masakadza, who played the ICC Under-19 Cricket World Cup 2002 alongside his current captain Taylor, notched up 45 and 19 runs, while Elgar scored 61 and 21 for his side. The biggest mover, however, has been Quinton De Kock, who, on the back of his score of 81 has been propelled 29 places to reach 66thposition. The 21-year old wicketkeeper-batsman, who has also achieved his highest ranking to date, was the leading run scorer for South Africa in the ICC Under-19 Cricket World Cup 2012 in Australia.
The ICC Player Rankings for Test Bowlers continues to be dominated by South Africa’s Dale Steyn, who remains firm in the top position with 907 ratings points after claiming eight wickets for eighty-four runs. Meanwhile, playing his fifth Test for Zimbabwe, Tendai Chatara took a wicket in each innings for a total of 39 runs. His efforts have fetched him a jump of nine places on the rankings table, and he now occupies 42nd position. South Africa’s debutant off-spinner Dane Piedt, who was adjudged player of the match for his match figures of eight for 152, has also marked his debut on the rankings table, sitting just outside the top 50 in 53rd position, with 292 ratings points to his name.
John Nyumbu and Donald Tiripano, also playing their first Test for Zimbabwe, have entered the rankings table in 88th and 103rd places respectively. Nyumbu took five wickets for 157 in the first innings, while Tiripano claimed two victims for 65 runs.