SA in New Zealand

SA now fighting to stay No 2

2012-03-11 14:26
Graeme Smith (File)

Johannesburg - The Proteas have lost out in the race for the International Cricket Council (ICC) Test Championship after rain forced a draw in the first Test against New Zealand in Dunedin on Sunday.

The ICC said England would hold top spot in the table at the April 1 cut-off date and were set to receive the $175 000 cheque given to the top-ranked team.

"Graeme Smith's men had entered the Test series against New Zealand needing to win all the three Tests to move ahead of England at the cut-off date," the ICC said in a statement.

"But after the draw in Dunedin, the best series result South Africa can now achieve is a 2-0 win, which will keep it at 117 ratings point, one behind England."

South Africa need to ensure they do not lose either of their next two Tests against the Black Caps to retain second place, which will earn the Proteas $75 000.

Smith, meanwhile, climbed six places up the latest Test rankings for batsmen, to ninth position, after contributing 53 and 115 runs in South Africa's two innings in Dunedin.

Jacques Kallis, who has made three ducks, one century and a double ton in the Proteas' last three Tests, retained second place in the rankings, four points behind Sri Lanka's Kumar Sangakkara, as South Africa's top-ranked batsman.

Kallis also held on to second place in the Test rankings for all-rounders, six points behind Shakib al Hasan of Bangladesh.

Speedster Dale Steyn remained top of the Test rankings for bowlers, 45 points ahead of Pakistan's Saeed Ajmal, while Vernon Philander rose three positions to 16th.

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