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Sat Apr 19 14:00:36 SAST 2014

Steyn still tops rankings as Philander enters at 49

Teamtalk media | 13 November, 2011 15:190 Comments
Dale Steyn of South Africa celebrates the wicket of Shane Watson of Australia during day 2 of the 1st Sunfoil Series Test match between South Africa and Australia at Sahara Park Newlands on November 10, 2011 in Cape Town
Image by: Lee Warren / Gallo Images

South African fast bowler Dale Steyn has become only the 20th bowler in history to break the 900-point mark barrier in the ICC Test rankings for bowlers after claiming six victims in his side's eight-wicket win against Australia in Cape Town on Friday.

Steyn began the Test on 899 ratings points and earned three ratings points for his efforts of four 55 and two for 23 to become only the second South Africa bowler after Shaun Pollock to achieve the rare distinction.

A delighted Steyn said: "It is very special for me to join the 900-point club. There are a lot of world-class players in that region and it is an honour to be in their company.

"When I go out and bowl I hardly ever think of the rankings, for me it is about representing my country and giving my best for the team so sometimes it means a lot to receive the recognition."

At 902 ratings points, Steyn is 17th in the all-time ratings list, with an excellent chance of moving further up that list provided he puts up another stellar performance in the second and final Test, which starts in Johannesburg on Thursday.

Steyn has been holding the number one slot in the list for current players since the Durban Test against England in December 2009, although his first time at the top of that table came in April 2008. In 47 impressive Tests, the 28-year-old has taken 244 wickets.

Such is Steyn's dominance in the bowling rankings that second-placed James Anderson of England trails him by 91 ratings points, while his team-mate Morne Morkel, who is the second best South Africa bowler in third position, is 126 ratings points behind.

While Steyn has achieved a career-best rating, Australia's Shane Watson has earned a career-best ranking of 10th. Watson had figures of 5-2-17-5 in South Africa's first innings score of 96 to lift him 15 places up the list.

Debutant Vernon Philander, one of the architects of Australia's second-innings collapse for 47 with figures of 7-3-15-5, has entered the bowlers' rankings in 49th position.

In the Reliance ICC Test rankings for batsmen, all three men who scored centuries in a sensational Cape Town Test have made upward moves.

South Africa captain Graeme Smith, who scored 37 and 101 not out, has climbed eight places to seventh spot, Hashim Amla's contributions of three and 112 have lifted him four places to eighth position - just eight rankings points behind his captain - and Michael Clarke has returned to the top 20 to lie in 17th position after gaining five places following his scores of 151 and two.

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Steyn still tops rankings as Philander enters at 49

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