ICC Test Rankings: New Zealand officially become number one: With an innings and 176-run massive victory against Pakistan in the second Test, New Zealand toppled Australia to become the number one side in Test rankings.
Kane Williamson-led side clean-swept Pakistan in the two-match Test series. They have also gained crucial points to strengthen their position in the ICC World Test Championship standings. New Zealand now have 118 points and leading the charts. They have achieved the feat for the first time in rankings history. Australia with 116 points stands at second spot followed by India (114), England (106) and South Africa (96).
A win for Australia in Sydney will see Tim Paine’s side go back ahead of Kiwis on the ICC’s provisional Test rankings that are officially updated at the series’ end. Only a 3-1 series win for India can see them claim the number one spot after the fourth Test in Brisbane. A drawn Australia-India series would see New Zealand remain top.
New Zealand who declared their first innings after gaining a lead of 362 runs, made light work of Pakistan batsmen in the second innings and the hosts just took 81.4 overs to bundle out the visitors to gain a comprehensive win.
Resuming day three at 8/1, Pakistan lost the wicket of nightwatchman Mohammad Abbas (3) in just the fourth over of the day as the right-handed batter was sent back to the pavilion by Trent Boult. Abid Ali and Azhar Ali then tried to retrieve the innings for the visitors as the duo put on a stand of 29 runs.
However, before the lunch break, the Kiwis managed to get another breakthrough as Kyle Jamieson scalped the wicket of Abid Ali (26) and as a result, the visitors went into the interval at 69/3.
After the lunch break, Pakistan lost the wickets of Haris Sohail (15) and Azhar Ali (37) in quick succession as Jamieson had both batsmen caught at the hands of wicketkeeper BJ Watling and the visitors were left staring down the barrel at 88/5.
In the 52nd over of the innings, Jamieson recorded his five-wicket haul as he clean-bowled Pakistan skipper Mohammad Rizwan (10). Before the tea interval, Kiwis also dismissed Fawad Alam (16) and the hosts were just three wickets away from victory in the second Test.
Faheem Ashraf played a knock of 28 runs, but he was sent back to the pavilion by Jamieson in the 72nd over and after this dismissal, the Kiwis quickly wrapped up the tail and the side recorded a well-deserved victory.
Pakistan was bowled out for 186 in the second innings. Jamieson had also taken five wickets in the first innings and in the end, he finished the match with a total of 11 wickets.