Sports: Cricket: Pakistan eyes top T20 Ranking with series win

Karachi: Pakistan is looking forward to beat Sri Lanka 2-0 in the two-match T20 series and snatch the top ICC T20I Team Rankings from the South Asian rivals as the series at Dubai International Cricket Stadium, Dubai Sports City, begins on Wednesday.

The second match will be played on Saturday.

Sri Lanka has remained in the number-one position since October 8 2012 following the ICC World Twenty20 2012, where it reached the final. It leads fourth-ranked Pakistan by eight ratings points.

However, this will change if Pakistan manages to win both T20Is. If Pakistan wins the series 2-0, then Mohammad Hafeez’ side will earn four ratings points while Dinesh Chandimal’s side will drop six ratings points.

This swing will mean Pakistan will jump to the number-one position on 125 ratings points and Sri Lanka will join India and South Africa on 123 ratings points, but will be ranked above those sides when the ratings are calculated beyond the decimal point.

However, if the series result is reversed, then Sri Lanka will retain the number-one spot, and move to 133 ratings points while Pakistan will drop behind the West Indies into fifth position on 118 ratings points. If the series ends in a one-all draw, Sri Lanka will finish in the number-one spot on 128 ratings points and Pakistan will stay in fourth position on 121 ratings points.

Meanwhile, only two batsmen from either side feature in the top 20 of the Reliance ICC Player Rankings for T20I Batsmen. These are Tillekeratne Dilshan (12th), Kumar Sangakkara (16th), Mohammad Hafeez (19th) and Umar Akmal (20th).

Pakistan and Sri Lanka bowlers dominate the Reliance ICC Player Rankings for T20I Bowlers with Saeed Ajmal second, Ajantha Mendis third and Hafeez fourth. Outside the top 10 are Nuwan Kulasekara (11th), Shahid Afridi (12th), Angelo Mathews (18th) and Lasith Malinga (19th). Sohail Tanvir is in 26th position and will be aiming to break into the top 20.

Hafeez in second position is the highest-ranked player on the Reliance ICC Player Rankings for T20I All-rounders while Afridi is in fifth position. Hafeez trails Australia’s Shane Watson by 10 ratings points and can potentially top the rankings if he performs well with both bat and ball.

Mathews in 10th position is Sri Lanka’s highest-ranked all-rounder.

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