Yasir Shah becomes ICC’s top-ranked Test bowler
Dubai, July 18 :Pakistan leg-spinner Yasir Shah has become the number-one ranked bowler in the world after guiding his side to a 75-run victory over England in the first Test at Lord's on Sunday. The 30-year-old, who returned to the figures of six for 72 and four for 69, has leapfrogged India spinner Ravichandran Ashwin and England's fast bowling pair of James Anderson (who missed the Test due to an injury) and Stuart Broad into the top spot after his achievement earned him 32 points. Yasir, who won the player of the match award in his first Test outside Asia, now leads Ashwin by seven points and Anderson by 10 points. At the same time, Yasir has also become the first Pakistan bowler to top rankings since Mushtaq Ahmed achieved the distinction in December 1996, while Shane Warne was the last wrist spinner to surge to the number-one position in December 2005. Yasir looks strong to gain further points and create more daylight between him and rest of the field as he is still in the qualification period. A bowler qualifies for a full rating after he has taken 100 wickets, while Yasir has so far claimed 86 wickets in 13 Tests. Meanwhile, England's Chris Woakes has also made an impressive gain in the latest ICC Player Rankings for Test Bowlers. Woakes recorded match figures of 11 for 102 for which he has earned a jump of 28 places that has put him in a career-high 36th position. Pakistan's Rahat Ali, who took four wickets in the match, has also achieved a career-high ranking of 32nd after jumping three places, while Mohammad Amir has returned to the rankings just inside the top 100 in 93rd position. There is more good news for Pakistan as their middle-order batsman Asad Shafiq also achieved a career-high ranking in the ICC Player Rankings for Test Batsmen. Asad scored 73 and 49 for which he has been rewarded with a jump of two places that has put him in 11th spot. Asad now has a top 10 place firmly within his sights as he trails 10th ranked Sri Lanka captain Angelo Mathews by seven points. Pakistan captain Mishab-ul-Haq, who scored his 10th Test century while scoring 114 in the first innings, has moved up one place to ninth, while wicketkeeper-batsman Sarfraz Ahmed has gained two places and is now in 17th position. For England, Jonny Bairstow and Gary Ballance have improved their rankings. Bairstow is now on a career-high 16thposition after moving up two places, while Ballance is in 40th position having risen two places. Pakistan have now taken a 1-0 lead in the four-match series. The two sides will play their second Test at Old Trafford from Friday.