Prince, de Villiers storm into top 20 of Test player rankings

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Dubai, July 22 : Ashwell Prince and A B de Villiers have stormed into the top 20 of the Reliance Mobile ICC Player Rankings for Test batsmen after outstanding performances against England in the second Test, which finished at the Headingly Cricket Ground on Monday.

Prince scored 149 and de Villiers contributed 174 in the Proteas first innings. The two featured in a 212-run fifth-wicket partnership that laid the foundation of South Africa's mammoth total of 522. That total set up a 10-wicket victory which gave it a 1-0 lead with two Tests of the four-match series remaining.

Prince has climbed eight places to 13th spot in the rankings and now has 12th-placed Graeme Smith firmly in his sights while de Villiers has jumped six places to 19th position.

However, Jacques Kallis has slipped in the rankings and is now placed seventh dropping one spot after scoring four at Leeds, his third failure of the series. The 33-year-old from Cape Town has dropped five places since January this year.

South Africa opener Neil McKenzie has also slipped two places to 26th but Hashim Amla has improved by one and now sits in 25th spot.

England's batsmen had a forgettable Test and this is clearly reflected in the latest rankings. Kevin Pietersen, Ian Bell, Andrew Strauss and captain Michael Vaughan have all dropped down the ladder.

Pietersen, who lifted to seventh after his knock of 152 at Lord's, has dropped one position to eighth while Bell has also failed to defend his career-best 13th position, which he achieved following his career-best 199 at Lord's, and has slipped four places to 17th spot.

Andrew Strauss has taken a dive of five places and is now placed 22nd while Vaughan is in 35th spot after sliding three positions.

The batting list is still headed by Kumar Sangakkara of Sri Lanka, ahead of the West Indies' Shivnarine Chanderpaul, Mike Hussey of Australia and his captain Ricky Ponting, along with Mohammad Yousuf of Pakistan, the latter two sharing fourth place.

The top 20 list in the Reliance Mobile Player Rankings for Test bowlers has remained unchanged except Matthew Hoggard, who is yet to play in the series, dropping and swapping places with India's Harbhajan Singh in 17th and 18th spots respectively.

Monty Panesar holds firm in eleventh place while Andrew Flintoff, who played in his first Test in almost 18 months, stays in 19th spot.

England's James Anderson has improved his ranking by one place and he is now just outside the top 20 list in 21st position while the biggest mover in this category is South Africa's Morne Morkel who climbs eight places to 38th position after recording match figures of 7-113.

The list is headed by Sri Lanka's Muttiah Muralidaran while South Africa's Dale Steyn is just clear of Australia's Stuart Clarke, who occupies third place.


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