Sangakkara reclaims number-one position in Test batting

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Dubai, Aug 31 (ANI): Sri Lanka captain Kumar Sangakkara has reclaimed the number-one position in the ICC Player Rankings for Test batsmen for the fourth time in his career after brilliant knocks in the second Test against New Zealand.

The Sri Lanka captain followed up his half-century in the first innings with an exquisite 109 - his 20th Test century - to reclaim the top position from India's Gautam Gambhir.

Sangakkara first achieved the number-one ranking in December 2007 before he returned to the top spot in March 2008 and then in July 2009.

He is not the only one on the move after a successful campaign against New Zealand. Sangakkara's predecessor Mahela Jayawardena and middle-order batsmen Thilan Samaraweera, who was player of the series, have both achieved career-best rankings.

While Jayawardena has jumped four places to third position after knocks of 92 and 96 which made him the first Asian and fourth overall to be out in the 90s twice in a Test, Samaraweera's 11th century in what was his 54th Test has put him just outside the top 10 in 12th position after he had started the Test in 16th position.

Tillakaratne Dilshan, however, has failed to defend his 19th position and has dropped out of the top 20 after falling two places following knocks of 29 and 33.

New Zealand batsman Ross Taylor and captain Daniel Vettori have also made movements in the right direction.

Taylor, who contributed 81 and 27 in the lost cause, has jumped four places to share 23rd spot with West Indies' Chris Gayle while Vettori's fourth Test century has helped him improve his ranking by one position. He now sits in 28th spot.

The only change in the top 20 of the Reliance Mobile ICC Player Rankings for Test bowlers is New Zealand fast bowler Chris Martin who has slipped two places to 18th position.

Sri Lanka's left-arm spinner Rangana Herath is the biggest mover in the bowlers' rankings as the 31-year-old from Kurunegala has rocketed 12 places to 28th spot after match figures of 8-209, including 5-139 in the second innings.

New Zealand off-spinner Jeetan Patel is the other bowler to rise in the latest bowling table. The off-spinner has climbed three places to 46th after match figures of 6-200, including 4-78 in the first innings.

South Africa's Dale Steyn leads the bowlers' ranking from Muttiah Muralidaran of Sri Lanka and Mitchell Johnson of Australia.

There is also no change in the top five of the Reliance Mobile ICC Player Rankings for Test all-rounders as Jacques Kallis continues to lead the field by a distance. However, Vettori has achieved his career-best rating that has helped him open up the gap with third-placed Johnson. (ANI)

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