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Cricket | International

England consolidate position at the top



England's 2-0 test series victory over the West Indies gives them an outright lead as the No 1 team ahead of South Africa on the Reliance ICC test Championship table.

England now lead South Africa by one ratings point. If England had managed to win the third and final test they would have extended their lead by a further two ratings points.

Denesh Ramdin's unbeaten knock of 107 in the third and final test against England, which ended in a draw at Edgbaston on Monday, helped the 27-year-old move up 20 places to 68th in the latest ICC Player Rankings for test batsmen.

Trinidad-born Ramdin also added 143 runs with Tino Best in a record tenth wicket partnership against England.

Best, who was named man of the match for a knock of 95 and a spell of two for 37, re-entered the batting rankings in 115th place.

The other West Indies batsman to make any gain was opener Adrian Barath who moved to 69th place (up by five).

Shivnarine Chanderpaul, who did not play the final test, continues to top the batting chart, however there are some changes in the top 10 including England's Alastair Cook who became one of three England batsmen to slip, dropping four places to 10th spot.

Others who slipped in the ICC Rankings included Jonathan Trott to 18th (down by two places) and England captain Andrew Strauss, who was named the joint Man of the Series with West Indies' Marlon Samuels for scoring 326 runs with two hundreds, who fell one place to 24th after he made just 17 runs in the final test.

Samuels, who finished the series as the leading run-getter on either side with 386 runs, has moved up two spots to 33rd.

Kevin Pietersen has retained his 17th spot while Ian Bell has moved up two places to 16th.

The bowlers' table is headed by South Africa's Dale Steyn with Saeed Ajmal of Pakistan and England's James Anderson in second and third positions, respectively.

Anderson's fellow England bowler, offspinner Graeme Swann, who picked up six wickets for 282 runs in the series, has slipped four places to eighth.

Meanwhile, Tim Bresnan, who ended with 12 wickets in the series, has moved up one spot to 14th, Steven Finn has moved up two spots to 24th and Graham Onions, returning from a two-year break due to injury, has re-entered the rankings in 46th place.

The ICC Player Rankings for test allrounders is still headed by Bangladesh's Shakib Al Hasan with South Africa's Jacques Kallis in second spot.

RELIANCE ICC TEST CHAMPIONSHIP (after England-West Indies test series):

1.England 117
2.South Africa 116
3.Australia 112
4.India 111
5.Pakistan 108
6.Sri Lanka 99
7.West Indies 85
8.New Zealand 85
9.Bangladesh 8
(Zimbabwe will have to play eight tests in the qualification period before it will have a ranking).

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