O’Brien takes big step in Test rankings
Ireland’s Kevin O’Brien, Stuart Thompson and Tim Murtagh have stormed into top 100 list in the ICC Test player rankings after playing Ireland’s first-ever Test match against Pakistan at Malahide.
O’Brien made 40 with the bat in the first innings and then he smashed Ireland’s first Test ton scoring 118. He became the fourth player after Charles Bannerman, Dave Houghton and Aminul Islam Bulbul to hit a century in country’s debut Test.
O’Brien has gained 440 points and is at 66th position. This is the second-best move by a batsman from a debutant team in the history. Australia’s Bannerman earned 447 points when he made 165 against England in 1877 inaugural Test.
Bulbul got 432 points when he made a valiant 145 against India in Bangladesh’s maiden Test in 2000 while Zimbabwe’s Houghton achieved 431 points after scoring 121 and 41* against India in their debut Test in 1992.
Stuart Thompson, who made a half-century in the second innings and took five wickets in two innings of Malahide Test, has made notable moves in the rankings. He is ranked 125th in the batting rankings and 88th in the bowling rankings.
Murtagh took match figures of 6/100 against Pakistan. He is ranked 67th with 221 points.
There hasn’t been much change in the rankings. Pakistani debutants Faheem Ahsraf and Imam-ul-Haq are positioned 81st and 113th respectively. Faheem scored a match-saving fifty in the first innings while the opener Imam guided his team to a victory scoring 74*.
Mohammad Abbas, who took nine in the match including five-for in the second innings, has jumped eight places to career-best 29th. Mohammad Amir moved two places to 37th.
Currently, Australia’s Steve Smith is leading the batting rankings with 929 points. Protea pacer Kagiso Rabada is the best bowler with 897 points. Shakib Al Hasan of Bangladesh is the no.1 all-rounder with 421 points.
-Ruffin, Correspondent, bdcrictime.com