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South Africa regain no.1 spot in ODI rankings

South Africa have regained the no.1 spot in ICC ODI rankings after two years. They have whitewashed Sri Lanka by 5-0 in the ODI series to claim number position. World Champions Australia have slipped down to number two.

The Proteas started the Sri Lanka series with just four points behind the Aussies. The Australians’ loss to New Zealand by 2-0 has created a chance for South Africa to become number one. A clean sweep of the Sri Lankans has done it for the powerhouse Proteas.

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This is the fifth time South Africa have claimed number one position in ODI rankings since new rankings system introduced in 2002. They were world number one in February 2007, March-May 2008, January-August 2009 and October-November 2014.

South Africa lost their top spot in November 2014 to India, when they whitewashed Sri Lanka by 5-0. Australia took the position by beating South Africa by 4-1 later that month.

Since 1 May 2016, South Africa have played 17 ODIs and won 13 of them including a 11-win streak. To hold the top spot, they have to win the upcoming five-match ODI series against New Zealand in New Zealand by 3-2 or better. If they lose by any margin, Australia will reclaim the position.

Meanwhile, Sri Lanka, who are at number six, have lost three points. They have 98 points, just seven points ahead of Bangladesh’s 91.

The top eight-ranked sides including hosts England will quality directly for the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019.

ICC ODI rankings:

South Africa 119

Australia 118

New Zealand 113

India 112

England 107

Sri Lanka 98

Bangladesh 91

Pakistan 89

West Indies 87

Afghanistan 52

Zimbabwe 47

Ireland 42

-Ruffin, Correspondent, bdcrictime.com

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