The Afghanistan players, led by Rashid Khan and Mohammad Nabi, made good upward moves in the latest MRF Tyres ICC Men’s T20I Player Rankings following their 3-0 series sweep of Bangladesh in Dehradun over the past week.
Khan, the No.1 bowler in the world in the format, returned 3/13, 4/12 and 1/24 and was a constant thorn in the Bangladesh flesh. He reached a career-best 816 rating points during the series before finishing at 813.
The series win was scripted by the Afghan spinners. Apart from Khan, Mohammad Nabi and Mujeeb Ur Rahman were outstanding too. Though they didn’t pick up a lot of wickets like Khan did, both were miserly, conceding runs at five per over for the series. As a result, Nabi moved up 11 places to eighth on the bowlers’ table, while Mujeeb gained an astounding 62 spots to get to No.51.
Nabi wasn’t just excellent with the ball, he struck crucial runs for Afghanistan in the second game as well, his 31* in 15 balls helping Afghanistan overhaul Bangladesh’s 134/8 with seven balls to spare. That innings helped him reach a career-best 323 points in the all-rounders’ list too, retaining the No.2 spot, though he ended the series on 321 points.
Among the Afghan batsmen, Mohammad Shahzad continues to be the top-ranked man at No.9, while Samiullah Shenwari was the biggest gainer, his 118 runs in the series at a strike rate of 135.63 helping him move up 11 positions to No.44.
The story wasn’t too similar in the Bangladesh camp. Shakib Al Hasan, their captain, remains the third-best all-rounder, but he has slipped a spot among bowlers and four spots among batsmen after picking up only two wickets and scoring just 28 runs in the series.
Mushfiqur Rahim, who hit 46 in the final game, did benefit, though. He moved up three places to No.42 even as Mahmudullah, Tamim Iqbal and the other frontline Bangladesh batsmen lost points.
Prior to the Afghanistan-Bangladesh series, there was also the Hurricane Relief T20 Challenge match at Lord’s between the ICC World XI and the Windies, and the strong performers in that game moved up in the rankings too.
Evin Lewis (58), Marlon Samuels (43) and Denesh Ramdin (44*) were the main scorers for the Windies, who won that game by 72 runs, while Thisara Perera was the lone shining light with the bat for the defeated team, hitting a 37-ball 61. All of them gained in the latest update, with Lewis right up at No.5 among batsmen, having displaced Martin Guptill.
Kesrick Williams, the most successful bowler in the game with 3/42, moved up five places to be in 41st place among the bowlers, while Samuel Badree, who returned a scarcely believable 3-1-4-2, stayed at fifth place.
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