Australia continue reign atop ICC rankings

Updated: 07 January 2009 08:42 IST

Australia have survived at the top of the ICC Test Championship table following its 103-run victory over South Africa in the final match of the series.

Australia continue reign atop ICC rankings

Dubai:

Australia have survived at the top of the ICC Test Championship table following its 103-run victory over South Africa in the third and final match of the series in Sydney on Wednesday.

But the pressure is still on Ricky Ponting's team as the gap at the top has been closed to just five rating points following their historic 2-1 series defeat.

It is the first time South Africa has won a Test series in Australia and it sets up a fascinating return series, the first match of which begins on February 26 in Johannesburg.

Any sort of victory in that three-match series will see the Proteas go top of the rankings.

As it was, victory for Graeme Smith's team in Sydney would have been enough to put them top but Aussies dug deep in the final match of the series to keep the chasing pack at bay.

With India very much in the ascendancy, there are now just eight points separating first place from third with all three teams very much in contention for the right to be called the number-one Test side in the world.

Meanwhile, Sri Lanka strengthened its hold on the fourth place following its 2-0 series win in Bangladesh.

After it had been pushed very hard in the first Test in Dhaka, Mahela Jayawardena's team proved far too strong the second time around and finally ran out winners by 465 runs in Chittagong.

That win gave Sri Lanka another ratings point to put it within 10 of India and six ahead of England, which recently lost an away series 1-0 to India.

Pakistan is another three points back in sixth place while the West Indies is still just ahead of New Zealand by a fraction of a point following the recent drawn series in the Land of the Long White Cloud.

Topics : Cricket Sreesanth
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