South Africa retained their top spot in the MRF Tyres ICC ODI rankings on Saturday after sweeping a 3-2 series win against New Zealand on Saturday, 3rd of March. The Proteas thrashed the Black Caps and won the game by six wickets in Auckland.
Prior to the series, South Africa was standing at the top spot with 119 points, one point ahead of Australia. New Zealand were in third spot while India were ranked fourth with 113 and 112 points respectively.
In order to retain the top spot, South Africa had to win the fifth and final match against the Kiwis. If the visitors had lost the match, the top spot would have been scooped up by Australia on decimal points with both teams on 118.
Kagiso Rabada played his part well by picking up three wickets for 25 runs in the first innings. Rabada, the spinner Imran Tahir and the medium pacer Andile Phehlukwayo restricted New Zealand to a score of 149. In the second innings, a patient knock of unbeaten 51 by Faf du Plessis along with David Miller’s 45* helped South Africa seal the series. Miller’s handsome knock comprised of six boundaries and two sixes. Rabada was named the man of the match.
After finishing the limited-overs matches, the two teams will now face each other in three Test matches. The first Test will start on 8th March at the University Oval, Dunedin.
South Africa had regained the top spot after a 5-0 series win against the Sri Lankan team last month. Australia’s 2-0 loss against New Zealand also led the Proteas to their top rankings.
The Proteas next face England in the ODI format in May in a 3-match series prior to the ICC Champions trophy which will be held in England.
ICC ODI Rankings: