Afridi, Chapman rise; Suryakumar remains No.1 T20 batter in latest ICC T20I rankings

Dubai: Pakistan pacer Shaheen Shah Afridi rose two spots to 17th in the latest ICC Men’s T2OI bowlers rankings on the back of his strong start to Pakistan’s ongoing T20I series at home against New Zealand, where the 24-year-old is the leading wicket-taker in the series through the first three matches.

The pacer took the only wicket in the opening match of the series that was ruined by rain and his haul of 3/13 in Pakistan’s decisive seven-wicket triumph over the Kiwis in the second game of the series has led to the rise up the rankings and past teammate Haris Rauf in 22nd place.

England’s Adil Rashid remained the No.1 ranked T20I bowler in the latest T20I rankings, while New Zealand spinner Ish Sodhi also gained some ground following three wickets for New Zealand in the series against Pakistan.

Sodhi collected 1/18 in the second match of the series in Rawalpindi and then improved on that effort during the Kiwis’ emphatic seven-wicket victory at the same ground with figures of 2/25 as New Zealand leveled the series at 1-1 with two matches remaining.

India star Suryakumar Yadav remained at the top of the T20I rankings for batters, with a pair of New Zealanders on the move following a good start to the series with Pakistan.

New Zealand opener Tim Seifert rose three places to 24th, while teammate Mark Chapman following his unbeaten half-century (87* from just 42 deliveries) and Player of the Match heroics in the third game of the series in Pakistan was duly rewarded by making a 12-place jump to 33rd overall as a result of his innings that included a quartet of massive sixes.

There was also another new career-high rating for Nepal’s Dipendra Singh Airee, who saw a jump of 10 places to 50th on the updated rankings for T20I batters, with the Nepal all-rounder continuing the form that saw him become just the third player to smash six sixes in an over of a T20I match earlier this month.

Airee joined India great Yuvraj Singh and West Indies all-rounder Kieron Pollard as players to have achieved the remarkable feat when he launched Kamran Khan over the rope six consecutive times during Nepal’s match against Qatar at the ACC Men’s T20I Premier Cup and the 24-year-old was at it again in the playoff for third at the same event. – IANS

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