SA's cricketers surge ahead in world rankings


South Africa's leading batsmen have climbed the latest International Cricket Council rankings, with four of the top six coming from the Proteas.

Proteas batsman Hashim Amla rose to third position on the ICC's Test batting rankings. (Tom Shaw, Getty Images)

Hashim Amla, who became the first Proteas player to score a triple century in South Africa's thumping victory over England last week, rose to third position with a career-best rating.

Jacques Kallis, who contributed an unbeaten century to the winning first Test at the Oval, also improved his ranking, climbing two positions to second. Only Sri Lanka's Kumar Sangakkara is ranked higher.

Kallis also reclaimed top spot among all-rounders, rising above former No. 1 Shakib al Hasan of Bangladesh.

Middle-order batsman AB de Villiers, who did not bat at the Oval, dropped two positions to fifth after he was overtaken by his countrymen, while skipper Graeme Smith, who made a century in his 100th Test, rose four positions to sixth.

Meanwhile, Dale Steyn, who bagged seven wickets at the Oval, stretched the gap over Pakistan's Saeed Ajmal at the top of the Test rankings for bowlers.

Fellow speedster Morné Morkel climbed four spots to sixth – tied with Australia's Ben Hilfenhaus – and Vernon Philander rose one place to fourth.

The Proteas face Worcestershire in a two-day tour match starting on Friday.

The second Test against England, at Headingley, starts on August 2. – Sapa

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