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18-Jan-2010 15:39:00 GMT
England in South Africa, 2009/10

Career-best Rankings for Smith and Morkel

Dubai: Graeme Smith, the South African captain, and Morne Morkel, one half of his hostile new-ball pair, have climbed to career-best rankings after South Africa's resounding victory in the fourth Test at the Wanderers. Smith crunched a vital 105 in that Test, and Morkel finished with match figures of 7 for 98 as England fell to an innings defeat and South Africa drew level in the Test series.

Smith moved up two places to second in the Test batting rankings, but Morkel's ascent was far more dramatic. He started the series ranked 31st and has jumped 24 places to seventh after picking up 19 wickets at 21.47 in four Tests.

Dale Steyn, Morkel's opening partner with whom he shared the man-of-the-match award in the final Test, took 15 wickets at 23.80 despite missing the first Test at Centurion and playing in Durban while not yet fully fit.

Steyn's good showing in the series means that he consolidates his position at the top of the bowling rankings, extending his lead to 72 points ahead of Mitchell Johnson in second place.

AB de Villiers, Hashim Amla and Mark Boucher also moved up the rankings, to 13th, 23rd, and 36th places, respectively, while Jacques Kallis and Ashwell Prince both dropped two spaces, to eighth and 29th positions.

It's a different story for England, however, as Paul Collingwood is the only batsman to move up the rankings after notching up 344 runs at 57.33 despite not scoring a hundred in the four Tests. Stuart Broad's 13 wickets mean that he climbed up into the top 10.

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