Dimuth Karunarathne achieves career best ranking

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Sri Lanka’s Dimuth Karunaratne has achieved a career-high position in the ICC Test Player Rankings after inspiring his side to an impressive win in the first Test against South Africa in Galle on Saturday.

Karunaratne, the 30-year-old left-handed opener, has been rewarded for his knocks of 158 not out and 60 in Sri Lanka’s 278-run victory over South Africa with a leap of 21 places that has put him in 10th position among batsmen.

Dimuth Karunaratne – The modern, classic southpaw

Scoring a century at the Galle International Stadium…

Karunaratne is now his side’s second-highest-ranked batsman behind Dinesh Chandimal (ninth). With Chandimal not available for the Colombo Test, Karunaratne has an opportunity to become his country’s highest-ranked batsman, provided he performs strongly. From the Galle Test against the second-ranked side in the world, Karunaratne has collected 128 points and he now trails Chandimal by 20 points.

There were no changes in the top seven places among the bowlers, but Rangana Herath moved up two places to join Neil Wagner at No.8 after picking up five wickets in Galle. Herath was, however, overshadowed by his spin partner Dilruwan Perera, who had an outstanding Test match, returning 4/46 and 6/32. The second-innings performance was Perera’s best in his 30 Tests to date, and the match figures a career-best too. He jumped seven places to No.25 as a result.

Sri Lanka also has a chance to make upward movement in ICC Team Rankings. If Sri Lanka win the series 2-0, then they will join England on 97 points but will be ranked below Joe Root’s side by a fraction of a point, while South Africa will join Australia on 106 points but will be ranked ahead of Tim Paine’s side when the rankings are calculated beyond the decimal points.