x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 22 July 2017

England top of Twenty20

In its first ever rankings for the shortest form of the game, the ICC rates Eoin Morgan and Ajantha Mendis No 1 batsman and bowler.

England, the reigning world Twenty20 champions, topped the inaugural rankings for the shortest format of the game when they were unveiled in Dubai on Monday.

England, who won the third staging of the World Twenty20 under Paul Collingwood in the West Indies last year, have a rating of 127 points and lead second-placed Sri Lanka by just one point.

England are already world No 1 in the Test arena, while Australia top the one-day international rankings.

David Richardson, the International Cricket Council (ICC) general manager, said a true context will be provided to the new and popular brand of the game through the rankings.

"The launch of T20 rankings will generate even more interest in the shortest format and will help to give more context to bilateral T20 matches," Richardson, a former South African wicketkeeper, said at the launch ceremony.

"[The rankings] will help us draw the seedings for the next World Twenty20 Cup to be held in Sri Lanka next year," Richardson said.

England's Eoin Morgan heads the Twenty20 player rankings for batting, while Ajantha Mendis of Sri Lanka is the top bowler and Australia's Shane Watson is the best T20 all-rounder.

Sri Lanka's Mahela Jayawardene, fourth in the batting rankings, said at the launch: "I think rankings are important and will add to the competition. Twenty20 cricket is a positive influence on the other formats of the game."

Elsewhere, Elias Sunny took four wickets on his debut to boost Bangladesh hopes of a first innings lead in the opening Test against the West Indies on Monday.

Sunny took four for 56 as the West Indies reached 144 for five on the penultimate day in reply to Bangladesh's 350 for nine declared.

Sunny, 25, did not have to wait long for his first Test wicket as he trapped Kirk Edwards leg-before in his third over before dismissing Darren Bravo (two), Kraigg Brathwaite and Shivnarine Chanderpaul in the last session.

"Getting Chanderpaul's wicket was really great," the left-arm spinner said. "But I'm not satisfied with my bowling as I gave away too many runs."