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Yasir Shah tops rankings, thanks to Lord’s

Pakistan wrist spinner Yasir Shah has become number one bowler in the latest ICC Test rankings. Mushtaq Ahmed, who is with the Test team as the bowling coach was the last Pakistani to be ranked No.1 in December 1996.

Pakistan defeated England at Lord’s by 75 runs and redeemed themselves after the shambolic performance at the very ground in 2010.

Shah became the first leg spinner after Shane Warne to achieve No 1 position. Warne was No 1 in 2005.

Pakistan closed the match late on fourth day and Yasir took six for 72 and four for 69 and completely bamboozled the English batsmen overtook James Anderson and Ravichandran Ashwin in the rankings. Anderson, who missed the first Test due to injury, will be returning at his home ground Old Trafford to regain his place as the top bowler in the rankings.

Shah was the bowler that Misbah turned to when he required a breakthrough and Shah didn’t disappoint him. Shah bowled long spells and by maintaining control, he helped fast bowlers as well.

Yasir, who was playing his first Test match outside Asia won Man of the Match award and after missing out on action due to doping suspension would like to carry his good form.

Shah has taken 86 wickets in 13 matches and is on course for reaching fastest to 100 wickets. George Lohmann, the England bowler, had reached the mark in 16 matches in 1896. The record has been intact for 120 years.

Asad Shafiq, who scored 73 and 49 in tough batting conditions has achieved career-high ranking. He is at No 11 and can break into top 10 by the end of the series.

Pakistan left arm quickie Rahat Ali has also achieved career-high ranking of 32nd after jumping three places by taking three top order English wickets in second innings and four wickets in the match. Mohammad Amir also broke into top 100 and is now at 93rd place. It was fitting that Mohammad Amir took the last wicket and made a successful return to Test cricket after the spot-fixing fiasco that turned his career upside down.

Pakistan captain Mishab-ul-Haq, who scored his 10th Test century while scoring 114 in the first innings, has moved up one place to ninth, while wicketkeeper/batsman Sarfraz Ahmed has gained two places and is now in 17th position.

Jonny Bairstow, England wicket keeper who fought hard in the second innings is at 16th position. Gary Balance, who returned to the side also moved up two places and is at now 40th position.

Chris Woakes , who performed admirably for England by picking up 11 wickets and also grinding it out in the middle is at No.36.

England suffered an unexpected loss against Pakistan and now they will have to play very well to make a comeback in the series. Pakistan bossed the game. They have answered their critics in some style.

The second Test starts on 22nd July at Old Trafford.