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Sports News

Cricket: Prolific Malan replaces Pakistan's Azam at top of T20I rankings

Cricket - Third T20 International - England v Australia - Rose Bowl, Southampton, Britain - September 8, 2020 England's Dawid Malan in action Glyn Kirk/Pool via REUTERS

(Reuters) - England’s Dawid Malan has leapfrogged Pakistan’s Babar Azam to become the best Twenty20 international batsman in the world, based on the latest International Cricket Council (ICC) rankings.

Malan, 33, enjoyed a fruitful series against Australia, scoring 66, 44 and 21 in three games to guide England to a 2-1 series victory.

The Yorkshire batsman, whose previous best ranking was second in November last year, is now eight rating points ahead of Azam, while Australia skipper Aaron Finch, who amassed 125 runs in the series, remains third.

Jonny Bairstow and Jos Buttler also made strides in the rankings, with Bairstow moving up three spots to reach a career-best 19 and Buttler rising from 40 to 28 after scoring 121 runs in two matches.

Australia, who had slipped to second in the T20 team rankings after falling 2-0 down in the series, regained top spot after defeating England by five wickets in the final match on Tuesday.

The two sides will lock horns in a three-match one-day international series starting Friday.

Reporting by Arvind Sriram in Bengaluru, editing by Pritha Sarkar

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