Lopsy’s standing on top of the world

LONWABO Tsotsobe’s six wickets in the recent one-day series against New Zealand have propelled him into the top spot of international bowlers.

The left-armer took the second most wickets in the three-match series after fellow South African fast bowler Morne Morkel, who finished with seven from two games.

But Tsotsobe’s consistency has rocketed him to No1 spot in the ODI rankings.

He had been in second place going into the series, just behind Pakistan spinner Saeed Ajmal.

“I am not one for numbers,” the diffident Tsotsobe said. “But I do put in a lot of hard work and it is always special when you receive the recognition. I think I have been bowling some of the best spells of my career over the past five months and I hope that I can continue with that form.

“The most important aspect is that I am contributing to the team’s success – that is always something you strive for as a cricketer.”

His performances for the Proteas’ ODI team during the home series against Australia and Sri Lanka helped him break into the top 10, and he also become the fastest South African to take 50 limited-overs wickets, doing so in only 27 matches.

Proteas ODI captain AB de Villiers said Tsotsobe’s bowling had been a vital asset to the attack.

Morkel achieved career best match figures in the series with five for 38 in the second ODI in Napier.

He has now overtaken England’s Graeme Swann in third place while Dale Steyn has moved up three places to 13th position. JP Duminy gained two places and moves to 21st on the batting ODI rankings.

South African batsmen Hashim Amla and De Villiers are still first and second in the ODI batting. Amla scored 176 runs in the series against the Black Caps and De Villiers 146. The Proteas’ 3-0 series win moves them into second place, but they are only one rating point ahead of third-placed India.

Australia look set to remain the top team by April 1 (the deadline in the matters of trophies and prize money).

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