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Sangakkara on top of new ICC batting rankings

Sangakkara topples Australia skipper Ricky Ponting to become the first Lankan to top the batting rankings after a tremendous run of form.

cricket Updated: Dec 06, 2007 21:34 IST

Sri Lanka batsman Kumar Sangakkara has knocked Australia skipper Ricky Ponting off the top of the International Cricket Council's (ICC) latest Test rankings, released on Thursday.

Sangakkara is the first Sri Lankan to top the batting rankings after a tremendous run of form, including a superb 152 in the first Test defeat of England this week.

Sri Lanka's world record-breaking spinner Muttiah Muralitharan already tops the Test bowling rankings.

The 30-year-old Sangakkara, who has also risen to equal sixth on the ICC's all-time batting rankings, on Tuesday became the first batsman in the history of the game to register scores of 150 or more in four successive Tests.

England's Ian Bell has broken into the top 15 on the ICC's batting rankings for the first time after knocks of 83 and 74 during the first Test in Kandy.

Team mate Matthew Hoggard, doubtful for the second Test because of a back injury, moved up five places in the bowling rankings and now stands fifth.

(Reporting by Martyn Herman; Editing by Ken Ferris)