Tuesday 6 December 2016

Broad on top of the world after part in England victory

Rory Dollard

Published 18/01/2016 | 02:30

England's Stuart Broad acknowledges applause during the third test against South Africa. REUTERS/Siphiwe Sibeko
England's Stuart Broad acknowledges applause during the third test against South Africa. REUTERS/Siphiwe Sibeko

Stuart Broad has become the number one Test bowler in the world after inspiring England to victory over South Africa. Broad's best overseas figures of six for 17 sealed a 2-0 series win in Johannesburg and catapulted him to number one in the International Cricket Council's rankings.

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Steve Harmison was the last England bowler to reach the summit, back in 2004, with Ian Botham also achieving top spot in 1980.

Broad, the top wicket-taker in the current series with 15 at 16.46, overtakes India spinner Ravichandran Ashwin and injured Proteas paceman Dale Steyn.

Joe Root's 110 saw him return to second place in the batting rankings, above Kane Williamson and AB de Villiers, but still behind Australia's Steve Smith. There was also a bump for Ben Stokes, whose fine series with bat and ball has taken him to number six in the all-rounders ranking.

England have been confirmed in fifth place in the ICC rankings, with India replacing South Africa as number one in the world after they capitulated against England on a remarkable third day.

South Africa captain AB de Villiers conceded England gave his side "a good hammering".

De Villiers, leading his side for the first time in Tests, was left to reflect on a disorientating day that saw his team rolled over for 83 as Broad ran riot, conceding a seven-wicket defeat and the series.

Broad's inspired spell after lunch was reminiscent of his 8-15 against Australia at Trent Bridge last August as he tore through the South African top order, aided by some excellent catching.

After removing openers Dean Elgar (15) and Stiaan van Zyl (11), Broad grabbed the key wicket of captain AB de Villiers (0) when he induced an inside edge to wicketkeeper Jonny Bairstow.

It got worse for the home side when their other kingpin, Hashim Amla (five), clipped the ball to James Taylor at short-leg, who showed excellent reactions to take a low catch.

Temba Bavuma (0) became Broad's fifth victim when he tried to evade a lifting delivery, but only succeeded in gloving the ball on to his stumps.

Broad's brilliant day was completed when he ended the innings with an excellent catch off his own bowling as he dived forward to grab a ball that had come off the boot of batsman Faf du Plessis (14).

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