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AB’s record answers critics

Kevin McCallum and Own Correspondent

JOHANNESBURG: Graeme Smith celebrated his 100th Test as a captain in fine style with a crushing win over Pakistan yesterday – but it was also a day to savour for wicketkeeper AB de Villiers and batsman Hashim Amla.

JOHANNESBURG, SOUTH AFRICA - FEBRUARY 03, Graeme Smith and AB de Villiers of South Africa claims another wicket during day 3 of the 1st Test match between South Africa and Pakistan at Bidvest Wanderers Stadium on February 03, 2013 in Johannesburg, South AfricaPhoto by Duif du Toit / Gallo Images. Credit: Gallo Images

Amla has taken over the No 1 position in the rankings for Test batsman for the first time in his career, after entering the Johannesburg Test trailing Australia captain Michael Clarke by one point.

South African players now head the ICC Test Player Rankings tables for batting, bowling and all-rounders.

Amla has moved to top spot after knocks of 37 and 74 not out, and now sits on 895 ratings points, his career-best rating.

Fast bowler Dale Steyn has broken the 900-rating points barrier for the second time in his career to retain his No 1 position in the ICC Player Rankings for Test bowlers. Jacques Kallis still heads the rankings for all-rounders.

De Villiers equalled England’s Jack Russell’s world record of 11 dismissals for a wicketkeeper, set at the Wanderers in the second Test against the Proteas in 1995.

He also became the first person to effect 10 dismissals and score a century in a match.

“I wasn’t aware of it. I saw it on the big screen,” said De Villiers yesterday. “I don’t focus on records, but on the team. Records are obviously there to be broken. I’m lucky that I’m one of those guys who had the opportunity.”

Having set Pakistan, who made their lowest Test total of 49 in the first innings, an improbable 480-run victory target, South Africa bowled them out for 268.

The second Test against Pakistan starts at Newlands next Thursday.

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