Pace bowler Lonwabo Tsotsobe soared 10 places up the latest International Cricket Council (ICC) ODI rankings released on Monday.
Tsotsobe took 11 scalps at an average of 18.81 in South Africa's five-match limited overs series against Sri Lanka which ended at the weekend.
The 27-year-old, ranked third among bowlers, became the country's top-rated player with ball in hand.
Fellow fast bowler Morne Morkel, who took seven wickets, remained in seventh place, while Dale Steyn, who was rested for the last two matches, dropped five positions to 15th.
Spin bowler Robin Peterson, with six scalps, made the biggest leap in the table, climbing 14 places to 44th.
Hashim Amla, who missed the last two games for personal reasons, held on to the number one spot in the rankings for batsmen, and SA skipper AB de Villiers, the top runs scorer in the series, remained in second.
Former captain Graeme Smith rose five places to 17th after returning to form with knocks of 68 and 125 in the last two matches.
Elsewhere in the rankings tables, veteran Jacques Kallis held his place as the top-ranked SA all-rounder, retaining fifth position overall.
The Proteas, meanwhile, remained third in the Reliance ICC ODI Championship.
The hosts had moved ahead of India in second place after taking a 3-0 lead in the series, but dropped back to third after losing the last two games in Kimberley and Johannesburg. – Sapa