The Proteas celebrate after winning the fifth and final ODI against New Zealand in March to capture the series 3-2. Picture: www.photosport.nz/Andrew Cornaga

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates – South Africa and Australia have retained the top two positions on the ICC ODI Team Rankings following the May 1 annual update.

But eighth-ranked Pakistan has opened up a nine-point advantage over ninth-ranked the West Indies, which can prove decisive since England plus the next seven highest-ranked sides as on September 30 will qualify automatically for the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019.

Both Pakistan and ninth-ranked West Indies have dropped points following the update – Pakistan slipping from 90 points to 88 points and the West Indies sliding from 83 points to 79 points.

However, Pakistan’s pre-update seven-point gap has extended to nine points. Bangladesh has surrendered one point and is now on 91 points. Seventh-ranked Bangladesh and sixth-ranked Sri Lanka have also conceded points.

Meanwhile, No-1 ranked South Africa has gained four points following the annual update and is now on 123 points, while world champion and second-ranked Australia has stayed on 118 points.

India, who will defend the ICC Champions Trophy title in the UK in June, has swapped places with ICC Cricket World Cup 2015 finalist New Zealand. Both the sides have gained points following the update but India’s five-point gain against New Zealand’s increase of three means India is now ranked third on 117 points and New Zealand is fourth on 115 points.

ODI rankinga: 1 South Africa 123 (+4), 2 Australia 118 (-), 3 India 117 (+5), 4 New Zealand 115 (+2), 5 England 109 (+1), 6 Sri Lanka 93 (-5), 7 Bangladesh 91 (-1), 8 Pakistan 88 (-2), 9 West Indies 79 (-4), 10 Afghanistan 52 (-), 11 Zimbabwe 46 (-2), 12 Ireland 43 (+1).

African News Agency

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