Zimbabwe regained 10th position on the Reliance Mobile International Cricket Council (ICC) Team Rankings after taking an unassailable 2-0 lead in the Coca- Cola Challenge ODI series against Ireland.
A resurgent Zimbabwe team clinched the series with a three-wicket win on Tuesday and will be targeting a series whitewash when they meet in the final ODI at Harare Sports Club today.
A statement on the ICC’s official website read: “Zimbabwe swapped positions with Ireland on the Reliance Mobile ODI Team Rankings to claim the 10th place.
Ireland lost five rating points with this defeat and is now in the eleventh position.”
Ireland had leapfrogged Zimbabwe into 10th position on the rankings but Zimbabwe hit back with tightly contested wins in the first two ODIs.
The ascent on the rankings is good news for Zimbabwe after the ICC’s chief executive committee early this week proposed a 10-team World Cup for 2015.
Today, Zimbabwe has the chance to pour more misery on the visitors and skipper Elton Chigumbura did not hide his intentions of securing a whitewash during a press briefing after Tuesday’s win.
However, it won’t be easy for Zimbabwe as the first two matches were both decided towards the end of the match, with the stakes evenly poised until the final ball in the first and the penultimate over on Tuesday.
With a tougher series against South Africa beckoning next month it will be very important for Zimbabwe to finish the home series on a high.
It has been a tough tour of Zimbabwe for Ireland; not only did they relinquish their three- year reign over the Intercontinental Cup after a draw with Zimbabwe XI, but they also lost their higher ranking during the tour.
This is despite high expectations the Irish team had before the tour when they were eyeing a move into ninth place, one place ahead of Bangladesh.