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England's talismanic batsman Kevin Pietersen has returned to the top 10 of the Reliance ICC Player Rankings for Test batsmen after smashing a sparkling century against South Africa in the second Test that ended in a draw at Headingley, Leeds, on Monday. The latest rankings were released on Tuesday after the conclusion of the Leeds Test and also incorporate performances from the Jamaica Test, which was won by the West Indies against New Zealand by five wickets on Sunday to seal a series win of 2-0.
Pietersen's knock of 149 in England's first innings score of 425 not only earned him the man of the match award but also provided him with a leap of seven places, which has put him in 10th position. He is now the second England batsman after Alastair Cook to find a place in the list of top 10 batsmen dominated by South Africa.
Cook has retained his eighth position after scores of 24 and 46 while Jonathan Trott has gained two places and is now just outside the top 10 in 14th position in the list, which is headed by Sri Lanka's Kumar Sangakkara.
South Africa opener Alviro Petersen, who is the other centurion of the Leeds Test, has been rewarded with a jump of 17 places, which puts him in 31st spot, while England's debutant middle-order batsman James Taylor has entered the rankings in the 89th spot after making 34 in the first innings.
Marlon Samuels, who scripted West Indies' victory in the Jamaica Test with scores of 123 and 52, has also jumped four places to 27th position.
Other batsmen outside the top 20 and making upward movements include Matt Prior in 22nd (up by four), Martin Guptill in 32nd (up by five) and Jacques Rudolph in 55th (up by 11).
The news is not so good for captains Ross Taylor and Andrew Strauss, as well as Chris Gayle, who have dropped in the latest rankings. Taylor has dropped one place to 13th, Gayle has fallen four spots to 25th while Strauss is now in 29th position after slipping one spot.
Other batsmen to lose their ground include Ian Bell in 17th (down by two), Brendon McCullum in 26th (down by three), Kane Williamson in 47th (down by six), Dean Brownlie in 63rd (down by one), Narsingh Deonarine in 66th (down by three) and Kieran Powell in 69th (down by four).
Meanwhile, South Africa's fast bowler Vernon Philander has achieved a career-best ranking as well as career-best rating after match figures of three for 98. He has leapfrogged Sri Lanka's left-arm spinner Rangana Herath into third position, while his current rating of 797 means he trails his team-mate and number-one ranked Dale Steyn by 91 ratings points and Pakistan's second-ranked off-spinner Saeed Ajmal by 35 ratings points.
England's Stuart Broad is the other mover inside the top 20. The fast bowler, who recorded match figures of eight for 165, has climbed two places to seventh.
Doug Bracewell in 24th (up by four), Narsingh Deonarine in 41st (up by 20), Tim Southee in 49th (up by three), Imran Tahir in 54th (up by three), Sunil Narine 60th (up by 11) and Tino Best in 86th (up by 31) are some of the bowlers outside the top 20 to improve their rankings.
Bowlers dropping in the latest rankings are Morne Morkel in ninth (down by three), Tim Bresnan in 19th (down by three), Steven Finn in 26th (down by two) and Darren Sammy in 28th (down by two).
In the ICC Player Rankings for Test all-rounders, South Africa's Jacques Kallis still leads Bangladesh's Shakib Al Hasan, while Broad has moved up a place to fourth and Pietersen has gained 33 places to 46th spot.
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