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South Africa’s Hashim Amla plays a shot on the fourth day of the second cricket test match against Pakistan in Cape Town on Sunday.
JOHANNESBURG: South Africa are set to pocket $450,000 after they guaranteed the number one position in the ICC Test Championship beyond the April 1 cut-off date for prize money to be awarded in 2013.
The Proteas’ four-wicket victory over Pakistan in the second test at Newlands on Sunday means they now cannot be caught at the top of the rankings by nearest rivals England, who are in New Zealand, or Australia, who are touring India.
The prize money is a significant increase from previous years, when $175 000 was given the teams topping the test or one-day international championship table.
While South Africa have sealed the number one spot, the battle for second, third and fourth positions is still alive with 13 points separating second-ranked England from fifth-ranked India.
The nation that claims second position at the cut-off date will pick up $350,000, while the team finishing third will collect $250,000 and fourth takes home $150,000.
Meanwhile, Pakistan’s cricketers came under fire yesterday after their series defeat in South Africa, with former players blaming the team’s timid approach for their loss in the second Test.
South Africa, the number one ranked team in Test cricket, beat the visitors by four wickets in the Cape Town Test on Sunday to take an unassailable 2-0 lead in the three-match series.
Former captain Inzamam-ul-Haq said Pakistan had looked overawed by the world’s top team.
“This Pakistan team had the ability to beat South Africa but they seemed to be thinking a lot about their rival’s world number one status and that their bowling is very dangerous,” Inzamam told AFP.
Pakistan lost the first Test in Johannesburg by 211 runs after crumbling to 49 all out in the first innings in the face of the hosts’ hostile pace bowling attack.
Inzamam worked with the team as a “batting consultant” before their one-day tour of India in December and there were calls for him to be kept on permanently, though nothing came of them.
“Pakistan must show more aggression in its approach,” said Inzamam, who hit an unbeaten 92 in Pakistan’s last Test win in South Africa in 2007.
“What I saw was that a batsman scores 50 in 150 balls, that gives bowlers more domination. Once a batsman is set he should attack and score freely.”
Inzamam said Pakistan should have gone for the kill when they had South Africa wobbling at 164-6 in their first innings.
Instead, spinner Robin Peterson hit a gutsy 84 to guide the hosts to 326, just 12 short of Pakistan’s first innings total of 338.
Pakistan then collapsed from 147-4 to 169 all out in their second innings, setting a modest 182-run target.
Pakistan were missing rising paceman Junaid Khan and another former captain, Rashid Latif, who said the batsmen needed to set a bigger total for the bowlers to defend.
“It was a small target and our pace attack had one debutant (Mohammad Irfan), one bowler staging a comeback after 18 months (Tanveer Ahmed) and one on the downslide of his career (Umar Gul),” said Latif.