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South Africa take rankings lead
19 Feb 2007
By: Zac Gelman

As expected, Australia have dropped down to second in the ODI ICC rankings for the first time since their inception after their five wicket loss to New Zealand at Eden Park yesterday.

It is the first time Australia have not occupied the top spot since the rankings were introduced in 2002.

South Africa have been a side on a mission since missing out on the tri-series finals in Australia last year, winning 15 out of 21 matches played.

Former South African fast bowler Allan Donald told the BBC "It's a great honour for South Africa, it's come at the right time."

"They played all right against Pakistan but I still think a few things need to be ironed out before the World Cup starts but this will give South Africa a massive boost," Donald said.

"To win World Cups you need to have 15 players in form, or 15 players that you know you can pick one or the other.

"South Africa are just catching that momentum, they are just moving in with a lot more confidence."

South African captain Graeme Smith was more cautious about reading into the rankings, however.

"It doesn't make us a better team than Australia. One-day cricket is about performing on the day," he said.

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