Australia drop down rankings after England victory

Moeen Ali celebrates dismissing Quinton de Kock at Old Trafford.
Moeen Ali celebrates dismissing Quinton de Kock at Old Trafford. Gareth Copley

CRICKET: Australia has slipped to fourth on the Test rankings after Moeen Ali led England to a 3-1 series win over South Africa.

The all-rounder followed up his 75 not out in the home side's second innings of the final Test at Old Trafford with figures of 5-69 to cap a brilliant series where he took 25 wickets in total and scored 252 runs.

Ali finished this Test with two wickets in two balls after ending the previous match at The Oval with a hat-trick.

South Africa, set a mammoth 380 to win, were bowled out for 202 shortly after tea on the fourth day as the home side won by 178 runs with more than a day to spare.

England move to third on the Test rankings, with Australia slipping down one place ahead of the tour to Bangladesh.

Captain Joe Root celebrated the series success following the victory at Old Trafford.

"I am really pleased with the way the series has gone," Root told Sky Sports after England completed back-to-back series wins over South Africa for the first time since 1964.

"Credit to South Africa, they put us under pressure a number of times throughout but the way our guys have responded has been exceptional.

"We have had to overcome a number of different challenges, but the way we have played as a unit, especially the last two games, we have been brilliant."

Concerns remain over England's top order, something that Root wants to sort out before the Ashes later this year.

"We have got a lot of hard work to do in the future but it was a great series," he said.

"It has been a fantastic team performance and that's what it takes to win a series like this, everybody contributing and that's what we have had this time around."

Topics:  england cricket joe root moeen ali south africa cricket test cricket the ashes

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