From:  Newsday

KEVIN MAPASURE, SENIOR SPORTS REPORTER – Oct 26 2011

Zimbabwe national cricket team captain Brendan Taylor has achieved his highest ranking on the Reliance Mobile ICC rankings after rising to 17th best in the one-day International (ODI) batsmen list in the world.

After hitting two centuries to follow it up with 75 in the three ODIs against touring New Zealand, Taylor has climbed up the rankings having hit above 300 in a series-a record in itself.

The right hander is now heading for the top ten after usurping the more celebrated batters such as Pakistan’s Younis Khan, Jesse Ryder of New Zealand and South Africa’s Graeme Smith.

He became the first Zimbabwean to score back-to-back centuries after hitting 107 and 128 both unbeaten in the first and second ODIs against New Zealand.

Raymond Price is still Zimbabwe’s best ranked player at number 11 in the ODI bowlers’ rankings having been pushed out of the top ten. It is Taylor’s progress that has lifted chances of a local player returning to the top ten again.

Taylor’s best rating of 656 was achieved in the current series where he has been leading from the front batting at number three and four.

Taylor has had a fruitful year having scored an unbeaten 145 against South Africa — albeit on a losing cause — last October, before his 80 against Sri Lanka at the ICC World Cup, among other top knocks.

After the current tour, Zimbabwe will tour New Zealand early next year, giving Taylor another chance to continue pushing for the top.

Meanwhile, Zimbabwe’s historic victory over New Zealand in Bulawayo on Tuesday has earned it three ratings points.

. . . as Zimbabwe hit an unprecedented high

Zimbabwe have become the 13th team to win an ODI after scoring more than 300 in a run-chase. They are, however, one of only ten squads to do so against one of the top-eight teams. Their previous best successful run-chase had been 290 against West Indies in 2000.

This was the 41st time a team scored 300 or more in a run-chase to win the match. India have achieved it 11 times, which is easily the highest. Pakistan and Sri Lanka have done it five times each. In terms of teams being on the receiving end of such a defeat, England top the list with eight such defeats, followed by India with six.

It’s only the second time that New Zealand have lost after scoring 300 or more batting first. Their previous instance was against India in December 2010 when Yusuf Pathan’s unbeaten 123 off 96 balls helped India overhaul a target of 316 with seven balls remaining.

It’s also the first time New Zealand have lost an ODI after two of their batsmen have scored hundreds. In all, this has happened on 17 occasions, with India being at the receiving end four times.

The match aggregate of 657 runs is the highest in an ODI in Zimbabwe, going past the previous record by a handy 32 runs. Among all ODIs, it ranks 21st.

Despite the high aggregate, there were also four batsmen who got out without scoring a run, which makes this the ODI with the highest aggregate in which four or more batsmen have got ducks.

Kane Williamson’s poor luck with centuries continued. This was his second ODI hundred, and his second in a losing cause. He’d earlier scored 108 against Bangladesh in 2010-11 during that ill-fated series when New Zealand were drubbed 4-0.

Meanwhile, Malcolm Waller became the third Zimbabwe batsman, and the 33rd overall, to score 99 in an ODI. Of those 33 knocks, 23 have been in winning causes.

There wasn’t much to cheer for the bowlers of either team, but Njabulo Ncube dismissed both Brendon McCullum and Ross Taylor on his debut, and finished with figures of 3 for 69, making him one of only eight Zimbabwe bowlers to take three or more wickets in their debut ODI.