The battle for second place on the Reliance ICC Test Championship Table at the 1 April cut-off date resulted in a photo-finish between England and India on Tuesday.

In the end, the thrilling draw at Auckland in the third and final Test at Auckland against New Zealand handed England the number-two rank on the 1 April cut-off date.

England needed to win or draw the Auckland Test to secure the second position, India not only needed to win the Delhi Test but also had to hope for a New Zealand victory in the Auckland Test. If New Zealand had won the series 1-0, then India could have finished in second position at the 1 April cut-off date.

The Championship table also reflects results from the West Indies-Zimbabwe and Sri Lanka-Bangladesh series.

South Africa has already sealed its position as the number-one ranked Test side at the 1 April cut-off date, which means it has not only retained the Test mace but has also been assured of a reward of US$450,000.

But a further US$750,000 was still up for grabs. This money will now be distributed amongst England for finish second (US$350,000), India for finishing third (US$250,000) and Australia for being fourth (US$150,000) on the Championship table at the cut-off date.

The increased incentive in the form of prize money was approved by the ICC Board in 2012 and was aimed to promote Test cricket in the period before the ICC Test Championship event in 2017.

Reliance ICC Test Championship table (as on 26 March, after India-Australia and England-New Zealand series)

Rank   (+/-) Team                         Points

1.                South Africa               128

2.        (-)    England                      114 (-4)

3.       (+1)   India                          112 (+7)

4.       (-1)    Australia                    110 (-7)

5.                 Pakistan                     104

6.        (-)     Sri Lanka                     92

7.        (-)     West Indies                  92 (+1)

8.        (-)     New Zealand                83 (+5)

9.        (-)     Bangladesh                    1 (+1)

 
 
 
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