There was international cricketing action in Australia, India and New Zealand over the past seven days, giving plenty of candidates for this week’s Cricket World Player of the Week.
Shane Watson is a strong contender for the award, marking his return from injury with scores of 122 and 76 in the third and fourth One-Day Internationals against the West Indies. He then skippered Australia in the fifth match as they secured a 5-0 series whitewash. Other batsmen who performed well during the latter half of that series were Phil Hughes (86 in the third ODI); Adam Voges (112 not out in the fifth); Johnson Charles (100 in the fifth); and Kieron Pollard (109 in the fourth). Voges and Charles’ centuries were their first in international cricket, with Charles’ marking the first time that he has reached three figures in any top-level cricket.
However, the feats of the men in Australia have been surpassed by the women in India. The 2013 ICC Women’s World Cup has been refreshingly unpredictable, with Sri Lanka upsetting the big four, resulting in the premature elimination of India, and the West Indies on the brink of a maiden final.
The relatively poor form, especially with the bat, of defending champions England has been possibly the biggest taking point, but one of their players has stood out. Seam-bowler Anya Shrubsole was the highest wicket-taker in international cricket last week, taking 12 wickets in three matches, and earns this week’s award.
Shrubsole began by taking four for 21 in England’s final group game against the West Indies; proceeded to take three for 24 and strike a valiant unbeaten 13 in the defeat to Australia; and concluded by returning career-best figures of five for 17 to help her side thrash South Africa.
Before the tournament began few had pointed to Shrubsole as a possible heroine in England’s star-studded line-up and not without justification. She had take just six wickets in 10 matches and was overshadowed by big name players such as Sarah Taylor, Charlotte Edwards and Katherine Brunt. However, the 21 year-old has been a revelation and is the highest wicket-taker in the competition thus far with 13 at an incredible 7.23 apiece. Over the past week, she has taken 12 at 5.17.
Australia, of course, are the undoubted team of the tournament so far and have already qualified for the final. There’s has been much more of a team effort, with Meg Lanning’s 112 against arch-rivals New Zealand perhaps the highlight. Other century-makers include Mithali Raj’s in the seventh place play-off for India against Pakistan; Marizanne Kapp’s for South Africa against Pakistan; and Suzie Bates’ for New Zealand against Australia.
© Cricket World 2013
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