Cricket World Player of the Week - Asela Gunaratne

Asela Gunaratne scored two consecutive fifties in two T20Is against Australia
Asela Gunaratne scored two consecutive fifties in two T20Is against Australia
©REUTERS
 

For his back-to-back man of the match performances in the first two Twenty20 Internationals against Australia, Sri Lankan all-rounder Asela Gunaratne is the Cricket World Player of the Week.

In the first game of the series in Melbourne, chasing Australia's total of 169 for a win, Niroshan Dickwella and Dilshan Munaweera gave a good start with scores of 30 and 44 respectively following which Gunaratne took charge scoring a 37-ball 52 to take Sri Lanka to course of victory and in the end Chamara Kapugedara hit a boundary off the final ball to seal a 1-0 victory.

In the second game in Geelong, Australia once again amassed 173 in their 20 overs riding on unbeaten 56 from Moises Henriques and 43 from Michael Klinger. In the chase, Sri Lanka were in deep trouble at 40 for five, but Gunaratne, who picked a wicket earlier remained unbeaten on 84 as he smashed six boundaries and five sixes to seal another thrilling last ball victory for the visitors and thereby claiming the series 2-0.

In the only T20I between New Zealand and South Africa in Auckland, following a 43-ball 62 from Hashim Amla, Imran Tahir picked a splendid five-wicket haul to seal a 78-run victory for the visitors.

In the first One-Day International between the two teams in Hamilton, Chris Morris picked a four-wicket haul to restrict New Zealand to 207 for seven in a 34-over game. In the chase, even though Quinton de Kock gave a good start with a brisk half-century but it was AB de Villiers and Andile Phehlukwayo, who saw the team through in a tense last over finish.

Fifties from Asghar Stanikzai, Rahmat Shah, Mohammad Shah and Solomon Mire along with three-wicket hauls from Graeme Cremer, Tendai Chatara, Rashid Khan and Mohammad Nabi were some special performances from the first two ODIs between Afghanistan and Zimbabwe in Harare.

The Pakistan Super League kicked off into the second week with Quetta Gladiators topping the table and closely followed by defending champions Islamabad United.

In the seventh game against Quetta Gladiators, Sam Billings scored an unbeaten 78 to take Islamabad through while Babar Azam played a vital 47-run unbeaten knock to secure a thrilling eight-run win for Karachi Kings in a rain affected 10th game.

Kevin Pietersen announced his arrival in the tournament with an unbeaten 88 in game 11 to help Quetta Gladiators overhaul a 200 total by Lahore Qalandars. Shoaib Malik and Shahid Afridi scored brilliant half-centuries in game 13 but it was Karachi Kings, who emerged victorious with a nine-run margin.

© Cricket World 2017