There was no one standout candidate for this week’s Cricket World Player of the Week award, although cricketing action on three different continents has produced plenty of contenders.
Fawad Alam, though, was international cricket’s leading run-scorer over the past seven days and wins the award. He was an injury replacement for Sharjeel Khan in Pakistan’s Asia Cup match against Bangladesh and impressed by hitting 74. He then hit an unbeaten 114 in Saturday’s final against Sri Lanka to help his side recover from 18 for three alongside Misbah-ul-Haq (65) and Umar Akmal (59).
That he would end on the losing side was mainly down to one of his closest contenders for the award, Lahiru Thirmanne, who anchored Sri Lanka’s run chase with 101 and added 156 for his side’s third-wicket with Mahela Jayawardene (75) as only Saeed Ajmal (3-26) provided a consistent threat with the ball.
Other notable performances from the Asia Cup last week include that from Shahid Afridi, who smacked 59 off only 25 balls to help Pakistan beat Bangladesh after Alam’s effort and a knock of 103 from opener Ahmed Shehzad. Anamul Haque had hit 100 in Bangladesh’s impressive first innings.
Elsewhere, Kumar Sangakkara (76), Ajantha Mendis (3-11) and Thisara Perera (3-29) helped Sri Lanka demolish Afghanistan; Ravindra Jadeja and R Ashwin then helped India do likewise by sharing seven Afghan wickets; and Angelo Mathews hit a calm unbeaten 74 to help Sri Lanka beat Bangladesh in a dead-rubber match that helped keep his side on the winning track ahead of their final success two days later.
Away from Bangladesh, and David Warner hit a century in Australia’s second innings at the beginning of the week to set up his side’s series win over South Africa. Ryan Harris then starred with four for 32 as Australia completed the win on a tense final day.
In the Caribbean, a knock of 107 from Joe Root and one of 99 off 84 balls from Jos Buttler helped England win the One-Day International series against the West Indies 2-1 in spite of Denesh Ramdin making history by becoming the first West Indian wicket-keeper to reach three figures in the format. The home side hit back in the opening T20 International on Sunday as Marlon Samuels hit 69 not out and took two wickets after Samuel Badree had demolished the England top-order with three for 17.
© Cricket World 2014