Monday 16 June 2014 

Cricket World Player Of The Week - Gary Ballance

Gary Ballance celebrates his maiden Test century
Gary Ballance celebrates his maiden Test century
© REUTERS / Action Images
 

England batsman Gary Ballance has been named the Cricket World Player Of The Week after his maiden Test century at Lord's.

In a week full of fine performances in Bangladesh, England and Jamaica, Ballance's efforts in setting up his side's position at the home of cricket against Sri Lanka earns him the award.

His promotion to number three in the batting line-up has provoked plenty of healthy debate elsewhere on this website but he answered his critics in the best way possible on day four.

Standing firm as wickets tumbled at the other end, he struck an unbeaten 104 to steer England from 121 for six to 267 for eight, where they decided to declare some 390 runs ahead.

The match situation meant he had to play aggressively to reach his century before stumps, and he capped a superb afternoon's work by hitting Rangana Herath for six to reach three figures.

While Joe Root (200 not out) and Kumar Sangakkara (147) may have scored more runs earlier in the match, Ballance wins the award due to the match situation and the way he way he was able to adapt his game to prevail and put his side in a very strong position.

Elsewhere, in Jamaica, a gritty century from Kane Williamson was followed up by Jimmy Neesham also reaching three figures.

And thanks to excellent bowling from Tim Southee and Mark Craig, New Zealand went on to beat the West Indies by 186 runs.

Off-spinner Craig was the other main contender for the award and although he took eight wickets to pick up the man-of-the-match award, he also hit the first ball he faced for six.

India won a rain-affected One-Day International against Bangladesh in Dhaka at the end of the week with Robin Uthappa, Ajinjya Rahane, Mushfiqur Rahim and Shakib Al Hasan all making half-centuries.

However, Ballance is the man that Cricket World have opted for this week.

© Cricket World 2014