James Faulkner is this week’s Cricket World Player of the Week after compounding England’s woes on their tour of Australia by winning the hosts a match they looked certain to lose.
Chasing England’s impressive total of 300 for eight, which was built around Eoin Morgan’s superb 106 off 99 balls, Faulkner and last-man Clint McKay added an unbroken 57 for the tenth-wicket to break English hearts and hammer what looks like being one of the final nails in Alastair Cook’s ODI captaincy coffin.
McKay made only two off the 57 runs that Australia scored, while Faulkner ended on 69 off only 47 balls, having hit five sixes. Shaun Marsh and Glenn Maxwell had helped set up the chase with half-centuries, but when Faulkner came to the crease Australia appeared certain to lose.
David Warner and Maxwell then hit half-centuries in the third ODI as Australia secured the series at the earliest attempt after England had posted an inadequate total.
Across the Tasman Sea, Luke Ronchi helped New Zealand win their Twenty20 International series 2-0 over the West Indies by smashing an unbeaten 51 off only 28 balls. Corey Anderson then bludgeoned 68 off only 40 balls as the Kiwis upset India in the opening match of their five-game ODI series. There were also useful performances from Ross Taylor (55), Kane Williamson (71) and Mitchell McClenaghan (4-68), which rendered Virat Kohli’s 123 irrelevant.
In Sharjah, innings of 91 and 95 from Angelo Mathews and debutant Dilruwan Perera respectively looked like helping Sri Lanka win their Test series against Pakistan. However, a century from Ahmed Shehzad in Pakistan’s first innings helped limit their deficit and set up the thrilling final day.
© Cricket World 2014