Five batsmen from three different countries scored centuries in international cricket last week, with the second Test between South Africa and New Zealand yielding three for the home side. The others came during the ongoing One-Day International series between Sri Lanka and Australia.
Of the bowlers, Dale Steyn led the way with five for 17 to earn South Africa an incredible 404-run first innings lead over New Zealand, while James Tredwell was named man of the match for his four for 44 in England’s close win over India in the first ODI in Rajkot.
Back to the batsmen, and Hashim Amla was the first to reach three figures in Port Elizabeth, closely followed on day two by Faf du Plessis and Dean Elgar - who became the ninth South African to reach three figures in Test cricket over the past 12 months. Lahiru Thirimanne hit the week’s final century, with his maiden ODI century - also his maiden List A ton - helping Sri Lanka level the series against Australia.
It was this week’s Cricket World Player of the Week, Phil Hughes, who had helped Australia’s so-called “B-team” earn the early lead in that series. The left-hander, one of three debutants in the home side’s line-up, achieved the unique feat of becoming the first Australian to score a century on ODI debut - not bad considering more than 200 players have represented Australia in the format.
He hit 112 off 129 balls to set up Australia’s total of 305 for five - one that proved more than enough in spite of half-centuries from Tillakaratne Dilshan and Dinesh Chandimal.
Hughes has now managed to re-establish his place in Test line-up, as well as make a name for himself in ODI cricket, in the space of less than a month. He benefited from Australia’s decision to rest regular opener David Warner for the first two ODIs and, all being well, will become his new opening partner when the two sides meet again on Friday.
© Cricket World 2013
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