There is one stand-out candidate for this week’s Cricket World Player of the Week award, and it is Rangana Herath, who ended the first Test against England with career-best match figures of 12 for 171.
Mahela Jayawardene was another contender for the award thanks to his mammoth innings of 180 from 315 balls in Sri Lanka’s first innings, as was Graeme Swann, who finally found form with figures of six for 82 in the host’s second innings.
Away from Galle, Alexei Kervezee (83 not out from 63 balls), Karim Sadiq (100 from 74), Peter Borren (four for 32) and Izatullah Dawlatzai (four for 38) all shone in the World Cricket League Championship matches that were played between Afghanistan and the Netherlands in Sharjah; while Kane Williamson displayed his maturity with a fourth innings unbeaten century to help New Zealand draw the third Test against South Africa in Wellington.
However, it is Herath, an old-fashioned slow left-armer from Sri Lanka’s North Western Provincial capital Kurunegala, who takes the plaudits this week. His figures of six for 74 in England’s first innings – which helped bowl the visitors out for 193 – were instrumental in Sri Lanka’s victory, while his fourth innings haul of six for 97, including the wickets of both openers at the end of the third day, sealed the win for the home side.
Overall, the 34 year-old returned match figures of 57-14-171-12 and since making his debut against Australia in 1999 at the same venue he has taken 132 wickets at an average of 32.5 from his 36 matches.
© Cricket World 2012