Monday 11 August 2014 

Cricket World Player Of The Week - Rangana Herath

Rangana Herath appeals for a wicket during his superb spell on the final day in Galle
Rangana Herath appeals for a wicket during his superb spell on the final day in Galle
© REUTERS / Action Images
 

Sri Lankan left-arm spinner Rangana Herath has been named as the Cricket World Player Of The Week after he played a key role in their remarkable victory over Pakistan in Galle.

Going into the final day, anything other than a draw looked unlikely but Herath took six for 48 to help his side bowl out Pakistan for 180.

That gave Sri Lanka enough time to complete their run chase just before the rain arrived.

Herath had also taken three for 116 in the first innings, where Pakistan made 451 batting first on a pitch that didn't offer the bowlers much at the start of the game.

He dismissed the well-set Azhar Ali, Misbah-ul-Haq, Asad Shafiq to prevent the tourists from racking up an even bigger score.

Then, with Sri Lanka needing quick wickets to try to turn the game their way towards the end of day four, he opened the bowling and had Khurram Manzoor caught behind by Niroshan Dickwella for three.

Come day five, he had Pakistan in all sorts of trouble, getting Azhar Ali caught behind and bowling Younus Khan.

He then trapped Shafiq in front and by removing Mohammad Talha and Junaid Khan quickly, he gave Sri Lanka the chance to pull off a remarkable win - which they did in some style, before Herath was named as the man of the match.

That performance earns him our Player Of The Week award - for the third time in his career - and he beats off some very strong competition.

Not least team-mates Kumar Sangakkara, who scored 221 - his 10th double-century in Test cricket - and Dilruwan Perera, whose five-wicket haul in the first innings also kept Pakistan in check.

Elsewhere, England also beat the rain clouds to win the fourth Test against India at Emirates Old Trafford by an innings and 54 runs.

Stuart Broad's six-wicket haul on the opening day, half-centuries from Joe Root, Jos Buttler and Ian Bell, as well as four wickets from Moeen Ali all stood out during this comprehensive win.

In Harare, where South Africa are taking on Zimbabwe, Brendan Taylor's 93, a five-wicket haul from Dale Steyn and four from debutant off-spinner Dane Piedt also caught our eye.

However, Herath wins the award for turning the game so decisively in Sri Lanka's favour, so quickly, on a surface that few expected a positive result to be produced, particularly after the first three days at least.

© Cricket World 2014