Monday 18 August 2014 

Cricket World Player Of The Week - Rangana Herath

Rangana Herath celebrates with his team-mates
Rangana Herath (right) has been named as our Player Of The Week for the second week in a row
© REUTERS / Action Images
 

After an action-packed week of cricket around the world, Rangana Herath has emulated Shane Watson, Stuart Broad, Rohit Sharma in retaining the Cricket World Player Of The Week award.

Fresh from bowling Sri Lanka to victory in the first Test against Pakistan in Galle, Herath took 14 wickets (of 19 to fall) as Sri Lanka won by 105 runs in the second match in Colombo.

That included nine for 127 in the first innings, the 18th best Test analysis of all time and third best by a Sri Lanka - Muttiah Muralitharan, another serial winner of this award, has both of the leading two analyses.

He also took five for 57 as Sri Lanka wrapped up victory by dismissing Pakistan for 165 early on the final day.

It gave Mahela Jayawardene, who scored 54 in his final innings, the perfect send-off as he retires from Test cricket.

Herath is having an outstanding year, and has now taken 55 wickets at 27.47 including four five-wicket hauls and this 10-wicket haul.

There were several other contenders this week and many can consider themselves unlucky to miss out as Herath's continues to weave his left-arm spell over Pakistan.

One man who did resist, however, was Sarfraz Ahmed, whose maiden century actually put Pakistan ahead before they were beaten in the end. He also made 55 in Pakistan's second innings.

It was a good week for South Africa, who wrapped up victory in the Test match and the first One-Day International against Zimbabwe.

Quinton de Kock and Faf du Plessis managed a half-century in both matches while Hashim Amla became the quickest man to score 15 ODI centuries, doing so in 86 innings, during the ODI victory.

Dane Piedt capped a memorable debut with four wickets in the second innings of the Test and off-spinner John Nyumbu excelled for Zimbabwe on his debut, taking a five-wicket haul.

Although India's men crashed to a huge defeat at the hands of England, for whom Joe Root, Gary Ballance and Chris Jordan were our outstanding performers, their women beat England at Wormsley in the one-off Test.

Few predicted that result, for which Nagarajan Niranjana, Mithali Raj, Smriti Mandhana and Jhulan Goswami deserve enormous credit, particularly as this was India's first Test in eight years and only three of their team had played a Test before.

In defeat, Jenny Gunn was excellent for England, taking five for 19 and hitting an unbeaten 62 and it's fair to say that without her efforts, defeat would have come a lot sooner.

And finally, a mention for the Caribbean Premier League, which saw Lendl Simmons in fine form again before the Guyana Amazon Warriors lost out to the Barbados Tridents in the final, where Dwayne Smith struck a half-century.

However, the Cricket World team have decided that Herath should win the award for once again plaing a leading role in bowling his side to victory and breaking records along the way.

© Cricket World 2014

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