The week before Christmas is quite rightly a quiet time in the international cricket calendar, and so it proved to be this year, with the last three days of the second and final Test between Pakistan and Bangladesh the sole action over the past seven days.
This, of course, makes choosing this week’s Cricket World Player of the Week a somewhat difficult task, but fortunately there were some notable performances. Taufeeq Umar completed his seventh Test century as he and Mohammad Hafeez continued to show that they are an answer to Pakistan’s problems at the top of the order, while there were also half-centuries for Misbah-ul-Haq, Nasir Hossain and Mushfiqur Rahim.
Abdur Rehman was a vital factor in Pakistan’s eventual seven-wicket victory on the final day with his second innings four for 51, but it is Shakib Al Hasan, who ended with six Pakistani wickets in their first innings, who takes this week’s award.
His six for 82 from a marathon 40.5 overs was the main reason that the visitors didn’t exceed their already-imposing first innings total of 470 as he also kept a hold on the scoring rate.
The 24 year-old from Magura then celebrated his achievement by being crowned the best Test all-rounder in the ICC’s Test rankings following his performance – a feat that is all the more remarkable for coming as a member of a team that is so blatantly struggling at cricket’s top table.
© Cricket World 2011