The ICC World Twenty20 2014 is now well underway, and the first full week of action has produced a multitude of contenders for this week’s Cricket World Player of the Week award.
Netherlands batsman Tom Cooper is the leading international run-scorer from the past seven days and wins the award after helping his side progress to the Super 10 phase of the tournament. It is not just the amount of runs that the Australian-born player has managed that has been impressive, but the timing of those runs.
The 27 year-old’s tournament began in unusual fashion when he controversially replaced the injured young batsman Tim Gruijters in the Dutch squad after he suddenly becoming available for selection. He certainly made the most of his call-up.
An important knock of 34 not out off 26 balls helped the Netherlands kick off their campaign with a win over the United Arab Emirates. He also took two wickets in that match with his off-breaks. An innings of 72 not out followed, albeit in a defeat against Zimbabwe, but the standout performance was the 45 off 15 balls that he made against Ireland to help the Dutch qualify in sensational fashion. That helped them chase down their target of 190 inside 14 overs to sufficiently improve their net run rate.
His team-mate Stephan Myburgh made a 17-ball half-century in that match and was a strong contender for this award after also making 55 against the UAE. Other contenders included Pakistan batsman Umar Akmal, for his brilliant 94 against Australia; Zimbabwe captain Brendan Taylor, who made 59 and 49 as his side narrowly failed to qualify for the Super 10 phase; and Virat Kohli, whose scores of 36 not out and 54 helped India beat Pakistan and defending champions West Indies.
Of the bowlers, Amit Mishra has picked up two man of the match awards for hauls of two for 22 and two for 18 in India’s two wins, while Nadeem Ahmed starred with four for 21 in Hong Kong’s remarkable win over Bangladesh. Shakib Al Hasan later took three for nine from his four overs in that match but was unable to prevent embarrassment for the hosts.
The women’s tournament also began, with South Africa’s opening pair of Lizelle Lee and Dane van Niekerk batting throughout the 20 overs as the Proteas hammered Pakistan. Van Niekerk hit 90 off 66 balls, with Lee ending on 67 off 55. Marizanne Kapp then took three for 16 to ensure that Pakistan wouldn’t get close to their target.
© Cricket World 2014