Vernon Philander is this week’s Cricket World Player of the Week following his match-winning haul of 10 for 102 in the first Test against Sri Lanka.
Other contenders this week included Dale Steyn, who took four for 18 in Sri Lanka’s first innings in that match, and AB de Villiers, who played what was called by many people present, ‘the most important innings he has played for South Africa’. His innings of 99 came in the home side’s total of 411 and was instrumental in setting up his country’s innings-and-81-run victory on a green Centurion pitch.
However, it is Philander – who recently signed for English county side Somerset – who takes most of the plaudits. His haul of five for 53 in the first innings triggered Sri Lanka’s collapse from a respectable 156 for four to 180 all out, while his second innings five for 49 sealed the victory for South Africa. Overall in the match he got the vital wicket of Kumar Sangakkara in both innings and bowled with the control that is fast becoming his trademark during his short Test career so far.
His Test match bowling average now stands at the impressive figure of 12.37 thanks to his record of four five-wicket hauls in three matches, and this week’s award represents the second time in a month that he has been named as Cricket World’s Player of the Week.
© Cricket World 2011