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Cricket World Player of the Week - AB de Villiers

AB de Villiers celebrating his century in the fifth ODI against India in Mumbai.
AB de Villiers celebrating his century in the fifth ODI against India in Mumbai.
©REUTERS / Action Images

For his back-to-back centuries in the One-Day International series against India, thereby securing South Africa's first bilateral series victory in India, AB de Villiers is our Cricket World Player of the Week.

De Villiers waged a lone fight in the fourth ODI in Chennai chasing 300 for a victory. He managed to score 112 off just 107 deliveries laced with 10 fours and two sixes.

In the process he went past Herschelle Gibbs and Hashim Amla to become the leading century scorer (22) for the Proteas in ODIs.

With hardly any support from the rest of the players wherein the next highest score was 43, South Africa fell 35 runs short of the target.

The Indian innings was set by a fabulous knock from Virat Kohli who went on to notch his 23rd ODI century.

The Indian vice-captain returned to his number three position after a serious of failures and he straightaway made an impact scoring 138 off 140 deliveries.

India at one stage were looking to post a total of over 320 but was pulled back at the end by some fine death bowling from Kagiso Rabada and Dale Steyn. Both managed three wickets each.

In the fifth ODI in Mumbai, South Africa demolished the home team with a tremendous batting performance amassing 438 for four in the 50 overs.

Quinton de Kock laid the platform along with Faf du Plessis with their 154-run stand in the second wicket. De Kock scored 109, his fifth century against India.

Du Plessis, on the other end, shifted gears after battling with a hamstring injury and eventually decided to retire hurt at 133. His knock included nine fours and six maximums. 

But the man who stole the show was once again, the South African captain, de Villiers once again who took over from the other two centurions posting a total beyond the reach of the Indians. 

Coming on to bat in the 27th over, de Villiers reached the milestone in 57 deliveries, his third fastest hundred in ODIs. Also this was the fifth time he came on to bat after the 25th over and went on to score a century. 

De Villiers scored seven sixes after the 41st over as South Africa scored 144 runs in the final 10 overs. 

The Indian chase was dented further by Rabada's four-wicket haul which included the key wickets of Virat Kohli, Shikhar Dhawan and Suresh Raina as South Africa won the game by 214 runs. 

The second Test in the Sobers-Tissera trophy between Sri Lanka and West Indies was a low scoring encounter with 206 being the highest total in the four innings. 

Coming on to bat at 59 for four, Milinda Siriwardana chose to play the attacking game as he reached his fifty in 76 deliveries. He went on to score 68 with his knock included six fours and a couple of sixes.

In the second innings he scored another vital 42 adding a 67-run stand with Angelo Mathews which was instrumental in setting a target of 244 for West Indies. 

With the ball, Siriwardana picked five wickets in the game winning him the man of the match award for his all-round performance.

Kraigg Brathwaite was the surprise package in the game as he went on to triple his first-class wicket tally with a six-wicket haul in the second innings dismissing Sri Lanka for 206.

Left-arm-spinner Jomel Warrican, who was making his debut for West Indies also ended up with six wickets in the game.

The second Test between Pakistan and England in Dubai saw a thrilling end yet again with Misbah-ul-Haq's men managing to win the game by 178 runs overcoming England's lower order resistance.

Misbah and Younis Khan scored a fifty and a century in the game as Pakistan amassed 378 in the first innings and 354 for six in the second before declaring.

Asad Shafiq too maintained his consistency by scoring 83 in the first innings and 79 in the second ensuring the game was out of England's hand. He was unlucky to have missed out on a century in both occassions.

Wahab Riaz spell in the first innings where he got rid of Joe Root, Ben Stokes and Jos Buttler in quick succession got him the man of the match award as it changed the complexion of the game helping Pakistan get a 136-run first innings lead.

England's best batsman currently, Root showed his masterclass yet again with 88 in the first innings and another fighting 71 in the second.

England had their hopes high at one stage when he along with Ian Bell batted for 40 overs together after losing both the openers early. 

The ODI series between Zimbabwe and Afghanistan in Bulawayo had some exciting performances as well. 

Richmond Mutumbami's 74 off 92 deliveries helped Zimbabwe chase down Afghanistan's 223 in the third ODI by six wickets and two balls to spare. 

Sikandar Raza scored a fighting 86 for Zimbabwe in the fourth ODI where the second highest score was was 26 to take his team's tally to 184.

But his knock was bettered by Mohammad Shahzad's run a ball 80 as Afghanistan levelled the series 2-2.

The final ODI between these two teams saw Afghanistan's pacers in full swing. Dawlat Zadran and Amir Hamza managed seven wickets between them to take their team to a historic series win against a full member nation despite a fighting maiden century from Sean Williams. 

Last but not the least. Stafanie Taylor's impressive all-round performance helped West Indies women overpower Pakistan women's team by 109 runs in the third ODI in St Lucia.

With the bat Taylor scored an unbeaten 98 off 117 deliveries as she added 130 runs for the fourth wicket with Merissa Aguilleira to take West Indies women to 281 in 50 overs.

With the ball Taylor recored figures of 3-26 in the 10 overs denting Pakistan's chase thereby securing a massive 109-run win.

That concludes the performances of the week. 

© Cricket World 2015


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