Cricket World Player Of The Week - Ben Stokes
For two magnificent innings under pressure, one a ton that took England to a historic win in the game against New Zealand after walking into tough situations, Ben Stokes is our Cricket World Player of the Week.
Stokes came to bat in the first innings when England were precariously positioned at 30 for four in the 13th over. He produced a fine counter-attacking innings of 92 in just 94 balls adding 161 with Joe Root for the fifth wicket.
England eventually won day one ending it on 354 for seven. In the second innings, Stokes showed that he can save his team as well as set them up for a win.
He scored 101 in just 92 balls to help England score enough to put pressure on New Zealand on day five. In all, Stokes hammered 30 fours and four sixes.
There were plenty of contenders in the same game as well.
Joe Root, who walked in the first innings with England on 25 for three and took England to 251 for five before departing, scoring 98 off 161 balls deserves a special applause.
He missed two centuries as in the second innings, he went close yet again scoring 84 from 139 balls. He walked in at 74 for three, England still trailing by 60 runs and added 158 for the fourth wicket with Alastair Cook who deserves a special mention as well.
Cook’s vigil ensured England dominated the game even after conceding a lead of 134. Cook played out 345 balls for his 162 in the second innings. By the time he departed, England were 455 for seven, leading by more than 300 runs.
In the same game Trent Boult bowled splendidly well ending up with a nine-wicket haul. He picked a four-wicket haul in the first innings dismissing Gary Ballance in his first spell and then came back to remove Jos Buttler, Moeen Ali and Stuart Broad.
In the second innings he accounted for both the opening batsmen and later got rid of the last three England batsmen to dismiss them for 478.
Amidst the buzz of international cricket returning to Pakistan, one player who brightened the week with his fresh, fearless, attacking brand of cricket was Pakistan’s Mukhtar Ahmed.
In the two game, T20 home series against Zimbabwe, Mukhtar scored two match winning half centuries.
He was man-of-the-match in both games and the man-of-the-series too.
In a week witnessing a lot of cricket, there were some excellent moments in Indian Premier League (IPL) too.
He scored a 51 ball 65 in the first game helping MI to reach 187 and take the game by 25 runs, thereby entering the finals. In the IPL Final, Simmons scored a 45 ball 68 adding 119 runs after MI were one for the loss of one wicket in the first over.
MI eventually made 202, Simmons top scoring, to take the game by 41 runs and win the Trophy.
Rohit Sharma’s half-century at a strike-rate of close to 200 in the IPL Final to counter-attack and take the game away from Chennai Super Kings was another good knock during the week.
Another exciting innings during the IPL came from AB de Villiers who smashed 66 off just 38 balls to take Royal Challengers Bangalore to 180 in 20 overs in the Eliminator against Rajasthan Royals. RCB eventually won it against Rajasthan Royals by a whopping 71 runs.
In Qualifier 2, Ashish Nehra’s 3-28 against RCB to help CSK restrict them to 139 and win the game by three wickets was another impressive performance.
That concludes the list of fine performances this week.
© Cricket World 2015