Cricket World Player Of The Week - David Miller
David Miller, for playing a crucial innings in South Africa’s World Cup campaign opener against Zimbabwe, is our Player of the Week.
It was a week full of classy performances, but Miller inches ahead of Virat Kohli, Aaron Finch, Mitchell Marsh and Paul Stirling on the back of his stellar batting.
The last time South Africa lost four wickets for less than 100 against Zimbabwe was more than a decade ago.
At 83 for four, in the 21st over, with their skipper AB de Villiers heading back to the pavilion, South Africa were in more than a spot of bother.
But Miller (138), who was then on 10 not out and JP Duminy (115) put on an unbeaten, record-breaking 256-run partnership for the fifth wicket (highest in World Cup matches) to take South Africa to 339, a score that proved to be just about enough to stave off a spirited Zimbabwe chase.
Miller’s 138 came off just 92 balls at a stunning strike-rate of 150. He stroked seven fours and an incredible nine sixes, which translated into 237 runs for South Africa in the second half of their innings.
Miller brought up his maiden World Cup fifty in the 38th over off 55 balls, scoring the remaining 88 off just 37 balls, including 30 runs off one over of Solomon Mire, hitting three sixes and three fours.
Elsewhere, Kohli and Finch were the other winning centurions of the week.
Aaron Finch, who was dropped on nought, went on to pile 135 in 128 balls, putting on a crucial 146 with his skipper George Bailey. Finch’s innings was ended by a running mix-up, but not before he smashed 12 fours and three sixes.
Kohli, in a high pressure clash, scored the first Indian century against Pakistan in World Cups, stitching two back-to-back century partnerships with Shikhar Dhawan and Suresh Raina, to see India through to a substantial total.
Marsh gave one of the best all-round performances, so far in this World Cup with a match-winning bowling spell of five for 33, after scoring a breezy 23 in just 20 balls, batting in the slog overs for Australia in their campaign opener against England.
The last of the top five performances came from Paul Stirling, the Ireland opener, whose 92 off just 84 balls, gave us the first upset of the World Cup, when Ireland chased down 304 to beat West Indies in the 46th over, winning by four wickets.
Sohail Khan, with an economical five-wicket haul and James Taylor with an unbeaten 98 in a losing cause for England, were among the other top performances of the week.
© Cricket World 2015