Cricket World Player of the Week - Dimuth Karunaratne
For his valiant yet steady knock of 186 setting the platform for Sri Lanka’s innings victory in the first Test against West Indies in Galle, Dimuth Karunaratne is the Cricket World Player of the Week.
After a series of poor performances against India, Karunaratne was under a lot of pressure to perform against West Indies.
The elegant left-hander responded very well, adding a 50-run opening stand initially with Kaushal Silva and negotiated the first session after Sri Lanka opted to bat first.
He added 238 runs for the third wicket along with Dinesh Chandimal which was the cornerstone of Sri Lanka's first innings total of 484. The last time a Sri Lankan pair added a 100-run stand for third wicket against West Indies was in 2001 at the same venue.
Karunaratne, whose knock was laced with 16 boundaries and a six also overtook Malinda Warnapura to become the highest scorer as an opener for Sri Lanka against West Indies.
Meanwhile, Chandimal continued his fantastic run in Tests by amassing 151 thereby becoming the second quickest Sri Lankan to score five Test centuries. The duo’s stand had a significant impact in the game as Sri Lanka lost the remaining six wickets for just 59 runs.
However, the innings victory wouldn't have been possible, had it not been for Rangana Herath.
The wily spinner changed the complexion of game when he account for top four West Indian batsmen wickets, thereby ending with figures of 6-68 in the first innings.
After Sri Lanka enforced the follow on, the situation was tailor-made for Herath, who picked another four-wicket haul, which included the key wicket of Marlon Samuels.
Herath ended up with figures of 10-147 in the game and was also adjudged the man of the match after Sri Lanka won by an innings and six runs to take a 1-0 lead in the series.
The first Test between Pakistan and England in Abu Dhabi saw 1368 runs scored in the course of five days.
Shoaib Malik, making a comeback into the Test side after a span of almost five years, made full use of the opportunity by scoring a mammoth 245 runs in the first innings which includes 24 boundaries and four sixes.
Malik along with Mohammad Hafeez and Asad Shafiq helped Pakistan to post 523 for eight in their first innings. Malik also ended up with a four-wicket haul in the game.
The England skipper, Alastair Cook responded beautifully, batting for 836 minutes, to notch up a magnificent 263. In the process Cook also became the leading run-scorer in Asia by an overseas player.
Cook added 116 runs with Moeen Ali (first wicket), 165 runs with Ian Bell (second wicket) and 141 with Joe Root (fourth wicket) to take England out of danger as they declared the innings on 598 for nine with a first innings lead of 65.
On a pitch which had nothing to offer for bowlers, Ben Stokes picked a four-wicket haul in the first innings, while also scoring a brisk half-century in the second innings of the game.
A game that was heading to a draw was given life by Adil Rashid. Coming into the second innings under a lot of pressure, the leg-spinner picked his maiden five-wicket haul dismissing Pakistan for 173 in the second innings.
Chasing 99 for a win, England fell short of the target by 25 runs with bad light ending the game in a draw.
The One-Day International series between India and South Africa had some impressive performances as well.
A stellar performance from the Indian captain MS Dhoni in the second ODI helped India post a first innings total of 247 from a hopeless position of 124 for six.
Dhoni remained unbeaten on 92 from 86 deliveries scoring seven boundaries and four maximums as well.
With the ball, Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Axar Patel picked three wickets each to restrict South Africa to 225. India won the game by 22 runs, thereby levelling the series.
In the third ODI in Rajkot, Quinton de Kock announced his return of form, with a superb century. He along with Faf du Plessis, who managed a 60 helped South Africa to 270 in the first innings.
Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma put India on course for another win with their 72-run stand but Morne Morkel had other plans.
The lanky pacer ended up with a four-wicket haul which included the wickets of Kohli and Dhoni securing a 18-run win for the Proteas.
A special performance from Tim Murtagh saw Ireland defeat Zimbabwe in the third ODI by two wickets.
Murtagh registered with figures of 4-32 to restrict Zimbabwe to 182. Later he scored an unbeaten 19 with the bat while sharing a 29-run stand with Andy McBrine to give the consolation victory for Ireland.
Mohammad Nabi scored a spirited 116 against Zimbabwe in the second ODI and followed it with a wicket and a run-out as well to take Afghanistan to a 58-run victory.
The series is levelled at 1-1 with Zimbabwe winning the first game. Thanks to a fine bowling performances from Wellington Masakadza, Luke Jongwe and Tendai Chsoro.
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