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Cricket World Player Of The Week - Faf Du Plessis

 

Some weeks, the decision over who to award the Cricket World Player Of The Week to can be a tricky one. Not this time, however, after Faf du Plessis was an easy and obvious choice.

South Africa's number three batsmen scored two centuries and hit 96 in three One-Day Internationals this week, helping his side win the ODI tri-series in Zimbabwe.

It was a stunning return, and one that helped him vault 55 places in the ICC's own ODI player rankings as well.

In the fifth match of the series, he struck 126 in 109 balls, although it wasn't quite enough to lead his side to victory over Australia, as he received little support.

Better was to follow in the next game against Zimbabwe when he hit 121 to help set up a 63-run win that guaranteed their spot in the final.

Then, in the final itself, chasing a modest target of 218, du Plessis came ever so close to hitting another century.

Trying to both hit the winning runs and advance from 96 to 100, he was dismissed, but he could hold his head up high after a series in which he had contributed a remarkable 464 runs including three centuries and a half-century.

Despite du Plessis being the outstanding candidate for the weekly award, there were a number of other players worthy of recognition for their performances last week.

Ajinkya Rahane's maiden ODI century and Joe Root's second three-figure score were the batting highlights as India wrapped up a 3-1 series success over England.

Eoin Morgan and Virat Kohli then sparkled with half-centuries in the Twenty20 International that rounded off the tour at Edgbaston.

Elsewhere in the tri-series, Mitchell Marsh's 86 not out in 51 balls in the fifth match - where du Plessis scored his 126 - caught the eye while the biggest score of the week was Kraigg Brathwaite's 212 for the West Indies against Bangladesh in the first Test in Kingstown, Saint Vincent.

Taijul Islam and Sulieman Benn both took five-wicket hauls in that game in a week where bowlers struggled, although Jenny Gunn deserves a mention for taking three wickets in the second Twenty20 International against South Africa and then closing out an eight-run win in the third match.

Earlier in the week, du Plessis said that his job as number three batsman was to score hundreds for South Africa.

Job done.

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