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Cricket World Player of the Week - Imran Tahir

Imran Tahir picked five wickets for South Africa in the two-match T20I series against England at an economy of 5.75.
Imran Tahir picked five wickets for South Africa in the two-match T20I series against England at an economy of 5.75.
©REUTERS / Action Images

South Africa leg spinner Imran Tahir is the Cricket World Player of the Week for his impressive performances in the recently concluded Twenty20 International series against England.

In the first game in Cape Town, England were in a dominating position at 50 for one in the first six overs when Tahir came to bowl.

The leg spinner changed the game on its head as he first removed Alex Hales and Ben Stokes in his first two overs and later delivered a telling blow on England after dismissing Eoin Morgan and Moeen Ali off successive deliveries in the 13th over to complete his four-wicket haul.

England lost seven wickets in a span of 82 runs and were restricted to 134 for eight in the 20 overs which South Africa chased down in the final ball of the game with three wickets in hand.

In the second T20I in Johannesburg, Tahir triggered the collapse by picking the key wicket of Joe Root in the eighth over.

However, a 96-run stand between Morgan and Jos Buttler put England on track as they reached 157 for three in the 17th over but they went on to self destruct losing the remaining seven wickets for just 14 runs.

The agony continued for England as AB de Villiers and Hashim Amla added 125-run opening stand off just 50 deliveries to ease the pressure during the chase.

De Villiers went on to score the fastest T20I fifty by a South African which came in just 21 deliveries while Amla brought up his own half-century off 27 deliveries. South Africa chased down the target of 172 in just 14.4 overs with nine wickets in hand and also clinched the series 2-0.

The second Test between Australia and New Zealand in Christchurch was Brendon McCullum's final international game and he headed into the record books after scoring the fastest century in Test cricket.

Coming in to bat at a precarious position of 32 for three, McCullum threw caution to the wind and went into T20 mode reaching his fifty in 34 deliveries.

The innings just got better for the New Zealand as his second fifty came in just 20 deliveries, reaching his century off 54 balls to become the fastest century scorer in the longer format surpassing the 56-ball record of Sir Vivian Richards and Misbah-ul-Haq.

With support from Corey Anderson and BJ Watling, New Zealand went on to post 370 runs in their first innings.

However, Australia responded very well and went on to post 505 in their first innings, largely built around a 289-run stand for the third wicket between Steven Smith and Joe Burns.

Burns scored 170 while Smith notched 138 allowing Australia to secure a 135-run first innings lead.

Rohan Mustafa came up with a special all-round performance scoring 77 runs and picked three wickets as well to help the United Arab Emirates defeat Afghanistan by 16 runs in the Asia Cup qualifiers.

But the performance of the tournament came from Hong Kong's Babar Hayat when he scored 122 off just 90 deliveries in the chase against Oman but he could not prevent his team losing the game by five runs.

There were some special performances in the Pakistan Super League as well.

Mohammad Sami registered a five-wicket haul in the second playoff game for the Islamabad United against the Karachi Kings. He conceded just eight runs off his fours as well, blowing the Kings out of the tournament.

The maiden century of the tournament came in the third playoff encounter in Dubai as Sharjeel Khan reached the three-figure mark off just 50 deliveries to take the Islamabad United to the finals of the Pakistan Super League.

That concludes the performances of the week.

© Cricket World 2016


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