Kumar Sangakkara, for two back-to-back centuries, his fastest One-Day International tons bettering each other, is our Cricket World Player Of The Week.
It has been a scintillating week of cricket, with several classy performances, both with the bat and the ball, but Sangakkara takes the cake for two unbeaten vintage shows.
Sangakkara, who has easily been the best Test and ODI batsman over the last couple of years, in terms of the sheer volume of runs he has been piling up, showed his class this week, in all its colours.
Against Bangladesh, he scored a breathtaking 105 not out off just 76 deliveries, putting up a 210-run unbeaten partnership with Tillakaratne Dilshan.
Against England, he repeated the act, this time in a high-pressure chase of a stiff target, against a better bowling attack.
Sangakkara scored an unbeaten 117 off 86 balls, bringing up the fastest ODI ton of his career in just 70 deliveries, putting up an unbeaten 212-run partnership for the second wicket with Lahiru Thirimanne.They guided Sri Lanka to a very comfortable win by nine wickets, chasing 309.
In the same game, Joe Root’s 121 to set up a strong total of 309 for England and Lahiru Thirimanne’s 139 not out partnering Dilshan at the top and then Sangakkara, are both worth a mention. So, is Dilshan’s 161 not out at the top of the order for Sri Lanka against Bangladesh.
AB de Villiers’ 162 not out off just 66 deliveries was probably one of the finest innings you will ever see.The fastest 150 in ODI history was remarkable for the skilful hitting that took South Africa to a mammoth win against West Indies.
His 215 against Zimbabwe came along with a world-record 372-run-partnership for any wicket, anywhere, with Marlon Samuels. Gayle also equalled the world record of 16 sixes in an innings, held by Rohit Sharma and de Villiers.
Trent Boult produced one of the bowling performances of the World Cup with figures of 5-27 against the solid Australian batting line-up, New Zealand bundling them out for 151.
Mitchell Starc though, went one step ahead, almost single-handedly winning Australia the nail-biter with figures of 6-28, four of his six wickets coming as clean-bowled and New Zealand held on to the win by one wicket.
Wahab Riaz produced the all-round performance of the week for Pakistan against Zimbabwe. He scored an unbeaten 54 to help them inch to a total of 235. He came back with the ball returning figures of 4-45 picking wickets at crucial intervals to win the match for Pakistan.
Among the associate nations, Afghanistan registered its first World Cup win on the back of a one-man effort from Samiullah Shenwari who scored 96 chasing Scotland’s 210.
It was similar to the spirit shown by Shaiman Anwar of United Arab Emirates, who scored 106 for in a losing cause, in an innings where the next highest score in the team was 45.
That completes a wonderful array of performances throughout last week!
© Cricket World 2015