Cricket World Player of the Week - Mustafizur Rahman
For becoming only the second bowler ever to take two five-wicket hauls in his first two One-Day Internationals, Mustafizur Rahman is our Cricket World Player of the Week.
Rahman absolutely wrecked India’s batting order, not once but twice. The 19-year-old fast bowler, who bamboozled the Indians picking man-of-the-match awards in both games, returned figures of five for 50 and six for 43 in his first two ODIs against India.
Providing vital breakthroughs at all stages, Mustafizur was particularly lethal with his cutters which do not slow down and hence are faster than normal slower deliveries, troubling batsman with their movement, bounce and carry.
The two game ODI series also witnessed other classy performances but none grew into telling contributions as big as those of Mustafizur’s. His contributions not only helped Bangladesh win their first bilateral series against India with a game still to go, but also qualify for the Champions Trophy in 2017.
In the same week, stellar performances were also registered in the first Test between Sri Lanka and Pakistan at Galle, a game that lost more than a day to rain and yet, had a result thanks to Pakistan’s turnaround.
Kaushal Silva scored 125 in the first innings helping Sri Lanka to 300 before Pakistan were reduced to 96 for five. However, man-of-the-match Sarfraz Ahmed’s counter-attacking innings of 96 in just 86 balls turned things around for Pakistan.
Asad Shafiq scored 131 to push Pakistan to 417 with a 117-run lead. With the ball, Yasir Shah registered figures of seven for 76 in the second innings that virtually crashed Sri Lanka’s hopes to draw the game.
Pakistan crumbled from 63 for one and later 132 for three to 206 all out. The rookie leg-spinner picked up the well settled Dimuth Karunaratne and the big fish, Kumar Sangakkara, helping Pakistan win the game eventually by 10 wickets in what until the end of fourth day looked like heading for a draw.
Some fabulous performances were also witnessed in the last two ODIs of the five game series between England and New Zealand which the former won 3-2.
In the fourth ODI, New Zealand posted 349 on the back of a 70-ball 90 from Kane Williamson and a 19- ball 44 from Mitchell Santner.
However, England overhauled the massive target with ease in just 44 overs, courtesy of Eoin Morgan’s scintillating 113 off just 82 balls well complemented by Joe Root’s 97 ball 106 after Alex Hales set the base with a 38-ball 67.
The fifth ODI also turned out to be an equally interesting contest. England were set a revised target of 192 in 27 overs after rain interrupted the game for couple of hours. At one point, England were 45 for five and on the verge of losing the series.
But Jonny Bairstow, playing his first game of the series replacing the injured Jos Buttler, smashed a nerveless unbeaten 60 ball 83 adding 80 for the sixth wicket with Sam Billings and then another 54 with Adil Rashid for the eighth wicket taking England home with an over to spare.
For playing two match-winning innings for Scotland against Ireland in the four game T20I series, which Scotland won 2-0, Matthew Cross also deserves a special mention.
That concludes the performances of the week.
© Cricket World 2015