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by Sandeep Shivam Monday 20 March 2017
Ireland opening batsman Paul Stirling has been named the Cricket World Player of the Week for his consistent performances against Afghanistan in the ongoing One-Day International series in Greater Noida.
In the first game, fifties from Rahmat Shah and Paul Stirling powered Afghanistan to 292 runs in their innings following which Stirling and William Porterfield scored 68 and 119 respectively but fell short of the target by 31 runs. Dawlat Zadran and Rashid Khan starred with the ball with four wickets each.
In the second game of the series, Stirling came up with one of the best performances ever witnessed in the 50-over format. The 26-year-old first picked a six-wicket haul and followed it with a blistering 95-run knock but Ireland could manage only 304 in a chase of 339 runs. Asghar Stanikzai led from the front for Afghanistan with a century while Rashid Khan picked a brilliant six-wicket haul to make it 2-0.
In the recently concluded third game, fifties from Gulbadin Naib, Rashid and Shafiqullah helped Afghanistan recover to 264 runs but Ireland riding on a 99 and an unbeaten 85 from Stirling and Andy Balbirnie helped their team chase down the target with six wickets in hand to remain alive in the series.
Steven Smith and Cheteshwar Pujara were the standout performers in the ongoing third Test between India and Australia in Ranchi which saw the hosts script an amazing turnaround on the fourth day.
Smith remained unbeaten on 178 in the first innings and had the company of Glenn Maxwell, who scored a century on his comeback to help Australia post 451 despite a five-wicket haul from Ravindra Jadeja. In response, Patrick Cummins picked a four-wicket haul to put the hosts in trouble before Pujara and Wriddhiman Saha staged a comeback with a 199-run stand for the seventh wicket.
Pujara completed his third triple century while Saha completed a fine century as well. Jadeja too played a handy knock of unbeaten half-century to help India claim a lead of 152 runs.
The second Test between Sri Lanka and Bangladesh in Colombo saw the visitors register a historic victory in what was their 100th Test match.
Dinesh Chandimal helped Sri Lanka recover from a tough position with a determined 138 to help them post 338 in the first innings but Bangladesh responded back well through a century from Shakib Al Hasan and fifties from Soumya Sarkar, Mushfiqur Rahim and Mosaddek Hossain to take a 129-run lead.
Dimuth Karunatatne led Sri Lankan fightback in the second innings with a fabulous 126 but the rest of the batting collapsed leaving Bangladesh a target of 191 in the final innings which they achieved with four wickets in hand riding on a brilliant 82 from Tamim Iqbal.
There were some special performances in the second Test between New Zealand and South Africa in Wellington where the bowlers from both sides extended their domination.
Henry Nicholls and Jeet Raval scored 118 and 80 runs in the first and second innings respectively but South Africa bounced back brilliantly with 89 and 91 from Temba Bavuma and Quinton de Kock respectively.
In the end Keshav Maharaj handed the decisive blow for New Zealand with a six-wicket haul to set up the victory and take a 1-0 unassailable lead in the series.
© Cricket World 2017