Cricket World Player of the Week - Saqib Mahmood
Right-arm pacer Saqib Mahmood played a crucial role in England's ODI series victory over Pakistan.
Mahmood found himself in a strange position, leading the England pace bowling attack after the ECB had to announce a completely fresh 18-member squad to take on Pakistan following seven positive COVID-19 cases in the England camp.
And sure enough, the pacer rose to the occasion, picking up his career best figures of 4/42 to bag the Player of the Match award in the series opener. He dismissed Imam-ul-Haq off the very first ball of the series to set the tone.
Mahmood then got the better of Babar Azam, Saud Shakeel and Faheem Ashraf to break the back of the Pakistan batting line-up as England won by 9 wickets.
In the second ODI as well, he dismissed the two most dangerous Pakistan batsmen, Babar Azam and Mohammad Rizwan to play a vital role in England's 52-run victory as the hosts sealed the series.
Mahmood's dismissals of Pakistan captain Babar Azam in the first two matches are a perfect illustration of his ability. The ball pitched at around the same spot in both the matches, one seamed away, the other nipped back just enough to send Azam packing on both occasions.
At this rate, Mahmood will find himself in the XI at some point in the Test series against India and the upcoming Ashes.
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