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Cricket World Player of the Week - Steve O'Keefe

Steve O'Keefe was outstanding with the ball
Steve O'Keefe was outstanding with the ball

For registering his career best figures of 12-wicket haul in the recently concluded first Test against India in Pune, Australia left-arm-spinner Steve O'Keefe is the Cricket World Player of the Week.

O'Keefe surprised everyone and so does Australia as they registered their first win in India since 2004 and also handed Virat Kohli's men their first defeat at home since 2012 in spin friendly conditions.

After conceding 260 runs in the first innings to Australia, India consolidated to 94 runs for three wicket but then the New South Wales spinner turned things around picking six out of the remaining seven wickets to bowl India for 105 runs and in the second innings once again he left India reeling with figures of 35 for six to torment the Indian batting line-up for just 107 runs.

O'Keefe's closest contender remains Australian captain Steven Smith, who scored a match-winning century in conditions where it was extremely tough to bat while Mitchell Starc played two handy knocks of 61 and 30 in the two innings. Matt Renshaw too was impressive with a half-century in the first innings.

Meanwhile, for India Lokesh Rahul's 64 and Ravichandran Ashwin's seven-wicket haul remain the only positives in the game.

Ross Taylor scored a decisive unbeaten century in the second One-Day International against South Africa in Christchurch which also saw handy fifties from James Neesham and Kane Williamson. In response, Proteas fell short of the chase of 290 runs by seven runs despite fifties from Quinton de Kock and Dwaine Pretorius.

In the third game between the two teams in Wellington, de Kock once again contributed with a fifty but it was AB de Villiers' 85 that propelled the team to 271 runs following which New Zealand were bowled out for 112 with Pretorius leading with a three-wicket haul.

Three wicket hauls from Tendai Chatara, Sean Williams and Chris Mpofu helped Zimbabwe trigger a massive collapse in Afghanistan's innings in the second ODI in Harare as they lost five wickets for five runs and were bowled out for 126 in a chase of 130.

However, it was Afghanistan, who claimed the series with a 50 from Rahmat Shah while Mohammad Nabi contributed with a score of 48 and also picked a three-wicket haul as the visitors secured a 105-run victory in the fifth and final game which was affected by rain.

In the third and final Twenty20 International between Australia and Sri Lanka in Adelaide, Michael Klinger and Aaron Finch scored half-centuries while James Faulkner and Adam Zampa contributed with three-wickets apiece to claim a consolation victory.

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

Umar Akmal scored a match winning 66 for Lahore Qalandars against Islamabad United in the 14th game while Asad Shafiq and Ahmed Shehzad smashed half-centuries for Quetta Gladiators in game 15.

Kieron Pollard's two crucial knocks that helped Karachi Kings to victory on both occasions also deserves a special mention with Chris Gayle too joining the blast in the final game of the league round.

© Cricket World 2017


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