Cricket World Player of the Week - Steven Finn
For a man of the match winning performance in a phenomenal comeback into Tests, swinging the third Ashes Test decisively in England's favour, Steven Finn is our Cricket World Player of the Week.
Finn had the zing, pace and bounce and on the occasion of the Test, also found the line and length to trouble the batsmen.
He struck two major blows in the first innings, both with excellent deliveries, getting Michael Clarke and in-form Steven Smith. In the second innings, he came into his own, making up for James Anderson’s injury-led absence to take a six wicket haul that cleaned up Australia’s middle order.
England chased down the fourth innings target with ease as Finn returned with match figures of 8-117.
There were two more contenders in the same game. Anderson wreaked havoc in the first innings with figures of 6-47 before picking an important wicket in the second innings when injury led him to leave the field.
Another player who found his touch and stamped his authority was Ian Bell. Walking in at 19 for one, Bell smashed a 56 ball 53 to set England on the way in the first innings. Walking in at 11 for one in the second innings, Bell, went one step ahead hitting an unbeaten 65 seeing England through the chase.
David Warner’s knock of 77 in 62 balls registering Australia’s fastest Ashes half-century needs a definite mention here as well and so does Peter Nevill’s obdurate 59 that gave Australia something to bowl at in the fourth innings instead of an embarrassment.
There were more performances around the world in the last week that deserve some adulation. Those include Dale Steyn’s 3-30 against Bangladesh that saw him join the 400-wickets’ club in Test matches.
Couple of sterling performances were witnessed in the first One-Day International between New Zealand and hosts, Zimbabwe.
Ross Taylor and Kane Williamson hit 112 not out and 97 respectively to help the visitors post an intimidating 303.
But, Zimbabwe got there with one over to spare thanks to two excellent batting performances.
Hamilton Masakadza got 84 to set the tone for the chase. But, it was Craig Ervine who handled the pressure and scored an unbeaten 130 in just 108 balls to see Zimbabwe through the chase, getting to 304 in 49 overs and winning by seven wickets.
Pakistan ended their amazingly successful tour of Sri Lanka winning the Twenty20 International series 2-0 after having won the Test and ODI series under different captains.
In the first T20I, it was Umar Akmal’s 24 ball 46 and Sohail Tanvir’s 3-29 with the ball that helped Pakistan register a comfortable win.
The real stunner of a match was the second T20I where Pakistan pulled off an unbelievable heist.
Thanks to a 25-ball unbeaten 48 by Chamara Kapugedera, Sri Lanka posted 172.
In reply, Pakistan were 40 for the loss of five wickets. However, Shahid Afridi scored a 22 ball 45 to give them some hope, after which Anwar Ali scored a 17 ball 46 to help Pakistan win by just one wicket with four balls to spare.
That rounds up the week’s best performances in cricket from around the world.
© Cricket World 2015