Cricket World Player of the Week - Virat Kohli
For his flamboyant unbeaten innings of 82 off just 51 deliveries against Australia in the final game of the Super 10 stage in Mohali which propelled India to the semi-finals of the ICC World Twenty20, Virat Kohli is the Cricket World Player of the Week.
The Australian openers Usman Khawaja and Aaron Finch pushed the total to 59 for one in the powerplay and exerted a lot of pressure on the Indian bowlers.
However, the spinners applied the brake on the scoring rate restricting Australia to 160 in their 20 overs.
After losing Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan and Suresh Raina early in the chase, the onus was once again on Kohli to deliver and take India home.
After consolidating the innings with a 45-run stand with Yuvraj Singh, Kohli soon took the centre stage and raced to a half-century off just 39 deliveries.
But the real damage was done in his later part of the innings as he scored his remaining 32 runs off just 12 deliveries to ensure India chased down the target in the final over.
In the process, he also went past 1500 runs in just 39 T20Is, the fastest to do so while his average in successful run-chases now accounts to a staggering 122.83.
In the chase, Usman Khawaja responded with a brisk 58 to chase down the target in the penultimate over, despite Shakib Al Hasan’s three-wicket haul.
Martin Guptill scored a blistering 80 off just 48 deliveries in game 23 against Pakistan to take New Zealand to 180 following which the bowlers ensured a 22-run win for the Black Caps which ensured a semi-finals berth for them.
Steven Smith led from the front with an unbeaten knock of 61 against Pakistan in game 26 after which James Faulkner dented the Pakistan chase with a five-wicket haul and helped Australia to a 21-run win.
However, Faulkner was not the only bowler with a five-fer as Mustafizur Rahman conceded 22 runs and picked five wickets against New Zealand in game 28 but could not prevent his team from succumbing to a massive 75-run defeat.
In response, Sri Lanka looked like they had no chance at one stage after being 15 for four but Angelo Mathews unbeaten 73 took them close to the target but eventually fell 10 runs short.
In the 30th game between West Indies and Afghanistan, Najibullah Zadran contributed with an unbeaten 48. Despite some superb bowling from Samuel Badree with a three-wicket haul, Afghanistan reached 123 and successfully defended the target by six runs to register a historic victory.
The ICC Women’s World T20 too had some special performances with Australia, England, West Indies and New Zealand being the four teams making to the semi-finals.
Sune Luus of South Africa registered the bowling performance of the tournament against Ireland where she conceded just eight runs and picked five wickets.
Elyse Villani and Meg Lanning have been in terrific form as they scored unbeaten fifties to take Australia home in a chase of 124 against Sri Lanka in game 13.
Deandra Dottin’s all-round performance against India deserves a special mention as she scored a vital 45 and backed it up with a three-wicket haul to ensure a thrilling three-run win for West Indies.
Charlotte Edwards, the England captain, scored an unbeaten 77 in the 19th game as her team went on to win the game against Pakistan by 48 runs.
Both the tournaments now head into the knock-out stages and let’s hope for another cracking week filled with exciting performances.
© Cricket World 2016