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Thursday 30 May, 2024
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Babar, Shadab Nominated for ICC Men’s Player of the Month Award

BY Shahzad Saeed Sep 07, 2023. 06:09 pm UPDATED: Sep 07, 2023. 06:09 pm

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For the ICC Men’s Player of the Month Award for August 2023, three players have made the shortlist: two Pakistani stars, and a fiery West Indian wicketkeeper.

Babar Azam

After being nominated for August 2023, two-time ICC Men’s Player of the Month Babar Azam will try to win the coveted award for a third time.

With two fifties and a century, the top-ranked batter in the ICC Men’s ODI Player Rankings maintained his strong run of play from the previous month.

In the opening ODI of the three-match series against Afghanistan, Babar failed to trouble the scorers, but he quickly put the unusual failure behind him with two consecutive fifties.

In the second ODI, the Pakistan captain and Imam-ul-Haq shared a crucial 118-run partnership that set the stage for an exhilarating last-over match. In the chase, Babar scored 53 runs and received strong assistance from Imam (91 runs) and the lower order.

Naseem Shah once again proved to be an absolute nightmare for Afghanistan with the bat, helping Pakistan win the match with a ball and a wicket to spare.

He then added another significant 60, helping his team reach a commendable total of 268/8. Excellent bowling from Pakistan allowed them to win by a margin of 59 runs and sweep the series 3-0.

His outstanding play carried over to the Asia Cup, where he opened the competition against Nepal with an incredible 131-ball 151. Babar scored his 19th ODI century during the game, becoming the player to do so the fastest in the game’s history.

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The hundred also brought him on par with Saeed Anwar and Javed Miandad for Pakistan’s most centuries (31) across all formats. The only people with more hundreds today are Younis Khan (age 41), Mohammad Yousuf (age 39), and Inzamam-ul-Haq (age 35).

Shadab Khan

Shadab Khan, the star all-rounder for Pakistan, made significant contributions with both the bat and the ball in August to be nominated for Player of the Month.

His 39 off 50 in the first ODI against Afghanistan helped Pakistan reach a respectable total of 201. He took Abdul Rahman’s wicket with the ball as Pakistan bowled Afghanistan out for just 59.

Shadab’s batting prowess was once again on full display in the second ODI, where his 48 off 35 balls earned him Player of the Match honors. His outstanding work with Pakistan’s lower-order batsmen changed the course of the match and helped the team to an exciting victory.

In the final ODI, he showed up with the ball and recorded figures of 3/42, taking out Riaz Hassan, Hashmatullah Shahidi, and Shahidullah who helped Pakistan complete a 3-0 sweep of Afghanistan.

Shadab continued his stellar play against Nepal in the Asia Cup opener, going 4-for-4. This time, he showed off his cunning and spin to destroy Nepal’s lower class, recording 4/27.

Nicholas Pooran

When West Indies defeated India in a T20I series in August, they ended a six-year losing streak to the Men in Blue. Nicholas Pooran was a thorn in the side of the Indian team.

Pooran’s composed 34-ball 41 in the first T20I’s opening innings helped West Indies reach 149/6 after they had opened the batting. The Windies were able to defeat India by a score of four runs thanks to the total, which turned out to be sufficient.

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An explosive 40-ball 67, laced with six fours and four sixes, came after the composed knock. The West Indies’ ninth-wicket pair won the game for their team in a tight match for them despite a collapse after his wicket. The innings took the game away from India.

With scores of 20 and 1, respectively, in the third and fourth T20Is, Pooran suffered setbacks that allowed India to tie the series and force a decider.

When West Indies were chasing 166 in the final game, Pooran smashed a crucial 47 off 35 balls as they cruised to an eight-wicket victory.

Pooran finished as the series’ leading run scorer with 176 runs at a strike rate of 141.93, earning him the title of Player of the Series.

Read more: World Cup 2023: Netherlands Announces 15-Member Squad

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