Three star batters are in the running for the ICC Men's Player of the Month award after enjoying successful performances across May.
Babar Azam (Pakistan)
Pakistan’s skipper once again stood up for his country, this time in his team’s home ODI series against New Zealand.
After taking out the first two of five matches in late April, Pakistan went on to finish with two victories in early May to walk away 4-1 series winners.
It was little surprise that the positive results came through Babar’s achievements with the bat.
Babar joined Imam-ul-Haq for a century second-wicket stand on May 3, finishing with 54 off 62 balls, as his side went on to post 287/6. He went on to use six bowlers in his side’s effort in the field, as the tourists were bowled out for 261 in reply.
The skipper stepped up a gear in the next match two days later, claiming Player of the Match honours in his side’s 102-run win to go 4-1 up. Babar compiled 107 (117), his 18th ODI century, helping the hosts to 334/6.
Najmul Hossain Shanto (Bangladesh)
The rise of Najmul Hossain Shanto continued in the past month, with the 24-year-old enjoying another prolific series in the ODI format this time against Ireland.
Put into the No.3 position for the series, Najmul began with a knock of 44, though his innings proved futile as the rain arrived and led to there being no result.
In match two, Najmul’s heroics led to a stunning victory. Chasing 320 in a 45-over affair, Najmul thundered to a maiden century in the format in just 83 balls, finishing with 117 from 93 deliveries with 12 fours and three sixes.
Bangladesh went on to win in the final over of the chase, and Najmul again contributed in match three, making 35 and taking 1/10 with his off-spin in a five-run victory.
Najmul’s effort was rewarded with Player of the Series honours, as Bangladesh finished their successful Super League campaign on a high.
Harry Tector (Ireland)
The 23-year-old starlet continues to prove he is the present and future of Ireland’s team, in spite of the disappointing end to their Super League campaign.
Reaching 21* before the rain came down during the first ODI against Bangladesh in Chelmsford, Tector thundered in the second ODI to smash a career-best 140 from just 113 balls with seven fours and an astonishing 10 sixes.
What made Tector’s achievements all the more impressive was that the No.4 walked out with his team struggling at 16/2 in the 7th over, but had turned the contest around by the time of his dismissal at the end of the 42nd.
Tector and George Dockrell (74* from 47 balls) propelled Ireland to 319 in the 45-over innings, though Bangladesh, largely through fellow nominee Najmul Hossain Shanto, ran away from victory.
The Ireland batter backed up his credentials with a knock of 45 from 48 balls in the third ODI and Bangladesh.