Mathews pips Mushfiqur to be named ICC Player of the Month
Sri Lanka’s seasoned player Angelo Mathews got the reward of his sterling performance in the two-match Test series against Bangladesh by being the ICC Player of the Month for May.
He beat Bangladesh’s batting mainstay Mushfiqur Rahim to be crowned the best for the last month. Both of the batters scored heavily in the last series between the two sides in Bangladesh but like the way Mathews trumped Mushfiqur and Bangladesh to help Sri Lanka win the series by 1-0, he also edged past Mushfiqur to get the reward.
Amassing 344 runs at an average of 172 over the course of the two Tests, Mathews registered a huge score of 199 in the draw at Chattogram, and a supreme 145 not out in Mirpur. His epic innings in the second Test enabled his side to post an imposing total of 506 and complete a 10-wicket victory, gaining valuable points in the ICC WTC standings powered by MRF Tyres.
Mushfiqur who came in the series with a lean batting streak, scored a back-to-back Test century-105 in the only innings of the first Test and 175 not out and 23 in the second Test. He ended the series with 303 runs.
Mathews however became the first Sri Lanka player to be named the ICC Player of the Month since its inception in January 2021. Apart from Mushfiqur Rahim, he also scooped the award ahead of compatriot Asitha Fernando who contributed in Sri Lanka’s victory with his maiden 10-wicket haul. He finished the series with 13 wickets.
Mushfiqur was contesting to win his second ICC Player of the Month award but it was not to be. The vital cog of Bangladesh’s batting line up earlier won this award in May, 2021 for his performance against Sri Lanka in an ODI series.
“I am absolutely honoured and delighted to be the ICC Men’s Player of the Month. I would like to congratulate Asitha Fernando and Mushfiqur Rahim who were front runners for this award, on their spectacular performances,” Mathews said in his immediate reaction.
“I am grateful for the opportunity and I wish to thank the almighty, my teammates, support staff, and fans for believing in me and supporting me as always. I would like to dedicate this to the people of Sri Lanka. Let’s never stop believing.”
Meanwhile, Pakistan’s Tuba Hassan was named the ICC Women’s Player of the Month after enjoying significant success with the ball during her debut international series.
The 21-year-old leg spinner was instrumental in restricting scores set by opponents Sri Lanka in the three-game T20I series in Pakistan, where she captured the Player of the Series award, taking five wickets at an average of 8.8 and an economy rate of 3.66. The highlight was during her debut international fixture in Karachi, in which she grabbed three for eight to limit the tourists to 106, setting the platform for a six-wicket win.