South African batter Keegan Petersen pipped under-19 star and compatriot Dewald Brevis and Bangladesh pacer Ebadot Hossain to claim the ICC men’s Player of the Month award for January following a phenomenal Test series against India. For the women’s award, England skipper Heather Knight beat off competition from Sri Lanka captain Chamari Athapaththu and West Indies star Deandra Dottin to clinch the honour. Petersen played a pivotal role as South Africa came back from 0-1 down to win the three-match series 2-1 against India. In the second Test, he scored 62 in the first innings, helping the Proteas gain a slender lead. In their chase of 240, he played a crucial 28-run knock.
In the final Test, Petersen scored a fifty in each innings, including a superb 82 in a challenging fourth-innings chase of 212 that helped South Africa complete their comeback.
He ended the series as the highest run-scorer with 276 runs and was named the Player of the Series.
“With the hype of the series and the high expectation, the composure he showed while batting in a pivotal No.3 position was simply staggering,” said former South Africa star and member of the voting panel JP Duminy.
Knight captained England in the one-off Ashes Test against Australia in Canberra and finished as the highest run-getter.
In the first innings, England were in huge trouble as they kept losing wickets after Australia posted 337/9 declared. However, they did not have an answer to Knight, who walked in to bat at No.3 in the third over and remained unbeaten on 168.
At one point, the visitors were 169/8 before Knight and Sophie Ecclestone added 100 runs for the ninth wicket and eventually finished with 297, just 40 runs behind Australia. The knock helped England secure a thrilling draw that went to the very last ball of the match.
Her 168 not out was the second-highest score by a captain in the history of women’s Tests.
“168 is the highest Test score by any female English batter against Australia in Australia,” former India pacer Irfan Pathan, member of the voting panel, said.
“It is also the second-highest score in women’s Tests in Australia. Her innings is made even more remarkable given its importance in securing the draw for England in the only Test.”
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