Highlights of the week: Rahkeem Cornwall outshines Indian spinners in November and Steve Smith keeps his word

Adithya Sundar 20:47 30/11/2019
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Image - ICC/Twitter

Rakheem Cornwall runs through Afghanistan to create history

We live in that sort of a world where India’s pacers and Caribbean spinners trouble batsmen on Indian pitches. Off-spinner Rahkeem Cornwall, a man who can hardly be missed on a cricket field,  became the first West Indies spinner to pick up a 10-wicket haul in India.  During the Test against Afghanistan at Lucknow this week, Cornwall achieved figures of seven for 75 which is the fifth best figures by a visiting bowler in India.

Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja last managed a 10-fer in a Test in December 2016. Cornwall has picked up more wickets in one game than the Indian duo have managed together in their two Tests against Bangladesh this month!

Steve Smith scores 7000 and more importantly doesn’t get out to Yasir Shah

At Adelaide, during the first innings of the final Test against Pakistan, Steve Smith once again walked in after his mates David Warner and Marnus Labuschagne had demoralised Pakistan. While the southpaw went on to score the highest individual Test score in three years, Labuschagne helped himself to another 150+ score to overtake Steve Smith himself, as the leading run-scorer  in Tests in 2019.

However,  during the course of his  innings of 36, Smith became the fastest batsman to score 7000 runs in the longer format. It took him just 70 Tests and 126 innings to get to the landmark, thus breaking a 73-year-old record previously held by Wally Hammond.

Steve Smith had stated before the Test that he would be playing with more discipline against Yasir Shah, the bowler who dismissed him for the seventh time in his career at the Gabba in the first Test. He faced 25 deliveries from the leg-spinner and scored 19 runs! There is little chance he or any other Australian batsman would be facing the leg-spinner again this summer in an international game.

Melbourne Renegades pull off the highest chase in WBBL history

Led by swashbuckling half-centuries from skipper Jess Duffin and opener Danni Wyatt, the Melbourne Renegades chased down a league record total of 184 with an over and six wickets to spare against Brisbane Heat, the team that had previously won seven games on the bounce.

This was Wyatt’s fourth consecutive fifty and she set a franchise record for the highest individual score with her smashing knock of 87. She was the star with the ball as well, picking two for 26 with her part-time off-spin.

Meanwhile, it is entirely possible that no player ever has improved as much as Jess Duffin after being named captain. She averages 74.5 with the bat and has a strike-rate of 144 as captain, which is extraordinary considering her average when she isn’t leading the team drops to 23 and her strike-rate plummets to 100.

Abhimanyu Mithun’s incredible fifer in one over

Medium pacer Abhimanyu Mithun’s domestic season continues to get better and better. A couple of months earlier, in the 2019 Vijay Hazare Trophy final, India’s List-A tournament, Mithun picked up a hat-trick to help Karnataka to the title.

This week, in the semi-final of the Syed Mushtaq Ali trophy, India’s domestic T20 tournament, he picked up five wickets in a single over. His five-wicket haul included a hat-trick making him the first Indian bowler to bag hat-tricks in all three formats.

Mithun who had conceded 37 runs in his previous three overs was brought on to bowl the 20th over  of the innings against Haryana and boy did he redeem himself. He ambled in and bowled slower deliveries at various lengths as batsmen gifted catches to fielders whilst attempting ambitious shots. After  picking up four wickets off the first four deliveries, he conceded a single and a wide before completing his fifer with the wicket of tailender Jayant Yadav who ramped a slower ball straight to the keeper.

Neil Wagner is the only other bowler to manage five wickets in an over when he did so for Otago while playing against Wellington in the Plunket Shield in 2011.

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