New Delhi, May 5 (IANS) Nepal’s Kushal Bhurtel will be competing with Pakistan stars Babar Azam and Fakhar Zaman for the International Cricket Council’s (ICC) Player of the Month award for April.
Bhurtel, 24, became the first player to score three consecutive half-centuries in T20 Internationals.
He helped Nepal win their recent tri-series against Netherlands and Malaysia, finishing the series as the highest scorer with 278 runs at an average of 69.50.
He scored 62, 61 and 62 in the first three matches of the series, which were also his first three matches in T20Is.
Zaman scored a total of 302 runs at 100.66, with a strike rate of 111.43 in the three ODIs against South Africa. In that series, he scored two centuries, including an inspired knock of 193 in the second ODI. His two centuries enabled him to jump to a career-best seventh position in the ICC ODI batsmen’s rankings.
Pakistan captain Azam managed scores of 103 and 94 in three ODIs against South Africa, which won him two Player of the Match awards, as Pakistan won the series. His performances helped him move ahead of Virat Kohli as the No.1-ranked ODI batsman, becoming the fourth Pakistan player to do so after Zaheer Abbas, Javed Miandad, and Mohammad Yousuf.
Azam also played seven T20Is in April, four against South Africa and three against Zimbabwe, scoring a total of 305 runs at 43.75 with a strike rate of 126.55 with two half-centuries and a 59-ball 122 at the centurion. Among the highlights was a 197-run partnership with Mohammad Rizwan, the highest partnership in a T20I run chase.