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Nasum Ahmed, Lamichhane among ICC Player of the Month nominees

Bangladesh spinner Nasum Ahmed, Nepal leggie Sandeep Lamichhane and USA’s power-hitter Jaskaran Malhotra have been nominated for the ICC Player of the Month for September 2021, with both the men’s and women’s nominees featuring a strong list of candidates.

Nasum Ahmed was Bangladesh’s star performer in their home T20I series against New Zealand, leaving the visitors bamboozled with his accurate line and length. He picked up 8 wickets in the series with a sensational performance of 4/10 in the fourth match. His exploits helped the hosts to emerge victorious with a margin of 3-2 against the visitors.

Lamichhane has impressed one and all with his trickery in his short career so far. He continued this impressive run in the month of September, emerging as the standout bowler in the ICC Cricket World Cup League 2. Playing six ODIs, he picked up 18 wickets at an average of 7.38. His performance against Papua New Guinea, where he ended up with figures of 6/11, grabbed the attention of one and all.

His exploits helped him make significant gains in the ICC Men’s ODI Player Rankings.

The third nominee, Jaskaran Malhotra of the USA, also had a month to remember. He became only the fourth player to hit six sixes in an over in an international fixture.

This feat came against PNG in a CWCL2 fixture in a scintillating knock of 173*. Overall, in six ODIs he scored 261 runs at an average of 87, at a strike-rate of 104.40.

In the women’s section, a strong line-up for the Player of the Month includes England’s Charlie Dean and Heather Knight, along with South Africa’s Lizelle Lee.

Charlie Dean was a revelation in the home ODI series against New Zealand, emerging as the leading wicket-taker for the hosts with 10 scalps at an average of 19.20 and an economy rate of 4.64. With the help of the off-break bowler’s performances, England won the series 4-1, with her major contributions coming in the second (4/36) and the fourth (3/52) matches respectively.

England skipper Heather Knight was also on fire, both with the bat and ball, during the series against New Zealand. In five ODIs, she scored 214 runs at an average of 42.80 and a strike-rate of 88.06. Her telling contribution came in the first and the fourth ODIs, where she played substantial knocks of 89 and 101 respectively. She also scalped up three wickets, at a miserly economy rate of 4.66.

Lizelle Lee was in a league of her own during the ODI series against the West Indies in the Caribbean. In four matches, she scored 248 runs at a stunning average of 124. Emerging as the leading run-scorer in the series, she played three brilliant knocks of 91*, 78* and 61 in the four matches. Her performances helped her to briefly share the top spot in the ICC Women’s ODI Player Rankings along with Mithali Raj.

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