Two in-form batters and a record-breaking spinner will vie for the ICC Men’s Player of the Month award after a string of stellar performances during April.
Prabath Jayasuriya (Sri Lanka)
Prabath Jayasuriya completed 50 wickets in seven Tests to claim the record for reaching the mark in fewer matches than any other spinner in the history of the format.
The left-arm spinner, who picked up 17 wickets in the two-match Test series against Ireland in Galle, reached the mark in the second Test match of the series when he had Paul Stirling, centurion from the first innings, caught on the final day of the game.
Prabath Jayasuriya storms into the record books as the quickest 🏎️💨 Spinner and the quickest Sri Lankan to reach 50 Test wickets,🔥 joining the ranks of the second-fastest players in Test cricket history! 🏏🎉
Jayasuriya hit the 50-wicket mark in just his seventh Test to snatch… pic.twitter.com/Jq6Ia2mZV0
— Sri Lanka Cricket 🇱🇰 (@OfficialSLC) April 28, 2023
Jayasuriya had begun his Test career with an impressive 12-wicket match haul on debut against Australia and now has six five-wicket hauls in seven Test matches thus far.
He picked up a career-best haul of 7/52 in April in the first Test of the series against Ireland and then added three more in the second innings to make it his second match haul of 10 wickets or more.
Despite Ireland making 492 in the first innings of the second Test match, Jayasuriya was the standout bowler, sending down 58.3 overs for his five wickets.
By reaching the landmark of 50 Test wickets in his seventh Test match, Jayasuriya usurped the record held by spinner Alf Valentine. Additionally, he joined the ranks of Vernon Philander of South Africa and Tom Richardson of England as the joint-second-fastest overall to reach this milestone.
Fakhar Zaman (Pakistan)
Fakhar Zaman led the charge for Pakistan as they pulled off their second-highest ODI run-chase in Rawalpindi late in the month. The opener smashed an unbeaten 180 to help Pakistan chase down a target of 337 against the visiting New Zealand side to go 2-0 up in the series.
Fakhar’s knock came with 17 boundaries and six massive sixes as Pakistan won with 10 balls to spare in a high-scoring contest.
This was the left-hander’s second ton in as many matches during April with his 117 off 114 balls helping Pakistan chase down 289 in the first game at the same venue.
The left-hander started the month with a rapid 47 in the first T20I in Lahore against New Zealand, playing a part in the home side’s thumping 88-run victory. While he didn’t click in the next two T20I matches, Fakhar stormed into form in ODIs, a format he has always thrived in.
The Pakistan opener now has 3082 ODI runs at an average of 49.71 and a strike-rate of almost 95 in his 67-match career.
Mark Chapman (New Zealand)
Mark Chapman produced riveting performances in the T20I series against Pakistan, helping New Zealand come from behind to level the five-match series.
Chapman smashed unbeaten knocks of 71 off 42 deliveries and 104 off 57 in the fourth and fifth T20Is respectively to finish with 290 runs in the bilateral series.
He had top-scored for New Zealand in a massive loss in Lahore in the first game of the series, making 34 off 27 balls. The left-hander followed it up with an unbeaten 65 off 40 balls with four fours and four sixes even as New Zealand lost the second game too by 38 runs.
Chapman turned it on further in the last two games of the series, including making a maiden T20I hundred as New Zealand chased down 194 in the fifth and final game of the series to draw level.
His stunning performances had seen Chapman rise 48 places in the MRF Tyres ICC Men’s T20I Batting Rankings to move to 35th position with a career-high rating of 537 points.