ESPNcricinfo Awards

ESPNcricinfo Awards 2017 Associate batting nominees: Irish attacks, Afghan assaults

Our shortlist of Associate batting performances from 2017 features big hitting from players of teams that have since gone on to become Full Members

A bouncer to Kyle Coetzer's helmet changed Scotland's history  •  Peter Della Penna

A bouncer to Kyle Coetzer's helmet changed Scotland's history  •  Peter Della Penna

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William Porterfield
100 vs UAE
first ODI, Dubai

Since striking 107 against Pakistan in the 2015 World Cup, the Ireland captain's batting form mirrored his side's overall woes in one-day cricket. In 14 subsequent ODIs, Porterfield averaged 15.42 as Ireland notched just three wins. It was in this context that Porterfield got the monkey off his back by delivering his eighth ODI ton, striking eight fours and a six off 116 balls to set up a winning total.
Najeeb Tarakai
90 vs Ireland
second T20I, Greater Noida

Afghanistan's streak of T20I wins was on shaky ground early in this contest after Barry McCarthy's opening spell removed Mohammad Shahzad and Asghar Stanikzai in the first three overs to set Afghanistan back at 12 for 2. It set the stage for an unlikely hero in Tarakai to rise up and counterattack. He tucked into Ireland's bowling unit, beginning in the fourth over with a six. By the end of his 56-ball knock, he had struck four more sixes to go with seven fours. He entered the final over needing ten runs to bring up a maiden T20I ton but fell to McCarthy on the first ball. However, by that stage he had put Afghanistan in position for another win.
Mohammad Nabi
89 vs Ireland
third T20I, Greater Noida

Rare are the opportunities for batsmen outside the top three to make big scores in T20Is. When they do, it's typically as a result of entering early after a top-order stumble that gives them plenty of time in the middle. Neither was the case in this match, which made Nabi's blitzkrieg all the more stunning as he needed only 30 balls to record the highest score by anyone batting at No. 6 or lower in a T20I, doing it after entering at No. 7 in the 13th over. Exactly half of the balls he faced were hit to or over the ropes (six fours and nine sixes), including five straight balls before he was dismissed. Amazingly, in spite of his sweet timing, he managed five dot balls. His strike rate of 296.66 is the highest for any innings with a minimum of 20 balls.
Paul Stirling
99 vs Afghanistan
third ODI, Greater Noida

In a series that became a showcase of Stirling's belligerent batting vs Rashid Khan's sensational spin, Stirling came out on top in this encounter. One match after Rashid had taken 6 for 43 to wipe out Ireland, including a harsh lbw decision, when Stirling was on 95, which sparked an Irish collapse, Stirling blunted Rashid to leave the leggie without a wicket for only the fourth time in his 32 career ODIs. In the process, Stirling notched his third consecutive fifty, spearheading Ireland's chase of a target of 265 to get them back into the five-match series.
Kyle Coetzer
109 vs Zimbabwe
first ODI, Edinburgh

In 23 previous attempts, Scotland had never beaten a Full Member in an official ODI. But they followed up a win over Sri Lanka in a Champions Trophy warm-up earlier in the spring by fully exorcising their Test nation demons at the Grange. Captain Coetzer played a prominent role on both occasions, with centuries to propel Scotland at the top of the order. Scotland endured a nervy start in which they scored only four runs in the first four overs. But a Richard Ngarava bouncer into the side of Coetzer's helmet stirred the captain to respond in kind with his own form of aggression. Coetzer clattered Tendai Chatara for three fours and a six in the seventh over and never looked back, bringing up his ton off 88 balls to set up a 300-plus total in a famous win.
Click here for the Associate bowling shortlist