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ESPNcricinfo Awards

ESPNcricinfo Awards 2019 ODI batting nominees: World Cup bash

All but one of our nominated performances come from one tournament

Great at No. 8: Nathan Coulter-Nile fell eight short of a century against West Indies at Trent Bridge  •  Getty Images

Great at No. 8: Nathan Coulter-Nile fell eight short of a century against West Indies at Trent Bridge  •  Getty Images

Nathan Coulter-Nile
92 v West Indies
World Cup, Nottingham

Coulter-Nile's 92 was not only the highest score by a No. 8 in the World Cup, it was also 58 runs more than his previous best in ODI cricket. Walking in after Steven Smith and Alex Carey had steadied a top-order collapse, Coulter-Nile weathered a phase of short bowling from West Indies before unleashing some proper power-hitting, hooking and flicking Andre Russell for boundaries and punishing Carlos Brathwaite's full tosses. It was not a flawless performance, though - he survived a dropped catch, a run-out attempt, an lbw appeal, and edges that just managed to evade the stumps.
Shikhar Dhawan
117 v Australia
World Cup, The Oval

Overcoming a weakness against left-arm pace by standing on leg stump - and occasionally outside it - and nursing an injury to his left thumb, Dhawan gave a masterclass in constructing a one-day innings, propelling India to 352 on a good batting track. Happy to be circumspect against Mitchell Starc and Pat Cummins, he went after the other bowlers - Nathan Coulter-Nile (22 runs off 21 balls), Marcus Stoinis (20 off 14), Adam Zampa (24 off 14) and Glenn Maxwell (20 off 20). At the end of this innings, Dhawan's average at The Oval was a massive 110.75.
Rohit Sharma
140 v Pakistan
World Cup, Manchester

This was the second - and largest - of the five hundreds Sharma scored at the 2019 World Cup. He usually begins his innings in relatively sedate fashion, but some errant bowling by Pakistan allowed him to start briskly in this case. He got to his fifty off 34 balls - his fastest - in the 12th over, punishing the bowlers' short lengths. Fifty-eight of his runs came in cuts and pulls. Players usually are quick to dismiss the idea of an India-Pakistan encounter bringing added pressure, but in this case Sharma made such a notion looked far-fetched, with a composed, confident innings that took the wind out of the opposition's sails.
Shakib Al Hasan
124 not out v West Indies
World Cup, Taunton

Batting at No. 3, Shakib scored his second hundred of the World Cup while anchoring Bangladesh's biggest chase in ODIs. With rain interrupting the chase, Shakib had to be mindful of the DLS par score as he batted. West Indies' bowlers looked to aim at his ribs but he blunted the attack and took advantage of Taunton's short boundaries, a limping Andre Russell, and some luck to add 189 runs with Liton Das. Shakib hit many attractive shots but he was also fortunate that several of his edges fell safely between fielders or raced away to the boundary.
Shimron Hetmyer
139 v India
first ODI, Chennai

Hetmyer's career-best score was also the highest by a West Indian in a successful ODI chase against India. And his 218-run stand with Shai Hope was the biggest by a West Indian pair in an ODI chase. While Hope dug in and stayed put, Hetmyer blew in like a storm, pulling and cutting cleanly and slog-sweeping with precision. He hit 11 fours and seven sixes in his innings, particularly going after debutant Shivam Dube and Ravindra Jadeja. West Indies cantered to their target with more than two overs to spare.
Kane Williamson
106 not out v South Africa
World Cup, Birmingham

In a match of many tight moments, Williamson remained calm to guide his side to a four-wicket win. The two-paced pitch challenged others but Williamson was skilful, not getting restless even when his well-timed shots kept going to fielders. He had some luck too - he bottom-edged a catch to the keeper, but South Africa did not review the decision, and then he survived a run-out attempt two overs later. When New Zealand needed eight off the final over, Williamson finished it with a breathtaking six and one of his trademark dabbed fours.
Carlos Brathwaite
101 v New Zealand
World Cup, Old Trafford

Chasing 292, Brathwaite came to the crease at 142 for 4, but at the end of the 45th over West Indies had slipped to 245 for 9. No matter. Brathwaite smoked a six off Lockie Ferguson and then took 25 runs off a Matt Henry over, leaving West Indies eight to get off 12 balls. He got to his hundred, his first in ODIs, with a pull, but when he tried it again, he was caught at the boundary, with Trent Boult leaning over the rope. It's the only performance on this list to have come in a defeat, but that shouldn't count against Brathwaite given how well he fought.
Babar Azam
101 not out v New Zealand
World Cup, Birmingham

On a surface where the ball seamed and turned a fair bit, against a world-class pace attack, a flu-ridden Azam made a case for inclusion in the Fab Four club of Steven Smith, Virat Kohli, Kane Williamson and Joe Root. After two early wickets in Pakistan's 238-run chase, Azam patiently rebuilt the innings with a 126-run stand in the company of Haris Sohail, happy to leave the good balls and punish the bad ones. In the process, he made his tenth ODI century and went past 3500 runs in ODIs.
Jonny Bairstow
111 v India
World Cup, Birmingham

The week before this game, Bairstow lashed out at England's critics, saying they were waiting for the team to fail. "He likes a bit of fire in his belly," said his captain, Eoin Morgan. Bairstow's on-field riposte was emphatic too - he brought up his first World Cup hundred and added 160 with Jason Roy in the highly anticipated clash with India. His start was nervy, with plenty of edges against Mohammed Shami and Jasprit Bumrah, but he went after India's spinners later, taking 75 runs off the 54 balls he faced from Yuzvendra Chahal and Kuldeep Yadav. The total of 337 proved too stiff in the end for even India's batting machine.
Ben Stokes
84 not out v New Zealand
World Cup final, Lord's

Angry at not having sealed the game in the 50 overs, Stokes suggested Jason Roy be sent ahead of him to bat in the Super Over. But considering the luck that had favoured him through his innings - like being caught on the boundary only to be awarded a six when Trent Boult stepped over the line after taking the catch, and the game-changing overthrow runs England got when a throw from the outfield deflected off Stokes' outstretched bat and went to the boundary - and his obvious class under pressure, it had to be him. Looking unbowed by the weight of expectation, he added another eight runs to his unbeaten, nerveless 84 and went on to enjoy the title of World Cup hero for the rest of time.
Click here for the ODI bowling nominees and here for ESPNcricinfo Awards 2019 home