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ESPNcricinfo Awards

ESPNcricinfo Awards 2021 Associate batting nominees: Chris Greaves goes bam, Jaskaran Malhotra goes boom

Big-hitting from the smaller teams: our pick of the Associate batting crop

Chris Greaves put Bangladesh to the sword in the T20 World Cup  •  ICC via Getty

Chris Greaves put Bangladesh to the sword in the T20 World Cup  •  ICC via Getty

Chris Greaves
45 vs Bangladesh
T20 World Cup, Al Amerat

At 53 for 6 in the 12th over of Scotland's opening match of group play, the clichéd barbs started to circulate on internet forums about Associates being out of place on the global stage against Full Members. Enter Greaves, who helped turn the tide Scotland's way in just his second T20I, initially with a 51-run stand alongside Mark Watt. As soon as Watt departed, Greaves went all in, attacking Taskin Ahmed, hitting the next three balls for four, six and four in a dramatic 18th over to help give Scotland a fighting chance in what eventually turned into a six-run win.
David Wiese
66 not out vs Netherlands
T20 World Cup, Abu Dhabi

Namibia finished fourth in the global qualifier two years before, losing to both Netherlands and Ireland, but Wiese, formerly of South Africa, made an immediate difference here. He entered at 52 for 3 with the required run rate above ten per over, and got his team over the line with an over to spare after he was done bludgeoning the Netherlands attack. Wiese was merciless against the spinners, bringing up a 29-ball half-century by smashing Dutch captain Pieter Seelaar for six. Before long, a tense chase turned into a canter.
Jaskaran Malhotra
173 not out vs Papua New Guinea
second ODI, Al Amerat

A historic innings that seemingly came out of nowhere, and one that had its share of fortune too. Malhotra entered the day having never scored a List A hundred in 25 career innings. Dropped on 3 at short midwicket, and twice more on a pair of straightforward boundary chances on 20 and 62, he plugged away in oppressive heat to bring up the first ODI century by a USA player. All that became a footnote by the end of his knock, when he belted six sixes off the final over, becoming only the fourth player to do so in international cricket.
Gerhard Erasmus
53 not out vs Ireland
T20 World Cup, Sharjah

Having suffered a badly broken finger on the eve of the tournament, Namibia's captain could have had surgery to repair the injury, which would have ended his dream of leading his nation in their maiden T20 World Cup. But Erasmus decided to grit his teeth and play, and this innings made it all worth it. In a win-or-go-home encounter to end the group stage, he came in with his side under pressure after a timid powerplay, chasing 126. He showed shrewdness and calm while picking off singles and twos and then produced a late surge to take Namibia into the Super 12s.
Muhammad Waseem
107 not out vs Ireland
third T20I, Dubai

Waseem, from Pakistan, made waves at the start of the year on the franchise circuit, blasting a 12-ball half-century in the Abu Dhabi T10 league to equal a record set earlier that same day by Chris Gayle. That knock helped fetch him a PSL contract months later, but he had to wait until the final quarter of the year to get a call-up for his adopted homeland. It was worth the wait: he produced a bruising century, studded with 14 fours and four sixes, in just his fourth T20I to help clinch a stunning 2-1 series victory, UAE's first over a Full Member nation.

Peter Della Penna is ESPNcricinfo's USA correspondent @PeterDellaPenna