Keegan Petersen, Heather Knight ICC players of the month for January

Petersen played a pivotal role in South Africa’s 2-1 series win over India; Knight’s 168 not out in the off-Ashes Test helped England secure a thrilling draw.

Keegan Petersen in action during the third Test between South Africa and India at Cape Town in January. Petersen scored 276 runs in the three-Test series.   -  REUTERS

South African batter Keegan Petersen pipped compatriot Dewald Brevis and Bangladesh fast bowler Ebadot Hossain to claim the ICC men’s player of the month award for January.

Among women, England skipper Heather Knight won the award. Sri Lanka captain Chamari Athapaththu and West Indies star Deandra Dottin were the other contenders.

Petersen played a pivotal role in South Africa’s 2-1 series win against India. In the second Test, he scored 62 in the first innings, helping the Proteas gain a slender lead, and in its chase of 240, he played a crucial 28-run knock. In the final Test, Petersen scored a fifty in each innings, including a superb 82 in a challenging fourth-innings chase of 212.

He ended the series as the highest run-scorer with 276 runs and was named the player of the series.

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“With the hype of the series and the high expectation, the composure he showed while batting in a pivotal No. 3 position was simply staggering,” said former South Africa star and member of the voting panel JP Duminy.

Knight captained England in the drawn one-off Ashes Test against Australia in Canberra and finished as the highest run-getter. In the first innings, Knight rescued England, scoring an unbeaten 168. It was the second-highest score by a captain in the history of women’s Tests.

“168 is the highest Test score by any female English batter against Australia in Australia,” former India fast bowler Irfan Pathan, member of the voting panel, said.

“It is also the second-highest score in women’s Tests in Australia. Her innings is made even more remarkable given its importance in securing the draw for England in the only Test.”

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