Pakistan middle order batsman Asif Ali was on Tuesday named the ICC player of month for October, capping what has already been a memorable month for the South Asian side.
The month of October has been nothing short of a dream for Pakistan cricket fans. Not only did they get to witness an emphatic - and first ever - win over India in a World Cup, they also saw their team storm into the T20 showpiece event's semi-finals with five wins from five games.
The men in green are the in-form team of the tournament, and will fight for a spot in the final on Thursday when they take on Australia in Dubai. And Asif has played a big role in their run.
The middle order batsman had long faced criticism for his inability to showcase his hitting abilities at the international level. But in his first opportunity at the ongoing World Cup, he silenced his critics by cracking 27 from 12 balls with one four and three sixes in a grudge match against New Zealand, securing a second big win after the one against India.
Pakistan were in deep trouble in their third game against Afghanistan chasing 148. Asif pulled Pakistan back from the brink, hitting an unbeaten 25 from just seven balls with four sixes to seal victory with an over to spare. That's seven sixes from 19 balls in a tournament where batsmen have generally struggled.
Those two performances were enough for Asif to win the ICC 'player of the month award' for October, beating Bangladesh's Shakib Al Hasan and Namibia's David Wiese.
Ireland’s Laura Delany won the women's player of the month award.