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Two Pakistan stars and an explosive West Indies wicket-keeper have made the shortlist for the ICC Men's Player of the Month Award for August 2023.
Babar Azam (Pakistan)
Two-time ICC Men's Player of the Month Babar Azam will look to bag the coveted prize for the third time after being nominated for August 2023.
The top-ranked batter in the MRF Tyres ICC Men's ODI Player Rankings continued his rich vein of form from the previous month with two fifties and a century.
Babar didn't trouble the scorers in the first ODI of the three-match series against Afghanistan but put the rare failure behind him quickly with two consecutive fifties.
The Pakistan captain stitched a crucial 118-run stand with Imam-ul-Haq in the second ODI that laid the foundation for a thrilling last-over encounter. Babar contributed 53 runs in the chase and was well-supported by Imam (91 runs) and the lower order.
Pakistan managed to win the match with a ball and a wicket to spare, with Naseem Shah once again proving to be a nightmare with the bat for Afghanistan.
He followed it up with yet another crucial 60, aiding his team in reaching a commendable total of 268/8. Pakistan's bowlers excelled, securing a comfortable 59-run victory to achieve a clean sweep with a 3-0 series win.
His exceptional form extended to the Asia Cup, where he scored a stunning 131-ball 151 against Nepal in the tournament opener. During the innings, Babar became the quickest player in the history of the game to score 19 ODI centuries.
The ton also drew him level with Javed Miandad and Saeed Anwar for most centuries (31) across all formats for Pakistan. Only Younis Khan (41), Mohammad Yousuf (39) and Inzamam-ul-Haq (35) now have more hundreds.
Shadab Khan (Pakistan)
Pakistan's star all-rounder Shadab Khan made vital contributions with the bat and ball in the month of August to earn a Player of the Month nomination.
In the opening ODI against Afghanistan, his 39 off 50 helped propel Pakistan to a respectable total of 201. With the ball, he scalped the wicket of Abdul Rahman as Pakistan bundled Afghanistan out for just 59.
Shadab's batting prowess was on full display once again in the second ODI, where he earned the Player of the Match for his 48 off 35 balls. His remarkable performance with the lower-order batsmen turned the game around, leading Pakistan to a thrilling victory.
He turned up with the ball in the final ODI with figures of 3/42, accounting for Riaz Hassan, Hashmatullah Shahidi and Shahidullah that broke the back of Afghanistan's batting line-up as Pakistan sealed a 3-0 sweep.
Continuing his impressive form, Shadab shone in the Asia Cup opener with a four-for against Nepal. This time, he demonstrated his spin and guile to dismantle Nepal's lower-order, recording figures of 4/27.
Nicholas Pooran (West Indies)
Nicholas Pooran was a thorn in the side of the India team in August as West Indies broke their six-year drought against the Men in Blue with a T20I series win.
In the first T20I, Pooran stroked a measured 34-ball 41 that took West Indies to 149/6 after batting first. The total proved to be enough for the Windies as they sealed a thrilling four-run win over India.
The composed knock was followed by an explosive 40-ball 67 that was laced with six fours and four sixes. The innings took the game away from India and despite a collapse after his wicket, West Indies' ninth-wicket pair won the game for their side in a tense match.