Laxman, Tendulkar bag top honours at ESPNcricinfo awards

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Bangalore, Feb 14 (PTI) VVS Laxman and Sachin Tendulkarwon the awards for best batting performances in Tests and ODIswhile Dale Steyn bagged the top prize in Test bowling in thefourth annual ESPNcricinfo Awards here today.

Umar Gul, Michael Hussey and Tim Southee were the otherwinners.

Laxman bagged the award for best Test batting for his 96on a bowler-friendly pitch in Durban last December, whileTendulkar won the ODI award for his unbeaten double-hundredagainst South Africa in Gwalior last February, the first inthe history of the 40-year-old format.

Steyn took the bowling prize for his seven for 51 againstIndia in Nagpur on a flat track.

While Tendulkar still remains the only player to havescored a double ton in ODIs, what helped Laxman and Steyn beattheir rivals was that their efforts came on unfavourableconditions, and led their teams to historic victories.

This was the second time Tendulkar has won an award inthis category -- he had won last year for his brilliant 175,though in a losing cause against Australia in Mohali.

Tendulkar faced stiff competition from Abdul Razzaq''shurricane 109, which took his side to miraculous win againstSouth Africa after they were nine down and needed 30 runs towin.

Also winning his second award in two years was Umar Gul,the last year''s T20 bowling winner taking the ODI prize forhis six for 42 against England at The Oval.

In Twenty20, Southee was the runaway winner for hisfive-wicket burst in nine balls, which included a hat-trick.

Hussey''s "freakish" innings of 60 in the World T20semifinal against Pakistan beat Brendon McCullum''s centuryagainst Australia.

The jury included former internationals Ramiz Raza,Kepler Wessels, Ian Chappell, Tony Greig, Geoff Boycott,Sanjay Manjrekar and Martin Crowe, and ESPNcricinfo''s senioreditors.

The jurors picked their top three performances in eachcategory out of shortlists compiled by the site''s editorialstaff. Each performance ranked No 1 got five points, whileNo 2 and 3 got three points and one respectively.

Tendulkar''s and Gul''s performances were ranked No 1 by10 jury members, Steyn''s by eight and Laxman''s 96 by five. PTIAH SHN

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