New Delhi, Oct 24 (UNI) Notwithstanding the who's who of the cricketing world out there to showcase their talents and skills it is young and unsuspecting Upul Tharanga who has stolen the thunder from his celebrated peers and the Sri Lanka opener leads the race for Man of the Tournament in the ICC Champions Trophy so far.
With just nine matches remaining in the event, Tharanga sits on top of the player of the tournament table followed by West Indians Chris Gayle and Jerome Taylor.
Tharanga has been exploiting riches from India with his two centuries in the preliminary round games against Zimbabwe and Bangladesh, coupled with 56 against Pakistan in Jaipur last week. In five innings so far, he has scored 309 runs at an average of 61.80 and a strike-rate above 80.
After each game, the ICC Match Referee selects his top three players in order. The man of the tournament is selected by an aggregate of points accrued during the various stages of the tournament. Accordingly, the man of the match receives three points, second best player receives two points and third best man gets one.
Tharanga currently leads the field with seven points. He is closely pursued by West Indian all-rounder Chris Gayle who has so far received six points. Gayle has been in form with both bat and ball, not least when he scored an unbeaten 104 against Bangladesh in Jaipur.
Next on the table is Gayle's young West Indian team-mate, fast bowler Jerome Taylor, whose stellar performances have included a hat-trick against Australia in Mumbai last Wednesday, the first by a West Indian in an ODI. The 22-year-old is on four points, level with Bangladesh's Sakib al Hasan, whose side did not progress through the preliminary round.
The chasing bunch, currently on three points, includes such proven performers as Damien Martyn, Stephen Fleming, Abdul Razzaq, Muttiah Muralidaran and Munaf Patel.
At the end of the ICC Champions Trophy 2006, if there is a tie for the man of the tournament award, a count-back system will apply.
The player who has won the most man of the match awards throughout the tournament will be adjudged the winner. If it is still tied then it will go to the man who has received the most second places during the tournament.
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