BANGALORE: While the likes of Michael Clarke, Alastair Cook, Hashim Amla and Shivnarine Chanderpaul have been scoring big hundreds in Test cricket this year, one South African defied Australia in his debut innings and it is because of this stand-out performance that he features on this list.

Faf du Plessis unbeaten 110 in the second Test against Australia at Adelaide was the epitome of grit and determination as he helped the Proteas out of the rut.

Defeat was the only way South Africa seemed headed but du Plessis, as calm as a monk, stood firm for 466 minutes and faced 376 balls to ensure South Africa escaped un-hurt and also cling on to their Number 1 position in Test cricket.

Kohli s blitz against SL

Needing 321 to win and having to get that within 40 overs requires a super-human effort. Virat Kohli produced just that in the CB series match against Sri Lanka to keep India s hopes in the competition alive. Kohli displayed amazing maturity and nerve to launched an astonishing fightback at the end of which Sri Lanka were left wondering what hit them.

Kohli s unbeaten 133 came off just 86 balls, including 16 fours and 4 sixes and such was his devestating effect that India utilized only 36.4 overs to chase down the target. Kohli s unrelenting attack also meant that a fast bowler of the calibre of Lasith Malinga went for 96 runs in 7.4 overs, the worst ever economy for a bowler in ODIs.

Samuels wins World T20 for WI

A World T20 final, the team batting first has scored just 14 runs in the first 6 overs and has lost a prolific hitter in Chris Gayle. What does that team do? The answer was provided by Marlon Samuels who came up with a master-class innings under pressure in the big final against Sri Lanka to help his side post a competitive total. At 32/2 at the half-way stage, not many would have given West Indies a chance, but Samuels rose to the occasion, hitting 78 off 56 balls, which included 4 fours and six maximums.

It was this knock that enabled West Indies post a total of 137/6, which proved to be sufficient as Sri Lanka were bowled out for 101. Samuels was also superb with the ball, giving away just 15 runs off his four overs while picking up a wicket.

Rehman leaves England in a spin

When one looked at the spin duo of Saeed Ajmal and Abdur Rehman, the perception was that Ajmal was a wicket-taking machine while Rehman was the bowler who contained the flow of runs. However, that perception was drastically changed during the 2nd Test against England at Abu Dhabi.

Chasing a paltry target of 144, Rehman ripped through the England top order by generating sharp turn at pace and had all the England batsmen clueless. He picked up his first five wicket haul in Tests, claiming 6/25 as Pakistan routed England for just 72. Rehman had played a massive part in Pakistan achieving a wonderful series win over England which eventually turned out to be a 3-0 white-wash.

Thissara Perera blows Pak away

How often does one take a wicket off the first ball of a spell? Once or maybe twice. But Thissara Perera did it three times in the second ODI against Pakistan in June and blew away the Pakistan top order.

While Azhar Ali was playing a defiant knock, Perera kept chipping away at the other end, dismissing one important batsman after another. He started off the wickets feast with a splendid caught and bowled to send back Hafeez off his first spell before getting rid of Younis Khan.

Pakistan started re-building when Perera was re-introduced and he immediately responded with the wicket of Misbah. After a small break, Perera was given the ball again and he accounted for another wicket and finished with figures of 6/44 and bowl Sri Lanka to a 76 run win.