Australia are wary of the threat posed by Shakib Al Hasan as they prepare to encounter the Cricket World Cup's leading run-scorer at Trent Bridge on Thursday.

The all-rounder has scored 384 in four innings so far, including a pair of centuries in his last two visits, and there is no disguising the fact he is Bangladesh's main threat.

Shakib made 124 not out as the Tigers chased down 322 inside 42 overs to hammer West Indies at Taunton on Monday, a victory that left them just two points adrift of the semi-final spots.

"I think he's in probably career-best form with the white ball," said Australia wicketkeeper Alex Carey of Shakib. "So we sort of know the areas and line and length we want to bowl to him and I guess out there we'll assess the conditions as well.

"No extra planning, I don't think. We normally have our plans going into every game and we assess each player accordingly.

"In terms of what we're going to bowl, we leave that up to the bowlers and the captain to do that, but we'd love to get him out early. He's in great form, along with the other players."

Australia could bring all-rounder Marcus Stoinis back into their side after he recovered from the side strain that saw him miss matches against Pakistan and Sri Lanka.

 

TOURNAMENT SO FAR

Australia have won four games from five to sit in a strong position to reach the semi-finals. Captain Aaron Finch is having a fine tournament with the bat, making 343 in five innings to date.

Bangladesh enter the match with two wins and two defeats plus one no-result due to rain. They cruised to a seven-wicket win over the Windies last time out.

WHAT THEY SAID

Carey: "Obviously Bangladesh are playing some really good cricket at the moment and it's led by Shakib. He's one guy we want to get out early."

Bangladesh captain Mashrafe Mortaza: "Shakib is brilliant. The way he's playing, I think we need to support him as well, his team. It's not been a one-man army, but as you said he's been doing outstandingly."

OPTA FACTS

- These two sides have been involved in 19 completed ODIs, with Australia winning 18 of those and losing just once, in Cardiff 14 years ago.

- Australia have won the World Cup more often than any other side (five times) and are looking to win this tournament for the fifth time in their last six attempts; Bangladesh are yet to reach the semi-final stage.

- Steve Smith is set to register his 100th ODI innings for Australia in this match. He has scored 3,674 runs across his previous 99 knocks and heads into this contest on the back of a 59-ball 73 against Sri Lanka.

- Shakib Al Hasan has managed to register 50 runs or more in five successive ODI knocks. No batsman has ever posted six half-centuries on the spin for Bangladesh. Shakib is currently tied for the record with Tamim Iqbal, who made five 50-plus scores in succession in 2012.

New Zealand captain Kane Williamson saluted team-mate Colin de Grandhomme after a tense four-wicket win over South Africa at the Cricket World Cup.

Williamson and De Grandhomme compiled the 91-run match-defining partnership before the latter was dismissed for 60 from 47 balls with victory in sight at Edgbaston.

A six followed by a four from Williamson saw New Zealand home with three balls to spare, and he was predictably named man of the match after reaching 106 not out.

However, Williamson preferred to praise De Grandhomme, whose quickfire runs gave the Black Caps momentum at a crucial stage of the contest.

"Colin de Grandhomme stood out for me today, in terms of with the ball and then the impetus he came and showed with the bat was really special," Williamson said.

"It was a superb knock from him."

Williamson said of his own task with the bat: "It's trying to do the job as well as you can, and I was fortunate I was able to do it today. There were a number of other contributions that were so vital throughout the innings.

"Today was a really close match - could have gone either way - but it was nice to get a win."

New Zealand remain unbeaten and look to be heading to the semi-finals. Williamson's opposite number Faf du Plessis, by contrast, is facing World Cup elimination with South Africa.

Du Plessis said after a fourth defeat of his team's campaign: "Performances haven't been there. Individually we would have liked to have taken on more responsibility to put on performances that could drive the team home but it hasn't been there.

"But we are fighting as a team and I think you saw that today."

South Africa are staring at Cricket World Cup elimination after Kane Williamson's century powered New Zealand to a thrilling last-over victory at Edgbaston.

The New Zealand captain reached 3,000 ODI runs as skipper of the Black Caps while making the 106 not out that drove his team to a four-wicket success in overhauling the Proteas' 241-6.

The semi-finals are in sight for a New Zealand side who remain unbeaten and move top of the group-stage table, but hapless South Africa face ignominious elimination after a fourth loss in six.

Williamson was the steadying influence in a New Zealand innings that could have fallen apart without him.

He and Martin Guptill put on 60 for the second wicket, before Guptill trod on his own stumps. Williamson later shared in a 91-run partnership for the sixth wicket with Colin de Grandhomme just as South Africa began to threaten.

Chris Morris took three middle-order wickets and bowled well for South Africa, but it was neither his nor his team's day. That was quite clear when David Miller dropped De Grandhomme and then failed to gather at the stumps when looking to run out Williamson.

De Grandhomme went for 60 late on but Williamson made sure, crashing Andile Phehlukwayo over midwicket for six to reach three figures in the final over before victory was secured with three balls left.

South Africa's innings was built on three core partnerships, as Hashim Amla and Faf du Plessis put on 50 for the second wicket, Amla and Aiden Markram added 52 for the third, and Rassie van der Dussen joined Miller in putting on 72 for the fifth.

Amla reached a landmark during his 55 as he became the second fastest player to accumulate 8,000 ODI runs, with only Virat Kohli having reached the mark in fewer innings.

Van der Dussen went on the attack late on and finished with 67 not out from 64 deliveries, but South Africa needed more than isolated big hitting to trouble such distinguished opposition and their tournament is all but over.

 

SOUTH AFRICA CAN ONLY BLAME THEMSELVES

They had plenty of chances to come out on the right side of such a tight encounter, but South Africa were the architects of their own downfall. Replays at a crucial point in the match suggested Imran Tahir drew a nick behind from Williamson, but there was no review taken. A catch went down, a run out was missed. It was chaotic fielding and New Zealand capitalised.

MORRIS MAKES HIS MARK

Set aside the brutal opening defeat to Bangladesh for one moment, and Morris has had a fine World Cup for South Africa. He made runs against India, took three wickets against Afghanistan and now another three wickets at New Zealand's expense. The medium-fast bowler can look innocuous at times, but try telling that to Ross Taylor, Tom Latham and Jimmy Neesham, who all perished to him. Team-mates failed to match his display, however.

India have received the go-ahead to call Rishabh Pant into their Cricket World Cup squad after ruling Shikhar Dhawan out of the remainder of the tournament.

Opener Dhawan suffered a painful injury to his left hand in the match against Australia at The Oval on June 9, when he made a century.

Tests showed he broke a bone and must stay in plaster under mid-July.

Team manager Sunil Subramaniam said Dhawan suffered "a fracture of the first metacarpal on his left hand", and middle-order batsman Pant was swiftly named to take his place in the squad.

The International Cricket Council announced in a statement later on Wednesday that Pant had been approved as a replacement, after its event technical committee assessed India's request.

Left-hander Pant is already in England and could come into contention to be involved against Afghanistan in Southampton on Saturday.

The 21-year-old has only played five ODI matches, and has a top score of 36, however he has impressed at Test level with two centuries in his first nine matches.

Hashim Amla became the second fastest player to accumulate 8,000 ODI runs after reaching the landmark in South Africa's Cricket World Cup encounter with New Zealand on Wednesday.

The 36-year-old Proteas opener got to the landmark figure in his 176th innings in the format, having started the day on 7,976 career runs.

Only Virat Kohli has reached 8,000 ODI runs in fewer innings than Amla, the India captain getting there in 175 knocks.

Amla was looking to play a telling innings at Edgbaston in a crucial match for struggling South Africa in their World Cup campaign.

He lost his opening partner Quinton de Kock in the second over, and captain Faf du Plessis fell for 23 after helping to put on 50 for the second wicket.

Amla was unbeaten on 34 at the beginning of the 18th over, with South Africa 66-2.

Kohli was also playing at Edgbaston when he achieved the feat, making an unbeaten 96 against Bangladesh at the Champions Trophy two years ago.

India have lost opener Shikhar Dhawan for the rest of their World Cup campaign.

The batsman suffered a painful injury to his left hand in the team's opening match against Australia at The Oval on June 9, when he made a century.

There had been hopes Dhawan would be fit to return later in the tournament but those were dashed on Wednesday when it was revealed he has broken a bone and will be in plaster until mid-July.

The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) said: "Shikhar Dhawan has been diagnosed with a fracture of the first metacarpal on his left hand following a ball impact injury during the team’s first match versus Australia at the Oval.

"Following several specialist opinions, he will remain in a cast until the middle of July and therefore will not be available for the remainder of #CWC19."

Team manager Sunil Subramaniam confirmed the blow to India's batting resources when he spoke at a news conference on Wednesday.

Delhi batsman Rishabh Pant is the player India want to replace Dhawan in their squad, and his inclusion must be approved by tournament organisers.

Pant is already in England and could come into contention to be involved against Afghanistan in Southampton on Saturday.

India are unbeaten in four outings so far at the World Cup, winning three and having one match washed out.

Afghanistan head coach Phil Simmons says he will provide an explanation for Asghar Afghan's dismissal as captain following the Cricket World Cup as he seemingly blamed selector Dawlat Ahmadzai.

Afghan was replaced as skipper in all three formats heading into the tournament, with Rahmat Shah, Gulbadin Naib and Rashid Khan named as the new leaders for Tests, ODIs and Twenty20 internationals respectively.

Both Rashid and former captain Mohammad Nabi criticised the decision and questioned the timing of the announcement at the time.

And, although Afghan remains in the squad, Afghanistan have subsequently lost each of their first five matches at the World Cup under Naib.

But responding to a Twitter post that reported chief selector Ahmadzai's displeasure with the team's coaching, Simmons hit back and promised answers on Afghan's situation.

"I am in the middle of a World Cup and trying to get our team to perform to the level we expect," Simmons wrote on his own Twitter page.

"But at the end of the World Cup, I will tell the Afghanistan people about the part that Mr Dawlat Ahmadzai had to play in our preparation and his part in the dismissal of Asghar Afghan."

Quinton de Kock acknowledges South Africa's Cricket World Cup clash with New Zealand is effectively a "quarter-final" due to its must-win nature, yet the Proteas are feeling confident.

South Africa endured a miserable start to the World Cup, losing their first three matches and then only taking a point against West Indies due to no result.

A victory against Afghanistan kept the Proteas' top-four and semi-final hopes alive, but there is no room for error now, with South Africa four points adrift of fourth-placed India.

"It's a big game for us, but in saying that, our next three or four games that we have [are, too]," De Kock told a news conference on Tuesday.

"They're all going to be big games for us for the rest of the tournament. We're just going to have to go out there, keep our heads steady and play freely.

"Tomorrow is a quarter-final, I guess you could say. But if we do win it, it's another big game again.

"Obviously, it is a big game, but there's a lot more that we are focusing on also. We have to win all the games, not just focus on tomorrow.

"But in saying that, we know how good New Zealand are playing at the moment. They are a big team in World Cups. They always seem to step up. So it's going to be a tough one."

Of South Africa's mood, he added: "Before our first game that we played against England, we were in a pretty good space also then, mentally and with preparation.

"Then obviously, during the course of the tournament, after losing all the time, there's always a bit of a slump in being mentally strong. It's a long tournament, it's a tough tournament.

"Obviously, getting a win again has given us high hopes. So we are pretty confident at the moment. It's just about taking it out there and giving the guys a good show."

Centurion Eoin Morgan admitted his record-breaking heroics against Afghanistan were beyond his "wildest dreams" after helping England move top of the Cricket World Cup standings.

The England captain smashed 17 sixes - the most by any batsman in an ODI - during a stunning 71-ball innings of 148 on the way to an emphatic 150-run triumph at Old Trafford on Tuesday.

It came after Morgan had been a doubt for the match after suffering a back spasm in the previous game against West Indies and his raft of maximums was the key contribution in what was also a new world record of 25 team sixes in an innings.

"I didn't think at any stage it was going to be my day," Morgan said. 

"Getting quite old, running around with a bad back, you never think you can produce an innings like this. I never thought in my wildest dreams I'd produce an innings like that.

"It was a special day. It was a tough game, Afghanistan are a side with a lot of potential and it's the World Cup. We're loving playing in it. On the big stage, it is nice to do.

"I think I have changed. Everybody probably plays the shots I probably started my career with now, so they're not as effective. I've come full circle and I'm probably stronger down the ground now than I've ever been.

"I haven't yet [put my back out]! Tomorrow's going to be a rough day, I think!"

The victory saw England, who have won four of their opening five matches, climb above Australia to top the table.

Jonny Bairstow (90) and the in-form Joe Root (88) also produced high-quality displays with the bat and Morgan could not be happier with the start his side have made to the tournament.

"Are we where we want to be? Yes," he added. "The next two or three games are pretty crucial for us. 

"We want to bring our level of intensity to every game we play. We don't want to slack off. Focusing on that and making that a priority is important to us.

"The intensity can still be there, but you will still make mistakes. 

"We managed to spill a couple of catches, which can happen. We'll try hard to improve the next few games. But as long as that's there, I think you can't fault the guys."

Afghanistan, meanwhile, are still searching for their first victory of the tournament, but captain Gulbadin Naib was philosophical in defeat after Morgan's masterclass.

"How they played was something special," he said. "Credit goes to Morgan, how he batted, I think it was one of the best innings I've seen from him."

Records tumbled at Old Trafford on Tuesday as a sensational 148 from Eoin Morgan helped England thrash Afghanistan by 150 runs in the Cricket World Cup and move top of the standings.

England's captain, fit to play having been troubled by a back spasm against West Indies last time out, thumped 17 sixes - the most by any batsman in an ODI - during an enthralling 71-ball innings as the tournament hosts racked up 397-6 after electing to bat.

Morgan's glut of maximums enabled England to set a world record of 25 in an innings, while the match featured 33 sixes – a new World Cup high.

Afghanistan, who remain winless, predictably came up well short in reply but they showed admirable resolve to reach 247-8, Hashmatullah Shahidi top-scoring with 76 after recovering from a nasty blow to the helmet.  

Jonny Bairstow (90 from 99 deliveries) and the prolific Joe Root (88 from 82) made valuable contributions for England, while Moeen Ali blasted 31 not out from nine balls at the death.

Yet it was Morgan who took centre stage in stunning fashion, his sixes all coming in the arc between long-off and backward square-leg courtesy of a series of punishing pulls, drives and slog-sweeps.

Morgan was given a life on 28 when Dawlat Zadran misjudged a chance at deep midwicket off Rashid Khan. The mistake proved painfully costly for Afghanistan and Rashid, who finished with 0-110 from nine overs, the most expensive analysis in World Cup history.

 

MORGAN MAGNIFICENT, BUT ROOT SO IMPORTANT AGAIN

Rohit Sharma, AB de Villiers and Chris Gayle have all managed 16 sixes in an ODI innings, but Morgan went one better in Manchester as he compiled the fourth-fastest hundred in World Cup history.

While the skipper's contribution was outstanding, the efforts of Root - who now has 367 runs in the tournament from five innings - should not be overlooked. England's number three once again fulfilled his role to perfection, ticking along at roughly a run a ball while eschewing risk. By contributing 43 off 33 deliveries during a third-wicket stand of 189 with Morgan, Root did exactly what was required, unselfishly giving as much of the strike as possible to his partner.

 

ROY'S REPLACEMENT FAILS TO CONVINCE

Jason Roy's absence was hardly a factor as England romped to victory without their in-form opener, who has been sidelined by a hamstring tear.

However, James Vince failed to make the most of his opportunity at the top of the order, departing for 26 after a start that had promised much. 

Roy has already been ruled out of Friday's clash with Sri Lanka, at the very least, and Vince will be eager not to waste another chance with uncertainty surrounding his fellow batsman's availability for the remainder of the tournament.

Eoin Morgan made history at Old Trafford on Tuesday, striking 17 sixes against Afghanistan to set a new record for the most in an individual ODI innings.

England's captain thumped 148 from 71 balls as the Cricket World Cup hosts racked up 397-6.

We take a look at some of the most notable statistics to have arisen from Morgan's wonderful innings.

 

MOST SIXES IN AN ODI (INDIVIDUAL)

17 - Eoin Morgan - England v Afghanistan, Old Trafford, June 18, 2019.

16 - Rohit Sharma - India v Australia, Bangalore, Nov 2, 2013; AB de Villiers - South Africa v West Indies, Johannesburg, Jan 18, 2015; Chris Gayle - West Indies v Zimbabwe, Canberra, Feb 24, 2015.

 

MOST SIXES IN AN ODI (TEAM)

25 - England v Afghanistan, Old Trafford, June 18, 2019.

24 - England v West Indies, St George's, Feb 27, 2019.

23 - West Indies v England, Bridgetown, Feb 20, 2019.

 

MOST RUNS CONCEDED IN AN ODI

113 - Mick Lewis, South Africa v Australia, Johannesburg, Mar 12, 2006.

110 - Rashid Khan, England v Afghanistan, Old Trafford, June 18, 2019 (from nine overs); Wahab Riaz, England v Pakistan, Trent Bridge, Aug 30, 2016.

106 - Bhuvneshwar Kumar, South Africa v India, Mumbai, Oct 25, 2015; Nuwan Pradeep, India v Sri Lanka, Mohali, Dec 13, 2017.

 

FASTEST WORLD CUP HUNDREDS

50 balls - Kevin O'Brien - Ireland v England, Bangalore, Mar 2, 2011.

51 balls - Glenn Maxwell - Australia v Sri Lanka, Sydney, Mar 8, 2015.

52 balls - AB de Villiers - South Africa v West Indies, Sydney, Feb 27, 2015.

57 balls - Eoin Morgan - England v Afghanistan, Old Trafford, June 18, 2019.

 

MOST CAREER ODI SIXES

351 - Shahid Afridi

318 - Chris Gayle

270 - Sanath Jayasuriya

225 - MS Dhoni

224 - Rohit Sharma

211 - Eoin Morgan

204 - AB de Villiers

200 - Brendon McCullum

 

OTHER NOTABLE STATS

- England's score of 397-6 was their highest at a World Cup and the sixth biggest in history. Australia hold the finals record after compiling 417-6 against Afghanistan in 2015.

- England hit 18 sixes in the 2015 World Cup, only one more than Morgan managed on Tuesday.

- Morgan has now managed 22 maximums in the tournament. Australia skipper Aaron Finch (14) is the only other man to have reached double figures.

South Africa will hope history fails to repeat itself when they bid to keep their Cricket World Cup hopes alive on Wednesday against New Zealand at Edgbaston.

With just one win from their opening five matches, the Proteas know anything but a victory will all but end their hopes of reaching the semi-finals.

There is no shortage of recent history between the sides in this competition, with the Black Caps having dramatically reached their first World Cup final four years ago at South Africa's expense courtesy of Grant Elliott's six off the penultimate ball.

They also defeated the Proteas at the quarter-final stage in 2011.

South Africa will at least be buoyed by the return of bowler Lungi Ngidi and an improved display in their previous outing - a rampant nine-wicket triumph over Afghanistan - provided a much-needed confidence boost.

That said, a far bigger challenge will be presented by New Zealand, whose attack has been in scintillating form so far this tournament with Mitchell Santner (3.83), Lockie Ferguson (3.88) and Trent Boult (4.20) all among the leading bowlers in terms of economy.

With seven points already, the Black Caps are well positioned for a top-four finish and a place in the knockout stages, though they do still have to face a number of the tournament's leading lights.

TOURNAMENT SO FAR

The pressure is on for South Africa. There is scant margin for error as far as their semi-final hopes are concerned. Defeats to England, Bangladesh and India in their opening three matches followed by the abandonment of their game against West Indies has left them with it all to do. There were at least positive signs in their win over Afghanistan.

New Zealand, by contrast, have made a hugely promising start, winning their opening three matches against Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and Afghanistan before seeing their last outing, against India, abandoned due to the inclement weather. 

WHAT THEY SAID

South Africa wicketkeeper-batsman Quinton de Kock: "I think, obviously, it's a big game for us, but in saying that, our next three or four games that we have, they're all going to be big games anyway for us for the rest of the tournament. We're just going to have to go out there, keep our heads steady, and play freely."

New Zealand bowler Trent Boult on the chance to potentially knock out South Africa: "It's not driving us in any respect. Every World Cup game, in my opinion, is a big stage, and it's a chance for us to go out there and perform and show we can bring the game and the style that we play back home in New Zealand very well to test it against quality players in foreign conditions on a big stage in front of all these fancy cameras. So we can't wait."

OPTA FACTS

- This will be the eighth World Cup meeting between New Zealand and South Africa, the Black Caps have won five of the previous seven, including each of the last four.

- New Zealand have not won an ODI at Edgbaston since 1983, losing three times there with four no results. They do have three World Cup wins at the venue (two in 1983, one in 1975).

- South Africa spinner Imran Tahir has bowled 222 balls at this World Cup and is yet to be hit for six or bowl a wide or no ball, no other bowler has bowled as many deliveries without being hit for a maximum.

- New Zealand have won 11 of their last 12 completed World Cup matches, their only defeat in that run was the 2015 final to Australia at the MCG.

Eoin Morgan set a new world record for the most sixes in an ODI, smashing an incredible 17 maximums on his way to 148 from 71 deliveries as England piled on the runs against Afghanistan in the Cricket World Cup.

England's captain sustained a back spasm in last week's win over West Indies, but he eased any doubts over his fitness with a sensational display of power-hitting at Old Trafford on Tuesday.

His tally of 17 sixes surpassed the previous ODI record of 16 jointly held by Shane Watson, AB de Villiers and Chris Gayle, while helping England to a new team record of 25. They had previously set the benchmark with 24 against West Indies in February.

Morgan eventually holed out to long-off in the 47th over, his extraordinary performance yielding the fourth-fastest century in World Cup history and helping the tournament hosts to an imposing total of 397-6.

Jonny Bairstow (90 from 99) and the ever-prolific Joe Root (88 off 82) also made valuable contributions with the bat for England, while Moeen Ali blasted 31 not out from just nine deliveries on his 32nd birthday.

Morgan's display was a significant factor in another record being broken in Manchester. Afghanistan leg-spinner Rashid Khan conceded an eye-watering 110 from nine wicket-less overs - the most expensive figures in a World Cup.

Only Mick Lewis, who returned 0-113 from 10 overs for Australia against South Africa in the famous Johannesburg ODI of 2006, has given up more runs in an ODI.

Bangladesh captain Mashrafe Mortaza called on his team to follow Shakib Al Hasan's "exceptional" contributions after a match-winning turn against West Indies.

Shakib made an unbeaten 124 - his second century in a row - as Bangladesh completed their highest ODI run chase and ran out resounding seven-wicket winners in Taunton.

Liton Das (94 not out) and Tamim Iqbal (48) also weighed in, but Mortaza acknowledged Shakib, who became the tournament's highest-scoring player on Monday, has been the Tigers' star of the Cricket World Cup so far.

Bangladesh are up to fifth in the standings with five points from as many matches and more performances like Shakib's could boost their chances of making the semi-finals.

"He has made it at this World Cup and delivered for the team," Mortaza said in the post-match presentation. "Every match he has come and brought something really exceptional.

"Hopefully he'll keep going and others will join him. In the last two matches, Mushy [Mushfiqur Rahim] has batted so well; today, Tamim and Soumya [Sarkar (29)] started batting so well."

For Shakib, another strong batting display was just reward for his own hard work and a call to move up to number three.

"It feels great - obviously to stay at the wicket until the end was the most satisfying thing," Shakib said. "I've been working on my batting for the past month and a half and it's been paying off.

"I know that if I bat at number three I'll get more opportunities, I'll get more time to bat. Sometimes, if I bat at number five, I'll come in at the 30th over or the 40th over, which is not ideal for me. So I wanted to bat up the order."

Asked about the prospect of another ton against Australia on Thursday, he replied: "I hope so. It'll be tough, especially playing against Australia, who are picking up their form. We have to bring our A-game."

The Windies were particularly disappointing with the ball but beaten skipper Jason Holder felt the problems started with a total of 321-8.

"We just didn't get enough runs," Holder said. "But having said that, I still think we could have been a lot more disciplined with the ball and we let ourselves down in the field as well.

"It was just a situation where we never got the momentum we probably should in the middle overs. We had too much to do at the back end.

"If you score 320 here, you've got to fight really hard in the field to defend it. We didn't get wickets and we let one or two chances slip."

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