KL Rahul, Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli bludgeoned West Indies as India claimed victory in the Twenty20 series decider in Mumbai by 67 runs.

The tourists had kept their hopes alive with an eight-wicket victory in Thiruvananthapuram on Sunday.

However, the Windies' bowling attack had no answer at the Wankhede Stadium, India's big hitters delivering in emphatic fashion to seal the series.

Rohit (71) and Rahul (91) combined for a 135-run first-wicket partnership, the latter posting his third-highest score in T20 cricket, before Kohli carried India to 240-3 with an unbeaten 70.

West Indies wilted in reply, with Kieron Pollard's 68 in vain for a team that lost Evin Lewis to an injury suffered while fielding, the batsman taken off on a stretcher after hurting his knee.

Both India openers reached 50 in rapid fashion, Rohit doing so in 23 balls and Rahul in 29. Their remarkable start was ended in the 12th over when Rohit picked out Hayden Walsh in the deep. 

Rishabh Pant went for a duck as he failed to make the most of his promotion to number three, but captain Kohli struck seven sixes to help extinguish any hope of a fightback from the Windies bowlers.

He accounted for 64 of the 95 runs compiled in a third-wicket stand with Rahul, who was denied a third T20 international century when he was caught behind attempting to hook a Sheldon Cottrell bouncer.

The Windies promptly fell to 17-3 inside the first four overs of their innings, but Shimron Hetmyer steadied the ship with a knock of 41 that saw him clear the rope five times.

Hetmyer succumbed to Kuldeep Yadav in unfortunate fashion, hitting a full loss straight to long on, and the spinner also accounted for Jason Holder 10 balls later.

Pollard raised the slight possibility of a tense finish by hitting 32 runs in 10 balls, but when he diverted a Bhuvneshwar Kumar short ball to deep midwicket, the writing was on the wall.

Attention now turns to a three-match ODI series, which starts on Sunday.

Graeme Smith has been appointed as South Africa's interim director of cricket.

The former Proteas captain has agreed to take on the role for three months, after which he is due to commentate on the Indian Premier League.

Smith earlier this month denied having taken the job, citing "real concerns" over issues he had raised with Cricket South Africa (CSA), but confirmed he was in discussions with the governing body.

CSA on Wednesday confirmed former opening batman Smith has been instated on a temporary basis.

Smith's appointment comes soon after Jacques Faul took over as CSA acting chief executive following Thabang Moroe's suspension.

Asghar Afghan has been reappointed as Afghanistan captain in all formats, eight months after he was sacked.

Afghan was surprisingly axed in April, less two months before the Cricket World Cup in England and Wales. 

The decision to relieve Afghan of his duties was criticised by some of his team-mates, but the Afghanistan Cricket Board (ACB) said they made the decision with an eye on the future.

Gulbadin Naib initially replaced the batsman as ODI skipper, with Rahmat Shah taking over the Test side and Rashid Khan named Twenty20 captain.

Rashid was handed the captaincy in all formats in July, but Afghan was reinstated on Wednesday – a little over two weeks before his 32nd birthday.

Spinner Rashid will be Afghan's deputy after his short reign was brought to an end.

Afghan led his country for four years in his first spell at the helm.

 

Lendl Simmons revealed his "old-school" approach had been pivotal to his match-winning knock in West Indies' Twenty20 victory over India in Thiruvananthapuram.

Simmons' unbeaten 67 from 45 balls helped the Windies to an eight-wicket triumph, ensuring the series will go to a decider as he capitalised on being dropped with just six runs to his name in one of several fielding errors to irk India captain Virat Kohli.

Despite a slow start, Simmons soon accelerated through the gears and his eye-catching outing included four fours and the same number of sixes.

As he was presented with the player of the match award, Simmons said the pacing of his innings was all part of the plan.

"I like playing against India, it's a good challenge," he said, having been ably assisted by Evin Lewis (40), Nicholas Pooran (38 not out) and Shimron Hetmyer (23).

"I haven't played international cricket for a while, so I'm enjoying it. I didn't start how I wanted to. My partners can go from ball one, but I am a bit old school.

"With experience, you know your game, and I understand my role. It was easier to bat after the powerplay, getting the odd boundary.

"Pooran and Hetmyer were getting boundaries easily so I played the different role."

A frustrated Kohli conceded his side had come up short with their total of 170-7 but felt their complacency in the field had been telling.

"I think we were good for 16 overs while batting, but then in the last four overs we got only 30. We need to focus on that," he said.

"But if we field so poorly, no amount of runs will be enough. We were poor in the field in the last two games.

"We dropped two catches in one over. Imagine if they lost two wickets in the same over.

"Everyone saw we need to be braver with our fielding. Do or die game coming up in Mumbai [on Wednesday]."

Lendl Simmons guided West Indies to an eight-wicket thumping of India in the second Twenty20 international in Thiruvananthapuram, setting up a series decider in Mumbai on Wednesday.

Simmons finished unbeaten on 67 from 45 balls, having received able support from Evin Lewis (40), Shimron Hetmyer (23) and the returning Nicholas Pooran (38 not out) as the Windies reached a target of 171 with nine deliveries unused.

Shivam Dube had earlier compiled a maiden half-century for the hosts, impressing with 54 from 30 balls after being surprisingly promoted to number three, yet Virat Kohli's men were ultimately overpowered as West Indies hit 12 sixes to India's five.

The tourists were 26 without loss after five overs, but they accelerated in devastating fashion thereafter to win with ease.

Simmons was the star turn, hitting four fours and as many sixes as he took full advantage of being dropped by Washington Sundar on six, while Pooran scored at a strike-rate of 211 on his comeback from a four-match ban for ball-tampering.

Lewis and Hetmyer also provided the necessary impetus to get the Windies ahead of the required rate, the latter thumping three maximums before falling victim to a stunning Virat Kohli catch at long-on, which saw India's captain take the ball on the run before contorting his body superbly to avoid touching the boundary rope.

India were left to rue Sundar putting down a routine chance off Bhuvneshwar Kumar to give Simmons an early life, though, and Lewis was also dropped on 17 by wicketkeeper Rishabh Pant.

Dube, who cleared the ropes four times, and Pant (33 not out) were the only home batsmen to make significant contributions to a score of 170-7, as the Windies' attack kept things relatively tight despite conceding a glut of extras.

Jeetan Patel has had his role as England's spin bowling consultant extended for the tours of South Africa and Sri Lanka.

The former New Zealand international was part of the backroom team for the five-match Twenty20 series against the Black Caps last month, which England won 3-2.

Patel is to now also link up with Joe Root's team ahead of the first of four Tests in South Africa, which starts on December 26, and will be part of the staff for the three ODIs and T20Is against the Proteas.

England then play a two-Test series in Sri Lanka beginning in March next year. Patel played 43 ODIs, 24 Tests and 11 T20 Internationals over an 11-year period.

Rahmanullah Gurbaz bludgeoned his highest international score as Afghanistan sealed a first Twenty20 series win over West Indies with a 29-run victory in Lucknow.

Afghanistan set up a decider by making 1-1 at the same venue on Saturday and completed the turnaround the following day, 17-year-old Gurbaz smashing 79 off 52 balls in their total of 156-8.

The Windies' shortcomings with the bat were then shown up as could only make 127-7 in a poor run chase, Naveen-ul-Haq taking 3-24.

Shai Hope top scored with 52 in his first game of the series as a replacement for the injured Denesh Ramdin, but Kieron Pollard's first T20 series as captain ended in a surprise defeat on the back of a 3-0 ODI victory.

Bangladesh were the only other top-10 side Afghanistan had beaten in a bilateral series in the shortest format before they came from behind to stun the Windies.

Sheldon Cottrell (2-29) removed Hazratullah Zazai in the first over and the left-arm seamer had Karim Janat - hero with the ball 24 hours earlier - caught behind in an excellent opening spell.

Teenage wicketkeeper-batsman Gurbaz demonstrated his repertoire of shots, bringing out the ramp, sweeping with assurance and timing the ball sweetly as he brought up his half-century in 37 balls.

Asghar Afghan (24) provided support in a fourth-wicket stand of 50 and Gurbaz had hit five sixes by the time he struck Pollard to Keemo Paul - who took two wickets along with the Kesrick Williams - at deep point.

Naveen and Mujeeb Ur Rahman had the Windies in trouble on 16-2 after dismissing Brandon King and Lendl Simmons respectively.

The dangerous Evin Lewis followed for 24 as Afghanistan continued to keep it tight and captain Rashid Khan saw the back of Shimron Hetmyer as the captain claimed superb figures of 1-18 from his four overs.

Hope ticked along at just over a run a ball, but the Windies remained behind the required rate and the wicketkeeper-batsman fell to Gulbadin Naib - who dropped him on 11 - in the penultimate over.

Pollard and Holder were taken in the deep off Naveen as West Indies fell well short of their target.

Karim Janat ripped through West Indies with a maiden five-wicket Twenty20 International haul as Afghanistan dished out a 41-run defeat to set up a series decider in Lucknow.

Kesrick Williams followed up an impressive bowling display in the first match of the series by taking 3-23 in Afghanistan's 147-7 on Saturday.

That total was more than enough for Rashid Khan's men to make it 1-1, with all-rounder Janat claiming 5-11 - the second-best figures by an Afghanistan bowler in the shortest format - from his four overs as the Windies made only 106-8.

Afghanistan, whitewashed 3-0 in the ODI series, will look to complete the turnaround by winning the final match at the same venue on Sunday.

Hazratullah Zazai and Rahmanullah Gurbaz got Afghanistan off to a good start after they won the toss, but both openers fell from consecutive deliveries in the fifth over from Williams with 42 on the board.

Jason Holder (2-23) trapped Janat leg before for 26 and had Asghar Afghan caught behind, while Keemo Paul - replacing the injured Fabian Allen - took 2-28 as Afghanistan were kept in check.

Najibullah Zadran (20 not) and Gulbadin Naib (24) were able to provide some late impetus and the Windies never got going in a sorry run chase.

Shimron Hetmyer was adjudged lbw to the impressive Janat, who also saw the back of Evin Lewis and Sherfane Rutherford to leave West Indies in trouble on only 45-4 at the halfway mark.

Captain Kieron Pollard was also struck in front by Janat and the rampant seamer had five when he cleaned up Paul in his final over, Denesh Ramdin top scoring with an unbeaten 24 in a poor effort with the bat from the Windies.

Evin Lewis produced a fiery batting display as West Indies made a winning start to their Twenty20 series against Afghanistan.

After a 3-0 success in the ODI games, the apparent wide gulf between the sides was exposed again as West Indies powered to a 30-run victory.

West Indies posted 164-5 as Lewis flayed Afghanistan for 68 from 41 deliveries, before the minnows were limited to 134-9 in reply.

Curiously, a cloud reportedly made up of insect repellent forced a delayed start to the night match in Lucknow, but there was little holding back Lewis once he found his rhythm.

Despite failing to score a run from the first seven balls he faced, Lewis made up for lost time with a brutal assault of the Afghanistan attack.

He was eventually caught by Mohammad Nabi off Gulbadin Naib, having plundered six sixes and four fours, and captain Kieron Pollard added middle-order impetus with 32 from 22 balls to help West Indies to their competitive total.

Four Afghanistan batsmen went past 20 but Najibullah Zadran top-scored with just 27. Fareed Ahmad was unbeaten on 24 after a late flourish, but momentum was always lacking.

Early wickets fell at a steady rate before four fell for just seven runs as the run rate soared, West Indies quick Kesrick Williams returning of 3-17 from four overs.

Pollard also poached two wickets to swing man-of-the-match honours his way.

The second and third matches in the T20 series take place on Saturday and Sunday before a one-off Test, which gets underway on November 27.

Graeme Smith has withdrawn his interest in becoming Cricket South Africa's (CSA) first full-time director of cricket due to concerns over the existing structure.

It was reported last week that former Proteas captain Smith, who played 117 Tests, 197 ODIs and 33 Twenty20 internationals for his country, had interviewed for the position.

According to ESPNcricinfo, the 38-year-old faced competition for the role, which was created after the 2019 Cricket World Cup, from interim post-holder Corrie van Zyl and former national selector Hussein Manack.

However, Smith has pulled out of the running because he does not have confidence the role offers sufficient ability to implement change at CSA.

"Following the news in the media this week that I interviewed for the CSA director of cricket role, I feel it necessary to confirm that I have unfortunately withdrawn my interest for the role," Smith wrote in a statement posted on Twitter.

"I would love to have taken on the role. However, despite my obvious desire to make a difference, during the long and, at times, frustrating process over the last 10 or so weeks of discussions, I have not developed the necessary confidence that I would be given the level of freedom and support to initiate the required changes.

"My passion for our nation's cricketing fortunes remains steadfast and I give my heartfelt best wishes to whomever does take the role on.

"I will continue to support the teams and give my advice and guidance whenever I can."

Jonny Bairstow has been reprimanded by the ICC for his reaction to being dismissed in England's series-clinching Twenty20 International win over New Zealand on Sunday.

Bairstow has been given one demerit point for using an audible obscenity after edging Jimmy Neesham behind for 47 in the tourists' run chase at Eden Park.

The batsman admitted breaching 2.3 of the ICC Code of Conduct as he left the field in Auckland.

England won the series 3-2 after coming out on top in another Super Over thriller.

Bairstow was last week called up to the Test squad as cover for Joe Denly, who is nursing an ankle injury.

 

 

Deepak Chahar claimed the best bowling figures in Twenty20 Internationals history, extinguishing Bangladesh's victory ambitions as India claimed a 30-run win to clinch the series in Nagpur.

With the three-match rubber all-square at 1-1, Bangladesh were well-placed in pursuit of India's 174-5, with Mohammad Naim dominating from the top of the order.

Naim fell for a superb 81 off 48 balls, containing 10 fours and two sixes, yorked by the impressive Shivam Dube (3-30), who held a return catch to remove Afif Hossain the next ball.

But it was Chahar who would steal the limelight.

Having accounted for Liton Das and Soumya Sarkar with consecutive deliveries in his first over, right-arm seamer Chahar returned to have Mohammad Mithun (27) caught in the deep by KL Rahul.

The score was 110-3 after 13 overs at that stage, but Mushfiqur Rahim chopped on for Dube's first wicket and his double strike left India clearly in the ascendancy.

Chahar still had a glorious salvo up his sleeve, having Shafiul Islam and Mustafizur Rahman caught at long-on and deep point before bowling Aminul Islam for his hat-trick and an astonishing return of 6-7.

Rahul earlier laid the platform for India's match-winning total with an accomplished 52, while Shreyas Iyer provided the fireworks with 62 from 33 deliveries – illuminating a match that would ultimately belong to Chahar.

Tim Southee is ready to turn his attention to the Test series with England after New Zealand experienced further heartbreak against the tourists.

New Zealand lost the Twenty20 rubber 3-2 after England sensationally prevailed in a Super Over in Auckland on Sunday.

Eoin Morgan's men defeated the Black Caps to win the Cricket World Cup on home soil in July via a Super Over after the scores were level at the end of 100 gripping overs – the hosts prevailing on a boundary count-back.

And New Zealand tasted more tie-break misery at Eden Park after England scored 17 from their additional six balls compared to the Black Caps' eight.

Chris Jordan's last-ball boundary had tied the match in regular time for England, who reached 146-7 from 11 overs in the rain-affected T20 decider after New Zealand posted 146-5.

With New Zealand left to pick up the pieces following another nail-biting defeat, stand-in skipper Southee – leading in the absence of injured captain Kane Williamson – switched his focus to the upcoming two-Test series, which gets underway on November 21.

"The shorter the game, the harder the side can go," Black Caps paceman Southee said afterwards.

"They just kept coming hard and it would have been nice to have one more run there somewhere but it wasn't to be.

"It was a good series, sort of ebbed and flowed throughout, but at the end of the day it was good cricket and finished off with some good entertainment here. It will be good to get the whites back on."

England captain Morgan also heaped praise on New Zealand following another remarkable showdown between the two teams.

"I said this after the World Cup final, they are actually a great team to aspire to be like. The way they carry themselves and perform," Morgan told reporters.

"The Black Caps fans have been so receptive and hospitable while we've been here, it's been such a pleasure to come here and play."

Jonny Bairstow said England "don't want to keep this happening" after his team-mates needed a Super Over to beat New Zealand in the fifth and final Twenty20.

England defeated the Black Caps to win the Cricket World Cup on home soil in July via a Super Over after the scores were level at the end of 100 gripping overs – the hosts prevailing on a boundary count-back.

A boundary count-back was not required in Auckland on Sunday, however, after England claimed a 3-2 series win over the Black Caps.

England scored 17 from their additional six balls after reaching 146-7 from 11 overs to tie the match in the rain-affected T20 decider, with New Zealand restricted to eight runs in reply.

"We don't want to keep this happening, I don't think," Man of the match Bairstow told Sky Sport afterwards.

"I don't think anyone wants to keep that going but it just shows how close the sides are and how close it's been throughout the series and it sets up what's going to be a fantastic Test series as well."

After New Zealand posted 146-5, England opener Bairstow scored 47 runs from just 18 deliveries to rescue the tourists from 9-2 before Chris Jordan hit a last-ball boundary to force a Super Over.

"I don't feel like I've potentially scored as many as I wanted during the series so to contribute in a shortened game, obviously the pitch here is quite favourable for the batters, so to get some runs was pleasing," said Bairstow, who posted eight runs in the Super Over.

"It was pretty imposing to try and chase down 150 but a lot of the guys played in the T10 last year and said, 'look, we're not far off here if we can get within striking distance with the small boundaries, we've got a chance'."

England captain Eoin Morgan added: "Surprised we got any sort of a game in today with the weather that was around but it's always nice to play here.

"We chopped and changed a little bit and the guys coming in did a really good job. The Black Caps played well again, bowled really well and there was nothing between the sides for the 11-over game.

"And then, the Super Over, I thought the standout was Chris Jordan, a guy who's extremely calm under pressure and delivers."

© 2020 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.