The West Indies Women are in the semi-finals of the 2022 ICC Women's World Cup after Lady Luck worked in their favour on Saturday night.

The West Indies Women, on seven points from their seven games, following no-result against South Africa on Wednesday, March 23, needed either Bangladesh to defeat England or South Africa to defeat India for them to advance.

England crushed Bangladesh by 100 runs earlier Saturday, which meant that the West Indies Women were dependent on a positive result from the South Africa versus India encounter.

The situation looked grim when India posted 274-7 in their 50 overs thanks to half centuries of 71 from Smriti Mandhana, 53 from Shafali Verma, 68 from Captain Mithali Raj as well as Harmanpreet Kaur's 48.

However, Laura Woolvardt smashed 80, Laura Goodall scored 49 and Mignon du Preez an unbeaten 52 as South Africa scored 275-7, the winning run coming off the last ball of the match.

The South African victory set off wild celebrations among the West Indies Women, whose members had gathered to watch the match.

They will now face unbeaten Australia in the semi-final on Tuesday.

Pat Cummins says popular interim head coach Andrew McDonald must take great credit for the "huge part" he played in Australia's 1-0 Test series win in Pakistan.

McDonald was placed in temporary charge following Justin Langer's shock resignation last month.

The 40-year-old oversaw Australia's first overseas Test series triumph in six years, Nathan Lyon taking 5-83 and Cummins 3-23 on the final day to secure a 115-run victory at Gaddafi Stadium.

McDonald is the favourite to land the role on a permanent basis and captain Cummins is full of praise for the former all-rounder.

Asked about the job McDonald has done, he said: "Fantastic. Not unexpected. He's a great operator.

"The boys absolutely love him. Very diligent, very thorough, strategic, very organised. He's a huge part of this tour win."

Cummins would clearly welcome a decision for McDonald to stay on.

The paceman added: "His preparation, and all the support staff's. It's not just the 11 players who walk out; we've got a squad of 30-odd people who have been working so hard this month, and it's also important.

"I've said before it's not my place to employ the coach, but Ronnie [McDonald] has been fantastic."

 

Babar Azam was left to rue "soft dismissals" but says he has "full faith" in Pakistan after they suffered a 1-0 Test series defeat to Australia.

Nathan Lyon claimed 5-83 and the magnificent Pat Cummins took 3-23 as the tourists bowled Pakistan out for 235 on the final day to win by 115 runs at Gaddafi Stadium.

Imam-ul-Haq made 70 and the brilliant Babar 55, but Pakistan crumbled from 142-2 as Lyon snaffled a 19th five-wicket Test haul and man of the match Cummins finished with match figures of 8-79.

Captain Babar knows Pakistan only have themselves to blame after watching Australia get their hands on the Benaud-Qadir Trophy.

He said: "We didn't go defensive, we played positive cricket. You plan according to the situation. It's not like you go out, play big shots and go for the runs.

"We had a good session early in the day, but unfortunately we had soft dismissals and that's the reason we lost the game.

"We had a simple plan: to take the momentum in hand first and then think [about chasing the victory] after the tea. After lunch, we had a plan to play normal cricket.

"We weren't able to decide whether to go for a win or a draw. But with all those wickets falling, we decided to go deep as much as we could, but we were positive throughout.

"There were continuous discussions in our dressing room about chasing it down. But when your main batters are dismissed, you obviously start thinking differently.

"Still, Sajid [Khan] and I were trying to build a partnership and extend as much as we could, hoping we could draw. Yet we never held back, kept on playing shots and utilised whatever came in our area. So the mindset was positive but it didn't go in our way."

Babar is totally behind his players and is not contemplating making changes.

He added: "Overall the series went well, especially the Karachi Test where we dominated and saved the match. Unfortunately, I got out but even then we had our mindset on chasing.

"But mistakes are part of the game and it's too early to think about changes [to the team]. We don't have to forget their recent performances.

"Our entire team is experienced now, we have developed a good combination and I have full faith in them."

Pat Cummins says every member of the Australia side proved they can thrive in Asian conditions after they sealed a 1-0 Test series win over Pakistan.

Nathan Lyon took 5-83 and outstanding captain Cummins claimed 3-23 as the tourists won by 115 runs on the final day at Gaddafi Stadium to claim the Benaud-Qadir Trophy.

Both bowling attacks were made to toil on flat pitches throughout the three-match series in Australia's first tour of Pakistan since 1998.

Pakistan were unable to avoid defeat under pressure in Lahore, though, collapsing from 165-3 to 235 all out.

Test Championship leaders Australia face Sri Lanka in a two-match series in July and travel to India next year.

Man of the match Cummins says they will take huge confidence from beating Pakistan in their own backyard when they take on those challenges.

"It's probably potentially not as spinning conditions here as we might get in Sri Lanka," said the paceman.

"But I think in the past Asian tours that I've been on, there's a lot of talk when we leave Australia that we've got to change everything about our game to succeed over here.

"This is a good lesson that the basics of batting or bowling that make you a good player in Australia can hold up over here. If anything, I think it's reaffirmed that our games will hold up."

The number one Test bowler in the world added: "The amount of confidence we'll get out of winning over here, not just as a team but so many individuals.

"Every individual had their moment and has shown that their game stands up to Asian conditions. So it's huge for Sri Lanka later in the year, India next year. That's awesome."

For the time being, the tourists will savour a richly deserved series win.

Cummins said: "Everyone's just totally elated. Winning overseas just doesn't happen very often. It's been a real toil for the last 25, 30 days.

"We knew it was going to be totally different to normal life in Australia, under different conditions. And to come away with a series win is hugely satisfying."

Nathan Lyon took five wickets as Australia beat Pakistan by 115 runs in the third and final Test to claim a 1-0 series triumph.

There was nothing to separate the sides in the opening two Tests and the decider also went the distance, with Australia claiming victory inside the final session in Lahore.

Off-spinner Lyon posted figures of 5-83 in Pakistan's second innings, including the wickets of Imam-ul-Haq, Azhar Ali and Babar Azam, while Pat Cummins picked up three for 23.

Pakistan required 278 runs heading into Friday's session at the Gaddafi Stadium, but they only managed 163 as they folded 235 all out in their reply to Australia's target of 351.

The hosts' hopes were boosted as they reached lunch on 136-2, with Abdullah Shafique (27) and Azhar Ali (17) the first to fall.

But momentum shifted when Pakistan lost the wickets of Imam-ul-Haq, who led the scoring with 70 runs, Fawad Alam (11) and Mohammad Rizwan (0) in quick succession

However, replays showed that Rizwan would have survived had he reviewed the umpire's LBW decision.

Babar, the hero in Pakistan's record fightback in the second Test, made a contribution of 55 runs before being caught by Steve Smith off the bowling of Lyon.

Pakistan's remaining four wickets went for just 22 runs, with Lyon taking Ali Hasan (13) for his fifth wicket and Cummins cleaning up Naseem Shah (1) to complete the job.


Lyon leads from the front

Pakistan's stunning resistance in the second Test and strong start to their second innings in Lahore always meant this thrilling contest was going to go to the wire.

Australia prevailed with an hour to spare in the end thanks in large to Lyon, whose 5-83 from 37 overs will go down as one of his most important Test hauls.


Rare Lahore loss for Pakistan

Australia have lost just one of their last 11 Tests against Pakistan, with this just the hosts' second loss in 13 Tests at Gaddafi Stadium, and a first since 2002 (v Sri Lanka).

This is the Baggy Greens' first away Test series win since beating New Zealand in 2016, meanwhile, and a first in Asia in 11 years.

It all comes down to this. After 14 days of Test cricket that has yet to produce a match-winner, Pakistan's home series against Australia will be decided on the final day in Lahore, and it could hardly be any more tantalisingly poised.

Australia opener Usman Khawaja delivered another classy century on Thursday, remarkably his fourth of the calendar year, as Australia posted 227-3 declared to set Pakistan a target of 351 for victory in the third and final Test.

The tourists would have wanted to make inroads into their opponents' top order before the close, but instead Pakistan reached 73 without loss from the 27 overs they faced after Australia's post-tea declaration.

It means Pakistan require a further 278 runs for victory and Australia need 10 wickets on day five at the Gaddafi Stadium, where something surely has to give.

 

Australia's men are unbeaten in their last seven Tests (W4 D3), and Pakistan have not lost any of their last five (W3 D2).

The Australians have been beaten only once by Pakistan in the last nine Tests between the sides, yet Pakistan have just a single defeat in their last 12 Tests at this ground, and that was against Sri Lanka all the way back in March 2002.

After draws in Rawalpindi and Karachi, this match looks ripe to produce a victory for one of the teams, but it could easily go either way.

Australia were 11-0 at the start of play and reached 96 without any loss when Shaheen Shah Afridi bowled David Warner for 51 with a sensationally good delivery. Khawaja kept going and anchored the innings with 104 not out, Marnus Labuschagne weighing in with 36 and Steve Smith passing 8,000 career Test runs in making 17.

Captain Pat Cummins declared early in the late-afternoon session, once the lead passed 350, but Abdullah Shafique (27 not out) and Imam-ul-Haq (42 not out) helped Pakistan to the close without any damage.

Shafique used up a life moments before the close when he edged spinner Labuschagne past the left hand of Smith at first slip, potentially a highly costly miss by the fielder.


Khawaja does it again

Khawaja, who was born in Pakistan, did not play a Test between matches against England in August 2019 and January of this year. It is testament to Australia's resources that they could afford to leave out a batter of his quality. The 35-year-old made 91 in the first innings of this match and surpassed that second time around.

He now has 751 runs in five Tests this year, far and away the most of anyone in Tests. Shafique is second on that list, with 397 runs and counting.

Record for Smith, but dropped catch sours his day

Australia would have ended the day on a high if Smith had clung on to the sharp chance from the penultimate delivery of the day. Shafique drove aggressively at Labuschagne, who drew the edge but saw the ball race away to the boundary rather than stick in Smith's claw.

Smith earlier reached his runs landmark in his 151st Test innings, the fewest of any batsman to have reached 8,000 Test runs.

Kaoru Mitoma scored a last-gasp double to confirm Japan's place at the Qatar 2022 World Cup at the expense of their hosts Australia with a 2-0 win in Sydney on Friday.

The Union SG winger came off the bench to snatch two late goals and break Socceroos hearts with a second-half cameo that proved priceless for the visitors.

Introduced in the 84th minute for Liverpool forward Takumi Minamino, Mitoma notched his first effort five minutes later after tucking a cut-back beyond Mathew Ryan at close-range.

He then doubled his tally in injury-time to seal victory, coasting into the box on a glorious solo run before forcing a fumble from Ryan to finish.

Victory means the Samurai Blue move six points clear of Australia, to confirm both themselves and Saudi Arabia as the latest AFC teams to qualify after Iran and South Korea previously booked their place.

Graham Arnold's third-place side will still get a chance to reach Qatar through the AFC's fourth-round playoff, against either the United Arab Emirates, Lebanon or Iraq.

Steve Smith set a world record by reaching 8,000 Test runs on Thursday, as the Australia talisman became the batter to reach that total in the fewest innings.

Former captain Smith became the seventh Australian to reach the landmark figure, doing so in his second innings against Pakistan in Lahore.

The 32-year-old had reached 7,993 runs by making 59 in Australia's first innings, and he wasted little time in reaching his early target second time around.

A four off Hasan Ali took Smith through the 8,000 barrier in his 151st Test innings. That saw him beat the previous record of 152 innings to reach 8,000, set by Sri Lanka's Kumar Sangakkara.

Australia reached tea on day four on 202-2, with Usman Khawaja unbeaten on 101 and Smith on 12 alongside him.

That gave the tourists a lead of 325 runs and raised the possibility of captain Pat Cummins declaring before the close.

The six Australia batters to reach 8,000 runs before Smith joined the club were Ricky Ponting, Allan Border, Steve Waugh, Michael Clarke, Matthew Hayden and Mark Waugh.

Will it be Mohamed Salah or Sadio Mane? Italy or Portugal – or indeed neither? Can Canada end their long wait, and are the United States and Australia at risk of missing out?

Those questions and plenty more are set to be answered over the next week or so as World Cup qualifying concludes for many nations.

Just 15 of the 32 participants have so far been confirmed for Qatar 2022, leaving 48 teams battling for the 17 remaining spots.

Fourteen more countries will be assured of a finals berth come the end of next week in what is very much crunch time for those still in contention.

Stats Perform looks at the key talking points.

Egypt seeking revenge in AFCON final repeat

Less than two months on from meeting in the Africa Cup of Nations final, Egypt and Senegal face off over two legs for a place in Qatar.

Senegal prevailed in a penalty shoot-out to claim their first AFCON crown and, buoyed by that triumph, will consider themselves as favourites here.

While both teams boast an array of top-class talent, this fixture is being billed as a showdown between Liverpool team-mates Salah and Mane.

The two biggest stars in African football, only one of the pair will be part of the World Cup later this year – and neither will fancy watching it all unfold from home.

This is not the only grudge match taking place in the CAF section over the next week and a half, as fierce rivals Ghana and Nigeria will also face off in a two-legged play-off.

Cameroon are up against Algeria, Mali take on Tunisia and DR Congo meet Morocco in the other three ties, each of which will be concluded on March 29.

European heavyweights on collision course

Since the play-off draw in the UEFA section took place in November, all talk has centered around a potential meeting between Italy and Portugal for a place in the finals.

The winners of the past two European Championships, either the Azzurri or the Selecao will miss out on the biggest tournament of them all.

It should never have been this way, of course, as both teams were strong favourites to finish top of their groups and qualify automatically.

Italy finished second to Switzerland and Portugal were runners-up to Serbia, meaning the sides must now come through two qualifying ties.

First up for the reigning European champions is a meeting with North Macedonia in Palermo, while Portugal face Turkey in Porto, with the winners of both ties advancing.

Should, as expected, Italy and Portugal come through those semi-finals, the latter will have the advantage of staging the final on home soil five days later.

For Portugal skipper Cristiano Ronaldo, it presents what will surely be his last chance to play at a record-equalling fifth World Cup.

 

Pathways impacted by political events

Path C of UEFA qualifying is undoubtedly the most eye-catching, but there are also some tasty fixtures in the other two sections – not least a possible Home Nations derby.

Scotland and Wales were kept apart in the Path B semi-finals but could meet in the final should they overcome Ukraine and Austria respectively.

However, due to ongoing events in Ukraine, their game against Scotland has been pushed back – likely until June – as has the final involving either Wales or Austria.

In Path C, Russia had been due to face Poland, but the invasion of Ukraine forced FIFA and UEFA's hand and they have been banned from competing.

Poland have therefore been handed a bye to the qualifying play-off final, where either Sweden or the Czech Republic await. That match will be contested next week as planned.

Canada on verge of ending long wait, USA with work to do

The United States qualified for every World Cup between 1990 and 2014, but they missed out on a place at Russia 2018 after an embarrassing loss to Trinidad and Tobago.

Gregg Berhalter's side are by no means assured of one of the three automatic qualification spots in the CONCACAF section this time around, either.

USA sit second with three games to go, but they still have to travel to third-placed Mexico, as well as facing Panama and Costa Rica, who occupy fourth and fifth respectively.

Level on points with Mexico and four ahead of Costa Rica, it could be a tense finale to qualifying for the Stars and Stripes.

That should not be the case for Canada, who are eight points clear of fourth and are all but assured of ending their 36-year wait to make a second World Cup finals appearance.

Brazil and Argentina through, but who will join them?

The drawn-out South American qualifiers are nearing their conclusion and only four of the 10 sides know their fate at this juncture.

It has been plain sailing for Brazil and Argentina, who are assured of an automatic qualifying spot with three games to go, including a rescheduled meeting between the pair.

Behind those perennial World Cup representatives are Ecuador, who have been the surprise package in qualifying and can finish no lower than fifth.

Ecuador will not be content with anything other than a top-four finish, though, and they can make certain of that with victory over Paraguay.

Assuming Ecuador get over the line, that will leave Uruguay, Peru, Chile, Colombia and Bolivia battling it out for progression, which sets up some intriguing fixtures.

Uruguay occupy fourth place, meaning their qualifying aspirations are in their own hands, but they have Peru and Chile – the two sides behind them – still to face.

Socceroos sweating on finals spot

Only four teams advance automatically from the CONMEBOL section, with the team in fifth entering a play-off against the winner of the AFC fourth round in a one-off tie in June.

That may well turn out to be Australia as the Socceroos are five and four points behind top two Saudi Arabia and Japan in Group B with two games to go.

However, those remaining two fixtures are against those nations occupying automatic qualification places, so Australia may yet sneak through.

Iran and South Korea have already made certain of progression in Group A, meanwhile, leaving the United Arab Emirates, Lebanon and Iraq to compete for third place.

The two third-placed finishers – which, as it stands, are Australia and the UAE – will meet in a one-legged match ahead of that aforementioned play-off with a CONMEBOL side.

Abdullah Shafique was closing in on another half-century at stumps on day two of the deciding Test as Pakistan made a strong start in reply to Australia's 391 all out at Gaddafi Stadium.

Cameron Green (79) and Alex Carey (67) frustrated Pakistan in the heat on Tuesday before Naseem Shah (4-58) and Shaheen Shah Afridi (4-79) prevented the tourists from going beyond 400 in Lahore.

Pat Cummins dismissed Imam-ul-Haq cheaply, but an unbroken stand of 70 between Shafique (45 not out) and Azhar Ali (30no) took Pakistan on to 90-1 at the close - trailing by 301 runs.

Carey and Green took Australia from 232-5 at the start of play to 320-5 at lunch, bringing up their half-centuries as the Pakistan attack toiled.

Nauman Ali ended a sixth-wicket stand of 135 by trapping Carey bang in front and Naseem cleaned Green up with an excellent delivery. 

Australia lost five wickets for 50 runs, with Afridi removing Mitchell Starc and making a mess of Mitchell Swepson's stumps after the impressive Naseem bowled Nathan Lyon.

Imam (11) was snared lbw by Cummins off balance in the 12th over of Pakistan's reply to end an opening stand of 20, while Shafique was fortunate to edge between Carey and Steve Smith in the slips.

Azhar clattered Lyon down the ground for six and Shafique ticked along nicely in great batting conditions.

Cummins wasted a review for an lbw shout against Azhar as Pakistan put a frustrating start to the day behind them.


Pakistan's young pace duo fire after Carey and Green stand

Green and Carey gave Australia just the start they were looking for, but Pakistan's young pacemen fired in the afternoon session.

Teenager Naseem and 21-year-old Afridi bowled with a combination of pace and reverse swing as they cleaned up the tail in quick time.

Naseem was not selected for the second Test but he will surely be a mainstay for years to come, while Afridi has already proven he is a class act time and again.


Rock-solid Shafique 

The composed Shafique has been a revelation for Pakistan at the top of the order and the opener laid solid foundations once again.

Having made a 134 and 44 in the opening match of the series in Rawalpindi before falling four short of a century in the first innings in Karachi, Shafique will be eyeing three figures again.

England interim head coach Paul Collingwood heaped praise on Ben Stokes for helping to heal the "scar tissue" from another Ashes disappointment.

Joe Root's tourists were thoroughly outplayed against their old foes Australia, succumbing to a 4-0 series defeat Down Under that saw Chris Silverwood dismissed in the wake of the hammering.

Collingwood was placed in temporary charge to lead a new-look England side, without James Anderson or Stuart Broad, to the Caribbean for a three-Test series against West Indies.

England remain in search of their first win under Collingwood – and in eight Tests overall – but have produced encouraging performances in consecutive draws in Antigua and Barbados.

Stokes, who bemoaned his fitness levels after averaging 23.6 with the bat and 71.5 with the ball in Australia, has been integral to the visitors' spirited showings against Kraigg Brathwaite's side.

Indeed, no seamer has sent down more overs in the series than Stokes (77) for his five wickets and economy of just 1.81. He also registered his first century since July 2020 with a brisk 120 in the second Test.

Collingwood was keen to credit superstar all-rounder Stokes for aiding Root and the rest of the England side in recovering from a familiar Ashes fate as they eye a winner-takes-all decider in Grenada, which starts on Thursday.

 

"He's phenomenal, he's box office," Collingwood said of Stokes.

"He was going into the Ashes with not much cricket under his belt. Now he's fit, he's determined, and you can tell he wants to make a difference in the dressing room as a leader.

"When he's preparing himself like he is at the moment, he certainly leads. He wants to go out in the middle and put in big performances. He wants the ball in hand, to score the runs, and he's doing just that at the moment.

"Even in the meetings when we first arrived, getting the scar tissue from Australia out the way and [discussing] how we were going to move forward, you could see and hear he had the bit between his teeth and wants to lead this team. I think he and Joe Root have done a magnificent job turning this round.

"He's just desperate to do well for the badge, for England. It's amazing when he's got this kind of attitude, as we all know he's one of the best. Long may it continue."

With a fully fit Stokes partnering the in-form Root, Jonny Bairstow and England's refreshed top order, Collingwood finds it hard to fault the efforts of his team so far.

"They want to put on a show, get a win under their belts, and we have a great attitude at the moment," he added. 

"All the way through the [second] Test match, we were pushing for the win. It always felt as though we were a session or session and a half behind the game with the pace Brathwaite batted in the first innings, but he showed great resilience right the way through the Test match to get a draw for them.

"It's been hard work, but you cannot fault the effort. If you could measure attitude and effort, it couldn't get any better than that."

The only criticism of England against West Indies so far has been their failure to take 20 wickets in a Test, albeit on two placid pitches, leading to calls for the inclusion of leg-spinner Matt Parkinson, who Collingwood feels will be ready whenever called upon.

"He is ready as can be," Collingwood said.

"The simple fact is, in COVID-19 times, you don't get matches in between. They are back-to-back-to-back, and it is putting a lot of stress on the players. The downside is we don't have matches in between to have preparation time for guys who are not playing."

Usman Khawaja's superb series in the country of his birth continued but Shaheen Shah Afridi and Naseem Shah ensured day one of the decisive Test between Pakistan and Australia ended finely poised.

Draws in the first two Tests set up a winner-take-all contest in Lahore, where the surface appears to have plenty in it for the bowlers to ensure a result this time around.

Shaheen's blistering start suggested as much, as the Pakistan seamer removed David Warner and Marnus Labuschagne in the space of three deliveries to leave Australia reeling on 8-2.

But Khawaja, born in Pakistan, once again excelled with the bat, he and Steve Smith leading the Australia response to help them fight back to reach 232-5 at stumps. Khawaja was denied a second century of the series, as a stunning one-handed catch at slip from Babar Azam saw him out for 91.

Bowlers have consistently had to work hard for wickets in an attritional series but when Shaheen had Warner (7) trapped lbw and Labuschagne edged a poor shot behind to fall for a duck, Pakistan had hope of blitzing their way through a frequently steadfast Australia batting order.

Any such prospect was extinguished by the partnership of Khawaja and Smith (59), the latter recording his third successive half-century as they put on 138 for the third wicket.

But Naseem had Smith trapped in front to end his hopes of converting his fifty into a hundred and Khawaja was then denied three figures by Sajid Khan and the brilliance of Babar.

An excellent length delivery from Naseem removed Travis Head for 26, though Cameron Green and Alex Carey's unbroken partnership of 26 from 42 balls gave Australia reason for hope at the close.

Khawaja shows his class again

After falling three short of a hometown century at Rawalpindi in the opener, Khawaja - having hit a brilliant 160 in the second Test - again fell in the 90s here, but his consistency since returning to Test set-up in January has been remarkable. He has now scored at least 90 in five of his last eight innings.

Smith closing on 8,000

Smith did not review the delivery that ended his innings, but there must have been a great deal of temptation to do so given his dismissal left him just seven runs shy of 8,000 in the longest format.

Australia skipper Pat Cummins has confirmed they will go in with an unchanged line-up for the series-deciding third Test against Pakistan in Lahore starting on Monday.

The tourists backed spinners Nathan Lyon and Mitchell Swepson despite both bowling in excess of 50 overs in the second innings of the second Test which ended in a draw on Wednesday.

Conditions are expected to be similar in Lahore as they were in the previous two Tests with Karachi and Rawalpindi, where only 42 wickets fell overall.

"We were really happy with how all 11 players went last Test," Cummins told reporters on Sunday.

"Everyone has pulled up really well. We gave them an extra couple of days to make sure everyone has come up good. But there's no injury worries, everyone is freshened up, so we're confident in the XI.

"Only having two quick bowlers, I think reverse swing is going to be a big factor and the way Starcy played last game was fantastic.

"It's always tough leaving out someone like Joshy [Josh Hazlewood], even Scotty Boland. But the class and the difference Starcy brings as a left-armer, a bit more air speed, we think that's the best chance to take 20 wickets."

Cummins added that he felt Australia could take the necessary 20 wickets needed to win the third Test, having created chances that were not taken in Karachi as Pakistan resolutely batted out more than 171 overs to hold on for a draw.

"I think what's been clear... is the way we've gone about it is the right way," he said. "I've been really happy with how everyone has gone about their work (and) the tactics. I think it's just a matter of taking those chances.

"Wickets are at a premium in this series so you can't afford to drop too many chances. We created more than 10 chances [in Karachi], we just unfortunately didn't take them, so that's going to be the challenge this week."

West Indies Women all-rounder, Hayley Matthews, insists the team is not yet feeling any pressure despite suffering a second consecutive loss at the ICC Women’s World Cup on Monday.

Against top-ranked Australia, the Windies found very little joy and suffered a lopsided 7-wickets loss in their fourth match of the tournament.  Prior to that, the team struggled to deal with India’s powerful batting line-up in a 155-run defeat.

The results stand in sharp contrast to the Caribbean women's heady start to the tournament, which featured victories over New Zealand and England.  It is those victories, however, that Matthews believes stands the team in good stead, despite its recent patch of bad form.

“Coming into this tournament we knew our first four games were likely going to be the hardest.  We kind of said to ourselves if we can get two or three wins out of these four games we would be in a strong position and we’ve done exactly that,” Matthews told members of the media.

“Looking at the rest of the games, these are games we should expect to win and the good thing about it is that things are still in our hands. If we go out there and we can win all three of our games we will be qualifying for the semi-finals,” she added.

The West Indies will face Bangladesh, Pakistan, and South Africa in their remaining three matches.

“I don’t think there is much pressure at the moment.  We know we have the kind of team that once we go out there and play our best cricket we will get the wins.”

 

 

 

Australia Test captain Pat Cummins hailed his side's bowling but rued their inability to take chances after settling for another draw with Pakistan in the second Test.

The tourists were in the ascendancy throughout at the National Stadium in Karachi, having posted 556-9 in the first innings before bowling hosts Pakistan out for just 148.

Cummins opted to bat again as opposed to enforcing the follow-on for Babar Azam's Pakistan, who were set a mammoth 506 to win or to bat just under two days to secure the draw.

Led by captain Babar, who batted over 10 hours for his 425-ball 196, Pakistan decided on the latter option and their star batter was aided by Abdullah Shafique (96) and Mohammad Rizwan (104 not out).

Nathan Lyon spurred Australia to battle until the end with two wickets in two balls, dismissing Faheem Ashraf and Sajid Khan, but Pakistan held on for a famous draw.

It could have been a different result, though, given Steve Smith shelled Shafique late on day four and Usman Khawaja dropped Rizwan with three overs of play remaining on day five.

"I think the positive thing is each time we've created more than 10 chances," Cummins said. "It's probably the disappointing thing this game as well.

"If we took a couple of those catches it might be a different scenario. I walked off the field at the end of the day's play without feeling there was something I hadn't tried, or there wasn't a plan we hadn't given a really good chance at.

"In foreign conditions, we are showing that we are able to adapt and play well over here. But of course, getting so close, [being] so far ahead of the game, and not coming away with the result can feel like it's a missed opportunity."

Debutant Swepson finished with figures of 0-156 in the second innings from his 53.4 overs, but Cummins heaped praise on the spinner, along with his partner Nathan Lyon.

"I thought Swepo bowled fantastically," Cummins said. "I don't know how he's ended up with those figures. Especially that middle session, he had an umpire's call, a couple of half-chances dropped off his bowling, lots of plays and misses.

"The way he was able to be a real wicket-taking option on a really good wicket without really footmarks to the right-handers I was just really impressed with how he went about it.

"Nathan, I thought he bowled well, particularly today. Felt like he was going to get a wicket every over. When I took off him to bowl Starcy or myself, it was a hard decision to make because felt like he was so close to a wicket all day."

Asked whether he left enough time to win the Test, leaving five-and-a-half sessions to dismiss Pakistan, Cummins responded: "Overall I wouldn't change too much to do honest. 

"Batting into day three gave us that chance to really have a crack at them – probably went better than we could have expected – but over here the wickets are pretty good.

"We tried to bat two-and-a-half days on the best time of the wicket, hoping that it would break up on day four and five and it held together pretty well.

"Babar, Rizwan, Shafique, thought they all batted fantastically the last two days. We knew the wicket wasn't playing too many tricks but they batted superbly and made it really hard to get that breakthrough and when we did the next guy stuck at it as well.

"The good thing is it's nil-all, we didn't lose anything. Coming over here in these conditions, at the start of the series if you'd said it was going to be nil-all after two games you'd probably take that."

Australia will look to seal a series victory in the winner-takes-all decider that starts in Lahore on Monday.

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