Pakistan are targeting a late push for the Cricket World Cup semi-finals after a convincing seven-wicket win over Bangladesh.

Faced with a target of 205 at Eden Gardens in Kolkata, Pakistan made light work of knocking it off, thanks in large part to opener Fakhar Zaman's 74-ball 81, which included seven sixes.

That victory moved Pakistan onto six points, with two pool matches - against third-placed New Zealand and lowly England - remaining.

Should they win both, then Babar Azam's side stand a strong chance of qualifying, though they will also rely on both the Black Caps and Australia, who both have a match in hand, slipping up.

 

"Credit to the boys, the way they played in all three departments," said captain Babar at the post-match presentation.

"We know how well Fakhar plays when he's going and it was good to see him do it.

"We are trying to win our remaining matches and see where we stand. This win hopefully gives confidence in the coming matches."

Bangladesh, meanwhile, have been eliminated, with their captain Shakib Al Hasan saying: "Not enough runs.

"We lost an early wicket, then we had partnerships but not big ones that would allow us to go big in the last ten overs."

Shakib put on 43 to complement a 45 from Litton Das and Mahmudullah's 56, but Bangladesh were bowled out for 204 after only 45.1 overs.

Fakhar's superb knock and Abdullah Shafique's 68 swiftly paved the way for Mohammad Rizwan (26 not out) and Iftikhar Ahmed (17no) to seal victory for Pakistan in the 33rd over.

It was just the fourth time Pakistan had defeated a team with at least 100 balls remaining in an ODI, having last done so against West Indies in 2011. The big win boosted their net run rate, which may still prove decisive in the battle to reach the semis.

 

"I practiced a lot after the Asia Cup," said Fakhar, who after hitting three successive ODI centuries earlier this year, had failed to score above 33 in his 11 innings since the start of May and lost his place in the side.

"Thankfully, I was feeling very good in the camp. I was looking forward to scoring for my team, but it's cricket, Today I got a chance. I had worked hard for this and it paid off.

"It doesn’t matter how the wicket will play, I know I can hit sixes, so I was just looking to play out the first four overs.

"My role is always to make it easy for my partner. I know my role, it was to see off the first four overs and then go for the ball. We were just looking to finish the game before the 30 overs.

"After too many failures I was always looking just to score the first 30 runs and I was struggling to get that. I’m very happy – hopefully I'll make it big in the next games."

Shaheen Afridi, meanwhile, joined Australia spinner Adam Zampa at the top of the wicket-taking charts for the tournament with figures of 3-23.

Dawid Malan believes it would be unfair for England’s head coach Matthew Mott to take the blame for a dire World Cup campaign, suggesting the players themselves “need to take responsibility”.

England arrived in India as reigning champions and among the favourites but have unravelled in dramatic fashion over the past month.

After six games they sit bottom of the table in 10th place, with a solitary win against fellow strugglers Bangladesh, leaving Mott’s white-ball role under scrutiny.

Speculation over the Australian’s position increased when Eoin Morgan, the side’s World Cup-winning former captain, claimed the squad seemed “unsettled” and later suggested England “take a leaf out of Baz’s book” – a direct reference to Test coach Brendon McCullum.

Malan, the top run-scorer and solitary centurion in an underperforming lineup, told BBC Sport: “Motty is not the one walking out on the field.

“We are being given everything we need to perform. The facilities and work, everything is being done as it always has been, we just haven’t been able to find a way to get wins on the board. It has been frustrating from a players’ point of view because we know we’re better than that.

“I’m not involved in selection or any of those things, so I don’t know how that works or who is in charge of all that, but as players we need to take responsibility when we cross that rope.”

Malan broadened the focus away from Mott’s future, insisting that everyone involved in the campaign would be feeling the same heat.

“When you don’t perform well enough as a team there will be questions asked of certain people, whether that is the players, captain, selectors, coach, whoever it is,” he said.

“There is always going to be questions asked, that just comes with it. The only way to change that narrative is to put runs on the board.

“But the mood is still extremely good in the camp. It still feels like all the boys are together.

“I know people say that a lot when their backs are against the wall but genuinely, we still back each other and we’re still here for each other. We just haven’t been able to put those performances out on the pitch.”

Cricket West Indies (CWI) and the Government of Antigua and Barbuda are in sync with initiatives that will benefit cricket stakeholders in the Caribbean.

On 25 October 2023, Prime Minister of Antigua and Barbuda, Honorable Gaston Browne, held an audience with CWI President Dr. Kishore Shallow at the Office of the Prime Minister in St John’s. Also in attendance were Honorable Daryll Matthew, Minister of Sports, Ricky Skerritt, Chairman of the Coolidge Cricket Ground (CCG) Board and former CWI President, and Nelecia Yeates, CCG General Manager.

The meeting focused on Antigua and Barbuda's continued role in cricket development, particularly in grassroots cricket, infrastructure improvement, and hosting international cricket. In addition, an update of the master development plan for CCG was presented to the government officials, with both parties identifying opportunities for collaboration to transform the existing cricket facility into one of the best in the world.

CWI President, Dr. Shallow was upbeat about the partnership with the Antigua and Barbuda government. He said: “Prime Minister Browne and his Government have been valuable friends of West Indies cricket. In recent years, their cooperation in supporting CWI in the acquisition of Coolidge Cricket Ground as our home of cricket has been truly appreciated. It gives us great confidence to have them as a key partner as we embark on this next development phase.”

President Shallow also commented on his predecessor’s involvement as CCG Board’s Chairman. He remarked: “The appointment of Ricky Skerritt as Chairman of CCG augurs well for the continuation and further investment in the potential of CCG. No doubt, his wealth of experience and institutional knowledge offer tremendous value to completing this next phase of the CCG project.”

The CCG Board met on 24 October, 2023, at the CWI headquarters at Coolidge. The updated design for the facility, inclusive of a state-of-the-art training facility, was presented by the designers. In addition to cricket, a significant component of the new development comprises commercial establishments.

Prime Minister Browne was also pleased about the upcoming international fixtures for Antigua & Barbuda. In December, the first two matches of the impending CG United One-Day International Series between West Indies and England will be held at the Sir Vivian Richards Stadium. The country was also named among the seven Caribbean host countries for the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2024.

Antigua has been the headquarters of CWI (formerly West Indies Cricket Board of Control and West Indies Cricket Board) for nearly three decades.

 

Liam Livingstone insists there are “no rifts in the camp” amid England’s World Cup meltdown, shooting down former captain Eoin Morgan’s suggestion that all is not well within the squad.

The defending champions have been in dire form since arriving in India, losing five out of their first six group games to lie rooted to the foot of the table.

No England team has ever lost as many games in a World Cup and with three matches still to play, including rivals Australia next up, there is scope for things to get even worse.

Morgan, the man who lifted the trophy at Lord’s four years ago and is credited with revolutionising England’s white-ball philosophy, remains close to the dressing room following his retirement 18 months ago and has sparked intrigue with his assessment of their campaign.

He suggested morale was as much of an issue as form and claimed “there is something within the team that is definitely unsettled”.

Livingstone waved away that theory, defending the team spirit amid mounting pressure.

“With all respect to Morgs, because everybody loves him in the dressing room, that’s completely not true,” he said.

“There’s certainly no rifts in the camp, I can tell you that. It’s not bowlers versus batters: we’re a unit. One thing about unity is you probably get tested more when things don’t go well; it’s easy to say the dressing room is amazing when things are going really well.

“From what I’m seeing, everybody is working their nuts off trying as hard as we can to turn it around. Things just haven’t really gone our way and we haven’t played as well as we want, pretty much all of us at the same time, which is disappointing.

“It’s obviously not easy when you lose so heavily a few times in a row, but the boys keep coming back to training day after day.

“There’s probably nobody more disappointed than what we are in that changing room, but everybody is trying to work together to change it.”

Morgan was commentating for Sky Sports as England crashed to their latest defeat, a 100-run loss to hosts India, and his post-match assessment will make further uncomfortable reading for head coach Matthew Mott.

The Australian worked briefly with Morgan before he called time on his career last summer, but the latter appeared to suggest Mott needed to take a lead from Test counterpart Brendon McCullum in his dealings with the team.

“When you sit back and nobody has an answer in the changing room or we can’t explain it (as pundits), you always compare things across formats,” he said.

“It has to be the intangible stuff, the feelings, the emotions. The preparation and the mindset has to change. It has to be tailored for that changing room. Maybe take a leaf out of Baz’s book.”

The long-term implications of England’s losing streak has become painfully clear over the past 48 hours, with their place at the 2025 Champions Trophy now in danger.

Qualification for the secondary 50-over tournament used to come via the ICC rankings, but a little-discussed change was made in 2021 to tie it directly to performance at the World Cup – a shift Mott says he was first became aware of midway through Sunday’s game.

England will need to climb from 10th to eighth to avoid being edged out, meaning they cannot afford to treat their remaining fixtures as dead rubbers.

“It is obviously very disappointing, but it gives us something to play for over the next three games,” said Livingstone.

“I think Australia are a good team to be facing next. They are someone who, in the World Cups that I’ve played in, we’ve done really well against and they are obviously massive games.

“It will be a great way for us to start our fightback and hopefully we can turn it around.”

England’s fifth defeat of their World Cup title defence continued their abject slide towards elimination.

Matthew Mott and Jos Buttler’s side would become only the third defending champions to exit at the group stage, and the first in 24 years, and are on course for one of the worst ever records for an established cricketing nation after defeat to India.

Here, the PA news agency looks at how they compare.

Champions Trophy trapdoor

An additional alarming element of England’s losing run is the possibility they could fail to qualify for the 2025 Champions Trophy – a secondary event in importance but an embarrassing one to miss out on.

A change in format tying qualification to World Cup performance means England will need to climb from 10th to eighth, putting pressure on remaining games against Australia, the Netherlands and Pakistan.

Bangladesh, also on two points, face Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Australia while the Dutch, Afghanistan, Pakistan and Sri Lanka are all on four points.

England’s path to the Champions Trophy, therefore, surely involves at least two wins including beating the Netherlands by a sufficient margin to swing the net run rate in their favour – Pakistan, as Champions Trophy hosts, will qualify automatically.

To that end, England’s heavy losses so far put them in an even more difficult position. They suffered their heaviest ever defeat by runs, by 229, against South Africa and lost to India by 100 runs – not to mention Afghanistan by 69 – while their nine- and eight-wicket losses to New Zealand and Sri Lanka came with, respectively, 82 and 146 balls remaining.

Indeed, England are the first team to be bowled out in under 35 overs three times in a single men’s World Cup.

Worst defences

The West Indies won the first two World Cups then lost the 1983 final to India, who went on to reach the 1987 semi-finals.

Australia finished fifth of nine teams in the 1992 group stage as defending champions and co-hosts, missing out by a point after Pakistan got a fortunate no-result against England having been bowled out for 74.

Sri Lanka, surprise champions in 1996, finished fifth in Group A in 1999. Their record ranked 10th of 12 teams overall, ahead of only Kenya and Scotland and behind Bangladesh on net run rate, so is the nearest comparison to England’s efforts so far – though even then, Sri Lanka won two games and lost only three.

Australia won that tournament, their first of three in a row before reaching the 2007 quarter-finals. They and India have since reached semi-finals as defending champions.

Unwanted company

There have been 32 instances of a team losing five or more games in a single men’s World Cup, including England and Bangladesh this year.

Zimbabwe have suffered that fate five times and Bangladesh four, with three occasions each for Sri Lanka – all prior to their 1996 win – Kenya and the Netherlands.

Scotland, Canada, the West Indies and Afghanistan have done so twice apiece with one each for India, South Africa, Namibia, Ireland, the United Arab Emirates and now England.

While the World Cup is a limited-overs tournament, Test-playing status has traditionally been the measure of the leading cricketing nations and six of those teams, accounting for 12 five-loss campaigns, have never played a Test.

Ireland and Afghanistan have played only seven apiece and Sri Lanka, while now established, had played only 39 up to the 1992 World Cup. Zimbabwe and Bangladesh have played fewer than 150 each and have always been among the lower-ranked Test nations, leaving only India in 1992, the West Indies in 2007 and 2019 and South Africa in the latter tournament as close comparisons for England.

Just when you thought things could not get worse for the Jamaica Scorpions, they have. The 2022 CG United Insurance Super50 champions lost their fifth game on the trot going down by four wickets to the Windward Islands Volcanoes at Torouba on Sunday.

Batting first, the impotent Scorpions were bundled out for 158 in 42.2 overs. Chasing 159 for victory the Volcanoes made heavy weather of the chase but managed to achieve their target in 36.2 overs.

The woeful batting of the Jamaica Scorpions was again on full display against the Windwards as despite a welcome return to form of Nkrumah Bonner, the remainder of the batters barely put of a fight. Bonner stitched together a patient knock of 72 from 110 balls but alas no one else would follow his lead. Captain Rovman Powell disappointed once again making only 13 and was one of only three other batters in double figures - Shalome Parnell, who also made and Brad Barnes 10 – as Jamaica folded meekly against the Windwards’ attack.

This time it was the pace bowling of Shermon Lewis and Darel Cyrus that did the damage, the former taking 3-18 with the latter chipping in with 3-40. Andre Fletcher’s gentle medium also accounted for two wickets at a cost of only seven runs.

The Windwards’ chase was not as easy as they would have wished but they did enough to achieve the desired outcome. Jeremy Solozano held the middle order together to top-score with 40 with opener Alick Athanaze producing another decent knock of 36 but failed to carry on.

Shamar Springer scored an unbeaten 24 to get the Windwards over the line against a Jamaican bowling attack that has lacked a cutting edge all season. Jeavor Royal, Shalome Parnell, Brad Barnes and Shalome Parnell each took a wicket for the winless Scorpions.

The Cricket West Indies (CWI) tournament technical committee of the ongoing CG United Super 50 Cup has approved a player replacement for the Guyana Harpy Eagles.

Shamar Joseph has replaced Ronsford Beaton, who has picked up an injury, for the remainder of the tournament. It is a like for like replacement, with both players being fast bowlers.

Joseph becomes immediately available to play, having been added to the Harpy Eagles training squad in Trinidad prior to the opening of the tournament. In their fifth match of the competition, they are currently doing battle at UWI – Spec against the Barbados Pride, who are fifth in the table with 22 points after 3 matches.

The Guyana Harpy Eagles currently sit sixth in the points table, having amassed a total of 15 points in their 4 matches thus far, with 3 more matches to be played in the group stage.

The CG United Super 50 group stage concludes on Sunday November 5. The Harpy Eagles will be looking to win their remaining matches and push for one of four semifinal places.

The grand finale will be played at 1PM on Saturday, November 11 at the Brian Lara Cricket Academy.

England head coach Matthew Mott has rejected former captain Eoin Morgan’s suggestion that his team are “unsettled” behind the the scenes despite watching yet another heavy World Cup defeat.

Mott worked with Morgan when he took over the white-ball side 18 months ago, but the Irishman headed into retirement soon after, passing the baton to Jos Buttler.

As the man who led England’s World Cup triumph in 2019, Morgan’s word still carries plenty of weight and he has made some eye-catching observations about his old team-mates.

Speaking to Sky Sports prior to England’s 100-run loss to India in Lucknow, their fifth loss in six games of an abject title defence, he said the side were “definitely unsettled” and responded to the idea they were simply off form by saying “there’s something else going on, there has to be”.

Having then watched England’s latest collapse against the hosts, which kept them rooted to the foot of the table, Morgan said he would have laughed in the face of anyone who had predicted such a plight at the start of the tournament.

Responding to those comments after the latest setback, Mott said: “Eoin’s entitled to his opinion. He’s obviously been away (from India) for a couple of weeks with the birth of his child and he hasn’t been in and around the rooms.

“But I’ll certainly take that up with him and have a chat to him. We’ve got a really good relationship with him so if he’s seeing something I’m not I’ll definitely have that conversation.

“I don’t think that (is the case) at all. Anyone inside our tent at the moment would say, despite our results, we’re an incredibly tight-knit unit.

“There’s every opportunity when you’re losing to splinter and go other ways but I can only say from my opinion that the group has been incredibly strong.

“You see our training sessions and they are full of fun, people are putting their arms around each other trying to help them. It’s easy to do that when you’re winning but a lot harder when you’re losing and I’m proud we just keep trying to get up.”

Chris Woakes also stood up for the unity of the squad, telling Sky: “I can firmly say there is nothing wrong with the dressing room.”

Regardless of morale, there is no disguising just how badly things have gone for an England side who arrived as close second favourites and have since put together their worst ever run of form in a chequered history at the World Cup.

Things have got so bad that they have played their way into potentially missing out on a place at the next major 50-over global competition.

It has come to light that places at the 2025 Champions Trophy will be allocated based on performances in this competition, with hosts Pakistan joined by the seven highest finishers.

With three matches to go England sit in 10th spot, behind both the Netherlands and Bangladesh.

Remarkably, Mott admitted he was not aware the qualification process had moved away from its previous link to world rankings until media reports which landed midway through the India defeat.

The decision was ratified by the ICC board in November 2021, when the England and Wales Cricket Board was being led by previous chief executive Tom Harrison, but the information appears to have been waylaid in transition.

Asked in his post-match press conference when he learned about the potential Champions Trophy issue, Mott said: “About an hour-and-a-half ago.

“The ICC do change the rules quite a bit with qualification but to be honest I don’t think it would affect in any way the way we’ve played in this tournament, so it’s not a big deal.

“It’s plenty of motivation for us to pick ourselves back up off the canvas and keep trying to throw punches. It gives us a lot of focus that we need to make sure we can’t just ‘turn up’. We’ve got to win these games.”

England were counting the cost of their worst ever World Cup campaign after they flopped to a fifth defeat in six games against hosts India.

Despite a rocky history in one-day cricket the defending champions of 2019 have plumbed new depths over the last four weeks, racking up their most losses at a single tournament and an unprecedented sequence of four-in-a-row.

A 100-run thrashing in Lucknow, where they were skittled for a paltry 129, leaves them rooted to the foot of the table in 10th place and on course to embarrassingly miss out on the 2025 Champions Trophy.

It has emerged that places at that event, a ‘mini World Cup’ of sorts, will be awarded to hosts Pakistan and the seven best finishers in group stages of this event rather than being allocated on ICC rankings. As it stands, merely scrambling to eighth place will require a mighty turnaround in fortunes over the next three games.

For a side widely credited with revitalising the 50-over format over the last eight years, that would cap a remarkable fall from grace.

Losing to the table-topping hosts in front of 50,000 bombastic fans at the Ekana Stadium was no surprise – head coach Matthew Mott even billed the opposition “raging favourites” – but this was an opportunity missed.

A much-improved bowling and fielding performance, their best of the tournament to date, had restricted India to 229 for nine, but a top-order collapse left a hole they could not climb out of.

Between the penultimate ball of the fifth over and the first ball of the ninth, England lost their top four for just nine runs as Jasprit Bumrah and Mohammad Shami ran amok. Between them the seam duo were a cut above England, sharing combined figures of seven for 54.

England began their chase with an air of misplaced confidence, tearing 30 off their target in less than five overs before things fell apart.

The architect of their downfall was the impeccable Bumrah, who had already started to get the ball talking before he claimed two wickets in two balls.

Dawid Malan was the first, slashing at width that was not there and dragging down his own stumps to stop the growing momentum in its tracks. For his next trick, Bumrah removed the linchpin Root for a golden duck.

Sizing his target up with a wicked delivery that tailed in on a full length, he thumped the front pad as Root shuffled across. It looked plumb lbw, but Root called for DRS.

UltraEdge showed a tiny disturbance as the ball passed the inside edge but TV umpire Ahsan Raza upheld the dismissal leaving Root pointedly waving his bat towards the big screen replays.

Stokes has bailed England out of worse dilemmas, but this time he could only exacerbate it.

Unable to get to grips with a high-class examination from India’s seamers he departed to an ugly swipe after a runless 10-ball cameo. Resolving to slog his way out of the mire, he cleared his front leg to a precision inducker from Shami, losing his composure, his balance and two of his stumps in one dreadful moment.

The stands exploded in celebration, with Kohli leaping high and punching the air with joy. Bairstow was next in line, bowled by Shami via two separate deflections to leave England 39 for four.

Buttler’s lean spell continued as he was wildly outfoxed by a ripper from left-arm wrist-spinner Kuldeep Yadav, hunched over his bat as he took England’s last hopes with him. Liam Livingstone top-scored with a modest 27, but the contest was already over settled as India applied the finishing touches inside 35 overs.

England, who surprisingly went in with the same XI that had been roundly hammered by Sri Lanka three days earlier, at least showed some fight in the first innings.

They bowled with control, kept producing chances and were visibly sharper in the field. Were it not for a captain’s knock of 87 from Rohit Sharma, that may well have been enough.

But his steadying hand, allied to a handy contribution of 49 from Suryakumar Yadav at the back end, bought India’s attack enough breathing space.

David Willey was the standout, claiming three for 45 including star man Virat Kohli for a nine-ball duck. Willey bowled every delivery to the master batter, tying him up with a nagging line and length before drawing a frustrated hack to mid-off.

That moment drew an instant, deathly silence from the massed thousands wearing replica ‘Virat’ shirts, with Willey flexing his biceps and filling the void with his own roar. He followed up with timely dismissals of KL Rahul (39) and Yadav, while Woakes and Adil Rashid also turned in encouraging performances.

With India losing four for 49 in the last 10 overs, it was hard to see what more England could have done to set up the chase but a limp batting display saw them bowled out for their lowest World Cup total since the inaugural edition in 1975.

England produced their best bowling performance of the World Cup, restricting hosts India to 229 for nine in Lucknow.

Jos Buttler’s side headed into the match with nothing to lose, rock bottom in the standings after four defeats from five and with their semi-finals chances up in smoke, and finally put in a performance worthy of their reputation.

David Willey took three crucial wickets, including star man Virat Kohli for a nine-ball duck to silence a partisan 50,000 crowd, while Adil Rashid and Chris Woakes took two apiece.

India, who boast a 100 per cent record after five games, relied on captain Rohit Sharma’s 87 and will need to bowl well under lights to retain their unblemished streak.

After Buttler won the toss the day began with an intriguing skirmish between Willey and Sharma. The Englishman started the match with a maiden over, only for Sharma to blast two sixes and a four from his next visit.

Before the pair had the chance for a third round, Woakes landed a blow of his own that floored Shubman Gill. Attacking the stumps and finding a big slice of seam movement, he snaked the ball between bat and pad to get England on the board.

The crowd’s momentary disappointment was eased by the knowledge that Kohli was next up, with the stadium announcer hailing the arrival of ‘the King’ to deafening roars.

Yet his response was anything but regal, unable to get off strike as Willey ploughed away on an awkward length and waited for a mistake. It came sooner than he might have expected, with Kohli’s patience failing him.

Attempting to break the shackles with a smash down the ground, he got a poor connection and popped a gentle catch to a delighted Ben Stokes. Willey’s howl of celebration pierced the deathly quiet from the stands, which were filled with thousands of replica ‘Virat’ shirts, while the man himself was forced to vacate the stage.

England’s control in the powerplay was outstanding, with India failing to score off 47 of their 60 balls as they crawled to 35 for two. Woakes was backed to keep the pressure on and did just that, hurrying Shreyas Iyer with a short ball that sailed to mid-off via a top edge.

Rohit proved more durable, surviving a run out attempt from Stokes and overturning an lbw on 33 thanks to DRS. He exuded calm as he shepherded KL Rahul in a stand of 91, assuming almost full responsibility for building a total.

Rahul (39) clubbed the returning Willey straight to mid-on and Sharma’s spirited knock ended with a slog-sweep off Rashid. Liam Livingstone held on well in the deep, despite jarring his knee in the process.

India managed 49 for four in the last 10 overs, Suryakumar Yadav cut off in his prime on 49 as Willey landed the last of his three big scalps.

A half-century from Djenaba Joseph and career-best bowling figures from Jahzara Claxton proved instrumental in the West Indies Women A’s three-wicket win over Pakistan that ensured a 2-1 series victory on Sunday.

Chasing a target of 163 for victory after Pakistan Women A were bowled out for 162 in 44.2 overs, West Indies Women A scored 164-7 from 44.5 overs.

Batting first, Pakistan Women A succumbed to the wily spin of Claxton, who snared 4-19, an outstanding return for a player relatively new to the game. Sidra led all scorers for Pakistan with 27 with contributions of 23, 22 and 21 from Anohsa Nasir, Shawaal Zulfiqar and Eyman Fatima, respectively.

Sheneta Grimmond (2-40) and Zaida James (2-25) were also key players in the WIW A’s bowling effort.

Gajnabi’s 51 laid the foundation for the WIW A’s chase, even though the Caribbean women lost wickets regularly as Rameen Shamim (4-13) and Saima Malik (2-38) produced yeoman efforts to secure victory for the hosts.

 However, key knocks of 37 from Shunelle Sawh and 24 Shabika Gajnabi help steer the West Indies Women towards the series-clinching victory. Cherry Ann Fraser’s 18 runs also proved crucial for the tourists.

Jason Mohammed hit his 22nd List A fifty to help the Trinidad & Tobago Red Force beat the West Indies Academy by four wickets in their CG United Super50 Cup encounter at the Queen’s Park Oval in Trinidad on Saturday.

The Academy first posted a respectable 263-8 from their 50 overs after winning the toss and choosing to bat.

Former West Indies Under-19 Captain Ackeem Auguste led the way for the Academy with a 63-ball 76* including six fours and three sixes while opener Matthew Nandu and all-rounder Kevin Wickham provided good support with 40 and 31, respectively.

Sunil Narine was the pick of the Red Force bowlers with 2-33 from his 10 overs.

The Red Force then needed 48.4 overs to reach 264-6 and bring up their fourth victory in five games.

Mohammed led the way with an unbeaten 70 off 86 balls including seven fours while opener Tion Webster hit a 63-ball 45 in support.

Wickham took 2-54 from his 10 overs for the Academy.

Assistant coach Marcus Trescothick says England are “feeling the heat” of their World Cup implosion.

England arrived in India as defending champions but are on course to leave with their tail between their legs after losing four of their first five games.

The all-conquering hosts are next up in Lucknow on Sunday – on paper their toughest assignment of all – and another loss would represent England’s worst-ever sequence at the tournament.

The question marks are piling up with every disappointing result, with team selection, tactics and the England and Wales Cricket Board’s structural commitment to the 50-over game all under scrutiny.

Captain Jos Buttler and head coach Matthew Mott have both been forced to defend their positions and Trescothick made it clear the situation was taking its toll.

“We’ve just not been matching up to the levels we expect and of course it’s disappointing,” he said.

“We’re all feeling it. We’re all feeling the heat. It’s challenging for everyone.

“But what can you do? We prepared the same. Every practice we go through, we’re coming out the other side thinking we’re in a good place and feeling quite right.

“But it’s just not quite worked when we’ve gone into the games.”

The drop off in performance from a side who became the most feared white-ball side in the world on their way to the 2019 title has been so stark, there have been suggestions about England’s motivation to climb the mountain once more.

Asked if England had simply lost interest in the 50-over format, sidetracked by T20 and the ‘Bazball’ revolution in the Test arena, Trescothick resisted.

“Forgive me, I don’t want to be blunt here, but we haven’t lost faith in what it is,” he responded.

“I can’t really say too much more. We love playing any form of cricket, any form of the game that we play.

“We were desperate to come here and try and win back-to-back 50-over competitions. So, we’re still very much focused on all formats of the game.”

Lining up against India at their home can be a daunting experience at the best of times and doing so while devoid of confidence and form only makes matters worse.

Rohit Sharma’s side bring a 100 per cent record into the match and are likely to be aided by a highly partisan crowd and, if local reports on the ground are to be believed, a helpful turning pitch.

But Trescothick hopes to see England thrive under adversity.

“I think playing against India in a World Cup in their own country is a special part of the game,” he said.

“You know there’ll be a big crowd and there’ll be a wonderful occasion. The atmosphere is going to be electric.”

England will surely consider bringing Harry Brook back into their under-performing batting line-up after surprisingly dropping him last time out, while Gus Atkinson, Sam Curran and the recently-arrived Brydon Carse all stand by to help refresh the bowling stocks.

There will be some temptation to play all three in an overt act of adding a more youthful sheen to an ageing outfit, but England may exert more restraint given the size of the task ahead against the likes of Rohit and Virat Kohli.

The Jamaica Scorpions horrible run of form in the 2023 CG United Insurance Super50 Competition was further extended on Friday after they were crushed by 121 runs (D/L) by the Combined Campuses and Colleges at the Sir Frank Worrell Memorial Ground in St Augustine, Trinidad.

Demario Richards, Johann Jeremiah and Kedeem Alleyne each score a half century as the CCC racked up 320-7 from their 50 overs. Needing 321 for victory, the Scorpions were bundled out for 198 in just 32.4 overs.

Once again it was the spinners that proved to be the bane of the Scorpions, sharing eight wickets between them as the Scorpions plunged to their fourth consecutive defeat.

Romario Greaves led the CCC bowling with 4-51 while Akshaya Persaud (2-25) and Abhijai Mansingh (2-55) aided in the destruction of the Scorpions batting line up.

Chadwick Walton fought bravely for his 50 from 35 balls with Odean Smith, who scored 35 and Brad Barnes 31 ensured that the defeat was not much worse. Jamaica’s big three of Rovman Powell, Jermaine Blackwood and Nkrumah Bonner, all failed to deliver, producing scores of two, 22 and nought, respectively.

Batting first, Richards top-scored with 71 against the toothless Jamaican attack that saw opener Jeremiah scoring 56 and Alleyne 51 to lay the foundation for their match-winning total. The CCC also got useful contributions from Jordan Johnson, who contributed 41 and Shane Dowrich, who scored 32.

Bowling for the Scorpions, Odean Smith took 3-28 and was the only bowler who bowled with any venom.

  

Sir Geoffrey Boycott criticised England’s lack of preparation for their continuing World Cup woes but spared captain Jos Buttler of the bulk of the blame.

Buttler accepted his future was out of his own hands as England crashed to an eight-wicket defeat to Sri Lanka in Bengaluru, which has left the defence of their title hanging by the thinnest of threads.

Head coach Matthew Mott has written off England’s chances after four defeats in five games, which Boycott argued was the result of turning up in India just over a week before the campaign began.

“History shows that England rarely bat well in India where the ball spins,” Boycott told the Daily Telegraph. “Our guys are okay on flat pitches but if it turns they have a problem.

“The best way to try and overcome that would have been for our squad of players to get to India early and play four or five warm-up matches. What did England do? Plan only two warm-up games with one getting rained off. Not smart planning.”

England brought eight of the 2019 trophy-winning side with them to the subcontinent but Buttler has been unable to get the best out of his charges – as Eoin Morgan spectacularly did four years ago.

But Boycott feels the unflattering comparisons between the duo are unfair, pointing out Morgan had home comforts plus a fully-focused and healthy side in peak form whereas Buttler has had several obstacles to contend with.

Boycott said Jofra Archer’s non-availability and Ben Stokes being ruled out of the first three matches through an ill-timed hip problem complicated matters for Buttler.

“Jos has a dysfunctional squad of players,” the England great added. “Poorly selected, poorly prepared, not a settled team, many not sure of their roles, patchy form, confidence wobbly and to cap it all England’s best two and most influential white-ball players have not been available.

“Although Buttler has admitted his own flaws this tournament, too many people are criticising his captaincy and judging him against that of Eoin Morgan when England won the previous World Cup.

“Make no mistake, not having Archer is huge alongside Stokes not being available through injury for the first three matches. Reece Topley has now had to go home injured.

“It is easy captaining a good team full of in-form players but it would need a miracle man to pull this team together. Buttler can’t admit it, but it must be a nightmare.”

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