England’s excruciating World Cup defence was all but over after yet another shambolic defeat, this time against a Sri Lanka side led by their former head coach Chris Silverwood.

The 2019 champions turned in a meek, error-strewn performance with the bat, blown away for just 156 in Bengaluru, and barely fared any better with the ball as their opponents breezed home by eight wickets.

Jos Buttler’s side have now lost four of their five games by heavy margins – beaten by New Zealand, Afghanistan, South Africa and now Sri Lanka – and can start booking an early trip home despite having four fixtures still to play in a torturous group stage.

There was an extra layer to their latest humbling given Silverwood’s presence in blue and gold. He served as England’s bowling coach when they lifted the trophy four years ago and was handpicked to take over the top job from Trevor Bayliss soon after.

Silverwood was sacked after a dire Ashes campaign in 2021/22 and now, rather than guiding his country through this tournament as he once expected, he has effectively sealed their departure from it.

A scrappy 43 from Ben Stokes was the best England could muster and that was promptly put in perspective as Pathum Nissanka (77 not out) and Sadeera Samarawickrama (65no) peeled off an effortless century stand in response.

In all England used just 33.2 overs in the first innings and 25.4 in the second, a damning indictment on all fronts.

The day started with the latest confusing selection from England, who dropped rising star Harry Brook and rookie seamer Gus Atkinson as they fielded a side comprised entirely of thirtysomethings for the first time ever in ODI cricket.

It proved a thoroughly misguided decision from a team long past its peak. With a dominant, table-topping India up next in Lucknow, it is hard to see what they do next.

Things began with a brief burst of positivity, openers Dawid Malan and Jonny Bairstow taming the new ball sufficiently to take 45 from the first 39 deliveries, with nine boundaries.

But the growing optimism was shattered by the introduction of old foe Angelo Mathews, called up as an injury replacement just a couple of days ago and embarking on his first ODI spell in three-and-a-half years.

It took the 36-year-old just three deliveries to get back in the groove, Malan caught behind for 28 chasing a cutter. Mathews, who starred when Sri Lanka beat England at Headingley in the 2019 group stages, was involved again in the crucial dismissal of Joe Root.

Root had just three to his name when he chopped to point and set off for a single, turning on his heels once Bairstow dug his in at the non-striker’s end. Mathews picked up and threw in one swift movement, leaving Kusal Mendis to obliterate the stumps as Root dived in vain.

The errors kept coming, Bairstow reaching 30 before a cross-batted swat at Kasun Rajitha plonked straight to mid-on. Stokes dug a trench as he tried to halt the Sri Lankan momentum, but his rearguard was undermined as Lahiru Kumara had Buttler flashing to slip and Liam Livingstone lbw.

With just 17 overs down they were 85 for five and circling the drain. Stokes went on the attack, muscling a handful of boundaries despite struggling for timing, but lost two more partners as Moeen Ali and Chris Woakes spoon-fed catches to backward point.

When Stokes dragged a pull down deep-midwicket’s throat, England’s hopes of an unlikely revival went with him, but there was another nadir still to come.

Adil Rashid was backing up at the bowler’s end when Mendis took a Maheesh Theekshana wide down the leg side, spotted the chance of an opportunistic dismissal and threw down the stumps from 25 yards.

It was an absurd way to go and entirely in keeping with England’s demeanour over the past month. Theekshana had Wood stumped to complete the job, putting Sri Lanka in complete control.

David Willey had hit England’s only six of the innings and finished not out on the ground he calls home with Royal Challengers Bangalore and he started gamely with the ball too.

The left-armer had Kusal Perera caught off a leading edge with his third ball and added the dangerous Mendis, who chipped a leg-stump delivery high in the sky towards Buttler.

At 23 for two there was a tiny opening, but Samarawickrama and Nissanka closed it emphatically. They knocked off the runs in a composed manner, even soaking up a rapid spell that touched 94mph from Wood.

The pair stroked the ball around with minimal fuss as the bowlers went through the motions, with Nissanka sealing victory in style by slamming the expensive Rashid for a big six over long-on to put England out of their misery.

They are now on course for a World Cup campaign even worse than their low ebb of 2015, a fate barely imaginable when Eoin Morgan lifted the trophy at Lord’s in heady scenes four years later.

Rashada Williams scored a match-high 71 to lead the West Indies Women ‘A’ to a three-wicket victory over Pakistan in Lahore on Thursday. Chasing 189 for victory after Pakistan Women ‘A’ had scored 188-9 from their 50 overs, West Indies Women achieved the target with a ball to spare.

The tourists won the toss and put the hosts into bat. Pakistan achieved their score on the back of 50 by Sidra Nawaz and scores of 32 and 25 by Shawaal Zulfiqar and Eyman Fatima, respectively.

Ashmini Munisar’s off-spin proved instrumental for the West Indies taking 3-21 from her 10-over allotment with Qiana Joseph proving a worthwhile back-up with 2-30.

Williams got her 71 from 94 balls for the West Indies with Shabika Gajnabi scoring 25 and Zaida James weighing in with a patient 23 from 57 balls to help steer the tourists to victory and levelling the series at a game apiece.

Left-arm spin bowler Anosha Nasir took 3-36 in a valiant effort for Pakistan.

Former England captain Michael Atherton said the current one-day side could be “at the end of the cycle” after another poor batting display at the World Cup.

England won the toss and elected to bat in a must-win group game against Sri Lanka in Bengaluru, but collapsed to 156 all out with nearly seven overs remaining.

Jos Buttler’s side never looked capable of mounting an imposing target despite Moeen Ali’s pre-match assertion that England would play aggressive cricket with no fear.

Sky Sports pundit Atherton said: “It’s all very saying what you want to do when you’re struggling and down on confidence, it’s not always easy to put those fine words and aspirations into practice.

“We’ve all been there in teams that are low on confidence and are struggling. No team has a divine right to be at the top of its game all the time.”

Ben Stokes (43) and openers Jonny Bairstow (30) and Dawid Malan (28) were the only batters to make any impression as wickets fell at regular intervals against a Sri Lanka side who had also won only one of their first four matches.

Atherton added: “We’ve looked at the factors over the last five games of this competition, but if you look a bit deeper you could argue this is a team at the end of the cycle.

“You could argue that the lack of 50-over cricket and the lack of England’s ability to put what they consider to be their best one-day team in 50-over cricket has camouflaged some of the weaknesses and decline that we’ve seen.

“It’s all come together in the performances we’ve seen in Mumbai over the last couple of days and this one here in Bengaluru today.”

England’s excruciating World Cup campaign took another turn for the worse as they slumped to 156 all out in their must-win match against Chris Silverwood’s Sri Lanka.

Knowing defeat in Bengaluru would leave them with one win in five and end any realistic hope of reaching the semi-finals, they batted calamitously and were rounded up in just 33.2 overs of self-inflicted pain.

Ben Stokes top-scored with 43 but even he barely laid a glove on the opposition, looking short of fluency throughout a 73-ball stay. Six players were dismissed in single figures, with Adil Rashid’s comical run out at the non-striker’s end summing up a shoddy performance.

England’s increasingly confusing selection continued as they dropped rising star Harry Brook, leaving them with a conspicuously ageing side comprised entirely of thirtysomethings for the first time ever in one-day cricket.

With up-and-coming seamer Gus Atkinson also benched, Liam Livingstone – who turned 30 in August – was youngest player on the teamsheet and they batted like a side long past their peak.

They now face the embarrassment of being ousted from the tournament they won four years ago by Silverwood, the man who was supposed to lead England in India before being sacked after the Ashes debacle of 2021/22.

Half-centuries from Teddy Bishop and Leonardo Julien led West Indies Academy to a six-wicket victory (D/L) over Jamaica Scorpions in the CG United Insurance Super 50 Competition at Queen’s Park Oval in Trinidad on Wednesday.

Set a winning target of 264 after the Scorpions made 263-9 from their 50 overs, West Indies Academy scored 227-4 from 37.3 overs when rain interrupted play. It was the third straight loss for Jamaica who remain at the bottom of the table.

When rain stopped play Bishop was unbeaten on 67 from 67 balls. He hit three fours and two sixes in his knock that swung the match heavily in favour of the West Indies Academy. Julien also played a crucial role in the win with his 52 from 48 balls while Kevin Wickham contributed a useful 37.

Pace bowler Shalome Parnell was the best of the Scorpions’ bowlers with 2-43.

Earlier, Kirk McKenzie scored a match-high 84 and Captain Rovman Powell, 53, as the Jamaica Scorpions put together an under-par score of 263-7.  Opener Chadwick Walton (17), Andre McCarthy (15) and Jeavor Royal (27) all got starts but failed to capitalize against the bowling of Nyeem Young who was the standout bowler taking 5-49.

McKenny Clarke took 2-27.

Both Guyana Harpy Eagles and Combined Campuses and Colleges (CCC) would feel hard done, as rain forced a no-result in their CG United Super50 Cup at the Frank Worrell Memorial Ground on Wednesday.

The contest, which saw the Harpy Eagles posting a paltry 177, was evenly poised to go either way, as CCC's reply was at 86-5 when the heavens opened. 

Prior to the weather, Tevin Imlach led the Harpy Eagles batting with a well-played 80 off 105 balls. His knock included four boundaries and a six, while Tagenarine Chanderpaul was the next best scorer with 30. Akshaya Persaud, 2-23 and Shatrughan Rambaran, 2-27, were the pick of the CCC bowlers.

CCC in their turn at bat, also found the going tough, with the aggressive Kadeem Alleyne being the only batsman to show any real resistance at that point.

Alleyne struck five sixes and two fours in a 27-ball 47. Kevin Sinclair, 3-39, did the damage for Harpy Eagles.

Scores: Guyana Harpy Eagles 177 all out (48.1 overs); CCC 86-5 (15 overs)

Moeen Ali is planning to bring the fun factor back to England’s World Cup campaign after realising the defending champions have “lost the enjoyment” in India.

Moeen is set to return to the side for Thursday’s must-win match against Sri Lanka after being confined to drinks duties for the past three games, during which time things have gone from bad to worse for the 2019 winners.

Despite being left on the sidelines, Moeen remains the squad’s designated vice-captain and has watched and learned from crushing defeats to Afghanistan and South Africa that have left ninth-placed England with the narrowest of paths to the semi-finals.

His conclusions are clear: the team have become too anxious, too rigid and too fearful. The smiles have gone and the 36-year-old has made it his mission to bring them back at Bengaluru’s Chinnaswamy Stadium, once his IPL home with Royal Challengers Bangalore.

“When you sit out sometimes, you can see things that you don’t see when you’re playing,” he said.

“You can see from the outside that we’ve probably lost the enjoyment. We haven’t enjoyed it as a team as much, because we’ve been losing and we’re not playing that well.

“That spark is missing, that thing where they’re enjoying taking bowlers down, enjoying going out to bat.

“I think we’re probably taking it too seriously in certain ways. I think sometimes we can probably get a bit anxious. It’s almost having that carefree kind of attitude – ‘Who cares? It’s a game of cricket’.

“You’re going to make mistakes, you might as well make them doing what you’re good at. We’re making mistakes anyway, so let’s do it with a smile on your face.

“If I get my chance, I’m going to use all that intent that I have. Take it on. I’m going to take the situation out a lot of the time and just enjoy it as much as I can.”

Moeen has been stung by his extended absence from the XI, which sits at odds with his role as a key sounding board for captain Jos Buttler and his calming influence on the field has been a loss.

“Speaking to a few of the players, they’ve certainly said that they’re miss having me at mid-off or whatever,” said Moeen.

“I think I can try and hopefully bring a bit of help maybe for Jos, being at mid-off a lot of the time with the bowlers, because it’s not always that easy for a wicketkeeper to communicate.

“It’s hard for me to say. That’s the hardest bit…when Jos asks me what I think of the side and I don’t put myself in or if I do put myself in. You try and do what’s best for the team as much as you can.”

The man plotting England’s downfall this time around is Sri Lanka coach Chris Silverwood, a man who once thought he would be leading their title defence.

Silverwood was England’s fast bowling coach they won the tournament in 2019 and stepped into the top job soon after when he was chosen to succeed Trevor Bayliss.

But his reign came to an ignominious end when he was sacked after the 2021/22 Ashes debacle, with England subsequently opting to split the job between red and white-ball specialists.

England have already been bested by one of their own in India, with former batter Jonathan Trott guiding Afghanistan to a shock win in Delhi, and are aware of the extra layer of intrigue created by Silverwood’s appearance in the opposition dugout.

“I’m sure he’s got that motivation to do well in this game, definitely,” said Moeen.

“They’ve only won once, so they’ll want to get on a winning run as well and he’ll be thinking more about that and his own team.

“But I’m sure deep down, like everybody else, he’ll be trying to prove a point or whatever it is and that will motivate him a little bit more.

“He’s a good coach and a nice guy, and I enjoyed (working with) him. But he’s not the one going out to bat and bowl, it’s his team. He’ll be trying to get them ready.”

England radically altered the balance of their side against the Proteas, banishing their core of all-rounders in favour of their top six batters and five specialist bowlers.

A 229-run thrashing is likely to see that formula banished, with Moeen and Chris Woakes both pencilled in to return in place of the injured Reece Topley and Gus Atkinson. Sam Curran is also vying for one place with David Willey.

Topley’s injury replacement, Brydon Carse trained for the first time on Wednesday afternoon but will not be considered at this stage.

Sri Lanka’s Angelo Mathews knows exactly what it takes to beat England at a World Cup and the veteran batter is promising to “fight fire with fire” when the sides meet in Bengaluru.

Mathews has only been an official part of the squad for 24 hours, called up as an injury replacement for Matheesha Pathirana after being left out of the original line-up, but goes straight into the side on Thursday.

The 35-year-old brings bundles of hard-bitten experience with him, including a few memorable tussles with England over the years.

There have been Test centuries at Lord’s, Headingley and Galle, as well as a brilliant knock in a losing cause in the T20 World Cup of 2016.

But most relevant to the task at hand was the dogged 85 not out in Leeds four years ago, a match-winning effort that threatened to derail what became a triumphant tournament for Eoin Morgan’s men.

Neither team can afford to lose at the Chinnaswamy Stadium this time, leaving Mathews ready for a high-octane affair.

“We have to fight fire with fire because we know they will come really hard at us,” he said.

“Obviously we have to play our ‘A’ game against a very strong England team. Even though they haven’t played to their potential they are a very dangerous team.

“We know their brand of cricket is all about being positive; if you take a backward step they are going to jump all over you and take the advantage. They can hurt us badly if we are complacent.”

Mathews also made it clear the expertise and inside knowledge of former England head coach Chris Silverwood, who now sits in their dressing room, has not gone to waste.

“Chris knows most of their players in and out, we’ve had discussions about their team as well,” he said.

Moeen Ali believes former England coach Chris Silverwood will be keen to “prove a point” with his Sri Lanka side in Thursday’s World Cup clash in Bengaluru.

Silverwood was England’s fast bowling coach they won the tournament in 2019 and expected to be the man in charge of the title defence when he was chosen to succeed Trevor Bayliss in the top job.

But his reign came to an ignominious end when he was sacked after the 2021/22 Ashes debacle, with England subsequently opting to split the job between red and white-ball specialists.

Silverwood made a quick return to international cricket with Sri Lanka and faces his old charges in a game that both nations need to win to maintain any realistic chance of reaching the knockout stages.

England have already been bested by one of their own in India, with former batter Jonathan Trott guiding Afghanistan to a shock win in Delhi, and are aware of the extra layer of intrigue created by Silverwood’s appearance in the opposition dugout.

“I’m sure he’s got that motivation to do well in this game, definitely,” said Moeen.

“They’ve only won once, so they’ll want to get on a winning run as well and he’ll be thinking more about that and his own team.

“But I’m sure deep down, like everybody else, he’ll be trying to prove a point or whatever it is and that will motivate him a little bit more.

“He’s a good coach and a nice guy, and I enjoyed (working with) him. But he’s not the one going out to bat and bowl, it’s his team. He’ll be trying to get them ready.”

Moeen is heading into the game with some some additional motivation of his own, having been confined to a watching brief since the opening match of the tournament.

Despite being the squad’s nominated vice-captain, the 36-year-old was dropped after the nine-wicket thrashing by New Zealand and has now missed three in a row.

Things have hardly improved in his absence and, after England’s heaviest ever ODI defeat at the hands of South Africa last time out, he is odds-on to return in a city he once called home during his IPL stint with Royal Challengers Bangalore.

“It’s been very frustrating, obviously, because you want to play and make some sort of difference,” he said of his stint on the bench.

“It’s difficult when you’re not winning and then when you’re not playing on top of that, it’s hard. I’m hoping to play and get a chance to perform.

“It’s one of those grounds where scoring is quick and batting deep makes a big difference. If I get the nod, then I’m really looking forward to playing. I’ve played franchise cricket here and it’s a great place to play, a great venue. I’m be pretty excited.”

England radically altered the balance of their side against the Proteas, banishing their core of all-rounders in favour of their top six batters and five specialist bowlers.

A 229-run thrashing is likely to see that formula banished. Three changes are possible, with Reece Topley having flown home with a broken finger and Gus Atkinson and David Willey both vulnerable. Chris Woakes and Liam Livingstone would be favourites to return alongside Moeen.

Topley’s injury replacement, Brydon Carse, has arrived in the country and trained for the first time on Wednesday afternoon.

West Indies “A” Women suffered an eight-run defeat at the hands of Pakistan “A” Women in the opening 50-over game of their white ball tour in Lahore on Tuesday.

The hosts batted first after winning the toss and were bowled out for 174 in 49.3 overs.

Gull Feroza made the bulk of the runs for Pakistan with 62 off 101 balls including four fours.

Pacer Cherry Ann Fraser grabbed 3-38 from 6.3 overs and Zaida James took 2-29 from her 10 overs.

The tourists then fell just eight runs short, being bowled out for 166 in 45.3 overs.

A number of batters were able to get starts including Shabika Gajnabi (29), captain Rashada Williams (27) Shunelle Sawh (22) and Sheneta Grimmond (20) but none were able to kick on and get a big score.

Anosha Nasir led Pakistan with the ball with 2-29 from 10 overs while Saima Malik and Rameen Shamim also took a pair of wickets each.

The West Indians will look to rebound in the second game on Thursday.

England have signed their leading male players to multi-year central contracts for the first time but Test captain Ben Stokes has only accepted a one-year extension.

The England and Wales Cricket Board has been revising its approach in a bid to meet the challenge presented by franchise leagues around the world and guarantee the availability of its star names for international duty.

Joe Root, Harry Brook and Mark Wood have all been tied to three-year deals, binding them to the cause until October 2026, while a further 15 players are on two-year arrangements.

But Stokes’ presence among a list of eight players on traditional one-year contracts is intriguing. His leadership of the red-ball side has been transformational, he played a starring role in winning last year’s T20 World Cup and was persuaded out of ODI retirement to take part in the ongoing World Cup, making him arguably the most important individual in the entire set-up.

It is understood he was offered a three-year deal but opted for the shorter-term option.

The central contracts do not prevent recipients taking up lucrative T20 deals, but they do allow the ECB greater oversight on availability.

Jofra Archer has signed for two more years, a show of faith in his ability after a long running fitness battle, 19-year-old Rehan Ahmed has the same security and becomes the youngest man to earn an ECB deal.

At the other end of the age spectrum 41-year-old James Anderson has another annual retainer and 35-year-old Dawid Malan returns to the list after missing out in 2022.

Pace bowling development contracts have also been awarded to Matthew Fisher, Saqib Mahmood and the uncapped John Turner.

Jason Roy, who terminated the remainder of his previous deal to play in the United States of American’s Major League Cricket earlier this year, is a notable omission. After missing out on the World Cup squad, his international career appears to be over. David Willey is the only member of the current World Cup squad not to feature.

Also absent are Surrey’s highly-rated Will Jacks, a hard-hitting, bowling all-rounder capped in all three formats in the past year, Olly Stone and the Overton twins Craig and Jamie.

Rob Key, managing director of England men’s cricket, said: “We are rewarding those players who we expect to make a significant impact over the coming years playing for England.

“It is great news and a credit to the players for demonstrating their commitment to English cricket in the ever-changing landscape of the sport.

“I would like to congratulate all the players who have been offered contracts. They will play a pivotal role in England’s efforts over the next few years.”

Three-year deals: H Brook, J Root, M Wood.
Two-year deals: R Ahmed, J Archer, G Atkinson, J Bairstow, J Buttler, B Carse, Z Crawley, S Curran, B Duckett, L Livingstone, O Pope, M Potts, A Rashid, J Tongue, C Woakes.
One-year deals: M Ali, J Anderson, B Foakes, J Leach, D Malan, O Robinson, B Stokes, R Topley.
Development deals: M Fisher, S Mahmood, J Turner.

A maiden List A hundred from Sherfane Rutherford propelled the Guyana Harpy Eagles to a four-wicket win over the Leeward Islands Hurricanes in the CG United Super50 Cup at the Queen’s Park Oval on Monday.

The Leewards first posted 244-6 from their 50 overs after winning the toss and batting first.

Karima Gore and Jahmar Hamilton both hit 54 to lead the Hurricanes while Hayden Walsh Jr followed up a 60* in their last game with a well-played 49.

The Guyana bowling was led by Romario Shepherd and captain Veerasammy Permaul who each took a pair of wickets.

The Harpy Eagles then needed only 47.3 overs to get their second win of the season on the back of a brilliant 71-ball 105 from Rutherford. His knock included seven fours and eight sixes.

Tevin Imlach (32) and Kevlon Anderson (32) both provided good support for Rutherford.

Kofi James tried his best for the Hurricanes with 3-30 from his ten overs.

 

England’s Joe Root admits doubts over whether ODI cricket remains “relevant” have not gone unnoticed by players at the World Cup in India, with scrutiny increasing over the future of the format.

The defending champions have been in desperate form at the tournament, losing three of their four matches to leave their semi-final prospects dangling by a thread, but there are wider questions over the 50-over game as the T20 behemoth continues to grow unchecked.

Barring a few outliers, including a lively crowd for England’s loss to Afghanistan in Delhi, attendances have been well below expectations in a country renowned for its passionate support and the lack of close finishes has contributed to a lack of ‘buzz’ at the competition.

The PA news agency understands there are early signs of concern at host broadcaster Star Sports and The Cricketer has reported that the long-range prospects of the one-day game will be discussed at the International Cricket Council’s next board meeting in November.

ICC chair Greg Barclay has already said the success of the event can only be judged once it is complete and sources have rebuffed the idea that the format is under threat. They cite long-term rights deals that include 50-over World Cups in 2027 and 2031 and record streaming figures of 43million viewers during India’s victory over New Zealand on Sunday.

In the United Kingdom, Sky Sports has a direct agreement with the ICC running for the next eight years, including both of those World Cups.

But Root, speaking at England’s team hotel in Bengaluru, acknowledged the growing sense of uncertainty.

“There’s talk of whether this format is relevant any more anyway, in international cricket,” said Root, who helped England win their first World Cup title in 2019.

“Whether that gets changed…I don’t know. Who knows how things move in the future? Whether it’s domestically or internationally, I don’t think we play enough of it if we’re going to continue to look to compete in World Cups.

“I think it’s got a huge amount of history and it brings a lot to cricket. It will always hold a very special part of my heart for what it’s given me throughout my career, but I think it’s a question that should be posed to the next generation of players, and to everyone watching the game, really.

“It shouldn’t be down to, ‘is it bringing the most money for the sport?’ It should be down to what people want to watch, and what’s going to engage the next generation of players. Because in the long term, I think that’s going to be most beneficial for cricket all-round.”

The issue is acute in England, where the legacy of becoming world champions in the format has been a downgrading of the domestic competition to developmental status.

The Metro Bank One-Day Cup is now contested largely by emerging players and second-teamers due to its clash with The Hundred, meaning the newest faces in Jos Buttler’s side – Harry Brook and Gus Atkinson – have barely played the format and are effectively learning it on a global platform.

Root is uneasy with that situation and believes if ODI cricket is to continue, radical steps may be necessary.

The Hundred has significant critics, as a form of the game that is not played anywhere other than England, but Root has put forward the T20 Blast – reliably popular among counties and county members – as a potential sacrifice.

“It doesn’t make me change my mind about The Hundred. It makes me question whether we should be playing more 50-over cricket instead of T20,” he said, before backing away slightly from what is a thorny conundrum with no easy solution.

“But I don’t want to get into a debate about this. I don’t want it to be seen as an excuse (for under performing) because that’s not what we’re about as a team. That’s not how I look at things, but I haven’t got any good argument for anything else.”

While matters of global infrastructure and international scheduling are sure to continue, England have more immediate problems after their unexpected run of adverse results which, thanks to Afghanistan’s shock win over Pakistan on Monday, have left them rock bottom of the table.

Thursday’s game against Sri Lanka is must-win to uphold any realistic hopes of reaching the knockouts and Root is hoping the do-or-die scenario can kickstart a revival.

“We’ll look at that as a World Cup final now, then do the same for the game after that and the game after that,” he said.

“I’ve played in a number of different England teams – good ones and bad ones. This is one of the very best; it’s a very together team and we know what we need to do.

“This white-ball team, over an eight-year period now, likes very simple messaging and has responded very well to it. We’ve got some very simple messaging in front of us right now: we have to go out and win. In some ways that unshackles us and frees us up to do what we do.”

The Melbourne Renegades got their first win of the 2023 Women’s Big Bash League (WBBL) campaign by dismantling the Adelaide Strikers by 86 runs at the Junction Oval in Melbourne on Monday.

The Renegades, who tasted defeat in their season opener against the Brisbane Heat, posted 167-3 from their 20 overs after being put in to bat by the Strikers.

The opening pair of Tammy Beaumont and captain Hayley Matthews put on just 19 before the West Indian went for 12 in the third over.

Beaumont and number three batter Josephine Dooley added 51 for the second wicket before Beaumont went for 30 in the ninth over.

One over later, Dooley fell for 23 to leave the Renegades 74-3.

An unbroken 93-run fourth wicket stand between Harmanpreet Kaur and Courtney Webb then propelled the Renegades to their total.

Webb led the way with a 34-ball 49* while Kaur ended 43* off 33 balls.

Zimbabwean Anesu Mushangwe was the Strikers most economical bowler with 1-21 in her four overs.

The Strikers then lasted just 14.5 overs before they were bowled out for 86.

Only skipper Talia McGrath (31), Laura Woldvaart (14) and Danielle Gibson (10) were able to reach double-figures.

Hayley Matthews (2-20 from three overs), Ella Hayward (2-18 from four overs), Georgia Wareham (2-23 from three overs) and Harmanpreet Kaur (2-11 from 1.5 overs) all played a part in the bowling effort.

 

England continued on the path towards one of their worst ever World Cup campaigns with a humbling 229-run defeat to South Africa on Saturday.

As well as being England’s heaviest one-day international defeat by runs, it was their third in four games at this year’s tournament – one away from equalling an unwanted record.

They lost four out of six games in both 1996 and 2015 and here, the PA news agency looks at how the current tournament compares.

1996

England lost their opening game to New Zealand by 11 runs, but wins over group minnows the United Arab Emirates and the Netherlands essentially ensured their quarter-final place, in a format which lent itself to the big teams progressing comfortably.

They rounded out the group stage with defeats to South Africa, by 78 runs, and Pakistan by seven wickets, leaving them fourth and facing Group A surprise package Sri Lanka, who won the quarter-final by five wickets with almost 10 overs to spare on their way to the title – Sanath Jayasuriya hit 82 off 44 balls.

A bowling attack led by Darren Gough and Peter Martin, and with spinner Richard Illingworth sharing the new ball against Sri Lanka, struggled in the tournament and took their wickets at an average of 33 runs, which would remain England’s worst at a World Cup until 2011.

Only four England batters passed 100 runs, including captain Michael Atherton who averaged 19.83.

2015

A 15-run defeat to underdogs Bangladesh was the key moment as England exited the tournament in the group stage for only the third time, following 1999 and 2003.

England were also heavily beaten by Pool A’s fancied teams, by 111 runs against Australia and eight and nine wickets respectively against New Zealand and Sri Lanka, with their only wins coming against Scotland and Afghanistan.

Their average of 29.49 runs for each wicket lost was their third-lowest at a World Cup, beating only 1979 (23.82) and 2003 (25.85), while a rate of 37.47 per wicket taken was their worst ever. Among bowlers who played at least three games, only Steven Finn (25.00) averaged under 45.

2023

England are on track for worse averages with bat and ball than in that dismal 2015 campaign, currently averaging 27.13 runs per wicket lost and a barely believable 42.61 with the ball.

Dawid Malan’s beautiful century against Bangladesh is a lone hand so far – Mark Wood remarkably leads the batting averages, with 80 runs in 58 balls for one dismissal, but has taken three wickets at 70. Reece Topley, who leads the bowling averages with eight wickets at 22.87, will not play again at the tournament due to a broken finger.

The 229-run margin against South Africa surpassed by over 100 England’s previous heaviest World Cup loss batting second, a 122-run defeat to the same opposition in 1999. Australia last year inflicted England’s then-record ODI defeat, by 221 runs.

Similarly, the nine-wicket loss to New Zealand has been surpassed only once, Sri Lanka chasing down 230 without losing a wicket in 2011, and matched twice more – by South Africa in 2007 and Sri Lanka in 2015. The Black Caps had 82 balls remaining, exceeded only by the Proteas among those games and by only three England World Cup losses ever.

England’s only other four-loss World Cup came in 2007, when they played nine games in a tournament featuring a ‘Super Eight’ stage. They lost three in 1987, 1992, 2003, 2011 and on their way to the 2019 title.

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