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.


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.


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.


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.

England’s World Cup defence is hanging by a thread after losing three of the first four games in India.

Jos Buttler’s side have come up short against New Zealand, Afghanistan and South Africa and have a mountain to climb to salvage the campaign.

Here, the PA news agency looks at what has gone wrong and what comes next.

Do they still have a chance?

With the elongated group format, England still have another five games to play between now and November 11 whatever happens. Mathematically speaking there are a few shades of grey in terms of what they need to do, but realistically things are already black and white. England need wins and lots of them. They may well require a perfect run to retain their crown and, with games against the table-topping hosts, rivals Australia and an unpredictable Pakistan, that looks a tough ask.

What role has selection played in their struggles?

Things are certainly a lot less clear than they were four years ago, when Jofra Archer’s late arrival completed the jigsaw. First England left Harry Brook out of their provisional squad, then swapped him with Jason Roy at the last minute, installing Dawid Malan as first-choice opener on the eve of the tournament. Since landing, things have been even more muddled. Reece Topley was omitted from the opener and proved to be the team’s in-form bowler when he was restored to the side. More bafflingly still, England picked a phalanx of all-rounders in game one (Liam Livingstone, Sam Curran, Moeen Ali and Chris Woakes) and left out all four of them in favour of specialists by game four.

Is this a step too far for the world beaters of 2019?

There is no escaping the fact that this is a side that is rapidly moving to the end of its natural lifespan. Eleven of the 15-man squad are north of 30 and there are eight survivors from the squad that triumphed at Lord’s four years ago. At times it has been impossible to escape the suspicion that too many of these players have tipped past their peak as 50-over prospects. Looking at the core of the side – Jonny Bairstow, Joe Root, Ben Stokes, Jos Buttler, Chris Woakes and Adil Rashid – it is hard to argue any are better one-day cricketers than they were in 2019.

Where is the new blood then?

Dislodging players who are destined to go down among the country’s all-time greats in the format was never going to be an easy task for the next generation but the lack of renewal is still striking. Was it realistic to expect challengers to emerge from a county system that has devalued the domestic 50-over tournament to a second-tier cup sub-servient to The Hundred? Gus Atkinson had played a grand total of two List A games before his ODI debut and Brook admitted this month that he was “learning the format” on the biggest stage of all. Expecting a sufficient supply of fresh talent to emerge in the current eco-system looks to be a pipe dream.

Are there issues over the leadership?

The captain-coach relationship between Jos Buttler and Matthew Mott got off to a roaring start when they won the T20 World Cup together last year just a few months into their time together. But with so much emphasis on the ‘Bazball’ revolution in the Test arena, their job has got trickier. With fewer matches, longer gaps and less availability of big names they have been left to pull things together at the last minute and it simply hasn’t worked. The decision making has been wanting – from the chopping and changing on the team-sheet to the baffling logic of bowling first in stifling conditions in Mumbai – but the real issues may run deeper and wider than the dressing room alone. Eoin Morgan proved his mettle in the immediate aftermath of the botched 2015 campaign when he led with a strong voice and demanded the players and resources to succeed. If Buttler and Mott are to succeed in the long run they may need assert themselves in similar style.

England have called up Brydon Carse to their World Cup squad in India, with Joe Root claiming the seamer could inherit Liam Plunkett’s mantle as master of the middle overs.

Struggling England lost their leading wicket-taker during Saturday’s record-breaking defeat by South Africa, when Reece Topley fractured his left index finger fielding off his own bowling.

Head coach Matthew Mott initially suggested there was no guarantee another seamer would be brought in as his replacement, inviting the likes of Jason Roy, Will Jacks, Liam Dawson and Rehan Ahmed into the conversation, but Carse’s selection maintains the status quo.

The 28-year-old was the next seamer in line and may have made a stronger push for the original 15-man squad had he not suffered injury issues of his own over the summer. He was ultimately overtaken by Surrey’s Gus Atkinson, but will now link up with the group in Bengaluru.

Thursday’s game against Sri Lanka will probably come too soon for Carse, who has taken 14 wickets in 12 ODIs to date, but with questions surrounding a team that has lost three out of their first four games he will hope to push hard for a chance.

England have never quite found their heir to Plunkett, the 2019 World Cup winner who nailed a tricky role through the middle of the innings, and Root believes Carse could carry that baton.

“Brydon is a brilliant all-round package. He scores some handy runs for you, is very dynamic in the field and he’s got a unique wicket-taking ability,” said Root.

“He’s got that Ben Stokes element to him where you sometimes feel like nothing is happening and then he’ll pick up wickets, almost in a ‘Junior Plunkett’ kind of way. He’s very similar.”

Plunkett was often undervalued for his role in England’s white-ball revolution but played a crucial role in the 2019 final and was the only squad member to enjoy a 100 per cent record at the tournament.

“Pudsey (Plunkett) won’t like me saying this, but he’s almost got more to offer with the bat,” Root continued.

“He’s probably not got as much to offer in the dressing-room just yet, but he’s a big personality too and a great character to have around, so he’s a good addition. Whenever someone comes in and they’re excited, and you can see it on their face straightaway, a smile is infectious isn’t it?

“It can bring the best out of everyone and having that come into the group can’t be a bad thing for sure.”

In a thrilling encounter at the Frank Worrell Memorial Ground in St. Augustine, Trinidad on Sunday, Combined Campuses and Colleges (CCC) orchestrated a sensational two-wicket victory over the Windward Islands Volcanoes in the CG United Insurance Super 50 Cup, with Shane Dowrich emerging as the star of the day.

Facing a challenging target of 268 after the Windward Islands posted a total of 267-8 from their allotted 50 overs, CCC managed to scrape across the finish line, scoring 271-8. It was a heart-pounding finish as Jediah Blades struck a crucial boundary off Shamar Springer, securing the hard-fought win off the final delivery of the match.

The hero of the day, Shane Dowrich, named Player of the Match, remained unbeaten on a remarkable 102, guiding his team through the nail-biting contest. The opener, Kadeem Alleyne, also played a significant role with a valuable contribution of 68, and his partner Johan Jeremiah added 30 to set the stage for CCC's innings.

Despite the promising start, Daryl Cyrus posed a serious threat by taking 4-54, putting CCC's chances of victory in jeopardy. However, Dowrich displayed exceptional composure, scoring 102 off 101 deliveries, featuring three boundaries and three sixes. Jordan Johnson chipped in with 34 runs from 33 balls, providing crucial support.

As the game approached its climax, it was left to Dowrich to carry his team to the brink of victory, and he did not do it alone.

With just nine runs needed from the final over, Romario Greaves played a significant role, smashing a vital six off the third ball. However, he was unfortunately run out for 14, leaving one ball and Dowrich at the other end.

In a thrilling conclusion, Jediah Blades emerged as the hero, striking a boundary off the first ball he faced, sealing the victory for CCC.

Larry Edward, on the Windward Islands side, picked up two wickets for 65 runs.

Earlier, the Windward Islands managed to post a competitive total of 267-8, thanks to impressive half-centuries from Alick Athanaze (65), Jeremy Solozano (55), and Sunil Ambris (51). Andre Fletcher also contributed with 32 runs. Blades, Isai Thorne, and Abhijai Mansingh were among the key wicket-takers for CCC with two wickets each.



England are on the lookout for an “X factor” player to re-energise their World Cup campaign after Reece Topley was ruled out of the tournament with a broken finger.

Topley’s long-running injury curse struck again during Saturday’s record defeat at the hands of South Africa in Mumbai, with the in-form left-arm seamer fracturing the index finger of his bowling hand attempting to block a drive.

The 29-year-old’s initial anguished reaction gave a heavy hint that he was in trouble and, although he bravely returned to the attack with taped up digits, follow-up scans have confirmed the break.

England, who are in strife after three heavy defeats in their first four games, will send for a replacement but have yet to decide who will step in for their leading wicket taker.

Durham’s Brydon Carse is a strong candidate and would offer a handy pace option in the middle overs as well as strong lower-order batting, while Lancashire’s Luke Wood matches Topley’s description as a left-arm new-ball specialist.

But like-for-like substitutes are not mandatory and head coach Matthew Mott admitted England would assess every option.

Big-hitting opener Jason Roy, who was named in the provisional squad then cut for Harry Brook at the last moment, represents the most intriguing of all potential options.

He was widely believed to have played his last game after being left out on the eve of the tournament, and turned down a place in subsequent squad to face Ireland, but England have consistently said he remained in contention as a reserve.

He also represents a link to the fast fading glory days on 2019 but whether it is a tangent they would be willing to take, having thrown their faith behind Dawid Malan at the top of the order, is far from certain.

The versatile Ben Duckett is also on the list of possibles, while spin bowling all-rounders Rehan Ahmed and Will Jacks would represent an obvious investment in the future of a side in need of renewal.

Asked if England would be looking for a pace bowler in Topley’s absence, Mott said: “That’s a good question. We’ll have to sit down and have a look at that.

“We’ll have to look at the upcoming games (and see) if there is an X factor player we can look at.

“That’s why we were very keen not to name the replacements and reserves. It leaves an open mind for what we’re going to go with.”

Rob Key, the managing director of England men’s cricket, is currently with the squad and travelled with them from Mumbai to Bengaluru on Sunday. He will also have a big say in the final decision, joining Mott and captain Jos Buttler.

Announcing Topley’s exit from the campaign, the England and Wales Cricket Board said: “Scans in Mumbai on Saturday, after the match at the Wankhede Stadium, revealed the full extent of the injury. Topley will return to the UK in the next 24 hours.

“He will work closely with the England and Surrey medical teams in respect of his rehabilitation. A replacement will be announced in due course.”

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