South Africa wicketkeeper Quinton de Kock was not considered for selection for the Proteas' final ODI against England on Wednesday following an injury to his right thumb.

De Kock suffered the injury in the 2nd ODI on Sunday while attempting to catch a ball off of an edge from England batsman Harry Brook.

The Proteas' wicketkeeper was cleared to bat in the second innings after a scan revealed no fracture and made 31 as a superb Temba Bavuma century saw his side chase down 342 to win by five wickets.

However, Cricket South Africa (CSA) decided De Kock will not be risked in the third ODI with Heinrich Klaasen his replacement.

South Africa are aiming for a series sweep after winning the first two matches in Bloemfontein and made three changes for the final ODI, with Anrich Nortje and Keshav Maharaj also missing out. 

Should they win the final game today, South Africa would boost their chances of automatically qualifying for the World Cup in India later this year with a defeat meaning they may have to go through the qualifiers in Zimbabwe.

Jason Roy's magnificent century was in vain as a hostile spell from Anrich Nortje inspired South Africa to a dramatic 27-run win over England in the first match of the ODI series.

With little margin for error as the Proteas battle to qualify for this year's World Cup in India, Rassie van der Dussen made a brilliant 111 and David Miller 53 as the hosts posted 298-7 at Mangaung Oval on Friday.

Jofra Archer (1-81) was expensive on his long-awaited international return in Bloemfontein, where Sam Curran (3-35) was the pick of the England bowlers.

Roy struck a sublime 113 from 91 balls, combining with Dawid Malan (59) for an opening stand of 146, but the world champions collapsed to 271 all out to go 1-0 down.

Paceman Nortje claimed 4-62, while Sisanda Magala (3-46) and Kagiso Rabada (2-46) also played a big hand as the tourists capitulated and South Africa made a great start to the three-match series with so much at stake.

Captain Temba Bavuma (36 off 28 balls) and Quinton De Kock (37 off 41) put on 61 for the first wicket before both were both sent packing by Curran.

Van der Dussen and Miller added 110 for the fifth wicket, the number three pacing his knock superbly, with Archer given the treatment in his first England match for almost two years.

It had looked like being a procession for England when South Africa-born Roy and Malan got them off to a flyer, only for the latter to strike a Magala bouncer high in the air for Bavuma to take.

Magala also removed ODI debutant Harry Brook after Nortje saw the back of Ben Duckett, but Roy raced to his hundred in only 79 balls as the boundaries flowed. 

England were 196-4 in the 30th over when Rabada dismissed Roy and Jos Buttler kept them ticking along with a patient 36, but they crumbled after Nortje had the skipper caught behind in a brilliant spell.

Tabraiz Shamsi sealed a stunning win by getting Olly Stone caught and bowled in the 45th over.

 

Roy returns to form in spectacular fashion

Opener Roy was left out of England's T20 World Cup-winning squad last year, but he showed what he is capable with a powerful knock that included 11 fours and four sixes.

He has now passed the 4,000-run milestone for England in ODIs with 4,106 in total. Among England batters, only Joe Root (91 innings) reached that mark in quicker time than Roy's 105 innings.

Rapid Nortje burst decisive

Van der Dussen was outstanding with the bat as he ensured South Africa posted an imposing total, but it did not look like being enough as England appeared to be cruising to victory.

That was until the rapid Nortje came to the fore with a brilliant spell, taking 3-14 in four overs to turn the tide and rock England. Buttler, David Willey and Archer – out for a duck on his return – all fell to the fired-up fast bowler, who totally changed the game.

Jofra Archer is poised to return to international cricket with England on Friday as Jos Buttler's team tackle South Africa in the first of three ODIs.

The 27-year-old fast bowler has been building up form and fitness by playing for MI Cape Town in the SA20 series, having played no international cricket since March 2021 due to injury.

Major elbow and back problems put Archer's blossoming career on hold, but he is back now.

Although Archer is only around 80 per cent of the way through his recovery, by his own estimation, all that is lacking is "fine-tuning", he said this week.

This is music to the ears of captain Jos Buttler, who said on Thursday: "It's great to have Jofra back, fit and playing cricket again. He's such an exciting guy to have back on the field. As an England captain, to have him back in your squad and in your team is brilliant.

"He's only just coming back to competitive cricket, this will be his first international game for a long time, so there's always going to be a level of expectation on Jofra because we all know what he's capable of. But I'm sure he's just going to get better and better as he comes back and gets back to performing at such a high level."

Buttler says Archer may need "a little bit of time" to fully return to where he was before injuries began to take their toll.

But at the start of a World Cup year, with England preparing to defend their 50-over title in India in October and November, Buttler said: "It's just fantastic to see him fit and back playing again."

Ahead of the opening match in Bloemfontein, England know a 3-0 series win would see them jump back above India to the top of the ODI rankings.

Former skipper Kevin Pietersen made an appearance at the team's training session on Thursday, with England looking to get back to winning ways after failing to win any of their last three ODI series, losing to Australia and India and drawing at home against South Africa.

The Proteas continue to be led by Temba Bavuma, and this series could be a key one in terms of his future as white-ball captain.

A shock defeat to the Netherlands knocked South Africa out of the T20 World Cup in November, with Bavuma signalling he will concur with whatever decision is made about the team's future leadership.

Rob Walter is due to take over as coach of the ODI side from the start of February, with Shukri Conrad overseeing this series.

"If the team wants to go in a different direction with a different leader, I am happy to step away," Bavuma said. "Ultimately it's up to the coach. We have got a new coach now and might be a new coaching staff.

"The coach will have his vision and he will need someone to drive that vision. At the moment the coach has entrusted me with that role, so I will continue doing my best. I'm fortunate I have got a bunch of guys that support me. For me, it's business as usual for now."

Milestone in sight for Roy

England batter Jason Roy is seven away from reaching 4,000 runs in ODIs. If he reaches the milestone in his first match of this series, his 105th innings, it would make him the second-fastest player to achieve it for England, Joe Root got there quicker than anyone, in just 91 innings.

Parnell on brink of century

Wayne Parnell, set to win a 70th ODI cap, will be hoping to complete 100 scalps in the 50-over international game during this series. He is on 97 at present and can become the 13th player to reach 100 wickets in the format for the Proteas. He has taken three or more wickets in three ODIs against England, including his career-best figures of 3-48, all the way back in November 2009.

England paceman Jofra Archer is just in need of some "fine-tuning" ahead of his long-awaited return to international action.

Archer has endured a torrid time with injuries across the last three years, and has not featured for England in any format since March 2021.

However, he is set to play against South Africa in a three-match ODI series, which starts in Bloemfontein on Friday.

"Hopefully it can be a repeat of 2019," Archer told reporters. "We've got again a 50-over World Cup and an Ashes in the same year so more of the same, please.

"There's no reason to look back. I've done my time and I'm here now. That's the most important thing.

"I'd probably say I'm about 80 per cent [fit]. Just some fine-tuning now.

"I know whenever I'm fully fit, I don't think there's much that can stop me, it's just a matter of when that was going to be."

Archer has warmed up for England's tour of South Africa by taking eight wickets for MI Cape Town in the SA20.

"Playing cricket again for the first time a few weeks ago, I'm still riding off that wave of emotions right now," said Archer, who is not expected to play in all three ODIs.

"Hopefully in two days it can go up another level. It's just been good to play cricket and actually not have to worry about if my body's going to give way. I think that was the most important tick for me so far."

England white-ball coach Matthew Mott is willing to be cautious with Archer's recovery.

"We will work through it with him, see how his body is coping," Mott said. "I definitely think he is a high priority and he will be managed as well as possible. 

"What he is very big on is not wasting too many balls in practice. He really loves his match balls and that's a great attest of his resilience.

"We will keep talking to him about his bowling loads and how he's going."

South Africa head into the series with ICC Men's Emerging Cricketer of the Year on board, Marco Jensen.

However, only two of his 39 wickets, and 16 of his 234 runs, have come in ODIs.

Shubman Gill matched an ODI record after cracking another mesmerising century for India and revealed how his rapid accumulation of the "big ones" has come about.

The 23-year-old has begun 2023 with 70, 21 and 116 against Sri Lanka, followed by 208, 40 not out and 112 against New Zealand.

Before the turn of the year, he had one century in 15 ODIs, but all of a sudden he has rattled off three in 10 days.

The difference has been a slight adjustment in focus, with Gill saying: "I don't think I've changed much of my approach when I'm batting out there. It's all about once you get the start, how often you can work those starts into big ones, and that's what I'm trying to learn.

"As soon as I get a start, [I look for] every opportunity that I get to be able to express myself and work all the starts I get into big ones.

"I think it's all about playing according to the situation, not looking at your runs, just looking at conditions and looking at the bowler, and how you can score against this particular bowler, just looking to score all the time."

Gill was speaking after his 78-ball 112 against New Zealand helped to pave the way for a 90-run victory and 3-0 series clean sweep.

It also took him to 360 runs for the series, matching the record for most runs by a batter in a men's three-match ODI series, and equalling the total of Pakistan's Babar Azam against West Indies in 2016.

"It feels nice, this was a really good wicket to bat on," Gill said.

India captain Rohit Sharma made 101 as both openers scorched to three figures in an India total of 385-9 at the Holkar Cricket Stadium.

Rohit paid tribute to his young batting partner for showing such strong form, saying it was a tribute to his attitude that he was performing so well.

Gill was player of the series, and Rohit said: "His approach is quite similar. He doesn't change too much and wants to come out and start afresh.

"As a young player just coming into the team, having that kind of attitude is so important, not to sit on your laurels. He could have taken it lightly but doesn't seem to be that way."

Speaking at the post-match presentation, as India went above England at the top of the ICC rankings, Rohit said his own century, his 30th in ODIs, was a cause for great satisfaction.

It was his first hundred in an ODI since January 2020.

"It means a lot. I've been batting well, and it's about going that extra mile," Rohit said.

"Today the wicket was good, and we knew we needed runs on the board, and it was important for me to carry on and bat for as long as possible."

Shubman Gill and captain Rohit Sharma led the way with explosive centuries as India beat New Zealand by 90 runs to clinch a 3-0 ODI series clean sweep.

After racking up 385-9 at the Holkar Cricket Stadium, India bowled out their opponents for 295, and Tuesday's victory lifts them above England to the top of the ICC ODI team rankings.

Gill, who hit a double hundred in the first match, shared in a stand of 212 with Rohit for the first wicket on Tuesday, the fifth-largest ODI partnership by an India opening pair.

After setting the tone for the contest as both openers reached three figures, Rohit was bowled by Michael Bracewell for 101 from 85 balls at the start of the 27th over, while Gill went soon after for a 78-ball 112 when he got a leading edge to present Blair Tickner (3-76) with the first of his three wickets.

Gill totalled 360 runs across the three games, matching Babar Azam's record for the most scored in a three-match bilateral men's ODI series.

Virat Kohli added 36 and Hardik Pandya weighed in with 54 before becoming the third victim of Jacob Duffy, the New Zealand paceman who returned conspicuous figures of 3-100.

Devon Conway's heroics in New Zealand's reply were in vain, as he cracked 138 from 100 balls before being caught by Rohit at midwicket when looking to pull Umran Malik away to the boundary.

Conway blazed eight sixes in his terrific counter-attack but lacked support. Once he became the sixth Black Caps batter to be dismissed, with the score on 230, the tourists' hopes were all but over, and the innings inevitably petered out.

Holkar a happy home for India

India preserved their 100 per cent record in ODIs at the stadium in Indore, which was staging such a match for just the sixth time. This is the most matches they have won at any venue in ODIs without losing, beating the five wins and one tie they have had at Dubai International Cricket Stadium.

This India team are in a rich vein of ODI form, wherever they play, having won all six of their matches in 2023, with this success improving what was already their best winning run to begin a calendar year.

Duffy's sorry century

Duffy's figures of 3-100 made him just the third New Zealand bowler to concede 100 or more runs in a men's ODI, after Martin Snedden (2-105 vs England in 1983) and Tim Southee (0-105 vs India in 2009). Duffy's three wickets, however, gave him the most victims of any bowler to have conceded a century of runs in such a match.

New Zealand failed to recover from a brutal start with the bat as they lost their second ODI against India by eight wickets, handing the hosts the series victory.

India had held on for a 12-run win in the opening match earlier in the week, and it quickly became clear they would have little difficulty wrapping up the three-match series on Saturday.

The Black Caps were reduced to 15-5 in the 11th over, neither protecting their wickets nor scoring at a rate that might begin to trouble the home side.

A rally of sorts could only recover a score of 108 all out, their third-lowest total against India in the format, meaning Rohit Sharma's men could cruise to victory as they ended on 111-2.

Rohit scored a swift 51 and Shubman Gill 40 not out as the reply required just over 20 overs.

But much of the hard work had been done by the India attack, with Mohammed Shami (3-18) setting the tone when opener Finn Allen went for a duck in the first over.

Mohammed Siraj also had a key early role, giving up only 10 runs across his six overs, before Shami had Michael Bracewell caught behind for 22 as New Zealand attempted to belatedly gain a foothold.

When Mitchell Santner (27) and Glenn Phillips (36) went in consecutive overs, a hugely achievable target meant the result was inevitable.

India bowlers share the load

Shami led the way, but all six India bowlers ended with at least one wicket in a ruthless showing.

The entire group contributed to an extremely economical display, too. Only Kuldeep Yadav did not bowl a maiden over, although his dismissal of Blair Tickner concluded the New Zealand innings, while everyone other than he and Shardul Thakar had an economy rate of 3.00 or lower.

Rohit ramps up the scoring

Bracewell's middling strike rate of 73.33 was New Zealand's best, but Rohit, scoring at 102.00, showed the tourists just what was possible in his destructive innings.

The India captain hit nine boundaries, including two sixes. New Zealand as a team had found the boundary on only 13 occasions without a single maximum.

Rohit was trapped attempting to play another shot, but by then he had reached his half-century and put India in complete control. They were 57-0 at the point the Black Caps had been five down.

Shubman Gill's memorable double century inspired India to a thrilling 12-run win over New Zealand in their ODI series opener on Wednesday.

Gill's massive knock of 208 proved crucial despite Michael Bracewell (140) leading a superb New Zealand fightback attempt at the Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium in Hyderabad.

Bracewell's heroics were not enough, however, with India finally ending his resistance in the last over.

Generally, it proved a tricky track for batting, with Rohit Sharma the hosts' second-highest scorer on just 34.

But this was all about Gill, whose aggression ensured India's momentum rarely waned even as wickets tumbled around him, the team reaching 349-8.

He got lucky just before reaching 50 as an outside edge off Bracewell was dropped by Tom Latham, but he powered on and tallied his century off just 86 balls.

It was Gill's ruthless approach in the final three overs that was ultimately decisive. Two sixes in the 48th and then a hat-trick of maximums in the 49th saw him surpass 200, before eventually falling to a brilliant Glenn Phillips catch in the last.

It took a while for New Zealand to look capable of threatening India's total, finding themselves in deep trouble at 131-6 in the 29th over.

With the Black Caps floundering, Bracewell had nothing to lose and made a mockery of the India attack.

His 140 off just 78, hitting an astonishing 10 sixes and 12 fours, ensured New Zealand were still in contention in the final over, requiring 13 runs off five balls.

But Shardul Thakur's yorker snared Bracewell lbw, just clipping his heel for the final wicket, leaving India rather relieved with New Zealand 337 all out.
 

Gill goes into the record books

With his exquisite knock, Gill became the only Indian batter to score a double century against New Zealand in the 50-over format.

He is the fifth batter from India to hit 200 or more in an ODI, while he is the joint-second fastest player to reach 1,000 ODI runs, alongside Pakistan's Iman-ul-Haq (19 innings).

Gill had nine sixes and a further 19 fours in his memorable 149-ball knock.

Siraj sharp with the ball

Mohammed Siraj was the only bowler to take more than two wickets on the day, ending with figures of 4-46.

He could not remove Bracewell, with Shardul eventually claiming that honour, but Siraj undoubtedly played a key role here, with the dangerous Mitchell Santner (57) and captain Latham (24) among his scalps.

Rohit Sharma has urged India to focus on themselves rather than top-ranked New Zealand ahead of another ODI series against the Black Caps.

The first of three matches takes place on Wednesday at the Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium in Hyderabad, with India coming off a 3-0 series victory over Sri Lanka, and New Zealand having just earned a 2-1 success against Pakistan.

India contested a weather-spoiled series in New Zealand in November, with only one of three matches producing a result and the home side taking a 1-0 win.

Now they will hope for three full contests, with New Zealand having to cope without the rested Kane Williamson and Tim Southee, while Trent Boult is unavailable due to T20 commitments in the United Arab Emirates.

India suffered a blow on the eve of the opening match as batter Shreyas Iyer was ruled out of the series with a back injury. Rajat Patidar was named as his replacement in the squad, while Rohit announced Ishan Kishan would come into the middle order.

KL Rahul is another notable absentee, with his wedding to Bollywood star Athiya Shetty widely reported as being scheduled for the coming days.

Captain Rohit said: "New Zealand are a very good team. They're coming off a good series against Pakistan and obviously they're playing good cricket, so it will be challenging for us to come out and execute what we want to execute.

"We just want to continue from where we left off against Sri Lanka.

"We are not going to concentrate too much on the opposition. We will focus on what we want to achieve and what we want to do as a team. The last series was the perfect example of that. We just went out there, played some fearless cricket and take on the opposition."

India's series sweep against Sri Lanka was completed with a record 317-run victory on Sunday in the third game, after posting 390 and bowling out their tourists for 73.

Now they take on the team who sit at the top of the ICC rankings for the 50-over format, with the Hyderabad match followed by games in Raipur and Indore, prior to a three-game T20I series.

Good omens for the hosts

India have won their last two men's ODIs against New Zealand at home, as many as they had won across their five previous such fixtures (W2, L3).

They have also triumphed in their last three men's ODIs at the Hyderabad venue.

Landmark in sight for Gill

Shubman Gill is 106 away from reaching 1,000 runs for India in ODIs. Should he achieve the milestone with a century in this match, his 19th ODI, it would make him the joint-second fastest man to reach the mark, alongside Pakistan's Imam-ul-Haq.

Gill made 116 last time out, in the third ODI romp against Sri Lanka.

New Zealand won their ODI series against India after the sides' third and final match saw no result as rain stopped play once more in Christchurch.

The two teams had been hopeful of ensuring the decider would produce an outcome, with the tourists 219 all out at Hagley Oval as Washington Sundar posted 51 and Daryl Mitchell took 3-25.

But with just two more overs needed for the Black Caps to reach the DLS threshold of 20 overs in response, the heavens opened to ensure yet another washout and a 1-0 series win for Kane Williamson's side.

Finn Allen's 57 had helped New Zealand to 104-1, putting them in a strong position to go on and win the match regardless.

Across six limited-overs matches, it marks the fourth instance of rain significantly impacting proceedings, with three no results and a fourth decided by DLS.

India had benefited in the Twenty20 International series, themselves winning 1-0.

New Zealand face a test of their ODI strength against 2023 World Cup hosts India – and they must do so without a mainstay in Martin Guptill.

Veteran opener Guptill, who has played 198 ODIs, has followed in the footsteps of fellow experienced stars Trent Boult and Colin de Grandhomme in seeking a release from his New Zealand Cricket contract.

That has been granted, and while Guptill insists he remains available for international duty as he seeks playing opportunities elsewhere, he will play no part in the series that starts on Friday.

The Black Caps return to their Eden Park stronghold for game one of a three-match series. They have won six of their last seven men's ODIs at the Auckland ground, including a 22-run victory against India in their last match at the venue, in February 2020.

New Zealand swept that series 3-0, but the last time they won back-to-back ODI series against India was when they prevailed in 1976 and 1981.

These are two of the titans of the ODI game, likely to be major contenders come the World Cup next October and November.

India have won seven of their last eight multi-game bilateral ODI series, including five in a row since losing 3-0 to South Africa at the start of this year, while New Zealand's recent run of four series successes was ended with a 3-0 loss to Australia in September.

New Zealand have not lost back-to-back ODI series since October 2017, when they were beaten 2-1 by India. Guptill featured then but sits this one out, and it remains to be seen whether he will be back, with 23-year-old Finn Allen preferred for now.

Home captain Kane Williamson said of Guptill on Thursday: "He's made a decision to explore a few other options, but as a player and as an experienced member of the group, he's added so much value over the years and been one of our best white-ball players ever.

"[He] absolutely will be missed, but he is not retired, so there's a lot to keep working through over the next period to get a real feel for how the picture looks."

India are under-strength, with captain Rohit Sharma leading the absentees, who also include Virat Kohli, KL Rahul, Ravindra Jadeja and Jasprit Bumrah. Shikhar Dhawan captains the tourists.

New Zealand seek to avenge soggy setback in T20s

India won the three-match T20 series between these sides by a 1-0 margin after the first game was abandoned without a ball being bowled, and the third was called a tie on Duckworth-Lewis-Stern rules after rain arrived when it was evenly poised.

It has to be hoped the wet weather stays away this time, with Williamson one game away from equalling Daniel Vettori (82) for the second-most appearances as captain for New Zealand in men's ODIs.

Only Stephen Fleming, away and clear with 218 games as captain, has led the Black Caps more often.

India must prepare well for Bracewell

New Zealand batter Michael Bracewell has hit 17 boundaries (10 fours, seven sixes) during the death overs (41st to 50th) in men's ODIs in 2022, more than any other player from a Test-playing country this year.

If it comes to the crunch and Bracewell is at the wicket, New Zealand will fancy their chances.

Imran Khan, the cricket great who went on to become prime minister of Pakistan, was injured in a targeted assassination attempt on Thursday, his supporters said.

The political party that he founded, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), said the 70-year-old was attacked as the seventh day of a march began in Wazirabad.

Khan's political ally Farrukh Habib, who serves as the PTI's central information secretary, wrote on Twitter: "Imran Khan is injured, may Allah protect him, the whole nation should pray for the life of Imran Khan."

The PTI said it was an assassination attempt.

The party added: "Imran Khan is our Red Lion – today an attempt was made to cross that Red Lion!"

Reports said he had been shot in the leg. A video was posted on the PTI Twitter account showing Khan waving to supporters after the attack, with the party saying his condition was "stable" and that he would be taken to hospital.

Sibghatullah Virk, the head of PTI’s central media department, said: "The march was completely peaceful, this is a murderous attack!"

As a cricketer, Imran Khan was a fast bowling all-rounder who played 88 Tests, scoring 3,807 runs and taking 362 wickets, while also playing 175 ODIs.

He played his last Test in January 1992, ending his international career in March of the same year by leading Pakistan to victory at the Cricket World Cup, playing a starring role in the final against England at the MCG.

He became prime minister of Pakistan in August 2018 and was ousted after a no-confidence vote in April of this year.

Colin de Grandhomme has announced his retirement from international cricket.

The New Zealand all-rounder played 29 Tests, 45 ODIs and 41 T20Is over a 10-year career.

De Grandhomme averaged 38.7 in the longest format, including two centuries, as well as taking 49 wickets.

However, at 36, he has decided "this is the right time to finish" and agreed a release from his central contract with the Black Caps.

"I accept that I am not getting any younger and that the training is getting harder, particularly with the injuries," De Grandhomme said in a statement.

"I also have a growing family and am trying to understand what my future looks like post-cricket. All of this has been on my mind over the past few weeks.

"I've been fortunate enough to have had the opportunity to play for the Black Caps since debuting in 2012, and I'm proud of my international career – but I feel this is the right time to finish."

VVS Laxman will take over as India head coach for the upcoming ODI series in Zimbabwe as Rahul Dravid takes a break.

Dravid has been given time off ahead of the Asia Cup, which starts on August 27, so fellow India legend Laxman will step up in his absence.

Laxman, the head of the National Cricket Academy, also took on head coach duties for the tour of Ireland.

India batting coach Vikram Rathourthe and bowling coach Paras Mhambrey have also been given time off, so Hrishikesh Kanitkar and Sairaj Bahutule will fill in for them in Zimbabwe.

Kanitkar was in charge of India's Under-19 Cricket World Cup winning team this year, and this will be his first assignment at senior level.

KL Rahul has been passed fit to captain India after recovering from injury and COVID-19.

The first of three ODIs at the Harare Sports Club will take place next Thursday.

Matthew Mott and Jos Buttler have agreed England's Twenty20 International series defeat to South Africa was "a line in the sand moment".

Mott was recently appointed England's new limited-overs head coach, with Buttler newly installed as white-ball skipper.

But the pair have not enjoyed the sort of strong start seen in the Test arena under Brendon McCullum and Ben Stokes.

England lost ODI and T20I series' to India, both 2-1, before facing South Africa.

A three-match ODI series was drawn, but Buttler's men then let slip a 1-0 lead in the T20Is to lose again.

England looked to be on the right path with their opening 41-run win, only for subsequent reverses by 58 and 90 runs to prompt serious concern.

Following that latest dismal defeat, Mott was not shying away from the need for vast improvement.

"I've just spoken to Jos very briefly, and this is a line in the sand moment for the team," the coach told Sky Sports.

He added: "We were down on confidence with bat and ball. It was disappointing.

"I thought we put ourselves in a good position to win the series, and we'll have take a lot out of that game."

This sequence of underwhelming results comes ahead of a T20 World Cup at the end of the year, too.

"It's been a bit of a struggle," Mott told BBC Sport. "We've had ups and downs throughout the summer.

"We've played two great teams and come out second both times, so we're disappointed."

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