England star Joe Root has returned to the top of the ICC men's Test batting rankings, displacing Australia's Marnus Labuschagne.

Root has enjoyed a brilliant 2022, posting his fourth red-ball international century of the year against New Zealand in the second Test.

It took Root just 116 balls to reach three figures at Trent Bridge, the fewest he has ever scored a century in his Test career, and he has now converted 10 of his last 14 fifties into 100s (71 per cent).

The Yorkshire batter would go on to make 176 in the first innings, hitting 26 fours – the most recorded in an innings by an English batter since Zak Crawley hit 34 in his 267 versus Pakistan in 2020.

That helped England to an unassailable 2-0 series lead over the World Test champions New Zealand, after Jonny Bairstow scored the second-fastest red-ball century for his country on Tuesday.

Root's second century of the series came after his heroics at Lord's, in which he passed 10,000 Test runs with a majestic unbeaten 115, his first fourth-innings international hundred.

The 31-year-old, who stepped down from captaining England in April, has been rewarded with top spot in the world Test batting rankings as he reached the summit for the first time since December 2021.

Labuschagne has dropped down to second, with Australia team-mate Steve Smith in third, while Pakistan captain Babar Azam and New Zealand skipper Kane Williamson make up the top five.

Black Caps number five Daryl Mitchell has also enjoyed a big rise up the rankings after his 190 and 69 not out in the second Test against England, jumping from 50th to 17th.

Meanwhile, in the bowling ratings Australia captain Pat Cummins remains top ahead of India's Ravichandran Ashwin, whose team-mate Jasprit Bumrah is in third.

That is due to Kyle Jamieson dropping three places down to sixth, with Pakistan quick Shaheen Afridi and South Africa star Kagiso Rabada moving up a place to fourth and fifth respectively.

The West Indies entered their three-match One-Day International series against Pakistan on a high after a 3-0 away series sweep of the Netherlands just a few days before.

What a difference a week makes as the regional side are now reeling from suffering their own 0-3 sweep at the hands of the Pakistanis after a 53-run loss in Sunday’s third ODI in Multan.

West Indies ODI and T20I captain Nicholas Pooran believes there are some positives his team can take from the series despite the result.

“One positive from this series is definitely character. The character shown by the players, especially coming out here in 45-degree temperature. A lot of guys got sick as well and we kept fighting,” Pooran said in an interview after the third game.

“We said at the start of this series that we’re going to stick together, no matter the result we’re going to stick together and that’s what happened,” he added.

As is almost always the case when the Windies suffer a series defeat, fans will be frustrated but Pooran promises a change in fortunes sooner than later for the team.

“A lot of people will be upset that we lost and bash us but I feel like we got really close as a team. It’s my second tour as captain and I felt like we were actually really building a family here and that’s a positive,” he said.

“Despite the result, I think we had a good showing, especially in the first game. Looking forward, we’re definitely going to be winning some games and hopefully make the fans proud,” he added.

Before the third ODI, Pooran had bowled only two deliveries in his previous 42 ODIs as he spent the majority of those as the wicket-keeper.

He took 4-48 from his 10 overs on Sunday and said we may see more of him bowling his off-spin in the future if the situation presents itself.

“For sure. Today was amazing for me and the guys in the dressing room know I’m going to talk a lot about it. I’m not going to get overconfident but, hopefully, there are two left-handers in the next series so I can bowl as well,” he said.

 

 

 

 

The West Indies suffered a 0-3 series sweep at the hands of Pakistan after a 53-run loss in the third and final One-Day International at Multan on Sunday.

Pakistan, after winning the toss and batting first, posted a score of 269-9 off their 50 overs thanks to a top score of 86 off 78 balls from all-rounder Shadab Khan. His knock included four fours and three sixes.

Opener Imam-ul-Haq provided support with a 68-ball 62, his seventh consecutive score of at least 50 in ODIs.

West Indies Captain Nicholas Pooran, usually a wicket-keeper, was the star of the show with the ball taking 4-48 off his 10 overs. Returning all-rounder Keemo Paul took 57 off nine overs.

Akeal Hosein then top-scored for the tourists with a brilliant 60 off 37 balls including two fours and six sixes but it wasn’t enough as the Windies ended up being bowled out for 216 in just 37.2 overs.

Keacy Carty (33) and Shai Hope (21) also made meaningful contributions with the bat against 4-62 from Shadab Khan and two wickets apiece from Mohammad Nawaz and Hasan Ali.

Khan was voted man of the match while ul-Haq took home man of the series.

West Indies captain Nicholas Pooran admits the team’s death bowling remains an area of concern following a 120-run defeat and 2-0 series loss to Pakistan in the second game.

Spinner Akeal Hosain and pace bowler Alzarri Josephs both had strong performances, claiming figures of 3 for 52 and 2 for 33 respectively, and the Windies bowling line-up was dominant in patches.  Even so, the last two overs of the innings went for a damaging 27 runs as Pakistan put on 275.

In the previous match, the hosts took 44 from the last four to secure a narrow five-wicket win.

“I wouldn’t say it’s a problem, but we definitely need to review it and keep working.  We know that has been a problem for us in the last couple of months, last couple years actually,” Pooran said, following the match.

“It's a new team as well, the guys are young and inexperienced.  We are in the rebuilding stages and obviously, we can’t get everything right and it (death bowling) is hurting us but having said that we’ll learn from this experience and hopefully we get better with every game we play,” he added.

The West Indies will face Pakistan in the third and final One Day International (ODI) on Sunday.

The West Indies now find themselves facing an unassailable 0-2 deficit after suffering a crushing 120-run defeat to Pakistan in their second of three One-Day Internationals in Multan on Friday.

The hosts set the Windies a target of 276 after winning the toss and batting first.

Captain Babar Azam was the catalyst as he got his sixth consecutive score of 50 or more in ODIs with a 93-ball 77, including five fours and one six.

Imam-ul-Haq provided good support with a run-a-ball 72, including six fours.

Alzarri Joseph produced an excellent spell going for just 33 in his 10 overs while picking up two wickets. Akeal Hosein was also brilliant with 3-52 off his 10 overs.

The Windies reply got off to a bad start with Shai Hope, who got 127 not out in the previous game, being dismissed in the first over for just four.

Kyle Mayers and Shamarh Brooks then provided the innings with some stability reaching 71-1 before Mayers was dismissed for 33 at the end of the 10th over.

Brandon King fell shortly after for a duck to leave the Windies 72-3 after 10.4 overs.

After Brooks fell for 42, in the 19th over, with the score on 102, the West Indies lost their final six wickets for just 52 runs to be bundled out for 155.

Mohammad Nawaz produced a game-changing spell for the hosts with 4-19 from his 10 overs while Mohammad Wasim Jr supported well with 3-34 from 4.2 overs.

The third and final ODI will take place on Sunday.

 

West Indies captain Nicholas Pooran has heaped praises on in-form batsman Shai Hope who scored his 12th One Day International century against Pakistan, albeit in a losing effort.

On Wednesday, Hope maintained a rich vein of form that has seen the batsman score centuries in consecutive series.  Against Pakistan, the opening batsman racked up 127 runs in an innings that featured 15 sumptuous fours.     

Despite occurring in a losing effort, the score saw Hope move past into fourth on the all-time list of most ODI hundreds for the West Indies.  His tally of 12 edged him ahead of the likes of Gordon Greenidge (11), Viv Richards (11), and Shivnarine Chanderpaul (11).  Desmond Haynes (17), Brian Lara (19), and Chris Gayle (25) are the batsmen ahead of Hope.

“He continues to show his class,” Pooran said, following the match.

“He is one of the best batsmen in this format and today was a magnificent innings, especially in those tough conditions he just showed his class today,” he added.

Hope’s cameo led the team to an innings score of 305 but Pakistan successfully chased down the total with four balls remaining.

Pakistan captain and talisman Babar Azam scored a century to help steer Pakistan to a five-wicket victory over the West Indies in a keenly contested ODI in Multan on Wednesday.

West Indies captain Nicholas Pooran is confident of breaking free of an indifferent run of form at the crease, sooner rather than later.

Since the start of the year, the recently appointed West Indies captain has played in 9 matches, spanning three series.  He has averaged a mere 11.22 with a high score of 34.

Heading into Wednesday’s series against Pakistan, Pooran scored a total of 24 runs in three matches against The Netherlands.  Despite the added responsibility of captaincy, however, Pooran is backing himself to turn things around.

“This isn’t the first time I haven’t scored runs.  If you check my stats I’m always scoring runs so I am not bothered,” Pooran told members of the media on Tuesday.

“I think something big is close.  I’m working very hard and it’s only a matter of time,” he added.

In his career so far, Pooran has only faced Pakistan once scoring 34 unbeaten in 2019.

The Cricket West Indies (CWI) Selection Panel has added allrounder Keemo Paul to the squad for the upcoming One-Day International Series in Pakistan. The West Indies arrived in Multan on Monday, after the impressive 3-0 series win in The Netherlands. They will now prepare to face Pakistan at the Multan International Cricket Stadium on June 8, 10 and 12.

“Keemo Paul has been kept out in the recent past due to injury and we view the management of his body as paramount to his success, not only when on West Indies duty but also when he is with his regional franchise. We have watched him perform in the recent West Indies Championship Four-Day Competition for the Guyana Harpy Eagles and we think he is ready to come back into the fold,” said CWI Lead Selector, the Most Honorable Dr. Desmond Haynes.

During the first-class tournament Paul was the leading fast bowler and second highest wicket-taker overall. He ended the five matches with 20 wickets at an average of 22.8 runs per wicket. He had best figures of 6-50. He was also among the leading allrounders with 169 runs including a highest score of 73.

The West Indies tour of Pakistan will bowl off on Wednesday, June 8. First ball is 4pm PKT time (7am Eastern Caribbean/6am Jamaica).

The series will also form part of the ICC ODI Super League where the teams will have the chance to earn points as they try to secure automatic qualification to the 2023 ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup in India.

Former West Indies captain Daren Sammy has been conferred with the Sitara-i-Pakistan Award for Services to Pakistan during a ceremony held on Monday. The 38-year-old all-rounder was being recognized for his role in helping bring international cricket back to Pakistan. It is the third-highest civil award conferred by Pakistan.

The citation read in part: “At a time when most of the foreign players backed off from playing cricket in Pakistan for security reasons, it was Mr Daren Sammy, the captain of Peshawar Zalmi, who against all odds helped the cause of restoration of international cricket in Pakistan and highlighted its soft image. Mr Daren Sammy stood out this whole time and has been a true ambassador and flag bearer of Pakistan ever since.”

He expressed his appreciation and gratitude in a post on Instagram on Sunday.

“Cricket took me all over the world, enabling me to see and play in some amazing places. Pakistan is definitely one of these places. A place that always makes me feel at home. It is such an honour to have received this prestigious award from the Government and the people of Pakistan. Thank you,” said Sammy, who played for Peshawar Zalmi in the inaugural Pakistan Super League in 2016 and now serves as the franchise’s head coach.

In the 2017 PSL draft, he was retained by Peshawar Zalmi. During the draft, Captain Shahid Afridi announced Sammy as the new captain of Peshawar Zalmi. With Sammy as it’s captain, the team won the second edition of the PSL.

Sammy, who led the West Indies to two T20 World titles (2012 and 2016), was receiving his second civil honour from Pakistan in as many years. In March 2020, he received the highest civilian medal of Pakistan, Nishan-e-Pakistan, for his part in helping bring international cricket back to Pakistan. He was also awarded honorary Pakistani citizenship by the President of Pakistan Arif Alvi.

 

Aaron Finch's half-century and Ben McDermott's composure proved to be decisive as Australia defeated Pakistan by three wickets in Tuesday's thrilling one-off T20I.

Pakistan won the ODI series thanks in large part to the brilliance of captain Babar Azam and his superb 66 propelled the hosts to a competitive 162-8 in Lahore.

Babar's composure at the crease was much-needed for Pakistan, who lost Mohammad Rizwan (23) and Fakhar Zaman (0) in successive balls to T20I debutant Cameron Green (2-16).

Adam Zampa finally drew a stray shot out of Pakistan's skipper, who picked out Nathan Ellis to leave his side on 118-4.

Having already dismissed Iftikhar Ahmed, Ellis – the pick of Australia's bowlers with 4-28 – then did the damage through Pakistan's middle order, getting rid of the dangerous Khushdil Shah (24), Asif Ali (3) and Shaheen Shah Afridi (0), though Usman Qadir's flurry of 18 not out boosted the hosts.

Travis Head quickly set about getting the tourists' chase on its way, scoring a rapid 26 that included four boundaries before he was sent packing by Haris Rauf.

Josh Inglis (24) kept up the pace until Qadir struck, but Australia seemed well set before Marnus Labuschagne, Marcus Stoinis and Green were dismissed in the space of 20 balls.

Yet captain Finch anchored the chase as he returned to form following back-to-back ducks in the ODI series, with his steady innings steering Australia into needing 15 runs from three overs.

A costly start to the 18th over from Haris saw McDermott plunder successive boundaries, though the pressure was back on Australia when Finch found Asif in the deep.

Afridi (2-21) rounded off an excellent spell by bowling Sean Abbott for a duck, yet another poor Haris ball handed McDermott the chance to clip away the winning boundary.

Captains come up big

Babar gave yet another exhibition of how he has risen to the top of the batting rankings in another sensational knock - his 66 coming at a strike rate of 143.47.

Yet it was World Cup winner Finch who took the trophy, as he showed plenty of patience to stay at the crease for 18 overs, showing why interim head coach Andrew McDonald backed him to stay on as skipper.

Historic tour comes to a close

It has been a brilliant match-up between Pakistan and Australia over the last month or so and the tourists will finally return home.

Australia have now won each of their past four T20Is against Pakistan, the first time they have gone on such a run, though this was the first meeting in the format between the teams in Pakistan.

Andrew McDonald has backed out-of-form captain Aaron Finch to lead Australia in the T20 World Cup this year ahead of a one-off match against Pakistan at Gaddafi Stadium on Tuesday.

Opener Finch was dismissed without scoring in the second and third ODIs as the tourists suffered a 2-1 loss to a Babar Azam-inspired Pakistan side last week.

The skipper has not scored an international half-century since last July, but Australia interim head coach McDonald says he remains the man to lead his country when they attempt to defend their T20 World Cup title on home soil.

"From my end, there's no conversation around the [prospect] that he won't be there," said McDonald.

"His form can ebb and flow – like most players' can – and his ability to work through these patches has been significant in his career.

"We had the same conversation about David Warner leading into the T20 World Cup last [year], so all these conversations are going to happen.

"Do we think he's still good enough to play this level? One hundred per cent yes. That's as simple as it gets for us and we're building a team around him as captain.

"It's a pretty significant pillar to be discussing about not being at the T20 World Cup. From our end, we think he can still play at this level, 100 per cent."

Finch will be one of only three players who are set to face Pakistan in Lahore that were part of the side that won the World Cup in Dubai last November.

Australia will be looking for a fourth consecutive T20 win over Pakistan, but they will have their work cut out as the hosts have come out on top in 10 of their past 11 home matches in the shortest format.

Babar a class apart

Captain Babar made back-to-back centuries to give Pakistan a first ODI series win over Australia for 20 years.

The irrepressible skipper has made a staggering three hundreds, as many half-centuries and 36 in his past five knocks for his country - demonstrating his class in all formats.

As the top-ranked player in the world in both white-ball formats, Australia must find a way to remove Babar before he is set.

McDermott and Head vying for opening spot

Either Ben McDermott or Travis Head look set to open with Finch in the only T20 match before Australia head home.

There was good news for the tourists when Ashton Agar and Josh Inglis returned negative COVID-19 tests, while Marnus Labuschagne and Cameron Green are in contention to make their T20I debuts.

Andrew McDonald refused to commit to wanting the Australia coaching role on a permanent basis after the tour of Pakistan ends as he needs more detail on the job and greater clarity.

Justin Langer guided Australia to a 4-0 Ashes thumping of England after lifting the T20 World Cup in December before rejecting a short-term contract extension with Cricket Australia (CA) in February.

CA's handling of the situation with Langer was widely scrutinised, with McDonald taking up an interim role to lead Australia to Pakistan for the first time since 1998.

Australia have fared well under his stewardship, claiming a 1-0 victory in the three-Test series and going 1-0 up in the three-match ODI series before falling to a 2-1 defeat, including a nine-wicket thrashing in the decider.

McDonald revealed he has held talks with the board about making his tenure permanent but is unwilling to commit to a definitive decision amid uncertainty surrounding the specifics of the role.

"Obviously the congested Test series didn't allow that but with a few more gaps in this one-day series I've had the opportunity to speak with Cricket Australia," McDonald said on Monday.

"Whether that becomes a follow-up conversation we'll wait and see. It will be pretty much like the other people who have no doubt spoken to Cricket Australia.

"Within the chats, there was no great detail or clarity on what the role would look like."

Pressed on whether he would like to take the job on a full-time basis, McDonald – whose influence has been praised by Test captain Pat Cummins – remained unsure.

"It depends on what it looks like, how Cricket Australia see the job unfolding and looking like and we'll get more detail on that going forward," he added.

"I don't really want to openly share what I think it should look like because that might put people in difficult situations throughout the process."

Australia conclude their tour of Pakistan with a one-off T20 on Tuesday and McDonald could have Josh Inglis and Ashton Agar to call upon after the pair recovered from COVID-19.

"[Agar and Inglis] returned their first negative test," he continued.

"They were in our last T20 set-up against Sri Lanka so depending on how they front for training, we will communicate with them on the possibility of playing."

Babar Azam hailed Pakistan's "historic" series win over Australia after scoring another century in a nine-wicket victory.

Pakistan bowled Australia all out for 210 before comfortably chasing down their target, thanks largely to the efforts of top-order batsmen Babar (105 not out) and Imam-ul-Haq (89 not out).

Babar also recorded triple figures in Pakistan's second ODI victory on Thursday, and his consecutive centuries proved decisive in the hosts beating Australia in back-to-back home ODIs for the first time since 1982.

Writing on Twitter after his crucial haul, Babar referred to his team-mates as "superstars" and thanked Pakistan's fans for their support in Lahore.

"A historic series win for Pakistan," wrote Babar, who has now plundered 16 ODI career centuries.

"[I] couldn't have asked for more from my pack of superstars, excellent performances from Imam, Shaheen Shah Afridi, and Haris Rauf.

"To all our fans, thank you so much for your massive support!"

Pakistan head coach Saqlain Mushtaq posted: "This is historical, winning the ODI series against Australia 2-1 at home.

"Some phenomenal performances [were] witnessed by the batsmen and bowlers. Keep supporting our great Pakistan!"

Before failing to remove either Babar or Imam as they struggled with the ball, Australia lost their highest run-scorer of the series, Travis Head, to the first delivery of their own innings, leaving skipper Aaron Finch to bemoan a failure to set their hosts a more difficult target.

"We didn't get enough runs," Finch told reporters. "When you go three down in the first few overs, it's always going to be hard to get a big total."

Babar Azam scored another century as Pakistan beat Australia by nine wickets in Saturday's third ODI to claim a 2-1 series victory.

The Pakistan skipper registered triple figures in the hosts' thrilling second ODI win on Thursday and followed that up with an unbeaten 105 in the decider at Gaddafi Stadium.

Pakistan bowled their opponents all out for 210 and comfortably chased down their target in 37.5 overs thanks to Babar (105 not out) and Imam-ul-Haq (89 not out).

It marks the first time Pakistan have beaten Australia in back-to-back home ODIs since 1982, and the first time the Aussies have lost successive games in the format since 2020.

Aaron Finch and Travis Head were both removed by Pakistan for ducks and, while Ben McDermott (36) and top-scorer Alex Carey chipped away, the latter could only reach 56.

Haris Rauf in particular impressed with the ball, finishing with figures of 3-39, though Sean Abbott's 49 near the end of the innings did at least give Australia something to defend.

Zakhar Zaman was dismissed by pacer Nathan Ellis in the fourth over, but he had put on 17 runs by that point and Pakistan were 24-1.

Indeed, that proved to be the only wicket Australia managed to take as Babar and Imam-ul-Haq shared a 190-run partnership.

Imam's unbeaten 89 included six fours and one six, while Babar hit 12 fours to seal a dominant victory in Lahore.

Babar leads the way

Following this latest impressive display of leadership, Babar has now registered four centuries and three half centuries from nine ODI innings in Pakistan.

The 27-year-old has 16 ODI hundreds overall in 84 innings, second among Pakistan players only to Saeed Anwar, who has 20 in 244 innings.

Australia struggle with bat and ball

Australia used seven different bowlers through the Pakistan innings and none of them were able to make the key breakthrough by removing Babar or Imam.

The tone had been set a lot earlier in the day when, having been put in to bat first, the tourists lost Head, their highest run-scorer of the series, to the very first ball.

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