Kusal Mendis' excellent 69 was influential in helping Sri Lanka beat Australia by five wickets and avoid a 5-0 series whitewash in the final T20I in Melbourne.

Opener Mendis carried his bat, hitting five fours and a six off 58 deliveries as Sri Lanka reached their 155 target with just a ball to spare at the MCG.

Captain Dasun Shanaka made a valuable 35 off 31 before departing to Kane Richardson in the final over, while Charith Asalanka made a swift and important 20 off nine.

Earlier, Australia had posted 154-6 having struggled with the bat early in the innings, Matthew Wade top scoring with 43 not out.

The hosts defended pretty well but ultimately did not have enough runs on the board to secure a clean sweep of the series.


Australia will defend the T20 World Cup on home soil later this year and have used this series to experiment with a few ideas.

On this occasion here, they struggled to get going with the bat and lost openers Aaron Finch (8) and Ben McDermott (3) cheaply.

Josh Inglis (23) and Glenn Maxwell (29) made starts without posting big numbers and had Wade - who had two fours and two sixes in his 27-ball knock - not contributed then it would have been an even tougher outing.


One of the key difference makers was Sri Lanka's aggression in the powerplay. The tourists hit 54 runs for the loss of two wickets, compared to Australia's 22.

Asalanka's cameo certainly gave Sri Lanka momentum, but Mendis earned Player of the Match recognition for a fine performance.

Rohit Sharma praised India for a "phenomenal finish" as they halted the West Indies' chase on Friday to clinch the Twenty20 series and reach 100 wins in the format.

India won for an eighth consecutive T20I match, a new record for the nation, as they defeated the tourists by seven runs in Kolkata.

After Rohit and Ishan Kishan managed just 21 runs between them, Virat Kohli and player of the match Rishabh Pant settled any anxiety at the crease by scoring 52 each, with eight boundaries apiece.

Pant's half-century came off just 28 deliveries, while Kohli's score took him to within just three runs of equalling Martin Guptill's T20I record of 3,299 runs.

The West Indies mounted a strong chase, with Nicholas Pooran hitting 62 before being caught off Bhuvneshwar Kumar's delivery – a crucial wicket with just 15 balls remaining.

Rovman Powell's 68 dragged them close to a win, but Harshal Patel and Bhuvneshwar's expert final overs saw India over the line.

"You are always a bit scared when you are playing against these guys. In the end, it was a phenomenal finish," said Rohit.

"Right from the start, we knew it wouldn't be easy. But I am proud we executed our plans under pressure."

Brilliant Bhuvi

The experience of Bhuvneshwar proved key as the West Indies cranked up the pressure. The 32-year-old finished on 1-29 from four overs, giving up just two boundaries and signing off with just four singles and the wicket of Pooran from his final over.

"It was very critical at that point when Bhuvneshwar bowled," said Rohit. "That's where experience comes into play. Bhuvi has been doing it for many years and we believe in him a lot."

No century celebrations for Pollard

Kieron Pollard became the first West Indies player to reach 100 T20I appearances and the ninth overall in international cricket, although he could not mark the occasion by hitting the single six needed to reach a century in the format.

Pollard, who gave up 14 runs in his solitary over and scored three off the bat from as many deliveries, said of the finish: "We cannot call the batters out. We can look at it in different ways how we could have got those eight runs. We are a work in progress."

Australia recovered to claim a six-wicket victory over Sri Lanka in Melbourne on Friday as they opened up a 4-0 lead in their five-match T20I series.

The hosts elected to bowl first and, despite being without rested trio Josh Hazlewood, Pat Cummins and Mitchell Starc, restricted their opponents to 139-8 off their 20 overs.

Opener Pathum Nissanka top-scored with 46 off 40 balls, while Kusal Mendis added 27 off 21, but it was another underwhelming batting display from the tourists.

Jhye Richardson impressed with figures of 2-20 off his four overs, paving the way for Australia to make it nine T20Is without defeat against Sri Lanka, winning eight of those.

That is despite getting off to a slow start to their response as openers Ashton Agar and Ben McDermott made 19 off 25 balls, before the latter (nine) fell to Maheesh Theekshana.

Aaron Finch was snared by Danushka Gunathilaka for just two runs off the bowling of Lahiru Kumara and Agar (26) was next to go when he top-edged to Mendis.

But star man Glenn Maxwell and Josh Inglis all but ensured there would be no joy for Sri Lanka with their fourth-wicket stand of 71 off 47 balls. 

Inglis went for 40 off 20, leaving Australia needing 20 off 22, and Maxwell got them over the line with his unbeaten 48 to set up a potential whitewash in Sunday's fifth match.

MCGlee for Maxwell

Australia have now won five of their last seven T20Is at the MCG, including the last three in a row – their best run since winning four in a row between 2008 and 2011.

Agar's struggles as a makeshift opener will be of concern, but Maxwell's 48 off 39 balls – a strike rate of 123.1 – meant Sri Lanka's modest target was never of concern.

Pathum shows more promise

Nissanka headed into the game as the only player to score above 100 runs this series against Australia (125) and the 23-year-old was again Sri Lanka's shining light in the fourth T20I.

He helped steer his side to 73-1 at the halfway mark alongside Mendis, yet the tourists still managed to squander a promising opportunity.

New chairman Lachlan Henderson says Cricket Australia must take time to reflect on the "messy" manner in which Justin Langer's reign as head coach came to an end.

Langer resigned this month after only being offered a six-month contract extension on the back of a 4-0 Ashes thrashing of England.

The former Australia opener had also masterminded a T20 World Cup triumph in the United Arab Emirates last year.

Eyebrows were raised over Langer's dramatic exit, but Australia Test captain Cummins said the feeling in the dressing room was it was the right time for a new coach to be appointed.

New chair Henderson does not want a repeat of the way the situation was played out so publicly. 

He told reporters: "It got messy in terms of things playing out in the media. But the board's role was to receive recommendations from management. We made our decision based on that.

"With any significant decision like that boards should reflect on that process that was involved.

"It is unfortunate that a bit of that played out in the media, and we will reflect on whether that should have been accelerated through the summer."

Henderson will look to bring stability after taking over from interim leader Richard Freudenstein, who stepped in following Earl Eddings' resignation.

The new chair has vowed to be transparent in a new era for Cricket Australia.

"My communication style will be to be open, transparent, hopefully consistent," he said on Thursday. 

"I work in health care. We've negotiated a pandemic in the last two years. That's required a fair amount of resilience. So within the bounds of the confidentiality of boards, I hope that there's a really open and transparent way forward."

India have taken a 1-0 T20I series lead over the West Indies after a six-wicket victory in Wednesday's first test in Kolkata.

It was not always plain sailing for India, but in the end they closed out a comfortable victory that owed much to captain Rohit Sharma, debutant Ravi Bishnoi and Suryakumar Yadav.

West Indies had earlier reached 157-7 over their 20 overs, an innings that began poorly as Brandon King fell for just four to Bhuvneshwar Kumar (1-31) in the first over – though Kyle Mayers (31) and Nicholas Pooran (61) soon found the tourists some momentum.

After their respective wickets, West Indies really struggled to build up a head of steam again. Bishnoi (2-17) claimed the scalps of Roston Chase (four) and Rovman Powell (two) as the 21-year-old enjoyed a miserly outing on his debut.

Kieron Pollard (24 not out) at least restored a little dignity, but he had little help around him, thus setting India a reachable target.

Rohit's 40 off 19 gave India the start they needed, and Ishan Kishan (35 off 42) proved a solid – if pragmatic – partner until both were undone by Chase's (2-14) bowling.

Fabian Allen (1-23) and Sheldon Cottrell (1-35) then saw to Virat Kohli (17) and Rishabh Pant (eight), respectively, with both batsmen feeling somewhat aggrieved by the decisions.

But any suggestion of West Indies still having a chance were emphatically washed away by Suryakumar (34 not out) and Venkatesh Iyer (24 not out), who eased the hosts over the line at 162-4 with seven balls to spare.

Bishnoi makes his mark

Bishnoi initially looked nervous, throwing three wides in his first over. But he quickly adjusted his focus, posting impressive numbers as he dismissed Chase and Powell.

Speaking afterwards, he said: "The nerves are settled now. I was feeling very good, it's everyone's dream to play for India and I was feeling good. West Indies is one of the best T20 teams and I got the chance to play against them. I'll try to cut down on the wides in the next match!"

Pooran's efforts in vain

Were it not for Pooran's efforts, this would have been an even worse start to the three-match series for the Windies. His 61 with the bat was undoubtedly the highlight of their innings, with Pollard very aware that his side were otherwise disappointing.

Pollard said: "Getting down to the 19th over was good on the part of the bowlers. If I'm being honest, between overs six to 15 we scored too few runs. We were 15-20 runs short."

Australia took an unassailable 3-0 series lead as Aaron Finch and Glenn Maxwell guided them to a six-wicket victory over Sri Lanka.

In the third T20I of the five-match series, captain Finch scored 35 and Maxwell struck an entertaining 39 to put Australia in control in Canberra.

Australia's bowlers set the tone, limiting Sri Lanka to 121-6 from their 20 overs, with Kane Richardson (3-21) leading the way.

Danushka Gunathilaka (nine) and Charith Asalanka (six) both fell to Richardson in the third over of Sri Lanka's innings, with the Australia paceman then bowling Dinesh Chandimal, whose 25 from 29 deliveries had helped the tourists steady the ship.

Chandimal's stint came after Kusal Mendis (four) and Pathum Nissanka (16) fell in swift succession, and though captain Dasun Shanaka hit an unbeaten 39 that included five boundaries, Chamika Karunaratne's late dismissal to Josh Hazlewood (1-31) left Sri Lanka needing an outstanding performance in the field.

Shorn of the world's number one T20I bowler, with Wanindu Hasaranga testing positive for COVID-19, Sri Lanka started brilliantly – Ben McDermott caught off the first ball.

Maheesh Theekshana sent McDermott packing and dismissed the batsman's fellow opener Ashton Agar for 13 in the fifth over.

Yet with Finch prodding and probing at one end, Maxwell was able to let rip at the other, striking two sixes and three fours in his 26-ball effort.

Maxwell was dropped in the covers, and his luck ran out when he tried to go big off Theekshana, but Finch then stepped up his scoring.

By the time Australia's captain edged Jeffrey Vandersay through to slip, the damage had been done, with Josh Inglis (21) and Marcus Stoinis (12) seeing out a comfortable win.

Aussies roll on

Australia have now registered two consecutive bilateral multi-game series win against Sri Lanka for the first time in the men's T20I format.

Reigning world champions Australia have now won eight successive T20I matches against Sri Lanka, with Stoinis capping this victory with a four that just looped over the man at cow corner.

Theekshana stands tall

Sri Lanka were dealt a huge blow before the match started with the news that Hasaranga had been forced into isolation.

The all-rounder has scalped 41 T20I wickets since the beginning of 2021, the most by any bowler. However, Theekshana at least stepped up to take 3-24 in an impressive four-over spell and give the tourists hope.

Australia held on for victory in the second T20I against Sri Lanka despite the tourists forcing a super over with a thrilling run chase.

Having won the opener – also in Sydney – by 20 runs, Sunday's match looked to be in Australia's control after they posted 164-6 after batting first.

Captain Aaron Finch (25) and 48 from Josh Inglis carried the hosts to 112-4 before late flurries from Marcus Stoinis (19) and Matthew Wade, who hit 13 off just four deliveries.

After Danushka Gunathilaka thumped a Josh Hazlewood ball straight to the waiting Ben McDermott, Inglis leapt to his left to catch a drive from Avishka Fernando in the third over, and Sri Lankan hopes looked forlorn indeed when Pat Cummins skittled Charith Asalanka for a duck.

Yet Pathum Nissanka maintained composure to build Sri Lanka's score. He smashed 73 off only 53 balls, including nine boundaries, while captain Dasun Shanaka added 34 from 19 deliveries before being run out by a brilliant Steve Smith throw.

It was Stoinis who eventually ended Nissanka's stand, his full toss swung towards deep square where Cummins claimed a fine catch, but Maheesh Theekshana promptly hit a six from the next ball despite Smith nearly concussing himself in a desperate attempt to save it.

In an extraordinary finish, Dushmantha Chameera then thumped another full toss from Stoinis straight down the ground for four to force the eliminator, for which Hazlewood was chosen for the Australia attack.

It proved a wise choice. Sri Lanka managed 5-1, with Dinesh Chandimal run out by Glenn Maxwell, allowing Stoinis to settle the contest with consecutive fours.

Unlucky Sri Lanka can take heart

Sri Lanka have now lost seven T20I matches in a row against Australia and have only one win from 15 in the format when playing outside Asia.

They are unlikely to get much closer to victory than this. Needing 46 off the final 18 balls, they managed 45, while fortune was against them when Chameera's final strike fell just short of a six after a wide had not been called on the penultimate delivery.

Hazlewood shines in super over

Nissanka kept Sri Lanka's hopes alive, but Hazlewood ended them clinically in the super over with some expert deliveries.

"I just kept a nice clear mind," said Hazlewood, who finished with figures of 3-22. "[I] had a chat with Finchy and came up with a plan of what I wanted to do. The confidence is high at the moment and [it is] nice to execute."

Josh Hazlewood and Adam Zampa bowled Australia to a 20-run victory in the first T20I against Sri Lanka in Sydney.

Australia could only make 149-9 at the SCG, which staged the first encounter of the five-match series, but it proved more than enough as their bowlers came good.

Hazlewood finished with 4-12 and player of the match Zampa took 3-18 from his four overs, with Sri Lanka finishing on 122-8 after a short rain interruption adjusted their victory target to 143 from 19 overs.

Ben McDermott, son of former Australia fast bowler Craig McDermott, earlier made his first international half-century as he top-scored with 53 for the home side.

The 27-year-old shared in a partnership of 50 for the second wicket with T20I debutant Josh Inglis, who made 23, while Marcus Stoinis added 30, but no other batter reached double figures.

Pathum Nissanka made a handy 36 at the top of the order for Sri Lanka in reply, and Dinesh Chandimal added 25 not out, but a steady trickle of wickets meant Australia were always in control.

Striking out on his own

Dad Craig played 71 Tests and 138 ODIs for Australia in a distinguished career. Ben McDermott could hardly be any more different as a cricketer, given he is a wicketkeeper-batsman, and so comparisons between the pair are futile. What is clear is that Ben has plenty of talent, and here, opening the innings, he clubbed two fours and three sixes in an attention-grabbing 41-ball knock, which ended when he was trapped lbw by Chamika Karunaratne.

Fernando keeps it tight

Sri Lanka's Binura Fernando had an economy rate of 3.0 as he took 2-12 in his four overs, with the left-arm paceman keeping Australia's batters on a tight rein. That miserly rate ranks as the third best by any pace bowler (minimum four overs) for Sri Lanka in a T20I innings away from home, beaten only by Nuwan Kulasekara (2.5 v UAE in February 2016) and Lasith Malinga (2.75 v South Africa in March 2019).

Australia's three-match T20I series against New Zealand has been cancelled, it has emerged.

Cricket Australia (CA) said the planned fixtures in March had been shelved "due to New Zealand's border controls and quarantine requirements".

The three matches were due to be played in Napier, on March 17, 18 and 20.

Yet the travel restrictions between the two countries, triggered by the COVID-19 pandemic, mean Australia would not be able to make the trip.

In a statement on its website, CA said: "The three-match series, scheduled for March 17-20 at McLean Park in Napier, was initially arranged with the New Zealand government's plan to relax restrictions at the trans-Tasman border in mind.

"However, with those plans now substantially delayed, the decision was made to abandon the series."

CA chief executive Nick Hockley added: "We thank NZ Cricket for making every effort to host the series, but unfortunately it wasn't possible given the border restrictions and quarantine requirements."

The teams are due to clash in the short format later in the year at the T20 World Cup. The October 22 match at the SCG in Sydney will be the opening game for both sides in that tournament.

After almost four tumultuous years, Justin Langer's tenure as Australia head coach has come to an end.

Langer's resignation was confirmed on Saturday just a day on from a lengthy board meeting with Cricket Australia.

The news comes despite Langer having led Australia to T20 World Cup glory and an emphatic home Ashes series triumph in recent months, with the now former coach's intensity away from the pitch a seeming point of contention among the playing squad.

With Langer's time at an end, here is a look at some of his highs and lows in charge of Australia.


White-ball whitewash to England

Just a month on from replacing Darren Lehmann in the aftermath of the Newlands ball-tampering scandal, Langer endured a desperately disappointing white-ball tour of England. Australia were whitewashed 5-0 in the ODI series and lost by 28 runs in the solitary T20I as life without suspended duo Steve Smith and David Warner began in inauspicious fashion.

No home comforts against India

In January 2019, Langer and his team made unwanted history as Australia were subjected to a home Test series defeat to a side from Asia for the first time as India secured a 2-1 victory. Wins in the first and third Tests for the tourists had sandwiched a 146-run drubbing in the second, but when the fourth contest ended in a draw Virat Kohli and his team could celebrate a famous triumph.

More India woe

Two years on, Australia were in a stronger position against the same opposition with Smith and Warner having long-since returned from their international suspensions. Things started well when India were knocked over for a measly 36 in the second innings of the first Test en route to victory in Adelaide. But India levelled things up in the second match and, after a drawn third Test, were triumphant in the Brisbane decider as murmurs of discontent over Langer's leadership began.


Plenty of heart in England

Australia were pretty much ever presents in enemy territory during the English summer of 2019 and Langer's team showed signs of encouragement. A year on from the white-ball drubbings inflicted by England, Australia – buoyed by the return of Warner of and Smith – enjoyed a valiant run to the semi-finals of the Cricket World Cup where they were beaten by the hosts. Soon after it was time for five-day cricket, and Australia retained the Ashes after a 2-2 drawn series. It was the first time they had avoided defeat in England since 2001.

Back on top of the world

By May 2020, Australia were well and truly back in their groove. Series wins on home soil against Pakistan and New Zealand saw them return to the number-one ranked team in Test cricket, while they also ascended to the top of the T20 rankings for the first time in their history.

World Cup glory

Australia were crowned T20 World Cup champions for the first time in the United Arab Emirates in November 2021, enjoying a dominant win over New Zealand – the same team they had defeated in the 2015 ODI World Cup showpiece – in the final. However, Langer himself admitted he had taken more of a backseat role for the tournament and the victory was said to have stemmed from a player-driven environment.

Ashes dominance

It has been less than a month since the end of a home Ashes series, which Australia completely dominated against a woeful England. The Aussies retained the urn in record-breaking time and only some valiant English defence in the fourth Test in Sydney denied the hosts a 5-0 whitewash. The build-up had not gone exactly to plan with captain Tim Paine having stood down amid an illicit-texting scandal, while new skipper Pat Cummins did not endorse Langer for a new contract during the series.

Justin Langer refused Cricket Australia's (CA) offer of a short-term contract extension, CEO Nick Hockley has said.

It was confirmed by Langer's management group DSEG that he had stepped down as Australia head coach on Saturday, following a lengthy meeting with CA the day prior.

Langer's most recent assignment saw Australia hammer England 4-0 in the Ashes, which followed on from a T20 World Cup triumph in the United Arab Emirates.

However, the latter achievement is said to have stemmed from a player-driven environment with Langer having agreed to take a more hands-off approach after receiving criticism following a home defeat to India in the 2020-21 Test series and subsequent white-ball losses to West Indies and Bangladesh.

Langer's intensity away from the pitch has been an apparent point of contention among some of the playing squad.

Australia are set to defend their T20 crown on home soil later this year and Langer - whose winning record is bettered only by John Buchanan among Australia coaches since 1985 when they began employing full-time head coaches – was offered the chance to take charge through that tournament.

However, that offer was not taken up, with Hockley hoping Langer would have stayed on for a "period of transition". Andrew McDonald, Australia assistant coach, will instead take charge in the interim.

"We're disappointed that Justin decided not to accept this extension and instead resigned, effective immediately," Hockley told reporters on Saturday afternoon.

"We very much felt that Justin had earned the right to defend the T20 World Cup on home soil … but we understand and respect his decision."

A CA statement added: "Justin was offered a short-term extension to his current contract, which sadly he has opted not to accept.

"CA would like to thank Justin for his outstanding leadership since he became Australian men's team coach in 2018 and for guiding the team to the T20 World Cup title last year and the 4-0 Ashes victory.

"Justin is not only a legend of the game but an outstanding individual.

"The contract extension offered to Justin was the result of a thorough review process that evaluated many factors including future requirements of the team and the upcoming extensive schedule of fixtures.

"The extension was approved by the CA Board and was put to Justin last night. It included the opportunity to defend the T20 World Cup title in Australia at the end of this year.

"Justin informed CA this morning he was not accepting the offer and would resign with immediate effect."

Ricky Ponting described Justin Langer's departure as head coach as a "sad day" and said Cricket Australia's (CA) handling of the situation was "embarrassing".

The news of Langer's exit as Australia coach was confirmed by his management team DSEG and followed a lengthy meeting with CA late on Friday.

Ponting is a former a team-mate and long-time friend of Langer, and the Australia great criticised the way both he and former captain Tim Paine – who resigned just three weeks out from the Ashes amid the emergence of an investigation four years ago over explicit messages sent to a female co-worker -– have been treated by CA.

Speaking to ABC Radio, Ponting said: ""It is a really sad day as far as Australian cricket is concerned and if you look back it has been a really poor six months on the whole in the way that Cricket Australia has handled some of the better people in the Australian cricket - Justin Langer and Tim Paine - and I think it's been almost embarrassing the way they have handled those two cases.

"He mustn't have had the full backing of the board. Me knowing Justin the way that I do, he was very keen to continue in the role, as he should have been after what's been the best coaching period of his international career having just won the T20 World Cup and then the 4-0 result in the Ashes.

"It seems like a very strange time for a coach to be departing. Reading the tea leaves it sounds like a few - and as he [Langer] says to me a small group in the playing group and a couple of other staff around the team - haven't entirely loved the way he has gone about it.

"That's been enough to force a man who has put his life and heart and soul into Australian cricket and done a sensational job at turning around the culture and the way the Australian team has been looked at in the last few years to push him out of the job." 

Only John Buchanan has a better winning record among Australia coaches than Langer since 1985 when they began employing full-time head coaches.

Langer oversaw an Ashes drubbing of England in his final Test series, which followed immediately from T20 World Cup glory in the United Arab Emirates.

However, the latter triumph is said to have stemmed from a player-driven environment with Langer having agreed to take a more hands-off approach after receiving criticism following a home defeat to India in the 2020-21 Test series and subsequent white-ball losses to West Indies and Bangladesh.

Langer's intensity away from the pitch has been an apparent point of contention among some of the playing squad.

Ponting was asked whether Test skipper Pat Cummins was part of the dissenters and if he found that disappointing, to which he replied: "Justin is a great mate of mine and I know how passionate he is about the Australian coaching job.

"He wanted to continue on and be the best coach and have the best cricket team in the world.

"I think Pat also has been put in a difficult situation as captain, if it's not just him and it is other players coming to him and letting him know that maybe they think Justin is not the right man then that puts Pat in a difficult position as well.

"If he had got on the front foot and endorsed Justin they would not have been in a position to move him on.

"I am close to Justin, we are like brothers but I have not got too heavily involved in this, as much as giving him a pat on the back and put an arm around him here and there, there was no way I could change the way this was heading.

"What's happened today I've felt was coming for quite a while, even looking back before the T20 World Cup there was a lot of speculation there."

Justin Langer has stepped down as Australia head coach, effectively immediately.

Langer's management company, DSEG Worldwide, confirmed his resignation on Saturday.

It came after a marathon Cricket Australia board meeting on Friday, with the subject of Langer's future a priority for the directors.

The board will be turning its attention to a search for a replacement after Langer's successful, but turbulent spell in charge was brought to an end.

A statement from DSEG read: "DSEG confirms that our client Justin Langer has this morning tendered his resignation as of the Australian men's cricket team," the statement said. "The resignation follows a meeting with Cricket Australia last evening. The resignation is effective immediately."

Langer's manager, James Henderson, added on Twitter: "As a player Justin retired on top after a 5-0 Ashes whitewash.

"Today, despite the views of a faceless few, he finishes his time as Australian cricket coach winning the T20 World Cup and the Ashes. Lest we forget what JL took over in 2018."

Only John Buchanan has a better winning record among Australia coaches than Langer since 1985 when they began employing full-time head coaches.

His final Test series in charge saw Australia retain the Ashes with a 4-0 win over England, a triumph that followed a maiden T20 World Cup success in the United Arab Emirates.

However, that elusive piece of T20 glory was said to have stemmed from a player-driven environment, with Langer having received much criticism following home defeat to India in the 2020-21 Test series and subsequent white-ball losses to West Indies and Bangladesh.

With Langer's intensity away from the pitch the apparent key point of contention, he agreed to take a more hands-off approach in the wake of the humbling in Bangladesh.

That change in coaching style yielded an unexpected T20 world title, and there had been some thought Langer may keep his job after the crushing defeat of England.

However, Australia are now without a head coach three weeks before they depart for a Test tour of Pakistan. Andrew McDonald will likely take charge for that tour, the assistant coach having already been pencilled in to do so for the upcoming Twenty20 series with Sri Lanka to allow Langer a rest.

Jason Holder sensationally came up trumps at the end as he took four wickets in succession to help secure the West Indies a 17-run victory over England in the final T20I that sealed a 3-2 series win.

West Indies skipper Kieron Pollard had won the toss and elected to bat, with the hosts posting 179-4, with England falling short in reply, bowled out for 162 in the 20th over with Player of the Match Holder (27-5) decisive with a double hat-trick in the final over.

After an encouraging start, West Indies did suffer a minor wobble as they lost wickets in consecutive overs, with Kyle Mayers (31) and Romario Shepherd (six) falling in the sixth and seventh, giving England a boost.

Brandon King (34) was the next to go as he was caught at the rope, and Nicholas Pooran (21) was dismissed in the 14th over, with West Indies looking solid if unspectacular ahead of the final five overs of their batting innings.

It was then that they really picked up the slack, with Pollard (41 not out) and Rovman Powell (35 not out) accumulating runs at a much greater rate, their fifth-wicket stand of 74 ultimately integral in the grand scheme of things.

The total of 180 certainly did not look unassailable for England and they reached the halfway stage at 86-2 having only lost Jason Roy (eight) and Tom Banton (16), with James Vince in fine form.

The wickets of Moeen Ali (14) and Liam Livingstone (six) followed just a few minutes apart, and while Vince (55) reached his half-century, he too departed in the 14th as a top-edged slog fell short of the boundary from Akeal Hosein (30-4).

The excellent Sam Billings (41) at least got England into a position where they were still alive in the final over, but they could not meet their target of 20 in six balls as Holder's incredible haul clinched the series.

Holder's historic heroics

Having almost looked without hope, England did make things a little tense towards the end – but what a performance from Holder.

Just when West Indies needed the ultimate display of experience, Holder took over in style. His hat-trick was the Windies' first in men's T20Is, and then he went one better. It was a truly memorable end to the series.

Billings deserving of praise

Although he was not England's highest scorer, Billings did play a vital role in keeping them in contention.

His 41 off 28 balls meant England were still in the hunt in the final over. A poorer showing could have seen them fold much earlier – he can leave with his head held high.

Former Zimbabwe captain Brendan Taylor has been banned from international cricket until July 2025 after his late reporting of a spot-fixing plot.

The 35-year-old's three-and-a-half-year punishment was confirmed by the International Cricket Council (ICC) on Friday, after Taylor gave early notice of his fate in a statement at the start of the week.

Taylor said on Monday that he had been blackmailed by an Indian businessman, who paid him $15,000 to travel to India in 2019 to discuss sponsorships and the potential launch of a T20 competition in Zimbabwe.

Wicketkeeper-batter Taylor stated that he "foolishly took the bait" when he was offered cocaine on a night out for a celebratory dinner with the businessman and his colleagues after concluding discussions.

Taylor says he was "cornered" the following morning when six people "stormed into" his hotel room to show a video of him taking cocaine and say the footage would be made public if he refused to spot-fix in international matches.

Taylor said he was handed $15,000 as a "deposit" for spot-fixing and was told another $20,000 would be paid once the "job" was complete.

Although Taylor has insisted he never spot-fixed, a four-month delay in reporting the episode to the ICC has been his undoing.

He admitted to breaching three aspects of the ICC anti-corruption code relating to delayed disclosure, and one of "obstructing or delaying" an investigation.

Taylor said in his statement on Monday: "I may be many things but I am not a cheat."

He said he would be heading to a rehabilitation centre to "get clean" after admitting he has a drugs problem.

Taylor tested positive for a metabolite of cocaine after Zimbabwe's match against Ireland on September 8 2021, and the ICC said he had accepted a one-month ban for that offence, having taken the drug out of competition and with it having no relation to his performance.

Taylor will be eligible to return to cricket from July 28 2025, by which time he will be 39 years old. ICC integrity unit general manager Alex Marshall said Taylor "knew exactly what his obligations were" in regard to corruption and doping, and said it was "disappointing that a player of his experience chose not to fulfil those obligations".

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