England captain Jos Buttler soaked up the disappointment of a T20I series defeat to Bangladesh and insisted it had been worth trialling a team light on frontline batters.

With Tom Abell and Will Jacks unavailable due to injury, England might have sent for batting reinforcements but instead elected to persevere with their weakened unit.

It meant Moeen Ali batted at three on Sunday, with Sam Curran at six, both bumped up higher than they would usually be expected to figure in the order.

Moeen made 15 and Curran added 12 in a feeble 117 all out, with Buttler dropping down from playing as an opener to bat at number four, where he scored only four.

Bangladesh won by four wickets, with Najmul Hossain Shanto hitting 46no, leaving Buttler to face questions about England's performance, and their selections.

"It's a different balance and it's a different feel to the team," he said. "I think we're wanting to give exposure to guys especially who, in these conditions, will also probably play a part in the 50-over World Cup.

"It felt like a great chance to expose the all-rounders' batting, maybe one spot higher than in our normal team.

"The way cricket is at the moment, there's a few players who've opted not to be here anyway for various reasons. So instead of calling up someone else, we tried to use the guys who would be exposed to these conditions in the 50-over World Cup as well."

Regarding his own move in the line-up, perhaps intended to beef up the middle order, Buttler said: "I'm very comfortable batting anywhere in the order.

"I've spent a hell of a lot of my career as a middle order player, and I think we've got some good options. I just felt like it would be an opportunity to try something different."

England will hope for a better outcome in Tuesday's final match, but Bangladesh's wins in Chattogram and Mirpur mean the tourists are playing for mere consolation.

Owen Farrell conceded England could never have anticipated their humbling 53-10 loss against France in the Six Nations.

Steve Borthwick's side suffered their record home defeat as Les Bleus ran in seven tries during a comprehensive display at Twickenham.

England were simply no match for the reigning champions, who dominated proceedings and overpowered their opponents in all departments on the way to a first away win over the Red Rose in the competition since 2005.

Farrell, who was dropped to the bench before replacing Marcus Smith in the 46th minute, admitted the hosts' performance levels were unacceptable.

"As an England player, you never expect to be in this situation," the captain said.

"I don't think you ever expect to lose like that at home as an England team. You don't expect to lose like that anywhere as an England team.

"The result and the scoreline are hugely disappointing for us. It's never nice. Most of the people in the changing room have been through it at some stage. Not normally with England – definitely not normally with England.

"I'm gutted. Everybody in the changing room is disappointed to lose in the fashion that we did.

"I'm not sure it's a true reflection of our team, but credit to France for the way they played, they were clinical. They got away early on, and it was hard for us to get back into the game."

England conclude a difficult Six Nations campaign against Grand Slam-chasing Ireland – coached by Farrell's father Andy – next weekend.

The skipper said he and his team-mates are desperate to put the disappointment behind them as they seek a positive response.

"The end goal is not any different for us because we've got to improve, and we knew that before this game," he added. "We definitely know it after. We have to improve together.

"This will make us have a good look at ourselves and I imagine that after this, everybody is chomping at the bit to get going again."

Owen Farrell conceded England could never have anticipated their humbling 53-10 loss against France in the Six Nations.

Steve Borthwick's side suffered their record home defeat as Les Bleus ran in seven tries during a comprehensive display at Twickenham.

England were simply no match for the reigning champions, who dominated proceedings and overpowered their opponents in all departments on the way to a first away win over the Red Rose in the competition since 2005.

Farrell, who was dropped to the bench before replacing Marcus Smith in the 46th minute, admitted the hosts' performance levels were unacceptable.

"As an England player, you never expect to be in this situation," the captain said.

"I don't think you ever expect to lose like that at home as an England team. You don't expect to lose like that anywhere as an England team.

"The result and the scoreline are hugely disappointing for us. It's never nice. Most of the people in the changing room have been through it at some stage. Not normally with England – definitely not normally with England.

"I'm gutted. Everybody in the changing room is disappointed to lose in the fashion that we did.

"I'm not sure it's a true reflection of our team, but credit to France for the way they played, they were clinical. They got away early on, and it was hard for us to get back into the game."

England conclude a difficult Six Nations campaign against Grand Slam-chasing Ireland – coached by Farrell's father Andy – next weekend.

The skipper said he and his team-mates are desperate to put the disappointment behind them as they seek a positive response.

"The end goal is not any different for us because we've got to improve, and we knew that before this game," he added. "We definitely know it after. We have to improve together.

"This will make us have a good look at ourselves and I imagine that after this, everybody is chomping at the bit to get going again."

Jos Buttler paid tribute to an "outstanding bowling performance" from his England team that allowed them to push Bangladesh all the way despite scoring just 117 on Sunday.

England failed to build on a strong power play after being put in to bat first in Dhaka, with Mehidy Hasan taking 4-12 as Bangladesh seized control.

The modest target was eventually passed by the hosts with four wickets and seven balls to spare, seeing Bangladesh win the three-match series ahead of Tuesday's final encounter.

But Buttler was impressed with the way his team stayed in the match as Jofra Archer took three wickets for just 13 runs in four overs. There was also a first wicket for T20I debutant Rehan Ahmed.

"It was an outstanding bowling performance, creating pressure and defending a low score," captain Buttler said. "I'm proud of everyone's efforts."

A difficult pitch contributed to the low-scoring affair, although England were 50-1 through six overs.

Phil Salt quickly departed in the seventh over, having scored 25 off 19, and only Ben Duckett managed to dig in thereafter in scoring 28 off 28.

Buttler, who was out for four, said: "No batter ever wants to get out, but it's a tough wicket to start your innings on.

"We needed someone to stick with Ben Duckett."

The visiting skipper added: "It was a different game of T20. Credit to Bangladesh for out-playing us."

Opposite number Shakib Al Hasan said: "They had a very good start, but we kept our nerve in a very good team effort. In a tricky game like this, it was important to keep our nerve."

England failed to protect a modest total as Bangladesh won a low-scoring second T20I by four wickets to take the series in Dhaka.

A competitive England score had been chased down in the opener, meaning the world champions were in trouble again when they could only tally 117 on Sunday.

Jos Buttler's tourists slowed alarmingly after reaching the end of the power play on 50-1, crucially losing Phil Salt (25 off 19) in the seventh over before Mehidy Hasan came to the fore for Bangladesh.

Mehidy finished with figures of 4-12, and he then had a key role again with the bat after England had threatened to come back into the match.

Although the Bangladesh reply saw only 32 runs scored in the power play, they still required just over a run a ball at that stage to make 118 – an increasingly achievable target when Mehidy scored 20 off 16, including two sixes.

That contribution would prove decisive – along with a steadier 46 from Najmul Hossain Shanto – as the chase was completed on 120-6 with seven balls remaining, sealing the series ahead of Tuesday's final match.

England stutter after solid start

All out for 117 from the final ball of the innings, England went from a run rate of 8.33 in the power play to 4.79 across the remaining 14 overs.

Even on a difficult pitch, that score – England's eighth-lowest in T20Is – was never likely to be quite enough.

Mehidy makes the difference

Mehidy had career-best figures with the ball, removing Moeen Ali for 15 and then bringing out the tail with the consecutive wickets of Sam Curran, Chris Woakes and Chris Jordan.

But his brisk knock with the bat was every bit as vital, with only Salt, Mehidy and Taskin Ahmed (a late eight off three) scoring at more than a run a ball in the match.

Jofra Archer would be content with playing just one Test during England's home Ashes series later this year as he steps up his playing time after an injury-plagued couple of years.

Having spent almost two years on the sidelines with elbow and back problems, Archer returned to international cricket in January for England's ODI series against South Africa.

Archer had bowling figures of 6-40 – the third-best for England in an ODI – in the last match of that series, while he has since stepped up his involvement with ODI and T20I appearances in England's ongoing tour of Bangladesh.  

The 27-year-old is desperate to be involved when England bid to regain the Ashes from Australia in June and July, though he says anything more than one outing would be a bonus.

"If I can play one game this summer, I'll be happy," Archer told reporters. "If I play more than one, that's just a bonus.

"Coming back and playing cricket for England again means I have already done what I wanted to do.

"I said 18 months ago I was going to be back. Now I'm back. Hopefully I have a long career, so it makes no sense doing too much too soon.

"We have got so much cricket to play – genuinely, playing for England you never stop. You're going 11 months a year, pretty much... There's a lot of cricket and I want to play a lot of cricket."

Archer made his Test debut during England's last home Ashes series, in which Australia retained the urn following a 2-2 draw, and he is planning to draw on that experience next time out.

"I've played in the Ashes already, so you know most of the things that come with it," Archer said. "The pressures, the media, the situations are not going to be anything unknown. 

"The only thing unknown at the moment now would be fitness and if you can actually get through a whole Test match.

"I don't have much expectation except to finish the game. That is the biggest part, to get through 20 [overs] in an innings, maybe 40 or 50 in a game. Obviously I want wickets, but getting overs in is more important."

Clive Woodward never thought he would see the day England were so badly outclassed on home soil after witnessing their record home loss to France.

France crossed over seven times in their astonishing 53-10 victory at Twickenham on Saturday to keep their Six Nations title defence alive.

It is the most points ever conceded by England in a home Test, overtaking the 42 points scored by South Africa in November 2008.

Woodward, who guided the Red Rose to World Cup glory in 2003, was left stunned by his former side's capitulation and is fearing the worst ahead of next week's trip to Ireland.

"England were never going to win that game; we were second best by a long, long way," he told ITV Sport. "To think we're going to play Ireland next week is a sobering thought.

"To actually see that in a Six Nations game... I never thought I'd see that scoreboard ever at Twickenham."

Fellow pundit Johnny Wilkinson described the loss as "a massive reality check" for England, who tasted defeat at home to France for the first time in 18 years.

England have now lost two of their four matches this campaign – Steve Borthwick's first since replacing Eddie Jones in December – and find themselves in fourth place.

Borthwick accepts England were too easily dismantled by France and knows there is a gulf between his side and the world's elite heading into the Rugby World Cup.

"Certainly you have to give immense credit to France and they are clearly a world-class team," he told ITV Sport. "We are really disappointed in that performance. 

"There are lots of things we wanted to do but we couldn't execute. I think we lost collisions across both lines, attack and defence. 

"We knew they have immense power and unfortunately we didn't deal with it. When we attacked they were able to dominate. There is plenty of work on the collision areas

"We got exposed today. I thought we would get a measure of where we are at – there is a big gap between us and the top teams in the world. 

"I don't think it matters what I thought it [the gap] was before; I think we understand where we are and what we have to do."

 

France were 24 points to the good by half-time – another unwanted record for England in the Six Nations – with 23-point Thomas Ramos opening the scoring inside two minutes.

Thibaud Flament, Charles Ollivon and Damian Penaud all crossed over twice each in a one-sided contest, with Freddie Steward scoring England's only try.

It is the first time in the Six Nations era that three different France players have scored two tries each in a single game.

Reflecting on one of England's all-time worst displays, captain Ellis Genge admitted there can be no excuses.

"I am not going to sugar-coat it. That is one of our worst performances and we were punished numerous times," he said. 

"We asked the boys to keep fighting and I think for 80 per cent of it we were fighting. The momentum was against us for too long and we didn't claw it back. 

"I am not hiding away from it – we were well beaten today. [France] are brilliant. They have shown time and time again why they are the number two team in the world. 

"We are way off where we want to be. If I had the answers I would be somewhere else earning millions. It's a bit of a mystery at the moment."

France boss Fabien Galthie found the 53-10 drubbing of England "very moving" as he delivered an emotional response to his team's record win at Twickenham.

Les Bleus had not won a Six Nations game at England's London HQ since 2005, but they turned on the style and piled on the most points England have ever conceded on home soil in a Test.

Defeat to Ireland last month could be the result that costs France the championship, but this was a third win in four this year and the biggest statement yet from Galthie's team in this Rugby World Cup year.

France inflicted a seven-try humiliation on their hosts, revelling in each score. They are the World Cup hosts this year, and performances such as Saturday's barnstorming rout will raise expectations.

Speaking to France 2, Galthie appeared to momentarily shed a tear as he considered the scale of his side's achievement.

He said: "I've been coming here for a long time, you realise that... it's very moving.

"We played just the way we wanted to play. We wanted to do this. We didn't know how, but we wanted to do it.

"This place, the context ... it's not a coincidence. We have been working for four years with the players. At the start of the tournament, we weren't satisfied, but we were on the right track.

"The players wanted to do something. We were able to get the game out. The players, the staff, the French Rugby Federation, all the people who helped us to be here today... I spare a thought for them."

Reigning champions France are now level on points with Grand Slam-chasing Ireland, who take on Scotland in Edinburgh on Sunday in their penultimate game of the tournament.

France ended their 18-year wait for a Six Nations victory at Twickenham with a record 53-10 bonus-point triumph on Saturday to keep their title hopes alive.

Les Bleus crossed over three times in the first half and were 24 points ahead at the midway point – the biggest half-time margin any side has had over England in the tournament.

The visitors added four more after the restart, with Thibaud Flament, Charles Ollivon and Damian Penaud helping themselves to two tries apiece, while Thomas Ramos – who started the rout – finished with 23 points to his name.

A famous victory moves France level on points with Ireland, who are away at Scotland on Sunday, while England's campaign is effectively over with one round of games to go.

France were up and running inside five minutes following a rapid break as Ethan Dumortier fed Ramos to touch down and subsequently add the extras.

Ramos added to his tally from a penalty and Flament found a gap to power over soon after as France took complete control.

Marcus Smith temporarily reduced the deficit, only for Ramos to add another penalty of his own, before Ollivon smashed through Smith on the line to add to England's pain.

England looked dejected when Ramos converted again, but they started the second half well and, after Max Malins had one ruled out, Freddie Steward used his power to dot down.

Any hope of a miraculous comeback were ended eight minutes later when Ramos knocked a kick over the top into the path of Flament to race through.

The bonus point was secured at that stage but France were far from finished, with Ollivon alert at the breakdown – unlike England's players – to reach over and double his try count.

Penaud touched down under the posts and there was still time to add another try – France's seventh of the day – in one of England's darkest days in the tournament's history.

Ireland travel to Scotland with their Grand Slam fate in their own hands in the penultimate round of Six Nations action, while Wales and Italy battle it out in a possible wooden spoon clash in Rome.

Andy Farrell's Ireland have defeated Wales, France and Italy in this year's edition – each secured with a bonus point – and are now two wins away from completing a clean sweep for a third time in the six team format.

Scotland, beaten by reigning champions France last time out, can get their own championship hopes back on track with victory over the leaders at Murrayfield in Sunday's standalone fixture.

That comes a day after Wales lock horns with Italy at Stadio Olimpico seeking their first victory since Warren Gatland returned as head coach. The Azzurri are themselves winless this tournament, but they are above Wales by virtue of collecting a losing bonus point.

England and France face off in this weekend's other fixture locked on 10 points apiece, with the winner still having a shot of finishing top of the pile heading into the final weekend of action.

Stats Perform previews the three games with the help of some standout Opta data.


ITALY V WALES 

FORM

Italy have finished bottom of the standings seven years running, but there is real hope of stopping the rot at Wales' expense.

Kieran Crowley's side won their most recent meeting with Wales, coming out on top 22-21 in Cardiff last year to snap a seven-year winless sequence in the tournament.

However, they have not beaten Wales at home since 2007 and are winless on their own patch in the competition in 24 outings since defeating Ireland in March 2013.

Gatland has again shuffled his pack in the hope of ending Wales' six-match losing run in the Six Nations – their worst run since losing seven on the spin between 2002 and 2003.

 

ONES TO WATCH

Ange Capuozzo was Player of the Match in this fixture last year, but he will miss Italy's remaining two matches through injury.

That opens a space for Harlequins fly-half Tommaso Allan, who ranked second for passes across Italy's first two games prior to being overlooked against Ireland.

Gatland has made six changes from the loss to England, with Rhys Webb coming into the side for his first Six Nations start since 2017.

Experienced figure Webb is back in the number nine jersey with a point to prove and a chance to hold down a place in the side ahead of the Rugby World Cup.


ENGLAND V FRANCE

FORM

England have defeated Wales and Italy, both by margins of 10-plus points, since losing to Scotland in Steve Borthwick's first game in charge.

The Red Rose are seeking a third straight win in the championship for the first time since 2020, while not since 2009-2010 have they won three in a row by double-figure margins.

France tasted defeat in their most recent away outing, going down 32-19 in a pivotal showdown with Ireland, but they have won their seven Six Nations games either side of that.

However, the home team on the day has won each of the past six tournament meetings between these sides, with France's most recent victory at Twickenham coming in 2005.

 

ONES TO WATCH

Borthwick has made a big decision in leaving out captain Owen Farrell – the first time he has been dropped for England since the 2015 World Cup – with Marcus Smith recalled.

Smith starred for Harlequins in their rout of Exeter last weekend after being released by Borthwick and he will be looking to transfer that club form onto the international stage.

Jonathan Danty comes in for his first start of the tournament for France as one of three changes, but it is Thibaud Flament who will have England's attention.

The 25-year-old, who has previously spent time living in England, has made the most tackles of any player in this year's Six Nations with 58 to his name.


SCOTLAND V IRELAND

FORM

Ireland have lived up to their pre-tournament favourites tag with three wins from three in 2023, while going further back they have won 10 of their past 11 Six Nations games.

Farrell's side have also won each of their last five games at Murrayfield, preventing their opponents from scoring more than one try in four of those five victories.

But Scotland have performed well this year, the only blemish coming in defeat to France last time out, and they have won three of their past four home games in the tournament.

Ireland may have had the better of this fixture in recent times, but seven of the last eight matches between the sides in Edinburgh have been decided by single-figure margins.

ONES TO WATCH

Stuart Hogg has been handed another start in a Scotland side showing two changes – Jonny Gray and Jack Dempsey coming in – for what will be his 100th Test appearance.

That makes the full-back, who is also his country's record try-scorer, one of four men to reach triple figures in a Scotland shirt after Ross Ford, Chris Paterson and Sean Lamont.

It could also be a milestone day for Johnny Sexton, who has recovered from a knock to return to an Ireland side that also contains fit-again Garry Ringrose and Tadhg Furlong.

Ireland captain Sexton requires eight points to overtake former team-mate Ronan O'Gara (557) as the top scorer in the history of the Six Nations.

England captain Owen Farrell has been dropped to the bench for Saturday's clash with France as head coach Steve Borthwick offered no guarantees about his long-term future as skipper.

Marcus Smith will step in at fly-half, while Ellis Genge will captain the side, but Borthwick said Farrell will take over the leadership once he comes on as a replacement.

Farrell's goal-kicking has been poor during this Six Nations campaign and that was one of several factors behind Borthwick's decision.

Ahead of Saturday's match at Twickenham, the decision to demote 104-cap Farrell was the standout selection issue on either side, particularly as it comes so soon in Borthwick's reign, and ahead of a Rugby World Cup later in the year. This will be just Borthwick's fourth game in charge.

Genge was captain under Borthwick during their time together at Leicester Tigers, and it remains to be seen whether the coach sees him occupying the role on a regular basis at international level. This will be his first time captaining England from the start in a Test.

Borthwick knew his selection would be a contentious move, and he said England were in "a fantastic position" to have such strong options at fly-half.

"My job is to select who the right person to start and who the right person to come off the bench is," Borthwick said.

Eddie Jones' successor stressed he made line-up decisions on a game-by-game basis and sidestepped a question about Farrell's long-term future as captain, saying he was focusing only on the France game.

Farrell has been captain since the 2019 Six Nations. Borthwick said the 31-year-old had been "brilliant" in training this week, while also hailing Genge's captaincy qualities. He described Genge as "a fantastic leader, a natural leader, and he's somebody players follow".

"To have Ellis and Owen there, it's two brilliant men that these players get behind," Borthwick added. "I can't praise Owen enough, not just for this week but every day since we've started working together in this capacity. He cares so deeply about this team."

Asked about Farrell's kicking problems in relation to the team selection, Borthwick said: "I consider every aspect as I try to do this job as thoroughly as possible.

"I think if you were to track all the teams I've selected over the last few years, there have been some pretty bold decisions. I think what I've tried to do is pick a team that is right team for that game.

"That's what I do every single week. Every game matters for England. I believe this is the right team in all the different considerations and all the different factors against a very, very good French team."

 

Teams:

England: Freddie Steward, Max Malins, Henry Slade, Ollie Lawrence, Anthony Watson, Marcus Smith, Jack van Poortvliet; Ellis Genge (captain), Jamie George, Kyle Sinckler, Maro Itoje, Ollie Chessum, Lewis Ludlam, Jack Willis, Alex Dombrandt.

Replacements: Jack Walker, Mako Vunipola, Dan Cole, David Ribbans, Ben Curry, Alex Mitchell, Owen Farrell, Henry Arundell.

France: Thomas Ramos, Damian Penaud, Gael Fickou, Jonathan Danty, Ethan Dumortier, Romain Ntamack, Antoine Dupont (captain); Cyril Baille, Julien Marchand, Dorian Aldegheri, Thibaud Flament, Paul Willemse, Francois Cros, Charles Ollivon, Gregory Alldritt.

Replacements: Peato Mauvaka, Reda Wardi, Sipili Falatea, Romain Taofifenua, Sekou Macalou, Maxime Lucu, Yoram Moefana, Melvyn Jaminet.

Bangladesh completed a fine run chase to upset a weakened England in the opening T20I as Najmul Hossain Shanto's half-century helped the hosts to a six-wicket victory.

Without a host of big names in Chattogram, including Ben Stokes and Harry Brook, the world champions toiled in the second half of their innings and made only 156-6.

England then failed to make sufficient headway with the ball as the hosts kicked off the three-match series with a surprise win.

The tourists initially looked set for a routine victory following an impressive opening stand of 80 from Phil Salt (38) and captain Jos Buttler (67), but they stuttered thereafter.

Mustafizur Rahman's fierce 16th-over delivery to remove Ben Duckett (20) was the catalyst for Bangladesh's assault, with Shanto clinging onto Buttler's leg-side drive from the very next ball.

Having provided the delivery which accounted for Buttler, Hasan Mahmud also sent Sam Curran packing as England's rate continued to slow.

Bangladesh recovered from the early losses of Rony Talukdar (21) and Litton Das (12) after taking up the bat, with Shanto's knock of 51 supported by Towhid Hridoy (24) and skipper Shakib Al Hasan (34no).

Even Mark Wood sending stumps flying to end Shanto's stay did nothing to slow Bangladesh's progress, as Shakib finished off a clinical chase by finding the boundary with 12 balls remaining.

Significant scalp for Bangladesh

Bangladesh entered Thursday's contest having lost seven of their last nine T20Is, with World Cup triumphs over Zimbabwe and the Netherlands their only wins in that run.

However, after winning the third and final ODI against England on Monday, they carried that form into the shorter format to turn the world champions over in comfortable fashion at the Zahur Ahmed Chowdhury Stadium.

Shanto leads the way

While the experience of Shakib helped Bangladesh over the line, Shanto's excellent knock set them on their way to a textbook chase.

Shanto's half-century was his third in T20Is, following knocks of 71 against Zimbabwe and 54 against Pakistan at the World Cup last year.

England could be forgiven for lacking in motivation ahead of their T20I series with Bangladesh, but Chris Woakes sees it as a chance for them to "lay down a marker" following their World Cup triumph.

Matthew Mott's team won the 50-over series in Bangladesh 2-1, with that format receiving the greatest emphasis with England set to defend the Cricket World Cup in India in October.

England won the T20 World Cup last year but will not have to defend that title until June next year, making a three-match series over the shortest format perhaps seem a tad insignificant.

That feeling is furthered by the absence of Ben Stokes, Harry Brook, Alex Hales and Liam Livingstone from the squad.

For Woakes, though, there is no lack of desire.

"It's a great opportunity for us to hopefully lay down a marker again as world champions," said Woakes ahead of Thursday's opener in Chattogram.

"We haven't played a series since we won that World Cup so it's a challenge for us in these conditions, but it's exciting to play here against obviously a very good Bangladesh side.

"It does feel a little bit strange, we're obviously playing a format that isn't overly necessary right now.

"Nonetheless, you're playing for England and you want to win, so we're looking forward to the next three games."

Bangladesh have lost seven of their last nine men's T20 internationals, those two wins coming against Zimbabwe and the Netherlands at the World Cup.

New coach Chandika Hathurusingha was impressed by his side's performance in the ODIs and is excited to see whether his squad can rise to the challenge against the world champions.

"I am very open to see what we can do," Hathurusingha said. "I expect players to do the same thing that got them selected.

"So go and show in the international level against the world champions, for them to understand where they are at, and for us to understand whether we are better than them in our conditions or they are better than us.

"It is a good opportunity for us to see our skill set in T20s."
 

Jordan closing on century

Chris Jordan has been drafted into the squad and has the chance to make history.

He is England's leading wicket-taker in T20 cricket with 95 and by taking five more would become the sixth male player to take 100 wickets in the format.

Jordan would also become the third England player, male or female, to achieve the feat, following Katherine Sciver-Brunt and Anya Shrubsole.

A Litton bit more

Wicketkeeper Litton Das will be one of the players Bangladesh look to for batting firepower.

Since the beginning of 2022, he has a batting strike rate of 140.6 from 360 balls faced in T20Is, the highest of any Bangladesh player in the format in that time to have faced at least 10 balls.

They will likely need him to produce more of that kind of form if they are to threaten to upset the odds.

Italy head coach Roberto Mancini has conceded his side have "serious problems" in attack ahead of the Euro 2024 qualifiers that start later this month. 

The Azzurri are the defending European champions, having beaten England on penalties at Wembley in the Euro 2020 final. 

Mancini's men have been drawn in Group C with England again in qualifying, alongside Malta, Ukraine and North Macedonia – who they lost to in the World Cup play-offs.

Italy will be desperate to make up for the disappointment of not reaching Qatar 2022 and begin their latest campaign at home to England on March 23 before travelling to Malta three days later. 

Speaking to Il Messaggero ahead of the international break, however, Mancini acknowledged concern over his side's attacking options. 

He said: "The problems are serious. [Ciro] Immobile is out, perhaps [Giacomo] Raspadori, too. There are big questions.

"Most of our centre-forwards have played very little in recent months. We don't have one who is a starter, except for [Wilfried] Gnonto, who is used a little wider at Leeds and can act as a centre-forward.

"But otherwise, we are in bad shape: even [Gianluca] Scamacca is recovering from an injury, [Andrea] Belotti plays little.

"There are solutions in defence and in midfield. It's there in attack that we have problems but not because there aren't any talents. They have to play, and they don't play."

One option for Mancini could be to recall former Roma forward Nicolo Zaniolo, who joined Galatasaray on a permanent deal in February. 

There's also the possibility of a first call-up for Andrea Compagno, who has scored 16 times this season in Romania's Liga I.

These fixtures will mark Italy's first games since the death of Gianluca Vialli, a member of their coaching staff and a very close friend of Mancini.

"They will be difficult days," Mancini said. "The great emptiness that I feel every day we will feel stronger. All that he left us must be useful for our present and our future."

Italy have not played since November 20 last year when they lost 2-0 to Austria in a friendly. 

Michael Vaughan's lawyers have accused the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) of being biased in their investigation against the former England captain.

Vaughan was charged with bringing the game into disrepute for allegedly saying there were "too many of you lot", referring to Asian players prior to Yorkshire's T20 match against Nottinghamshire in 2009.

Christopher Stoner KC, representing Vaughan, claimed his client was denied "due process" during the ECB's investigations into the allegations.

Stoner also labelled the investigation "wholly and woefully inadequate" as the Cricket Discipline Commission (CDC) hearings concluded with closing submissions in London on Tuesday.

"The investigation was wholly inadequate," Stoner said. "Due process matters and is the cornerstone of law.

"In our submission it was sent on holiday by the ECB. It raises a real question of fairness [of this investigation]. Mr Vaughan has not been accorded fairness."

ECB lead counsel Jane Mulcahy focused on a series of historic tweets made by Vaughan in her closing submission.

"If a person has a tendency to make racist comments, they have a tendency to make racist comments," Mulcahy said.

"Although Michael Vaughan now purports to be a changed character, Vaughan in 2009 was the same person who shortly afterwards (in 2010) sent two tweets complaining about foreigners… [he] still held the same 'unacceptable' views seven years later when he sent further tweets concerning Muslims and potential terrorism… the supposedly lighthearted but offensive expression in the tweets is very similar in tone to the comment made on 22 June 2009."

Stoner pointed to the testimony of Ajmal Shahzad, one of the four players Vaughan was alleged to have made the comment about, who said that Vaughan "wasn’t that way inclined" to making racist comments as important counter evidence.

Vaughan's defence team went on the offensive with a 32-page closing written submission and a 22-page storyboard of Sky's footage of the pre-game huddle from that day.

Stoner said of the footage: "[It is] Inherently improbable that such serious and unacceptable words were spoken to team-mates just as a game was starting, in the presence of a cameraman and almost certainly a microphone."

Mulcahy also defended the ECB's investigation from Stoner's claims of inadequacy, labelling it an "extraordinary amount of bitter and inaccurate correspondence".

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