Afghanistan beat Lanka; boost semi-final hopes

Wednesday 01st November 2023 06:36 EDT

Afghanistan have defeated Sri Lanka by seven wickets in Pune on Monday to record their third win of the Cricket World Cup and boost their hopes of a semi-final place. Their bowlers had laid the foundation of their third win in six matches when they bowled out Sri Lanka for a below par 241 in 49.3 overs. Three of their top five batters, including Hashmatullah Shahidi, then produced half-centuries in a clinical chase that they accomplished in 45.2 overs to move to fifth place in the points table.

Azmatullah Omarzai (73) scored the winning run with Shahidi (58) looking on from the other end. Put into bat, several Lankan batters got their eyes in but could not quite capitalise on those starts. After the fall of Dimuth Karunaratne in the sixth over, Kusal Mendis (39) forged half-century partnerships with Pathum Nissanka (46) and Sadeera Samarawickrama (36) to steady the innings. And the chase by Afghanistanwas a masterclass in composure, with Afghanistan recovering from the loss of Rahmanullah Gurbaz in the opening over to chase down their target with seven wickets and 28 balls to spare. Rahmat Shah (62), Hashmatullah Shahidi (58*) and Azmatullah Omarzai (73*) all scored half-centuries after Ibrahim Zadran had set the tone with a classy 39 early in the innings. The victory keeps Afghanistan in the hunt for one of the semi-final spots.

India crush England by 100 runs

Jasprit Bumrah and Mohammed Shami breathed fire in their magical opening spells after Rohit Sharma's rearguard 87 on a challenging pitch as India hammered England by 100 runs for their six straight win in the World Cup in Lucknow on Sunday. The win would not have been possible without Rohit (87 off 101 balls), whose sublime knock stood out as most Indian batters fell by the wayside on a two paced pitch. Shami (4/22) and Bumrah (3/32) stole the show with the ball for the unstoppable hosts as England batters once against cut a sorry figure. It was the fifth defeat for England. Earlier England slumped to their fourth defeat as Sri Lanka claimed a runaway eight-wicket victory in Bengaluru on Thursday.
Netherlands trounce Bangladesh

A clinical bowling effort complemented skipper Scott Edwards’ gritty half-century as Netherlands once again punched above their weight to secure a handsome 87-run win over Bangladesh in Kolkata on Saturday. Edwards overcame an edgy start to score a second World Cup 50 and take them to a modest 229 all out after they opted to bat on a fresh Eden wicket hosting its first match of the global showpiece. Bangladesh found themselves ‘at home’ with the 15,000-odd crowd strongly rooting for them to revive their campaign after losing four games on the trot. But their batters once again came up with an insipid show as they were unable to cope with the extra bounce as the Netherlands bowlers aced the conditions beautifully to bundle them out for 142 in 42.2 overs

Australia win a thriller against New Zealand

Travis Head’s rapid hundred trumped Rachin Ravindra’s gallant 116 as Australia beat New Zealand by five runs in the highest-scoring match in World Cup history to stay on course for a semi-final slot in the 50-overs tournament at Dharamsala on Saturday. Head smashed 109 off 67 balls in his first match of the World Cup and forged a breakneck 175-run opening stand with David Warner (81) to propel Australia to a commanding 388 all out. Glenn Maxwell (41), Josh Inglis (38) and skipper Pat Cummins (37) provided breezy cameos down the order before Australia were all out in 49.2 overs. Ravindra led New Zealand’s spirited reply with his second hundred of the tournament and Daryl Mitchell made 54 to steady their innings.

South Africa break Pakistan hearts

Aiden Markram cracked a crucial half-century as table-topping South Africa broke their 24-year World Cup jinx against Pakistan with a nervy one-wicket victory and inched closer to securing a Cricket World Cup semifinal place with their fifth win in six matches. South Africa began well chasing 271 on Friday as Quinton de Kock (24) and Temba Bavuma (28) landed early blows before Pakistan struck back with timely wickets, but Markram (91) held his nerve to take them close and they eventually got home in 47.2 overs. Pakistan fell to their fourth successive defeat as Maharaj hit a four off his legs but Haris Rauf (2-62) nearly won it for them towards the end with a diving catch to send back Lungi Ngidi before number 11 Shamsi survived a review for lbw.

Australia thrash Netherlands

A plethora of records were broken as Australia crushed Netherlands by 309 runs during their World Cup contest in New Delhi on Wednesday. Glenn Maxwell's fastest century in the tournament's history, inarguably, was the highlight of the show. Batting first, the Australians amassed 399 for eight with hundreds from David Warner (104) and Maxwell (106) before spinner Adam Zampa's four-for skittled the Dutch for 90 by the 21st over. It is the biggest margin of win across all editions of World Cup and the second biggest in ODI history, besides being the biggest for Australia. It is the highest total for Australia in a World Cup match in India and their second highest in the event overall. Maxwell scored the fastest hundred, reaching the landmark in just 40 balls.

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