Section: Cricket

Cricket World Cup: India beat Zimbabwe to keep 100% record

India continued their perfect record at the World Cup with a six-wicket win against Zimbabwe in Auckland.

World Cup Pool B, Auckland:
Zimbabwe 287 (48.5 overs): Taylor 138, Williams 50, Yadav 3-43
India 288-4 (48.4 overs): Raina 110*, Dhoni 85*, Panyangara 2-53
India won by six wickets

Suresh Raina (110 not out) and captain MS Dhoni (85 not out) shared a 196-run partnership to chase 288 at Eden Park.

Holders India had already qualified for the quarter-finals where they will face Bangladesh, but victory marked a 10th successive win in World Cup matches.

Zimbabwe captain Brendan Taylor had earlier scored 138 off 110 balls in his final international appearance.

Left-hander Raina, who reached his century in 94 balls, was gifted a lifeline on 47 when Zimbabwe all-rounder Hamilton Masakadza dropped a simple chance.

His error at short fine leg from a top-edged sweep shot came with India’s reply in the balance at 157-4.

India were already guaranteed to finish top of Pool B and wrapped up their sixth win from six matches, but defeat for Zimbabwe meant their World Cup campaign concluded with only one win from six.

India captain MS Dhoni, who won the toss and elected to field, admitted it had been a good test for his side ahead of the knock-out stages.

“The wicket was doing a bit in the second innings and the Zimbabwean bowlers exploited that well, with slow bowling,” he said.

“Raina is a key player for us and the partnership we put on was very good.

“Everyone has performed under pressure so this is looking good and all our batsmen have had a bat.”

Zimbabwe wicketkeeper Taylor’s brilliant century came in his final outing for his country, having elected to join Nottinghamshire on a Kolpak contract for the forthcoming English county season.

The 29-year-old smashed 15 fours and five sixes in his stay at the crease to ensure Zimbabwe recovered from a sluggish start to post 287.

It was the right-hander’s second century in the tournament, havingscored 121 against Ireland in their previous match.

Read more at BBC Sport

Cricket World Cup: Australia thrash Scotland in last group game

Australia raced to a seven-wicket win and condemned Scotland to a sixth straight defeat in the final World Cup Pool A game.

World Cup Pool A, Hobart:
Scotland 130 (25.4 overs): Machan 40; Starc 4-14
Australia 133-3 (15.2 overs): Clarke 47
Australia won by seven wickets

Mitchell Starc took 4-13 and Pat Cummins 3-42 to bowl Scotland out for 130 in 25.4 overs in Hobart.

Michael Clarke, promoted up the order, hit 47 as Australia won with 34.4 overs to spare after a 90-minute rain delay.

They face a quarter-final against Pakistan or Ireland, who meet on Sunday, in Adelaide on 20 March.

Australia captain Clarke said: “We had one little hiccup against New Zealand, but now it’s the knockout stages.

“We need to play at our best and I think if we do, we can win.”

Scotland finished bottom of the group, having extended their unwanted record of World Cup games without a win to 14 since their debut in 1999.

But captain Preston Mommsen said: “We take a huge amount of positives from the past six games, and we leave the World Cup a better team.”

The batting problems which have undermined this campaign – Scotland have been bowled out in all but one game – were evident again as five players made ducks.

Read more at BBC Sport

Cricket World Cup: England bow out with nine-wicket win

England’s World Cup campaign ended with a nine-wicket victory over Afghanistan in a rain-affected match in Sydney.

World Cup Pool A, Sydney:
Afghanistan 111-7 (36.2 overs): Shafiqullah 30, Jordan 2-13
England 101-1 (18.1 overs): Bell 52, Hamid Hassan 1-14
England won by nine wickets

Already out after one win from five games, they opted to bowl and had the minnows at 20-2 by the first stoppage.

Chris Jordan and Ravi Bopara both took two wickets and the Afghans were 111-7 in the 37th over before rain revised England’s target to 101 from 25 overs.

Alex Hales, dropped on 0 and 12, hit two sixes in 37 and Ian Bell was 52 not out as England won with 41 balls left.

Read more at BBC Sport

Cricket World Cup: Unbeaten New Zealand defeat Bangladesh

New Zealand recorded their sixth successive win at the 2015 World Cup as they beat Bangladesh by three wickets.

World Cup Pool A, Hamilton:
Bangladesh 288-7 (50 overs): Mahmudullah 128*, Sarkar 51
New Zealand 290-7 (48.5 overs): Guptill 105, Taylor 56; Shakib 4-55
New Zealand won by three wickets

Chasing 289 to win, the co-hosts overcame a late collapse to win with seven balls to spare, with Martin Guptill scoring 105, Ross Taylor 56 and Grant Elliott 39.

Bangladesh had posted 288-7 in Hamilton as Mahmudullah made an unbeaten 128, his second century in two matches.

New Zealand, who remain unbeaten, had already secured top spot in Pool A.

The Kiwis, who have lost six World Cup semi-finals, will face Pakistan, Ireland or West Indies in the quarter-finals in Wellington on Saturday, 21 March.

They showed why they are one of the favourites to win the competition with a hard-fought victory after they won the toss.

In a thrilling finish, New Zealand fell from 210-3 to 269-7 as Bangladesh captain Shakib Al Hasan claimed 4-55, but Daniel Vettori and Tim Southee saw the hosts home after a rapid 39 from Corey Anderson.

Defeat means Bangladesh are likely to finish fourth in Pool A, which would mean a quarter-final against Pool B winners India in Melbourne on Thursday, 19 March.

Earlier, Trent Boult claimed the wickets of Imrul Kayes and Tamim Iqbal during a hostil opening spell as Bangladesh slipped to 27-2.

Mahmudullah, who was dropped on nought by Guptill and on one by Anderson in the following over, followed up his 103 against Englandwith his highest ODI score.

He was helped by Soumya Sarkar’s 51 – his maiden ODI half-century – before Sabbir Rahman hit 40 off 23 balls.

The Kiwis looked in trouble at 33-2 after Shakib dismissed Brendon McCullum and Kane Williamson.

However, Guptill, who will play for Derbyshire in this year’s County Championship before New Zealand begin their tour of England, put his side in control by hitting 11 fours and two sixes in his 100-ball knock.

Man of the match Guptill said: “We have a lot of belief and the way we are executing our skills is pleasing. We just need to keep that up over the next few weeks.”

Read more at BBC Sport

Cricket World Cup: South Africa ease into quarter-finals

South Africa moved into the World Cup quarter-finals with a routine 146-run victory over United Arab Emirates.

World Cup Pool B, Wellington:
South Africa 341-6 (50 overs): De Villiers 99, Behardien 64; Naveed 3-63
UAE 195-9 (all out) (47.3 overs): Patil 57 not out; De Villiers 2-15
South Africa won by 146 runs

Proteas captain AB de Villiers top scored and was dismissed on 99 after useful contributions from Rilee Rossouw (43) and David Miller (49).

Farhaan Behardien blasted 64 off 31 balls to take South Africa to 341-6, a total UAE never looked like reaching.

Swapnil Patil scored an unbeaten 57 and Shaiman Anwar made 39 but UAE were bowled out for 195 in 47.3 overs.

The victory means South Africa, who have never reached a World Cup final, will finish second in Pool B and, barring shock results, will probably face Sri Lanka in the quarter-final in Sydney on 18 March.

South Africa dominated against a UAE side that has never beaten a Test-playing nation in a World Cup but who surprisingly opted to bowl first after winning the toss.

That decision backfired as South Africa made the eighth highest total of the tournament with De Villiers again leading the way.

He scored the fastest 150 in one-day cricket off 64 balls on his way to an unbeaten 162 against the West Indies earlier in the World Cup and hit six fours and four sixes in his 82 ball-knock on Thursday.

However, he missed out on his 21st ODI century when he sliced the ball to short third man Amjad Javed off Kamran Shazad’s bowling. De Villiers then showed his ability with the ball, taking 2-15 from three overs.

“It’s never just a given you are going to make the quarter-finals of the World Cup, we have a lot of people we are representing back home and we have a great opportunity,” said De Villiers.

“They made it difficult so I was very happy with the way we fought, which is what I want to see as a captain.”

The only disappointment for South Africa was another failure from opening batsman Quinton de Kock, who made an unconvincing 26 off 45 balls before being caught behind. He has only scored 53 runs in their six pool games.

In reply, UAE struggled to cope with the pace of the South African attack, as both Morne Morkel and Vernon Philander claimed two wickets each.

Read more at BBC Sport

Cricket World Cup: Sangakkara scores fourth successive century for Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka’s Kumar Sangakkara became the first player to score four successive one-day international centuries as his side beat Scotland at the World Cup.

World Cup Pool A, Hobart:
Sri Lanka 363-9 (50 overs): Sangakkara 124, Dilshan 104, Davey 3-63
Scotland 215 (43.1 overs): Coleman 70, Mommsen 60, Kulasekara 3-20
Sri Lanka won by 148 runs

The 37-year-old hit 124 in a total of 363-9 in Hobart, to go with his previous tons in the tournament against Bangladesh, England and Australia.

Sangakkara passed 500 ODI dismissals as Scotland were bowled out for 215.

Captain Preston Mommsen and Freddie Coleman scored half centuries but Sri Lanka finish with four wins in Pool A.

They look set to face South Africa in the first of the quarter-finals in Sydney on Wednesday.

Although they posted their best ever total batting second against a Test-playing nation, a fifth defeat means Scotland remain without a win. They will play co-hosts Australia in their final match on Saturday in Hobart.

On a day of records at Bellerive Oval, left-hander Sangakkara recorded his fifth World Cup century and is now one behind the record of six held by India’s Sachin Tendulkar.

He has now scored 14,189 ODI runs and only Tendulkar (18,426), who retired in 2013, has more runs for their country in the 50-over format.

Sangakkara, who became the first ever player to score four centuries at a World Cup, has previously suggested he will retire from ODI cricket at the end of the tournament.

The wicketkeeper has enjoyed a prolific spell in the last 12-18 months, becoming the fastest player to reach 12,000 Test runs in January in the same match in which he scored his 11th double century, moving him one behind the record held by Australian great Don Bradman.

“I’ve been batting and keeping for a long time, it’s getting harder and the joints are creaking and aching, but I consider myself lucky to be part of a great team,” he said.

“No matter how hard you try, it’s hard to pinpoint why I’m playing so well.

“Maybe I’m making better decisions at the crease, I don’t know. Whatever it is, it’s working for me at the moment.”

Read more at BBC Sport

Cricket World Cup: Ireland dealt qualification blow by India

Ireland’s hopes of reaching the World Cup quarter-finals suffered a blow as India sealed top spot in Pool B with a fifth straight win in the tournament.

Ireland came into the match knowing that a point would see them qualify.

World Cup Pool B, Hamilton:
Ireland 259 (49 overs): N O'Brien 75, Porterfield 67, Shami 3-41
India 260-2 (36.5 overs): Dhawan 100, Rohit Sharma 64
India won by eight wickets

Despite an opening stand of 89 between William Porterfield and Paul Stirling and 75 from Niall O’Brien, their 259 total was never likely to be enough.

So it proved as Shikhar Dhawan (100) and Rohit Sharma (64) helped India to a comfortable eight-wicket victory.

The margin of defeat is a reality check for Ireland, who have performed well above expectation in this tournament, claiming three wins (two against Test-playing nations) to give them six points and genuine hope of reaching the last eight.

They can still do so, but they will need to beat Pakistan in their final pool game or gain a point should the fixture be rained off.

Much like their game with South Africa, in which they conceded 411 runs before being bowled out for 210, the gulf in class between the sides in Hamilton was vast.

Read more at BBC Sport

Cricket World Cup: England knocked out by Bangladesh

England were knocked out of the World Cup in dismal fashion as Bangladesh claimed a stunning 15-run win.

World Cup Pool A, Adelaide
Bangladesh 275-7 (50 overs): Mahmudullah 103, Mushfiqur 89
England 260 (48.3 overs): Buttler 65, Bell 63; Rubel 4-53
Bangladesh won by 15 runs

Set 276 to win, England were bowled out for 260 despite Jos Buttler’s 52-ball 65, while Rubel Hossain claimed 4-53.

Bangladesh had earlier posted 275-7 in Adelaide thanks to 103 from Mahmudullah and Mushfiqur Rahim’s 89.

England go out in the group stages for the third time in five World Cups, while Bangladesh advance past the first round for only the second occasion.

“I’m gutted at the moment,” said England skipper Eoin Morgan. “There’ll be an inquest over the next few weeks as to what happened and what went wrong. Then we’ll go from there.”

Coach Peter Moores said he felt “hollow inside” and “hugely disappointed” following England’s demise.

Bangladesh’s victory also secured Sri Lanka’s place in the last eight, alongside Pool A winners New Zealand and Australia.

England, meanwhile, face a dead rubber against Afghanistan in Sydney on Friday.

A fourth defeat in five games is the latest episode in 23 years of World Cup failure, since they reached the final in 1992.

In losing to every Test-playing side in Pool A – their only win has come against Scotland – England have put in their worst showing since a first-round exit on home soil in 1999. Even then, they managed to beat defending champions Sri Lanka.

Sri Lanka, along with Australia and New Zealand, are three sides to have dished out heavy defeats to England in this tournament, but all three are ahead of Morgan’s team in the world rankings.

Read more at BBC Sport

Cricket World Cup: Australia overcome Sri Lanka in Sydney

Glenn Maxwell hit the second-fastest century in World Cup history as Australia beat Sri Lanka by 64 runs to advance to the quarter-finals.

World Cup Pool A, Sydney:
Australia 376-9 (50 overs): Maxwell 102, Smith 72, Clarke 68, Watson 67
Sri Lanka 312 (46.2 overs): Sangakkara 104, Dilshan 62, Chandimal 52
Australia won by 64 runs

Maxwell’s first one-day international ton, reached off 51 balls, inspired Australia’s total of 376-9 in Sydney.

Sri Lanka fell short in a spirited run chase despite a third consecutive World Cup century from Kumar Sangakkara and a quickfire 52 from Dinesh Chandimal.

Australia are likely to meet either Ireland or Pakistan in the last eight.

Michael Clarke’s side, who face Scotland in their final Pool A match in Hobart on 14 March, should finish second behind New Zealand in their group, and would therefore meet the team that finishes third in Pool B.

Sri Lanka, who lie in third place in the group with six points from their five matches, also face Scotland in their final Pool A match in Hobart on 11 March.

Maxwell hit 10 fours and four sixes in an innings of 102 that combined deft placement with power hitting, as the 26-year-old finally reached three figures in his 45th ODI.

He was denied a share of the fastest World Cup century arguably only by his own honesty, after he answered in the negative when asked by umpire Ian Gould whether he had got a touch on a legside glance off Lasith Malinga in the 45th over.

Maxwell bought up his hundred in the next over, off 51 deliveries, one more than it took Ireland batsman Kevin O’Brien to decimate the England attack in Bangalore in 2011. However, it is the fastest ODI century by an Australian, beating James Faulkner’s 57-ball century against India in 2013.

The Victorian received a bear-hug from batting partner Shane Watson, who hit 67 runs in 41 balls on his return to the side after being dropped for the previous match against Afghanistan.

Read more at BBC Sport

Cricket World Cup: New Zealand beat Afghanistan

New Zealand made it five wins from five at the World Cup as a six-wicket win in Napier eliminated Afghanistan from quarter-final contention.

World Cup Pool A, Napier:
Afghanistan 186 (47.4 overs): Najibullah 56, Shenwari 54, Vettori 4-18
New Zealand 188-4 (36.1 overs): Guptill 57, McCullum 42
New Zealand won by six wickets

Veteran spinner Daniel Vettori (4-18) reduced Afghanistan to 59-6 before Samiullah Shenwari (54) and Najibullah Zadran (56) helped them to 186 all out.

Black Caps skipper Brendon McCullum then hit a rapid 42 from 19 balls.

Martin Guptill made 57 as the Kiwis, already in the quarter-finals, cruised home with 13.5 overs to spare.

McCullum powered two boundaries in the first over of New Zealand’s reply and by the time his entertaining cameo was ended when he edged Mohammad Nabi onto his stumps via his pads, they were 53-1 in the sixth over and on course for victory.

Australia’s 64-run win over Sri Lanka in Sydney later on Sunday confirmed New Zealand as Pool A winners.

It looked as though the co-hosts would face a much smaller target thanks to Vettori, who was introduced as early as the third over to allow the opening bowlers to change ends and knocked over teenager Usman Ghani’s off stump with his first ball.

After seamer Trent Boult accounted for Javed Ahmadi and Asghar Stanikzai, Vettori returned for a second spell to bowl Nawroz Mangal (27) for the 36-year-old’s 300th one-day international wicket.

Read more at BBC Sport