Dawid Malan century in England’s series-clinching win strengthens World Cup case

By Sports Desk September 15, 2023

Dawid Malan’s series-clinching century against New Zealand pushed him into pole position to open in England’s World Cup defence next month, as question marks continued to linger over Jason Roy.

Roy was once again missing due to back spasms, meaning he has been sidelined for all four games against the Black Caps, and Malan produced a gem of an innings to lay claim to his top-order spot.

He made a superb 127 from 114 balls at his old home ground of Lord’s, steering England to a score of 311 for nine that the tourists never came close to matching.

They succumbed for 211, going down by exactly 100 on the night and 3-1 overall, as Moeen Ali spun his way to figures of four for 50.

It is only a matter of days since Malan was being floated as a potential fall-guy should Harry Brook find himself parachuted into the squad for the tournament in India, but he has picked his moment expertly, following knocks of 54 and 96 with his fifth ODI ton.

Now, rather than finding himself squeezed out of the trip entirely, he seems likelier to slide into the first-choice XI.

Roy, England’s long-established opener, was left kicking his heels in the dressing room once more and may now be sweating over his place. He was one of the stars of England’s 2019 triumph but his fitness issues have emerged at the worst possible time as the final squad announcement nears.

Captain Jos Buttler, who admitted at the toss that Roy is frustrated by his struggles, suggested England could add the Surrey man to a second-string side that faces Ireland next week in a bid to get him up and running.

His absence opened the door for Malan and he played his part impeccably, scoring 14 boundaries and three sixes as he occupied the crease for 40 overs with a combination of touch and timing that eluded his team-mates. When he finally departed, reaching for a cut and nicking Rachin Ravindra, it was an ill-fitting end.

By then he had eased past 1,000 ODI runs in his 21st appearance – claiming a share of Kevin Pietersen and Jonathan Trott’s joint record. With an average of 61.52 and a strike-rate of 96.52, he has a formidable track record by any reckoning.

England rested Ben Stokes after the exertions of his record-breaking 182 on Wednesday evening but Brook was unable to make a go of his chance at number four, allowing Roy some respite.

Brook was dismissed for 10 when he hit a Ravindra drag down straight to mid-on and, with 37 from his three outings this series, has failed to amplify his case. Joe Root’s struggle for rhythm also continued, twice dropped in single figures before losing his stump for 29 aiming a slog sweep at Ravindra, who finished with four for 60.

Tim Southee paid a heavy price for his handling error in the 14th over, leaving the field for X-rays which revealed a fractured and dislocated right thumb. Like Roy, his World Cup place now hangs in the air.

Buttler was the best of the rest for England, chipping in a lively 36, before New Zealand took five for 68 in a busy final 10.

Just 48 hours earlier New Zealand had fallen short by a massive margin of 181 batting second and would have been eager to show greater resolve this time.

England, though, refused to let them into the game. Buttler took care of the dangerous Devon Conway in the fifth over, flinging off his right glove and running the opener out with an opportunistic effort behind the stumps, then held on to Will Young as David Willey found an outside.

Having failed to bring the required power to the powerplay, and with news of Southee’s fractured thumb emerging, an air of resignation appeared to take hold. Twice in a row a Buttler bowling change paid off in the first over, Brydon Carse firing one into Daryl Mitchell’s off stump with a nipping delivery approaching 90mph and Moeen darting an off-break down the slope and right through Tom Latham.

At 88 for four, and with two injured tailenders, it looked like game over. Ravindra completed a productive evening in north London by smashing 61 from number seven, but by then Moeen had already done enough.

He had Henry Nicholls lbw thanks to Buttler’s insistence on calling for DRS, then picked off Kyle Jamieson and Matt Henry with successive deliveries. Ben Lister defied a hamstring strain to block the hat-trick before Sam Curran ended Ravindra’s spree with a yorker.

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    Nicholas Pooran believes everything went right for him as West Indies got a record-breaking win over Afghanistan to end the T20 World Cup group stage.

    West Indies won by 104 runs in St Lucia on Monday as they hit the highest run total at the tournament so far this year, hitting 218, including registering the highest powerplay score in history with 92.

    Pooran alone got 98 of those runs off 53 balls, the highest individual total at this World Cup, and broke the record for the most sixes in T20Is for West Indies, with his eight in this game taking him to 128, going past Chris Gayle's 124.

    Asked how he felt following his impressive performance, Pooran was quick to turn the praise to the whole team.

    "I felt today was my day and I had to take the responsibility," Pooran said. "When it's your day, you have to make it your day. I assessed the conditions early. It was really important for us to not lose wickets in the middle.

    "We have been really consistent as a team. The way we have played is wonderful.

    "It's just not today, it started 12-14 months ago. We have been consistent as a team; we went to No. 3 in the rankings. In the last game, [Sherfane] Rutherford took the opportunity and played wonderfully. He inspired us."

    Captain Rovman Powell hit 26 when he was introduced but had already witnessed history being made in the fourth over – West Indies scored 36 runs, equalling the record for the most expansive over in men’s T20Is.

    Powell was pleased with the performances on both sides but singled out the hard work Pooran has done in order to get this result.

    "I think it is on the back of hard work," Powell said. "He has had a very good 12 months. Good to see him score runs not only in franchise cricket but also for West Indies.

    "The guys were excited to come here. We knew here would be one of the better wickets of the competition. After Guyana and Trinidad, the batters wanted to come here and get runs."

    West Indies face reigning champions England next in the Super 8s on Wednesday.

  • Pooran impresses in statement West Indies win over Afghanistan Pooran impresses in statement West Indies win over Afghanistan

    Nicholas Pooran starred as West Indies got a statement win in their final T20 World Cup group game, beating Afghanistan by 104 runs in St Lucia on Monday.

    Both sides had already qualified for the Super 8s, but West Indies ensured they finished unbeaten in Group C, breaking a few records along the way.

    Afghanistan had no answers to the co-hosts' dominant batting performance, with Johnson Charles getting 43 off 27 balls before Pooran plundered 98 off 53 balls, including six fours and eight sixes.

    He was run out in the final over while searching for his century, but Shai Hope (25) and Rovman Powell (26) had already helped push West Insides towards the highest total of the tournament so far with 218-5.

    West Indies did not let up during the Afghanistan chase, starting strongly when Akeal Hosein had Rashid Khan caught for a duck in a wicket maiden to start.

    Obed McCoy was the standout though, as he took 3-14, including Ibrahim Zadran, who was starting to build some momentum with his 38, leaving Afghanistan all out for 114 with 22 balls remaining.

    West Indies meet holders England in their first Super 8 match on Wednesday, while Afghanistan face India the following day.

    Data Debrief: West Indies finish group in record-breaking style

    West Indies' score of 218 was their highest-ever at the T20 World Cup, while they also registered the highest powerplay score with 92, beating the Netherlands' record of 91 against Ireland in 2014.

    In the fourth over alone, they scored 36 runs - equalling the record for the most expansive over in men's T20s.

    Pooran has scored the joint-most sixes in the tournament so far (13, along with USA's Aaron Jones), and has broken the record for the most sixes (128) in T20s for West Indies, going past Chris Gayle's 124.

    His total of 98 was also the highest individual total at this World Cup, carrying him past 2000 runs in T20Is.

    All in all, not a bad day for the West Indies.

  • All the records broken in Windies' breathtaking performance against Afghanistan All the records broken in Windies' breathtaking performance against Afghanistan

    In a thrilling display of cricket prowess, West Indies shattered records at all angles, and left fans in awe with a phenomenal 104-run win over Afghanistan in their final Group C contest of the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup at the Darren Sammy Stadium, in St Lucia, on Monday.

    Here is a look at all the records that were broken during the breathtaking performance.

    Highest total of 2024 T20 World Cup

    West Indies total of 218-5 was the highest total by any team at this edition of the Men's T20 World Cup, surpassing the 201-6 that Sri Lanka managed against the Netherlands, at the same venue, and Australia's 201-7 against England in Barbados.

    Team

    Score

    West Indies

    218-5 v Afghanistan

    Sri Lanka

    201-6 v Netherlands

    Australia

    201-7 v England

    USA

    197-3 v Canada

    Canada

    194-5 v USA

    Highest individual innings of 2024 T20 World Cup

    Nicholas Pooran's outstanding innings of 98 was the highest score by any player at this T20 World Cup, eclipsing the unbeaten 94 USA's Aaron Jones put together against Canada in Dallas.

    Player

    Score

    Nicholas Pooran

    98 v Afghanistan

    Aaron Jones

    94* v Canada

    Rahmanullah Gurbaz

    80 v New Zealand

    Rahmanullah Gurbaz

    76 v Uganda

    Ibrahim Zadran

    70 v Uganda

    Highest Powerplay in Men's T20 World Cup history

    West Indies scored 92 runs during the Powerplay, beating the previous best of 91 by the Netherlands against Ireland at the 2014 edition of the tournament.

    Team

    Score

    West Indies

    92 v Afghanistan (2024)

    Netherlands

    91 v Ireland (2014)

    England

    89 v South Africa (2016)

    South Africa

    83 v England (2016)

    India

    82 v Scotland (2021)

    Highest total for West Indies in Men's T20 World Cups

    The score of 218-5 by the West Indies was the best they have managed at any edition of the T20 World Cup, going past the 205-6 against South Arica in Johannesburg in 2007.

    Opposition

    Score

    Afghanistan

    218-5 (2024)

    South Africa

    205-6 (2007

    Australia

    205-4 (2012)

    India

    196-3 (2016)

    Australia

    191-8 (2012)

    Equal most runs conceded in one over in Men's T20 World Cup history

    An unwanted record for Afghanistan seamer Azmatullah Omarzai, who conceded a total of 36 in one over during the Powerplay. Pooran smashed three sixes and a pair of fours during Omarzai's second over, with some wayward bowling meaning Yuvraj Singh's long-standing record for most runs in one over at a Men's T20 World Cup was equaled.

    Pooran overtook Chris Gayle for most sixes by West Indies player in Men's T20I history

    Pooran hit eight sixes against Afghanistan, taking his tally to 128 in T20I cricket and past West Indies great Chris Gayle's total of 124.

    Player

    Sixes

    Nicholas Pooran

    128

    Chris Gayle

    124

    Evin Lewis

    111

    Kieron Pollard

    99

    Rovman Powell

    90

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