Windies interim coach Floyd Reifer insists the team will not be rattled by facing Barbadian-born England pacer Jofra Archer, despite the bowler consistently thundering down speeds of 90mph throughout the World Cup so far.

Despite several claims to the contrary, there will be an added layer of intrigue when the Barbadian takes the pitch against the Windies, a team he represented on three occasions as a junior, before deciding to switch allegiances to England.  

Archer has been in impressive for England and recently bowled the quickest ever ODI spell by an England player, against Bangladesh, since records began 13 years ago. Reifer was quick to insist the Barbadian will offer very little the team hasn’t come across before.

“Our batsmen led by Chris Gayle —will not shy away from Archer’s speed,” Reifer said on Monday.

“It will be entertaining, we are all here to entertain. I am sure Jofra will be chomping at the bit to come at us but we will be ready for him,” he added.

“We have known Jofra for a long time, he is from Barbados. We knew him from under15, under-17 and under-19 so he is not new to us,” Reifer said.

“He is bowling quickly but that is nothing we are not accustomed to. We are looking forward to the challenge. I actually played club crick­et against him as a young guy. Jofra is a tremendous talent, we all know that.”

The teams will face off at the Rose Bowl Cricket Ground on Friday.

 

India have announced Shikhar Dhawan will remain in England as their medical team continue to monitor the thumb injury he suffered in the win over Australia on Sunday.

Opening batsman Dhawan was struck on his left hand by a delivery from Pat Cummins in the early stages of the Cricket World Cup clash at The Oval, though the blow did not stop him continuing his innings.

The left-hander went on to make 117, helping India amass 352-5 after opting to bat first, but did not field in the second half of the fixture, watching on from the dressing room as Australia were bowled out for 316 in reply.

Reports in the media have suggested a suspected hairline fracture and while the team have yet to confirm the full extent of the damage, the Board of Control for Cricket in India did offer an update via Twitter on Tuesday.

"Team India opening batsman Mr Shikhar Dhawan is presently under the observation of the BCCI medical team," they wrote in a post that also included a picture of Dhawan celebrating reaching 50 against Australia.

"The team management has decided that Mr Dhawan will continue to be in England and his progress will be monitored."

India are next in action on Thursday, as they face New Zealand at Trent Bridge in a battle between two teams who still own 100 per cent records at this year's tournament.

Virat Kohli's side then take on Pakistan at Old Trafford on Sunday, though they may have to do without Dhawan for at least the next two games.

Bangladesh are "very optimistic" Shakib Al Hasan will overcome a thigh injury in time to face West Indies next Monday at the Cricket World Cup.

All-rounder Shakib strained his left thigh while batting during the clash with host nation England on Saturday, though he still went on to score a century in a losing cause in Cardiff.

The Tigers saw Tuesday's fixture against Sri Lanka washed out in Bristol but now have a break from action in the tournament, giving the 32-year-old time to undergo further treatment.

"He picked up a little injury, as you all saw in that game against England," Bangladesh coach Steve Rhodes told the media.

"He fought on, battled on and played extremely well with an injury.

"We're very, very optimistic that the treatment that he'll get this week and the way that he can recover well. We're very optimistic that he can play in that next game against West Indies."

Bangladesh's game with Sri Lanka was the second at this year's World Cup to be abandoned without any play whatsoever, while South Africa and West Indies managed just 7.3 overs in Southampton on Monday.

With teams picking up just a solitary point for rained-off fixtures, rain could have a crucial say in deciding who qualifies for the semi-finals.

Englishman Rhodes knows all about the unpredictable weather in his home country, leading him to suggest the World Cup may have benefited from building reserve days into the schedule for the group stage.

"If you know the English weather, sadly we're going to get a lot of rain," said Rhodes, who played 11 Tests and nine ODI games for England in his playing career.

"We never know when the rain is going to come. People from all over the world keep asking me whether it's going to rain; I don't know. But, at the moment, we're seeing some problems.

"And I know logistically it would have been a big headache for the tournament organisers, and I know that it would have been difficult, but we have got quite a lot of time in between games, and if we have got to travel a day later, then so be it.

"We put men on the moon, so why can we not have a reserve day, when actually this tournament is a long tournament? They are spread out, the games.

"I would say that it's disappointing for the crowd as well. They have got tickets to see a game of cricket and it would be up to them if they can get there the day after."

West Indies' pacers have shown sparks of the old Caribbean fire, but it needs to translate into more consistency, and wins for the team, before they can be truly compared to the greats of that era. 

South Africa's slim hopes of reaching the Cricket World Cup semi-finals were dented further as their match with West Indies was washed out on Monday after only 45 deliveries at the Rose Bowl. 

Windies batting star Chris Gayle was not allowed to use a specially branded ‘Universe Boss’ bat for the ICC Cricket World Cup.

According to reports, the 39-year-old batsman had sought special permission from the International Cricket Council (ICC) to imprint his moniker on the bat ahead of the tournament.  The request would, however, have violated the ICC code as its related to the displaying of messages.  The issue came to the fore after the ICC on Friday also denied India wicketkeeper batsman Mahendra Singh Dhoni permission to wear a dagger insignia on his wicket-keeping gloves.

"The regulations for ICC events do not permit any individual message or logo to be displayed on any items of clothing or equipment,” the ICC said.

"ICC couldn't have made an exception for Dhoni as no personal messages are allowed on equipment. Gayle wanted it but when he was refused permission, he accepted it and moved on," an official privy to the details of the situation later told the media.

During India’s World Cup 2019 opener against South Africa at Ageas Bowl in Southampton on June 5, MS Dhoni sported a pair of wicketkeeping gloves with regimental dagger insignia of the Indian Para Special Forces.  He has since had to remove the symbol.

While it may feel as if the Cricket World Cup is just starting to warm up, South Africa must fear they are already in danger of being left out in the cold in the battle to reach the knockout stages.

Monday's meeting with West Indies in Southampton appears to be make or break for Faf du Plessis' squad following three straight defeats. Lose another in the round-robin section and their hopes of progressing look bleak at best.

The Proteas were no match for hosts England in the tournament opener and while losing to India in their most recent outing was hardly a surprise, the setback against Bangladesh sandwiched in between those two games has left them still without a point to their name.

With six fixtures remaining, they know they must turn around their campaign - and fast.

However, West Indies are not a team you want to face when you're up against it. Batting was seen as their stronger suit coming into the event, yet their quick bowlers have been the ones to catch the eye in their two outings to date.

Utilising the short ball superbly, they roughed up Pakistan in a one-sided victory and then had Australia on the ropes at 38-4, only for Steve Smith and Nathan Coulter-Nile to engineer a recovery for the reigning world champions.

West Indies will feel they missed an opportunity against Australia, when they fell 15 runs short in their chase, but may relish the chance to land a potential knockout blow on a fragile South Africa team just desperate to stay alive.


TOURNAMENT SO FAR

Things have not gone to plan so far for the Proteas, who must decide whether to stick or twist when it comes to selection. The media focus on the absent AB de Villiers - who was ready to make a return to international duty, only to be overlooked by the selectors - has not helped.

South Africa failed to chase down totals in excess of 300 in their first two outings, yet batting first failed to result in a turnaround in their fortunes against India on Wednesday.

As for West Indies, they pummelled Pakistan and came up just short against Australia, with both of their games taking place at Trent Bridge.

It will be interesting to see if a similar tactic of short-pitched bowling works so effectively at a different venue, particularly one where India's spinners prospered against South Africa.


WHAT THEY SAID

"It's [India] a game that I really hoped that we would win. There was a lot on that game. It was going to give us some breathing space. So now we've just got a stiff challenge ahead of us, but we're ready to stand up, rise up to it." - South Africa quick Kagiso Rabada.

"We are obviously confident, but we have to respect South Africa as well. They are a good side. They have lost three games. We know they have got world-class players so we can't underestimate their ability and we have to go out and play hard and smart cricket and stick to our game plans." - West Indies assistant coach Roddy Estwick.


OPTA FACTS

- South Africa and West Indies have split the last four ODIs between the teams, though the latter won the most recent fixture, in June 2016, by 100 runs.

- The Proteas have claimed victory in four of their six matches against West Indies at the World Cup, including their previous three encounters.

- Shai Hope has reached 50 on 16 occasions in ODIs since the start of 2017, including a knock of 68 last time out against Australia.

Jason Roy flattened an umpire and bludgeoned Bangladesh as World Cup hosts England returned to winning ways in Cardiff. 

West Indies allrounder Carlos Brathwaite has expressed his frustration at "dodgy" umpiring during the 15-run loss to Australia and questioned why his team does not get as many lbw decisions as its rivals.

West Indies overturned four calls by the two umpires in Thursday's match at Trent Bridge, including two in three balls against Chris Gayle in the third over of the innings by Mitchell Starc.

The ball that trapped Gayle lbw in the following over from Starc should have been a free hit because of a no-ball by the Australia paceman the previous delivery that umpire Chris Gaffaney missed.

"I don't know if I'll be fined for saying it," Brathwaite said, "but I just think that the umpiring was a bit frustrating. Even when we were bowling, we thought a few balls close to head height were called wides.

"And obviously three decisions ... as far as I can remember being dodgy, it was frustrating and sent ripples through the dressing room. To lose Chris in a chase of 280, who can probably get 180 of them himself obviously, broke the start that we wanted to have. But the umpires do their job. They try to do it to the best of their ability, we as players go out there to do our job as well."

Brathwaite then delivered a cutting assessment of officiating in general.

"I just think that for West Indies, we don't have to use all our reviews and that some of the other teams get a chance to use theirs because every time we get hit on our pad, the finger goes up," he said. "When we hit the opposition on their pad, the finger stays down.

"So we have to use our reviews and it's always missing and then we have to use our reviews when we're batting as well and it's always clipping. I'm not a technology person, I don't know why that happens. I can just say what I have seen happen over the past few years."

Brathwaite said the removal of Gayle for 21 wasn't the sole reason for West Indies failing to chase down Australia's total of 288, but it didn't help.

"We had eight other wickets after that and it was incumbent on us to go out there and deliver a performance which we didn't for whatever reasons," he said. "We will discuss and try to rectify for the next game.

"Did it hamper the start? It definitely did but it didn't cost us the game."

West Indies fast bowling legend Michael Holding added to critical of umpiring decisions during the Windies, Australia match, suggesting the officials allowed themselves to be bullied.

The officials, Chris Gaffaney and Ruchira Palliyagurge, made several questionable decisions during the match, particularly as it related to Windies batting star Chris Gayle. 

The 39-year-old was given out twice by Gaffaney, while facing an over from Mitchell Starc.  Both calls were later overturned via the decisions review system. 

The drama was far from over for the big left-hander, however.  In Starc’s next over he was dismissed lbw.  Replays showed that on this occasion the batsman was indeed out, but further reviews showed the previous delivery from Starc was a huge no ball.  The delivery that eventually dismissed Gayle should have been a free hit.

Palliyaguruge later had two on-field decisions overturned. The first was reviewed by Jason Holder after he was initially sent back to the pavilion lbw, sweeping to Glenn Maxwell, the ball just pitching outside leg. Holder successfully reviewed once more, attempting to sweep Adam Zampa, with ball-tracker showing the ball would have comfortably missed leg stump.

"The umpiring in this game has been atrocious," Holding said while doing television commentary.

"For one, even when I was playing and you were not as strict as they are now, you were allowed one appeal. You don't appeal two, three, four times to the umpire.

 "They are being intimidated which means they are weak.

"This has been an atrocious bit of umpiring by both."

 

Jason Holder was frustrated to see West Indies let victory slip from their grasp as "irresponsible" batting allowed Australia to prevail by 15 runs.

Thursday's thrilling Cricket World Cup encounter at Trent Bridge started off in fine fashion for the Windies, who reduced their opponents to 38-4 before Steve Smith (73) and Nathan Coulter-Nile's swashbuckling 92 off 60 balls propelled Australia to 288 all out.

At 149-3 midway through the chase, Holder's men looked well set to make it two wins from two but Shimron Hetmyer's run out and some poor shot-making saw that honour go to Australia, for whom Mitchell Starc shone with 5-46.

"We're obviously disappointed. I thought we were well in the game there. Just a few irresponsible shots when we probably just needed to tap it around a little bit more," Holder, who made 51, said in the on-field presentation.

"We dropped Coulter-Nile when he was about 60-odd and he got about another 30 runs. That was one pivotal moment but obviously the batting... If we came here at the start of the day and limited Australia to 280, we'd have taken that.

"The batters need to take the responsibility and knock it off. We have to be more consistent. When we have teams down, we have to keep them down."

Coulter-Nile, meanwhile, reflected on making the highest score by a number eight in World Cups.

"I didn't think I'd get that much but was happy to. I got a bit of a spray for getting out when Smithy was on 80 in one of the practice games so I thought I'd just try to stick around for a bit," he said.

"Luck went my way. It looked like West Indies were on track the whole way until Starcy took three or four at the end there."

Mitchell Starc continued his remarkable Cricket World Cup record as Australia fought back superbly to defeat West Indies by 15 runs in a thoroughly entertaining affair at Trent Bridge.

The left-arm quick averaged 11 in the competition before Thursday's clash in Nottingham, and his 5-46 improved on that further as he ripped out the Windies' lower order just when it seemed Jason Holder's men were set for a successful chase of 289.

Australia's 288 all out represented an impressive recovery from 38-4, West Indies using the same short-ball tactics that routed Pakistan to good effect once again as four of the top five failed to fire.

Steve Smith was the exception, his patient 73 allowing Alex Carey to up the tempo with 45 before Nathan Coulter-Nile came in and blasted 92 off 60 deliveries – his highest ODI score and the best of any number eight in World Cups.

Shai Hope (68 off 105) played an anchor role similar to that of Smith, while Nicholas Pooran made a more fluent 40 before Holder's half-century looked set to become the match-winning knock.

But when the skipper departed to Starc for 51, he left the tail needing 37 from four overs. Starc then cleaned up Sheldon Cottrell to claim the first five-wicket haul of the tournament as Australia made it two wins from two.

 

 

 

Nathan Coulter-Nile fell eight short of a maiden ODI century as he and Steve Smith inspired Australia's fightback to 288 all out against West Indies at Trent Bridge.

Both sides won their Cricket World Cup openers in straightforward fashion but the Australia batsmen were anything but comfortable in the face of an early barrage of short-pitched bowling, falling to 79-5.

However, Smith (73) combined for a patient stand of 68 alongside Alex Carey, whose dismissal for 45 brought Coulter-Nile to the crease at number eight.

Boasting a previous high score of 34 in ODIs, Coulter-Nile crashed eight fours and four sixes in his 60-ball 92, dominating a century partnership with Smith, who perished in the 45th over to a stunning grab from Sheldon Cottrell.

The left-arm quick, running at full tilt around the boundary, stuck out a big left hand to grab the ball, tossing it in the air as his momentum took him over the ropes before returning to the field to complete an effort that will rival Ben Stokes' for England against South Africa as the catch of the tournament.

Unfortunately for Coulter-Nile, he fell with 10 balls of the innings remaining, holing out to long-off, but his work was done with Australia firmly back in contention.

West Indies captain Jason Holder said Australia insists that his team is not being too caught up with their match against Australia on Thursday. Individual players have been throwing barbs in the build-up to the highly anticipated match.

Jason Holder has backed his West Indies attack to bounce their way to World Cup success.

The captain will lead his side out to face Australia on Thursday with the instruction to make their short balls count and target any signs of twitchiness.

West Indies teams from previous eras have thrived as masters of the bouncer.

And with two such deliveries allowed in every over of ODI matches, their modern-day pacemen could hold the key to success over the six-week tournament in England.

Pakistan had little answer to the West Indies attack last Friday, being rolled over for a dismal 105 total, and that gave Holder cause for encouragement.

"If it's a situation where we feel a batsman may be susceptible to the short ball, then we're going to use it," Holder said.

"If it's a situation where that's not the case, then we'll find other alternatives. It's just not stuck on the short ball.

"I think all the teams so far have used the short ball, and it's just something that's in the game. You've got two short balls per over; you might as well use them."

Few sides exploit the short ball better than Holder's West Indies, which is among the reasons they are rated by bookmakers among the trophy favourites.

Chris Gayle and Andre Russell are both expected to be fit for the Australia match after minor injury worries.

And Holder has said the Windies batsmen should "show intent and be fearless" against an Australian attack who can also be counted on to unleash a barrage of bouncers.

With the World Cup still in its early stages, Holder is reluctant to add any pressure on to his players.

"We've got a hurdle to overcome. I think when we overcome that hurdle, then we'll move deeper into the tournament," he said.

"But I just don't want to single out teams particularly. I think all teams are evenly matched and well-balanced, so it's just a matter of playing good cricket on any given day. That's our rule. We want to execute in all three departments."

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