India opener Rohit Sharma will not let himself think about breaking Sachin Tendulkar's record for the most runs in a Cricket World Cup.

Rohit moved to 647 runs for the tournament in England after making his fifth century in Saturday's seven-wicket win against Sri Lanka.

He needs just 27 more runs to surpass India great Tendulkar's haul of 673 at the 2003 World Cup.

Matthew Hayden amassed 659 for Australia in 2007, meaning Rohit sits third in the all-time standings with one and possibly two innings still to come.

No batsman had ever made five centuries before in a single World Cup, so Rohit has already entered the record books.

India's semi-final place was assured long before their trip to Leeds, where Rohit and KL Rahul both made centuries at the top of the order to pave the way for an emphatic victory.

"I'm not thinking about milestones," Rohit said after his innings of 103, which included 16 boundaries.

"I know if I play well all these things will happen along the way. My job is to keep my head straight, keep playing and get the team to the finishing line.

"I want to start every day afresh and I try and come out thinking I've not played any ODIs, I've not made any hundreds in the tournament, it's just the first game of the tournament. That is the kind of mindset I want to get in.

"People around me are talking about hundreds, but that's the challenge of a sportsman: try to keep your head straight and focus on the job at hand."

Captain Virat Kohli has seen his side win seven and lose just one match in the group stage.

Kohli said at the post-match presentation: "We wanted to play good cricket but we didn't expect this kind of scoreline heading into the semis. That's what hard work and consistent performances get you.

"It's a real honour for all of us to play together on the field for India."

Asked about his team line-up for the semi-finals, Kohli said: "More or less everything is set, but we don't want to be one-dimensional. The team that is flexible on the day has more chance of executing what they want to.

"We need a good balance and whatever combination provides the balance for us, I think we'll go ahead with that. We're happy with the way we've played but it's about turning up on the day now and putting another performance in."

Sri Lanka skipper Dimuth Karunaratne praised veteran fast bowler Lasith Malinga, who was playing his final World Cup match in the 50-over format.

"Of course Sri Lankan cricket will miss him. In Test cricket and one-day cricket, he was wonderful - he was the man," Karunaratne said. "He's done a really good job. Everyone has to end their chapter. After that we have to find a new guy."

India stepped up preparations for the Cricket World Cup semi-final as the irrepressible Rohit Sharma and KL Rahul's centuries set up a seven-wicket win over Sri Lanka.

A disappointing tournament for the Lions came to an end at Headingley, where Angelo Mathews' 113 helped his already-eliminated side reach 264-7.

It proved an uncompetitive total, however, as India reached their target with 6.3 overs to spare – the superb Rohit making history by smashing his fifth ton of the tournament

Virat Kohli's side will know their semi-final opponents by the end of Saturday, where defeat for Australia against South Africa would see them top the group and take on New Zealand – avoiding hosts England in the process.

Mathews made 160 in a Test win against England at Headingley in 2014, so he was the right man for a crisis with Sri Lanka flailing 55-4.

He and Lahiru Thirimanne, who made 53, gave the innings credibility with a 124-run stand.

Mathews was dismissed in the penultimate over, half-volleying Jasprit Bumrah to Rohit at extra cover, who would soon shatter their hopes of an upset.

The in-form opener passed 50 with a pair of sixes off Dhananjaya de Silva in the 17th over. Rahul got there in the 23rd over, ploughing 14 runs off four deliveries from De Silva.

Rohit, having brought up his century with a pull for four, went moments later for 103, flicking Kasun Rajitha to mid-off to end a 189-run first-wicket stand. He has scored a remarkable 647 runs in eight innings at this tournament.

Rahul could not see it out either, edging Lasith Malinga behind for 111. This is Malinga's final World Cup in the 50-over format and he was torched by India's batsman until gaining that small measure of revenge.

INDIA WILL TAKE SOME STOPPING

This is obvious, of course. They and Australia have been the outstanding teams in this World Cup and it would be surprising if they are not the finalists. Rahul and Rohit looked like steering them to a 10-wicket win in Leeds at one stage, so comfortable were they against Sri Lanka's attack. The pressure was off here though. Come the semi-finals - and possibly the final - we will learn just how mentally strong this India team are.

MATHEWS MAGIC

Angelo Mathews had done next to nothing with the bat in this World Cup... apart from at his seemingly beloved Headingley. A diligent unbeaten 85 helped to set up victory over England and this was another composed innings that gave Sri Lanka something to bowl at. As it turned out, they were a long way short of troubling India.

India will seek a winning end to the Cricket World Cup's group stage when they take on Sri Lanka, with top spot still in their sights.

Australia lead the way as the semi-finals beckon but India could leapfrog them should the holders lose to South Africa and Virat Kohli's men take advantage in Leeds.

India may take the chance to rest players, though, with their place in the last four already assured. This could be the ideal opportunity to leave out MS Dhoni, who has been out of sorts.

Dhoni's place in Indian cricket history is assured but his return of 223 runs is below par. It would be very like the 37-year-old to be saving his best displays for the knockout rounds, however.

For Sri Lanka there is a chance to salvage some pride after a disappointing campaign that has had highs and lows. There is also likely to be a World Cup farewell for veteran quick Lasith Malinga, who inspired their defeat of England.

Avishka Fernando could lead the next generation for the Lions, with the 21-year-old having hit a superb 104 in their win over West Indies last time out, improving his batting average to 61 for the tournament. 

Kusal Perera and captain Dimuth Karunaratne are his only team-mates to have averaged over 30.

TOURNAMENT SO FAR

A shock win over England will be Sri Lanka's most cherished memory from this World Cup, but their performances have been too inconsistent. They were brilliant in posting a huge score against West Indies, but terrible in being skittled by New Zealand in their opener. Form has come too late.

It is perhaps concerning for the three other semi-finalists that India have not really hit top gear - but they have not had to do so yet. A low-energy defeat to England at Edgbaston felt like a blip and, if they finish second behind Australia, they will have to play the hosts again at the same venue.

 

WHAT THEY SAID

Sri Lanka captain Karunaratne: "All batsmen have big points. We take a couple of videos - not only Rohit [Sharma], Virat and all the top six batsmen, we have a plan for everyone. But if you couldn't execute really well, the plans aren't working. So the point is we have to execute really well against those batsmen."

India wicketkeeper-batsman Dinesh Karthik: "I think at the back of our minds we do have the semi-final in mind. That's a big game for us. For all the four teams that qualify, it's going to be a massive game. So that's in the back of the mind."

 

OPTA FACTS

- Jasprit Bumrah needs one more wicket for his 100th ODI career scalp. His first 99 wickets have come at an average of 22, the best rate of anyone to take more than 20 wickets for India.
- Sri Lanka and India have recorded seven completed Cricket World Cup matches to date; the Lions hold the edge with four victories to India's three.
- Malinga needs just one wicket to move clear of Wasim Akram as the outright third-top wicket taker in Cricket World Cup history, the pair are currently tied on 55 wickets behind Muttiah Muralitharan (68) and Glenn McGrath (71).

Angelo Mathews put his body on the line at The Riverside to turn the tide in Sri Lanka's thrilling Cricket World Cup win over West Indies, earning warm praise from captain Dimuth Karunaratne.

Having reduced the Windies to 84-4 in defence of their 338-6 in a dead rubber in Durham, Sri Lanka were given a major scare by Nicholas Pooran's defiant century.

His apparent one-man victory march was not halted until the 48th over, when Mathews bowled his first ball in ODIs since December 2017 and had Pooran caught behind.

With fitness concerns having kept him from bowling, it was a timely and heroic intervention from Mathews that did not go unnoticed by Karunaratne.

"Angelo put his hands up and said, 'okay I will bowl two overs'. He has that confidence. He did the job," said the Sri Lanka skipper after his side's 23-run triumph.

"I don't think he is going to bowl much more but if it is a crucial time he might bowl a couple of overs."

Avishka Fernando's maiden ODI century had laid the platform for Sri Lanka, whose exit from the competition was confirmed when hosts England beat India on Sunday.

Despite his side failing to reach the semi-finals, Karunaratne did not have a hard time finding the positives after Monday's result.

"To win any match is a great feeling," he said. "It gives us lots of confidence. All of the players are doing really well. That is what I was expecting as a captain."

In contrast, opposite number Jason Holder was left to reflect on a miserable campaign for the Windies, who have not tasted victory since thrashing Pakistan in their group-stage opener back in May.

This was their sixth defeat in eight outings, with only Afghanistan – who they face in their final game – faring worse.

"We have just got to be better," said Holder. "We've let some key moments slip in this World Cup.

"I thought their score was on par. Fernando batted well – showed us things get easier if you stay in. Pooran was excellent too.

"I thought we finished our bowling well, but our fielding let us down. We just want to play the perfect game next time."

Angelo Mathews' timely bowling cameo proved crucial as an Avishka Fernando-inspired Sri Lanka fought off a spirited West Indies response in an entertaining Cricket World Cup dead rubber at The Riverside. 

Sri Lanka must beat West Indies at Chester-le-Street on Monday to keep their slim hopes of reaching the Cricket World Cup semi-finals alive.

A 125-run drubbing against India at Old Trafford on Thursday guaranteed the Windies will not feature in the last four.

Sri Lanka are unlikely to qualify, but they will still be just about alive if they defeat Jason Holder's men at the Riverside.

Dimuth Karunaratne's side went down by nine wickets in their clash with South Africa at the same venue on Friday, paying the price for a poor effort with the bat.

Seamer Kasun Rajitha has been added to Sri Lanka's squad with two group games remaining after Nuwan Pradeep was ruled out with chickenpox.

The Windies crumbled to only 143 in their encounter with Virat Kohli's side to bow out with a whimper.

TOURNAMENT SO FAR

Sri Lanka suffered a 10-wicket thrashing at the hands of New Zealand in their first game of the tournament and have lost three times, but claimed a surprise win over England after seeing off Afghanistan.

The Windies' crushing seven-wicket win over Pakistan proved to be a false dawn and a heavy defeat to India in Manchester was their fifth of the World Cup, knocking them out.

 

WHAT THEY SAID

Sri Lanka captain Karunaratne: "I think the batting is the main problem. We couldn't get a hundred. If you want to compete with the good sides, you have definitely got to have a good batting line-up and you have to put runs on the board, so I think in this World Cup, the major issue is the batting line-up."

West Indies head coach Floyd Reifer: "Yes, we are out of the World Cup, but there is still a lot of cricket to play after the World Cup. It's important for us to, you know, find the winning ways and find the winning formula going forward, so it is important for us to play this game as hard as possible."

 

OPTA FACTS

- Sri Lanka have won five of their last six ODI clashes against West Indies, including a nail-biting one-run victory in their last meeting in November 2016.

- Sheldon Cottrell will be the only player featuring in this fixture to have taken 10 or more wickets in the competition and the paceman will be facing Sri Lanka for the first time.

- West Indies have lost their last five ODIs. The last time they lost more was an eight-game streak in their final eight matches in 2017.

Sri Lanka's hopes of reaching the Cricket World Cup semi-finals were severely dented on Friday as they lost heavily to South Africa, one of three teams already eliminated.

A nine-wicket defeat at The Riverside leaves Dimuth Karunaratne's side facing an uphill battle to make the last four, with 10 fixtures remaining in the group stage.

We take a look at how the qualification picture is shaping up ahead of a massive weekend.

 

ALREADY THROUGH - Australia

The defending champions have improved as the tournament has gone on and look capable of claiming a sixth World Cup title. Mitchell Starc - the leading wicket-taker when they triumphed in 2015 - is again the most prolific bowler in the competition, while David Warner leads the run-scoring charts after returning from his year-long suspension.

 

ALMOST THERE - India, New Zealand

India could yet be denied a place in the semi-finals if they fail to pick up a point in their remaining fixtures, but that seems highly unlikely. Virat Kohli's men are the only unbeaten side in the competition and need only a solitary point from games against England, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka to guarantee their progression.

Like India, New Zealand also have 11 points. The fact they finish the group stage with games against Australia and England may mean a few Black Caps fans are a little nervous, but it would be a huge surprise if Kane Williamson's side do not reach the last four. They may well already have enough points.

BATTLING TO STAY ALIVE - England, Pakistan, Bangladesh

Hosts England started the tournament as favourites, yet they are now in serious danger of an early exit, having lost successive matches against Sri Lanka and Australia. If England win their last two games they will definitely qualify, but India and New Zealand represent challenging opposition.

Should England slip up, Pakistan are poised to pounce. Sarfraz Ahmed's side have astonishingly matched their streak of results at the 1992 event they ended up winning and will fancy their chances of taking maximum points from games against Afghanistan and Bangladesh.

Pakistan and Bangladesh both have seven points from as many games, one point fewer than England. The Tigers' task is made tougher by the fact they face India on Tuesday, but they cannot be counted out with Shakib Al Hasan enjoying a wonderful tournament.

 

RANK OUTSIDERS - Sri Lanka

The 1996 champions look to have blown their chance by losing to South Africa. They must now beat West Indies and India, and hope a series of other results go their way. An abysmal net run rate does them no favours.

 

OUT - South Africa, West Indies, Afghanistan

Few would have anticipated the Proteas being eliminated prior to the final week of the group phase, but their performances prior to Friday had been miserable, while West Indies peaked in their opening game against Pakistan and have since fallen away badly. Afghanistan face Pakistan and the Windies at Headingley looking to avoid the indignity of finishing the World Cup without a point.

West Indies interim coach Floyd Reifer has called on the team to play for pride as it closes out its remaining ICC World Cup fixtures against Sri Lanka and Afghanistan.

The Windies were officially eliminated from the tournament following an embarrassing 125 runs loss to India on Thursday.  It was, however, far from the team’s only disappointing result.

After a solid start against Pakistan, the Windies went on to suffer losses to Australia, England, Bangladesh, New Zealand and India.  The contest against England and Bangladesh also proved to be lopsided with 7 and 8 wicket losses.

With two fixtures remaining in an ultimately disappointing tournament, Reifer hopes the team will finish strong.

"We had some frank discussions about the World Cup that we've had and we'll try to finish the tournament as a strong unit now," he said. "We are still playing for pride, we know that ... people back home in the Caribbean are backing us and we are representing them here. "This is about our journey, there is cricket after this World Cup and we need to find that winning formula and culture again,” he added.

“The guys bowled well against India and the fielding was much improved but it's about getting all three departments working together to win cricket games.”

 

 

JP Duminy has issued an apology to South Africa's fans as they prepare to face the consequences of a disappointing Cricket World Cup campaign.

A string of insipid performances in England mean South Africa head into their penultimate fixture against Sri Lanka, which takes place on Friday at The Riverside, having won just one of seven matches.

Duminy is retiring from ODIs after the tournament following a 15-year career, so has taken any decision about his future out of the hands of the national selectors.

But there could be repercussions for some of his team-mates, with the futures of captain Faf du Plessis and coach Ottis Gibson ripe for discussion.

Players who have underperformed in this tournament could find themselves discarded by the time South Africa begin a tour of India in September.

"We had one mission," Duminy told the media. "That was to play really good cricket in this World Cup and give ourselves a good chance to get into the play-offs and take it from there.

"Unfortunately, we have come up short and our skills haven't been good enough on this trip."

The 35-year-old all-rounder said the team's performance had been "pretty dismal", adding: "We obviously want to apologise to the public and the South African fans for letting them down.

"When you represent your country it is always a proud moment and you understand that you represent 50, 60 million people, that is a proud moment in itself.

"And when you put in performances like that, you in a way almost feel ashamed of that."

He predicted the Proteas would "come back stronger" after "some sort of introspection around where we have gone wrong".

But South Africa's squad are aware of the talk from back home. Asked what steps Cricket South Africa might take in the aftermath, Duminy said: "I wish I could give you an answer. I'm not sure. Obviously, we heard reports that heads will roll."

He mounted a defence of team management and expressed his regret that they were the first to be blamed.

"They have given us all the backing that we need to go out there and put in big performances, but we are the ones that have come up short," Duminy said.

"In terms of the decisions that Cricket South Africa make, that's out of my hands. But going on the back of previous World Cups, there will probably be some shifting and I think that's the reality that we all understand."

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."

England captain Joe Root has warned players not to focus on this summer’s Ashes series during the upcoming tour against the Windies.

With England entering the series as heavy favourites against the hosts, ranked four places below them in the latest ICC rankings.  In addition, the teams are at opposite ends of the form spectrum with the Windies coming off a disastrous tour of Asia and the English coming off an impressive 3-0 triumph’ over Sri Lanka.

With such a gap in form and expectations, perhaps a few players could be forgiven for looking to this summer’s showdown with eternal rivals Australia.  Root, however, has different expectations.

“Their job and their responsibility is not to worry about this summer’s Ashes, their job is to perform well for three Tests here. I don’t want the guys to be playing for stuff that’s going to be happening in six months’ time.

“We have to look after here and now. We’re going to have to play well for long periods of time and know exactly what our roles are individual, not be distracted by other things.”

England will play the West Indies in Wednesday’s first Test against at the Kensington Oval.

Windies skipper Stafanie Taylor was satisfied with the team’s batting effort after recording a comfortable 83-run victory over Sri Lanka on Friday.

After being accused of going missing earlier in the tournament, following subpar performances against Bangladesh and South Africa, the Windies top order got their act together in time to punish the Sri Lanka bowlers. 

Led by a belligerent 62 from opener Hayley Matthews and 49 from Deandra Dottin, the Windies put on 94 for the first wicket.

Taylor, who came to crease when the partnership was broken after Matthews’ dismissal, then added 41 from 25 balls to help the team post an unassailable 187.

In response, the Sri Lankan’s anchored by 44 from their captain Chamari Atapattu, were helped by some sloppiness in the field but still fell far short of making the match competitive after being dismissed for 104. 

“We came to the party with our batting, but I can’t say the same for the fielding.  We looked a bit ragged there,” Taylor said.

“We said that we just needed to apply ourselves out there spent some time at the crease.  The reason for winning the toss and batting was that I found that the pitch might be a keeping a bit low,” she added.

The Windies top order came to the party to post their highest Twenty20 International total of 187/5, and backed it up with a dominant performance on the field to wrap up an 83-run win over Sri Lanka in Match 16 of the ICC Women's World T20 and seal their spot in the semi-final. 

nesh Chandimal has been named as captain for Sri Lanka's Test series against South Africa despite the fact that he may be unavailable due to suspension.

The Windies squad drew their recent home series 1-1 with Sri Lanka and are within striking distance of overtaking Bangladesh in the current ICC Test rankings.

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