India captain Virat Kohli claimed another slice of cricket history when he became the fastest player to reach 20,000 international runs.

Kohli achieved the milestone with the 37th run of his innings against West Indies in Thursday’s Cricket World Cup fixture at Old Trafford.

The 30-year-old has taken 417 international matches to reach the 20,000 mark.

India legend Sachin Tendulkar and West Indies great Brian Lara previously topped the list, having both passed the mark in their 453rd international match.

Kohli is one of 12 players to achieve the feat, joining Tendulkar, Lara, Kumar Sangakkara, Ricky Ponting, Mahela Jayawardene, Jacques Kallis, Rahul Dravid, Sanath Jayasuriya, Shivnarine Chanderpaul, Inzamam-ul-Haq and AB de Villiers.

The bulk of Kohli’s runs for India have come in ODI cricket, the skipper beginning his innings against West Indies with 11,087 runs at an outstanding average of 59.60.

Those runs include 41 centuries in the 50-over format, with only Tendulkar (49) ahead of him on that list.

Kohli has also scored 6,613 runs in Test cricket, at an average of 53.76, while he boasts a further 2,263 in Twenty20 internationals.

Windies batting star Chris Gayle has targeted maximum points against previously as the team teether closer to mathematical elimination from the ICC World Cup.

The regional team has had a poor showing at the tournament to date and currently sit in 8th position after losing four of six games.  With the team having the faint possibility of advancing to the next round, Gayle hopes for a good game from the Caribbean squad.

 "We need two points definitely. It's an important match for us, there's a slim chance for us to qualify but anything is possible. India have been playing good cricket in the tournament, I'm looking forward to the match and hopefully, we can have a good game," Gayle said.

 "The fans will be looking for some entertainment from our whole team. It should be an interesting game, I hope the match goes down to the wire and we come out triumphant," he added.

The West Indies were off to a strong start after a big win over Pakistan but saw their early momentum ground to a halt after losses to Australia, England, Bangladesh and New Zealand.

"We had a good start against Pakistan, fans said that West Indies are a real threat in the World Cup. In the middle period, the match against Australia cost us big time. But it's the World Cup, it's never over till it's over. It's a learning experience for our guys.”

 

West Indies are heading for the last chance saloon in their bid to qualify for the Cricket World Cup semi-finals but India can put one foot in the last four at Old Trafford on Thursday.

The Windies' bid to advance from the group stage is hanging by a thread following a heart-breaking five-run defeat to New Zealand at Edgbaston last weekend.

Carlos Brathwaite's magnificent century was in vain as the all-rounder was caught on the boundary by Trent Boult trying to complete what would have been an astonishing win with a six.

Jason Holder's men have no margin for error when they take on India in Manchester, where opening batsman Sunil Ambris will be hoping to get a chance after being called up to replace the injured Andre Russell.

India look destined to qualify after avoiding what would have been a stunning defeat to Afghanistan courtesy of a Mohammed Shami final-over hat-trick at the Rose Bowl last weekend.

Bhuvneshwar Kumar is set to miss out with a hamstring injury.

 

TOURNAMENT SO FAR

India have won four matches out of five, with the other against New Zealand washed out, to stand on the brink of the semi-finals.

The Windies' agonising loss to the Black Caps was their fourth of the tournament. The only win for Holder's men was their first match of the tournament, a seven-wicket drubbing of Pakistan.

 

WHAT THEY SAID

Windies captain Holder: "A match against India is always a big one. We are looking forward to it. We need to finish our campaign and our objective is to win all our remaining matches. It's a matter of displaying a perfect game, so it is another opportunity for us to showcase our skills."

India bowling coach Bharat Arun: "They're an outstanding side and they play real positive cricket. We are aware of the challenges that exist in this game. I think our plans are pretty much in place and we are up for the challenge."

 

OPTA FACTS

- India have won four of their last six ODIs against West Indies, including a crushing 224-run victory last October which is their third-largest in the 50-over format.

- The Windies have lost their last four completed World Cup matches, they have never endured a longer losing run in the history of the tournament.

- Chris Gayle has scored four centuries versus India in ODIs, his joint-most against any country in the format (level with England). Although the last of those came in 2006.

West Indies all-rounder Andre Russell successfully underwent knee surgery on Wednesday after being forced out of the ICC World Cup because of injury.

West Indies batsman Chris Gayle has backtracked on his decision to end his ODI career after the Cricket World Cup and stated that he plans to come out of Test retirement.

The opener is due to retire from the 50-over format following the tournament in England and Wales.

Yet the 39-year-old on Wednesday revealed that he plans to feature in the ODI series against India in the Caribbean in August and the Test series that will follow.

Gayle, who has not played in the longest format since 2014, said: "Maybe a Test match against India and then I'll play, definitely play the ODIs against India. I won't play the T20s. That's my plan for after World Cup."

Not for the first time, the charismatic showman stated that he will go down as a Windies batting great.

He said: "I'm definitely up there. I'm definitely up there with the greats without a doubt. Like I say, I enjoy each and every moment of West Indies, playing for West Indies.

"Like I said, it's still not the end. I still have a few games to go. Maybe another series to go - who knows, we'll see what happens.

"It's been a lot of ups and downs. I've got to say I really enjoy each and every moment. But we share some quality moments with some quality players as well. I started my career with the likes of Courtney Walsh, Curtly Ambrose, you watch them on TV and you realise they're in the dressing room, it's just a bunch of guys.

"And Brian Lara, the first captain as well, Carl Hooper. So it's some quality moments when you look back on it.

"I'll have to analyse it and give you full details, a better exclusive interview on that particular moment, and then you can take it further. But like I said I could not have had a better career as a player representing the West Indies."

Brian Lara said he is "fine" and expects to be discharged from a Mumbai hospital on Wednesday after the former West Indies captain was admitted due to chest pains.

West Indies had confirmed Lara, who is working in India as a television pundit for the Cricket World Cup, was taken to a hospital on Tuesday.

The Windies then tweeted an audio message from Lara in which he explained doctors had been encouraged by the results on some of the tests they had done, with the 50-year-old hoping to be allowed to leave soon. 

"I know everyone is very concerned about what's happening," Lara said in the audio message.

"I think I just maybe extended myself a bit too much in the gym this morning.

"I was feeling a bit of pain in my chest so I just felt it was best to see a doctor and was taken to the hospital. The pain continued so obviously a lot of tests have been done.

"I'm just chilling in my hospital bed watching England versus Australia. Hopefully Australia could restrict England and beat them.

"I'm going to be alright, just ease off the messages, my phone is going non-stop. I'm going to switch it off. I wouldn't like to switch off really because I'd like to speak to my family but just letting everyone know that I'm fine, I'm recovering and I'll be back in my hotel room tomorrow.

"Couple of the tests that came back already, the doctors were quite happy that there's nothing major. Thanks again for your concern.

"I'll be back in Trinidad and I'll be back in full health very soon."

Lara is West Indies' record run scorer in Tests having amassed 11,912 in 230 innings between 1990 and 2006.

He still holds the record for most runs in a single Test innings, having accumulated 400 not out against England in 2004, and the highest first-class score following his unbeaten 501 for Warwickshire against Durham 25 years ago.

Sunil Ambris has been cleared to replace the injured Andre Russell in West Indies' Cricket World Cup squad.

All-rounder Russell was ruled out of the rest of the tournament due to a knee injury.

Opening batsman Ambris was selected as the man to take Russell's place and the ICC on Monday sanctioned the replacement.

Ambris has played only six ODIs but scored 148 against Ireland last month and also made an unbeaten half-century against Bangladesh. 

The 26-year-old right-hander will be hoping to get the nod to partner Chris Gayle at the top of the order when the Windies face India in a must-win contest at Old Trafford on Thursday. 

Windies all-rounder Carlos Brathwaite admitted he was grateful for a maiden One Day International (ODI) century, despite a gut-wrenching loss against New Zealand on Saturday.

A controversial selection ahead of the ICC World Cup, Brathwaite had struggled to make any real impression at the tournament.  In three prior matches, his best scores were 16 against Australia and 14 against England.  He was dropped for Bangladesh and possibly only selected for New Zealand because of the injury to Andre Russell.

His sensational knock against New Zealand, however, resembled the player who promised so much after taking the West Indies over the line against England at the 2016 T20 World Cup.  With the Windies on the ropes, Brathwaite finally showed up and earned plenty of plaudits despite his efforts falling just short.

"It is a cliché to say that it doesn't matter if you don't win, but for me personally, for my confidence, it is a result of all the hard work that I put in," Brathwaite told Espncricinfo.

"It is finally good that it has come to fruition. I continue to work hard. Obviously heartbreaking to not get over the line but I give thanks for the performance and being able to get the team in the position that I was able to,” he added.

In the 2016 World Twenty20 final, Carlos Brathwaite faced the first ball of the last over. His side needed 19 runs to win and Brathwaite hammered four sixes in successive balls, steering West Indies to the most unlikely of victories.

Three years on, Brathwaite was again trying to do the near-impossible for his country on the big stage.

He walked into a baptism of fire at Old Trafford, facing a Lockie Ferguson hat-trick ball, but defended it before finding the boundary from the very next delivery. But the wickets kept on tumbling, part of a collapse that saw West Indies go from 142-2 to 164-7 in pursuit of a victory target of 292 against a New Zealand side who had started the Cricket World Cup in excellent form.

Those five wickets fell in as many overs and the only way of keeping the smallest chance of victory alive was to consolidate, so Brathwaite got to work. He took only three singles in a 17-ball spell and it took a Mitchell Santner delivery that was just asking to be hit for six to snap Brathwaite out of his funk. He duly obliged, sending it 96 metres, but showed the restraint and temperament so many of his team-mates lacked, by putting the cue back in the rack, at least momentarily.

Brathwaite batted for more than 11 overs with Kemar Roach, the latter departing with the score on 211. Another handy partnership followed with Sheldon Cottrell, the left-armer adding 15 runs to a terrific performance that included four wickets, two catches and a run-out. Cottrell even hit two fours in successive deliveries in the 43rd over, but when Ferguson claimed his 14th scalp of the World Cup, bowling Cottrell, West Indies were 245-9 with just five overs left.

Needing 47 more runs for victory, out strode Oshane Thomas, a number 11 batsman in every sense of the word, a man with just 14 runs to his name in 22 international appearances. West Indies were gone. Surely.

Not for the first time, Brathwaite had other ideas. He hit the next delivery for four, smashing Trent Boult – who snagged four wickets for New Zealand – over mid off, and showed faith in Thomas, taking a single from the third ball of the over. The next over followed a similar tune, Brathwaite hitting one boundary, this time a six, and leaving Thomas to see out the over.

The equation was getting tougher and tougher, 33 runs still required from the last three overs, with just one wicket in hand, but Brathwaite has previously showed he does not mind when the odds are stacked against him.

An over reminiscent of that 2016 decider was to follow, too, with Brathwaite taking a two off Matt Henry before clobbering three sixes in a row, over long on, backward point and long off respectively. Then he top-edged Henry for four and finished with a single, keeping the strike in a 25-run over that got fans across the world out of their seats. The impossible was now possible. 

As is so often the case in these types of run chases, the last few runs always seem the hardest, and so it proved.

Jimmy Neesham beat Brathwaite not once, but twice, before the latter pulled out to deep mid-wicket for two runs that took him past a century, his first at one-day international level. It is possible, but difficult, to imagine Brathwaite scoring a better ton in the remainder of his career, but the job was not done.

Another dot ball from Neesham saw the task become six runs required from seven balls. 

Would Brathwaite take the single to keep the strike, or would he go for glory? Unsurprisingly, he chose the second option. And as he swung hard and hit Neesham over mid-on, it looked like it was the right option. He did not middle it but a man that powerful can easily clear the boundary without doing so.

The Old Trafford crowd roared, expecting the ball to sail for six, while television viewers waited as the ball hung in the air and Boult, stationed on the deep mid-wicket boundary, came into view. And Boult did brilliantly, not only taking a fantastic overhead catch, but stopping himself from going over the boundary to give New Zealand a dramatic, thrilling five-run victory. Big celebrations in the outfield followed as a shattered Brathwaite slumped to his knees. 

If his shot had travelled an extra two metres, West Indies were victors, but Brathwaite and his men quite literally, just fell short. It is, after all, a fine line between pleasure and pain.

West Indies skipper Jason Holder had high praises for his charges despite coming out on the losing end of another ICC World Cup game maybe they should have won. 

Kane Williamson conceded it felt "too close for comfort" for New Zealand after West Indies almost claimed a stunning World Cup win at Old Trafford.

An onslaught from Carlos Brathwaite saw the Windies number six clatter five sixes in his innings of 101, only to be caught a foot in from the boundary when going for another maximum that would have been a match-winning strike.

New Zealand's 291-8 looked plenty at one stage, but West Indies reached 286 thanks to Brathwaite's brutally brilliant showing.

Trent Boult held the catch to remove Brathwaite, earning praise from captain Williamson, whose carefully crafted 148 anchored New Zealand's innings.

"He's got very good hands," Williamson said of Boult having help his side move top of the standings.

"We put a few down and it wasn't our best fielding, but that made way for an outstanding finish and it was a little bit too close for comfort.

"Those sorts of games are great and we were fortunate to be on the right side of the result.

"It was a brilliant game but there's a lot of learning for us to take out of it."

West Indies are heading out of the tournament and captain Jason Holder said the team would play for pride in their remaining games.

Holder saw Chris Gayle make 87 at the top of their innings, but a middle-order collapse undid much of the early good work.

Brathwaite almost saved the day but was left forlorn on his knees out in the middle at the end.

Holder said at the post-match presentation: "It was a tough game at the very end, but I'm proud of the guys, especially Carlos, who had a good innings.

"Chris had a good knock that really set the tone for us. It's pretty tough but there are still a lot of positives."

New Zealand skipper Williamson was full of praise for the Windies, saying: "Some of the striking the West Indies boys are able to achieve is unrivalled so it does put your bowling under a bit of pressure."

After edging out South Africa in their previous match, New Zealand survived another close scrape and remain unbeaten at the World Cup.

Williamson said: "We've had a couple of really tight ones in the last two games against strong opposition.

"Both have gone down to the wire and it's nice that you end up on the right side of the result and can still reflect and try to make some improvements."

Carlos Brathwaite scored a stunning first century for West Indies but was left devastated when he holed out right at the death to hand New Zealand a dramatic five-run victory in the Cricket World Cup at Old Trafford.

The man who broke England's hearts by clubbing four successive sixes off Ben Stokes in the last over of the 2016 World T20 final was at it again in Manchester, but the terminal shot in his 101 will haunt Brathwaite like his own name will always give Stokes nightmares.

With one wicket to spare, West Indies needed six runs from seven deliveries for an improbable victory on Saturday, and Brathwaite - who had creamed 25 off the bowling of Matt Henry in the previous over - caught hold of a short delivery from James Neesham that was begging to be hit.

The ball soared high and long but Trent Boult at long-on watched it all the way and caught it barely a foot in from the boundary, that fine line between success and failure.

Brathwaite looked on in disbelief as New Zealand celebrated. He had cracked nine fours and five sixes, turning around an innings that contained a collapse from 142-2 to 164-7 at one stage. But the look on his face was of sheer horror.

It meant New Zealand captain Kane Williamson's 148 and Boult's 4-30 were the key match-winning contributions, if not the most spectacular, as the Black Caps racked up another victory.

Still unbeaten, and now surely to be spoken about as trophy contenders, New Zealand racked up 291-8 at Old Trafford. West Indies were all out for 286.

Kane Williamson led New Zealand's fightback with another World Cup century as he and West Indies paceman Sheldon Cottrell caught the eye at Old Trafford.

New Zealand finished their innings on 291-8 after a dramatic 50 overs.

Cottrell removed both New Zealand openers, Martin Guptill and Colin Munro, for golden ducks in the first over of the match before Williamson and Ross Taylor put on 160 for the third wicket. Taylor fell to Chris Gayle's gentle off spin for 69 but captain Williamson went on to make 148, only to become another victim of left-armer Cottrell.

Williamson took a big leg-side swipe as he attempted to go to 150 in style, but rather than clear the boundary ropes he sent the ball high behind him, dropping from a great height into the hands of wicketkeeper Shai Hope.

Cottrell offered a trademark salute to the departing Black Caps skipper whose century followed his unbeaten 106 against South Africa last time out.

Cottrell also removed Tom Latham and finished with figures of four for 56, but that was not the sum of his contribution. The 29-year-old also ran out Colin de Grandhomme with a direct strike and right at the death took a pair of catches as Carlos Brathwaite removed Mitchell Santner and James Neesham with the final two balls of the innings.

The form guide offers little hope for West Indies as they look to keep their rapidly fading World Cup hopes alive against a New Zealand side that continues to impress.

A demolition of Pakistan suggested the Windies could be a force to be reckoned with at this tournament, but they have failed to fire in any of their subsequent matches.

Winless since the opener, the Windies have only three points from five matches and have lost six of their last eight World Cup games.

No Windies batsman has scored a century in the competition so far and both their bowling and fielding left a lot of be desired as they were beaten by seven wickets by Bangladesh last time out. 

That will need to change in order for them to have any hope against a New Zealand team boasting one of the world's best batsmen in Kane Williamson, who delivered a decisive century as they recorded a fourth win of the tournament by defeating South Africa. 

Another triumph for the Black Caps will all but seal their top-four spot and effectively condemn the Windies to elimination. With New Zealand having won eight of their last nine completed ODI matches, there is nothing to suggest that will not be the outcome. 

TOURNAMENT SO FAR 

Since blowing away Pakistan in their opener the Windies' performances have grown progressively worse. Haphazard batting in the run chase cost them in a 15-run defeat to Australia and an abandonment of their clash with South Africa was followed by a crushing defeat to England and a performance against Bangladesh that was dreadful in every department.

New Zealand have flown under the radar compared to the likes of Australia, England and India but their showings have been no less impressive. They began with a dominant 10-wicket victory over Sri Lanka and were comfortable in seeing off Bangladesh and Afghanistan. A blockbuster meeting with India was rained off before Williamson's ton helped seal a nervy win over South Africa.

WHAT THEY SAID

West Indies captain Jason Holder: "It's looking tough at this present moment [to qualify], but it's not impossible. We have to play every game here now as a final. If we want to go through into the semi-finals we've got to beat the best teams."

New Zealand's Matt Henry: "The West Indies are a very dangerous side so we'll give them that respect but we're looking forward to the challenge."

OPTA FACTS

- New Zealand captain Williamson has managed to record 50+ in nine of his last 10 ODI knocks to have taken place in England and Wales; he has registered 225 runs at the 2019 World Cup and only been dismissed once.

- Chris Gayle requires 61 to become the third man to register 1,000 runs in ODIs between New Zealand and West Indies (Brian Lara & Nathan Astle); he could only manage a knock worth four runs when he last took on the Black Caps, though (26 December, 2017).

- Both New Zealand and West Indies have struggled at Old Trafford in ODI cricket, the Blacks Caps losing four of their five completed matches there (W1), while the Windies have suffered defeats in four of their six ODIs at the Manchester venue (W2). However, these sides have never faced off against each other there.

Bangladesh captain Mashrafe Mortaza called on his team to follow Shakib Al Hasan's "exceptional" contributions after a match-winning turn against West Indies.

Shakib made an unbeaten 124 - his second century in a row - as Bangladesh completed their highest ODI run chase and ran out resounding seven-wicket winners in Taunton.

Liton Das (94 not out) and Tamim Iqbal (48) also weighed in, but Mortaza acknowledged Shakib, who became the tournament's highest-scoring player on Monday, has been the Tigers' star of the Cricket World Cup so far.

Bangladesh are up to fifth in the standings with five points from as many matches and more performances like Shakib's could boost their chances of making the semi-finals.

"He has made it at this World Cup and delivered for the team," Mortaza said in the post-match presentation. "Every match he has come and brought something really exceptional.

"Hopefully he'll keep going and others will join him. In the last two matches, Mushy [Mushfiqur Rahim] has batted so well; today, Tamim and Soumya [Sarkar (29)] started batting so well."

For Shakib, another strong batting display was just reward for his own hard work and a call to move up to number three.

"It feels great - obviously to stay at the wicket until the end was the most satisfying thing," Shakib said. "I've been working on my batting for the past month and a half and it's been paying off.

"I know that if I bat at number three I'll get more opportunities, I'll get more time to bat. Sometimes, if I bat at number five, I'll come in at the 30th over or the 40th over, which is not ideal for me. So I wanted to bat up the order."

Asked about the prospect of another ton against Australia on Thursday, he replied: "I hope so. It'll be tough, especially playing against Australia, who are picking up their form. We have to bring our A-game."

The Windies were particularly disappointing with the ball but beaten skipper Jason Holder felt the problems started with a total of 321-8.

"We just didn't get enough runs," Holder said. "But having said that, I still think we could have been a lot more disciplined with the ball and we let ourselves down in the field as well.

"It was just a situation where we never got the momentum we probably should in the middle overs. We had too much to do at the back end.

"If you score 320 here, you've got to fight really hard in the field to defend it. We didn't get wickets and we let one or two chances slip."

© 2018 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.