Usman Khawaja's Cricket World Cup may well be over after he suffered an apparent hamstring injury in Australia's defeat to South Africa.

Khawaja retired hurt before being forced to return in the 10-run reverse to the Proteas on Saturday, scoring 18 before diverting the ball onto the top of his stumps.

Captain Aaron Finch was pessimistic about Khawaja's condition in the post-match presentation, with a scan set for Sunday.

"It doesn't look ideal for Usman Khawaja at the moment," he said. "We'll have to wait and see.

"He's going to have a scan in the morning and we'll make a call based on what the results are there."

Marcus Stoinis also looked to be struggling, although Finch was slightly more positive on that front, but Australia at least have their A team on hand should either player need to be replaced.

"I'm not sure [on Stoinis]," Finch said. "At the moment, it feels okay. But until you get the definitive scans, it's tough to know.

"The whole Australia A squad is here, the four-day guys and the one-day guys. So if they need to be replaced, which I imagine Usman will, there's plenty of guys to come in."

The loss to South Africa saw Australia slip below India, winners against Sri Lanka, into second to set up a crunch semi-final with rivals and hosts England.

Finch added: "It doesn't get much bigger than that: England v Australia in a World Cup semi-final. Hopefully it's a great game."

Meanwhile, Proteas captain Faf du Plessis was left rueing his side's failure to produce such impressive performances earlier in the tournament.

Du Plessis himself scored 100 against Australia, but South Africa have long been out of contention after a dismal start to the group phase.

"After the tournament is when we start scratching our heads and try to figure it out," he said of his side's issues. "It's inconsistent cricket.

"To be in the semi-finals, especially now with this new four-team format, you have to be at your best for most of the tournament.

"If you're not, you need guys to lift the team and win games almost on their own. We weren't at our best as a team and we had guys not doing enough to get us over the line."

David Warner's superb 122 was in vain as Australia lost a thriller by 10 runs to South Africa, a result that means the Cricket World Cup holders will face England in the semi-finals.

India's defeat of Sri Lanka earlier on Saturday meant Australia had to win in Manchester to avoid the hosts in the last four and instead book a clash with trans-Tasman rivals New Zealand.

But in the final match of the group stage the Proteas produced one of the best team performances of the tournament so far to inflict Australia's second defeat of the competition.

Faf du Plessis made South Africa's first century of the World Cup and his 12th in ODI cricket. The former Lancashire batsman thrived with a masterful round 100 on his return to Old Trafford as South Africa posted an imposing 325 for six.

Rassie van der Dussen (95) almost followed his captain to three figures, trying to heave a six off Pat Cummins' last ball of the South Africa innings, but instead picked out Glenn Maxwell in the deep.

Warner should then have been run out by Kagiso Rabada (3-56) in the first over of Australia's reply - the opener facing South Africa for the first time since last year's ball-tampering scandal - and he seemed set to take full advantage of that lapse.

When Quinton de Kock, who made 52 and ran out Marcus Stoinis, produced a majestic catch off Chris Morris' bowling to remove Maxwell for 12, Australia were 119 for four and heading for an eighth loss in nine ODIs against South Africa, only for Warner and Alex Carey to rebuild.

But a wonderful flying Morris catch saw Warner depart as he looked to find fifth gear and, when explosive wicketkeeper-batsman Carey fell to Morris for a buccaneering 85 off 69 balls, Australia were on the brink of defeat.

Usman Khawaja (18) bravely returned to the crease after earlier retiring hurt with an apparent hamstring injury, but diverted the ball on to the top of the stumps while playing a scoop and South Africa closed out their third win of the World Cup.

STARC ON BRINK OF HISTORY

The leader of Australia's attack was not at his best in Manchester, Mitchell Starc's first ball going for four wides in a wayward opening over that cost 14 runs and gave the Proteas a flying start.

But a yorker that ripped through Dwaine Pretorius' defences gave Starc his 26th wicket of the tournament, moving him level with Australia great Glenn McGrath as the most prolific bowler in a single World Cup.

With at least one knockout match still to play, the 29-year-old is almost certain to sit top of the pile regardless of whether or not Australia successfully defend their title, while his late efforts with the bat - hitting 16 off 11 balls - almost set up an improbable victory.

 


WARNER PASSES 600 BUT ROHIT LEADS

There is no doubt Warner is having a quite brilliant World Cup - this was his third century - but despite passing 600 runs for the tournament he is second behind India opener Rohit Sharma in the batting tables.

A third century in four ODI appearances against the Proteas was fully deserved as he punished Rabada's mistake and, if Australia are to win the tournament for a sixth time, there is no doubting Warner holds the key.

He will certainly relish a clash with pre-tournament favourites England. That match will take place on Thursday at Edgbaston, where Eoin Morgan's side have a terrific record.


DUMINY & TAHIR WAVE GOODBYE

There was a winning farewell for veteran Proteas duo JP Duminy and Imran Tahir as both men played their final ODI matches for South Africa.

Tahir was able to roll out his famous celebration when he claimed the prized wicket of Australia captain Aaron Finch for three but he later missed a caught and bowled chance to remove Carey, which could have proven costly.

Duminy's contribution - scoring only 14 runs and taking no wickets from four overs - was more low-key but the Proteas will miss his all-round efforts as they look to rebuild after an underwhelming World Cup that at least ended on a high.

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.

Pakistan veteran Shoaib Malik has announced his retirement from ODI cricket after his side's World Cup campaign ended.

A 94-run win over Bangladesh at Lord's on Friday was not enough to see Pakistan force their way into the semi-finals at New Zealand's expense.

Malik, 37, did not play having lost his place in the side earlier in the tournament and he confirmed after the match he will no longer be available for selection in ODI cricket.

"As I mentioned in my previous interviews, whenever I gave interviews, that I'm going to retire from World Cup cricket. Today was our last game, and I'm retiring from ODI cricket," Malik said in a statement made at a news conference.

"I had planned this for a few years ago to retire on the last Pakistan World Cup match. I'm sad that I'll be leaving the format of cricket that I once loved, but happy that I'll have more time to spend with my family. This will also allow me to focus on Twenty20 cricket.

"I would like to thank some of the most important people whose support and backing helped me through these 20 years of international cricket.

"Starting with the players I shared dressing rooms with, all the coaches I have under, my friends and family, the media, my sponsors, the Pakistan cricket board and Pakistan sports board.

"But most importantly, my fans. I love you all. Thank you."

Malik insisted he is not disappointed to have made such little impact in his last World Cup, having taken a single wicket and scored only eight runs across three innings.

"I think, if you go through the whole thing, sometimes you come out with a performance, sometimes you don't," he added. 

"But, of course, it's a big platform and expectations were high, but you don't perform that spot of life. I think life never stops, and I'm pretty satisfied with my ODI career."

Malik will go down in history as a Pakistan great, having played 287 ODIs, scoring 7,534 runs at an average of 34.55.

He made his ODI debut in October 1999 and produced nine centuries in the format, also chipping in with 158 wickets.

Sarfraz Ahmed paid tribute to Pakistan fast bowler Shaheen Afridi after he posted his country's best Cricket World Cup figures in Friday's win over Bangladesh.

Pakistan were knocked out of the World Cup as their 94-run win was not a large enough victory to overhaul New Zealand but much of the focus was on teenager Shaheen, who took 6-35 runs to decimate the Bangladesh batting order.

Captain Sarfraz considered the display "one of the best" he had seen but suggested 19-year-old Shaheen has consistently been performing at a similarly lofty level in the past couple of weeks.

"The way Shaheen is bowling in the last four matches is very good," he said in the post-match presentation. "The consistency is amazing, with the line and length.

"Today he's taken six wickets and it was one of the best bowling performances I've ever seen."

Pakistan crashed out despite winning four consecutive matches to finish the group stage, at least giving Sarfraz cause for encouragement.

"It's very unfortunate that we've played really good cricket in the last four matches but we could not qualify," he said. "There was only the one match that cost us [in terms of run rate].

"Throughout the tournament, we've played very good cricket and the boys responded very well after the India match."

Bangladesh also bowed out despite Shakib Al Hasan's 606 runs moving him clear as the tournament's top scorer, prompting captain Mashrafe Mortaza to offer an apology to his star man.

"The whole team feel very sorry for him because we couldn't support him throughout the tournament, otherwise the team would have been in a different zone," he said.

"He batted exceptionally in almost every match, bowling very well, fielding well. I think he's been fantastic."

Mortaza later indicated he will take time to decide whether to continue his international career.

"My future plan is, obviously, going home from here, and I will have a think," he added.

Shaheen Afridi produced a superb six-wicket haul as Pakistan defeated Bangladesh by 94 runs on Friday but saw their increasingly improbable Cricket World Cup bid ended due to the margin of victory.

Following England's win against New Zealand earlier in the week, Pakistan required a record-breaking ODI triumph by more than 300 runs to pip the Black Caps to fourth and last semi-final spot.

And their slimmest of hopes were briefly kept alive as they batted first at Lord's.

But after 100 from Imam-ul-Haq - from exactly 100 balls - and 96 from Babar Azam helped Pakistan to 315-9, their elimination was sealed eight runs into the Bangladesh reply, in which the 19-year-old Shaheen (6-35) came to the fore in spectacular fashion.

Shaheen became the youngest bowler to record a World Cup five-for.

A second-wicket stand of 157 between Imam and Babar had set Pakistan on their way to a consolation victory, with that partnership ended as the latter went lbw to Mohammad Saifuddin.

Imam stuck around for another partnership of 66 with Mohammad Hafeez (27), setting the foundation for Imad Wasim's 43 off 26 a part of a frantic finish to the innings, Bangladesh's Mustafizur Rahman taking 5-75.

Pakistan captain Sarfraz Ahmed, struggling with injury for a time, returned to keep in the Bangladesh innings but, after an opening maiden and a poor early Haris Sohail drop, the score reached 8-0 to seal his side's fate.

The Pakistan bowlers made sure to enjoy the final few hours of their World Cup, though, with Shaheen taking the wickets of Tamim Iqbal (8), Liton Das (32) and then the ever-impressive Shakib Al Hasan (64).

Shadab Khan removed Mosaddek Hossain to halt hopes of a Bangladesh revival, Shaheen then capitalising with a further two wickets in three deliveries to set up a comfortable finish, completed with his sixth.

 

BABAR PICK OF BATSMEN

The damage had been done for Pakistan prior to this match, but Babar should accept very little of the blame for their early exit. His tournament ended with 474 runs, which is more than any Pakistan player had previously managed at a single World Cup, passing Javed Miandad's 437 in a superb knock at Lord's that included 11 fours.

There was also a batting star in the Bangladesh ranks, however, as Shakib ended his World Cup as the leading run scorer on 606.

SHAHEEN SHINES WITH BALL

Mustafizur had taken three wickets in the final over against India last time out and this time contributed another pair at the same stage for a second consecutive five-for, earning a place on the Lord's honours board.

But Shaheen stole the limelight when it came to exciting young bowlers. His first ODI five-for blew Bangladesh away, and he then took an extra wicket to seal victory and post the best Pakistan figures in the tournament's history.

Australia will attempt to maintain their momentum heading into the Cricket World Cup semi-finals and seal top spot in the group stage by beating South Africa at Old Trafford on Saturday.

The holders were the first team to qualify for the last four and will be guaranteed to face New Zealand in Manchester next Tuesday if they win the final group match at the same venue.

Aaron Finch's side are a point ahead of India, who face Sri Lanka earlier in the day and will take on hosts England at Edgbaston next Thursday as it stands.

Peter Handscomb has been called up to the Australia squad after Shaun Marsh was ruled out for the rest of the tournament due to a fractured forearm, sustained when he was struck by a short ball from Pat Cummins in the nets.

Glenn Maxwell was also hit on the forearm by Mitchell Starc, but the all-rounder did not do any serious damage and is in contention to face the Proteas.

South Africa will be looking to bow out with back-to-back victories after seeing off Sri Lanka, with Imran Tahir and JP Duminy set to play their last ODIs.

TOURNAMENT SO FAR

Two of world cricket's heavyweights have had strikingly contrasting tournaments, with Australia losing just the one match against India and winning seven.

South Africa have suffered a nightmare tournament, losing Dale Steyn to a shoulder injury before he had played any part and winning just twice - against Afghanistan and Sri Lanka.

 

WHAT THEY SAID

Australia head coach Justin Langer: "It's about maintaining the momentum of winning. That's really important for us. For this game, some people said it was a dead rubber. There's nothing dead about it."

Proteas skipper Faf du Plessis: "It's a great competition between two fierce nations. Yes, they are looking pretty where they are sitting in terms of the World Cup, but we are still going to make sure we give it everything."

 

OPTA FACTS

- South Africa have won seven of their last eight ODIs against Australia, four of those victories coming when chasing a target.

- This will be the 100th ODI between the two nations. Australia have won 48 of those and South Africa 47.

- David Warner and Aaron Finch have both recorded five scores of 50 plus in the tournament. No Australian player has ever recorded six scores of 50+ at a World Cup.

- Mitchell Starc needs four wickets to become the fifth player to reach 50 World Cup scalps. His bowling average of 13 is the best of anyone to take 20+ wickets in the history of the competition.

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).

New Zealand are guaranteed the last Cricket World Cup semi-final spot after Pakistan's faint hopes were ended at Lord's on Friday.

The ICC Champions Trophy holders needed to beat Bangladesh by a record ODI total of over 300 runs in their final group match, but could only post 315-9.

Bangladesh then made the necessary eight runs to eliminate Pakistan without reply inside two overs, aided by an awful Haris Sohail catch.

Pakistan can match the Black Caps' tally of 11 points by beating the Tigers, yet they will bow out on net run-rate.

Imam-ul-Haq made 100 off as many balls and Babar Azam (96) broke Javed Miandad's record of 437 runs in a single World Cup after Sarfraz Ahmed won the toss.

Those brilliant knocks were in vain, though, and New Zealand will take on Australia or India in the last four next week.

Sarfraz suffered more pain when he was struck on the elbow by a straight drive from Imad Wasim, forcing the Pakistan captain to retire hurt with five overs remaining.

He returned for the final ball of the innings, however, and was keeping as his side were knocked out early in the Bangladesh innings.

Australia batsman Shaun Marsh will miss the rest of the Cricket World Cup due to a fractured forearm.

Marsh, 35, will require surgery after being hit while practising in the nets on Thursday, two days out from Australia's final group game against South Africa.

The left-handed batsman had made 26 runs in his two matches at the World Cup, but will miss the rest of the tournament, with Peter Handscomb called up.

"This is obviously shattering news for Shaun and the squad," Australia head coach Justin Langer said in a statement.

"Throughout this tournament, his spirit, professionalism and the way he has competed has been typically outstanding.

"We are right behind Shaun in his recovery and rehabilitation."

In a wild net session, Glenn Maxwell was also struck on the forearm, but scans cleared him of any serious damage.

Australia have already clinched a top-two finish in the group after seven wins from eight games.

West Indies finished on a high with a win over Afghanistan, but Jason Holder acknowledged they must be more consistent after a poor Cricket World Cup.

The Windies had not tasted victory since their first match of the tournament against Pakistan, back on May 31, ending their long wait for further success with a 23-run triumph.

But it was not just the failure to pick up the required results that frustrated captain Holder, who felt performances as a whole were not consistently up to scratch.

"I think inconsistency let us down, we were just inconsistent in the three departments," he said in the post-match presentation.

"Our fielding has a lot to improve. Our bowlers had a really good outing - credit to each and every bowler who put up their hand whenever called up - but the batting was very inconsistent as well.

"Going forward, we need to be a lot more consistent."

Chris Gayle was playing in his final World Cup match and his captain paid tribute to the opening batsman.

"It's hard to see him playing his last World Cup game, but I just personally want to say congratulations to Chris," Holder said.

"He's been an outstanding stalwart of the game for West Indies cricket and he's done leaps and bounds for our cricket. I want to wish him all the best in all his endeavours."

While the Windies said goodbye to a great, Afghanistan captain Gulbadin Naib saw positives in the younger members of his squad, with 18-year-old Ikram Ali Khil making 86 in their unsuccessful run chase.

Gulbadin said: "Ali is a youngster, an under-19 boy, but he showed his class today - and we have a lot of talented youngsters back at home."

And Afghanistan's skipper hoped the team would be able to learn from the experience of a World Cup campaign in which they failed to collect a point.

"We want to come prepared in every department," he said. "Hopefully I can take a lot from this tournament, how you work on your team. I have learned a lot here."

West Indies signed off from the Cricket World Cup with a 23-run win over Afghanistan at Headingley - but Chris Gayle missed out on a place in the history books.

Victory meant the Caribbean side bookended their campaign in England with successes, having beaten Pakistan in their opener.

The rest of their campaign was better forgotten, however, and this could have provided another low moment until a mid-innings collapse from Afghanistan handed over the initiative.

Despite posting 311 for six, West Indies lost opener Gayle for seven. It was a third single-figure score of a disappointing World Cup for the veteran batsman and he finished the tournament as his team's fourth highest scorer.

And it meant he remains second on West Indies' all-time list of ODI run-scorers, stranded perhaps forever now 10 runs behind Brian Lara.

Gayle said before the World Cup this would be his goodbye to ODI cricket but the 39-year-old has since suggested he intends to play on. But in this sort of form, West Indies might do well to consider other options. 

This was surely a farewell to the World Cup for the showman and, after he was bogged down by Afghanistan's attack and looked to clout Dawlat Zadran over the off-side field, he nicked behind to Ikram Alikhil.

Evin Lewis showed better patience to make 58, Shai Hope plundered 77 and Nicholas Pooran scored 58 - with Gayle the only West Indies batsman to lose his wicket for a score below 30.

Afghanistan were then bowled out for 288, their chief contribution coming from 18-year-old Alikhil who reached 86 until he was defeated by Gayle's off spin.

 

Pakistan head into Friday's final Cricket World Cup group game against Bangladesh knowing the odds are stacked firmly against their semi-final qualification hopes.

Reaching the knockout stages remains a mathematical possibility for Sarfraz Ahmed's side following fourth-placed New Zealand's loss to hosts England on Wednesday. 

Yet, in reality, an improbable result of freak proportions will be required if the fifth-placed side are to overhaul a Black Caps team two points clear of them and with a superior net run rate.

If they are to stand any chance of extending their stay in England at all, they must bat first.

Should the toss go their way, they will then be required to record a victory of well in excess of 300 runs - 311 runs after posting 350 or by 316 runs after scoring 400 - in order to better New Zealand's net run-rate, which stands at +0.175 as opposed to Pakistan's score of -0.792.

Do not expect Bangladesh to be pushovers, however. They have proven tricky opponents throughout the tournament and in star all-rounder Shakib Al Hasan possess one of the top performers of this World Cup. 

Shakib has already claimed a place in the record books by becoming the first all-rounder in tournament history to score 500 runs and claim 10 wickets - and he is unlikely to be finished yet.


TOURNAMENT SO FAR

With four wins from their opening eight matches - including the scalps of England and New Zealand - there are plenty of positives for Pakistan to take from this World Cup. Consistency has evaded them, however, and there is an air of resignation to their fate.

It is a tournament which has delivered some memorable moments for Bangladesh too. That opening-match triumph over South Africa has set the tone for a series of spirited - and, on three occasions, winning - performances with the superb Shakib right at the very heart of it.


WHAT THEY SAID

Pakistan captain Sarfraz Ahmed: "Definitely, we're interested in finishing on a high note. So we will try our best. It is very difficult - 316 runs is a big margin. Only if you're batting first, if you score 600 runs or 500 runs. I don't know what the study is behind [how positions are decided in future World Cups] but I can't do anything."

Bangladesh coach Steve Rhodes: "There's no such thing as a dead rubber. Both teams desperate to beat each other. We certainly are. I'm pretty sure they are. They've got a lot to play for as well. So, we're looking to obviously win. We want to win. So if we can take the scalp of Pakistan in the World Cup, we'll be very, very proud of the boys."


OPTA FACTS

- Bangladesh have won their last four men's ODIs against Pakistan. Prior to this, Pakistan had recorded 31 wins from 32 clashes against the Tigers, including 25 in a row.
- Pakistan have won their last three Cricket World Cup 2019 matches; after becoming champions in 1992 they have only managed more consecutive victories at a single edition twice (four in both 1999 and 2015).
- Shakib Al Hasan has scored 542 runs so far, the most by a Bangladeshi at a single edition; in the process he has recorded six scores of 50+, only Sachin Tendulkar has recorded more in an edition of the tournament (seven in 2003).
- This will be the second meeting between Pakistan and Bangladesh at a World Cup, the first match took place when the tournament was last held in England (1999, Bangladesh won by 62 runs).

Chris Gayle will be eyeing another record when West Indies and Afghanistan get the chance to exit the Cricket World Cup on a high note at Headingley on Thursday.

The Windies are guaranteed to finish second-bottom of the group above winless Afghanistan regardless of the result in Leeds.

Jason Holder's side started the tournament by hammering Pakistan but have not won since that seven-wicket success at Trent Bridge at the end of May.

Afghanistan have lost all eight matches and will be looking for only their second World Cup victory at the venue where they ran Pakistan close on Saturday.

Chris Gayle needs 18 runs to break Brian Lara's record for the most ODI runs scored by a West Indies player in what will be his final World Cup match - and possibly his last ODI. 

The Windies have lost six consecutive matches and will be desperate to bring that run to an end in their first World Cup clash with Afghanistan.

 

TOURNAMENT SO FAR

The men from the Caribbean looked the real deal when they thumped Pakistan in Nottingham, but their slight semi-final hopes were ended with a big defeat to India at Old Trafford last Thursday. Sri Lanka then consigned them to a 23-run loss on Monday despite a Nicholas Pooran century.

A lack of runs has cost Afghanistan, who were agonisingly close to defeating India at the Rose Bowl and threatened to upset Pakistan but were unable to finish off the job.

 

WHAT THEY SAID

West Indies Assistant coach Roddy Estwick: "Obviously we're not happy losing games. But we started to build something, and once we can remain patient, we can keep building. Young players are coming through, and once that keeps happening then things will get a lot better."

Afghanistan Captain Gulbadin Naib: "We played last four, five games quite well. I'm happy with the performance of the team. It's all depending on our batting strength: if you've not batted well, maybe it's difficult for bowlers to defend a small total."

 

OPTA FACTS

- Afghanistan have won three of their previous four completed ODIs against West Indies, including two World Cup qualifiers in Harare last year.

- West Indies have played five ODIs at Headingley, losing three and winning two of those matches.

- Gayle is set to play his 295th ODI, equalling Brian Lara for joint-most caps in the history of the format for the Windies.

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