Shimron Hetmyer strode to the wicket wearing a beaming smile in a Richie Richardson-style floppy sun hat, but trudged off disconsolately with West Indies heading out of the Cricket World Cup.

It was the India players and their magnificent, passionate fans who were grinning from ear to ear as they eased to a crushing 125-run win on a glorious Thursday at Old Trafford.

The Windies needed a win to have any hope of qualifying for the semi-finals, but bowed out with a whimper after collapsing to 143 all out having been set a target of 269 in Manchester.

While unbeaten India are almost certainly bound for the last four and will take some beating, the Windies selectors have some big decisions to make.

Hetmyer's approach to the middle and his time at the crease just about summed things up for Jason Holder's men.

Great entertainers when at their best, blessed with natural talent in abundance but lacking the application to give themselves a chance of making a serious impact in the tournament.

Hetmyer certainly looked the part in a wide-brimmed maroon hat, donned by the likes of the classy Richardson and Carl Hooper back in the day.

The gifted left-handed batsman was clearly trying to make a statement, but soon called for the helmet as brilliant India turned up the heat on the Windies with the sun beating down.

There was uncertainty throughout a poor run chase, which saw the men from the Caribbean crumble from 71-2, Sunil Ambris - playing his first match of the tournament - top scoring with only 31 as Mohammed Shami took 4-16 following his hat-trick heroics against Afghanistan.

While Hetmyer and Nicholas Pooran are the future for West Indies, Chris Gayle looked like a man coming to the end of his international career.

Gayle stated on the eve of the match that he had backtracked on his intention to retire from ODIs after the World Cup and plans to resume his Test career against India next month, but the selectors must look at the bigger picture. 

They must also ask themselves why Kemar Roach has only played three World Cup matches after the quick was the pick of the bowlers with 3-36.

Prolific skipper Virat Kohli (72) and former captain MS Dhoni (56 not out) whipped an already raucous army of India fans into a frenzy and the Windies were unable to silence them.

Dhoni capitalised on a missed stumping and being dropped, conjuring up a late onslaught which thousands had turned up in the hope of witnessing.

Kohli sauntered casually over the outfield for the team bus very much heading in the right direction, while the wheels came off for West Indies and they are in need of some repair work.

Virat Kohli heaped praise on MS Dhoni after India inflicted a heavy defeat on West Indies at Old Trafford.

India's 125-run win all but confirmed a Cricket World Cup semi-final spot for Kohli's unbeaten side and ended West Indies' hopes of reaching the last four.

Captain Kohli was man of the match after a gritty 72 and Dhoni made useful runs. The wicketkeeper-batsman's unbeaten 56 contained two sixes in the final over of India's innings, while Hardik Pandya also scored 46.

The Caribbean side then folded with the bat, following India's 268-7 with a feeble 143 all out.

Kohli said: "We've just become number one as far as the rankings are concerned and, to be honest, we've been playing like that for a while now. I think the key is to continue the same way.

"Things haven't gone our way with the bat in the last two games but we've still found a way to win. That to me is a very pleasing thing and I'm happy I could contribute as well.

"Today, getting to 270 was crucial. I think Hardik played outstandingly well and MS finished very strongly.

"When those two play like that we always get to a winning total and on that kind of wicket 270 was always going to be a very, very difficult score to chase."

Speaking about Dhoni, Kohli said: "He knows what he wants to do out in the middle. He's won us so many games and the best thing about having someone like him is when you need that extra 15, 20 runs he knows exactly how to get them for the team.

"Keeping strike at the end and finishing off with two big sixes was something that gave us a lot of boosts as a team.

"His experience eight out of 10 times has come good for us. He's a legend of the game, we all know that, and he's doing a tremendous job for us and hopefully he can continue."

West Indies skipper Jason Holder said: "I thought the bowlers did a fantastic job and I couldn't really ask them for more, and the guys gave a really good effort in the field. I guess we just let ourselves down with the bat."

Holder believes that was a theme reflected throughout the World Cup, as he analysed where it went wrong for West Indies.

"We let ourselves down significantly," Holder said. "I don't think we seized the crucial moments in this tournament as well as we should have.

"I thought the bowlers had a reasonable campaign and everything we asked of them they came out and delivered.

"We didn't really support as well as we'd have liked in the field, in fact we let ourselves down tremendously in the field, and some of our batting was just too inconsistent."

India's bowlers ripped through West Indies to seal a 125-run win at Old Trafford that all but confirms a Cricket World Cup semi-final spot for Virat Kohli's unbeaten side.

Kohli (72) and MS Dhoni (56 not out) both hit half-centuries as India, who won the toss and elected to bat, made 268-7, with Jason Holder's 46 dot balls in his 10 overs helping to keep the total down.

West Indies lost Chris Gayle when they had just 10 on the board and wickets fell at regular intervals after Sunil Ambris, who top-scored with 31 having been drafted in for his first appearance of the tournament, was out to leave his team 71-3.

India took the final eight wickets for just 72 runs, Jasprit Bumrah (2-9) striking with back-to-back deliveries before missing the chance to replicate Mohammed Shami's brilliant final-over hat-trick against Afghanistan.

Shami (4-16) was the pick of the India attack once again as West Indies were dismissed for 143 to see their slim semi-final aspirations ended.

India next face England at Edgbaston on Sunday and one victory from their remaining three fixtures will ensure they make the last four.

ANOTHER KOHLI MILESTONE HIGHLIGHTS BATTING EFFORT

Another day, another landmark for Kohli.

Having beaten Sachin Tendulkar's record to become the quickest man to reach 11,000 ODI runs in the win over Pakistan at the same venue, Kohli made history again at Old Trafford, reaching 20,000 international runs in all formats quicker than anyone else.

Kohli did that with his 37th run in his 417th inning, going on to make his fourth successive half-century in this World Cup before pulling a half-tracker from Holder to Darren Bravo at midwicket.

That left India 180-5 in the 39th over and though Dhoni initially struggled and should have been stumped when on seven, he picked up the pace towards the end, reaching his 50 in the final over and then smashing the last ball for his second maximum to set West Indies 269 to win.

GAYLE SUMS UP WINDIES WOE

A day after he had hinted at shelving his retirement plans, Gayle produced an innings that suggested he should stick with his initial idea to hang up his batting gloves.

The self-proclaimed 'Universe Boss' had said he was "definitely up there with the greats, without a doubt" at his pre-match press conference, though he looked anything but when meekly pulling Shami to Kedar Jadhav at mid on to exit after 19 balls.

Four of Gayle's six runs came from an inside edge where he was fortunate not to play on and his struggles epitomised West Indies' woes, with only five batsmen reaching double figures, two of which were tailenders Kemar Roach (14 not out) and Sheldon Cottrell (10).

It was a disappointing end for a team that had promised so much when hammering Pakistan in their opening game.

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."

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 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."

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. 

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.

David Warner dominated Bangladesh with the highest score of the Cricket World Cup as Australia took another stride towards the semi-finals with a 48-run victory at Trent Bridge.

Warner has been in outstanding form and moved to another level in Nottingham, capitalising on being dropped by Sabbir Rahman on 10 by smashing 166 off 147 balls to become the leading run-scorer in the tournament.

The opening batsman's explosive 16th ODI hundred was Australia's second-highest individual World Cup score - Warner having also posted the biggest of 178 versus Afghanistan four years ago.

Usman Khawaja (89) returned to form after Aaron Finch struck 53, with Soumya Sarkar taking 3-58 as the holders put 381-5 on the board in another Nottingham run-fest.

Mushfiqur Rahim (102 not out) made a brilliant first World Cup century and there were half-centuries for Tamim Iqbal (62) and Mahmudullah (69), yet Bangladesh were unable to pull off a repeat of their huge successful run-chase against West Indies on Monday.

The Tigers did post their highest ODI score of 333-8, but they nevertheless suffered a defeat that strikes a major blow to their hopes of reaching the last four as Australia went top of the table.

 

IMPERIOUS WARNER PUNISHES SABBIR

Sabbir was brought in to make his first appearance of the tournament as one of two changes to the Tigers side and he did not get off to the best of starts, putting Warner down at backward point before he had got going.

The left-hander made him pay in brutal fashion after biding his time, slog-sweeping Shakib Al Hasan for a massive six and bringing up his half-century in 55 balls.

Warner then accelerated with a magnificent combination of power and improvisation following Finch's exit, clearing the ropes five times and putting on 192 for the second wicket with Khawaja, who passed 50 for the first time in the tournament.

 

MUSHFIQUR AND MAHMUDULLAH PROVIDE RESISTANCE

Glenn Maxwell (32 from 10) also did some late damage after Warner and Khawaja had been dismissed by Soumya, who missed out with the bat when he was run out by Finch following a big mix-up.

The fit-again Marcus Stoinis (2-54) claimed the big wicket of the in-form Shakib (41) and the Tigers were 144-3 almost halfway through their innings when Tamim chopped on.

Mitchell Starc rattled Liton Das on the helmet straight after ending Tamim's knock and the number five was on his way after being trapped in front by Adam Zampa, but Mushfiqur and Mahmudullah made a game of it.

 

STARC AND AUSTRALIA RISE TO THE SUMMIT

Nathan Coulter-Nile (2-58) ended an 83-ball stand when Mahmudullah holed out after hitting three sixes and five fours in a swashbuckling 50-ball knock, while the Australia seamer compounded Sabbir's misery by bowling him first ball.

Starc (2-55) became the top wicket-taker in the tournament and, although the excellent Mushfiqur reached three figures in the penultimate over, Australia comfortably made it five wins out of six.

Records tumbled at Old Trafford on Tuesday as a sensational 148 from Eoin Morgan helped England thrash Afghanistan by 150 runs in the Cricket World Cup and move top of the standings.

England's captain, fit to play having been troubled by a back spasm against West Indies last time out, thumped 17 sixes - the most by any batsman in an ODI - during an enthralling 71-ball innings as the tournament hosts racked up 397-6 after electing to bat.

Morgan's glut of maximums enabled England to set a world record of 25 in an innings, while the match featured 33 sixes – a new World Cup high.

Afghanistan, who remain winless, predictably came up well short in reply but they showed admirable resolve to reach 247-8, Hashmatullah Shahidi top-scoring with 76 after recovering from a nasty blow to the helmet.  

Jonny Bairstow (90 from 99 deliveries) and the prolific Joe Root (88 from 82) made valuable contributions for England, while Moeen Ali blasted 31 not out from nine balls at the death.

Yet it was Morgan who took centre stage in stunning fashion, his sixes all coming in the arc between long-off and backward square-leg courtesy of a series of punishing pulls, drives and slog-sweeps.

Morgan was given a life on 28 when Dawlat Zadran misjudged a chance at deep midwicket off Rashid Khan. The mistake proved painfully costly for Afghanistan and Rashid, who finished with 0-110 from nine overs, the most expensive analysis in World Cup history.

 

MORGAN MAGNIFICENT, BUT ROOT SO IMPORTANT AGAIN

Rohit Sharma, AB de Villiers and Chris Gayle have all managed 16 sixes in an ODI innings, but Morgan went one better in Manchester as he compiled the fourth-fastest hundred in World Cup history.

While the skipper's contribution was outstanding, the efforts of Root - who now has 367 runs in the tournament from five innings - should not be overlooked. England's number three once again fulfilled his role to perfection, ticking along at roughly a run a ball while eschewing risk. By contributing 43 off 33 deliveries during a third-wicket stand of 189 with Morgan, Root did exactly what was required, unselfishly giving as much of the strike as possible to his partner.

 

ROY'S REPLACEMENT FAILS TO CONVINCE

Jason Roy's absence was hardly a factor as England romped to victory without their in-form opener, who has been sidelined by a hamstring tear.

However, James Vince failed to make the most of his opportunity at the top of the order, departing for 26 after a start that had promised much. 

Roy has already been ruled out of Friday's clash with Sri Lanka, at the very least, and Vince will be eager not to waste another chance with uncertainty surrounding his fellow batsman's availability for the remainder of the tournament.

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."

Shakib Al Hasan's superb Cricket World Cup continued as he compiled an unbeaten century to lead Bangladesh to an emphatic seven-wicket win over West Indies at Taunton.

The Tigers were undaunted by a target of 322, in-form all-rounder Shakib leading the way with 124 not out - a second successive hundred for the tournament's leading run-scorer - against a sluggish Windies attack.

Liton Das added an unbeaten 94, sharing 189 with Shakib on a memorable day for Bangladesh, who romped home with 51 balls to spare and leapfrogged Windies into fifth position in the group stage.

West Indies' own qualification hopes look increasingly slim and they got off to a poor start when opener Chris Gayle was caught behind off Mohammad Saifuddin (3-72) for a 13-ball duck.

Shai Hope (96 off 121 balls) and Evin Lewis (70 off 67) responded impressively to lay a strong platform, before Shimron Hetmyer (50 off 26) and skipper Jason Holder (33 off 15) raised the tempo in the latter stages of an innings that featured three wickets for Mustafizur Rahman and two for Shakib.

A total of 321-8 looked to have left Bangladesh facing a tall order, given no team had chased down more than 245 in the competition prior to Monday.

However, the Tigers got off to a quick start through openers Tamim Iqbal (48) and Soumya Sarkar (29), with the Windies looking lacklustre in the field, before Shakib took centre stage once again.

Having made 75, 64 and 121 in his previous three innings, Shakib maintained his fine form and found an able partner in Das, with the pair able to score freely all around the wicket.

The beleaguered Windies simply had no answer to Bangladesh's fourth-wicket pair, with Das even hitting Shannon Gabriel for three sixes in a row as his side closed in on a hugely convincing victory.

 

Tigers in the hunt for semis, Windies on the brink

Monday's result realistically preserved Bangladesh's hopes of reaching the semi-finals. They are up to fifth in the table, having beaten South Africa and the Windies in impressive fashion.

However, after a heavy defeat to England in their previous match, this was another dire performance from West Indies, whose bowling left much to be desired. Since thrashing Pakistan in their opening game, Holder's men have lost three matches and seen another rained off. It is hard to see them recovering from here.

 

Shakib reaches landmark 

What a tournament it has been for Shakib, who once again starred for Bangladesh here as well as passing the impressive milestone of 6,000 ODI runs. It was a world-class performance of real maturity and skill from the 32-year-old, who has relished the responsibility of stepping up in the batting order to number three. He also made a key contribution with the ball at Taunton, taking two wickets including the valuable scalp of Lewis. 

© 2018 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.