Chris Gayle is to retire from ODIs following the Cricket World Cup, West Indies have confirmed. 

The explosive batsman is second only to the legendary Brian Lara in the list of most ODI runs scored by a West Indies player, having scored 9,672 to date.

Gayle has played 281 50-over matches in his career, scoring 23 hundreds – the most by a West Indian in the format.

The 39-year-old's involvement in one-day cricket has dwindled in recent years due to his stints in various lucrative Twenty20 tournaments. 

Cricket West Indies announced the news via a short statement that read: "Talismanic WINDIES batsman, Chris Gayle, has announced he will retire from One-Day Internationals following the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 England & Wales."

Gayle was included for the Windies' first two ODIs of the five-match series with England, the first of which takes place in Bridgetown on Wednesday.

Glenn Maxwell conceded the remarkable nature of Melbourne Stars' Big Bash League final loss to Melbourne Renegades was a bitter pill to swallow.

Seeking a maiden title, the Stars looked firmly in control of Sunday's decider at Marvel Stadium, reaching 93-0 towards the end of the 13th over in a chase of 146.

But a stunning collapse saw Maxwell's side lose seven wickets for just 19 runs in less than five overs as the Renegades completed a sensational turnaround to seal victory by 13 runs.

The Stars have reached the play-offs in all but one of the eight Big Bash seasons, and Maxwell hopes to use this latest disappointment to spur the side on and finally lift the trophy in 2019-20.

"This will probably drive us next year and we'll use it as motivation to go one step further," he said. 

"We were so close, with eight overs [to go] we probably looked like winners. To fall that short is disappointing and it's hard to take.

"I'm sure once the dust settles and we get back to next year, we'll be able to put some more performances on the board with some more squad depth.

"I think those first 10 overs – we batted beautifully but I think we could have gone a bit harder, knowing what we had behind us.

"You can kill the game in the powerplay when you're only chasing 145 – 0-36 was great, we had 10 wickets in hand, but it was that sort of game. That's good in hindsight, it's nice to know now."

Maxwell insisted he had no regrets about opting to field having won the toss, after opposite number Aaron Finch said his choice would have been to bat first.

"With the way the game was going, the way they were throwing the ball into the ground and getting the ball soft, it was always going to be hard for a new batter [in the chase]," said Maxwell. 

"You could sort of feel that on the boundary, we probably needed to kill the game a bit earlier, go a bit harder when the ball was hard and just get ahead of the rate. 

"They bowled pretty well and kept us around seven and a half an over. As soon as you lose a wicket, that can really skyrocket as we saw it tonight. 

"That's probably the way we would have gone about it [in the field] – we wouldn't have been too concerned with a team being none down, especially [as] we didn't really get away at any stage."

New Zealand fast bowler Trent Boult and Bangladesh all-rounder Mahmudullah have been fined by the International Cricket Council (ICC) over separate incidents during the second ODI in Christchurch on Saturday. 

Boult lost 15 per cent of his match fee for twice using "audible obscene words" when the Black Caps were bowling. 

Mahmudullah, meanwhile, has been fined 10 per cent for striking a picket fence with his bat at Hagley Oval following his dismissal. 

In addition, the duo each receive one demerit point apiece - a first offence for both men. 

New Zealand won the game by eight wickets to wrap up the series ahead of the final instalment in Dunedin on Wednesday.

Melbourne Renegades captain Aaron Finch says his side stuck to their strengths as they pulled off a remarkable comeback against the Melbourne Stars in the Big Bash League final. 

Runners-up in 2015-16, the Stars looked to be cruising to their maiden BBL crown at 93-0 in response to the Renegades' total of 145-5 in Melbourne on Sunday. 

But a stunning capitulation saw them lose seven wickets for 19 runs in 30 balls, eventually finishing on 132-7 at Marvel Stadium. 

"It's exciting, very special," said Finch, who managed only 13 with the bat. "Our boys were fantastic. I didn't do a hell of a lot to be fair, it was the guys who executed with bat and ball. 

"We knew batting first it was going to be so hard to chase any total, you can defend anything. We stuck to our strengths and you just need one little opening, especially in a final with the pressure on."

Player of the match Dan Christian - previously a winner of the BBL with Brisbane Heat - followed up an unbeaten 38 with bowling figures of 2-33, as well as a pair of catches. He added: "I wasn't expecting that to be honest, an awesome game from everyone. 

"The bowlers stuck to it all the way. I was lucky to parachute in at the end. 

"This is right up there, let's say it's the best one! We spend a lot of time together, a great bunch of blokes."

Despite throwing away their chance at the title, Stars captain Glenn Maxwell was full of praise for his players.

"Extremely proud, we played some great cricket this tournament," he commented. "To fall short at the end is disappointing.

"Hopefully we'll win it next year. Great support, they've been brilliant for us.

"Congratulations to Renegades, we've had some great tussles.

"To my boys, I've asked a lot of you and you've delivered in spades."

Melbourne Renegades emerged from the jaws of defeat to sensationally win their first Big Bash League title by 13 runs as Melbourne Stars collapsed in dramatic fashion.

Runners-up in 2015-16, the Stars looked to be cruising to their maiden BBL crown at 93-0 in response to the Renegades' total of 145-5 in Melbourne on Sunday.

But the Stars capitulated in remarkable scenes, losing 19-7 in 30 balls as they were limited to 132 runs at Marvel Stadium.

 

STARS THROW AWAY TITLE

The Stars were cruising with a coveted trophy in their sights - Ben Dunk (57) and Marcus Stoinis (39) settled in the middle.

Dunk hit four boundaries and a six, while Stoinis smashed a pair of fours and a six of his own.

But when Stoinis was bowled out by Cameron Boyce, it all went horribly wrong in one of the wildest chokes seen in the competition.

"If the Stars lose from here, I don't think they'll ever win it," Shane Warne said on Fox Sports with the Stars five down . "It was the unlosable game."

Aside from Adam Zampa (17 not out), no other player reached double figures as Peter Handscomb (0), Glenn Maxwell (1), Nic Maddinson (6), Seb Gotch (2), Dwayne Bravo (3) and Jackson Bird (4 not out) watched the trophy slip through the Stars' grasp.

"For those men in red, they'll sit there and giggle and say 'I can't believe we won the Big Bash Final'," Warne said. "For the men in green, they've got some serious questions they've got to ask themselves. They lost the game through reckless cricket, maybe a bit complacent and some pretty ordinary shots and they'll be a shattered group."

 

RENEGADES IN MARVEL MIRACLE

After the stadium was evacuated just hours before the final due to a rogue fire alarm, the Renegades somehow - beyond belief - defended a modest total in the Melbourne derby.

The Renegades were sent in to bat by Stars captain Maxwell, whose side gained the upper hand as they reduced their rivals to 65-5 in the 11th over - Jackson Bird (2-25) and Zampa (2-21) the wicket-takers.

However, Tom Cooper (43 runs from 35 balls) and Dan Christian (38 from 30) put the Renegades back on track with an unbeaten 80-run partnership.

Renegades skipper Aaron Finch was run out at the non-strikers' end and he was seen taking his frustrations out on a chair as he headed down the tunnel.

Then, with the ball, Renegades quartet Boyce (2-30), Chris Tremain (2-21), Christian (2-33) and Harry Gurney (1-20) helped pull off the unlikeliest of victories in their first BBL final appearance.

Kusal Perera deserves all the praise that comes his way for steering Sri Lanka to an unlikely opening-Test win for his "Superman" effort with the bat, said losing South Africa captain Faf du Plessis.

Sri Lanka appeared to be on a hiding to nothing in Durban when, chasing 304 for victory, the tourists fell to 226-9 from 83-3 on day four.

But Perera, on 86 at that point, produced a masterclass for the ages and his unbroken stand of 78 with Vishwa Fernando – a record 10th-wicket, fourth-innings partnership for a winning side in Test cricket – steered Sri Lanka to a one-wicket triumph.

Proteas skipper Du Plessis concedes his side could do nothing to get Perera, who finished a career-best 153 not out, off strike and recognised the match was a great advert for fans of five-day cricket.

"It was an incredible game of cricket. We're very disappointed to end on the losing side, but to have it to go down to nine wickets and a 78-run partnership at the end is great for the game of Test cricket," he said. 

"You could tell the fans were excited about it and, I suppose, as fans, that's the kind of Test match you want to see. 

"Well played to Sri Lanka. Obviously Perera was unbelievable. It took a Superman effort. He deserves all of the accolades that will come to him after this game."

Du Plessis admitted that the manner of the defeat was a tough one to take.

"I'd be lying if I said there wasn't emotions going through me on the inside. The legs underneath the water paddling, a little bit of that. It's difficult for a captain," he added. 

"You want to protect a lead and then you also understand that you want to try to bowl at the tailender. 

"He played that beautifully. Whatever we tried, he still managed to get one away or a boundary away, every over, every over.

"Towards the end, we got a few balls at the tailender but unfortunately there were a few plays and misses."

A new Big Bash League champion is guaranteed to be crowned on Sunday when Melbourne Stars face city rivals Melbourne Renegades in a much-anticipated final.

The Melbourne franchises are two of the three teams never to have won the competition, together with this term's regular-season table-toppers Hobart Hurricanes.

Ahead of the final at Docklands Stadium, we look at the best Opta facts relating to the contest.

 

- Three of the last four BBL finals have been won by the side batting second, with Perth Scorchers (2015 and 2017) and Sydney Thunder (2016) completing successful chases. However, Adelaide Strikers triumphed in last year's decider after batting first against the Hurricanes.

- The Scorchers are the only team to have won the BBL more than once, triumphing in 2014, 2015 and 2017. Prior to this season, in which they finished bottom of the table, they had never failed to make the semi-finals.

- The Stars have also made the last four on seven occasions, including this season, but five of their semi-final appearances have ended in defeat. 

- Hobart boast the two leading run-scorers in the 2018-19 BBL, with D'Arcy Short and Matthew Wade contributing 637 and 592 respectively.

- The highest batting average (by a player scoring at least 50 runs) belongs to the Stars' Marcus Stoinis, whose 494 runs have come at 54.9.

- Callum Ferguson is responsible for the highest score in 2018-19, having made 113 not out from 53 balls in the Thunder's victory over the Scorchers on January 24.

- The Renegades' Kane Richardson has been the most prolific bowler in the competition, with 24 wickets. Next come a pair of Sydney Sixers bowlers in Sean Abbott (22) and Steve O'Keefe (21).

 

Paul Farbrace is to leave his position as England assistant coach after their tour of the Caribbean to take up the role as sporting director at Warwickshire.

The highly regarded coach is taking up a position left vacant by Ashley Giles, who departed Edgbaston to become managing director of England Men's Cricket.

Farbrace initially joined the England set-up as assistant to Peter Moores in 2014 having led Sri Lanka to World Twenty20 glory.

The timing of the 51-year-old's decision comes as somewhat of a surprise with a Cricket World Cup and a home Ashes series against Australia on the horizon in the coming months.

"I have had five fantastic years with England Cricket. It has been a brilliant experience working with world-class coaches, players and support staff," Farbrace, who will start with Warwickshire in March after England's T20I series against West Indies, told the ECB's official website.

"I have been fortunate to taste some genuine success and be part of the development of some excellent players, who have the world at their feet this summer.

"There is never a great time to leave an international set-up and despite what will be a fantastic summer for English cricket, the opportunity to shape the future of one of the game's biggest counties was too much to resist. 

"It would have been tough for me to have turned down the opportunity once Warwickshire showed an interest in me.

"Finally, I would like to thank the ECB, and in particular, Trevor Bayliss, Eoin Morgan, Joe Root and Ashley Giles for their support in what has been a difficult decision to make. 

"I wish them every success this summer. I believe they have the right attributes to create history by lifting the World Cup in July and winning The Ashes that follows it."

Alongside head coach Trevor Bayliss, who will not be renewing his own contract when it expires in September, Farbrace has been instrumental in turning around England's fortunes in white-ball cricket.

Four years ago, England were reeling from being knocked out of the World Cup group stages, but are now the number-one ranked ODI side.

"I would like to thank Paul for all his efforts over the last five years as a key figure in England's success across the red and white ball formats," Giles said.

"Paul was integral, alongside, Andrew Strauss, Trevor Bayliss and Eoin Morgan, in transforming our white ball strategy, which has seen us become the best team in the world leading into a World Cup year.

"His efforts in developing players in the elite environment will benefit him in his new role at Edgbaston.

"I will now start the process to find a successor and work closely with our existing set-up to ensure we have everything in place ahead of a busy summer of international cricket."

West Indies have called Carlos Brathwaite, Sheldon Cottrell and John Campbell into their squad for the first two one-day internationals against England, in response to a succession of injury problems.

All-rounders Rovman Powell and Keemo Paul have both been ruled out, while opener Evin Lewis has withdrawn from the squad due to a groin injury.

Former Windies T20 skipper Brathwaite and Cottrell have therefore earned recalls, while Campbell is in line to win a first ODI cap after impressing in the recent Test series victory over England.

"With our squad suffering from a few players with injuries even before a ball is bowled, an opportunity presents itself for other players to make a claim for ICC Cricket World Cup spots," said chairman of selectors Courtney Browne.

"The [selection] panel take this opportunity to wish the injured players a speedy recovery and to wish the team success in the upcoming ODIs."

Kensington Oval in Barbados will host the first two games in a five-match series on Wednesday and Friday, before contests in Grenada and St Lucia.

 

Revised West Indies squad for first two ODIs:

Jason Holder (captain), Fabian Allen, Devendra Bishoo, Carlos Brathwaite, Darren Bravo, John Campbell, Sheldon Cottrell, Chris Gayle, Shimron Hetmyer, Shai Hope, Ashley Nurse, Nicholas Pooran, Kemar Roach, Oshane Thomas.

Kusal Perera incredibly deflected praise onto his Sri Lanka team-mates despite a phenomenal individual effort in the one-wicket win over South Africa.

Perera, who started and ended day four at the crease, compiled a sensational unbeaten 153 and dominated a 10th-wicket stand of 78 to guide the tourists to an unlikely victory in Durban, after the Proteas had appeared to be in complete control.

Sri Lanka were reduced from an overnight score of 83-3 to 226-9 on Saturday as they pursued 304 for victory, yet Perera almost single-handedly secured an improbable series lead with an astonishing display.

The batsman's breathless exploits had taken their toll by the time of the post-match presentation, but he was keen for his colleagues to be credited, too.

"I'm really tired now," he admitted, before adding: "I don't know what to say.

"All the batsmen gave me good support and, all that time, I believed in myself. We did it. I was just thinking that I did my part, but we were winning as a team.

"We had done a lot of homework in the recent past, so this was a really special win for us. We did a lot of hard work previously."

Captain Dimuth Karunaratne was similarly eager to share the praise as he hailed his "remarkable" star man while also recognising the contributions of debutants Oshada Fernando and Lasith Embuldeniya.

"[Perera] batted really well," the skipper said. "He's one of the most experienced guys in the side, but this hundred is remarkable.

"Getting a hundred in South Africa is not easy against a top-class fast bowling attack.

"But even the two debutants did really well. Oshada batted really well and Embuldeniya clearly did a good job [taking five wickets in South Africa's second innings]. That's what we need. As a team, we need to play as a unit and do our best."

Kusal Perera remarkably dominated a record-breaking 10th-wicket partnership with Vishwa Fernando to carry Sri Lanka to a sensational one-wicket win over South Africa in a dramatic first Test.

Having been set 304 to win in Durban, Sri Lanka's hopes looked to be over when they slipped from an overnight score of 83-3 to 226-9 on day four.

Perera was unbeaten on 86 when the ninth wicket fell but almost single-handedly guided Sri Lanka to victory thereafter, hogging the strike and reaching 153 not out in an unbroken stand of 78 with Fernando, who faced 27 balls to make six.

Sri Lanka were therefore able to claim a 1-0 series lead, with the masterclass from Perera - whose previous Test best was 110 - leaving the hosts stunned.

Inzamam-ul-Haq and Mushtaq Ahmed had shared the previous highest 10th-wicket partnership to win a Test in the fourth innings, putting on 57 against Australia in Karachi in 1994.

Former Australia captain Michael Clarke is keen to see Steve Smith and David Warner back in international cricket as soon as possible ahead of the conclusion of their suspensions.

Both Smith and Warner, along with Cameron Bancroft, were handed lengthy bans for their involvement in the ball-tampering scandal in South Africa last year.

Bancroft has now returned from his suspension, while Smith and Warner will be available for selection from March 29.

The pair reportedly will not make their comebacks until Australia face New Zealand in World Cup warm-up matches, rather than playing the last two one-day internationals against Pakistan, but Clarke wants to see them reinstated swiftly.

"It's going to be really interesting to see how the three of them go when they are back in the same team together," Clarke told Fox Sports. "How is the relationship between Warner and Smith or Bancroft and Warner?

"But, for Australian cricket, there's absolutely no doubt that we need them back. They deserve to come back because they've done their crime, and they've suffered their time.

"They'll scores runs, there is no doubt about. They'll walk back into that team and perform straight away."

Yet Clarke is also keen to ease the pressure on Smith and Warner, believing they cannot inspire success alone.

"We're putting a lot of expectations and a lot of pressure on Steve Smith and David Warner [as if] all of our problems will be fixed when they come back," he added.

"The reality is we have got to number five in the world with Smith and Warner in the team. Sports teams are a lot bigger than one or two players."

New Zealand captain Kane Williamson lauded the Black Caps for another ruthless performance after sealing a one-day international series win over Bangladesh.

The Black Caps took a 2-0 lead in the three-match series after an eight-wicket victory in Christchurch on Saturday.

Martin Guptill (118) and Williamson (65 not out) saw the hosts easily past their target of 227 with 83 balls to spare.

The display pleased Williamson, who praised his bowlers for taking advantage of favourable early conditions.

"Another clinical performance from us, which is sort of what we're wanting, what we're asking," he told Sky Sport.

"Guys are coming out and playing their roles.

"I thought the lads in the first half with the ball in hand were outstanding. There was a little bit there for us with the overcast conditions and we did get a bit out of the surface, which was nice, and we were able to take those regular wickets which is important."

Guptill's century was his 16th in ODIs, moving level with Nathan Astle and second only to Ross Taylor (20) for most for his nation.

The opener, who also scored a ton in the series opener, said his focus was on contributing for the Black Caps.

"You always go out there and do your best for the team first," Guptill told Sky Sport.

"Those sort of milestones come as a byproduct of that."

The final match of the ODI series is in Dunedin on Wednesday.

Martin Guptill led New Zealand to an eight-wicket win over Bangladesh to seal a one-day international series victory on Saturday.

Guptill (118) helped the Black Caps reach their target of 227 comfortably at Hagley Oval in Christchurch.

Kane Williamson made an unbeaten 65 as New Zealand won the second ODI to take a 2-0 lead in the three-match series, getting to their target in the 37th over.

Bangladesh earlier struggled in cloudy conditions, fighting to 226 all out after being reduced to 93-5 despite some poor fielding by the hosts.

The Black Caps opted to bowl in rainy conditions and Trent Boult (1-49) struck early, removing Liton Das (1).

A brief rain delay in the fifth over slowed New Zealand down, but the tourists were quickly in massive trouble, Matt Henry (1-30) trapping Tamim Iqbal (5) lbw.

But the hosts endured some difficulties in the field, dropping several catches, including Ross Taylor putting down Mushfiqur Rahim and Mohammad Mithun.

Taylor did hold onto a chance from Soumya Sarkar (22) off the wayward Colin de Grandhomme (1-25), while Mushfiqur (24) and Mahmudullah (7) fell relatively cheaply.

The drop off Mithun did hurt the Black Caps as he made 57 having been put down on five, although he suffered a hamstring injury during his innings.

Sabbir Rahman (43) and Mithun combined for a 75-run partnership that helped Bangladesh steady, but their total never looked enough, particularly after Guptill made another flying start.

Coming off an unbeaten century in Napier, Guptill helped the Black Caps make a good start alongside Henry Nicholls (14).

Guptill and Williamson then put on 143 for the second wicket, ensuring New Zealand's victory was never in doubt.

The hard-hitting opener notched his 16th ODI century – the equal second most for the Black Caps – before falling to Mustafizur Rahman (2-42), the hosts sealing a series win before the final match in Dunedin on Wednesday.

Mark Wood said he felt like a "superhero" as he tore through West Indies in a ferocious spell to set up a consolation Test victory for England in St Lucia.

The paceman's career has been blighted by injuries, but he made up for lost time by claiming a maiden five-wicket haul with first-innings figures of 5-41 last weekend.

Playing his first Test since last May, Wood provided the hostility the tourists had been lacking and the quick even surprised himself with the pace he generated in England's 232-run win.

He told The Guardian: "You almost feel like a superhero. I've been playing Mario Kart recently and yeah, it's like when you get a magic mushroom and you're just absolutely flying."

Wood added: "I'll never forget the feeling of that spell. If I'm ever down about my bowling I'll re-watch the highlights. 

"I've watched them about 20 times already – probably more. This will sound bad but seeing it back I just thought: 'Wow, that's me.' I couldn't believe how well I bowled and how fast it looked on TV. I was so happy."

Wood's Man-of-the-Match left him feeling emotional after spending so much time in the treatment room over the years.

"I held the ball up and felt so proud, then I got into the pavilion, had a hug with the physio Craig de Weymarn – he's touched me in places my wife never has! – and it all sunk in," said the 29-year-old. 

"It was everything I'd wanted after all I'd been through with injury. I know it's only one five-for and there's Jimmy [James Anderson] and Broady [Stuart Broad] with tons of them, but it was so special.

"I felt I finally belonged in the England Test team. I put the ball in my England cap, sat them next to me and just looked at them. All the emotions came out. I was a bit teary."

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