Mayank Agarwal struck his second double century in four Test matches as India took command of the first Test with Bangladesh at Indore.

Agarwal went into the second day unbeaten on 37 with little indication of the dominance he was about to exert on the tourists' bowling attack.

The opener became the second fastest player to two double hundreds as India piled on 407 runs to reach 493-6 in response to Bangladesh's first-innings 150 all out.

Agarwal, who was eventually dismissed for 243, has reached 200 twice in just 12 Test innings, doing so at a quicker pace than Don Bradman (13).

Only Vinod Kambli has scored a pair of double centuries in shorter time, having managed it in five innings.

Agarwal struck 28 fours and eight sixes – the most by an Indian in a Test innings – one of which brought up his 200 as he got down the track and launched Mehidy Hasan over long-on.

His incredible performance comes just over a month after he hit 215 in the first Test with South Africa.

Cheteshwar Pujara (54), Ajinkya Rahane (86) and Ravindra Jadeja (60) all reached half-centuries on a chastening day for Bangladesh, who had four members of their attack go for triple figures by the close.

Bangladesh may have had some hope of keeping themselves in the game when Abu Jayed – who took 4-108 – trapped India captain Virat Kohli lbw for a second-ball duck, Mominul Haque correctly deciding to review and leaving the hosts on 119-3.

However, Agarwal went on to form partnerships of 190 with Rahane and 123 with Jadeja to extinguish any lingering thought of a shock result for Bangladesh.

He was eventually caught at midwicket off the bowling of Mehidy Hasan Miraz, with the crowd rising to applaud another astonishing knock from the right-hander, who lasted 330 balls.

Thoughts will now turn to the prospect of an overnight declaration from Kohli, whose side are in a strong position to take a 1-0 lead in the two-match series.

Ben Stokes does not expect England to have any problem with focus going into the Test series with New Zealand as their incredible 2019 nears its conclusion.

Stokes enjoyed a starring role in England's incredible World Cup final triumph over the Black Caps and then played one of the greatest Test innings of all time to inspire a remarkable one-wicket victory in the third Ashes encounter against Australia at Headingley.

England were ultimately unable to regain the Ashes in captivating series that finished 2-2, but Stokes insists he and the rest of the team will be able to put all that behind them as they gear up for a two-Test rubber with New Zealand.

Joe Root's side travel to South Africa in December, England facing the Proteas in four Tests before Eoin Morgan leads them in three ODIs and three T20s.

"When you're touring and representing your country it doesn't take too much to get you going," Stokes told the BBC's Test Match Special.

"The thing about our winter is that it's pretty hectic again, we've got so much to focus on that summer 2019's pretty much been and gone. All the focus in the dressing room is what have we got coming ahead."

Stokes was speaking after day one of England's tour match against New Zealand A in Whangarei, where there were brief fears for the fitness of Root after he took a blow to the leg.

"At one point we were discussing whether he'd hurt his knee, ankle or hamstring," Stokes added. 

"Thankfully it was neither, he just took a bump on his leg from stopping the ball, sort of got a dead leg. It was good to see him running back on the field."

West Indies women’s seven-wicket loss to India at Providence on Wednesday meant the visitors took an unassailable 3-0 lead in their five-match T20I series.

Steve Smith has signed with the Sydney Sixers and the Big Bash League outfit hope to have the star batsman available late in the upcoming season.

Smith, 30, has previously played 20 matches for the Sixers, making 499 runs – including four half-centuries – at an average of 31.18.

The right-hander's availability for the 2019-20 campaign is again dependent on Australia selection, but the Sixers are hoping Smith can play "the last two to three games of the regular season, and the finals series".

"I am excited about getting an opportunity to play for the Sydney Sixers again," Smith said in a statement on Friday.

"When the schedule came out and I saw there was a chance to wear the magenta again I jumped at the opportunity and look forward to joining up with the team after my January national team commitments have ended."

Sixers general manager Jodie Hawkins hailed the signing of Smith, saying the former Australia captain would add plenty to the squad.

"We couldn't be more excited to see Steve back in magenta this season," she said. "He was a part of our original squad that won the first BBL back in January 2012 and to see him return to our setup again is going to be brilliant."

"He's an asset not just on the field but also for our young players.

"Sixers fans will also be delighted to see him back in team colours later this season after the international season."

The Sixers confirmed Smith was replacing wicketkeeper-batsman Peter Nevill in their squad.

They begin their season against the Perth Scorchers on December 18.

A.R. Srikkanth, one of the world’s leading T20 cricket analysts, has been appointed as the new West Indies Men’s Team Analyst, on a two-year contract.

Kieron Pollard’s 32 not-out from 22 balls and 2-17 brought a man-of-the-match and 1-0 lead in a three-match T20 series over Afghanistan but the West Indies skipper refuses to sit on his laurels.

Speaking after the first T20 in the series being played in Lucknow, India, Pollard, who led from the front in a 30-run win, said that while he was happy with the performance of the team, work was still left to be done.

"It's always good to contribute but it's always better to contribute in the winning cause,” he said of his own man-of-the-match performance.

“The partnership between Lewis and Hetmyer set it up. It was not one of the easiest wickets to bat on. The balls were coming slow off the wicket. That's when you have to play smart cricket, manoeuvre the fielder,” he said.

In the field, Pollard was also happy with the West Indies, who restricted Afghanistan to just 134-9 after they were set 164 for victory.

“We were a bowler short but the boys stepped up,” he said.

Stepping up was Kesrick Williams, who ended with figures of 3-17, and Hayden Walsh Jr, who bagged 2-34.

But there are still areas the West Indies can tighten up, said Pollard who seems dead set on getting the side to be more aggressive.

“We have another game shortly, so we need to look at the areas to improve upon," said Pollard.

Before the start of the T20 series, the skipper had said he was already preparing the team to defend its T20 World Cup title.

“Winning is a habit, and anything that we want to do as a team is a process, and it's something we have to improve on over a period of time,” Pollard had said.

Evin Lewis produced a fiery batting display as West Indies made a winning start to their Twenty20 series against Afghanistan.

After a 3-0 success in the ODI games, the apparent wide gulf between the sides was exposed again as West Indies powered to a 30-run victory.

West Indies posted 164-5 as Lewis flayed Afghanistan for 68 from 41 deliveries, before the minnows were limited to 134-9 in reply.

Curiously, a cloud reportedly made up of insect repellent forced a delayed start to the night match in Lucknow, but there was little holding back Lewis once he found his rhythm.

Despite failing to score a run from the first seven balls he faced, Lewis made up for lost time with a brutal assault of the Afghanistan attack.

He was eventually caught by Mohammad Nabi off Gulbadin Naib, having plundered six sixes and four fours, and captain Kieron Pollard added middle-order impetus with 32 from 22 balls to help West Indies to their competitive total.

Four Afghanistan batsmen went past 20 but Najibullah Zadran top-scored with just 27. Fareed Ahmad was unbeaten on 24 after a late flourish, but momentum was always lacking.

Early wickets fell at a steady rate before four fell for just seven runs as the run rate soared, West Indies quick Kesrick Williams returning of 3-17 from four overs.

Pollard also poached two wickets to swing man-of-the-match honours his way.

The second and third matches in the T20 series take place on Saturday and Sunday before a one-off Test, which gets underway on November 27.

Kane Williamson has been passed fit to captain a New Zealand Test squad to face England and Australia that includes uncapped paceman Lockie Ferguson.

A hip injury kept Williamson out of the five Twenty20 internationals on home soil against England, with the tourists earning a 3-2 series victory thanks to a Super Over triumph at Eden Park on Sunday.

The 29-year-old batsman has recovered in time to lead the Black Caps in the inaugural Test at his home ground of Bay Oval in Mount Maunganui, which begins next Thursday.

New Zealand will then face England again at Seddon Park from November 29 before a trio of Tests against trans-Tasman rivals Australia, the first of which takes place at Optus Stadium in Perth.

"Kane's made good progress over the past fortnight and we're delighted to welcome back a player of his class and experience," said selector Gavin Larsen.

"It's obviously going to be a very special Test for him and Trent Boult being such passionate locals - we know there's already a lot of excitement in that part of the Bay of Plenty."

Williamson will be joined by Ferguson, who has earned his maiden Test call-up after becoming a key cog for the Kiwis in white-ball cricket.

The 28-year-old paceman has claimed 153 wickets in 42 first-class matches at an average of 24.30.

"There's no doubt Lockie has been knocking on the door for a while now and we're delighted to finally bring him into the Test fold," Larsen said.

"It's well documented he has raw pace, but he also possesses a quality bowling skill set and has proven durability to stay on the park.

"He showed good form against England in the recent T20 series and backed that up with a solid outing for the Auckland Aces in the Plunket Shield where he claimed 4-23 against the Wellington Firebirds.

"Our pace bowling stocks are strong at the moment and we feel Lockie will add another dimension to the picture which will create some great competition."

 

New Zealand Test squad: Kane Williamson (c), Todd Astle, Tom Blundell, Trent Boult, Colin de Grandhomme, Lockie Ferguson, Matt Henry, Tom Latham, Henry Nicholls, Jeet Raval, Mitchell Santner, Tim Southee, Ross Taylor, Neil Wagner, BJ Watling.

Sri Lanka will be the opponents for Pakistan's first Test series on home soil for a decade next month.

There has been no cricket in the longest format in Pakistan since a terror attack on the Sri Lanka team bus in 2009.

While there has been some limited-overs internationals in Pakistan, the ICC Champions Trophy holders have had to play home Tests in the United Arab Emirates due to concerns over security.

Sri Lanka recently travelled to Pakistan for white-ball contests and have now agreed to return for Tests at the Rawalpindi Cricket Stadium and Karachi's National Stadium - starting on December 11 and 19 respectively.

Zakir Khan, PCB director - international cricket, said: "This is a fabulous news for Pakistan cricket and its reputation of being as safe and secure as any other country in the world.

"We are thankful to Sri Lanka Cricket for agreeing to send their team for the longer version of the game, which will contribute significantly in the PCB's efforts and drive for regular resumption of international cricket, and help in its endeavours of attracting new audiences and younger generation.

"Now that the itinerary has been confirmed, we will shift our focus on series preparations to ensure we deliver arrangements as per our very high standards.

"This series is part of our cricket celebrations and we will leave no stone unturned in putting up a show which is a memorable one for the players, officials, fans and media."

India skittled Bangladesh out cheaply on day one of the Test series against Bangladesh and look set to take a big lead after only losing Rohit Sharma in reply at the Holkar Stadium.

Mohammed Shami took 3-27 as the Tigers - sorely missing Shakib Al Hasan and Tamim Iqbal - collapsed from 99-3 to 150 all out in Indore on Thursday after winning the toss.

Ishant Sharma, Umesh Yadav and Ravichandran Ashwin claimed two wickets apiece for an India side with a 100 per cent record in the ICC World Test Championship.

The top-ranked nation - so dominant on home soil - were 86-1 at stumps on a one-sided day, with Mayank Agarwal (37 not out) and Cheteshwar Pujara (43no) closing in on half-centuries after Rohit failed.

New captain Mominul Haque must have been questioning his decision to bat first when the Tigers were reduced to 12-2, with Shadman Islam edging Ishant (2-20) behind after Umesh (2-47) removed Imrul Kayes.

Shami got one to shape away and strike Mohammad Mithun in front and matters could have become even worse for Bangladesh but for some shoddy work in the slips.

Mushfiqur was put down by Virat Kohli on three and Ajinkya Rahane with 14 to his name, capitalising by striking for a straight six, then dispatching the next ball for four.

Ashwin (2-43) ended a fourth-wicket stand of 68 when Mominul (37) was cleaned up without offering a shot and the spinner also bowled Mahmudullah after he was spilled by Rahane.

The skilful Shami generated more sharp swing to uproot Mushfiqur's off stump and the tourists lost their last five wickets for only 10 runs after he departed for 43.

Shami claimed two wickets in as many balls just before tea, Mehidy Hasan failing to review an lbw decision when the ball was missing leg, and Ishant struck from the first delivery of the evening session as Bangladesh folded.

Abu Jayed snared Rohit caught behind for only six, but Pujara and Agarwal were untroubled in an unbroken stand of 72 as spinner Taijul Islam allowed the runs to flow a little too easily.

Joe Root says dropping back down to number four in the England order will benefit both himself and the Test side.

The skipper moved up to the troublesome number three spot for the drawn Ashes series.

Root averaged 32.50 at first drop, failing to make a century in 10 innings as Australia retained the urn.

England's premier batsman is set to move back down to his favoured position when the two-match series against New Zealand starts at Mount Maunganui next week, with Joe Denly expected to come in at three provided he recovers from an ankle injury.

He told BBC's Test Match Special: "I'd like to be consistent with it now, moving forward. It doesn't always work exactly how you want it to but it would be nice for that to be the case.

"I just think it suits my game a little bit more. It definitely fits in with captaincy a little bit better for me.

"I know previous captains have preferred to get out there early and just get amongst it but I quite like to split the two and to really focus on my batting.

"I've found over time that, generally, I've consistently played better in that position."

Joe Burns has returned to a 14-man Australia squad at the expense of Marcus Harris and Usman Khawaja for the two-Test series against Pakistan.

Queensland batsman Burns is expected to partner David Warner at the top of the order on his home surface when the series begins at the Gabba on November 21.

Burns, who was overlooked for the Ashes after battling post-viral fatigue, is back in the fold despite making 0 and 11 for Australia A in this week's tour match against Pakistan.

Cameron Bancroft compiled a defiant 49 in the first innings of that match and is set to compete with Burns for a recall.

National selector Trevor Hohns indicated Travis Head, one of two vice-captains, would likely regain his spot in the playing side.

The 25-year-old South Australian was dropped for the final Ashes Test, but Will Pucovski's withdrawal from consideration for mental health reasons left selectors with few genuine middle-order options.

"Travis has immense experience as a young leader for his state," Hohns said on Thursday.

"He's certainly been in the mix, [firstly] to play, and we also like the way he goes about his business when he's around the team and the leadership skills he has to offer."

Left-handers Harris and Khawaja will not be involved in Brisbane or in the second Test in Adelaide, which starts on November 29.

Uncapped seamer Michael Neser is one of five pace bowling options in the squad alongside Pat Cummins, Josh Hazlewood, Mitchell Starc and James Pattinson.

Meanwhile, Steve Smith has been fined 25 per cent of his Sheffield Shield match fee after pleading guilty to the charge of showing dissent at an umpire's decision.

The world's top-ranked Test batsman showed visible frustration after being judged caught behind for 103 in the first innings of New South Wales' match against Western Australia.

 

Australia Test squad: Tim Paine (captain), Cameron Bancroft, Joe Burns, Pat Cummins, Josh Hazlewood, Travis Head, Marnus Labuschagne, Nathan Lyon, Michael Neser, James Pattinson, Steve Smith, Mitchell Starc, Matthew Wade, David Warner.

Another devasting spell from pacer Keon Harding powered the West Indies Emerging Players to a nail-biting 10-runs win over Trinidad and Tobago Red Force at Queen’s Park Oval, in Port of Spain, on Tuesday.

After winning the toss and choosing to bat the Emerging Players, anchored by a patient 80 from middle-order batsman Justin Greaves, put 243 runs on the board before being all out.  The team got off to a shaky start after losing opener Gidron Pope for a duck, with just four runs on the board.

Joshua Da Silva (34) joined opener Kimani Melius (39) at the crease and the pair put on 67 for the second wicket.  The partnership ended when Melius was dismissed lbw by Imran Khan.  Greaves, however, then steadied the ship putting on another 93 runs in a partnership with Yannic Cariah.  A late innings collapse, following the dismissal of Greaves, who was caught by Smith off the bowling of Jon-Russ Jaggesar, eroded some of the team’s early work.  Jaggesar was the top bowler after claiming figures of 3 for 33.

In response, Trinidad and Tobago were immediately on the back foot after Harding dismissed Tion Webster for a duck with just two runs on the board.  His opening partner Jeremy Solozano followed soon after, caught for 17 by Keon Harding off the bowling of  Ashmead Nedd.  Kyle Hope (34) and Darren Bravo (34), however, came together to repair some of the early damage as they put on 59 for the third wicket before Hope was caught by Harding off Melius.  A determined stand by Yannick Ottley, however, kept Red Force in the game but his brave 71 off 80 balls proved just short as he was run out with just 10 runs remaining to get.

 

The United States suffered another defeat in this season’s Colonial Medical Insurance Super50 Cup, failing to chase down a low total from the Windward Islands Hurricanes to lose by 44 runs at the Brian Lara Cricket Academy in Tarouba on Wednesday.

Facing the music first, the Volcanoes struggled in a start-stop innings to end on 225-9 but then turned in a workmanlike shift with the ball to dismiss the United States for 182 in 45.5 overs.

In their at-bat, the Volcanoes found themselves on the back foot with Devon Smith and Kirk Edwards going for nought and number three batsman, Emmanuel Stewart, splitting the wickets with just four to leave the side at 17-3.

At the other end of the crease, Desron Maloney put together 42 from 59 deliveries and was joined by Kaveem Hodge, who scored the same number of runs from 56 deliveries in a 55-run partnership.

Alick Athanaze also got a start for the Volcanoes, scoring 25, but failed to carry on, while Kerron Cottoy top-scored with a run-a-ball 43, while Shane Shillingford got to 31 before meeting his demise.

The starts with nobody really going on to score heavily meant a sub-par score, with Elmore Hutchinson, 2-37, Jessy Singh, 2-24, and Cameron Stevenson, 2-49, sharing the bulk of the wicket-taking work.

There was also a wicket apiece for Ian Holland (1-36) and Timil Patel (1-36).

When the US batted, they were thwarted by a five-fer from Kerron Cottoy, his 5-37, putting an end to any real challenge the visitors could have put forward. Cottoy got good support from Athinaze, whose 3-24 was invaluable to the win.  Shermon Lewis, 1-26, and Larry Edward, 1-47, were the other wicket-takers for the Volcanoes against the solo effort of Steven Taylor, who scored 62.

Kyle Mayers scored a better than a run-a-ball century as Barbados defeated the Leeward Islands by 32 runs in Wednesday’s round of matches in the Colonial Medical Super 50 Cup in Basseterre, St. Kitts.

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