Tim Paine is not planning to bow out as Australia captain in the wake of his side retaining the Ashes.

Australia retained the urn thanks to their 185-run victory in the fourth Test at Old Trafford, handing the visitors an unassailable 2-1 lead.

There is still plenty to play for at The Oval, however, with England needing a victory to avoid a first Ashes series defeat on home soil in 18 years.

Paine's captaincy has come under scrutiny at times throughout the tour, particularly with former skipper Steve Smith - who was replaced by the wicketkeeper following the 2018 ball-tampering scandal - having been in such inspired form.

But having guided Australia through a difficult 18 months, Paine is in no mood to relinquish his leadership duties, even though an Ashes win would ensure his legacy would be firmly intact.

"Not for me, not at the moment," Paine, whose international career was halted by a mixture of injuries and rivals keeping him out of the team, told reporters at The Oval when asked if he might call time on his tenure at the end of the series.

"I'm loving doing what I'm doing, and I think while you've got a job that you love you try and do it for as long as you can.

"I did miss a lot, I suppose, in the prime years of my cricket career. The positive of that now is that physically I'm in really good condition for my age and feel really good after Test matches physically.

"Mentally, it's a different story but it only takes a day to recover from that. While I keep enjoying it, I'll keep doing it."

The 34-year-old was asked if the end of the ICC Test Championship cycle in the middle of 2021 would be an ideal signing-off point, but Paine insisted he is not planning so far ahead.

"I haven't thought about it to be honest," Paine said.

"I haven't thought much past this Test match, as I've said in the last 18 months, I think it's foolish at my age if you do.

"I'm enjoying what I'm doing and whilst I can continue to contribute in some way, I'll continue to do it.

"I constantly talk to Justin Langer and [selection chair] Trevor Hohns about what might happen or how long I might go on for, but I think we're all comfortable and we're all on the same page."

Jamaica Tallawahs stand-in captain Ravmon Powell insisted the bowlers did not stick to the plan on the back of a deflating four-wickets loss to St Kitts and Nevis Patriots, in a record-setting CPL encounter on Tuesday.

The Tallawahs, on the back of Chris Gayle’s majestic 116 from 62 balls and 73 from 36 from Chadwick Walton, seemed poised for victory after putting 241 for 4 on the board.  The innings was the highest ever recorded in the CPL and one of the most in T20 history.

In response, however, a savage opening spell from openers Devon Thomas and Evin Lewis and solid contributions from Laurie Evans, Fabian Allen, and Shamar Brooks, saw the two-hour record total eclipsed in fairly comfortable fashion.  The Patriots got to 242 for 6 with 7 balls to spare.

The figures were as expected particularly brutal for the Tallawahs bowlers.  Oshane Thomas, the best of them, went for 53 after taking 4 wickets.  Russell who claimed the other two, was blasted for 54. 

Jerome Taylor went 0 for 36, Steven Jacobs 0 for 30, Christopher Lamont 0 for 32 and Shamar Springer 0 for 36.  All failed to make any significant inroads or even significantly slow the Patriots.  After scoring 85 for 0 in the Power Play, the Patriots were 133 for 1 at the halfway mark.

“I think the bowlers did not execute according to the game plan that we set out but credit has to be given to the Patriots, they did fantastic,” Lewis said following the match.

“We just didn’t go to our skillset early enough, we did not bowl enough yorkers, did not bowl enough slower balls, as you can see the pitch was gripping but it is just for us to learn,” he added.

 

St Kitts and Nevis Patriots captain Carlos Brathwaite insists the team never lost belief during a miraculous runs chase of historic proportions, against Jamaica Tallawahs, in the Caribbean Premier League on Tuesday.

Spearheaded by 116 from 62 balls from talisman Chris Gayle, his 22nd T20 century, the Jamaica Tallawahs posted what seemed to be an unassailable 241 for 4, which was the highest total in CPL history. 

The hosts, however, had other ideas and led by a blistering 50, in just 17 balls, from explosive opener Evin Lewis, reached to 242 for 6 with seven balls to spare and 4 wickers in hand.  Lewis' knock was the fastest half-century in CPL history.

“Actually, before we got off the field we got into a small huddle and we said this is the bullring, any total is chaseable,” Brathwaite said following the match.

Lewis and Devon Thomas got the Patriots off to a blistering start and the duo got to 85 for 0 inside the Power Play.  After he was surprised by extra bounce and caught behind by Glenn Phillips off Andre Russell, his opening partner took point.

Thomas got to 50 off 30 balls and new arrival Laurie Evans from England also made a strong contribution, his 41 coming from just 20.

“We just planned to get a good start, keep the run rate manageable and then close off the game.  Evin is in fantastic form, Fabian Allen as well, Devon Thomas, it's his second back to back 50.  We thought they got about 20 runs too much but it was a fantastic track, the wind wasn’t blowing and it was a small outfield.”

The runs chase, which was carried home by Allen’s 37 from 15, was the second-highest total chased in T20 history.

  

 

St Kitts & Nevis Patriots produced the most astonishing Hero Caribbean Premier League (CPL) victory as they chased down Jamaica Tallawahs’ 241/4 on a night when sixes flew and records tumbled at Warner Park.

 

The Tallawahs appeared home and hosed at the halfway stage after Chris Gayle had returned to torment the side he had led for the previous two seasons. The Universe Boss smashed 116 from 62 balls with 10 sixes to register his 22nd T20 century, sharing a Hero CPL record partnership of 162 with Chadwick Walton – who kept pace with Gayle in his own 36-ball innings of 73 – to propel the Tallawahs to the highest total in the history of the tournament.

 

It was a record that would stand for only two hours as the Patriots reached 242/6 with seven balls to spare. The sixes just kept flying, the records just kept tumbling. Evin Lewis hit six Hero Maximums and three fours as he blitzed his way to 50 in just 17 balls – another Hero CPL record – and took the Patriots to 85/0 inside the Power Play before he was surprised by extra bounce and caught behind by Glenn Phillips off Andre Russell.

 

But he had shown the way, and his team-mates followed his lead.

 

Devon Thomas made his way to 50 off 30 balls and new arrival Laurie Evans from England gave an immediate display of his class as spin and seam alike disappeared to all parts of Warner Park.

Justin Langer has no doubt David Warner will overcome the poor form that has dogged his batting during the Ashes. 

Warner has excelled in the field for Australia, but has failed to impress when at the crease, scoring just 79 runs from eight innings.

The tourists have nonetheless retained the urn, with Steve Smith having been pivotal in helping them secure a 2-1 series lead with one Test remaining. 

However, Langer has no concerns over whether Warner, who was impressive during Australia's Cricket World Cup campaign, can recapture the form which made him one of the most formidable openers in international cricket.

"He'll be fine," said Langer. "Steve Smith was throwing balls to him because [Smith's] usually hitting balls and he didn't want to hit any. 

"Davey hasn't had a great series, there's no secrets about that. But he's also a world class player. I've said throughout the whole series if Davey has one good innings it will help us win the Ashes. 

"He probably hasn't been through this lean run before, so it's going to be a good test of his character and we know what a great player he is. 

"He's had a huge World Cup, he had a huge IPL albeit with a white ball. He's a world class player, he's a match winner. He's been brilliant around the group since he's been back. 

"He's been great, he's been great for the crowds, he's been good amongst the group. He hasn't got the runs he wants at the moment, but I'm looking forward to seeing it when he does and there's no better place in the world to bat than The Oval [in the fifth Test], so I'm looking forward to seeing him go well this week."

Australia were able to celebrate at Old Trafford on Sunday, but Langer revealed focus swiftly switched to The Oval, with his side needing to avoid defeat to secure a first series triumph in England since 2001.

"Certainly that celebration was two out of 10 to some of the ones I've seen in Australian cricket before because we knew we had to play three days later," he said.

"The boys are up and about. There's certainly great energy in the group. I've said throughout this whole series there's been lots of laughter in the group, lots of great camaraderie. 

"So hopefully that continues and that certainly gets heightened when you have a successful game. There's a good feeling in the group, they know there's still unfinished business and we're looking forward to this last Test match."

James Anderson remains hungry to play for England after missing the Ashes - and has backed Joe Root to carry on as Test captain.

Seamer Anderson bowled just four overs on the first day of the opener against Australia due to a calf injury, though it was initially hoped he would still feature in the rest of the series.

However, while attempting to prove his fitness before the fourth Test at his home ground of Old Trafford, the 37-year-old suffered a setback on duty for Lancashire's second XI, ruling him out of contention.

Yet despite a disappointing 2019 so far, Anderson remains determined to get back to full fitness and turn out for his country again.

"At the minute, I'm just focusing on getting fit again. I've still got the hunger and desire to play for England," Anderson told Omnisport.

"As I've said before this year, up until I got injured, I've been bowling as well as I ever have, so I've still got the hunger there to get through this, do the rehab and get my body in good shape again and hopefully get onto a winter tour."

Without their all-time leading wicket-taker in the longest format, England have come up short in their bid to regain the Ashes on home soil.

Defeat in Manchester on Sunday means Australia - who won the previous series 4-0 - hold a 2-1 lead with just this week’s finale at the Oval to go.

Root's position as skipper has come into question in the aftermath of the fourth Test, though Anderson is adamant England do not need a captaincy change despite concerns extra responsibility has hampered the Yorkshireman's batting.

"I certainly think he's the right man for the job," Anderson said. "He's done some great work with the Test side over the last few years.

"From the team's point of view, we've shown glimpses of what we can do but been a little bit inconsistent. So it's about finding that consistency as a group.

"And I think he [Root] will be as disappointed as anyone with his form. It's a tricky one, whether if he had batted [at number] four it would make any difference.

"I don't think his captaincy is necessarily affecting his batting, he's just not scored the runs that he would have liked in the series."


James Anderson was speaking on behalf of ‘The Test Experts’ Specsavers, Official Test Partner for England cricket ahead of the final Test of the Specsavers Ashes Series at The Oval. Specsavers are encouraging fans to take eye and ear tests this summer.

Joe Root's position as England captain is not under threat, according to outgoing coach Trevor Bayliss.

Root's captaincy has been questioned from outside the England camp during the Ashes series, with Australia retaining the Ashes with one Test to spare thanks to their 185-run win at Old Trafford on Sunday.

The 28-year-old was appointed Test skipper following Alastair Cook's resignation in 2017, but England have struggled to find their best form in the longest form of the game under the Yorkshireman's leadership.

Despite the fate of the Ashes being already decided, Bayliss – who oversaw England's rise to dominance in one-day cricket and will leave his post at the end of the series – insists Root is not under scrutiny.

"He hasn't come under any questions from anyone making any decisions so he is under no pressure at all," Bayliss told a news conference ahead of the final Test at The Oval.

"Everyone goes through periods where they might not score quite as many runs as they would like. I think the Australian team have bowled pretty well to him.

"Let's see how things go further down the line, but from my point of view he's our premier batter and knowing the Australian way, they always try and target the opposition captain.

"He's batted well on occasions through this series when he's got a start. I don't see too many problems really."

In spite of calls for a shake-up to the Test side, England have named an unchanged squad for the final match, and Bayliss believes the selection policy throughout the series has been correct.

"I've been quite happy with the selections," he said. "The first thing you've got to say is, 'Who else is going to come in?'. That's one point.

"After three Tests in this series, either team could have been up 3-0 I thought. We had our chances when they were 120-8 in the first Test, second Test we finished on top and the game was a draw and the third Test, Australia could have won that and the first two so, as I said, it could have been 3-0 either way.

"If you think about it that way, we can't have got the selections too wrong."

Captain Tim Paine will take "great confidence" from Australia retaining the Ashes on English soil, according to Justin Langer.

After they were denied by Ben Stokes' heroics at Headingley in the previous match, Australia made sure they will keep hold of the famous urn with a 185-run victory over England in the fourth Test at Old Trafford, the result giving them a 2-1 lead with just one match to play.

Paine's relief when the final wicket was confirmed following a review was clear, having come in for some criticism after his team's failure to get over the line in the third Test when the hosts recorded a dramatic one-wicket triumph.

Australia coach Langer has praised the way the skipper has led the team during the tour, particularly as they had not won a series overseas since a 2-0 triumph over trans-Tasman rivals New Zealand in 2016.

"He's very disciplined - I like that. He is very tough as well," Langer said of the wicketkeeper-batsman. "This has meant a lot to him, from where he's come from.

"The other important thing about Tim as captain is that we have not won overseas for some time. You've got to learn how to win, and that's why this result is so important to us.

"I think the big lesson from the last Test is we all wanted it so much, sometimes we want something so much you just hold on a little bit tight. Hopefully we've learned some lessons over the last week.

"Had this [Old Trafford Test] been another draw, had we not quite got over the line, then that's tough on the team. And for his captaincy, he will take great confidence from this - and so will the team."

The tourists have relied heavily on Steve Smith to hold together a faltering batting line-up during the series, though Langer feels there are mitigating circumstances for some of the rest of the team, considering their lack of experience in the Test arena.

"Steve Smith has done a lot for Australian cricket in the last few years, really. So has David Warner," he said.

"We must remember that Travis Head is new to Test cricket. Marnus Labuschagne is new to Test cricket. Marcus Harris is new to Test cricket. Cameron Bancroft is new to Test cricket. You can't just give them that experience, they've got to earn that.

"We are very thankful to have Steve Smith batting like he is. We are lucky to have him, but Test cricket takes time. We have got to respect that.

"David hasn't had a great series, but imagine how good the team will be when he starts having a great series. Hopefully, he will do that in the next Test.

"The other guys are learning as they go and this is all part of the experience. I said at the start of the series that the team that bats best will win the series, because both teams have got good bowling attacks. Ours is world class and we're really lucky – we're going to have to work on that batting."

Smith has scored 671 runs in five innings against England, cementing his place at the top of the International Cricket Council Test batting rankings.

Trinidadian allrounder Kieron Pollard said he is honoured to lead the West Indies One Day International and T20 teams. The 32-year-old Pollard replaces Jason Holder and Carlos Brathwaite who led the ODI and T20 teams respectively.

Cricket West Indies has officially launched the search for a permanent head coach for the regional side in time for their upcoming away tour against Afghanistan that begins in November.

The Guyana Amazon Warriors have announced that Shadab Khan, the Pakistan international leg-spinner, will only be available for the first three games of their Hero Caribbean Premier League (CPL) season due to domestic commitments. He will be replaced by South African leg-spinner Imran Tahir.

Tahir played for the Amazon Warriors in 2018 where he claimed 16 wickets at 17.75 as the team made it to the final where they were beaten by the Trinbago Knight Riders. Tahir was part of the South African squad at the 2019 ICC Cricket World Cup where he claimed 11 wickets in his nine matches in the tournament.

The Amazon Warriors have also announced a replacement for USA player Saurabh Netravalkar who will be unavailable due to international commitments. Netravalkar was drafted as the Amazon Warriors ICC Americas player, but draft rules allow for him to be replaced by a Caribbean or overseas player.

Netravalkar will be replaced by Afghan leg-spinner Qais Ahmad who played for the St Lucia franchise in the 2018 Hero CPL. Qais has 35 wickets in T20 cricket at the very impressive average of 18 from his 27 matches in the format.

Ten Sri Lanka players have decided to withdraw from the forthcoming tour of Pakistan amid security concerns.

Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) held a meeting with the squad on Monday at which the chief security advisor outlined the risks, with all players afforded the freedom to choose if they would travel. 

It was following that meeting that a number of players, including the likes of Angelo Mathews, Lasith Malinga and Dimuth Karunaratne, opted against featuring in the three ODIs and three Twenty20s scheduled across September and October.

The Sri Lanka team bus came under attack from gunmen in Lahore while touring Pakistan in 2009.

Confirming the news of the withdrawals, and SLC statement read: "Former Sri Lanka Air Force Commander, Marshal Air Roshan Goonetileke, who is the Chief Security Advisor of the SLC, briefed the players about the security situation in Pakistan and the security arrangements PCB [Pakistan Cricket Board] plans on implementing during Sri Lanka team’s tour of that country, whilst Chairman of the National Selection Panel Mr Asantha De Mel, explained about the selection policy for future tours.

"He said players will be given the freedom to decide on either taking part or not in the forthcoming Pakistan tour.

"Accordingly, the following players chose to stay away from the upcoming Pakistan series – Niroshan Dickwella, Kusal Perera, Dhananjaya De Silva, Thisara Perera, Akila Dananjaya, Lasith Malinga, Angelo Mathews, Suranga Lakmal, Dinesh Chandimal, Dimuth Karunaratne."

Kusal Mendis has also been ruled out by an injury suffered in the series with New Zealand.

Rashid Khan finished with 11 wickets in the match as Afghanistan made up for lost time to beat Bangladesh on a rain-hit final day of the one-off Test.

Having reached stumps the previous day on 136-6 in pursuit of an improbable victory target of 398, Bangladesh appeared set to be saved when bad weather wiped out the majority of the first two sessions on Monday.

However, the rain relented enough for 18.3 overs of play after tea - a small window of opportunity that Afghanistan immediately capitalised on with the huge wicket of Shakib Al Hasan.

The all-rounder fell to the first delivery after the resumption, a lazy cut shot seeing the left-hander caught behind off the bowling of Zahir Khan (3-59) for 44.

Rashid, who also made a half-century with the bat on day two of the contest in Chattogram, then worked his way through the lower order, the leg-spinner trapping both Mehidy Hasan and Taijul Islam lbw.

Afghanistan's captain duly wrapped up victory - just his country's second in the longest format following their success over Ireland in March - with less than four overs remaining. 

Soumya Sarkar was the last man to go, caught at short leg by Ibrahim Zadran for 15, as Bangladesh were bowled out for 173 to lose by 224 runs. Rashid finished with 6-49 to follow up his figures of 5-55 in the first innings.

England have named an unchanged 13-man squad for the fifth Ashes Test, despite seeing their Ashes hopes end at Old Trafford on Sunday.

Joe Root's side suffered a 185-run defeat in Manchester, the result meaning Australia - who won the 2017-18 series 4-0 on home soil - hold a 2-1 lead and are already certain to retain the urn.

However, rather than swing the axe following the fourth Test result, the selectors have opted to stick with the same group of players as they look to square the five-match series with victory at the Oval.

The show of faith gives a further opportunity to England's misfiring batsmen.

Only Ben Stokes, who made centuries at Lord's and Headingley, the second of which secured a remarkable one-wicket win, and opener Roy Burns average above 40 against Australia's potent bowling attack this year.

Jason Roy retains his place despite making just 110 runs in eight innings. After struggling as an opener, the right-hander was moved into the middle order at Old Trafford, making scores of 22 and 31.

All-rounder Stokes may yet feature as a specialist batsman in the Ashes finale, which begins on Thursday, with England to assess his injured shoulder in the coming days.

The fifth Test will be Trevor Bayliss' last as England coach - the Australian had already announced he would be leaving the role at the end of the series.

An extraordinary unbroken fifth-wicket partnership of 78 from just 29 balls between Nicholas Pooran and Sherfane Rutherford set Guyana Amazon Warriors on their way to a third straight Hero Caribbean Premier League (CPL) victory at the expense of Barbados Tridents.

This thumping 47-run victory means that last year’s runners-up have, like the team that beat them to the 2018 title Trinbago Knight Riders, gone three from three during the first home stint of their season.

For much of the Warriors innings, though, such a result looked far from certain. Chandrapaul Hemraj was the only one of the top four to get to grips with tricky batting conditions, dominating the early scoring to such an extent that when the Warriors had 31 for 1 on the board after the Power Play Hemraj had accounted for 27 of them.

 When he fell for a well-compiled 63 from 55 balls, blending watchful defense and accumulation with six fours and three Hero Maximums, the innings looked in danger of falling away at 102 for 4 one ball into the 16th over.

Brandon King had top-edged a pull shot to give Leniko Boucher an easy catch behind the wicket for just 1.  Saturday night’s hero Shimron Hetmyer had gone cheaply too, superbly caught goalkeeper style by sub-fielder Hayden Walsh Jr at point for 9 off the bowling of Roshon Primus, who also accounted for Warriors captain Shoaib Malik for 4 when an attempt to run the ball down to third-man succeeded only in steering the ball in to Boucher’s gloves.

 But almost from the moment Rutherford and Pooran got together after Hemraj’s departure the game changed. Rutherford was the first to cut loose, smashing the fifth ball he faced cleanout of Providence Stadium off Aussie paceman Josh Lalor. Back-to-back Hero Maximums followed for the 20-year-old off Holder in the next over before his best shot of the night off Primus. It was a low full-toss that Rutherford somehow managed to hit hard and flat over the fence at point with astonishing wristwork.

It was truly special stuff, taking Rutherford at that stage to 30 from 11 balls, but remarkably former Trident Pooran was about to upstage his partner. Having made 25 from the first 22 balls he faced, Pooran plundered a scarcely believable 36 from the last eight. Five of those deliveries disappeared into the stands, including two enormous hits over midwicket back-to-back off Primus. Raymon Reifer’s final over was marmalised, with three sixes in four balls over long-on, long-off and extra-cover. The middle of those three brought up Pooran’s 50, and what an innings it was.

In all, 72 runs came from the last four overs of the innings – 45 of them from the last two.

The momentum from the end of the Warriors’ batting effort carried into their bowling effort. Having impressed when opening the batting, Hemraj was also handed the new ball with instant results as the Tridents’ star signing Alex Hales was bowled first ball playing back when he ought to have been forward.

The ever-impressive Shadab Khan took care of Johnson Charles and Boucher before Malik brought himself into the attack and promptly enticed Jonathan Carter to drag on.

 Worse was to come for the Tridents in the next over as an attempted second run to Keemo Paul’s bullet arm in the deep saw skipper Jason Holder caught inches short of his ground for just 4.

JP Duminy scrapped his way to 20 before dragging an awkward-looking pull shot into his stumps to hand Paul a first wicket of the night and leave the Tridents in tatters at 75 for 6.

Ashley Nurse restored some respectability with some lusty blows of his own, launching his very first ball straight back over Chris Green’s head for a Hero Maximum and adding a further two sixes and three fours in his 40 from 25 balls, but it was little more than damage limitation.

 

 

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