New Zealand's leading wicket-taker Lockie Ferguson has been ruled out of Wednesday's Cricket World Cup clash with England.

The fast bowler, 28, has taken 17 wickets during the group stage, putting him second on the list of the tournament's most successful bowlers, behind Australia's Mitchell Starc.

However, a minor injury meant Ferguson was not considered for selection against England, with the announcement coming less than 90 minutes before play was due to begin at The Riverside.

New Zealand issued a statement on Twitter that read: "Lockie Ferguson has a tight left hamstring and will miss today's match against England as a precaution."

A win for either side secures a place in the semi-finals, while the loser will have to wait on the result of Pakistan's game against Sri Lanka at Lord's on Friday to find out if they will progress.

New Zealand batsman Ross Taylor defended "world-class captain" Kane Williamson after criticism of his approach at the Cricket World Cup.

The Black Caps appeared to be serenely on course for the semi-finals after going unbeaten through their first six matches but back-to-back defeats to Pakistan and Australia left their chances in the balance.

India's victory over Bangladesh on Tuesday means New Zealand go into Wednesday's meeting with England with their place in the final four all but guaranteed – only a heavy defeat at The Riverside and a big win for Pakistan over Bangladesh would see them miss out.

New Zealand's dip has led to questions about Williamson's captaincy style. While Taylor acknowledged it differs from his predecessor Brendon McCullum, he has full confidence in the skipper.

"I played under many different captains. Obviously, Brendon was the extreme and Kane has his own unique style as well," said Taylor.

"At the end of the day, you have to be true to yourself and be authentic and more often than not you get the right result.

"I think Kane is a fantastic, world-class batsman and a world-class captain. You don't have to look far, the last couple of matches. There's some pundits out there saying he was a great captain. We lose a couple of games and he is a bad captain. He is still a great captain, leads from the front and the team respect him and I love playing under him.

"I'd love as a team to take a little bit of pressure off him and score some runs and not let him do everything."

Elaborating on the difference between Williamson and McCullum, Taylor added: "Brendon would want to set very attacking fields throughout the whole match and Kane would pick his moments when he wants to attack.

"You can talk to numerous people, depending on who you want to talk to, [about] which is the right way. At the end of the day, if you win cricket [games], it doesn't matter [if you are] attacking or if you are not attacking, winning the game of the cricket is our main objective however you do that."

England captain Eoin Morgan also provided words of support for his Black Caps counterpart.

"Kane is an extremely good leader. I have played with him at [Sunrisers] Hyderabad. In the changing room, he wasn't a captain at the time I was there, but he is an impressive leader," said Morgan.

"The way he goes about his business is extremely admirable. He is a quality, quality cricketer who is extremely humble and open to learning all the time and offers his time to anybody as well."

Virat Kohli hailed Rohit Sharma and Jasprit Bumrah as "the best around" after they helped send India into the Cricket World Cup semi-finals.

India booked their last-four place with a 28-run win over Bangladesh on Tuesday, set in motion by Rohit's brilliant 92-ball 104 - his fourth century of the tournament.

A chase of 315 always looked beyond the Tigers, yet Bumrah made absolutely sure with a stunning spell to end the match, collecting wickets from consecutive balls to bowl Bangladesh out for 286.

In the post-match presentation, Kohli took the opportunity to pick out both players for individual praise.

"I have been watching [Rohit] for years now and I have been saying openly, in my opinion, he is the best one-day player around," the captain said.

"When he plays like that, it's a joy to watch. He's having the tournament of his life. We are so, so delighted to see him bat the way he is, because when he plays well, we know we are heading towards a big score.

"That's all we need in the changing room. When he plays like that with so much confidence, all the guys in the changing room get so much confidence watching him play.

"I'm really, really happy for him. He's really going well and hopefully, with three more games to go, he can put two big scores there."

Turning to top-ranked bowler Bumrah, Kohli continued: "Bumrah's overs were always going to be crucial, so that's why we stopped him after four overs initially.

"He is someone you can bank on at any time in the game. He's a world-class bowler, the best in the world at the moment. There's a good reason for that. He's been bowling consistently well."

Tamim Iqbal dropped Rohit early on, but Bangladesh captain Mashrafe Mortaza was not ready to acknowledge that moment as a turning point.

"With a batsman like Rohit Sharma in such good form, it obviously affects it," he said. "But that's what happens in cricket. We can't blame it just on that catch."

And Mortaza rued Bangladesh's failure to produce their own big-scoring partnership in the manner of Rohit and KL Rahul's opening stand.

"If one of them could have made 80 or 90 then it would have been a different match," he said. "With 47 and 41 [two of Bangladesh's three biggest stands], it's asking too much."

England will be playing for survival and New Zealand have momentum as their motivation as the teams go head to head in the Cricket World Cup at The Riverside.

Wednesday's high-stakes clash is one Eoin Morgan's tournament hosts can ill afford to lose, knowing in such a circumstance Pakistan would pip them to a semi-final slot should they beat Bangladesh on Friday.

And after Monday's high-scoring clash between Sri Lanka and West Indies in Durham, the final group-stage match for England and New Zealand could become a shoot-out between the big-hitting batsmen on both sides.

New Zealand, who are bidding to avoid a third successive defeat, should be safe in the final four whatever the result. They can be matched on 11 points by Pakistan but have a significantly better net run rate.

The Black Caps look sure to keep faith with struggling opener Martin Guptill, with team-mate Ross Taylor saying he needs a lucky break and has the squad "fully backing him" as they seek a return to winning ways.

England have Jason Roy and Jofra Archer fit after their respective hamstring and side problems, Morgan said on Tuesday.

 

TOURNAMENT SO FAR

England made a bright start by winning four of their opening five matches, but defeats to Sri Lanka and Australia inflicted major blows. They were impressive in beating India last time out, with Roy, Jonny Bairstow and Ben Stokes all batting well.

New Zealand also began the tournament in style, but losses to Pakistan and Australia have pegged their progress. Guptill is out of sorts and needs a score. Lockie Ferguson and Trent Boult are cleaning up on the wickets front and pose a major threat.

 

WHAT THEY SAID

Morgan: "It was clear that after the Australia game there was a huge amount of disappointment in the changing room. The fact that we have been able to turn that around, identify where we are at and identify what we need to do in order to progress to the semis ... is important and it's been effective."

Taylor: "We saw Sri Lanka-West Indies 300 played 300, so I think we've got to expect that scores of 300-plus are probably out there. But in saying that, both teams have got very good bowling line-ups that can exploit conditions if suited and vice versa some very powerful batting line-ups as well."

 

OPTA FACTS

- England have won three of their last four ODIs against New Zealand. It is a different story in their World Cup rivalry, where England won the first three meetings between the teams but have since lost five in a row.
- New Zealand will be looking to avoid three consecutive defeats at the World Cup for the first time since 1979-1983.
- New Zealand's Kane Williamson passed 6,000 ODI runs in his most recent World Cup match, becoming the third-fastest man to reach the mark (139 innings) behind Hashim Amla (South Africa, 123 innings) and Virat Kohli (India, 136 innings).
- Boult became the first man from his country to complete a hat-trick in World Cup history, producing the feat last time out against Australia.
​- England's Liam Plunkett bowled a full 10-over allocation at a World Cup for the first time in his most recent match against India, taking his best figures ever in a World Cup game (3-55, econ 5.5).

Rohit Sharma made his fourth century of the 2019 Cricket World Cup as India booked their place in the semi-finals with a 28-run victory over Bangladesh, who can no longer qualify for the last four.

Virat Kohli's men saw their unbeaten start to the tournament ended by England on Sunday, but they got back on track two days later, thanks largely to in-form opener Rohit striking 104 off 92 balls in another batting masterclass.

Bangladesh needed victory at Edgbaston to keep their slim hopes of progression alive, yet a chase of 315 proved beyond them as Hardik Pandya (3-60) and Jasprit Bumrah (4-55) starred with the ball.

An early Tamim Iqbal drop off Mustafizur Rahman allowed Rohit to build momentum alongside KL Rahul (77), the pair combining for the biggest opening partnership of the tournament so far, which finally ended on 180.

Rohit fell to Soumya Sarkar two balls after reaching his hundred and India were rocking slightly when captain Kohli (26) and Pandya were both dismissed by Mustafizur (5-59) within the space of three balls.

However, Rishabh Pant and MS Dhoni hit 48 and 33 respectively to help their side to a healthy total of 314-9, the latter one of three victims for Mustafizur in the final over of India's innings.

Bangladesh made a steady start in reply, but talisman Shakib Al Hasan was the only member of the top five to kick on, reaching 66 in a continuation of his fine form.

When Shakib fell to Pandya, who had earlier dismissed Sarkar and Liton Das, the Tigers were 179-6 in the 34th over and staring defeat in the face.

Mohammad Saifuddin showed admirable defiance on his way to 51 not out off 38 balls, while Sabbir Rahman also chipped in with 36 as Bangladesh fought to stay in the game.

Yet Bumrah, who earlier required treatment following an awkward fall at the boundary, starred in the closing overs to make sure India prevailed.

 

Rohit reigns again

Rohit now has more runs at this tournament than any other player. He moved through the gears after being dropped on nine by Tamim in the fifth over and helped India to their best powerplay of the campaign, before continuing at a great pace to seemingly take the game away from Bangladesh.

Pandya spell pivotal

Mustafizur and Shakib threatened to really make things difficult for India. First, the bowler took a brilliant five-for to give Bangladesh hope, then Shakib produced another fine knock, becoming the first player to score more than 500 runs and take 10 wickets in a World Cup. However, Pandya's three wickets - including that of Shakib - came at a key time to restore control and Bumrah then came into his own at the death.

England captain Eoin Morgan admits the Cricket World Cup thumping that New Zealand gave his team four years ago was the lowest point of his time at the helm.

On Wednesday, England face the Black Caps at The Riverside in need of victory to secure a semi-final spot.

The match has brought back memories of the teams' World Cup meeting at Wellington in February 2015, when England were skittled out for 123 and lost by eight wickets as Brendon McCullum blasted his side towards the target in just 12.2 overs.

Morgan's men failed to reach the quarter-finals of that tournament but have rebuilt and entered this year's event as favourites, boosted by their status as hosts.

When asked about the Wellington match, Morgan said: "It was as close to rock bottom as I've been, certainly as a captain, as a player. Being beaten off the park like that is humiliating.

"I think the influence throughout that whole World Cup on all the other teams around the world was quite extreme.

"New Zealand proved a point that you can be really good humans and grow the game and play cricket in your own way and win at the same time, which is incredibly eye-opening for a lot of countries around the world.

"I thought that rubbed off on everybody in the World Cup."

England are emboldened ahead of their rematch with New Zealand by their victory last time out against India, while the 2015 runners-up have lost two in a row.

"I think the most satisfying thing from the last game from our side is that we went out and played our brand of cricket," Morgan said.

"It felt more like the way that we play and the fact that we won doing that is extremely encouraging."

It was like West Indies skipper Jason Holder was discovering a surprise gift, hearing the news Chris Gayle planned to play on after the World Cup. 

Angelo Mathews put his body on the line at The Riverside to turn the tide in Sri Lanka's thrilling Cricket World Cup win over West Indies, earning warm praise from captain Dimuth Karunaratne.

Having reduced the Windies to 84-4 in defence of their 338-6 in a dead rubber in Durham, Sri Lanka were given a major scare by Nicholas Pooran's defiant century.

His apparent one-man victory march was not halted until the 48th over, when Mathews bowled his first ball in ODIs since December 2017 and had Pooran caught behind.

With fitness concerns having kept him from bowling, it was a timely and heroic intervention from Mathews that did not go unnoticed by Karunaratne.

"Angelo put his hands up and said, 'okay I will bowl two overs'. He has that confidence. He did the job," said the Sri Lanka skipper after his side's 23-run triumph.

"I don't think he is going to bowl much more but if it is a crucial time he might bowl a couple of overs."

Avishka Fernando's maiden ODI century had laid the platform for Sri Lanka, whose exit from the competition was confirmed when hosts England beat India on Sunday.

Despite his side failing to reach the semi-finals, Karunaratne did not have a hard time finding the positives after Monday's result.

"To win any match is a great feeling," he said. "It gives us lots of confidence. All of the players are doing really well. That is what I was expecting as a captain."

In contrast, opposite number Jason Holder was left to reflect on a miserable campaign for the Windies, who have not tasted victory since thrashing Pakistan in their group-stage opener back in May.

This was their sixth defeat in eight outings, with only Afghanistan – who they face in their final game – faring worse.

"We have just got to be better," said Holder. "We've let some key moments slip in this World Cup.

"I thought their score was on par. Fernando batted well – showed us things get easier if you stay in. Pooran was excellent too.

"I thought we finished our bowling well, but our fielding let us down. We just want to play the perfect game next time."

Angelo Mathews' timely bowling cameo proved crucial as an Avishka Fernando-inspired Sri Lanka fought off a spirited West Indies response in an entertaining Cricket World Cup dead rubber at The Riverside. 

Bangladesh will hope to capitalise on India's unbeaten streak coming to an end as the Tigers seek to keep their Cricket World Cup semi-final hopes alive at Edgbaston on Tuesday.

Mashrafe Mortaza's side need to win their last two group games and hope for favourable results elsewhere in order to extend their tournament.

India stand in their way in Birmingham, where Virat Kohli's men lost their unblemished record in a 31-run loss to hosts England on Sunday.

While Bangladesh will certainly be the underdogs, a dominant win over an Afghanistan side who ran India and Pakistan close will give them confidence, though Mortaza knows they must play to their full potential.

"We have to play at our best," he said. "If we can manage to win, that will be great.

"India is a very strong side in this World Cup, and it's not going to be easy, but we have to play hard and have to be 100 per cent in every area.

"The good thing is that we're still in the tournament. We have to play a lot better than we have been."

Bangladesh have lost eight of their previous 10 ODI meetings with India, but Mortaza denied there was any mental barrier holding his side back or that pressure from fans' expectations was a factor.

"No, I don't think it's psychological," he said. "It's all about skill. It depends man to man who will take pressure. Obviously, there's pressure in the field.

"It's a good thing that people are supporting Bangladesh cricket team; they want us to win, which is normal, I think.

"Indian fans will also be supporting the Indian team and they want to win. So it's a normal thing, but I don't think there's a lot of pressure."

India will want to mount a response after receiving criticism for a perceived lack of conviction with the bat against England.

Suggestions they were under-motivated in chasing down 338 could provide encouragement to prove a point against Bangladesh.

 

TOURNAMENT SO FAR

With a return of three wins, three defeats and an abandoned clash against Sri Lanka, inconsistency has been a theme of Bangladesh's tournament.

In contrast, India were the model of consistency until England inflicted a maiden defeat upon them at the weekend. However, back-to-back wins to close the group phase could yet seal top spot for the two-time champions. 

WHAT THEY SAID

Mortaza: "Maybe against New Zealand we could do a little better, but the way we're playing, I think we should stick to our plan, and the way England played, I think, they played their way. So I think we have to play with our own plan."

India batting coach Sanjay Bangar: "It's a fresh game. It's going to be on the same track, so we have a bit of an idea of how the track will behave and how the dimensions of the ground are. So we'll try and maximize them."

OPTA FACTS

- India have won four matches on the bounce versus Bangladesh in ODIs.
- Bangladesh and India have met three times before in Cricket World Cup matches; the Tigers winning the first such encounter in 2007 before India registered back-to-back wins in 2011 and 2015.
- Kohli requires a score of 35 to become the leading run scorer in ODIs at Edgbaston. The India skipper averages 154.5 at the venue from six innings.

India all-rounder Vijay Shankar's Cricket World Cup has come to a premature end after he suffered a toe injury, the Board of Control for Cricket in India has confirmed.

Shankar sustained a fracture to the big toe on his left foot during a practice session last month and missed Sunday's defeat to England, with Mayank Agarwal now drafted in as his replacement.

India – whose 31-run loss to the hosts delayed their likely qualification for the semi-finals – are next in action against Bangladesh on Tuesday, although Agarwal is not expected to fly to England until later in the week.

The 28-year-old opening batsman is uncapped in limited-overs internationals but did make his Test debut on Boxing Day last year against Australia, scoring 76 and 42 at the top of the innings as India triumphed by 137 runs in Melbourne.

Agarwal backed this up with another half-century in the drawn fourth Test at Sydney, where the tourists closed out a 2-1 series win.

After facing Bangladesh in Birmingham, Virat Kohli's side meet Sri Lanka at Headingley in their final group game.

England batsman Jonny Bairstow said he was "misinterpreted" after comments he made in an interview drew an angry reaction from Michael Vaughan.

Vaughan, who led England to a breakthrough Ashes triumph in 2005 and played 82 Tests for his country, claimed comments from Bairstow were an indication of the team's "negative, pathetic" mindset.

Bairstow attracted Vaughan's ire after being quoted as saying: "People were waiting for us to fail. They are not willing us on to win ... it's a typical English thing to do, in every sport."

But after making a century in England's 31-run win over India on Sunday that kept his side's Cricket World Cup hopes alive, Bairstow said it was a pleasant end to a difficult week.

"Yeah, it was actually [difficult], yeah," Bairstow told reporters.

"In the week it was a fantastic day with Yorkshire Tea representing National Cricket Week. It was a brilliant morning at a school. Then all of a sudden...we had a really good round the table interview and quotes get sent out and misinterpreted in so many ways.

"At no point have I ever said that the public is not behind us.

"The interview was taking place with six, eight, 10 journalists around and it was in a very jovial, relaxed manner. And then obviously to read the things and how it was taken was very disappointing. But that's part and parcel of it.

"There's nothing you can change about the things that were the past. Yesterday's news is today's fish and chips paper, that's [how] the saying goes, isn't it?"

Bairstow, who said that he "was pleased with my form", added that it was enjoyable to resume his opening partnership with Jason Roy.

Roy had been sidelined for three successive matches with a hamstring problem, England losing two of them.

The pair survived a tricky opening period against India before adding 160 runs for the first wicket inside 23 overs, a partnership that set up England's important victory.

"Obviously with the opening stand we put on, you're obviously really pleased to spend that time out in the middle," Bairstow added.

"He has obviously been frustrated with the setback that he has had with his hamstring. Hopefully he is going to be okay with the knock he took on his arm. We'll wait and see about that.

"I think you saw with the way he went out and played and how relaxed he was...you could see that from that first boundary that he hit through the covers. He's in good touch as it is and it was great to be back [with him]."

The battle for semi-final berths at the Cricket World Cup will go down to the wire in a thrilling final week full of permutations and possibilities.

Defending champions Australia are the only nation who have secured their spot in the last four, while only a crazy set of results would prevent India from joining them in the knockout stages.

But the battle between New Zealand, England, Pakistan and Bangladesh for the last two semi-final places is well and truly alive, Eoin Morgan's side breathing life into their campaign with a 31-run win over India on Sunday.

England's fluctuating form has been the subject of much debate across the cricket world and they need to beat third-placed New Zealand to guarantee their progression in the tournament. If England lose, they will rely on Bangladesh beating Pakistan on Friday.

New Zealand could still miss the top four, if they lose to England and other results go against them, while Bangladesh need to win both fixtures - against India and Pakistan - to stay alive.

FIXTURES

Monday 1 July: Sri Lanka v West Indies (The Riverside) - 1030 BST start

Tuesday 2 July: Bangladesh v India (Edgbaston) - 1030

Wednesday 3 July: England v New Zealand (The Riverside) - 1030

Thursday 4 July: Afghanistan v West Indies (Headingley) - 1030

Friday 5 July: Bangladesh v Pakistan (Lord's) - 1030

Saturday 6 July: Sri Lanka v India (Headingley) – 1030, Australia v South Africa (Old Trafford) - 1330

 

THE WEEK'S BIG GAME

Having produced in what was essentially a must-win game against India, all eyes will be on pre-tournament favourites England on Wednesday.

The stakes will again be very high and New Zealand have recent history on their side, having won their past five World Cup meetings against England.

The Black Caps demolished England by eight wickets with more than 37 overs remaining at the 2015 World Cup. England will need Jonny Bairstow to fire again with the bat against an impressive New Zealand attack.

STANDINGS

1.  Australia - 14pts from 8 games, Net Run Rate +1.000
2.  India - 11pts from 7 games, NRR +0.854
3.  New Zealand - 11pts from 8 games, NRR +0.572
4.  England - 10pts from 8 games, NRR +1.000
5.  Pakistan - 9pts from 8 games, NRR -0.792
6.  Bangladesh - 7pts from 7 games, NRR -0.133
7.  Sri Lanka - 6pts from 7 games, NRR -1.186
8.  South Africa - 5pts from 8 games, NRR -0.080
9.  West Indies - 3pts from 7 games, NRR -0.320
10. Afghanistan - 0pts from 8 games, NRR -1.418

LEADING RUN-SCORERS

1: David Warner (Aus) - 516
2: Aaron Finch (Aus) - 504
=3: Shakib Al Hasan (Ban), Joe Root (Eng) - 476

LEADING WICKET-TAKERS

1: Mitchell Starc (Aus) - 24
2: Lockie Ferguson (NZ) - 17
=3: Mohammad Amir (Pak), Jofra Archer (Eng) - 16

In the lead-up to the Cricket World Cup, the inescapable narrative surrounded the newest member of the England squad, Jofra Archer, whose electric performances in the T20 game had seen eligibility rules changed to allow him to be fast-tracked into the team.

Though the depth of England's team was the main reason many earmarked them as favourites for the tournament, it was Archer who was viewed as the final piece of the puzzle, and was therefore the subject of the most substantial hype.

Despite being an established one-day player and a key factor in England's rise to the top of the ICC ODI rankings, you would have struggled to find many fans abuzz about Chris Woakes' potential impact.

Yet, with England's backs firmly against the wall in a must-win match on the heels of a shock defeat to Sri Lanka and a crushing loss to Australia, it was Woakes who played a starring role for the attack as they restricted one of the world's best batting sides to 306 on a pitch set up perfectly for big scoring.

England's 31-run triumph was one for which the entire team deserves great credit. Jonny Bairstow (111), Jason Roy (66) and Ben Stokes (79), laid a superb platform as England put on 337, and the bowlers set the tone early and swiftly put India on the back foot, with the hosts fielding like a side who knew defeat was not an option.

However, after successive games where England magic has been in short supply, at Edgbaston it was Warwickshire's very own wizard who produced the majority of it to turn the tide firmly in their favour.

He removed KL Rahul caught and bowled for a duck in the third over, that dismissal the highlight as each of his first three overs ended in maidens.

That spell saw Woakes become the first England player to bowl three consectuive maidens in an ODI since 2003 and formed part of an opening powerplay in which they throttled India, who scored only 28 runs in those 10 overs.

Virat Kohli (66) and Rohit Sharma (102) predictably led a riposte and, much to the delight of the huge contingent of India fans that took over Edgbaston, looked increasingly assured as they did so.

Rather than being Archer who dislodged them it was first Liam Plunkett, who was slashed to James Vince by Kohli, and then Woakes who made sure the pair would not be at the crease to guide India home, celebrations of a brilliantly crafted Rohit century short-lived as he edged an off-cutter behind.

Shorn of each of their talismen, India needed their chase to find renewed purpose and it looked as though Rishabh Pant and Hardik Pandya might provide it, the latter smacking Woakes for three fours in the 39th over.

It would have been fair to expect an England side Eoin Morgan conceded may have had their confidence knocked by back-to-back defeats to crumble. Instead Woakes delivered what proved the knockout blow in spectacular fashion, diving to his left on the run at the square leg boundary to claim an incredible catch that made Pant Plunkett's second victim of three.

Even with living legend MS Dhoni at the crease, India faded thereafter in the face of a rapidly rising required run rate, leaving England to celebrate staying in the semi-final hunt and Morgan to laud the influence of his often unheralded all-rounder.

"I mention this all the time, when Woakes does well, he's a guy that goes unnoticed a lot of the time, but he's an extremely valuable player to us, great asset," Morgan said. 

"Particularly in the first 10 overs, I know the pitches haven't been that rewarding this time, but he's been extremely disciplined today and rewarded well."

Rewarded and maybe unnoticed no longer. Even prior to his heroics, Woakes' profile had received a boost, with a flag dedicated to him flying in front of the pyramid stage at Glastonbury on Sunday, and his fanbase is sure to grow after he kept England firmly in contention for a first 50-over world title.

Woakes may not be a headline act in the eyes of many but, as he proved in England's hour of need, he is more than capable of delivering a memorable main-stage performance.

Ryan Harris has hailed Aaron Finch's "outstanding" captaincy and believes Ricky Ponting helped the in-form Australia captain to "flick the switch" at the Cricket World Cup.

Finch was under pressure as he struggled due to a lack of runs against India at the start of this year, on the back of being axed from the Test side.

The opener showed his class in an ODI series whitewash of Pakistan in March and has lit up the World Cup, blasting two hundreds and three half-centuries at the top of the order for the holders in England.

Only opening partner David Warner has more than Finch's tally of 504 runs in the tournament, laying the foundations and leading his side superbly to the semi-finals with seven wins out of eight.

The defending champions are top with one group game remaining against South Africa and former Australia paceman Harris says the skipper should take huge credit.

Harris told Omnisport: "He's been pretty impressive for a while now. He's been through some pretty average times, form-wise, but you would not have known it.

"The way he has led the side has been outstanding, through good or bad he's able to do it very well.

"There were people calling for his head when he wasn't making a lot of runs against India and he's done a bit of work, flicked the switch and look where he is now - it's just amazing.

"He's done work with [Australia assistant coach] Ricky Ponting and it's great to see him get the rewards for what he has done and his captaincy has also been outstanding."

Harris also praised paceman Mitchell Starc, the leading wicket-taker in the competition with 24 dismissals after claiming outstanding figures of 5-26 in an 86-run drubbing of New Zealand at Lord's on Saturday.

"Starcy has copped a fair bit of criticism, about him not being able to do what he used to be able to do with a white ball, and he's answered that so well," Harris added.

 

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