Travis Head proved he is a "champion player" with his decisive Cricket World Cup final innings against India, according to Madan Lal.

It looked like India were on course to record a brilliant World Cup triumph on home soil when they won every match en route to last week's final and then reduced Australia to 47-3 in their pursuit of 241.

But a pivotal 192-run partnership from opener Head and Marnus Labuschagne slowly took the game away from India and quietened the home crowd as the Aussies claimed a record-extending sixth World Cup.

Head remained at the crease until the final over, scoring 137 from 120 balls, with 15 fours and four maximums.

Ex-India captain Madan Lal, who won the Cricket World Cup in 1983, was most impressed by how Head was able to manage the situation before moving up the gears as he recorded the second-highest score by an opener in a men's final, after compatriot Adam Gilchrist's 149 in 2007.

"Travis Head's innings was one of the best I've seen in a World Cup – and I have watched a lot of World Cups, I played in two World Cups," Madan Lal said to Stats Perform. 

"But any innings under pressure, when you score 137 and your team wins, it’s always going to be very high in my mind. 

"He didn't panic. Normally, he's a player who hits the ball, he hits every ball. But he altered his game according to the situation of the game, according to the scoreboard. 

"He played like a champion, a champion player."

Head is in the Australia squad for a five-match T20I series between the teams which begins in Vishakhapatnam on Thursday as the gruelling international cricket calendar continues.

Pat Cummins, meanwhile, is rested for the T20 series after winning praise for his captaincy in the tournament.

He was the first skipper to triumph in a World Cup final after winning the toss since 2007, with his decision to put India in to bat paying off spectacularly. 

Madan Lal added: "All the credit must go to Pat Cummins because of his leadership quality. 

"He's also a wonderful person, because if you look at him when he's playing the game, I've never seen him getting angry or getting upset with someone.

"The calmness is there and that is why I think I rate him, because you have to control that situation, that is very, very important for the leader. A leader like Pat Cummins respects all the players and all the players respect him."

When Australia reached the final, Madan Lal knew India had a huge challenge despite the hosts' fine form throughout the tournament. 

He added: "If you look at Australia's performances in the World Cup, we are always going to rank them very, very highly, as the number one team. 

"They know how to do it because Australia has a sporting culture. They never give up. They are always trying something. And the other thing which I like about them is that they enjoy the game. 

"You cannot win nine games on the trot after losing the first couple of games. Only this type of Australian team can do it. You can never, ever take an Australian easily, because when Australia reached the final, everybody in India knew that they were going to be a tough match.

"When Ricky Ponting was captain, that team was very, very good, but this team is also good. See, the captain is only good when the team is good, and you can produce the result.

"They have won the World Test Championship, now they've won the World Cup. That's where you have to appreciate this team. They produced the result and that's what matters."

India had a "mental issue" in their Cricket World Cup final defeat to Australia, according to their former captain Madan Lal.

Travis Head's 137 propelled Australia to a six-wicket victory in Sunday's final at Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad.

Head's knock is the second-highest score by an opener in a men's World Cup final. 

And Madan Lal, who played for India between 1974 and 1987, believes the tournament hosts had a mental slip at the most inopportune moment.

"It is a little bit of a mental issue, you can say that," he told Stats Perform.

"In a final, if you make mistakes, then you have no chance of winning. You have to make less mistakes [than the opposition] as that is the only way you are going to win.

"You can say [India are having] mental issues because in the last 10 ICC tournaments we've played in the finals [knockout rounds], but we didn't win any. That can be addressed.

“Definitely [this was their best chance] because of the way the team was playing and the way their bowling attack was performing.

"I was thinking that India would go through and win, but at the end of the day, when Australia came into the final, then I said it was a 50-50 game. It's not a game that can be easily won.

"I think it's a bit sad. India had done very well. They won all their ten matches, but in the last one, they couldn’t cross the line."

Virat Kohli starred for India in the World Cup, scoring 765 runs.

He tallied a half-century in the final, having plundered a ton in the semi-final, which took him above India legend Sachin Tendulkar in the all-time rankings for ODI centuries.

"He’s fantastic, a world champion, a superb player," Madan Lal said of Kohli. 

"The good thing about him is the way he looks after himself, the way he approaches the game, his attitude.

"Plus, if you see when he's batting, we always know that if he bats for 15 minutes, he will get 100 runs.

"And another good thing about him is that he looks at the scoreboard. He plays according to the situation of the game, like Head did [in the final]."

Glenn Maxwell's unbeaten 201 in Australia's win over Afghanistan should be considered as the "greatest ever" ODI innings.

Earlier in November, Maxwell dragged Australia – who were chasing a target of 292 – to victory from 91-7 despite battling a back injury that was hugely limiting him.

On Sunday, it was fittingly Maxwell who struck the winning runs as Australia overcame hosts India by six wickets in the final.

And former England bowler Sidebottom thinks Maxwell's knock against Afghanistan will likely go down as the best in 50-over cricket.

"As an ODI innings, I've been lucky enough to watch and see many great ODI innings, but that has to be one of the best ever," Sidebottom told Stats Perform.

"It was just some serious hitting and display. I was in awe, it was seriously one of the best things I've ever seen.

"And again, I've got to say, Afghanistan were brilliant throughout this tournament.

"Afghanistan could have quite easily qualified [for the semi-finals]. It was a truly wonderful innings and to see how he played was just something very, very special."

Asked to consider other great innings, Sidebottom pointed to Ben Stokes' heroics for England in 2019, but thinks Maxwell's tally, which came off 128 balls and included 21 fours and 10 sixes, is the greatest.

"There's been so many from so many greats," he added.

"Stokes in the 2019 World Cup final because of the situation and England were struggling a little bit at the time.

"I look at how they go about the innings when their teams are under pressure. But Maxwell was under pressure to score 200 on his own to win that – it has to be probably the greatest innings ever."

Sam Billings has defended the "phenomenal" Rob Key despite England's early World Cup exit, saying people have "short memories".

England's defence of their World Cup crown came to a dismal end, crashing out at the group stage and suffering defeats to the likes of Afghanistan and Sri Lanka.

The miserable elimination has led some to criticise Key, England's managing director, but Billings has come to his defence, praising the work he has done since being appointed in 2022.

"I think Rob Key has been phenomenal," Billing told Stats Perform, speaking on the Pro Am Padel Tour. 

"People have ridiculously short memories. He's accountable for everything that's been a positive change over the last 15 months.

"So yeah, I think people always like to shoot people at the top. I think it's all just paper talk, but you look at where English cricket is at the moment – it's an interesting time for cricket as a whole.

"There are so many options. There are so many different competitions around the world, and so multifaceted where you're trying to juggle everything so I think they're doing a fantastic job."

Billings believes England's terrible World Cup campaign is a reminder of how quickly fortunes can change in sport, saying: "Without stating the obvious, it's hugely disappointing.

"But it's just a reminder of how brutal sport is. There are no guarantees, we prepare the best we can as athletes, the best we can as a team, but ultimately, there are no guarantees and every single team, regardless of how good they are or how good they've been, can have off days that can kind of mount up.

"It's just been one of those things – I think it's important to keep perspective in a time like this where it's been five weeks, probably, of poor cricket over an eight-year period. When you put it in perspective like that, I think that's pretty much all I can say about it. I just think it's important to keep perspective."

After seven weeks and 48 games, the 2023 Cricket World Cup is at an end with Australia crowned champions for the sixth time.

Here, the PA news agency looks back at the tournament and the future of the 50-over game.

Did we get a worthy winner?

Over the course of the competition it would be hard to argue against India’s claim to being the best side on show. They were an outstanding unit for 10 straight games leading up to the final, covering seemingly every base. But knockout sport is all about the ability to stand tall when the pressure is on and the stakes are high – something Australia do better than any other team around. With a trophy on the line, they showed the killer instinct.

What went wrong for India?

On a purely sporting level, they met an opponent who turned out better on the day. Beyond that, there must surely be some regret about playing the final on a worn out surface that dragged down the scoring rate and left them scrambling for a competitive total after losing the toss. After the Board of Control for Cricket in India changed the pitch for their semi-final against New Zealand against the wishes of ICC’s independent pitch consultant, there was some suggestion that the tired track was put forward with an eye to aiding the home side’s spinners. True or false, it now looks obvious that a fresh pitch would have been a truer spectacle and a better fit for the hosts.

What will England take away from their trip?

A whole bunch of regrets and, perhaps, a few lessons. The reigning champions of 2019 arrived among the favourites but saw their defence go down with a whimper after six defeats from their first seven games. Director of cricket Rob Key admitted that his own emphasis on Test cricket had left the ODI group under-prepared but the clearest problem was the fact that so many of the side were older, creakier versions of their former selves. The team got old together and the renewal process was almost non-existent. A fresh start is already on the way but there are red flags ahead of next year’s T20 World Cup too.

What does the future hold for ODI cricket?

Against an unstoppable tide of T20, there was a significant drop in the number of one-day internationals over the last four-year cycle. With new competitions cropping up all the time and the Indian Premier League continuing to spread in influence, it is hard to see that changing. Crowd attendances and viewing figures picked up considerably at the business end but struggles on both fronts led to some genuine questions about the format’s long-term survival. It is likely to be up for debate at the forthcoming ICC board meeting but anything dramatic at this point seems a long shot given the number of broadcast deals and staging agreements already in place. Keeping the product strong may be easier said than done, though, with a host of veteran stars exiting the stage and less prestige attached to 50-over cricket among the next generation.

What will the next World Cup look like?

The following edition has already been allocated to South Africa, Zimbabwe and Namibia and will take a different shape to the last two versions. It will be a relief to wave goodbye to the current structure, which allows only 10 teams to qualify and includes an inordinately elongated round-robin group stage. The stage will be opened up to 14 sides next time around, allowing for a more varied field, fresher match-ups and more underdog stories. But administrators remain bizarrely resistant to allowing a quarter-final stage – instead preferring the flabbier ‘super six’ phase. Two gripping semi-finals of entirely different styles, allied to the surprise result in the showpiece, should be enough to persuade decision-makers to push for more knockout matches.

What are the lingering memories of this year’s event?

On an individual level, Australia’s Glenn Maxwell inked his name into the sport’s folklore with his almost inconceivable 201 not out against Afghanistan. Having survived a hat-trick ball by luck more than judgement he rescued a lost cause with one of the most audacious innings ever seen – a feat made all the more remarkable by the fact he was operating on one leg and was at one point laid out by full body cramp. Among bowlers, Mohammed Shami produced a World Cup record by scooping seven for 57 in the semi-final against New Zealand. On a wider context, Afghanistan had a solitary World Cup victory over three tournaments but added three more – including a jaw-dropping upset of England and an emotionally charged triumph over socio-political rivals Pakistan. In a sport that often seems to have a rigid hierarchy, it was a joyous example of disruption.

Travis Head’s outstanding century carried Australia to World Cup glory for the sixth time as they downed all-conquering India to silence over 110,000 home fans in Ahmedabad.

The hosts brushed aside all-comers – including Australia in their opening group game – as they marched to the final with a 100 per cent record, but came up short in a six-wicket loss in front of an enormous but increasingly morose crowd at the Narendra Modi Stadium.

They posted a modest 240 all out after being sent in on a sluggish surface – just one run fewer than New Zealand and England tied with in the Lord’s showpiece four years ago – before watching Head take the game away from them with a masterful 137 from 120 balls.

Head played with aggression, imagination and self-belief on a worn pitch that left almost every other batter fumbling for the fluency he showed.

The 29-year-old was not even in the country when the campaign began, joining up late due to a fractured left hand that sidelined him for Australia’s first four matches, but the selectors’ faith paid off lavishly after he followed up his player-of-the-match effort in the semi-final against South Africa with something even better.

Watching from the other end as the score slipped to 47 for three, he slugged four sixes and 15 fours as he dominated a 192-run stand with Marnus Labuschagne (58 not out).

Head deserved to carry his bat but fell with two runs needed, caught in the deep looking to end it in style, allowing new man Glenn Maxwell to hit the winning runs.

That confirmed another chapter in Australia’s proud story as an ODI side, joining the teams of 1987, 1999, 2003, 2007 and 2015 in lifting the trophy and rounding off a marquee year that has seen them win the World Test Championship, also against India, and retain the Ashes.

Victorious captain Pat Cummins called correctly at the toss by sending the hosts in and took a vital haul of two for 34, while Mitchell Starc claimed three for 55 as he set the tone for an excellent bowling effort.

The initial skirmishes were suitably thrilling, India hammering 80 off the first 10 overs while also losing both openers.

Shubman Gill was first to go, mis-hitting a pull off Starc, but India captain Rohit Sharma showed his intent by charging Josh Hazlewood in just the second over of the day.

He unloaded a handful of fierce blows, with three sixes in his rapid 47, but perished going for one big hit too many off Maxwell’s first over. He offered a tough catch arcing over cover, but Head kept an eagle eye on it to start his memorable day.

Cummins chipped away another when Shreyas Iyer was lbw before a painstaking stand of 67 between Virat Kohli and KL Rahul. Their time together was tough going, with a solitary boundary in 109 deliveries as Australia exerted admirable control of foreign conditions.

Both batters made gritty half-centuries – tournament top-scorer Kohli doing so for the ninth time in 11 knocks at the World Cup – but neither converted their platform. Kohli dragged Cummins back into his stumps searching for width on 54, and Rahul nicked Starc behind for 66 as the ball began to reverse.

That was the first of five wickets for 37 in the closing stages, India all out courtesy of a run out from the last ball of the innings.

David Warner nicked the first ball of the chase between first and second slip for four, but India picked up to put themselves right in the hunt.

Warner nicked Mohammed Shami behind chasing a ball he had no business playing, Mitch Marsh departed with similar carelessness against Jasprit Bumrah and linchpin Steve Smith accepted an lbw decision that would have been overturned by DRS.

India, and their supporters, were pumped up but found Head unfazed. With a solid start behind him he took the bull by the horns, slog-sweeping Kuldeep Yadav for six in the 16th over and making steady inroads into the slender target.

He had an answer for everything, making light of Shami’s return to the attack by smashing his loosener back down the ground for a one-bounce four and peeling off muscular pulls when the seamers went short.

With Labuschagne content to play the supporting role, Head tucked in. He took the target below 100 by whipping Shami behind square and under 50 with a mighty six off Ravindra Jadeja.

His century, the third by an Australian in a World Cup final after Ricky Ponting and Adam Gilchrist, came off a rare misjudgement as he almost ran himself out dashing a single.

By then the job was all but done, Head denied the tournament-winning moment when he picked out Gill on the ropes, but rightly mobbed by his team-mates as they basked in the moment.

Travis Head’s outstanding century carried Australia to World Cup glory for the sixth time as they downed all-conquering India to silence over 110,000 home fans in Ahmedabad.

The hosts brushed aside all-comers – including Australia in their opening group game – as they marched to the final with a 100 per cent record, but came up short in a six-wicket loss in front of an enormous but increasingly morose crowd at the Narendra Modi Stadium.

They posted a modest 240 all out after being sent in on a sluggish surface – just one run fewer than New Zealand and England tied with in the Lord’s showpiece four years ago – before watching Head take the game away from them with a masterful 137 from 120 balls.

Head played with aggression, imagination and self-belief on a worn pitch that left almost every other batter fumbling for the fluency he showed.

The 29-year-old was not even in the country when the campaign began, joining up late due to a fractured left hand that sidelined him for Australia’s first four matches, but the selectors’ faith paid off lavishly after he followed up his player-of-the-match effort in the semi-final against South Africa with something even better.

Watching from the other end as the score slipped to 47 for three, he slugged four sixes and 15 fours as he dominated a 192-run stand with Marnus Labuschagne (58 not out).

Head deserved to carry his bat but fell with two runs needed, caught in the deep looking to end it in style, allowing new man Glenn Maxwell to hit the winning runs.

That confirmed another chapter in Australia’s proud story as an ODI side, joining the teams of 1987, 1999, 2003, 2007 and 2015 in lifting the trophy and rounding off a marquee year that has seen them win the World Test Championship, also against India, and retain the Ashes.

Victorious captain Pat Cummins called correctly at the toss by sending the hosts in and took a vital haul of two for 34, while Mitchell Starc claimed three for 55 as he set the tone for an excellent bowling effort.

Australia will take on India in Sunday’s World Cup final after edging South Africa in a nerve-wracking semi-final at Kolkata’s Eden Gardens.

The five-time winners will face the all-conquering hosts in Ahmedabad following a tense three-wicket win against the Proteas, who fought back hard after a calamitous start with the bat.

Captain Pat Cummins and Mitchell Starc were the key figures in dragging Australia through, taking three wickets apiece in a pace bowling exhibition then coming together with bats in hand to negotiate a decisive eighth-wicket stand at the death.

South Africa had bossed this fixture a month ago in the group stages, winning by a huge 134-run margin, but appeared to be leaning into the reputation as knockout ‘chokers’ when they slumped to 24 for four in less than 12 overs.

A brilliant, defiant 101 from David Miller lifted the gloom and gave his side a total of 212 to bowl at before a wearing pitch offered enough encouragement to push Australia close.

Opener Travis Head carved 62 off the target at the top of the innings, but wickets fell regularly, with spin playing a major role, to leave a tricky path to the finish line.

Gerald Coetzee dismissed Steve Smith (30) and Josh Inglis (28) to leave Australia relying on their lower order, with Cummins and Starc up to the mark.

They put on 22 in 46 painstaking deliveries, with Cummins dropped by wicketkeeper Quinton de Kock with nine still needed before slashing the winning boundary behind point.

Australia will now head to their eighth World Cup final, looking to upset an India team with a 100 percent record at their own tournament in a repeat of the 2003 showpiece.

Liam Dawson sees a lot of promise in Rehan Ahmed but cautioned against expecting too much, too soon from the teenage leg-spinner.

England’s dismal World Cup seems set to usher in a changing of the guard for the ODI side and Ahmed may have more of a role to play, even if Adil Rashid remains the country’s premier white-ball spinner.

Ahmed has impressed in seven appearances in national colours across all formats since last December and joins Rashid in being named in the ODI and T20 squads for next month’s trip to face the West Indies.

The 19-year-old links up with England after a lean domestic summer but Dawson is a huge admirer of his fellow spin bowling all-rounder and is certain he will flourish if England persevere with him.

“Rehan’s very young so you’ve got to give him a bit of time – he’s nowhere near the finished article,” Dawson told the PA news agency.

“I played with him last winter and I think he’s a very good bowler. You’ve just got to be patient with him. Spin bowling isn’t easy in England, you don’t get conditions that suit very often.”

Dawson subscribes to the notion spinners get better as they grow older and he has the numbers to back it up after taking 49 wickets at 20 to go with 840 runs at 40 in this year’s County Championship.

His form for Hampshire – where he was an ever-present for the matches in which he was available – warrants an England recall with a five-match Test series against India to come, starting in January.

Dawson has long since stopped worrying about his fringe status for England in all formats but the 33-year-old believes he is a superior player than when he earned the last of three Test caps in July 2017.

“Without a doubt,” he said. “I was only 27 then. I certainly think I’m a better player now. I’ve played a lot more cricket and in a lot more pressure situations. I understand that side of the game more.

“In red-ball cricket my bowling has improved every single year. I’d say that’s a huge thing that has improved. It’s going to be very hard to beat what I’ve done this season.

“There’s not much more I can do than what I’ve done this year. I’ll keep trying to work hard, keep trying to improve but I’m very realistic that the season I’ve just had doesn’t come around too often.”

A difficult conundrum awaits Dawson if England do make overtures for him as he has already committed to a lucrative stint in South Africa’s SA20, which overlaps with a couple of Tests of the India tour.

The canny slow left-armer would be a valuable inclusion on the turning tracks of India but any England return would likely be brief and he does not have the safety net of a central contract to fall back on.

Dawson is a regular in the high-paying T20 franchise leagues and, with England’s blessing, he was among a group of players to miss a tour of Bangladesh to play in the Pakistan Super League earlier this year.

“Don’t get me wrong, everyone’s desperate to play for their country but it also gets to a point where financially, you have to take that into consideration,” he added.

“As a player, for someone in my situation who hasn’t got a central contract – I certainly didn’t expect one – I’m not getting younger now, you have to make money.

“There’s so many competitions now you can play in. It’s brilliant to be a player now and hopefully I can play for a few more years and try to continue to perform.”

Virat Kohli has become the first batter to score 50 ODI centuries.

The India star scored his landmark ton in Wednesday’s World Cup semi-final win over New Zealand, with his compatriot and previous record holder Sachin Tendulkar watching in the stands.

Kohli had equalled Tendulkar’s 49 one-day hundreds just 10 days earlier in a group stage victory against South Africa.

Here, the PA news agency examines the data behind his remarkable achievement.

King Kohli

While Tendulkar scored his 49 hundreds across 452 innings, Kohli has overhauled his countryman in 173 fewer attempts.

He has been on a stronger trajectory than his predecessor ever since reaching three figures for the first time during his 13th visit to the crease.

Tendulkar took 76 innings to score his maiden hundred, by which time Kohli had already accumulated eight tons.

The rate of Kohli’s century-making has continued to outstrip Tendulkar’s, with the ‘Little Master’ having scored 31 hundreds after 279 innings – the same number it has taken Kohli to reach 50.

The 35-year-old has scored his runs at a better average (58.69 compared with 44.83) and a faster strike rate (93.62 compared with 86.23) than his former team-mate, although his run total remains some way behind (13,784 compared with 18,426).


Renaissance man

Kohli has been a model of consistency throughout much of his ODI career, having scored at least one hundred in every year between 2009 and 2019.

However, his serene progress towards 50 tons was interrupted by a run of 25 innings without celebrating the milestone – a sequence that coincided with the COVID-19 pandemic and spanned three full years between December 2019 and December 2022.

He has since enjoyed a remarkable return to form, with six centuries in 2023 so far – his joint-most in a calendar year alongside 2017 and 2018.

Kohli has scored 711 runs to anchor India’s seemingly unstoppable bid to win the World Cup on home soil, with his tournament tally having surpassed Tendulkar’s previous record of 673, set in 2003.

Master chaser

Kohli is undoubtedly the greatest chaser in ODI history.

The 35-year-old has scored 27 hundreds in the pursuit of targets, 10 more than Tendulkar who is his closest challenger for second-innings tons.

Of the 16 players with at least 20 ODI centuries, Kohli is the only one to have scored the majority when batting second.

He averages a staggering 65.49 in run chases, compared with 51.72 in first-innings efforts.

Virat Kohli’s record-breaking 50th ODI century saw him leapfrog the great Sachin Tendulkar and propel India into a fourth World Cup final following a 70-run win over New Zealand.

Tendulkar was in his home city of Mumbai to witness first-hand Kohli set a new benchmark in ODIs with a typically assured 117 off 113 balls that laid the foundations for India’s mammoth 397 for four.

After moving to three figures off 106 balls, Kohli leapt and punched the air, briefly sunk to his knees before rising and soaking up the acclaim from a frenzied crowd, including Tendulkar and David Beckham.

Tendulkar wrote on X, formerly known as Twitter, he “couldn’t be happier that an Indian broke my record” as Kohli moved into a class of his own in his 291st ODI – 172 fewer than his former team-mate.

New Zealand battled hard in the chase but their hopes of a third successive World Cup final appearance were dashed despite an excellent 134 from 119 balls from Daryl Mitchell as they were all out for 327.

Fast bowler Mohammed Shami’s career-best seven for 57 took him to the top of the tournament’s wicket-taking charts after only six outings and was instrumental as the 1983 and 2011 champions gained a measure of revenge for being dumped out at the same stage of the 2019 tournament by the Black Caps.

After ending a run of semi-final defeats and claiming a 10th straight win in a tournament they are dominating, India can look forward to a showdown against either Australia or South Africa on Sunday.

There was controversy before the toss because of a late switch from a fresh to a used pitch but Kohli’s landmark innings, containing nine fours and two sixes, relegated the issue to a mere subplot.

Rohit Sharma lit the touchpaper for an India onslaught after they won the toss with 47 off 29 deliveries, while Shubman Gill contributed an unbeaten 80 off 66 balls despite struggling with cramp.

Kohli moved quickly through the gears alongside first Gill, who retired hurt on 79 before returning late on, then Shreyas Iyer, who thumped eight of India’s 19 sixes in his 105 off 70 deliveries.

This was Kohli’s day, though, and he got to his ton with a slap across the line, coming back for a second run before taking in the acclaim as Kiwi captain Kane Williamson offered his congratulations.

Kohli eventually holed out to deep backward square-leg off Tim Southee, who claimed three for 100, but India buttressed their total by adding 110 in the last 10 overs as New Zealand’s bowlers were flayed.

The 2015 and 2019 finalists slipped to 39 for two as Shami brushed the outside edges of Devon Conway then Rachin Ravindra but Williamson and Mitchell combined for 181 off 149 balls to frustrate India.

Mitchell was especially attacking – thumping seven sixes overall – and when Shami spilled a simple chance at mid-on when Williamson was on 52, the momentum was creeping slowly towards New Zealand.

Shami, though, atoned when Williamson miscued into the deep on 69 and Tom Latham was lbw two balls later to put India back in the driving seat, shortly after Mitchell had brought up an 85-ball hundred.

Mitchell kept plugging away but the required run-rate spiralled well into double figures before he gave Shami his five-for after whipping to Ravindra Jadeja on the boundary, and with him went New Zealand’s hopes.

Shami bagged Southee and Lockie Ferguson in the penultimate over to become the fifth bowler and first Indian to record a seven-wicket haul in a World Cup match as New Zealand were all out with seven balls unused.

Virat Kohli set a new benchmark as he recorded his 50th ODI century to overtake fellow India great Sachin Tendulkar as New Zealand were put to the sword in their World Cup semi-final.

Kohli equalled the record earlier this month and is now out in front as Tendulkar watched his former team-mate compile a superlative 117 off 113 balls to underpin India’s 397 for four in Mumbai.

After moving to three figures, Kohli jumped up and punched the air before sinking to his knees and soaking up the cacophonous applause from the likes of Tendulkar and former footballer David Beckham.

Tendulkar wrote on X, formerly known as Twitter: “The first time I met you in the Indian dressing room, you were pranked by other teammates into touching my feet.

“I couldn’t stop laughing that day. But soon, you touched my heart with your passion and skill. I am so happy that that young boy has grown into a ‘Virat’ player.

“I couldn’t be happier that an Indian broke my record. And to do it on the biggest stage – in the World Cup Semi-final – and at my home ground is the icing on the cake.”

Shreyas Iyer thumped 105 off just 70 balls while there were contributions from captain Rohit Sharma (47), Shubman Gull (80no) and KL Rahul (39), with New Zealand struggling to contain their opponents.

Director of cricket Rob Key is ready to take his share of the blame for England’s World Cup downfall, insisting head coach Matthew Mott will be given “first opportunity” to put things right.

Having arrived in India among the favourites, the 2019 champions are set to depart on Sunday among the also-rans, having scrambled to a seventh-placed finish.

With six defeats from nine games, this goes down as the country’s worst ever performance at the event, leaving Mott under pressure after 18 months in the job.

Some read Key’s decision to jet out to Kolkata for the end of the tournament as a bad sign for the Australian, but he and captain Jos Buttler instead received the backing of their boss.

Rather than line either up as a blood sacrifice, Key focused on his own prioritisation of England’s Test fortunes, which have sparked to life under Brendon McCullum’s guidance.

“I look at what I’ve not done rather than blaming everyone else. I hold myself accountable for a lot,” he said.

“Since I’ve started this job, it’s very hard for me to be critical of Jos Buttler and Matthew Mott when I’m the one who, every single time a decision has been made around whether or not we focus on 50-over cricket, Test cricket or T20, I’ve always chosen Test cricket.

“When there was a choice in Pakistan over who got the best players, I’ve always said, ‘sorry, Test cricket gets that focus at the moment’. The same thing in South Africa. I’ve always chosen Test cricket. It’s not easy for coaches and captains when you haven’t got the ability to plan and have your best team.

“That’s not their fault. So I feel like it’s harsh if I turn around and blame the captain and coach. Really, I hold myself at the top of that list for what’s gone wrong on this trip.”

Key’s backing for Mott did come with a gentle reminder that the mandate was not open-ended, with next summer’s T20 World Cup an obvious barometer for improvement.

“As far as I’m concerned he gets my full backing. He’s the person to get the first opportunity to put that right,” said Key.

“But it’s certainly not a case of saying ‘carry on, let’s keep doing everything the same and get the same result’. You’re now the person charged with sorting this out – along with myself, along with Jos, along with everyone else who has any kind of decision-making authority in English cricket. It’s for everyone to be accountable for that.

“It’s pretty simple as a coach, your job is to make sure that every single player is improving and getting better and that’s what we haven’t done. He will accept that.

“I feel this actually should be the making of those two (Mott and Buttler) as a partnership. If it isn’t, it isn’t and you move on but we have to make sure some good comes out of what has been a very poor World Cup.”

Key suggested another decision he had got wrong was in not hiring somebody with greater knowledge of Indian conditions to their backroom team. When England won the T20 World Cup in Australia last year they not only had Mott’s expertise, but two other locals in David Saker and Michael Hussey as coaching consultants.

England have been guilty of picking the wrong teams, failing to judge a par score on particular pitches and made some poor calls at the toss. Most obviously, they opted to field first against South Africa in energy-sapping heat and humidity in Mumbai and were promptly run ragged.

“I set up a coaching team that had no local experience really,” he reflected.

“When you get to somewhere like Mumbai – and it all seems so simple now – you’re worried about dew and all of this other stuff. But someone who knows these conditions really well would say ‘it’s hotter than the sun out there; make sure you have a bat’.

“It was only in the last couple of games, have we actually understood the way that we went about things. We should have known this but we didn’t going into the competition.”

There will be more analysis in the coming days and weeks as England try to come to terms with going from all-conquering champions and 50-over trailblazers to a seventh-placed side feeding on the crumbs of Champions Trophy qualification.

But Ben Stokes may have said it best on the eve of England’s penultimate game against the Netherlands when he summed things by saying ‘the problem is we’ve been crap’.

Key, ultimately, could not put it better himself.

“I would agree,” he concluded.

Michael Vaughan has urged England’s World Cup squad to leave a farewell present for the next generation by securing a place at the Champions Trophy.

Major changes are expected at the end of the desperately-disappointing campaign for the reigning champions, with a host of big-name veterans likely to depart the ODI scene, but there is still one more job to do.

Victory over the Netherlands in Pune ended a five-game losing streak and put England back in the frame for the top-eight finish they need to book a spot at the format’s next global event in 2025.

Semi-final hopefuls Pakistan await in Kolkata on Saturday and former captain Vaughan believes England’s men in possession must do everything they can to pave the way for those who will take the team forward.

“This team needs to be reset. Younger players need to come into it and there’s many of old guys, the 2019 World Cup winners that will probably get moved on,” he told BBC Sport’s Test Match Special.

“It’s their duty as a set of players in this World Cup, they’ve got to give the next generation a Champions Trophy in 2025.

“That four-year cycle is so important. When you’re resetting and developing a team, you need that tournament mentality to test your skills, test players within it, test the different roles.

“It’s so important this team wins on Saturday, gets to six points and gets into the Champions Trophy. It’s pivotal.”

The renewal of the side will begin in haste, with a white-ball tour of the West Indies in December and a fresh roster of faces set to get the call.

Vaughan picked out a handful of names he expects to be in that group and wants England to keep them together for an extended period with a view to the next World Cup in 2027.

“We’re not going to see a complete overhaul but many players are going to come in, Ben Duckett, Rehan Ahmed, Jamie Smith, Will Jacks, Phil Salt….they deserve the chance that the team had in 2015.

“There was a four-year cycle where they stuck with a load of aggressive players and they played together for pretty much 80-odd games. They arrived in 2019 with fully defined roles and that’s what the next set needs.”

Sri Lanka’s Angelo Mathews has criticised opponents Bangladesh for the appeal that led to him becoming the first player to be timed out in 146 years of international cricket during their World Cup clash in Delhi.

Bangladesh captain Shakib Al Hasan appealed to the umpire for the batter’s wicket as Mathews, who had called for a replacement helmet after appearing to notice his strap was broken, was not ready to face his first ball within the two minutes required by the competition rules.

Bangladesh went on to record a three-wicket win that eliminated Sri Lanka from the competition and Mathews said at a post-match press conference: “It is obviously disgraceful from Shakib and Bangladesh.

“If they want to play cricket like that and stoop down to that level, there’s something wrong, drastically. Up to today I had the utmost respect for him and the Bangladesh team.”

Shakib stood by his decision, insisting that it was within the rules of the game. He said in a post-match interview: “One of our fielders came to me and said that if I appealed, he would be out.

“The umpire asked me if I was serious. It’s in the laws, I don’t know if it’s right or wrong.”

Smiling, Shakib continued: “I felt like I was at war. Whatever I had to do, I did it. There will be debates. Today that (the time out) helped, I won’t deny that.”

After much deliberation and no withdrawal of the appeal, Mathews was forced to walk off the field having not faced a ball.

The World Cup rules state that “after the fall of a wicket or the retirement of a batter, the incoming batter must, unless time has been called, be ready to receive the ball or for the other batter to be ready to receive the next ball within two minutes of the dismissal or retirement. If this requirement is not met, the incoming batter will be out, timed out.”

Former Pakistan captain Waqar Younis was disappointed with the events he saw on the field.

He said on Sky Sports: “I didn’t enjoy what I saw out there.

“The spirit of the game, I always believe in that and the appeal and whole drama, I thought it was a bit too much for my liking.

“He came at the crease and he was standing there when he tried to pull that strap and the strap came off and he was just asking for another helmet.

“Yes, he came out a little bit late and in the law of the game he is out, but spirit of the game, I didn’t like it.”

Fourth umpire Adrian Holdstock explained the decision making and revealed Mathews had already gone beyond two minutes before he realised his helmet strap was broken.

He said: “When it comes to timed out, the incoming batter has to be in position and ready to receive a ball within two minutes and we have certain protocols where the TV umpire at a fall of the wicket monitors the two minutes and he will relay the message on to the on-field umpires.

“In the instance this afternoon, the batter wasn’t ready to receive the ball within those two minutes, even before the strap became an issue.

“The fielding captain initiated the appeal to Marais Erasmus that he wanted to appeal for timed out.”

Bangladesh went on to take their second victory of the tournament with a three-wicket win.

Charith Asalanka’s second one-day international century proved to be in vain as he helped Sri Lanka reach 279.

In reply, a key partnership between Najmul Hossain Shanto (90) and Shakib (82) took the game away from Sri Lanka as Bangladesh picked up their first win since their opening fixture against Afghanistan.

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