Mitchell Starc Stars As Australia Thump New Zealand

England looked set for the semi-finals when they won four of their first five matches but losses to Sri Lanka and Australia opened the door for Pakistan, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka.

A nine-wicket defeat at The Riverside leaves Dimuth Karunaratne's side facing an uphill battle to make the last four, with 10 fixtures remaining in the group stage. We got a scare from Afghanistan, so you can't take anything for granted.

Eoin Morgan's men entered the tournament as the number one one-day team on a mission to end England's agonising wait for a first 50-overs World Cup title, that too on home soil. Don't be surprised if that is the case, because the last time that England beat India, Australia or New Zealand in a World Cup was way back in 1996. They have seven points in as many games and are now locked in a fierce four-way battle for the semi-final spot with England, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh. "We thought England would probably dominate in their own conditions but, as I said at the beginning of the tournament, pressure is going to be a factor and low scores are going to be defended", Kohli said ahead of India's game against England at Edgbaston on Sunday. However, they kept aside all those negativities and registered thumping wins over South Africa and New Zealand. They've lost a wicket in the powerplay in just one match and average 52 runs. Both the games are must-win for Sarfaraz's team as in case England lose even one of its two remaining games against India and New Zealand respectively.

The senior players of Sri Lanka finally have delivered when the team needed the most.

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And he has no intention of abandoning that mantle, even if he is the face of the institutions he looks to disrupt. Some members of the far-right hate group Proud Boys were also spotted marching in Orlando outside the rally.

The Green Army will certainly aim to win their remaining two matches against Afghanistan and Bangladesh.

India captain Virat Kohli admits to being surprised at host England's struggles at the tournament so far.

The 1996 champions look to have blown their chance by losing to South Africa. In such a scenario, England would be equal on points with Sri Lanka but will edge them owing to the number of wins. They have eight points and are with a positive net run rate of 1.051, which is something that will prove to be instrumental for them. Afghanistan face Pakistan and the Windies at Headingley looking to avoid the indignity of finishing the World Cup without a point. His form against the then West Indies was particularly impressive.

Afghanistan have lost 7 out of 7and have already been eliminated from the World Cup.

  • Lawrence Cooper