• CWC countdown (2 days to go)

    An unbeaten 91 by captain Misbah-ul-Haq helped Pakistan beat England by 4 wickets in their World Cup warm-up match in Sydney on Wednesday.

    Ul-Haq was ably supported by Umar Akmal who chipped in with 65 to reach England’s target of 251 in 48.5 overs.

    Earlier, Gary Ballance (57) and Joe Root (85) shared a 66-run partnership which helped England post a respectable score after their captain Eoin Morgan was dismissed for a duck.

    Pakistan’s chase suffered at 10/2, but with the help of Ul-Haq, Akmal and Haris Sohail (33) they managed to get there in the end quite comfortably.


    Michael Clarke scored 64 as Australia beat the United Arab Emirates by 188 runs in their World Cup warm-up game in Melbourne on Wednesday.

    Clarke shared an opening stand of 123 with Aaron Finch (61), while Steven Smith (59) also contributed a half-century to help Australia reach 304/8.

    The UAE struggled from the outset and were bowled out for 116 in 30.1 overs with Josh Hazlewood, Pat Cummins and Xavier Doherty all taking two wickets each.


    Zimbabwe surprised everyone when they beat Sri Lanka by 7 wickets in a World Cup warm-up match in Lincoln, New Zealand on Wednesday.

    The men in blue posted a solid 279/8 in their 50 overs, but the Zimbabweans made the score look well below par, chasing it down inside 46 overs and ending their innings on 281/3.

    Hamilton Masakadza scored an unbeaten 117 which will give him and his team much needed confidence ahead of Sunday’s opener against South Africa.


    David Warner says working with Australia’s team psychologist Michael Lloyd helped curb the rushes of blood to the head that featured earlier in his international career.

    Warner is keen to lead from the front in the World Cup by batting “properly”, reports the Sydney Morning Herald.

    The opener enters the tournament against England on Saturday at the top of his game, coming off a century in a warm-up match against India and another hundred only three starts back against Australia’s opponents at the MCG.

    Warner’s one-day record is modest compared to his exceptional Test and Twenty20 numbers – he averages 32.7 over 54 games – but the 28-year-old is a different animal from the short-formats slugger who burst onto the international scene six years ago.

    He starts the World Cup with a relaxed approach in contrast to earlier in his career, when his aggressive batting style made him open to rash shots.

    ‘I’ve actually spoken to my psychologist about it,’ Warner told Fairfax Radio.

    ‘There (are) thoughts go into your head … you try and premeditate, you want to come down the wicket to the spinner; you want to sort of give yourself a little bit of room to the leg side off one of the quicks and try and hit him over backward point or something.

    ‘But those thought processes in your head, you’ve got to try and think ‘How do I nut that out?’ If you keep saying ‘Don’t, don’t, don’t’, you’re going to do it.  You’ve got to try and work out when you’re out there in the heat of the moment to actually be relaxed, clear your mind and say ‘Right, just get off strike now’. That’s the process that I have to think through now in my head.’