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    Chris Woakes took five for 19 as England claimed a comfortable nine-wicket victory in their first official World Cup warm-up match against the West Indies in Sydney on Monday.

    Woakes’s five-for helped dismiss the Windies for 122 in 29.3 overs, reports Reuters.

    Openers Moeen Ali (46) and Ian Bell (35 not out) took England more than halfway to their target before their opening partnership was broken and James Taylor (25 not out) joined Bell to finish the job inside 23 overs.

    West Indies had won the toss and chosen to bat on a muggy, overcast day at the Sydney Cricket Ground but a calamitous start saw them lose Chris Gayle and Darren Bravo for ducks inside the first over.

    All rounder Woakes removed them both caught behind and things did not get much better for the islanders with wickets falling at regular intervals through the remainder of their 131-minute innings.

    Lendl Simmons provided the only innings of any substance and a reminder of the firepower West Indies can usually rely upon with a lusty six into the second tier of the historic members’ stand.

    Once he departed caught at cover by James Tredwell at midwicket for 46, though, the writing was on the wall and two overs later Woakes claimed his fifth wicket when Andre Russell holed out for seven to end the innings.


    Sohaib Maqsood spared Pakistan’s blushes by hitting an unbeaten 93 to secure the team’s three-wicket victory over Bangladesh in their first World Cup warm-up match on Monday.

    Maqsood’s 90-ball knock took Pakistan home with 11 balls to spare but their top order looked far from convincing as they chased 247 runs for victory, reports Reuters.

    Having beaten the former champions in the 1999 World Cup, Bangladesh rekindled hopes of another upset by reducing Pakistan to 199 for six in the 43rd over but were thwarted by Maqsood who hit nine fours and two sixes.

    Bangladesh posted a competitive 246 after opting to bat first but were all out with one delivery to go in their innings.

    They lost two quick wickets but Tamim Iqbal (81) and Mahmudullah (83) added 168 runs to consolidate the innings.

    Iqbal’s 109-ball knock will please captain Mashrafe Mortaza the most as the left-handed opener was returning to action after undergoing knee surgery in December.

    Down the order, all-rounder Shakib Al Hasan scored a brisk 31 before Mohammad Irfan (5-52) ripped through the middle and lower order.

    Towering Irfan’s five-wicket haul was a rare positive in Pakistan’s otherwise wayward bowling effort, underlined by the 17 wides they conceded.

    Pakistan’s top order did little to convince their fans and the 1992 champions were 52 for three in the 16th over before Maqsood and Harris Sohail (39) steadied the innings with a 51-run stand.

    Umar Akmal fell after contributing 39 but Maqsood guided them home.


    Opener Martin Guptill hit a fighting hundred before rain saved New Zealand’s shambolic batting in a World Cup warm-up game against a spirited Zimbabwe in Christchurch, reports AFP

    Guptill hit the 86-ball century as New Zealand wilted to 157-7 in 30.1 overs after winning the toss, before heavy rain washed out the match.

    Seamers Elton Chigumbura (2-21) and Tinashe Panyangara (2-28) jolted the New Zealand batting, with wickets falling at regular intervals at Bert Sutcliffe Oval.

    New Zealand’s batting stars Brendon McCullum (eight) and Kane Williamson (six) fell by the fifth over, before Guptill added 43 with Ross Taylor, who made 11.

    Guptill hit 13 boundaries and two sixes before he fell to part-timer Sikander Raza just before rain brought the game to an end.

    New Zealand open their World Cup campaign in Group A with a game against Sri Lanka at Christchurch on February 14, while Zimbabwe meet South Africa in Group B match at Hamilton a day later.