Windies take aim at eighth spot ahead of World Cup

Tuesday, March 19, 2019

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DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (CMC) — West Indies' sterling performance against England has seen them draw level with eighth-ranked Sri Lanka on points, 10 weeks before they kick off their campaign at the ICC 50-overs World Cup.

In the latest rankings released Sunday, West Indies remained ninth but gained four points to draw level with the Sri Lankans on 76.

Their points gain was the best in the tables and came following a 2-2 draw in the recent five-match one-day series against world number one, England.

West Indies lost the first match of the double-header in Barbados by six wickets despite posting a first-innings record 360, but hit back in the second game with a 26-run victory.

The third match in Grenada was abandoned due to rain and England then took a decisive lead in the series with a 29-run win, even though West Indies piled up a record 389 in pursuit of 419.

West Indies then crushed England by seven wickets in the final ODI in St Lucia, after bundling out the visitors for a paltry 113.

The series raised hopes of the Caribbean side's chances in the May 30 to July 14 World Cup in England, following their lowly form in recent years.

In fact, the Windies have not won an ODI series in five years and were forced to play an ICC qualifier last year March in order to reach the World Cup, after their ninth-place ranking ruled them out of automatic qualification.

England, meanwhile, remain top of the standings on 123 but lost three ratings points. Second-place India failed to capitalise, however, as they dropped two points to slip to 120.

New Zealand lie third and only marginally ahead of South Africa, while Australia have moved into fifth spot. Pakistan have dropped to sixth and Bangladesh remain seventh.

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