Australia took an unassailable 3-0 series lead as Aaron Finch and Glenn Maxwell guided them to a six-wicket victory over Sri Lanka.

In the third T20I of the five-match series, captain Finch scored 35 and Maxwell struck an entertaining 39 to put Australia in control in Canberra.

Australia's bowlers set the tone, limiting Sri Lanka to 121-6 from their 20 overs, with Kane Richardson (3-21) leading the way.

Danushka Gunathilaka (nine) and Charith Asalanka (six) both fell to Richardson in the third over of Sri Lanka's innings, with the Australia paceman then bowling Dinesh Chandimal, whose 25 from 29 deliveries had helped the tourists steady the ship.

Chandimal's stint came after Kusal Mendis (four) and Pathum Nissanka (16) fell in swift succession, and though captain Dasun Shanaka hit an unbeaten 39 that included five boundaries, Chamika Karunaratne's late dismissal to Josh Hazlewood (1-31) left Sri Lanka needing an outstanding performance in the field.

Shorn of the world's number one T20I bowler, with Wanindu Hasaranga testing positive for COVID-19, Sri Lanka started brilliantly – Ben McDermott caught off the first ball.

Maheesh Theekshana sent McDermott packing and dismissed the batsman's fellow opener Ashton Agar for 13 in the fifth over.

Yet with Finch prodding and probing at one end, Maxwell was able to let rip at the other, striking two sixes and three fours in his 26-ball effort.

Maxwell was dropped in the covers, and his luck ran out when he tried to go big off Theekshana, but Finch then stepped up his scoring.

By the time Australia's captain edged Jeffrey Vandersay through to slip, the damage had been done, with Josh Inglis (21) and Marcus Stoinis (12) seeing out a comfortable win.

Aussies roll on

Australia have now registered two consecutive bilateral multi-game series win against Sri Lanka for the first time in the men's T20I format.

Reigning world champions Australia have now won eight successive T20I matches against Sri Lanka, with Stoinis capping this victory with a four that just looped over the man at cow corner.

Theekshana stands tall

Sri Lanka were dealt a huge blow before the match started with the news that Hasaranga had been forced into isolation.

The all-rounder has scalped 41 T20I wickets since the beginning of 2021, the most by any bowler. However, Theekshana at least stepped up to take 3-24 in an impressive four-over spell and give the tourists hope.

Australia held on for victory in the second T20I against Sri Lanka despite the tourists forcing a super over with a thrilling run chase.

Having won the opener – also in Sydney – by 20 runs, Sunday's match looked to be in Australia's control after they posted 164-6 after batting first.

Captain Aaron Finch (25) and 48 from Josh Inglis carried the hosts to 112-4 before late flurries from Marcus Stoinis (19) and Matthew Wade, who hit 13 off just four deliveries.

After Danushka Gunathilaka thumped a Josh Hazlewood ball straight to the waiting Ben McDermott, Inglis leapt to his left to catch a drive from Avishka Fernando in the third over, and Sri Lankan hopes looked forlorn indeed when Pat Cummins skittled Charith Asalanka for a duck.

Yet Pathum Nissanka maintained composure to build Sri Lanka's score. He smashed 73 off only 53 balls, including nine boundaries, while captain Dasun Shanaka added 34 from 19 deliveries before being run out by a brilliant Steve Smith throw.

It was Stoinis who eventually ended Nissanka's stand, his full toss swung towards deep square where Cummins claimed a fine catch, but Maheesh Theekshana promptly hit a six from the next ball despite Smith nearly concussing himself in a desperate attempt to save it.

In an extraordinary finish, Dushmantha Chameera then thumped another full toss from Stoinis straight down the ground for four to force the eliminator, for which Hazlewood was chosen for the Australia attack.

It proved a wise choice. Sri Lanka managed 5-1, with Dinesh Chandimal run out by Glenn Maxwell, allowing Stoinis to settle the contest with consecutive fours.

Unlucky Sri Lanka can take heart

Sri Lanka have now lost seven T20I matches in a row against Australia and have only one win from 15 in the format when playing outside Asia.

They are unlikely to get much closer to victory than this. Needing 46 off the final 18 balls, they managed 45, while fortune was against them when Chameera's final strike fell just short of a six after a wide had not been called on the penultimate delivery.

Hazlewood shines in super over

Nissanka kept Sri Lanka's hopes alive, but Hazlewood ended them clinically in the super over with some expert deliveries.

"I just kept a nice clear mind," said Hazlewood, who finished with figures of 3-22. "[I] had a chat with Finchy and came up with a plan of what I wanted to do. The confidence is high at the moment and [it is] nice to execute."

Josh Hazlewood and Adam Zampa bowled Australia to a 20-run victory in the first T20I against Sri Lanka in Sydney.

Australia could only make 149-9 at the SCG, which staged the first encounter of the five-match series, but it proved more than enough as their bowlers came good.

Hazlewood finished with 4-12 and player of the match Zampa took 3-18 from his four overs, with Sri Lanka finishing on 122-8 after a short rain interruption adjusted their victory target to 143 from 19 overs.

Ben McDermott, son of former Australia fast bowler Craig McDermott, earlier made his first international half-century as he top-scored with 53 for the home side.

The 27-year-old shared in a partnership of 50 for the second wicket with T20I debutant Josh Inglis, who made 23, while Marcus Stoinis added 30, but no other batter reached double figures.

Pathum Nissanka made a handy 36 at the top of the order for Sri Lanka in reply, and Dinesh Chandimal added 25 not out, but a steady trickle of wickets meant Australia were always in control.


Striking out on his own

Dad Craig played 71 Tests and 138 ODIs for Australia in a distinguished career. Ben McDermott could hardly be any more different as a cricketer, given he is a wicketkeeper-batsman, and so comparisons between the pair are futile. What is clear is that Ben has plenty of talent, and here, opening the innings, he clubbed two fours and three sixes in an attention-grabbing 41-ball knock, which ended when he was trapped lbw by Chamika Karunaratne.

Fernando keeps it tight

Sri Lanka's Binura Fernando had an economy rate of 3.0 as he took 2-12 in his four overs, with the left-arm paceman keeping Australia's batters on a tight rein. That miserly rate ranks as the third best by any pace bowler (minimum four overs) for Sri Lanka in a T20I innings away from home, beaten only by Nuwan Kulasekara (2.5 v UAE in February 2016) and Lasith Malinga (2.75 v South Africa in March 2019).

Australia's three-match T20I series against New Zealand has been cancelled, it has emerged.

Cricket Australia (CA) said the planned fixtures in March had been shelved "due to New Zealand's border controls and quarantine requirements".

The three matches were due to be played in Napier, on March 17, 18 and 20.

Yet the travel restrictions between the two countries, triggered by the COVID-19 pandemic, mean Australia would not be able to make the trip.

In a statement on its website, CA said: "The three-match series, scheduled for March 17-20 at McLean Park in Napier, was initially arranged with the New Zealand government's plan to relax restrictions at the trans-Tasman border in mind.

"However, with those plans now substantially delayed, the decision was made to abandon the series."

CA chief executive Nick Hockley added: "We thank NZ Cricket for making every effort to host the series, but unfortunately it wasn't possible given the border restrictions and quarantine requirements."

The teams are due to clash in the short format later in the year at the T20 World Cup. The October 22 match at the SCG in Sydney will be the opening game for both sides in that tournament.

After almost four tumultuous years, Justin Langer's tenure as Australia head coach has come to an end.

Langer's resignation was confirmed on Saturday just a day on from a lengthy board meeting with Cricket Australia.

The news comes despite Langer having led Australia to T20 World Cup glory and an emphatic home Ashes series triumph in recent months, with the now former coach's intensity away from the pitch a seeming point of contention among the playing squad.

With Langer's time at an end, here is a look at some of his highs and lows in charge of Australia.

Lows:

White-ball whitewash to England

Just a month on from replacing Darren Lehmann in the aftermath of the Newlands ball-tampering scandal, Langer endured a desperately disappointing white-ball tour of England. Australia were whitewashed 5-0 in the ODI series and lost by 28 runs in the solitary T20I as life without suspended duo Steve Smith and David Warner began in inauspicious fashion.

No home comforts against India

In January 2019, Langer and his team made unwanted history as Australia were subjected to a home Test series defeat to a side from Asia for the first time as India secured a 2-1 victory. Wins in the first and third Tests for the tourists had sandwiched a 146-run drubbing in the second, but when the fourth contest ended in a draw Virat Kohli and his team could celebrate a famous triumph.

More India woe

Two years on, Australia were in a stronger position against the same opposition with Smith and Warner having long-since returned from their international suspensions. Things started well when India were knocked over for a measly 36 in the second innings of the first Test en route to victory in Adelaide. But India levelled things up in the second match and, after a drawn third Test, were triumphant in the Brisbane decider as murmurs of discontent over Langer's leadership began.

Highs

Plenty of heart in England

Australia were pretty much ever presents in enemy territory during the English summer of 2019 and Langer's team showed signs of encouragement. A year on from the white-ball drubbings inflicted by England, Australia – buoyed by the return of Warner of and Smith – enjoyed a valiant run to the semi-finals of the Cricket World Cup where they were beaten by the hosts. Soon after it was time for five-day cricket, and Australia retained the Ashes after a 2-2 drawn series. It was the first time they had avoided defeat in England since 2001.

Back on top of the world

By May 2020, Australia were well and truly back in their groove. Series wins on home soil against Pakistan and New Zealand saw them return to the number-one ranked team in Test cricket, while they also ascended to the top of the T20 rankings for the first time in their history.

World Cup glory

Australia were crowned T20 World Cup champions for the first time in the United Arab Emirates in November 2021, enjoying a dominant win over New Zealand – the same team they had defeated in the 2015 ODI World Cup showpiece – in the final. However, Langer himself admitted he had taken more of a backseat role for the tournament and the victory was said to have stemmed from a player-driven environment.

Ashes dominance

It has been less than a month since the end of a home Ashes series, which Australia completely dominated against a woeful England. The Aussies retained the urn in record-breaking time and only some valiant English defence in the fourth Test in Sydney denied the hosts a 5-0 whitewash. The build-up had not gone exactly to plan with captain Tim Paine having stood down amid an illicit-texting scandal, while new skipper Pat Cummins did not endorse Langer for a new contract during the series.

Justin Langer refused Cricket Australia's (CA) offer of a short-term contract extension, CEO Nick Hockley has said.

It was confirmed by Langer's management group DSEG that he had stepped down as Australia head coach on Saturday, following a lengthy meeting with CA the day prior.

Langer's most recent assignment saw Australia hammer England 4-0 in the Ashes, which followed on from a T20 World Cup triumph in the United Arab Emirates.

However, the latter achievement is said to have stemmed from a player-driven environment with Langer having agreed to take a more hands-off approach after receiving criticism following a home defeat to India in the 2020-21 Test series and subsequent white-ball losses to West Indies and Bangladesh.

Langer's intensity away from the pitch has been an apparent point of contention among some of the playing squad.

Australia are set to defend their T20 crown on home soil later this year and Langer - whose winning record is bettered only by John Buchanan among Australia coaches since 1985 when they began employing full-time head coaches – was offered the chance to take charge through that tournament.

However, that offer was not taken up, with Hockley hoping Langer would have stayed on for a "period of transition". Andrew McDonald, Australia assistant coach, will instead take charge in the interim.

"We're disappointed that Justin decided not to accept this extension and instead resigned, effective immediately," Hockley told reporters on Saturday afternoon.

"We very much felt that Justin had earned the right to defend the T20 World Cup on home soil … but we understand and respect his decision."

A CA statement added: "Justin was offered a short-term extension to his current contract, which sadly he has opted not to accept.

"CA would like to thank Justin for his outstanding leadership since he became Australian men's team coach in 2018 and for guiding the team to the T20 World Cup title last year and the 4-0 Ashes victory.

"Justin is not only a legend of the game but an outstanding individual.

"The contract extension offered to Justin was the result of a thorough review process that evaluated many factors including future requirements of the team and the upcoming extensive schedule of fixtures.

"The extension was approved by the CA Board and was put to Justin last night. It included the opportunity to defend the T20 World Cup title in Australia at the end of this year.

"Justin informed CA this morning he was not accepting the offer and would resign with immediate effect."

Ricky Ponting described Justin Langer's departure as head coach as a "sad day" and said Cricket Australia's (CA) handling of the situation was "embarrassing".

The news of Langer's exit as Australia coach was confirmed by his management team DSEG and followed a lengthy meeting with CA late on Friday.

Ponting is a former a team-mate and long-time friend of Langer, and the Australia great criticised the way both he and former captain Tim Paine – who resigned just three weeks out from the Ashes amid the emergence of an investigation four years ago over explicit messages sent to a female co-worker -– have been treated by CA.

Speaking to ABC Radio, Ponting said: ""It is a really sad day as far as Australian cricket is concerned and if you look back it has been a really poor six months on the whole in the way that Cricket Australia has handled some of the better people in the Australian cricket - Justin Langer and Tim Paine - and I think it's been almost embarrassing the way they have handled those two cases.

"He mustn't have had the full backing of the board. Me knowing Justin the way that I do, he was very keen to continue in the role, as he should have been after what's been the best coaching period of his international career having just won the T20 World Cup and then the 4-0 result in the Ashes.

"It seems like a very strange time for a coach to be departing. Reading the tea leaves it sounds like a few - and as he [Langer] says to me a small group in the playing group and a couple of other staff around the team - haven't entirely loved the way he has gone about it.

"That's been enough to force a man who has put his life and heart and soul into Australian cricket and done a sensational job at turning around the culture and the way the Australian team has been looked at in the last few years to push him out of the job." 

Only John Buchanan has a better winning record among Australia coaches than Langer since 1985 when they began employing full-time head coaches.

Langer oversaw an Ashes drubbing of England in his final Test series, which followed immediately from T20 World Cup glory in the United Arab Emirates.

However, the latter triumph is said to have stemmed from a player-driven environment with Langer having agreed to take a more hands-off approach after receiving criticism following a home defeat to India in the 2020-21 Test series and subsequent white-ball losses to West Indies and Bangladesh.

Langer's intensity away from the pitch has been an apparent point of contention among some of the playing squad.

Ponting was asked whether Test skipper Pat Cummins was part of the dissenters and if he found that disappointing, to which he replied: "Justin is a great mate of mine and I know how passionate he is about the Australian coaching job.

"He wanted to continue on and be the best coach and have the best cricket team in the world.

"I think Pat also has been put in a difficult situation as captain, if it's not just him and it is other players coming to him and letting him know that maybe they think Justin is not the right man then that puts Pat in a difficult position as well.

"If he had got on the front foot and endorsed Justin they would not have been in a position to move him on.

"I am close to Justin, we are like brothers but I have not got too heavily involved in this, as much as giving him a pat on the back and put an arm around him here and there, there was no way I could change the way this was heading.

"What's happened today I've felt was coming for quite a while, even looking back before the T20 World Cup there was a lot of speculation there."

Justin Langer has stepped down as Australia head coach, effectively immediately.

Langer's management company, DSEG Worldwide, confirmed his resignation on Saturday.

It came after a marathon Cricket Australia board meeting on Friday, with the subject of Langer's future a priority for the directors.

The board will be turning its attention to a search for a replacement after Langer's successful, but turbulent spell in charge was brought to an end.

A statement from DSEG read: "DSEG confirms that our client Justin Langer has this morning tendered his resignation as of the Australian men's cricket team," the statement said. "The resignation follows a meeting with Cricket Australia last evening. The resignation is effective immediately."

Langer's manager, James Henderson, added on Twitter: "As a player Justin retired on top after a 5-0 Ashes whitewash.

"Today, despite the views of a faceless few, he finishes his time as Australian cricket coach winning the T20 World Cup and the Ashes. Lest we forget what JL took over in 2018."

Only John Buchanan has a better winning record among Australia coaches than Langer since 1985 when they began employing full-time head coaches.

His final Test series in charge saw Australia retain the Ashes with a 4-0 win over England, a triumph that followed a maiden T20 World Cup success in the United Arab Emirates.

However, that elusive piece of T20 glory was said to have stemmed from a player-driven environment, with Langer having received much criticism following home defeat to India in the 2020-21 Test series and subsequent white-ball losses to West Indies and Bangladesh.

With Langer's intensity away from the pitch the apparent key point of contention, he agreed to take a more hands-off approach in the wake of the humbling in Bangladesh.

That change in coaching style yielded an unexpected T20 world title, and there had been some thought Langer may keep his job after the crushing defeat of England.

However, Australia are now without a head coach three weeks before they depart for a Test tour of Pakistan. Andrew McDonald will likely take charge for that tour, the assistant coach having already been pencilled in to do so for the upcoming Twenty20 series with Sri Lanka to allow Langer a rest.

Jason Holder sensationally came up trumps at the end as he took four wickets in succession to help secure the West Indies a 17-run victory over England in the final T20I that sealed a 3-2 series win.

West Indies skipper Kieron Pollard had won the toss and elected to bat, with the hosts posting 179-4, with England falling short in reply, bowled out for 162 in the 20th over with Player of the Match Holder (27-5) decisive with a double hat-trick in the final over.

After an encouraging start, West Indies did suffer a minor wobble as they lost wickets in consecutive overs, with Kyle Mayers (31) and Romario Shepherd (six) falling in the sixth and seventh, giving England a boost.

Brandon King (34) was the next to go as he was caught at the rope, and Nicholas Pooran (21) was dismissed in the 14th over, with West Indies looking solid if unspectacular ahead of the final five overs of their batting innings.

It was then that they really picked up the slack, with Pollard (41 not out) and Rovman Powell (35 not out) accumulating runs at a much greater rate, their fifth-wicket stand of 74 ultimately integral in the grand scheme of things.

The total of 180 certainly did not look unassailable for England and they reached the halfway stage at 86-2 having only lost Jason Roy (eight) and Tom Banton (16), with James Vince in fine form.

The wickets of Moeen Ali (14) and Liam Livingstone (six) followed just a few minutes apart, and while Vince (55) reached his half-century, he too departed in the 14th as a top-edged slog fell short of the boundary from Akeal Hosein (30-4).

The excellent Sam Billings (41) at least got England into a position where they were still alive in the final over, but they could not meet their target of 20 in six balls as Holder's incredible haul clinched the series.

Holder's historic heroics

Having almost looked without hope, England did make things a little tense towards the end – but what a performance from Holder.

Just when West Indies needed the ultimate display of experience, Holder took over in style. His hat-trick was the Windies' first in men's T20Is, and then he went one better. It was a truly memorable end to the series.

Billings deserving of praise

Although he was not England's highest scorer, Billings did play a vital role in keeping them in contention.

His 41 off 28 balls meant England were still in the hunt in the final over. A poorer showing could have seen them fold much earlier – he can leave with his head held high.

Former Zimbabwe captain Brendan Taylor has been banned from international cricket until July 2025 after his late reporting of a spot-fixing plot.

The 35-year-old's three-and-a-half-year punishment was confirmed by the International Cricket Council (ICC) on Friday, after Taylor gave early notice of his fate in a statement at the start of the week.

Taylor said on Monday that he had been blackmailed by an Indian businessman, who paid him $15,000 to travel to India in 2019 to discuss sponsorships and the potential launch of a T20 competition in Zimbabwe.

Wicketkeeper-batter Taylor stated that he "foolishly took the bait" when he was offered cocaine on a night out for a celebratory dinner with the businessman and his colleagues after concluding discussions.

Taylor says he was "cornered" the following morning when six people "stormed into" his hotel room to show a video of him taking cocaine and say the footage would be made public if he refused to spot-fix in international matches.

Taylor said he was handed $15,000 as a "deposit" for spot-fixing and was told another $20,000 would be paid once the "job" was complete.

Although Taylor has insisted he never spot-fixed, a four-month delay in reporting the episode to the ICC has been his undoing.

He admitted to breaching three aspects of the ICC anti-corruption code relating to delayed disclosure, and one of "obstructing or delaying" an investigation.

Taylor said in his statement on Monday: "I may be many things but I am not a cheat."

He said he would be heading to a rehabilitation centre to "get clean" after admitting he has a drugs problem.

Taylor tested positive for a metabolite of cocaine after Zimbabwe's match against Ireland on September 8 2021, and the ICC said he had accepted a one-month ban for that offence, having taken the drug out of competition and with it having no relation to his performance.

Taylor will be eligible to return to cricket from July 28 2025, by which time he will be 39 years old. ICC integrity unit general manager Alex Marshall said Taylor "knew exactly what his obligations were" in regard to corruption and doping, and said it was "disappointing that a player of his experience chose not to fulfil those obligations".

England captain Eoin Morgan will sit out the final two matches of the T20I series against West Indies due to a thigh injury.

Morgan's team are 2-1 down after three games of a five-match tussle, with each contest being staged at Bridgetown's Kensington Oval.

The World Cup-winning skipper played in the first two matches of the ongoing series but was sidelined for the third on Wednesday, suffering an injury in the warm-up which meant Moeen Ali led the team in his place.

England lost a high-scoring match by 20 runs, and they must also cope without Morgan's on-field leadership for the games on Saturday and Sunday.

The England and Wales Cricket Board said Morgan sustained "a low-grade quadriceps injury" in his right leg that was "relatively minor" but meant he could play no further active part in the series.

England's stand-in captain Moeen Ali has praised the side's three debutants in Wednesday's 20-run loss to West Indies with Phil Salt shining with a quickfire half-century.

West Indies took the game away from the tourists with a stunning 224-5 headlined by Rovman Powell's hundred where he combined with Nicholas Pooran for a 122-run third-wicket stand.

England, who were without skipper Eoin Morgan after he felt his thigh in the warm-up, fell short in reply at 204-9.

Tom Banton blazed 73 from 39 balls at the top of the order, while debutant Salt came in at six but managed 57 from 24 deliveries to keep England in the game.

Salt was one of five changes from the second T20I and one of three debutants, alongside allrounder George Garton and Harry Brook.

"We were done a little bit with Morgs going down and playing three debutants but they played really well," Ali said after the game.

"A fantastic partnership took the game away from us but proud of the way the boys batted at the end."

Sam Billings was unwell and Chris Jordan rested, while Saqib Mahmood and Liam Dawson dropped out with England offering opportunities throughout the five-game series.

England's Test squad returned home following their 4-0 Ashes defeat, rather than link up with the T20I squad, meaning Chris Woakes, Jos Buttler, Jonny Bairstow, Dawid Malan and Mark Wood are absent for the series.

But Ali said the tour had offered some opportunities to explore their white-ball depth.

"We've got guys putting their hands up, Bants was outstanding today, great for his confidence going forward," Ali said.

"We are confident in our side and we said from the start it would be a brilliant series."

Garton took the early wicket of Brandon King but finished with 57-1 from his four overs, while Brook only managed 10 from 13 balls batting at seven.

A ruthless century from Rovman Powell gave the West Indies the perfect base to secure a 20-run win in the third T20I against England at the Kensington Oval in Barbados to go 2-1 up in the five-match series.

Powell became only the third West Indian to score a T20I century after Evin Lewis and Chris Gayle as he hit an incredible 107 from 53 balls, including 10 sixes. His partnership of 122 with Nicholas Pooran (70) set the hosts on their way to a daunting total of 224-5 from their 20 overs, though England and in particular Tom Banton (73 from 39 balls) and debutant Phil Salt (57 from 24 balls) put up a spirited chase.

Brandon King (10) fell to George Garton - also making his first appearance - in the second over as the Sussex bowler found the top of off stump, before Shai Hope went for just four after clipping a Liam Livingstone delivery against his own leg pad, which sent the ball into the air for a simple catch for wicketkeeper Banton.

Pooran and Powell then set about hitting England's attack all over the park, before the partnership was finally broken in the 17th over when Pooran hit Adil Rashid straight to the waiting Livingstone. Powell reached his century before also hitting a shot to Livingstone, this time off the final ball of Reece Topley's spell.

Jason Roy (19) tried to get England's chase going with a couple of big sixes but soon mishit a Romario Shepherd ball to the waiting hands of Jason Holder, though things looked promising for the tourists as they reached 61-1 at the end of the powerplay, seven runs ahead of the West Indies at the same stage.

Banton and James Vince kept the required rate within reach early on until the latter fell at the end of the eighth over as he hit Akeal Hosein to Kieron Pollard for 16. Stand-in captain Moeen Ali fell for a second-ball duck, dangerman Livingstone could only manage 11, and after Banton was caught by Holder off the bowling of Pollard, Salt and another debutant Harry Brook (10) tried to get the innings back on track before Brook was sent packing by Holder.

Salt's knock before he was bowled by Shepherd in the final over provided a hint of what he can bring to this England team in future, but on this night it was not a victory as the West Indies closed their opponent's innings at 204-9 to edge ahead again in the series.

Ka-Powell

Powell only averages 22.00 from his 26 T20I innings, but did a good impression of the legendary Gayle here as he hit England all over the Kensington Oval.

As well as reaching comfortably his highest score in T20Is, he also did so with a strike rate of 201.88, significantly above his average of 130.81.

England's bowling attack left battered and bruised

Rashid (25-1) and Topley (30-1) might consider themselves to have performed pretty well considering what happened their their team-mates at the hands of Pooran and Powell in particular.

Garton took an early wicket on debut but ended with figures of 57-1, while Livingstone came away with 42-1 from just three overs, and Tymal Mills took 52-1 from his four. Ali also bowled a single over for 14 runs and no wicket.

Former Zimbabwe captain Brendan Taylor has revealed he is facing a "multi-year ban" from international cricket for delaying reporting a spot-fixing plot.

Taylor says he was blackmailed by an Indian businessman, who paid him USD $15,000 to travel to India to discuss sponsorships and potential launch of a T20 competition in Zimbabwe in 2019.

The 35-year-old says he had not been paid by Zimbabwe Cricket for six months and it was questionable whether his country would continue playing international cricket.

Wicketkeeper-batter Taylor stated that he "foolishly took the bait" when he was offered cocaine on a night out for a celebratory dinner with the businessman and his colleagues after concluding discussions.

Taylor says he was "cornered" the following morning when six people stormed into his hotel room to show him a video of him taking cocaine and told the footage would be made public if he refused to spot-fix in international matches.

The ex-Zimbabwe skipper says he was handed USD $15,000 as a "deposit" for spot-fixing and was told another USD $20,000 would be paid once the "job" was complete.

Taylor felt he had to take the money, so he was allowed go home but suffered with both his mental and physical health following the life-changing ordeal in India that has taken him to some "dark places".

He stated that he has never been involved in spot-fixing, but is facing a ban for not reporting what happened in India to the International Cricket Council for four months.

Taylor said in a statement: "The 'businessman' wanted a return on his investment which I could not and would not give. It took me 4 months to report this offence and interaction to the ICC.

"I acknowledge this was too long of a time but I thought I could protect everyone and in particular, my family.

"I approached the ICC on my own terms and I hoped that if I explained my predicament, my genuine fear for our safety and wellbeing, that they would understand the delay.

"Unfortunately, they did not, but I cannot feign ignorance in this regard. I have attended many anti-corruptions seminars over the years and we knew that time is of the essence when making reports.

"I would like to place on record that I have never been involved in any form of match-fixing. I may be many things but I am not a cheat.

"My love for the beautiful game of cricket far outweighs and surpasses any threat which could be thrown my way."

Taylor revealed he will check into a rehabilitation centre on Tuesday to "get clean" and to get his life "back on track" after living in "hell for years".

England edged out West Indies by one run in an extraordinary second T20I at Kensington Oval, just about making up for their wretched start to the series.

There looked to be no doubt about the outcome when West Indies crumbled to 98-8 in pursuit of England's 171-8, but Akeal Hosein and Romario Shepherd both blazed innings of 44 not out to leave the home side just short on 170-8.

Hosein finished the match with three consecutive sixes off Saqib Mahmood, whose final over cost 28 runs as West Indies' chase ended in heroic failure.

After a nine-wicket battering on Saturday, England delivered a more competitive performance, with Reece Topley making a successful return to international cricket. For Topley, this was a first T20I appearance since facing South Africa in March 2016 and his brilliance had West Indies in immediate trouble at 6-2 in their reply to a solid England score.

After a relatively slow start, Jason Roy carted Fabian Allen for 24 runs from the 11th over as England began to pile on the runs. Roy top-scored with 45 before he was caught just inside the ropes at long-on by Kieron Polland off Shepherd, while Moeen Ali made a useful 31 and Chris Jordan flung the bat for 27 from 15 balls.

Topley then gave England a superb start with the ball, snaring Brandon King lbw with the second delivery of West Indies' reply before smartly running out Shai Hope.

Nicholas Pooran had been dropped twice before James Vince held an exemplary diving catch at deep midwicket to give Moeen the wicket of the dangerman for 24 in the eighth over, and West Indies imploded from there, or so it seemed.

Adil Rashid had Pollard and Darren Bravo pinned lbw, each time needing a review to get the decision, before Ali accounted for Jason Holder and Odean Smith in the 12th over, leaving the home side on 65-7.

Fabian Allen followed for 12 at the start of the 16th over, but then came the big flurry as West Indies, with two wickets remaining, got to the point where they needed 38 from the final two overs. Topley temporarily applied the brakes, but Mahmood was almost powerless to resist the big-hitting ninth-wicket pair, Shepherd making his runs from 28 balls and Hosein from just 16 deliveries.


A theme persists

West Indies have now alternated between victory and defeat in their last five men's T20I home matches. Their lower order gave England a headache in the closing overs, but recent history pointed to West Indies probably struggling to follow up their opening win. Indeed, the last time West Indies won their first two T20Is in a calendar year was in 2016, as they beat England and Sri Lanka in consecutive matches.

West Indies go down fighting

The hosts looked toast when they went seven down, but the lower order made England suffer horrendously, even as West Indies fell short of the victory target. The tourists' bowlers were seriously unsettled by the big hitting of Shepherd and Hosein, and there might be a lasting psychological impact caused by that pair, ahead of the third game in the five-match series on Wednesday.

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