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Cricket World Cup matchday 35: England into semi-finals as West Indies and Afghanistan prepare to sign off

There is just pride to play for at Headingley when West Indies take on Afghanistan.

Jonny Bairstow celebrates his century (Owen Humphreys/PA)
Jonny Bairstow celebrates his century (Owen Humphreys/PA)

The World Cup semi-final line-up was all but guaranteed after Jonny Bairstow’s second successive century fired England to a dominant 119-run win over New Zealand.

England are guaranteed to finish third in the group-stage standings and will take on either India or Australia at Edgbaston next Thursday.

The Kiwis, meanwhile, seem set to finish fourth as Pakistan need to beat Bangladesh at Lord’s on Friday by a margin that is remarkably unfeasible.

There is just pride to play for at Headingley when West Indies take on the only side lower than them in the table in winless Afghanistan on Thursday.

Tweet of the day

Jonny Bairstow and Michael Vaughan do not have the monopoly on spats between cricketers and a former international turned pundit, with tensions apparently running high in the India camp.

Snap shot

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Jos Buttler completes the run out of Ross Taylor as England firmly took control (Nigel French/PA)

Tournament tracker

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Stat attack

Tim Southee would have been hoping to stake his claim having been overlooked so far, first because of a calf injury and then because of the form of Trent Boult, Lockie Ferguson and Matt Henry. Ferguson’s tight hamstring handed Southee his first opportunity in the tournament but figures of one for 70 mean he has taken nine for 581 since last facing England in the World Cup.

The 500 club

  1. Rohit Sharma (Ind) - 544
  2. Shakib Al Hasan (Ban) - 542
  3. David Warner (Aus) - 516
  4. Aaron Finch (Aus) - 504
  5. Joe Root (Eng) - 500

Jonny B good

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Jonny Bairstow celebrates another World Cup century (Owen Humphreys/PA)

Bairstow became the first Englishman to register back-to-back centuries in a World Cup as he followed up a magnificent hundred against India at Edgbaston on Sunday with a sparkling 106 from 99 balls in the north-east. The innings marked his third successive three-figure score against New Zealand, whose last visit to this ground four years ago saw the Yorkshireman amass an unbeaten 83 which propelled England to a bilateral series victory.

Touch Wood

The union between Kane Williamson and Ross Taylor always seemed instrumental to New Zealand’s hopes of overhauling their total. It came to an end in unfortunate circumstances, at least for the Kiwis. Ross Taylor’s straight drive clipped the fingertips of the outstretched bowling arm of Wood in his follow through before cannoning into the stumps at the non-striker’s end, with Williamson out of his ground while backing up.

Top shot

Bairstow looked in supreme touch almost from ball one against a side he has taken a liking to in recent years. The Yorkshireman’s two cute glances for four in Colin De Grandhomme’s only over were compelling, both strokes bisecting the fielders between point and short third man. However, when on 84 Bairstow unfurled a sensational straight drive off the rusty Tim Southee that sailed over not only the bowler’s head but the boundary rope as well.

Catch of the day

Jos Buttler had a quiet day with the willow in hand after being promoted up the order, making 11 off 12 balls, but he still made his presence felt with a supreme take to dismiss Martin Guptill. A leg-side delivery from Jofra Archer looked innocuous enough but Guptill’s tickle down the leg-side saw Buttler spring into action, flinging himself to his left and taking a low one-handed grab.

What’s next?

June 4: Afghanistan v West Indies at Headingley

One to watch

Chris Gayle: Trying to predict the powerhouse left-hander’s next move is a fool’s errand but Thursday is highly likely to mark Gayle’s final international in England. He has threatened to sparkle – most noticeably against Pakistan in the opener at Trent Bridge then New Zealand at Old Trafford – but a haul of 235 runs at 33.57 represents a modest return by his lofty standards. Can he make one last stand against Rashid Khan and co.?

Table

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