This week at the Cricket World Cup: Defending champions Australia face tough tests

Australia's hopes of defending their Cricket World Cup crown will face a strong test this week against England and table-toppers New Zealand.

All of Australia's five wins at this year's tournament have come against sides out of the semi-final places and their tough week begins against a wounded England on Tuesday.

The tournament favourites were stunned by Sri Lanka last time out and will be desperate to respond in a much-anticipated showdown at Lord's.

Another clash at the same venue will follow for Aaron Finch's men on Saturday, Australia set to play a New Zealand side who are yet to lose at the World Cup.

FIXTURES

Monday 24 June: Bangladesh v Afghanistan (the Rose Bowl) - 1030 BST start

Tuesday 25 June: England v Australia (Lord's) - 1030 

Wednesday 26 June: New Zealand v Pakistan (Edgbaston) - 1030

Thursday 27 June: West Indies v India (Old Trafford) - 1030

Friday 28 June: Sri Lanka v South Africa (The Riverside) - 1030

Saturday 29 June: Pakistan v Afghanistan (Headingley) - 1030, New Zealand v Australia (Lord's) - 1330

Sunday 30 June: England v India (Edgbaston) - 1030

 

THE WEEK'S BIG GAME

England's defeat to Sri Lanka on Friday gave hope to the chasing pack of sneaking into the semi-finals, when previously it looked as though the hosts, Australia, India and New Zealand would pull well clear of the rest. Were Eoin Morgan's side to lose again at Lord's on Tuesday, the likes of Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and Pakistan will feel they are in with a real chance, and Australia would dearly love to pile the pressure firmly on their Ashes foes.

STANDINGS

1. New Zealand - 11pts from 6 games, Net Run Rate +1.306
2. Australia - 10pts from 6 games, NRR +0.849
3. India - 9pts from 5 games, NRR +0.809
4. England - 8pts from 6 games, NRR +1.457
5. Sri Lanka - 6pts from 6 games, NRR -1.119
6. Bangladesh - 5pts from 6 games, NRR -0.407
7. Pakistan – 5pts from 6 games, NRR -1.265
8. West Indies - 3pts from 6 games, NRR +0.190
9. South Africa - 3pts from 7 games, NRR -0.324
10. Afghanistan - 0pts from 6 games, NRR -1.712

LEADING RUN-SCORERS

1: David Warner (Aus) - 447
2: Shakib Al Hasan (Ban) - 425
3: Joe Root (Eng) - 424

LEADING WICKET-TAKERS

=1: Jofra Archer (Eng), Mitchell Starc (Aus), Mohammad Amir (Pak) - 15

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