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The Latest: Bangladesh part ways with coach Steve Rhodes

July 8, 2019
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Bangladesh's Abu Jayed, left, and team coach Steve Rhodes share a light moment in the nets during a training session ahead of their Cricket World Cup match against India at Edgbaston in Birmingham, England, Monday, July 1, 2019. (AP Photo/Aijaz Rahi)

LONDON (AP) — The Latest on the Cricket World Cup (all times local):

7:45 p.m.

Bangladesh has parted ways with coach Steve Rhodes after finishing eighth at the World Cup.

“We came to a mutual understanding,” Bangladesh Cricket Board CEO Nizamuddin Chowdhury told the Daily Star newspaper.

Rhodes was appointed in June last year, and contracted to coach the national team until after the 2020 T20 World Cup in Australia.

Bangladesh hopes of a first World Cup semifinal appearance were heightened after winning the Irish tri-nations in May for its first 50-over title. The team was in contention until the last week of the group stage, and faded. Bangladesh lost to all four semifinalists and Pakistan, and its match against Sri Lanka was washed out.

The board also said the contract of bowling coach Courtney Walsh will not be renewed after the World Cup.

It has begun seeking a new coach to lead the team to Sri Lanka for three ODIs from July 26-31.

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6:30 p.m.

England batsman Joe Root dismissed as hot air Australia spinner Nathan Lyon’s opening gambit in the mind games before their Cricket World Cup semifinal on Thursday in Birmingham.

Lyon puffed up England’s credentials and claimed, “It’s all on them. It’s their World Cup to lose.”

He added, “We have nothing to lose,” conveniently forgetting Australia is defending the title.

Root’s reaction was amusement.

“Nathan has a lot to say, a lot of the time, so you just take it with a pinch of salt,” he said.

“It might be a way of taking pressure off himself and his team. It has happened for years. It’s just part and parcel of when you play against Australia. That’s how they like to prepare themselves and get themselves ready.”

England had won nine of 10 one-day internationals against Australia until June 25 when the host side came unstuck at Lord’s by 64 runs.

“There has been a lot made of the fear factor of playing against Australia, but I think for this group of players over the last four years their experiences against Australia are very positive,” Root said. “They have got a lot of success in the bank. We will be drawing on the confidence that over a long period of time now we have been successful against Australia and we should take that into Thursday.”

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2 p.m.

New Zealand captain Kane Williamson doesn’t see his team as the underdog heading into the Cricket World Cup semifinals, saying “for everybody it starts fresh.”

The Black Caps finished fourth in the group after losing their last three games, and only qualified ahead of fifth-place Pakistan because of a marginally superior net run-rate.

Williamson is bullish about New Zealand’s chances against India in the last four, however, saying “every side has beaten one another on a number of occasions” and that “if we are reflecting back on the round-robin, we deserve to be here.”

New Zealand’s chances could hinge on Williamson, who has scored 28.3% of the team’s runs and is averaging 96.20 — the highest in the tournament.

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12 p.m.

The team batting first has won all five matches at Old Trafford this Cricket World Cup.

It doesn’t concern India captain Virat Kohli heading into the semifinal there against New Zealand.

“It’s a stat that I think is connected to pressure and not the pitch, to be honest,” Kohli said.

And that’s where Kohli thinks India might have the edge in the playoffs.

“We are better equipped to react in these situations,” he said, “because we know what these kind of games are and our fan base, and the expectations they bring.”

India also has the highest-scoring batsman in the tournament in opener Rohit Sharma, who has struck an unprecedented five centuries and a total of 647 runs. He needs 27 more runs to break the record for a single edition, held by fellow Indian Sachin Tendulkar.

Kohli says Sharma is “at the moment the top ODI player in the world.”

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11:45 a.m.

The Cricket World Cup is reaching crunch time.

Six teams have gone home, leaving India, Australia, England and New Zealand to fight it out for the title.

India and New Zealand meet in the first semifinal match in Manchester on Tuesday, and they were training under bright skies at Old Trafford on Monday.

Australia takes on England in the second semifinal at Edgbaston on Thursday.

Given cricket’s status back home, India might be under the most pressure but Virat Kohli says his team is equipped to handle it.

The India captain says “every game is full of pressure — it never feels like any game has been easy for us at all, always. I can’t remember the last time I stepped onto the field and thought, ‘It doesn’t really matter what happens in this game.’”

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