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In Case You Missed It: The beginning of the end

Brothers in arms: JP Duminy and Imran Tahir called it quits after their last World Cup match, against Australia Getty Images

This time, next week, we'll have a new world champion. The round-robin stage is now over, the semis are here, the retirement list is growing - South Africa's JP Duminy and Imran Tahir have bowed out and India's Ambati Rayudu has become a casualty of war. Now, India will face New Zealand at Old Trafford, and England and Australia will face off at Edgbaston in the race to the final. Here's your weekly catch-up.

Sky Sports will show World Cup final on free-to-air if England qualify
It's being called the World Cup's biggest stuff-up - its invisibility in the very country it's being played - but the broadcaster is now seeking to capitalise on a "once-in-a-generation" opportunity to spread the sport to a wider UK audience.

Ellyse Perry bags seven wickets as Australia take 6-0 lead in Women's Ashes
England are under the Ashes blowtorch as Perry's career-best 7 for 22 hands Australia a big points lead after three ODIs. England Women head coach Mark Robinson admitted that England had "no answers" to Perry's burst.

Rohit Sharma closes in on Virat Kohli on top of ICC ODI rankings for batsmen
Rohi's 647 runs in the tournament so far - most of it coming from his record-breaking five hundreds - have inched him closer to Kohli's No. 1 ranking. The other big movers from the round-robin stage include Babar Azam, Kane Williamson, Mitchell Starc and Mujeeb Ur Rahman.

An Australia-India final is likely and that's not good for the game
The semi-final line-ups have surprised no one. The game needs a jolt now, says Ian Chappell. Also gazing into the crystal ball is Andrew Fidel Fernando with very premature review of the World Cup.

Afghanistan have hit a bump on their happy road
Jarrod Kimber looks at how the underdogs came in as fan favourites, wanting to win games. That didn't happen. What did happen was inexplicable player shuffles, backroom politics, and now a potential loss of their coach Phil Simmons and an inquiry into Aftab Alam's misbehavior that saw him sent back for breaching the ICC code of conduct.

Why Imran Tahir is the daddy of modern white-ball legspin
Almost everything we see now in limited-overs legspin we saw first in him, starting at the top of this decade. Osman Samiuddin really feels Tahir, who feels everything.

Wahab Riaz dreamed he would be picked for the World Cup. And then he was
Sharda Ugra on how the Pakistan veteran of three World Cups very nearly didn't make it to his third. Jarrod Kimber, meanwhile, has gone full Pakistan - it doesn't matter if they have only won it once, he says, the World Cup has always truly belonged to Pakistan.

Bangladesh v Pakistan - Reliving the 1999 miracle
Before the very last match of the round-robin stage, with Pakistan fighting a doomed battle against Bangladesh for a semi final slot, Mohammad Isam throws back to 20 years ago, when Bangladesh began a swift rise to Full Membership that culminated in their becoming the tenth Test-playing side in the world.

What does the Yankees v Red Sox game in London teach cricket?
Andrew Miller found himself watching a different ball game, with his mind on another one happening a few hundred miles away.

Do right-left pairs at the crease work? It's complicated
In theory it's good strategy, especially when spinners are on, but a look at the recent Australia-New Zealand game says there's more to it than meets the eye. Jarrod Kimber crunches the numbers.

Angelo Mathews and the craziest ball of the 2019 World Cup
How did a man who had not bowled a ball in the previous eight months come to be at the top of his mark with Sri Lanka in dire need? Andrew Fidel Fernando has a craaaazy story for you.

How many cricketers does Australia really have?
This week saw the release of the annual Australian Cricket Census and while the headline numbers are impressive, Daniel Brettig finds that a deeper dive reveals the ongoing challenge for the sport