47th over: Australia 300-7 (Carey 18, Cummins 1) A fired up Wahab hurling bouncers at Australians is great fun, even if it is in the 47th over of an ODI in which his side has already conceded 300. He puts Cummins on notice with a vicious lifter, presumably already padding up in expectation of a returning salvo later.
Gareth Owen disagrees with Matt Dony’s assessment of sport on TV. “I think Matt Dony’s analysis of the popularity of cycling’s personalities is entirely backwards. We got to know Wiggins, Hoy and Pendleton’s character through their exposure on TV – the exposure came first, and led directly to their public personae. And, Wiggins aside, its pretty hard to recall anything particularly extraordinary about British cyclist that was not tied up with their performance. Cavendish is blunt and honest, Geraint Thomas is wry, and Hoy and Pendleton are likeable enough, but none of them are much more engaging than Woakes, Buttler or Root are in interviews, or more entertainingly nuts than Mark Wood. But only cricket badgers have ever heard Mark Wood interviewed.”
Meanwhile Adam Levine has found a funny. “With reference to M Dony’s (presumably NOT M Dhoni) comment about how many members of this England team the public could pick out of a line up, I think a few already have picked Ben Stokes out of a line up! (Too soon?) Cheers, Adam Levine (no, not THAT Adam Levine).”
WICKET! Coulter-Nile c Sarfraz b Wahab 2 (Australia 299-7)
In what I think is known as regression towards the mean, Coulter-Nile is out for two. Length from Wahab, swipe from NCN, inside-edge behind the wicket and Sarfraz takes a tidy catch. Pakistan are giving themselves a sniff here.
46th over: Australia 298-6 (Carey 17, Coulter-Nile 2) Fortunately for Australia Pakistan only have one Mohammad Amir, meaning they can score freely against whoever is bowling from the other end. In this case it’s Hasan Ali who is nudged and nurdled for ones after being carted in agricultural fashion for four through midwicket by the enterprising Carey.
45th over: Australia 291-6 (Carey 11, Coulter-Nile 1) There have been two matches played this morning: Australia versus Pakistan, and Australia versus Mohammad Amir. 3-25 off nine overs is a heck of a return considering the mess going on around him.
Marsh c Shoaib b Amir 23 (Australia 288-6)
It’s that man Amir again. Length to Marsh who swipes hard but he can’t clear long-on and Shoaib pouches safely.
44th over: Australia 286-5 (Marsh 22, Carey 8) Better from Hasan, settling into a rhythm against the two left-handers but he can’t do anything with Carey’s improvisation, the wicket-keeper stepping to leg and driving forcefully through the off-side.
43rd over: Australia 278-5 (Marsh 21, Carey 1) What an over from Mohammad Amir. One run, one wicket, four dots. Nothing flash, just line and length with the pitch doing the rest. Pakistan have made a performance like that look much more difficult than it should have done.
“Further to Mark Berkeley’s thoughts,” begins Matt Dony, “there were more factors involved in cycling’s coverage. The track success in the 2012 Olympics was also a huge factor, and the cyclists themselves became more famous. Chris Hoy, Bradley Wiggins, Victoria Pendleton and others all became recognisable beyond the world of cycling in the build-up to the Olympics, even more so after them. They were ‘characters’ in one way or another, and the media made them more famous. How many people beyond cricket fans would recognise Woakes or Roy? I would guess Joe Root would be the only member of the England team that many people could pick out of a line-up. TV coverage obviously needs to be improved, but, without being too cynical (because it’s a horrible thought that it’s a requirement for a sportsman), players’ media profiles might need to improve to connect with the public.”
WICKET! Khawaja c Wahab b Amir 18 (Australia 277-5)
Amir returns for his third spell – and just like with his second, he strikes first ball. It was in the slot to Khawaja to be fair but the drive is mistimed and goes straight to Wahab at mid-off. Brendon McCullum on comms suggests it just held up in the pitch a little, which is just what Pakistan’s batsmen want to hear in advance of their pursuit of a mammoth target.
42nd over: Australia 277-4 (Marsh 21, Khawaja 18) It’s like the opening spell again with Pakistan’s pacemen failing with their lines and lengths, gifting Australia boundaries. Hasan is the latest culprit, straying onto Khawaja’s pads and inviting the ball to be run down to the fine-leg fence.
Brian Withington has revisited the nominative determinism chat from earlier. “Building on your ‘Taunt-on’ trade-marked theme of cricket ground nominative determinism, can a case be made for Edg(e)-baston being fated to be helpful to the keeper and slip cordon? As for The Oval, which really came first, the shape or the name?’.
41st over: Australia 269-4 (Marsh 20, Khawaja 13) Concerns about Khawaja’s ability to score quickly are dismissed with consecutive fours against Wahab, the first pulled powerfully, the second cut deftly. Marsh also joins in the fun, placing a full toss between cover and extra cover. Australia back up and motoring again.
40th over: Australia 256-4 (Marsh 16, Khawaja 4) Shaun Marsh crisply drives Australia’s first boundary in a while but it owes a lot to more grim Pakistan fielding with mid-off providing the kind of resistance one might expect from a damp piece of one-ply loo roll. Shaheen finishes with 2-70 from his ten overs. Remarkably, that’s his most economical figures of the English summer.
39th over: Australia 247-4 (Marsh 9, Khawaja 2) Since Finch’s dismissal Australia have lost wickets at regular intervals, slowing their momentum somewhat. They remain on course for a massive total but expectations have probably been revised down to around the 350 mark with this pair at the crease. Wahab continues his good work, he’s conceded just two boundaries in his six overs, as the two new batsmen regroup.
38th over: Australia 243-4 (Marsh 7, Khawaja 0) Finally, Khawaja gets a bat, but is it good for Australia he’s coming in at this match situation?
I’ve upset Laf Zuccarello. “JP, me old mate. I understand your barely contained glee at the semi-collapse of Australia but don’t you dare disparage Shane MacGowan. I grew up with that man crooning me to sleep (via cassette or CD not physically… that would have scarred me). I lost my train of thought but my outrage remains.” To make amends, here’s one of my favourite songs of all time.
WICKET! Warner c Imam-ul-Haq b Shaheen 107 (Australia 242-4)
Shaheen’s actually finding a decent rhythm now after his early travails, hitting the deck hard and crucially on a good length. And it pays dividends! After pinning Warner on his crease with some extra pace he offers a hint of width that the batsman chases but doesn’t time and the ball loops high in the air and into the hands of the cover sweeper. In an unexpected turn of events Pakistan hold onto the catch.
37th over: Australia 239-3 (Warner 107, Marsh 4) Good grief! Another drop! Wahab finally returns for his second spell, Warner rocks back and guides a cut straight to third man at waist height and Asif Ali’s butterfingers send the ball to the turf. Awful awful awful.
36th over: Australia 235-3 (Warner 104, Marsh 3) Not the worst over in the world from Shaheen, and he should have been the one celebrating when Warner was soaking up the adulation of the Taunton crowd, but this game remains firmly on Australia’s terms.
Warner 100 (102 balls)
It not how, it’s how many. Warner brings up his century with an edge at catchable height that flies between keeper and slip and down to third-man. After pushing his heart down from his mouth and back into his chest he grins like a bearded Cheshire cat, raises his bat in the air and celebrates a 15th ODI ton.
35th over: Australia 228-3 (Warner 97, Marsh 3) It’s remiss of me not to focus more on Warner’s innings. He’s patiently accumulating his way to a very well worked century at almost exactly a run-a-ball. With Marsh at the other end he moves within one stroke of a ton.
33rd over: Australia 224-3 (Warner 95, Marsh 1) Maxwell just played the wrong line. I guess when you’re him and you’re 20 off eight in a match situation like this you’re entitled to go for your shots, but, well, more fuel to the fire for his detractors. Now it’s Shaun Marsh’s turn to bump Khawaja down the order.
“Just to add to this debate – ECB need to look at the example of cycling coverage,” emails Mark Berkeley. “ITV4 schedule cleared for daily coverage of the Tour de France with sensibly timed daily highlights on top. Increase in uptake of recreational cycling due in some part to exposure to exploits of Wiggins, Froome, Thomas et al.”
WICKET! Maxwell b Shaheen 20 (Australia 223-3)
The answer to my rhetorical question is a resounding “no”. Sarfraz returns to pace and after gifting Warner a boundary Shaheen lands one in a decent area, Maxwell misses it, and his stumps are splayed like Shane MacGowan’s teeth.
33rd over: Australia 218-2 (Warner 90, Maxwell 20) Even a circumspect Maxwell can’t turn down a couple of gifts from Hafeez. The first is short and loopy and slapped through midwicket. The second is a fraction too short, fails to turn and the Victorian is on it in a flash, smashing it over long on. The blood pumping he then just caresses a checked drive straight over the bowler’s head for the easiest six you’d ever see. Could that be the start of something special? Maxwell is already 20 off just eight balls.
32nd over: Australia 202-2 (Warner 89, Maxwell 5) This phase of the match feels like a middle distance race with the front-runner just dropping the pace to make sure they’re primed to sprint on the bell. Against Shoaib Maxwell and Warner are content to dab ones and place the ball into gaps for twos instead of attempting the big heave-ho.
“Wahab Riaz remains the only good bowler against Australia at a World Cup even as he faces sloppy fielding from the rest of his own team… What’s new?” emails OB Jato. Wahab has bene decent but Amir has been the standout by a mile. Surprising Sarfraz hasn’t paired them in a spell to really put the pressure on Australia.
31st over: Australia 196-2 (Warner 86, Maxwell 2) More darts, this time from Hafeez, and Australia are happy to nudge the singles and keep the scoreboard ticking over.
Apologies David Seare, I was a little late to this: “Amir to Warner and Smith. Cricket’s most dishonest contest? Ultimate cricket shithousery.”
30th over: Australia 191-2 (Warner 82, Maxwell 0) Shoaib’s darts are on the money again, rattling through an over containing five dots to Warner from around the wicket.
“Hey, emailing from Karachi, Pakistan,” hey Tara Khan. “It’s an hour and a half till my workday finishes, am MEGA stressed both due to my not doing any of my work and this frustrating play from our men – not sure I want work to end because that means I’ll have to watch. We care more about cricket than we do our own families. Have never been interested in sport, nor particularly patriotic. But have risen up out of my slumber to become both. Bad timing, although with our team it’s impossible to know when is good timing.”
29th over: Australia 189-2 (Warner 81, Maxwell 0) And here comes Maxwell! Who knows what Australia are doing with their batting order, holding back Khawaja and Marsh, but I’m not complaining. 20 overs of Maxwellball could send this score into the stratosphere.
WICKET! Smith c Asif b Hafeez 10 (Australia 189-2)
Darts from both ends for Pakistan now with Shoaib and Hafeez bowling in tandem. And it works! Smith goes too hard outside off stump, the ball holds up in the surface and she skews a high catch that Asif does well to claim in the covers. The second Australia to perish in that manner and Pakistan will feel they’re on their way back into this contest.
28th over: Australia 187-1 (Warner 80, Smith 9) Apologies, some gremlins in the system just getting in the way of providing these updates. You haven’t missed any wickets, but Warner is now starting to tee off, launching Shoaib over long-on for a satisfying six.
26th over: Australia 165-1 (Warner 62, Smith 6) More middle-overs darts, this time from Shoaib Malik and they do the job.
Related to Ian Forth’s comment (12th over), my son is studying neuroscience at university (he gets his brains from his mother). Any discussion about how he is getting on tends to end with me saying, “but it’s not exactly rocket science, is it?” He was understandably a little miffed about it, until I made him watch the following Mitchell and Webb sketch. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=THNPmhBl-8I
25th over: Australia 165-1 (Warner 62, Smith 6) More brilliance form Amir. He is making his teammates look pretty foolish now, moving the ball both ways and proving difficult to get away. He has 1-16 from his six overs, the rest of Pakistan’s figures are considerably uglier.
“Australia are currently going faster than their highest ever score, 434 against South Africa in 2006,” emails Piyush Pushkar. Stats from Cricinfo here – http://www.espncricinfo.com/series/14676/statistics/238200/south-africa-vs-australia-5th-odi-australia-tour-of-south-africa-2005-06. From the worm, it looks like they were around 130-140 at over 22. Could they score higher than that? They’ve got the wickets in hand…” Two words: Glenn Maxwell. Anything is possible.
He doesn’t, the batsman was so far outside the line of off stump he was practically in Swindon.
24th over: Australia 163-1 (Warner 61, Smith 5) Can Pakistan back up Amir’s excellence? Can they heck as like! Hassan over-pitches twice and on both occasions finds Warner’s perfectly timed blade, the ball ignoring any advice to decelerate on its way across the Taunton turf until it collides with the boundary rope. If those two strokes were glorious they’re nothing on Smith finding the fence for the first time with a drive on the up a mile outside off stump that’s so majestic the batsman could retire immediately, satisfied he had conquered cricket.
23rd over: Australia 149-1 (Warner 52, Smith 1) Oof! What an over from Amir He has been the pick of the bowlers this morning, the only one to hit that good length consistently, and he finds it repeatedly at the start of his second spell. Finch went unnecessarily hard at one to throw his wicket away but Warner has shadow batting to a couple that sliced through him. It goes to show how testing this surface could have been had Pakistan found their range sooner.
Pakistan have not played well so far.
WICKET! Finch c Hafeez b Amir 82 (Australia 146-1)
Out of nowhere, a breakthrough! After offering two previous chances Finch is finally caught. He’ll be disappointed with his shot too, launching at the first delivery of the returning Amir only to sky a thick edge that was taken soundly by Hafeez in the covers.
22nd over: Australia 146-0 (Finch 82, Warner 50) It’s hard to discern a bowling strategy from Pakistan this morning. Amir showed the way early and Wahab’s deck-hitting has hinted at a plan B but there has been a lot of thoughtless dross in and around that. Hasan is the latest to disappoint, missing with his line and length and front foot in a poor over.
21st over: Australia 137-0 (Finch 79, Warner 44) Australia were happy to milk Hafeez in his second over but Finch can’t resist going the tonk this time around. To balls three and four he hoicks powerfully over midwicket for consecutive sixes – clickety click in bingo money. Effortless and brutal. Pakistan are flailing.
20th over: Australia 122-0 (Finch 66, Warner 43) Hasan Ali gets another go and he’s in the right areas often enough but this partnership is in cruise control now, just turning the strike over at will.
Sarah O’Regan’s back. “Me again. Pakistan’s bowlers seem to be employing my questionable bowling technique – I’m known as a slow, non-spin bowler. Still, at least I’m enthusiastic about it, and it’s not my day job. Put some welly into it, lads!” Indeed. It has been a poor showing, enlivened once every couple of overs by one that does something off a length. Wahab has shown a bit of back bending can produce results but it needs to be backed up in the field and from both ends, which it hasn’t.
19th over: Australia 117-0 (Finch 63, Warner 42) Much tighter from Hafeez’s second over. His old school middle-overs darts keep Australia to three singles and a leg-bye.
18th over: Australia 113-0 (Finch 61, Warner 41) Shaheen’s over after drinks is a textbook example of Pakistan’s issues this morning. When he hits the right length the pitch looks juicy and in the bowler’s favour but he only does that once and from the other five deliveries Australia accumulate proactively.
There’s been a few of you helping out Derek Stocker – you’re a lovely bunch – recommending he seeks out Guerilla Radio for an unofficial commentary feed, and also that if he goes to the ICC’s homepage he can access BBC TMS. Thanks to all of you who contributed.
A quick catch-up on the correspondence that’s been flooding in following Andy Bull’s column on the difficulty to access the World Cup on TV in the UK.
Tom Wellman: “Can’t agree more with Andy Bull, James Walsh et. al. This World Cup is going to pass without being noticed by the public at large, even if England win it. Staggering short-termism by the ECB. I’ve seen more brains in a pork-pie, to quote the inimitable Yorkshireman.”
James Maltby: “Not wishing to bang on about the highlights, and Andy’s article is spot on, but… I finally caught up on the ENG v BAN highlights last night. What a fantastic job they did of capturing the building tension of the opening overs as I’d experienced it listening live on TMS, as Bangladesh’s canny opening bowling restricted Roy and Bairstow to a handful of scoring shots, while the England pair showed surprising maturity and patience picking off the rare bad ball before accelerating beautifully from mid way through over five. Oh no, of course they didn’t. You just got the opening run, any boundaries, and it all looked like a cakewalk. Grrrrr. If they showed highlights of Flintoff’s perfect over at Edgbaston 2005 they’d only show the wickets… Can we have fewer replays and a bit more sense of the ebb & flow?”
Alistair Connor: “May I suggest an architectural analogy to the cordoning-off of TV access to the World Cup. I once attended a concert (early Baroque) in a cathedral equipped with a rood screen (or jubé, as it was in France). The orchestra, and a small number of monied spectators, were seated in the choir, and I, with the hoi polloi, was in the nave. We could see nothing of the musicians (there were a couple of CCTV screens, for what that’s worth). The acoustics were fine; our seats were cheap; the optics were horrible. Never again. To paraphrase Wikipedia, throughout Europe, in the Catholic countries, rood screens were mostly removed during the Counter-Reformation, when the retention of any visual barrier between the laity and the high altar was widely seen as inconsistent with the decrees of the Council of Trent. That’s Trento in Italy, not the cricket ground. But it’s a clue for what is needed, perhaps.”
17th over: Australia 106-0 (Finch 58, Warner 38) Time for spin and Mohammad Hafeez, and – oh dear – another drop! This was tougher than Asif’s but still gettable. Finch got a thick edge to a wide one outside off but it ricochets straight out of Sarfraz’s gloves with the keeper up to the stumps. Finch reacts by bludgeoning the right-arm offie down the ground for four, slashing him through the covers for four more, then completing the set with a high and handsome flick over midwicket for six! Australia have ridden their luck this morning but they are now rampant. Pakistan only have themselves to blame.
16th over: Australia 91-0 (Finch 44, Warner 38) Better from Shaheen, finally, beating Finch with one that just misses off stump then follows it up with a nice inducker that clips the pad and prompts an outrageous celebrappeal. After five strong deliveries the good work is undone by a limp dive by mid-on allowing a checked drive to scuttle through for four.
“Dear Jonathan I have been the organiser of the mighty Dulwich 7th XI’s annual tour to Somerset on the Whitsun bank holiday weekend since 2008. We have had around 50 matches scheduled over that time (won only about 5 but hey we are the 7th XI). Anyway, we’ve only had a couple or so games washed out over the years. Perhaps more importantly in the context of today’s game, experience shows that any forecast suggesting showers late in the day is likely to be wrong. There’s always a lovely glow at the end of the day and expect nothing less today. We will get a full match today, I assure you. On a side note, we’re always looking for ringers so do let us know if anyone willing to play with a bunch of mediocre, middle-aged (some are a tad older I must admit) cider-swilling egotists? Up your strasse? Best, Pan ‘Pangry’ Pylas, Tour Organizer of Dulwich 7th XI annual tour to Somerset.”
15th over: Australia 86-0 (Finch 40, Warner 38) That was an all-action over from Wahab. Aside from the LBW shout there was almost a run-out at the non-striker’s end, Finch was roughed up by the first proper bouncer of the day and the speed gun topped 90mph for the first time. Still, Australia survive and are now very handily placed.
It didn’t look out to the naked eye but improves somewhat with DRS showing the ball pitched in line with leg stump and wasn’t bouncing that high despite being short of a length. However ball tracking eventually ends with umpire’s call, height being the issue and the ball just clipping the bails – which as we know is no given this World Cup.
Wahab is convinced he has Finch LBW but it’s declined onfield.
14th over: Australia 79-0 (Finch 37, Warner 34) Pakistan are simply bowling too short. It’s poor cricket. Australia’s batsmen are just waiting on the crease, nudging ones and twos and collecting the boundaries when they’re available. Not for the first time this morning Warner works one effortlessly off his hip behind square for four. Shaheen has gone for 35 off his four overs so far. The policy fo both sides not to select a front line spinner looks like being a miscalculation.
Sticking with frustration at TV coverage, Derek Stocker can’t even get the radio! “GGGGGGGGrrrrrrrr. So blinking frustrated. I am an OAP living in Bulgaria which may as well be a chunk of space rock bouncing off the atmosphere. I cannot understand why the BBC radio coverage keeps coming up – this is not available in your location. Bad enough that I cannot afford to breach the paywall but not being able to listen is a slap in the chops with sticks. Thank goodness I can stay with the Guardian and get my cricket jollies from your typed commentary.”
13th over: Australia 76-0 (Finch 35, Warner 33) Oh dear, it’s going from bad to worse for Pakistan. Finally the first chance of the day is created but ASIF ALI GRASSES FINCH AT SLIP. Wahab slanted one across the right hander at pace, Finch threw the kitchen sink at it but could only send an edge flying straight to Asif just in front of his face but the ball bursts the fingers and runs down to the third-man boundary. Insult is added to injury next ball with four glanced off Finch’s hip to fine-leg.
12th over: Australia 65-0 (Finch 25, Warner 32) Shaheen’s back for his second effort after he wasted the new ball. His radar is slightly better but now he has two set batsmen to bowl to and they’re waiting on the crease to bunt those unnecessarily short deliveries around for ones and twos.
Ian Forth is a fan (like me) of Steve Rhodes leaning on manking putting a man on the moon to advocate for reserve days. “Love the ‘man on the moon’ reach. I was in a meeting recently where my colleague claimed the task he’d set his team was “hardly rocket surgery”. I always think it wisest to suppress one’s guffaws on these occasions and forward the comment to an international newspaper later.”
11th over: Australia 60-0 (Finch 23, Warner 30) Wahab remains shorter than the optimal length but he’s bowling a heavier ball than his colleagues, hitting Warner’s bat harder than the Australian expects and drawing the first false stroke in an age. As with all Pakistan’s bowlers so far the consistency is lacking a floaty half-volley turns a tidy over into a decent one for Australia. Frustrating for Sarfraz so far with only Amir offering him any control.
10th over: Australia 56-0 (Finch 22, Warner 27) Hassan’s promising opening over now looks like an early peak as another over goes for handy Australian runs. Four of them arrive in leg-byes with the line to Warner too tight while the length is again consistently too short. This has not been what Pakistan wanted after winning the toss.
Martin Coult has joined in the lamentation on access to cricket on TV. “I know the cricket authorities probably think the jam that Sky provides today is worth cordoning off the game to the general public, HOWEVER with the majority of schools no longer having facilities for the game one wonders where future generations of decent cricketers are going to be found. I grew up in the era of all tests being on the BBC – and it truly fuelled my love of the game.”
9th over: Australia 49-0 (Finch 22, Warner 24) Wahab Riaz is the fourth Pakistan quick to try to exploit what should be favourable conditions but he can’t get the ball to talk either. He does beat Finch with one that zips off the pitch angling across him but it’s too short to induce an edge.
There is furious agreement with James Walsh and Andy Bull about the ICC/ECB handling of broadcast rights. John Starbuck has emailed his thoughts while Guy Hornsby is in on the tweet.
8th over: Australia 47-0 (Finch 21, Warner 23) Australia are flying. Hassan can’t repeat his excellent opening over, again falling prey to that shorter length and enduring Finch driving him square on the up and Warner punching him off the back foot. Ominous signs for Pakistan with both batsmen playing with intent, running hard, looking singles, and punishing anything in their hitting zones.