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Australia v Bangladesh
Antigua, 31 March 2007

Test Match Special podcast | Blog

Australia 106-0 (13.5 overs) bt Bangladesh 104-6 (22 overs) by 10 wickets

Glenn McGrath became the highest World Cup wicket-taker as Australia cruised to a 10-wicket win over Bangladesh in Saturday's World Cup clash in Antigua.

Bangladesh mustered just 104-6 from their 22-over allocation in a match delayed by several hours after rain.

McGrath took 3-16 from his five overs and passed Wasim Akram's haul of 55 wickets with his second strike, when Aftab Ahmed lofted a catch to mid-off.

Adam Gilchrist and Matthew Hayden took less than 14 overs to reach the target.



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By Ben Dirs


"Nothing at all to do with cricket (like much of your jottings one could say) but we carried my mum out of the church to the sound of a lone trombonist playing 'Oh When the Saints.'"
Mac in the TMS inbox

"Not asleep, just reminiscing about the journey you've taken us on jumping on sponges, butterflies, Booker T, UV-seeing birds with foreign accents, Hob Nobs, Battenburg, Jockey Wilson and finally on to Courtney Pine wihout so much as a hint of a waterfall. Class."
Ian, Stockholm, in the TMS inbox

14th over: 106-0
Hayden swats Razzak over wide long-on for another maximum and up comes Australia's ton. And there's the winning hit, Haydos swinging another six over the deep mid-wicket fence. That was mind-numbing stuff, and you'll never see a more comprehensive victory in a World Cup.

That's 50
13th over: 92-0
Maximum for Gilchrist, skipping down the track and flicking Rafique over long-off for his 50th one-day fifty. Some chap, trying to impress his lady friend, sprawls full-length over some plastic chairs, shells the catch and disappears. That's the best thing that's happened all day.

"If Australia use spaghetti sticks to bat for the rest of the tournament, do you think any other countries have a chance to win?"
Ross Thomas in the TMS inbox

12th over: 80-0
Hayden thinks about some butchery, but checks his charge and dabs the ball to third-man for no run. Bully Boy does get four for a typical swing to mid-wicket.

"If I were in the crowd I'd have wheeled up my bed from the hotel and had a nap during this game."
Jack Mower in the TMS inbox

11th over: 75-0
Gilchrist uses his feet to Rafique and times him through the covers for four. Hayden whips Rafique round the corner for a single and this is to cricket what Courtney Pine's seminal album Journey To The Urge Within is to music - challenging.

10th over: 68-0
Two for Gilchrist, clipping Razzak, another left-arm tweaker, off his pads. Ugly shot fom Hayden, but he gets four for it, the ball slamming into the fence at deep mid-wicket. The emails have dried up completely, you must both have fallen asleep.

"Rafique bowls like Jocky Wilson would bowl if he was a bowler."
Simon Mann on TMS

9th over: 61-0
Hayden pinches a single with a flick to mid-wicket. Rafique and his left-arm twirlers now and he's a wily operator. Gilchrist gets one for a chop into off-side and there's just two from the over.

8th over: 59-0
The Sky cameraman is losing concentration and off he goes again, picking out some fine examples of Australian womanhood in the crowd. Razzak is on, and he gets one past the horizontal bat of Hayden. Single for Hayden with a clip to long-on, although he would have been out with a direct hit. Gilchrist picks up a couple with a gentle push to wide long-off. The Aussies require 45 from 14 overs. I think they might do it.

7th over: 56-0
Still a few Indian fans kicking about, they were obviously expecting their team to be playing here today. Gilchrist gets one for a pull before Hayden picks up one for a nudge into the covers. The only way Australia's openers could look more comfortable is if they were batting in smoking jackets.

6th over: 52-0
Someone's flying a kite in the ground! In fact, they're everywhere! Where's the Fun Taliban! Quick, cut the strings, there are some people enjoying themselves! Peche de la peche from Hayden, rocking back and cutting Baisaya through cover-point for two. Hayden goes macho, launching one over wide long-on for a maximum. Just seen the Aussie contingent in the pool beneath the scoreboard. They look rubbered - one blonde lady did a couple of side stretches before losing her footing and toppling into the drink. I suspect the chap attempting to hold her up will be sticking to her like Bostick until the wee small hours. Baisaya is in a bit of bother, I think he's turned his ankle. The physio takes a look , Baisaya decides to continue, and then pulls out of his approach again. Bashar puts an avuncular arm round him before Baisaya decides to have a another go...but pulls out again. Off he goes and Aftab bowls the one remaining delivery.

5th over: 40-0
Bread and dripping for Gilchrist, turning Mortaza off his pads for another boundary. Gilchrist gets a single for a fend to third-man and Hayden gets one for a tuck to leg.

"For some strange reason I can imagine the Bangladeshi team arriving for games in a battered old minibus, the floor covered in Chewits wrappers and signalling to passing lorries to 'give us a honk!'."
Colin D in the TMS inbox

4th over: 34-0
Baisaya strays on to Gilchrist's pads and is tickled away for a boundary before the Aussie gloveman slams him through mid-off for another. Gilly picks up another four with what appears to be little more than block. Aussies cruising, Bangers in trouble.

3rd over: 20-0
Hayden advances down the track and bullies the ball through point for four. Hayden gets one for a tuck to mid-wicket. Five from the over.

2nd over: 15-0
That lovely old hymn For All the Saints is going round in my head, they played that at my nan's funeral. Gilchrist scores the first boundary of the day with a dreamy cover-drive. Baisaya finds Gilly's edge and wicket-keeper Rahim is unable to take a sharp, low catch and the ball runs away for four. On second viewing, not even Alan Knott in his pomp would have taken that.

1st over: 5-0
The Bangladeshi players have filled their pockets with triangular sandwiches and slabs of Battenburg and they're out again already. Hayden and Gilchrist follow soon after and here we go again. Mortaza has first go with the pill and Gilchrist gets no runs from the first two deliveries. The news on Watson is that he picked up a left calf strain and has it under ice up on the Aussie balcony. Gilly is off the mark with a back-foot drive for three. Lovely timing. Mortaza finds Hayden's edge and Bashar misfields, allowing one run. Gilly gets one more for a push into the covers and there are five from the opening over.


"Shaun Tait may look like Eric Bana, the Aussie actor who played The Hulk?"
John Parkinson, Shrewsbury, in the TMS inbox

"'Trying to think who Tait reminds me of - any ideas?' (see below) Are you sure that whoever it is is famous and not just some bloke you know?"
Simon, Edinburgh, in the TMS inbox

Wicket falls
22nd over: WICKET - Bashar c Ponting b Bracken 24, 97-6
It's Bracken with the final over and his first ball is a leg-side wide. But the Bangladesh is out next ball, pulling it straight to Ponting at mid-wicket. Painstaking knock from Bashar, 24 from 43 balls without a single boundary. The 18-year-old Rahim is next man in and he's off the mark with a sliced drive for one. Mortaza brings up the Bangladesh ton with an inside edge from a hideous hoick that runs away for four. Rahim picks up one from the final ball and you'd expect the Aussies to have the Tigers on toast here.

"I agree fully that the Nob Nob is the king of round biscuits by a mile. I'm afraid it's the plain ones for me though, the chocolate ones are far too messy for dunking."
Paul, Oakham, in the TMS inbox

21st over: 96-5
At least Mortaza is trying to give it some hammer, but an attempted hoick lands in the covers for one. But Mortaza does time one, making room and swinging Symonds over long-off for a maximum. Another huge swipe yields one more run and Mortaza is dragging the Tigers towards a respectable total.

20th over: 86-5
Mortaza, a la Ian Botham, Headingley '81, closes his eyes and drags McGrath away for the first boundary since the eighth over. Bashar picks up one for a punch down the ground and Mortaza gets another single for a drive to long-off.

"As I recall, Morph was totally nude all the time. How can he endorse pyjamas? Its the worst kind of hypocrisy."
Austin Fisher in the TMS inbox

19th over: 79-5
Full-toss from Bracken and Bashar picks up one with a drive to long-off. There are another six singles from the over and I haven't been this bored in a long time, and I've seen Audley Harrison fight twice.

"If we're going to establish a monarchy of circular biscuits, then the chocolate Hob Nob must be up for King - a mere coating of milk chocolate transforms it from the Ian Bell of the biscuit world into the Freddie Flintoff league."
Ian, Stockholm, in the TMS inbox

"I've always thought there was a touch of the Matt Dillons about Shaun Tait."
Henry in the TMS inbox

18th over: 73-5
Full-bunger from Hogg, and Bashar drags him away for a couple. Mortaza picks up a couple of singles and Bangladesh still dragging their feet.

Wicket falls
17th over: WICKET - Saqibul c Gilchrist b Tait 25, Bang 65-5
Saqibul makes room but he just can't get Tait off the square. And Saqibul is gone, trying to flail Tait over the cover region and snicking the ball to Gilchrist behind the timbers. Mortaza is the new batsman and he digs out a yorker first up before almost getting himself run out, just managing to make his ground after being sent back by his skipper. Mortaza attempts a Big Bertha over mid-wicket but misses before Tait serves up a leg-side wide.

"Tait is a little bit Tim Vincent (Blue Peter and Clothes Show)."
Caroline in the TMS inbox

16th over: 65-4
Bashar charges Hogg and the bowler is unable to hang on to a very sharp catch. Saqibul drags Hogg away for one and never in the field of sport have so many been bored by so few. Actually, scratch that, there's about 30 people in the ground.

15th over: 62-4
Tait is on again and there's more drip, drip, drip from Bangladesh. Only three boundaries in the innings so far, and that's no great shakes in any form of cricket after 15 overs. Trying to think who Tait reminds me of - any ideas? Four singles, Tait's figures massaged.

14th over: 58-4
Saqibul and Bashar share a couple of singles apiece and Bangladesh's progress is pretty funereal at the moment.

13th over: 54-4
Symonds to continue and Bangladesh continue to yank away at the Aussie udders, dealing almost exclusively in singles. Four from the over, Australia turning the screw.

"Surely the Wagon Wheel takes the crown for circular biscuits, with it's huge diameter and delicious filling!"
Paul, Wimbledon, in the TMS inbox

12th over: 50-4
Saqibul swings Hogg away for one before Bashar picks up a single with a clip to mid-on. Another single from Saqibul to long-on. Hoggs sticks in a wrong-un and Bashar guides him to third-man for another run. But it's just singles at the moment, and the Bangla Boys need some crach, bang, wallop.

11th over: 45-4
Saqibul yanks Watson round the corner for one but it looks like Watson's shocking run of injuries has continued and he mopes off the field after just four balls. Symonds finishes off the over and Bashar gets a couple with an off-drive.

"You're surely not referring to Iced Vo-Vos, the delicious Aussie biscuit? An Iced VoVo is a wheat flour biscuit iced with raspberry and cream flavoured topping. It is a product of the American-owned Australian based biscuit company Arnott's."
John Parkinson in the TMS inbox

10th over: 41-1
There is a posse of Aussie fans in the stand dressed in early 80s one-day jim-jams. I think my last pair of pyjamas were Morph pyjamas. Saqibul gets one with a sweep to backward-square off Hogg.

"The Viscount and the Yo-Yo biscuit? Simple! Diameter and depth is the answer!...the yo yo being thinner but of greater diameter...

9th over: 39-4
Watson is into the attack and Bangladesh continue to struggle. However, Tigers skipper Bashar gets a couple with a compact square-drive. Just two from the over.

"After spending 40 minutes of agony trying to explain cricket to my grandmother, she turns around and asks 'so which cricket team does David Beckham play for?'"
David Leathead in the TMS inbox

Wicket falls
8th over: WICKET - Ashraful c Ponting b McGrath 6, Bang 37-4
Ashraful freeing his arms and flailing McGrath over cover-point for four. Good shot that, striding down the pitch and showing Pigeon no respect. But he pays for his impudence, trying another smear over the top and sticking the ball down Ponting's throat at long-off. Good take from Punter, he was back-pedalling there and very nearly stumbled.

"Don't remember the Yo-Yo, but a Viscount biscuit came in green foil, it was single, plain biscuit with a white mint cream spread on top, with the whole thing covered in milk chocolate."
Caroline in the TMS inbox

"According to my girlfriend, Viscounts are mint and Yo-Yos are marshmallow."
Scott, Southampton, in the TMS inbox

7th over: 33-3
Tait is given another chance and his first ball is a leg-side wide. He's follows up with another before Ashraful pushes a single into the covers. Big, muscular unit Tait, but he's wild as the wind, Saqibul clipping another delivery off his legs for a single. He picks up another couple with a mis-timed pull, and that's seven from the over.

"Thinking about the wagon wheel of a batsman used to show where runs are scored, can anyone explain to me what the difference was between a Yo-Yo and a Viscount biscuit?"
Colin D in the TMS inbox

"Not exactly a regional accent, but marsh warblers imitate sounds they've heard (like parrots), so it's possible to tell in which part of Africa a marsh warbler's overwintered by the types of bird it imitates upon its return to the UK."
Simon, Newcastle, in the TMS inbox

Wicket falls
6th over: WICKET - Aftab c Bracken b McGrath 11, Bang 25-3
Bangladesh lose another wicket and McGrath becomes the highest wicket-taker in World Cups with 56. Good catch from Bracken, dragging in an attempted lofted cover-drive from Aftab from high above his head. Ashraful is next up the ramp and he plays a bizarre scoop shot from his first ball faced, walking to outside off-stump and shovelling McGrath over his shoulder for one.

"There is a type of sparrow where I live in France and it has a call like a cork being pulled slowly from a bottle. It is, I think, the finest example of Nature taking its cue from its context."
Barry in the TMS inbox

5th over: 24-2
Punter has seen enough of Bracken for now and it's time for the express pace of Tait. His first ball is a wide and he almost pulls the rug from beneath Aftab with a yorker next up. Aftab, however, gets four with a pick-up off his legs before repeating the shot for three runs. Bit wild this from Tait and he's given the Tigers some momentum. Tait serves up a half-tracker and Saqibul upper-cuts him for a maximum. Not sure we'll see much more of Tait after this over. He has the raging hump, and gives Saqibul a gobful on his follow through. Fifteen from the over.

"Speaking of Soul Limbo and its life as a ringtone, do you know how much Booker T gets paid for the Beeb's use of his track? I think I read somewhere that Brian Eno gets 15 quid every time his music is used for the title sequence of Arena. If Booker T's on the same deal, it must be quite a nice little earner by now (not that I begrudge him a penny). Esoteric question, I know, but we licence-fee payers expect transparency these days."
David in the TMS inbox

Wicket falls
4th over: WICKET - Nafees b McGrath 1, Bang 8-2
That's two down, McGrath serving up the perfect yorker and castling Nafees. He is now the joint top wicket-taker in World Cups alongside Wasim Akram. Now, that boy could bowl. Leg-side wide from McGrath, that would have missed a fourth set of stumps. Saqibul is the next batsman, but Bangladesh are crawling along like it's a timeless Test.

"I was in Washington DC last weekend but didn't notice any major difference between the quacking of the ducks outside the Capitol Building there and the quacking of the ducks in Hyde Park. I've heard that wood pigeons have regional accents though, robins too I think."
Matt, Derby, in the TMS inbox

Wicket falls
3rd over: WICKET - Tamim c Hogg b Bracken 3, Bang 4-1
Tamim picks up a single with a flail into the covers. Nafees gets one before Tamim perishes, trying to lather Bracken over mid-on and toe-ending it to Hogg. A dolly of a catch, disastrous start from the Tigers. Aftab is off the mark immediately, picking up three with a gentle push to long-off.

"How can you even begin to criticise such a legendary track as Soul Limbo? It is the best mobile ringtone ever written!"
Robin Ellis in the TMS inbox

2nd over: 2-0
It's McGrath, who requires two wickets to become the highest wicket-taker in World Cup history, to share the new ball. Tamim leaves an away-swinger before getting himself in a tangle just outside the line of off-stump. Tamim shows some intent, charging Pigeon, larruping him to mid-off and Ponting making a sharp save. Fine shot for no runs. The Aussies really cranking up the pressure here, although Tamim does grab a single with a tuck to leg. Bangladesh are on target for a total of 22.

"I do believe that you are underestimating what Bangladesh can do here. I believe a good old-fashioned slog-a-thon is not beyond them. I believe they'll get 150."
Paul, Wimbledon, in the TMS inbox

1st over: 1-0
The Aussies are out in the middle and Nafees and Tamim are the Bangladeshi openers. Bracken it is to have first go with the ball. The luxuriously-coiffured Bracken raps Tamim on the pads first up, but there is only a muted appeal from the behind the stumps - that was sliding down leg. Tamim gets off the mark with a nudge down the pitch, the ever-alert Hogg preventing any more runs with a diving save. Nafees tries to swing Bracken over mid-wicket but misses. One from the opening over, not the ideal start for Bangladesh.

"Talking of wildlife, I've always wondered if animals have accents? When a French cat miaows, can its Spanish peer understand it?"
Leigh in the TMS inbox

"A lonely old evening for you, Ben? My girlfriend's abandoned me in Aberystwyth to go to New Zealand! Bangladesh to score less than 50..."
Tom in the TMS inbox

"In 10 years time, I wouldn't be surprised to see just Test cricket and Twenty20 in existence..."
Vic Marks on TMS

"I think that Bangladesh could struggle horribly. The combination of quality fast bowling in the Australian side, the conditions and the need to score quickly may be a little too much. If they stick it out for the whole 22 overs I would suggest something in the region of 100; if they get bowled out I think it will be very cheaply - sub 50. The game is probably made for the Australians quicks, they can just come out and give it everything knowing that it will only be for a couple of overs each.

"If Bangladesh only rack up 80, then Bully Boy Hayden will surely chase them down in six or seven overs. Could we be on for the shortest international game ever?"
Simon Furnivall in the TMS inbox

"I think 80 is a bit harsh. If they can survive the first few overs I reckon they can get above 100. 102 maybe?"
Matt, Derby, in the TMS inbox

"The subject of evolution and sexual selection in birds is probably too complex to discuss here, even if I knew much about it. I can recommend a hugely entertaining book about sexual selection and practices in the animal world: 'Dr Tatiana's Sex Advice For All Creation' by Olivia Judson."
Mike, Northampton, in the TMS inbox

1917 BST: I snapped my headphones to my ears just in time for a bit of Soul Limbo. The old Booker T & the MG's track isn't standing up too well to be honest, it sounds like someone's banged it out on a mid-80s Bontempi. There will be one nine-over powerplay per side, two bowlers can bowl a maximum of five overs each and three bowlers can bowl a maximum of four overs. Got that?

1912 BST: Right you lot, I need you to send some decent chat my way or this could be a lonely old evening for me. What do you reckon Bangladesh will rack up? My money's on 80, or is that beastly of me?

Australia: Adam Gilchrist, Matthew Hayden, Ricky Ponting (captain), Michael Clarke, Andrew Symonds, Michael Hussey, Shane Watson, Brad Hogg, Nathan Bracken, Shaun Tait, Glenn McGrath

Bangladesh: Tamim Iqbal, Shahriar Nafees, Mushfiqur Rahim, Aftab Ahmed, Saqibul Hasan, Habibul Bashar (captain), Mohammad Ashraful, Mashrafe Mortaza, Tapash Baisaya, Mohammad Rafique, Abdur Razzak

"Cricket tourists from North America? I think I may just see where the ICC's plan has gone horribly wrong..."
James Westgate in the TMS inbox

1903 BST: Richard Ponting has won the toss and the Aussies are going to have a bowl in a sunny Antigua. Bangladesh skipper Bashar reckons 180 would be a decent score - that's fighting talk. Both sides are unchanged.

"So mysticshrimp (see below), if that was the case, why do some bird species go to the trouble of tarting themselves up with pretty feathers when each and every one looks as appealing as the other? That said, I've never seen a spuggie try to mount a peacock."
Cen in the TMS inbox

1857 BST: I feel a little queasy, the toilet outside my office is kicking up like a Glastonbury portaloo. Apologies, I was given duff information - the game is set to start at 1930 BST, and not 1900 BST.

1849 BST: Right, I've just heard that play will start at 1900 BST and it will be 22 overs per side. Happy days.

"Birds can apparently see light in the ultra-violet spectrum. Feathers which can look plain or gaudy to us must be positively psychadelic to them."
mysticshrimp on the 606 message boards

1845 BST: I've got to be honest with you, I can't say I'm over the moon at the prospect of a 20-over match starting at 1900 BST - I thought I might be curled up on my sofa with a mug of Bovril by 10pm. But that's what's on the menu ladies and gents, and at least it might give the Bangla Boys a shot at victory.

"Quite a few of the journos here are desperate for this game to be completed today, or certainly by tomorrow morning, having signed up for one of the famous rum punch parties at Shirley Heights."
Paresh Soni, BBC Sport in Antigua

1808 BST: News in that the next pitch inspection is at 1820 BST and the Aussies are warming up next to the Party Stand. Stand by for some hit and giggle, with 1900 BST a possible start time.

"Mr King (see below) obviously isn't a keen lepidopterist: butterflies can live for much more than one day and some even last the whole winter as adults, hibernating before emerging the following spring. He is probably thinking of mayflies, which do exist as adults for just 24 hours. Speaking of which, perhaps all this outfield water will spawn a horde of voracious mosquitoes that will home in on Hayden's large posterior just before he faces the opening delivery."
Martin Nicholson in the TMS inbox

"One of the Aussie backroom staff was kicking a footy into the crowd but was told by a steward that she would call security if he carried on doing it. The expression on his face told a thousand words - probably all obscenities. The claustrophobic fun police have strangled the life out of crowds here."
Paresh Soni, BBC Sport in Antigua

"Why don't they play the first few overs with a big sponge ball? It would give Bangladesh half a chance of getting Hayden out, there is no way he can hit one of those for six, and it would soak up some of that moisture in the outfield."
Gareth in the TMS inbox

"Aren't butterflies wonderful creatures? They stuggle to exist, forming from the rising masses of caterpillars, ascending to the sky to exist merely for a day, procreate and die. Ain't life grand."
Dan King in the TMS inbox

1725 BST: Umpire Bowden is "postive we'll get a game today", report AFP. The latest play can start Saturday is 1447 local time (1947 BST). That would enable enough time for a 20 overs per side contest to be completed today. A 20 overs per side fixture is the minimum length required under tournament rules to consititute a match.

"Dear Winner, Congratulations to you as we bring to your notice the result of LOTTERIA SHOP NATIONAL 2007 promotion. We are happy to inform you that your email address have emerged a winner of One Hundred and Fifty Thousand Euro ( 150.000.00 Euro). Please note that you will be required to pay for the insuance of your winning certificate as legalazation document from the court as the rightful winner."
Mrs Rosa Alberto in the TMS inbox

"When are sports authorities going to learn that people are not prepared en masse to pay exhorbitant prices for tickets. Whilst it is sad to see half empty (or less) stadia, my hat does go off to the local people who have stuck two fingers up at those who decided these prices."
rosyduck on the 606 message boards

"We had six tickets to the Australia v England game on 8 April ($100US per ticket) and were thoroughly looking forward to traveling from Houston, Texas to St John's, Antigua. Unfortunately, the exorbitantly high airline prices ($1000US from Houston to St John's, three flights and overnight travel), hotel costs (over $140US per person per night) PLUS the $130US visa for Australians to enter the Cricket World Cup 'zone' in the West Indies killed that idea..."
Ben Treadgold in the TMS inbox

"The roller/super sopper thingymajig is fixed and we have some sporting the pool, with a tightly-packed game of beach ball volleyball going on."
Paresh Soni, BBC Sport in Antigua

"On the west side, next to the Party Stand, five men are trying to repair the roller, which looks broken. Two more men have come out to jump on some sponge - I make it six sponges. Meanwhile, the Aussies are splashing around in the pool nearby. 'It's just not creekit', as Geoffrey would say..."
Paresh Soni, BBC Sport in Antigua

"There are now around seven or eight men jumping on four sponges between them. We might have this dry by about five or six tonight..."
Paresh Soni, BBC Sport in Antigua

"There are three men jumping up and down on sponges in the outfield at the Sri Vivian Richards Stadium..."
Paresh Soni, BBC Sport in Antigua

"Isn't one of the problems also that there isn't actually enough accomodation for the fans? I know of two people who bought tickets and then couldn't find anywhere to stay. Still, I don't see why they aren't offering cut price tickets that haven't been sold at the door to try and get the locals in, and create some atmosphere."
Jeremy in the TMS inbox

1614 BST: News has just reached me that there will be another pitch inspection at 1700 BST. This isn't looking good folks, the best we can hope for now is a bit of a 20-over hit and giggle encounter.

"Ticket prices were set ridiculously high in the vain expectation that a large influx of rich tourists (apparently many were expected from North America would snap 'em up! Clearly when this did not happen in the early rounds they should have changed their pricing strategy as a matter of urgency."
Schrodinger's Beretta on the 606 message boards

"Another inspection at 1100 (1600 BST) and the crowd are not pleased. Not much is being done to sort out the problem - they could use sawdust but are simply waiting for it to dry. Another farce at a farcical World Cup..."
Paresh Soni, BBC Sport in Antigua

"It's a shame they can't just move the boundary in a bit and play on the dry turf, we'd get more sixes!"
Anon via text

"I'm astonished to see the number of tickets for sale on ebay in the UK. No wonder some of the grounds are half empty when there are so many tickets half-way across the world with people who have no interest in using them."
James Watts in the TMS inbox

1525 BST: Still no play in Antigua, we've got another inspection at 1600 BST. But you can chat about the game, indeed all things World Cup, on our 606 message boards.

"The water's not going away, the drainage isn't working. I've just seen Australia coach John Buchanan dipping his toes in the outfield. We're hours away from a start..."
Jim Maxwell on TMS

"I couldn't believe there wasn't a full house for the West Indies-Australia game. If the West Indies do go out, there probably won't be much support around the grounds at all which will be disappointing in a World Cup."

Australia skipper Rick Ponting

"I think the fact that you can't watch the World Cup in England unless you have Sky or can sit up until 1am watching highlights doesn't help much either. You can watch every other sport, from bowls to darts, rugby to snooker on the standard channels, but what about cricket? In 10 years time, bowls will be a more recognised sport than cricket, and we'd probably be quite good! In fact, I can just see a grey haired Flintoff playing now, using a bit of underarm reverse swing to win the World Championship against the Aussies."
Lee, Kent, in the TMS inbox

1505 BST: Josh from West Yorkshire has asked whether I meant to refer to the ICC honchos as "snobs" and not "nobs" (see rant below). Josh, I did indeed mean "nobs", which the OED defines as "a person of some wealth or social distinction". That said, I know what you're getting at...

"The West Indies have potentially only one competitive game left, lose that and it's World Cup over for the home nation - and, most importantly, the public. That would end the chance of crowds at the remaining fixtures."
Scotty, Fair Oak, in the TMS inbox

1440 BST: While we're waiting for play to start - and that could be a couple of hours - why not have a look at the BBC's guide to Antigua.

"This has been a rip-off of a tournament all round and the organisers will have to put up with sustained criticism."
Jim Maxwell on TMS

1432 BST: Just a note on the crowds at this World Cup, I think the ticket pricing has been nothing short of scandalous. The big nobs at the ICC should hang their heads in shame for turning what should have been a vibrant celebration of cricket into a succession of matches that have had all the atmosphere of a school fete.

1428 BST: A small update concerning a disagreement I had with Robert Luker last night. Robert suggested I was racist for suggesting Saj Mahmood and Heather Mills McCartney look a bit like a bloke I used to go to school with who resembled a camel. Robert has asked me to tell you that he also said I was unfunny. Hope that's cleared everything up.

"Some of the Australian support staff are doing a perambulation of the outfield and having to avoid a few puddles. I think we're not going to get any play for an hour or two at least."
Jim Maxwell on TMS

1410 BST: I have noted that however much it seems to be raining elsewhere in the Caribbean, it's always hot, hot, hot at Gower's beachfront colonial pile in Barbados. We reckon he and his Sky buddies are in some Truman Show-type set in Isleworth.

1358 BST: Afternoon all. Overnight rain has left the outfield "slushy" in Antigua, according to our friends over on Cricinfo. Umpires Bowden and Dar have held a pitch inspection and the start has been delayed. The Super Sopper is out, however, and a combination of this contraption and the sun, I am assured, will get rid of this "slush" pretty soon.


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