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Australia v New Zealand
Grenada, 20 April 2007

Test Match Special podcast | Blog



GRENADA: Australia 348-6 (50 overs) bt New Zealand 133 (25.5 overs) by 215 runs

Australia continued their ominous form to beat New Zealand by 215 runs in the final Super 8 match for both teams.

Matthew Hayden's 103 made him the third batsman to hit three centuries in a single World Cup as the Aussies won the toss and hit 348-6 in Grenada.

Hayden also went up to 580 runs for the tournament, just 93 runs behind Sachin Tendulkar's 2003 World Cup record.

Brad Hogg's 4-29 saw the Kiwis bowled out for 133 in the 26th over, with Peter Fulton last man out for 62.

ACTION AS IT HAPPENED (ALL TIMES BST)

By Ben Dirs

NEW ZEALAND INNINGS

Wicket falls
26th over: WICKET - Fulton b Hogg 62, NZ 133 all out
That's a wrap, ladies and gents, Fulton is bowled round his legs by Hogg and the Aussies have beaten the Black Caps by 215 runs. Let's all go and have a few sherberts.

Our for a duck
25th over: WICKET Mason c Gilchrist b Tait 0, NZ 133-9
Taiters is back on. Mason goes fishing and feathers a catch to Gilchrist behind the stumps. Mason's not happy with that, but umpire Rauf was in no doubt.

"My Gran, bless her departed little cottons, used to have some interesting Italian pronunciations - lasarne, tagitel, cannonelli - trouble is, we got so used to saying them in the same way that I could never remember what was correct and what wasn't!"
Sarah in the TMS inbox

Wicket falls
24th over: WICKET - Gillespie c McGrath b Hogg 2, NZ 127-8
Oh, deary, deary me, the Kiwis are eight down, Gillespie top-edging an attempted sweep and McGrath taking a steepler at mid-on. Malcolm Speed, the ICC's head honcho, is on the wireless, and he says the next tournament will have exactly the same format because this one has been such a roaring success. Strange, everyone I've spoken to thinks the format is a load of old rubbish. Fulton swings Hogg away and Hayden almost gets a hand to it at square-leg. Two for the shot.

23rd over: 123-7
Fulton waits on a Watson delivery and flips him through mid-wicket for four. There is a man in the stands wearing a full length lycra, canary yellow, Aussie cat suit. He is about four stone too heavy to be wearing it and he looks like he might be a bit too excited.

Wicket falls
22nd over: WICKET - Vettori c Symonds b Hogg 4, NZ 117-7
Vettori goes, top-edging a sweep straight to Symonds at square-leg. Gillespie is next in, and he survives the over.

"Do you notice how sportsmen only have macho-sounding health problems? Shane Bond's 'gastric attack' is a good example. What they really mean is, 'Dear Sir, please may Shane be excused games today as he has a tummy upset. Yours faithfully, Mrs Bond'."
David Bateman, Liverpool, in the TMS Inbox

"Talking of pyza, I was once in Pyza Hut in Blackpool and was beaten to the last few remaining slices on the all-you-can-eat buffet by none other than skinny, long-haired Southern US indie-boys, The Kings Of Leon. They went straight for the Hawaiian."
Danno, La Rosiere, France, in the TMS inbox

That's 50
21st over: 117-6
Fulton punches Watson through backward-point for a couple and that's his second fifty of this World Cup, and his fourth against Australia.

Wicket falls
20th over: WICKET - McCullum c Hussey b Hogg 7, NZ 111-6
New Zealand six down, McCullum slapping Hogg straight to Hussey on the cover boundary. The Black Caps looking over the precipice. Loads of Aussie fans in today, and most of them seem to be standing about in their undercrackers. The contrast between the bronzed, ripped Australian supporters and our lot is marked - most of ours are either see-through or salmon pink and have man baps down to their knees. Vettori is next up the ramp and he picks up a couple with a flick through wide mid-on. Hogg almost cleans him up with a wrongun. Twelve thousand in today, that's the biggest of the tournament. You get more than that over at St James Park in Exeter.

19th over: 109-5
Fulton stabs Watson down to third-man for a couple and gets two more for a tuck off his legs.

18th over: 105-5
Fulton paddles Hogg down to third-man for a couple before he picks up another one to long-leg. McCullum and Fulton exchange two more singles and we've hit those dreaded middle overs quicker than usual.

17th over: 100-5
Four singles from Watson's over, and the Kiwis pass the ton.

16th over: 96-5
Much nudging, much nurdling and there are seven from Hogg's over. Fulton gets a couple with a pull before squirting a bottom edge out to point for two more.

Wicket falls
15th over: WICKET - Franklin b Watson 6, NZ 89-5
Watson on and Franklin clips him through mid-wicket for a couple. However, Watson makes a mess of Franklin's stumps, the batsman dragging a slower ball on. The Kiwis in tatters, Watson thinks he's Botham. Martin Cluderay - your pizza is done. My nan, who was so old-school she thought teabags were exotic, could never get to grips with the word pizza and used to pronounce it "pyza". A strange woman, she once threw her false teeth down the rubbish chute. New man McCullum grabs a couple with a flick through mid-wicket.

14th over: 87-4
Hogg is on and there are four nurdles from his first over.

"I'm a Brit working in Chicago and have had to endure a humiliating World Cup as I have to work with New Zealanders, South Africans and Irish guys. I even received pedalo-related taunts from the Indian and Pakistani IT guys yesterday, which I felt was a bit rich! At least its too cold for any smug Aussies to make it to the mid-West."
Matt (a disillusioned Wiganer) in the TMS inbox

Wicket falls
13th over: WICKET - McMillan lbw b Tait, NZ 80-4
One for Two Meter Peter, yanking Tait through mid-wicket. But Tait cleans up McMillan with some more reverse swing, umpire Rauf taking an age to make the decision but finally deciding it was hitting the stumps. It took Mr Rauf about 30 seconds to make that decision, but I think it was the right one. Tait shakes Franklin up with a bit of rib music before sending down a leg-side wide. Tait bowling like Big Devon in his pomp at the moment, seriously quick and you haven't got a clue where the ball's going to end up.

"Ben, I've just put a pizza in the oven. Can you give me a shout in 15 minutes to remind me to take it out. Ta."
Martin Cluderay in the TMS inbox

Wicket falls
12th over: WICKET - Styris c Hayden b McGrath 27, 77-3
Styris doesn't make the most of his let-off, giving McGrath the charge and slapping him straight to mid-wicket where Hayden takes a good catch a few inches off the ground. McMillan gets an absolute brute from McGrath first up, a lavish inswinger that the batter does very well to dig out.

11th over: 77-3
It's all going off in the St George's ground - the locals are 'pogoing' over in the party stand and there are plenty of Aussie and Kiwi fans mincing about in Speedos and the like making a racket. Styris is the beneficiary of a very generous piece of umpiring from umpire Rauf, Tait striking him on the toe with a wicked inswinger. That had middle stump written all over it. Styris has a go at a short one and picks up a couple to mid-wicket.

10th over: 74-2
Fulton picks up two with another well-placed drive into the covers and there are two more singles from McGrath's over.

"Suicidal, surely not!? It¿s Friday night, the weather's excellent, you¿re locked in a BBC broom-cupboard while your mates are out getting trashed...Note to editor: Please remove Mr Dirs' shoelaces and belt immediately!"
Andy T, Boston, in the TMS inbox

9th over: 70-2
Tait drags one in short and Fulton is onto it in a flash, rolling his wrists and pulling it away for a fizzing four. Styris then gets stuck into Tait, swinging the erratic paceman through mid-wicket for another boundary. Tait spraying it about like an unmanned hose at the moment. Tait has a little word in Fulton's ear as he strolls back to his mark and umpire Rauf then calls Tait for a no-ball - not sure what that was about, his foot was halfway across the line. Odd. Glorious on-drive from Styris, the shot of a class player.

8th over: 53-2
Beautiful placement from Styris, hitting McGrath on the up and the ball piercing a packed off-side and racing away for four. More timing from Styris next up, lacing McGrath through long-off for another boundary and the Kiwis pass 50. The cameraman picks up a lovely old couple in the crowd and the lady plants a big smacker on her chap. Lovely stuff.

7th over: 42-2
Fulton gets four for a rather airy drive, the ball flying between Gilchrist and a sprawling Hayden. Bracken nagging away as ever, although the Kiwis are travelling at a decent enough rate. Shame about those two wickets.

Wicket falls
6th over: WICKET - Taylor c Hussey b McGrath 3, NZ 29-2
McGrath is on...and he's picked up a wicket with his first delivery! How often has he done that in his career? Rank long-hop and Taylor's shovelled it straight down Hussey's neck at mid-wicket. Ho, hum...Styris, who's in red-hot form this World Cup, is off the mark with a tug to mid-wicket for two. Styris has a wild and windy woosh at one and is beaten outside the off-stump. Any chance of some emails? I'm feeling almost suicidal. Styris carves McGrath through the covers for four - smashing shot that - before missing out on another short one.

5th over: 29-1
Bracken drops short and Two Metre Peter tugs him away for four. Bracken bounds to the crease, blonde locks streaming behind him and looking a little like Pammy Anderson running across an LA beach...except with smaller breasts. Taylor is off the mark with a carve through deep point for three.

Wicket falls
4th over: WICKET - Fleming c Ponting b Tait 12, NZ 21-1
Flemo has a flash at Taiters and gets four off a thick edge. But Flemo gets a shocking decision next up, the Kiwi skipper pulling and missing and the ball ballooning off his left arm and into the hands of Punter at slip. Umpire Dar, however, thought it had willow on it. That's not clever from Mr Dar, but I suppose you make your own luck, and if you've got someone steaming in at 95mph, you're going to get decisions like that. Young Taylor, it's over to you.

3rd over: 16-0
One thing the Kiwis could try is to report Bracken's flowing hair as being a distraction like Curtly Ambrose's white wristbands. Fleming has the right idea though, flipping a full-length ball off his toes over mid-wicket for a maximum

2nd over: 5-0
Tait, with the rolling gait, gets the nod with the new ball and soon digs in a few short ones, plus a leg-side wide which is also becoming a bit of a trademark, but they can't get him away.

1st over: 2-0
Well, New Zealand chased down 346 to beat the Aussies in that shock Chappell-Hadlee Trophy whitewash, but that was without Ponting at the helm and several hundred Australians barracking their every move (the crowd that is). Big Peter Fulton uses his height off the back foot against Bracken but Clarke keeps the scoring down to two.


AUSTRALIA INNINGS

That's 50
Wicket falls
50th over: WICKET - Hussey c Styris b Franklin 37, Aus 334-6
Watson brings up his fifty - it came off 28 balls - with a carve to deep point. But Hussey has gone, top-edging a slog-sweep and Styris taking the catch at mid-wicket. But it's another maximum from Watson, slamming Franklin over wide long-on...before carving Franklin over point for another...Freddie Flintoff the best all-rounder in the world? Do me a favour...it's clearly Craig McMillan. Watson finishes on 65 from 32 balls, a very tasty knock.

49th over: 331-5
Hussey knows who the daddy is out there and immediately gives Watson the strike. Watson picks up a couple before lathering McMillan to the wide long-on fence. Marshall it was with the desperate dive. Watson is now 48 from 27 balls. Franklin has the dubious pleasure of bowling the final six balls - bubble-wrap your china!

48th over: 321-5
Hussey has an ugly heave at Gillespie and loses his off-peg...but umpire Rauf signals no-ball. Is there a luckier cricketer in the world today than Hussey? Watson then plays an absolute crackerjack shot, an inside-out cover-drive for six. Australia pass 300, and Watson is really rubbing Kiwi noses in it now, playing his shovel shot again and getting four for it. A full-bunger from Gillespie and Watson yanks him through mid-wicket for another boundary before clattering another six over wide long-on. Twenty four from the over, sure to be fun and games in the next two - 350 on?

47th over: 297-5
Four for Hussey, paddling McMillan through square-leg. Touche from McMillan, getting one to pitch on middle, cut away from Hussey's bat and miss off. Watson is almost run out by Styris, who has only one stump to aim at, but the Queenslander is in by a foot.

46th over: 290-5
Sandi Toksvig would have loved that - a bit of improv from Watson, stepping outside off and shovelling Gillespie over his shoulder for four. Sandi, if you're reading, please say hello. Hussey makes room and is beaten, but he gets one for a drive to long-off - he likes it down there.

"I'm not in the drinker yet, Ben, as I've been reading your commentary and dabbling on Betfair most of the afternoon, so I now have to stay in the office on my own and do the work I was actually supposed to be doing."
Jim in the TMS inbox

45th over: 282-5
All hail the Kings of Nurdle - Hussey and Watson pick up three singles each. Time for the long handle now, surely...

"Do you think Hayden takes those evil eyebrows off at night and puts them in a little box by the side of his bed?"
Dean, Dover, in the TMS inbox

44th over: 275-5
Watson shuffles to outside off-stump and paddles him down to third-man for a couple. Three more singles and I'm going to be miles out with my mid-innings predictions, I thought the Aussies would make 350 plus.

43rd over: 270-5
Patel almost cleans up Hussey with a lavishly-turning delivery and there are just two singles from the over. The cameraman has one of his peeping Tom moments and picks out two Aussie peaches in the crowd. The problem for Aussies wearing Aussie-flag bikinis is that they have to have the Union Jack on one breast. That must be irksome.

42nd over: 268-5
Judging by the drop in email traffic, I assume most of you are in the drinker by now. For those of you about to partake in a few scoops, thank you for reading. I've only got one more match after this and then I'm off playing golf on the Costa Brava. Ave Maria. Three singles before Hussey finds the gap in the point region and picks up a couple. Watson picks up another single with a clip to mid-wicket.

Wicket falls
41st over: WICKET - Symonds c Mason b Patel 11, Aus 257-5
Bit of disrespect from Symonds and he pays the penalty. He doesn't even bother with a sighter against Patel, gives him some heave-ho and slices it to Mason, who makes a good catch at long-off. Hussey picks up two with a flick to leg before adding a single with a carve through point. Watson is next man in, and he's missed most of this World Cup with a calf injury. He's off the mark with a clip to long-on.

40th over: 257-4
Hussey collects a single with a drive to long-off before Symonds flicks Vettori to mid-wicket for one more. Another nudge to long-off by Hussey before Symonds shows delicate hands, picking up one with a late-cut.

39th over: 251-4
Symonds drives a fullish delivery to long-off before Hussey waits and feathers Styris down to third-man for a couple.

38th over: 247-4
Cute late-cut from Symonds off Franklin before Hussey pats him to backward-point for one. Symonds collects another with a slap to long-off. It's time for a new ball.

37th over: 244-4
Nudge and nurdle from Symonds and Hussey before the latter collects his first boundary with a pull through mid-wicket. The Aussies clattering along at 6.59 an over. A couple of chaps dressed as nuns in today. Ironically, my infant school headmistress was called St Peter, and she had a moustache.

Wicket falls
36th over: WICKET - Clarke b Franklin 49, Aus 233-4
Dreamy stroke from Clarke, dispatching a Franklin full-bunger through the covers for four. Franklin then bowls too straight and is flipped through square-leg for another boundary...before Clarke is bowled in the most peculiar fashion, watching a slower ball from Franklin all the way onto his timbers without playing a shot. Franklin has that mildly embarrassed look about him again as Clarke strides off, and Symonds is next man in. Two wides from Franklin before Symonds biffs him through the covers for four. That over was like a box of chocolates.

35th over: 225-3
Clarke is up to 40 already, tickling Styris round the corner for four. Three overs left in this powerplay.

"Chris, Atmosphere by Russ Abbott is worth 99p plus P&P. But, if you had the 12" version, you could even be talking a few quid. Sell that and you and I'll be dancin' in the cool night air!"
Steve Lowther in the TMS inbox

34th over: 220-3
To Ed Kerr (below) - the scorecard has nothing to do with me (who do you think I am, Dr Octopus?), but I apologise wholeheartedly nonetheless. Our technical friends are onto it and hopefully will sort it out soon - "we are treating it as a priority" says my cricket editor. Clarke backs away and carves Franklin away for a single and he picks up another couple from the final ball of the over.

"Any chance you can get off your lazy behind and update the scorecard. Some of us find it more interesting than your OBO dribblings."
An irate Ed Kerr in the TMS inbox

Wicket falls
33rd over: WICKET - Hayden c&b Styris 103, Aus 216-3
The Beige Brigade are in raptures as Hayden falls! Haydos goes for some more humpty off Styris, skies it, and the bowler turns and takes a magnificent running catch. Hussey, who has endured a pretty ordinary World Cup so far, is next up the ramp. Hayden's ton was the hundredth in World Cup history.

32nd over: 215-2
Vettori is being milked like a faithful old cow - six singles from the over.

He's reached 100
31st over: 208-2
That's Hayden's third ton of the tournament courtesy of a tug to mid-wicket - he's quite pleased with that. The bat is raised and a grin breaks out that is almost as broad as his shoulders. Just 96 balls that took, 10 fours and two sixes - savage, it's the only word.

"Mr Posterino (see below) glosses over being dropped on 14, and a very fortunate survival of a clear lbw on 29."
Marc Kelly in the TMS inbox

30th over: 206-2
Lip-smacking shot from Clarke, rocking back to Vettori and feathering him to the third-man fence. A couple of no-balls thrown in from Vettori, and this is all getting very ragged from a Black Cap point of view.

"I was listening to music by members of a family of 18th Century Czech composers called the Bendas earlier today. Made me think of you."
Simon, Edinburgh, in the TMS inbox

29th over: 196-2
Hayden is indubitably the Dandy Highwayman and he stands, delivers and clubs Styris over deep mid-wicket for a maximum. He is now 96 and homing in on his third ton of the tournament - only Sourav Ganguly and Mark Waugh have done that before. The sad part is, if Hayden was English, he'd probably be a plumber or an animator or something. Anyone actually play cricket at school?

28th over: 186-2
Clarke gets one for a glide to third-man before Hayden slaps Vettori over long-off, one bounce for four. Not sure he even timed that, but he's seeing it like a planet at the moment. He follows up with a four all along the ground and a caveman club that bumps and bounces over Vettori's head and races away for the third boundary of the over. What on earth does Flemo do here?

"We moved into our house in November and whilst re-insulating the loft I found a copy of Atmosphere by Russ Abbot - do you reckon it's worth anything on Ebay?"
Chris, Stevenage, in the TMS inbox

27th over: 173-2
Three singles from Patel's over and Hayden drops his strides and has a fiddle with his equipment between overs.

"Would Hayden look less imposing if his eyebrows were given a Brazilian?"
John Duncan in the TMS inbox

26th over: 170-2
Oh, that's a crackerjack shot from Clarkey, slapping Gillespie through the covers for four. Clarke picks up another boundary with a thick edge and Australia are having Gillespie on toast with a dash of Reggae Reggae Sauce. And another! That one is over-pitched and outside off-peg and Clarke smears him through cover-point.

"Watching this Australian innings reminds me of the time I hit 304 not out against my brother in 1981 off only 15 overs in backyard cricket. The knock included 18 consecutive sixes over Mrs Coates' fence. His last five overs were bowled in tears."
Damien Posterino in the TMS inbox

25th over: 155-2
Clarke nibbles Patel to leg for one and Hayden collects another easy single. One more for Clarke with a clip to mid-wicket. Hayden gives Patel the charge and Patel makes a good stop to prevent the run. Good bowler this lad.

24th over: 152-2
Someone once said of WG Grace that he had the "dirtiest neck I have ever kept wicket behind". I reckon Clarke probably has the cleanest neck in cricket at the moment, he always looks impeccably well turned out and well scrubbed to me. Thank you to all those correcting my typos today, I'm glad someone is subbing my work. Hayden misses out on a Gillespie full-bunger, meandering just one after a push to long-off. Clarke is off the mark with a push to mid-off before Hayden resumes normal service, clubbing Gillespie over wide long-on for four. That's the Aussie 150 - 370 must be a possibility here. Clarke has a lucky escape, a Hayden drive deflecting off Gillespie's wrist and just missing the stumps with Clarke out of his ground.

Wicket falls
23rd over: WICKET - Ponting c Taylor b Patel 66, Aus 144-2
Mis-field from McMillan down at square-leg and Hayden collects two. Another sweep garners him one and McMillan gets the bird from the Aussie fans behind the fence. And Punter perishes! The Aussie skipper tries to whip Patel over mid-wicket and Taylor pulls off a fine catch well above his head. Good snaffle that, but Clarke is now at the crease, and he's quite good as well.

22nd over: 139-1
The pugnacious McMillan is into the attack and there are four singles from that over and the players will have a quick wet.

"It may be my imagination, but Hayden seems to swell up to superhuman size when he is at the crease batting at his best, then shrink to normal size as he walks off the field."
Paul Stapleton, Lima, Peru, in the TMS inbox

21st over: 135-1
Apologies to our Australian readers, I didn't mean to besmirch your recording industry. Truth be known, when I feel depressed about anything, I just think of a little bald friend of mine who has never kissed a girl, not Men At Work. Hayden eases Patel to long-on for one before Punter rocks back and carves Patel down to deep cover. Australia aren't just scoring quickly, they are positively incontinent with runs at the moment - Hayden grabs two more with a push into the covers.

20th over: 127-1
Gillespie puts one in the slot outside off-stump and Punter picks up a couple with an ease to wide long-off. Another two for the Aussie skipper with a clip to wide long-on and Hayden collects one with a push to long-off. One of the Fun Taliban has just handed a beach ball back to a spectator rather than popping it! People of the Caribbean, bring out your kites, the winds of change are blowing in!

19th over: 119-1
Patel's back on and Australia are happy to milk him, just four singles from his over.

"Come on! Australia have great bands, like Jet, INXS, AC/DC, Craig McLachlan, Peter Andre..."
Matt Jensen in the TMS inbox

"Australia doing well at cricket depresses me as well, but you can't write off their music in such a blasé fashion! Nick Cave, the Go-Betweens and the Triffids were just as good as anything around in England during the 80s!"
Nick in the TMS inbox

That's 50
18th over: 115-1
That's Punter's 62nd ODI fifty - he's so good it makes me want to cry. Hayden then biffs Gillespie to the long-off fence. A couple of good slower balls from Gillespie keeps Hayden honest, but it's one-way traffic at the moment.

"A couple of hundred years ago my Scottish ancestor moved to London and stole a goat. He was shipped off to Australia on the First Fleet. Crime pays!"
Steve Tait (no relation, although...), Bangkok, in the TMS inbox

That's 50
17th over: 109-1
Men At Work 'I Come From a Land Down Under' blasting out at St George's. Whenever I feel slightly depressed about being English, I comfort myself with the knowledge that Men At Work are one of the best bands ever to come out of Australia. This is oh so easy for Hayden and Ponting, they could only look more comfortable if they were batting naked but for flip-flops and towels round their waists. Two wides from Styris before Haydos nudges a single to mid-on and brings up his third World Cup fifty with a clip to mid-wicket. It took him just 53 balls.

16th over: 102-1
Vettori is toiling manfully here, but he can't prevent Australia from passing the ton with a push to mid-on from Hayden. Punter picks up a single with a sweep before Hayden waits on one and clubs him through the covers for another.

15th over: 99-1
Styris strays onto Punter's legs and is flipped away for a couple. Styris then drops short, and you can't do that at his pace. Punter tugs him to the mid-wicket fence for the first boundary since over nine.

"I'm not saying this tournament is too long, but I left a pregnant wife back in England and they've both now finished their first year at university..."
Arlo White on TMS

14th over: 91-1
Five singles from Vettori's over and the Aussies have the hand-break off and are rolling towards their destination, which is probably a total of about 380.

13th over: 86-1
Tim Preston has just pointed out I spelt "genitalia" wrong (see below). Tim, my sincerest apologies. Styris is doing a decent job for his team here with his dibbly-dobblies, four singles from that over, just nudge and nurdle. Plenty of noise in the ground, the old ghetto blaster (is that a very un-Guardian term these days?) is cranked up and we have an atmosphere. I love a party with a happy atmosphere.

12th over: 80-1
Four singles from that Vettori over, but when you take 76 off the first nine, you can afford to don slippers mid-innings and have a bit of a potter.

"In 1968, when I was five, my parents applied to emigrate to Australia but got a flat tyre on the way to the interview and took it as an omen. As a result, I have had to endure a further 38 years of cold weather, marmite and turgid, underachieving cricket. Hayden, Ponting et al just rub it in."
Mark Harrison, Berwick Upon tweed, in the TMS inbox

11th over: 78-1
Styris is on now and he has a polite lbw request shrugged off by umpire Dar - it hit him outside the line of off-stump. Just one from the over and Australia have screeched to a halt. Plenty in today at St George's, but it's nowhere near a sell-out, whatever the organisers might say - YOU CAN'T SILENCE ME, ICC!

10th over: 77-1
Fleming goes to his 'go to' man - it's time for Vettori. And he shows the rest of the boys how to do it, just one from the over, a Punter cut to point.

"Haydos is not only the best cook, I believe he's even released a cook book. This innings is turning into his latest recipe - Battered Kiwi."
Daniel Murphy in the TMS inbox

9th over: 76-1
Leg-side wide from Mason and this is utter dross from the Kiwi seamers. Another no-ball and Ponting clips him away for a single. Hayden opens the face and picks up a couple down to third-man. Stand and deliver from Hayden, who moves to 38 with a savage straight drive for six. He is in particularly chilling form today folks - and he's now passed 500 runs in this World Cup.

"'Ponting is somehow able to be brutal and beautiful at the same time'. Would that make him 'brutiful' then?"
Chris Rooke, Scarborough, in the TMS inbox

8th over: 62-1
Flash, bang, wallop what a picture! Hayden lathers Franklin straight down the ground and umpire Rauf's watch saves him from a splattered wrist. Rauf playfully beckons Hayden towards him like a teacher who's just discovered a pupil drawing genitalia on a toilet wall. Two for the shot. Hayden follows up with a fearful clatter through the covers for four before Punter leans back and square-drives for another boundary. This is not pretty to watch, the Kiwis are getting mangled.

7th over: 44-1
With regards Dominic Kay's probing question (see below), I will just say that at my funeral, I want Johnny Cash's A Boy Named Sue. Hayden picks up one before Punter bunts Patel, one-handed, to the wide long-on fence. Australia are slapping New Zealand about like a chav mistreating his Staffordshire Bull Terrier.

"While Mason is getting smashed around by the Aussies can I ask you how you actually feel about being called Ben Dirs?"
Dominic Kay in the TMS inbox

6th over: 37-1
Haydos is in full villain mode today and carves Franklin through the covers for four. My colleague informs me that Hayden "is the best cook in the Australian team", while Jim Maxwell on TMS tells me he caught a 100lb marlin last week. Good grief, I'm hating him more and more...

"How can Keith Flett not shortlist Craig McMillan's beard? It was a right old magpie's nest."
John Beards (seriously, I've seen his email address) in the TMS inbox

5th over: 32-1
Flemo's seen enough of Mason after just two overs and it's time for the right-arm tweak of Patel. Bit of rip for the off-spinner, he almost cleans Punter up with one that nips back at him. The Aussie skipper then fields some verbals from McCullum behind the sticks before thrashing Patel over mid-wicket for four. Patel hits back with another fine delivery that misses Punter's off-stump by a whisker. If that was a boxing round, it would have been scored 10-10.

"Re first paragraph - how about 'Ford Focus'"
Andy Pierce in the TMS inbox

4th over: 28-1
The Kiwis aren't learning - Franklin drags one in short and Hayden crunches him through point for four. Haydos then gets a half-volley and laces it through the covers for another boundary.

"Just to let you know I've decided to follow in New Zealand's footsteps and save my best witty chat for the knockout rounds, so I'll only be contributing drivel for the rest of the day."
Craig in the TMS inbox

3rd over: 18-1
Ponting is somehow able to be brutal and beautiful at the same time - Mason drops short and is pulled to the mid-wicket boundary for four. Mase then has a fairly confident lbw shout turned down by umpire Dar, that was probably sliding down leg. Punter picks up one more with a flick off his pads.

Wicket falls
2nd over: WICKET - Gilchrist c Gillespie b Franklin 1, Aus 7-1
Gilly's gone! The Aussie gloveman flays at Franklins first ball, a rank long-hop, and Gillespie takes the catch on the third-man fence. Franklin looks a little embarrassed, like someone who's just met up with his best mate the morning after kissing his sister. Ponting is off the mark first ball, latching onto another short one and tugging him away for four. Liquorice Allsorts from Franklin as he squares Ponting up with an absolute jaffer next ball.

1st over: 7-0
Mason to have first go with the ball and Gilchrist is off the mark with a nurdle to short third-man. Hayden collects a couple with a clip to mid-wicket and Bully Boy slips into savage mode early, striding down the pitch and clubbing Mason to the mid-wicket fence for four. Fleming's shoulder's visibly slumped after that shot...

1429 BST: Players are out and we're almost off...

Re my opening paragraph below - "Veneer, exterior or aura will do the job..."
Chris Stirling in the TMS inbox

"This game is an apparent sell-out and we've been promised the best atmosphere of the tournament. I've heard that for the past six weeks, so I'll believe it when I see/hear it..."
Paresh Soni, BBC Sport in Grenada

"I'll save my disgust about Bond's absence until I find out what's actually wrong with him later...The canary yellow is probably going to outnumber the black of New Zealand in the crowd today... "
Brian Waddle on TMS

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

New Zealand: Stephen Fleming (captain), Peter Fulton, Ross Taylor, Scott Styris, Craig McMillan, Brendon McCullum, Daniel Vettori, James Franklin, Mark Gillespie, Jeetan Patel, Michael Mason.

"The final Super 8 shortlist for the Beard of the 2007 World Cup Award is: Russell Arnold (Sri Lanka), Ravi Bopara (England), Kenneth Carroll (Ireland), Corey Collymore (West Indies), Chris Gayle (West Indies), Andrew Hall (South Africa), Muttiah Muralitharan (Sri Lanka), Shahriar Nafees (Bangladesh), Monty Panesar (England), Scott Styris (New Zealand), Andrew Symonds (Australia)."
Keith Flett, Beard Liberation Front, in the TMS inbox

1414 BST: Apparently Shane Bond was "up all night vomiting", that's why he's not playing today. I wonder if they have a Dazzler's Kebabs in Grenada? I don't mean to be conspiratorial, but could New Zealand be 'pulling a Sri Lanka' and keeping their most potent weapon away from Australia's prying eyes with the knockout stages in mind?

1411 BST: Peter Moores has just been confirmed as England's new coach, we might as well give the job to Paul Daniels. Someone has just told me that the woman who won £8m on the Lottery last week is a "sex-slave warlock". I've been doing the Lottery for years, I'm not a sex-slave and I'm not a warlock - where's the justice?

1406 BST: Shane Watson is back today for the Aussies, Brad Hodge is out. No Shane Bond for the Kiwis, he's rested, or Jacob Oram, he's injured. Michael Mason and Mark Gillespie are recalled.

1405 BST: You lot still here? Australia v New Zealand today - pretty meaningless, to be honest, the Aussies have got the group wrapped up and the Kiwis can only finish second or third...unless they marmalise Australia...but that's probably not going to happen. But, the question is, can the Black Caps put a dent in Australia's seemingly impenetrable...sorry, I can't think of the right word, any ideas?



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