ICC Champions Trophy final, Centurion:
LIVE TEXT COMMENTARY (all times BST)
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Australia deservedly pick up the ICC Champions Trophy as the air around them explodes with ticker tape and fireworks - we're going to wrap things up while they enjoy their victory. Thanks for all your messages, e-mails and texts throughout the tournament - and sorry if we didn't have room to use yours.
I can tell you that our next live text commentary will be on Friday the 13th (ooer) of November, when England's tour of South Africa begins with their first Twenty20 international. However, in the event that an English team reaches the final of the Champions League on 23 October, we'll be back in action for that one. Until then, do enjoy one of the rare breaks in the cricketing calendar and we'll see you soon.
Ricky Ponting, captain of the winning Australia team, player of the tournament and The Man With The Golden Bat:
"We've played some great cricket over the last month - it doesn't get any harder then chasing a total like today and being 6-2, so I'm really pleased for us. We pride ourselves on being able to play in different conditions - I had a little break, made some runs in the one-dayers in England and got some here too, so hopefully we can do well in India"
Punter picks up a cheque for US $2m on behalf of the winning team.
More ICC awards... the winning team get their Champions Jackets. I may have joked about them being cream, bone, white, off-white, ivory or beige, but they're really bright white with gold buttons - presumably the ICC has an official washing-powder sponsor. They look like the sort of white jackets Roger Federer walks on to Centre Court wearing. All the squad get them, including Doug Bollinger, Ben Hilfenhaus, David Hussey and Adam Voges, all of whom didn't play in any of the games but did a bit of sub-fielding and carried the drinks.
Top run-scorer Ricky Ponting
picks up the Golden Bat, with South Africa's Wayne Parnell
winning the Golden Ball as top wicket-taker. He's not there to pick it up, though. And the player of the tournament award goes to... Ricky Ponting.
Man-of-the-match Shane Watson:
"Shane Bond and Kyle Mills bowled beautifully and it was difficult to score runs and survive early on, but I thought if I was still there after 40 overs we'd be in with a chance. The wicket was slower than the other night, but Cameron and I were able to get a good partnership together"
New Zealand stand-in skipper Brendon McCullum:
"We had huge expectations today that we could come away with some silverware - we've lost some key players and Daniel Vettori has played a huge part in getting us to this final so losing him was a big blow, but it wasn't to be. I thought we were about 50 short, and Neil Broom's run-out was a turning point. Kyle Mills and Shane Bond bowled brilliantly but we couldn't provide them with enough runs. If we can keep reaching finals, sooner or later we're going to win one. But credit to Australia, they were outstanding"
Stand by your beds for the presentation...
Also, Australia have become the first team to win the Champions Trophy (or its precursor, the ICC Knock-Out) more than once. South Africa (1998), New Zealand (2000) and West Indies (2004) have all won it once, while India and Sri Lanka shared the Trophy in 2002.
From Sanjay, TMS inbox:
"Australia has been the most consistent side in the tournament as well as over the last decade, if not more. Although the heart said New Zealand should win, the head clearly said it had to be Australia. Nevertheless, NZ deserve all kudos for putting up a good show!"
Whew. Well done Australia, and well done Shane Watson. TMS have gone off air, but we're going to carry on to bring you the presentations.
AUSTRALIA WIN BY SIX WICKETS AND WIN ICC CHAMPIONS TROPHY
45.2 overs - Aus 206-4
I think everyone had forgotten that Australia still had a batting powerplay up their sleeves - but with five overs left, they're obliged to take it. And Watson swings Patel's first ball cleanly over mid-wicket for six, he's on 99 and the scores are level. And he wins the game in the grand manner while bringing up his second successive century - flogging another six over the mid-wicket fence. Australia have retained the Champions Trophy!
45th over - Aus 194-4
Watson opens the face and guides Franklin for a single to third man - he's 92, another 13 are needed. A poor delivery from Franklin is powered through mid-wicket for Hopes for four more, then he tips-and-runs a quick single to mid-wicket. Patel appears furious with himself that he didn't pick the ball up quickly enough to effect a run-out chance. Watson (and Australia) need eight, but he loses the strike again with a single to third man. Hopes straight-drives, but Franklin stops well off his own bowling. Australia need seven to win - and Watson is seven short of his century.
44th over - Aus 187-4
Patel replaces Butler, he's not going to be able to bowl his full allocation but I hardly think this game is going the distance. A single from Hopes allows Watson to blast his 10th four past the mid-wicket boundary fielder. He's on 90 - Australia need 15 more. A single off his legs, and you sense Australia have about one-and-a-half hands on the trophy.
From Limmud, TMS inbox:
"Re: Johnny Rocket [41st over]. It has nothing to do with passion. England at present do not have a middle order batting line-up that is consistent, nor people like Ponting who have the discipline to ride out of trouble with good sense, not swashbuckling"
43rd over - Aus 181-4
Bowling Mills and Bond out was a gamble that had to be taken by New Zealand - but it looks like Australia are in little danger against the change bowlers. Franklin is still bowling round the wicket, Watson steers a single before Hopes carves another four through the covers - Watson may ask him to slow down as they only need 21 and Watson needs 14 to complete a pair of back-to-back hundreds... Hopes smears a single to fine leg, that's just 20 needed from 42 balls.
From Rob Pates, TMS inbox:
"Re: Nauman [40th over]. So the world's fuel crisis can be resolved by harnessing the power of 50-over ODIs? Brilliant, though I fear that large parts of England would be left sadly in the dark"
42nd over - Aus 175-4
Hopes and Watson are on cruise control, helping themselves to a single each from Butler before Hopes picks the ball up from outside off stump and heaves him through mid-wicket for four. 26 needed from 48 balls.
From DR Garland originally from Newcastle, Australia, TMS inbox:
"50-odd people peering over my back at my laptop screen in the Starbucks in Hot Springs, Arkansas want to know what 'turns a single off his legs' means and if it has any overtones? Please help!"
Well, DR, clearly my dad isn't the only cricket fan in Arkansas, which is good to see, although he's further north than you. Tell the watching masses that our text commentary is entirely suitable for a family audience.
41st over - Aus 167-4
As Alison Mitchell mentions on TMS, if you haven't heard,
Monty Panesar has signed to play for South African franchise Highveld Lions
this winter - let's hope the Montster can rekindle his career. Franklin returns at the River End for his seventh over, Watson helps himself to a single, as does Hopes, whose backing up nearly lands him in trouble as Watson sends him back and he has to dive for his crease.
From Johnny Rocket, TMS inbox:
"What is it with the Aussie bashing - Ponters takes a raw inexperienced side through after a damp Ashes defeat, leads by example, utilises indigenous talent unlike England with their South African castoffs - and lays down some beautiful cricket without the badge-kissing histrionics of Premier League footballers- and you want to crucify the Aussies. If England could feel 10% of the passion and loyalty shown by the Aussies we would be seeing them in the final. Good luck to Vettori and his boys - inspired and appropriate opposition for another team that represents what cricket is about - may the game go to the wire. Cricket is the winner!"
40th over - Aus 165-4
Butler to bowl, Watson powerfully square-cuts him for four. A single takes him to 82, the burly Hopes plays and misses before he stands-and-delivers and carves a four through the covers. Australia need 36 from the last 10 overs.
From Nauman, TMS inbox:
"A game of Cricket (50/50) is like a half-filled pressure cooker on a very low heat. It builds up steam (tension) very slowly, and when the steam is finally built up, it leaves the valve with a brute force but intermittently (with every fall of a wicket or sixes). It doesn't leave gradually and sometimes it doesn't leave at all and results in an explosion, which is more powerful than a nuclear explosion"
39th over - Aus 156-4
James Hopes is the new batsman, he's normally number seven but the TMS crew understand that Callum Ferguson will only bat in an emergency, presumably with a runner, after he jarred his knee in the field. Hopes straight-drives, Mills fields well off his own bowling and he finishes with 3-27 off 10 overs. Even if New Zealand lose this game (which, and I'm not trying to be provocative to our Kiwi audience, looks likely), Mills deserves our praise, he's bowled excellently.
38.3 overs - WICKET - Hussey c Patel b Mills - Aus 156-4
Mills is going to bowl out too - Hussey gets an inside edge to third man for one, Watson tickles one to third man then Mills strikes again as Hussey pops a catch to Patel at backward point.
38th over - Aus 154-3
Bond in for his 10th and last over, Hussey looks immediately in good nick with a two and a single to reach double figures. Although we're not in a powerplay, there are six men up in the circle. But Bond can't make the breakthrough and finishes with figures of 1-34.
From Liam Turnbull, TMS inbox:
"No offence to all the other Aussies, I don't think we should be counting our chickens before they hatch. I remember a collapse against Pakistan not to long ago and against England in the Ashes"
37th over - Aus 151-3
Can Mills make another breakthrough? Watson forces a single off his legs, it's fielded by 12th man Gareth Hopkins (the reserve wickie) who's on the field for someone. Hussey clips a well-run three off his legs, then Watson flays Mills through mid-wicket and the sprawling Hopkins can't cut off the four. Watson clubs another short ball to leg, Hopkins is a ball-magnet this over but Watson comes back for the second run. Mills' figures are rather dented, he has 2-25 from nine overs.
From Tom from Warwick, TMS inbox:
"Jason [27th over] may have a (very depressing) point but we can live in hope, can't we? I suggest we all focus together on some unnatural bounce. It worked for the Kiwis in their final group game... Look, a wicket already!"
36th over - Aus 141-3
Bond returns for his ninth over as New Zealand look to go for broke, but Watson continues to push the score ahead, flicking a two through the leg side and dinking a single to third man. Hussey has to fend off a short ball from the "Christchurch Express", but then gets off the mark in style with a firm pull for four through mid-wicket.
35th over - Aus 134-3
Mills has joined Sir Richard Hadlee as the joint fourth-highest ODI wicket-taker for New Zealand with 158. Quite a way to go for him to chase Chris Cairns (200), Chris Harris (203) or Daniel Vettori (243). Mike Hussey is the new batsman.
34.5 overs - WICKET - White b Mills 62 - Aus 134-3
After the compulsory ball change, Mills returns in place of Franklin at the River End as White nudges a single to reach 62 - one ahead of his partner. Watson leans forward and powerfully off-drives for his seventh four, then rotates the strike with a single - but the epic stand of 128 is finally broken when White tries to withdraw his bat at the last minute and edges the ball onto his stumps.
From Cliff Carpenter, TMS inbox:
"Wait a minute - didn't we see this movie last week Underdog gets one or two early wickets, their fans get all aquiver. Australian batsmen dig in, bang the bowlers all over the ground with boring consistency for the next 30 overs and win the match comfortably in what is ultimately a snoozer? Perhaps someone should be prosecuted for plagiarism?"
34th over - Aus 128-2
With the result becoming increasingly inevitable, the Centurion crowd has started to dwindle, notes Gerald De Kock on TMS, as Patel finally seems to have some success against White, keeping him tied down before he carves a single to long-on. Just that one single from the over.
From David, London, TMS inbox:
"Love the mentality of Kiwi supporters urging a wicket... take dog for walk, water plants. I like being an Aussie. We just sit down, grab a beer and expect to win. Pity 'bout those Ashes"
33rd over - Aus 127-2
Refreshed by the drinks break, Watson and White push two singles apiece against Franklin, without really breaking sweat. Nathan Hauritz has a Cheshire Cat-style grin on his face in the dressing-room, he shouldn't need to get his pads on today.
From "Gloating Aussie in Cheltenham" (his/her description, not mine), TMS inbox:
"Everyone seems to want the Kiwis to win. It just makes victory all the sweeter"
32nd over - Aus 123-2
Patel is back on at the Commentary Box End, where fellow off-tweaker Hauritz picked up three wickets earlier today. But White is unbowed, giving himself room to delicately late-cut for four. An on-drive is half-stopped by Taylor at short mid-wicket and a ricochet allows the Aussie pair to run a single. Watson steers a two to long leg, a single takes him to 59 and it's time for another drinks break - likely to be the last of the tournament. Will we miss the little blue soft-drink can-shaped buggy? Probably not.
31st over - Aus 115-2
White and Watson are on cruise control now, steering Franklin for singles down the ground - just three of 'em from this over.
From Teresa Pettingell, TMS inbox:
"re. Kiwi from Montreal [25th over]: When England field, I frequently take my dogs for a walk to encourage wickets to fall - my dogs are very fit! I'd like NZ to win, so just getting the torch to go out now"
30th over - Aus 112-2
McCullum will keep Bond's last two overs in reserve, so Butler returns - and White absolutely marmalises him, hoisting a huge six back over the bowler's head. That's his second ODI fifty (and the century stand), brought up in style. A single is whacked through mid-wicket.
29th over - Aus 105-2
Franklin strikes Watson on the pad, there's a huge appeal as he implores Umpire Dar to raise his finger, but he's unmoved and the batsmen trot through for a leg bye. It looked high, Hawk-Eye suggests it might have just clipped the top of middle stump... White and Watson exchange singles to bring up the hundred for Australia, White knocks a single off his legs, Watson clubs a four through mid-wicket and the game is slowly slipping away from the Kiwis. There's a full moon out, but no werewolves have yet been spotted on either side.
28th over - Aus 97-2
White straight-drives Bond for four, then a miscued hook brings him four more through fine leg. Australia are nearly halfway to their target.
27th over - Aus 89-2
Elliott's off after just one over and Franklin returns, bowling left-arm round the wicket to the two right-handers. And that may have made the difference, as his line and length is better than before and the over yields just one run, to White.
From Jason in Atlanta, GA, TMS inbox:
"To Tom from Warwick [18th over], sorry but as much as I want NZ to win, it just ain't gonna happen. The Aussies are showing how not to panic after an early setback and even with a low scoring rate they will prevail because they didn't lose more wickets by chasing runs that were not there. I really I hope I eat my words though!"
26th over - Aus 88-2
A single to the cover swwper takes Watson to his 10th ODI fifty from 74 balls. White keeps it simple against Bond, and just steers the last ball for a single to third man.
25th over - Aus 86-2
Patel has pretty much been hit out of the attack, so it's time for Grant Elliott and his Collingwood-esque medium pace as New Zealand's sixth bowler. White nudges a single to fine leg, Watson is equally happy to pick off the singles. Then, Elliott strays down the leg side - you can't bowl there with the keeper standing up - and White helps it on its way for four to reach 32. White straight-drives, it hits the stumps at the bowler's end but the bowler didn't get a touch on it - that would have been a cruel way for him to go, on 49.
From Kiwi in Montreal, TMS inbox:
"Waiting on a wicket is too painful. Maybe if I leave the room, water the plants and empty the cat litter and then return to the screen there'll be a wicket. Ah, no"
24th over - Aus 80-2
Bond Is Back - New Zealand desperately need to stem the flow of runs, and preferably pick up a wicket or two. But Australia can probably afford to see off Bond's five remaining overs and just continue to milk the lesser bowlers. And even Bond doesn't seem to be immune from this Aussie assault as White pulls him through mid-wicket for four. He dabs the last ball of the over to third man for a single.
From Michael, Newcastle, TMS inbox:
"Not only have the Kiwis played great cricket in this tournament, but they have played in the true spirit of the game - Vettori's decision over the Collingwood incident vindicates their 'Spirit of Cricket' award and placed my support firmly behind them. Being a strong believer of sportsmanship myself, my decision not to back the Aussies would, of course, have absolutely nothing at all to do with the fact that they sent us crashing out of the tournament... cough cough"
23rd over - Aus 75-2
Watson carves Patel for two, then blasts an even bigger six over the fence at cow corner. He's now overtaken Graeme Smith as the second highest run-scorer in the tournament (Punter is highest), not bad considering he started off with two ducks. And he's hit more sixes than anyone else (nine, overtaking Paul Collingwood's eight).
22nd over - Aus 67-2
White guides Butler for a single, then Watson takes aim at a short ball and heaves him flat through mid-wicket and onto the hill for six! He confidently tickles a single to third man, and the fire seems to have gone out of New Zealand at this stage. Time to give Bond another go, even if only for one over?
From Alan Wood, TMS inbox:
"This tournament has given food for thought. Maybe England aren't so bad - it's just that Australia are a class above the rest"
21st over - Aus 59-2
White and Watson seem to have the measure of Patel at this stage - three easy singles result.
From Aussie in Chch, TMS inbox:
"Please explain, in traditional cricketing commentary terms, the verbs 'smear' and 'nurdle'!"
As you may have detected, when one is trying to present a measured text commentary over the 100 overs of an ODI, one has to find plenty of synonyms for shots played, particularly when the spinners are being knocked around in the middle overs for four singles an over. But you might assume that a smear, a nudge or a nurdle are not as fluent as a well-timed cover drive or sweep, but are less risky than a swipe or a slash, and not as powerful as a smack, a bash or a crash! Just don't ask me to explain Dilscoops again!
20th over - Aus 56-2
I'm reminded that this is normally around the time that Daniel Vettori comes on to exert a vice-like grip with his left-arm spin - but if you haven't been with us from the start of play, he was ruled out with a hamstring injury. White clubs Butler for two, he seems to be into his usual aggressive frame of mind now which has brought him so many runs in domestic Twenty20 cricket in both England and Australia. A single brings up the fifty stand, but that's still a pretty tight over from Butler.
19th over - Aus 53-2
Franklin's off after two erratic overs and Jeetan Patel's on with his right-arm off-spin. Watson immediately puts him under pressure by bashing Patel's second ball for four past point, then he steers one towards the mid-wicket boundary but some good work by Franklin pushes the ball away from the rope and restricts the Aussie pair to two. So that's six off Patel's first over.
From Ross, Niagara Falls, TMS inbox:
"At 81-4 I left for golf. My score would have helped us immeasurably. We need the next wicket"
18th over - DROPPED CATCH - Aus 47-2
White tries an expansive back-foot drive against Butler but mistimes it and crashes the ball into the ground. Then, the big Victorian hooks, it skies into the air towards fine leg, keeper McCullum scampers back and seems to judge it well but it just bounces off his gloves and the chance is put down! They ran one. Watson off-drives for four, and suddenly Australia are looking a lot more secure at the crease after that drop. Watson turns a single off his legs. How important might that over be? NZ were 65-1 at this stage, by the way.
From Tom from Warwick, TMS inbox:
"I would do anything to see the Aussies lose this. Statistically Bond could just be the greatest bowler ever - better than McGrath, Ambrose and Walsh. No wonder Punter's looking so worried!"
17th over - Aus 41-2
Franklin needs to bowl a tighter line than in his first over, Watson rolls his wrists to force a four through wide mid-on. I wonder when Jeetan Patel will get a bowl - remember, he's playing his first game of the tournament.
From stev666 on 606:
"England's bowlers should be watching these two, hardly any pitched too short, the majority on good or full length"
Players on a drinks break, in case you think we've gone quiet.
From Mark, Donegal, TMS inbox:
"So Australia have beaten New Zealand who beat England to the lowest score after 10 overs. C'MON YOU KIWIS!"
16th over - Aus 37-2
Watson tries to pull Butler to leg and is hit amidships by the ball. A bit higher up than where Neil Broom was hit in the 36th over, so he's fine to continue. But when Watson does connect with a big cross-batted smack, it falls safely over mid-on and they run two. Yet another pull shot finds the man at deep backward square leg, so he can only manage a single.
15th over - Aus 34-2
Mills (1-9 from seven overs) takes a rest as left-arm seamer James Franklin comes on - and the runs begin to flow for Australia as White nudges a single off his legs, and Watson helps one down the leg side for four. He prods a rather hesitant single to mid-off, White turns a two off his hips - and eight runs off Franklin's first over is much better for Australia.
14th over - Aus 26-2
Butler gets a bit of seam movement against Watson - there's a slip and a gully in. Watson tries to ease the pressure with a quick single to wide mid-on, and White smears another one off the final delivery. And a good point made by Rich from Bristol
in the TMS inbox - Australia now hold the record for the tournament's lowest score after 10 overs, beating New Zealand's from earlier in this game, and beating England back into third place.
From Robert Hastings, TMS inbox:
"Sounds like the New Zealanders are making the ball talk but how long can they keep it going for?"
13th over - Aus 24-2
Two Simons, Mann and Doull, make way for Alison Mitchell and Ian Bishop in the TMS box as Mills charges in for his seventh over, and Watson - who's been stuck on seven for four overs - nudges a single. McCullum is as chirpy as ever behind the stumps, and it's just that one run from the over.
From ravisg28 on 606:
"Bond is looking menacing. Look at the difference this guy has made to the team! Now he has been taken off, Aussies should use this to their advantage"
12th over - Aus 23-2
As ever in limited-overs cricket, when your two opening bowlers are so on song, how long do you leave them on for, considering they can only bowl 10 overs? Well, New Zealand have decided to give Bond a rest after five overs as Ian Butler takes over. He took an ODI-best 4-44 against Pakistan in Saturday's semi-final, but White finally reaches double figures with a square cut for four. He then drives and misses, there's an appeal for a catch behind - instant from McCullum, slightly delayed from Butler - but White remains.
From Mark Allen, TMS inbox:
"This game is gonna go right to the wire, and my mate David John Russell is an absolute ringer for Mitchell Johnson, just a blond version!"
11th over - Aus 19-2
New Zealand make the easy decision to take the fielding powerplay - Australia's plan still seems to be just to hang in there, as their required run rate creeps up to five runs per over. White is still on the defensive against Mills, there's another loud lbw shout, amplified by the crowd, but there was bat on that - another inside edge onto the pad. White finally breaks the deadlock with a single off the last ball, but that's still two runs in the last 30 balls.
From Imam Imran, TMS inbox:
"Did India win the 1983 World Cup or did the West Indies lose it? And are Australia about to do the same? Come on you flightless birds, a victory here is a victory for cricket"
10th over - Aus 18-2
The "Christchurch Express" is bowling so well here, he ought to change his name to Premium Bond. It's as much as Watson can do to defend his stumps. That's another maiden - three of the last four overs have been maidens (one run from 24 balls). Bond has 1-9 from five, Mills has 1-7 from four.
From Tom and Nic Smith, TMS inbox:
"Left work knowing the Aussies would win. Got home to 6-2, now plan to have Lamb for tea and have applied for NZ passport"
9th over - Aus 18-2
Mills runs in to Watson, then holds on to the ball as he loses his footing in his delivery stride. Watson nudges a single into the off side. Simon Doull on TMS points out that although the leading run-scorer in the tournament (Punter) will receive a golden bat, the leading wicket-taker (Wayne Parnell, unless Mills takes four more wickets, Bond gets five, Butler gets six or Johnson gets seven) gets a golden ball but the leading catch-taker (currently Ross Taylor with nine) doesn't get anything - a golden handshake, a gold glove, a gold finger or anything. Personally, I can't wait to see those ICC Champions Trophy winner's jackets dished out - they appear to be either cream, bone, white, off-white, ivory or beige.
8th over - Aus 17-2
White stands tall against Bond, but then plays and misses against another beaut of a delivery from the "Christchurch Express". (I know he's never been called this - but let's all try to use it as often as possible and get it adopted as his semi-official nickname). Watson then comes within millimetres of being bowled... this is a fast, accurate spell from Bond and that's another maiden over.
7th over - Aus 17-2
Mills has a fairly strong lbw shout against Watson, but that's a good decision by Umpire Dar as replays show he got an inside edge onto his pad. "Hussey and Hopes, boys", calls captain/keeper Brendon McCullum, anticipating two more wickets - and Mills completes an excellent maiden over.
Simon Doull on TMS:
"New Zealand's bowlers need to be patient and realise they've picked up two wickets because they have bowled on a good line and length"
6th over - Aus 17-2
Similarly to Mills in the last over, Bond beats White all ends up with one that pings through. White turns a comfortable two off his legs, then edges just wide of Aaron Redmond at second slip for four. "The name is Bond... Shane Bond" states a banner held up by a Kiwi fan in the crowd at Centurion.
5th over - Aus 11-2
Watson hooks a slower bouncer from Mills and helps himself to four runs, but then drives and misses at a fuller delivery that sails between bat and pad, just missing (a) his inside edge and (b) his off stump.
From Manny, TMS inbox:
"I said to myself from the start: 'This is going to be closer than everyone thinks!' Come on you Kiwis!"
4th over - Aus 7-2
Watson shoulders arms to Bond, who seems to have an extra spring in his step. The opener nudges a single to third man, then White has to take a hand off the bat as he fends off a fearsome lifter from the Kiwi speedster.
Ian Chappell on TMS:
"If there is some doubt about Ferguson batting, maybe that's why they've pushed Hussey down the order - he's been their 'finisher' and they may want him down in the middle order"
3rd over - Aus 6-2
Interesting change in the batting order by Australia - Mike Hussey is number four on the scorecard but they've sent Cameron White in instead. (Apparently Ferguson is fit to bat too). It's the first time he's batted at four in an ODI, although he was mightily effective at three against England recently. Mills completes a wicket maiden.
2.2 overs - WICKET - Ponting lbw b Mills 1 - Aus 6-2
Another leg bye brings Ponting back on strike, Mills traps him on the back foot and he's gone! HUGE wicket for New Zealand! Game on.
Ian Chappell on TMS:
"Bond looks to me like he's getting better with each game in this tournament, getting used to international cricket again. He usually manages to produce something good against the Australians"
From Nick Henderson, London, TMS inbox:
"So, what is the life expectancy of a flying ant - and not one that's currently having a snooze on a length?"
2nd over - Aus 5-1
A mixed blessing for New Zealand from that wicket is that it brings Ricky Ponting to the crease. He walks out in determined manner, and the first ball he faces is a wide. Ponting forces a quick single to extra cover. A fast yorker hits Watson on the boot - ouch - and they scamper a leg bye.
1.2 overs - WICKET - Paine c Taylor b Bond 1 - Aus 2-1
Shane Bond to take the second over as is his preference, apparently. Plenty of chat on TMS about Callum "Walt Disney" Ferguson, who jarred his knee in the field. Ian Chappell thinks Australia might hope not to need him to bat, but expects he'd be able to bat with a runner as he was able to walk off the field. But Bond strikes with his second ball as Paine edges a catch into the safe hands of the diving Ross Taylor at first slip!
1st over - Aus 2-0
Kyle Mills has two slips in for the first over. His first ball is edged by Watson, it nearly hits the stumps, Paine charges through for a run, Watson belatedly has to run to the non-striker's end and he only just makes his ground ahead of keeper Brendon McCullum's throw. Paine is off the mark with a single.
Umpires wave to the New Zealand team, who come onto the field and have a Michael Vaughan-style "huddle". Even though they've been sitting around the boundary for 20 minutes or so. The Kiwi huddle is overtaken by Aussie openers Shane Watson and Tim Paine. The Aussies are overwhelming favourites here - but Simon Mann on TMS keeps alluding to the 1983 World Cup final, when a similarly-unfancied India side shocked the all-conquering West Indies. I still remember that astonishing catch Kapil Dev took.
From David Waldron, TMS inbox:
"On over-rates, if a team goes over the time to get through the 50, every over bowled outside the time should be deducted from their total overs. See how much spit Punter has left in his dry mouth then!"
Both teams are ready, so we could be starting a bit earlier than 1815, but the ground staff are still attending to the wicket (and the flying ant carcasses).
From Ruaridh, Edinburgh, TMS inbox:
"In answer to Noel's question about Callum Ferguson/Walt Disney: Apparently the day they were submitting nicknames Fergie was away. One of the other lads recalled a very long-winded story that Fergie had told the day before and hence got the nickname Walt Disney. Bit obscure but that's the story Fergie gave on an Australian talk show!"
Start delayed until 1815 BST. Come on, get rid of those ant carcasses!
From Kev, Bristol, TMS inbox:
"Although Aussies struggled against Pakistan they should knock these off with at least five overs to spare unless NZ can get two or three early wickets, including Punter"
As Alison notes (below), dead flying ants are holding up the start of the second innings
(as they did on this ground for Australia-England). Some interesting chat on TMS - the Independent on Sunday's Stephen Brenkley says the England selectors have been meeting today, but the squads for South Africa won't be announced for a few days. Apparently they're decided on about 13 of the tour party, but there are discussions over the likes of Harmison and Bopara. Surely they can't be thinking about whether Harmison should go? He's been effective in home Tests, but has been pretty dire at the start of the last three or four overseas tours.
From Brenton from Toowoomba, Australia, via text on 81111:
"Please let me have renewed faith in at least one of our past sporting fields. This is more than a cricket game, Australia offer to learn to win again... come on Aussie"
On my return from the tea bar, I look out of the window and notice a blond-haired man having a crafty smoke down near the main door of BBC TV Centre. I think it reminds me of someone, but I think "no, it can't be him, what would he be doing here?". However, my colleague Paul Fletcher points out that my initial impression was correct - cricketing legend Shane Warne
is in the house (or at least, huddling outside it).
Right, time for Mitch's Mad Sandwich Dash as I try to make it to the BBC tea bar and back in time for those pesky slow-over-rate merchants Australia to begin their reply at 1745 BST. Have yourself a merry little manual refresh to see Australia's target appear.
50th over - NZ 200-9
We're looking at a much-shortened break between innings here (and a big, juicy over-rate fine for Australia) as we're 18 minutes over time - Patel steers the first ball of Lee's final over for one to mid-on, Bond digs one out and they scamper a single. Patel backs away, Lee follows him and pings in a head-high bouncer which Patel has to hit the floor to avoid. He then has to duck another bouncer, I thought you were only allowed one per over? But New Zealand have made it through to the last ball of the innings, which Patel carves over backward point for a first-bounce four! So the Kiwis reach a round 200 - who'd have thought it?
49th over - NZ 194-9
Watson to complete his allocation - Bond works a single, Patel misjudges a slower ball but then slaps a single to long-off. Two off the over, but will every run be precious?
From Dave in Dublin (and several others), TMS inbox:
"Re Alex's 0-3 score [40th over], surely that should be 2-3 given the wide & the no-ball?"
48th over - DROPPED CATCH - NZ 192-9
Brett Lee to bowl the 48th over, he will hope he's not needed for the 50th, as Australia are already eight minutes over their target. Patel steers a single to 12th man Voges, Lee shows no respect for the traditional "fast bowlers' union" and fires in a searing bouncer at number 11 Bond - it's signalled as a wide, but Lee may be banking on his not having to face Bond in Australia's innings. Bond is finally off the mark as he squeezes a single through mid-wicket. Patel edges to the right of the keeper, Paine gets a glove to it but can't hold on and they run two.
From Tim in Cambridge, TMS inbox:
"Australia to win by nine wickets?"
47th over - NZ 187-9
We may make fun of his spitting-on-hands habit, but that was some brilliant fielding by Punter. New Zealand's last man is Shane Bond - while he's no Chris Martin with the bat, it's fair to say he's not in the side for his batting, although he does average 14 in ODIs. He survives Johnson's last two deliveries.
46.4 overs - WICKET - Mills run out (Ponting direct hit) 12 - NZ 187-9
Patel tries to push a single into the covers, that man Ponting fizzes a lethal throw to the striker's end and Mills is easily run out.
Ferguson is helped off the field, 12th man Adam Voges is on.
46.3 overs - NZ 187-8
Mills knocks Johnson for a single, then Patel pushes one into the covers, Ponting half-stops and then Ferguson's spikes stick in the turf as he tries to pick up the ricochet, and he tumbles over, looking to be in some pain with his right leg. Two runs are taken, but the physio is on and we could have a delay here.
From David, TMS inbox:
"To Heather (34th over) - that wasn't gloating, that was astonishment"
46th over - NZ 184-8
Hauritz in for his last over, Mills drills a single to long-off and Patel works one to deep mid-wicket. Mills reaches double figures with a single, Patel nudges one to square leg and Mills keeps the strike with another carefully-placed single. Hauritz finishes with 3-37 from 10.
From David, Manchester, TMS inbox:
"The best way to solve the over rate is for every over completed after the allotted time to add onto the score of the batting team the equivalent number of runs based on the average runs per over scored. So, if they scored at six runs an over and two overs were completed after the allotted time, then the target would be increased by 12 runs. This would soon stop it happening as the extra overs would effectively be counted twice"
45th over - NZ 179-8
Patel scored a first-class century for Warwickshire earlier this year, but Australia will feel they ought to be able to knock him over here. He cuts the recalled Johnson for one, then Mills takes on Hussey's arm at backward point again but the throw is just wide and Mills completes the single. Then Patel dabs to Hussey and runs, Hussey hits the stumps this time but Patel (who's a bit quicker than Mills) comfortably makes his ground. Mills flashes and misses and then run a bye as White at slip takes his eye off the ball.
From Rich, Bristol, TMS inbox:
"Following on from Noel & his Walt Disney comment, a well-known internet encyclopaedia has a list of nicknames used in cricket. Stuart 'Boyband, Westlife' Broad's did make me laugh. Quite loudly"
44th over - NZ 175-8
Jeetan Patel is New Zealand's penultimate batsman, playing his first game of the tournament. He nudges the last ball for a single off his pads.
43.4 overs - WICKET - Butler lbw b Hauritz 6 - NZ 174-8
With the powerplay overs concluded, Punter still has to work two overs of spin in before the end - so Hauritz is back in the attack and Mills dabs him for a single to third man. Butler then plays all around a straight one, it hits him low on the pad and Hauritz has his third wicket.
From John Jones, TMS inbox:
"Re: Noel in Edinburgh [34th over]. Is it possible that Mickey Mouse has a Callum Ferguson watch?"
43rd over - NZ 173-7
This is the last powerplay over, what can the Black Caps make of it? Ian Butler, in a sleeveless sweater, is the new batsman but it's Watson to Mills first up and he cuts a single to the point boundary. Butler plays and misses at his first ball, then chips the ball over the off-side ring of fielders for two. He has a big swing at the last ball, and steers it to the cow corner boundary, where it bounces just inside the rope for four.
Indian batting legend Sunil Gavaskar on TMS:
"Even after losing their captain, I get the impression that the occasion has got to New Zealand as their start was tentative"
42nd over - WICKET - Franklin b Lee 33 - NZ 166-7
Lee back for his seventh over. (Sorry to the estimated 28,799 of you who e-mailed in suggesting Broom should try a "sweep" shot - it didn't happen). Franklin tips-and-runs a quick single, Lee can't pick up cleanly and both batsmen make their ground. Mills is a capable hitter, and upper-cuts his first ball over the keeper and slip for four. A thick inside edge brings the Andy Murray lookalike a single to fine leg, but Lee finds the yorker and knocks over Franklin's off stump.
41st over - NZ 160-6
Franklin turns the last ball for a single to ensure he takes strike in the next over rather than new batsman Kyle Mills.
40.5 overs - WICKET - Broom run out (Hussey/Watson) 37 - NZ 159-6
A big heave at a half-tracker from Watson brings Broom four past mid-on, to reach 33 - that's his highest ODI score. He then blasts Watson over mid-off for four more, so that's overtaken his highest international score in any format, having once scored 36 in a Twenty20 international. But his innings is ended when he dabs to Mike Hussey at backward point, there's some awful hesitation and "Mr Cricket" throws to the bowler's end where Watson gleefully demolishes the stumps.
From Jan, a Kiwi in London, via text on 81111:
"Come on NZ!! I am so bored at my desk on a very gloomy day in London. Desperately wanting to beat the Aussies. We need a lot of runs!"
40th over - NZ 151-5
Siddle's fine to bowl his last over but Franklin whips a four off his hips before dabbing a well-run two to third man to bring up the fifty stand (off 78 balls). The tall left-hander steers a single to mid-off (or as I nearly typed, a singlet to mid-off. Remember those Aussie singlets at the first World Twenty20 here in 2007? Yellow tabards over grey under-shirts - yuck). Broom taps a single, Franklin thumps a straight-driven four. That's 12 off the over which puts a bit of a dent in Siddle's figures - he started marvellously but finishes with a still very acceptable 1-30 from 10 overs.
From Alex, TMS inbox:
"Mark, I was once umpiring a match, where it was 0-3 after one ball. The first ball was a no-ball, but the non-striker tripped and got run out, the second was stumped off a wide and the third spooned a catch straight back at the bowler. It would have been 0-4 (and a hat-trick), as the next ball was a wide and stumped again, but the other umpire couldn't be sure on that one. No third umpire at lower league cricket in Holland in the 80s, I'm afraid"
39th over - NZ 139-5
The shaven-headed Aussie physio trots on to have a quick word with Siddle after that last over. Hauritz looks set to bowl - but then Umpire Gould signals that the batting powerplay is going to be taken, so Watson will bowl instead. Broom nurdles a single, but Franklin's cover drives can't beat the patrolling Punter in the covers. He punches a quick single to mid-off, then Broom swipes a slightly fortunate four through third man as he danced down the track and tried to blast it to long-off.
38th over - NZ 133-5
Siddle in for his penultimate over - New Zealand must be thinking about when to take the batting powerplay, but Australia are presumably keeping Lee's last three overs back for that. Broom turns a single off his hips, but has taken 52 balls to score 22. Franklin rotates the strike, then Broom keeps the strike with a single. The way he's batting, Australia may not mind that too much.
From Richard, Watford, TMS inbox:
"Re the two batsmen out... I know it's not quite the same but my dearly departed grandfather, a handy opening bat, had the distinction of being run out in both innings of a match for Lensbury 3rd XI without facing a ball. I believe his opening partner went by the name of Shah"
37th over - NZ 130-5
Franklin takes Hauritz on with a lofted straight drive, but it only brings him a single. Broom shuffles across his crease, gets an edge to where first slip would/should be and they scamper three.
From Daniel McCormack, TMS inbox:
"SafferWill [11th over] - I would prefer to be a gloating Aussie than a group stage South African"
36th over - NZ 126-5
Siddle returns, Franklin drives, Broom is sent back, Ponting's throw is wide but again the throw's not backed up and New Zealand have an unearned single. Then Siddle gets one to dart back in at Broom, it hits him on the inner thigh... better make that very high up on the inner thigh, if you know what I mean. That's gotta hurt. The female New Zealand physio doesn't come out... it's 12th man Brendon Diamanti who is sent out to the middle with the physio bag. After a long delay, Broom resumes.
From Dr HMC, TMS inbox:
"It baffles me now you've mentioned why the likes of Mascarenhas has continually been left out of England's one-day side. Who would people choose between him and Luke Wright? I know who I would have! Luke Wright needs to be dropped ASAP!"
35th over - NZ 125-5
Broom pushes Hauritz for two through extra cover, the Kiwi pair add a single apiece but it's still pedestrian progress at this stage. And those county signings keep coming in... Nottinghamshire have signed Northants all-rounder Graeme White on a two-year deal.
From Heather, TMS inbox:
"I'm sorry - gloating? [See 22nd over]. When has Australia held an open top bus tour for its Ashes-winning cricketers, trips to the Prime Minister's house and handed out knighthoods all around? Good grief!"
34th over - NZ 121-5
Sorry, should have been 118-5 after that last over. Broom and Franklin manage three singles against Watson, but the Aussies are still razor-sharp in the field, especially the skipper.
From Noel, Edinburgh, TMS inbox:
"Mark, have you any idea why Callum Ferguson's nickname is Walt Disney? This one has been troubling me for days, and the internet doesn't seem to know the answer"
No idea. Is there a Callum Ferguson World theme park in North Adelaide? Does he have a Mickey Mouse wristwatch? Or does he intend to have himself cryogenically frozen? (Yes, I know the freezing is an urban myth and not actually true, before you write in).
33rd over - NZ 118-5
Franklin and Broom try to keep the scoreboard ticking with four singles against Hauritz (who also sends down a wide).
32nd over - NZ 113-5
Watson replaces Siddle - he's got another six overs to get through unless Hopes or one of the others gets a bowl. Ian Chappell and Gerald De Kock on TMS note that it's in Australia's interests to bowl New Zealand out, otherwise they may face another slow over-rate fine. "I wrote in 1991 that the only way to solve the over-rate problem is to suspend the captain. There'll be a huge scream when it happens, but you can be sure a side wouldn't let it happen more than once," Chappelli says. Watson trots in and bowls round the wicket to Franklin - a single to third man is the only scoring stroke. Floodlights are on.
31st over - NZ 112-5
Hauritz returns after that three-over blast from Lee, but Franklin expertly tickles the first ball after the resumption for four through third man. A single takes him to 11 (momentarily catching Broom's score), but Broom can't get the off-spinner away as he tries to force him to leg.
From Russell, Bristol, TMS inbox:
"Re: Mark Davies (16th over). Have tried spitting on my hands before every ball, but my colleagues in the office are none too impressed, and my keyboard is in a terrible state"
30th over - NZ 107-5
Broom tickles Siddle to third man for a single. Franklin slices one to third man, and we have another drinks break. And to answer many, many questions of "what if Batsman A is caught/stumped/run out and then Batsman B is stumped/run out/caught" from Terry, Tim, Kerry, Mir, Nick, Thomas, Ben, Kiel and others in the TMS inbox - the ball is dead as soon as Batsman A is dismissed.
But of course all 10 dismissed batsmen could be run out off no-balls. Just not more than one off the same
From Rich, Salisbury, via text on 81111:
"Will Broom be able to 'handle' the pressure? Sorry"
29th over - NZ 105-5
Lee goes round the wicket to Franklin, who adds a single, then moves back over the wicket to the right-handed Broom, who reads a slower ball well but can't force it past Ponting at short cover. Lee sends one shooting down the leg side, that's an obvious wide, then Broom reaches double figures as he clips a single off his legs.
From David Hobson, TMS inbox:
"I thought you could be stumped off a wide - that would be a wicket and an extra ball"
You can indeed be stumped off a wide - so like the "timed out" question [22nd over], you could be 0-2 after one (legal) delivery. But you can't take two wickets off the same
delivery (whether legal or not), if you see what I mean.
28th over - NZ 102-5
Siddle replaces Johnson, but Broom brings up three figures for New Zealand with a comfortable cover-driven four. That's the only scoring stroke, Broom is a little tentative against the Victorian paceman.
Ian Chappell on TMS:
"I don't think New Zealand have batted very well at all, apart from Guptill. Lee has bowled very well without much reward"
From Nav, Manchester, TMS inbox:
"Re: two people being out off one ball. If two batsman are stranded in the middle of the square, can't the fielding side remove one set of bails, throw the ball to the other end and remove the other set and both batsman are run out?"
No. The ball is dead as soon as the first batsman is dismissed (by whatever means).
27th over - NZ 98-5
James Franklin is the new batsman - some may feel that number seven is a place too high for him, but I remember seeing him win an ODI against Sri Lanka with the bat. The left-hander is off the mark when he edges past slip for four.
From wacaground on 606:
"I remember watching Broom at Perth earlier this year. He batted well and I hope, for NZ's sake, that he can do it again"
26.4 overs - WICKET - Elliott lbw b Lee 9 - NZ 94-5
Broom ducks a bouncer from Lee - it's signalled as a wide by Umpire Gould, who isn't Lee's favourite person today. Broom gets up on his toes to knock a single to mid-wicket, then Elliott is trapped back on his crease as Lee gets one to swing into his pads, and finally Umpire Gould raises his finger to Lee's delight. That's his 50th wicket against New Zealand.
From Dan, Selby, TMS inbox:
"Re: Ponting spitting. I'm also a spitter and find that chewing a couple of tabs of gum - as Ponting also does - can increase the stickiness of your hands, helping with catching as Martin Davies says. This same sticky saliva can also be used to shine the ball, increasing the chances of reverse swing. Of course there's no evidence this method has been, is being or could be used to benefit the fielding side"
26th over - NZ 92-4
Johnson in for his eighth over, Elliott steers a single but is back on strike after Broom runs through for a leg bye. And some county news hot off the presses from Old Trafford... all-rounder Steven Mullaney has turned down a new two-year deal with Lancashire to "pursue other county offers".
25th over - NZ 90-4
Hauritz is off despite taking that wicket as Brett Lee returns to the attack, there's a mix-up as Elliott jabs the ball to backward point. Broom sets off for a run before Elliott's moved but Hussey throws to the wrong end (when he could have easily run Elliott out at the bowler's end), no-one backs the throw up, it sails to the boundary and so Elliott has a five. Cameron White is moved from slip to short mid-wicket... and just to rub Lee's and Punter's noses in it, off the very next ball Broom edges through the exact area where slip had been for four!
24th over - NZ 81-4
Neil Broom is the new batsman - he plays for New Zealand's domestic Twenty20 champions Otago so will be off to the Champions League after today. (Otago's overseas player? Dimitri Mascarenhas. Remember him?). Punter brings himself in at second slip, Johnson keeps it tight against the new man, and that's a wicket maiden.
And a quick note for those of you following this from abroad - I'm afraid the TMS commentary is only available to UK users,
because of rights restrictions. (We can broadcast TMS worldwide for matches played in the UK, but not for matches played abroad).
23.1 overs - WICKET - Taylor c Hussey b Johnson 6 - NZ 81-4
Taylor tries to force Johnson through the covers and Mike Hussey leaps into the air at backward point to take a superb catch!
23rd over - NZ 81-3
Johannesburg-born Grant Elliott is the new batsman, he scored an impressive 75 not out against Pakistan in the semi-final and is immediately off the mark with a single. Taylor rotates the strike, Elliott forces a two off his legs.
22.2 overs - WICKET - Guptill c & b Hauritz 40 - NZ 77-3
After a single from Taylor, Hauritz gives it some air against Guptill - he pokes it back to the bowler and Hauritz gratefully accepts the return catch.
From Daniel Lloyd, TMS inbox:
"Re: Can two batsmen be out off the same ball. In a junior cup game my side once found themselves 0-2 after just one ball. Unfortunately as I emerged from the dressing rooms after struggling to get ready, a very pedantic umpire adjudged me to be 'timed out', so I'd say technically two or more batsmen can be out off just one ball?"
I guess you can be 0-2 after
one ball, but being timed out isn't technically "off" a particular ball - it's between deliveries, so to speak.
22nd over - NZ 76-2
Taylor guides Johnson for a single off his legs - he's clearly still playing himself in at this stage, but can certainly give it the long handle. He hit a couple of huge sixes in the semi-final against Pakistan, including one which sailed out of the ground. Guptill angles a single to third man, then Johnson finds Taylor's edge but it only carries to slip on the bounce. Johnson goes round the wicket, bowling very wide of the crease, and has Taylor playing and missing until he gets a leading edge which pings to the cover sweeper for a single.
From Sadie, Kingston, TMS inbox:
"Re: SafferWill (11th over). Agree about Australia and their gloating. I think the Aussies could do with eating a bit of humble pie today. Despite losing the semi-final on Saturday, I don't think any Pakistan fan particularly minded losing to the Kiwis. New Zealand are a highly talented team who play cricket with immense decency, decorum and respect for the game and for the opposing side, and that's why I'm sure most Pakistan fans will be rooting for New Zealand today. And deservedly so. Come on you All Blacks!"
21st over - NZ 73-2
Hauritz has five men inside the circle (rather than the minimum four) but none are in close catching positions - Alison Mitchell on TMS suggests this shows the wicket isn't offering much spin. Guptill and Taylor steer a couple of quick singles, but Hauritz is quickly through his over.
From Phil, TMS inbox:
"Re 14.45 this will settle an ongoing debate from the summer of 2001, the scene - Moorside garage cricket, 3rd ODI. Upon making a charge for a second run, I clambered in to my fellow batsmen to leave us both stranded on our backsides only to watch in horror as Kerry 'Nelly' Dixon wipped off the bails at one end and struck them down at the other. Both out was the decision and it is still disputed to this day due to this very ruling discussed, that only one could have been out. Thank you Mark for settling this one. I can now, after over eight years, lay this ghost to rest and sleep at night"
20th over - NZ 71-2
Johnson has changed ends, he has a (wideish) slip in as Guptill works a single off his legs. Taylor is off the mark with a single to the cover boundary sweeper, Guptill adds a couple past the gum-chewing Punter at mid-wicket and then lays down a bunt - dropping the ball at his feet and hustling through for a quick single. Some good running that over.
From TeleKemis on 606:
"If I were his team-mate, I'd be ready to throttle Redmond for that. That is awful, awful, awful. Why do that when they were starting to get the scoring rate up?"
19th over - NZ 66-2
Hauritz gives it plenty of air against new batsman Ross Taylor, who gets forward well.
18.3 overs - WICKET - Redmond st Paine b Hauritz 26 - NZ 66-2
More confident straight-driving brings Guptill another single to take his score to 34. But Reckless Redmond's stay at the crease is over as he advances to aim a cross-batted swipe at Hauritz and is smartly stumped by Paine.
18th over - NZ 65-1
Watson bangs in a bouncer at Redmond, who sinks to his knees and makes a late attempt to dink the ball over the keeper with the toe of the bat. It's signalled a wide, which is a little harsh on the bowler. Redmond, who's looking more aggressive since the drinks break, thumps a four over mid-on - then steps away to leg and is nearly bowled as Watson fires one in past the base of off stump. Chappelli won't be happy with that footwork. A late cut (a very late cut as it happens) brings him one, but Guptill nicks the strike with a straight-driven single.
From Ed, TMS inbox:
"Ponting spits on his hands in homage to Giant Haystacks, who used to do the same thing. Ponting's a huge grapple fan"
17th over - NZ 58-1
Nathan Hauritz certainly has his full complement of toes, but he spins - off-spin as it happens - as he replaces Johnson. Guptill steers a single to long-on, that's the fifty partnership. Redmond then smacks a lofted drive over the bowler's head, but there's not much power on it and they only get two. He then calls Guptill through for a quick single, but Callum Ferguson's throw from mid-off is wide and the Kiwi pair make their ground.
While the players are taking drinks, here's a quick question from Richard in London
- is there any way two batsmen can be out off one ball? The answer is no, although there have been occasional proposals to trial a rule similar to the "double play" in baseball.
From Martin Davies, Chichester, TMS inbox:
"Punter spits on his hands every ball, as I do, to keep them slightly tacky. Helps with the catching!"
16th over - NZ 54-1
Umpire Dar, normally quite fussy over such things, has a quiet word with Watson about running on the wicket in his follow-through. The fair-haired seamer sends down an aerial wide, then Guptill nearly plays on, the ball pings into the air and they try to run a quick single - Paine's throw to the bowler's end is well wide and they run a second. A single takes Guptill to 31 from 45 balls, Redmond weaves away from a bouncer and it's time for the blue drinks buggy to chug onto the ground.
From Angus, TMS inbox:
"Is it a public holiday in South Africa today? If not I'm not surprised there aren't many people in the ground. Which other sports would schedule a major international final for a Monday? I don't want to complain too much as it's a nice distraction from the usual Monday struggle at work. But it really does go to show that cricket's administrators have absolutely no common sense?"
15th over - NZ 50-1
Guptill drives at Johnson, it flies just over the leaping Mike Hussey at backward point and they pick up two. He might have caught it if he'd been the size of Will Jefferson or Chris Tremlett. But we have our first boundary for a while as Guptill powerfully straight-drives for four, and the stadium DJ briefly takes me back to my schooldays by playing "The One And Only" (by Chesney Hawkes) over the PA. Johnson strays with a wide, then Guptill blasts another straight-driven four before swiping the last ball of the fielding powerplay for a single. Chesney Hawkes was a one-hit wonder, but who will step up to play the starring role today?
From Lee, TMS inbox:
"If Danny V did a Russell-Crowe like swap from NZ to Oz then Oz would still be the number one Test side. And they'd have the tiny urn rather than the unimpressive and quite ugly Champions Trophy"
14th over - NZ 38-1
Redmond is down on one knee to club Watson through the off side and it bounces just short of Lee at mid-off. They run one. A single takes Guptill to 16, Redmond works one to third man. "It's like watching a Test match at the moment," Simon on TMS says. Guptill carves a single off the last ball, it's pedestrian scoring from the Kiwis at this stage - wonder if they'd do better by pushing Ross Taylor up to number three.
13th over - NZ 34-1
Johnson keeps a tight line to Guptill, who steers a single to the cover sweeper. Redmond pushes a quick single to Lee at mid-off. "It's hard work for New Zealand out there," notes Simon Mann on TMS, while Chappelli feels they need at least 250.
From Philip, TMS inbox:
"Guptill has one more toe than Fred Titmus had"
Indeed - hence the old joke "What's got six toes and spins? Fred Titmus".
12th over - NZ 32-1
Siddle takes a rest with excellent figures of 5-1-8-1 and is replaced by the medium-fast Shane Watson. Guptill turns a single off his legs, Redmond forces one off his pads, the ball dies at his feet but Guptill is quickly through for the single. He gets a fortunate inside edge past the keeper for one, then Redmond blasts another cover-driven four.
From Greg in Cumbria, TMS inbox:
"If we Kiwis do win at least it will be by playing fair. I am sure the Aussies have been practicing their underarm bowling over the last couple of days"
Now then, settle down! I'm sure there will be no repeat of The Trevor Chappell Debacle today.
11th over - NZ 24-1
Even more unsurprisingly than "Punter" Ponting spitting on his hands at every opportunity, he's opted to take the fielding powerplay immediately - so Australia can only have three men outside the fielding circle for overs 11-15. Johnson beats Guptill's outside edge with another good delivery, then the right-hander squeezes one through the grasp of James Hopes at square leg and they run two. A single takes Guptill to 12.
From SafferWill, TMS inbox:
"To ChrisDownUnder [3rd over]: An Aussie having a go at another nation for gloating? Pot. Kettle. Black?"
10th over - NZ 22-1
Some things never change - Ponting spits on his hands between overs. (Why does he do that? I never see anyone else doing it). Redmond takes the attack to Siddle, with a lofted cover-drive which sails to the boundary. But that's the lowest total after 10 overs in the tournament - beating England into the tournament record books.
From Aussie in Crawley, TMS inbox:
"Come on you Aussies! Let's not lose to the Poms and Kiwis in the same summer! It is a real shame though that Danny V is M.I.A, he's a real competitor!"
9th over - NZ 18-1
Left-arm paceman Mitchell Johnson replaces Lee, but there are still two slips in. Redmond dabs a quick single into the off side, although Chappelli on TMS isn't happy with his footwork - "he moves around before the ball is delivered so the bowler knows where he's going, but then doesn't move his feet as he plays the stroke". Guptill works a single off his legs, Redmond rotates the strike then Johnson appeals for a catch behind against Guptill... replay inconclusive, Umpire Gould unmoved, Aussie captain Ricky Ponting not happy.
From thegreyghost on 606:
"This may be my fault. I sort of made a pact with the devil to ensure retention of the Bledisloe Cup and Vettori and McCullum were my sacrifices. Apologies to those who are more fans of cricket than God's own game. I need to point out that at no time did I think we'd make the final"
8th over - NZ 15-1
Redmond opens the face to angle a single to third man, but Guptill is watchful against Siddle's accuracy and that's the only scoring stroke. Having received a slow over-rate fine the other day, the Aussie fielders race round between overs.
Former Australia captain Ian Chappell on TMS:
"It's been a very good start for Australia - both bowlers have bowled tightly, and there's been some uneven bounce already. It's always best to bat first if you win the toss in a final like this, but not much else has gone right for New Zealand so far"
7th over - NZ 14-1
Unfortunately there's still plenty of empty seats at Centurion - a South Africa v India or Pakistan final might have been perfect for the money-men. After a single from Guptill, Redmond drives at Lee, the ball lodges in the top of his pad and the pair exchange a smile as Redmond sportingly throws the ball back. A single takes New Zealand belatedly to double figures, then Guptill off-drives for the first boundary of the innings. NZ's best over so far, but they're still well short of where they'd have hoped to be by now.
6th over - NZ 8-1
Guptill prods Siddle for a quick single to the lumbering Shane Watson at mid-off. Redmond gets down on one knee to duck a bouncer - Siddle has an impressive 1-3 from three overs.
From alfie_nz on 606:
"First Vettori out, now McCullum gone for a duck. The fat lady hasn't quite sung yet for New Zealand, but she is definitely clearing her throat!"
5th over - NZ 7-1
Lee continues to keep Redmond tied down, Redmond is playing at fresh air here. Another maiden over, Lee is on top of his game and the Aussies are firmly on top of this game.
Former New Zealand seamer Simon Doull on TMS:
"The final decision on Vettori would have been made this morning, but I think New Zealand knew the outcome yesterday as he was really struggling. They'd have planned to be without him"
4th over - NZ 7-1
Siddle continues to get some bounce to new batsman Martin Guptill, who is up on his toes - all seven of them (he only has two on one of his feet after a forklift accident a few years ago) - as he shoulders arms to his first ball. When Siddle's line strays for the first time, Guptill is off the mark with a two off his legs.
3.2 overs - WICKET - McCullum c Paine b Siddle 0 - NZ 5-1
Siddle continues to hit the deck well at a good length against McCullum, who swishes at a lifter and is caught behind by Tim Paine for a duck! The Aussies have landed a big early blow.
From Thomas Walker, TMS inbox:
"I'm reading your coverage from my Blackberry on my couch in Sydney as my friends are too busy watching an old Anthony Hopkins film to watch the game on TV... We've had a long weekend in NSW and it's been cold and raining the whole time (but at least no dust storms!). Good news about Vettori - he is the one Kiwi player who could have hurt us tonight"
3rd over - NZ 5-0
TMS commentator Gerald De Kock fears rain "at some stage", as Aaron Redmond faces the bowling for the first time. He cuts just past backward point for the first runs off the bat - Siddle's misfield at third man (he nearly lets it go straight through) allows them to come back for a second run. But Lee then beats Redmond with a beaut of a delivery, this is high-class fast bowling from him. Redmond has to defend a short ball from the crease as Lee completes another tight over.
From ChrisDownUnder on 606:
"If the Kiwis win, we won't hear the last of it. They will become the unofficial world champs to all those Kiwis that live here in Oz..."
2nd over - NZ 3-0
Peter Siddle charges in for the second over with two slips in, McCullum drives but Nathan Hauritz makes a good stop at cover. Siddle is right on the money, back-of-a-length just outside off stump, and McCullum can't get him away as he plays out a maiden over.
From JTB in Balloch, via text on 81111:
"Vettori injured? I blame all that horse racing he used to do!"
1st over - NZ 3-0
Brett Lee takes the new ball for Australia - his first delivery is wide outside opener/keeper/stand-in skipper Brendon McCullum's off stump, and English umpire Gould is straight into the action to signal a wide. Lee yells an lbw appeal, but it's a good decision by "Gunner" Gould as McCullum got a faint inside edge onto his pad. Lee then whips in an unplayable ball at McCullum that moves late, beats his outside edge and just misses off stump, there's a half-hearted appeal for a catch behind but nothing doing. A legside wide doubles the Kiwis' score, then McCullum forces a leg bye off the last ball. No runs off the bat so far, but a hostile first over from Lee putting the brakes on McCullum's natural aggression at the top of the order.
From Colin McL, TMS inbox:
"Real shame that Daniel V isn't fit enough to play today. His sportsmanship alone should win him a gong in this tournament... so, on his behalf, come on the Black Caps!"
Teams line up for the anthems. New Zealand's first, then Australia's. The singers of these anthems have been, ahem, of varying quality - remember Graeme Swann chuckling at the woman getting some of the words to "God Save The Queen" wrong, and the Norman Collier-style defective microphone routine during the NZ anthem in the semi-finals. But these two are pretty good - the man singing the Aussie anthem has a luxurious baritone voice.
Although it's been chucking it down with rain here in London all morning, it's dry at the moment at Centurion - although the TMS team are concerned there may be a chance of rain later. But let's hope we get a proper game in - and don't get a farcical finish like the 2007 World Cup final.
Former West Indies fast bowler Ian Bishop on TMS:
"Vettori is a big loss as alongside Ricky Ponting, he's a contender for player of the tournament. But the West Indies 'third team' have shown us that if you take a team lightly, you can fall flat on your face"
From David, Spain, TMS inbox:
"Vettori unfit to play? That's devastating news "
Oh, and we do have some English representation in the final today - New Zealand coach Andy Moles (born in Solihull), and umpire Ian Gould (ex-Middlesex and Sussex), who will be joined on the field today by ICC umpire of the year Aleem Dar, of Pakistan. Dar's compatriot Asad Rauf is on TV replays, while Billy Bowden is fourth umpire, whose usual task is to bring out a black briefcase with replacement balls. Match referee is Roshan Mahanama - to complete the line-up, I'm joined by Pranav Soneji on match-report duties and we're both under the iron fist of our "gaffer" today, Alistair Watkins.
Apparently Vettori's confirmed absence came too late for New Zealand to register Scott "The Penguin" Styris as a replacement player - having already called up three replacement players (James Franklin, Aaron Redmond and Iain O'Brien) for injured trio Jacob Oram, Jesse Ryder and Daryl Tuffey. Styris flew in the other day as cover for Grant Elliott who was also carrying an injury, although he wasn't officially part of the squad. Here are the full teams:
Shane Watson, Tim Paine (wk), Ricky Ponting (capt), Mike Hussey, Callum Ferguson, Cameron White, James Hopes, Mitchell Johnson, Brett Lee, Nathan Hauritz, Peter Siddle.
Brendon McCullum (capt & wk), Aaron Redmond, Martin Guptill, Ross Taylor, Grant Elliott, Neil Broom, James Franklin, Kyle Mills, Ian Butler, Jeetan Patel, Shane Bond.
New Zealand's stand-in captain Brendon McCullum has won the toss and opted to bat first. The one change from their semi-final side is off-spinner Jeetan Patel replacing Vettori. Australia retain the unchanged side they've fielded throughout the tournament.
Afternoon, everyone - and a particular welcome to all Australia and New Zealand fans reading this - you can be assured that whether you hail from Melbourne or Milford Sound, Wellington or Wagga Wagga, we'll be playing a straight bat from here. But some bad news for the Kiwis straight up - captain Daniel Vettori is ruled out with his hamstring injury which he aggravated during the semi-final.