I'm off, thanks for all the chat and sorry it was ultimately all a bit pointless. No idea who you've got tomorrow, but I'm sure you'll have fun. Night!
Barky, Richland, WA, in the TMS inbox:
"Stephen's email (see below) is offensive in the highest. If you're going to complain about BBC text commentary, don't be a nice, reasonable person about it. Start with insulting our maturity, remind us that you are a licence fee payer, and finish by questioning Dirsy's name. It's a time-honoured tradition."
No official announcement but Aggers on TMS has seen the teams shaking hands and that is that - it's a no result, one point each, but England go through on superior run-rate. I'm not sure anyone will take much pleasure from the last two days, however, it's all been a bit of a watery nonsense.
This could be the final conflab - umpires out in the middle, but it's still raining heavily, and if we're not under way in 15, Ireland are out and England are through. That would be desperately unlucky on Ireland, although England had reason for complaint last night... my next message could also be my last message...
Nicholas in the TMS inbox:
"What next, the 2011 European Golf Masters in Lillehammer in January?"
Neil in the TMS inbox:
"RE Stephen in Dublin. Please don't pooh-pooh this tit for tat. After all, tit for tat is the essence of live text commentary, it's what keeps us going when the rain comes down. You'd miss if it wasn't around any more."
Tim from Sussex in the TMS inbox:
"Bit of a blast from the past but I believe Dermott Monteith (Ireland cricketer of the 1980s) also spent some time with Middlesex - all-rounder, middle-order bat and spinner."
... it's raining again, covers are coming back on...
2134:IRELAND REQUIRE 47 FROM 33 BALLS 2133:
Covers are coming off again, which is a good thing, because if we don't restart before 2159 BST, this game's dead... just heard it's a 2145 BST restart, no news on amount of overs or a target as yet...
Joanne in the TMS inbox:
"Do you think we could get Marcus (see below) to rub Mrs Pietersen's ankles also; I apologise to his wife but it is for Queen and country."
More rain, stumps are out, covers going back on, I feel very, very dispirited...
Well done Stephen in Dublin
, when I read your email I had this sudden urge to rise from my seat, clench my jaw and start clapping furiously, like that Gorbachev lookalike after Balboa beats Drago. I guess what you're trying to say, is that if I can change, and you can change, everybody can change - am I right Stephen?
Stephen, Dublin, in the TMS inbox:
"As an Irishman I am proud of Eoin's performances today and since he has started to play for England regularly. My six year old is a big fan and he asked me tonight who should he support Ireland or England - a new and welcome dilemma! Please stop all this tit for tat about whether he should play for England or Ireland and enjoy the way he bats and the inventiveness he brings to the game."
The covers are coming off and the rain has stopped - we need nine more balls for it to constitute a game, and they have begun taking overs off, so Duckworth/Lewis has come into play...
Katie and Marcus in the TMS inbox:
"As I sit here rubbing my heavily pregnant girlfriend's ankles in a forlorn attempt to bring on labour I think that 120-8 off 20 overs is a terrible effort - that's only a run-a-ball, which in this form of the game is incredibly easy to achieve, no matter how sluggish a pitch is."
Seb in the TMS inbox:
"Would I be correct in saying that Paul Stirling is the third Middlesex batsman to also play for Ireland in the last two years, after Ed Joyce and Eoin Morgan? Can anyone think of any others?"
Joe Young, Sheffield, in the TMS inbox:
"Is this not just elongated payback for the World Cup semi-final v South Africa in 1992? An irony perhaps not lost on half our side..."
Adam Lloyd in the TMS inbox:
"Have all the Irish supporters forgotten about their football team under Jack Charlton? If you had a pint of Guinness on the Kilburn High Road you qualified. However, well played Ireland."
Right, here we go again - if they don't come back on, England will go through on net run-rate. However, as it stands Ireland would need 27 runs in five overs under the D/L method, which is slightly irrelevant at the moment as we've only had 3.3, which doesn't constitute a game. Got that?
Rachel Tyrrell, Lincoln, in the TMS inbox:
"Sorry, did I miss something? Did a big, hairy gangster threaten little Eoin with concrete shoes if he didn't join England?"
3.3 overs - 14-1
O'Brien into his stride, hitting Sidebottom for two consecutive fours - the first a sweet pick-up off his legs, the second a thump over long-on... raining, they're going off once again...
Vodkamonster in the TMS inbox:
"Sitting watching this abomination in Barbados hoping to see England in action on Thursday here, ain't looking good but fingers (and everything else crossed)."
3rd over - 6-1
That would have been six had Lumb not snaffled that, that was exactly the fillip England needed at this stage. Porterfield moves to four with a tip and run and that brings Niall O'Brien on strike - leg-side wide, not clever from Bresnan, but otherwise he keeps it tight and O'Brien is unable to get off the mark.
2nd over - WICKET - Stirling c Lumb b Sidebottom 0, Ire 4-1
False start from Sidebottom, get on with it chaps. Dot ball to start, Stirling just dropping it into the off-side. Floodlights on full beam now as Kieswetter goes mad for a caught behind, but I think that brushed the shirt. Stirling plays a rash shot, giving Sidebottom the charge and missing - only 20, his inexperience showing through there. BOOM! Stirling has given that an almighty clatter, but what a catch that is from Lumb out on the deep mid-wicket boundary, falling to his left and hauling it in with two hands.
Start in a couple of minutes, and we haven't lost any overs - it's still a full-blown Twenty20 and Ireland still need 121 to win it.
(see below) - how exactly am I supposed to be biased towards Ireland when I'm English? And it was a pretty poor batting display - sluggish track, no doubt, but they looked twitchy and nervy from the outset and there were 54 dot balls, that's far too many in this form of cricket.
mr angry in the TMS inbox:
"How dare you say it was a 'pretty poor batting display', you can't say that until both teams have had a go. If the Irish reach the target easily then fair play, until then keep your biased comments to yourself..."
Andrew in Turin in the TMS inbox:
"Re Paul at 2028 - Two to win for the Irish? That would be a highlight, how often do Ireland beat South Africa at cricket?"
Another 10 minutes and we'll start to lose overs, but the good news is the rain has stopped and the covers are coming off...
From SimplyZola on 606:
"Brave, brave performance from the Irish in the field - having done well to account for the three poached South Africans I fear that the poached Irishman may just have done enough to take the game away from them. I genuinely believe if the English selectors work hard over the next six to 10 months and can poach an Australian, a Kiwi and possibly an Indian they'll have a real shot at winning this thing next year."
Anon via text on 81111:
"Nasser says the Irish have a fragile batting line-up! Not surprised when the English stole our best batsmen! How are we expected to be competitive when that is allowed?"
Jem McDowall, New York, in the TMS inbox:
"Talk of Eoin Morgan being Irish is ridiculous. He was born and bred in Dublin to Irish parents, played all his club cricket in Ireland and speaks Gaelic. However, he has an English maternal granny so by the usual Celtic logic he is totally English."
Covers are on, but it's not torrential by any means, and there are some lighter patches of sky up above. If there is no more play, England will go through because you need five overs of Ireland's innings for it to constitute a game and England have a superior net run-rate... however, if they do come back on after a protracted delay, then it could be disastrous for England as Duckworth/Lewis will no doubt set Ireland a very gettable target. That said, England can have no excuses, it was a pretty poor batting display....
Paul in the TMS inbox:
"It seems ironic that the only reason that we might win this match is that we have a Dubliner playing for England. In fact the English contingent have only scored 46 runs, the Irish have already scored 45, so you could say, two to win!"
2nd over - 3-0
Sidebottom with the second over and Porterfield square-drives him for one... and here comes the rain, from absolutely nowhere, and players are off... I'll let you know some permutations as soon as I know them...
Barry, France, in the TMS inbox:
"I have this recurring nightmare where the usual troupe of half-hearted cricketing mercenaries turn up at a tournament disguised as an England side, spend plenty of time tweeting, polishing their egos and planning merchandising deals and then get thrashed by a minor side... Oh, I'm awake aren't I? It's happening again..."
1st over - 3-0
Bresnan with the first ball and Porterfield shoulders arms. Ireland get off the mark with a nice drive from Porterfield for three. Two slips in for Paul Stirling, and the right-hander feels for an outswinger and is beaten.
Kieran in Dublin (about 2 miles from Morgan's home club) in the TMS inbox:
"Now, if only Ireland something world class to offer in terms of batting. Oh, hang on a sec, they do. He scored a chunk of England's runs."
20th over - 120-8
Swann picks up a couple from the final ball of the innings, and England finish on what looks on paper to be a below-par 120-8. Fantastic, buzzy performance from the Irish, especially in the field, but we won't really know how bad that England total is until Ireland bat - a doughy, sticky old track, the Irish are unlikely to find it easy...
20th over - WICKET - Yardy run out 0, Eng 118-8
Tremendous piece of fielding from Trent Johnston, charging in from deep mid-wicket and shattering the stumps with a bullet throw. Yardy didn't even face a ball...
20th over - WICKET - Morgan c Wilson b Botha 45, Eng 115-7
Swann does manage to get Morgan on strike with an easy single. Slower ball from Botha and Morgan waits on it and pulls it away for a couple.... but he's gone next ball, Morgan chipping to Wilson at long-on.
19th over - 112-6
Morgan gives new batsman Swann the strike before Rankin serves up a wide down leg-side. Swann drags the ball down the ground, and is only able to pick up one - he'll be on strike at the start of the next over...
19th over - WICKET - Bresnan c Mooney b Rankin 5, Eng 109-6
Not sure what that was from Morgan, but it was worth four runs - full-bunger from Rankin and Morgan scampers outside off and shovels the ball away for four. Bresnan needs to get Morgan back on strike... he's done that, but holed out to Mooney at long-off in doing so...
18th over - 104-5
Quality stroke from Morgan, slapping Botha over cover for four after a single from Bresnan. A single from Morgan brings up the 100 for England and cheap runs follow, the ball shooting through the legs of O'Brien behind the stumps and racing away for four. Off the bat apparently, not sure how...
17th over - 94-5
Full delivery from Rankin and Morgan works him off his pads for a couple. Tim Bresnan of Yorkshire is the new man at the crease, but he doesn't face a ball in that over - two byes as Morgan is beaten by a yorker-length delivery and O'Brien is unable to keep hold of it behind the stumps, but there are just five from that over.
17th over - WICKET - Wright c Porterfield b Rankin 20, Eng 90-5
Morgan smears Rankin round the corner for one before Wright mis-times a lofted cover-drive and holes out to Porterfield. England seriously spooked out there, this is pretty poor...
16th over - 89-4
Sensational fielding performance this from Ireland - Wright heaves O'Brien away for a couple, but that might have been four were it not for a great dive from the man out on the boundary. Wright is beaten again but does finally get some bat on ball. Morgan picks up one with a square-drive before Umpire Bowden appears to be struck down with some sort of palsy, swivelling on his heel and periodically jerking his middle-finger. I think that means it's a no-ball and a free-hit. Wright holes out to Mooney on the square-leg boundary on the free-hit (that counts as a single) before Wright records the first six of the innings with a slam-dunk over long-off.
15th over - 76-4
Dockrell kicks off with four dot balls to Wright... make that five... and Wright's very nearly perished from the final ball, going for the slog-sweep and top-edging over the keeper's head for a single. That brings Wright back on strike, and England don't want Wright on strike...
14th over - 75-4
Unconvincing from Wright, a top-edge for one to deep-wicket, before Morgan gives him back the strike. Fuller from Botha and Wright pushes down the ground for two, before Wright nicks the strike with three runs to long-leg.
13th over - 67-4
Morgan punches down the ground for one before Wright angles Dockrell to square-leg for a single. Morgan gets a short one and Morgan punishes it, yanking him to the mid-wicket fence for four. Morgan nicks another couple with a nurdle round the corner, and boy will that lad want to take England to safety here - if he doesn't, his old team-mates are going to crucify him...
12th over - 59-4
Wright throws his hands at a wide one from Alex Cusack and picks up a single over backward-point, before Morgan flips one round the corner for a much-needed four. The sun's out, and England are toiling beneath it.
11th over - 52-4
Andre Botha into the attack now and England haven't dealt with these medium pacers at all well, it's like Ireland are packed with a team of Alec Bedsers. Morgan pushes to long-off for one before Wright is off the mark with a clip to mid-wicket. Another single for Morgan, before Wright is sent scuttling back to his crease. England desperately need a couple of boundaries to spark this innings into life...
10th over - WICKET - Pietersen c Mooney b K O'Brien 9, Eng 49-4
Morgan moves to 10 with a deflection off his hip for three. Ugly stroke from Pietersen, attempting to scoop O'Brien over his shoulder and missing, and he's gone next ball! Short from O'Brien, Pietersen can't resist having a go at it and Mooney takes the catch out on the square-leg boundary. Looked like a trap to me, and the Ireland boys are rightly lapping that up.
9th over - 45-3
Another correction (and I blame Michael Vaughan on TMS for this), it is Niall O'Brien behind the stumps, not Gary Wilson. A single for Pietersen before Morgan has a rummage around in his bag of tricks, fetches a reverse sweep from miles outside off and picks up four. Pietersen moves to eight with a mis-timed drive over mid-off, a better over for England, although young Dockrell is troubling Pietersen.
8th over - 38-3
England looking awfully nervy here - Morgan tries to pull his bat out of the way, but it skims off the face and away for no run. Single for Morgan down to third-man, and I should just point out that it wasn't The Soldier's Song, or Amhrán na bhFiann, on the steel drums earlier on, but Ireland's Call. Thanks Pete Baker
for reminding me of my utter stupidity. Single from Pietersen from the final ball of the over, no sign of any lift-off from this England pair...
7th over - 35-3
Eoin Morgan, formerly of Ireland, in the middle now, and he's immediately pitted against the 17-year-old left-arm spinner George Dockrell. Singles for KP and Morgan before Dockrell beats KP with one that goes straight on with the arm. Pietersen is a bit iffy against left-arm spin, sometimes some very innocuous left-arm spin, tickles off his legs for one and there are just three runs from that over. At this rate, England are on their way...
6th over - WICKET - Collingwood c Botha b Johnston 0, Eng 32-3
"YES, NO, YES, NO" from Pietersen and Collingwood, and they eventually decide against taking the run. BUT COLLY'S GONE NEXT BALL! Johnston really finding a nice groove outside off stump and wobbling the ball around, and Collingwood's edged to Botha, and this time the Ireland slipper has made no mistake. England in trouble here...
6th over - WICKET - Kieswetter run out 13, Eng 32-2
Not much in the way of fireworks so far from England, and that's in no small part down to Trent Johnston, who's keeping it nice and tight. KP clips off his pads for a single before Kieswetter picks up a brace. Ireland think they've got Kieswetter next ball - he looks to run, is sent back by KP, and despite a fine dive, his bat is in the air as Wilson removes the bails. It goes upstairs, and presumably after a cup of tea and a couple of orange Viscounts, Umpire Rauf finally concludes Kieswetter is out...
Richard Elliott in leafy Pinner in the TMS inbox:
"Message for Mr Duckworth: I too would be fuming if your wretched system, entirely unsuited to T20, had endangered my team's progress. By the way, in case you hadn't noticed, bowlers tend to deliver wides in ODIs. PS Which genius in the ICC placed these matches in Guyana in the middle of the rainy season?"
5th over - 29-1
Pietersen is off the mark with a push past point for one. Kieswetter pushes to mid-wicket for a few before KP adds a single with a nurdle round the corner. I think I have to make a correction, it would appear that Gary Wilson is the Ireland wicketkeeper today rather than Niall O'Brien.
5th over - WICKET - Lumb c Rankin b K O'Brien 14, Eng 24-1
Kevin O'Brien's taken a wicket with his first delivery! Cheap one really, Lumb just chipping the ball off his pads to Rankin at short fine-leg. You have to say Ireland deserved that, here comes Pietersen...
4th over - 24-0
Decent lbw shout from Johnston against Lumb, but that probably pitched outside leg. A single for Lumb, squirting one to mid-off for a single, but this pair are really struggling to get any willow on Johnston. Lovely bit of bowling from Johnston, getting one to nip away from Kieswetter, but Botha has put down a chance at slip and the ball has dribbled away for a couple. Tough on Johnston, he should have taken that.
3rd over - 21-0
Real sluggish pitch this and you can't bowl short on it - Rankin with a bumper and Lumb hoicks him away for four, one bounce into the fence. One leg-bye off Lumb's hip before Kieswetter misses with a wild and windy waft. Kieswetter top-edges the next ball, but Ireland make a right hash of that - young spinner George Dockrell goes for it and shells it, but wicketkeeper O'Brien should have been barging him out of the way. Kieswetter takes advantage, clearing the front leg and scything over cover for four.
2nd over - 12-0
Trent Johnston with two slips in for Kieswetter, not often you see that. Johnston strays onto Kieswetter's legs and is flicked away for one. Bit of width from Johnston and that's England's second boundary, Lumb knifing him through point. Decent start from England, but Ireland giving it a go.
1st over - 6-0
Tremendous stuff - God Save the Queen and The Soldier's Song on the steel drums! Have to say, the Irish national anthem deals rather better with being 'mashed up'. Boyd Rankin with the first ball and you don't want to bowl it there with fine-leg up, four runs off the bat of Lumb. All very attacking though from Ireland, two slips in, although they remove one for the right-handed Kieswetter. Keith (see below) - if it rains all day on Thursday, not only will Brown stay in power, by my Duckworth-Lewis calculations Plaid Cymru will take Kensington and Chelsea and Nick Griffin will be installed as speaker.
Keith, staying at work until play is abandoned, Leeds in the TMS inbox:
"Is it true that if it rains all day on Thursday then Gordon Brown will stay in power using the D/L method?"
Here are the teams:
M Lumb, C Kieswetter (wk), K Pietersen, P Collingwood (capt), E Morgan, L Wright, S Broad, T Bresnan, G Swann, M Yardy, R Sidebottom
W Porterfield (capt), P Stirling, N O'Brien (wk), A Cusack, G Wilson, K O'Brien, T Johnston, J Mooney, A Botha, B Rankin, G Dockrell
Toss news - Ireland have won the toss
and asked England to bat first. Considering what's happened with Duckworth-Lewis over the past 24 hours, you can't blame him. Both teams are unchanged - "we didn't do a lot wrong yesterday," claims England skipper Paul Collingwood.
David Painting in sunny Luton in the TMS inbox:
"An extract from the climate section on Guyana: Although rain falls throughout the year, about 50% of the annual total arrives in the summer rainy season that extends from May to the end of July... Rain generally falls in heavy afternoon showers or thunderstorms. Took all of 30 seconds to research. Never mind eh..."
Right, I'm off for a spot of munch - the TMS coverage kicks off in 10 minutes, and you'll need to manually refresh this page for all things England-Ireland to appear...
A bit of a spat has broken out between England skipper Paul Collingwood and Frank Duckworth, creator of the Duckworth/Lewis method (not the album, the mathematical equation). Collingwood was left fuming after defeat by West Indies yesterday, saying "I don't know what equation you should have but you shouldn't have that one". However, Frank's hit back: "While Paul Collingwood may have been angry at Messrs Duckworth and Lewis, he might have been angry at Messrs Bresnan, Swann and co who added to the four wides that they bowled before the rain by adding four more wides... there have been about 70 cases of T20 with a D/L revised target or result. And there's only been two moments of dissent, both by Paul Collingwood or ECB (England and Wales Cricket Board) people, both following England not doing very well against the West Indies..."
Rev. Ceri Rees, Omemee, Ontario:
"Jasmine, you two-timing, no good so and so. I thought I was the only one, now I'll be the lonely one. It is OVER! So howzat?"
NEW ZEALAND BEAT ZIMBABWE UNDER D/L METHOD 1748:
Deary me, I can only apologise for the confusion, I'm getting my info from the chaps on the telly and the latest is they've shaken on it, New Zealand have won the game and they go through with Sri Lanka. Zimbabwe are out, but none of this is satisfactory, in fact it's all bordering on farce... again... and again... and again...
Scrap that, we've got a new target - New Zealand now need four runs from 11 balls
... we understand the England-Ireland game will start on time at 1830 BST... obviously, what they should be saying is "as soon as this game's over, you boys are on," but that would be far too much like common sense...
Right, not sure what Aggers is going on about, we are going to resume any minute now and New Zealand require nine off 17 balls under the Duckworth/Lewis method...
Better news from the Providence Stadium - apparently the rain has eased and the groundstaff are out in the middle, I'll keep you posted...
... Jasmine love, I think you might be after one of the TMS boys, they share the same inbox...
Love from Jasmine in the TMS inbox:
"Hello with love, Good morning or whatever the weather may be over there, how is the weather in your country? My name is Jasmine I'm tall and nice looking girl i just decided to drop you some words just to say hello and how was today. I found your email address while I was surfing the net, i will like to known more about you, please i will be very happy if you can reply me so that we can go further to known each other, we can be good friends. Thanks I'm waiting for your reply."
... still coming down like stair rods in Guyana, it looks more like the coastal town they forgot to close down than some Caribbean idyll... come armageddon, come armageddon...
Rich, London, in the TMS inbox:
"Re Sheesh (16:41) - the ICC are only slightly less suitable than the ECB who continue to plan matches in rainy (and COLD) Durham in April and September. At least Guyana is warm."
Richard in the TMS inbox:
"My wife is of Guyanese origin. She says you're nuts for playing cricket there during the rainy season! Not much chance of England getting to play later..."
Still raining heavily in Guyana, and there's not a blue patch in sight...
Sheesh in the TMS inbox:
"Dear Ben, I'm currently thinking of hosting a drinks-based event but am stumped about where to hold it. Do you think the ICC, with their renowned timing and planning nous, so well demonstrated by staging part of a sunny weather-dependent international sporting competition in Guyana during rainy season, might be able to find me a suitable brewery?"
Also, if there is no result between England and Ireland, then England would go through on superior run-rate (alongside West Indies, who are already through)...
...chucking it down in Guyana - just a reminder that if they don't reappear, New Zealand will have won on the D/L method and Zimbabwe will be sent packing...
Graham in a very damp Barcelona in the TMS inbox:
"England, having scored the highest total in the competition to date, currently have a negative R/R and, if, as appears very possible, they get the 'dirty end of the stick' again today, they could be back home the day after tomorrow since they will have 'lost' lost two out of two and some strange mathematical tinkering says they are homeward bound. The D/L format is valid because a result has to be achieved, but surely someone or some computer could come up with formulae that are specific to the T20 format. Or am I being too logical?"
From Sportsfan87 on 606:
"It's spinning - Swann and the Irish lad Dockrell should be taking note of this, might find KP bowling today as well"
It's yesterday all over again at the Providence Stadium, which isn't too surprising considering it's the rainy season in Guyana. The chat is that if they're off for 30 minutes or more, the game starts being reduced. The Kiwis are ahead of the rate thus far, and they've already had enough overs for this to constitute a game...
8.1 overs - 36-1
McCullum tugs a single down to short fine-leg, and that's that for now, players are coming off for rain...
8th over - 35-1
Price slides a wide down leg, and brollies are unfurled. Vettori has dug out his Duckworth/Lewis instructions over in the bus shelter, as this pair continue to milk the honest Price. Big caught behind appeal from Taibu Guptill, but that didn't hit anything and it's given as a wide... Price seen off, groundsmen poised...
7th over - 32-1
Guptill tugs Utseya round the corner for one as the powerplay restrictions are lifted. McCullum backs away and twirls through point for a single before Guptill picks up one more with a stab to long-on. The Kiwis dealing largely in singles at the moment, there are six from that over.
6th over - 26-1
With those runs in the previous over, McCullum became the first man to pass 1000 in T20s, and it took him 35 matches. Three wides down leg-side from Price before McCullum makes room and flays Price through point for a few. Guptill dabs off his legs for a cheeky single...
Dinz in the TMS inbox:
"Of course common sense would say to start the England match early if New Zealand tonk these runs quickly. Though common sense probably will be ignored and told to go sit by itself in the corner."
5th over - 19-1
It's like someone's dimmed the lights in Guyana, rain surely on the march. Short from Taibu and McCullum tugs him away for four. The Kiwis need to be 19 at the end of this over, Duckworth/Lewis-wise, and McCullum has realised they need to get a wriggle on, just in case, pulling out the old 'Dilscoop' from his locker and running up three. One more for Guptill before McCullum moves his side to 19 with a gentle nurdle to mid-on.
4th over - 10-1
Plenty of turn for Price, who gets one to grip and square Guptill up. He immediately posts a slip, but that's too straight and Guptill is under way with a push to mid-on. Short from Price and McCullum yanks him away for one.
3rd over - WICKET - Ryder c Taibu b Utseya 2, NZ 7-1
Taibu keeping it tight, and Ryder looks intent on being there at the death... gone, top-edging a sweep and Taibu pouching a straightforward catch... Martin Guptill the new man in the middle...
2nd over - 7-0
Left-arm spinner Ray Price to share the new ball, and he kicks off with three dots... make that four, Ryder unable to evade the man at short fine-leg. Ryder does pick up a single, and it's the only run of the over. Looking gloomy over above the cane fields yonder...
1st over - 6-0
So, Zimbabwe have to bowl New Zealand out for 73 or less to go through, unless it rains, in which case Duckworth/Lewis will probably calculate that New Zealand will need 465 off two overs, or something like that. Utseya with the first over and Brendon McCullum slams his second ball to the mid-wicket fence. Jesse Ryder's not going to hang about either, and he's off the mark with a clip off his legs following a McCullum single.
James in the TMS inbox:
"A spot of rain and Zimbabwe could be right back in this!"
I should just clear up that Styris did not take a hat-trick in the 13th over, Lamb scored a single between the wickets of Maruma and Cremer...
16th over - WICKET - Price b Vettori 2, Zim 84
Vettori only needs one ball of his over to stop the Zimbabwe corpse from twitching, Price looking to slog-sweep and missing it completely. Nine wickets gone for 26 runs, that was horrific.
15th over - 84-9
Nice touch from Vettori, handing his cap to Umpire Davis as if he's going to continue, while Styris, on a hat-trick, looks on in a mixture of amazement and disgust. It is Styris to continue, however, but Lamb smothers his hat-trick ball. Just the four singles from Styris's over, with Price very nearly dragging the final ball of the over onto his stumps.
14th over - 80-9
The leathery Ray Price is the last man in, but Lamb retains the strike, pulling to deep square-leg for a couple. One more for Lamb before Price gets off the mark with a turn to mid-wicket. Bit of chin music from Bond and Lamb tugs him away for one. The big shame about that three-wicket burst from Styris is that it meant Ian Bishop had to abort an interview with Taibu out beyond the boundary. A touch of the Gary Coleman's about wee Taibu, what I'd give to see him being interviewed by Bob Willis...
13th over - WICKET - Utseya lbw b Styris 0, Zim 74-9
... Prosper Utseya does not live long, he's plumb lbw first ball... we're witnessing car crash cricket in Guyana...
13th over - WICKET - Cremer b Styris 0, Zim 74-8
... it's all gone a bit village out there in Guyana, Cremer's been castled first ball by Styris...
13th over - WICKET - Maruma c Guptill b Styris 4, Zim 73-7
The vastly-experienced Scott Styris is into the attack, and he's got a wicket - Maruma goes for some heave-ho, gets right underneath it, and Guptill makes no mistakes coming round from long-on.
12th over - 72-6
Vettori varying his pace wildly here, and this Zimbabwe pair are only able to milk him for singles at the moment. That's a lovely final ball, Maruma beaten by the flight and unable to get the ball off the square for a run.
11th over - 68-6
Lamb moves to four with a single before Maruma smears McCullum to square-leg for one of his own. Just two from the over - metaphorically speaking, Zimbabwe were taking a serene stroll through a meadow there before being jumped by a gang of bandits and brutally mugged.
10th over - 66-6
Vettori charges through that over, and there are just three singles from it. Zimbabwe skipper wanted 150+, they'll be lucky to reach 120 at this rate...
9th over - WICKET - Ervine st Hopkins N McCullum 1, Zim 63-6
Oh my days, they've lost another one - Ervine goes walkabout down the crease, is beaten by miles and Hopkins whips off the bails to remove him...
9th over - WICKET - Coventry c & b N McCullum 0, Zim 62-5
What was that I said a couple of overs ago - "Zimbabwe are rattling along nicely?" Not any more - now Coventry's gone second ball, chipping the ball straight back to bowler McCullum...
9th over - WICKET - Chigumbura c Guptill b N McCullum 3, Zim 62-4
Zimbabwe are imploding after that encouraging start - Chigumbura is the next to perish, going for some humpty and holing out to Guptill at long-on...
8th over - 62-3
Blignaut appeared to drag that ball onto his timbers, a little bit unlucky. The left-handed Ervine is the next man out of the hutch and he's off the mark with a tickle off his pads for one.
8th over - WICKET - Blignaut b Vettori 8, Zim 60-3
Skipper Vettori brings himself on and his first ball is pushed into the covers for a single by Chigumbura. But Blignaut's gone next ball, looking for the sweep and getting himself bowled behind his legs.
7th over - WICKET - Masakadza run out (Oram) 20, Zim 58-2
Emails and texts - any danger? Nathan McCullum back into the attack. Blignaut has an almighty smite and is beaten by a hint of turn before gloving into the off-side for one. Masakadza's gone! He hoicks a leg-side delivery from McCullum over square-leg, comes back for the second and is well beaten by a fizzing throw from Oram out on the boundary. Nice work from Hopkins, too, who had to turn and throw down the stumps. McCullum thinks he's trapped Blignaut leg before two balls later, but Umpire Davis is having none of it.
6th over - 54-1
Jacob Oram now into the attack and Blignaut and Masakadza exchange singles. Crackerjack stroke from Blignaut, lofting Oram over cover for four. Umpire Rauf goes upstairs for a run out appeal, but Blignaut is in - very good turn and direct hit from Oram, however. That's not clever from Oram - well wide and Masakadza snicks him over wicketkeeper Hopkins for five. Very good start for Zimbabwe, they're rattling along.
5th over - 41-1
The big-hitting Blignaut, who wouldn't know finesse if it popped round unannounced for dinner, turns Southee round the corner for one before Masakadza clears his front leg out of the way and crashes the ball to the deep extra-cover boundary for four.
5th over - WICKET - Taibu c Oram b Southee 21, Zim 36-1
Decent start this from Zimbabwe, and here's the industrious Taibu flicking Southee round the corner for four. Bit of an iffy square cut from Taibu for a couple before the wee man chips Southee over square-leg for two more... but Taibu's gone next ball, rolling his wrists on a bumper and finding Oram at square-leg.
4th over - 28-0
Masakadza dabs to short third-man for one before Taibu pulls off a remarkable stroke, backing away initially before making a late lunge and carving the ball to the third-man fence. That's nice from Taibu, 'ramping' a delivery from Bond over the slip's head and away for a brace. Taibu scuttling about in the crease and this time he moves outside off and shovels Bond into the leg-side for a single.
3rd over - 20-0
Tim Southee into the attack, McCullum's been hauled off. Big lbw appeal against Taibu, but that was high and outside off. Wide from Southee before Masakadza, who looks like he's batting with an upright vacuum cleaner, hoicks the bowler into the leg-side for one. Taibu gives it the big "I am", but is beaten outside off-stump. Single to finish the over courtesy of an ugly smear to mid-on.
2nd over - 14-0
Umpire Rauf's gone a bit overboard with the sun screen, it looks like Umpire Davis awoke him shortly before start of play after he'd fallen asleep in a blob of ice cream. Bond beats Taibu with a ball that jags back and clips his pad - caught behind appeal, but no dice. That's a peach of a shot from Taibu, backing away and zinging Bond through the covers for four. Has there been a stranger cricketing career than Shane Bond's?
1st over - 8-0
The pocket-sized Tatenda Taibu to face the first ball from Nathan McCullum, the Kiwis opening up with spin. One off the first ball before Hamilton Masakadza chips over mid-wicket for a couple. Zimbabwe failed to find the boundary at all yesterday, but that's more like it from Masakadza, hoisting McCullum one bounce into the boundary fence.
Players have taken to the field, we'll have some play in five minutes - it's Zimbabwe to bat first, you'd have to think the Black Caps are hot favourites to rumble them this afternoon and stroll on to the Super Eights.
William, Chatteris, in the TMS inbox:
"What's going on Ben? What's with the 15+ hour delay between your updates? Never mind the lack of cricket, I was looking forward to some in-depth descriptions of the Guyanese night sky (just like that bloke who wrote you an angry message yesterday). Poor show BBC, poor show!"
News in that it's roasting in Guyana, but that there is a 65% chance of rain later, which is bad news for England, and indeed Ireland. There is the distinct possibility that England could be skewered by Duckworth/Lewis in this tournament, a couple of chaps who can't even bat, bowl or field. The Kiwis are unchanged by the way, Maruma and Blignaut are in for Zimbabwe.
BB McCullum, JD Ryder, MJ Guptill, LRPL Taylor, SB Styris, GJ Hopkins (WK), JDP Oram, DL Vettori (capt), NL McCullum, SE Bond, TG Southee Zimbabwe:
AM Blignaut, H Masakadza, T Taibu (WK), CR Ervine, E Chigumbura, CK Coventry, GA Lamb, AG Cremer, P Utseya (capt), RW Price, T Maruma
The Black Caps will be buzzing, I repeat buzzing, after their last-gasp win over Sri Lanka last Friday, and skipper Daniel Vettori has won the toss today and is going to have a bowl what with the "overhead conditions and possibility of rain later". "Anything over 150 will give us a chance of winning," says Zimbabwe skipper Prosper Utseya, who sounds like he's a little bit put out at having been asked to turn up. Come on Prosper, it's a World Cup... no, can't be bothered...
Watcha. Big day for England today - they must beat local rivals Ireland in Guyana or they're dead. But that all happens later, first it's the Kiwis against Zimbabwe - if New Zealand win, they and Sri Lanka are through, if Zimbabwe win all three sides have the same points tally and it will come down to net run-rate.