He had to go for it, but the ball was so slow – out of the hand, off the pitch -that his timing is awry and he’s too early in the shot, gloving behind.
47th over: India 223-8 (Suryakumar 16, Kuldeep 6) Not easy for the number ten to take on Pat Cummins. But Kuldeep steals a single. Suryakumar tries to flick behind but there is a fielder there, of course. Those yellow shirts are everywhere. Just a single. Cummins holding back his pace. Lady Luck favours Kuldeep who almost cuts onto his stumps. Two from the over. Suryakumar has the strike.
46th over: India 221-8 (Suryakumar 15, Kuldeep 5 ) Suryakumar takes the single, which leaves Kuldeep against Starc – two dots, then they take two from the fifth. A precious drop of nectar for India, a wide. Then another single and Kuldeep keeps the strike. Starc is complete, after an excellent day’s work: 3-55.
Hello David Griffiths! “To quote Hamlet, and to continue this riff on Fortune’s femininity, India is currently sitting neither on the cap of fortune nor in the “soles of her shoes’’. They are rather in the middle, “secret parts of Fortune … Oh, most true. She is a strumpet”
”As things stand, I am reminded of the 1983 final when the West Indies restricted India very effectively and looked to be cruising toward victory when suddenly Clive Lloyd injured himself while batting and the Windies crumbled soon after.”
45th over: India 215-8 (Suryakumar 14, Kuldeep 1 ) A wicket and just two runs by India from the 45th over in the home World Cup final. How cricket teases.
Many thanks to my old friend Tim de Lisle for this telling stat. “Rohit: seven boundaries from 31 balls faced… one every four or five balls. Rest of top six: six boundaries from 34.4 overs faced … one every 33 balls.”
Bumrah puts pad forward to the wrong un, doesn’t bother reviewing, shakes his head as he walks briskly off.
44th over: India 213-7 (Suryakumar 13, Bumrah 1 ) “Hi Tanya. We’ve been waiting all tournament for a genuine classic, so why not the final?I’m calling SUPER OVER right now.” Simon McMahon, can you get that message to the crowd? They are looking desperately worried. As they should, as Shami slogs and edges behind. Two runs and a wicket from the immaculate Starc.
A fourth catch for Inglis, a common or garden swing and nick from Shami.
43rd over: India 211-6 (Suryakumar 12, Shami 6) Suryakumar takes a single from Cummins first ball, Shami swings and misses like your uncle at the swingball after a heavy lunch. Suryakumar hits Cummins into his own thigh, then flicks – in the air, safe, but just for a single.
42nd over: India 207-6 (Suryakumar 10, Shami 4) Starc approaches, his long legs and strangely heavy tread. Starts with a wide that floats legside. The crowd applaud gratefully. Suryakumar goes to slice away; backward point snatches it up. Then the wicket, from a piece of art from Starc. Humph says Shami, who angles the ball away for four. Shades of the 2019 World Cup final this, when New Zealand notched up 241-8.
Rahul tips his head up to the sky in despair. A beauty from Starc, just straightens and Rahul kisses it behind into the waiting gloves of Inglis.
41st over: India 200-5 (Rahul 66, Suryakumar 9) As a sea of blue shirts gazes down, Zampa reels in. The crowd nervously acknowledge the 200 – not such a sure thing any more. Three from the over. Just 11 fours and three sixes in the innings.
40th over: India 197-5 (Rahul 64, Suryakumar 8) Hazlewood for his eighth. A half stop at midwicket turns potential four to stingy one. Five singles from the over. 45-1 between overs 30-40. Here we go then, the final ten. What do India aim for?
“I know this sounds like early expectation management but when Glen Maxwell’s darts go for just one in an over, at the 37th over, the pitch is clearly no gimme,” writes Gervase Green. “Which I guess also explains why Capn’ Pat sent them in.”
39th over: India 192-5 (Rahul 61, Suryakumar 6) I’m not sure what SKY’s instructions were, but so far he has one from seven balls. He reaches at one from Zampa and wafts. Two from a wide and…I take that back, at long last, a boundary, a long hop back-cut for four.
38th over: India 182-5 (Rahul 56, Suryakumar 0) Excellent from Hazlewood. More excellence. We see the sun setting through the mist. Seventy one balls and 57 minutes since the last boundary. Twelve overs left.
Writes Paul Wake. “Aussies have well and truly parked the bus. India don’t seem to know what’s going on.”
37th over: India 178-5 (Rahul 56, Suryakumar 0) India down to their last recognised two. Just one from the 37th over from Maxwell – including a review for a stumping. A huge dilemma now for these two – they need to take risks, but taking risks will expose the tail. Ideally they’d like a hundred at least from the last 13.
“Everyone is discussing how the ball will behave tonight when there is dew, but no one has mentioned dew point. Given the current temperature and humidity in Ahmedabad, the dew point is 14.6C, while the minimum forecast temperature tonight is 20C. So we can confidently predict there will be no dew when Australia is batting.” Why thank you Kathy Phillips.
36th over: India 178-5 (Rahul 55, Suryakumar 0) The hugest roar for nearly half an hour as Maxwell zings for a run out and gives away two over throws. And next ball another one, from Marnus. In an instant the crowd mood suddenly lifts. Then the Aussies go for a review for a Jadeja dabble- Cummins persuaded by Smith – not a bat on it. Has the tide turned? No. Hazlewood provides the perfect retort.
A firecracker of a ball! Hazlewood fires one into the pitch which moves away like spark from the fire. Jadeja pushes, edges, turns round immediately to check – and finds it in the gloves of Ingliss.
35th over: India 171-4 (Jadeja 7, Rahul 50) India pressing for every single. Rahul reaches fifty with, aptly, a single – off 86 balls but, crucially, he’s still there, and with power to add.
”Call me old fashioned,” writes Rowan Sweeney, “but I don’t trust the newfangled run rate projectors. I believe wholeheartedly in the Richie Benaud “Double the score after 30 overs”, which puts India at or about 300. Entirely defendable.
“More importantly, Jadeja is at the crease, and he always, always, ALWAYS wrecks us.”
34th over: India 169-4 (Jadeja 7, Rahul 48) The evening starts to fall and the huge lights come on. Rahul imperceptibly shakes his head, Jadeja sleeve up in a rakkish manner, has a hand on his hip. Four from the over including two leg byes.
33rd over: India 162-4 (Jadeja 3, Rahul 43) Starc, ever cheerful, breathes heavily as he strides back to his mark. Brief excitement as Rahul drives square – but a yellow shirt is waiting. Three from the over. They tick by.
Gervase Greene is in Sydney. “Suspect it won’t be that easy for us either. Old pitch, grey as a corpse, maybe stopping a bit.Maybe we are all so used to T20 we forget 6/over isn’t that bad in a major event.
India bat down to 10, and have a phenomenal bowling line-up, so they are still ahead.We have a good batting line-up, but it is super fragile. Any rain about…?” I think it would be a surprise.
32nd over: India 162-4 (Jadeja 5, Rahul 45) Who are India going to go large against? Zampa zips through another – four more singles to stack in the modest pile. A tale of three sets of ten. First set: 80-2, Second set: 35-1, Third set: 37-1.
“They call her Lady Luck, but there is room for doubt. So sings Sky Masterson in Guys and Dolls. Luck is probably a lady because she is depicted as a female goddess in Ancient Rome. Incidentally, all abstract nouns are feminine in Latin, including masculinity (virtus).” Thank you Harry Drew!
31st over: India 158-4 (Jadeja 3, Rahul 43) Cummins has been superb today – that wicket of Kohli his reward. Jadeja taking his time to get his eye in, Cummins awkward to hit.
“Australia can’t let one slip through and completely unaffected by the nerves of big occasion – one of the reasons why this team has been so successful traditionally. And as I write this finally a boundary. Had to take slight unorthodox shot to get this one through.
”Agree 264 is not going to be enough, maybe 364, looks unlikely at this stage – the pitch looks not too different than Mumbai. But then I am sitting so far away, so don’t take my words for it.
”And looks like Kohli is out, I will catch on for sleep I guess and hope things will be different when I wake up.” Don’t despair Bhawesh, Australia also have to bat on this tricky pitch – however easy Rohit made it look in the first ten.
30th over: India 149-4 (Jadeja 0, Rahul 37) More singles off Zampa. Inglis is very keen for an appeal for a stumping against Jadeja, but his boot is firmly in the crease.
“I have always thought that double the 30 over score is a better prediction, 264 (at 25 overs) seems well under that.” writes Alan Wilkes. “Has the “double 30 score” model been reasonably accurate over time?” Er, Alan, I’m afraid I don’t know. In my head I’d usually go for what another reader, Mark Beadle described as, “double it and add 50 for the thrash at the end.”
29th over: India 149-4 (Jadeja 0, Rahul 37) India promote Jadeja, keeping Suryakumar Yadav’s firepower dry for now. Kohli is so bewildered by what has just happened that he takes ten seconds before he starts moving away. A dazed India accept the gift of a wide from Cummins while they take it all in.
100,ooo hands cover 100,000 mouths. Kohli can’t believe it, Cummins sprints with hands clenched. An inside edge onto the stumps.
28th over: India 146-3 (Kohli 53, Rahul 36) Zampa concedes his usual thimble-full of singles.
“Truth is female,” writes Håkan Burden in Gothenburg .. “at least in Old Norse. As always enjoying how the OBO strays into philosophical (and sometimes informed) discussions.”
27th over: India 142-3 (Kohli 51, Rahul 34) A boundary! Rahul bends and scoops his first four from his sixtieth delivery. Maxwell is irritated.
“Isn’t cricket wonderful?” Sure is Anand. “ It is gripping when boundaries are hit and now, a cat and mouse session.
“More intrigue about whether there will be movement under lights or dew or both or neither! Fascinating !”
26th over: India 135-3 (Kohli 50, Rahul 28) Kohli calls for his cap, just in time to acknowledge the crowd, who rise, for his fifty – off 56 balls. He raises his bat and wipes his beard. Five consecutive fifties – just as he made in the 2019 World Cup as well. Rahul drives through extra cover, the crowd raise their voices in anticipation, but Warner is there, the scrappy pup.
25th over: India 131-3 (Kohli 49, Rahul 25) Maxwell again, as Cummins rings the changes to bemuse. Just three off Mazwell. The current projected score in 264. I have no idea if that would be enough. I’m going to say no.
24th over: India 128-3 (Kohli 47, Rahul 24) Rahul and Kohli have faced nearly the identical number of balls, but Kohli has almost double the score. Three from the over. In the Indian dugout, the players looks relaxed as we approach the half way stage.
23rd over: India 125-3 (Kohli 45, Rahul 23) None of the spectators at this ground would have imagined watching India bat and not hit a boundary for nearly an hour and a quarter. Cummins waves on Starc. Kohli picks up a couple from a nudge behind, then opens the face, cleverly playing the angles. He seems unfazed.
22nd over: India 121-3 (Kohli 42, Rahul 22) Travis Head, he of the astonishing catch to dismiss Rohit, fizzes in, just two from his over. Rahul calls for water, gulps down half a bottle and wipes his brow.
“I think Kim Thonger’s question about the gender of luck could be better answered by positing the contrasting predictability of masculinity, rather than its reality (he both demonstrated and mansplained simultaneously).” Thank you Brian Withington, she nodded, glancing at her watch.
21st over: India 119-3 (Kohli 41, Rahul 21) Kohli does some gardening, dusts away an invisible impediment, pats the pitch. He dabs Hazlewood behind. Four singles. David Warner laughs his head off.
20th over: India 115-3 (Kohli 39, Rahul 19) Time for Mitch Marsh and his medium pacers. I feel Rohit would have tucked in, but things are different now. There have now been 60 balls since the last boundary – the running ticker tape says at the bottom of the TV screen. Nine fours, three sixes in the first ten overs, none at all in the second ten.
19th over: India 113-3 (Kohli 38, Rahul 18) Hazlewood now, who must have crept back on the field when I wasn’t looking. Rahul pulls, but those pesky yellow shirts are everywhere. Kohli steals a quick single. And another. Both teams happy to operate in singles at the moment.
18th over: India 107-3 (Kohli 35, Rahul 15) Rahul cuts but Warner slides and stops – a lesser-spotted two. Just three from the over, whipped through by Maxwell in a jiffy.
Good morning Bhawesh! “Got up at 3:30AM here in Cambridge, Massachusetts, to watch the game (actually didn’t have much sleep due to the excitement of the game). Hoping India pull this through and rebuild the innings in this phase of the game. Last time India and Australia met in a final, I was a little kid. I think Sachin getting out and India losing was one of the most heartbreaking moments for me in sport as a kid. Hoping this time would be different.”
17th over: India 104-3 (Kohli 35, Rahul 12) Rahul and Kohli chat half way down the pitch, while the Australians swarm in yellow to the right. Could be a court painting. Marnus at cover cuts off Rahul. Virat lazes Cummins past square leg but Warner is there, a swat to fine leg is cut off too. Cummins picks up off his own bowling. Australia tighten the net.
16th over: India 97-3 (Kohli 32, Rahul 8) Kohli and Rahul content again to deal in singles, Zampa’s three overs have gone for just 14 and there hasn’t been a boundary since Shreyas’s back foot drive. They take drinks.
William Hampton is awake. “It’s half past 2am in northern Alberta. The Aussies have woken me up a tad. This could be fun.”
15th over: India 97-3 (Kohli 32, Rahul 8) A nervy over of nearly. Rahul gets a top edge off Cummins, falls short. Kohli nearly undone by a miscued pull pricking the ears of midwicket. The stadium revs up with a Mexican wave. Excellent by Cummins.
14th over: India 94-3 (Kohli 30, Rahul 7) A pitch invader, whose time at the World Cup is over. Surely it wasn’t a worth it. Just singles again from Zampa.
In Poland, Krishnamoorthy is in thoughtful mood. “Should this rampaging India somehow manage NOT to win this WC (looks more likely at this moment) , it will take a LONG time to recover and become a force again.” Early days, early days.
13th over: India 89-3 (Kohli 27, Rahul 5) Cummins, freshly shorn, broad of shoulder, rustic of run-up, keeps the pressure on with a tidy over giving away just two runs. We enter the rebuild
”Jolly exciting isn’t it?”Why yes Kim Thonger. “I’ve devised a captaincy strategy which enables the captain winning the toss to reduce the pressure on the team’s batters and bowlers. Don’t make the decision to field or bat, even though can, but instead, use a die, in the manner of Luke Rhinehart’s The Dice Man, to decide for you. Roll odd, bat. Even, bowl. Winning the toss sometimes messes with your head more than losing. This leaves the decision to Lady Luck. Make sure your team know the process though, to ensure their relaxation. Incidentally, why is luck female?”
Um, gosh because, historically, reality is male? Mutter, mutter patriarchy?
12th over: India 87-3 (Kohli 26, Rahul 4) Now Zampa, who Ponting said would be key to this Indian innings. Cummins decision to bowl first paying off so far. Like a dandelion seed, he floats in – five singles.