42nd over: Australia 181-7 (Smith 74, Starc 7) Wood to Starc, and Smith is instant in calling for a run when the ball cannons off Starc’s thigh pad. Finally Smith has strike back. But he can only get a leg bye himself in similar fashion. The pair get a few singles going. Australia battling to make 200 at this rate.
41st over: Australia 176-7 (Smith 73, Starc 5) Liam Plunkett, such a solid English name and such a solid English over. Starc hits the field a couple of times, misses the swish a couple of times, and blocks one on his stumps. Finally skews an edge away for a run from the last ball.
“Speaking of crossover OBOs,” writes Abhinav Dutta, “this one goes beyond Guardian’s offices and into the territory of the sublime or the perverse, depending on what mood Zizek is in. It would be nice to read hairy bear Slavoj sniffling after every over while traipsing through Hegel, Lacan and Marx. Wonder when or what he would deem fit as pure negation in cricket. Glenn Maxwell’s breezy knocks straddle both the sublime and the perverse; which I hazard Zizek will turn into an exegesis on the cricket industry’s hype factory.”
Wonder if we can tie this in with our correspondent from the Guggenheim earlier. Cricket’s art and philosophy. Yuzvendra Chagall, anyone?
40th over: Australia 175-7 (Smith 73, Starc 4) Here’s Mark Wood. He’s not as hard to hit as Archer has been, and Smith stands up tall to drive a couple off the back foot straight of sweeper cover, then tucks a single away. Starc guides a run to third man easily enough. The Australian No9 won’t hold back too much longer, I wouldn’t imagine.
39th over: Australia 171-7 (Smith 70, Starc 3) Smith is happy to give Starc plenty of strike against Archer, taking singles as they arise. Starc edges on his own, then later clips two runs square. Good shot. Can bat. Holds the record for the most sixes in a Test innings at the MCG, actually. Seven, I think it was?
Archer bowls out with 2 for 32 from his ten.
Hopefully David Murray is feeling better than he was quarter of an hour ago, when he wrote “I can’t bear this. I know we’re doing well but even if we get one of these guys out (Smith or Maxwell) I just know Cummins and Lyon will come in and get runs. The England team won’t like me for it but I’m prepared to make a deal with the powers that be: let us win today and the nice Kiwi boys can have the final. Can you please forward my offer to the appropriate channels.”
Offer rescinded? Smith is still out there…
38th over: Australia 166-7 (Smith 68, Starc 0) Adil Rashid. He hasn’t had the best tournament, has looked uncomfortable at times with his shoulder, but has put together the most telling performance here today. With the number 95 on his back, one can only assume in tribute to Tino Best, he bowls to Starc, foxing him utterly with a googly that spins past edge and off stump. Then again, with the same result, the left-hander going right back on his stumps and trying to defend them.
WICKET! Cummins c Root b Rashid 6 (Australia 166-7)
There it goes! The extinguishing comes not from Archer, but Rashid! The leggie kicks another one out. Cummins backs away looking to cut, but only gets a little top edge straight to slip. Turn and bounce.
37th over: Australia 165-6 (Smith 67, Cummins 6) Morgan keeps Archer on, looking to extinguish this Australian innings now. Good captaincy. Don’t let them build a rearguard. But Cummins handles Archer pretty well, steering a couple of runs, glancing a couple, and playing softly enough that a leading edge doesn’t carry back to the bowler from a slower ball.
36th over: Australia 161-6 (Smith 67, Cummins 2) Right then. It’s Smith and Cummins. Remember, the pair that ground England into submission in the Brisbane Test not so long ago? Cummins won’t mind having a long time to bat, that’s more his style than crash-bang. They collect four singles from Rashid.
I’ll tell you what, the Marina Hyde OBO is getting wild support. My email inbox has gone into meltdown. Somebody ring Kath Viner and tell her what the people want. We can make a separate subset of the Guardian supporters’ model and launch when it reaches a target.
35th over: Australia 157-6 (Smith 65, Cummins 0) Archer got the chance to take that wicket because he bowled two very high bouncers in a row that were called wide. If that was setting up Maxwell to expect a full-pace ball, then it worked. Clever bowling. It’s been a frustrating World Cup for Maxwell and for those who love his work. Lots of glimpses, never a full picture, after his excellent few months leading into this tournament.
Archer 2 for 23 off eight.
WICKET! Maxwell c Morgan b Archer 22
Archer gets his man! Not in the way you might have expected. Back of a length, and Maxwell is trying to do the sensible thing with the over nearly gone, defending off the back foot. But Archer bowls a smart off-cutter, and it sticks in the pitch substantially, slowing up. Maxwell is through his shot early and the ball loops off the splice to cover. Oh, dear.
34th over: Australia 152-5 (Smith 63, Maxwell 21) Lovely shot from Maxwell! He’s got such bat speed when he goes at the ball. Smacks Rashid over midwicket, but a routinely sensational piece of boundary fielding from Bairstow saves two runs. Rashid though doesn’t meet the challenge well, dragging down and letting Maxwell pummel a more violent shot squarer for four! Then he cuts, hard, through cover but again the sweeper saves. Maxwell loving the spin, or taking the chance to get as many as he can while he can.
33rd over: Australia 144-5 (Smith 62, Maxwell 14) Archer resumes, and I don’t know if its deliberate but Smith takes up the first five balls of the over. Can’t beat the field a couple of times, and Archer beats the edge another time. Maxwell again plays sensibly and takes a single off his one delivery.
“Is it possible to get a Marina Hyde OBO?” asks Ravikiran Ramakrishnan. Or at least an MBM? Imagine her doing the MBM for that England Cameroon game, or even the USA semis…”
I’ll tell you what, I hope so. I’m going to kick this up the chain of command. I saw Marina in the Guardian lobby a couple of weeks ago but was too starstruck to say hello.
Can I just advise that during the drinks break, Test Match Special’s young and talented producer Henry Moeran has got himself a go on the cricket bat guitar by the sideline. It turns out he can play guitar as well, as he shreds a power solo before flipping his hair back into place and going back upstairs to keep the radio commentary on track. Talented people, hey?
32nd over: Australia 142-5 (Smith 61, Maxwell 13) Rashid to Smith. Teases him once. Teases him twice. Lots of loop. A googly. Smith eventually works a single fine. Maxwell on strike, and he goes downtown for six! Didn’t skip down to that one, just saw the length was full enough and got a big stride in, and with mid-on up in the circle, had no hesitation giving that ball everything he has. It soars over the fence. Then Maxwell proves his temperament by defending the last two balls. Drinks.
31st over: Australia 135-5 (Smith 60, Maxwell 7) Here we go, here we go. Immediately Morgan brings back Archer to bowl to Maxwell. They want to target him with the short ball once again. A couple of normal length, then the first shorter one. Maybe a slower ball? Maxwell picks it and nails it for four! Pulled through midwicket. Back goes Archer to bowl again. Wheels on that one! It sizzles through at helmet height, and Maxwell ducks early and ducks often. This is some game of cricket today.
30th over: Australia 130-5 (Smith 59, Maxwell 3) Rashid bowls and it’s edged! Suddenly the leg-spinner is whirring down pure terror. Maxwell’s edge goes low and grounded past slip for a couple, then there’s a similar shot for a single.
“An inspired piece of captaincy there, making that switch,” writes Robin Hazlehurst. “Rob was obviously flagging a little after that great start to the innings, but you get brought on and immediately a double breakthrough. Obviously makes sense to keep you on for now, but I wonder if the skipper should consider giving a couple of overs to someone from left field to break this partnership if it looks dangerous. Emma John, say? Any idea what the strategy will be in the second innings?”
What would the equivalent of Matthew Wade bowling be for the OBO? George Monbiot? Can we get Charlie Brooker back? I’ll tell you what, I would subscribe for a decade to read Marina Hyde’s over-by-over.
29th over: Australia 127-5 (Smith 58, Maxwell 1) Smith takes a brace then a single. Hearts in mouths for Maxwell fans the world over, but he eases early fears by taking a sober and sensible single off his pads from Stokes. On strike, Steve Smith decides to up the tempo himself with a glorious cover drive for four.
Rob Smyth has just sent me through a Yellow Warning from the Met Office, which sounds dire.
28th over: Australia 118-5 (Smith 50) Smith brought up his half-century amongst all that chaos. Glenn Maxwell is coming to the middle after the last ball of the over. Rashid was battling, being hit, but suddenly he has 2 for 31 from five overs.
WICKET! Stoinis lbw Rashid 0 (Australia 118-5)
He’s been given! Huge appeal from Rashid, that was a performance like Les Miserables just before the intermission. He spun around, then ran towards the umpire and knelt down before Dharmasena, pleading. Marius to Cosette. A slider that skidded on and hit Stoinis bang in front. A touch high but the replay says yes on umpire’s call. Australia had no review to challenge it anyway.
WICKET! Carey c Vince (sub) b Rashid 46 (Australia 117-4)
Rashid gets the breakthrough! One that England were thirsting for. The worry was rising with each passing over at the ground. I was getting sotto voce complaints about [adjective] Australians from passing colleagues. But here it is. Carey advances to Rashid, and for reasons best known to himself, tries a big loft over the leg side with men out in the deep. Vince is substituting on the field and steadies himself under it at deep midwicket for a simple enough take.
27th over: Australia 118-3 (Smith 48, Carey 46) Stokes carries on from the city end for a quiet over. Smith glides a single to third man to raise the fifty partnership, then Carey pulls a couple of runs hard through the leg side. He’s played so well.
26th over: Australia 113-3 (Smith 47, Carey 44) That’s right folks, today it’s Rob and I with the old roshambo. In my mind that means a sort of dance where we take turns, but then I wasn’t sure and googled it and apparently it’s a game where two people take turns kicking each other in the crotch. I hope that the next 50 overs will be more enjoyable than that.
Poor Adil Rashid is rather roshamboed by Carey on the sweep shot out to deep midwicket for four. Throw in a single every other ball plus a wide from the first, and that’s a double-figure over for Rash.
25th over: Australia 103-3 (Smith 44, Carey 38) A wide from Plunkett takes Australia in to three figures. They have, almost by stealth, got themselves right back in this game. England are still on top, but only just.
That’s it from me. Geoff Lemon will be with you for the next few hours – please email him on Geoff.Lemon@theguardian.com or tweet @GeoffLemonSport. See you later for England’s squeaky run-chase.
24th over: Australia 98-3 (Smith 42, Carey 37) I’m not sure about Rashid today. The ball isn’t turning, his confidence is low and so far he has been milked with ease. England have six bowlers so they aren’t as reliant on him as they might be. An overthrow from Stokes gives Smith an extra run. It’s not exactly unravelling for England, but a couple of loose threads have emerged in the last half an hour. That said, Australia’s response to a crisis – and, in Carey’s case, a mangled jaw – has been so impressive.
“I’m at the Peggy Guggenheim in Venice, the Jean ARP exhibition talks about how ‘the rhapsodic evocation of a creaturely art with a life of its own’,” says Tim Woollias. “It’s as if he knew the disappointment of a Smith/Carey rebuild after three early wickets.”
23rd over: Australia 92-3 (Smith 37, Carey 36) Carey laces Plunkett through extra cover for four, a glorious shot from a player who has been a revelation at this tournament. Smith then flashes Plunkett this far short of Stokes at backward point. It wasn’t a chance, although Stokes’s face suggests he’s annoyed at his inability to dive forward five yards, extend a telescopic arm and clutch it with his little finger.
“In 1984, the Demon of Frome, Colin Dredge, was Somerset’s leading wicket taker against Warwickshire in the Benson & Hedges’ Cup,” says Kim Thonger. “I’m fairly confident that Colin’s mum would have called it Dredgebaston that day, even though Somerset lost and his figures were 2 for 66 off 11.”
22nd over: Australia 87-3 (Smith 37, Carey 30) England’s success has been built on Rashid and Plunkett taking wickets in the middle overs, and they could use one now. Carey, who is an excellent player of spin, sweeps off middle stump for a couple, and a handful of singles make it a decent over for Australia. I wonder if Morgan is tempted to give Archer a two-over burst. It’s probably too early.
“The ground has filled up but still a good many empty seats,” says David Malcolm. “Poor for such a critical match. Ground only has a capacity of 24000. Would not happen in any other sport where stadiums are much larger. Goes to show how much the Indian fans have boosted attendances. I think it fair to say there has only been a lukewarm response to the tournament in UK. Just look at the very limited media coverage. A big problem for English cricket that this has failed to attract interest beyond existing fans.”
New fans are so next year. (Plus, in the interest of balance, the ECB would disagree.)
21st over: Australia 80-3 (Smith 35, Carey 26) Plunkett replaces Wood, who bowled a scruffy spell of 4-0-20-0. A misfield from Stokes gives Smith a single and Stokes a zap of self-loathing. Two singles from the over.
20th over: Australia 78-3 (Smith 34, Carey 25) Adil Rashid replaces Liam Plunkett, who is more of a 150 for three bowler than 50 for three. Rashid has had a poor tournament, but he has a good record on this ground – including a matchwinning four-for against Australia in the Champions Trophy two years ago. Carey drives uppishly but between mid-off and extra cover for four. It looked like a chance but I’d say he had the placement under control. Make no mistake, Australia are right back in this game.
Meanwhile, here’s our star columnist Max Rushden on the possible impact of a free-to-air World Cup final. If if if.
19th over: Australia 72-3 (Smith 33, Carey 20) Smith pulls Wood round the corner for four, another authoritative stroke. He has done the bulk of the scoring in the last few overs, with Carey – who has scored 12 from his last 31 balls – looking secure but strokeless. He’s got plenty in his locker when he decides it’s time.
“Very impressed by Carey, not just his courage, but his ability with the bat,” says John Jones. “Looks a top-class player to me and surely must play in the Ashes. As for Handscombe, was there anything more predictable than his embarrassing effort today? Was delighted when he was selected. Walking wicket.”
Carey’s first-class record isn’t great (he averages 29), but it’s hard to reconcile that with what we’ve seen in this tournament. He looks a brilliant all-round batsman. With Handscombe, so much depends on conditions.
18th over: Australia 66-3 (Smith 28, Carey 19) Four from Plunkett’s over, which means Australia have scored 38 from the last six. They’re having a good spell, and a single from Smith brings up an excellent fifty partnership. I was going to say ‘clear-headed’ but I doubt Carey’s head feels too clear.
“Many reasons why England should win,” says Krishnamoorthy V.
- “We will have a new winner of the World Cup – like 2010 FIFA when Spain met the Netherlands.
- Will be a much-needed boost to the English who went on an ‘It’s coming home’ whole of last summer
- Will be nice to see two gentlemanly teams in the final – like two Japanese trying to out bow each other.
- Eff all that, I can’t stand Australia.”
17th over: Australia 62-3 (Smith 27, Carey 16) Wood has changed ends and replaces Stokes. Smith jumps across to work a short ball for two and then scythes a drive behind square for four. England are letting this drift a bit, although Australia with a lot of intelligence and mental strength – and, in Carey’s case, extraordinary courage.
16th over: Australia 55-3 (Smith 21, Carey 15) Liam Plunkett replaces Mark Wood. Smith, who looks much better after a jittery start, drives his first ball crisply whence it came for four. Carey does likewise later in the over, and a half-stop from Roy at mid-off saves one run. Australia have recovered impressively from that traumatic first 10 overs. The upside of such a bad start is that, if Australia do win, it will feel infinitely sweeter. The reverse is true for England.
“Rob,” says Romeo. “Rather than Kumble, Carey makes me think of another Aussie with a jaw problem, Rick McCosker, who was a bit of a hero in the Centenary Test of 1977.”
15th over: Australia 47-3 (Smith 16, Carey 12) The commentator Mel Jones makes the point that Handscomb will probably keep wicket for Australia. Carey’s injury looks really nasty, with the swelling increasing by the over, and I’m slightly surprised he’s continuing. That’s drinks.
“If….and it’s a big if…..Archer and Woakes continue to bowl as they’ve done all tournament, then is the big loser poor Stuart Broad?” says Kevin Wilson. “Archer must play in the Ashes and Woakes will find nibble and contribute nicely with the bat. Assuming Mo is the sole spinner at eight, surely Broad is sweating on Anderson’s injury?”
I never thought I’d say this about the Ashes, but who cares? (A-hem. It’s all about rotation these days so I think he’ll play at least two or three of the Tests. And Stuart Broad is almost as dangerous as Jonny Bairstow when he has a point to prove.”
14th over: Australia 45-3 (Smith 15, Carey 11) Carey received more treatment at the end of the previous over, and now he has a full wraparound bandage like Anil Kumble all those years ago. It looks like his jaw is swelling up, yet he could barely look more composed at the crease. He really has got something about him.
His partner, Smith, gets his first boundary by dragging a short ball from Stokes through midwicket. England’s intensity has dropped since the double bowling change, and they need to be a bit careful about allowing Australia to build a partnership.
“Morning Rob,” says Elliot Carr-Barnsley. “How do we assess Michael Bevan (who played in that semi-final) nowadays? Considered the eminent ODI player of his generation, how would he fare today? He batted low in a team that won often (Not Out in 67 of 196 innings), scoring only 6 hundreds at a strike rate of 74, with 21 sixes. Would that extrapolate up to conform to the modern game? Or would his natural game be outmoded today? Does he even have a legacy now? His role as a finisher without being a biffer doesn’t seem to be suitable for study. (BTW I love him and it’s worth noting that he’s a statistically perfect all-rounder in every form of the game).”
I think he’s the greatest finisher of all time along with MS Dhoni. (I know it sounds a bit pretentious but I’d classify Virat Kohli as a run-chaser, as his role is different.) Bevan’s game as was wouldn’t work today, but I’m sure he’d have adapted. The same is true of other great finishers like Neil Fairbrother, Allan Lamb and the rest.
13th over: Australia 36-3 (Smith 7, Carey 10) Mark Wood replaces the brilliant Chris Woakes (6-0-16-2). “He should really enjoy this surface,” says Ian Bishop, a millisecond before Wood spears a first-ball wide outside off stump. He beats Carey for pace later in the over, before brilliant fielding from Woakes at fine leg and then Stokes at backward point saves a total of five runs. Wood’s over, a mixed bag, includes three wides – but he finishes by zipping one past Smith’s outside edge.
12th over: Australia 28-3 (Smith 6, Carey 9) Ben Stokes replaces Jofra Archer, who bowled a majestic opening spell of 5-0-11-1. Smith drives a single through the covers, which gives Stokes three balls at Carey. This guy is a dangerous customer, and he has played beautifully since wearing that bouncer from Archer. For now he is happy to build an innings rather than counter-attack, and those three deliveries are all dots.
“England have home conditions, better players and now a dream start,” says Gary Naylor. “If they don’t get this over the line, we’ll never win this thing.”
When England are bowled out for 12, chasing 371, Gary Naylor’s address will be available on an honesty-box basis.
11th over: Australia 28-3 (Smith 5, Carey 9) Woakes’ sixth over, probably the last of this spell, yields just a single to Smith. England will surely keep hunting wickets, having watched Australia recover from abysmal starts with the bat to beat both West Indies and New Zealand earlier in the tournament. Never give a sucker an even break.
10th over: Australia 27-3 (Smith 4, Carey 9) The game is starting to settle down after that eye-widening start. Smith works a short ball from Archer off the hip for a single, his fourth from 24 balls. That scoring rate is fine in the circumstances.
“Half empty ground for a World Cup semi-final,” says David Malcolm. “I know this is because Indian fans bought up most of the tickets thinking their side would play at Edgbaston but it does not look good.”
Really? It doesn’t look half empty on TV. And it certainly doesn’t sound half empty.
9th over: Australia 24-3 (Smith 2, Carey 8) Carey is fine to continue, and he crunches a cover-drive for four off Woakes. He has started really impressively.
“The narrative for this game,” says Alex Netherton, “has been thrown into stark disarray.”
Wait till you what it’s done to the tactics board.
8th over: Australia 19-3 (Smith 2, Carey 4) Carey punches Archer down the ground for three, an impressively assured stroke. He doesn’t look so assured when Archer draws blood with a brutal bouncer. It hit Carey on the grille, knocking his helmet off and cutting him just above the chin. There will be a break in play while he receives treatment
“There was near-unanimous agreement among cricket commentators that losing Khawaja mightn’t be such a bad thing,” says Joe Roberts. “How much are they missing him now? Seems like just the man for this job.”
Yes, that’s an excellent point. I suppose we envisaged Handscomb coming in at 120 for two at 23 overs. In these circumstances, he looked a walking wicket.
That was lovely bowling from Woakes, especially to a creasebound player like Handscomb. It was full and shaped back in, and all Handscomb could do was inside-edge a drive onto the stumps.
WICKET! Australia 14-3 (Handscomb b Woakes 4)
Chris Woakes has knocked him over with a ripper!
6th over: Australia 14-2 (Smith 1, Handscomb 4) Archer beats Handscomb with a sensational delivery that seams past the outside edge. He is bowling outrageously well, and the next ball holds its line to beat the bat once more. Archer’s figures of 3-0-4-1.
“Typo?” asks Boris Starling. “I like ‘Jonny Bairstow took the match’ rather than ‘took the catch’….. (in fairness, you did say the first 10 overs might decide this either way.)”
Aaaaach, sorry. I do hope that wasn’t Freudian hubris.
5th over: Australia 13-2 (Smith 1, Handscomb 3) Handscomb survives another huge LBW appeal from Woakes. There might have been an inside-edge. Woakes wants to review but Morgan and Buttler overrule him. It’s the right decision, becuse replays show there was a late inside edge. Australia are hanging on for dear life. But if there’s one team that can win after such a torrid start, it’s them.
4th over: Australia 12-2 (Smith 1, Handscomb 2) Smith flashes and misses at Archer, who then sends down a blistering bouncer that Smith avoids. He has started very nervously, although he often does. If he gets through this opening spell, he won’t care how many false strokes he plays.
3rd over: Australia 11-2 (Smith 1, Handscomb 1) “Sure, Mr. Alt-J wrote in,” sniffs Mac Millings, “but I’ve written in many times, and you’ve *not once* mentioned that I was in Glistening Mother. We played two shows (in China – long story). The band collapsed after three of us (we were a five-piece) didn’t turn up to the second gig, and of the two who did, I was far too drunk to sing.”
I’m sensing the great lost Netflix documentary.
IT’S UMPIRE’S CALL AND HANDSCOMB SURVIVES
Blimey. This is extraordinary stuff. That would have been another golden duck for Australia. Replays showed it was just hitting the top of the stumps, which means England keep their review.
ENGLAND REVIEW FOR LBW AGAINST HANDSCOMB!
This looks incredibly close.
This is an awesome start for England. Warner had dumped the previous ball back over Woakes’s head, a shot of spectacular disdain. Woakes followed up with a sharp back-of-a-length delivery that Warner could only fence to first slip, where Warner’s mate Jonny Bairstow took the match with unashamed glee.
2nd over: Australia 6-1 (Warner 5, Smith 1) Steve Smith is the new batsman. It’s Warner and Smith v England, yet again. Archer greets Smith with a bouncer, and then induces an inside-edge into the leg side. This is a scorching start from Archer, who bowled so poorly against Australia at Lord’s. Smith gets off the mark with a quick single, and then Warner tucks a short ball off the hip for another.
That Finch review looks a poor one, because he missed the ball by a fair way, but Michael Clarke makes the point that his bat thumped into his pad and the combination of sound and sensation probably made him think he might have inside-edged it.
“And I thought Gus Unger-Hamilton was an anagram!” says Steve Hudson. “Just spent half an hour trying to decode it.”
WICKET! Australia 4-1 (Finch LBW b Archer 0)
He’s out! Aaron Finch has gone for a golden duck! It was a beautiful inswinger from Jofra Archer, and it was hitting the top of middle. Australia lose their captain – and their review.