37th over: Australia 200-3 (Smith 18, Maxwell 1) This is about the first time in this World Cup that Maxwell hasn’t been off the mark with a four or a six. He drives Wood nicely, but straight to mid-off, then takes a sensible single to square leg. He’s got 14 overs to face today, unlike the five or so he’s had in some other matches. Smith drives Wood dead straight for four, then glides fine through third man for another. Like brushing crumbs off his trousers. 200 up.
“The slope at Lord’s will indeed help Rashid turn his googly, if he’s bowling from the pavilion end. Are there any other international grounds with a similar slope?”
Hampstead Cricket Club? Not at the top level, that I can think of. Birmingham is a bit of an inverted saucer, isn’t it?
36th over: Australia 190-3 (Smith 9, Maxwell 0) How’s that for an eventful over? Finch’s hundred, and his beaming celebration, arms spread to the dressing room. Finch’s fall the next ball. Archer’s follow-up, a leg-side pie that Smith glances for four. Then Archer’s follow-up to the follow-up, a snorter at Glenn Maxwell that leaps at his grille and is fended away in the air with a flinch.
WICKET! Finch c Woakes b Archer 100 (Australia 185-3)
Ton and done! The very next ball, Finch hooks at Jofra Archer, and the Wizard down there at long leg gets a chance at redemption. He takes the catch off the top edge.
Century! Aaron Finch 100 from 115 balls
A misfield at long leg from Woakes, and Finch gets back for his second run. That’s 15 ODI tons for him, behind only Warner, Gilchrist, M. Waugh and Ponting for Australia.
35th over: Australia 183-2 (Finch 98, Smith 4) Stokes takes us up to the drinks break, with Finch knocking a single and Smith steering a couple.
“Omens are bad for England today,” writes Dave Seare from the dark tent where he crouches over his chicken bones. “Australia have brought a truckload of good luck (along with their skill). To compound this they’ve finally selected Nathan Lyon and are denying England a turn at the Zampa buffet. Crucially I’ve run out of milk for brews too.”
What… kind of brew has milk in it? Is this a kind of stout? Magic pudding? Wombat stew?
34th over: Australia 178-2 (Finch 96, Smith 1) Archer back into the attack immediately. Is that a pre-set rotation, or does Morgan want him to bowl at Smith before the batsman is set? If so, it doesn’t work, because Finch sprints back for a second run to start the over, then cuts a single at the end to keep strike.
33rd over: Australia 175-2 (Finch 93, Smith 1) You don’t really mind the wicket, do you if you’re Australia? Because it brings Steve Smith to the crease, and he’s exactly the hard-running accumulator you’d like at this stage of an innings. He gets off the mark by driving to deep cover for one.
WICKET! Khawaja b Stokes 23 (Australia 173-2)
Straight through him! No footwork from Khawaja, he just stood up and drove half-heartedly at Stokes and the ball zips through the gate to take down off stump. Big celebrations from Stokes, surprise surprise. The bowling change comes off.
32nd over: Australia 173-1 (Finch 92, Khawaja 23) Gorgeous from Finch, who is threatening to score another hundred. Rashid gives a lot of flight, the ball drops on a full length, and Finch is there waiting for it like a wolf at the door, licking his chops. He drives it through cover dreamily.
31st over: Australia 166-1 (Finch 88, Khawaja 20) I’m liking this Stokes change. It’s opened up a contest. Finch square drives him gorgeously for what should be four, but Archer does well on the rope to save. Then Stokes zings through a bouncer that Finch can’t get near on the hook. Willing.
30th over: Australia 162-1 (Finch 85, Khawaja 19) Rashid from the Pavilion End, where I suppose the slope would help his googly? Tell me if you know more about this weird angled ground than I. Khawaja is quick to sweep again when the opportunity presents, for a couple more runs.
I’m sensing a certain theme in Kanishk Srinivasan’s correspondence.
“At the risk of attracting a lot of hate and online boos, I’m really hoping Australia win this as a neutral (so not really neutral). But England losing here would open the doors ever so slightly for Bangladesh to pop them to that fourth semi-formal spot, which would be amazing. Plus, I think Australia have gone through some self-induced extremely difficult times, so maybe getting to the semis would do them some good. And then they could placate their haters by crashing out by losing to Bangladesh. What say?”
29th over: Australia 158-1 (Finch 84, Khawaja 16) Stokes is back, giving Moeen a break. And perhaps seam is England’s better option just now, with three prodded runs, a couple of miscues, and a ball that jags and beats Finch in a more menacing fashion than anything Moeen sent down. Finch is very capable of monstering spinners on a good day.
28th over: Australia 155-1 (Finch 82, Khawaja 15) Missed stumping! That was a straightforward one for Buttler. Rashid hung the ball up there, drew Khawaja forward, beat his push, and dragged his back foot out. The ball skipped through but hit the heels of Buttler’s hands and bounced back. I don’t think he even really reacted to that ball in time. Khawaja celebrates his reprieve with the exuberance of a man released from prison, reverse-sweeping a four immediately.
27th over: Australia 148-1 (Finch 81, Khawaja 9) Eight more from Moeen’s over, as Finch ends it with an edge to third man for four. Moeen has conceded 42 in 36 balls.
26th over: Australia 141-1 (Finch 76, Khawaja 7) England’s spinners rattling through the overs, as must I. Lots of great emails coming in, thank you all. Rashid concedes a single, then a brace thanks to Root’s misfield.
25th over: Australia 138-1 (Finch 74, Khawaja 6) Singles, singles, the Finch clouts Moeen straight for six! That was such a casual easy swing of the bat. It looked like long-on might be in play for a minute, but the ball sailed over his head. Finch makes it looks simple.
24th over: Australia 129-1 (Finch 67, Khawaja 4) A quiet over from Rashid, with Khawaja sweeping a couple. He does love the sweeps, in all their forms. Big fan of Dick van Dyke.
“At the risk of betraying both of my cricketing prejudices,” warns Brian Withington, “the only Australian bowler I want to have a good one today is Peter Siddle at Chelmsford.”
The great Pierre Siddel. Back him in every time.
23rd over: Australia 125-1 (Finch 66, Khawaja 1) So an eventful over, that one. Finch whacks a couple to cover, then blasts a six over midwicket via his meaty slog-sweep. Loves that shot, getting his front foot well forward, dropping his knees and blasting through the line. Then Warner’s wicket falls, and Usman Khawaja comes out at first drop. Played well last time out against Bangladesh, needs to do it again.
WICKET! Warner c Root b Moeen 53 (Australia 123-1)
Thanks Martin! And thanks Moeen, who finally gets reward for England. It was the bounce wot did it, Your Honour. Width outside off, Warner looks to cut, but the ball leaps on him and takes the top edge, looping tamely to point. The Big Bad Wolf is out, and gets a fair razzing from the crowd as he leaves. Either that or they’re saying “Rooooooooot” for the catch.
22nd over: Australia 114-0 (Finch 56, Warner 53) Rashid with this over. Just a couple of singles, but one of them moves Warner from 499 runs to 500 in this edition of the World Cup. Ridiculous numbers really.
21st over: Australia 112-0 (Finch 55, Warner 52) Finally a quiet over for England, as Moeen starts looping his deliveries up, and Finch decides he’s content to be watchful for a few deliveries. Two singles in the end.
Martin Sinclair is halfway out the door. “This has been a difficult morning and I’m wondering whether we’re watching the wheels coming off the England wagon. Yes, we can beat anyone on our day, but we can also lose to anyone and we all know about England’s fabled mental fortitude and ability to grind out wins under pressure. Er… Having followed the morning’s play obsessively up till now, I feel I have to take a break in case it it is my close attention that is jinxing us. I’ll check back in later when hopefully the score is around 154/6. See you then!”
Come come, Martin. What happened to that famed Britannia spirit engendered by blue passports or somesuch? I don’t know the details, I’m not from around here.
Half century! Warner 50 from 52 balls
20th over: Australia 110-0 (Finch 54, Warner 51) The run twins are at it again, with a drive for one from Rashid. Matching fifties, and in such an adorable shade! They look cute.
So is Thomas Taylor. “Is there anything better than staying up ‘til half four in the morning to watch England vs. Australia in a bar in Mexico with your Spanish girlfriend asleep in your arms?”
I can’t speak specifically to that experience, Thomas, but I can say that a lot of people have fallen asleep watching cricket with me.
Half century! Finch 50 from 61 balls
19th over: Australia 106-0 (Finch 52, Warner 49) A couple more runs out to deep midwicket, and Finch has his fifty. In this World Cup he has 66, 6, 36, 82, 153, 53, and now 52 not out. And that 36 he was smashing it but got run out.
If you want something more sedate, here’s our county cricket live blog.
18th over: Australia 100-0 (Finch 48, Warner 47) Double spin change, with Adil Rashid’s leg-breaks from the Pavilion End. And Warner goes after him immediately. This must be a plan. First ball, tonked over mid-off for a couple. Third ball, pulled for four. Fifth ball, driving hard past a diving Moeen at mid-off. Ten from the over, all to Warner, and that’s the eighth century partnership in ODIs for this pair, and their third in this World Cup. Australia cruising.
17th over: Australia 90-0 (Finch 48, Warner 37) Moeen versus Warner. This match-up has some history. England’s off-spinner starts up from the Nursery End, fittingly given he and his wife have just had a baby daughter. Warner drives a couple out into the deep, then gets two bonus overthrows from a nudge for a single, as Morgan’s throw is wild to Buttler. A couple of sedate singles, seven from the over, and Australia continue to cruise.
A round of applause for Porus Patwari, everyone. “Long time lurker, first time poster here.” See, we’re not so scary.
“On the subject of Morgan saying that it would take time to earn trust for the famed duo, I would like to insert the case of Mohammed Amir (as I like to do in any cricket conversation I can). My clear bias and love for him aside, I think he is a shining example of how one can turn the tide on even the most vocal of critics by good behavior, penchant for repentance and of course, searing pace when bowling. His redemption arc should be taught in schools. I think I might have digressed but yeah, you get the gist. I am sure Rob would agree.”
I would never dare speak for Rob, he would flay me with a horse-hair switch for my insolence. But yes: keep being good at cricket, and keep playing with a smile on your face. Of course, it probably makes a difference when you’re a teenage player being led astray by an older crooked leader rather than being the… err… older crooked leader.
16th over: Australia 83-0 (Finch 47, Warner 31) Mark Wood and his imaginary horse are being tonked today. Amongst a few streaky moments, like when Finch almost lifts a ball to mid-off. But around that Finch pulls fine to the fence, and crashes another straight drive. He’s having a wild World Cup, Finch. Drinks.
15th over: Australia 75-0 (Finch 39, Warner 31) That’s Warner looking good. Only for a single, but first ball from Ben Stokes sees Warner up on the balls of his feet, opening the blade and punching effortlessly behind point, crisply timed. That’s how he has scored so many of his Test runs the last few years, and it’s a sign of his game in good order. Perhaps things are slowly starting to come together. It’s this strange situation where he’s made an absolute pile of runs despite not hitting the ball as convincingly as he has at his best.
14th over: Australia 71-0 (Finch 37, Warner 29) And Warner carries on doing what Warner does, not quite timing his own shots but piling up runs nonetheless. He hangs back and drags a pull shot from Wood over mid-on, where it hung in the air for a minute but dropped into the plentiful safe acres beyond Moeen Ali. Warner then flicks three to midwicket, before Finch plays his own cramped pull shot over midwicket. Wood bowls a wide, then finally pulls things back with a couple of dots, but the over costs a dozen.
13th over: Australia 59-0 (Finch 33, Warner 22) This has to be one of the best wicketless opening spells in a one-dayer. Woakes has Finch completely mistiming his drive, aiming through mid-off but dragging away through mid-on. Of course a few people still have to say “Shot!” because the ball went relatively straight for four, but it was never controlled. Then Woakes bowls a hand grenade, a ball that takes off from a good length, flying up to chest height as it passes Finch, the soaring through to the keeper. It jagged off the seam too. Literally unplayable. But as Woakes pitches fuller looking for something similarly unexpected, Finch thrashes a straight drive that does connect well for four.
12th over: Australia 50-0 (Finch 25, Warner 22) Mark Wood will be the first bowling change, on for Archer. Pace for pace. And he delivers first up, nailing Finch on the hip in an unpadded region, which causes a fair bit of pain. It must bruise up badly there where it’s basically skin and bone. Wood errs with the next ball though, and even the uncomfortable Finch can glance it for four. Then a leg bye, and Warner finishes the over by aiming a huge drive at a ghost ball – it was never there. Whoooooo.
Ok, by popular demand you can all blast Farnsy one more time.
11th over: Australia 44-0 (Finch 21, Warner 22) Another Woakes over, another big miscue from Finch as his off-side drive fetches an on-side run. Woakes is swinging the ball into Warner, the left-hander, and denying him any space. Warner is happy to wait this spell out, it seems.
10th over: Australia 44-0 (Finch 20, Warner 22) Archer just errs in length this over, and Warner is exactly the opportunist to take full toll. First he steps across and flips a couple of runs behind square, with only a great sprint from Rashid around from fine leg and a tumbling save preventing a boundary. Then Warner nails his cut shot to a ball just fractionally short, and gets four through point. He’s gone past Finch’s score.
9th over: Australia 36-0 (Finch 19, Warner 15) Woakes! He’s bowling a beautiful spell here. Cuts the ball savagely, twice in the over, once through each batsman. One run from the over, from a push off the hip. He’s all over it today, England’s opening bowler.
Matt Dony emails in. “Advance Australia Fair? Surely John Farnham’s anthemic You’re The Voice is the most inspiring. I’m pretty sure I’m yet to see coverage of a major Australian event that doesn’t have it playing in the background at some point. You guys sure love Farnham.”
We sure do. Apparently it’s not even his song, it’s a cover. But I don’t know want to know about it.
Whoah-oh, oh oh, oh oh-oh-oh…
8th over: Australia 35-0 (Finch 19, Warner 14) Archer is really going smoothly now. He’s bowling with the slope at Lord’s, from the Pavilion End, and decking the ball appreciably. Back of a length, pushing both batsmen back, not giving any room. The only scoring shot is Warner getting an airborne three through midwicket.
The Airborne Three. They solve plane crimes, I guess? Serialisation rights available on request.
Here, have a read about Ian Botham being Ian Botham.
7th over: Australia 32-0 (Finch 19, Warner 11) Finch survives the review and gets off strike. Warner plays a strange sort of shot, going deep in his crease to a half-volley and then lifting it almost off the toe of the bat, over mid-off for four. Trying to get going. Then England almost review again, as Woakes buzzsaws Warner in two with a ball carving past his inside edge and over the stumps. Woakes things it took an edge, but is dissuaded.
England review against Finch!
Leg before shout… Woakes hits him in front of middle, but high and with some angle on the delivery. The umpire says no, England say let’s check, and the review finds that it was at best clipping the leg bail. Umpire’s call, England keep the review, Finch keeps his wicket.
6th over: Australia 26-0 (Finch 18, Warner 6) Jofra Archer to Finch, who drives and is dropped! The Aussie skipper has been put down by James Vince at backward point. Jason Roy would have caught that. You’ve just dropped a potentially quite useful two points at the World Cup. Et cetera.
No, it was a very tough one. High and to his right, Vince flew across into the frame slow-motion like a pelican coming in to land. Got good airtime. Got fingertips to it. Wasn’t much of a chance to fluke that one. Call it a quarter chance. But Finch has played a gaggle of false shots thus far.
5th over: Australia 23-0 (Finch 15, Warner 6) Finch looks good when he hits them. Woakes gets too short and Finch nails the pull shot through midwicket. Then knocks a single to the leg side.
Abhijato is quick off the email mark. “England were supposed to be the best team in this World Cup, but their performances haven’t shown that. Their last three matches are virtual must-wins against the three best teams of the tournament if they are to make it to the knockouts – an objective which the ECB has invested a lot in fulfilling (while also sacrificing their overall domestic structure’s overall stability). The following three matches might just be the most important in their cricketing history…”
Hugely significant, I agree. But the importance only underlines the disconnect, where the ECB have invested to make their 50-over team the best in the world, while actively planning to destroy 50-over cricket at domestic level and make it into a second-rate apprenticeship competition.
4th over: Australia 13-0 (Finch 10, Warner 6) Archer hasn’t taken long to settle. Bowls a peach to Finch, back of a length and seaming away with a sizzle off the pitch. Finch eventually gets another high edge through a vacant area behind point, then to close the over Warner gets a ball leg-side enough to pull it fine for four.
3rd over: Australia 13-0 (Finch 9, Warner 2) Chris Woakes gives Warner a working over around off stump, but Warner is resolute in defence. Watching carefully, not willing to try anything, not until the last ball of the over which Warner chops hard into the ground behind point. It looks ungainly, but it’s safe, and it nets him two runs to get off the mark.
2nd over: Australia 11-0 (Finch 9, Warner 0) Jofra Archer to start from the Pavilion End. His first ball to Australia in what will hopefully be a long and beautiful friendship. It’s a peace offering, floated up outside off stump and driven by Finch for four! Top shot, splitting the cover field along the ground. Jofra gets his length right after that, and Finch watchfully plays out the over. Punch and counter.
1st over: Australia 7-0 (Finch 5, Warner 0) Chris Woakes will get this who on the road. Finch facing the first ball without incident, then edging the second over slip! Went for it hard, as he does, and got a thick airborne edge. Away for four. Then a couple of leg byes off the thigh pad, and a single to cover. Warner gets stranded by a ball that moves away appreciably, so much so that I don’t think you could say that he played at it. Eventful start.
Morning / evening / International Space Station orbit to you all. Which is the more inspiring song: Advance Australia Fair, or Stand By, by Rudimental? A titanic battle for the ages. It’s humid and grey and not too warm here in London. A wet dog sort of day. What will that do to the ball? Let’s find out.
Speaking of Geoff, here he is to take over the OBO controls and guide you through the Australian innings. Cheerio from me.
“Even two-thirds of the way through the Cricket World Cup group stage we are still waiting for teams to peel off their false moustaches and reveal who they really are,” writes Geoff Lemon in his match preview. For a team blessed with a rich history of facial hair, these Australians are actually relatively clean shaven for this tournament. Just Starc, Richardson and Warner can claim to have top lip slugs, and none stand alone – they’re all part of a wider bearded look. Boon, Hughes and Mitchell Johnson in Movember these are not.
Anyway, just a thought that entirely misses the point of Geoff’s excellent article, which you can read here:
But first we’ll have the anthems. Advance Australia first. The players lock arms as a giant cricket ball covered in an Australian flag floats in the background. If that doesn’t bring a tear to your eye, nothing will. And now God Save the Queen. Nearly ready to go.
“I was at Jimmy Anderson’s book launch recently when he commented that Virat Kohli wasn’t being nice in asking Indian fans not to boo,” writes Evelyn Williames. “He realised that the booing just encouraged them (as it did Stuart Broad in Australia).” We’re about to find out, with Warner under 10 minutes away from walking out onto the hallowed Lord’s turf, alongside his opening partner Aaron Finch.
Today is a big test for England. And it’s not going to get any easier in their remaining two matches. Let’s not forget who lies in store for the hosts in their remaining two games after Australia: India and New Zealand. Defeat today could seriously damage their hopes of reaching the semis, especially with Bangladesh breathing down their necks – who are now just a point behind after victory in Southampton 24 hours ago.
England win the toss and opt to bowl
Morgan flips the coin, Finch calls wrongly and England will bowl first in the overcast conditions.
In terms of teams, Morgan confirms England are unchanged after Archer passed a late fitness test. “He’s good. He had a little stiffness in his side the last two games,” Morgan says, before saying he’s now good to go.
Finch admits he wasn’t sure whether to bat or bowl if he won the toss. Don’t worry about that, Aaron. Two changes for Australia: in come Nathan Lyon, for his first match this tournament, and Jason Behrendorff with Adam Zampa and Nathan Coulter-Nile the men to give way.
The captain doth protest too much. Here’s the inimitable Vic Marks, on Morgan and the fact that is most certainly not a hum-drum, just-another-game for England.
Eoin Morgan is entitled not to over-hype the occasion and to keep his players cool. But the protestation that this is just a routine World Cup match was not entirely convincing. In fact, if England had beaten Sri Lanka at Headingley his view of Tuesday’s mouthwatering meeting with Australia would have more credence.
It is true that England can lose at Lord’s and still control their own destiny in this tournament as they strive to satisfy the bare minimum of expectations: reaching the semi-finals. But if Australia prevail then the nerves really start jangling, however icy-calm Morgan may like to appear. Then England might have to win both their remaining matches, against India and New Zealand, neither of whom have been beaten so far.
More on the weather. The importance of the weather radar to everyone’s enjoyment today cannot be underestimated. There’s cloud cover hanging over Lord’s, but importantly no rain and we’re set to get underway with no delay.
Team news. Confirmed XIs obviously won’t be in until a bit later, but Jofra Archer has been suffering from a side problem and underwent a late fitness test at Lord’s. He’s passed it, according to OBOer Adam Collins.
And Michael Vaughan has just said on the telly that Nathan Lyon may make an appearance for Australia.
“Regaining trust takes a lot of time”. For anyone fearing the Lord’s crowd may delight in getting on the backs of the two players at the centre of the aforementioned scandal, thank goodness then for England captain Eoin Morgan, who took the opportunity on the eve of the match to pour cold water on any hot heads wanting to have a pop at poor old Dave Warner and Steve Smith. No, not really, they’re fair game apparently.
Hello and welcome. Sydney calling first up to set the scene ahead of today’s hugely-anticipated meeting at Lord’s, before handing over to London for the start of play (10:30am local, 7:30pm AEST). It hardly needs hyping, such is the, um, special relationship between these two countries, but the fact that this gives England fans a chance to remind their antipodean cousins of the time Australian cricket imploded in Cape Town 15 months ago is sure to only add even more heat to an already five-chilli occasion.
But it’s not just about two very naughty boys seeking a kind of redemption and some inevitably cheap jokes emanating from the stands today. There’s a Cricket World Cup on, and with just two points separating the sides heading into this fixture, there’s table position to play for. Australia sit in second on 10 points, with England fourth on eight, both having played six games. An Australian win will see them leapfrog New Zealand into top spot and put a huge dent in England’s hopes of reaching the semis; defeat will see England draw level on points. First place plays fourth and second plays third in the semis.
Anyway, please do feel free to get in touch with any thoughts on today’s match. I’ll try to field any emails before handing over to Geoff for the first ball. It’s email@example.com on email or @mike_hytner on Twitter. Go!