A gradual but inevitable descent into cricket-based loathing and bile.

Pakistan v England, First T20: Live!

Posted on February 23, 2012 by in T20

Please do not adjust your sets, you are not seeing things. As a bit of a proof-of-concept test, we’re going to be running a live blog during today’s T20 international between Pakistan and England.

Simply check back here a bit nearer the start of the game (16.00 UK time) and watch the updates roll in before your very eyes. Feel free to add to the debate yourself by adding a comment at the foot of the page, hopefully we’ll integrate something in the coming days/weeks/months/years/whenever I get some free time to myself which will allow us to display your Twitter comments in-play as well!

17.50 - Matt H

Thank you for your comment Nichael.

That’s all from us this week folks, we’re all off to never ever do this again.

17.42 - Nichael Bluth

It’s traditional at this point to thank everyone for their comments, but that would be bullshit.

17.41 - Matt H

I make that England 20 points, Australia 2.

17.40 - Nichael Bluth

20 overs, Australia 168/9; Despite Jade’s best efforts, he doesn’t quite manage to mess it up and England win by 27 runs. A pretty solid performance, all told.

17.37 - Matt H

Has Fawad Ahmed ever batted before?

17.35 - Nichael Bluth

19 overs, Australia 162/9; Even Dernbach shouldn’t be able to fuck it up from here.

17.34 - Nichael Bluth

18.5 overs, Australia 162/9; WICKET! Coulter-Nile spoons one straight up in the air. Briggs takes an easy catch. Time to start the ute!

17.32 - Nichael Bluth

18.2 overs, Australia 162/8; Coulter-Nile hits an enormous six and follows it up with a mishit six over fine leg. 34 needed from the last 10 balls….

17.31 - Matt H

But in this case, Nathan Mitchell Coulter-Nile is no baby-faced assassin. But will he be an arse-faced assassin?

17.30 - Nichael Bluth

18 overs, Australia 150/8; Like the Champions League final of 1999, this one is all done and dusted with a few minutes to go.

17.28 - Nichael Bluth

…which Mitchell Johnson swings away for a single.

17.27 - Matt H

Australia now collapsing like Shane Warne’s face during bonfire night.

17.27 - Nichael Bluth

17.3 overs, Australia 148/8; WICKET! Dernbach has another wicket, Morgan leaping like a salmon to take a blinder at backward point. James Faulkner is muttering to himself as he goes off, presumably about England’s slow approach to T20 batting.

Hat-trick ball coming up…

17.25 - Nichael Bluth

17.2 overs, Australia 148/7; WICKET! Maxwell chips a Dernbach full toss straight to the deep square leg fielder. Dernbach celebrates as if he was Marco Tardelli.

17.23 - Nichael Bluth

17 overs, Australia 141/6; Glenn Maxwell is off and running, swinging like he’s part of Trevor and Simon’s singing corner. Just 19 from the over, a really shoddy one from Ravi Bopara.

17.20 - Matt H

On the team benches, Darren Lehmann doesn't look too happy.

On the team benches, Darren Lehmann doesn’t look too happy.

17.19 - Nichael Bluth

16 overs, Australia 129/6; 67 needed from 24 balls. You can probably stick a fork in this one – it’s done.

17.17 - Nichael Bluth

15.1 overs, WICKET! Matt Wade tries to slog Briggs across the line and is clean bowled. And that’s why he still couldn’t get into Australia’s Test team, despite them being an utter shambles.

17.16 - Matt H

15 overs, Australia 123/5: Maxwell and Wade determined to get the runs in singles, twos and dot balls. Which seeing as they need 73 from 30 balls is not the best tactic we’ve ever seen.

17.14 - Nichael Bluth

Jos Buttler’s keeping has been rather untidy today. I think it’s fair to say that he’s not had his best game, all told.

17.11 - Matt H

14 overs, Australia 115/5: England have the momentum, but who has the firepower?

17.11 - Nichael Bluth

Australia relying on Glenn Maxwell: a whole nation’s problems reduced to just five words.

17.10 - Matt H

13.4 overs WICKET! Bailey tries to sweep Briggs, but misses. One of the plumber LBWs you’ll see this year.

17.07 - Matt H

13 overs, Australia 111/4 WICKET!: Moments after Finn misses a catch that he made a Samit Patel’s lunch-sized meal of, Hales catches Warner in the deep. Australia need 85 from 42 balls.

17.05 - Nichael Bluth

Is Jade Dernbach’s beard drawn on with a felt tip?

17.02 - Matt H

12 overs, Australia 104/3: England persevering with Joe Root, as if Danny Briggs doesn’t exist.

16.58 - Matt H

11 overs, Australia 95/3: Bailey hits 12 from his first five balls, as successful start as Pure and Simple.

16.57 - Matt H

Last time I saw Suzanne she was going out with Darren Day. Oddly, the last time I saw Darren Day he was going out Suzanne.

16.55 - Nichael Bluth

Kym Marsh would almost certainly still get it. As would Suzanne from Hear’Say, even though I haven’t seen her for more than a decade.

16.54 - Nichael Bluth

10 overs, Australia 82/3; WICKET! Marsh finally gets bat on ball, swinging Root away for a maximum. He tries to repeat the shot but loses his middle stump for his troubles. And no, that’s not a euphemism – get your minds out of the gutter.

16.53 - Matt H

On this evidence: Geoff > Mitchell > Kym > Shaun.

16.50 - Nichael Bluth

9 overs, Australia 73/2; Now Bopara is on, shuffling into the crease like Noel Edmonds trying to get some spare change to pay for a hostel for the night. There’s a couple of filthy wides but only seven from the over.

16.46 - Matt H

England are doomed.

16.46 - Nichael Bluth

8 overs, Australia 66/2; Root bowls to Warner. Hilarity does not ensue.

16.43 - Nichael Bluth

7 overs, Australia 57/2; Briggs in on and Warner helps himself to 15 from the over, like Arsene Wenger taking 20 quid out of his supermassive petty cash tin.

16.40 - Matt H

I think ‘disappeared like the 51allout readers’ would be a more contemporary simile.

16.39 - Nichael Bluth

6 overs, Australia 42/2; Dernbach’s second ball disappears like Lord Lucan over the boundary but there’s just a wide and a single from the rest of the over. Australia well behind at the equivalent stage.

16.35 - Matt H

5 overs, Australia 34/2: Warner hits Finn for six off the first ball, but Finn keeps things tight for the rest of the over. And now it’s Dernbach time.

16.29 - Matt H

4 overs, Australia 24/2: Marsh on for a brilliant red-ink 0 here.

16.28 - Nichael Bluth

Despite it being really hot inside that costume, it was definitely worth it.

Despite it being really hot inside that costume, it was definitely worth it.

16.26 - Matt H

3 overs, Australia 15/2: Finn wraps up the over with some fine deliveries. England all over Australia like internet geeks and pictures of Ellyse Perry.

16.24 - Nichael Bluth

Classic Watto. Couldn’t he have done that in the Test series to enliven our Adam Dibble competition?

16.24 - Matt H

2.4 overs, WICKET! WATTO RUNOUT! A mix up between the two W’s; Watson is sent back by Warner, Morgan gets a direct hit and Watto is gone. A bit like Patricia Farnham once Suzannah came back into Max’s life.

16.21 - Nichael Bluth

I’m more of an Eastenders man myself.

16.20 - Matt H

2 overs, Australia 9/1: Watson and Warner are back together in the middle, reunited like Max and Suzannah Farnham in Brookside. Or was it Patricia Farnham that Max went back to?

16.16 - Nichael Bluth

I refer to my comment at 16:07.

16.16 - Matt H

1.2 overs, WICKET! Nick Knight says how much he likes Finch because he plays proper shots, just before Finch plays a horrible rash pull shot that skies the ball to mid-wicket.

16.13 - Matt H

1 over, Australia 4/0: Apart from Finn bowling to Finch from the Finchale End, nothing to note.

16.07 - Nichael Bluth

Finch getting more hype than Be Here Now at the moment. Odds on him skying one straight up first ball?

16.06 - Matt H

Michael Carberry Update: currently eating a pasty at Wetherby services. He has hired a look-a-like to do his drinks-carrying duty, a la Mark Morrison.

16.02 - Nichael Bluth

Yeah, that must be it.

16.01 - Matt H

More than I was expecting, but certainly reachable for Australia. By the way, is the comments part of the website disabled?

15.57 - Nichael Bluth

20 overs, England 195/5; Bopara has a massive swing at the final delivery and misses it completely. Is that a good score? I reckon it’s just above par.

15.56 - Matt H

So, Fawad Ahmed is the saviour of Australian cricket then?

15.55 - Nichael Bluth

19.4 overs, WICKET! Morgan hits Ahmed for six and follows it up by picking out the fielder at deep midwicket. It’s Nathan Coulter-Nile who takes a good catch on the boundary – Shane Warne on Twitter in 3…2…1…

15.53 - Nichael Bluth

19.1 overs, WICKET! Buttler is in and is bowled by a slower one from Ahmed that turns. Another classic international innings for Buttler in 2013.

15.52 - Nichael Bluth

19 overs, England 187/3; WICKET! Another good over from Faulkner, who clearly has more in his locker than just being the pretty one in Holby City from 1998 to 2001. He finishes by having Hales caught at long on for 94 from the final delivery.

15.49 - Matt H

David Lloyd has clearly been reading this live blog, as there’s no other way he could check to see no England batsman has scored a T20I ton. Hi David!

15.47 - Nichael Bluth

18 overs, England 181/2; Morgan launches one straight up into the air and the wind takes it for six. There’s a single and then a front foot no-ball from Nathan Coulter-Nile as he risks losing to try and win. Hales hits the free hit miles in the air and gets two for it. Then comes another boundary, a single and two more to finish. 19 from the over, something which Shane Warne neglects to comment about on Twitter.

15.43 - Matt H

This might be Morgan’s highest score this year.

15.42 - Nichael Bluth

17 overs, England 162/2; A quiet over. England looking good for their traditional messup at the finish. Get Buttler in!

15.39 - Nichael Bluth

16.2 overs, WICKET! Luke Wright holes out to mid off. A good catch from Mitchell Johnson, something which the Barmy Army will no doubt take into account next time they devise a song about him.

15.38 - Matt H

No England batsman has a century in T20Is. Will Hales get there today?

15.37 - Nichael Bluth

16 overs, England 155/1; Luke Wright bursts forth like a chest burster that’s had enough of John Hurt’s innards for one day, assisted by some comedy non-fielding on the boundary.

15.34 - Matt H

15 overs, England 137/1: An inside edge for 4 off Johnson’s final ball can’t prevent this innings stalling. Joy!

15.32 - Nichael Bluth

This isn’t Super Luke’s finest hour, as he sucks all the momentum out of the innings like Samit Patel attacking a chocolate milkshake.

15.31 - Matt H

14 overs, England 131/1: Maxwell with a nice little cameo over of spin, which England struggle to get away. Expect a collapse soon.

15.26 - Matt H

13 overs, England 124/1: Nathan Mitchell Coulter-Nile’s best over so far. Shane Warne currently running across the pitch like David Pleat avoiding relegation.

15.22 - Nichael Bluth

A quick Plunkettwatch update: our favourite cereal box adorner is 41* against Durham, well on his way to forcing his way back into England’s side in all three formats.

15.21 - Matt H

12 overs, England 116/1: Someone, possibly Faulkner, gets nutmegged by a ball travelling at eight miles per hour.

15.19 - Matt H

Not bad for a Brigadier…

15.19 - Nichael Bluth

Was just checking Statsguru to see how Fawad Ahmed now ranks in terms of T20 bowlers. Devereux is the 8th most successful Aussie in terms of wickets!

15.18 - Matt H

11.2 overs, WICKET! Wade runs back to catch a skyer from Lumb; Ahmed has his first international wicket – and quite possibly his last.

15.17 - Matt H

PS, not sure if said singer is Geordie or not, but the point still stands.

15.16 - Matt H

11 overs, England 110/0: Hales and Lumb plunder Johnson for 16 runs, ruining the bowler’s figures like a tattoo of a giant rose on a female Geordie singer’s arse.

15.16 - Nichael Bluth

This is tailor-made for the likes of Jos Buttler, Super Luke and Eoin Morgan. So expect England to stumble to around 130/7 in the end.

15.11 - Nichael Bluth

10 overs, England 94/0; 50 for Alex Hales, not bad going. Play stops for a second while the umpire cuts a bit off the ball with a knife, causing Hales to have a terrifying flashback to the events of the previous over.

15.09 - Matt H

50 for Alex Hales. The crowd applause with as much enthusiasm as some pensioners clapping a performing dog at a village fete.

15.07 - Nichael Bluth

9 overs, England 88/0; Fairly decent over from Faulkner, just the one boundary. Plus Lumb was very nearly run out when Hales got hit in the bollocks.

15.06 - Matt H

Devereux would have had a wicket by now.

15.03 - Nichael Bluth

8 overs, England 81/0; Fawad Ahmed into the ‘attack’. There are a couple of optimistic appeals and a boundary. The lull in the middle of the innings I reckon – think Treefingers on Kid A.

15.01 - Matt H

Michael Carberry Update: stuck in traffic somewhere near Catterick.

14.59 - Nichael Bluth

7 overs England 74/0; Lumb writes his phone number on the ball and smashes it into the box where Ellyse Perry might be sitting. I’d do the same if I were him.

14.56 - Matt H

“A pop gun (also written as popgun or pop-gun) is a toy gun that often uses air pressure to fire a small tethered, or untethered, projectile (such as cork or foam) out of a barrel, most often via piston action though sometimes via spring pressure. Other variants do not launch the obstruction, but simply create a loud noise.[1] This mechanism consists of a hollow cylindrical barrel which is sealed at one end with the projectile and at the other with a long-handled plunger. In this type, the plunger is rapidly forced down the barrel, building up internal air pressure until the projectile is forced out with the “pop” sound that, to contemporary users, lends the toy its name.”

14.55 - Nichael Bluth

6 overs, England 61/0; Nathan Coulter-Nile gets battered around a bit. Three boundaries in the over and England are now racing along like a legal case against Rolf Harris.

14.52 - Nichael Bluth

I for one am gutted to see Faulkner getting battered around the park.

14.52 - Matt H

5 overs, England 46/0: Faulkner, the hunchback of Launceston, concedes a brace of fours from his first two balls, a straight six from his fourth, another four from his fifth and then there’s an easy single from the sixth as the close fielders all have their eyes shut in agony.

14.47 - Matt H

4 overs, England 27/0: Nathan Mitchell Coulter-Nile is basically Clint McKay but without the grunting. Lumb smashed the fourth ball high into the air, which Glenn Maxwell amusingly missed in the deep, conceding four runs in the process.

14.45 - Nichael Bluth

Distinct lack of atmosphere in this game. Due to the odd start time? Or the fact that no-one gives a shit about these fixtures?

14.43 - Matt H

3 overs, England 22/0: Johnson reverting towards the norm, as Hales pulls him for two boundaries. There was a full toss in there somewhere as well, unsurprisingly. Par score? 187 in my opinion.

14.41 - Nichael Bluth

I refer to my comment at 14:36.

14.39 - Nichael Bluth

Does anyone have any idea what a par score is here?

14.39 - Matt H

2 overs, England 13/0: Lumb hits two 4s off Watson, one through the off side and one through the on side which Warner misfielded, the fool.

14.36 - Nichael Bluth

Good over from Mitchell Johnson there. Quite possibly the last time I’ll ever say that.

14.35 - Matt H

1 over, England 1/0: Lumb and Hales fail to pierce the infield, Johnson manages to find the pitch with each delivery and Hales survives a large appeal off the final ball. Michael Carberry meanwhile is on the A1 southbound already.

14.30 - Matt H

Remember you can comment via the ‘comments’ section below.

14.28 - Matt H

Well I can understand that point of view.

14.18 - Nichael Bluth

I get the impression that the crowd aren’t all that excited by this game, presumably after having their appetite sated earlier in the day by Holly Colvin’s fantastic breasts.

14.10 - Matt H

For those of you interested in this sort of thing (and if you’re not, why not?), Nathan Coulter-Nile’s middle name is Mitchell.

14.05 - Nichael Bluth

No Carberry once again. One of the great selections.

14.03 - Matt H

Australia won the toss and will field. Nathan Coulter-Nile comes in for Josh Hazelwood, which will test our typing skills.

14.01 - Nichael Bluth

Nick Knight looks remarkably like a Jim Henson puppet today.

13.59 - Matt H

England are unchanged. Can I be first to express my utter f**king disgust at the absence of Michael Carberry?

13.38 - Nichael Bluth

Before we start (and to test that I can remember how this liveblog stuff works), well done to the England women on a crushing Ashes victory.

17.51 - Nichael Bluth

And if you’re a semi-attractive lady in the Colombo area then make sure you use protection tonight. Seriously kids: rubber up.

17.47 - Nichael Bluth

Congratulations to all four people who voted for the West Indies in our poll!

17.46 - James Knight

I’m still just confused by that. I don’t understand how they won.

17.44 - Nichael Bluth

Kieron Pollard: World T20 winner

Johnson Charles: World T20 winner

Darren Sammy: World T20 winning captain

We live in ridiculous times.

17.43 - James Knight

In terms of quality, comfortably the worst final I’ve ever seen.

17.41 - Nichael Bluth

That was an utterly amazing performance from both sides. I don’t think Sri Lanka will ever bat that badly again.

17.35 - Nichael Bluth

Regardless of whatever the result ends up being, this has been a genuinely astonishing game of cricket. And not necessarily in a good way.

17.33 - James Knight

If only this Kula had been as much of a roaring success as that first album.

17.32 - Nichael Bluth

Actually, that second Kula Shaker album might be the biggest shambles I’ve ever seen, relegating this Sri Lankan chase to second.

17.30 - Nichael Bluth

Some of Kula Shaker’s biggest hits since the glory days of Tattva, Hey Dude and the awesome kitchen sink approach of Mystical Machine Gun.

17.13 - Nichael Bluth

To update what I said at 14:59, this is possibly the biggest shambles I’ve ever seen.

17.09 - James Knight

What is this. What is going on?

16.55 - James Knight

Boom.

Not a lot of faith in the batting still to come, it must be said. How on earth is the game in this position?

16.50 - Nichael Bluth

I’d imagine that the ICC would have preferred a high-scoring final, with the ball regularly disappearing into the crowd, but this is gripping in a different way.

Incidentally, I like that fact that day 20 of a Twenty20 tournament is the final. Presumably the same logic explains the length of the 50 over World Cup.

16.33 - Nichael Bluth

The pitch really doesn’t look anything out of the ordinary. It’s not as if there’s been a series of unplayable magic balls.

16.30 - James Knight

Weird, weird game this. Is the pitch a bit dodgy? Nobody seems to have much confidence in it.

16.29 - Nichael Bluth

This is a nervy start from Sri Lanka but as long as they don’t throw a bunch of wickets away they should still win this comfortably.

15.56 - James Knight

Perhaps they could save a few Kingfishers for Malinga as well.

15.55 - Nichael Bluth

I think it’s fair to say that if West Indies win this (which they won’t) then Marlon Samuels will be owed many, many beers by his teammates.

15.37 - James Knight

Oh, would you look at that. He didn’t quite make it.

15.32 - James Knight

All it needs is a trademark Pollard century and they might still win.

15.18 - Matt H

One of the great Pulse questions.

15.15 - James Knight

They’re all terrified of getting out to such an extent that they dug themselves into a huge hole and now no one has any timing or confidence or anything. There is absolutely no way they win from here.

15.14 - Nichael Bluth

9.4 overs in and I reckon that was the first genuine shot in anger. I have absolutely no idea what the West Indies think they are doing.

15.04 - James Knight

Craig Kieswetter with no limbs would’ve played a better innings than that.

15.00 - Matt H

Perhaps Gayle was more injured than was let on?

14.59 - Nichael Bluth

This is possibly the biggest shambles I’ve ever seen.

14.56 - James Knight

This is not quite what you want from a showpiece final.

14.46 - Matt H

Hell of a start with the ball from Sri Lanka – Angelo Mathews showing what England could’ve done if they’d selected Dimitri Mascarenhas.

14.41 - James Knight

I hope he wins the man of the tournament award.

14.35 - Nichael Bluth

Or not.

14.33 - James Knight

So excited for this Johnson Charles innings. Could be the defining moment of the tournament, nay, the year.

14.19 - Nichael Bluth

I’ve got a feeling that this will be a game too far for the West Indies. But it’d be nice to see them get close.

14.15 - Matt H

I’ll go for Sri Lanka as well – I think their top order batting will be a tad too strong for the West Indian bowlers.

13.59 - Nichael Bluth

Actually, while we’re doing some plugging, you can find our England World T20 report card right here.

13.56 - Nichael Bluth

I think we made our point about actually enjoying the games quite well in this week’s podcast.

13.54 - James Knight

I want him to win the man of the tournament award.

13.52 - Nichael Bluth

Not too long until the toss now. Prediction time: who is going to win the World T20?

13.01 - Matt H

Will it be followed by ‘Sisters Are Doing It For Themselves’?

Anyway, Australia won by 4 runs. Good game.

13.00 - Nichael Bluth

Is the use of ‘Girls Just Wanna Have Fun’ the most patronising post-match music ever?

12.56 - Matt H

Six from one.

12.55 - Matt H

Nine required from three.

12.53 - Nichael Bluth

The perfect time for a massive no ball!

12.51 - Matt H

16 runs required from the final over.

12.36 - Nichael Bluth

We’ll actually have an article about Ian Blackwell going up in the next couple of weeks. I trust everyone will be able to contain their excitement.

12.34 - Matt H

She follows up that fine catch by spilling a simple skier. Oh dear.

12.30 - Matt H

Alex Blackwell has just taken the kind of diving catch in the covers that Ian Blackwell could only dream of.

12.12 - Matt H

Two quick wickets, including that of Sarah Taylor, and England are in trouble now. 63/4.

12.01 - Matt H

Superb fielding in the deep there!

11.45 - Nichael Bluth

Only if their swinging was up to standard.

11.43 - Matt H

I can’t believe you’ve mentioned the good looks of one of the women cricketers Nichael. This is sport. Looks are irrelevant. We wouldn’t rave about the good hunky looks of Steven Finn, Graeme Onions, James Anderson or Nick Compton would we…

11.35 - Nichael Bluth

Ellyse Perry is a rather attractive young lady. Plus she’s really getting the ball to swing away nicely.

11.13 - Nichael Bluth

I reckon Australia will be slightly disappointed with that. Should have got 150+ I reckon.

11.11 - Matt H

142/4 – a decent total from Australia, with all their five batters contributing. Will be a tough chase – but England love chasing.

10.59 - Nichael Bluth

That would be mindblowingly amazing. Just imagine it – everybody, all over the world, joining the celebration.

10.57 - Matt H

Is Dave Stewart rumoured to be headlining or something?

10.51 - Nichael Bluth

This is looking quite good for Australia.

Glastonbury tickets have just sold out, so the internet might actually be up and running again now…

10.34 - Matt H

Australia 68/1 from 10 overs.

10.17 - Matt H

England looking a bit erratic with the ball here – a touch of nerves perhaps? But Australia are 40/0 from five overs and finding the boundary regularly.

10.06 - Matt H

England won the toss and elected to field. It’s been a steady start – Australia 10/0 from two overs.

17.43 - James Knight

West Indies didn’t even bowl or field that well. Australia were just awe-inspiringly bad.

17.41 - Nichael Bluth

Well that was great fun – my favourite game of the tournament by a mile. I guess Sri Lanka will start as favourites on Sunday though.

17.24 - Nichael Bluth

This performance truly is the gift that just keeps on giving.

17.22 - James Knight

The important point is that George Bailey has nailed down his place in the side for the next 10 years.

17.19 - Matt Larnach

Strange as it seems, we are actually in a position now where we could possibly think about launching in an attempt to reach this total.

That is if the top order hadn’t batted like utter idiots. Proving the obvious point that if our openers fail we are screwed. Still there are some serious concern’s with the attitude some showed. Warner in particular.

17.11 - Matt Larnach

Forget declaring, we will just win this instead.

17.09 - Nichael Bluth

This is bringing back wonderful memories of that T20 in 2005, when England absolutely ripped Australia to shreds.

17.04 - Matt Larnach

Can you declare a T20 innings? We might as well really.

17.00 - James Knight

I don’t think you’re going to have to wait all that long.

16.59 - Matt Larnach

I want to see Hogg bat now. I am not even sure he can at his age.

16.50 - Nichael Bluth

This is genuinely hilarious to watch.

16.43 - Matt Larnach

Now would be the ideal moment to forget this tournament ever existed.

16.37 - Nichael Bluth

Now would be the ideal moment for one Steven Peter Devereux Smith to arrive at the crease.

16.32 - James Knight

Sorry, I’m too busy absolutely pissing myself at the last three overs or so of cricket.

16.31 - Nichael Bluth

Has anyone ever seen someone not walk when bowled before? Or indeed a review for one that just hit the stumps?

16.10 - Matt H

I’d like to point out for the record it was the other Matt. I was always more of a Raj Maru man myself.

16.10 - Nichael Bluth

George Bailey: captaincy genius.

Discuss.

16.09 - Matt Larnach

He is. When he isn’t bowling full tosses.

16.09 - Nichael Bluth

The curse of the 51allout podcast, where Matt described Xavier Doherty as the best spinner in the world, strikes again.

16.06 - Matt H

Doherty bowling the last over – Gayle on strike! This will end about as well as the last 51allout party.

16.03 - Nichael Bluth

The average first innings score on this ground is 150. West Indies are on 174 with eight balls still to go!

15.59 - James Knight

Tactical injury for Gayle, Pollard batting for the draw, Australia are right in this.

15.41 - Nichael Bluth

102m on the latest six. I’ll be interested to hear Ian Chappell’s view on how big it should really have been.

15.38 - James Knight

That would apply to every single one of your games in this format ever.

15.37 - Matt Larnach

This is getting away from us now. Unless our openers come off this is heading towards too large a total to feel confident chasing.

It’s all George Bailey’s fault of course.

15.24 - Nichael Bluth

Interesting tactic to save Chris Gayle for the second half of the innings.

15.21 - Matt Larnach

Halfway through I would say this is in the Windies favour, simply owing to the fact that Gayle is still there.

15.09 - James Knight

Another superbly timed post.

15.06 - Nichael Bluth

Actually quite sensible so far from the Windies – play themselves in and only then look to hit over the top.

15.05 - James Knight

Keep bowling Doherty. It’s bound to work eventually.

15.04 - Matt Larnach

Ok, this isn’t any fun any more. Can we get one, preferably both of these out now please?

14.55 - Nichael Bluth

Did I not mention that I’m a massive racist? Clearly it wasn’t Michael Holding, but in fact Ian Bishop.

This is what happens when you try to watch the cricket and series three of Knightmare at the same time.

14.52 - James Knight

Nichael finally confirming the rumours which have been hanging around the 51allout bunker for a while; he is indeed the brave John Terry of this website.

14.48 - Matt H

There’s suddenly a lot of alarms and klaxons going off round here.

14.47 - James Knight

Mikey Holding? Er…

14.46 - Nichael Bluth

Johnson Charles getting a fair old slating from Mikey Holding for having almost no technique whatsoever. Thoroughly deserved, I should add.

14.44 - James Knight

I’m extremely disappointed Bailey isn’t bowling X-Doh yet. He seems ideally suited to this opening pair.

14.43 - Matt Larnach

Interesting just how long they will keep Starc on here. Whilst Gayle is batting I think they will want to keep him on.

14.29 - James Knight

George Bailey looks more and more like the lovechild of Paul Collingwood and Andrew Strauss every day.

14.21 - Matt H

It’s reassuring that the Australian management have been listening to the latest 51allout podcast.

14.12 - Matt Larnach

Windies batting first means we will know if we have a game or not in pretty short order.

Over to you Mr Gayle.

14.09 - Nichael Bluth

David Hussey in for Glenn Maxwell! It’s like the world’s gone sensible!

17.48 - Nichael Bluth

We should probably use the last bit of tension to say that we heavily backed one of these sides in this week’s podcast. But which one?

17.44 - Nichael Bluth

As he gets older Malinga seems to be forgetting more and more of the basics of fielding.

17.29 - James Knight

As crushingly, inevitably stupid as that ‘innings’ from Afridi was, the shot before from Hafeez was equally idiotic. Why the need to go running down the wicket?

17.29 - Matt Larnach

That really was one hell of a début by Afridi.

I think people should keep that in mind, and not let the rubbish that has come after it tarnish it all.

17.09 - Matt Larnach

I think it should be pointed out that Afridi made his ODI début against Sri Lanka 16 years ago.

Just in case anyone wasn’t aware.

17.08 - Nichael Bluth

Even more so now. Pakistan are floundering here.

17.05 - James Knight

This feels like it’s basically all on Hafeez now.

16.54 - Matt Larnach

Hafeez is playing the Dilshan role to perfection here. I think what Nichael said earlier is correct, lower order batsmen will just flounder on this pitch, so the top order needs to do most of the leg work to get them over the line.

As laborious as they are making it look at the moment, this isn’t too bad from Pakistan.

16.43 - James Knight

You know when you said this was a rubbish start from Sri Lanka? This is a pretty good start from Sri Lanka.

16.33 - Nichael Bluth

16.31 - James Knight

At least we’re hearing lots about Malinga’s length.

16.29 - Nichael Bluth

This is a rubbish start from Sri Lanka.

16.28 - Matt Larnach

To be honest if Dave Warner is going to struggle to bat on a surface like this, I can’t see Doherty scoring many either….

Malinga on. They need him to fire.

16.24 - James Knight

What happened to your new found love for, and faith in, Xavier Doherty?

16.13 - Matt Larnach

Well, I for one am hoping it’s enough. Because I don’t want us to have to face Pakistan on a pitch like this again in the final after we inevitably roll over the Windies tomorrow.

Even a cricketing god like Dave Warner would have trouble on this. Not much trouble admittedly, but still enough to raise concern.

16.08 - Nichael Bluth

This looks a really difficult pitch to bat on – certainly not one where the lower order can come in and blast the ball about if they’re behind the rate.

16.05 - James Knight

Sri Lanka are going to win this now.

16.04 - Matt Larnach

Looks like shedding wickets was a good plan. This is now a competitive total.

Probably.

15.56 - James Knight

Now this is a problem for the Sree Lonkons. Got to get 130+, but they’re just hurling wickets away.

15.50 - Matt Larnach

Yeah, this is going to be a sup-par total.

This pitch is a real issue. Malinga could potentially be unplayable on it.

15.36 - James Knight

They’re gonna have to go some to make 150 from here. This Dilshan innings is either a brilliant knock, judging the pitch perfectly or a match-losing one at the moment.

15.29 - Matt Larnach

I think the pitch is playing on their minds though. After Tanvir got a couple to break through the surface it seems they have decided they don’t like the look of it and are going to be very circumspect.

Which means its anyone’s guess as to what a good total is. 150 perhaps.

15.27 - Nichael Bluth

We’ve seen a few sides try and keep wickets in hand until right at the end – maybe the last three overs – before really going for it.

15.24 - James Knight

Sri Lanka’s plan here is a bit weird. Is it just the pitch?

15.14 - Nichael Bluth

Shahid Afridi with the breakthrough. In case anyone didn’t know, today is 16 years since he made 102 from 40 balls as a 25 16 year old prodigy.

15.14 - James Knight

Now Pakistan are right in this. Even though Sri Lanka have a lot of batsman left, they have to start forcing it a bit now and there’s still three overs of Ajmal left…

15.03 - James Knight

Tillakeratne Dilshan is playing the Kieswetter role to perfection so far. A blistering start.

14.53 - Nichael Bluth

It’s a shame that there’s nowhere that keeps track of dropped catches. There’d be an amazing Scorer’s Notes piece to do on Kamran Akmal if there was.

14.52 - James Knight

Getting through three overs of Tanvir without an absolute catastrophe is seriously good news indeed.

14.50 - Matt Larnach

Hard to tell if this slow start is more to do with the pitch than good bowling from Pakistan so far.

Either way, with their spinners waiting in the wings this looks good for Pakistan.

14.38 - Nichael Bluth

In exciting 51allout poll news, Sri Lanka have finally caught up with ‘someone else’ on three votes.

14.37 - James Knight

They should’ve just passed the captaincy around the whole team for a laugh.

14.36 - Matt H

A small point of note is that Mahela Jayawardene is captain again, following the slight controversy that Kumar Sangakkara was officially skippering the side in their previous match.

14.29 - Matt H

I must say that if any music is to define 2012 for me, it won’t be that Gangnam Style thing and it won’t be anything Olympicy by Underworld or Vangelis, it will be the Sri Lankan national anthem.

14.29 - Nichael Bluth

I’m not a fan of Lemar’s work. I’ll leave it at that.

14.20 - Matt Larnach

There are about 6000 posts on Cricinfo reminding us that today is the 16th anniversary of Afridi’s debut ODI innings against today’s opponents Sri Lanka.

In commemoration of that day, I get feeling that Afridi will do utterly bugger all in this match.

But Pakistan will win regardless.

14.17 - James Knight

Alrighty then, the second semi-final of the day is almost upon us. England demolished New Zealand this morning and now the baton passes to Pakistan and Sri Lanka. The home side have won the toss and are batting first. They’ve picked Rangana Herath, perhaps mistakenly thinking they were playing England, and Pakistan have brought in Sohail Tanvir for a bit of comedy relief.

18.25 - James Knight

In a crushing disappointment for everyone concerned, India win with one ball to spare and our dreams of the most pointless Super Over of all time go up in smoke. Pakistan will play Sri Lanka and Australia take on West Indies in the semi-finals.

18.11 - Matt H

At least now one person at 51allout predicted a winner of the tournament who have actually at least qualified for the semi-finals.

18.02 - James Knight

And with that leg bye India are hurled out of the tournament and Pakistan are through. Now we’re left with an exciting 20 ball spell that means absolutely nothing to anyone. Thrilling sport.

17.19 - James Knight

India have at least given themselves a chance here with a few wickets early doors, but even South Africa can’t mess up against this attack, surely.

16.41 - James Knight

Challenging score in terms of winning the game, but South Africa only need 121 to knock India out. Nothing like having two games in day with one team not really caring if they lose so long as they don’t lose by too many. Even FIFA manage to have final group games played at the same time to avoid this.

16.34 - Matt H

152/6 will be a challenging score. Not bad from 36/3.

16.31 - Matt H

This is an impressive fightback from India.

15.58 - James Knight

Clearly this game has the 51allout team’s full attention. If you’re wondering, India are just setting this innings up for a late Lakshmipathy Balaji assault to take them over 200.

15.26 - Nichael Bluth

South Africa in ‘playing much better when not under pressure’ shocker.

15.03 - Matt Larnach

A decent start. Everything hinges on Sehwag going nuts. Obviously.

14.39 - James Knight

Not a good toss to lose for India, that…

14.35 - Matt Larnach

Drawing the West Indies is a massive plus. Although its the least we deserve considering the state of the Super 8’s group we were put in.

14.23 - James Knight

It’s a bit of a shame Pakistan and Sri Lanka would meet in the semi-final because that probably deserves to be the final. Although I’m not entirely discounting India getting through yet… And it would be a little unfair on the big goon if Watto wasn’t in that final given how he’s played.

14.21 - Nichael Bluth

Pakistan certainly are favourites – just check out the 51allout poll!

Although Sri Lanka are still on fewer votes than New Zealand, which tends to suggest that not everyone thought it through before voting.

14.20 - James Knight

I think the semi-final draw gives you lot a huge chance.

14.18 - Matt Larnach

To really annoy South Africa we should have pretended to miscalculate the total we needed to progress.

Pakistan look really good. In an otherwise average field, they are by the far the favourites.

14.12 - Nichael Bluth

Australia are crawling to 112, purely to annoy South Africa.

14.10 - Nichael Bluth

I’ve never noticed it before, but Pat Cummins’ nose is enormous.

14.06 - James Knight

D-Huss is also a considerably better bowler than those two. He must’ve done something to get in the management’s bad books, it makes absolutely no sense for him to be left out. Cameron White has contributed absolutely nothing with the bat, he doesn’t bowl anymore and he’s not even a good outfielder. Bizarre selection. As a general rule I despise the Hussey’s but given the chance I’d have as many of them as I could find in my team.

14.04 - Matt Larnach

If we go through (and it looks pretty likely tbh), this creates a massive question over our lineup for the semi final. Having proper batsmen in your lineup is just a far better option than rubbish bits and piece players. As Hussey has shown here. Bringing David Hussey back in for one of Maxwell or White looks a must.

13.58 - James Knight

I hate Mike Hussey.

13.46 - Matt Larnach

Sublime

Of course he wouldn’t. Just look at that technique. Look at it.

13.43 - James Knight

Steve Smith wouldn’t have got out caught slogging like that.

13.39 - Matt Larnach

And again.

13.28 - Matt Larnach

Ah, bringing back memories of England this is. Dick around for a bit then go for a misconceived hoick of one of the spinners and throw your wicket away.

Truly brilliant to watch.

13.26 - Nichael Bluth

Steve Smith wouldn’t have got out LBW like that.

13.23 - Nichael Bluth

Or Sir Steve of Smith, obviously.

13.22 - Matt Larnach

This is the point where George Bailey needs to justify his position in the team. Right now I would far prefer to have David Hussey out the middle than him.

13.21 - James Knight

If he bowls. Which is actually quite a big if.

13.18 - James Knight

With the way Gul is bowling though you can give Australia about 40 from his couple of overs.

13.15 - Nichael Bluth

Suddenly 112 looks quite a long way off.

13.13 - Matt Larnach

Very much so. This lets us examine the hypothetical scenario where Pat Cummins needs to make a half century to win us the match.

Getting Ajmal in early is good captaincy. This could get messy.

13.11 - Nichael Bluth

Warner going early must be even better news then Matt.

13.11 - James Knight

While Hussey is there, Australia are fine.

13.06 - Matt Larnach

Far be it for me to appear overly optimistic, but Watson out early is a good result for us in a way. It’s a low scoring game so the chances of us losing by a large margin and not making the semi’s are low, and this way we can see how our batting line-up performs when under pressure.

Abominably I presume, but you never know.

13.01 - Nichael Bluth

Australia are screwed now!

12.58 - Nichael Bluth

For me, the Gayle vs Southee Super Over battle can be summed up in this clip from The Simpsons (which, annoyingly, I can only find in Spanish).

12.54 - Matt H

And indeed Gangnam Style.

12.54 - Matt H

I’ve just google Gangham Style. Thanks. For. That.

12.45 - James Knight

One of my favourite moments of the tournament is when Gayle came down the stairs for the Super Over yesterday to Gangnam Style. Beautiful.

12.43 - Matt Larnach

I am a little disappointed the ICC hasn’t got with the times and had Gangnam Style playing at the grounds.

This is definitely a sub par total from Pakistan. Their spinners could make a game of it still, but I am betting on us running this down easily.

12.39 - Nichael Bluth

Something else that occurred to me – possibly the only people to make money from this tournament will be Brian May, Roger Taylor and uber-nerd John Deacon. Everytime there’s a two second break in play all we hear is classic Queen.

12.38 - James Knight

For what it’s worth the Aussie attack should be Starc, Siddle, Pattinson and someone other than Hilfenhaus.

12.37 - James Knight

It has bugged me throughout the whole tournament that the commentators have waxed lyrical about Cummins and Starc, then Finn has been excellent amidst a sea of absolute shite and not got much credit at all. They said yesterday he’s bowled the most dot balls in the tournament!

#Savethestumpsmashingone

12.36 - Nichael Bluth

I’m less biased, but I do think that Starc is bowling beautifully. But who would Australia leave out? Maybe go with four quicks and no spinner?

12.34 - Matt Larnach

Sure I might be a little biased in my opinion, but as far as I am concerned the only person in world cricket bowling better than Mitchell Starc right now is Dale Steyn.

He has to be in the Test team for the first Test against South Africa in a couple of months.

12.24 - James Knight

Not entirely sure that Razzaq farming the strike is quite the right way to go here.

12.18 - Nichael Bluth

Pakistan need a huge three overs here or I can see Watson and Warner slogging their way to another huge victory.

12.08 - Matt Larnach

108/3 with 5 overs to go. Somewhere around 160+ is definitely possible, but Pakistan have perhaps left their run a little too late.

Hogg and Maxwell bowling like rubbish has been a problem though. Its all down to Watson and Starc taking wickets for Australia.

11.58 - Nichael Bluth

The Pulse questions continue to reach new lows. What sort of useless work experience kids do they have at the ICC?

11.55 - Matt Larnach

Pakistan cutting loose now. I am just going to point out that it’s all Maxwell’s fault, in particular since he dropped Jamshed at first slip, but generally because he is just a rubbish cricketer.

Still can’t believe they went with him over Steve Smith.

11.39 - Matt Larnach

I really don’t understand what Pakistan are doing. If they are going to win they need to cash in on Maxwell and Hogg, and instead they are just pushing them around. Perhaps they feel that a score of 140+ will be enough to win them this game on this pitch, but that is a hell of a gamble with the way Watson has been batting.

11.27 - Matt Larnach

On a completely unrelated point, Mark Waugh is commentating with the host broadcaster. I can’t think of any other player better suited to T20 cricket than he would have been.

11.26 - Nichael Bluth

This is a really uninspiring start from Pakistan. And now here’s Kamran Akmal.

11.16 - Matt Larnach

I think both England and New Zealand can be accused of over thinking things and shuffling their team around too much. When a tournament is as hit and miss as this one is, there is a lot to be said for going in with as settled a lineup as possible.

But on the other hand it’s certainly true that it all ultimately boils down to who is in form. If Wright and McCullum had kept scoring runs both England and New Zealand would be through.

In summary; I don’t really know what I am talking about but am just glad Shane Watson is playing for us.

11.05 - Nichael Bluth

There was a very good question from Stuart on yesterday’s blog which I’ll answer today:

“Can you really have a post-mortem for such a limited tournament in a very short format? Chance plays such a big part. Was it Billy Beane who described baseball’s World Series as a crap shoot? T20 world cups are no different”

Chance does play a big part, but in a competition like this it’s all about maximising your chances. New Zealand’s post mortem will probably determine that they were a bit unlucky to lose two super overs, but really should have put one of the two games to bed beforehand. Having said that, there isn’t that much that they would have done differently. England clearly didn’t give themselves the best opportunity possible, in all sorts of different ways, and that’s where questions need to be asked.

We’ll have a full post-mortem of England’s tournament in a few days, once the anger has subsided a bit and the gin has started to wear off.

10.59 - Matt Larnach

He probably got stuck on that ‘girt’ bit. It’s a doozy.

10.56 - Nichael Bluth

Shane Watson doesn’t seem 100% clear on the words to the Aussie national anthem.

10.53 - Matt Larnach

Pakistan are batting, and it will take a complete disaster, of the Shane Watson sleeping in and is stuck at the hotel variety, for Australia not to qualify for the Semi’s.

19.05 - Nichael Bluth

Just to conclude: Sri Lanka win by 19 runs. They and the West Indies go through to the semi finals. For England the post-mortem starts right here.

18.31 - Nichael Bluth

Very reminiscent of the England football team’s last world cup effort this – never more than mediocre and coming unstuck as soon as they play a better team.

18.11 - Nichael Bluth

We’ll find out very shortly.

18.07 - James Knight

Maybe this is all a ruse and they really picked Jade for his batting all along. He’ll come in and thwack the winning runs.

18.03 - Nichael Bluth

Even with my shoddy maths, I’m pretty confident that Sri Lanka are definitely through. But who will join them?

Clue: it’ll be the West Indies.

17.58 - Nichael Bluth

Less so now.

17.51 - Nichael Bluth

At the halfway stage England are somehow reasonably well placed.

17.24 - Nichael Bluth

Hanging on in quiet desperation is the perfect description thus far.

17.08 - Matt H

Well, hanging on in quiet desperation is the English way. According to some stoned guys in the early ’70s anyway.

17.05 - Nichael Bluth

Some desperation creeping in to the half-time plugging of tat.

Speaking of desperation, England are going to need big innings from Morgan and Wright or they’re screwed.

16.58 - Matt H

England will either win by several wickets or will be rolled over for about 60…

16.50 - Nichael Bluth

This has been an absolute whirlwind of an innings – it’s flown by in no time. I think Sri Lanka already have enough to win, unfortunately.

16.42 - James Knight

He’s been on the whole time. The umpires seemingly can’t be arsed enforcing the laws anymore.

16.39 - Nichael Bluth

Michael Lumb is actually doing a spot of fielding. Not really a lot to show for a month’s work.

16.33 - Nichael Bluth

Definitely. The post-tournament blame game is always fun.

16.26 - James Knight

His bowling has been excellent all summer, it’s just he can’t remember which end of the bat to hold. England are going to get slaughtered in the media if they lose this.

16.25 - Nichael Bluth

Bopara’s actually doing a really good job with the ball, bowling the ‘Yardy’ overs in the middle of the innings.

16.16 - Nichael Bluth

In many ways Sri Lanka are just like Jonathan Creek star Alan Davies. This stuff basically writes itself.

16.12 - James Knight

The tramp is going down swinging…

15.56 - Nichael Bluth

To get back to the cricket, England just seem all over the place so far, like a tramp staggering around with a half-chewed ear.

15.38 - Nichael Bluth

Just to redress the balance:

The future Mrs Nichael Bluth.

15.31 - Matt H

It was the first I could find of her doing the maths puzzle. And time was ticking towards 11am and I didn’t want to keep our readers waiting too long for today’s blog.

15.28 - Nichael Bluth

Actually, while I’m thinking about it – how on Earth did you manage to find an unflattering picture of Rachel Annabelle Riley?

15.28 - Dan

Dropping Square Faced Craig is the right thing, even if it is about a year overdue.  He can’t rotate the strike, he throws his wicket away, he comes off maybe once every eight innings or so. Richard Levi with wicketkeeping gloves.

15.25 - Nichael Bluth

Charles Colville would do a better job against the new ball than square faced Craig, to be fair.

15.22 - James Knight

They had three T20’s with South Africa, two warm up games and have played four in this tournament so far, yet come the biggest game of all they’re still desperately searching for the right team. Says a lot.

In fact it says more that there are two guys in Sky’s studio and one in ESPN’s who could still get in this side. And Paul Collingwood could probably sneak in too.

15.22 - Nichael Bluth

Sri Lanka have selected mystery spinners. England seem to have selected mystery players.

15.19 - Matt H

As Andrew in our comments section, er, commented, England seem to have selected their team via the medium of a lottery. Or just via a medium. I can’t believe Briggs has been dropped. I can’t believe Bopara has been selected, unless it’s for his bowling skills.

15.14 - James Knight

England’s answer to Shahid Afridi.

15.10 - Nichael Bluth

Of course, I forgot that Bopara is a bowler who bats a little these days.

15.09 - James Knight

I would think so. Sensible thing would be to just bump everyone up one and put Bopara at seven, but I guess they won’t do that.

15.04 - Nichael Bluth

England have won the toss and will bowl. There seems to be utter confusion about who is playing.

Square faced Craig definitely isn’t though, replaced by Bopara. Luke Wright to open with Bopara at three?

14.46 - Nichael Bluth

Just for the benefit of anyone relying entirely on this blog for their live score information – West Indies won on a Super Over.

Also, have a bit of a think about your life.

14.42 - Nichael Bluth

Oh dear. Tim Southee had a bit of a shocker there.

At least that’s cleared up all the NRR stuff – if England win they’re through. If Sri Lanka win England are out.

14.41 - James Knight

Southee has bowled two Super Overs in this tournament, in which he’s managed a no ball and three wides.

14.38 - James Knight

I don’t believe he’s just done that. Incredible!

14.30 - Nichael Bluth

West Indies need 17 to win (having hit more boundaries in the main match). It’s all on Chris Gayle here.

14.30 - James Knight

New Zealand are going to lose two matches in a Super Over and one where they scored about 15 more runs than they were actually given. Still got to back Gayle massively.

14.28 - Nichael Bluth

A huge six, in more ways than one.

14.26 - James Knight

Unbelievable scenes as every single fat player in the match pulls a hamstring.

14.24 - Nichael Bluth

Samuels to bowl????

14.23 - James Knight

Due to unforeseen circumstances I missed the entire second innings. There’s no way New Zealand win this Super Over, surely.

14.21 - Nichael Bluth

Can’t help but back the West Indies in the super over – Gayle, Pollard and maybe Sammy are all massive hitters. For NZ it’ll presumably be McCullum, Taylor plus A N Other.

Narine and Southee to bowl?

14.18 - Nichael Bluth

Super over!

Can’t help thinking that there’s a 51allout party happening somewhere that I haven’t been invited to.

14.06 - Nichael Bluth

Narine comes with a huge reputation based on his IPL performances. He may just be justifying the hype here with two really good overs at the death.

13.51 - Nichael Bluth

New Zealand going just a little too well here…

13.27 - Nichael Bluth

Pollard reaching the heady heights of 123 kph. Patrick Patterson he ain’t.

13.10 - Nichael Bluth

England could do with New Zealand chasing these down off the very last ball, but no earlier. Looks like it’s going to be extremely tight in terms of NRR either way.

12.20 - James Knight

Comedy missed run outs and another absolutely sensational Kieron Pollard innings, it’s all going off. Having had 60 off the first 6, West Indies have managed 70 from the next 12.

12.19 - Nichael Bluth

This is actually looking quite decent for New Zealand. If they win and squeeze through to the semis it’d be a massive turnup for the books. And Matt L would be fuming.

12.02 - James Knight

And now they’re making a huge mess. Denesh Ramdin the latest to go, surprisingly he is holding no notes up to the media box as he walks off for 1.

11.53 - James Knight

West Indies are just starting to make a bit of a mess of this. Some quite silly dismissals. Perhaps they were distracted by Samit Patel trying to eat that shell live on TV a few minutes ago.

11.37 - Matt H

You can never have too much Kingfisher James, but yes, a slight mis-typing there in my eagerness to report on the action.

11.35 - James Knight

McCullum stumps Gayle? Too much celebratory Kingfisher last night methinks.

11.33 - Matt H

Oram goes for 17 runs in one over – exactly what New Zealand didn’t need.

McCullum stumps Gayle off Southee’s bowling – exactly what New Zealand did need.

11.18 - James Knight

As I was saying, moving Russell up was a bloody stupid idea and everyone concerned should be ashamed of themselves.

11.16 - James Knight

At the risk of stating the absolutely bleedin’ obvious, New Zealand need to get Gayle out extremely quickly. I like the West Indies moving Russell up the order, he can give it an absolute thwack and they probably know winning big is the way to go here.

11.14 - Matt H

After the early fall of Johnson Charles, Andre Russell comes to the crease. Maybe the rest of the team have lost their kit or something.

11.00 - James Knight

A load of antipodean gentlemen in lycra is not what anyone wanted to see bright and early on a Monday morning. Particularly when nobody got any sleep last night after some glorious comeback victory you might have heard about. And we aren’t just talking about Kevin Pietersen.

10.44 - Matt H

New Zealand have won the toss and decided to field first. Makes sense to me. Team news: Ronnie Hira for Dan Vettori (injured); Oram for Williamson; Badree for Fidel Edwards; Bravo for Bravo.

17.48 - Matt H

India win by eight wickets and with three overs to spare. Pakistan were useless and could be on the verge of elimination as they face Australia on Tuesday. India did fine – Kohli in particular again showed his class with 78*.

Happily, this group remains live until the final matches.

17.44 - Matt H

There’s a no ball from Umar Gul just to prove how utterly dreadful Pakistan have been today.

17.19 - James Knight

Two absolutely horrendous pieces of fielding in a row, despite what Wasim might say about him having “no chance whatsoever” on the cover boundary. This game is disappearing at a rate of knots. Golf o clock.

17.04 - Matt H

Speaking of which, if Stuart or his publishers are reading this, we’d happily review his book, should you send us a free copy.

17.02 - James Knight

A plan straight out of the Stuart Broad handbook.

17.00 - Matt H

Here’s an idea: bowl short and outside off stump to Sehwag. Or indeed bouncers so short they are called as wides.

16.34 - James Knight

Not much to add.

16.31 - Matt H

128ao. Frankly, rubbish.

16.20 - Matt H

Can Umar Gul save the day with the bat again?  I doubt it…

16.13 - James Knight

This is another of those T20 innings which is just rubbish and completely devoid of excitement.

15.51 - James Knight

Now Hafeez leaps aboard the idiot bandwagon. That is certainly one of the worst T20 innings of all time. Slow, let the part-timers just bowl under no pressure and then got out at a crucial time. Awful.

15.50 - Matt H

This is not only an awful innings from Pakistan, but is going to really cause me problems with my fantasy team. These sort of bowlers really ought not to be ripping through an order.

 

15.45 - James Knight

I think it’s fair to say that was not the most sensible decision-making from Kamran Akmal. And we’ve certainly never said that before.

15.37 - James Knight

Also not entirely sure Hafeez is doing the right thing. He needs to be scoring runs rather than just letting Yuvraj bowl. Got to go after India’s fifth bowler to put pressure on the team as a whole.

15.34 - Matt H

Pakistan doing their best to struggle here – three wickets down, even if one was the ‘gimme’ of Afridi.

15.27 - James Knight

If I was Nasir Jamshed I’d probably be quite annoyed. Graeme Swann is a better batsman than Afridi nowadays, you don’t see us chucking him in at three. Yet.

15.16 - James Knight

Shahid Afridi at three is a combination of bold and sheer lunacy.

15.05 - Matt H

This opening over from Zaheer is the very definition of erratic. And that’s being kind.

14.41 - James Knight

Pakistan win the toss and are batting. Sehwag and Balaji back for India. Pakistan should win this, but playing India does weird things to them even when India are rubbish.

14.14 - James Knight

That’s basically how England won it before. And why you want you match winners playing rather than sitting in an effing TV studio.

14.09 - Matt H

That was a thumping by eight wickets and with 14 balls to spare. Australia are looking ominously good, or rather a few of their players are in great form and the rest aren’t really required.

13.49 - James Knight

Into the tail! The comeback is on!

13.43 - Matt H

Wouldn’t it be sensible to bring Steyn back on to try and remove these two – although it’s already too late really.

13.39 - James Knight

Australia are going to win this bloody thing. What a fiasco.

13.18 - Matt Larnach

Watson is to Australia what Steve Smith is to Pune.

To be honest.

13.17 - Matt H

Warner may have gone, but Watson could take this away very quickly – as that over from Morne Morkel showed.

13.07 - James Knight

Was too busy trying to get that Italian guy off the Ladbrokes ad to do a little segment for us.

GAME ON!

13.03 - Matt H

Did someone mention ‘wicket’?

12.54 - James Knight

This has been a good start from the Saffas but Australia really won’t mind even if they’re 25/0 from the first 6, it’s the 0 that’s important. They have to get wickets.

12.43 - Nichael Bluth

Very true.

12.42 - James Knight

South Africa’s attack is literally a gazillion times better than India’s band of absolute jokers.

12.34 - Nichael Bluth

I’m sure a very similar thing was said about India’s score of 140 two days ago.

12.29 - Matt Larnach

For all of South Africa’s rubbishness, they are in reach of a competitive total. A big final over could put them around the 150+ mark, and that should be enough for a decent game at least.

12.23 - James Knight

Just let that first couple of sentences wash over you all.

I agree, though. The most impressive teams so far have probably been Australia, Sri Lanka and Pakistan, and they’ve scored virtually all their runs in the top three.

12.16 - Matt Larnach

I can’t understand why Luke Wright is batting at number three. It’s like with the Kiwis having McCullum at first drop. You are basically hoping for an early wicket to get your best batsman at the crease.

As over reliant on them as they may be, at least Australia is letting Warner and Watson let rip at the top of the order. If they don’t come off then you rebuild. Suffice to say this tournament has proven that George Bailey is a tactical genius.

12.11 - James Knight

Well played.

In all seriousness, I was going to use him as a comparison, since they’ve achieved similar things in the game. Kieswetter is a good player but even when he makes a big score he does tend to waste too many balls. Kallis is like that on crack.

12.07 - Nichael Bluth

Or as it’s otherwise known, ‘the Kieswetter effect’.

12.04 - James Knight

Oh of course, how could I forget the opening pair of doom his injury gave birth to.

Kallis was alright in the IPL but the problem is he doesn’t score quick enough. 50 from 47 from your opener is not actually that good, much like Irfan Pathan’s run a ball 30 the other day was completely useless. In a T20 side surely the whole idea is that (with batsmen especially) everyone needs to be a match-winner in their own right. It isn’t going to come off every time but it really is a format where one guy can win the match on his own. Kallis just doesn’t do that.

For all England’s many sins, their top six is just six players like that. They all hit big and score quickly when they have a good day so if one comes off they get a big score. I really don’t think you need an anchor in T20 unless there’s an absolute catastrophe of the 0/2 variety right at the start.

11.55 - Matt Larnach

As a final point on Watson, he missed the entire series against India last year after picking up an injury during the tour of South Africa. It’s fair to say he is as liable to break down at any moment as ever, the difference being his injuries are perhaps being a little better handled now.

Nathan Lyon must be feeling pretty miserable watching this. That could be him making South Africans look like bunnies.

I am not sure about Kallis. He had a decent time of it at the IPL from memory, but this looks a step too far.

11.53 - Nichael Bluth

I don’t disagree on the Jacques Kallis thing. It’s very strange to see someone at that stage of their career playing T20. He’d be okay if he anchored and everyone else played around him, but instead he’s mostly ended up sucking all the momentum out of the innings.

11.46 - Nichael Bluth

Xavier Doherty is having the best day of his life.

11.46 - James Knight

And I want to talk about Jacques Kallis, who is a terrible T20 player and this point needs to be emphasised as much as possible. His bowling is liable to go all over and he can’t score quick enough. The only thing he’s good for is rebuilding after a crisis but they let him bat too high up for that and even then he’d spend too long rebuilding and leave them well short.

11.42 - James Knight

To be fair to the big lad, he hasn’t broken down all that much in recent years, has he? Certainly not to the extent of pre-2009 Watto.

11.37 - Matt Larnach

Watson is by far our best player at the moment. In any format.

Arthur has spoken of trying to turn him into Kallis, which would be nice. The problem is when he breaks down again we will be screwed. I can see him sitting out the Sri Lankan Tests later this year in order to try and keep him in one piece for a bit longer.

Hogg has bowled rubbish this series. Sadly. He is not X-Doh that’s for sure.

11.27 - Matt H

Watson strikes in his first over – he’s Ian Botham, Keith Miller, Mark Ealham and Garry Sobers all rolled into one. Amla out for 17 and South Africa in real trouble.

11.26 - Nichael Bluth

Shane Watson’s tournament has been ridiculous so far.

11.05 - Matt Larnach

I dunno why they bothered with Dan Christian in the first place, he was beyond poor in the IPL last season. Probably the worst player in it.

X-Doh though is a King amongst men.

11.01 - Nichael Bluth

Richard Levi is just so, so poor.

10.57 - Nichael Bluth

We should probably say something about the teams and all that jazz. Australia have bowed to Matt’s anger and left out Dan Christian for Ashes hero Xavier Doherty (which I think makes a lot of sense on this pitch). They won the toss and will bowl.

South Africa have Pune legend Wayne Parnell in for Somerset less-than-legend Albie Morkel.

10.50 - Nichael Bluth

We’ve got Fox Sports talking to Watto. He’s talking about how brilliant Dave Warner is without a single hint of irony.

10.49 - Matt Larnach

Since South Africa are one team we actually have a decent record against in T20’s (it’s four wins apiece), I am backing us to get smashed today.

‘Cause it’s been that sort of World Cup really.

10.48 - Matt H

I like the way that Sky are discussing, in the build up to Australia vs. South Africa, Craig Kieswetter.

10.11 - Nichael Bluth

It’s slightly terrifying that if Australia and Pakistan win their respective games today then Group 2 is all done and dusted. It’s a far cry from Group 1, where my abacus has completely failed to cope with the various permutations.

19.31 - Nichael Bluth

And so it transpired. A good day all round for England but if they beat Sri Lanka and West Indies beat New Zealand then we have three teams on six points. Looks like we might have to find a calculator or two in the next couple of days.

16.37 - Nichael Bluth

While the rest of the 51allout collective are off tasting gins of the world, I’ll just point out that the West Indies’ 129/5 doesn’t look a good enough score for their bowling attack to defend.

14.32 - Nichael Bluth

Nothing will ever prevent me from laughing at Richard Levi: international cricketer.

14.28 - James Knight

And also, if England pick Michael Lumb we are no longer allowed to piss ourselves at Richard Levi’s continued foray into international cricket, and I quite enjoy doing that.

14.26 - James Knight

Two games since he last top scored is frankly a disgrace.

14.25 - Matt H

He’d struggle to do a worse job than Kieswetter is doing.

14.22 - James Knight

Somebody just break one of Lumb’s limbs and get KP out of that ESPN studio.

14.19 - Nichael Bluth

One of England’s problems is that Bopara is persona non grata, hence Lumb is literally the only option. Maybe Kieswetter would be better off down the order, with Luke opening.

14.17 - James Knight

If you’ve just seen a 51allout member advocate the selection of Michael Lumb, please excuse him. We had an absolutely massive delivery of gin just this morning and some of us have been trialling a selection all day.

14.15 - Matt H

I agree Nichael. I said it before and I’ll say it again, I’d bring Lumb in for Kieswetter and have Bairstow keep wicket.

14.14 - Matt H

England win by six wickets with seven balls remaining. New Zealand likely to be out, England still got a chance of qualifying.

14.11 - Nichael Bluth

Fairly routine victory for England, but that doesn’t mean they don’t still have some big, mainly square-faced problems to address.

13.56 - Nichael Bluth

When Luke Wright fires he really fires. It’s the fact that he now does it much more often than he used to that makes him such a good player.

13.55 - Matt H

Luke Wright gives Rob Nicol the respect he deserves, i.e. none, as he strikes two huge sixes.

13.49 - Matt H

Luke Wright clatters a massive six and this match is pretty much done now. 45 needed from 33 balls, with eight wickets in hand.

13.41 - James Knight

Even England can’t lose this from here.

13.40 - Nichael Bluth

You’d probably back the chasing side to win seven times out of ten in this position.

13.32 - Matt H

England 60/2 at the ten over stage. Probably favourites at this stage, but if New Zealand can break the Wright / Morgan partnership soon they willl be on top.

13.31 - Matt H

Rob Nicol is bowling. No comment.

13.12 - Matt H

In case you were wondering, Kieswetter is no longer bedded in, having decided to try and slog sweep a full straight ball from Vettori. England fans should be rightly apoplectic.

13.08 - James Knight

Superb timing.

13.07 - James Knight

He’s got to bat long now and drag this back. If he just runs down the wicket and slogs one straight down long off’s throat then…

Remember Johnson Charles was dire at the start the other day, it’s alright if you can claw it back.

13.06 - Nichael Bluth

We should probably mention that the first over score of 2/0 was England’s best of the tournament so far.

13.04 - Nichael Bluth

This is just a horror show from Craig Kieswetter so far.

13.01 - Matt H

Hales gets England off to a positive start with three boundaries of Southee. Meanwhile Kieswetter’s bedding in for the night.

12.49 - James Knight

To be fair to Broad, which I’m in no way inclined to be, he bowled pretty well against West Indies and was a main reason England managed to drag their score back to something not completely out of their range. I have a huge problem with his captaincy though. He’s not got the right mentality and doesn’t seem to have any sort of tactical nous. You can’t have a guy throwing an uber strop whenever he gets hit for six if he’s the captain.

12.46 - Matt H

Though I’m not belittling the fact that NZ would have scored seven more runs if there hadn’t have been dead ball called every time Finn kicked the stumps.

12.44 - Matt H

New Zealand made 148/6, which was more than they looked like getting at the halfway stage. Franklin’s 50 was the main contribution. Finn’s dead balls seems to be the main talking point, rather than the more pressing issue that Broad was poor with the ball.

12.28 - Matt H

Two clever shots by Franklin takes NZ to 124/5 with two overs remaining. One feels that 140 will be pretty competitive.

12.22 - Nichael Bluth

This dead ball stuff is, and Switch Hit can use this if they want, utter bollocks.

12.15 - James Knight

The big thing about bowling at the end is variation, whether that’s changes in pace, cutters, bouncer, yorker, whatever. For all Broad and Dernbach’s many sins they have basically all of those, whereas Bres really, really doesn’t. Sometimes you’re going to go for a few at the end, that’s why Jade’s economy rate isn’t great. It’s slightly unfair to compare a guy who bowls most of his overs either in Powerplays at the start or in the final two or three with someone who doesn’t.

12.10 - Matt H

I don’t disagree really, but would have greater concern about the last few overs being bowled by Broad or whoever. However as we said at the start, changing the bowlers around isn’t going to solve the problem of the batsmen not collectively firing.

12.09 - James Knight

We’ve been saying that for ages. Bloody Switch Hit, stealing our material.

12.08 - Nichael Bluth

There was some fairly damning criticism of Bresnan in this week’s Switch Hit podcast, saying that he’s basically never recovered from his elbow problem. It’s hard to disagree with that.

In other news, other podcasts are available.

12.05 - James Knight

Yep. I don’t really understand what Bres has done to justify coming back, whereas Samit has the best economy rate in the England side this tournament. Even despite that over when Broad absolutely hung him out to dry on Thursday. Plus the pitch is turning and it’s New Zealand.

The big problem is the death bowling but Bres has gone backwards in that regard over the past couple of years so I don’t see how much he helps particularly.

12.01 - Matt H

Would you have played Patel instead of Timothy Thomas then James?

11.59 - James Knight

I think Samit is a good option in one day cricket. Yeah, I said it. And I think they should both be playing.

11.55 - Matt H

I think he’s a clever bowler, he’s also economical and takes wickets. Fairly good looking as well. What’s not to like?

11.54 - Nichael Bluth

What’s the 51allout view on Briggs? I like him myself. To damn him with faint praise, he’s certainly a step up from Samit.

11.46 - Matt H

Ten overs down and New Zealand have crept to 58/3, despite Broad’s best efforts to give them wides and some rubbish bouncers.

11.44 - Nichael Bluth

Ironically, if New Zealand could bat like this in Test matches, they’d be much happier.

11.29 - Matt H

It’s the end of the powerplay and NZ are 39/2. Finn’s bowled well and kicked the stumps a fair few times. Williamson looks in good touch though.

11.23 - James Knight

Imagine how few runs New Zealand would have if England weren’t firing every third ball miles down the leg side.

11.17 - Nichael Bluth

Superb spell here from Finn. I particularly liked when he bowled a wide and just booted the stumps over so that he could have another go.

11.14 - Matt H

Finn removed LBW Guptill with a fine ball, and he’s found a good rhythm against McCullum and Nicol too.

11.04 - Matt H

There should have been a run out there as Guptill and Nicol get confused mid-pitch; Buttler threw to the wrong end though- and threw it wildly.

10.59 - Matt H

Briggs takes the new ball, as he does for his county.

10.57 - James Knight

It’s traditionally English to watch the batsmen continuously balls up and try to solve it by changing the bowling.

10.42 - Matt H

True Dan, but I’d probably have brought Lumb in for Kieswetter and given the gloves to Jonny B Goode.

10.40 - Dan

As much as we love Big Dan Vettori, he’s not going to rip through us (he says….).  I’m reasonably confident.

10.37 - Matt H

Pleased to see Briggs playing, but the problem thus far has arguably been the batting.

10.33 - Nichael Bluth

And what do we reckon for England’s chances today?

10.29 - Dan

They’re always going to have a problem with balancing the side, and with the weaknesses in their bowling they seem to need a minimum of 180 on the board if they want to defend a total (unless they’re playing England).  I don’t think Chunkster Sehwag would have made any difference but his omission seems to be masking the actual problem of them having no decent bowlers.  Also, the majority of the squad look horrendously unfit once more, Chawla has more chins than a Chinese phone directory (c James Richardson circa 1993).

10.06 - Nichael Bluth

The final word on day eleven: just how bad were India?

17.55 - Matt H

A thumping victory by nine wickets. As if someone would predict an Indian win at the halfway stage.

17.18 - James Knight

This is an utterly disgusting bowling performance. Even England would’ve carted this rubbish.

17.15 - Matt H

Okay, so when I said India would win, I assumed they’d actually make a breakthrough – even if through a run out – and then nos. 3-11 would collapse like a game of jenga.

16.47 - James Knight

Even Cameron White could hit most of this lot.

16.46 - Matt H

So is the Australian batting, from positions 3-11. And that’s being generous to David ‘once in a month of blue moons’ Warner.

16.44 - James Knight

I don’t. Their bowling is really rubbish.

16.44 - Matt H

Unless it rains.

16.43 - Matt H

I think India will win this.

16.12 - James Knight

We’ve seen some bad T20 innings over the years last week, this is right up there.

15.48 - Nichael Bluth

Watson clearly has a golden arm of Ronnie Irani proportions.

15.44 - Matt H

If the radio coverage of this match is anything to go by, it’s a stinker so far.

15.36 - Nichael Bluth

One from the Graham Napier speedgun factory then, methinks.

15.36 - James Knight

It claimed Zadran, the Afghan opening bowler, was hurling them down at 93mph against India.

15.34 - Nichael Bluth

I haven’t been following the speedgun in this tournament, but they’ve just clocked Pat Cummins at nearly 92mph.

15.32 - James Knight

This is rubbish so far.

15.20 - Nichael Bluth

Watto is going for runs! Australia have run out of plans!

15.15 - James Knight

India need to look at getting Gautam Gambhir into their sprint relay team as well.

15.13 - Nichael Bluth

Fantastic footballing skills from Pat Cummins. Australia could do with him in their side, having got spanked by Jordan (no, not that one) a couple of weeks back.

14.56 - Nichael Bluth

(Which is a roundabout way of saying that India will win)

14.49 - Nichael Bluth

Cameron White at four. George Bailey at five. There’s a reason Australia lose more than they win.

14.47 - James Knight

Given that India have picked about 117 spinners and Australia are, y’know, crap, can’t see anything but an Aussie win.

14.45 - Matt H

Time for match number 2. Any predictions gentlemen?

14.23 - Matt H

So Pakistan threw away a winning position only for South Africa to throw away a winning position. Pakistan eventually won by 2 wickets, with 2 balls to spare. Blimey.

14.23 - James Knight

I might save up a rant about captaincy for after the tournament, but that was comically inept at the end from de Villiers. Botha finishes with two overs unbowled, Albie Morkel and Jacques Kallis bowl successive overs to swing the momentum hard back in Pakistan’s favour, the seamers bang it in half way down to Umar Gul even though he consistently blasts it into the stands. Astonishing.

Spinners bowl brilliantly on that wicket, and South Africa give the last five overs to all pace.

14.21 - Nichael Bluth

That was some incredible choking, even by South African standards.

14.09 - Nichael Bluth

Dale Steyn trapping the ball in a way I haven’t seen since Carlton Palmer was in the England midfield.

14.02 - James Knight

This is incredible. We told you the Super Eights would be brilliant.

13.58 - Nichael Bluth

Geography’s not really my thing. In the same way that death bowling isn’t really Albie Morkel’s.

13.56 - Matt H

A few whacks from Umar Gul and the Pakistani run rate begins to resemble the Ardennes area of Belgium, where there are in fact, some hills.

13.53 - Nichael Bluth

13.49 - Matt H

Laughter echoes around the radio commentary box as Dirk Nannes forgets the words ‘net run rate’. Can I use a smiley to demonstrate how unfunny I found it?

13.48 - Nichael Bluth

The Pakistan run-rate worm is as flat as Belgium.

13.46 - James Knight

For Steve Smith, anything goes.

🙁

13.46 - Nichael Bluth

No, the worst thing is the use of a smiley in the live blog.

13.44 - James Knight

The worst thing about today is that the pitch is tailor-made for one Sir Steven of Smith 🙁

13.38 - Nichael Bluth

Was that Afridi shot BRAINLESS, STUPID or IDIOTIC? Vote now!

13.37 - Matt H

Good grief. When an innings calls for maturity, composure and responsibility, the most experienced of the Pakistani players blasts his first ball straight down the throat of the fielder in the deep. Stupid doesn’t even come close.

13.32 - James Knight

And there we are. A blistering 12 from 26 balls and now the calm, composed batting phenomenon that is Shahid Afridi has to save the day.

13.26 - James Knight

Pakistan need 80 from the last 10 overs. If I were a Pakistani fan I’d probably be hiding behind the sofa; when you’re placing all your hope and faith in Shoaib Malik you’re in deep trouble.

13.12 - Matt H

Make that four wickets – Game on Abraham!

13.03 - James Knight

We’ve literally got a game on here Richard.

13.02 - Matt H

Make that three wickets – Game on Garth!

13.00 - Matt H

Two wickets for South Africa though – Game on Wayne!

12.54 - James Knight

Absolutely the right thing to do as well. England would trundle along at 4 an over and put pressure on everyone else.

Luke Wright being in the top 5 run scorers for the tournament despite only making 6 in his previous two innings. What a guy.

12.52 - Nichael Bluth

Pakistan off to a flyer here. I guess they’ll look to put the game to bed in the powerplay – if they can get 60 on the board then they’re almost there.

12.38 - James Knight

It’s below par, but I think even 133 is more than they should have got.

South Africa’s attack is pretty good, Pakistan’s batsmen have hardly done anything in this tournament beyond the top three and the Saffas must fancy getting through Nazir and Jamshed if they bowl properly. Beyond that, who knows?

Will South Africa defend this? Vote YES, NO…etc

12.32 - Nichael Bluth

Pakistan big favourites at the halfway stage, although at least South Africa have something to bowl at.

12.11 - James Knight

Ball of the century!

12.10 - Nichael Bluth

And that’s why Umar Gul wasn’t bowling.

11.56 - James Knight

He’ll get taken to pieces Samit style if he bowls.

11.55 - Matt H

They could feasibly bowl Malik – but that’s a bold choice if they do.

11.53 - James Knight

I reckon the plan here is that Gul bowls at least two, possibly three at the end. Unless they’re brave enough to give Hasan his last over. Either way, the overs that aren’t Afridi and Ajmal are the ones South Africa will go for.

11.52 - Matt H

Umar Gul has been rubbish this tournament – but it looks like he might not be needed, thanks to the plethora of spin options Pakistan have.

11.50 - Nichael Bluth

Have Pakistan used too many Ajmal overs too soon? Vote YES, NO or MAYBE right now!

11.49 - James Knight

In an attempt to drag us vaguely back on topic, Twitter is slagging Behardien’s technique off.

And I think Pakistan have made a mistake using up so many Ajmal overs already.

11.46 - James Knight

What on earth have I started?

11.42 - Matt H

Do you think 51allout polls are better than ICC pulse questions? A) yes B) no C) don’t know

11.41 - Nichael Bluth

Readers – write in and let us know what you think of James’s question. Your three choices are YES, NO and MAYBE.

11.39 - James Knight

I don’t understand why these Pulse questions can only have three options. Is it really beyond the voters to choose between six or seven?

11.34 - Matt H

35/3 from eight overs. Wow.

11.30 - James Knight

If they don’t pick him in Sri Lanka against New Zealand…

In other news, we’d like to doff our caps to AB de Villiers’ superb show of leadership here.

11.23 - Matt H

James, it’s obvious that England will select Ravi Bopara before they select young Danny Briggs.

11.15 - James Knight

I like this new idea teams are trying of just throwing in a spinner no one’s seen to baffle the opposition. If only England had picked a young spinner with hardly any international exposure in their squad.

11.09 - Nichael Bluth

As in the first week at primary school, yes.

11.07 - Matt H

Fielding is back to week one standard then?

11.05 - Nichael Bluth

Kamran Akmal looks at home in this tournament. That says everything you could possibly want to know about the standard of fielding.

10.39 - Nichael Bluth

That’s a lot of spinners. England will be breaking into a sweat just watching this match.

10.36 - Matt H

South Africa have won the toss and chosen to bat. They’ve dropped Faf ‘fing awful’ du Plessis and recalled Robin Peterson. Meanwhile, Pakistan have replaced Sohail Tanvir with Raza Hasan. By my calculation, there are 34 spinners in this match.

10.15 - Nichael Bluth

Yesterday was a fantastic day of cricket and exactly the advert for the game that the group stage wasn’t. I have high hopes for today as well, particularly for the Australia game – as a side they’re many things but dull isn’t one of them.

18.52 - Matt H

I know he gets a lot of stick for his ‘limited’ ability, but I can’t help but really like Darren Sammy. West Indies won by 15 runs, but one feels it should’ve been closer, what with England’s 4th wicket falling in only the final over.

18.40 - Nichael Bluth

Poor Buttler – 18 required from two!

18.36 - Nichael Bluth

England probably need just three sixes and some change in this last over. Easy.

18.32 - Matt H

100 partnership, Buttler still to come…but just eight balls to go.

18.25 - Matt H

We’ve been rightly critical of the fielding in this tournament, but Andre Russell has just prevented a six with some staggering fielding. Good lad. Steve Smith-esque.

18.25 - Nichael Bluth

James’s mention of Steve Smith on the Twitter has got me thinking: if he was English, he’d be straight into the side in Samit’s place.

18.22 - Nichael Bluth

Having given Jos Buttler the big up, he’s not even going to get a bat. It’s impressive for England to potentially lose one wicket in the last 19.3 overs of the innings and still fall miles short.

18.14 - Matt H

Somewhat appropriately, the public address system is playing Dire Straits. Although England aren’t doing the Walk of Life.

18.13 - Nichael Bluth

Once, when I was very young, maybe four or five, Noel Edmonds opened a new garage down the road from us. The place was absolutely rammed and all I saw was a bit of his trousers (with his legs in them) on some steps. There were loads of people there and we were stood right near the back, miles away from the action.

And that’s about as close as England are going to get to winning this.

18.07 - Matt H

Father Liam Finnegan was Gayle’s biggest inspiration.

18.06 - Nichael Bluth

Chris Gayle’s mankading warning also takes the form of a dance. He’s certainly an entertainer.

17.56 - Matt H

Great catch by Pollard that. Impressive how he didn’t even break stride.

17.56 - Nichael Bluth

If this innings was an episode of The Simpsons it’d be the one when it turns out that Principal Skinner is an imposter.

17.34 - Nichael Bluth

I think it’s fair to say that at least Jos Buttler will get an opportunity to show what he can do. Which is blaze the West Indies attack to all parts at ten an over, hopefully.

17.31 - James Knight

This is not going entirely as I hoped.

17.25 - Nichael Bluth

Still it’s not all bad – Chris Gayle is doing an Arrested Development chicken dance. Seriously, if you’ve never watched Arrested Development, go and do it now. Literally now, because England are busy bringing shame to the nation.

17.20 - Nichael Bluth

My brilliant plan of letting Hales take strike first was clearly too revolutionary for The Man.

17.19 - Nichael Bluth

I’m sure they can find one if they really put their minds to it.

17.14 - James Knight

And even if they mess it up we’ve got Luke Wright. Difficult to see any way England lose from here.

17.14 - Nichael Bluth

This is a really true pitch. It should be tailor made for Kieswetter and Hales. A ten-wicket win is almost in the bag.

17.12 - James Knight

They didn’t have a good last eight balls.

17.01 - Nichael Bluth

Bizarrely, a good last eight balls and England will be quite happy with this. Can’t help thinking that the Windies should have tried some running between the wickets instead of attempting to WALLOP! every single ball.

16.50 - James Knight

I’m not sure I’ll ever be able to recover from the despair.

16.47 - Nichael Bluth

Pollard’s innings is a brief one, disappointing James, who’s wearing a replica West Indies shirt with the great man’s name on.

16.37 - James Knight

Maybe they sent him to fetch those balls Gayle whacked out the ground.

16.37 - Nichael Bluth

Samit looks absolutely knackered after two overs.

16.16 - Nichael Bluth

The myth that Nick Knight is some sort of tactical genius comes crashing down like the Hindenburg.

16.14 - James Knight

Well absolutely no one saw that coming.

16.11 - Nichael Bluth

Johnson Charles drags one down to long on. The camera cuts to the point boundary. Brilliant television.

16.08 - Nichael Bluth

Some turn first ball. Good news for Swann, less so for Patel who’ll now be forced to waddle in to the stumps 24 times.

16.04 - Nichael Bluth

Craig Charles is looking every inch the TV actor and nothing like an international batsman at the moment.

16.01 - James Knight

I think the obvious answer to that is yes. My app has crashed, so presumably it thinks so too.

15.57 - Nichael Bluth

One of the great Pulse questions there. Have they completely run out of ideas already?

15.51 - James Knight

I reckon King Herod would’ve made a decent T20 player. Certainly would punish the weaker bowling.

15.48 - Nichael Bluth

Chris Gayle going after Jade Dernbach’s first over like a latter day King Herod. That’s right, we mentioned King Herod twice in one day. It’s very much the in thing these days.

15.43 - James Knight

Johnson Charles is basically there to make up the numbers. Perhaps they found him on the plane when they were one short.

15.40 - Nichael Bluth

England vs. the one man of the West Indies, apparently. Here we go.

15.27 - Nichael Bluth

This elongated gap is the perfect way to puncture the enthusiasm.

15.14 - James Knight

Got half an hour to kill yet. Your round.

15.10 - Nichael Bluth

If you’ve just joined us, today is EXCESSIVE GIN DRINKING THURSDAY!

15.04 - James Knight

Told you. Now Craig Kieswetter is going to score 100.

14.58 - Nichael Bluth

An epic victory for Sri Lanka POSITIVITY DAY!

14.57 - James Knight

All aboard the no ball bandwagon.

14.56 - Nichael Bluth

The Super Eights has already had ten times more action than the whole group stage. Unlucky for New Zealand – just a foot or two away from being a six!

14.50 - Nichael Bluth

I’d go for some sort of Ealham v Ealham battle of the giant, but each to their own.

14.47 - James Knight

So McCullum v Malinga. If you could pick any batsman and any bowler, it could well be those two. Only Gayle might beat McCullum.

14.44 - Nichael Bluth

Some awful fielding off that last ball might make all the difference. New Zealand need a couple of boundaries.

14.42 - Nichael Bluth

Bizarre sacrificial runout there. Sri Lanka look a bit confused.

14.41 - James Knight

This is an almost impressive mix of brilliance and utter filth from Southee.

14.37 - James Knight

Very mysterious that Vettori hasn’t been able to field.

14.36 - Nichael Bluth

No Dilshan?

14.36 - James Knight

In that case I’ll back Sri Lanka, just to liven things up. Dilshan and Mahela against Southee went well the first time.

14.34 - Nichael Bluth

The ‘better’ side never wins the Super Over. New Zealand will do this.

14.33 - James Knight

Who do we fancy for the Super Over?

14.33 - Nichael Bluth

David Lloyd enjoyed the tight finish rather more than Tony Greig did.

14.28 - James Knight

Dropping the ball on the stumps. Taylor knows what he’s doing.

14.27 - Nichael Bluth

That is the most ridiculous finish to a T20 game I’ve ever seen.

14.25 - James Knight

That is AMAZING! New Zealand have fielded that so poorly they’ve managed to accidentally get a super over.

14.24 - Nichael Bluth

Scenes!

14.17 - Nichael Bluth

This is beautifully set up for the final over, despite Jeremy Franklin’s best efforts.

14.13 - James Knight

And now what a throw!

14.10 - James Knight

What an over from Southee. Luke Wright-esque in its brilliance.

14.05 - Nichael Bluth

A big crowd! A tight game! Pressure! Excitement!

About fucking time.

14.05 - James Knight

Don’t really think I can follow that, so let’s move on. This is proving to be a great warm-up to the Luke Wright themed main event.

13.57 - Nichael Bluth

Sri Lanka may be Under Pressure, but if Vettori could summon up A Kind Of Magic he might be the one to make the Breakthru.

13.55 - James Knight

Having spent the entire first week playing ‘Under Pressure’ whenever an Afghan player hurled a dolly catch over the boundary for six when the other side were 186/1, I haven’t heard it once when there is a little bit of actual pressure on now…

13.47 - Nichael Bluth

You could hear the embarrassment in Nasser’s voice when the check for the no-ball came up.

13.45 - James Knight

Amazing scenes in Pallekele as everybody messes up, the third umpire checks for a no ball while reviewing a run out and Sangakkara is gone. Into the tail!

13.32 - James Knight

You killed that before it even had a chance to grow up and flourish. You’re like King Herod.

13.27 - Nichael Bluth

So much for POSITIVITY DAY.

13.26 - James Knight

Every time I see Vettori’s bowling nowadays I die a little.

13.26 - Nichael Bluth

Actually, Vettori looks a lot like one of the fellas in that picture up there. Talk about serendipity!

13.23 - Nichael Bluth

Every time I see Vettori and his current facial hair setup I think I die a little.

13.19 - James Knight

Quite strange that he didn’t come on earlier. Maybe he’s earned the right to protect his figures.

13.12 - Nichael Bluth

New Zealand aren’t exactly blessed with options though. Poor Dan Vettori must be feeling shattered before he’s even come on to bowl.

13.11 - James Knight

Sport_Dimension on Twitter just called Nathan McCullum’s bowling “dirt tracker”. Even that is generous.

New Zealand are not so much staring down the barrel as helping Sri Lanka load it. 50 up inside five overs.

13.07 - James Knight

Well this is just a brutal humiliation so far. Who’d have thunk that Kyle Mills and Nathan McCullum might not be the most successful opening bowlers they could choose.

12.51 - James Knight

Nathan McCullum is the most depressing opening bowler in cricket history.

12.40 - James Knight

I think they’re maybe 10 runs light, but 175 is no easy chase even against New Zealand.

12.35 - Nichael Bluth

I reckon that over (the 19th, Malinga taking 1/6) is the clincher.

12.21 - James Knight

Nasser saying New Zealand have a stronger batting line-up than Sri Lanka is like me saying England thrashed India at the weekend.

I.e. untrue.

12.08 - Nichael Bluth

The way Russel Arnold pronounces Rob Nicol’s surname needs someone to respond by saying ‘Papa’ in a sexy French accent.

12.07 - James Knight

He’s just in downtown Walla Kangaroo Wallaby Winga Walla. Or something.

In other news, Ajantha Mendis is AWFUL.

12.04 - Nichael Bluth

Now, we’ve had several calls during the last few minutes concerning a humorous comment I made some time ago. Just to reassure you, Aussie Matt is not dead. It was a humorous comments which seems to have been taken a bit too literally by one or two readers… and a newspaper. So, just to repeat, Aussie Matt is not dead… unless he went in the night and is yet to be discovered by the maid. Just coming up to seven o’clock. Gadzooks! It’s the noble Sir David Clifton of radioshire!

11.58 - Nichael Bluth

Another interesting fact flashed up there: McCullum’s T20I average is better than his Test average. If Aussie Matt was still with us he’d have loved that.

11.56 - Matt H

I do like that even in Sri Lanka they uphold the long tradition of having someone walk across the sightscreen during play.

11.53 - James Knight

On the plus side, at least our bowlers don’t try to deal with return catches as if they’re crosses to the back post.

11.53 - Nichael Bluth

And a happy birthday to Russel Arnold’s missus from everyone at 51allout too!

11.40 - James Knight

There’s actually a young kid we had coming through who people were raving about with a ‘mysterious’ action. I believe he’s currently suspended for chucking. Sri Lanka don’t piss about with that nonsense.

11.38 - Nichael Bluth

I love how the likes of Sri Lanka can just pull these mystery spinners out of nowhere. The last ‘mystery’ spinner England had would be Alex Loudon I reckon.

11.32 - James Knight

Meanwhile the Sri Lankan fielding is eerily reminiscent of horse manure.

11.26 - James Knight

That opening salvo from Bumble was eerily reminiscent of George in Blackadder Goes Forth. When he’s practicing his opening remarks as Blackadder’s lawyer.

“It’s a lovely day. Pretty clouds, trees, birds, etc. I rest my case. “

11.25 - Nichael Bluth

Interesting fact that flashed across the screen there: Sri Lanka have never won chasing at home.

11.17 - James Knight

There are amoeba on Saturn who could field better than this lot.

POSITIVITY DAY; we hardly knew you.

11.04 - Nichael Bluth

Imagine having a selection meeting where you had to decide whether to open with Rob Nicol or James Franklin.

10.58 - James Knight

And POSITIVITY DAY goes up in smoke within about 3 minutes.

10.57 - Nichael Bluth

The Sri Lankan anthem is just starting. Which means you’ve just got time for a cup of tea glass of gin before play starts. And a quick watch of the first Lord Of The Rings film.

10.52 - James Knight

I’ve decided that today is POSITIVITY DAY.

So on that note I’m quite excited to see this new spinner Sri Lanka have picked. And Mahela is playing in this game, it’s impossible not to be happy about that.

10.47 - Matt H

Apparently the show finished in 2010. Sadly, I missed that final series.

10.47 - Nichael Bluth

Which is more than we’ll be able to say about New Zealand’s hopes in a couple of hours…

10.42 - Matt H

Peter Sallis is still alive.

10.40 - Nichael Bluth

Is The Last Of The Summer Wine still going? Or are they all dead now?

10.35 - Matt H

New Zealand win the toss and choose to bat.

18.10 - Dan

Pakistan by eight wickets and mercifully the worst group stage since the Travelling Wilburys is over.  We did at least have the semblance of a game for a while today, which is an improvement, and long may that continue apace.  There are no games tomorrow but a double header on Thursday of Sri Lanka vs New Zealand and England vs Sunil Narine, be sure to join us then.

17.55 - Dan

Pakistan are now officially through and Bangladesh are out, but the game’s still going on. It’s a bizarre state of affairs, entirely in keeping with how the tournament’s played out so far.

17.35 - Dan

We will get a proper game at some point.  Surely.

17.29 - James Knight

Nazir has the fastest 50 of the tournament, Bangladesh have collectively channelled Stuart Broad and this game has run off with the guy next door. If we put all the matches together I reckon there’s one exciting game in there somewhere.

17.06 - James Knight

Well that was fun while it lasted.

16.56 - James Knight

Shades of India v Afghanistan. Underdog should win, has many chances to win, but you never believe they’ll actually manage it. This is the right sort of start by Pakistan though, they need to bat aggressively at the start otherwise you risk getting stuck between going for 176 and 140 which would only lead to trouble.

16.50 - Matt Larnach

Get the feeling this is going to be one of those aggravating games where Pakistan will try and do everything they can to implode, but Bangladesh just won’t let them. That dropped catch was pathetic.

16.46 - James Knight

They were just easing England’s passage to the semi-finals. They’re a top bunch of lads.

16.35 - Dan

The bigger crime of course is getting absolutely mullered by a deeply mediocre New Zealand team in the first game.  Even Rob Nicol scored runs.

16.33 - James Knight

At least we’ve got a game! Think Bangladesh might be a little disappointed they didn’t get 180+, what with the start they had, Rahim scoring at less than a run a ball and Shakib putting that pie down long off’s throat.

16.30 - Dan

Pakistan need 139 to qualify.  This is dangerously close to being a proper game.  Great innings by Shakib.

16.26 - Dan

We should launch 51allout tie and blazer badge combination packs for those who go home empty-handed.  Need a latin motto first though.

16.25 - James Knight

If it wasn’t for the 36 run thing this would be a really, really exciting game. Even with it Pakistan are under pressure.

16.18 - Nichael Bluth

Decent effort this from Bangladesh but I still think the three people that voted for ‘someone else’ in the poll are going home empty-handed tonight.

16.10 - James Knight

They have to get 180 just to set Pakistan 140 or so, which could actually be a challenge. But basically Shakib has to score 100 now.

16.09 - Dan

The issue is that they’re effectively 97/4, which isn’t very good really.

16.06 - Matt Larnach

Agreed. And that wicket may be the beginning of the end. With 5 overs to go they simply have to post 180+, but you suspect Bangladesh will fall short of that, around 150 to 160. Which won’t be enough.

It’s all down to Shakib.

16.03 - James Knight

They need Ajmal’s two overs to be seriously good or they are right in the brown stuff now. I can’t believe Bangladesh are going to keep this level up for the last six overs though. Surely normal service will be resumed soon.

16.00 - Matt Larnach

He is probably better off drinking that than the local bottled water to be frank.

Pakistan have officially lost the plot here.

15.58 - James Knight

I reckon Dav Whatmore really appreciates Manjrekar just pissing himself in his face at that catch.

15.56 - James Knight

Amazing scenes.

15.55 - Matt Larnach

That was the defining moment of this tournament right there.

15.44 - James Knight

Pakistan’s bowling has been shocking. They’ll pull themselves together soon.

Oh good, Alan Wilkins. Pass the Kingfisher.

15.43 - Nichael Bluth

Bangladesh are looking really good here. The comedy collapse surely can’t be far away.

15.31 - Matt Larnach

The Super 8’s will be a poorer spectacle if it’s robbed of this sort of comedy running from Bangladesh. For that reason alone I want them to go through.

15.27 - James Knight

And there we are. When it’s all going suspiciously swimmingly you can always rely on the comedy run out.

15.24 - Dan

This is all worrying competent so far.  You get the impression though that they could easily go from 85/1 to 110 all out.

15.19 - James Knight

I’m just so mad you didn’t go with Jeremy Franklin.

If Bangladesh keep this up for the whole 20 overs they might just about have a chance.

15.16 - Matt Larnach

See the controversy it’s stirring already?

Ashraful gone, but even so will be interesting if this good start might prompt Pakistan to introduce Ajmal earlier than they did the other day.

15.12 - James Knight

Of all the hundreds of comedy Kiwi cricketers you could have chosen, you went with Big Jacob Oram?

15.11 - Matt Larnach

I think we could do with some Pulse style questions in order to stir things up in the Live Blogs.

Really searching questions like “Is Jacob Oram the worst cricketer in history”, or “Are England getting better at playing against spin”.

Good start for Bangladesh.

15.01 - Dan

You reckon without Mohammad Ashraful.

14.55 - James Knight

Well I’ve boldly gone on Bangladesh under 128.5 to ensure we get some sort of game. Really don’t see any way for Bangladesh to win this, though. I don’t think there’s even any way for Duckworth/Lewis to bail them out.

14.55 - Nichael Bluth

Stirring stuff from the Bangladeshi anthem.

14.47 - Matt Larnach

In that scenario you can just can see Pakistan racing to 90/1 before being bowled out for 110.

Get some runs on the board, put pressure on the Pakistan batting, and hope they fold. It’s probably their best chance.

14.43 - James Knight

Surely it’d be better to bowl first and know you need to make the total in, say, 16 overs than batting first and then Pakistan knowing they don’t even need to go for your score if they don’t fancy it. Realistically Bangladesh aren’t going to get 160+ here, so to qualify all Pakistan are going to need is about 120 at best.

14.39 - Matt Larnach

Batting first makes a certain amount of sense in that the only way they are going to get through is if they take control of the match from the start. And that means confronting Ajmal and Co. The rain might also play in their favour in that it could freshen the pitch up a bit, and mean the seamers will be more effective than the spinners, which is what Bangladesh’s team selection suggests they hope will be the case.

Yeah, I am clutching at straws. That’s all this tournament is letting me do at the moment.

14.32 - James Knight

Bangladesh have won the toss and are batting. Can only assume they have dinner reservations somewhere and want to get this over with nice and sharpish. I’m still trying to convince Editor Steve to let us bid for one of these coins. Preferably from a Zimbabwe game.

14.13 - James Knight

You’ll NEVER GUESS what the weather’s like.

18.01 - Dan

The abandonment is confirmed and yet again we come away from a game as unfulfilled as a diner at a Little Chef.  Join us tomorrow for Bangladesh vs Pakistan which promises to be an absolutely rip roaring fixture.

17.30 - Dan

You just wonder what else is going to go wrong with this tournament.  Running out of umpires maybe.

17.24 - James Knight

They ain’t getting back from this rain.

17.14 - Dan

They’d have a very slim chance if Rankin were playing, without him they have none.

17.13 - James Knight

129/6 is not going to be enough. Another thrilling finale in store here.

16.43 - James Knight

I haven’t seen moves like that since the 51allout Christmas party.

16.41 - Dan

Chris Gayle bowls about as often as Ian Bell these days, but immediately takes a wicket.  It’s a really poor effort, lacking in any kind of thought at all.

16.37 - Dan

65/3 off 11 overs is such a bizarre score.

16.36 - Matt Larnach

Ireland were actually batting reasonably well till the rain came and robbed them of any momentum.

It’s as if this tournament is doomed to never rise to any level above the mediocre.

16.29 - James Knight

The associate sides have been such a massive disappointment. Sometimes they are going to lose, but getting rolled over by Shane Watson’s bowling and then not being able to hit Darren Sammy off the square is just embarrassing. Ireland are better than this but look like they’re about to get out every ball.

16.21 - Dan

I never thought I’d see a worse tournament than the 2003 World Cup.  However this is rapidly getting there.

16.14 - James Knight

We’re about to start again. It’s 19 overs a side, because if they played that extra couple of overs the tournament would simply cease to function as an entity and there’d be a full-scale riot.

16.12 - Nichael Bluth

There’s probably a William Porterfield/Money For Nothing joke that should go in here.

15.57 - Dan

We’re now being treated to a bit of Dire Straits.  Highlight of the day so far.

15.22 - Dan

Ah, here comes the rain again, as Dave Stewart would say.

15.20 - Matt H

I hope nobody saw my previous – now deleted – entry, which was riddled with more mistakes than an England batting performance against spin.

15.16 - James Knight

It’s going to chuck it down. Let’s all go home.

15.14 - Matt Larnach

Aside from the predictable beginning, this has been a good start for Ireland. At the risk of jinxing it, I am going to bravely predict we could have a good game here.

15.13 - Dan

All you need to know about William Porterfield is that we often prefer to pick Darren Maddy or Ian Westwood ahead of him.

15.08 - James Knight

I have seen William Porterfield three times this summer. Combined he has lasted three balls.

15.07 - Dan

Ravi Rampaul adding to the impressive list of chubster cricketers in this tournament.

15.04 - Nichael Bluth

15.01 - Matt Larnach

One of the great predictions.

15.00 - James Knight

All I’m saying is that Samit Patel plays – England win comfortably. Samit Patel doesn’t play – England lose by 100 runs.

14.43 - Dan

Kevin O’Brien, Samit Patel, Richard Levi, Kieron Pollard.  Which one is the most village green standard cricketer?

14.41 - James Knight

I can’t see anything other than a blistering, 100 run win for Ireland today. And I boldly predict William Porterfield to last more than one ball this time.

14.38 - Dan

West Indies will bowl and the teams, hyperlinks and all, are in.

  Ireland team
WTS Porterfield*, PR Stirling, EC Joyce, NJ O’Brien, GC Wilson†, KJ O’Brien, DT Johnston, AR Cusack, MC Sorensen, GH Dockrell, NG Jones
  West Indies team
CH Gayle, J Charles, DM Bravo, MN Samuels, KA Pollard, AD Russell, DJG Sammy*, D Ramdin†, SP Narine, R Rampaul, FH Edwards

14.36 - Matt H

West Indies have won the toss and chosen to field first.

 

14.36 - Matt Larnach

Dockrell was, sadly, desperately poor against Australia the other day. But I agree, he could hold the key to the Irish winning here. The problem will be if he has to bowl while Gayle is still in. If that happens I don’t hold out much hope for his chances. Or Ireland’s.

14.25 - Dan

Dockrell is the key for Ireland being as West Indies are nearly as bad as England at playing spin.

18.02 - Matt H

England bowled out for 80 – their lowest T20I score. India hammered them to win by 90 runs. An embarrassing performance with the bat that will have had the other captains rubbing their hands. Just clueless against anything resembling spin; just clueless.

17.56 - Matt H

Thankfully, this result doesn’t matter. Unfortunately though, it will have highlighted, underlined, emboldened and italicized England’s shortcomings for the other teams to see.

17.28 - Matt H

England struggling against ‘spin’ again. Who’d have thought it?

17.02 - Nichael Bluth

Dave Stewart news: that was definitely the Eurythmics playing when Kieswetter spanked the ball for six over long on.

16.48 - Nichael Bluth

A funny, half-arsed performance from both sides there. India didn’t seem that fussed about making a match-winning total while England fielded like a team of Panesars, bar the Hales/Buttler catch.

16.25 - Matt Larnach

Am not sure I am prepared to credit the Kiwis with that level of diabolical scheming to be honest. I think the shuffling of their batting order was a genuine symptom of them having no idea of what their best lineup is, mixed with a healthy fear of the damage Ajmal would inflict.

That and they don’t give Bangladesh a chance in hell of turning over Pakistan.

16.16 - Nichael Bluth

Yeah, with hindsight it might be possible to justify some of New Zealand’s odd tactics as them trying to chase a lesser ‘good enough’ target. Perhaps they wanted Vettori to essentially help build a base from which to chase that lower score?

16.11 - Matt Larnach

Ah yeah, I forgot about that one. I noticed the scoreboard in the previous game showing that the Kiwis had qualified for the next stage when they got close enough in their chase. I guess I figured that if a team as poor as them were through, Pakistan must have made it already as well.

Given how much of a thumping Bangladesh needs to hand out to overcome their dismal first display, can safely write that one off and pin all our hopes instead on Dockrell and Cusack running through the Windies tomorrow.

This game is barely stuttering along. Sharma looks well out of sorts.

16.01 - Nichael Bluth

Bangladesh still have a chance but I think they need to beat Pakistan quite convincingly. Still, Pakistan always have an 80 all out in them.

15.59 - Matt Larnach

Yeah, India making 5 changes to their team shows they are pretty much taking the piss and using it as an excuse to rotate their squad.

At least the Super 8’s format ought to work well enough, but this group stage has been pathetic. The only live group is B, with the final game between Ireland and West Indies the only one left that actually means anything.

15.44 - Nichael Bluth

Both sides looking like they’re not 100% into this game. Having dead rubbers after fixing the format to have a minnow in each group is utterly criminal. I don’t know if it’s because the ICC are essentially stupid, or they’re just stubborn and arrogant.

15.43 - Matt Larnach

I dunno. This radical approach of his of actually playing proper cricket shots in T20 cricket will never catch on.

The interesting part of Kohli’s career will come when his form dips. He is ‘the’ Indian batsman now, with Sachin just about finished and Dravid and Laxman gone. That’s a lot of pressure to handle.

15.29 - Nichael Bluth

This already looks like being one of the great T20 innings from Kohli. Amazing to think that a year or so ago he was the nearly man of Indian cricket.

15.27 - Matt H

Perhaps Finn hasn’t been able to rectify the problem because Saker is a bowling coach focussing on tactics rather than technique?

15.26 - Nichael Bluth

But what are the coaching staff doing? Sitting around drinking Kingfisher?

15.23 - Matt Larnach

Will be interesting to see who the umpires will be on the Indian tour. If Rod Tucker is standing he is going to just dead ball him again.

15.17 - Nichael Bluth

I can’t believe that, after all the hassle of the last few months, Finn is still knocking the stumps over. Absolutely disgraceful from all concerned.

15.06 - Matt Larnach

Well, yes. Balaji is playing after all.

For that matter so is Chawla.

So effectively Dinda counts for two and a half bowlers here.

14.59 - Nichael Bluth

So four and a half, really.

14.43 - Matt Larnach

And also having criticised Dhoni’s policy of picking only the four bowlers, they are going in with five for this game.

One of whom is Pune legend Ashok Dinda.

One half of the Smith/Dinda dream team.

14.41 - Nichael Bluth

Time for the Luke Wright show. Having given Samit the big up in the preview gumph at the top of the page, he obviously gets left out. He’s still fat though.

14.25 - Matt Larnach

For all their meandering in the middle of the innings, this hasn’t been too bad by the Kiwis to be honest. Even Afridi has bowled well today, which has made it difficult for them to get going at any stage. McCullum batted like someone who knew that if he didn’t get the runs nobody else would, which is how it’s turned out really.

But otherwise they haven’t been that bad. Hopefully they will place some more trust in Taylor during the Super 8’s, rather than throw guys like Vettori or Franklin up the order instead, which hasn’t worked in either game really. With some better fielding and hopefully dropping Oram altogether they are capable of better than this. Pakistan, though, have quite a bit of improvement left as well, even though they never looked like losing here.

14.25 - Nichael Bluth

Pakistan had the better of that, and definitely deserved the win, but New Zealand did some ridiculous things, particularly putting Vettori at four and bowling Oram for the penultimate over.

14.18 - Matt H

After some quick runs from Ross Taylor, oddly demoted by, er, himself to no. 6, NZ need 19 from the last over. One feels they might have had a better chance if they’d not arsed around with their order so much.

14.18 - Nichael Bluth

New Zealand have done quite well to get this to a ‘just might be possible’ stage with one over to go.

14.01 - Nichael Bluth

And getting nigher.

13.49 - Matt H

Hafeez concedes just 15 runs from four overs (six of which came from the final ball), Umar Gul has two overs remaining and Saeed Ajmal three overs remaining. The end is nigh.

13.34 - Nichael Bluth

Yeah, New Zealand are absolutely grinding to a halt here. This is, in a nutshell, exactly why the Kiwis aren’t going to win the tournament.

13.31 - Matt Larnach

I guess you could make the argument that the Kiwis are overthinking things by juggling their batting order around so much.

The fact that they are so far behind the asking rate already, even before Ajmal has been introduced, doesn’t bode well.

13.27 - Nichael Bluth

Daniel Vettori at number four is an odd one. Doesn’t say much for the rest of New Zealand’s batting.

12.58 - Matt Larnach

At least the Kiwis took some notice to the pathetic weeping that was coming out of the 51allout office the last time they played and have spared us the pain of watching Franklin open the batting this time around.

Which actually makes very little sense, since he was promoted up the order against Bangladesh on the ‘strength’ of his batting against spin.

Anywho, I am certainly not complaining about it.

12.50 - Matt H

Pakistan should have been able to get another 10-15 runs, after the start they had, but I agree this should be too hard a chase for New Zealand.

12.38 - Nichael Bluth

Despite their best efforts to mess it up, Pakistan have got a pretty decent score. I can’t see McCullum smashing their bowlers around in the same way as the previous game and once he’s gone that’s basically it.

12.26 - Matt H

I know your question was for the other Matt, and I can’t comment on the IPL, but I’d say the fielding in this tournament thus far is generally worse than in county cricket.

12.25 - Matt Larnach

Yeah, it was much higher.

Controversial opinion alert, but the standard of the IPL across the board is amazingly high. The only thing that lets it down is the lack of Pakistani’s participating, who obviously have some of the best T20 players going round. But aside from that it really is enormously underrated by nearly everyone. Probably because most people don’t watch it in the first place, and when they do pay attention it’s only to the bad news stories that media loves to focus on instead of the actual cricket itself.

There is a reason guys like KP want to go and play in the IPL. Yes the money is a massive attraction, but it’s also easily the best T20 competition in the world. What we have seen in the WT20 so far has been a long, long way below that standard.

12.17 - Nichael Bluth

Something else to ask you Matt: as the 51allouter who sat through the most IPL games, how did the fielding in that tournament compare to this? Obviously there were the likes of Sir Steven of Smith performing heroics, but the general impression I get is that the standard was much higher there than here.

12.13 - Matt Larnach

In other news Pakistan are reverting to form here, and seem set to spend the second ten overs of their innings trying to undo all their good work in the first ten.

12.08 - Nichael Bluth

India’s tactics are completely crazy, in my view. That fifth bowler is going to lose them more games than the extra batsman will ever win.

12.05 - Matt Larnach

True, but it also showed how strength in depth with bowlers is such an asset, and is the reason why Pakistan and South Africa are rightly considered favourites in my opinion. If you can choose from three to four different bowlers who are all dangerous then the chances of anyone getting on top of you for long are limited. When Gayle was going last night only one of Watson or Starc looked capable of stopping him, everybody else was playing a desperate holding role. That’s not a winning gambit.

I think Dhoni’s policy of only taking four recognised bowlers is going to backfire badly, and depending on the pitch tonight England could be the ones to do it. Guy’s like Patel, Swann and Briggs could be crucial in the end, as they all offer options which frankly India don’t have.

12.04 - Nichael Bluth

*gets aboard the anti-Kiwi bus*

11.52 - Nichael Bluth

I think it summed up T20 cricket perfectly – the bowling on both sides was pretty poor (with the exception of Starc) but it just takes one player to hit their stride to win a game. And the Duckworth/Lewis system definitely helps sides with firepower up top but no depth, like Australia.

11.48 - Matt Larnach

I think it’s time to jump back on the anti-Kiwi bus. They are getting destroyed. Pakistan should amass a massive total from here, and there is no way they will bowl as badly as Bangladesh did the other day. This isn’t going to be the tight contest we were hoping for. Sadly.

I thought the Aussie performance was quite promising actually. Everyone knows our change bowlers are terrible, relatively speaking. Maxwell is very average, Christian is downright awful, and Cummins is too raw. But even with Hogg bowling rubbish yesterday they still kept their heads and stopped the Windies from completely running away with it.

I wouldn’t put us anywhere near the favourites as our bowling and batting are still over reliant from contributions from a couple key players with little else beyond that to back them up, but at least we won’t embarrass ourselves in the Super 8’s.

11.42 - James Knight

I’m just briefly checking in to say this is absolutely disgusting bowling and Jamshed reminds me of a young Ian Ward.

11.39 - Nichael Bluth

What’s your view on that Aussie performance from yesterday Matt?

11.32 - Matt Larnach

He is no Dan Christian that’s for sure.

11.27 - Nichael Bluth

Jacob Oram: not one of the great bowlers.

11.20 - Matt Larnach

Solid start by Pakistan, albeit owing quite a bit to a complete howler by Ross Taylor at first slip. Their batting looks solid with a long tail, and we already know what to expect from their bowlers. They look a formidable outfit in this tournament.

10.48 - Matt Larnach

Does anyone think the Kiwis have the ability to counter Ajmal? The way Ashwin ran through them in the recent Test series in India suggests this is going to be a lopsided contest where the Pakistan spinners run rampant.

Although given I tipped against the Kiwis beating Bangladesh, probably best I just keep quiet for a bit…

10.40 - Nichael Bluth

It’s not raining either, which is good news. Apparently there will be showers later though…

10.36 - Nichael Bluth

Pakistan have won the toss and will bat first against New Zealand.

17.52 - Nichael Bluth

I can’t help thinking that God himself doesn’t approve of this tournament.

17.18 - Nichael Bluth

If Australia had any batting depth whatsoever, they’d be quite well placed at 62/1 from six overs.

16.39 - Nichael Bluth

Starc continues to impress me every time I see him. Aside from him though, Australia have nothing.

16.15 - Nichael Bluth

Even though James hates him with every fibre of his being, I quite like Kieron Pollard. He’s certainly never dull.

16.07 - Matt Larnach

And on the other hand if the Windies do reach a big total it will just be more evidence of why Australia are only going to be also-rans here. Having only two effective bowlers in Starc and Watson, and then relying on a bunch of second rate options, isn’t the path to success.

15.58 - Nichael Bluth

This will be all about Pollard – the West Indies will look to tick over for a couple more overs and then get him in.

15.56 - Matt Larnach

Now is the point where we see if the Windies are potential champions at this tournament. At the halfway point with Gayle in 200+ looked probable. Be interesting to see what they end up with now when a couple of their middle to lower order batsmen actually have to take a bit of responsibility for the total, rather than just farm the strike to Gayle.

15.38 - Nichael Bluth

Is it just me that thinks that David Lloyd is just spending his days playing ‘Bumble’, a hollow caricature of a man who died years ago? I’m gonna write the word ‘wallop’ on a brick and throw it through his window if he’s not careful.

15.35 - Matt Larnach

Maxwell vs. Gayle, however, is not.

15.33 - Nichael Bluth

Gayle vs. Hogg is genuinely an interesting battle. First round to Gayle.

15.18 - Nichael Bluth

Spare a thought for those poor Aussie households with just one TV for Foxtel, for whom this game is up against West Brom vs. Reading.

14.55 - Matt Larnach

I was thinking that too, but the crunch will come later on as the wickets get lower and slower and they come up against someone like Ajmal. I only really trust Amla amongst their batsmen to keep their head against quality spin.

14.50 - Nichael Bluth

South Africa’s bowling attack are really good, as emphasised by this performance. If the batsmen can avoid comedy choking they’re going to be really hard to beat.

14.38 - Matt H

Can I scrub my comment about good running and good fielding? Albie Morkel’s dropped an absolute sitter.

14.33 - Nichael Bluth

There’s absolutely no margin for error in a chase over this small a timeframe. This one is done and dusted.

14.32 - Matt H

Sri Lanka are trying to whack every ball, but mistiming their shots. South Africa started by accumulating through good running as their priority.

14.28 - Matt H

Steyn takes a wicket and concedes just three runs from his first over. Game over already, methinks.

14.12 - Nichael Bluth

If Sri Lanka actually needed to win this game to stay in the tournament this would be set up really nicely.

14.07 - Matt H

South Africa 78/4, which looks a good total. But I’d always prefer to chase in these sort of mini matches.

14.05 - Matt H

Because that would be logical and sensible.

14.04 - Nichael Bluth

To come back to a couple of older points, this is supposed to be the number one form of cricket’s number one tournament. The ICC would have known that ticket sales for the games with the minnows were somewhere around the zero mark. So why weren’t all the local schools/businesses/whatever all given free tickets? Surely that would be better than empty seats, with the authorities hoping that 30k people would turn up and buy on the gate.

13.59 - Matt H

At least we’re seeing some good fielding  and good running here. Munaweera’s catch was all kinds of brilliant.

13.48 - Matt Larnach

Supposedly the tickets cost next to nothing, people have just not been all that keen on watching Luke Wright destroy Afghanistan. Strangely enough.

This does bode well for the Super 8’s though. Hopefully its not just a case of crowds only turning up when the home team plays. Living legends of the game like David Warner deserve some appreciation as well.

13.44 - Nichael Bluth

Amazing the difference actually having a crowd makes! It’s almost as if the ICC should actually consider doing things to get people into the stadium.

13.32 - Nichael Bluth

Just consider this the entree before the main course that is laughing at Australia.

13.20 - Matt Larnach

Even if we are set for the greatest spectacle in the history of the game, I would still refuse to enjoy it simply out of principle.

Seven overs a side is a nonsense.

In fact it’s only slightly worse than those bowl-out’s they used to use to decide tied games.

13.17 - Matt H

And Sri Lanka have won the toss and chosen to field

13.10 - Matt H

And it’s due to start at 1.30, UK time.

13.06 - Matt H

It’s going to be a seven over per side game.

12.23 - Nichael Bluth

If we had contacts at Channel 9, you could have made millions.

12.21 - Matt H

At least this rain delay has enabled me to take to the charity shop the box of unwanted tat that has been sitting in the back of a wardrobe for years.

11.56 - Nichael Bluth

I dunno, I reckon a five overs a side bash would be fun for forty minutes or so. And given that this game is utterly pointless anyway, why not reduce it to the absolute minimum effort?

11.38 - Matt Larnach

Seems there is an outside possibility of some play taking place. On the whole am not terribly fussed if they don’t, as there is little that is more pathetic than a reduced overs game of T20 cricket.

11.05 - James Knight

What a load of horse manure.

10.38 - Matt Larnach

Actually I forgot about Bangladesh. So should the ICC really after yesterday’s display.

10.30 - Matt Larnach

Looks a good chance the first match between two Test playing nations will be rained out.

This really is the tournament that just keeps on giving.

09.54 - Nichael Bluth

Just a bit more on yesterday’s fascinating England batting performance:

In the first four overs England scored 15 runs (a run-rate of just 3.75). In the next 16 they added 181 at 11.31 runs per over. If they’d managed to go at that rate (11.31) from the start they’d have reached 226, which would have been their largest ever T20I score (the previous best is 202/6 against South Africa in 2009) and the third highest of all time.

Which basically goes to show that Luke Wright is amazing.

17.19 - Matt Larnach

Along with all the inane drivel and random shouts of ‘Wallop!’, one thing the commentators did say that made a modicum of sense was that the Afghan batsmen wouldn’t have been exposed to good fast bowlers like Finn and, er, well just Finn really. As much as they might face someone like Shapoor in the nets, facing someone like Finn in match conditions is a completely different prospect and they seem utterly incapable of countering it.

That is something India didn’t have, and something they won’t get playing against other minnows. Just another point why they should be playing at least decent teams, like Ireland, more frequently.

As for who is better between India and England you won’t have long to wait for an answer. On first impressions England has the greater depth with both bat and ball.

17.11 - James Knight

Either that or we’re enormously superior to India.

17.10 - Matt Larnach

It looks like being a close run thing to be honest.

This is enormously disappointing really, they were far better than this against India.

17.10 - Nichael Bluth

Probably.

17.01 - Nichael Bluth

Afghanistan should just about manage to improve on that.

16.53 - Matt Larnach

172 runs. Kenya again, smashed by Sri Lanka in the 2007 WC.

16.50 - James Knight

What’s the highest ever margin of victory in a T20?

16.46 - Matt Larnach

Well, at least it will be a quick procession.

Seems a good time to add that the lowest score in a T20 International is 67 posted by Kenya. Zimbabwe had a good crack at it the other day. It looks doomed here.

16.44 - Nichael Bluth

The early wicket means that even though we’ve enjoyed watching Luke Wright and co, this is going to be yet another procession.

16.40 - Matt Larnach

And to think that for Pune last season he only played the one game where he bowled two overs and didn’t bat at all. Obviously playing for Pune is a harder task than this World Cup stuff.

16.35 - James Knight

16.12 - Matt Larnach

In their defence, Afghanistan is not a place where practising your outfielding is generally a good idea at the best of times.

In a shocking revelation, an innovation that the IPL brought in could have done well here, in the Tactical Time Out. Would give a chance for teams like this to stop and get back on track when things are falling apart. The Afghans have definitely needed something like that here.

16.03 - Nichael Bluth

Bang on cue, Afghanistan’s fielding starts to fall apart.

16.00 - Matt Larnach

Unfortunately good ideas are not the ICC’s forte.

15.57 - Nichael Bluth

This is where the idea of a Test division two has some merit – Afghanistan should be playing full length games against the likes of Ireland, Bangladesh and Zimbabwe reasonably often.

15.55 - Matt Larnach

True. And their batting is hardly an asset. Their best batsman in Shazhad is a guy who just throws the bat at everything, and after him there doesn’t seem to be much else.

Would be sad to see someone like Shapoor go to waste for lack of exposure though.

15.43 - James Knight

Zimbabwe are terrible but the others seem to suffer from the weight of expectation. Bangladesh and Ireland have decent sides, they just don’t seem to be able to make the step up in the big games at all. They freeze and don’t cope with pressure very well at all. Afghanistan don’t have any sort of pressure like that at the moment, they’re just the side everyone really wants to do well.

15.25 - Matt Larnach

Well, things are clearing up a bit now, but this has been a seriously impressive start from Afghanistan. They just need more cricket. But already there seems to be far more potential there than Zimbabwe or even arguably Bangladesh showed today

But I agree this pitch is a mess, the bounce is all over the place. That coupled with the appalling outfield is just another way this tournament has been such a massive let down so far. It can’t even get the basics right.

15.23 - Nichael Bluth

This pitch is bizarre. Still, it should help produce an entertaining game, that’s for sure.

15.04 - Matt Larnach

It would be fair to say my predictions have been somewhat awry today.

Shapoor looks a serious talent.

15.04 - Nichael Bluth

Still so confident Matt?

14.55 - Matt Larnach

Given the way this pitch has played so far, can’t see the Afghan’s getting even close. The English top order should simply over power them. Sadly. And judging from their performance against India (who were poor) they will be hard pressed to actually hold on to any chances they might create.

Which sounds a bit like England over the past few months really.

14.55 - James Knight

I think it’s fair to say the Afghanistan national anthem is quite a bit more intimidating than ours.

14.39 - Nichael Bluth

In the 50 over World Cup the England games were relentlessly stressful. So far this tournament has been about as tense as an episode of Byker Grove.

14.37 - James Knight

Kind of feel something interesting will happen in this one. Either we’ll lose/almost lose or absolutely destroy them with a blistering batting display.

14.27 - Matt Larnach

The toss for England vs. Afghanistan is 5 minutes away. I think it’s best for everyone really to forget that last game ever happened and hope for something, anything, interesting to happen in this next one.

Personally, with an Afghan upset probably too much to hope for, I am banking on a 30 ball century from Luke Wright.

14.08 - Nichael Bluth

One of the great efforts from Bangladesh there, just outscoring Brendon McCullum.

14.08 - Matt Larnach

I think half of the 51allout team needs to be put on suicide watch after this.

13.52 - James Knight

Shit a brick, that guy in the dugout is Saqlain Mushtaq?!

13.26 - Matt Larnach

Is it too much to ask for just one good game in the group stages? Please?

13.11 - James Knight

Bet it rains during England’s game now. This tournament has been awful so far.

12.58 - Matt Larnach

Ok, Shakib gone, I have given up all hope. Kiwis to win by 80. In fact Bangladesh to not even bat out their overs.

12.52 - James Knight

I think it’s out of their range. Anything up to 160 was gettable, but realistically to chase this you need someone to get 70+ to even mount a challenge. I’m not sure anyone has that in them. They bat quite deep, so they are quite good chasers, but not at this level.

12.49 - Matt Larnach

So far the Kiwis haven’t seemed to have grasped the concept of pitching it up either.

This is basically exactly how Australia bowled at Ireland the other day, but in that case the Irish batsmen obliged in throwing their wickets away. If Bangladesh actually bat well they could get close.

12.42 - James Knight

He basically got lucky.

12.39 - Matt Larnach

Look, I already apologised to the Kiwis. Damned if I am climbing even further down and praising McCullum as well.

12.36 - Nichael Bluth

We should probably give some credit to Brendon McCullum as well. 123 is the highest score in the history of T20I cricket, for a start.

12.34 - Nichael Bluth

I actually predicted big things for New Zealand in the podcast. Having said that, this performance perhaps says more about Bangladesh’s colossal levels of ineptitude.

12.32 - James Knight

That was utter, utter shit. Their bowling attack is not bad but they had horrible plans and were completely overwhelmed by the occasion as Ireland were a couple of days ago. Seamers just banged everything in half way down and went the distance, had no variation and refused to pitch anything up. The fielding was woeful, the captaincy disastrous and the spinners bowled awfully as well. So disappointing.

12.31 - Matt Larnach

I would like to apologise to our ANZAC brothers across the ditch for any offence caused by our (well, my) pre-tournament prediction.

Now if you could just kindly amble through the Super 8’s and get sent home after the semi-finals, we can all put this sorry incident behind us.

12.26 - Nichael Bluth

Bangladesh have absolutely gone to pieces here. It’s like Dave Stewart post-Eurythmics.

12.20 - James Knight

Relatively, this is as poor a performance as Zimbabwe yesterday.

12.02 - Matt Larnach

I refuse to accept that my prediction of New Zealand being absolutely rubbish here may have been incorrect.

Instead I am going to lay the blame on Bangladesh for amazingly outdoing them in the rubbish stakes. This bowling has been terrible, far too short. Almost every second ball is a rank long hop.

11.57 - Nichael Bluth

Fair enough on not wanting the big teams knocked out at the start – it killed the 2002 football World Cup in Japorea – but they could have started group C with Sri Lanka against South Africa without affecting that and it would have left one of those teams needing to beat Zimbabwe in the third game. Instead we’ll get a glorified friendly, probably with a huge no-ball after 4.3 overs.

11.51 - James Knight

It’s basically because they don’t want any of the big teams to be knocked out early. They think a good tournament needs all the best teams playing each other as much as possible, when we all know a good tournament needs as many good teams knocked out by Zimbabwe as possible.

11.48 - Matt Larnach

I think the reasoning behind it was that it allowed fans to know where their team will be playing in the Super 8’s in advance.

Problem is it’s a rubbish idea for the reasons you point out, without even mentioning the fact that it’s utterly redundant owing to the fact there are no bloody fans over there watching anyway.

Bangladesh deserve to lose this now simply because they have allowed James ‘Jeremy’ Franklin to be part of a 50 run partnership.

11.38 - Nichael Bluth

This is a pretty decent foundation for New Zealand.

The fact that there are dead rubbers in this initial group stage is genuinely criminal. Sri Lanka vs South Africa has nothing riding on the result at all and England vs India will be the same if the former beat Afghanistan later on.

Would it really have been that difficult to ensure that the minnows in each group played in the last game? It’s not rocket science. The more I think about it the more I get angry about the ICC’s handling of the tournament.

11.34 - Matt Larnach

It’s the price they have to pay for not bringing Pune legend Jesse Ryder along I guess.

Some fantastic work in the field so far from Bangladesh. Already cost them about 10 runs.

11.29 - James Knight

In T20 surely Rob Nicol is a much better option purely because he’ll get out really quickly and let a proper batsman come in. Franklin just sticks around doing absolutely nothing.

11.25 - Matt Larnach

Discussion is rife in the 51allout bunker as to the point of James Franklin opening. With an average of little above 20, and a strike rate not much better than a run a ball, he just seems like dead weight at the top of the order.

Admittedly he is dead weight wherever he bats, but at least they could hide him a little further down.

11.18 - Matt Larnach

Looks like they are following our blog at least. Spin introduced in the fourth over. With sexy results.

11.15 - James Knight

At the same time, New Zealand’s only bowling strength is if the ball’s doing a bit of the seamers so even if they’re slightly weakening their own attack they’re not exactly handing the Kiwis great conditions on a plate.

It’s going to chuck it down. Inevitably.

11.09 - Matt Larnach

Wow massive six!

This actually looks like a massive gamble by Bangladesh, putting the Kiwis in to try and take advantage of the conditions, when their strength is in their spinners. If they persevere with this medium-fast rubbish for too long it could really backfire on them.

11.01 - James Knight

Sure you don’t want to place any parts of your anatomy on this? (as a wager, I should add. Not literally)

If Bangladesh don’t let the occasion get to them Ireland style they’ve got to fancy this. Desperately want them to do well.

10.51 - Matt Larnach

It’s hasn’t rained yet, just looks like it. Bit of a worry for the later game to be honest.

Bangladesh will win this. Although, after yesterday’s shenanigans around these parts, I am not actually brave enough to put anything on the line to back that bet up. But I think they will have the Kiwi’s measure with the ball, and with Bracewell out even the Bangladeshi batsmen shouldn’t have too much of a problem with this Kiwi ‘attack’.

I was surprised too so many seemed to be taking Ireland and Zimbabwe as serious threats in this tournament, when they haven’t done much recently to suggest they would be, when Bangladesh, in the Asian Cup at least, have shown form. Plus the conditions play right into their hands.

10.43 - James Knight

First interesting game of the tournament and it’s going to rain. Super.

Over here Sky have a huge downer on Bangladesh. They wrote them off completely in all the previews they did and now they’re talking about it being a comfortable win for New Zealand. They said Zimbabwe were a better side before the tournament! Very strange. And pretty clear they simply don’t watch any cricket not involving England.

10.25 - Matt Larnach

Five minutes to the toss and the covers are out. Could this tournament seriously get any better?

17.46 - Dan

Levi got his half century and South Africa won by 10 wickets with about 34 years remaining.  There really isn’t much more to say about that, Zimbabwe are going home and South Africa already know what group they’ll be in, as do Sri Lanka.  Join us tomorrow for something which may or may not resemble cricket.

17.15 - Dan

To make matters worse, they’ve allowed Richard Levi to get into double figures.  That shouldn’t even be possible.

16.58 - Matt Larnach

Well this won’t take long.

16.49 - Dan

On the plus side, this should all be wrapped up before the Europa League games kick off, so I can watch Liverpool get humbled without any interruptions.

16.43 - James Knight

Can we just go to the pub?

16.40 - Dan

Zimbabwe narrowly avoid their lowest ever T20 score and South Africa will need 94 to win.  I think they’d manage it if everyone batted with their wrong hand.

16.29 - James Knight

This is disgracefully poor.

16.27 - Dan

77/8.  The tension is palpable.

16.18 - Matt Larnach

Personally I would really, really, happy to see Zimbabwe just reach 80.

This has been one of the great tournaments so far though. Thank god for Bangladesh vs. New Zealand tomorrow. We might actually see a proper contest, only four days in.

16.10 - Dan

61/6 with six overs left.  If you were the kind of fool who’d made a rash bet on Zimbabwe making 100, you’d be getting more than a bit worried now.

16.01 - Dan

Ben Elton and Cosmo Kramer >>>>>>> Elton Chigumbura and Graeme Cremer.

15.53 - James Knight

Terrible news. Northants’ rose.

He makes Kieron Pollard look like God’s gift to batting.

15.53 - Matt Larnach

In their defence this is purely an opportunity to give half the team a chance roll their arm over. Would be surprised if de Villiers doesn’t have a go if Kallis doesn’t clean up Zimbabwe in the next over or so.

I love how Greig can praise the pitch whilst ignoring the utterly abysmal state of the outfield.

15.51 - Dan

I didn’t even have time to describe Matsikenyeri’s dismissal and big up James’ favourite cricketer Elton Chigumbura, before he got out plum lbw first ball.  Kallis on a hat-trick.   The crowd are going beserk.

15.48 - Dan

We often criticise England for sticking rigidly to a pre-determined plan in limited overs games, but South Africa are no different here.  If they’d bowled Steyn and Morne straight through it could well have all been over inside the eight overs.

15.41 - Dan

This is Tony Greig’s fault, it’s factual error osmosis.

15.40 - Matt H

If only there was some kind of hyperlink to a player profile that could confirm that it is Craig Ervine batting, not Shaun.

15.40 - James Knight

When your last hope for salvation is sunbathing on a beach in Southampton you really are in trouble.

15.39 - Matt Larnach

For what it’s worth, the lowest score in a T20 International is 67 by Kenya in 2008. If South Africa didn’t insist on bowling rubbish like Peterson that would be in serious threat here.

15.39 - Dan

I’m not really very fond of Sean Ervine after the events at Lord’s a couple of weeks ago.  He’s pretty much Zimbabwe’s last hope of making three figures here though.

15.37 - Dan

I think we all know that the Pune franchise needs expanding worldwide, including the domain of international cricket.

15.36 - Matt H

That’s a crazy mix of fonts, Dan. This band playing near a microphone is affecting my ‘enjoyment’ of Dirk Nannes and Alison Mitchell’s commentary.

15.34 - James Knight

So what we’re saying is this ICC Unicorns XI would basically be Pune Warriors?

15.33 - Dan

In all likelihood, the ICC would probably insist on a contractual clause that Sourav Ganguly had to captain and open both the bowling and batting in every game.

Dear Reader(s), in case you didn’t guess, the actual game isn’t very interesting at the moment.

15.31 - Matt Larnach

Collingwood captain? Nonsense. Steve Smith was born to captain that team.

15.29 - Dan

In fact, the ICC would be better off taking a leaf out of the ECB’s book and setting up the international version of the Unicorns, for those players cruelly jettisoned by their respective sides.

Collingwood to captain, Paul Harris to lead the spin battery, Saj Mahmood tearing in with the new ball, Phil Hughes and Shaun Marsh opening.

15.28 - Matt Larnach

Eddo Brandes would probably still get a run too.

15.26 - Dan

You know, I’m pretty sure that Andy Flower and Heath Streak would still be the best players in this Zimbabwe team.

15.25 - Matt Larnach

I can’t believe they are allowing Zimbabwe to play Test cricket again. This is rubbish. Both Ireland and Afghanistan are better than this shower.

15.24 - Dan

Levi snaffles a catch like it were a family sized Pork Farms* pork and leek pie.  Hamilton Masakadza’s out and it’s 16/3.

*NB – Pork Farms, please feel free to send us some of your produce.

15.23 - James Knight

Ian Bishop just spend quite some time telling us Albie Morkel is not as good as his brother or Dale Steyn.

15.16 - Dan

And with that, Taylor goes and it’s 6/2.  This is a bit like playing Namibia on easy on Brian Lara Cricket.

15.11 - Matt Larnach

A quick check of those enormously useful links below tells me that if Taylor doesn’t make runs we could be looking at a very early evening. Or late evening depending on what part of the world you are watching this from.

15.08 - Dan

Sibanda bowled by Morkel for 0.  I’m quite literally flabbergasted.

15.07 - James Knight

When you’re done with the Kingfisher can I have the bottles to hurl at the band?

Bloody typical that the only people in the ground are making a godawful racket in front of the sightscreen.

15.05 - Matt Larnach

I love how the 5 people who bothered to turn up still manage to stand right behind the bowler.

I think Zimbabwe are going to treat batting out the 20 overs as a moral victory in their favour.

Already onto my second crate of Kingfisher.

15.05 - Dan

Excuse me sonny, but they’re hyperlinks to each player’s Cricinfo profile.  So if our readers want to find out more about Hamilton Masakadza’s glorious career, they can, at the click of a button.

14.58 - James Knight

Your copy and pasting skills remind me of Zimbabwe’s fielding.

14.57 - Dan

  South Africa team
RE Levi, HM Amla, JH Kallis, AB de Villiers*†, JP Duminy, F Behardien, JA Morkel, RJ Peterson, J Botha, DW Steyn, M Morkel
  Zimbabwe team
H Masakadza, V Sibanda, BRM Taylor*†, CR Ervine, S Matsikenyeri, E Chigumbura, AG Cremer, P Utseya, RW Price, KM Jarvis, BV Vitori

Presumably Richard Levi is still in purely to give Ian Blackwell renewed hope of an international recall.

14.52 - Matt Larnach

It’s a mere 6 hour and 17 minute drive to Walla Walla from Sydney, leaving plenty of time for other pursuits.

14.47 - Dan

For some of us, life doesn’t just involve driving our ute to WallaWalla.

14.45 - Matt Larnach

I should point out that the South African team that Zimbabwe smashed by 9 wickets in that final was at nearly full strength.

A visit to the official Zimbabwean cricket site to find that information has also infested my computer with malware. I consider that a small sacrifice to defend the reputation of the 2012 Zimbabwean T20 Series.

Any permutations involving England’s Super 8 position is rendered null and void by the fact that Afghanistan are going to smash them.

I am also glad to see Dan is a good 13 minutes behind the news here.

14.43 - Dan

South Africa bowl first.  Odds on the game being over by 5pm?

14.38 - James Knight

In an effort to drag the gloom back over again, it should be pointed out that South Africa’s team in that tournament was comically awful.

14.37 - Dan

Just caught up with the news that if England win tomorrow, their game against India is absolutely meaningless in terms of qualification.  One of the great tournament formats.  I suggest that we open the bowling with Eoin Morgan and Jos Buttler to underline this incredible stupidity.

14.35 - Matt Larnach

At least it’s not raining I suppose. South Africa to bowl. Adjust your Fantasy teams accordingly gentlemen.

In an effort to lift the gloom, should point out Zimbabwe have beaten South Africa recently, in an unofficial triangular tournament they hosted back in June, which also featured Bangladesh. Read into that what you will.

13.09 - Matt H

The excitement ahead of this game is indescribable.

18.24 - James Knight

Well then, that’s it for another day. The first game was a crushing disappointment as Australia defied the odds to turn Ireland over quite convincingly, while the second was at least fairly entertaining. The tournament still needs an exciting game between two genuinely top quality sides to ignite the competition, so we might have to wait until England enter for that…

Before that, we’ll be back again tomorrow afternoon for Zimbabwe’s farewell appearance as they have their arses handed to them by South Africa. See you then.

17.55 - James Knight

Incidentally, despite the fact they aren’t going to win, they really could have done India here.

And the fact that Sri Lankan tourism advert wasn’t narrated by Tony Greig is a crushing disappointment.

17.43 - James Knight

Ormond and Darren Gough circa about 2005 would be one of the great opening pairs.

17.40 - Dan

Emotional return for Jimmy Ormond?

17.37 - James Knight

Graeme Swann might be making a bit of a dart at that too. Ever since he spent that Test we dropped him for stuffing his face he’s ballooned up into quite the spherical cricketer.

17.36 - Dan

Yuvraj on a hat-trick.  With the success of left-arm filth, Samit Patel is licking his lips, and not just because they’ve got a carvery on at the England hotel.  Mind you, in a traditional full English affair, Tim Bresnan would be fighting with him over the piles of meat and gravy.

17.31 - James Knight

That Kieswetter chap is so much better than Dhoni. Discuss.

17.17 - Dan

We are now getting a rare sight of Rohit Sharma actually doing something.  Suffice to say he’s not doing it very well.

17.07 - James Knight

That’s been the most disappointing thing about this performance; Afghanistan have looked talented but have simply failed to do the basics right and it’s going to cost them. 14 wides, dropping absolute sitters off Kohli and Raina, couple of sloppy misfields which cost boundaries towards the end and now running one short. For the associate sides to be competitive they have to be electric in the field as Ireland usually are. Both Zimbabwe and now Afghanistan have really let themselves down in that area. Take the 30 runs or so they just gave up away and they could actually put pressure on India here. Similarly had Zimbabwe capitalised on a Sri Lankan side clearly not totally with it rather than been a complete joke in the field then you never know.

17.03 - Dan

Running one short, unforgiveable really, especially in a game where every run and every ball counts.  Simple sloppy things which cost games.  And Shahzad is out now.

16.46 - Dan

Mr Injured Wicketkeeper is indeed batting.  Hold on to your hats for the inevitable comedy run out.

16.37 - James Knight

If they fielded better and didn’t bowl two really crap balls at the end they would genuinely be in with a chance. As it is India just got away at the end.

16.35 - Dan

159/5 is the final score.  India’s attack is remarkably poor but that’s still surely too many to chase down.

16.25 - Dan

India are going to be 40 runs better off here than they really should be, and that’ll be what wins them the game.

16.15 - James Knight

Rohit Sharma proving to be one of the great selections here. Pick your most out of form player as the extra batsman, then proceed to refuse to actually send him in unless there’s literally no one else. Wonderful planning.

16.10 - Dan

More woeful fielding and this is going to cost Afghanistan.  I wonder if they fancy borrowing Michael Lumb and Samit Patel?

16.02 - Dan

If nothing else, it should be showing England that they can’t afford to take Friday’s game lightly.  Of course they should realise this anyway having lost to Holland, Ireland and Bangladesh in the recent past.  Luke Wright to score a 40 ball century.

15.56 - James Knight

Quite unusual to see Virat Kohli carrying India.

15.54 - Dan

Ah, comedy fielding.  The hallmark of any ICC tournament.

15.49 - Dan

Yuvraj doing his best Tim Ambrose impression there and he’s gone.

15.49 - Steve Grant

No Donna Simmonds yet though, which is a relief.

15.48 - James Knight

I can sort of understand why they want to get commentators in from all over the place, but Alan Wilkins: why?

15.44 - Dan

And another thing: why on earth is the ICC’s coverage of every single tournament so woeful?  It’s not hard, contact the Sky team (minus Sir IT Botham and Nicholas Verity Knight) and ship them over there.  Do not employ Ravi Shastri.  Job done.

15.43 - Matt Larnach

Just think of the possibilities available with Yuvray batting with S. Smith for Pune next year!

This has very much been an austerity tournament so far, what with the civil war (even Tony Greig mentioned it….) and the SL Cricket Board’s near bankrupt state. But if that’s the case the ICC should be helping out in both the presentation and promotion. So far it’s been abysmal, I agree, and really doesn’t present a very attractive image for the game.

15.41 - Nichael Bluth

The latest ‘Pulse’ question: do bears shit in the woods?

15.39 - Dan

What they really needed was a theme tune written and performed by ex-Eurythmics man Dave Stewart.

15.37 - James Knight

The anthems were so long they probably qualify as an opening ceremony, to be fair.

And the biggest compliment I can pay Afghanistan is that this is actually a proper game at the moment.

15.37 - Dan

Kohli and Yuvraj could still put India in a strong position here.  Even if Yuvraj is a bit Dimi Mascarenhas these days.

15.25 - Nichael Bluth

Something that I’ve been thinking about is that this really should be the ICC’s most sellable asset. More than anywhere else, this should be the way to attract a whole new audience of cricket followers. And what have we got? No sense of occasion whatsoever. The opening game should set the tone, but instead of a Sri Lanka vs South Africa blockbuster we got the lowest ranked side getting smashed out of sight in front of a pathetic crowd.

We don’t need an Olympic opening ceremony but there should have been something – anything – to say ‘this is an event’. Instead we got national anthems being played on a Casio tape deck. Frankly it was embarrassing.

No-one wants the ICC to end up as far removed from reality as FIFA but it’s clear that they (the ICC) have got a long way to go in terms of marketing and making the most of the product that they have.

Anyway, that’s quite a rant. Go Afghanistan!

15.24 - Matt Larnach

Really impressive start from Afghanistan. They look really competitive, might be a bit much to say they can go and win this, but they look far more competitive than Ireland did today.

15.08 - Matt Larnach

He runs like it too.

14.57 - James Knight

Virender Sehwag just looks like some fat bloke Dhoni found in the pub last night and roped him into playing.

14.31 - Matt H

Afghanistan win the toss and choose to field.

14.13 - James Knight

Yeah both Zimbabwe and Ireland have started terribly in each game and then it’s been dead before it’s even started. This was always the risk with starting the tournament with all the big team v little team games, though. They could have foreseen this. Surely you want a showpiece game right at the start?

14.00 - Matt Larnach

Afghanistan have the potential to push India hard on that deck. The critical point is if they let the occasion get to them like Ireland did there. A high scoring pitch narrows the difference between the two considerably since the Afghan’s strength is their batting, and the Indian bowling is rubbish.

Not learned a lot about Australia, other than confirm that the middle order is rubbish. And David Warner is a prick.

13.53 - James Knight

We badly need a decent game.

13.52 - Matt Larnach

Even as an Aussie I found that painful to watch.

13.23 - Matt H

I keep expecting this Irish commentator on the radio to break into ‘I Don’t Like Mondays’. Anyway, Ireland seem to be failing to take any of their chances here.

13.23 - Matt Larnach

A decent commentator. Offers some good insight on where you should bowl at English batsmen.

13.13 - James Knight

And fewer than some bloke called Pietersen. He any good?

13.12 - Matt H

One thousand international T20 runs for David Warner. Approximately 1000 more than Don Bradman ever scored.

13.05 - Matt Larnach

I really hope the poor bastards who turned up to watch this get to watch the next game for free.

12.59 - Nichael Bluth

Speaking of my book, it’s not available in shops yet. But I know a man whose book is:

12.49 - Nichael Bluth

Some good banter out there. While I know why the umpires are getting involved, I’d like to see them let this go – a bit of debate and discussion on the field is all good in my book.

12.48 - James Knight

If we play here we’ll just have to play ALL the spinners and we’ll dominate. So that’s two grounds we’ll definitely ease home on so far.

12.31 - Matt Larnach

123-7 the final total. Ireland batted like crap, to put it bluntly. Perhaps let the pre-game hype get to them, because the Australian bowling was nothing special. Certainly not good enough to hold a decent batting line-up to that sort of total.

The pitch looked a little up and down, which is a bit of a worry considering how much cricket is going to be played on this square over the next few weeks. Will be a raging turner before no time.

12.23 - Nichael Bluth

Are we sure these aren’t still warmup games? It feels a lot like they are.

12.11 - James Knight

Packing mine with Australians as an emotional hedge was certainly a good move.

12.09 - Matt Larnach

Anyone who doesn’t have Shane Watson as captain of your Fantasy team, hand your head in shame.

5 overs to go, Ireland 86/6.

11.56 - Matt Larnach

Dan Christian is rubbish and shouldn’t be anywhere near the World Cup. For any team.

I can point out the obvious all day really.

11.48 - Nichael Bluth

Now who’s pointing out the obvious?

11.46 - Matt Larnach

He seems to be trying to match Greig’s performance last night in drunken ramblings, factual errors and pointing out the obvious. He would really fit in round here well actually.

11.43 - Nichael Bluth

Bumble’s iPad/iRon joke may well represent the lowest point in the history of mankind.

10.34 - James Knight

In a mere 3 and a half hours. At least this is dragging my fantasy team back into contention after a terrible start.

10.31 - Matt Larnach

Glen Maxwell taking wickets is a surer sign of the impending apocolypse then any Mayan calender ever could be.

When does India vs. Afghanistan start?

10.28 - Nichael Bluth

Bumble’s blatantly been on the gin to ease the jetlag.

10.23 - Matt Larnach

David Warner features for the first time at this World Cup, pulling of a diving save, where he must have covered 25 metres in the air. His talents know no bounds.

This pitch looks a belter.

10.16 - James Knight

Hussain telling us ‘Cummins is a bowler and THE WORLD NEEDS BOWLERS’ was also a top, top piece of punditry.

10.14 - Matt Larnach

The commentators have set their stall out early. Apparently picking George Bailey is the same as turning up with ten men, and Aussie radio commentator Jim Maxwell is doing a sterling job covering the square leg boundary.

Fantastic stuff.

10.05 - Nichael Bluth

Great start for the minnows here.

10.03 - Matt Larnach

A wicket first ball, but I was more impressed with the sledging Watson handed out after the second. Brilliant, inspiring stuff.

09.58 - James Knight

Fair play to the cameramen, they managed to make it look like there was loads of people in the ground during the anthems by filming each person individually.

09.54 - Matt Larnach

Just about ready to start. Looks like a massive crowd in here. And by massive we mean 5 people and a mangy dog. Looking forward to the spectacle of the national anthems overshadowing the cricket again.

You can read up on our review of this group here if you missed it, and of course follow all the action on our twitter @51allout

09.43 - Matt Larnach

I dunno. Have seen this lot beat themselves on some pretty flat tracks recently. They managed to make Narine look like the greatest spinner in history not too long ago.

But then again we have Bradman born again in the form of David Warner, so we will probably piss it in.

I am worried about Dockrell though.

09.38 - James Knight

If Ireland really are going to win they need a pitch ripping square, really. If it’s a flat track then it’s difficult to see them doing anything. We’re all basically relying on Australia beating themselves again, and even they might struggle to do that on an absolute road.

09.25 - Matt Larnach

Toss is in ten minutes. I think Australia will go in with an attack featuring both Cummins and Starc, with the aim of running through the Irish top order like Brett Lee was able to during our aborted ODI against them earlier this year.

First look at the Colombo deck this tournament as well and will be interesting to see how much turn this pitch takes, as the other Colombo pitch England beat Pakistan on earlier sounds like it turned square. God helps us all if that proves to be the case on this one as well.

17.37 - Matt H

Anyway, Sri Lanka won by 82 runs with 2.3 overs remaining. Ajantha Mendis took 6/8, which is ridiculous. We’ve not really learnt anything positive about the sides, or the tournament.

Tomorrow sees two more matches involving outsiders – Afghanistan and Australia (see what I did there?). They play India and Ireland respectively. Hopefully they can give better accounts of themselves than the Zimbabweans did.

17.28 - Matt H

Oh, and Tony Grieg was wondering if there’s ever been a scorecard with one surname on it so often as Mendis (nine wickets between them). Let me think Tony, let me think…

17.26 - Matt H

It was a game riddled with mistakes – Sri Lanka weren’t free of overthrows and stuff themselves.

17.10 - James Knight

This is just a complete embarrassment. Was barely any point Zimbabwe unpacking.

17.04 - Matt H

The dull but unsurprising thing is that this outcome was always inevitable.

 

16.53 - James Knight

One of the great opening games.

16.49 - Matt H

I’m all over the “Other” option.

 

16.38 - James Knight

In the ‘who will win?’ question the options are England, New Zealand, Sri Lanka or Other.

16.36 - James Knight

I’ve downloaded the ICC app. Pulse questions include: “Who will win?” “Will a team from Asia win?” and “Is a maiden as good as a wicket in T20?”

Exciting stuff.

16.29 - Nichael Bluth

To answer your question James: no, unfortunately not. Imagine the damage Samit Patel could do on this pitch.

16.27 - Matt H

In the interests of fairness, I should point out that in our podcast I said Brendan Taylor was quite decent. He’s just been dismissed for a golden duck.

16.25 - James Knight

Do England have any games in Hambentota? It’s doing a bit in the air and off the pitch. We’ll romp home on this.

16.14 - Nichael Bluth

I saw somewhere that India changed their kit about three days before the tournament started, for reasons that I couldn’t figure out.

As anecdotes go, it’s not a great one.

16.10 - James Knight

Australia seem to be playing in some sort of dreadful green number now too. Perhaps in an attempt to confuse some people into supporting them.

16.09 - Nichael Bluth

Zimbabwe appear to be trying to avoid hitting a boundary. This game is done and dusted already. Time to get your big green hats out everyone!

16.01 - Nichael Bluth

That was the one-day game, that NSW won by 30 odd runs. This is the Sheffield Shield game, so he should get a bat tomorrow. Quite possibly the highlight of the day.

16.00 - James Knight

Is this the same game he was cruelly left stranded on 99* in or a new one?

15.59 - Nichael Bluth

I’m not surprised. At least the Big Bash has got Steve Smith to detract from the lack of quality.

In Devereux news – he was playing for NSW at the WACA today, bowling no overs and taking no catches.

15.55 - James Knight

We’ve got Colly and Athers essentially pissing themselves at the standard on show.

15.55 - Nichael Bluth

Greig is off on another tourist speech. Everyone finish your bottle of Kingfisher.

15.50 - James Knight

Of course. I particularly enjoyed when Greig told us that the first wicket went down at 75/2, then later congratulated Sangakkara on leaving Jeevan Mendis stranded at the other end with two balls to go by running himself out by three quarters of a mile.

Imagine being the worst commentator in the ground when you’re sharing a box with Pommie Mbangwa.

15.48 - Nichael Bluth

Apart from some very professional plugging of Sri Lanka’s tourist industry.

15.48 - James Knight

Oh, and some crap batting and crap running as well. Great.

15.47 - James Knight

That was utter rubbish all round. Crap bowling, crap fielding, a lot of crap fielding, crap crowd, crap commentary, crap coverage, crap camerawork, crap everything.

15.46 - Nichael Bluth

It’s probably worth pointing out that we massively bigged up Chandimal in the podcast. Yet more mad prediction skillz, seeing as he couldn’t even get in the side.

15.41 - Nichael Bluth

This really has been an utterly woeful fielding performance from Zimbabwe. Their tournament ends in just over 48 hours from now.

15.38 - James Knight

It isn’t.

15.36 - Nichael Bluth

Sounds pretty good actually.

15.34 - James Knight

I’m guessing you aren’t blessed with the glitz and glamour of Strictly Come Dancing in Australialand? She’s on that this year, those legs could kill people.

Michael Vaughan is on too, struggling to shake off his natural prickish nature.

15.28 - Nichael Bluth

I just remembered that we’re missing something important from today’s discussion:

Just because.

15.25 - James Knight

To be honest that’s basically what we want to happen as well, so you can’t really blame them. They’re just good guys.

Apart from Elton Chigumbura, who is an absolutely disgusting cricketer and should not be allowed to represent his country.

15.20 - Nichael Bluth

This is a really lethargic performance from both sides. It’s as if they just want to give Sri Lanka a comfortable win as quickly as possible so that they can go and get the good seats in the pub for the Ireland vs. Australia game tomorrow.

15.16 - Matt Larnach

It’s been an absolute classic so far. Dropped catches, comedy runouts, hilarious misfields.

A high standard has been set here for the rest to follow.

15.15 - James Knight

Mine is that time Sky lost the feed.

15.11 - Nichael Bluth

That boundary is my moment of the tournament so far.

15.09 - Matt Larnach

I am sensing an upset in the works.

Oh wait. Zimbabwe can’t bat.

15.05 - James Knight

Chucker Utseya bowled well too. This is pretty rubbish from Sri Lanka, mind.

15.03 - Matt Larnach

Cremer has bowled well. Will do well to get to 160 from here.

Particularly with more moronic running like that.

14.57 - Nichael Bluth

Speaking of which, David Warner lithographs are probably still available:

Without your money Tony Greig could be forced to rely on handouts from Sri Lankan Tourism to pay for new hats.

14.57 - Matt H

76/2 after 10 overs.

14.54 - James Knight

By the looks of things the camera men, women and children have been playing that game for hours. The Tony Greig drinking game: ruining the television watcher’s experience since 1964.

14.53 - Nichael Bluth

As James has just mentioned on the Twitter – incredible levels of incompetence on display here.

14.52 - Matt Larnach

Ah crap, did we ever agree on the 51allout Tony Greig drinking game for this tournament?

I’ve just cracked open the Kingfisher anyway.

14.46 - Nichael Bluth

I think I’ve managed to fix that crack in the spacetime continuum by rebooting the universe.

14.43 - Nichael Bluth

I managed to pick the missus up from the pub and get back without missing anything remotely interesting, by the look of it.

14.43 - Matt H

Not sure why, but my recent post has turned up at 12.34 in this timeline. I think Zimbabwe’s awesomeness has ripped a hole in the space-time continuum.

14.36 - Matt H

Four T20s in the past 12 months if I remember correctly. But I’ve been wrong before and will be wrong again.

14.35 - James Knight

Matt mentioned in the podcast how Sri Lanka have hardly played any T20’s this year, that’s really showing here. The new guy looks like he’s never held a bat before.

14.28 - Matt Larnach

Early days still of course, but it’s strange how unnacustomed to playing in these conditions Sri Lanka looks at the moment. Considering, you know, they are playing at home.

If the Zimbabwean fieldsmen weren’t doing their best Monty Panesar impressions they should have had at least one. Probably two.

14.23 - James Knight

This Dilshan Munaweera fellow reminds me of Craig Kieswetter. If Craig Kieswetter was completely unable to hit the ball off the square.

14.17 - Matt Larnach

David Warner would be nearing his half century by now if he was playing.

Just sayin’.

14.14 - Nichael Bluth

The split screen thing on the coverage is possibly the worst thing I’ve ever seen. And I went to the filming of an episode of ‘Man to Man with Dean Learner’.

14.12 - Matt Larnach

The real question today, is which one of these Zimbabweans will Pune throw millions at so they can have the honour of leaving them out of their match squad come the next IPL?

My money is on Prosper Utseya.

14.11 - Nichael Bluth

One of the great first overs.

14.04 - James Knight

I hope they have these short little pre-match segments of fun before every game.

14.03 - Matt H

BBC radio have the Daphne and Celeste of radio commentary in the form of Alison Mitchell and Dirk Nannes.

14.02 - Matt Larnach

Take note London; this is how you do an opening ceremony. The crowd is going ballistic at the moment. Amazing scenes.

14.01 - Matt H

I think this national anthem ought to be a bit longer.

13.58 - Nichael Bluth

What’s the opposite of rousing? Whatever it is, that rendition of the Zimbabwe national anthem was it.

13.51 - Matt Larnach

There is a disturbing level of relaxation amongst the commentators at the moment. Not a single tie amongst them. Every time the coverage cuts back to the studio another button is undone.

This could be a long tournament.

13.45 - Nichael Bluth

Just a shout out to my friend Ben, who’s over in Sri Lanka, the lucky bastard.

On a similar theme, when England toured there earlier this year we sent a Scottish person on our behalf and he produced this remarkable review.

13.43 - Matt Larnach

My Fantasy Captain is, and will always be, David Warner.

13.43 - James Knight

The Operation Barbarossa of fantasy plans.

13.41 - Matt H

No Ray Price? Abort Operation Base Fantasy Team Around Ray Price.

13.39 - James Knight

My captain is also Dilshan, as Sree Lonka are batting first. More importantly, who tangoed Paul Collingwood? He suddenly looks like something out of Geordie Shore.

13.35 - Matt H

My fantasy captain is Mr Dilshan. I fully expect him to be dismissed first ball and then be hit for a plethora of sixes by Chris Mpofu.

13.33 - Nichael Bluth

We should probably use this gap in the excitement to mention that if anyone wants to sponsor us or provide free gin or cigarettes then just let us know.

Also, if anyone fancies doing some writing for 51allout then also give us a shout – we could do with a couple of people to write the articles while we drown ourselves in free stuff.

13.21 - James Knight

The biggest question about this game is who to make fantasy captain today. Dilshan? Malinga? Elton Chigumbura? A selectoral nightmare.

12.58 - Nichael Bluth

Fox Sports are showing highlights from pretty much every game in every previous tournament in the build up. At the moment it’s the India v Pakistan bowl out from 2009, in which Dhoni is sat about a foot behind the unprotected stumps without a helmet on!

12.52 - Matt Larnach

Normally I would be hoping for an upset of the Netherlands vs. England proportions. But I don’t think I would want to see Zimbabwe win in any case. They don’t fit the ‘lovable minnow’ type, which Afghanistan has all wrapped in this tournament. Besides, I get the impression bugger all people are going to turn up to games at the best of times, so if the hosts go out in the group stage this tournament is going to have all the atmosphere of your typical IPL game that Pune isn’t hosting.

Herath to take about 6 wickets and the game to be over well ahead of time.

12.41 - Matt H

I can see Sri Lanka posting a very big score and Zimbabwe a fairly mediocre one.

Actually, just realised the match doesn’t start until 3pm UK time. Dastardly BST / GMT confusion.

12.39 - Nichael Bluth

Sri Lanka. By an absolute country mile.

Your money is always safe with 51allout’s predictions.

12.22 - Nichael Bluth

Just for once, Samit probably isn’t the thing I’m most worried about.

12.05 - James Knight

You guys do realise Samit Patel is there, right? Dunno what you’re all worried about.

11.08 - Nichael Bluth

I guess Morgan has been selected purely because he’s reasonably experienced, having played really badly in various countries around the world before.

11.06 - Matt H

@Nichael Or if you score about nine runs in the Championship, you’ll get picked, in the case of Morgan.

10.44 - Nichael Bluth

While it’s a bit harsh on Taylor, his time will come. Nick Compton being in there is good news for county cricket – proof that if you do score bucketloads of runs then you will get a chance.

10.23 - Matt H

England select Compton, Root and Morgan for the India Test series, but not Taylor or Pietersen. At least we’ve Sri Lanka and Zimbabwe to occupy our thoughts.

09.03 - Matt Larnach

I have to say I am extremely disappointed with the lack of an opening ceremony. I was really looking forward to learning more about Sri Lankan culture through the medium of kids waving glow sticks, large on-field murals, and interpretive dance.

08.28 - Nichael Bluth

I must say, I’m tremendously excited by all this.

20.47 - Matt H

I’m just glad I don’t need to see that picture of the ginger kid anymore.

20.45 - James Knight

And that will be that from us. Massive congratulations to Hampshire, and to anyone who sat through the entire day with us. We’ve earned our Kingfisher Beer tonight. We’ll be back on the Twitter for the second/first ODI on Tuesday. Reckon Jonny Bairstow might play that one.

20.41 - James Knight

Really excellent from Miller. On a dead pitch to even get them close was incredible.

20.40 - Matt H

That is some character from Wood and Briggs. A superb effort from Miller though, to get his side that close.

20.39 - James Knight

That was pretty good in the end. Shame we had to sit through about seven hours of rubbish first, mind.

20.37 - James Knight

20 overs 140-8 WICKET! Rafiq is out caught off the final ball and Hampshire win by 10 runs

20.36 - Matt H

Blimey Charlie.

20.36 - James Knight

19.5 overs 140-7 WICKET! Wood bowls Pyrah! And that’s it. Miller has done everything he can but Ballance’s innings has cost them. Wasted too many balls.

20.35 - James Knight

19.4 overs 140-6 Single! That’s probably it… 10 from 2 with Miller off strike.

20.35 - James Knight

19.3 overs 139-6 Single again. 12 to win…

20.34 - James Knight

19.2 overs 138-6 Single…

20.32 - James Knight

19.1 overs 137-6 WICKET! No pressure Chris Wood. Bres on strike. And Bres is out, but he got Miller on strike in the process. That’ll do. 14 from 5 balls…

20.31 - Matt H

Brilliant stuff from young Briggs – bodes well for England. Thought Miller would take the single, not come back for the second.

20.30 - James Knight

19 overs 136-5 Brilliant over. Balls of steel. Miller almost run out off the final ball as well! 14 from the last…

20.28 - James Knight

18.3 overs 132-5 Superb start to the over from Danny Briggs…

20.26 - James Knight

18 overs 130-5 Pressure telling. Edges, overthrows, all sorts. Ervine’s taken some serious stick. 21 from 12 balls now…

20.23 - Matt H

Sidebottom to hit the winning run off the final ball and then tear his shirt off to reveal he’s some kind of super hero. Superarse perhaps.

20.22 - James Knight

17 overs 115-5 Bres is a good hitter of anything full too if they give him the chance. Miller still firing. 36 from 18 balls…

20.20 - Matt H

An appropriate time for that post James, albeit we’re an hour behind the UK…

20.20 - James Knight

Stunning innings from Miller this. He is the only reason they even have a chance.

20.19 - Matt H

16 overs 106-5 Miller smashes a four down the ground off Wood’s fifth ball, like some kind of leather missile. Then the sixth ball disappears into the stands. It’s Miller vs. Hampshire here.

And it’s time for James to steer us through the final four overs of this final…

20.17 - Matt H

Bresnan favouring the inside edge…

20.16 - James Knight

This is tense.

20.15 - Matt H

15 overs 93-5 Bresnan inside edges for four, then top edges for a single. 58 needed from 30 balls.

20.13 - James Knight

That was a horrible innings. Never got going and killed all the momentum.

20.12 - Matt H

14.3 overs 87-5 WICKET! Ervine gets Ballance slogging, caught at third man. Briggs with a fine catch.

20.10 - Matt H

14 overs 86-4 Aside from the six, Briggs bowls another good over. 1-12 from his two overs.

20.09 - Matt H

Get Simon Katich to bowl his hairy chinamen…

20.08 - Matt H

13.3 85-4 SIX! Miller swipes Briggs a long long way. Out of the ground and into Bute Park.

20.07 - James Knight

Anyone bowling seam up is going miles.

20.05 - Matt H

13 overs 75-4 After the hurricane of the previous over, the 13th is much calmer, three singles followed by three dot balls.

20.04 - Matt H

So to recap, Yorkshire now need 78 from 47 balls. Dawson bowling to Ballance and Miller.

20.03 - James Knight

12 overs 72-4 That was a massive over. 19 from it and Miller keeps the strike. That’s what should happen to Ervine’s bowling. Filth.

20.03 - Matt H

I think the third six probably went OVER the river.

20.02 - James Knight

11.4 overs 71-4 CRASH! Third six in the over, and that one has gone a long, long way.

20.00 - Matt H

At least the crowd have woken up.

20.00 - James Knight

11.2 overs 65-4 A six! Miller marmalises Ervine back over his head, baseball style. And again next ball! Here we go…

19.57 - James Knight

Not out the call there. Probably fair enough. In shocking news, McKenzie is whining again.

19.56 - James Knight

10.2 overs 50-4 or 5 POTENTIAL WICKET! Miller has chipped Dawson to short mid-wicket. McKenzie thinks about it for a bit then claims it, Phil Hughes style. Third umpire’s call, could go either way this.

19.53 - James Knight

10 overs 49-4 Difficult to see Yorkshire winning from here, they can’t even get Sean Ervine away. These two hit it a mile but they’re so far behind the game at the moment it’s some ask now.

19.50 - Matt H

That could be the crucial moment.

19.49 - James Knight

9 overs 47-4 WICKET! Miller really struggling here. Bairstow can’t get any of the strike. The drag on is a terrifying possibility given the lack of pace in the pitch. Briggs races through an excellent over. And then Bairstow is caught behind off the final ball!

19.46 - Matt H

8 overs 46-3 Miller pierces the field with a fine cover drive for four. Mascarenhas follows up with yet another dot ball, and another. Miller takes a single off the final ball.

19.43 - Matt H

Correction: 41-3.

19.43 - Matt H

7 overs 40-3 Dawson appeals for LBW against Miller, but given not out (hawkeye shows it to be ‘umpire’s call’).

19.42 - James Knight

Yorkies need to do the same thing they did in the semi and just build to a position where they can go ballistic in the final few overs. Really can’t afford to lose any more quick wickets.

19.40 - Matt H

6.3 overs 38-3 WICKET! Jaques has hardly had any strike, but he is bowled by his 13th ball, Dawson taking the wicket. Miller strides to the crease to join JB(i).

19.39 - Matt H

It’s that man, Jonny Bairstow, who’s now in bat. He played marvellously in the semi-final, how will he fare in the final?

19.37 - Matt H

6 overs 37-2 Vince runs and dives in the deep to try and claim a wonderous catch, but it lands millimetres short. The powerplay is over, close close game.

19.37 - James Knight

Root has batted with all the calm common sense of a Pune top order player today.

19.35 - Matt H

5.3 overs 34-2 WICKET! Guess who strikes again? Bigmouth Dimitri, that’s who! Bowls Root middle stump.

19.34 - James Knight

I will LOVE IT if somebody just keeps boshing Dimi’s rubbish into the river here. /Keegan

19.33 - Matt H

5 overs 33-1 Chris Wood concedes five runs from his over; despite Yorkshire’s good start, it’s pretty darn close here.

19.29 - James Knight

4 overs 29-1 Carnegie is one of the great terrible nicknames. Yorkshire Carnage would be way better.

19.27 - Matt H

Whenever I see someone use the term #Carnegie I think they’ve misspelt #Carnage

19.26 - James Knight

3.1 overs 24-1 WICKET! Dimi’s filthy dobbers claim another victim. Gale tries to hack it away with very little success indeed. Joe Root’s the new man. Put the sweep away Joseph.

19.25 - James Knight

3 overs 24-0 Stumping appeal on Gale is referred and the third umpire takes ages pondering it despite Gale having about four feet grounded behind the line. Nothing else of note to report, other than Stewgrayster on Twitter seems convinced Yorkshire are going to win this. I’m less convinced!

19.20 - James Knight

2 overs 17-0 Mascarenhas’ bowling is disgusting. And, like Shane Watson, no one ever seems to be able to get it away. Jaques does a reasonable job in that over.

19.16 - James Knight

1 over 11-0 Gale unleashes a whirlwind on Dawson’s first over. Takes a couple of boundaries and Yorkshire are off and running.

19.15 - Matt H

Well that was some schoolboy formatting on my part.

19.14 - Matt H

Andrew Gale’s favourite band is Simply Red. Will he be holding back the [s]y[/s]tears later?

19.13 - James Knight

Right. Gale and Jaques marching out for the Yorkies. Liam Dawson will start things off again. 151 to get. Let’s rock and roll!

19.02 - James Knight

That’s a very good score. Be nice if Joe Root decides to bat properly this time.

19.02 - Matt H

20 overs 150-6 Katich is run out (just) attempting the second run. The magical 150 is reached!

19.01 - Matt H

19.5 overs 149-5 Dawson scoops the ball down to the boundary, but three different players chase it down and save one run in the deep. Good cricket.

19.00 - Matt H

19.4 overs 146-5 Katich flicks to square leg where Pyrah makes a fine diving stop.

18.59 - Matt H

19.3 overs 145-5 One of the great new bats – another four runs through the offside.

18.58 - Matt H

19.2 overs 141-5 Katich has a new bat and finally manages to reach the boundary – four runs through the covers.

18.57 - Matt H

19.1 overs 137-5 Dawson with a single to deep extra cover.

18.56 - Matt H

Moin Ashraf to bowl the final over.

18.56 - James Knight

HUGE last over this now. Have got to keep it below the magic 150.

18.56 - Matt H

19 overs 136-5 Sidebottom finishes with 2-20. Those are very good figures.

18.53 - Matt H

18.2 overs 131-5 WICKET! Ervine goes for the maximum, but is caught by Root at long-on. Sidearse celebrates like a wrestler. Dawson is the next man in.

18.53 - James Knight

Either way this is very competitive. Yorkshire might have to send Sidebum out in the Powerplay. Proven tactic.

18.52 - Matt H

I think 130 could be enough, but Hampshire will want another 20 runs to be comfortable.

18.51 - Matt H

18 overs 130-4 Katich scores four from Ashraf’s first ball, but the youngster comes back well. Experience vs. Youth, with Experience marginally winning that particular over.

18.47 - Matt H

Three overs to go, Katich and Ervine batting with Dawson and Adrian still to come.

18.47 - Matt H

17 overs 121-4 Sidebottom with a hint of swing and a dash of anger. An economical over, conceding just five runs.

18.43 - James Knight

16 overs 116-4 Simon Katich in as Hampshire’s big-hitting finisher. Pretty good finish to the over from Ashraf, though.

18.41 - James Knight

15.3 overs 113-4 WICKET! Vince getting stuck into Ashraf as well but the paceman responds with a yorker that cleans him up. This is still going to take some chasing against Hampshire’s merry band of filthy dobblers.

18.40 - Matt H

Ashraf has a fine action and looks a great talent – but I agree a spinner would have been the better option for this match.

18.38 - James Knight

15 overs 103-3 The quicker bowlers are so much easier to hit. Yorkshire really should’ve picked Rashid. Five overs left. 150 is on here unless Ashraf is at the top of his game.

18.34 - James Knight

14 overs 93-3 Solid as ever from Rafiq. The Sky commentators are now hitlisting his sisters. Or something.

18.32 - James Knight

13 overs 89-3 Cracking over from Pyrah is ruined by Ervine dispatching his final ball about 20 rows back. Hampshire are, disappointingly, quite well set here.

18.30 - Matt H

Apropos of nothing, Shirley Manson of Garbage used to be in a band called Goodbye Mr Mackenzie. She’s another redhead.

18.28 - Matt H

12 overs 77-3 Rafiq doing admirably here. Nell McAndrew is probably still moaning about that decision.

18.28 - James Knight

McKenzie moaning like a little girl certainly is a surprise. In other news, hoffy555 on the Twitter reckons 140 is a winning score. I think you could probably defend even less than that. Pitch is dying.

18.27 - Matt H

11.4 overs 76-3 WICKET! Rafiq gets McKenzie out LBW – a vital wicket for Yorkshire. McKenzie’s not happy with the decision though.

18.26 - James Knight

I’m also very disappointed in HWA (in the comments) for not picking up on the Blackadder reference. Bloody South Africans, can’t trust ’em.

18.24 - James Knight

I was busy eating a lovely roast chicken in an attempt to cause a collapse. It’s just taking effect.

18.23 - Matt H

11 overs 72-2 By the way, Adams scored 43 from 37 balls.

18.22 - Matt H

10.4 overs 70-2 WICKET! Adams doesn’t commit to a hefty drive and chips Pyrah to Ballance who claims yet another catch.

18.21 - Matt H

10.3 overs 70-1 SIX! Take that! Adams swipes Pyrah for six over long on.

18.19 - Matt H

10 overs 62-1 Hampshire struggling to score quickly, but with wickets in hand they’ll be pretty content. Some amusingly bad fielding from Yorkshire isn’t helping their cause.

18.16 - Matt H

9 overs 53-1 The atmosphere sounds a bit flat this evening. The cricket hasn’t helped – Hampshire solid, but Pyrah’s over was pretty tight.

18.13 - James Knight

8 overs 48-1 Azeem Rafiq into the attack. He’s been very impressive all season and it’s one of the great starts to his spell here too.

18.11 - Matt H

Then – Gabriela Sabatini

Now – Gabriela Sabatini

18.10 - James Knight

7 overs 43-1 Yorkshire are currently fielding like a bunch of Indo-Australians. My current favourite tennis player is Ana Ivanovic, if you were wondering.

18.06 - James Knight

6 overs 36-1 I’ve never been that much of a Serena fan. Jennifer Capriati was always the way forward. This pitch is as dead as some doodoos. Bresilad completes the powerplay with a spot of comedy fielding.

18.03 - Matt H

You’re still having that recurring dream then James?

18.03 - James Knight

5 overs 26-1 ‘Dressing up as Serena Williams and dancing the macarena’. That sort of thing. Anyway, Great over from Bres there.

18.01 - Matt H

I agree. I’d like to see someone state their guilty pleasure to be ‘stealing library books’ or ‘ripping windscreen wipers from Audi TTs’

18.00 - Matt H

4 overs 25-1 Angry Sidebutt is roaring after that over, pegged Hampshire back somewhat.

17.58 - James Knight

Cricketers’ ‘guilty pleasures’ are never anything vaguely exciting. McDonalds does not count. And it’s reassuring to see Sidebum is still such a monumental prick.

17.57 - Matt H

3.2 overs 23-1 WICKET! Sidebum strikes! Carberry swings wildly and fails to connect – bowled for 8 from 10 balls.

17.55 - Matt H

3 overs 22-0 Hampshire making gradual progress, some good fielding from Yorkshire to limit the runs.

17.54 - James Knight

Bresilad’s pace is declining so rapidly he’ll be bowling backwards by the World Cup.

17.53 - Matt H

2.1 overs 19-0 Adams pulls Bresnan’s first ball for four runs, it almost carried for six.

17.51 - Matt H

2 overs 15-0 Sidearse mixes it up in his first over, a few shorter balls and a few fuller deliveries, including a wide. But still no chinamen.

17.47 - James Knight

Disappointingly, Ryan Sidebottom is not bowling chinaman.

17.46 - Matt H

1 over 9-0 Carberry sweeps the fourth delivery for 4 and takes a couple from the final ball.

17.45 - Matt H

0.3 overs 2-0 Root fields off his own bowling somewhere near mid-wicket. Never seen a bowler run so far to field before.

17.44 - Matt H

Joe Root to open the bowling again. Michael Carberry facing.

17.43 - James Knight

Nichael seems to have confused this for the ‘about me’ section we asked him to fill in for the site.

17.42 - Matt H

Never forget how bad T20 pre-final fireworks are.

17.41 - Matt H

Thanks for that Nichael.

17.40 - Nichael Bluth

I’m a loser who can’t stay up with the kids and am about to cry myself to sleep.

17.39 - James Knight

I reckon so. The pitch is getting worse and worse.

Both teams have gone for the same side that won their semi. I reckon Yaaarkshire should’ve gone with another spinner. Maybe they’re going to get Sidebum to bowl a spot of chinaman.

17.38 - Matt H

What would be a defendable score? 130ish?

17.34 - James Knight

That’s quite clearly what I said. There’s no evidence to the contrary.

17.34 - James Knight

Hampshire are batting first. I’m going to shamelessly support Yorkshire here because Hants are so dull.

17.33 - Matt H

Erm, Hampshire are batting first.

17.25 - Matt H

Weather in Cardiff is dry but cloudy. Might get a bit of dew as the temperature drops.

16.20 - Nichael Bluth

There’s a bit of a gap until the final starts. Just time to listen to a podcast. Here’s one that appears to be exactly the right length.

We’ll be covering the final right here, so see you all shortly.

16.19 - Matt H

It will be interesting to see if Yorkshire opt for an extra spinner – this pitch is getting slow and low.

16.16 - Nichael Bluth

Well that was disappointing all round. A very poor game, in which Hampshire deserved to win, with only Craig Kieswetter making any impact with the bat for Somerset.

16.15 - James Knight

19 overs 126-4 Hampshire win by six wickets.

One of the great games.

16.13 - Matt H

I was actually distracted reading about the history of various counties’ cricket grounds on wikipedia.

16.11 - Nichael Bluth

This has been such an exciting finish that I think Matt H is asleep on the 51allout sofa.

16.11 - James Knight

18 overs 116-4 Rik Waller back into the attack and Ervine tucks in. Somerset’s brief flicker of a chance is being slowly extinguished here. 10 to get.

16.09 - Nichael Bluth

It’s not very often that asking Alfonso Thomas to bowl near the end is a mistake, but it might well prove decisive here.

16.07 - James Knight

17 overs 105-4 Pune’s Alfonso Thomas needs to pull something out the bag here, but it feels like Katich is completely in control of this one. They’re getting stuck into the quicker men, take note Yorkshire. 21 from 18 needed now.

16.05 - Nichael Bluth

This has got a ten nine eight seven six wicket win written all over it.

16.03 - Nichael Bluth

16 overs 93-4 Suppiah took 6-5 once on this ground. He’s not going to match that tonight but it’s another decent over. 32 from 24 to win.

16.02 - James Knight

Even though this is fairly close now it’s still incredibly un-entertaining.

16.00 - Nichael Bluth

15 overs 89-4 Eight runs from the over, exactly what Hampshire need and exactly what Somerset don’t. 37 needed from 30 balls.

15.56 - Nichael Bluth

14 overs 81-4 Arul Suppiah, a prince amongst left arm filthers, is on. Every dot ball is greeted with the sort of cheer normally reserved for the Wurzels cracking out one of their chart-toppers. There’s less enthusiasm when Somerset’s fielders combine to essentially gift four runs away.

15.55 - James Knight

Turning into an absolute dustbowl. Is it time for Craig Kieswetter’s off breaks?

15.52 - Nichael Bluth

13 overs 74-4 The pressure is starting to rise.

15.50 - Matt H

Hampshire could really do with an international superstar capable of hitting five sixes in a row

15.50 - Nichael Bluth

12.2 overs 72-4 WICKET! Gregory gets McKenzie LBW and the crowd quite literally wake up.

15.47 - Matt H

12 overs 72-3 #stodgymiddleovers

15.46 - James Knight

This entire day has been dour. Bring back the BPL.

15.45 - Nichael Bluth

This has got a ten nine eight seven wicket win written all over it.

15.44 - Matt H

11 overs 66-3 Gregory Lewis goes for seven runs from his first over. #dourmiddleovers

15.44 - Nichael Bluth

If Somerset don’t win this we could well have a half empty ground for the final. A glowing testament to the appeal of the English T20 competition.

15.41 - Matt H

10 overs 59-3 A reasonable over from Waller, despite a full toss at the end. Katich and McKenzie are two experienced chaps to have at the crease.

15.40 - Nichael Bluth

Watching this exact same game 80 times in a row is what the IPL is all about.

15.39 - James Knight

Watching Katich and McKenzie bat together is what T20 is all about.

15.37 - Matt H

9 overs 54-3 Hampshire need 72 runs from eleven overs. Somerset need to continue taking wickets.

15.35 - Matt H

8.3 overs 52-3 WICKET! Hampshire aren’t over the line yet! McKenzie drops it on the off-side and begins to run before changing his mind. Carberry was stuck half way down the track and is run out. This is terrible cricket.

15.33 - Nichael Bluth

This has got a ten nine eight wicket win written all over it.

15.32 - James Knight

8 overs 48-2 The exciting Neil McKenzie has managed to tear his bat off the ceiling in time to come in at number four. Half the crowd is slipping into a coma.

15.29 - James Knight

7.1 overs 43-2 Brilliant work again. Rik Waller comes on and Vince tries to tuck into a loose half-tracker, completely misses and is bowled. GAME ON! Or something.

15.27 - Nichael Bluth

This has got a ten nine wicket win written all over it.

15.26 - James Knight

7 overs 43-1 Peter Trego has got some serious junk in his trunk, to be fair to the lad. And those tats *swoon*. Meanwhile the cricket’s still not even close to a contest.

15.26 - Matt H

He’s nice, but he’s no Chris Wood. *swoon*

15.24 - Nichael Bluth

For anyone not listening to Five Live Sports Extra, you’ve missed out on an incredibly homoerotic debate over man-crushes on Peter Trego.

15.23 - James Knight

6 overs 40-1 Riveting stuff as Hampshire continue to trundle along. James Vince is the new batsman.

15.20 - Nichael Bluth

I told you Buttler likes semi-finals. Just nine more catches like that and I reckon Somerset might sneak it.

15.20 - Matt H

Like a large net of haddock at Barry Docks, that was catch of the day.

15.19 - James Knight

4.5 overs 33-1 WICKET! Carberry continues to ride his luck but Adams’ has run out! Brilliant catch from Buttler at short mid-wicket. Kirby roars like a mighty lion. Superbly jinxed, Mr Bluth.

15.17 - Nichael Bluth

This has got a ten wicket win written all over it.

15.15 - Nichael Bluth

4 overs 27-0 Carberry gives a wide one from Trego the treatment, carting it away for four. He then manages an inside edge that flies past Kieswetter to the boundary. Looks like his day so far.

15.11 - Matt H

A few comedy run outs might be the only way to make this close.

15.11 - Nichael Bluth

3 overs 18-0 Kirby concedes just two from his over and manages to totally abstain from hurling the ball back past the keeper for four, which shows that he’s definitely growing as a cricketer. There’s nearly a run out from the last ball amid some minor confusion.

15.09 - James Knight

I can’t remember the last time I watched an exciting game.

15.07 - Nichael Bluth

2 overs 16-0 Hampshire are a bit more restrained against Peter Trego but they’re already ahead of the rate. Wickets are needed, and fast! Kirby will come on to replace Thomas.

15.03 - Nichael Bluth

1 over 12-0 Hampshire want to get this done in a hurry and Carberry finds three boundaries via a combination of the different edges.

14.59 - James Knight

The final’s bound to be an exciting hitathon on this lively, pacey pitch.

14.57 - Nichael Bluth

Hampshire are definitely favourites here, but it looks like the pitch is getting slower and lower, so I don’t think it’ll be an easy chase.

14.50 - Matt H

That was a remarkable shot off that penultimate ball. I was especially impressed by the man in the gorilla mask.

14.49 - James Knight

20 overs 125-6 Kieswetter plays an incredible, diving cut shot off the penultimate ball to bring four but other than that there’s not a lot doing. Superb effort from the England ‘keeper to finish 63* with no one else getting any sort of score.

14.48 - Nichael Bluth

He may have a square face and iron gloves but Craig Kieswetter has had a great season with the bat.

14.45 - James Knight

19 overs 115-6 Kieswetter has at least hauled them to a not completely awful score. We’ll give Katich the assist.

14.42 - Nichael Bluth

I haven’t seen a comic drop like that since Australia went for Phil Hughes to replace Simon Katich.

14.41 - James Knight

18 overs 105-6 COMEDY DROPPED CATCH! Our Craig is teeing off now, and launches one high into the Cardiff smog. Hampshire make the critical mistake of letting an Australian try to catch and down it goes.

14.39 - James Knight

17.3 overs 99-6 50 for Kieswetter, lovely innings. He has stood alone, like a towering monument to South African mental resilience.

14.39 - Matt H

Confusion due to dodgy Sky signal. Anyway, Somerset are rubbish.

14.38 - Nichael Bluth

This is becoming reminiscent of England’s warmup game in the UAE, in so many different ways.

14.38 - James Knight

17.1 overs 91-6 It seems that a spot of drizzle has demolished Sky signals all over the land. Not mine though, God forbid I miss the thrilling end to this innings. Ervine has just bowled the filthiest delivery of all time and it’s not been called a wide. Incredible scenes.

14.36 - Matt H

There’ll be a quick handover in the commentary box now, technical problems in the 51allout bunker. Paging JK.

14.34 - Matt H

16.4 overs 90-6 WICKET! Just when it looked bad for Somerset, there’s been a run out (Lewis Gregory). Oh dear, oh dear.

14.33 - Nichael Bluth

Apparently the people doing the Cricinfo commentary have lost their pictures as well. That’ll teach them for being a massive faceless behemoth of a company.

14.32 - Matt H

Four overs to go. Unfortunately for the crowd the Public Address System is playing Foghorn and the Machine.

14.30 - James Knight

16 overs 86-5 Completely dire. Robin Uthappa all over again.

14.29 - Matt H

Surprised Bresnan hasn’t taken the Yorkshire boys on an impromptu pub crawl down Cathedral Road.

14.28 - James Knight

15 overs 80-5 Nothing more to report. Still rubbish.

14.24 - James Knight

14 overs 68-5 The England man is doing his best but he needs some support from somewhere. Six overs left, how many can they scrape from here?

14.23 - James Knight

13.3 overs 64-5 Signs of life! Kieswetter is holding this together with pritstick and has just launched Liam Dawson into the river. Not literally, unfortunately.

14.21 - James Knight

13 overs 58-5 This is rubbish.

14.19 - Nichael Bluth

Is it possible to throw the towel in?

14.18 - James Knight

12.3 overs 58-5 WICKET! No. Kieswetter is playing the Boycott role, then has a massive swing and just about clears mid-off. Next ball Trego completely misses a straight ball and is out LBW. Losing wickets to Sean Ervine is extremely embarrassing.

14.16 - Matt H

12 overs 57-4 Wood bowls a solid over that has Somerset bogged down. Can Trego and Kieswetter push on?

14.12 - Matt H

11 overs 54-4 Hampshire can do no wrong here, Ervine concedes just one run from his first over to go with his wicket.

14.11 - James Knight

This is almost as bad as the Sussex innings.

14.10 - Matt H

10.3 overs 54-4 WICKET! This time it’s Sean Ervine who strikes – finding Jos Buttler’s inside edge. He chops on to his stumps and trudges off. That shout of delight you heard was probably Editor Steve.

14.09 - James Knight

And international games not so much either.

14.07 - Nichael Bluth

Semi-finals seem to be Jos Buttler’s sort of games. Finals not so much.

14.07 - Matt H

10 overs 53-3 Similar to the Yorkshire innings, the batsmen may find it easier against the quicker Wood compared to the slower Mascarenhas/Briggs/Dawson. Eight runs from the over.

14.05 - James Knight

@Andrew in the comments, apparently Trescothick averaged 20 in finals days before today. A left-handed Ravi Bopara?

14.04 - Matt H

9 overs 45-3 Despite the six, Briggs is troubling the batsmen. Chris Wood on to bowl now.

14.03 - Matt H

8.5 overs 44-3 SIX! Buttler launches into attackmode, smashing Briggs over extra cover for six penneth.

14.02 - Matt H

8.2 overs 35-3 Kieswetter charges Briggs and is beaten all ends up, but Bates misses the stumping.

14.00 - James Knight

8 overs 35-3 Somerset going absolutely nowhere here. Leaving themselves an awful lot to do just to get to a mediocre score.

13.58 - Nichael Bluth

That picture of Dmitri Mascarenhas is mocking me now.

13.57 - James Knight

7 overs 33-3 After JB(i)’s effort earlier, now it’s JB(ii)’s turn. Solid run rate of 4.71 so far.

13.55 - James Knight

6.2 overs 30-3 WICKET! Horror shot from Hildreth as he completely misses a sweep and is bowled by Briggs’ second ball. Another catastrophic start. At least Kieswetter’s going to be prepared for the World Cup.

13.52 - James Knight

6 overs 29-2 Nasser Hussain is in tears in the commentary box. I don’t think it’s over Somerset’s performance thus far, but I’m not ruling it out.

13.52 - Matt H

The Sky commentary box looks more fun than 51allout’s house 🙁

13.49 - James Knight

5 overs 24-2 Dawson races through another over like a man dressed as a dragon in an obstacle race.

13.47 - Matt H

4 overs 22-2 Lovely stuff from Mascarenhas, who has two wickets for four runs. Dawson to continue.

13.44 - Matt H

3.3 overs 22-2 WICKET! Mascarenhas wins the battle of the skippers – Trescothick drags on to his stumps and is out for 12!

13.44 - Nichael Bluth

A big thanks to Fox Sports for only showing the first game of the day. When the revolution comes, you’ll be first against the wall.

13.43 - James Knight

Rodtuckeritis is catching.

13.42 - Matt H

3 overs 19-1 Following a good LBW appeal against Trescothick, the batsman pulls Dawson for four off the final ball. Replay shows the LBW should’ve been given out.

13.40 - Matt H

2.2 overs 13-1 SIX! Trescothick casually flicks Dawson over long on.

13.39 - Matt H

2 0vers 7-1 A solid over from the Hampshire captain, one run conceded and one wicket taken. Tresco has joined Kieswetter at the crease.

13.37 - James Knight

That applies to both Matt and Richard Levi.

13.36 - James Knight

He is utterly awful.

13.36 - Matt H

Correction: 1.1 overs. Sorry.

13.36 - Matt H

0.1 overs 6-1 WICKET! Adrian Mascarenhas to bowl the second over, from the River Taff End…Levi swipes and the ball sails gently to Simon Katich at wide mid-on.

13.34 - Matt H

1 over 6-0 Nothing spectacular from the first over, a muted appeal on the final ball but clearly not out as the batsmen cross for a single.

13.32 - James Knight

Yardy, Root and Dawson. Three of the great opening bowlers.

13.31 - Matt H

0.1 overs Liam Dawson opens the bowling for Hampshire.

13.29 - Matt H

Right, here we go. Hampshire won the toss and decided to field first. Craig Kieswetter and Richard Levi to open the batting.

13.20 - James Knight

Sprint finish from the dragon! Farah-esque.

13.17 - James Knight

We’ve got Bumble and Rory Bremner commentating on this.

13.17 - Matt H

By the way, it is officially pissing down in Cardiff again.

13.15 - Nichael Bluth

Fox Sports not showing the mascot derby in Australia. Ridiculous.

13.07 - James Knight

With Sussex out surely Amjad can be quickly loaned to one of the other teams for the good of the game.

13.03 - Matt H

No Saj Mahmood in the Somerset team 🙁

12.59 - Nichael Bluth

Great stuff from Yorkshire. Sussex’s gamble to bowl Yardy and Styris through in the first eight overs backfired in the end.

Right, that’s all for this game. After the mascot derby we’ll be liveblogging the second semi-final, which you can find right here. See you there in a few minutes!

12.58 - Matt H

Some very consistent bowling there from Yorkshire. Hopefully Nash will insist his teammates walk home and he gets the bus to himself.

12.57 - James Knight

20 overs 136-8 Despite Amjad’s best efforts, they can’t quite sneak home and Yorkshire win by 36 runs. Yet another T20 thriller.

12.55 - Nichael Bluth

Massively impressive spell from Ashraf here.

12.53 - James Knight

19 overs 128-8 Just the one over to go then. Sussex need 45 from it, which is going to take some getting.

12.51 - James Knight

18.2 overs 123-8 WICKET! Another run out as the returning Sidebum gets his hand to a Nash drive as it crashes past him and deflects it onto the stumps. Beer the man to go and it’s Amjad time!

12.50 - Matt H

Sidearse on…if ever I wanted to see 30 runs off an over, it’s now.

12.49 - Nichael Bluth

This is more over than the relationship between that miserable woman off the vampire film thing and the bloke from the same film.

12.49 - James Knight

18 overs 119-7 That was actually a pretty good over for Sussex…in a normal game. When the asking rate is above 20 you need a little more.

12.45 - James Knight

17.1 overs 109-7 Sussex need 70 from the final three overs. Chris Nash has faced about 10 balls in six overs, but he’s just hit Ashraf for six over the keeper. It’s on!

12.43 - Nichael Bluth

That was a different sort of absurdity from Mike Yardy.

12.43 - James Knight

16.3 overs 100-7 WICKET! Chaos. Ridiculous run out as both batsmen end up mid-pitch trying to run two. Even Mike Yardy didn’t have the turn of pace to get home. Nash is just being left high and dry.

12.40 - Nichael Bluth

16 overs 98-6 A superb over of yorkers from Ashraf. Sussex need something absurd from Mike Yardy here. Ain’t gonna happen.

12.39 - James Knight

Ashraf is a brilliant bowler at the death. And it could be worse, one of our esteemed Twitter followers described the Yorkshire side as ‘dirt’ pre-game.

12.37 - Nichael Bluth

15.2 overs 98-6 Ashraf is back on. The 51allout crew are frantically editing their pre-match predictions.

12.35 - Nichael Bluth

15 overs 95-6 Unless Chris Nash (51*) can channel his namesake Gayle, this one is done and dusted.

12.34 - James Knight

About five years ago Mike Yardy was a proper top-order bat. Now he’s batting at number eight and opening the bowling.

12.34 - Matt H

I can only assume that Sussex enjoyed a night at http://www.minskys-showbar.com/ until 5am the early hours of this morning.

12.33 - Nichael Bluth

14.3 overs 93-6 WICKET! Bresnan starts with two filthy deliveries and Machan works a two and a four. The next one is outside off stump and gets a little nick through to Bairstow. Sussex’s house is falling down here.

12.32 - James Knight

Someone should probably let Sussex know this is a T20 game.

12.31 - Nichael Bluth

14 overs 87-5 Rafiq chucks in five wides down the legside but it’s still not enough for Sussex. The required run rate is above 14 and Bresnan is coming on to bowl.

12.29 - Nichael Bluth

13.2 overs 81-5 MISSED! Should have been another wicket but Jonny Bairstow misses a difficult stumping down the leg side.

12.28 - James Knight

The words you’re looking for are ‘oh, good grief’.

12.27 - Nichael Bluth

13.1 overs 81-5 WICKET! Scott Styris has incredibly failed to repeat his one-off fluke of an innings, holing out to long on off Rafiq. Is that the end of Sussex’s challenge?

12.25 - Nichael Bluth

13 overs 81-4 Pyrah bowls his final over and Sussex still can’t do much more than work him around for ones and twos. He finishes with 2-30, not a bad day’s work.

92 needed from 42 balls and that charge will have to start now. Nash is up to 50.

12.25 - James Knight

After the build-up the commentators gave Styris I’m stunned he isn’t 89* from 7 balls.

12.22 - Matt H

12 overs 74-4 Another good over if you’re a Yorkshireman. Unremarkable from Sussex.

12.21 - Matt H

11.4 overs 74-4 Nash sweeps for four, doing what his county colleagues have almost entirely failed to do. 45 from 36 balls

12.20 - Matt H

11 overs 67-4 Sussex need a big over sooner rather than later. It wasn’t that one. Will it be Rafiq’s next?

12.20 - James Knight

Rafiq looks like he has a tail when he bowls.

12.17 - Nichael Bluth

Nice to see that Styris is a fan of New Zealand’s fourth most popular novelty folk act.

12.17 - James Knight

After that 100 in the quarter-final, everyone seems to have forgotten that Styris is basically old, decrepit and rubbish.

12.16 - Matt H

10.2 overs 62-4 WICKET! Pyrah clean bowls Gatting, whose big heave misses the ball by the width of the Taff. 111 runs required. 57 balls to go.

12.14 - Nichael Bluth

Now that would be a true Pune innings.

12.14 - Matt H

10 overs 60-3 A fine over from Rafiq, just five runs from it. Sussex obviously have a master plan to bring Styris in with just one over to go.

12.12 - James Knight

The second semi-final is going to be played underwater if this keeps up.

12.12 - Matt H

More rain in Cardiff, and Sussex have a mountain to climb. Maybe Pen-Y-Fan.

12.11 - Matt H

9 overs 55-3 WICKET! After hitting a rare boundary, Goodwin launches Pyrah down the ground where Ballance takes the catch.

12.09 - Nichael Bluth

The run-rate is going up like Aggers’ heart-rate every time he mentions Lily Allen.

12.07 - James Knight

8 overs 47-2 Rafiq’s first over is also a good one. Mainly because Murray Goodwin desperately tried to hoick every ball over cow corner and failed spectacularly. 126 from 12 overs for Sussex to get.

12.06 - Matt H

51allout don’t often comment on fashion, we’re not that kind of website, but by jingo the Yorkshire shirt is ruddy lovely.

12.06 - Nichael Bluth

And now the sun is out. The Cardiff weather is a truly wonderful thing.

12.04 - James Knight

7 overs 44-2 Ashraf’s first over, much like his choice of sunglasses, is excellent. A man in a shark costume is drying the dancers’ podium because we’ve got a spot of rain.

12.00 - Nichael Bluth

Yorkshire were 40/3 at this point. Not much in it.

12.00 - James Knight

6 overs 39-2 Nash is playing well and keeps lobbing the short fine-leg, but he then chips one straight at Sidebottom at mid-off. Unfortunately the silly haired goon ran away from it then went down in a long barrier instead of actually trying to catch it.

11.56 - Nichael Bluth

Microphone problems ruining one of the great interviews there.

11.56 - James Knight

5 overs 31-2 Paul Allott has just dismissed an LBW shout because it was ‘too full’. Not quite sure he understands the rules.

11.54 - James Knight

4.4 overs 30-2 Sidebottom is also bowling about 10mph quicker than Tim Bresnan, who’s just been boshed for 4.

11.53 - Nichael Bluth

4 overs 25-2 Sidebottom continues to annoy us (just by being alive) and Yorkshire (by giving away ten runs). Still, at least no-one’s mentioned the fact that he looks like the one from The Who that isn’t (a) dead or (b) on the sex offenders register yet.

11.51 - James Knight

Sidebottom’s bowling just the 10mph or so quicker than Stuart Broad. Get him on that plane?

11.51 - Matt H

If only Surrey were at finals day, we could have a four-way-wicketkeeper-bat-off to see who’s best of Davies, Prior, Kieswetter and Bairstow.

11.48 - Nichael Bluth

3 overs 15-2 Another good over for Yorkshire. Just three runs from it, plus that key wicket.

11.47 - James Knight

That cackling sound you can hear from the nets is Craig Kieswetter hearing all about that wicket.

11.46 - Nichael Bluth

2.4 overs 15-2 WICKET! Prior makes a right mess of pulling Bresnan and the balls lobs gently to mid on. Sussex are in trouble now.

11.44 - Nichael Bluth

Prior is the new batsman. His favourite band is the Cheeky Girls, apparently.

11.43 - James Knight

What a nightmare.

11.43 - Nichael Bluth

2 overs 12-1 WICKET! Nine runs from the over but Wright drags the last delivery onto his stumps. Steve Smith would never have done that – Luke still has a lot to learn.

11.42 - James Knight

There were pre-season rumours that Sidebum had cut his hair. Oh what might have been.

11.41 - Nichael Bluth

1.3 overs 9-0 Nash brings out the scoop shot and threatens a fat guy in the crowd.

11.39 - Matt H

That’s World T20 Champion Ryan Sidebottom! A colossal arse…

11.38 - Nichael Bluth

Ryan Sidebottom into the attack. It’s fair to say he’s not one of our all time favourites.

11.38 - Nichael Bluth

1 over 3-0 A nifty bit of work from Jonny Bairstow behind the stumps as he takes off the bails but it’s not out. Other than that it’s a quiet start from Sussex who can’t get Root away.

11.36 - James Knight

I fear we’ve bigged up Wright so much he really has to score a match-winning century now.

11.34 - Nichael Bluth

Chris Nash and Luke James Wright are on their way to the middle. Looks like Joe Root is going to bowl the first over.

11.30 - Nichael Bluth

Just time to top up your glasses before the Sussex innings gets underway. The mascot race will follow the first semi-final. Not sure if we could do it justice in liveblog format.

11.25 - James Knight

That’s a crackin’ effort to get up to that. One of the great interviews there too.

11.25 - Nichael Bluth

Great knock from Jonny Bairstow. A patient start and then the acceleration at exactly the right moment. Sussex will have to go a fair bit to chase this down.

11.25 - Matt H

20 overs 172-6 Bairstow with more runs to fine leg – impressive innings of 68* from 45 balls to steer Yorkshire to a competitive total.

11.23 - Matt H

19.5 overs 169-6 Bairstow drives down the field; Gatting returns the throw and hits direct, but Bairstow was safely back for two.

11.23 - James Knight

Is Andrew in the comments advocating sacking Robert George Dylan Willis?!

11.22 - Matt H

19.4 overs 167-6 Bairstow scoops the ball somehow to square leg, which confuses Scott Styris in the field. Two runs.

11.22 - Nichael Bluth

This is truly Amjad’s chance to shine, and force his way back into the England reckoning.

11.21 - Matt H

19.2 overs 164/6 Two runs through mid wicket. By the way, those four runs were leg byes.

11.21 - James Knight

I like Bairstow’s new backing up style.

11.20 - Matt H

19.1 overs 162-6 Amjad Khan to bowl the final over…Pyrah on strike and scores four through fine leg.

11.19 - Matt H

19 overs 158-6 Eleven runs from the over; Bairstow pulling for four of the final ball. Yorkshire need to get the ginger ninja back on strike…

11.18 - Matt H

18.4 overs 153-6 WICKET! Another full toss from Liddle, but this time Bresnan edges for four. Liddle then follows up by claiming the wicket of Tim Tom with a slower ball – Goodwin takes a smart catch at point.

11.16 - Nichael Bluth

Give it time James, give it time.

11.16 - James Knight

“The key is to lay bat on ball and run”. Hard to believe Nasser Hussain isn’t England coach.

11.14 - Matt H

18.1 overs 147-5 WICKET! Ballance miskews a slog and is caught by Yardy off the bowling of Liddle.

11.13 - Matt H

18 overs 147-4 Some good fielding from Matt Machan in the deep prevents a Ballance boundary. Jonny Bairstow 57* and will be crucial with just two overs to go.

11.13 - Nichael Bluth

Apparently the average score here is 151. Yorkshire should definitely get well past that. We’ll definitely have a game on here, even with the Luke Wright effect™ to come.

11.11 - James Knight

Clearly inferior to Ravi Bopara. *Takes off selectors hat*

11.10 - Nichael Bluth

Bairstow is fast becoming the new Collingwood in every possible way.

11.10 - Matt H

17.2 overs SIX! Bairstow brings up his 50 with a massive blow into the crowd off Chris Nash.

11.09 - Matt H

17 overs 133-4 Luke Wright starts well until he bowls one about seven foot high that is given as a no ball. Bairstow whacks the extra ball for four to mid wicket.

11.05 - Nichael Bluth

Amjad off, Wright on. The definition of squad depth.

11.04 - James Knight

And Luke Wright is bowling!!

11.04 - Matt H

Four overs to go and Luke Wright has been given the ball. Oh yeah!

11.03 - James Knight

16 overs 120-4 Ballance is the new batsman. He can give it a reet thwack on a good day.

11.02 - James Knight

15.4 overs 118-4 WICKET! Bowling Chris Nash now is brave a masterplan! Miller drills him straight to long off. Decent innings though and now they’ve got a base to really go from. Turns out not reverse sweeping everything was the way to go. Who knew?

10.59 - James Knight

15 overs 114-3 The charge has begun in earnest.

10.59 - Matt H

Yorkshire aren’t out of this yet – both Styris and Yardy have bowled their allocations.

10.57 - James Knight

14.3 overs 110-3 …With a loopy full toss. Oops. Six more.

10.56 - Nichael Bluth

It’s definitely Millertime, as far as Beer is concerned.

10.55 - James Knight

14 overs 102-3 Nick Knight thinks Yorkshire have played this pretty well. Nick Knight is a doos. But Miller is starting to go for it; he thumps Beer back over his head for six and takes 16 off the over. How will Amjad respond?

10.52 - Matt H

I wonder if Will Beer’s nickname is Kingfisher?

10.52 - Nichael Bluth

This is a really quiet innings, which is obviously great news for Sussex. Yorkshire need to find something special and quickly.

10.51 - James Knight

13 overs 86-3 As expected, Amjad forces Yorkshire even further onto the back foot. At this rate they might just about make 100.

10.48 - Nichael Bluth

Amjad time!

10.47 - Nichael Bluth

12 overs 81-3 A full toss from Beer is smacked away for a four but Yorkshire are still really struggling here.

10.44 - Nichael Bluth

11 overs 71-3 Aside from that one big hit by Miller, Yorkshire are struggling to get the ball off the square.

10.41 - Matt H

Maybe some Amjad no balls will help balance the contest.

10.40 - Nichael Bluth

10.1 overs 67-3 Here it comes – first ball of Liddle’s second over is off into the river!

10.39 - James Knight

They need to get at least 240 just to negate the Luke Wright factor and make it a contest.

10.39 - Nichael Bluth

10 overs 61-3 Yorkshire look content to work a few singles around. No sign of the charge yet. This is looking rather one-sided so far.

10.37 - Nichael Bluth

9.2 overs 57-3 Massive appeal from Prior for no apparent reason.

10.36 - James Knight

Maybe they’re saving Amjad for the final.

10.35 - Nichael Bluth

Still no Amjad, with Will Beer on at the other end.

10.34 - Nichael Bluth

9 overs 56-3 Liddle’s first over is at a much more batsman friendly pace. Miller deposits one into the midwicket fence and pinches a single while Bairstow gets two from the last ball.

A man dressed as a chicken gets a pleasant round of applause.

10.31 - Nichael Bluth

Nope, it’s Chris Liddle instead.

10.30 - James Knight

That may well be the lowest quality eight overs ever seen in professional cricket.

10.30 - Matt H

8 overs 49-3 Styris finishes with 3-22 from four overs. Is it Amjad time?

10.29 - Matt H

7.3 overs Huge appeal for caught behind as Miller tries to scoop Styris – a brilliant take from Prior but no edge.

10.27 - Nichael Bluth

On the plus side, we won’t have to watch Styris or Yardy bowl any more overs now. Get Amjad on!

10.27 - Matt H

Apologies for the shoddy spelling, but I’m flummoxed by Yardy’s darts and can’t concentrate on typing.

10.27 - James Knight

You can’t beat a good T20.

10.26 - Matt H

7 overs 44-3 Three singles from the first three balls of the over, followed by two dot balls and another single. Riveting stuff.

10.23 - Matt H

6 overs 40-3 A Miller boundary off the final ball concludes the powerplay; Yorkshire playing Styris and Yardy as if they were Marshall and Garner.

10.23 - Nichael Bluth

And without Steve Smith to rescue it.

10.22 - James Knight

This is a proper Pune innings so far.

10.21 - Matt H

5.4 overs 36-3 WICKET! In a moment of unbelivable crapness, Root tries to reverse pull a slow Styris full toss but misses and is dismissed LBW. Yorkshire might as well go home now.

10.19 - Matt H

5.2 overs SIX! Bairstow flicks Styris over mid wicket for the day’s first maximum!

10.18 - James Knight

Paint them a picture.

10.18 - Matt H

5 overs 29-2  Root sweeps Yardy’s first and fourth balls of the fifth over for 4.

10.17 - Nichael Bluth

Root is thrashing around wildly like an Australian swimmer desperately trying to make up ground in the pool.

10.15 - James Knight

4 overs 19-2 Scott Styris has just bowled a wicket maiden. The human mind cannot comprehend the scale of ineptitude currently being scaled by this Yorkshire lot.

10.14 - Nichael Bluth

That was a bit of a horror show from Jaques.

10.13 - James Knight

3.4 overs 19-2 WICKET! Are Yorkshire drunk? What the hell is this? Jaques plays one of the worst shots in human history and is bowled by Styris’ blistering pace. Hopeless start from t’Yorkies. Bairstow in.

10.10 - James Knight

3 overs 19-1 Yardy’s overs are so quick they’re a bloody nightmare to commentate on. Root is playing a crazy innings thus far but one of his sweeps finally comes off to nick a boundary off the final ball.

10.08 - James Knight

2 overs 13-1 There’s no better way to kick-off your showpiece event of the summer than the sight of Mike Yardy and Scott Styris opening the bowling.

10.07 - Matt H

I’ve seen continental plates move faster than Scott Styris. Effective over though.

10.06 - Nichael Bluth

Good over this so far from Michael Douglas Scott Styris.

10.06 - James Knight

1.3 overs 13-1 WICKET! Styris is bowling so slow the Yorkshire batters have time to take a stroll to square leg as it’s looping down. Gale crashes him for four and then inexplicably chips one to Nash at mid-on. Here comes young Master Root.

10.03 - James Knight

1 over 7-0 A thoroughly dull first over is saved by a boundary off the penultimate ball. Scott Styris about to go from the other end. What an opening pair!

10.02 - Nichael Bluth

Favourite bands of the two openers: Simply Red and Bon Jovi.

Unbelievable.

10.00 - James Knight

Alright, we’re almost ready to go. The empty seats are positively beaming with excitement. Mike Yardy is indeed going to tear in with the new ball.

09.59 - Nichael Bluth

Is that Michael Yardy with the ball in his hands? I’m excited already.

09.54 - Nichael Bluth

Sussex are firm favourites for me.

Your money is always safe with 51allout’s predictions.

 

09.53 - James Knight

I’m uncomfortable with Ian Ward’s bulge.

09.51 - Matt H

Obviously that’s for the final – Sussex to win the semi.

09.51 - Matt H

Hampshire, through blind,  biased optimism.

09.49 - James Knight

Sussex for me, their batting has been brilliant throughout the whole thing.

09.48 - Nichael Bluth

Predictions then lads?

09.43 - James Knight

We should probably mention that Yorkshire have won the toss and will bat first.

We’re drowning in England legends today too.

09.40 - Matt H

The sun did shine a bit earlier this year in Cardiff, but I sneezed and missed it.

09.39 - Nichael Bluth

It’s a beautiful sunny day in Perth as well. Not that this has any relevance to today’s cricket – I just wanted to show off a bit.

09.39 - James Knight

First time for everything.

09.37 - Matt H

The main news this morning is that the sun is out in Cardiff.

14.28 - James Knight

Anyway, that’s it from us today. Thanks for your tweets and comments, it’s nice to know we aren’t just a bunch of guys talking to the internet all the time. Think we might be developing into something of a jinx for Pune. Either that or they’re just terrible, and it may well be the latter. We’ll hopefully be back with another blog very soon. Cheers!

14.23 - James Knight

Dropping Alfonso Thomas was unbelievably stupid. He’s one of the best death bowlers in the world. He, Clarke, Smith and Ryder/Wright should be the four overseas players.

14.22 - Matt Larnach

Ganguly aside I don’t think there is much wrong with the batting. Its the bowlers conceding too many that’s the issue. Should never have let Deccan reach that total.

Kartik should have bowled at the death, Pup should have been given a go, and even Smith deserves a run with the ball. Nehra needs a rest.

So basically all the issues boil back to his Sourav. His batting and his captaincy. And his hair. My god his hair.

14.21 - James Knight

Ganguly at 3 is a real problem. Samuels is a waste of space. Either Ryder or Luke Wright has to play and open, there’s absolutely no acceleration in the Powerplay with this side.

14.20 - Nichael Bluth

Steve Smith finished on 47*. I know we like to praise him even when he’s throwing up everywhere, but that was another really good innings. It’s the rest of the shower batting around him that have to take the blame.

Oh, and the bowlers, particularly Ganguly.

14.18 - Matt Larnach

Bugger.

14.18 - Nichael Bluth

20 overs 173-5 Deccan win by 13 runs. Ganguly et al at the top of the order need to have a serious look at themselves and how they approach an innings.

14.17 - James Knight

15 off 1 looks unlikely.

14.16 - Nichael Bluth

19.5 overs 172-5 Wicket! Good catch from Kumar at extra cover. Manhas has gone and even Steve Smith won’t be able to win this from here.

14.15 - Nichael Bluth

19.4 overs 172-4 There’s just a single and that’s that I’m afraid.

14.14 - Nichael Bluth

19.3 overs 171-4 There’s that single. 16 needed from just three balls.

14.14 - Matt Larnach

Here we go. Smith facing.

14.13 - Nichael Bluth

19.2 overs 170-4 Six! Some fella I’ve never heard of has hoicked the ball into the crowd!

14.13 - James Knight

At some point Pune are going to realise that their top order needs to actually score at a decent lick to give Smith a chance to win the game. He keeps coming in when they need about 20 an over. Even he struggles to win games from there.

14.12 - Nichael Bluth

19.1 overs 164-4 Dot ball. Arse.

14.12 - Nichael Bluth

19 overs 164-4 There’s six of them! SPD Smith smites a big straight six. They need to scramble a single and then let Smith lead them to glory.

14.10 - Nichael Bluth

18.5 overs 158-4 Wicket! Uthappa finally plays a shot in anger. And holes out to deep midwicket. Just the 29 needed from the last seven balls.

14.08 - Nichael Bluth

18.2 overs 150-3 We’re pretty much at a boundary a ball to win from here.

14.07 - James Knight

16 from 14 balls when the run rate has been over 15 since he got in. Another outstanding effort from Uthappa.

14.07 - Matt Larnach

I am not sure I believe anymore.

14.06 - Nichael Bluth

18 overs 147-3 50 partnership between these two. Uthappa has got about five of them. Steyn’s relentless full tosses are a bit disturbing, as if he downed loads of gin in the last timeout and forgot how to bowl.

14.03 - James Knight

I think these beamers are a concerted effort to try to kill Smith. Only way to stop him.

14.02 - Matt Larnach

I believe.

14.02 - Nichael Bluth

17 overs 140-3 Steyn starts with a high no-ball which Smith turns through fine leg for four. Can we get 41 from this over?

14.00 - Nichael Bluth

17 overs 135-3 Pune need some huge overs. That wasn’t quite one of them, 10 from it. Still, Smith has kept the strike, so will probably just take 36 off the next over.

13.58 - Matt Larnach

Everytime Smith swings the bat it looks like he is going to put his back out.

13.58 - Nichael Bluth

16.4 overs 131-3 Dropped catch! No ball! A high full toss is worked to fine leg where Sharma drops a sitter and then runs in a circle around the ball, like a retriever wanting to play fetch.

13.57 - James Knight

That was genuinely a better shot than anything Ganguly did.

13.56 - Nichael Bluth

16.2 overs 128-3 Steve Smith changes his grip and plays a reverse off-drive for a single to, erm, mid on.

13.54 - Matt Larnach

16 overs 125-3 Steyn is exactly the man you want at a time like this. Smith manages to get him behind square for a boundary, but that is largely the only joy Pune had in that over. On the sidelines Ganguly looks depressed. Someone should drape a blanket over him so he doesn’t catch a chill. Pneumonia is no laughing matter at his age.

13.50 - Nichael Bluth

The crowd are making a lot of noise. Presumably doing their bit to drown out Dermot Reeve for the viewers at home.

13.49 - James Knight

“69 from 29 is going to be difficult”. That’s why Craig McMillan is paid the big bucks.

13.49 - Nichael Bluth

Well over three million tweets about the IPL now. Literally hundreds of them are legible.

13.47 - Matt Larnach

15 overs 116-3 Another good over for Deccan. Turning the screws. The Pune bowlers could learn a lot from this. Going to need something miraculous from here. Luckily the right man is at the crease.

13.47 - James Knight

The umpire who isn’t Aleem Dar has a bit of a strut on him. Summer of 69 is on again!

13.45 - Nichael Bluth

More than two runs a ball needed now.  If I was a man who made and honoured bets, I’d be backing Deccan.

13.44 - Matt Larnach

14 overs 110-3 Mishra has proven a handful today, getting some good turn. 77 from 36 needed now.

13.42 - Matt Larnach

13.3 overs 108-3 DLF Maximum by Sir Steven. Why couldn’t Sourav have thrown his wicket away earlier?

13.41 - James Knight

Disappointing lack of love for that LBW appeal when Sourav just blocked one back down the pitch.

13.40 - Matt Larnach

13 overs 100-3 Uthappa reverse sweeps his first ball through the legs of the man on the edge of the circle. Typical IPL really. Get set, this could be a massive finish from here.

13.39 - Nichael Bluth

Good wicket that one, for both sides.

13.39 - Matt Larnach

12.4 overs 96-3 Wicket! Well thank god for that. Sourav gets himself out before Smith can do it for him. Not a bad innings from Sourav, but they need a big hitter at the death, and he aint it.

13.37 - Matt Larnach

21.1 overs 95-2 Sir Steven of Smith has arrived and immediately finds the boundary. I bet he manages to run Sourav out within the over too. The man can do anything.

13.36 - James Knight

Was he?! I told you it was chaos.

13.35 - Nichael Bluth

Clarke was run out coming back for the second!

13.35 - James Knight

12 overs 91-2Steve Smith has indeed come in at 4. Bet, what bet? You must be thinking of someone else. I really have no idea what on earth happened for that run out. Absolute chaos, there was an easy single! The ball was in the air for so long.

13.34 - Matt Larnach

When can I collect on that bet?

13.33 - Nichael Bluth

One of the great dismissals.

13.32 - James Knight

11.4 overs 90-2 WICKET! OH GOD WHAT THE HELL HAS HAPPENED. First Clarke manages to scoop a chance straight up in the air, where the fielder drops one of the simplest chances in human history, before reacting like a ninja to run Clarke out instead! He’s gone!

13.30 - Nichael Bluth

Shreya Laila makes a good point on the YouTube comments feed, one that we can all sympathise with:

@ MONZUR U WANT TRY ME? U HAVE HUGE DICK? LOL

13.30 - James Knight

11.2 overs 85-1 Boundary off the first ball of the over. Dropped catch off the second! Veer Pratap just chests down the chance. Gavaskar reckons this is Ganguly ‘making it look easy’. One wonders just how bad this would be if he was making it look difficult.

13.28 - Nichael Bluth

I reckon Uthappa might be in next, to work on his average, the filthy red-inker.

13.28 - Matt Larnach

I will take that bet.

13.28 - James Knight

11 overs 80-1 Still need over 100 in 9 overs. Unless Sir Steve scores about 70 they’re not going to get this. I bet he doesn’t even come in next.

13.27 - Matt Larnach

With Sourav the spirit is willing….but the flesh is weak. He looks beyond being able to make a match winning contribution.

13.26 - James Knight

10.4 overs 79-1 These two are really struggling to really go for it here.

13.26 - Nichael Bluth

And those mascots look like Doctor Who monsters, circa 1981.

13.24 - Nichael Bluth

Those cheerleaders are alright, but I’d rather see more of Kyly Boldy. Even if the spelling of her name is genuinely offensive.

13.23 - Matt Larnach

What sounds like a Dirty Dancing mega-mix is rocking the ground.

Duminy has been in the wars out there.

13.21 - James Knight

10 overs 75-1 Ganguly very nearly delivers a comedy run out! He and Clarke were all over the place, but Duminy’s throw was terrible or Clarke would’ve been miles out.

13.19 - James Knight

9.2 overs 74-1 Better, better. Ganguly’s decided to go. Hammers Mishra back past him for a boundary. He’s dancing around the crease like Nichael after a couple of gins.

13.19 - Matt Larnach

Ganguly’s performance has brought a philisophical air to the Youtube twitter feed;

“greatness will always remain great some performance can’t prove who is great and who is wast”

Quite.

13.18 - James Knight

9 overs 69-1 Duminy is an absolute trooper. Physio pops the finger back in place and he carries on bowling. Finally some intent! Ganguly snaps out of character and hits a SUPER MAXIMUM over long-off

13.15 - James Knight

It’s not actually a broken finger, I think it’s just dislocated. Clarke hammered a drive back at Duminy, who dropped the catch and knocked his little finger out of sync in the process.

13.15 - Nichael Bluth

Always fun to see the physio putting the dislocated finger back in. If Steve Smith was out there he’d be blowing chunks again.

13.15 - Matt Larnach

Duminy taking it like a man. I am wincing here.

13.11 - Nichael Bluth

8 overs 58-1 Another cheap over – just four from it – and Pune are staring down the barrel here. Time for a quick timeout I think.

Cadburys: send us loads of these please.

13.09 - Matt Larnach

I am sure Sourav has a plan here. Probably not a very good one, but a plan nonetheless.

13.08 - James Knight

This is utter filth from Ganguly, it’s really making me angry. Run rate over 10, utterly appalling leg spinner bowling and he just blocks out? What? Run yourself out Sourav, please.

13.07 - Nichael Bluth

7.2 overs 55-1 Mishra is on for a bowl. There’s an appeal for a stumping after one beats Sourav’s outside edge. It’s a tight one but unfortunately Steve Smith can stay sat down for the moment.

13.05 - Matt Larnach

Have they outlawed LBW’s in the IPL now? At least one shout in that over looked out.

13.05 - James Knight

Ganguly’s just the man for a situation which requires actual runs to be scored.

13.04 - Nichael Bluth

7 overs 54-1 Apart from the wides that was a good over from JP Duminy. The required run-rate is up above 10 now.

13.02 - Nichael Bluth

6.1 overs 50-1 A wide and a single get Pune (and this partnership) to 50.

13.01 - Matt Larnach

It sure is. I hope Clarke keeps hitting boundaries so they have an excuse to keep showing her.

13.00 - James Knight

And fros231 on the comments seems to be questioning Ganguly and Clarke’s sportsmanship. How dare thee, this is Pune. They’re dominating the fair play thing. Probably. Do you get a UEFA Cup spot if you win that?

13.00 - Nichael Bluth

6 overs 48-1 Ganguly hits a boundary from the first ball and Clarke gets one from each of the last three, via a bit of comedy fielding. Is that Michael Clarke’s missus that they keep cutting to? She’s not looking too shabby.

12.57 - James Knight

jammay123 on Twitter (rightly) says Pune are missing an excellent death bowler. If only they had someone like Alfonso Thomas in the squad… But, more importantly, has started an Amjad Khan for Pune hashtag. One of the great hashtags.

12.57 - Matt Larnach

Sourav is horribly slow between the wickets.

12.55 - Nichael Bluth

5 overs 30-1 Clarke is batting as if he’s setting up for another epic attempt at Lara’s 400. Not exactly what’s required in this situation, just a leg bye from the over.

Hang on, what’s going on there? Looks like the throw hit the batmsan and they tried to pinch a single.

12.54 - James Knight

Ganguly is terrible. Clarke needs to run him out.

12.50 - Matt Larnach

4 overs 29-1 Pune look solid here. They need more than solid batting to win it, but this is a nice platform.

12.50 - James Knight

Ganguly giving Steyn a taste of the pain he’s going to experience later this summer.

12.49 - Nichael Bluth

Not sure who the fielder was that chased after that last boundary, but his legs moved as if he was a Lego man.

12.49 - Matt Larnach

3.4 overs 25-1 And two boundaries in a row just to make me look stupid. Sorry dada.

12.48 - Matt Larnach

3.3 overs 21-1 Steyn to Sourav. Three dot balls.

12.46 - Matt Larnach

3 overs 21-1 I think Sourav is largely there for the publicity he generates as well. Also, since he is the teams selector, he is hardly likely to drop himself. I agree that either Pup or Sir Steve could lead the team in his absence though.

12.45 - James Knight

The Junichi Inamoto of the IPL?

12.44 - Nichael Bluth

Isn’t Ganguly there just for marketing purposes?

12.44 - Matt Larnach

2.4 overs 21-1 Some strong hitting through the covers by Clarke. Proper cricket shots in the IPL. I can’t quite believe it either.

12.42 - James Knight

Serious point alert: What is the point of Ganguly in this team? He brings less to the side than DJ Sammy. And DJ Sammy doesn’t even play for them. Clarke or Smith could quite easily captain the side, and probably do it better.

12.41 - Nichael Bluth

This Michael Clarke is an interesting fellow. We should write an article all about him…

12.40 - Matt Larnach

2 overs 11-1 A better over there, 8 off it. It was indeed Duminy bowling.

12.39 - Matt Larnach

1.3 overs 8-1 Clarke slog sweeps his first IPL boundary. Starting with intent. Unlike the guy down the other end.

12.39 - James Knight

Are my eyes deceiving me or is JP Duminy bowling the second over of the innings?

12.37 - Nichael Bluth

One from the Jonathan Woodgate school of starts here.

12.37 - Matt Larnach

1 overs 3-1 Actually they didn’t take a run there. More bad news.

12.36 - James Knight

The league table would suggest otherwise. At the moment this is a giant-killing. Actually, maybe that’s what happened to Jesse Ryder.

12.36 - Matt Larnach

0.5 overs 4-1 Sourav dropped at square leg. Unfortunately. As that would mean Steve Smith would be out there now.

12.35 - Nichael Bluth

…Pune probably can’t.

12.34 - James Knight

Anything Deccan can do…

12.33 - Matt Larnach

0.1 overs 0-1 Wicket Oh dear. Deary me. Pandey hits it straight to mid-on first ball. Well. A wicket first ball worked for Deccan. Some confusion amongst the Pune bench too. Who is next in? Its Sourav.

12.31 - Nichael Bluth

I think it’s only fair to point out that Gareth Gates has biffed Katie Price. So it’s not all bad.

12.31 - Matt Larnach

So, welcome back. Pune face the nigh on impossible, chasing 187. Pandey and Clarke are to open.

12.30 - Matt Larnach

Just realised Steyn is playing today. Pune are doomed.

12.24 - James Knight

Smith has got to be at 4, surely, but Ganguly is the problem. If he’s at 3 they’ll end up with Smith at 5 again. So he’ll get in just as the game gets beyond them. Again.

12.15 - Matt Larnach

Can’t believe 140 was looking long odds at one stage. They just utterly lost their composure for about six overs there and now this total looks beyond them.

Will be interesting to see how they shuffle their batting. Pup at 3 and Smith at 4?

12.15 - James Knight

Geoff Shreeves-esque questioning from Gavaskar here.

12.13 - James Knight

20 overs 186-4 Very, very good last over from Parnell saves Pune from having to chase 200, but this is still far, far more than Deccan should ever have got. Smith drops a catch off the final ball! Tough one, but he normally snaffles everything.

12.12 - Matt Larnach

This final over has been much improved but the damage has been done here.

12.11 - James Knight

19.3 overs 181-4 No idea why Kartik hasn’t bowled more given how dreadful the seamers have bowled. Although to be fair, Parnell has done pretty well. Also don’t know why I said that wicket was off the fifth ball of the over rather than first.

12.09 - James Knight

19.5 overs 180-4 WICKET! Probably not. White holes out to deep long-off, where Sir Steven takes a comfortable catch.

12.08 - Matt Larnach

Kartik not getting a look in at the end? Maybe the rumours that Sourav doesn’t rate him are true…

12.07 - James Knight

19 overs 180-3 WICKET! Finally Nehra bowls a competent delivery and yorks Sangakkara. 25 off the over. Duminy in now, can they make 200?

12.06 - James Knight

18.5 overs 180-2 150 partnership. This is all getting a bit embarrassing now. Dreadful waist high beamer, no ball and hammered over square leg for six again. Oh dear, oh dear.

12.05 - Matt Larnach

This is horror show stuff. I hope Donald gives some of these bowlers a severe booting in the innings break. He could start with Sourav.

12.03 - James Knight

18.4 overs 169-2 Blimey. Horrible leg stump full toss ends up in the crowd. Clarke’s having flashbacks to the Ashes.

12.02 - Matt Larnach

Pup is wondering if this is worth the millions he is being paid.

12.01 - James Knight

18.1 overs 159-2 Nehra on. Just the man you want at the death in a crisis. First ball smacked to cow corner for a boundary. 64 from the last 4 overs!

11.59 - James Knight

18 overs 155-2 Then the last ball ends up going to fine leg for 4. Disaster. They could get 180+ here if Pune don’t pull themselves together.

11.59 - Matt Larnach

What is this crap? Plenty of better options out there at the moment for the captain to be bowling himself.

11.58 - James Knight

17.5 overs 151-2 And the fifth disappears as well. This was a great piece of captaincy.

11.58 - James Knight

17.4 overs 145-2 And so does the fourth. Swept hard into the stand.

11.57 - James Knight

17.3 overs 139-2 Ganguly’s brought himself back on. First two deliveries were utter filth and should’ve gone the distance, but he got away with them. Third disappears way back into the stands. Panic stations.

11.56 - Matt Larnach

Some rather eccentric batting from Sangakkara at the moment. Pune would be well advised to aim at those stump things down the other end.

11.55 - James Knight

17 overs 130-2 Better over that. Pune need to get their heads in the game. Maybe they got told off for having that cheerleader competition thing the other day which was essentially just a hitlist.

11.54 - Matt Larnach

Those two girls have been on camera at least ten times so far. Have the cameramen forgotten about the cheerleaders? Or is it too hot for them today?

11.53 - James Knight

16.4 overs 129-2 50 for White. If he could play Pune every week he’d be brilliant.

11.52 - James Knight

16.2 overs 127-2 100 partnership up. Sanga has just played a crazy shot. Tried to sort of scoop it over the keeper, missed it, ‘megged the ‘keeper and went for 4. Pune are in it here.

11.51 - Matt Larnach

Wouldn’t mind if that rain turned up right now.

11.49 - James Knight

Summer of 69 booming out across the ground!

11.49 - Matt Larnach

16 overs 122-2 Can we have another of those Strategic Timouts now? The Pune bowlers have gone mad and have completely lost their discipline from early in the game. Deccan will be aiming for 160 now.

11.46 - James Knight

This is all going horribly wrong for Pune.

11.46 - Matt Larnach

15.2 overs 112-2 50 up for Sangakkara. Things are going downhill for Pune.

11.44 - Matt Larnach

15 overs 110-2 19 runs of that over. Just utter rubbish really. Dada out, Pup in.

11.41 - James Knight

Turns out Strategic is a company. The comments section knows all. Which is more than can be said for Dada. What is the point in Marlon Samuels?

11.41 - Matt Larnach

14.2 overs 99-2 Samuels is back into the attack and immediately concedes consecutive boundaries. Why isn’t Pup bowling?

11.39 - Matt Larnach

Zinged

14 overs 91-2 Another over of not much is interspersed with slow motion replays of….not much. I look forward to the day that Television directors realise that watching a player scratch his arse in the outfield isn’t automatically made more interesting because it is in slow motion. /rant.

11.37 - James Knight

Didn’t realise his Australian citizenship test was today.

11.36 - Matt Larnach

Probably blind drunk and ranting at Neighbours on the telly.

11.35 - James Knight

Where’s Bluth when you need him?

11.34 - Matt Larnach

That is quite possibly true. I will get one of the 51allout work experience lackeys to find out during the interval. Pune need to finish strongly from here.

11.33 - James Knight

Maybe we gave them too much credit and Strategic is actually a company.

11.32 - Matt Larnach

13 overs 85-2 Another last ball boundary undermines an otherwise good Sourav over. We are into another of those Strategic Timeout thingys. I am surprised it doesn’t have an official sponsor really. Not like the IPL to miss a trick like that.

11.30 - Matt Larnach

12.3 overs 79-2 Sourav continuing here and some more stunning work from Sir Steve of Smith in the field saves another boundary. Deccan have forgotten where the accelerator is at the moment.

11.28 - James Knight

It’s also Kevin Pietersen’s last game today before he comes home. We might all be underwater by the time the first Test comes around so he may as well stay for a bit. Hopefully he can go out with a bang. Few Red Bull singles to demolish his own top order.

11.27 - Matt Larnach

The next game tonight might prove more entertaining on that front, seeing that Shane Watson has arrived in the country.

11.26 - James Knight

12 overs 75-2 White is starting to look a bit ominous here. Twelve from that over, including quite a good shot through mid-wicket. Sangakkara is batting like a blind man.

11.25 - James Knight

There’s no Big Jesse in the Pune side either, so the runouts are all on Ganguly.

11.24 - Matt Larnach

I wonder when we are going to see Pup get a trundle? Not that he is really needed at the moment. Surprising lack of comedy runouts so far as well too. Bit of a shame.

11.21 - James Knight

11 overs 63-2 Who can blame them indeed. One of the great overs from Ganguly, even if his bowling is getting slower with every appearance.

11.20 - Matt Larnach

The chants of “Dada” from the outfield indicate the locals have had enough of these Deccan losers and seen the light. Who can blame them really?

11.19 - James Knight

10.2 overs 60-2 Ganguly has brought himself on… The hair is disappointingly mundane today.

11.17 - Matt Larnach

These two have settled in now. Wickets will be needed to keep Deccan below 140 from here.

11.17 - James Knight

10 overs 58-2 I didn’t notice at the time, but Sir Steven made a heroic effort to prevent that going all the way. Leapt like a mighty salmon to flick it back in, but it was in vain.

11.16 - James Knight

9.3 overs 55-2 Cameron White has woken up and realised this is T20. MAXIMUM back over Kartik’s head. First of the innings.

11.14 - Matt Larnach

Nichael in one of the greatest cameo’s since Richard Dawson’s Test career.

11.11 - Nichael Bluth

Strategic timeout? I’m off to buy more booze. You guys have fun!

11.11 - James Knight

9 overs 48-2 Another steady over from Nehra. And, more importantly, a shot of some nice legs in the crowd. This is proper terrible batting. ‘Strategic’ time out time.

11.09 - Matt Larnach

Steve Smith’s ambidextrous work on the microphone whilst fielding at mid-on will live long in the memory. Otherwise not really. Deccan are terrible.

11.07 - Matt Larnach

8 overs 42-2 Another last ball boundary undermines a good over that included a sublime piece of fielding from Clarke. Most of the Deccan fans probably wish they were supporting Pune here.

11.07 - Nichael Bluth

Sorry fellas, was busy watching the Neighbours/Home And Away combo. Have I missed anything?

11.06 - James Knight

Duminy averages 129 in the tournament so far. These two stinking up the place while he’s sat twiddling his thumbs is almost as stupid as not letting Luke Wright have a bat.

11.05 - Matt Larnach

7.3 overs 37-2 Kartik into the attack now. Duminy is looking bemused on the sidelines. Steve Smith could sympathise with him at the moment.

11.03 - Matt Larnach

7 overs 36-2 More good bowling from Pune. The commentators are talking of the pitch playing slowly, but that is doing a disservice to the Pune bowlers here, who have bowled a consistent stump line so far.

11.02 - James Knight

Thus far this is actually a worse batting effort than Pune’s against Delhi.

11.00 - Matt Larnach

On reflection, yes. Uthappa continues to impress really.

11.00 - James Knight

I think you’re being quite generous to Uthappa there. It was a Haddin-esque drop.

10.59 - Matt Larnach

6 overs 33-2 A good over is somewhat ruined by a last ball boundary that just slipped past the keepers left glove.

10.56 - James Knight

Sangakkara has certainly been England’d. A tragic affliction. India felt it’s full icy blast last summer and still haven’t recovered.

10.54 - Matt Larnach

5 overs 26-2 Pune on top early here, but will want to remove both White and Sangakkara quickly to maintain their ascendancy.

10.53 - James Knight

It’s really a miracle that delivery managed to get through such a solid defensive stroke.

10.52 - Matt Larnach

4.4 overs 23-2 Wicket And now its just getting better for Kumar. Middle stump goes cartwheeling and Dhawan is on his way.

10.51 - Matt Larnach

4.3 overs 23-1 Kumar into the attack. Which the commentators have discovered rhymes with Cuttack. He has started well.

10.50 - James Knight

Matt tells us:

It doesn’t rain in Pune, it’s just liquid sunshine.

And he’s got a geography degree, he knows.

10.48 - James Knight

I think Dinda’s still injured. Why Alfonso Thomas has been dropped is anyone’s guess. Presumably Ganguly fancies bowling himself at the end.

10.48 - James Knight

4 overs 21-1 Pretty uneventful over, apart from us being shown highlights of White launching Pune all over the place last week. Allegedly. I’m not convinced it really happened. The Adelaide 06 of the IPL.

10.47 - Matt Larnach

Not convinced by Nehra. Would like to see Dinda playing, but have no idea where he is. Either injured or Ganguly has decided to cut his best bowler in another of his tactical masterpieces.

10.45 - James Knight

3.3 overs 20-1 To be honest I think it’s high time we saw Smith and Clarke bowling in tandem. Instead, it’s Ashish Nehra. Erm, to be honest I’m not sure we’d covered the rain eventuality. We panic, if that happens.

10.44 - Matt Larnach

Do we have a collection of classic Pune games we could blog if it starts raining here? Looking ominous at the moment.

10.42 - James Knight

3 overs 14-1 A boundary! Dhawan runs down the wicket and gets a thick edge down to third man. That shouldn’t even count. Then he whacks a proper boundary to extra cover. I’m willing to accept that one. Way to ruin all Parnell’s good work, Marlon.

10.42 - Matt Larnach

Fantastic bowling really. I credit it to Pup’s influence.

10.40 - James Knight

2 overs 4-1 Sentences you never thought you’d read alert: Wayne Parnell has bowled a maiden. The 14th of the tournament, apparently.

10.39 - Matt Larnach

He is probably contributing as much in the field at the moment as he ever could with the ball.

10.38 - James Knight

1.4 overs 4-1 To be fair I forgot Ganguly was around until they just mentioned him too. Steve fancies a bowl! It’s really disgraceful that he hasn’t had a go in the tournament yet.

10.36 - Matt Larnach

I always imagined Steve had a higher pitched voice than that. Don’t think it was a good idea to refer to Pup as captain though….

10.35 - James Knight

1 over 4-1 Decent start. 19 more where that came from and Pune will probably win.

10.35 - James Knight

0.4 overs 3-1 Personally I never doubted Mad Marlon. Cameron SWhite the new man. Steve Smith is on the mic! Luke Wright last week, Steve Smith this. Superb work from the TV companies. And he fields the ball while talking. What a man.

10.33 - Matt Larnach

Joherul Alam Chanchal gets things terribly terribly wrong on the Youtube feed;

y samuels again???? should give chance to tamim

Thats why Chanchal. Thats why.

10.32 - James Knight

0.1 overs 0-1 WICKET! And continuing in the tradition of great West Indian fast bowlers, a searing Samuels delivery castles Patel first ball! What was that about hidings?

10.31 - James Knight

Parthiv Patel and Shikhar Dhawan opening for Deccan. Marlon Samuels, continuing the tradition of great West Indian opening bowlers, is going to bowl the first over.

10.31 - Matt Larnach

The Youtube feed tweets are unanimous at the moment. Pune are set for a hiding today. I fear they may be right.

And yeah, Clarke doesn’t play this format much. Largely because he is terrible at it. Will make for interesting viewing.

10.30 - James Knight

I’m pretty sure the TV just told me Michael Clarke hasn’t played a T20 since October 2010… What a signing he is.

10.27 - Matt Larnach

Also a point for our international audience, we are in historic Cuttack today. And its a tad warm. The gin will be getting a heavy workout throughout the afternoon methinks.

10.27 - James Knight

Deccan have won the toss and are batting first

Sangakkara has re-selected himself, in place of Dan Christian. Reducing the number of mediocre Australians taking part by a quarter.

10.26 - James Knight

Talking of doing stuff for no obvious reason, welcome to our live-blog Pune have dropped their only competent death bowler in Alfonso Thomas. Wayne Parnell is in for him. Michael Clarke plays too, in place of Jesse Ryder who looked badly in need of a sit down last game.

10.24 - James Knight

Morning! We’ve just been greeted by Dermot Reeve absolutely bellowing into the camera for no obvious reason. I’m startled.

13.38 - Nichael Bluth

Thanks to everyone for your comments, feedback and free booze*. Unfortunately Pune weren’t able to turn in a performance worthy of the name tonight. Steve Smith summed it up by throwing up everywhere, a natural reaction to Uthappa’s stonewall vigil on a perfect batting pitch.

We’ll probably do another live blog at some point soon plus we’ll continue to review (in the vaguest possible way) all things IPL. Week one was here and week two here, if you fancy catching up.

Cheers!

 

*please do send us free booze.

13.35 - Matt Larnach

On the plus side, Delhi have to be clear favourites for the title this year, especially with Warner still to come back. Pune need to sort out their selections. Shuffling Smith around the order constantly is just nonsense, he should be batting at four.

At least Wright will be able to tell his grandkids he had a game in the IPL now. Can’t see him returning, particularly once Clarke arrives.

13.31 - Nichael Bluth

Bit of a self-inflicted disaster that one. Pune desperately needed to get the hitters in around the 14th or 15th over to get to a decent score. Instead Tavare and Boycott crawled to a very mediocre score that they were never going to defend.

13.30 - Matt Larnach

I am now thoroughly depressed. And the prospect of Shane Shillingford making a mockery of the Australian tail in half an hour does not help either.

13.30 - James Knight

Well that went well.

13.29 - Nichael Bluth

16 overs 148-2 QVC Maximum! Sehwag hoicks the ball for six over long on and Delhi have won by eight wickets with about a year to spare. Sehwag finishes on 87*, not bad for a fat bloke.

13.27 - Nichael Bluth

On the plus side, there’s still about two hundred games left, so it’s not all doom and gloom.

13.27 - James Knight

This chase just emphasises how rubbish Uthappa’s effort was. It’s a 180+ pitch and he, almost single-handedly, is the reason Pune got nowhere near that.

Oh, and Pune games are rubbish when Steve Smith doesn’t do anything.

13.26 - Matt Larnach

Serious comment alert, but this thrashing will do all sorts of horrible things to Pune’s net runrate.

13.25 - Nichael Bluth

So, we may as well start summing up. Thoughts about tonight’s game chaps?

13.23 - Nichael Bluth

15 overs 134-2 With the game on the brink of completion, somebody has called a strategic timeout. The IPL in a nutshell.

13.23 - James Knight

If anything it is a player who averages about 7.23 in the past couple of years that Pune miss the most.

13.21 - Matt Larnach

rifatakter raises a pertinant question on the Youtube feed;

 

i dont know why.. tamim iqbat not get chance to play match? in ipl????????????????????

13.20 - Nichael Bluth

14 overs 130-2 There’ll be a big rush for the bar in a couple of minutes, so now might be a good time to get another drink in.

13.20 - Matt Larnach

Talking about dinner reservations, I have it under good authority Steve Smith can’t even buy a meal in this town anymore, such is his new found legendary status.

13.18 - James Knight

*sips*

13.18 - James Knight

I don’t know what you mean.

13.17 - Matt Larnach

I feel some in the 51allout office have been hitting the gin a bit too hard in the wake of this dispiriting Pune performance.

13.16 - Nichael Bluth

14 overs 124-2 Just 23 needed from 42 balls. This has turned into a beating of Chris Brown/Rihanna proportions.

13.14 - Nichael Bluth

12.2 overs 120-2 Sehwag must have a dinner reservation somewhere in Pune (and who could blame him); he’s looking to get this over and done with, via the medium of hitting boundaries.

13.12 - Matt Larnach

12 overs 115-2 Despite only needing 0.3 runs per over to win Sehwag still nearly manages to run himself out. To say its looking dire here for Pune would be a dramatic understatement.

13.09 - James Knight

Hard to believe really with posts like that.

13.08 - Matt Larnach

11.1 overs 111-2 Wicket KP is out as he can’t quite clear the man mountain that is Jesse Ryder. No surprise really, considering Jesse’s bulk covers quite a bit of the mid-on boundary.

13.08 - Nichael Bluth

The comments seem to have dried up. Perhaps a metaphor for, er… Good evening! I might as well say this now – Sue Cook has pulled out.

13.06 - Matt Larnach

11 overs 111-1 Thats quite a lot of 1’s there.

13.03 - Matt Larnach

10.2 overs 101-1 I am pretty sure Smith went back off earlier to finish regurgitating his lunch in privacy.

13.03 - James Knight

If anyone’s going to take 6/9, it’s going to be Luke Wright, so you can’t really argue with this captaincy.

Incidentally, I’ve just remembered that Michael Clarke is soon to arrive. Wright’s got no chance of playing any more games.

13.02 - Nichael Bluth

This is one of those desperate situations where you may as well give someone like Steve Smith a bowl, just in case he takes 6/9. Or is he still off being sick?

13.01 - Matt Larnach

10 overs 99-1 A fifty for Sehwag and this game is meandering towards a predictable ending, much like how the Brahmaputra meanders into the Bay of Bengal.

12.58 - Nichael Bluth

Actually, we’re always looking for new writers at 51allout. If you want to write for us, send a sample of your work to our inbox so that we can rip the piss out of it.

12.58 - Matt Larnach

9 overs 90-1 Oh dear. At least its a lovely sunset.

12.57 - James Knight

See if that guy wants to write for us, we could use his insight.

12.56 - Nichael Bluth

Some more genius from the YouTube comments:

Heaps of surprises in this IPL5, teams are losing and winning at the same time.

12.56 - Matt Larnach

8.3 overs 83-1 Pune are winning the Twitter Team Battle, and I guess that’s what really matters. Even if the commentators have no idea how it works.

12.55 - James Knight

Robin Jackman is perhaps the most uncomfortable man in the universe when discussing ‘Twitters’.

12.53 - James Knight

8 overs 77-1 Murali ‘tharan’ Kartik is on. Delhi need less than a run a ball already. Nothing happened in that over.

12.51 - James Knight

It gives teams the opportunity to talk about strategy, obviously. When else would they pick the next bowler out of a hat?

12.50 - Matt Larnach

Perhaps they are hoping Steve Smith will throw up just short of a length to give their bowlers something to aim at.

12.50 - Nichael Bluth

Does the strategic timeout actually serve a purpose? Is it just so normal TV can go to some ads? Speaking of ads, we found a brilliant one yesterday and then utterly failed to share it with our faithful readers.

It’s no wonder you hate us so.

12.49 - James Knight

Belatedly, a time out has been called. The Pune players have gathered together to perform a rain dance.

12.48 - James Knight

7 overs 73-1 I’m starting to think 146 was a teeny bit below par.

12.47 - Nichael Bluth

Thinking about it, I bet the reason that Steve Smith doesn’t wear a hat (and is therefore busy chucking his guts up) is because it messes up his hair. The youth of today…

12.46 - James Knight

6.3 overs 68-1 Ganguly’s brought himself on. First ball doesn’t quite knock the stumps back as it did last time, it’s knocked to the point boundary instead. Hair fans will be pleased to know it’s flapping about all over the place again.

12.45 - Matt Larnach

Sourav’s hat is off for the third time this innings, showing he is really taking this seriously.

12.44 - Nichael Bluth

On the plus side, this looks like it’ll be over in plenty of time for the start of the Test match, so we can all go back to laughing at Australia.

12.43 - James Knight

6 overs 61-1 KP batters Nehra for six off the final ball of the Powerplay. Pune were about 11-2 at this point, so they are somewhat behind the game at the moment.

12.42 - James Knight

But Pune lack Michael Yardy.

12.41 - Nichael Bluth

Luke Wright only bowled one over in the World T20. That turned out alright.

12.40 - Matt Larnach

I for one am pleased that the inhabitants of the sub-Sahara were able to see Steve Smith throw up in full colour thanks to this broadcast.

12.40 - James Knight

5.2 overs 50-1 When this Sehwag lad can be arsed, he’s alright. He thickish edges one through point for another boundary. A ‘wonderful cricket shot’ according to Tom Moody. It was barely cricket, never mind wonderful.

12.39 - James Knight

5 overs 46-1 A stunning second half to the over goes for just one. I’m a little bit concerned that might be the last we see of him this tournament.

12.36 - James Knight

4.3 overs 45-1 Perhaps he should have stuck to the specialist fielder role. Hooked for 4 then marmalised over long-on. Oops.

12.36 - Matt Larnach

I am going to be controversial and state; the Pune cheerleaders>>>>the Delhi cheerleaders

12.35 - James Knight

4.1 overs 35-1 It is indeed… Oh the Luke Wright shuffle, how I have missed thee.

12.35 - Nichael Bluth

4 overs 34-1 Sehwag chops one down to fine leg via the inside edge. Delhi quite well placed here. Is that Luke Wright I see warming up?

12.32 - James Knight

Yes, yes they have. Are you doubting them?

12.32 - Nichael Bluth

The commentators are pointing out that Sehwag isn’t used to running. Presumably he’s much more accustomed to sitting on his fat arse in pavilions in England or Australia.

12.31 - Nichael Bluth

Have Pune picked a side with four batsman, two specialist fielders, no actual wicketkeeper and five bowlers?

12.30 - Nichael Bluth

3 overs 22-1 Some fella called Pietersen is the new batsman.

12.30 - Matt Larnach

It wouldn’t be the IPL if there wasn’t at least one comedy runout per match.

12.29 - James Knight

That stunning swoop and throw gives rise to one of the great questions: Is Luke Wright or Steve Smith the greatest specialist fielder of their generation?

12.28 - Nichael Bluth

2.5 overs 22-1 Comedy runout! Sehwag works the ball straight to square leg, there’s the old ‘yes! no!’ and the two batsman end up in the middle of the pitch as the bails are whipped off. Jayawardene is the one run out.

12.26 - Matt Larnach

Ganguly’s hat falls of and a nation swoons.

12.24 - James Knight

Whole new level of sledging too if the man at backward point keeps retching as the bowler’s steaming in.

12.24 - Nichael Bluth

2 overs 15-0 That’s not a bad over from Nehra, hurrying the batsmen a little. To be honest I was distracted by Luke Wright’s thoughts on the Sussex microclimate.

12.22 - Matt Larnach

Steve Smith is worldclass even when throwing up. Sign of a champion.

12.21 - Nichael Bluth

Steve Smith has suddenly appeared in the gully. While we love him, it would be hilarious if he threw up again.

12.21 - James Knight

For a horrible moment I thought they were going to show an action replay of Steve Smith’s stomach malfunction.

12.21 - Matt Larnach

As much as I like to see an interview with Luke Wright, am feeling they are missing a trick by not interviewing Smith right now….

12.18 - Nichael Bluth

1 over 8-0 A reasonable enough start from the DD’s. Anyway, enough about the opening ceremony.

12.17 - Matt Larnach

It was a true Citi Moment of Success from Smith there.

12.16 - James Knight

Our resident geographer has just offered an update on those hills Nichael was jibbering on about earlier:

That would be Vetal Hill, with its dry-deciduous forests typical of the many beautiful hills around Pune.

So that’s settled.

12.14 - Nichael Bluth

The groundstaff are cleaning up Steve Smith’s sick from the extra cover region. However long 51allout lasts, I don’t reckon we’ll ever get to use that phrase again.

12.13 - James Knight

Mark Ramprakash is expressing surprise and confusion at Mahela Jayawardene opening. That would be the Mahela Jayawardene who’s opened 12 times in T20 internationals, where he averages 51 at a strike rate of 146.

Presumably Sir Steven was reacting to that piece of analysis.

12.12 - Nichael Bluth

STOP EVERYTHING

Steve Smith has just chucked up everywhere.

12.10 - Nichael Bluth

Alfonso Thomas is going to open the bowling I think. Presumably Luke Wright wanted to bowl from the other end.

12.10 - Matt Larnach

Plenty of talk about the Southern Oscillation Index though.

12.08 - James Knight

Must be said that there’s been a disappointing lack of talk about ox-bow lakes today.

12.04 - Nichael Bluth

Some great hills in the background. Such a shame that our resident geographer isn’t on comms today.

12.02 - James Knight

Sign Luke Wright purely on the basis of his performances as an opener in the Big Bash. Do not pick Luke Wright to open.

IPL strategy is awesome.

12.01 - Matt Larnach

“to indulge to”

er. Obviously I haven’t had enough gin.

12.00 - Nichael Bluth

147 to win. Stephen Hendry could do it on his own.

51allout: also watching the snooker world championships so that you don’t have to.

11.58 - Matt Larnach

It was if they were doing everything they could to get themselves out but the Delhi fieldsmen just weren’t willing to indulge to them. Dropping Smith from 4, where he batted last game, to 5, was madness. If Ganguly didn’t have such great hair I would be really angry with him right now.

11.56 - James Knight

As HTrub88 says on Twitter, that was the most sedate 20 overs ever. I’m just confused. Awful innings yet they got to 146, which is not a terrible score.

11.53 - James Knight

Imagine if they had a batsman who actually tried to hit the ball in with Pandey, they’d have got about 300.

11.53 - Matt Larnach

20 overs 146-2 And that is that. Not the best of final overs. Allan Donald seemed to like it though, and he knows a thing or two about good final overs. This total is way short of what is needed. 30 or 40 runs short we imagine. And neither Smith nor Wright getting a chance leaves us deflated as *insert your own dirty joke here*.

11.50 - Matt Larnach

19.4 overs 140-2 We have a review of a caught behind. Looks like a bump ball from here. And by here I mean a good few thousand kilometres away.

11.49 - James Knight

The commentators are acting like this is some sort of miracle example of batsmanship. It isn’t.

11.48 - Nichael Bluth

This would be a great partnership in Test cricket.

11.47 - Matt Larnach

19.1 overs 136-2 And now they are kicking the ball to the boundary. Great scenes.

11.46 - Matt Larnach

19 overs 132-2 A little better that over. If they can manage to sneak 40 or 50 runs of this last over they might have a decent total here.

11.45 - James Knight

I have no idea how they’ve even managed to get this many.

11.45 - Nichael Bluth

I’m actually really angry at how this innings has gone. They’ve managed to go nearly 19 overs without losing a wicket and still have a rubbish score to show for it. It might be the gin talking though.

11.43 - Nichael Bluth

The mind boggles as to how these two cannot comprehend that they should get out and get the hitters in for the last few overs.

11.43 - Matt Larnach

18 overs 123-2 Big finish needed. Smith and Wright are looking on.

11.42 - James Knight

Uthappa has started swinging like a maniac with the air of a man who’s got to answer to Sourav Ganguly in about 7 minutes time.

11.42 - Matt Larnach

17.3 overs 121-2 Fifty up for Uthappa, largely thanks to comedy fielding even Tufnell would be ashamed of. Seriously, have the Delhi players not seen a cricket ball before?

11.41 - Nichael Bluth

Is it me, or is there a sofa at fine leg?

11.40 - Matt Larnach

17.2 over 115-2 Now they have moved on to French cutting to fine leg, with better results.

11.39 - Matt Larnach

17 overs 110-2 The Pune batsman have given up on the strategy of prodding the ball towards long-on, and are trying to chip it to third man instead, with similar lack of success. Long way short of a competitive total here.

11.38 - James Knight

Further musings on the DLF Maximum question posed earlier from outsidethepoppingcrease:

If 6 is a DLF maximum, what’s a DLF minimum? and is a 4 a DLF median plus 1?

Exciting times.

11.37 - Nichael Bluth

I could’ve sworn I just heard Gavaskar say ‘Pune will look to target a wine bar’. The man makes a lot of sense when he puts his mind to it.

11.36 - James Knight

I could’ve sworn I just heard Gavaskar say ‘Pune will look to target Owais Shah’. The gin’s playing tricks with my mind.

11.36 - Matt Larnach

16.2 overs 101-2 Have never seen a crowd more disgusted at a hundred partnership before.

11.34 - James Knight

16 overs 99-2 SORT OF MEDIOCRE DROPPED CATCH Pandey lobs another one back to the rubbish spinner who misses it and they get a single. Four runs from the 16th over of the innings. I’m not even sure the crowd are angry any more, they just look horrified and confused.

11.34 - Matt Larnach

Delhi have obviously decided to not worry about any of that fielding shenanigans. And with these two at the crease you couldn’t blame them.

 

11.32 - James Knight

15.3 overs 96-2 Please get out Uthappa. You’re embarrassing yourself.

11.30 - Nichael Bluth

Andy Pandey’s actually done alright in the anchor role. Just a shame about the anchor at the other end.

11.29 - James Knight

15 overs 95-2 50 for Andy Pandey. He’s waving his bat around like a maniac while the ground looks on in utter disgust. And then smacks one of them six thingys off the final ball! The umpires signal for a time out so everybody can calm down.

11.27 - Matt Larnach

Did an Australian just call the Indian hockey team fat?

11.27 - James Knight

14.4 overs 87-2 Words cannot express how awful this innings from Uthappa is. It’s so bad they’ve ditched the cricket and are interviewing some hockey bloke in the stands.

11.26 - Nichael Bluth

I knew there was something missing today: an interview with the coach of the Indian hockey team.

11.25 - Matt Larnach

The IPL; an intoxicating mix of the bizarre and the ridiculous

11.25 - Nichael Bluth

Was that another boundary? I missed it, having to top up my own drink. I take back all that praise for Mrs Nichael.

11.24 - James Knight

14 overs 81-2 SLIGHTLY LESS COMIC DROPPED CATCH Pandey lobs a simple catch back to the filthy left arm spinner who’s all over Pune like a cheap suit. In an ode to Darren Sammy, he shells it. Followed by an absolutely amazing piece of fielding down at long-on, where the fielder feels a bit sorry for Pune and rolls one over the boundary rope.

11.22 - Nichael Bluth

30* from 38 balls. Truly epic stuff from Uthappa. If there’s one thing an IPL team doesn’t need, it’s a red-inker.

11.21 - James Knight

13 overs 74-2 The rare ‘good over for Pune Warriors’. 13 from it. It really is about time Uthappa got himself out though.

11.20 - Matt Larnach

Did that last ball keep a little low? If this game goes into a fifth day there could be some vicious cracks opening up.

11.20 - James Knight

12.4 overs 73-2 All hail Andy Pandey, always knew he was class. Wallops a MAXIMUM over long-on.

11.17 - James Knight

12.1 overs 65-2 I actually forgot Andy Pandey was still in. One of the great decisions to let him open instead of about 7 other, much better, candidates. Yadav is back. First ball cunningly cut/edged to third man for a boundary.

11.17 - Matt Larnach

Is good to see the Pune batsman have adopted the Steve Smith dive. Although would have preferred to see a wicket there personally.

11.16 - Nichael Bluth

12 overs 61-2 Thus ends one of the great four over commentary spells. There was actually a boundary in that last over, with Andy Pandey finally making a bit of effort.

11.14 - Matt Larnach

The Youtube twitter has descended into bickering over who is the better batsman, Sachin, Gayle, or Kohli. Truly these are dark times.

11.13 - Nichael Bluth

11 overs 53-2 Somewhere in Yorkshire Geoff Boycott is absolutely loving this.

11.12 - James Knight

HD Ackerman, with the sort of wisdom not usually seen in IPL commentators, doesn’t reckon 110 will be a good score.

11.12 - Nichael Bluth

To answer the question you’re all asking:

The Southern Oscillation Index, or SOI, gives an indication of the development and intensity of El Niño or La Niña events in the Pacific Ocean. The SOI is calculated using the pressure differences between Tahiti and Darwin.

Which is nice.

11.11 - Matt Larnach

I can only ascribe this batting to some Ganguly masterplan that I am obviously not bright enough to understand. Something to do with net-runrates and the Southern Oscillation Index I can only guess.

11.10 - Nichael Bluth

10 overs 50-2 Seriously, this is absolute bobbins. Hit out or get out.

11.09 - Nichael Bluth

9 overs 46-2 The run rate is rather trundling along here. Wouldn’t be the worst thing for a wicket to fall.

11.08 - James Knight

One of the great musings of our time from Matt H in the comments:

If a batsman run seven through a series of fielding mishaps and Luke Wright brilliance, is that a DLF Maximum Plus One?

11.07 - Nichael Bluth

8.2 overs 44-2 Comedy dropped catch! Pandey lofts Negi to a tall South African guy at long on. Simple catch and he puts it down, causing masses of jealousy back in the County Championship.

11.07 - Matt Larnach

KP has his eye on the prize here. Doesn’t want Smith at the crease.

11.05 - Nichael Bluth

As if by magic a glass of wine has suddenly appeared. A big shout out to Mrs Nichael. Behind every decent cricket blogger is a woman with booze.

11.05 - James Knight

And Ganguly is in such good bowling form.

11.04 - Matt Larnach

7.3 overs 40-2 GG Gagan in the Youtube twitter feed has already paid out on the Delhi win. A brave man considering both Smith and Wright are still to bat.

11.02 - Matt Larnach

7 overs 39-2 Strategic timeout gives just enough time to check the inbox for the twentieth time today. Blogging is thirsty work. Hint, hint.

11.01 - James Knight

One hopes someone reminds them during the time out that this is, in fact, a 20 over match and 54/2 may not be a winning score.

11.01 - Nichael Bluth

Actually no-one is plying us with free booze. If you can rememdy this let us know!

10.59 - Matt Larnach

6.5 overs 38-2 Last I checked DLF wasn’t plying us with free booze, so don’t see the need to mention them just yet…..Uthappa finally wakes up. The prospect of facing an angry SPD Smith in the sheds probably did the job.

10.59 - Nichael Bluth

There’s almost no atmosphere so far. Despite the crowd having about ten million people in it.

10.56 - James Knight

And I’m making no comment on Keiron Pollard.

10.56 - Matt Larnach

6 overs 28-2 All of Pune is praying for an Uthappa wicket right now.

10.56 - James Knight

What is this ‘six’ you speak of? Do you mean a DRS MAXIMUM?

10.54 - Matt Larnach

5.3 overs 25-2 And finally the first six of the contest. The commentators wake up and start talking about the ‘drama’.

10.53 - Nichael Bluth

Kieron Pollard is the second highest wicket-taker so far in IPL 2012. James is going to write a really angry comment in no time.

10.52 - Matt Larnach

5 overs 19-2 Now seems a good time to point out some of the many sights of downtown Pune, including its historical city square and many fine hotels.

10.51 - James Knight

By the way, when we said ‘get involved’ we were hoping for a bit more than an argument about time zones. We wanted more of you to be like rm4rml on Twitter and tell us how brilliant we are.

10.50 - Matt Larnach

4.4 overs 16-2 And absolutely nothing happening.

10.48 - Nichael Bluth

This is a rubbish start, but if Luke Wright and Steve Smith get in soon I still think a score around 250 is possible.

10.48 - James Knight

4 overs 14-2 Another heroic boundary as a half-volley is dispatched through the covers. The crowd is going berserk.

10.46 - Nichael Bluth

re: the comment about GMT – it took us about three months to work out how to post pictures. Being able to change the clock is probably a year or two away.

10.45 - James Knight

3.3 overs 8-2 Umesh Yadav is bowling. Disappointingly he seems to have moved on from his Lego hair stage he was at in Australia.

10.44 - James Knight

3 overs 7-2 A BOUNDARY! Andy Pandey swats a half-track pie from Irfan over mid-wicket for a one bounce four. The fact that was ‘a better over’ is quite a damning indictment of the first two.

10.44 - Matt Larnach

There is something about Pune playing during the day that doesn’t sit right. Am going to assume there has been a fixture conspiracy to undermine their charge to the title.

10.43 - Nichael Bluth

Why aren’t they trying to score any runs? It’s like a team of Ed Cowans out there.

10.41 - James Knight

2.2 overs 2-2 The only shot Uthappa has played since he got in has been the attempted guide to third man. I’m not entirely sure they’ve got the hang of this T20 lark.

10.39 - James Knight

2 overs 2-2 Pandey tries to run himself out by haring down the wicket for no particular reason after Uthappa hits one straight to a fielder. Then Uthappa thinks about doing the same thing next ball. Who doused their cornflakes with gin this morning? Own up.

10.39 - Matt Larnach

The twitter feed on the Youtube channel is amazing. This preview in particular caught my eye with its succinct  beauty.

DD, gud team, so does PWI. Should be a gud game

Hemingway-esque.

10.37 - Nichael Bluth

This is like watching Glamorgan bat.

10.37 - James Knight

1.2 overs 1-2 WICKET! It seems the rest of the Pune team thinks they need to get Wright in as early as possible. Ganguly hacks at a wide one for Morkel and smacks it straight to third man. Here comes Uthappa.

10.35 - James Knight

1 over 1-1 Pandey wisely blocks the rest of Pathan’s over. Can’t get carried away, especially after you’ve lost an early wicket. Morkel at the other end.

10.34 - Nichael Bluth

‘Dominated’ is a very generous word.

10.33 - James Knight

0.4 overs 1-1 Ganguly is the new batsman. Given Uthappa has opened reasonably successfully in this tournament and Luke Wright dominated the big bash at the top of the order, it’s perfectly logical that they’ve plucked some random bloke called Pandey to open instead. Ganguly heroically gets Pune off the mark with a single.

10.32 - Nichael Bluth

Ryder was looking pretty tired by that stage of his innings, and I think his shot reflected that.

10.31 - James Knight

0.2 overs WICKET! Oh dear. Pathan bowls a cunning straight, slow ball and Ryder completely misses it. Maybe the heat got to him.

10.30 - James Knight

Blimey, I turned around for a minute and suddenly Irfan Pathan was steaming in.

10.30 - Nichael Bluth

Remember you can send us comments via the form below. We’ll publish any decent non-libellous ones that we get.

10.29 - James Knight

Well you don’t need to see any of the introductions prior to the news that Luke Wright is in.

10.25 - Nichael Bluth

The clock on the YouTube countdown is a sham. There were still about five minutes to go and they cut to halfway through the team introductions.

10.25 - James Knight

The one on the right just seems to have a terrifyingly large head.

Tom Moody is disconcertingly tall.

10.23 - Nichael Bluth

Right, the YouTube seems to have sorted itself out now, which is rather handy. Just nine long minutes until the coverage starts. Shall we talk about B*Witched in the meantime?

B*Witched: start from the right and work left I reckon.

10.21 - James Knight

And Pune doesn’t allow wind.

10.20 - James Knight

Does that mean you will be live-blogging a game you can’t actually see? Just make it up, Wright’s gonna be bashing it about, if you just write ‘SIX’ every ball you’ll get more right than wrong.

Also, I’ve just noticed that Ajit Agarkar has been dropped. That is a crushing blow.

10.18 - James Knight

Now, let’s just run through those teams:

PUNE: Ryder, Uthappa, Ganguly, Smith, WRIGHT, Pandey, Thomas, Manhas, Kartik, Sharma, Nehra

Other lot: Sehwag, Ohja, Pietersen, Jayawardene, Taylor, Pathan, Nagar, Morkel, Negi, Nadeem, Yadav

10.17 - Nichael Bluth

Luke Wright’s best work in the Big Bash was as an opener, hitting the ball straight up into the air and letting the wind blow it over the boundary. Will he open here? Is it windy in Pune?

Also, in other news, the YouTube doesn’t seem to be working at the moment. Which is going to be fun.

10.15 - James Knight

Ganguly (again: yes, really) has won the toss and Pune are batting first.

10.14 - Nichael Bluth

That middle order, with Luke Wright and Steve Smith in it, is looking pretty damn sexual.

10.13 - James Knight

I’m mighty relieved, we were starting to look right berks choosing this lot.

10.11 - Nichael Bluth

*stops the presses*

10.10 - James Knight

ABSOLUTELY ENORMOUS TEAM NEWS ALERT: Luke Wright STARTS for Pune Warriors.

10.07 - James Knight

Good morning! Excitement here in the 51allout bunker is reaching fever pitch. ITV talking about football all the time in the build up is taking that to whole new levels as well.

18.04 - Nichael Bluth

Thanks to everyone for your comments and for supporting the mighty Pune with us. We’ll see you next time.

Last call for any gin companies. Please do get in touch.

18.04 - James Knight

Right, we’re now off to celebrate the mighty Pune’s second win of the tournament. That maintains their 100% record in IPL 2012 so far. Thank you all (optimistic use of the word) for joining us, and we will hopefully be back with another live-blog for Pune’s next game, which is, er, against Kings XI again on Thursday. Cheers!

18.00 - James Knight

If we get in trouble make sure you blame the gin.

Also, Darren Sammy is channelling the spirit of Smith in Barbados.

17.58 - Nichael Bluth

The players are leaving the pitch, doing all the usual handshakes and whatnot. The Kings XI players look grateful just to be allowed to touch the mighty Pune stars.

The ground has emptied really quickly. Presumably everyone rushing home to see if their house has been broken into.

17.56 - Nichael Bluth

22 runs is the margin in the end. Steve Smith made a remarkable cameo of 25. We don’t really need to say any more than that.

17.55 - James Knight

WE ARE PUNE

17.54 - Nichael Bluth

20 overs 144-8  A rubbish final over from Marlon Samuels but it makes no difference and Pune are victorious!

17.51 - Nichael Bluth

19 overs 131-8 Wicket! Dinda gets in on the party with a slower ball which some Aussie we’ve never heard of obligingly chips to Ganguly. The camera hovers on Steve Smith once more, as if he’s about to bowl the last over.

He isn’t.

17.49 - Nichael Bluth

The top three tweets are up now. Suffice to say they wouldn’t make it through the 51allout comments filter.

17.47 - James Knight

They certainly must feel out of place at the IPL.

17.46 - Nichael Bluth

The cheerleaders are going mental but they all look a little dead behind the eyes. I doubt they really care about cricket all that much – for them it’s just a paycheque.

17.45 - James Knight

I’m fairly confident the mighty Pune have won this.

17.45 - Nichael Bluth

18 overs 122-7 Ten off the first two balls of Sharma’s over but he keeps it relatively tight from that point on. Nearly done now.

17.41 - Nichael Bluth

17 overs 108-7 Just four from the over. 59 still needed from 18 balls.

17.40 - James Knight

*Mournfully puts ‘Mascarenhas for England’ bandwagon back in the garage.*

17.40 - Nichael Bluth

16.4 overs 106-7 Wicket! Marlon Samuels is back and his gentle spin is lifted to long on. Jesse Ryder takes a very comfortable catch. Mascharenas is gone and it’s time for the fat lady to start doing her warmups.

17.37 - Nichael Bluth

Right, we’re into the final stretch. Time for Adrian Mascarenhas to recreate his one glorious innings for England, otherwise his side are going down.

17.35 - James Knight

16 overs 104-6 Another good over and Kings need a rather unlikely 62 from the final four overs. It’s a completely unnecessary tea break to delay Pune’s victory parade that little bit longer.

17.35 - Nichael Bluth

For all his talents, Steve Smith’s haircut still looks like an experiment with a van der Graaff generator gone wrong.

17.32 - James Knight

15.1 overs 99-6 WICKET! Chawla’s desperate final charge is over as he holes out to long-on. Good catch in the deep and Sharma has another.

17.31 - Nichael Bluth

Doesn’t look like Steve Smith is going to get a bowl. Disappointing doesn’t cover it.

17.30 - James Knight

15 overs 99-5 Nehra follows it up with a triffic yorker which is inside edged through fine leg. He shows the famed Pune powers of recovery to concede just one from the final three balls.

17.27 - James Knight

14.2 overs 94-5 SGC MAXIMUM! Chawla bashes Nehra over long-off. Follows it with a four through mid-wicket. The comeback is on!

17.27 - Nichael Bluth

83 needed off 36. Even Mark Ealham would struggle with that.

17.26 - James Knight

14 overs 84-5 WICKET! And then in fury Sharma bowls a quicker one, Hussey plays an utterly abysmal shot, misses it and is bowled. Kings XI have just about scraped to half way. Dimi ‘five sixes in one over’ Mascarenhas is the latest into the firing line.

17.24 - James Knight

13.2 overs 82-4 BBQ MAXIMUM! Letting a leggie who isn’t Smiff bowl was a mistake. Dave Hussey clubs him over cow corner.

17.22 - James Knight

13 overs 75-4 Every time they show Smith on the screen I get a surge of excitement thinking he’s going to bowl. Whilst I love his aversion to the norm of wearing a hat in the field, it’s just teasing me.

17.21 - Nichael Bluth

You’re right – no QVC maximums so far in this innings.

17.20 - James Knight

12.5 overs 75-4 WICKET! Nayar tries to attack Nehra’s booming inswinger and just paddle sweeps it straight to Ganguly running around at mid-wicket. Oops.

17.19 - Nichael Bluth

The camera is absolutely in love with Steve Smith.

17.17 - James Knight

12.2 overs 74-3 Nehra back into the attack, Smith makes one of the great stops at backward point first ball. Unless the gin is really affecting me I don’t think there’s been a CIA maximum in this innings yet.

17.15 - Nichael Bluth

12 overs 72-3 A filthy over from Ryder, conceding 14 from it. I don’t reckon he’ll get his fourth over.

17.14 - James Knight

I think the IPL could probably do with a close game at some point. Pune are destroying teams so ruthlessly it’s not really a contest.

17.11 - Nichael Bluth

11 overs 58-3 Apparently walking off when you clearly nicked it should qualify you for some sort of fair play award these days. The run rate is reaching Stick Cricket proportions now.

17.08 - Nichael Bluth

10 overs 53-3 David Hussey is the new man. He has something of a job on his hands here.

17.06 - Nichael Bluth

9.4 overs 50-3 Wicket! Ryder’s half-assed medium pacers have done the job here. Mandeep Singh has nicked one and doesn’t even wait for the finger to go up before setting off to the dugout.

17.05 - James Knight

There hasn’t been a run for 24 deliveries in the Test match. They’d still be doing better chasing 165 in 20 overs than this lot.

17.04 - Nichael Bluth

9.1 overs 49-2 Ryder’s first ball doesn’t bounce in the slightest and runs away for four byes. The stumpcam appears to pick up someone saying “Fuck!” quite loudly.

17.03 - Nichael Bluth

The timeout is done and off we go again.

17.01 - Nichael Bluth

The lower-quality resolution of YouTube is probably doing some of the cheerleaders a big favour.

17.01 - James Knight

Pune have even had to overcome the fact that some scoundrel has put concrete in Ganguly’s boots too.

17.00 - Nichael Bluth

9 overs 45-2 Murali Kartik bowls a front-foot no-ball but the resulting free hit is turned away for just a single. There’s a bottom edge for four as well. And a wide. It’s a bit of a cack over really.

The crowd are going mental. They know they’re in the presence of greatness. Time for a strategic timeout!

16.56 - Nichael Bluth

Kings XI just 23 runs worse off at the halfway stage. And that was before Steve Smith started racking up the ITV Maximums.

16.55 - James Knight

8 overs 30-2 They seem to be treating Ryder’s bowling as if it’s Malcolm Marshall at his peak. The required rate is already over 10. Surely SPSD will get a bowl today. Surely.

16.54 - Nichael Bluth

I heard he was swapped for a bag of balls and some tracksuits. But that might have been Tony Cascarino.

16.53 - James Knight

7.3 overs 27-2Pune mocking Kings XI now, Jesse Ryder wobbling in to bowl. In response to fros231, Pune didn’t take part in the auction, they’ve signed all their players since then. No idea how much Smith went for, whatever it was it wasn’t enough.

16.50 - James Knight

7 overs 23-2 Murali ‘tharan’ Kartik on to bowl. This is utterly shambolic from Kings XI. Though one has to respect their attempts to lose all 10 wickets to run outs.

16.50 - Nichael Bluth

Danny Morrison is very confused. He thinks it’s 2010. I bet Amy Winehouse wishes it was.

16.48 - Nichael Bluth

An awkward moment there as a cat-on-keyboard incident briefly closes the browser. Did I miss any more Steve Smith magic?

16.47 - James Knight

6 overs 19-2 Kings XI suddenly realise with a shocked gasp that this is a T20 match and actually hit a boundary in response. The run-rate surges past 3.

16.45 - James Knight

5.3 overs 14-2 Danny Morrison back into the commentary box. He’s immediately started talking about virgins, as if there’s any left in Pune since Steve Smith sauntered into town.

16.44 - Nichael Bluth

Regardless of the standard of bowling, this is some seriously bad chasing.

16.42 - James Knight

5 overs 14-2 Nehra is absolutely Daryl Harper-d out of a plumb LBW shout. But other than that it’s yet another astoundingly good over.

16.41 - James Knight

4.4 overs 12-2 Indian legend Ashish Nehra is storming in now. If this isn’t the worst chase of all time it’s probably in the top three. But Pune’s attack is so fearsome I’m not sure they can be blamed for it. Mumbai ended up 5/3 at the start of theirs the other day.

16.37 - Nichael Bluth

4 overs 11-2 Have Kings XI Punjab given up already?

16.37 - Nichael Bluth

Actually, a yard was a bit too generous. Gilchrist was run out by miles there. Moral of the story: don’t take on Steve Smith. You will lose.

16.36 - James Knight

Steve Smith must be the best fielder in the world. On top of being the most explosive batsman and deceptive bowler that is quite an all-rounder Australia are refusing to pick.

16.35 - Nichael Bluth

3.2 overs 9-2 Wicket! Steve ‘Man Of The Match’ Smith has done it again. They try and pinch a quick single but Smith’s throw is powerful and manly and Gilchrist is run out by a yard.

16.33 - Nichael Bluth

3 overs 9-1 Another spot on over from Dinda and this is looking like it might be over before Smith even gets a chance to bowl.

16.31 - Nichael Bluth

There’s a Volkswagen there with Steve Smith’s name on it.

16.30 - Nichael Bluth

Valthaty is the man out. Good news, because his name was proving difficult to spell. Steve Smith was involved in the run out as well!

16.30 - James Knight

I particularly enjoyed how it took the entire Pune team to actually complete that run out.

16.29 - Nichael Bluth

2.1 overs 7-1 Wicket! There’s a big shout for LBW, looked like a good one to me but the umpire says no. The noise is terrifying and Valthaty panics and runs. He and Gilchrist end up at the same end. But which is actually run out?

16.29 - James Knight

You’re quite welcome to encourage people to ransack other parts of India, but I will not sit idly by and allow you to promote abuse of the poor citizens of Pune.

16.27 - Nichael Bluth

So it’s okay to call the readers lazy gits, but encouraging people to break into houses in Pune and nick stuff is wrong?

16.26 - Nichael Bluth

2 overs 7-0 One loose delivery is smacked through point for four by Gilchrist but other than that it’s another superb over.

16.25 - James Knight

On the subject of Pune heart throbs (read the comments you lazy gits), I can only imagine that SPDS and Luke Wright share an apartment. Their home must be like a who’s who of the beauties of Pune every night.

16.25 - Nichael Bluth

They are taking absolutely forever to start this second over. Marlon Samuels is eventually going to bowl it.

16.23 - Nichael Bluth

1 over 3-0 Great start from Pune, just three runs off the opening over. The run rate is up around infinity already.

16.21 - James Knight

Gilchrist seems to have forgotten to bring his Zimmer Frame out to the crease with him.

16.20 - Nichael Bluth

0.1 overs 1-0 Adam Gilchrist is definitely one of them and he runs the first ball away for a single to third man. Dinda is the bowler.

16.19 - Nichael Bluth

Right, the Kings XI Punjab batsmen are on their way out to the middle. Who are they? No idea – the camera is jigging around like Sabrina’s breasts in 1987.

16.18 - James Knight

When you reach the pearly gates this is going to count against you. All that good work you did making jokes about B*Witched and posting immensely popular pictures of Boglins will go to waste.

16.14 - Nichael Bluth

I’m not encouraging them to do anything. I’m just pointing out that in these tough economic times even thieves need to catch a break sometimes.

16.12 - James Knight

Why are you encouraging people to rob the upstanding citizens of Pune?

16.11 - Nichael Bluth

The innings highlights are on now. If you’ve got kids, you’ve got about 90 seconds to get them in front of the telly before the Steve Smith stuff is on.

16.08 - Nichael Bluth

It might be the camera angle, but it looks like most of the 3,115,431 population of Pune have turned up to watch this game. Probably a great opportunity for thieves from other areas to head into Pune and loot to their hearts’ content.

16.06 - James Knight

They’d never get close to this if Pune had Luke Wright steaming in with the new ball.

16.05 - Nichael Bluth

This is going to take some serious chasing. Just time to get some more gin in before Pune begin the process of skittling whoever it is that they’re playing.

16.04 - Matt Larnach

20 overs 166-6 All over. A disappointing last over, but anything would have paled in comparison to the madness of the preceding one. This total looks like enough to get the unconquered Pune over the line. We will, of course, be covering the second innings in full.

16.02 - Matt Larnach

19.2 overs 166-6 Smith charitably throws away his wicket to let someone else share the fun. A king amongst men, one S. Smith.

16.01 - Matt Larnach

19.1 overs 164-5 another maximum. The crowd is chanting Smith’s name. I presume.

16.00 - Nichael Bluth

It is absolutely raining BBC Maximums here.

15.59 - Matt Larnach

19 overs 158-5 My gob is well and truly smacked. One of the most amazing overs I have ever seen. 26 off it, Singh red carded for bowling beamers, and there is still one over to go. Amazing stuff.

15.59 - James Knight

We worship at the Church of Smith.

15.57 - Nichael Bluth

It gets more amazing!

15.57 - Matt Larnach

18.2 overs 139-5  Amazing scenes as Singh is dragged out of the attack for successive full tosses.

15.54 - Matt Larnach

18.2 overs 132-5 Uthappa gone now. Clean bowled missing a straight one. Is fair to say he may have been watching England bat too much this winter.

15.52 - Matt Larnach

18 overs 131-4 Smith continues to break bats as quickly as he does girl’s hearts. Some big hitting needed now at the death to get them over 150.

15.50 - Matt Larnach

17.2 overs 122-4 Smith breaks his bat, and I drop my gin glass in anger at Morrison referring to him as ‘Smithers’.

15.50 - James Knight

Deonarine’s got out down in Barbados purely to watch Steve Smith bat.

15.49 - Nichael Bluth

Literally everything stops when Steve Smith is at the crease – Arsenal and Man City have stopped playing at the Emirates. Just like that.

Incredible scenes.

15.47 - Matt Larnach

17 overs 122-4 A hushed silence comes over the crowd….

15.47 - James Knight

They’ve got to get Luke Wright into this team. They’d have at least 200 if he was playing.

15.47 - Matt Larnach

16.5 overs 122-4 The cricketing world rises as one as one of its greats walks onto the stage.

15.45 - James Knight

Taking four days to win a game is so last season.

15.45 - Matt Larnach

16.3 overs 121-4 More comedy running here from Pune. And now a wicket as Ferguson’s horror series continues.

15.44 - Nichael Bluth

This is probably the ideal moment to mention that Somerset have beaten Middlesex by six wickets.

15.41 - James Knight

16 overs 121-3 It’s no surprise really that Pune have such a beautiful girl as a fan. The umpire just signalled for a referral. That appears to mean something else entirely here. Everyone’s having a drink.

15.40 - Matt Larnach

I have no idea what the commentator was blathering on about there.

15.38 - Nichael Bluth

The woman being interviewed now has the shiniest forehead I’ve ever seen.

15.38 - James Knight

15.2 overs 116-3 Inexplicably Callum Ferguson has come in ahead of Smith. Mark Butcher is quoting Kipling in the studio. Nearly another run out. Mascarenhas is bowling again. It’s all going off. Oh hello, who’s this girl in the crowd?

15.37 - Matt Larnach

I am both shocked and appalled that the MotM performance by S. Smith last time round did not warrant a promotion up the order.

15.37 - Nichael Bluth

Can I just say that having that massive picture of Luke Wright constantly at the top of the screen is making this into a semi-religious experience?

15.36 - James Knight

15 overs 113-3 WICKET! Samuels goes for a textbook wild slog over mid-wicket and misses completely. Gone for 46(39). One wicket closer to SPD Smith…

15.35 - James Knight

14.4 overs 112-2 Moustached umpire goes upstairs again, for a stumping shout this time. Shastri appears to have made up an ICC law about both bails having to be dislodged. Then Uthappa hammers a UFC over the covers!

15.35 - Nichael Bluth

I once threw a shrimp onto a hot tin roof, just to prove that I could. It didn’t make much noise.

15.33 - Matt Larnach

Gilly making more noise than a shrimp on a hot tin roof. Or something.

15.32 - James Knight

14.1 overs 105-2 Samuels hits a cut so hard down to deep extra that it literally burns a hole through the fielder’s hands and goes for 4.

15.31 - Matt Larnach

Faulkner showing why he is a poor man’s Mitch Marsh at the moment.

15.31 - James Knight

14 overs 101-2 Mysterious Australian no one has ever heard of back into the attack. Presumably not the same person who sent us aforementioned e-mail. Out of boredom Samuels hammers a drive which smacks Uthappa at the other end, who recovers in time to guide a boundary from the final ball.

15.29 - Matt Larnach

I think they need to up the ante here. Plenty of wickets in hand. One of which, of course, is the incomparable S. Smith.

15.28 - Nichael Bluth

No gin-related emails in the inbox so far unfortunately. But we should say thanks to the lady from somewhere in Australia who wrote us a lovely email last week. So, er, thanks for that.

15.26 - James Knight

13 overs 92-2 Fluky over from Harmeet Singh. Gets away without being hit for any SMS’s, Pune must be lulling them into a false sense of security before SPD Smith gets in.

15.26 - Nichael Bluth

This is a rather splendid stadium, to be fair. Pisses all over Weston-Super-Mare.

15.25 - James Knight

12.4 overs 89-2 Some outstanding running on display here. One of the umpires has a triffic moustache too. I think it’s affecting his vision. He’s going upstairs on every run out shout. The latest one referred despite the fact Samuels had run past the sightscreen.

15.23 - Matt Larnach

There is a joke to be made about men with patches on their knees, but I surely wont be the one to make it.

15.22 - Nichael Bluth

12 overs 86-2 Quite a tight over, I think. The YouTube feed went a bit funny for a second there.

15.22 - Nichael Bluth

Has Mascarenhas got geography teacher-esque leather patches on his knees?

15.20 - Matt Larnach

Danny Morrison is surprisingly subdued in the commentary box. I believe he is in awe, as we are, of what is occurring here.

15.20 - Nichael Bluth

Adrian Dimitri Mascarenhas is back into the attack. Attack of course being a very generous description.

15.19 - Nichael Bluth

11 overs 80-2 Nine from that over, all the pieces getting into position before Steve Smith comes out to lead Pune to a glorious score. Probably somewhere around 155.

15.17 - Nichael Bluth

10.1 overs 77-2 Marlon Samuels has just hit a massive DFS Maximum. That’s gone miles back.

15.17 - Matt Larnach

If Pune wins this game, as I think they will, it will be the biggest thing to happen in the city since Rango Bapuji Dhadphale was appointed as its administrator under the Mughal dynasty in 1625.

15.16 - James Knight

It must be nearly time for the Tetley Tea time out. Or have we already had it?

15.15 - Nichael Bluth

9.3 overs 65-2 Robin Uthappa hits his first B&Q maximum, miles over long off.

15.14 - James Knight

Not sure how feasible it is to cover 8 games taking place at the same time on Youtube. When it’s just one T20 that’s fine, but a whole round of Championship games might be difficult. Anyway, that’s enough serious stuff.

15.12 - Matt Larnach

Am off to check the inbox for potential Gin sponsorships.  Pune will be aiming for 150 here.

15.12 - Nichael Bluth

9 overs 58-2 A good first over from Chawla, just five singles from it.

15.11 - Matt Larnach

8.2 overs 55/2 The strategic timeout is sadly lacking in an offical sponsor. We feel that is an opportunity missed there.

15.09 - Nichael Bluth

As a rare serious point, can I just say what a good idea it is to broadcast the whole thing on YouTube. The County Championship could do worse than look at a similar idea.

15.07 - Matt Larnach

8 overs 53/2 The first DLF Maximum for the new Subrata Roy Sahara Stadium. Pune sitting nicely here.

15.05 - James Knight

Why is Marlon Samuels number 730? His ICC ranking?

15.05 - Nichael Bluth

Simon Taufel’s hat is amazing. Looks like the sort of thing Paul Hogan might wear. Although not if he was trying to keep a low profile, perhaps to avoid the taxman.

15.05 - Matt Larnach

7 overs 43/2 Mascarenhas out of the attack. God his name is hard to spell.

15.02 - Nichael Bluth

A leg bye and a wide there. Sundries starting to pick up the pace.

15.02 - Matt Larnach

6.4 overs 40/2 Scoring has slowed up considerably. Someone needs to fall on their sword and get one S. Smith out there.

14.59 - Matt Larnach

6 overs 38/2 Gilchrist is a runaway leader for the Polka Dot Hat for best ‘keepers banter. And the English are complaining about antipodean scoring conventions. Again. Will be whining about ‘extras’ soon.

14.59 - Nichael Bluth

Ignore what Ravi Shastri says – these are ideal conditions for the LBW king, Mark Ealham.

He's only 42 - get him in that massively bloated squad.

14.57 - James Knight

Knew we should never have let an Australian do the main commentary. I thought Pune had lost 36 wickets for a minute. I’m now out of gin.

14.56 - Matt Larnach

5 overs 2/36 Uthappa is the new man at the wicket. Steve Smith is being held in strategic reserve.

14.56 - Nichael Bluth

Thanks to everyone sending in comments so far. We’ll continue to publish the very best.

14.54 - James Knight

Picking Ryder over Luke Wright looks even stupider now than it did half hour ago.

14.53 - Matt Larnach

32/2 4.4 overs Spoke too soon it seems. Ryder has obviously had enough and so runs himself out comically at the non-strikers end.

14.52 - Matt Larnach

4.3 overs 32/1  Ryder is doing his best to run-out Samuels here. Has been sadly unsuccessful so far.

14.52 - Nichael Bluth

First mention of Jesse Owens in the commentary there. Later on they’ll be talking about Mary Bignal-Rand.

14.50 - Matt Larnach

Please forget my comment about the standard of fielding.

14.49 - James Knight

4 overs 28-1 WICKET! Ganguly is deceived by a cunning piece of filth bowling from Mascarenhas, and lobs it straight to Valthaty at mid-off. Ganguly gone for 18(20).

14.48 - Nichael Bluth

I spent about two months of my life talking about the Big Bash being a retirement home but this is ridiculous.

Obviously don’t be reading all those articles now.

14.48 - James Knight

3.5 overs 26-0 In fury at having to actually run a few times, Ryder tries to run Ganguly out. Sourav isn’t particularly pleased. He’s never done that to anyone, he deserves better. Then Ganguly amazingly lobs Chawla at long-on, who wobbles backwards, tumbles over and can’t claim it. You can’t teach that sort of placement.

14.46 - Matt Larnach

Aside from the odd Callum Ferguson brain freeze, the standard of fielding in the IPL this season has been really high.

 

The standard of umpiring less so.

14.46 - James Knight

3.2 overs 23-0 DIMITRI MASCARENHAS IS BOWLING. Did you know he once hit 5 sixes in an over?

14.45 - Nichael Bluth

Obviously we knew it already, but Pune have just proved that they’re better than Durham University.

14.43 - James Knight

3 overs 21-0 Becoming quite concerned Ryder is going to pass out. He’s just had to run a three. Poor bloke looks in bits. Robin Jackman and HD Ackerman are having a weird argument about whether Gilchrist or Ganguly is a better player. Which one of them plays for Pune? Exactly.

14.41 - Matt Larnach

The commentators seem to have mistaken a bunch of over the hill hacks for Titans it would seem.

14.40 - James Knight

2.2 overs 16-0 Huge appeal for LBW, never out in a million years. I’d give 5 penalty runs to Pune for the frivolity of that appeal. Ganguly cunningly sneaks a leg bye. Wonderful batting.

14.38 - James Knight

2 overs 15-0 Commentators are interviewing Dave Hussey on the pitch, he seems to have made up a question to answer initially. Having said hello he was greeted with complete silence, looked a bit confused and just started talking about how good the atmosphere is. Ganguly is refusing to let Ryder bat.

14.37 - Nichael Bluth

Based on the camerawork so far, I don’t reckon we’re the only ones who love gin.

14.37 - Matt Larnach

Am seeing quite a few Steve Smith 49 shirts in the stands today.

 

Sadly no Luke Wright 06 sightings thus far.

14.36 - James Knight

1.1 overs 13-0 Some Australian bloke we’ve never heard of is bowling. Ganguly has mastered the late inside edge past the keeper for four.

14.36 - Nichael Bluth

Decent start this. Building a platform for the later Smithageddon.

14.34 - James Knight

1 over 9-0 The fearsome pace of Praveen Kumar has broken Ganguly’s bat already. In a fit of pure fury he changes it and absolutely marmalises the next ball off his legs for another four to fine leg. Farms the strike with superbly run single off the final ball. Jesse Ryder’s getting mouth to mouth at the non-strikers end.

14.32 - Matt Larnach

I would really like to emphasise the “anyone else” bit. Even Gordon’s.

14.31 - James Knight

0.2 overs, 5-0: Ryder gets Ganguly on strike, who late cuts the second ball past his own stumps through fine leg for four.

14.30 - Nichael Bluth

Before we start, just to clarify that we’re not joking when we go on about gin. So if you work for Diageo or Pernod Ricard (or anyone else) and you want to send us loads of free gin, then please get in touch via the comments, the email or the Twitter. Or write on our Facebook wall. The important thing is that you do get in touch.

14.30 - James Knight

Sourav Ganguly tells us there’s just one change in the Pune team, then proceeds to name two. Ashish Nehra and Jesse Ryder are both starting.

PUNE ARMY: Ganguly, Ryder, Pandey, Uthappa, Ferguson, SMITH, samuels, Kartik, Sharma, Nehra, Dinda

Other guys: Gilchrist (yes, really), Valthaty, Nayar, Dave Hussey, Mascharenhas, Mandeep, Chawla, B Sharma, faulkner, Harmeet Singh, Kumar.

14.23 - James Knight

As if you didn’t already know, Pune are one of just three teams with a 100% record in the tournament so far.

14.16 - James Knight

The Pune Army have won the toss and will bat first.

14.15 - Nichael Bluth

Adam Gilchrist is 40 years old. Steve Smith is 22. He could be doing this IPL malarky for another 20 years or so. Imagine how much money he’ll have!

14.13 - Matt Larnach

Master and Apprentice

 

 

It is so inspiring to think that even into his 80’s, Richie still feels he has a lot to learn.

14.08 - James Knight

Australia are desperately missing Steve in Barbados.

14.06 - James Knight

STEVE SMIFF’S FOR THE PURPLE HAT.

Is the most runs hat the purple one? Or the orange one?

BOTH!

13.53 - Nichael Bluth

I think Pune will win because:

Women love a winner. Fact.

13.51 - Matt Larnach

I THINK PUNE WILL WIN BECAUSE THEY PLAY WITH CRICKET IN THEIR HEARTS

 

Wait. This isnt Cricinfo….

12.29 - Nichael Bluth

Still quite a while before play actually starts. We could have a pretty epic discussion about Atomic Kitten in that time.

19.28 - Matt H

Just to conclude: England won by 5 runs and the series 2-1. We’ll be reviewing the match later (maybe tomorrow, depending on the amount of gin we’ve got in the house) and we’ve got some articles coming later this week that we hope you find interesting.

Thanks for following the match with us – we’re glad our experiment coincided with such an exciting series. See you next time!

19.21 - Nichael Bluth

Right, that’s the end of the T20 series and indeed the tour. Feels like barely a week since England were busy being clueless against the spinners.

19.20 - Matt H

I think Jonny Bairstow deserves a big truckload of credit for that run out, bearing in mind his mistake in the previous over. Broad and Dernbach were outstanding at the end: both went for only 6.00 from their four overs.

Misbah’s 28 from 32 balls with so many wickets in hand was perplexing – though don’t let that distract from the bowlers at the death.

19.16 - Nichael Bluth

Wow. And I mean that. Some superb death bowling from Broad and Dernbach there.

After the meaningless Test series, England win the two series that matter.

19.16 - Matt H

20 overs WICKET! 124-6 Well done Jade Dernbach! He bowls a slow cutter that Misbah swipes at. He misses, the ball takes out middle stump and England win by five runs. That’s exceptional in the last few overs, considering Pakistan had wickets in hand.

19.13 - Matt H

19.5 overs 124-5 Azam can only hit the ball for a single. Six needed to win from the final ball. Misbah facing.

19.12 - Matt H

19.3 overs 122-5 Wide! Not what was needed.

19.4 overs 123-5 A single to mid-wicket. Seven from two balls needed.

19.11 - Nichael Bluth

Fabulous throw from Bairstow and beautifully done by Kieswetter.

19.11 - Matt H

19.3 overs 122-5 Azam knocks Dernbach into the covers for a single. 9 from 3 needed.

19.10 - Matt H

19.2 overs WICKET! 121-5 Afridi hit it out to mid-on and attempted two runs. But superb fielding from Bairstow(!) with a quick sharp throw to Kieswetter. Run Out!

19.08 - Matt H

19.1 overs 120-4 Afridi drives for two down to long off.

19.07 - Matt H

19 overs 117-4 Brilliant from Broad – just those four runs from the over, as Misbah can only play the final delivery back down the pitch. 13 needed from 6 balls. Afridi to face Dernbach.

19.07 - Nichael Bluth

Not Bairstow’s finest moment there.

19.06 - Matt H

18.4 overs 117-4 Misbah pulls Broad – Bairstow is at deep mid-on and somehow misses the ball. It goes for a vital four.

19.04 - Matt H

18.3 overs WICKET! 113-4 Fantastic from Broad – Akmal heaves the ball into the stratosphere, Swann waits an age and takes the catch. And importantly it’s no run. And here’s Afridi…

19.03 - Nichael Bluth

*frantically extends the 51allout commentary rota*

19.03 - Matt H

18.2 overs 113-3 Afridi must be frustrated in the pavilion. Broad starts with two dot balls.

19.02 - Matt H

So am I Nichael!

19.01 - Nichael Bluth

Bumble rather excited by the prospect of the one over eliminator!

19.01 - Matt H

18 overs 113-3 Six runs from the over, including that wide. Good stuff from the buff Dernbach. 18 runs needed from 12 balls – and my heart is pounding.

18.59 - Matt H

17.4 overs 111-3 JD using the slower ball effectively here, Akmal trying every kind of shot to try and score some runs.

18.59 - Nichael Bluth

That might have been a wide but Dernbach was nearly bowling the next delivery before they gave it!

18.58 - Matt H

JD* starts with a slower ball – trying to deceive Akmal who had given him the charge. JD* follows up with a looping bouncer, but it’s given as a wide by the umpires.

 

*Jade Dernbach

18.55 - Matt H

17 overs 107-3  To Finn’s third ball Akmal plays a scoop shot that skews upwards and backwards – and bounces over the rope at third man. He then cuts Finn to point where the fielder makes a great diving and sliding stop. Akmal throws the bat (metaphorically) at Finn’s next ball and takes a single. Misbah plays and misses Finn’s final delivery. A very good over from a Pakistani perspective.

 

18.52 - Matt H

16.2 overs Akmal tries to slog Finn’s first ball. He slices the second ball to extra cover for a couple of runs. He brings the 100 up in the process: 30 needed from 22.

18.51 - Matt H

Finn, Broad and Dernbach (2) to bowl the final overs, probably.

18.51 - Nichael Bluth

16 overs 98-3 32 needed from the last four overs. And Matt will take us through it. Good luck!

18.50 - Nichael Bluth

96-3 15.4 overs MISSED RUN OUT! A horrible mess there – Kieswetter did well to get the ball back to Broad but the captain missed the stumps with the ball in his hand. A life for Umar Akmal.

18.48 - Nichael Bluth

15.2 overs 95-3 Big LBW appeal from Broad but given not out and Pakistan steal a precious single.

18.46 - Nichael Bluth

15 overs 94-3 Easy singles see Pakistan through Samit’s spell. The big man finishes with 0/18 and it’s time for the seamers to come back into play.

18.45 - Matt H

Good composure from Pakistan here – those seven wickets in hand are key.

 

18.44 - Nichael Bluth

14.1 overs 89-3 Samit’s last over starts badly, Misbah smashing him through backward point for a boundary. Only Pakistan’s fifth four of the innings.

18.42 - Nichael Bluth

14 overs 85-3 Swann’s final over goes for just six and the run-rate continues to creep up. Pakistan still have wickets in hand though.

18.40 - Nichael Bluth

13 overs 79-3 Patel continues to keep it very tight, an excellent spell here, although hopefully not enough to get him into the Test squad announced tomorrow.

18.38 - Nichael Bluth

Shafiq gone for 33 from 32 balls, a very sensible innings ended by some distinctly unsensible running. Umar Akmal the new batsman.

18.36 - Nichael Bluth

12.1 overs 76-3 RUN OUT! Patel’s first delivery is worked out into the legside and Shafiq is run out by Buttler coming back for an optimistic second.

18.35 - Matt H

12 overs 75-2 Swann drying the ball on his flannelette now, evidence of some dew on the ground. Apart from the wide, which was perilously close to the leg stump, the batsmen were untroubled in that over.

18.33 - Nichael Bluth

Pakistan looking to be quite conservative against the spinners, just waiting for Finn et al to return.

18.33 - Matt H

11.3 overs 72-2 The first ball is a wide – just. The batsmen then take three singles from Swann, keeping the scoreboard moving along.

18.31 - Matt H

11 overs 68-2 Possibly worth chucking the ball to Pietersen or Bopara? The quicker bowlers have been relatively expensive here.

18.29 - Matt H

10.4 overs 66-2 Shafiq straight drives Broad for a smashing four. Followed up by an inside edge for another four to fine leg.

18.28 - Nichael Bluth

Bob Wills reflects on Misbah-ul-Haq's reverse sweep.

18.28 - Matt H

Broad back into the attack.

18.26 - Matt H

10 overs 57-2 Misbah almost caught at deep mid-on but the ball fell just short of the sprawling Buttler. England fighting back.

18.24 - Matt H

9.1 overs 52-2 Misbah with the one of the worst reverse sweeps I’ve seen at any level of the game.

18.23 - Matt H

9 overs 52-2 Three singles and three dot balls in the over; Patel exerting some welcome control here.

18.20 - Nichael Bluth

8 overs 49-2 Mishbah is the new batsman and he’s off the mark with a single. But just two from the over and England fighting back here.

18.18 - Nichael Bluth

7.2 overs 48-2 Wicket! Swann gets one to turn sharply, hits Zia in front. The bowler screams for a good ten seconds before the finger finally goes up. Game on.

18.16 - Nichael Bluth

England’s key man Luke Wright Graeme Swann into the attack.

18.15 - Nichael Bluth

7 overs 47-1 Good start from Samit, just two from the over. Zia is becalmed for the moment.

18.14 - Matt H

The spinners are our only hope.

18.12 - Nichael Bluth

6 overs 45-1 Five from the over, some more good fielding from Finn on the edge of the circle saving a couple of runs. England don’t look like taking a wicket at the moment. Can Samit change that?

18.08 - Nichael Bluth

Broad into the attack.

18.08 - Nichael Bluth

5 overs 40-1 Pakistan looking comfortable here. Good fielding at third man saves two runs after a nice late cut from Shafiq.

18.06 - Nichael Bluth

4.4 overs 36-1 The rarely sighted Finn slower ball makes an appearance, not picked by Zia who swings and misses.

18.05 - Matt H

England desperately need a wicket here.

 

18.04 - Nichael Bluth

4.2 overs 35-1 A beauty from Finn is nicked by Shafiq and flies out of Kieswetter’s reach and away for four.

18.03 - James Knight

4 overs 30-1 Then follows it up with a horrible swing across the line… Single from the final ball. Pakistan are just ahead at this stage.

18.02 - Nichael Bluth

Pakistan will definitely be the happier team at this point.

18.02 - James Knight

3.4 overs 29-1 Zia is playing properly! He picks yet another slower ball and hits it over cover for a boundary.

18.01 - James Knight

3.3 overs 25-1 Poor fielding off the first ball to give away an overthrow, but Finn redeems the team by making an excellent diving stop at fine leg immediately after to prevent four.

17.59 - James Knight

3 overs 22-1 Finn recovers well to concede just four from the rest of the over.

17.56 - Nichael Bluth

Looks like Pakistan might be planning to smash their way to victory here.

17.55 - James Knight

2.1 overs 18-1 Finn bowls Zia a full ball on off-stump, which the Pakistani batters over cover for six. Incredible hit.

17.54 - James Knight

2 overs 12-1 An excellent start from Dernbach, who completes the over with his surprise slower ball. Just four from it.

17.53 - Matt H

According to Sky, “Hafeez has been out every possible way this series.” I guess I missed him obstruct the fielder then?

17.52 - Nichael Bluth

I think Dernbach’s first 12 months of international cricket was all an elaborate bluff and he’s now taking wickets through his complete lack of variety.

17.52 - James Knight

1.1 overs WICKET! 8-1 Momo Hafeez c&b Dernbach 0(1) Hafeez’s batting has deteriorated gradually all tour. He goes out in a blaze of glory, whacking one back at Jade, who takes a smart catch.

17.48 - James Knight

1 over 8-0 Another block is followed by a well placed drive for a couple. Good start.

17.47 - Nichael Bluth

Doesn’t look to be too much in this pitch for Finn first up.

17.46 - James Knight

0.4 overs 6-0 The first boundary of the innings comes via Zia’s pads, a poor ball flicks off them to fine leg.

17.46 - James Knight

0.3 overs 2-0 Zia flashes the first ball to the point boundary, where Buttler scrambles his way to stopping the four. Follows it up with a couple of blocks. This guy must be an imposter.

17.43 - James Knight

Smart money’s on that.

17.43 - Nichael Bluth

Awais Zia to play himself in gradually on this difficult pitch?

17.42 - James Knight

Zia and Hafeez to open. Finn with the ball for England.

17.40 - James Knight

I think this is gonna be a really tough chase. Definitely would rather have runs on the board here.

17.39 - Nichael Bluth

Not long between innings here, barely time to top up a glass of gin. We wait to see how England’s seamers will get on on this pitch.

17.34 - Nichael Bluth

Competitive score that, I reckon.

17.33 - Steve Grant

Pakistan require 130 to win

17.32 - Steve Grant

20 overs 129-6: A massive six over midwicket from Pietersen off the final ball – definite question about whether that was over waist-height but no no-ball signalled by the umpire. KP ends unbeaten on 62, Kieswetter and Patel were the only other two to do anything of note. 130 won’t be an easy chase for Pakistan on this wicket.

17.27 - Steve Grant

19 overs 118-6: Four uneventful singles, a massive wide, a dot and then Pietersen punishes Gul for that wide by slapping the extra delivery through mid-wicket for a much-needed boundary. Cheema to bowl the last over.

17.22 - Steve Grant

18.1 overs 110-6: FIFTY FOR PIETERSEN! A slightly scuffed effort down the ground for an easy single brings up an excellent fifty for KP.

17.21 - Steve Grant

18 overs 109-6: Broad defends the last ball of that over, and finally the torment of Saeed Ajmal is over for this tour, ends with outstanding figures of 4-23.

17.20 - Steve Grant

17.5 overs 109-6: WICKET! Samit Patel st Akmal b Ajmal 16 (10). An impressive cameo from Patel comes to an end as he dances down the wicket to Ajmal but doesn’t get to the pitch of the ball and is well out of his ground when Akmal whips the bails off. In comes the skipper.

17.20 - James Knight

Now for the ‘England bat deep with Broad and Swann’ despite them never having done anything of any relevance in any one day game ever.

17.18 - Steve Grant

17.3 overs 109-5: Patel’s motoring here, gets a nicely-played two and then whacks a six high back over Ajmal’s head and then a Chinese cut for another boundary.

17.18 - Nichael Bluth

Speaking of the Luke Wright role, we should probably take this moment to offer our condolonces to Steve Smith after he narrowly failed to win the 2012 Allan Border medal. We’re backing him for 2013.

17.16 - James Knight

The Azam thing is odd. The Pakistani fans have been raving about him as an all-rounder. At the moment he’s excelling in the Luke Wright role.

17.16 - Steve Grant

17 overs 97-5: KP and Patel trade singles off the last couple of balls. Three overs to go, 130 looks a decent score right now

17.14 - Steve Grant

16.3 overs 93-5: Patel is off the mark with a nicely-placed two, and then gets a single down the ground. Nasser breaks out the sarcasm as the fielder throws at the stumps for no reason at all.

17.11 - Steve Grant

It’s a worrying revelation that England’s saviour might be the rare profligacy of Umar Gul. Or I might have just jinxed him into a hat-trick

17.11 - Nichael Bluth

Again, Azam the so-called all-rounder hasn’t been given a bowl. Is he just a specialist number 8?

17.11 - James Knight

16 overs 89-5 Brilliant over. 3/11 from his 3 overs so far. England have got stuck.

17.10 - James Knight

15.4 overs 89-5 WICKET! Jos Buttler LBW Ajmal 7(13) Couple of singles before Buttler plays an utterly horrendous shot, falls over trying to sweep. Difficult to tell whether it was actually out, that was really just a swirl of bat, legs, body and all sorts. His international career hasn’t exactly flown out the blocks. Unlike big Samit, who’s positively stormed to the crease.

17.06 - James Knight

15 overs 87-4 Buttler’s really struggling. The final ball of the over is miscued just short of mid-off. Slightly better over for England purely because of the comedy wide.

17.03 - Nichael Bluth

One of the great wides.

17.02 - James Knight

14.1 overs 83-4 And then a not very harsh wide call… A Johnson-esque delivery flies past the keeper for five wides.

17.01 - James Knight

14.1 overs 78-4 Gul returns. He’s got KP hopping all over the place. One jags back and hits him within inches of the unmentionables, followed by a very harsh wide call.

17.01 - Nichael Bluth

KP takes one in his ‘men’s area’. The one that wasn’t good enough for Hear’Say won’t like that.

16.59 - James Knight

That’s the end of Afridi’s spell. 0/19 from his four overs.

16.59 - James Knight

14 overs 77-4 Getting the impression that this might be the perfect pitch for this Pakistan attack. England are really struggling to get anything on the spinners. Buttler looks all over the place, and you feel it’s really all on KP here.

16.56 - James Knight

13 overs 75-4 Buttler off the mark with a guide to third man. Nick Knight goes to great lengths to explain the concept of ‘a decider’ to the nation.

16.55 - Nichael Bluth

Just to clarify: ‘Jonny Bairstow’ replaced by ‘Jos Buttler’

16.54 - James Knight

12.2 overs 72-4: WICKET! Jonny Bairstow b Ajmal 3(8) Ajmal back into the attack, and gets a wicket second ball! Bairstow performs the cardinal sin of going back to the spinner, and the ball crashes into his stumps. JB the second of Somerset is next in.

16.51 - Nichael Bluth

72-3 12 overs KP gets a streaky bottom edge that runs away for four and chips the next ball out towards the cover boundary for two more. He nearly follows it with a suicide single but is back in time.

16.48 - Nichael Bluth

11 overs 65-3 Hafeez is finished for the day, final figures of 0/22 from his four overs. Afridi to continue.

16.46 - Nichael Bluth

10.2 overs 62-3 Full toss, looks very straight to me but Pietersen gets away with it. Umar Akmal screaming like Rob Zombie behind the stumps.

16.45 - James Knight

KP did him like a kipper there. That was Shah-esque.

16.45 - Nichael Bluth

10 overs 62-3 Jonny Bairstow is the new man in, as England decide to not risk any more run outs for a ball or two.

16.43 - Nichael Bluth

9.4 overs 62-3 RUN OUT! Morgan’s horror tour continues. KP came down the pitch to the ball before and chipped it for four. He came down to this one, chipped it towards mid off and gave it the old ‘yes! no!’. Morgan dives but can’t get back in time.

16.43 - James Knight

Oops.

16.40 - Nichael Bluth

9 overs 56-2 Morgan manages to get some bat on ball and scampers down to the other end.

16.40 - Nichael Bluth

8.4 overs 54-2 MISSED STUMPING! Umar Akmal reverts to type, missing a simple stumping after Hafeez skidded one past Eoin Morgan. The batsman had given up and yet still had time to stroll back to his crease.

16.38 - Nichael Bluth

8.1 overs 53-2 Morgan looks all at sea here but Pakistan gift him an overthrow and KP gets back on strike.

16.38 - Steve Grant

8 overs 52-2: MISSED CHANCE! Morgan completely misreads Afridi’s last delivery and lobs it up in the air, mid-off running in doesn’t even attempt a catch diving forwards and the ball drops ultimately harmlessly.

16.35 - Steve Grant

7.2 overs 49-2: Two rank deliveries by Afridi to start with, but KP blasts both of them at mid-off and can only get a single off the second one as the fielder nurses a sore shin.

16.34 - Steve Grant

Afridi into the attack, the low-skidding surface could work in his favour.

16.34 - Nichael Bluth

I read (on some lower quality cricket website) that Morgan hasn’t passed 31 in 16 innings all tour. Pretty dismal stuff, really.

16.34 - Steve Grant

7 overs 48-2: Morgan places one into the massive space at midwicket and easily gets two.

16.34 - James Knight

“Time for Morgan to get some” Tee hee. Good looking man, to be fair, I wouldn’t have thought he’d struggle.

16.33 - Steve Grant

Pakistan have created a new role according to the big screen, the Foreign Minsiter. All hail the Minsiter!

16.32 - Steve Grant

6.1 overs 43-2: KP shows he’s in great touch as he swipes it to the deep midwicket boundary off Hafeez, perfectly placed for 4

16.31 - Steve Grant

6 overs 39-2: Pietersen keeps the strike with a single down to third-man and that ends the powerplay. Fewer runs in the first six for England compared to the first two games, but it’s a different ground and it looks much harder to get the ball away here. Probably par, I’d say.

16.29 - Steve Grant

Hi-5 fail by Akmal though

16.28 - Steve Grant

5.4 overs 37-2: WICKET! Ravi Bopara c Umak Akmal b Cheema 1 (2). Ravi Bopara’s brief stay is over, Cheema pitches it up inviting a drive, gets the edge of Bopara’s blade and Akmal dives to his right to take a good catch. Credit where it’s due, the not-quite-as-rubbish brother has done well there. In comes Morgan.

16.27 - James Knight

That doesn’t sound like Pietersen.

16.27 - Nichael Bluth

Pietersen batting here as if he’s been on the Red Bull before the match. Don’t think he’s stood still for a second.

16.26 - Steve Grant

5.2 overs 36-1: Another frighteningly-easy single as Bopara drops the ball at his feet, Pietersen gets in before a fielder’s within 5 yards.

16.24 - Steve Grant

5 overs 34-1: KP succeeds where Kieswetter fails and finds the gap on the midwicket boundary for 4 and then sneaks a single off the final ball of the over. Pakistan’s fielding in the circle has been slack so far to say the least, allowing lots of quick singles.

16.22 - James Knight

Aamer Sohail doesn’t half come across as a whiny bastard all the time.

16.22 - Steve Grant

4.3 overs 29-1: WICKET! Craig Kieswetter c Malik b Ajmal 17 (17). Kieswetter launches one high over mid-wicket but Malik runs round from a wide long-on position to take a great catch low down about 2 yards inside the boundary. Bopara the next man in.

16.20 - Steve Grant

Both batsmen struggling to get the ball in the middle of the bat off the seamers, so probably convenient that Saeed Ajmal is now into the attack

16.19 - James Knight

4 overs 28-0 England are swinging hard but not connecting for the most part. The intent is there, the execution is not. They can only manage singles from the latest Cheema over.

16.17 - Nichael Bluth

That delay was ridiculous. Were they waiting for a private party to finish?

16.16 - James Knight

3.1 overs 24-0 After an inexplicable delay, the fourth over finally gets underway. England play tip and run, and CK almost runs himself out.

16.13 - James Knight

I’d like to think England just carry the T20 World Cup around with them at all times.

16.12 - James Knight

3 overs 23-0 Misbah following the ball a bit in the field. Gul completes the over with three excellent delivers that CK can’t get away.

16.12 - Nichael Bluth

Kieswetter wants to be careful in case he hits that trophy that someone seems to have just left on the side of the pitch.

16.10 - James Knight

2.3 overs 23-0 Ha. Somehow I’ve counter jinxed him. CK launches Gul back over his head for six. Brilliant hit.

16.10 - James Knight

2.2 overs 17-0 Did that time. Similar hack across the line, but with a bit more muscle. This one disappears to the mid-wicket boundary.

16.09 - James Knight

2.1 overs 13-0 Gul into the attack. CK hacks the first ball away for a couple. Ball’s not coming onto the bat very well.

16.07 - James Knight

2 overs 11-0 England have gone after the second seamer all tour. Not sure Kieswetter got the memo. He’s struggling to hit it off the square. Just four from that over.

16.06 - Nichael Bluth

Sluggish start this.

16.03 - James Knight

1 over 7-0 KP eases another single, CK walks down, swats at one, misses and it’s a dot ball. Cheema on at the other end.

16.02 - James Knight

0.4 overs 6-0 KP hits the first boundary of the game with a powerful sweep to square leg.

16.01 - James Knight

0.2 overs 2-0 KP off the mark straight away, then Kieswetter pads one away to fine leg and is given the leg bye. Momo is not a happy chappy.

15.59 - James Knight

Kieswetter and KP to open, Momo Hafeez has the new ball in hand.

15.55 - Nichael Bluth

So after all the hoo-ha around Bresnan’s elbow he’ll finish up having bowled just nine overs in the tour.

15.55 - James Knight

Apparently, the previous 4 T20 internationals on this ground have been won by the team batting second. We may as well all go home.

15.52 - James Knight

Way to ruin everybody’s fun. JB(i) and JB(ii) were easily distinguishable from each other.

15.51 - Nichael Bluth

To avoid some of the issues of the previous game, we’re going to use the following system to distinguish players:

Jonny Bairstow will be known as  ‘Jonny Bairstow’

Jos Buttler will be  ‘Jos Buttler’

15.48 - James Knight

As for team news; there isn’t any. Both sides go with the same XI’s as Sat’dee.

15.45 - James Knight

Sky are waxing lyrical about Jonny Bairstow, so everyone put your house on him getting a golden duck today.

15.38 - James Knight

Alex Hales must be a combination of extremely confused and very angry. Drag him half way round the world as the only player only in the T20 squad then don’t pick him at all?

15.33 - Steve Grant

England win the toss and will bat first

19.26 - Nichael Bluth

We’ll be back to tweeting tomorrow with Australia taking on India in the Commonwealth Bank ODI series. We should also have a review of today’s game.

And of course, we’ll (probably) be live blogging the decisive game of this series on Monday so hopefully we’ll see you then.

Cheers!

19.20 - Nichael Bluth

Well there we are. Good stuff from England which means there won’t be a third whitewash of the tour. We hope you enjoyed following the live blog as much as we’ve enjoyed doing it.

 

19.16 - Nichael Bluth

18.2 overs Wicket! 112 all out Afridi goes for it, slices it straight up in the air and Morgan takes a comfortable catch. England win by 38 runs, an excellent performance in the field after a decent effort with the bat.

19.14 - Matt H

Bumble being a bit risque here!

19.14 - Nichael Bluth

Broad to bowl the penultimate over.

19.13 - Nichael Bluth

18 overs 112-9 Needing more than 13 an over, Pakistan just manage a single from Dernbach’s over. Afridi turns down an easy single from the second ball but takes it from the third and Cheema can only block out the over.

19.10 - Nichael Bluth

Dernbach to try and finish it off now. Afridi on strike, still needing 40 from just 18 balls.

19.09 - Nichael Bluth

17 overs Wicket! 111-9 Ajmal is run out without facing, trying to scamper a single but Finn is too quick. Just to rub salt into the wound he also gets pushed to the floor.

Time for the fat lady to start doing her vocal exercises.

19.06 - Nichael Bluth

16.4 overs Wicket! 111-8 Gul has another heave and only succeeds in getting a massive top edge. Kieswetter wanders over towards square leg and safely takes the catch.

19.05 - Matt H

A topical simile there.

19.05 - Nichael Bluth

16.3 overs 111-7 Umar Gul starts in emphatic fashion, with a four and a six. Bit of a discussion going on between Finn and his captain.

19.03 - Nichael Bluth

16.1 overs 101-7 Afridi goes after the first ball but doesn’t get it anywhere near the middle. Samit keeps it to a single with the dive, despite displaying all the grace of Robert Maxwell going for a quick dip.

19.02 - Nichael Bluth

Into the home straight now. Finn on to bowl and Afridi on strike.

19.02 - Matt H

16 overs 100-7 Bopara with a good over – a wicket and only a couple of runs conceded…but then a no ball from the final delivery. His front foot was close to the line for the wicket as well. Umar Gul misses the free hit. That’s me done for now, back to Nichael for the final overs.

18.59 - Nichael Bluth

Wonderful catch that.

18.58 - Matt H

15.3 overs WICKET! 98-7 Hammad Azam hits Bopara high into the night sky. Buttler was out on the boundary and took it remarkably well. A welcome wicket, because Azam was showing how well he can play. Why is he batting at 8?

18.56 - Matt H

Pakistan seem to be taking singles in the circumstances where England were able to take two, e.g.: a knock to long-on.

18.56 - Nichael Bluth

Can we say bum on the blog? I hope so.

18.55 - Nichael Bluth

Not quite squeaky bum time but England would definitely like one more wicket just to finish this off.

18.54 - Matt H

15 overs 97-6 Azam continues to counter-attack, hitting Broad for four through mid-wicket and then four over extra-cover. But four dot balls means Pakistan still way below the required rate.

18.51 - Matt H

Though Patel or Bopara will need to bowl one as well…

18.50 - Matt H

14 overs 89-6 Six overs to go, no doubt to be shared between Finn, Broad and Dernbach.

18.49 - Matt H

13.4 overs SIX! Proverbial egg on my face. Azam hits Bopara for a four through the covers and then six over mid off.

18.49 - Nichael Bluth

I think the technical term is a specialist fielder.

18.46 - Matt H

13 overs 78-6 Hammad Azam is batting now. To be frank, I had no idea he was playing – batting at No. 8 and not bowling. #LukeWrightrole

18.44 - Matt H

12.2 overs DROPPED! Harsh to describe it as such, but it was a smashed drive from Afridi that Swann couldn’t hold on to.

18.42 - Matt H

12.1 overs WICKET! 74-6 Misbah tries to hit out, but can only find that man Jonny Bairstow at deep mid-wicket. Swann strikes. 13 from 24 balls for the Pakistani captain tells the story.

18.41 - Nichael Bluth

12 overs 74-5 Afridi finds another boundary on the legside and then hits just over extra cover for four. And suddenly Pakistan are actually moving in the right direction. 17 from the over, not been one of Samit’s better days.

18.40 - Nichael Bluth

11.3 overs 65-5 Patel into the attack. Misbah takes a single before Afridi slams the next ball into the top tier. He follows up with another slog that dribbles away for a single.

18.38 - Matt H

I feel it needs to be this over if Pakistan are going to try and chase this down.

18.37 - Nichael Bluth

11 overs 57-5 Misbah plays out three dot balls and then gets a leg bye from a rubbish attempt at a reverse sweep. Swann in total control out there. 94 needed from 54 balls.

18.35 - Nichael Bluth

10.2 overs 56-5 Afridi has to go after Swann here and he starts with a two on the legside. He follows that with a single.

18.34 - Nichael Bluth

10 overs 53-5 Two singles to finish the over. Pakistan need 98 from the last ten overs.

18.33 - Nichael Bluth

9.4 overs 51-5 Broad starts with four dot balls. Pakistan have completely ground to a halt here, like David O’Leary’s management career.

18.32 - Matt H

As do I!

18.31 - Nichael Bluth

Bopara out of the attack, Broad back in. He probably thinks he can win this with one more quick wicket. I agree!

18.30 - Nichael Bluth

9 overs 51-5 Misbah takes a single but Pakistan have got themselves into a real mess here.

18.29 - Nichael Bluth

Boom Boom time. All or nothing for Pakistan here I reckon.

18.29 - Matt H

Now that was a nice golf shot from Malik. A gentle pitch on to the green.

18.28 - Nichael Bluth

8.4 overs Wicket! 50-5 Fifty up but Shoaib Malik celebrates by just looping the ball gently out to Jonny Bairstow. A simple catch and Pakistan are staring down the barrel here.

18.25 - Matt H

8 overs 46-4 Misbah thwacks Bopara for four through mid wicket from the final ball of the over; otherwise Bopara had shown some control there with his slower balls.

18.24 - Nichael Bluth

England are blatantly trying to sneak through a couple of overs here. Pakistan seem content to let them, which is going to send the run rate through the roof.

18.23 - Matt H

7.2 overs 42-4 Bopara concedes a couple of twos from his first two balls, good fielding on the boundary rope by Finn though.

18.21 - Matt H

7 overs 37-4 Swann starts with two dot balls, then Misbah-ul-Haq sweeps him for a single. Three more singles from the final three deliveries: Pakistan need 114 runs from 78 balls.

18.18 - Matt H

6 overs 33-4 The Powerplay has finished and England are on top. Swann comes on to bowl.

18.17 - Nichael Bluth

No comment.

18.16 - Matt H

5.5 overs WICKET! 34-4  Zia finally connects with one but can only hoick it to mid-off where Dernbach takes the catch. Awais, look on the bright side of life.

18.15 - Nichael Bluth

I played golf once. Wasn’t a pretty sight.

18.14 - Matt H

5.3 overs 32-3 Here’s StuBro. First ball straight and nurdled into the on side by Malik. Zia then faces his eighth and ninth dot balls. Swing and miss. Swing and miss. Much like when I play golf.

18.13 - Nichael Bluth

Bizarre innings from Zia here. He doesn’t seem to have even thought about taking a single, just trying to whack every ball.

18.11 - Matt H

5 overs 31-3 Shoaib Malik in at No. 5- he took a solitary single from his third ball. Incidentally Akmal scored 19 from 12 balls.

18.10 - Nichael Bluth

If I was Stuart Broad I’d bowl Finn through here and see if he can get one more wicket.

18.09 - Nichael Bluth

Huge wicket there. Akmal was looking in great nick.

18.07 - Matt H

4.2 overs WICKET! 30-3 It’s all happening! Akmal blugeoned Finn into the off-side, but Morgan jumps and takes a fantastic catch, pure instinct.

18.06 - Matt H

4.1 overs SIX! 30-2 Akmal lofts Finn high over long-on.

18.05 - Nichael Bluth

4 overs 24-2 Akmal makes the most of the drop, finding the boundary and taking a very sensible single. Zia tries to thrash his next ball into the crowd but fails. Another wide and a dot complete the over. Zia has still only played one scoring stroke!

18.01 - Matt H

Akmal and Zia aren’t going to die wondering are they.

18.01 - Nichael Bluth

3.2 overs 18-2 Jos Buttler shells one at short midwicket. Think he’s done himself some damage – he’s straight off the field and Jimmy is on. Just not happening for Buttler in his international career so far.

17.59 - Nichael Bluth

3 overs 18-2 Umar Akmal finds a much-needed boundary, whipping Finn away to the legside. He follows it up with a single to third man. Zia then has a wild swipe to no avail, blocks one and then finally gets off the mark with a massive six over long on.

17.55 - Nichael Bluth

2 overs 7-2 Three wides in the over but a successful one for Dernbach. Pakistan just haven’t got started yet.

17.51 - Nichael Bluth

Apparently Umar Akmal (the new batsman) ‘doesn’t deserve lipstick’. Make of that what you will…

17.50 - Nichael Bluth

1.2 overs Wicket! 2-2 Shafiq slams the ball back at Dernbach and he clings on. England right on top here.

17.49 - Nichael Bluth

1.1 overs 1-1 Dernbach to share the new ball. He starts with a big LBW appeal, just going down leg.

17.48 - Matt H

1-1 or 1-1?

 

17.47 - Nichael Bluth

1 over 1-1 Great start from Finn, bang on the money and the new batsman Shafiq manages just a single.

17.44 - Nichael Bluth

0.2 overs Wicket! 0-1 Straightforward edge to KP at slip and Hafeez is gone. Not a bad start at all.

17.43 - Nichael Bluth

0.1 overs 0-0 Nearly a run-out from the first ball with the non-striker still thinking about those cheerleaders.

17.42 - Nichael Bluth

Just need to clear some cheerleaders off the pitch and Pakistan can start their innings. Hafeez and Zia to open. Steve Finn the man with the ball in his hand.

17.34 - Nichael Bluth

Right, just time between the innings to top your glasses up. Can Pakistan chase down 151? Let us know what you think…

17.32 - Nichael Bluth

150 is definitely a competitive total. I think they would have liked 160 though…

17.31 - James Knight

Really top class innings that. I thought he spliced that six, didn’t even get all of it and still put it in the stands. I think this is comfortably enough…

17.31 - Matt H

20 overs 150-7 A single of the final ball and England reach a total that is probably higher than anticipated. Bairstow with a brilliant innings – 60 from 46 balls.

17.30 - Matt H

19.5 overs SIX! Bairstow despatches Gul into the Cheerleaders’ podium.

17.29 - Matt H

19.4 overs A quicker full length ball goes through to the ‘keeper. Dot ball.

17.29 - Nichael Bluth

Very good innings from Bairstow here. Can we give him the gloves as well please?

17.28 - Matt H

19.3 overs 143-7 Bairstow slogs ungainly for two to deep mid off.

17.27 - Matt H

19.2 overs 141-7 Bairstow squirts the ball for an excellent two – bringing up his 50 in the process

17.27 - Matt H

19.1 overs 139-7 Swann with a rapid single

17.26 - Matt H

19 overs 138-7 A very fine over that concedes six runs. Importantly for Pakistan, Swann took a single from the final ball of the over and will be facing Umar Gul. Bairstow needs the strike.

17.25 - Matt H

18.4 overs WICKET! 137-7 Cheema bowls a slower ball that Broad aims to hit into the Persian Gulf. The timbers fall and Broad is out for 2. Enter Swann, who was garbage with the bat the other night.

17.23 - James Knight

Broad and Swann are such awful one day batsmen.

17.22 - Matt H

18.2 overs Good running by England here – Bairstow takes two from the first ball of Cheema’s over. He follows it with a single to mid-off.

17.21 - Nichael Bluth

England’s running between the wickets has been very good tonight.

17.20 - Matt H

18 overs WICKET! 132-6 Buttler attempts a scoop shot to the final ball of the over. Well he tried, but he failed – clean bowled for 7.

17.18 - Matt H

17.5 overs Gul doing very well here, a couple of yorkers that England just can’t get away. Bairstow drives the fifth ball into the deep for a single.

17.18 - James Knight

England are going to massively go after the 19th over. Probably don’t back themselves to get many from Gul.

17.16 - Matt H

Ajmal’s figures: 4 overs, 1/20

17.15 - James Knight

Bloody Australians.

17.15 - Matt H

17 overs 129-5 Three runs from the first four balls, two of which were leg byes. Ajmal keeping it relatively tight here. But England will be pleased there were no wickets.

17.14 - Nichael Bluth

Just to repeat it one last time: not the first time Samit’s had issues with coming back for seconds.

17.13 - James Knight

Just keep using the same joke. Like a fine wine it’ll just keep getting better with age.

17.12 - Nichael Bluth

For those not following the Twitter – not the first time Samit’s had issues with coming back for seconds.

17.12 - James Knight

16 overs 124-5 Buttler and Bairstow exchange singles before the former places an excellent swat through the covers. Four overs to go, they’re well set here…

17.10 - Nichael Bluth

Buttler time. Hold on to your gin glasses people.

17.09 - James Knight

It was to square leg, not point, but that’s irrelevant. JB(ii) in. This definitely won’t get confusing.

17.09 - James Knight

15.2 overs WICKET! 118-5 Samit’s glorious innings comes to an end as he’s run out trying to run a second to the point boundary. Excellent fielding to hit the stumps direct, but Big Sam really should’ve got the dive out there. Really so that we got a quick giggle.

17.06 - James Knight

15.1 overs 117-4 Gul’s back. First ball hits JB(i) on the pads about 6 yards wide of the leg stump, the bowler leaps up like a mighty salmon in appeal. Probably just missing Umar, sorry.

17.06 - Nichael Bluth

A poor man’s Gareth Batty?

 

The cool calm demeanour of a man who knows where the next ball is going

17.05 - Matt H

“A poor man’s Gareth Batty” – aka James Tredwell?

17.05 - James Knight

15 overs 116-4 Patel follows JB(i)’s lead with a cunning guide to the third man boundary. Another good over for England. Making Ajmal look like a poor man’s Gareth Batty here.

17.04 - Nichael Bluth

I waited until I’d finished my commentary spell and went back and fixed all the errors.

17.03 - James Knight

And no, I don’t know why I pretended there was no wickets down last over either.

17.03 - Nichael Bluth

I reckon 142-7.

17.03 - James Knight

14.2 overs 111-4 I was saying…? Bairstow dances down to hit Ajmal wide of long-off. I think England will get 150 from here.

17.01 - Matt H

I reckon 141-7

17.01 - James Knight

14 overs 106-0 The Ginger One looks much more comfortable against Afridi than Ajmal. Patel looks comfortable against nobody. He’s batting for the draw.

17.01 - Nichael Bluth

What score do we reckon then chaps?

16.59 - James Knight

13.3 overs 104-0 There is that century. Before Afridi drops short and Bairstow pulls him through cow corner for a boundary.

16.58 - James Knight

13 overs 99-4 Ajmal back into the attack. Not sure these two have that much of a clue against him. Three singles before a thickish inside edge from Bairstow brings a couple. Just five from it. England baring down on 100 like an angry bull.

16.57 - Nichael Bluth

One more thing – chocolate oranges are available from Rawlinsons.

16.55 - Nichael Bluth

12 overs 94-4 Just five from the over, excellent stuff from Cheema apart from two wides. Time for another quick reshuffle in the commentary box.

16.51 - Nichael Bluth

11.3 overs 90-4 Just a single from the first three balls of the over.

16.49 - Nichael Bluth

11 overs 89-4 England get ten off the over thanks to a wonderfully straight drive for four from Bairstow. Cheema coming back into the attack…

16.46 - James Knight

Samit’s innings already far superior to Thursday. Good to know he does something fast.

16.45 - Nichael Bluth

10 overs 79-4 Samit is the next man in. Presumably trying to save Buttler for an over or two.

16.44 - Nichael Bluth

9.5 overs Wicket! 79-4 Kieswetter joins in, hitting Afridi for six over square leg. And then promptly holes out next ball, lobbing an easy catch to Umar Gul at long off.

16.42 - Matt H

JB(i) giving it some welly here!

16.42 - Nichael Bluth

9.2 overs 72-3 First six of the innings. Bairstow gives Boom Boom a taste of his own medicine with a lovely straight hit.

16.41 - Nichael Bluth

9 overs 65-3 Bairstow gives Hafeez an almighty hoick through the leg side for four and England get seven from the over.

16.40 - James Knight

I reckon 130-140 will be a good score here. Ball’s really not coming onto the bat very well.

16.38 - Matt H

8 overs 58-3 Bairstow plays Afridi well here, including a lovely four over cover. Afridi makes a hugely optimistic appeal that is correctly rejected by the umpire. Kieswetter still there, limpet-like.

16.35 - Matt H

7 overs 50-3 Bairstow off the mark with a single. Actually, that wicket was not as plumb as it first looked, but Morgan should’ve been given out to the previous ball anyway. Meh. And now comes Afridi…

16.34 - Nichael Bluth

My first instinct was that it was just outside the line. But the one before clearly wasn’t so it’s fair enough.

16.33 - Matt H

6.5 overs WICKET! 49-3 England knock Hafeez’s first three balls around for easy singles, but Hafeez then has a huge appeal for LBW unluckily turned down. But revenge follows as Morgan misses the next ball, which was devilishly straight. As plumb as they come. Morgan’s poor tour continues.

16.32 - James Knight

*drops gin bottle in surprise*

16.29 - James Knight

But the highest form of humour.

16.29 - Matt H

6 overs 46-2 Gul comes around the wicket to Morgan; the batsman drives the fourth ball uppishly through the covers for 4 and then the fifth ball along the ground through the covers for 4.

 

16.27 - Nichael Bluth

Sarcasm is the lowest form of wit.

16.27 - James Knight

Thankfully Morgan’s been playing so well of late. If anything I’m glad we’ve lost those two wickets just to get him in.

16.25 - Matt H

5.2 overs WICKET! 38-2 Now it’s Umar Gul’s turn. He was excellent two night ago, and he’s made an excellent start here. He traps Bopara on the crease, the umpire gives him out LBW and no doubt the England dressing room are beginning to panic again.

16.22 - Matt H

5 overs 37-1 Bopara blocks, then survives a half-hearted appeal for LBW. He takes a single off the fifth ball and Kieswetter a single off the final ball. KP made 17 from 13 balls, caught Gul bowled Ajmal.

16.20 - Nichael Bluth

Tim From Surrey writes: “I’ve had enough of Pietersen – he never scores runs in any format of the game”

16.19 - Matt H

4.2 overs WICKET! 35-1 Ajmal into the attack; still the powerplay overs. Pietersen blocks the first ball, but then to the second he top edges a sweep to fine leg where the fielder was waiting inside the circle.

16.17 - James Knight

4 overs 35-0 CK is absolutely bamboozled by the slowness of the pitch, he hasn’t got one anywhere near the middle of his bat yet. A big swing just about clears mid-on for a couple. Before another takes the edge and flies over third man to the boundary. Finally he connects with the final ball and crashes it over mid-off for the third four of the over. 16 from that one.

16.14 - James Knight

3.2 overs 24-0 KP picks Cheema’s slowerer ball and smacks him back over his head for four.

16.12 - Matt H

Kieswetter will struggle to hit Hafeez through his favoured off side.

16.12 - James Knight

3 overs 19-0 England work 7 from the over without really trying. In response to el-zilcho; I reckon Rob Key’s face might absorb any attempt to kick it. I imagine his face to be more like quicksand than actual flesh.

16.08 - James Knight

2 overs 12-0 Kieswetter looking to bat long here, he’s digging in. A single to KP is the only other score from the over.

16.06 - James Knight

1.3 overs 11-0 Not sure KP rates Chester all that highly. Twice he tries, and fails, to cane him through the off side. Third time lucky he dispatches one to the cover boundary.

16.06 - Nichael Bluth

Looks (and sounds) like a reasonable enough crowd in tonight.

16.04 - James Knight

Misbah cunningly sells England a dummy by feigning to open with Umar Gul at the other end. Instead it’s Cheema the seamer tearing in.

16.03 - James Knight

1 over 7-0 KP works a single, before CK steams out the blocks with a couple to deep mid-wicket. Look out Pakistan.

16.01 - Nichael Bluth

Projected total based on the current run rate: 480

16.01 - James Knight

0.1 overs 4-0 And he starts with a fearsome, pacey bouncer! Er, he doesn’t really. He starts with an awful ball on leg stump which KP sweeps for four.

16.00 - James Knight

Two lion-hearted Englismen, Kevin Pietersen and Craig Kieswetter, stride to the wicket. Momo Hafeez is going to take the new ball.

15.57 - Nichael Bluth

Bumble going for a cheap laugh with his pronunciation of ‘Jazz’ there.

15.54 - James Knight

That’s got nothing on listening to Mark Ramprakash and Robert Key.

15.52 - Nichael Bluth

Still four minutes until Fox Sports’ coverage starts. Some kick boxing on at the moment. A fella in fluorescent purple shorts has just had his face kicked off.

15.50 - James Knight

Nasser Hussain’s nose is looking particularly enormous this afternoon. We’re about 10 minutes away from the start. The crowd is almost outnumbering the empty seats today. Almost.

15.42 - James Knight

His international career so far really points in that direction. Centuries each from Buttler and Bairstow.

15.38 - Nichael Bluth

Buttler to make a serious impact today – you heard it here first.

15.35 - James Knight

Sweepstake on how many balls Buttler will last today?

15.34 - Nichael Bluth

Chester Cheema in for Junaid Khan is the only change for Pakistan – no great surprise there.

15.33 - Nichael Bluth

Slightly surprised not to see Bresnan get a game. Unless he’s injured his elbow carrying the drinks…

15.31 - Nichael Bluth

Unchanged team for England, who win the toss and choose to bat.

15.11 - Nichael Bluth

No team news yet, but here’s the two squads:

Pakistan: Misbah-ul-Haq*, Abdur Rehman, Adnan Akmal†, Aizaz Cheema, Asad Shafiq, Awais Zia, Hammad Azam, Imran Farhat, Junaid Khan, Mohammad Hafeez, Saeed Ajmal, Shahid Afridi, Shoaib Malik, Umar Akmal, Umar Gul, Wahab Riaz

England: SCJ Broad*, JM Anderson, JM Bairstow, RS Bopara, TT Bresnan, DR Briggs, JC Buttler†, AN Cook, JW Dernbach, ST Finn, AD Hales, C Kieswetter†, EJG Morgan, SR Patel, KP Pietersen, GP Swann

19.32 - James Knight

Anyway, we hope our first delve into the weird and wonderful world of the Live-Blog was a success, and that the two of you enjoyed it. We’ll be back again on Saturday, either on Twitter @51AllOut or here once again. See you then!

19.25 - James Knight

England will be very disappointed. They were in a position to win until the very end where they just subsided in the face of some good Pakistan bowling. Another whitewash, anyone?

19.23 - James Knight

20 overs 136-6 PAKISTAN WIN BY EIGHT RUNS They can’t quite manage the 11, and Pakistan sneak home. Excellent performances from Misbah and Shoaib to rescue the batting before the experience in their bowling attack showed. The middle order of Morgan, Bairstow and Buttler could never really get going.

19.21 - James Knight

19.5 overs 134-6 And they aren’t going to do it! England have rather blown this, but excellent bowling from Hafeez and Gul have dragged Pakistan to this victory. 11 from the last ball. Unlikely.

19.20 - James Knight

19.4 overs 132-6 Another single. This has been an excellent over. England need two sixes to tie.

19.20 - James Knight

19.3 overs 131-6 Neither man can connect properly. This one scuffed to long-on again but only for a single. 14 from 3…

19.19 - James Knight

19.2 overs 130-6 Big hack to long-on and they run two. 15 from 4 balls…

19.18 - James Knight

19.1 overs 128-6 Swann misses and England run a bye to the ‘keeper.

19.17 - James Knight

It’s gonna be Junaid Khan…

19.16 - James Knight

19 overs 127-6 Single brings Swann on strike. He tries to switch-hit and misses. Before missing a a big slog next ball. Leg bye from the final ball means he keeps the strike. 18 from the final over required. Don’t think so…

19.14 - James Knight

18.2 overs 125-6 Bairstow misses the first one, but excellent running brings him two from the second.

19.13 - James Knight

Gul finishes with 3/18. Ajmal bowling the penultimate over, which means Junaid/A.N Other will bowl the final one…

19.13 - James Knight

18 overs 123-6 Bairstow keeps the strike, and it’s probably all on him now. 22 from 12 balls, will the ginger ninja hold his nerve?

19.11 - James Knight

17.4 overs 121-6 Gul on a hat-trick, Swann blocks it and thinks about running himself out. Decides against it, which was probably wise.

19.09 - James Knight

17.3 overs 121-6 WICKET! Samit Patel LBW Gul 0 (1) Sorry. Again. Full and straight from Gul, Patel misses it. Looked out to me. Rameez thinks he edged it but it didn’t sound like it to me. Graeme Swann in.

19.08 - James Knight

17.2 overs 121-5 WICKET! Jos Buttler c Ajmal b Gul 3 (4) Poor shot from Buttler. Wanders way out to the off side and tries to flick Gul over fine leg with a straight bat, doesn’t get much of it at all and it loops to Ajmal inside the ring. Not really what the doctor ordered. Big Sam has become England’s finisher though…

19.04 - James Knight

17 overs 120-4 Ajmal gets away with an awful full toss. Bairstow wants a no ball given because he doesn’t know the rules, before taking a single from the final ball. 25 from 18 needed.

19.03 - James Knight

16.3 overs 118-4 Nice inside-out shot from Bairstow brings a couple. 27 from 21 required. Who’s backing England? Hello? Er..

19.01 - Steve Grant

16 overs 113-4: Buttler off the mark first ball but the wicket of Bopara could be the key one here as he was well-set. Ajmal and Gul against two inexperienced batsmen, what could possibly go wrong?

18.59 - Steve Grant

15.4 overs 113-4: WICKET! Ravi Bopara b Gul 39 (31). Oh Ravi. Tried to flick a straight one to the leg-side, went a long way across his stumps and missed it completely. Time for Jos Buttler…

18.57 - Steve Grant

15.2 overs 112-3: RUN OUT CHANCE! Bairstow hammers a drive at Misbah, Bopara’s backing up and would have been short had the ball been thrown in straight away, but the skipper was worried about overthrows with no fielder backing up. A let-off for England there!

18.55 - Steve Grant

15.1 overs 112-3: Gul back into the attack as expected, raps the pads first ball but going miles down leg-side, another two runs taken.

18.54 - Steve Grant

15 overs 110-3: Another good over for England, ten from it, with Ajmal looking very unthreatening there. Watch him get a hat-trick next over…

18.53 - Steve Grant

14.4 overs 108-3: Lovely placement again by Bopara, finding the gaps perfectly and hitting with the right weight to allow him enough time for a second run.

18.52 - Steve Grant

14.3 overs: Bopara gets the sweep out to a leg-side delivery from Ajmal and it finds the gap at deep backward square for a much-needed boundary

18.50 - Steve Grant

14 overs 100-3: A brilliant display of running between the wickets by these two, 14 from the over, 8 of which are from well-run twos. Can’t see Junaid getting the chance to bowl his fourth over, he’s gone for 34 in his first three. Saeed Ajmal back into the attack, he’ll surely bowl half of the remaining six overs.

18.48 - Steve Grant

13.4 overs 96-3: A couple of twos are then followed up by a brilliant shot back over the bowler’s head for a massive six by Bopara

18.46 - Steve Grant

13.2 overs 87-3: RUN OUT APPEAL! A bit of confusion between Bairstow and Bopara as Ravi wants a second run but he’s got the dive out and is home comfortably

18.44 - Steve Grant

13 overs 86-3: Hafeez completes his spell as Bairstow plays and misses at a wide one. Hafeez’s final figures are an excellent 2-18

18.42 - Steve Grant

12.3 overs 81-3: DROPPED CATCH! Bairstow tries an ambitious reverse sweep off his first delivery and it was a really touch chance for Saeed Ajmal and he can’t hang on.

18.40 - Steve Grant

12.2 overs 80-3: WICKET! Eoin Morgan b Hafeez 14 (16). Nicely jinxed, Morgan seemed determined to cut everything and he’s not got anywhere near this one as it clatters into his leg stump. Jonny Bairstow joins Bopara at the crease.

18.39 - James Knight

12 overs 80-2 Finally, a boundary! Morgan cuts the fifth ball of Afridi over point. Much better over for England. The push to victory starts here.

18.36 - James Knight

11 overs 69-2 Over five overs since England scored a boundary, and Afridi/Hafeez get through their overs so quickly that suddenly the required rate is starting to look a bit concerning. Afridi into his final over now.

18.33 - James Knight

10 overs 65-2 Scoring rate has dropped off the edge of a cliff since KP got out. Slightly better over for England starts with Akmal dropping Morgan off the first ball. Just shut those mouths which dropped open in shock.

18.29 - James Knight

9 overs 59-2 Bopara batting like a drunk child. Charges down the wicket and lofts Hafeez up in the air. Shoaib Malik would’ve caught it if he tried, he didn’t. It lands about a foot in front of him, awful effort. Momo is livid.

18.27 - James Knight

8 overs 55-2 Crazy ball. Wide down the leg side, Morgan falls over in missing it, he would’ve been miles out at the non-strikers end if the ball was thrown to that end. Instead Ajmal hits the strikers end stumps and Bopara makes it in by the skin of his teeth.

18.25 - James Knight

8 overs 53-2 Pakistan racing through their overs now, and dragging England back in the same way their own innings got stuck after the Powerplay. Afridi concedes just a couple of singles.

18.22 - James Knight

7 overs 51-2 WICKET! Craig Kieswetter b Hafeez 14 (18) Good over from Hafeez ends on an even better note as Kieswetter throws his wicket away for no apparent reason. Gives himself room outside leg stump, then misses one aimed straight at middle stump. Poor cricket. England’s in-form Irishman strides to the wicket.

18.19 - James Knight

6 overs 49-1 Bizarre referral to the third umpire on a run out appeal that was never out. Momo Hafeasy into the attack now.

18.16 - James Knight

5.4 WICKET! 48-1 Kevin Pietersen c Shafiq b Afrid 33 (21) I jinxed him. Afridi drags one down and KP tries to muscle him over mid-wicket for his second six in a row, he’s short by about a foot. Good catch in the deep from Shafiq. Ravi Bopara the new man.

18.14 - James Knight

5.3 overs 48-0 Single, single, effortless six back over Afridi’s head. KP is looking bad ass again.

18.13 - James Knight

Afridi on.

18.12 - James Knight

5 overs 40-0 Third ball dispatched for another boundary. England take eight from Ajmal’s first over. Bumble now informs us that Nathan McCullum is ranked 6th best T20 bowler in the world. I’m more offended by that than the bender incident.

18.08 - James Knight

Bumble definitely just called a member of the crowd ‘a bender’. Not sure you’re allowed to do that…

18.07 - James Knight

4 overs 32-0 Four singles then a full toss is dispatched over mid-on for another England boundary. Kieswetter with it this time. Excellent start for the away-er side. Spin into the attack for the first time in the shape of Saeed Ajmal.

18.03 - James Knight

3.1 overs 25-0 Poor delivery from Gul this time, though made worse by KP walking across his stumps to put it wide of fine leg again. Four more.

18.02 - James Knight

3 overs 21-0 Utter filth off the final ball, horrible leg side delivery that Kieswetter helps to fine leg for his first boundary.

18.01 - James Knight

2.4 overs 17-0 Kieswetter finally gets off the mark, hitting Junaid through extra cover. Misbah tips it over the bar and England take a couple. CK doesn’t look very comfortable at all.

17.58 - James Knight

2 overs 14-0 Much better second over. Just one from it, nothing else of interest to report.

17.53 - James Knight

Umar Gul from the other end.

17.52 - James Knight

1 over 13-0 Shocking start from Junaid. Only the final ball of the over is in any way a challenge for the batsmen. Pietersen and England fly out of the blocks.

17.49 - James Knight

0.3 overs 10-0 And again…

17.49 - James Knight

0.2 overs 6-0 Junaid might want to learn the lessons of Tuesday’s ODI pretty quickly. Two awful half-trackers to start.

17.45 - James Knight

Junaid Khan will take the new ball.

17.45 - James Knight

Here come Kieswetter and Pietersen, England’s 875th opening pair in T20 internationals. Coincidentally, also my lucky number.

17.42 - James Knight

So, both teams will be reasonably happy with that. A good rebuilding job from Misbah and Shoaib Malik, but it’s still not a great score. Finn was expensive, and a few lapses in the field will have disappointed England. You would expect them to chase this down, though. Famous last words…

17.35 - Steve Grant

INNINGS CLOSE: PAKISTAN 144-6

17.35 - Steve Grant

20 overs 144-6: WICKET! Shoaib Malik c Bairstow b Dernbach 39 (33). Brilliant from Bairstow, Malik hits it high in the air, Bairstow looks second favourite to get to it before it hits the turf but somehow he snaffles it. Great catch to end the 20 overs. A par score and nothing better, really.

17.33 - Steve Grant

19.5 overs 144/5: Dernbach can’t believe it as Malik somehow hits an inside edge into the ground and it bounces up over Kieswetter for a boundary.

17.31 - Steve Grant

19.2 overs 139/5: Graeme Swann’s having a bit of a nightmare in the field. Dernbach gave Misbah plenty of room for the shot, but he hit it all along the ground and Swann’s completely missed it. Distinct lack of a long barrier there.

17.30 - Steve Grant

Jade Dernbach with the last over of the Pakistan innings…

17.29 - Steve Grant

19 overs 135-5: Malik puts Finn away off both the first and penultimate deliveries of the over, the first was far too wide, the penultimate dead straight at the stumps but Malik backed away and cut it between point and short third man. Finn’s been expensive this evening, finishing with 1-38 from his spell.

17.25 - Steve Grant

18 overs 123-5: Dernbach gets away with a waist-high full toss which Misbah can only score a single from, and then Malik fails to put away another full toss to end the over. 50 partnership on the board.

17.20 - Steve Grant

17 overs 118-5: A bit of movement out there, which will please Umar Gul and Junaid Khan for England’s innings. 9 from that Broad over, which gives him figures of 0-19 from his four overs.

17.18 - Steve Grant

16.3 overs 115-5: Genuine edge by Malik through slip, Dernbach does really well to prevent the boundary and saves two

17.16 - Steve Grant

16.1 overs 113-5: Broad bounces one onto Malik’s hip and he easily flicks it fine for four

17.15 - James Knight

16 overs 109-5 Couple of singles from the final two balls, that might be the end of Sam the man. Four overs to go, Broad has two, Finn and Dernbach one each.

17.14 - James Knight

15.4 overs 107-5 And here we go. Misbah nails one back over Patel’s head, Swann isn’t quite 8 feet tall so is unable to catch it.

17.12 - James Knight

15 overs 99-5 Misbah flying along with 10 from 16 balls. Probably about time for Pakistan to branch out and up the rate now with five overs to go. Big Sam continues.

17.10 - James Knight

14.3 overs 96-5 After such an impressive one day series, Finn has channelled Mitchell Johnson so far this innings. A poor ball down the leg side flicks off Misbah’s pads for four.

17.07 - James Knight

14 overs 90-5 Patel with five steady balls, conceding just four, then Malik dances down the wicket and smashes one straight into the stand at long-on. Terrific strike. Patel waddles back into the outfield in shame. Finn returns to the attack.

17.04 - James Knight

13 overs 80-5 Malik and Misbah just trying to salvage the innings here. They work Swann around for four singles from the over. Swann finishes with 3/13 from his spell, a superb effort.

17.01 - Steve Grant

12 overs 76-5: A tidy over from Patel, just three singles from it. Pakistan really have ground to a halt.

16.58 - Steve Grant

11 overs 73-5: A double-wicket maiden for Swann, and an impressive mid-innings collapse by Pakistan. The rotund figure of Samit Patel into the attack now.

16.55 - Steve Grant

10.4 overs 73-5: WICKET! Umar Akmal c Dernbach b Swann 0 (3) Akmal demonstrates a sheer lack of intelligence, tries to lift Swann over long-off but didn’t get anywhere near enough on it and Dernbach runs in and takes an excellent diving catch. Pakistan in a spot of bother, Shoaib Malik walks to the crease.

16.52 - Steve Grant

10.1 overs 73-4: WICKET! Shahid Afridi c Morgan b Swann 7 (7). That’s the dangerman out of the way, a straight ball from Swann chipped tamely to short mid-wicket where Morgan takes the catch. The green-lipped Umar Akmal in next.

16.51 - Steve Grant

10 overs 73-3: Another tidy over from Broad, and Nasser Hussain appears to have invented a new word, “stopted”, which is what Ravi Bopara did to prevent a boundary off the last ball

16.48 - Steve Grant

9.1 overs 70-3: A bit of swing for Broad, Afridi plays straight and edges it through the non-existent second slip for four

16.46 - Steve Grant

9 overs 66-3: Excellent over from Swann, just the single from it and – most importantly – the wickets of the two set batsmen. Afridi and Misbah are a dangerous pairing though.

16.44 - Steve Grant

8.3 overs 65-3: WICKET! Mohammed Hafeez c Bairstow b Swann 23 (22). Horrible shot to get out to, tries the slog sweep but doesn’t get anywhere near enough on it and it drops nicely into the hands of Jonny Bairstow at deep square leg. Misbah-ul-Haq in now

16.42 - Steve Grant

Enter Shahid Afridi in at 4, time to flip a coin…

16.41 - Steve Grant

8.1 overs 65-2: RUN OUT APPEAL. Hafeez was really struggling to get in at the non-strikers’ end from Kieswetter’s throw but Swann appears to break the stumps with his arm rather than his hand. A bit of a check of the rulebook required here. Third umpire is satisfied that’s allowed, OUT! Asad Shafiq run out (Kieswetter/Swann) 19 (17)

16.38 - James Knight

8 overs 65-1 Over ends with a horrendous loopy full toss that Bopara gets away with. Decent over.

16.37 - James Knight

7.3 overs 62-1 England have just slowed Pakistan down since the wicket. But Hafeez is trying to rectify that. Down on one knee and flicks Bopara over fine leg for four.

16.34 - James Knight

7 overs 57-1 England absolutely balls up their relay throwing to gift Pakistan another run and improve Swann’s mood yet further. Don your hard hats, ladies and gents, here comes the fearsome pace of Ravi Bopara.

16.31 - James Knight

6.1 overs 49-1 It is indeed spin, in the, very angry, shape of Graeme Swann.

16.30 - James Knight

6 overs 49-1 Sensational over from Broad, just three from it. That’s the end of the Powerplay, and I expect spin is riding purposely towards this match as we speak.

16.26 - James Knight

5 overs 46-1 Dernbach keeps Pakistan down to singles off the last few balls. He looked as pleased as punch with Swann’s drop. By which I mean he looked like he wanted to punch him square in the face.

16.24 - James Knight

4.3 overs 43-1: DROPPED CATCH Hafeez doesn’t pick the Dernbach slower ball, loops it up to mid-off, where Swann shells an absolute sitter jogging back. Oopsy daisy.

16.21 - Steve Grant

4 overs 38-1: A tight and surprisingly uneventful over from Broad, just two singles from it.

16.16 - Steve Grant

3 overs 36-1: Lovely shot by Shafiq through mid-wicket, but a bit of a gimme from Finn, didn’t quite get the yorker in as he planned. Pakistan off to a flyer here, Broad brings himself on in place of Dernbach.

16.15 - Steve Grant

2.5 overs 32-1: WICKET Awais Zia c Broad b Finn 18 (12). Finn drops the pace down, Zia doesn’t read it and chips a tame one to Broad at mid-off. Asad Shafiq is at first drop.

16.12 - Steve Grant

2.3 overs 28-0: Zia goes for another one over the leg side, KP is on the circle but can’t quite reach it and in the end doesn’t bother trying.

16.10 - Steve Grant

2.1 overs 23-0: That’s big, Finn drops it in far too short and Zia pulls it over the fine leg boundary

16.09 - Steve Grant

2 overs 17-0: A fairly hopeless delivery, short and wide outside off stump, Hafeez lifts it over the covers for another boundary. Erratic start by Dernbach, and the field’s changing all over the place.

16.08 - Steve Grant

1.5 overs 13-0: Dernbach gives Hafeez an easy boundary with a juicy half-volley on his pads, whipped through mid-wicket.

16.07 - Steve Grant

1.3 overs 9-0: A short one pulled to the leg side by Zia, this lad’s not hanging around, every shot being played like he needs 7 to win off the last ball.

16.05 - Steve Grant

Bumble makes the obligatory comment about Dernbach’s variation. Doesn’t mention the variation is usually a different type of rubbish.

16.04 - Steve Grant

Jade Dernbach shares the new ball with Finn

16.04 - Steve Grant

1 over 8-0: Hafeez off the mark with a nudge into the leg-side. Zia on debut isn’t hanging around, two off his first ball and a bludgeoned four over mid-on. Finn responds with an excellent delivery that draws a play-and-miss, followed by some comforting words to the batsman. Another wild swipe brings a single to deep square leg and Hafeez sees off the last ball of the over.

16.00 - Steve Grant

Here we go then, Steven Finn to open the bowling. Only his 4th T20 international.

15.37 - Steve Grant

Teams:

Pakistan: Hafeez, Zia, Shafiq, U Akmal (wk), Misbah (capt), Afridi, Malik, Azam, Gul, Ajmal, Junaid Khan
England: Kieswetter (wk), Pietersen, Bopara, Morgan, Bairstow, Buttler, Patel, Broad (capt), Swann, Dernbach, Finn

The only surprise seems to be that there is no place for Alex Hales in the England side.

15.35 - Steve Grant

ENGLAND win the toss and will bowl first.

15.32 - Steve Grant

Half an hour until we begin in Dubai, it’s a clash between the two most recent World T20 champions. England are the reigning champions and go into this mini-series in good form after a surprising 4-0 whitewash in the ODIs.

15.19 - Matt H

By way of a quick G&T before the match’s main course, here’s our preview. And don’t forget to vote in our poll!

2 Comments

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1

James Knight

23 Feb 2012 15:41

I’m a bit surprised at no T-Bres as well. I’d be bloody annoyed if I was Alex Hales.

2

Matt H

23 Feb 2012 15:40

Genuinely surprised that Hales isn’t playing, I thought he was assured of a spot.