- Australia post Cricket World Cup record score in victory over Afghanistan
• Australia 417-6; Afghanistan 142 all out (Aus win by 275 runs) • David Warner stars as Afghanistan are overwhelmed • As it happened: Geoff Lemon and Russell Jackson’s OBO report David Warner starred as Australia recorded the World Cup’s highest ever total en route to victory by the widest margin in the tournament’s history, against Afghanistan in Perth. The co-hosts’ 417 for six contained three outstanding innings – Warner (178) pacing himself and his team before upping the ante in a mammoth second-wicket stand of 260 with Steven Smith (95) after the early wicket of Aaron Finch, and then Glenn Maxwell (88) taking over. Mitchell Johnson (four for 22) eased them to a landslide 275-run Pool A win as Afghanistan were bowled out for 142 in 37.3 overs. Continue reading... Australia's David Warner celebrates his century against Afghanistan in Perth. Photograph: Theron Kirkman/APAustralia's David Warner celebrates his century against Afghanistan in Perth. Photograph: Theron Kirkman/AP
- Australia v Afghanistan: Cricket World Cup – as it happened
Australia beat Afghanistan by 275 runs in Perth 178 for David Warner as Aussies post record win 12.40am AEST Australia wins by 275 runs after a spirited display from Afghanistan Well, that took a little longer than Australia probably would have liked, but they’ve blown their rivals away tonight. The eye-popping 275-run winning margin was set up with the bat, where David Warner’s brutal 178, Steve Smith’s industrious 95 and a helter-skelter 88 from Glenn Maxwell helped them to an imposing 417-6. 12.28am AEST Afghanistan bowled out for 142 in 37.3 overs Hassan is the last man to go, appropriately attempting a flamboyant stroke that was a little beyond him. Looking to crack one over mid on he barely gets a hold of it and just helps it into the hands of Warner at mid wicket. That’s it for the Afghanis. They made Australia earn that but the home side has ended up with the heftiest of all World Cup wins. @rustyjacko Starc's yorker is getting to be the best around. Almost Akramish and almost in poor taste to whip it out today, I feel. 12.23am AEST 37th over: Afghanistan 140-9 (Hassan 5, Shapoor 0) Maybe the Australian fieldsmen are also fans of Shapoor. The cult hero paceman edges through to the cordon but he’s put down when Smith fails to reel in a catch low and to his left. It was a very tough chance but he might have held it. 12.21am AEST Hazlewood gets his second wicket for the night, coaxing a loose waft from Zazai, a shot from which a faint inside edge flies through to Haddin behind the wicket. There’s only stifled appeals because they feel it’s beyond asking for, but Kumar Dharamasena raises a finger to confirm the inevitable. 12.18am AEST 36th over: Afghanistan 140-8 (Zazai 9, Hassan 4) 3-18 was a welcome return to form from Mitchell Johnson in his first six overs tonight and now he’s back in search of a 5-fer. Hassan faces up with an absurd number of slip fielders in place, but an edge late in the over fails to carry. 12.14am AEST 35th over: Afghanistan 138-8 (Zazai 9, Hassan 4) Hazlewood gets a searching yorker on target to Zazai but the latter does well to jam it out and preserve his timber. The Aussies are a happy lot tonight; between balls Clarke and Finch are horsing around like schoolboys with beaming smiles on their faces. All the back-stabbing and angst will happen when they’re back in the sheds, I guess. 12.09am AEST 34th over: Afghanistan 135-8 (Zazai 8, Hassan 3) Starc’s next over is basically one long, tantric build-up towards a climactic yorker that never comes. That’s where he’s at as a bowler in ODIs now; you expect a wicket nearly every over. 12.05am AEST 33rd over: Afghanistan 135-8 (Zazai 8, Hassan 3) Hazlewood reappears now but doesn’t quite nail his yorkers in the same manner of his bowling partner. For fans of Rambo headbands and face paint in professional sports, you’ll be pleased to know that Hamid Hassan is now at the crease. I hope he tries to punch a six. You wouldn’t put it past him. 11.59pm AEST Dawlat Zadran disappears almost as quickly as he arrives. This one comes down at 150.6 kmph and takes the base of off stump - another screaming yorker. Starc almost looks dowwnbeat as he raises an arm in celebration. Why the long face, Mitch? 11.56pm AEST Mitch Starc sure knows how to crash a party. Just as we basked in the magnificence of Najibullah’s hitting an over earlier, Starc rips in a fast, in-swinging yorker that crashes into the base of middle stump and lights up the zing bails. Is there a better sight in fast bowling at the moment than Starc’s yorkers? Probably not. 11.53pm AEST 31st over: Afghanistan 131-6 (Najibullah 24, Zazai 7) Najibullah you genius! With Maxwell still wheeling away with his off-spin, the left-hander skips down the track and thumps a stupendous six over cow - all 98 metres of it according to an on-screen graphic. It’s up on a roof! That is prodigious hitting. 11.50pm AEST 30th over: Afghanistan 122-6 (Najibullah 15, Zazai 7) Mitchell Starc is back now with his swerving pace and Shane Warne-approved body language. He can’t quite body language his way to a wicket but by the end of the over he’s built up a decent head of steam. 11.48pm AEST 29th over: Afghanistan 121-6 (Najibullah 14, Zazai 7) “It’s great to see them smiling,” says Shane Warne of the Afghani players. To be honest, what’s been notable from them in this tournament is the way that they haven’t smiled. They’re genuine competitors. Najibullah and Zazai know they have no hope hear and it looks like they’re annoyed by that, not resigned to it. 11.44pm AEST 28th over: Afghanistan 120-6 (Najibullah 13, Zazai 7) In a rare slip-up, James Faulkner is a little too overzealous to deliver to Zazai and oversteps the mark to cough up a fre hit. He folows that with a wide but Zazai can’t get hold of a slower ball next up so the bowlers’ transgression goes unpunished. The batsman ends the over with a rueful shake of the head. 11.41pm AEST 27th over: Afghanistan 116-6 (Najibullah 13, Zazai 5) Maxwell crashes back to earth, belted by Najibullah as the latter grows in confidence and starts expanding his strokes. From the final delivery he canes a quite stunning straight drive down the ground and it’s slamming into the fence before the bowler can even look around to see where it’s gone. 11.38pm AEST 26th over: Afghanistan 105-6 (Najibullah 6, Zazai 1) As Zazai gets off the mark, Mark Taylor goes completely off script about the length of this tournament, making the kind of observations that will probably see his microphone cord yanked sometime in the next five minutes. His heart is in the right place, but you have to wonder how familiar he is with the schedule for the next one. Awesome, a CA board member and commentator doesn't realise the proposed 2019 is longer. Cricket governance. 11.34pm AEST 25th over: Afghanistan 103-6 (Najibullah 5, Zazai 0) Maxwell probably fancies himself to rip through a few tail-end wickets here but Afsar Zaazai keeps out the remaining four balls of the over to make it a wicket-maiden. Zazai can actually handle the bat, to be honest. He’s got an ODI half-century to his name. 11.31pm AEST Glenn Maxwell is thrown the ball and comes up with immediate gold, tempting Nabi forward into a sweep he doesn’t quite nail, flicking the ball into his own helmet and presenting Clarke with the simplest of catches running behind keeper Brad Haddin. Nabi reviews, thinking it had merely deflected off his arm, but replays indicate otherwise - the edge came first. 11.27pm AEST 24th over: Afghanistan 103-5 (Nabi 2, Najibullah 5) With Marsh off receiving some medical treatment, Xavier Doherty has made an appearance as a sub-fielder in another constricting over from Faulkner. A single to Nabi is the only score. 11.24pm AEST 23rd over: Afghanistan 102-5 (Nabi 1, Najibullah 5) Johnson’s bowling with a scrambled seam tonight, as ever, but some odd things are happening when he slants one in to the left-hander Najibullah and it moves away off the pitch. The Afghanis move past 100 with a Johnson wide and the hairy, mean left-arm quick finishes by firing down another testing bouncer. Najibullah is up to the challenge. 11.19pm AEST 22nd over: Afghanistan 97-5 (Nabi 0, Najibullah 2) A keenly felt absence in the first few games of the tournament - particularly against New Zealand - James Faulkner appears now for his first bowl of the night and indeed his first since returning from injury. Najibullah gets him away for a single but it’s typical Faulkner fare; variations of pace and canny change-ups out the back of the hand. What a catch Aaron Finch! https://t.co/vMbDzoz14i 11.15pm AEST 21st over: Afghanistan 96-5 (Nabi 0, Najibullah 1) Afghanistan captain Mohammad Nabi has been joined at the crease by Najibullah Zadran now. Both have a decent old shift ahead of them with the Aussie quicks raring to go. 11.13pm AEST What a catch! One brings two as Mangal departs. Johnson grabs the ball and fires down a short one and rather than yielding to discretion, Mangal flicks it dangerously in the direction of the cordon and watches Finch fling himself in the air like a salmon and take a wonderful two-handed catch in mid-air. He’s from Geelong, Finch - Aussie Rules football territory. You can’t half tell. 11.09pm AEST Shenwari has thrown away all of his hard work and he’s furious with himself. I’m furious with him. Michael Clarke is happy, he just floated one up on leg stump and watched as the batsman swept it around the corner to Johnson at short fine leg. It’s a disappointingly soft dismissal after Shenwari’s gritty display of an over earlier. 11.06pm AEST 19th over: Afghanistan 93-3 (Mangal 32, Shenwari 17) We get one Mitch back - Johnson this time. 2-6 off 3 was a terrific first spell and he’s straight back on a probing if slightly full length before jamming one in short and getting a jumpy Shenwari straight in the grill of the helmet. It’s not condescending to call Shenwari a streetfighter because he genuinely does look like he wants to punch someone but instead he reacts to the Johnson bouncer by clobbering him for a boundary past mid off. Superb stuff. 11.01pm AEST 18th over: Afghanistan 88-3 (Mangal 32, Shenwari 13) Clarke loves a bowl, doesn’t he? It’s not like anyone can argue with him but this match is treading water while he’s rolling his arm over. Unleash the Mitches, please. After four Australian games at this World Cup, Michael Clarke has faced 18 balls. #CWC15 10.57pm AEST 17th over: Afghanistan 85-3 (Mangal 31, Shenwari 10) Marsh’s concern seems to be a leg or groin complaint but somewhat disconcertingly, he’s thrown the ball and asked to keep bowling. Surely it’s worth a visit to the physios room first, no? Apparently not. He struggles away manfully in the final over before the drinks break but finishes by engaging in animated conversation with Clarke, the gist of which seems to be, ‘err, can I go off now or what?’ If Warner were a dog, he'd happily chase his ball over a cliff. Hard to think of a more committed fielder in the world. #AUSvAFG 10.52pm AEST 16th over: Afghanistan 82-3 (Mangal 31, Shenwari 8) As Clarke hurries his way through another over, Marsh continues to look very proppy and uncomfortable in the outfield. Mangal finishes the over by lapping two down to fine leg and the Afghanistan pair is making steady progress now. 10.50pm AEST 15th over: Afghanistan 78-3 (Mangal 28, Shenwari 7) If you were to judge it by the rabid intensity of David Warner’s fielding, you’d have no idea that this match is a one-sided one. He’d be excused for resting on his laurels after his batting heroics but he’s haring around and throwing himself into dives at the boundary when Marsh continues to get tonked about. His first two overs have gone for 22, Marsh. To make matters worse he’s pulled up lame after the over. Watch this space. 10.47pm AEST 14th over: Afghanistan 71-3 (Mangal 27, Shenwari 2) Clarke’s aim is pretty clear at the moment; sprint through as many overs as he can and give his quicks some time to gather themseleves for another onslaught. 10.44pm AEST 13th over: Afghanistan 67-3 (Mangal 24, Shenwari 1) Where Stanikzai failed, Mangal has succeeded. Mitchell Marsh appears to relieve Johnson and is welcomed to the fold with two towering sixes over cow and then a more classical cover drive for three. He really laid into the first of those sixes, Mangal. Just blasted it. Haddin has a forgettable moment to finish the over when he lets through four byes. This match is many things but dull is not one of them. 10.39pm AEST 12th over: Afghanistan 48-3 (Mangal 9, Shenwari 1) He copped a bit of grief earlier for not having a bat, but Michael Clarke has exercised his discretion here and given himself a trundle. His first over is pretty innocuous stuff so Shenwari is off the mark with ease. 10.37pm AEST 11th over: Afghanistan 46-3 (Mangal 8, Shenwari 0) Shenwari is at the crease now. He made 96 against Scotland, what can he pull off tonight? 10.36pm AEST There’s nothing surprising about this one. Stanikzai had shown his hand in all nine previous balls he’d faced when he stepped towards leg and carved Johnson high in the air in the direction of third man. There’s a moment of panic when it looks like the Australian fielders will collide in Waugh-Gillespie style but Steve Smith both snares the catch and avoids any unscheduled dental work. That was an insane innings from Stanikzai, idiocy of a type rarely seen in the somewhat dreary world of professional sport. There should be far more of it. 10.31pm AEST 10th over: Afghanistan 44-2 (Mangal 8, Stanikzai 2) Hazlewood feels a counter-punch in this over in the shape of two contrasting shots from Mangal, the first a classical cover drive to the boundary and the next a straighter effort that bounces over the bowlers’ head and also reaches the rope. Hazlewood grins like a loon, but I don’t think he’s very happy. 10.28pm AEST 9th over: Afghanistan 36-2 (Mangal 0, Stanikzai 2) Asghar Stanikzai appears at the crease know and cracks a wonderful cut shot off Johnson, one that would have gone close to the boundary had David Warner not dived and stopped it in acrobatic style. Warner’s dismount is so effective that a run-out looks a possibility, but the batsmen stand their ground. 10.22pm AEST Ahmadi departs in most unfortunate circumnstances when after hammering Hazlewood straight he’s denied any runs, let alone a boundary, when the ball thumps into his partners’ body. Two balls later he fishes outside off stump and sends a thick edge through to Clarke in the cordon. “That’s something Ahmadi will have to learn for the next time he plays here in Perth,” says Cricket Australia board member Mark Taylor. Anything to share there, Tubby? 10.18pm AEST 7th over: Afghanistan 30-1 (Ahmadi 11, Mangal 0) Nawroz Mangal is the new batsman for Afghanistan and he’s lucky not to catch an absolute snorter from Johnson first up because he struggles with the pace to start with. No shame there because it’s coming down at sizzling pace. 10.15pm AEST Mitch Johnson was nearly belted all the way back across the Tasman against New Zealand and he doesn’t exactly set the world alight early in his first over here. He’s turned for four byes and fires down a wide but then Ghani middles one straight into the hands of James Faulkner at a straight, short mid-on. The ball had angled in a little and although it was struck well, Faulkner barely had to move. 10.12pm AEST 6th over: Afghainstan 25-0 (Javed Ahmadi 11 Usman Ghani 12) Hazlewood catches a severe case of the wides in this over, firing down two and just never quite looking like he’s going to fire. Might it be time for an early bowling change? He’ll probably bowl in bursts anyway. 10.07pm AEST 5th over: Afghainstan 22-0 (Javed Ahmadi 11 Usman Ghani 11) Ghani looks solid again here. He’s compact and economical in his movements to Starc and even clips a two around the corner from a ball that rose awkwardly into his ribs. Starc’s hardly hit his straps here, mind you. He’s muttering away at the end of the over, probably a sign that he’s off his game a little. 10.02pm AEST 4th over: Afghainstan 16-0 (Javed Ahmadi 10, Usman Ghani 6) There’s been some unconvincing defensive work happening so far but given width, Ahmadi belts Hazlewood for three and his expansiveness is contagious; Ghani clatters two more through the same region. That prompts a somewhat predictable response from Hazlewood; a steepling bouncer past Ghani’s left nostril. 9.58pm AEST 3rd over: Afghainstan 9-0 (Javed Ahmadi 7, Usman Ghani 2) Is Starc getting a little carried away here? Shouldn’t he just bowl breathtaking yorkers, ball after ball? Do I place too much stock in the ability of cricketers to live a perfect manifestation of my dreams for them? 9.54pm AEST 2nd over: Afghainstan 8-0 (Javed Ahmadi 6, Usman Ghani 2) Josh Hazlewood is back in the Aussie line-up today and he’s immediately swinging the ball in a gorgeous, exaggerated curve away from Ahmadi. The latter clips one around the corner for a single to fine leg but he might cause some problems here, the big New South Welshman. Afghanistan? They don’t look as flustered as they might be by this searing pace and sideways movement. 9.51pm AEST 1st over: Afghainstan 7-0 (Javed Ahmadi 5, Usman Ghani 2) Fresh from his devastating spell against New Zealand, Mitchell Marsh takes the new ball for Australia with Javed Omani facing the music. Starc’s first two deliveries both swing in sharply outside the off stump of the right hander and Glenn Maxwell hovers close by at short leg. 9.42pm AEST Some reading material before the Afghanistan innings gets started Virat Kohli has gone off on one, ranting at a journalist in Perth . A week back everyone was having a whinge that the Indians wouldn’t talk to any media. They’re certainly making up for lost time. And the winner of Dad of the Year goes to... #CWC15 #AusvAfg #Aus #Afg pic.twitter.com/86tr6kh8jr 9.33pm AEST Hello cruel world , and welcome to today’s slightly dispiriting ride on the reality bus. Russell Jackson here joining you for the rest of this encounter, an innings in which I sincerely hope Afghanistan can pull back a little of what was lost amid that Warner-Maxwell demolition job. You can get me on email@example.com or via twitter: @rustyjacko 9.25pm AEST There you have it. Another glut, another run-fest, another display that crushes the hearts of romantics worldwide. It started so well for Afghanistan, early movement, good bowling, the wicket of Finch at slip, Warner looking as shaky as a palm tree in a gale. Then he clicked, and Australia clicked, and it was carnage thereafter. Warner set the innings up, Smith offered the assured support, while Maxwell ostentatiously finished it off. Hamid Hassan battled hard to finish with 1/70 from his full allotment, while Shenwari and Ahmadi bowled nine comparatively economical overs between them, but the rest got tapped like Sarah Palin, and enjoyed about as much success. 9.17pm AEST 50th over: Australia 6-417 (Haddin 20) Might sound strange, but the Afghans are buzzing in the field after pulling Australia back in these last few overs. There’s an excellent stop at long-off after Marsh pounds a ball down toward the straight boundary, body on the line stuff. 9.12pm AEST 49th over: Australia 5-403 (Marsh 5, Haddin 9) “The 300 comes up, in this case it’s another 400.” Did anyone trust Michael Slater in a run-chase? Hamid Hassan is bowling very well, only going for singles as the Australians keep going hard at each ball. The length isn’t giving them anything. Six from the over. 9.08pm AEST 48th over: Australia 5-397 (Marsh 2, Haddin 6) Clarke determined not to bat today, he’s bumped himself again for Haddin this time. Haddin batted eight in Australia’s last match. It was Dawlat’s slower ball that got him the wicket, and he uses it a couple more times to limit the scoring, but Haddin manages to glide him for four through third man. No respite. 9.05pm AEST Massive sighs of relief for Afghanistan, and Kevin O’Brien’s record for the fastest World Cup hundred is safe for now. Maxwell has just hit a full toss over mid-off for four, then tries to clear cover and doesn’t get the elevation. He still collected it, it was screaming past Nabi but the skipper got in the way and held on. Fine catch. 9.03pm AEST 47th over: Australia 4-386 (Maxwell 84, Marsh 1) Faulkner falls first ball. Mitchell Marsh comes in, still no Clarke. Marsh gets off strike. Maxwell whacks what he thinks is a four down the ground, but Shenwari pulls out a magnificent diving save to slap the bouncing ball out of mid-air and back over the rope as it was about to leave the arena. He eats dirt, leaps up and charges back before sending off a howitzer throw. Such a competitor. 8.59pm AEST Good to see Hassan can still muster a roar and a fist-pump even in these circumstances. Brilliant yorker, tailed in, Faulkner wanted to drive, bailed out and tried to defend, but it totally defeated him and bowled him middle and leg. 8.57pm AEST 46th over: Australia 3-382 (Maxwell 81, Faulkner 7) Nabi back with off spin. Maxwell charges and belts it higher than he does long, but it has enough distance on the hang time to clear the rope at long on. Maxwell is getting the bulk of the strike, a couple of singles handing it back to him, and he’s conscientious about turning one run into two wherever possible. 8.53pm AEST 45th over: Australia 3-366 (Maxwell 66, Faulkner 6) Shapoor bowls a good yorker to keep Maxwell to one run, then a wide half volley that Faulkner can slice over packward point for four. When Shapoor gets on Maxwell’s pads the batsman absolutely beats that ball on the whip shot, sending it onto the grass bank for a crowd catch. 8.47pm AEST 44th over: Australia 3-350 (Maxwell 56, Faulkner 1) Half-century! Glenn Maxwell goes to 53 from 21 balls, another reverse sweep from Nabi that flies away for four. He also picks up a couple of hard-run twos, and it seems like a moral victory when Nabi keeps him to a dot and a single from the last two balls. 8.43pm AEST 43rd over: Australia 3-340 (Maxwell 47, Faulkner 0) Maxwell hears my disbelief about the reverse-hit and says, “I want you to believe.” He does it again, from Shapoor this time, but this time hits it for six. Low full toss and wide of the stumps this time, but still. That followed a wallop off the pads through square for four. 8.37pm AEST 42nd over: Australia 2-325 (Smith 95, Maxwell 34) What is that. That’s outrageous. That shouldn’t be allowed. Maxwell has been bowled a yorker by Dawlat, on about off stump. He’s crouched, reversed his bat, and reverse-hit it over third man for four. I have no idea how the physics of that even tally. It’s Matrix cricket. They work the singles and take nine from the over. 8.35pm AEST 41st over: Australia 2-316 (Smith 92, Maxwell 29) Four , as Smith drives Nabi through cover. 8.31pm AEST 40th over: Australia 2-299 (Smith 88, Maxwell 17) Dawlat Zadran has had a rotten day after a fine early spell, and it continues. Maxwell makes room outside leg and carves the full ball way back over the fence at deep cover. Extraordinary hand-eye co-ordination. He misses the reverse again, then edges just past short third man for four. 13 from the over, the numbers keep ticking. 17 from 8 balls, Maxwell. 8.27pm AEST 39th over: Australia 2-286 (Smith 86, Maxwell 6) Hello sailor. His second ball, Glenn Maxwell reverse-sweeps Nabi for four. Of course he does. They’ve taken the singles excellently this innings, so they get eight from the over. 8.24pm AEST 38th over: Australia 2-278 (Smith 85, Maxwell 0) Interesting. Michael Clarke, desperately short of match practice, has dropped himself down the order and sent in Glenn Maxwell. Smith opens the face and deliberately angles a yorker through third man for four. Outrageous shot. 8.18pm AEST Relief for Afghanistan. Warner goes the big swipe, top edges way into the blue sky, and Nabi settles underneath before taking a tough high catch at mid-on. 8.14pm AEST 37th over: Australia 1-273 (Warner 178, Smith 80) Hassan is the man most likely. Bowls a leg-side pie but Smith hit it riskily toward short fine leg. No run. Yorker, yorker. Single, dot, single. But then Smith plays another yorker brilliantly, opening the face and somehow diverting it over cover, and with no sweeper it easily makes the fence for four. This is very harsh on bowlers. 8.10pm AEST 36th over: Australia 1-266 (Warner 177, Smith 74) Dawlat Zadran is back, and continues falling to pieces. He starts with a no-ball to Warner, full toss above waist height that Warner slams for four. Smith gets a full ball, shifts his front foot out of the way and drives dead straight for six. Dawlat then oversteps, and Warner slices the free hit through gully for four more. 8.05pm AEST 35th over: Australia 1-248 (Warner 168, Smith 67) Hamid Hassan is back to try to change something. We’ve seen two 400s in the last week from South Africa, and a big 300+ by Pakistan today. Hassan does tighten things up though. Two singles from the over, and he nearly bowls Smith with a beautiful yorker that just misses off stump. Smith gets cautious and Hassan ties him down fro the rest of the over. 7.59pm AEST 34th over: Australia 1-246 (Warner 167, Smith 66) They just can’t slow things down. Shapoor cramps things up with three singles, then Warner goes well outside leg, Shapoor follows him, and Warner edges through his own legs and away fine for four. 7.55pm AEST 33rd over: Australia 1-233 (Warner 156, Smith 64) Warner brings up 150 with a flat smeared drive from Nabi through long off. This is getting dispiriting very quickly for Afghanistan, who’ve played well so far in this tournament but have run into a team with a house to get in order. Warner’s second four for the over is much better timed, equally straight, equally lucrative. 11 from that over. 7.49pm AEST 32nd over: Australia 1-222 (Warner 147, Smith 63) Everything must go. Warner has had enough of waiting around. Shapoor comes back and Warner produces his cleanest hit of the day, dead straight and way back into the stand. Next ball he goes more across the line, deep midwicket, and cleans up a boy in the crowd. The commentary makes jolly jokes about how they’re sure his ok. There were several dudes around him who all dived for the catch and nearly landed on him rather than making sure he didn’t get hit. Copped it on the chest and arm. Not great scenes all round. 7.44pm AEST 31st over: Australia 1-207 (Warner 133, Smith 63) Big edge from Warner facing Nabi, I think it was from a full toss but it drifted in towards his feet and was nicked away. Easy for first slip, except there isn’t one. 7.38pm AEST 30th over: Australia 1-203 (Warner 130, Smith 62) Dawlat Zadran is back, but there’s no repeat of his earlier excellent spell. 7.34pm AEST 29th over: Australia 1-180 (Warner 114, Smith 55) “That’s Steve Smith’s half century, and it’s come at a very good time,” says Brendon Julian. Um, yes, this essential match in which Australia were really struggling? Mark Taylor also reckons Smith was coming out of “a bit of bad form” after a record-breaking summer and a low score in New Zealand. 7.30pm AEST 28th over: Australia 1-173 (Warner 113, Smith 49) One one one one one one. That’s Hamid Hassan’s over. Long-off, cover, long-off, cover. Are you sensing a pattern here? 7.26pm AEST 27th over: Australia 1-167 (Warner 110, Smith 46) Steve Smith plays the shot of the day for my money. Yes, it was probably a full toss from Shenwari, but so elegantly whipped through midwicket that it made my eyes water with joy. 7.24pm AEST 26th over: Australia 1-161 (Warner 109, Smith 41) Thwock. Warner plays the ugliest pull shot you’ve ever seen, welcoming Hamid Hassan back by belting a ball from well outside off stump over mid-on for four. Dragged it utterly. Should have holed out but he got enough purchase. He follows up with a less ugly pull shot through wider long-on. 7.20pm AEST 25th over: Australia 1-151 (Warner 100, Smith 40) Smith gives Warner the strike early in the over, and Warner brings up the milestone from Shenwari’s bowling by scoring a two and then a single. Smith celebrates by backing away to cut another four. We could be in for something monstrous here. 7.17pm AEST 24th over: Australia 1-143 (Warner 97, Smith 35) Still just working the runs from Javed Ahmadi, six of them from the 24th over in ones and twos. This is looking very calm and easy for the Australians. 7.13pm AEST 23rd over: Australia 1-137 (Warner 93, Smith 33) Shapoor nearly had a good over there, four singles from five balls, but Smith shuffles in the crease to leg-glance a four from the last ball. 7.09pm AEST 22nd over: Australia 1-129 (Warner 91, Smith 27) The Afghanistanis are loving Javed Ahmadi’s steady overs, and the Australians are probably happy to consolidate. Warner gets a couple of runs, then a leg bye. Smith gets a single. That’s all. Classic middle overs bowling here. 7.06pm AEST 21st over: Australia 1-125 (Warner 89, Smith 26) Shapoor is back, the big frame thundering in to the crease and sending down moderate fire. They’re driving him aggressively, smacking each shot but they all go to sweepers. Only four singles from the over. 7.03pm AEST 20th over: Australia 1-121 (Warner 87, Smith 24) Javed Ahmadi keeping a lid on things, four singles from his steady off-breaks. Along they tick. 7.00pm AEST 19th over: Australia 1-117 (Warner 85, Smith 23) Warner drives Shenwari calmly and classily for four, amongst four singles in the over. Warner is closing in on a century here. 6.58pm AEST 18th over: Australia 1-109 (Warner 79, Smith 20) Javed Ahmadi comes on to bowl some offies, five singles result. 6.52pm AEST 17th over: Australia 1-104 (Warner 77, Smith 17) I’ve cursed Shenwari, he can’t keep it up. Drops short and Warner backs away to cut four. Over-pitches and is driven for two, short again and smashed through point again. Warner flying, 10 from the over. The hundred is up. 6.49pm AEST 16th over: Australia 1-94 (Warner 67, Smith 17) Warner is batting in the cap out there, with spinners at each end. The Aussies are happy to settle down, with a Smith single, Warner’s two through cover, then another run to close the over out. 6.45pm AEST 15th over: Australia 1-90 (Warner 64, Smith 16) Oh yes. The Anger Man, Samiullah Shenwari, is on to bowl his leg spin. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, find some clips of his match-winning knock against Scotland: the way he screamed at the ground when his partners got out, scolded them off the field after stupid shots, chewed the bat handle at the non-striker’s end. 6.41pm AEST 14th over: Australia 1-88 (Warner 63, Smith 15) What witchcraft is this? Hamid Hassan bowls a two-run over. A single to Smith, a single to Warner, then Smith is hit in stomach trying to pull, and blocks out the next two. 6.36pm AEST 13th over: Australia 1-86 (Warner 62, Smith 14) Nabi’s quiet spell didn’t last long. Seven from this over in an assortment of singles and twos. I wasn’t convinced by the decision to send Australia in, and I’m even less so now. 6.34pm AEST 12th over: Australia 1-79 (Warner 57, Smith 12) Hamid Hassan is continuing, going slightly short again, and being punished by Warner for another four through wide long-on. Warner is also ticking singles, and he bombs down the pitch from the non-striker’s end to scurry a leg bye with as much intensity as any run that has ever gone to his name. Plenty of pace between the wickets from Smith and Warner. Nine from the over. 6.27pm AEST 11th over: Australia 1-70 (Warner 51, Smith 10) Mohammad Nabi decides it’s time for a change and goes to his off-spin. A good choice for this over at least, as they take only two singles from it. He bowls three dots to David Warner, which is good going right now. 6.25pm AEST 10th over: Australia 1-68 (Warner 50, Smith 9) Warner explodes. Hamid Hassan keeps bowling short. 6.21pm AEST 9th over: Australia 1-54 (Warner 37, Smith 8) Watch out Afghanistan, David Warner is getting going. Smacks four runs though cover from Dawlat. Then a very unjust wide is called. Warner bunts an attempted pull straight of mid-on for two, pulls two more square, then pulls again through wide long on for four. 13 from the over. That hurts. They’ve bowled well and still gone a run a ball from the first nine overs. 6.15pm AEST 8th over: Australia 1-41 (Warner 25, Smith 8) Hamid Hassan is here. The head is banded, the face painted, the rage in his heart is beginning to simmer. Starts with a wide, that’s less menacing. Smith is starting to get ticking now: a single here, a double there, another single. Warner cracks three more on the drive. Smith taps another single to midwicket, then Warner goes through the covers for three more. Suddenly runs a little easier to come by. 11 from that over. 6.07pm AEST 7th over: Australia 1-30 (Warner 19, Smith 4) Warner is all over the place. He got up this morning and spread Vegemite on his thigh. He wore a cat instead of a helmet to the crease. Now he’s trying a terrible sloggy horizontal-bat drive, while squatting, at the widest legal delivery possible. Misses. 6.02pm AEST 6th over: Australia 1-24 (Warner 16, Smith 1) I neglected to mention, please do drop me a line if you’re reading along: email is firstname.lastname@example.org, or get on Twitter @GeoffLemonSport. I want to know everything. Everything. 5.59pm AEST 5th over: Australia 1-23 (Warner 15, Smith 1) And again, another top over from Dawlat Zadran. Makes Smith wait a couple of balls by shaping them outside off stump, then after Smith gets off strike, Warner booms two massive drives that don’t connect, nearly edging behind off both. Warner drives three from the last ball, but Dawlat is enjoying his day so far. 5.52pm AEST 4th over: Australia 1-19 (Warner 12, Smith 0) Clarke was listed to come in at No3, but in walks Steve Smith. This is where many people have suggested he should bat. Shapoor bowls a wide to Warner, then has a massive appeal for another one down leg side that takes the pad on the way through to the keeper. Warner responds by whacking another pull for four. That’s all he gets from the over, as he carefully defends a couple more balls, and finds the field from the last. 5.48pm AEST 3rd over: Australia 1-14 (Warner 8) What an over from Dawlat. He was on the dot throughout, cramping Finch, keeping him tied down, even diving to stop a drive from the fourth ball. For five deliveries Finch couldn’t get away, then Dawlat had his man from the sixth. 5.46pm AEST Got him! Afghanistan strike early, Dawlat pitching up to Finch, getting some movement away and Finch went at it with a big drive that wasn’t really on. The edge carried to second slip and Mangal took it coolly falling away to his left. 5.42pm AEST 2nd over: Australia 0-14 (Warner 8, Finch 4) Hamid Hassan is being kept for first change. That’s handy. Shapoor Zadran is winding up that long run-up from the shadows of the grandstand. It’s double Zadran time. 5.38pm AEST 1st over: Australia 0-4 (Warner 1, Finch 2) Good start from Dawlat Zadran, who comes up with four dot balls to David Warner to start the match, then a top-edged single from a pull where Warner didn’t read the pace off the pitch. You’d take that any game. Dawlat loses his line to the right-handed Finch, bowling a wide, then Finch gets two more runs through mid-on. 5.33pm AEST Right. Afghanistan have been everybody’s second team this World Cup, unless you support Afghanistan in which case they’re your first. With me? Their thriller against Scotland was one of the all-time great stories of the Cup, given their rise from total obscurity less than 15 years ago. This will be one of their sternest challenges yet - we saw the UZE struggle mightily with the bounce and pace of the WACA pitch against India, and this team won’t have seen anything like this either. It’ll be a challenge for their bowlers to get their lengths right, and even more so the batsmen will have a challenge against the pace and bounce of the Australian pace quartet. Even Glenn Maxwell could get a few nicks behind on this bouncy surface. Should be a fascinating game, to see how Afghanistan respond, and to see what Australia come up with after their bizarre, frenetic loss to New Zealand last weekend. 5.27pm AEST Many team news! People who have been waiting for Shane Watson to be dropped will be delighted. Shane Watson has been dropped. But instead of George Bailey coming back to stiffen the batting, everyone has been shuffled up the order to accommodate James Faulkner at No8. That means Clarke at 3, Smith at 4, Maxwell at 5 and Mitchell Marsh at 6. Hmm. Pat Cummins is also out for Josh Hazlewood. 5.21pm AEST Hello Aussies, hello Afghans, hello Ozzy Osbourne, hello Afghan hounds, hello everybody else who fits none of those categories. Geoff Lemon here with you as we prepare for Australia versus Afghanistan to face off for their Pool A contest at the WACA. Afghanistan captain Mohammad Nabi has won the toss and sent Australia in! Love it. No fear from the visiting side. 4.30pm AEST Geoff will be here shortly... while you’re waiting, here he is in podcast mode, hosting this week’s Cricket World Cup show, featuring guests Russell Jackson (also here, later), Gideon Haigh and Adam Collins. Related: Cricket World Cup 2015 podcast: associates light up tournament Continue reading... Mitchell Starc celebrates a wicket earlierMitchell Starc celebrates a wicket earlierAustralia celebrate the wicket of Javed Ahmadi of Afghanistan.Australia celebrate the wicket of Javed Ahmadi of Afghanistan.
- Kevin Pietersen and the Thatcher parallel: the batsman’s not for returning | Marina Hyde
The means by which KP’s fans could restore him to his former England glory are as ill-defined as they are doomed – yet they fight destructively on, and on • Pietersen debate the last thing England need – Stuart Broad For almost 30 years, the passport of ex-King Constantine of Greece did not admit of a surname. It billed him simply as “Constantine, former king of the Hellenes”. I wonder if Kevin Pietersen may consider amending his British one so it reads simply: “Kevin, exiled England batsman”? There are deathless stories, and then there’s the question of whether a way back to the England side can be found for Pietersen . None of us should rule out this discussion being the last thing we hear before we die – even if our expected checkout date is several decades away. Pietersen could be fielding in a Zimmer frame for the Jaipur Twilight Homers in the IPL seniors’ league, and people would still be arguing whether the door to an England return was truly shut. Continue reading... None of us should rule out the discussion about Kevin Pietersen's England status being the last thing we hear before we die. Photograph: Adrian Dennis/AFP/Getty ImagesNone of us should rule out the discussion about Kevin Pietersen's England status being the last thing we hear before we die. Photograph: Adrian Dennis/AFP/Getty Images
- India’s Virat Kohli confronts journalist in case of mistaken identity
• Kohli seen verbally abusing Hindustan Times journalist Jasvinder Sidhu • Sidhu claims he has not received a direct apology from player • The Spin: cricket’s great data debate – art v science India’s training session in Perth on Wednesday took an unexpected turn when their one-day vice-captain, Virat Kohli verbally confronted a journalist in a case of mistaken identity. Kohli stunned onlookers when he walked over to and shouted at the Hindustan Times journalist Jasvinder Sidhu without apparent provocation. Reports suggested Kohli had incorrectly identified the writer as another journalist who had written about his private life. Continue reading... India have sought to play down the incident involving their one-day vice-captain, Virat Kohli, as a ‘misunderstanding’. Photograph: Greg Wood/AFP/Getty ImagesIndia have sought to play down the incident involving their one-day vice-captain, Virat Kohli, as a ‘misunderstanding’. Photograph: Greg Wood/AFP/Getty Images
- Pakistan secure 129-run victory over UAE at Cricket World Cup
• Pakistan 339-6; UAE 210-8 (Pakistan win by 129 runs) • Ahmed Shehzad run out just short of a century • The Spin: cricket’s great data debate – art v science Pakistan boosted their chances of reaching the Cricket World Cup quarter-finals by defeating the United Arab Emirates by 129 runs in Napier. A second-wicket partnership of 160 between Ahmed Shehzad (93) and Haris Sohail (70) and a quick-fire 65 from the captain, Misbah-ul-Haq, helped Pakistan amass 339 for six in their 50 overs and, although the UAE lost only eight wickets in their reply, they made 210, leaving them well short of their target. Continue reading... Pakistan's Ahmed Shehzad in action during his side's victory over UAE at McLean Park. Photograph: Hannah Peters/Getty ImagesPakistan's Ahmed Shehzad in action during his side's victory over UAE at McLean Park. Photograph: Hannah Peters/Getty Images
- Kevin Pietersen debate is the last thing England need, says Stuart Broad
• Broad says talk of return an unhelpful distraction during World Cup • ‘The last thing this group needs is a KP media storm popping up again’ • Pietersen scorns team selection to put rapprochement on hold Stuart Broad believes the reopening of the debate over Kevin Pietersen’s future is the last thing England need during a torturous World Cup campaign. Colin Graves, the incoming chairman of the England and Wales Cricket Board, made Pietersen a live issue again on Sunday when he said a return for the 34-year-old batsman was possible if he scored big runs in county cricket , an unexpected development which came hours after England’s nine-wicket thrashing by Sri Lanka in Wellington, the team’s third heavy defeat of a demoralising World Cup. Continue reading... England's Stuart Broad believes the debate over Kevin Pietersen's future is a distraction England could do without during a turbulent World Cup. Photograph: Shaun Botterill/Getty ImagesEngland's Stuart Broad believes the debate over Kevin Pietersen's future is a distraction England could do without during a turbulent World Cup. Photograph: Shaun Botterill/Getty Images
- The Spin | Cricket’s great data debate: art v science | Andy Bull
In an age when all teams are using computer analysis, a tactic isn’t good or bad because it looks that way. It is simply good if it works and bad if it doesn’t In July 2007, after a history reckoned to stretch back almost 4,000 years, the game of draughts was finally solved. After two decades of work, a team of computer scientists at the University of Alberta finished sifting through the 500 billion, billion possible positions on the board. Their computer programme, Chinook, was now unbeatable. So long as neither player made a mistake, every game it played was guaranteed to end in a stalemate. Later that same summer, Peter Moores was appointed as head coach of the England cricket team. Moores was one of the new breed of coaches. A numbers man, and disciple of Michael Lewis’s much abused book, Moneyball. He even gave a copy to his batting coach, Andy Flower. Moores was so keen on advanced computer analysis that he used it as the sole basis for some of his decisions – the decision to recall Ryan Sidebottom to the side, for instance. Continue reading... The laptop is just another tool in the box, useless unless the players understand the value of the information it provides, and no more valuable than their own ability to adapt. Photograph: Tom Jenkins for the GuardianThe laptop is just another tool in the box, useless unless the players understand the value of the information it provides, and no more valuable than their own ability to adapt. Photograph: Tom Jenkins for the Guardian
- Darren Stevens: my two years of hell in anti-corruption spotlight
• Kent all-rounder speaks for first time since clearing his name • Stevens is featured on a DVD to warn county cricketers of corruption February 2014: Stevens cleared of involvement in Bangladesh corruption The Kent all-rounder Darren Stevens has spoken for the first time about how his career was thrown into turmoil when he was charged with failing to report an approach from a would-be match-fixer. In a video recorded for the Professional Cricketers Association , he describes going through “two years of hell” when accused of failing to contact the International Cricket Council’s anti-corruption unit while playing for Dhaka Gladiators in the Bangladesh Premier League two years ago. Continue reading... Kent's Darren Stevens will feature on a new DVD to warn county cricketers of the dangers of corruption within the game. Photograph: Stu Forster/Getty ImagesKent's Darren Stevens will feature on a new DVD to warn county cricketers of the dangers of corruption within the game. Photograph: Stu Forster/Getty Images
- Afghanistan unintimidated by Cricket World Cup hosts Australia – video
Mohammad Nabi, the Afghanistan cricket captain, says his side are not scared of playing World Cup co-hosts Australia in their pool match on Wednesday. Nabi says it is good experience for his team to play against the best sides in the world. Michael Clarke, the Australian captain, says his team is confident of winning despite their recent narrow defeat to fellow co-hosts New Zealand Continue reading... 140x84 trailpic for Afghanistan
- South Africa hit 400 again to crush Ireland in Cricket World Cup
• South Africa 411-4; Ireland 210 (South Africa win by 201 runs) • Hashim Amla leads South Africa charge with 159 in Canberra • As it happened: Dan Lucas and Simon Burnton’s OBO report Hashim Amla struck a career-best 159 as South Africa thrashed Ireland by 201 runs in their World Cup Pool B match in Canberra but the defeated captain, William Porterfield, insisted there was no panic. South Africa amassed 411 for four from their 50 overs thanks to the free-flowing scoring of the opening batsman Amla and Faf du Plessis, who scored 109, with David Miller and Rilee Rossouw adding 110 quick runs at the end of the innings. Continue reading... South Africa's Hashim Amla cuts during his innings of 159 against Ireland. Photograph: Rob Griffith/APSouth Africa's Hashim Amla cuts during his innings of 159 against Ireland. Photograph: Rob Griffith/AP
- Ireland v South Africa: Cricket World Cup 2015 – live! | Dan Lucas and Simon Burnton
South Africa won by 201 runs after scoring more than 400 for the second consecutive match to bat Ireland out of the game 11.05am GMT That’s all from me. Another fearsome performance from South Africa’s batting line-up gave Ireland no chance of victory. I’ll leave you with a bit of post-match AB De Villiers quotage: Bye! There’s been a lot of 100s over the last 12-18 months. We want to keep scoring centuries. Hashim’s incredible. Still the rock. He will always be the rock for us. He plays with a lot of class, his gameplans are so set. Hopefully he can stay in that form for the rest of the tour. The guys were very motivated for today, wanting to do well, and I saw every bit of that today. 10.55am GMT Hashim Amla is the man of the match. This is (some of) what he had to say: Fortunately we got off to a good start, and I just played a few shots. We had wickets in hand so it afforded us the luxury to [put the foot down]. It was a good wicket and fortunately we got some runs. We don’t look too far ahead. We’re just glad to win a game of cricket. Then the guys bowled exceptionally well. When you have any team four down chasing 400 the writing’s almost on the wall, and we ended with a comfortable victory. 10.52am GMT It’s the 15th biggest winning margin in World Cup history*! It could have been bigger, if South Africa had another specialist frontline bowler rather than a variety of part-times in the middle overs, but it’s still plenty big enough. *Er, thanks to colm18 for the fact-checking. 10.50am GMT Morkely bowls full and straight and Dockrell gives himself room, takes a swing and watches the ball smack into his off stump, and it’s all over! 10.45am GMT 44th over: Ireland 203-9 (Dockrell 19, McBrine 2) Abbott bowls, the over ending with five slips lined up waiting for a catch but McBrine missing the ball entirely (perhaps just aiming at the stumps would have been a better option). “This, in a backwards way, is an argument why Associates should be in the World Cup,” writes Stuart Moore. “Here they are, rather than thrashing around, sensibly trying to accumulate as many as they can in order to protect their run-rate. Did the Windies do that?” I’m not sure that such an emphatic defeat is the strongest argument, but then after Afghanistan v Scotland I’m not sure any further arguments are needed. 10.41am GMT 43rd over: Ireland 200-9 (Dockrell 18, McBrine 0) The wicket comes from the final ball of the over, Ireland having scored their 200th run – gamely cheered by the green-clad fans – from the previous delivery. 10.40am GMT A short ball catches the handle of Sorensen’s bat and loops lazily towards first slip, giving De Kock plenty of time to stroll over before pouching it. 10.35am GMT 42nd over: Ireland 199-8 (Dockrell 17, Sorensen 22) Tahir’s final over sees Sorensen thwack the third ball back past just past the bowler’s shoulder for four, and the fourth ball back past where the bowler’s shoulder would have been had he been standing on the shoulders of someone standing on the shoulders of someone else, for six. 10.31am GMT 41st over: Ireland 186-8 (Dockrell 15, Sorensen 11) Dockrell goes for a quick single to mid-off, the ball going straight to De Villiers whose shy at the stumps misses with the batsman nowhere. As the ball leaves the fielder’s hands he cries, forlornly, “Noooooooooooo”. 10.26am GMT 40th over: Ireland 184-8 (Dockrell 14, Sorensen 11) Tahir’s ninth over, and Sorensen smites the ball over mid-on for four before working the next through the covers for four more. 10.23am GMT 39th over: Ireland 176-8 (Dockrell 14, Sorensen 3) Dropped! Dockrell diverts the ball to backward point where Miller misjudges his dive and lets the ball spill through his hands. It would have been a fine catch, but we’ve all seen finer. Then Sorensen misjudges a shorter ball, trying to duck as it heads straight for his body and hits his unprotected forearm. He barely flinches, and is either made of solid steel or is extremely ruddy good at disguising pain. 10.19am GMT 38th over: Ireland 172-8 (Dockrell 11, Sorensen 2) Abbott gets his final ball to swing into Sorensen, who gets bat to it without much control and scurries a couple. 10.16am GMT 37th over: Ireland 169-8 (Dockrell 10, Sorensen 0) “When Duminy returns, should De Kock be dropped?” wonders David Pienaar, as Steyn bowls and Dockrell scores a single. “I think he should be allowed to play himself in over the next two games, he’s such a natural striker of the ball – but if he doesn’t succeed in them, then drop him for the quarters. But do we need the extra keeping pressure on AB?” De Kock may have plenty of ability but he’s not showing it often enough – a combined 31 runs in his last five innings (he’s only exceeded 20 in three of his last 16 ODI knocks, 10 of which ended in single figures) tells its own story. 10.11am GMT 36th over: Ireland 168-8 (Dockrell 9, Sorensen 0) “That Steve Mokoena’s a dreamer,” writes Billy Mills. “I’d take us getting to 200 from here.” Yes, 300 seems hopelessly distant. As for over 36: one over, one wide, one wicket, one single. 10.06am GMT The powerplay is signalled, and two balls into it (the first was a wide) Ireland lose another wicket, as O’Brien, sniffing a half-century, slightly mishits the ball high to deep midwicket where Rossouw runs to his left, sets himself and collects the catch. 10.04am GMT 35th over: Ireland 166-7 (K O’Brien 48, Dockrell 8) Maybe Steve’s right, though, because Steyn comes back for a second spell. One fine delivery zips an inch or two wide of Dockrell’s off stump, and another zips wide on the leg side but the umpire decides not to signal a wide. 9.59am GMT 34th over: Ireland 163-7 (K O’Brien 45, Dockrell 8) Tahir continues and it would have been another maiden, had Dockrell not shifted his feet to thunder the third delivery over extra cover for six. “I don’t think Irish will get to even 300 runs because our boys are keen to wrap out the game now,” says Steve Mokoena. They might have wrapped up the game a while ago, but they were more keen to experiment with their bowling options. 9.58am GMT 33rd over: Ireland 157-7 (K O’Brien 45, Dockrell 2) De Villiers gives himself another over, but there’s no repeat of his wicket-taking glory. Just a couple of singles. 9.53am GMT 32nd over: Ireland 155-7 (K O’Brien 44, Dockrell 1) Tahir bowls the day’s third maiden, and the first since over number three of South Africa’s innings. 9.51am GMT 31st over: Ireland 155-7 (K O’Brien 44, Dockrell 1) De Villiers isn’t much of a bowler, having now tried bowling five times in 183 ODIs. But the last three occasions – and his last bowl was on his last visit to Canberra, last November – have all brought at least one wicket. After Mooney’s gone Dockrell quickly grabs a single, and O’Brien pulls a short (and weak) ball for four. There’s an attempted stumping off the last, but replays show that O’Brien’s toe remained planted at all times. 9.47am GMT De Villiers bowls, and his second delivery accounts for Mooney, who chops the ball into his stumps! 9.44am GMT 30th over: Ireland 150-6 (K O’Brien 40, Mooney 8) Tahir bowls, and Ireland score a single off each of the first four deliveries to bring up a raucously-cheered 150. 9.42am GMT 29th over: Ireland 146-6 (K O’Brien 38, Mooney 6) Du Plessis bowls a fourth over, the first time he’s done that in a ODI since January 2012, and it starts with O’Brien hitting over the infield and to the extra cover boundary for four, with runs continuing to dribble out thereafter. 9.39am GMT 28th over: Ireland 137-6 (K O’Brien 31, Mooney 4) Tahir’s back, with five dot balls as well. Mooney grabbed a couple off the one that wasn’t. South Africa continue to avoid the jugular. 9.35am GMT 27th over: Ireland 135-6 (K O’Brien 31, Mooney 2) Du Plessis bowls again, and Mooney attempts to ramp the ball over the keeper but it flies off his glove, up in the air and to safety. 9.32am GMT 26th over: Ireland 130-6 (K O’Brien 28, Mooney 0) Morkel enjoys his over so much he extends it with a sixth-ball bouncer that flies over O’Brien’s head and is called a wide. Earlier, Balbirnie had struck one final lovely four before his dismissal. Now only O’Brien stands between Ireland and the exit. Ireland v Eng, Bangalore 2011: 113-5 off 24.2. Ire v SA today: 115-5 off 24.2. Bang on target. Apart from target being 412 instead of 328. 9.29am GMT Balbirnie’s excellent innings comes to an end with a pull straight to Rossouw at deep square leg! 9.25am GMT 25th over: Ireland 124-5 (Balbirnie 54, K O’Brien 27) Six! Du Plessis bowls again and O’Brien crashes the ball over long on, with De Villiers diving at the boundary in vain hope of catching a ball that cleared him by five feet and the rope by a couple. 9.21am GMT 24th over: Ireland 115-5 (Balbirnie 53, K O’Brien 19) At which Morkel returns. Balbirnie deflects the ball, apparently deliberately, past first slip for four, and sends the next through cover for another, which brings up his half-century. He arrived at the crease as South Africa were starting to scale back their initial assault, but has remained admirably unpanicked in what was a miserable match situation. 9.17am GMT 23rd over: Ireland 107-5 (Balbirnie 45, K O’Brien 19) Du Plessis bowls again, his three overs against West Indies in South Africa’s last game having been his first in ODI cricket for more than two years. He last took a ODI wicket in September 2012. He starts as badly as possible, with a leg-side wide that rumbles away to the boundary for five, but improves somewhat from there. 9.14am GMT 22nd over: Ireland 98-5 (Balbirnie 42, K O’Brien 19) Ireland, putting their own net run rate calculations to one side, set about reaching respectability. Five singles and a couple from Rossouw’s harmless over. 9.10am GMT 21st over: Ireland 91-5 (Balbirnie 38, K O’Brien 16) Tahir continues, and other than befuddling Balbirnie with one googly it’s pretty straightforward stuff. 9.08am GMT 20th over: Ireland 87-5 (Balbirnie 36, K O’Brien 15) Rossouw bowls, with the incentive of having a man-of-the-match award at stake – currently Amla’s to lose, but after his 39-ball 61 a couple of wickets from Rossouw might put his name in the frame. He doesn’t look much like getting them here, and Ireland add five to their total. 9.05am GMT 19th over: Ireland 82-5 (Balbirnie 34, K O’Brien 12) Tahir speeds through another over, with Balbirnie taking a single from the penultimate delivery. 9.03am GMT 18th over: Ireland 81-5 (Balbirnie 33, K O’Brien 12) The slower bowlers seem more likely to restrict runs than to take wickets, which isn’t necessarily what anyone particularly needs right now. O’Brien gets a very thin edge to send the ball, just, past Morkel’s dive on the boundary rope. 9.01am GMT 17th over: Ireland 72-5 (Balbirnie 28, K O’Brien 7) Balbirnie sweeps past square leg for four off the first ball of Tahir’s over. I must admit I miss that delivery as I rush to the staff canteen for some breakfast. It’s a granola day. 8.55am GMT 16th over: Ireland 65-5 (Balbirnie 24, K O’Brien 5) Behardien bowls, and has a smart caught-and-bowled chance as Balbirnie pushes the ball meekly back in his direction. Behardien launches himself to his left but gets only fingertips on the ball. Otherwise no drama, four singles, and then some drinks. 8.52am GMT 15th over: Ireland 61-5 (Balbirnie 22, K O’Brien 3) Some spin, then, as the ball is thrown to Imran Tahir. A couple of singles, a leg bye and a very pleasing sweep for four. South Africa have an incentive to keep pushing, with top spot in Pool B up for grabs if they win quickly enough. 8.49am GMT 14th over: Ireland 54-5 (Balbirnie 17, K O’Brien 2) Morkel, still wicketless, continues. There’s a moment of excitement as Balbirnie pushes one towards mid-off, but the fielder’s a couple of yards too far away to catch it. Just a single scored. 8.46am GMT 13th over: Ireland 53-5 (Balbirnie 17, K O’Brien 1) Ireland snaffle a couple of singles, the second of them pretty sharp – Balbirnie was a whisker away from getting run out, only for the ball to fly just pass the stumps. @Simon_Burnton So eyes looking down for the record World Cup win? #CWC15 8.41am GMT 12th over: Ireland 51-5 (Balbirnie 16, K O’Brien 0) Ireland reach 50 as Balbirnie grabs a couple. It’s an occasion for celebrating even the most minor landmarks. 8.36am GMT 11th over: Ireland 48-5 (Balbirnie 13, K O’Brien 0) As Abbott comes in to bowl his fourth delivery to Kevin O’Brien Balbirnie at the other end drops his bat and stoops to pick it up. O’Brien keeps his focus to get bat to ball, but doesn’t trouble the scorers. One run and one wicket from the over. 8.33am GMT And another one’s gone! Abbott gets the ball to nip back into the batsman, who can’t react to the movement in time to deflect it off his pads. The batsmen consider a review, but after a brief discussion Wilson trudges off. 8.31am GMT 10th over: Ireland 47-4 (Balbirnie 12, Wilson 0) Morkel bowls a little too short, straight into Balbirnie’s hitting zone, and he thumps it over midwicket for four. The next delivery is a beauty, pitched full and flying straight past a nonplussed batsman and through to de Kock. 8.28am GMT 9th over: Ireland 42-4 (Balbirnie 7, Wilson 0) The twin highlights of the over are a fine boundary for O’Brien, pulled over square leg, and then his dismissal from the very next delivery. 8.26am GMT O’Brien gets an edge towards first slip, de Kock goes for it and gets the edge of a glove to it and deflects the ball into Amla’s chest, where it lodges behind an arm. At the end of it, you expected to see the ball in the wicketkeeper’s glove, only for Amla to start waving it about like a conjuror. 8.23am GMT 8th over: Ireland 37-3 (O’Brien 10, Balbirnie 6) Morkel bowls, and after a few dot balls Balbirnie decides he has to hit one but sends it straight to mid-on, where it bounces a yard and a half short of the fielder. Then he hits in the air to square leg where the ball loops just over the clawing hand of a backpedalling Behardien. If the fielder were a foot taller, Ireland would have four down. 8.18am GMT 7th over: Ireland 36-3 (O’Brien 10, Balbirnie 5) After his third over Steyn is asked if he wants another, and he most emphatically does. With two wickets already, he’s sniffing more. Instead he concedes 10, the highlight being O’Brien’s punch through the covers for four, with the batsman then getting away with top-edging a hook. 8.14am GMT 6th over: Ireland 26-3 (O’Brien 1, Balbirnie 4) Balbirnie takes a wild swish at Abbott’s penultimate delivery but gets away with it, and is then all squared up by the last, which zips through to Quinton de Kock collects. 8.09am GMT 5th over: Ireland 25-3 (O’Brien 0, Balbirnie 4) Balbirnie becomes the third Irishman to get off the mark with a boundary, thumping a low full toss through the on-side for four. 8.08am GMT 4th over: Ireland 21-2 (Joyce 0, O’Brien 0) Didn’t quite get a chance to launch this between wickets: Abbott’s first delivery slides just past Porterfield’s edge without quite finding it, and the batsman then pulls in the air but just wide of Steyn at short fine leg, but he doesn’t stay long. 8.07am GMT This is excellent, hostile bowling from Steyn and Ireland have no answer to it. He sends one ball short, the next full, and Joyce edges the second to slip, where Amla clutches the ball to his chest. 8.04am GMT This could be brief. That’s a poor shot from an unexceptional delivery, spearing it to midwicket where Du Plessis takes a smart low catch. 7.59am GMT 3rd over: Ireland 17-1 (Porterfield 8, Joyce 0) Stirling, like Porterfield, gets off the mark with a boundary, pushing emphatically past point, a shot the batsman enjoys so much he does it again next ball, but the over is not destined to end quite as well as it started for him. Indeed it ends with Ed Joyce, the new batsman, ducking under a bouncer. 7.58am GMT Stirling edges the ball on its way through to the keeper, causing a very slight deflection but a very obvious noise. Ranmore Martinesz doesn’t hear it, but the review is instant and successful. 7.56am GMT Everyone but the umpire thinks so. But what of snicko? 7.53am GMT 2nd over: Ireland 7-0 (Porterfield 7, Stirling 0) Abbott gets us started from t’other end, and there’s a hint of inswing here, promisingly. And then there’s a massive lbw shout as the ball thuds into Porterfield’s pad. Umpire Steve Davis is unmoved and South Africa decide not to review, sensing perhaps that HawkEye would not be conclusive enough to overturn the on-field decision. Turns out it would have been. 7.49am GMT 1st over: Ireland 5-0 (Porterfield 5, Stirling 0) Steyn opens the bowling for South Africa, and Porterfield drives through the covers for four, and then thick-edges along the ground for a single. Ireland will presumably be aiming for something around the 300 mark, thinking more about their future in this tournament than the extraordinarily remote possibility of winning this match. 7.44am GMT The players are back out and preparing for action. Deep breath now. 7.41am GMT “That is a brilliant performance,” writes Ditaba Mphuthi. “I just hope they take this and make it to the final and bring it home.” They are an absolutely thrilling batting outfit and no mistake. Anyway, he continues: “Can Ireland get there?” Well, time will tell. But if you put me on the spot I’m going with no. 7.38am GMT If we repeatedly tell ourselves this might happen, maybe it’ll happen. There have only been 5 run chases above 300 in World Cup history and Ireland is responsible for 3. Can it chase 400? 7.16am GMT Hello world! So the live odds on this game have South Africa at 1/500, and Ireland at a not very generous 66/1. Ireland’s highest-ever score batting second in a ODI is the 329 they famously reached to beat England in 2011 which, while impressive, would still leave them 83 runs short here. Still, where there’s life there’s hope, eh? 7.10am GMT Yeah, good luck with that. A very strong batting performance as we expected from South Africa. Amla took advantage of his lifeline on 10 and played a wonderful innings of 159, ably supported by his fellow centurion Faf Du Plessis. Ireland, in truth, didn’t bowl particularly well, Dockrell and McBrine aside. Simon Burnton is here to guide you through the chase. Email him at email@example.com . Bye! 7.07am GMT 50th over: South Africa 411-4 (Miller 46, Rossouw 61) The final over then before I hand you over to Simon Burnton. Can South Africa make it back-to-back 400s? Kevin O’Brien is the bowler charged with stopping them. His first ball is in the slot and slog-swept over long-on, where it’s caught in the crowd. He then gets a bottom edge past Wilson and away for three. That just feels cruel. Another six as Rossouw clears mid-wicket and that’s a World Cup first, taking them past 400 for the second match in a row. That’s also the 100 partnership off 51 balls and the next ball is chopped down to third man for four. The fifth ball is bunted off the toe end of the bat for a single to cover. Last ball and it flies off the inside edge and down to fine leg for four more. 24 from the final over! 7.02am GMT 49th over: South Africa 387-4 (Miller 33, Rossouw 50) Sorensen to bowl the penultimate over. He starts with a dot as Miller drives back to him, but the left-hander then clears his front leg and hits it through mid-on for four. A wide half-volley is carved over extra cover for a one-bounce four, then a bye as the left-hander misses out on a full-toss. The fifth ball, to Rossouw is a dot, then a beamer, a no-ball, is lofted over extra cover for another four. Can Rossouw get to his 50? Yep, he smears it straight down the ground to bring up a 27-ball half-century . 6.57am GMT 48th over: South Africa 371-4 (Miller 25, Rossouw 44) McBrine is back into the attack and after a good start, the first three balls yielding just a single, Riley Rossouw flat-bats one down the ground for six then gets a bottom edge round the corner for four. 6.54am GMT 47th over: South Africa 360-4 (Miller 24, Rossouw 34) 0-51 from Max Sorensen’s four overs so far but he’s back into the attack. Miller clubs a single down the ground, then Rossouw slogs a half-volley over mid-on for six. Three further singles and that’s 10 from the over. 6.49am GMT 46th over: South Africa 350-4 (Miller 22, Rossouw 26) Miller is given out, pinned LBW as he misses a sweep. He reviews immediately though and the replay shows conclusively that he’s got a bottom edge on it. Carry on, then. This is really good bowling from Stirling, tight and full and keeping the batsmen from freeing their arms. Just a single from the first four balls, another from the fifth and a third from the last. Excellent over 6.44am GMT 45th over: South Africa 347-4 (Miller 21, Rossouw 24) O’Brien come on for Mooney and after an exchange of singles, Rossouw hoiks it behind square leg for four. Oh and this is ridiculous, Miller dummies to reverse, then pulls back and thumps a full-toss through mid-wicket for four more. 6.40am GMT 44th over: South Africa 336-4 (Miller 20, Rossouw 14) More spin in the last 10 overs. Hmm. Stirling it is and Miller looks to swivel-pull him round the corner, gets a bottom edge and the ball trickling to the fine-leg boundary for four. Rossouw then sweeps to the same region for three. Nothing’s going Ireland’s way now, as Miller gets three more from a thick outside edge down to third man. 13 from the over. 6.35am GMT 43rd over: South Africa 323-4 (Miller 16, Rossouw 5) Mooney now and Rossouw gets a single, before Miller knocks it down the ground then into the on-side for a pair of twos. These two aren’t going to go mad just yet, I wouldn’t have thought. Another single, a chipped two to Rossouw into the on-side and then a front-foot no-ball from Mooney, who doesn’t look particularly happy at the prospect of the free-hit. Miller is on strike and clears the mid-wicket boundary! That’s ruined a good over from Mooney. Miller and Rilee both have strike rate overwhelmingly high for ODI 99 and 105 respectively #IREvSA 6.30am GMT 42nd over: South Africa 307-4 (Miller 5, Rossouw 1) What an innings that was from Amla after being dropped on 10. David Miller isn’t a bad player to have coming in to smack it around at the death, mind. De Villiers turns it square for a couple, but then goes! Two new men at the crease, both fast-scoring big-hitters, but McBrine has done excellently in this over, slamming the brakes on in the most effective manner. Miller gets four with a sweep to square leg off the final ball, but that’s a very good over, going for just eight. Geoff Foley did send this email before this over: “It seems to me, and many actual commentators, that the death bowling in the tournament so far as been pretty rubbish as a general rule. I know this is only the Irish today but teams with better credentials have been poor too. Is it just a symptom of the pitches served up or a more general indication of this generation’s lack of bowling ability?” 6.26am GMT The danger man goes! He brings out the reverse sweep, looking for six, doesn’t get hold of it and can only pick out Niall O’Brien on the edge of the circle at point. 6.23am GMT There’ll be no double for Amla then. The bat twists slightly in the hand as he goes for the big hit and this time Joyce, at long-off, takes the catch. 6.21am GMT 41st over: South Africa 299-2 (Amla 159, De Villers 22) 380 should be the target for South Africa here, at least. Amla takes a couple into the off-side off O’Brien to move to 150 followed by a hook for four to move to his highest ODI score. Wide and full next ball and timed brilliantly past Stirling at backward point. De Villiers then launches a shot that we would once have thought ordinary, but now seems de rigeur, over extra cover for six more. “They’re looking for another 200 off the last 10 overs, aren’t they?” writes Karl in Melbourne. “Still, let’s keep the Associates in, right? I did think it was a little premature to talk up the lesser nations, when they mostly haven’t played the favourites yet. Beating an out of sorts West Indies is one thing, but facing India and South Africa (or Australia) looking for form is clearly another.” 6.16am GMT 40th over: South Africa 280-2 (Amla 148, De Villers 14) Dockrell replaces Mooney; he’s bowled pretty well without really threatening so far. Then again, he hasn’t had to bowl to de Villiers yet. AB backs away and carves the first ball over cover for four, then sweep-slogs inches beyond the grasp of deep square-leg – so close to a brilliant catch from the diving McBrine, who was late picking it up, but instead it’s a six. A full-toss is then driven to extra cover for two more and a wild slash to the same region both bewilders the cameraman and brings one more. Then a chest-high full-toss, oddly not called as a no-ball, is slammed to the mid-on fence for four by Amla. One more from the final ball of the powerplay and 69 have come from it. 6.11am GMT 39th over: South Africa 262-2 (Amla 143, De Villers 1) O’Brien to Du Plessis and the keeper, stood up, very nearly takes a bat to the face as the batsman misses out with a ramp. Faf goes for the scoop after that to deep fine leg, where Dockrell does well to reel it back in and keep them to three. A single brings Du Plessis back on strike, and he misses out trying to smear a yorker into the on-side. That brings a fine innings to an end and brings AB de Villiers to the crease. He starts with a dance down the track and a dab to third man, then Amla dashes through for a well-run couple off the final ball. Just seven from the over – good comeback from KOB. 6.07am GMT Gone! A perfect yorker from O’Brien and he hits the base of middle and leg. 6.04am GMT 38th over: South Africa 255-1 (Amla 140, Du Plessis 106) Mooney is back on and Gary Wilson is standing up to the stumps to him. Amla chips down the ground, but Joyce comes around from long-off to keep him down to two. No chance for the fielder on the next ball though as Mooney tries the slower bouncer and Amla goes back in his crease and hooks it over square leg for four. Oh and then a horrible high-full toss, above waist-height so a no ball and carved over cover for four. Amla steadies himself and swipes the next one over square for his third six; Mooney doesn’t have the pace to trouble him. Another boundary from the penultimate ball, deliberately sliced over backward point and down to third man. And finally over extra cover for six more! 27 from the over. 5.55am GMT 37th over: South Africa 228-1 (Amla 114, Du Plessis 106) Conference time for Ireland as Kevin O’Brien comes back into the attack. 21 came from his first two overs. @DanLucas86 A friend did an analysis suggesting good teams are now reaching half their 50 over score by over 32. 388 for SA than? #CWC15 5.48am GMT 36th over: South Africa 215-1 (Amla 107, Du Plessis 100) Powerplay time. This could be fun. Dockrell continues, surprisingly; I’d have thought the hitherto excellent Moody might be on to apply the breaks, but then I guess Porterfield would then be short on death bowlers. It’s very good from Dockrell, at least keeping the scoring rate down. Du Plessis nudges one square on the on-side and scampers through for the single that takes him to his hundred. Good over from Dockrell though; four from it. 5.45am GMT 35th over: South Africa 211-1 (Amla 105, Du Plessis 98) So, the final over before the powerplay and Stirling will bowl it. 0-47 from his seven overs so far and he’s been unspectacularly leaky. A mix-up in the middle and Amla is stranded halfway down the pitch with the ball in the keeper’s hands, but Wilson throws it miles over Stirling’s head with Amla scrambling back to the non-striker’s end. Ireland’s fielding hasn’t been great today. 5.40am GMT 34th over: South Africa 206-1 (Amla 103, Du Plessis 95) Dockrell back now and the batsmen milk him for four singles. 5.38am GMT 33rd over: South Africa 202-1 (Amla 101, Du Plessis 93) Du Plessis begins with a single to mid-on to give Amla the strike. Dropped on 10 by Joyce, the opener pushes calmly to mid-off to bring up his 20th ODI tonne and become the fastest player ever to reach the landmark. By some way, in fact: the previous record-holder, Virat Kohli, took 133 innings, Amla has done it in his 108th. Du Plessis ends the over with a boundary, hammered over long-off to bring up the 200 5.34am GMT 32nd over: South Africa 194-1 (Amla 99, Du Plessis 87) “Which batsman is most important for South Africa?” asks the Sky Sports poll. David Miller is actually an option. Poor David Miller. Amla turns a single to square leg to move to 99. Du Plessis then backs away, looking to hit through the off-side, but McBrine follows him well and doesn’t allow the batsman enough room. Just four from the over. 5.31am GMT 31st over: South Africa 190-1 (Amla 97, Du Plessis 85) This is now South Africa’s highest ever second-wicket stand in World Cups: 172 in as many balls. You get the feeling they’re just saving themselves for the powerplay now, because this is really boring. Oh, no, Du Plessis chips firmly, high over extra cover for four, bouncing a foot or so inside the rope. 5.29am GMT 30th over: South Africa 181-1 (Amla 94, Du Plessis 79) A change of ends for McBrine then as Porterfield tries to find something, anything, to break this partnership. Mark Nicholas is asking Shaun Pollock about South Africa choking and I cannot describe how awkward it is listening to him try avoid the c-word. Pollock is probably thinking of another c-word to describe Nicholas. 5.25am GMT 29th over: South Africa 176-1 (Amla 91, Du Plessis 77) Stirling returns in place of McBrine. Amla looks to slap him through cover, but Kevin O’Brien pulls off an outstanding one-handed stop at cover. Amla tries again next ball and O’Brien repeats the trick. Amla goes into the 90s. 5.22am GMT 28th over: South Africa 172-1 (Amla 89, Du Plessis 75) Du Plessis steps back and lifts a cover drive, over the top off the back foot but doesn’t quite get his placement right and can’t find the boundary. Just three from the over and this is a good comeback from Ireland’s spinners. It’s important they don’t let South Africa get a stratospheric total, given how easily fourth place in this pool could come down to net run rate. 5.18am GMT 27th over: South Africa 169-1 (Amla 89, Du Plessis 72) According to Sky’s poll, 70% of voters think that South Africa will finish second in Pool B. “What time is it in Mumbai?” asks Athers, wryly. Du Plessis gets a couple with the scoop over the shoulder in a pretty sedate over. #Ire have been very disappointing. Spinners have been too short or too flat. Sorensen struggling in a big way. #SavsIre #CWC15 5.15am GMT 26th over: South Africa 163-1 (Amla 87, Du Plessis 68) Eight-an-over from here gets 360; I doubt anyone would be surprised if South Africa made 400 for the second game on the spin. Dockrell comes back into the attack for poor old Sorensen now. Singles from the first and fourth balls bring up the 150 partnership, but only three come from the over and the left-armer can be pleased with the way he put the brakes on there. 5.12am GMT 25th over: South Africa 160-1 (Amla 85, Du Plessis 67) If South Africa are in the mood this early, with De Villiers to come, this could get nasty. Du Plessis sweeps McBrine’s first ball hard for four. The way these two have seized the initiative to really ramp up the pressure on Porterfield is very impressive. 5.09am GMT 24th over: South Africa 152-1 (Amla 83, Du Plessis 61) Six! Good length, outside off from Sorensen but Amla comes forward and lofts it high over mid-on. Oh and the next one is even better: an identical delivery elegantly lifted over extra cover for another six! This is a horror show for Sorensen as he drops short and wide and gets cut to point for four more. Amla pushes down the ground for a single, much to the bowler’s relief. And the moment I write that, Du Plessis steps down the track and launches it straight back over the bowler’s head for another six. The final ball is pushed for a single to make it 24 from the over. Sorensen has figures of 4-0-51-0. 5.03am GMT 23rd over: South Africa 128-1 (Amla 66, Du Plessis 54) Amla looks to loft McBrine over the top of long-on, but doesn’t quite get hold of it and finds the fielder. Over mid-wicket he goes with the next ball, but the boundary fielder again runs round and cuts it off. Four singles followed by two dots. 5.01am GMT 22nd over: South Africa 124-1 (Amla 64, Du Plessis 52) Sorensen, who sent down six wides in his opening, two-over, spell, returns. Amla likes the look of him and steps down the ground to a good length ball and clubs it off the front foot, past the diving mid-off fielder and down to the boundary. He cracks the next one over cover but picks out the fielder, so it’s just a single, but Amla looks in the mood to take advantage of Joyce’s drop earlier. Six from the over and you fancy South Africa to get 350-plus from here. 4.57am GMT 21st over: South Africa 118-1 (Amla 59, Du Plessis 51) Ireland are absolutely racing through the overs here. Better, this one for McBrine as it goes for just three. 4.55am GMT 20th over: South Africa 115-1 (Amla 57, Du Plessis 50) Stirling comes back into the attack and again it’s short and pulled over mid-wicket for a boundary by Faf. The next ball is worked for a single down the ground and that brings up the 100 partnership from 107 balls. Amla takes one down the ground himself, then Du Plessis cuts a wide one out to point for the single that brings up his fifty . 4.51am GMT 19th over: South Africa 107-1 (Amla 55, Du Plessis 44) This is so serene it might as well be directed by Sofia Coppola. Du Plessis’s thick outside edge for three down to third man the highlight of this over. 4.49am GMT 18th over: South Africa 102-1 (Amla 54, Du Plessis 40) Short again from Dockrell and Du Plessis pulls it over mid-wicket for four more, off the back foot, to bring up the 100. Then it takes an excellent diving stop at point by McBrine to keep a punchy Amla cut from flying away for four more. Six from the over. 4.47am GMT 17th over: South Africa 96-1 (Amla 53, Du Plessis 35) A new bowler into the attack: Andy McBrine. He finds a soupçon of turn but drops short and gets cut to backward point, where a good sliding stop by Porterfield restricts Amla to three. Nonetheless, those three take him to his 29th ODI fifty . The batsmen exchange singles, then Du Plessis sends a deliberate edge down to third man for three more. One off the final ball of the over. 4.39am GMT 16th over: South Africa 87-1 (Amla 48, Du Plessis 31) Dockrell drags his first two balls short. The first he gets away with as Amla pushes it for one, but the second is a horrible delivery that Du Plessis hoicks over mid-wicket for four. Dockrell should have extra runs added against his name on aesthetic grounds for that. Time for drinks. 4.37am GMT 15th over: South Africa 80-1 (Amla 46, Du Plessis 26) Short and wide from Stirling and Amla cuts with a lovely whippy action behind point for four. Three further singles from the over and South Africa ease to 80. 4.34am GMT 14th over: South Africa 73-1 (Amla 40, Du Plessis 25) Amla gets a couple of freebies as he plays it back to Dockrell, the ball catches a ridge on the ground and it spins away from the bowler. A yes-no moment after a good sharp stop at cover has hearts in mouths, but Amla turns and gets back at the non-striker’s end safely. 4.32am GMT 13th over: South Africa 70-1 (Amla 37, Du Plessis 25) Faf nearly gets himself into a spot of bother, stepping outside off and looking to shovel the ball over his shoulder with the premeditated shot but only successfully playing it into his own body. The batsmen jog a single then Amla slaps inelegantly through extra cover for a couple. He repeats the effort next ball, but connects with naught but air. @DanLucas86 At the risk of stating the flipping obvious, Ireland need three wickets here. 4.27am GMT 12th over: South Africa 66-1 (Amla 34, Du Plessis 24) Dockrell to continue. He looks to have adjusted his length here, bowling much fuller. Just the two singles from the over. 4.25am GMT 11th over: South Africa 64-1 (Amla 33, Du Plessis 23) A dual spin attack then, as Paul Stirling comes on for Mooney. Amla nearly takes his batting partner out with a push down the ground that bounces surprisingly high, past Du Plessis’s face. Ooh and then Du Plessis flashes at one with an angled bat and edges it between Wilson and O’Brien at slip! Probably the keeper’s, that one, but it runs away for four. 4.21am GMT 10th over: South Africa 57-1 (Amla 31, Du Plessis 18) Mooney’s figures are now 5-2-9-1; O’Brien’s and Sorensen’s combined are 4-0-42-0. Which means another change at this end and it’s the spinner Dockrell into the attack. It’s a bit short from the left-armer and Du Plessis steps back and hammers the second ball of the over through point for four. That plus two singles from the over and that’s a decent enough powerplay for South Africa. For Ireland, John Mooney has carried his side through those 10 overs. 4.16am GMT 9th over: South Africa 51-1 (Amla 30, Du Plessis 13) Du Plessis begins the over with a punch off the back foot to mid-on for a couple that raise the team 50. Four dots follow, although the fourth of those is a touch fortunate – a full toss that was driven straight at short cover. Du Plessis turns the final ball of the over to mid-wicket for one. 4.11am GMT 8th over: South Africa 48-1 (Amla 30, Du Plessis 10) The first ball of the over is overpitched and driven straight back past the bowler for another four by Amla, who moves to 25 off 24 despite playing out a maiden in the first over. After an exchange of singles, another overpitched delivery is creamed through cover for four more. Sorensen couldn’t find his line and now O’Brien is struggling with his length. 4.07am GMT 7th over: South Africa 38-1 (Amla 21, Du Plessis 9) Mooney drops slightly short and Amla pulls for a single, but this is so accurate from the bowler. He’s bowling from very wide on the crease, everything is full and angled into off-stump. Du Plessis then steps across, about a foot outside off-stump and when Mooney follows him the bowler is displeased to be called for a wide. Still, just two from the over. 4.02am GMT 6th over: South Africa 36-1 (Amla 20, Du Plessis 9) After an expensive start, Sorensen is hooked in favour of Kevin O’Brien, and from his first ball he has Amla dropped! The batsman whipped it off middle stump, hard to short mid-wicket where it went into Joyce’s hands and out again! The batsmen exchange singles, before Amla wristily cuts a wide one through point for four. Oh and then the final ball, overpitched, is driven gloriously through cover for another boundary. 3.58am GMT 5th over: South Africa 25-1 (Amla 10, Du Plessis 8) The first runs off Mooney as he goes a touch too straight to Du Plessis and the batsman turns him square for a couple. The bowler comes back well though getting one to shape away and beat Faf’s outside edge. Another single down to fine leg and then Amla nudges the final ball for one more. Karl in Melbourne isn’t impressed with Ireland’s decision to go with three spinners. “Srsly? have you seen the size of that ground? It’s super small! Are they for real?” 3.53am GMT 4th over: South Africa 21-1 (Amla 9, Du Plessis 5) Sorensen begins with another wide – his fourth already. Amla then drives off the front foot to deep backward point for a single, before Sorensen sends down wide number five, this time on the off-side. And then a sixth down leg. He gets his line right from the third legal ball, but Du Plessis caresses it nicely through extra cover for four. Mooney’s excellent work is being undone by Sorensen’s lack of control at the moment: the latter has figures of 2-0-21-0. 3.48am GMT 3rd over: South Africa 12-1 (Amla 8, Du Plessis 0) The ball that did for De Kock didn’t do much at all, it was just a great line with only the tiniest bit of deviation and the batsman just closed his bat ever so slightly to continue his poor World Cup. In fact replays show that was the off-cutter. Du Plessis is the new man and he’s watchful. Another maiden and Mooney has outstanding figures to start: 2-2-0-1. 3.45am GMT In contrast to Sorensen, Mooney is right on the money and after two more dots, he gets one to leave De Kock. There’s a noise and they opt to review after it’s given not out. It just moved away from the left-hander off the pitch and it looks like an edge to me. There’s only the faintest flicker on snicko, but it’s pretty clear to the naked eye. Yep he’s gone! Great start for Ireland and Mooney. 3.40am GMT 2nd over: South Africa 12-0 (Amla 8, De Kock 1) Max Sorensen has the other new ball and he starts with a wide to the left-handed De Kock, swinging down the leg-side to get South Africa off the mark. The batsman then turns Sorensen’s first legal delivery to square off his pads for a single, before the bowler gets one to swing too far away from the right-hander on the off-side for another wide. Amla gets off the mark with a crunching on-drive for four. Another wide outside off and Sorensen is struggling to find his line here. Another wide one and Amla flashes his drive in the air, just past Porterfield at point and away for four more. 3.35am GMT 1st over: South Africa 0-0 (Amla 0, De Kock 0) With his luminous baggy tracksuit and day-glo headband, John Mooney looks like someone going to a Stone Roses gig. Anywho, he’s opening the bowling here to Amla. Wide on the crease and angled into the right-hander with two slips in place. Amla blocks out the first three then looks to push the fourth down the ground, but can’t drive it cleanly. He clips the fifth straight to the man at mid-on, then Mooney cuts off a straight drive from the final ball to make it a maiden. 3.27am GMT Dale Steyn is also due some congratulations: this is his 100th ODI. He really does have terrible hair though. 3.25am GMT “Olympic swimmers can only manage 5mph over a short burst; even a blue shark can easily do 25mph,” adds Mike Lyle. “So no there will almost certainly never be a boy faster than a shark.” Consider yourself told, Keenan. 3.22am GMT Also: Huge congratulations to my long time team mate @KevinOBrien113 on becoming Ireland's most capped player today! #welldeserved #BackingGreen 3.22am GMT “Morning!” writes the oddly chirpy Mike Lyle. It’s 3.20am, Mike! “Ireland are looking at sending down about 30 overs of spin, if it does not spin we are in big trouble! Dockrell, McBrine and Sterling could all get thru ten each. Only 2 and half seamers as far as i can see in O’Brien, Mooney and Sorensen. So not exactly a strong seam attack, I think we all wanted Ireland to bat first.” The pundits think the additional spinner could be because the pitch is a bit slower than the Gabba. 3.14am GMT Sky Sports are asking the important questions: In this case, how would AB de Villiers do against Joel Garner? After the break: will there ever be a boy born who can swim faster than a shark? 3.07am GMT Ireland: WTS Porterfield*, PR Stirling, EC Joyce, NJ O’Brien, A Balbirnie, GC Wilson†, KJ O’Brien, JF Mooney, MC Sorensen, GH Dockrell, AR McBrine 3.06am GMT William Porterfield and De Villiers stroll out to the middle with Mark Nicholas. De Villiers wins it and South Africa will bat first . They are unchanged: JP Duminy still not fit for this one. 3.02am GMT Also, we are about to watch Kevin O’Brien and ABdV play in the same match! 3.00am GMT Weather news: It’s dry but cloudy and fairly warm. The pitch is dry but, according to Matthew Hayden, flat and unlikely to offer any swing. It’s a big ground this with plenty of twos and threes on offer for batsmen who like to nurdle it around. Toss coming any minute now. 2.30am GMT Morning folks. Played two, won two. A one hundred per cent record so far in the World Cup, exactly as we pundits predicted and it’s going swimmingly for the men in green. Their opening bowlers rocked the West Indies’ top order before their batsmen chased down 300+ with ease, then they held their nerve to beat a team full of players from the subcontinent in a thriller. Continue reading... South Africa’s David Miller and Rilee Rossouw run between the wickets during the matchagainst Ireland.South Africa’s David Miller and Rilee Rossouw run between the wickets during the matchagainst Ireland.
- Sport picture of the day: cricket down under
Great thinking by Sydney Aquarium staff to pass a bit of time playing Australia v Sri Lanka at under water cricket during their tea break Continue reading...
- Kevin Pietersen scorns England team selection to put rapprochement on hold
• England’s ‘best team isn’t playing’ says Kevin Pietersen in critical tweet • Batsman also says English set-up too obsessed by statistics • Graves to decide if grand plan has a place for Pietersen Kevin Pietersen’s recent charm offensive appears to be on hold after he rubbished England’s World Cup team selection on Tuesday morning. The exiled batsman suggested on Twitter that reasons behind their faltering World Cup campaign are that England are not picking their best team and they are too obsessed by statistics. Continue reading... Kevin Pietersen said South Africa's huge total against Ireland further showed how the game had changed. Photograph: Adrian Dennis/AFP/Getty ImagesKevin Pietersen said South Africa's huge total against Ireland further showed how the game had changed. Photograph: Adrian Dennis/AFP/Getty Images
- Michael Vaughan tells Kevin Pietersen to show he wants England return
• Kevin Pietersen told to shun IPL and play for an English county side • ‘Go and play for, say, Surrey – freezing cold away at Derby’ • Pietersen return: a shaggy dog story, or can it happen? The former England captain Michael Vaughan has challenged Kevin Pietersen to prove he wants to play for England by turning his back on the Indian Premier League and playing county cricket. Pietersen was dismissed from the England setup in February last year in the aftermath of the 5-0 Ashes series defeat to Australia but was given hope of a possible return by the incoming chairman of the England and Wales Cricket Board, Colin Graves. Continue reading... Kevin Pietersen has expressed optimism that a door may be open for him to return for England. Photograph: Jason O'Brien/Action ImagesKevin Pietersen has expressed optimism that a door may be open for him to return for England. Photograph: Jason O'Brien/Action Images
- Fit-again James Faulkner ready to return for Australia at Cricket World Cup
Could replace Pat Cummins in co-hosts’ side Australia play Afghanistan in Perth on Wednesday James Faulkner could not help but fear his World Cup dream was up in smoke a month ago. Wincing with pain after straining his side while bowling against England on February 1, Faulkner was a worried man as he trudged off the Waca Ground. But Australia’s X-factor is now ready for action again, and he’s keen to unleash his magic against Afghanistan in Perth on Wednesday. Faulkner resumed batting duties several weeks ago, and he put in a strong bowling display at training on Monday to prove he’s ready for a recall. Continue reading... Faulkner has proved his fitness with both bat and ball over recent weeks.
- Kevin Pietersen wants England return. Shaggy dog story – or can it happen? | Ali Martin
England cricket’s bad boy wants to end his banishment from the international side. And a senior ECB official has made comments apparently offering possible conciliation. There is much speculation – but what are the facts? • ECB’s Colin Graves offers an olive branch Continue reading... Kevin Pietersen looks on from the field during an Ashes Test between England and Australia at Trent Bridge in July 2013. Photograph: Ryan Pierse/Getty ImagesKevin Pietersen looks on from the field during an Ashes Test between England and Australia at Trent Bridge in July 2013. Photograph: Ryan Pierse/Getty Images
- ECB’s Colin Graves to decide if Kevin Pietersen has place in future vision
• Incoming ECB chairman to meet with chief executive at Lord’s • England players do not want to be distracted during World Cup • ECB say ‘nothing has changed’ with regards to Pietersen Kevin Pietersen’s name is likely to be on the agenda when the incoming England and Wales Cricket Board chairman, Colin Graves, and the chief executive, Tom Harrison, meet at Lord’s on Tuesday to continue discussions over their grand plan for the future of English cricket. On Sunday morning, in the aftermath of England’s nine-wicket pummelling by Sri Lanka, Graves appeared to hint on national radio that runs from Pietersen in county cricket may force a rethink by the selectors. Since then the exiled batsman has been expressing his excitement at the prospect of an international return. He told Sky Sports that afternoon he would seek out talks with the new hierarchy, and continued his wave of optimism on Monday when he took to Twitter to write: “Incredibly humbling how supportive you’ve all been since the news broke from Mr Colin Graves. Gonna try work this out for sure!” Related: Kevin Pietersen wants England return. Shaggy dog story – or can it happen? | Ali Martin Related: Colin Graves has added to ECB’s woes by offering Kevin Pietersen a way back | Mike Selvey Continue reading... Kevin Pietersen expressed a desire to return to the England fold even though the ECB said 'nothing had changed' regarding his situation. Photograph: Gareth Copley/Getty ImagesKevin Pietersen expressed a desire to return to the England fold even though the ECB said 'nothing had changed' regarding his situation. Photograph: Gareth Copley/Getty Images
- Cricket World Cup 2015: days 11 to 17 – in pictures
The best images from days 11 to 17 of the Cricket World Cup, including Irish joy, English and Aussie woe, record breakers and shock results. The opening weekend – in pictures Days four to 10 – in pictures Continue reading...
- Casual Vacancy ends run down 2 million viewers from opening episode
BBC1 adaptation of JK Rowling novel finished three-part run with 4.6 million, with Channel 4’s Indian Summers dropping below 2 million for first time BBC1’s JK Rowling adaptation The Casual Vacancy shed 2 million viewers over the course of its three-part run while its Channel 4 drama rival Indian Summers, just confirmed for a second series, slipped below 2 million viewers for the first time. The Casual Vacancy, starring Michael Gambon, Julia McKenzie and Keeley Hawes, finished with 4.6 million viewers, a 20.4% share, from 9pm on Sunday. Related: A Casual Vacancy takes on Indian Summers in battle for British TV viewers Continue reading... Michael Gambon as Howard Mollison in BBC1’s The Casual Vacancy – the adaptation of JK Rowling’s novel finished its three-part run with 4.6 million viewers on Sunday night.Michael Gambon as Howard Mollison in BBC1’s The Casual Vacancy – the adaptation of JK Rowling’s novel finished its three-part run with 4.6 million viewers on Sunday night.
- Colin Graves has added to ECB’s woes by offering Kevin Pietersen a way back | Mike Selvey
It is astounding the incoming chairman could undermine England’s Paul Downton and Peter Moores by revisiting the pest that will not go away •Colin Graves hints at England ODI shake-up It would be the height of foolishness to underestimate Colin Graves, the chairman elect of the ECB. Like CJ in Reginald Perrin , one would think he didn’t get where he is today by spouting off without first thinking very clearly about what he is saying. And if that might have been the impression he gave, when he spoke to the BBC on Sunday , then it was soon enough dispelled when not only did he repeat himself to the Daily Telegraph but pretty much expanded on his theme. He may be a gruff, blunt, tell-it-as-I- see-it Yorkshireman but he knew what he was saying, didn’t he? At least you would like to think so. Related: Incoming ECB chairman Colin Graves hints at England ODI shake-up Related: Cricket World Cup 2015 podcast: associates light up tournament Related: Kevin Pietersen told 'nothing has changed' over hopes of England recall Continue reading... Kevin Pietersen has been told by Colin Graves, the incoming ECB chairman, that he needs to play county cricket before he can play for England again. Photograph: Joe Giddens/PAKevin Pietersen has been told by Colin Graves, the incoming ECB chairman, that he needs to play county cricket before he can play for England again. Photograph: Joe Giddens/PA