Saturday, April 28, 2007

Play, thankfully

The game finally got underway at about 5.15pm BST, about two and three quarter hours late, and reduced to 38 overs per side. This is not too bad, although I would obviously prefer a full 50 over game. Whereas I was in a loud Australian venue for the scheduled start (The Shepherd's Bush Walkabout, pretty much the canonical Australian venue in London to watch it), I am not in a pretty ordinary (but quite pleasant) London pub, the Cock and Bull in Marylebone Lane. (I suppose there is something to be said for watching cricket it Marylebone). I suspect I shall be here for most of the evening.

At present it is 0/27 off 6.1 overs. Australia haven't come out of the blocks as hard as they might have liked. Gilchrist is looking good, but so is Malinga, having conceded a total of one run off his last two overs. The Sri Lankans are looking very sharp in the field. They obviously want to win this, and Tom Moody has coached them well. Since I started writing this, Hayden has pulled the last ball of the over for four, and it is 0/32. Gilchrist has 21 off 19 and Hayden 10 off 24. I expect a hundred from one of these players. Australia needs at least 250 off 38 overs - preferably 300. They do have the players for it.

I have just realised I have a huge smile on my face. It is the World Cup final. Hayden and Gilchrist are batting in the World Cup final. This is great.

Update: Adam Gilchrist has looked in perfectly okay form in this tournament, but he has been overshadowed by the awesome form of Hayden. However, the score is presently 0/109 off 16.4 overs, and Hayden has only 23. Gilchrist has 79 off 57 balls including five sixes and six fours. Actually since I wrote that he has six sixdes, as he justed hoiked another huge one on the on side. 122/0 off 18 overs. This is awe inspiring.

Further Update: There have been rumours that Gilchrist will announce his retirement at the end of this match. I wound rather he didn't. Australia have lost three senior players in Warne, McGrath and Langer, and I would prefer they do not lose any more until at least the end of the home series against India next Australian summer. On the other hand, it is hard to imagine a higher note that Gilchrist could go out on than this (assuming Australia win). Gilchrist brought up his century off 72 balls. The score is 148/0 off 20.3 overs. Heaven knows what he will score if he is still there at the end of the innings. If Gilchrist is the first man out, as he probably will be, as Gilchrist is taking the risks, it will be up to Hayden to go on with it. Hayden was in the best form of his life going into this game. I cannot see any reason why he will not be able to do so. And if he doesn't, we only have Ponting, Clarke, Symonds, Hussey and Watson to go on with it, I suppose.

Even further update: Hayden got out in the 23rd over to a good gatch to Jayawardene off Malinga. Ponting apparently told Gilchrist to calm down when he came out, as the run rate slowed a little at that point. With Gilchrist hitting the ball like this, Ponting wants him in at the end. I can understand why. At present we are in the 31st over. Gilchrist is 149. Austrlalia are 224/1.

Actually since I typed that, Gilchrist hit one high in the air off Fernando and was caught by Silva for 149. Australia are 224/2. That was an awe inspiring innings from Gilchrist. Symonds now in.

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