Fifty! Finch 50 from 61 balls
18th over: Australia 93-2 (Finch 56, Henriques 15) Fifty to Aaron Finch! And he brings it up in style, sweeping Jadeja powerfully over square leg for six. He tries the same shot the following ball but he mistimes it and is lucky – not for the first time tonight – to see the ball land between two possible catchers.
17th over: Australia 83-2 (Finch 47, Henriques 14) Finch and Kuldeep are enjoying an interesting battle, and a beautifully swept four from the third delivery of the over puts the batsman on top. A checked lofted straight drive the following ball continues the attack, with Finch placing the ball into the gap like a pro golfer lobbing a wedge to the heart of the green, away from the traps.
16th over: Australia 74-2 (Finch 38, Henriques 14) Left-arm spin from both ends now with Jadeja joining the attack. He starts around the wicket to Henriques, attacking the stumps with his dangerous arrows. A single rotates the strike, and there’s a big appeal for a catch down the legside, but it isn’t sent upstairs. India are enjoying some control at the moment.
Absolutely – and not just bat deep but bat deep with intent so that the loss of wickets doesn’t impact the scoring rate.
15th over: Australia 72-2 (Finch 37, Henriques 13) Finch and Henriques work four singles and the latter also nurdles a two from a humdrum Kuldeep over.
14th over: Australia 66-2 (Finch 35, Henriques 9) Another run-out opportunity goes begging, this time Henriques is fortunate to survive after a superb stop by Jadeja at backward point isn’t honoured with a throw of a similar standard. Some ratty batting pads prompt an earlier than scheduled drinks break, after which Thakur continues to hit the bat hard from a good length and earn a maiden with Australia’s No.4 pinned to the crease until the final delivery, which he swings at and misses. India appeal for the catch behind but Kohli declines the option of DRS.
13th over: Australia 66-2 (Finch 35, Henriques 9) Kuldeep is rattling through his work and skips through his over for the concession of just a brace of singles. He troubles Finch on a couple of occasions too, first getting the Australian skipper playing back to a spinning delivery that pitched pretty full, then rapping him on the pads to one that beat the inside edge. And INDIA REVIEW! It wasn’t a confident appeal initially but Virat Kohli was very keen. What does DRS reveal? Impact in line, no bat… spinning past leg stump! Review lost.
12th over: Australia 64-2 (Finch 34, Henriques 8) Thakur tries the same delivery to welcome Henriques to the crease, and – as she should have a delivery earlier – is helped to the fine-leg fence. The correction is short and wide and Henriques works his hands through it quickly enough to collect boundary number two from ball number two.
With Smith and Labuschagne gone this is no longer an intimidating batting order. Can India capitalise?
WICKET! Smith c Rahul b Thakur 7 (Australia 56-2)
It’s on! Nothing flash from Thakur, leaking onto Smith’s pads, but the run machine can only feather a glance down the legside where Rahul was already heading, and he calmly pouches a huge wicket.
11th over: Australia 56-1 (Finch 34, Smith 7) Time for spin, and our first look at Kuldeep Yadav for the night. He starts a little straight and Smith unfurls a sweep-ish stroke that is practically a reverse drive. He was almost facing the keeper by the time he connected with a very slow delivery. Kuldeep varies his lines and lengths well with Australia trying to come down the track and impose themselves. There’s not a lot on offer for the spinner off the pitch though.
10th over: Australia 51-1 (Finch 33, Smith 3) Shardul Thakur begins his spell with a full delivery that Finch drives off the outside edge just wide of gully and down to third-man for four. Otherwise it’s an even battle between bat and ball with Thakur settling quickly into an appropriate line and length around 140kph.
9th over: Australia 45-1 (Finch 28, Smith 2) Third life for Finch! This one only just counts though after the batsman checked an uppish drive that flew high to the bowler’s left in his follow-through. Bumrah stuck out a hand but the ball failed to stick. Finch again checks an uppish drive later in the over and is lucky not to pick out square-leg. He’s struggling to read Bumrah off the pitch in the twilight.
8th over: Australia 44-1 (Finch 27, Smith 2) Finch has another life! From a no-ball Smith dabs into the covers and takes off but Pandya is onto it like a flash and has an age to throw down the stumps at Finch’s end but to no avail. Australia riding their luck at the moment. They’re helped by Natarajan failing to complete his over with a series of wides passing leg stump with the angle. Eventually he corrects himself and lobs down a half-volley outside off stump for Finch to caress to the boundary in a manner that encourages a statuesque follow-through.
7th over: Australia 33-1 (Finch 22, Smith 0) Textbook cover drive for four from Finch to herald Bumrah’s latest over. This is clearly a length pitch and Bumrah is being penalised for anything too full, while the deliveries that are doing anything off the seam have been much too short…
… and then we finds the length he also finds the outside edge of Finch’s bat from a nothing shot – but Dhawan drops a sitter in the slips. That was a huge moment in this contest. The bowler did his job but the fielder fluffed his lines. To add insult to injury the next ball clips Finch’s pads and runs away for four leg-byes.
“Dear Jonathan,” emails Mahendra. “Warne was a great entertainer on field. Likewise, you should treat his commentary as entertainment & you should be fine!” I think we have different ideas of entertainment. But I appreciate the sentiment.
WICKET! Labuschagne b Natarajan 7 (Australia 25-1)
Back of a length from Natarajan coming over the wicket, angling the ball across Labuschagne, and as the batsman rocks back to pull all he can manage is an inside-edge onto his stumps. India have the early breakthrough and a rare look at Steve Smith with work to do.
5th over: Australia 25-0 (Labuschagne 7, Finch 18) Another fizzing Hollywood ball for Bumrah to start the over, but again it’s too short for Labuschagne to consider nicking. The next one also beats the bat before a streaky square drive rotates the strike. He pitches up to Finch – and he goes for six! That was line and length, at pace, the batsman hit through the line but without timing, and with the willow twisting on contact the ball soared over the infield and away over the rope near point. These modern bats hey…
4th over: Australia 18-0 (Labuschagne 6, Finch 12) Finch advances to Natarajan’s first ball with the menace of grizzly bear stalking prey. He defends that delivery, but it sets up a shorter follow-up ball that he gobbles up with relish, slapping a pull miles in front of square with all the time in the world. Natarajan, who had begun over the wicket, now switches around, and the change of angle works in his favour, cramping the Australian captain for room.
3rd over: Australia 14-0 (Labuschagne 6, Finch 8) Bumrah begins his second over with another delivery that beats the bat. Like a couple from his opening over, they look pretty seaming away and thudding into the keeper’s gloves, but the length is a fraction too short to induce a wicket. After Finch rotates the strike Labuschagne muscles his first boundary with a square drive off the back foot to a ball on the rise.
2nd over: Australia 9-0 (Labuschagne 2, Finch 7) Crunch! Welcome to Australia Thangarasu Natarajan. After a couple of dots the debutant drops a fraction short and Finch is on it in a flash, rocking back and pulling with outrageous timing over midwicket for six. The left-armer keeps his head up and skids one across Labuschagne to complete his first over in ODI cricket.
1st over: Australia 2-0 (Labuschagne 2, Finch 0) Bumrah’s second delivery climbed off a length and seamed away from Labuschagne, making the batsman open his eyes cartoonishly wide like one of those animated dogs that’s just seen a rabbit in a dress. The warning is followed up by an even better ball, fuller, squaring-up the makeshift opener and beating the outside edge. The final ball of the over nips in off the seam and beats the inside edge! Before that Labuschagne gets off the mark with a nudged two.
The players are back out and we’ll be back underway in no time. Australia’s opening partnership features the familiar face of Aaron Finch, and the unfamiliar one of Marnus Labuschagne, deputising at the top of the order for the injured David Warner.
Jasprit Bumrah has the new ball.
While I’m on deck during this run chase, you can send me something pithy on Twitter, or if your musings are more expansive, drop them to me by email. I’m open to any suggestions for how to erase from my brain the periodic interventions from Shane Warne on the TV coverage. Does anybody even try to produce him any more?
Thank you very much G-Unit. And thank you also to Hardik Pandya and Ravi Jadeja for poppin’ them thangs over the boundary at the death to set up a competitive total. Australia now have a brisk jog on their hands, rather than the stroll it looked like being before that late assault.
Australia must chase 303 to win
What a partnership to finish that innings. It ended up at 150 from 108 balls, unbeaten.
86 runs in the last six overs.
Sean Abbott finishes with 1 for 84, where after eight overs he had 1 for 46.
India had no right to get anywhere near 300. They didn’t pass 200 until the 42nd over. They were trudging along, too many dots, singles here and there.
But what a display that was from Pandya, who batted so well last Friday as well, and late in the piece from Jadeja. It wasn’t power-game striking like we see from some IPL teams, it was intelligent boundary hunting, working the angles to their advantage.
A strange old innings. The three Australian spinners all went at less than 5 and half runs per over. Then the two main quicks got battered at the end. Hazlewood 1 for 66 despite bowling well most of the day. In the end you’d say he actually limited the damage during that late flurry.
Well, it’s been fun. I’ll be on my way, and for the chase I will leave you in the hands of the lovely Jonathan Pugh Howcroft.
50th over: India 302-5 (Pandya 92, Jadeja 66) Abbott to bowl the last. Jadeja gets an outside edge, and nearly picks up four but Labuschagne sprints across from deep backward to keep it to two. Another couple as Jadeja drives straight, then four runs as he splits mid-off and extra cover, along the carpet. Perfect placement!
Jadeja misses a big swing and Pandya is backing up halfway down the pitch, calling him for a bye to get strike. Pandya has 88 to his name with two balls to face.
He won’t get a century, though. Two runs off the thick edge through backward point, then two more down the ground.
But more importantly for India, they’ve got past 300 after a turgid start. I said this pair would need ten an over, but they’ve done better than that. They put on 98 runs in the final eight overs.
49th over: India 289-5 (Pandya 88, Jadeja 58) The good news for Australia is that Hazlewood doesn’t concede a boundary. The bad news is that Pandya is running twos like Virat Kohli. Four of them in a row to close the over, and the last of them is airborne to deep cover where Agar slides in and reaches it on the half volley. If Agar had gone forward instead of kneeling he could have caught that, it bounced a few centimetres in front of his fingers while he was leaning back.
Fifty! Jadeja 51 from 43 balls
48th over: India 279-5 (Pandya 79, Jadeja 57) Pandya tries to destroy a delivery from Abbott, but miscues for a single. Well, good. That brings Jadeja on strike.
Four! As he walks across his stumps, dips his knees, and lifts a low full toss over backward square leg. Australia have no one out there.
Four! As Abbott tries to go short, but Jadeja has moved across again and plays in the same direction, a hook shot this time.
Finch finally puts a fielder out there. Abbott bowls outside off stump, a slow bouncer. Jadeja waits for it, opens his wrists, and lifts an uppercut over backward point for four.
Six! As Jadeja goes back on stumps, again gets a short ball, this one more at his body, but gets under and launches it over deep backward square.
Last ball of the over, a wide yorker. Scoreless. But Jadeja has gone from 16 from 28 balls to 57 from 45.
47th over: India 260-5 (Pandya 78, Jadeja 39) Hazlewood to Jadeja who squirts a drive square for a run. Such a clean striker of the ball usually, but he’s 27 from 37. Perhaps just doing the job to support Pandya. Who hops across his stumps, tries to baseball down the ground again, only gets the toe and it dribbles down for two runs. Strange field now, Finch has two versions of what I would call a short third man. Zampa is fine, a bit deeper than a third slip. Finch himself is squarer. Then there’s a backward point on the rope. Really banking on bowling wide, it looks like. But Hazlewood doesn’t and Pandya hits hard to deep midwicket for one run.
There goes Jadeja! His time comes at last, and he swings Hazlewood sweetly over midwicket, pitched up and off the pads for six!
Misses the next ball, backing away.
Doesn’t miss the last one. He’s played the left-handed Maxwell. That’s an attempted helicopter shot, aiming down the ground, that instead is slices miles in the air and miles in length, out over deep point for six!
Fittingly, Maxwell is the fielder there, and he cranes his neck to admire the path of that ball flying over him.
46th over: India 243-5 (Pandya 75, Jadeja 26) Abbott in his eighth. Pandya gets a leading edge that loops over backward point and bounces away, bobbling like a winning Solitaire card until it hits the rope. Three men out on the leg side, from long-on to deep backward. Long-off and extra cover. Backward point is open, so Pandya looks to go that way again: backing away and cutting for six! Sensational shot. Behind square on the leg side is an option too, so Pandya shuffles across and glances four. This is smart batting.
45th over: India 226-5 (Pandya 59, Jadeja 25) The Indian pair trying to find the boundary now but they can’t get past the protection. Dabs, drives, and eventually Pandya just baseballs Hazlewood over the bowler and the umpire for two. Hazlewood ducks rather than thinking of a catch, and that was the sensible option given the wind-up. Abbott collects down the ground and hits middle stump on the full, but the batsmen are home. Last ball of the over Pandya finally gets what he wants, driving through extra cover and beating the dive on the rope coming from a squarer position.
Fifty! Pandya 50 from 55 balls
44th over: India 216-5 (Pandya 51, Jadeja 23) Moises Henriques will get a bowl. His first of the day. I forgot he was even in the XI. He bowled well on Sunday night, 1 for 34 from seven. His mediums today do the job well until the last ball, when Jadeja hangs back in his crease, waits, and pokes a cut shot between point and backward for four. Before that, Pandya drove a run down the ground for his milestone, his sixth fifty in ODIs. He’s been impressive in his efforts this series, playing injured.
43rd over: India 209-5 (Pandya 49, Jadeja 18) It’s been a day for the spinners. Zampa finishes off his day with 10 overs, 1 for 45. Five singles from the over, has his boundary riders positioned well and the batters keep finding them.
42nd over: India 204-5 (Pandya 46, Jadeja 16) Pandya wants to go, whapping a flat-bat shot past Abbott for four, but again it’s Jadeja getting tangled up that slows the momentum. Three dots in a row to end Abbott’s over, and Jadeja has 16 from 28 balls. They’re past the 200 but they need about 10 an over from here.
41st over: India 198-5 (Pandya 41, Jadeja 15) Here’s Zampa, as the shadows lengthen across Manuka’s grass. He’s bowling fast and flat for the most part, outside the lefty’s off stump, at the right-hander’s pads. Keeps it tidy again.
Ralph Jennings emails. “Zampa mullet. Not a good look yet nothing mentioned? Approval? Throwhback? Memories of childhood? The nation must know!”
If anyone can get away with it, it’s Adam Zampa. He’s too loveable to disapprove of.
40th over: India 192-5 (Pandya 39, Jadeja 11) Pandya wants to go against Maxwell, opening up his stance hoping to wipe across the line to midwicket, and instead getting a squirt away behind square leg. It still has enough force to earn him a boundary though, beating the dive at deep backward. Jadeja can’t cap off the over though, so it goes for eight.
39th over: India 184-5 (Pandya 32, Jadeja 10) Abbott is mostly bowling short in this over. Jadeja doesn’t mind too much, hanging back and picking off runs. Nor Pandya, who gets a rare boundary to close the over, muscling a pull shot in front of square, and this time Green’s dive is a messy affair, landing heavily after pounding around the midwicket boundary.
38th over: India 176-5 (Pandya 26, Jadeja 8) You’d better believe Maxwell is continuing. What’s the result? Three singles from the over. The secret weapon is firing. Well backed up in the field, some fine stops within the circle.
37th over: India 173-5 (Pandya 24, Jadeja 7) Abbott returns from the Swimming Pool End. Zampa still has two overs left. Pandya nails a pull shot, but Green does well running around from deep square leg further behind square to dive and save. It’s a similar story on the other side of the field as Pandya carves over backward point, this time Zampa doing the diving. Zampa’s deflection though rolls away so Pandya gets three this time, where he only got one from Green.
36th over: India 167-5 (Pandya 20, Jadeja 5) Maxi’s back, alright. Another over for GJM with 15 to go. Australia’s over rate is good today, with all this spin. And why not keep it going while it’s working? It takes Jadeja three balls to tug away a single, Pandya drives one, Jadeja flicks one, and Pandya can’t beat the field with his cut. Three from the over!
35th over: India 164-5 (Pandya 19, Jadeja 3) Agar to finish his work with the ball to the left-handed Jadeja, and Finch brings himself into slip. The batsmen trade a few singles, then Agar is furious with himself when he lets a ball slide down leg, and Pandya can sweep it fine for four. Zampa’s chase is in vain. Agar kneels on the pitch looking longingly after that ball. I don’t think he can be too sad about 2 for 44 from 10, though.
34th over: India 156-5 (Pandya 13, Jadeja 1) India’s issue today has been that they just don’t have a method for turning the strike over regularly when times have been difficult. Hazlewood gets through a full over to Pandya for the cost of one run from the last ball, flashed to deep point.
33rd over: India 155-5 (Pandya 12, Jadeja 1) Ravindra Jadeja joins Pandya, their last pair with batting credentials. Shardul Thakur can hold the stick, and aside from that there’s not much to come. Three runs from the Agar over, he’s got 2 for 36 from nine now.
WICKET! Kohli c Carey b Hazlewood 63 (78), 5-152
32nd over: India 152-5 (Pandya 10) By the barest of margins!
The over starts as Hazlewood sends down three balls before Pandya can get off strike, a back-foot force into the covers. Kohli takes two off his pads, again hammering the first run in order to create the time for the second as the two boundary riders converged. Scolds himself furiously the next ball as he misses out on width, cutting underneath the ball and edging on the bounce to Carey behind the stumps.
Then, last ball of the over, there’s a puzzled appeal from Hazlewood as the ball goes past the edge. Carey was appealing, Hazlewood was only half interested. But Carey insists, Finch goes upstairs. There is nothing at all on the Hot Spot image, and the Indian fans cheer, anticipating the captain will be spared. But the Snicko finds the smallest edge I’ve ever seen, a tiny flicker as the ball passes the back corner of the outside edge. There’s nothing else in frame, and the spike is a spike, it’s just a tiny whisper of a spike. And that is enough. It’s out.
31st over: India 149-4 (Kohli 61, Pandya 9) Hardik Pandya does love to wallop spin, but he’s using a sensible method against Agar thus far, just knocking singles into the gap every ball he faces. Five from the over.
30th over: India 144-4 (Kohli 59, Pandya 6) Hazlewood comes on, and Kohli immediately looks more at home against the pace. Drives to deep cover, straight enough of the sweeper to hustle two runs, then drives behind point, fine enough of the sweeper to hustle two. Giving Abbott the runaround on the fence. Placement, smart. Classic Kohli. Only five from the over though as Hazlewood finishes with three dots in a row.
29th over: India 139-4 (Kohli 55, Pandya 5) Kohli finds a boundary! Hasn’t hit one since the 12th over, but he gets a short enough length from Zampa to cut behind point.
Fifty! Kohli 50 from 64 balls
28th over: India 133-4 (Kohli 50, Pandya 4) When Kohli drives a single from Agar, he reaches an absurd mark of 60 – yes, sixty – half centuries in ODI cricket. Add in his 43 centuries, and that’s 103 innings of fifty or more, from 242 innings including today. It’s staggering.
27th over: India 128-4 (Kohli 47, Pandya 2) Zampa continues the squeeze, three singles from his over. The Indians will have to disrupt this approach pretty quickly if they want to compete.
26th over: India 125-4 (Kohli 45, Pandya 1) That over leaves Agar with 2 for 23 from six overs. Zampa 1 for 25 from six. The spinners doing the job.
WICKET! Rahul lbw Agar 5 (10), India 123-4
That one’s plumb, and they waste a review anyway! Again it’s a batsman trying to sweep Agar, and this time the ball hits the back leg, kneeling, in front of off stump. Rahul consults Kohli before reviewing, but unless Kohli thought his partner had hit it, I’m not sure why there was any reason to doubt that one. Kohli himself will have to hope he’s not sawn off by an errant decision later today. Shocker of a review really.
25th over: India 122-3 (Kohli 43, Rahul 5) The regular wickets mean that Kohli hasn’t been able to press the accelerator much. Not that he would have gone too hard at this stage, but might have bumped it up a notch or two. He does some hard running on Rahul’s behalf to get back for two runs, but it’s still only four from the over.
24th over: India 118-3 (Kohli 42, Rahul 2) Agar carries on, doing a bit of a Nathan Lyon mirror-image impression from the grandstand, with his scone shining in the afternoon light and his tall finger-spinning metronomic action. Four singles.
23rd over: India 114-3 (Kohli 40, Rahul 0) Iyer’ll see ya later, says Shreyas. KL Rahul is next to the crease. He’s been on fire through the IPL, batted well the other night too.
WICKET! Iyer c Labuschagne b Zampa 19 (21), 119-3
Caught at backward point! Zampa loops it outside off stump, Iyer plays a flashing square drive, but airborne and ill-directed. Marnus takes it chest-high and comfortably enough despite the heat on the ball.