12th over: England 82-0 (Roy 38, Vince 40) – target 341 This might be quite a useful innings for Roy: he’s having trouble locating his middle, but is still going at a run-a-ball. A different sort of knock. He tries a forehand slap down the ground but gets barely any of it and it drops not too far in front of mid-off. Vince is then thwacked on the bonce by a Hasnain bouncer, and is briefly checked out by the physios – he’s fine, and proves it with a jerky jab for four, just backward of point. Hasnain tries another bumper, which Vince seems to take his eye off a bit and sends a top-edge into the Nottingham air: it lands safely, but Junaid produces some clownish fielding and the ball slips through his grasp and for a very preventable boundary.
11th over: England 71-0 (Roy 37, Vince 30) – target 341 Good over from Imad, just the three singles coming from it. But England are only a hair under the required rate and haven’t broken sweat yet.
10th over: England 68-0 (Roy 35, Vince 29) – target 341 Hasnain looks handy. After four singles he sends down a doozy of a bouncer that Roy flaps at – there was no appeal for caught behind, but there was some sort of noise and I’m not sure what else it could have hit.
9th over: England 63-0 (Roy 32, Vince 27) – target 341 After a few unsuccessful attempts, Roy connects with a big shot but doesn’t get all of it, the ball goes high in the air…and it’s dropped! Fakhar Zaman is the man getting daggers from skipper Sarfaraz, but it wasn’t the easiest chance, over his shoulder while running back. Naturally, Roy compounds misery by sweeping a four to that Danny DeVito-short boundary.
8th over: England 54-0 (Roy 25, Vince 26) – target 341 Now then. The kid Mohammad Hasnain is on, with his reputation for being rapid. He appeals for lbw but they shrewdly decided against a review (would have just clipped a fourth stump), after which Roy creams a full one through the covers. There was some swing on that ball though, so not all bad news for the bowlers.
7th over: England 48-0 (Roy 20, Vince 25) – target 341 Bowling change, as Imad Wasim rocks up with some left-arm spin, and Roy languidly murders his second ball for a straight six. Both batsmen try to repeat the trick a couple of times, but can only get singles.
Paul O’Neill – presumably not the great New York Yankees right field of yore – has some thoughts on names: “It’s only just occurred to me that – in Roy and Vince – England have a couple of forenames up top that might have fallen out of favour over the past 40 years. I look forward to Glenn, Derek and Barry piling on those runs in the middle order.
6th over: England 38-0 (Roy 12, Vince 23) – target 341 Hassan gives Vince a wide one that he drives to the boundary, the ball trickling into the Toblerone despite a half-stop by Yasir Shah, who is on as a sub fielder for Imam, I assume. A couple of wides and some singles complete business for the over.
5th over: England 29-0 (Roy 11, Vince 17) – target 341 Vince tries to force the issue by clearing the front leg a bit and playing a pretty inelegant on drive, but like a Sam Allardyce team it gets results despite not being pretty, reaching the boundary. The following shot is much more of Vince’s oeuvre, a deliciously-timed straight drive for the same amount of runs. The left-armed Junaid switches to around the wicket, and England get away with a daft run after a dab to point – Roy, whose call the run was, would’ve been out by a metre had Babar hit with his throw. Roy clears his head by hoofing down the pitch and battering a one-bounce four over wide long-off.
4th over: England 16-0 (Roy 7, Vince 8) – target 341 Hassan gives Roy an absolute jaffa, angled in from wide on the crease and jagging away past the edge. Roy plays and misses, then picks out fielders with a couple that he doesn’t quite get hold of. Not quite in touch yet, is Roy.
3rd over: England 14-0 (Roy 6, Vince 7) – target 341 Roy nearly puts his back out in giving the whole lot to a pull, gets a bottom edge that misses stumps and wicketkeeper’s gloves by not much at all, and it goes to the boundary. They all count, etc and so on.
A modest beginning for England, perhaps justifying Andrew Benton’s thoughts a little. “I’d like to say 37.3 overs for loss of four wickets, but I do just think that Pakistan will bundle them all out for 298. And then the series begins in earnest.”
2nd over: England 8-0 (Roy 1, Vince 6) – target 341 Hassan Ali starts with a big wide but then gets Vince to play and miss, and the rest of the over is very tight indeed. Good start by Pakistan, this.
1st over: England 6-0 (Roy 1, Vince 5) – target 341 Junaid Khan has the ball for Pakistan, and James Vince gracefully drives his second ball off the back foot in front of extra cover for four. A couple of deliveries later, he wafts airily at a similar shot and misses. Vince, Vincing. Roy throws everything at a drive from the final ball and misses entirely.
“At the risk of displaying that interminable pessimism that has plagued my family for generations,” writes Damian Clarke. “I’m saying England will be all out for 79 in 16 overs. As ever, I will be more than happy to be completely and utterly wrong.”
The players are out for England’s reply. Joe Denly is apparently still slated to come in at No.7, which seems like a mild waste of time. If he’s going to be in the squad, he’ll need a bit of practise at what is supposed to be his primary discipline.
Shoaib Malik shouldn’t feel too bad about being out hit wicket. It happens to the best of them – Virat Kohli, for example…
And dear old Inzy, of course…
One more famous for the audio than the visual, Ian Botham. “Aggers, do stop it,” has taken a rather different meaning of late, of course.
Here’s a compilation: the one at No.2, Kris Srikkanth, got away with it because nobody noticed it had happened.
Finally, my personal favourite for obvious reasons, Shane Warne.
Evening. At the risk of displaying that winning arrogance before actually achieving anything that has made the English popular around the world for generations, what do you think the over/under is on England knocking these off? I’m saying 45.3 overs. Any thoughts? Email Nick.Miller@theGuardian.com, or tweet @NickMiller79
England need 341 to win. I’d back them to reach that target maybe eight or nine times out of ten – although they do have a slightly weakened top order today, with no Bairstow or Morgan. Nick Miller is waiting to be tagged in for the run-chase, so I’ll leave you with him. You can contact him on email@example.com. Thanks for your company and emails, bye!
50th over: Pakistan 340-7 (Sarfaraz 21, Imam 5) Sarfaraz finishes with a bit of a flourish, hitting three boundaries in Curran’s final over. No five-for for Curran, who ends with 10-0-75-4, and Pakistan end with an under-par total of 340 for seven. An under-par total.
49th over: Pakistan 326-7 (Sarfaraz 8, Imam 5) Pakistan have lost their way. They manage only four from Archer’s final over, so he finishes with good figures of 10-0-62-1.
“Why Twitter?” says Josh Robinson. “I can think of better places than Twitter for us to abuse one another, Smyth.”
When in Rome, dear boy.
48th over: Pakistan 322-7 (Sarfaraz 6, Imam 4) Imam-ul-Haq, who retired hurt early in the innings with a bruised elbow, returns to the crease. He’s still struggling, though, and Curran is able to complete a boundaryless over.
WICKET! Pakistan 319-7 (Hasan Ali c Denly b Curran 1)
Tom Curran gets his fourth wicket when Hasan Ali clouts a slower ball to Denly at deep midwicket. I now have precisely no idea which quick bowler England are going to leave out of their World Cup squad. Maybe they’ll just pick them all and not bother with a third spinner. That would be the cowardly option. That’s what I would do.
47th over: Pakistan 318-6 (Sarfaraz 4, Hasan 1) Wood finishes with decent figures of 10-0-71-2. Decent figures! He’s gone at seven an over!
WICKET! Pakistan 316-6 (Shoaib hit wicket b Wood 42)
What a strange dismissal. Malik, getting in position to cut Wood, goes too far back in his crease and ends up smashing his own stumps. It was a useful innings, 41 from 26 balls, but all anyone will remember is his comedy dismissal.
46th over: Pakistan 308-5 (Shoaib 33, Sarfaraz 3) Even though the score has gone past 300, this has been a good bowling performance from England – the quick bowlers, certainly. Tom Curran is not going quietly, while the pace of Archer and Wood has increased England’s wicket-taking threat.
Archer’s penultimate over goes for 10, with Shoaib Malik thwacking a boundary up and over gully. There was also a run-out chance for Archer in his follow-through, but his throw on the turn whistled past the stumps with Shoaib short of his ground.
45th over: Pakistan 298-5 (Shoaib 27, Sarfaraz 0)
WICKET! Pakistan 298-5 (Imad Wasim b Curran 12)
Tom Curran gets his third wicket. He was muscled for six and four earlier in the over but struck with a full delivery that beat Imad and thumped into the stumps.
43.5 overs: Pakistan 285-4 (Shoaib 25, Imad 2) Imad Wasim is hit on the helmet by a sharp bouncer from Wood, which prompts a break in play while he is checked for concussion. He seems fine.
43rd over: Pakistan 280-4 (Shoaib 22, Imad 0) That really was a terrific over from Archer.
WICKET! Pakistan 280-4 (Asif Ali c Wood b Archer 17)
Jofra Archer gets a deserved first wicket at the end of a fine over. It started when he beat Asif Ali with three consecutive deliveries. The first two were slower balls, the third a sizzling yorker that just missed the off stump. Asif crashed the next ball through extra cover for four, but Archer had the final word with a bouncer that was top-edged towards deep backward square leg. Wood ran round the boundary to take another fine diving catch.
42nd over: Pakistan 275-3 (Shoaib 22, Asif 13) Adil Rashid returns to the attack. Once upon a time, a legspinner wouldn’t have been allowed to look at the ball in the last 10 overs, never mind turn his arm over, but Rashid’s wicket-taking ability has made him a regular death bowler for England. No wickets in this over, just lots of tipping and running from Pakistan.
41st over: Pakistan 267-3 (Shoaib 18, Asif 9) Modern cricket, chapter 17: Asif Ali times the second delivery of his innings, and the first of Jofra Archer’s new spell, high over long-on for six. He survives a run-out referral later in the over when Archer passes the ball onto the stumps with his left foot. A fine over for Pakistan – 15 from it – ends with Shoaib slapping Archer up and over backward point for four.
“Very interesting stats from Smylers on death over economy rates – my observations on Willey / Curran are anecdotal, mainly from watching them in T20 stuff where I have been very impressed by Curran at the death,” says Rich Ibbetson. “Also, on your point on Wiley as a pinch hitter (i.e. why bother because we’re so strong at the top), it’s precisely because of this strength that a pinch hitter could have even more impact. For the record, I wouldn’t go this way myself at this stage, I was just suggesting that maybe two years ago it would have been interesting to try, and it would give Willey more value in the squad. For example, in a big chase like today, Willey getting 40 from 20 could help give Bairstow Roy etc even more confidence at the top.”
I see the logic but I don’t agree – the opening partnerships have been great for last four years, give or take, and I wouldn’t want to mess with that. It feels unnecessarily funky. Why don’t we relocate to Twitter and start abusing each other?
40th over: Pakistan 252-3 (Shoaib 11, Asif 1) The new batsman is the muscular Asif Ali.
“For the purposes of assuaging Paul Billington’s fears, I can confirm that Test Match Cricket is a magnificent game,” says Tom Hopkins. “Batting by letting go of a bit of string is surprisingly satisfying. Far from giving up, he should be redoubling his efforts, charity-shopwise. I myself have the ‘World Cup Cricket’ version. The boast on the box is, ‘Even better than the real thing!’ This may or may not be a comment on the Ronnie Irani years.”
WICKET! Pakistan 249-3 (Babar Azam c Archer b Curran 115)
Tom Curran’s slower ball does the trick. Babar Azam scoops it towards the cover boundary, where Archer runs in and dives forward to take a fine low catch. Babar made a lovely 115 from 112 balls.
39th over: Pakistan 242-2 (Babar 111, Shoaib 6) Pakistan need to score around 10 an over for the rest of the innings to reach 350 – and even that would be an under-par total. They manage it in that over, with Babar timing consecutive boundaries off Wood.
“Don’t know if anyone has said so, but the run a ball hundred from the top of the order hurts the batting team more than the bowling team,” says Dave Seare. “Any acceleration after that still doesn’t get back the balls taken away from quicker players down the order.”
38th over: Pakistan 232-2 (Babar 102, Shoaib 5) Babar Azam reaches his ninth ODI hundred from 104 balls, flicking Tom Curran to fine leg for four. He’s played with such class and grace, though Pakistan would have wanted him to get to the century a bit sooner.
37th over: Pakistan 220-2 (Babar 96, Shoaib 0) “I just opened the OBO and saw 199-1 off 34 overs,” says Avitaj Mitra. “Ten years ago, that would have meant my internal voice going, ‘Oh wow’. Now it’s just, ‘Oh’.”
WICKET! Pakistan 220-2 (Hafeez c sub b Wood 59)
That’s very good from Mark Wood. Hafeez, beaten for pace, mistimes a pull straight to the substitute Chris Jordan at mid-on. A wicket-taking threat in the middle overs is so important for any team, especially on these pitches. Wood’s speed has been the same in the second spell as it was in the first, which is a really good sign.
36th over: Pakistan 217-1 (Babar 94, Hafeez 58) Hafeez skids back to hoick Moeen over midwicket for six. He has gone up a gear, but Babar is crawling – these things are relative – towards his hundred.
“Hi, Rob,” says Smylers. “In suggesting David Willey will miss out on the World Cup squad, Rich Ibbetson praises Tom Curran’s bowling in the final overs (31st over) — as did Jimmy Anderson during coverage of a previous match in this series. But CrizViz have pointed out that of recent averages in overs 41–50, Tom Curran’s economy rate (7.3) is worse than the other contenders’. The best is David Willey’s (5.4). Does Tom Curran have something that the stats don’t show?”
48 different slower balls? I’d imagine Curran takes more wickets at the death as well, though I might be wrong. I won’t lie to you, it wouldn’t be entirely without precedent.
35th over: Pakistan 206-1 (Babar 91, Hafeez 50) Mark Wood replaces Jofra Archer and is sweet-spotted through the off side for four by Hafeez, who thus reaches a useful 49-ball fifty. That’s drinks.
“Hi Rob,” says John Withington. “To save me the cost of a text, and get me “in print” please remind Brian Withington what the first rule of fight club is. I can’t imagine a less effective way of reducing competition on an eBay bid than telling people on here about it and then extolling the virtues of the game at the cost of besmirching the alternatives. Having said that he does have a point about the latter. And it’s the Boldmere Bengals rather than Erdington Earls otherwise there goes the house value.”
34th over: Pakistan 199-1 (Babar 89, Hafeez 45) Pakistan are cruising to defeat – or, at least, cruising towards a score that England will overhaul eight or nine times out of 10. Hafeez tries to do something about it with a lusty straight six off Moeen – and then he survives a missed stumping from Buttler. Hafeez gated himself, trying to hack Moeen to the leg side, but survived when Buttler failed to take the ball cleanly.,
“I’ve never played the Test Match game,” says Paul Billington, “but I followed a thread on the OBO some years ago which has led to me seeking a set of it in every charity shop I pass / am dragged into. It just looks wonderful. It has been the only thing to have kept me going through the rows and rows of Global Hypercolour T-shirts, plastic vases and copies of American Pie straight-to-DVD fillums. I do hope that Mr Withington’s message is in jest, as otherwise I’ll have wasted so many hours. Tread softly, because you tread etc etc.”
32nd over: Pakistan 186-1 (Babar 88, Hafeez 33) Another quiet over from Moeen, who is almost bewilderingly effective at keeping the runs down in ODIs.
“Hi Rob – re 75 runs off 74 being too slow, that sort of thing is becoming more and more common,” says Luke Dealtry. “Chris Gayle scored 135 off 129 in Barbados earlier this year – and it was much, much too slow. So if you’re that batsman ‘struggling’ with a strike-rate of 100, what do you do?”
31st over: Pakistan 181-1 (Babar 86, Hafeez 30) With England wanting a wicket, Jofra Archer replaces Adil Rashid (6-0-41-0). His first over back is good, including consecutive deliveries that beat Babar Azam outside off stump. The first was a cross-seamer, the second a slower ball. He has a lot of toys with which to play,
“David Willey,” says Rich Ibbetson. “As much as it pains me to say it, he’s going to get the chop, not Curran as you speculated earlier. He’s at his best bowling up top, but Woakes and Archer are surely first choice for that, with others also able to do a job opening up, particularly Wood. Curran offers more threat at the death, when England could be vulnerable, Wood’s got pace and Plunkett just gets wickets. I can’t help but feel Willey has been a bit unlucky that England haven’t deemed an experiment of sticking Willey in as a pinch-hitter at the top worthy for consideration, but too late now for such higgery diggery…it’s sad, but Willey’s for the chop I feel.”
Well. It’s possible, but he has more credit in the bank than Curran and I suspect that will be decisive. He’s also a great option to have if they turn up one morning and it looks like the ball will swing. It’s so tight, though. As for the pinch-hitting, why on earth would you want to compromise the current top order? His runs down the order can be useful though; Lord’s last year is a particularly good example.
30th over: Pakistan 178-1 (Babar 86, Hafeez 28) Moeen Ali replaces Ben Stokes (4-0-22-0) and almost strikes when Hafeez mistimes a drive that just evades Stokes, running back towards the boundary from mid-off. Six from the over, all in ones and twos.
“I remember that Dirk Wellham innings well,” writes Richard O’Hagan. “Despite the fact that it was the second innings of a dead rubber in that famous series, England were so competitive that they kept him on 99 for about 45 minutes. He never passed 50 in Tests again and is now the schoolteacher he always looked like (well, he was a dead ringer for my old science teacher, Mr Hall, anyway).”
The thing I always remember about that Test is that, even though it was a dead rubber and he’d been walking on water for most of the summer, Botham still bowled forever. Look, 89 overs in the match!
29th over: Pakistan 172-1 (Babar 83, Hafeez 24) What a piece of fielding from Jason Roy! Hafeez belted a full toss from Rashid to long-off, where Roy leapt backwards over the rope, took the catch and got rid of the ball before he hit the ground. There was nobody near enough to take the relay catch – yet Roy was still annoyed that he hadn’t managed to throw it to another fielder. In reality it was a stunning piece of fielding which saved five runs.
England lose their review later in the over, appealing unsuccessfully for caught behind against Hafeez. It hit the thigh pad and nothing else.
28th over: Pakistan 169-1 (Babar 81, Hafeez 23) A wide half-volley is pinged through extra cover for four by Babar, another piece of sweet timing. England are having a miserable time out there, yet they are slightly on top in the match. Such is the confusing world of modern ODI cricket.
27th over: Pakistan 161-1 (Babar 76, Hafeez 21) “I would have got Dirk Wellham!” says Max Bonnell. “He was my club captain in Sydney. I think you’ll find that during his Test debut 103, he was dropped at mid-on on 99 by one Geoffrey Boycott. Plus, Prithvi Shaw has now become the third player to score hundreds on both first-class and Test debuts. Weirdly, Virender Sehwag scored a hundred on Test debut and a hundred in his first first-class innings, but that came in his second game, as he didn’t bat on his debut.”
My work here is done. Bye!
26th over: Pakistan 159-1 (Babar 75, Hafeez 19) Babar flogs a pull over midwicket for four off Stokes. He clunked it a bit but it had enough to clear the diving fielder. I feel dirty saying that because he’s made 75 beautiful runs from 74 balls, but I’m not sure Babar’s strike rate is fast enough for Pakistan to win this game.
“Rob,” says Brian Withington. “Shirley some mistake – Test Match Cricket is to Subbuteo as the Hundred is to the Ashes – for the callow novice and short attention spanned, I’m afraid.”
Well that’s my childhood telt.
25th over: Pakistan 148-1 (Babar 69, Hafeez 17) “I loved that Test Match Cricket game, but the only person I could find to play it with me was my brother, who was 3 years older than me and much, much better at it than I was (and at most actual sports come to think of it),” says Dave Voss. “He always batted first and would rack up about 1,200 before bowling me out for less than 50. Still, it wasn’t all bad news. The experience prepared me nicely for English cricket in the 90s.”
24th over: Pakistan 142-1 (Babar 67, Hafeez 12) It’s a strange thing to say, but this innings feels like filler before the England run-chase. Pick a target, any target; wake me up at 5pm. I do think ODI cricket would benefit from a bit more ebb and flow and a bit less bish and bosh. That said, there is a skill in keeping a score below 350 – both in the bowling and the fielding, as an England fielder whose name must be withheld for legal reasons* reminds us with a great stop at backward point off the final ball of Stokes’s over.
* and because I haven’t a clue who it was.
23rd over: Pakistan 138-1 (Babar 66, Hafeez 9) A big over for Pakistan – 16 from it. Babar waves Rashid through the covers for four, Hafeez clouts a slog-sweep high over midwicket for six and then Babar belabours another boundary through extra cover.
“Good lord, Rob, you are right – Gundappa Viswanath scored 230 on first class debut (on matting!) and 137 in his first Test a year later,” says Pete Salmon. “Well done you. Begs the question though whether if I had said Vishy you would have got Dirk Wellham…”
Yes! Yes! Yes! (Erm, no. Not sure why or how I had Viswanath’s name in my head, either. I suppose deep down I knew a desperately lonely adolescence reading Wisden Cricket Monthly from cover to cover in lieu sex, drugs or rock ‘n’ roll would pay off one day.)
22nd over: Pakistan 122-1 (Babar 57, Hafeez 2) Ben Stokes comes into the attack. He’s hasn’t been in great form in white-ball cricket, particularly with the ball, and could do with a decent spell – or even just an extended one. He has bowled 10 overs only once in his last 33 ODIs.
21st over: Pakistan 119-1 (Babar 56, Hafeez 1)
“Hi Rob,” says Brian Withington. “The Withington brothers are currently plotting a summer of revivalist retro home entertainment to accompany the World Cup and Ashes. Subbuteo cricket features high on the agenda. Beloved cocktail specialist John is now devising fiendishly complex tournament rules for various mixed era player attributes, with the prospect of IPL style auctions to deliver competitive franchises such as the Hackney Hackers, Dorridge Daredevils and the Erdington Earls. Brother David is meanwhile whittling a variety of bats to simulate everything from Boycott blocking to Gayle bashing. Would appreciate OBOers not rushing to outbid me on the 80 player eBay lot I currently have my eye on.”
Test Match Cricket, Shirley.
WICKET! Pakistan 116-1 (Fakhar c Wood b Curran 57)
Tom Curran is rewarded for a fine over with the first wicket of the innings. There was only one run from the first five balls, which prompted Fakhar to go for a big shot that he sliced high in the air towards third man. Wood ran in and dived forward to take a beautifully judged low catch.