82nd over: India 182-6 ( Jadeja 10, Ashwin 0) After three balls, Southee takes the shiny, burgundy new pill. Jadeja is watchful, a maiden.
I think this could be your lucky day!
81st over: India 182-6 ( Jadeja 10, Ashwin 0) Wagner is given another over – no new ball yet. I think I’d give it another over or so, they’re making the old one sing. A maiden.
“What is it about Neil Wagner’s short bowling that lends it the suckerpunchesque quality?” asks Abhijato Sensarma. “Steve Smith – the most disciplined batter in Test cricket – got sucked into the void by his tactics time and again when NZ toured Australia. Even now, Rahane deposited the ball straight to the fielder with an aerial shot despite knowing what was coming his way. Mental tactics, temptations to the superior, or simple wizardry? Someone needs to write a dissertation about this. Perhaps Jarrod Kimber.”
Jarrod is definitely your man! I think Wagner looks like the duffer in the pack, short and stocky, so batsmen think they can take him on. Never under-estimate the determination of the short man, as IDS nearly said.
80th over: India 182-6 ( Jadeja 10, Ashwin 0) Tim Southee has the ball swinging to his whim. He bowls Jadeja with a dead ball – Jadeja not ready – and Jadeja then leaves dangerously for most of the rest of the over.
79th over: India 182-6 ( Jadeja 10, Ashwin 0) Rahane hit the ball to exactly where Williamson had just put the fielder. An inexplicable shot. Ashwin backs away and has a wild slog to his second ball. India are subsiding this morning in the face of pure excellence from New Zealand
WICKET! Rahane c Latham b Wagner 49 (India 182-6)
A distraught Rahane falls hook, line and sinker for the short ball trap! He pulls the ball to midwicket who is waiting, almost laughing at the success of the plot. Rahane drops his head to his chest unable to believe he’s been so daft.
78th over: India 180-5 ( Jadeja 10, Rahane 47) de Grandhomme, mullet bouncy in full gloriousness, pounds in. Rahane pings him fine, for four; Jadeja off-drives his last ball for another. Tension releases.
77th over: India 171-5 ( Jadeja 6, Rahane 42) Wagner, a very busy bowler, bustles in. Rahane delights with a little leg glance, beautifully angled and clipped towards midwicket but it doesn’t quite reach the boundary. The outfield is slow. He adds another three through midwicket. And after an intriguing first hour, that is DRINKS!
An appreciation of New Zealand slip fielding:
76th over: India 166-5 ( Jadeja 6, Rahane 37) Shot of the morning! A drive from Rahane trills through the covers but just short of the boundary for three. Jadeja picks up a couple through point as the sun unveils herself for the first time in the match. Sudden plenty for India.
75th over: India 161-5 ( Jadeja 4, Rahane 34) Jadeja, in his first Test since Sydney at the start of the year, flaps at Jamieson and sends the ball somewhat dangerously through the waiting slips, just in front of Southee, for four.
74th over: India 156-5 ( Jadeja 0, Rahane 33) What an over! First, breathing space for India. A no ball! A single! A four!!! as Pant gets off the mark with a flick through mid-wicket. Boult brings some sand and scatters it round the stumps at the bowler’s end then Jamieson throws out a tasty morsel and Pant reaches, way, way too far, flings his bat and is caught. Brilliant!
Tim de Lisle’s wise observation – before the Pant dismissal!
WICKET! Pant c Latham b Jamieson 4 (India 156-5)
NO! Just a couple of balls after getting off the mark with a boundary. A wild drive, superbly caught at second slip with both hands by Latham.
73rd over: India 150-4 (Pant 0, Rahane 32) A bowling change. A spot of Wagner to replace Boult for the first time this morning. But, we get more of the same. Another maiden. not a run off the bat for 41 balls. The watchful Pant now has 0 off 19 balls. This is when nothing is something – the ultimate Test between batsman and bowler.
72nd over: India 150-4 (Pant 0, Rahane 32) The tall blond Jamieson, huge shoulders rocking from side to side, sends down another maiden Rahane, careful, thick edges to the slips, then toe-ends another that way. No hit of a flourish – too risky. The miserly Jamieson has now bowled 18 overs 2-15.
Kohli scratches his head on the balcony – much to consider and with a new ball due soon.
71st over: India 150-4 (Pant 0, Rahane 32) Another excellent over from Boult as poor Pant is stripped of his super-hero powers and locked in the cupboard without a cape. Four maidens in a row.
70th over: India 149-4 (Pant 0, Rahane 32) New Zealand on top this morning. Another maiden from Jamieson as the pressure starts to build on India. Pant drives through the covers but a four is prevented by a salmon-like piece of fielding from Williamson at . Then the lbw appeal… not out on the whim of umpire’s call. With nought off eight balls his feet must be twitching.
An email! Horray! “Morning Tanya,” Morning Jon Salisbury!
“Genuine question, has Kohli ever not challenged an appeal? Doesn’t really seem in his character.”
Ha! I don’t know but I guess being the best batsman in the team tips the scales.
NOT OUT! Umpire’s call
No bat involved, but the ball swings too much and would have just hit. Lucky, lucky Pant.
69th over: India 149-4 (Pant 0, Rahane 32) A testing over from Boult as Rahane takes a long nervous deep breath. A maiden, the second in a row.
68th over: India 149-4 (Pant 0, Rahane 32) Jamieson thunders into Pant’ s pad first ball. The breakthrough New Zealand were looking for: will India now slump into the abyss of spark the fireworks? Kohli’s careful innings came from 132 balls with just one four.
Apologies, we’re continuing to have email problems, if you want to get in touch perhaps best to try the twitter link for now.
WICKET! Kohli lbw Jamieson 44 (India 149-4)
The big one! A looping inswinger that thuds into Kohli’s front pad and would have hit leg stump.
67th over: India 149-3 (Kohli 44, Rahane 32) Boult, the artist’s artist, gets his first full over. Rahane picks up a couple from a shorter ball, but is beaten by a beauty in the penultimate delivery that reaches to kiss the outside edge.
66th over: India 147-3 (Kohli 44, Rahane 30) The giant Jamieson eats up the grass as he lollops into the crease. He bowls wide and wider, but Rahane isn’t tempted. He picks up a single. And in the commentary box they have spotted a little brightness in the sky.
65th over: India 146-3 (Kohli 44, Rahane 29) Boult polishes off his over from yesterday: Kohli tips the first behind along the ground towards gully and plays the second immaculately back.
The television cameras have panned back to Southampton, where Kohli and Rahane are walk-jogging-shadow-batting onto the field.
Twenty-two years ago today, England held another final. The World Cup final at Lord’s between Pakistan and Australia. After what was, until 2019, considered the greatest world cup game ever between Australia and South Africa in the semi-final, the final was a disappointment – a walkover for Australia. If I close my eyes, though, I can still hear the Pakistani fans blowing their horns at Lord’s.
I’ve just spotted that the email address on the link above is wrong, so sorry if you’ve sent a mail – I haven’t received any yet today! I’ll try to change it now but in the meantime please email at email@example.com.
A toe-crushing yorker to start the day from Shakir:
Pant! shouts my son from the sofa, but let’s ignore the impetuosity of youth for now. It comes down to whether you prefer your food impetuously but immaculately hot or mild but cooked with great skill. Forced to split them, I’d plump for Virat.
Though we must acknowledge that Steve Smith’s Test average soars above all three of them at 61.
Play due to start at 11am BST
Good news to digest with your coffee, as the television shows Rishabh Pant, in a thick India anorak (made specially for the occassion?) and silver chain practising his batting on the outfield.
Inspection at 1020
Expect a delayed, but not too delayed, start. In the meantime, do email me any lazy Sunday morning thoughts.
Good morning! The World Test Championship limps into its third day, soggy hems to its trousers, umbrella at the ready. There were 64.4 overs in yesterday’s weather- interrupted day: time for India to reach 146-3, with Virat Kohli on the brink of a half century. New Zealand’s seamers have impressed in the same way that they have all tour, with disciplined aggression, the titanic Kyle Jamieson the pick of the bowlers.
The weather forecast is for scattered showers, so expect play to be in more than three acts. It will be, more than anything, a test of the players’ powers of concentration and patience. As the longest day of the year fast approaches in the northern hemisphere, cricket can consider itself unlucky. And if the ICC had only held the match at rain-plagued Old Trafford, they would be onto their third full day of cricket. Oh capricious June.
In other news, much sympathy for young England fast bowler Olly Stone, who has just been diagnosed with the third stress-fracture of his young career.
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