India V South Africa: 2015 Cricket World Cup – As It Happened!

11.14am GMT

That’s about it from me, from a game that ended with a whimper, as South Africa ultimately fell a long way short of a daunting total. The Proteas remain among the favourites regardless of today’s performance – and now they’re joined, unquestionably. by India.

The World Cup final will be held at the MCG, on March 29th. Anyone fancy a rematch? Thanks for reading. Bye!

Updated at 11.14am GMT

11.10am GMT

So, as many predicted, one team used a relatively flat pitch to pile on the runs, then had the depth and variety in their bowling attack, plus a spot of inspired fielding, to force the issue. As many didn’t predict, that team was India.

Admittedly, they had the majority of the crowd on their side, and under the lights, the ball turned a little more than in the heat of the afternoon. South Africa surrendered too many wickets, but there’s no question India were the better side - with the bat, with the ball, and in the field - and by an eyebrow-raising margin.

After a long, hot, winless summer in Australia, knocking off Pakistan and South Africa in quick succession was beyond most Indian fans’ expectations. What will please the defending champions the most was the manner of the win; in all areas, a strong team effort punctuated by individual brilliance, not least from Shikhar Dhawan, who was correctly named man of the match.

For South Africa, this has been a disappointment best forgotten. After breaking through at the tail end of India’s innings, the batsmen didn’t deliver – after brief resistance, the match accelerated away from them as soon as Faf du Plessis followed AB de Villiers to the pavilion. Not one six either, compared to 14 that were sent out of the ground against Zimbabwe.

Updated at 11.11am GMT

10.55am GMT

India beat South Africa by 130 runs!

Tahir lbw b Jadeja 8 (South Africa 177/9) Jadeja gets his wicket, trapping Tahir LBW as the inevitable arrives. It’s another lopsided victory in this World Cup, but not one most of us were expecting. India win comfortably.

Updated at 10.57am GMT

10.52am GMT

40th over: South Africa 175-9 (Parnell 16, Tahir 8)

Another tight, testing over from Ashwin, sullied somewhat by Tahir going for a drive, getting it all wrong, but still cutting it for four.

“This reminds me of the Ind vs SA matches in the 90s where it wasn’t over till Klusener was out and Allan Donald was batting! Cannot say the same about the tail end of this SA team.” says Aditya Pant. Too true - today at least, the middle-to-lower order has shown the depth and quality of a pound shop paddling pool.

10.49am GMT

39th over: South Africa 170-9 (Parnell 15, Tahir 4) A spirited effort from Parnell and Tahir, holding off Shami as he seeks out a third wicket. Parnell pulls a short ball to the midwicket boundary for four. It’s too late for such gumption; South Africa lost their last six wickets for 23 runs. A collapse, by any measure.

10.46am GMT

38th over: South Africa 162-9 (Parnell 10, Tahir 1) Just one off the over, chalked up by South Africa’s last man, Imran Tahir. Ashwin is up to 3-36 off 9 overs. India, with bat and ball, have been thoroughly impressive.

10.43am GMT

WICKET! Morkel b Ashwin 2 (South Africa 162-9)

Morkel is on strike now, and after defending the first ball, a flat, full delivery, he is caught by a floater that angles in, swinging, missing and watching the stumps get clattered. This won’t last much longer.

10.42am GMT

37th over: South Africa 161-8 (Parnell 10, Morkel 2) Morkel trots out to the crease, and snares a couple of singles, the first to long leg, the second to square. In between, Parnell is sharp to work a shorter ball out to fine leg.

10.39am GMT

WICKET! Steyn c Jadeja b Shami 1 (South Africa 158-8)

Shami gets his second wicket, catching Steyn cold with a short, off-stump delivery that he clubs to Jadeja at cover point.

10.37am GMT

36th over: South Africa 157-7 (Parnell 8, Steyn 1) Ashwin continues to be exceptional value for Dhoni - over half his deliveries have been dot balls, including five from this over. Parnell is able to scrape a single with a punch out to mid-on, but that’s the sum total for the over.

Updated at 10.38am GMT

10.35am GMT

35th over: South Africa 156-7 (Parnell 7, Steyn 1) Steyn and Parnell steady the ship as Raina comes in for a bowl, picking up three singles off full deliveries. What happens now? Will India be content to run the overs down, or will they want to put South Africa to the sword?

Updated at 10.37am GMT

10.33am GMT

34th over: South Africa 153-7 (Parnell 5, Steyn 0)

A song to sum up the state of things:

Or is it...? Yes it is.

10.28am GMT

WICKET! Philander lbw Ashwin 0 (South Africa 153-7)

Under the MCG lights, Ashwin has made this ball turn and break at will, and he traps Philander LBW on his second ball! This one is a terrific off-breaker that turns and catches the back pad. It’s given out, then reviewed, but there’s not enough to overturn the umpire’s decision. This is a bit of a hiding, all of a sudden.

Updated at 10.31am GMT

10.25am GMT

WICKET! Miller run out 22 (South Africa 153-6)

Miller sweeps to deep square leg, and more terrific fielding, this time from Umesh, who finds Dhoni with an excellent throw. Dhoni flicks it into the stumps, as is his style, and after a review, Miller is given out!

Updated at 10.28am GMT

10.23am GMT

34th over: South Africa 151-5 (Miller 21, Parnell 4) Ashwin has looked more and more dangerous with each over - and he looks to have caught Parnell leg before on his first ball, finding the angle once again. The umpire shakes his head, but replays show it was in line - maybe just rising over the bails, but you’ve seen them given. Parnell picks up a single with a clip to mid-on, and Miller is back on strike...

10.20am GMT

33rd over: South Africa 151-5 (Miller 21, Parnell 4) Almost another run out here, as Parnell plays one to third man then goes for two. Miller gets stuck halfway down the pitch, but lucky for him, the ball is thrown to the other end. Dhoni chucks it down the wicket, but Miller is back in time. Just one other run off the over, South Africa perhaps sensing this one has got away.

10.15am GMT

32nd over: South Africa 148-5 (Miller 21, Parnell 1) It’s Parnell in now, and he picks up a single with a stroke to mid-on off a fuller delivery. India didn’t lose a wicket between overs 11 and 40, and have taken four between Amla in over 10 and Duminy in over 32. Therein lies the game.

Quite the burn here from Pierre, having a pop at India, and the poor old Windies while he’s at it. South Africa were favourites, for sure - but India are defending champions, and they’ve played like it today.

Updated at 10.18am GMT

10.12am GMT

WICKET! Duminy c Raina b Ashwin 6 (South Africa 147-5)

That might be that, and it’s a cheap wicket, Duminy bamboozled by a quick, angled ball from Ashwin. He attempts a reverse sweep, it hits the gloe and spins into the air, and Raina is waiting in the slips.

10.10am GMT

32nd over: South Africa 147-4 (Miller 21, Duminy 6) Speaking of Ashwin, he returns to the attack here, and Duminy plants his front foot forward, popping up towards the slips off his pad. The next ball is more comfortable, flicked gently towards the covers, but the reprieve doesn’t last long...

10.08am GMT

31st over: South Africa 147-4 (Miller 21, Duminy 6) This isn’t over yet – South Africa have nurdled their way to almost halfway, with a powerplay still to come. Unfortunately, they’re at the end of their rope in terms of batting prowess, with Philander and Parnell (in for Behardien) next up. Dhoni has Ashwin bowling at two left handers, with one more wicket needed to feel very comfortable indeed. It’s all come together for India so far. Mohit takes the ball, concedes a couple of singles to length balls, then sees Duminy nick two runs with a nice steered shot past the slips.

10.03am GMT

30th over: South Africa 142-4 (Miller 20, Duminy 2) Both of these batsmen chalked up centuries in that spectacular partnership against Zimbabwe. More of the same, please - and Miller gets things going, sweeping a loose Ashwin delivery to the boundary at long leg. Miller adds a single, pushing a turning ball towards cover point. Duminy follows suit, before Ashwin shouts for LBW, but it’s pitching outside leg and turning outside off stump. File under hopeful...

Updated at 10.04am GMT

9.59am GMT

29th over: South Africa 133-4 (Miller 14, Duminy 0) Mohit keeps it tidy for the rest of the over, finding the right line and length - aside from an incongruous wide bouncer, that is. India’s attack has done its job here; the figures aren’t spectacular, but across five different bowlers, they’ve barely released the pressure for a second.

9.55am GMT

WICKET! Du Plessis c Dhawan b Mohit 55 (South Africa 133-4)

Mohit comes in, and the change of pace is enough to see off Du Plessis! He came ambling down the track, trying to flat-bat a short ball. He got it all wrong, and it flew to Dhawan at mid-off! There’s a pattern emerging here – as soon as South Africa get within reach of building a partnership, India have been able to pull the rug from under them.

Updated at 10.00am GMT

9.53am GMT

28th over: South Africa 133-3 (Du Plessis 55, Miller 14) Ashwin tightens things up, conceding just two runs in the over, largely by angling a full ball into middle and leg stump, keeping both batsmen firmly on the back foot.

Updated at 9.56am GMT

9.52am GMT

27th over: South Africa 131-3 (Du Plessis 54, Miller 13) Jadeja comes back in, and after another Du Plessis single, Miller makes his first impact, reading a ball that drifts outside off and forcing it beyond Mohit at deep midwicket. Du Plessis collects two from an angled delivery, before another two singles close out the over. Jadeja 0-35 now, probably the least consistent member of India’s attack so far.

Updated at 9.52am GMT

9.48am GMT

26th over: South Africa 121-3 (Du Plessis 50, Miller 7) An appeal from Ashwin as he gets one to turn sharply, looping off Du Plessis’s pad and out to short leg, where Dhoni takes a running catch. Ashwin thinks it’s caught bat before pad, but the umpire isn’t interested. Du Plessis brings up a stoic half-century with two more single, the second worked to square leg from a floating delivery.

9.44am GMT

25th over: South Africa 115-3 (Du Plessis 48, Miller 3) Just two runs from the over, as Jadeja continues to cause problems. Dhoni installs an extra slip to try and remove the stubborn Du Plessis, who is now just two short of a half-century.

9.43am GMT

24th over: South Africa 113-3 (Du Plessis 47, Miller 2) Here comes David Miller, the young left-hander who smacked Zimbabwe all over the park last week. He’s a little more cautious here (understandably), picking up a single off a slower ball. Du Plessis keeps his score ticking over nicely with three more singles off Ashwin, finishing with a clip to short fine leg.

9.41am GMT

23rd over: South Africa 108-3 (Du Plessis 42, Miller 0) Just one single off that Jadeja over, and it came during the run out. Interesting to note MS Dhoni, usually an ice-cool operator, celebrating that particular wicket with boyish glee. They know what that means; they are surely big favourites now. As for De Villiers... that was a poor way to get out.

9.38am GMT

WICKET! de Villiers run out 30 (South Africa 108-3)

They don’t make it! Mohit Sharma collects the drive and whips it quite brilliantly in to Dhoni. The bails are scattered, and de Villiers is close to getting back - but not close enough! Just as South Africa were getting comfortable.

9.36am GMT

23rd over: South Africa 107-2 (Du Plessis 42, De Villiers 26) Jadeja frustrates de Villiers, switching from leg to off stump, from short to full, giving poor AB no time to set himself. The fifth ball is driven towards the off-side sweepers, and they’re going for two...

Updated at 9.38am GMT

9.34am GMT

22nd over: South Africa 107-2 (Du Plessis 42, De Villiers 26) Ashwin comes in for his first over, and Du Plessis takes him for two first ball, clipping away a fullish ball that was turning. Du Plessis faces the next five balls, following two dot balls with a four, dispatching a short, wide ball over cover point. Another dot, and then another top edge beyond Dhoni! Ten runs off Ashwin’s first over. Not the best start.

9.31am GMT

21st over: South Africa 97-2 (Du Plessis 34, De Villiers 29) Du Plessis looks more comfortable with the pace of Yadav, nicking a spawny single off his second ball. De Villiers goes for two after clipping one to fine leg. Dhoni deflects the throw onto the stumps, but De Villiers is back in the crease. Lovely stuff from Dhoni, never the less. Two more singles off two back of a length balls. India’s bowlers keeping up a high standard, South Africa chipping away at that imposing total. It’s nicely poised.

9.27am GMT

20th over: South Africa 92-2 (Du Plessis 32, De Villiers 26) These two are starting to get something going, and they knock Jadeja’s rhythm here, picking up two singles each, adjusting to meet Jadeja’s deliveries, which aren’t causing too much concern. Another boundary to close the over, this time from AB, who sweeps a poor ball down the off-side out to square leg, with an ease bordering on contempt.

Updated at 9.28am GMT

9.24am GMT

19th over: South Africa 84-2 (Du Plessis 30, De Villiers 20) Yadav is consistency itself, firing down four back of a length deliveries to pin back De Villiers. The captain snatches a single on the fourth delivery, moving away from the line and flicking it to third man. Du Plessis spoils an impressive over from Yadav with another top-edge that sails over a frustrated MS Dhoni.

9.20am GMT

18th over: South Africa 79-2 (Du Plessis 26, De Villiers 19) Jadeja continues, with Ashwin possibly being saved for the in-form left handers, David Miller and JP Duminy, who are next in the order. It’s another dogged over from De V and Du P, with the latter notching a couple of runs as he moves down the track again, whipping another drive towards long-off. Five from the over, South Africa keeping it moving.

Updated at 9.22am GMT

9.17am GMT

17th over: South Africa 74-2 (Du Plessis 23, De Villiers 17) A big partnership here, and perhaps that explains the lull since Amla’s wicket fell; both teams can live with 5 or 6 runs an over, for the time being. There’s more impetus here though, with the rehydrated De Villiers tucking away a full delivery from Yadav for two, then a single to square leg. Du Plessis’s turn, and he gets on the front foot, smacking an off-stump delivery back down the ground for four. Another, slightly less composed boundary ends the over, as Faf top edges high over Dhoni’s head.

Updated at 9.22am GMT

9.11am GMT

16th over: South Africa 63-2 (Du Plessis 15, De Villiers 14) Jadeja surrenders just two runs, with both batsmen picking up a single. Du Plessis tries to be more attacking, and is not particularly convincing, mistiming an off drive off the final ball. And that’s drinks.

9.09am GMT

15th over: South Africa 61-2 (Du Plessis 14, De Villiers 13) Mohit rattles through his fifth over, and for the first time, he’s a touch sloppy, offering up a short ball for de Villiers to drill beyond deep midwicket. A slower ball comes in to end the over, but De Villiers is all over it, stepping down the track and guiding a cover drive to the rope. Nine runs from that over, compared to 16 in Mohit’s first four.

9.04am GMT

14th over: South Africa 52-2 (Du Plessis 13, De Villiers 5) A big appeal from Jadeja, as Du Plessis attempts a sweep, and ball meets pad. It’s outside the line, though. Not out. The rest of the over brings three singles, all driven down to long off, as South Africa continue feeding on scraps.

Updated at 9.07am GMT

9.01am GMT

13th over: South Africa 49-2 (De Villiers 4, Du Plessis 12) Mohit Sharma is back in, and keeps it short, clocking up another two dot balls to start the over. De Villiers pinches a single off a thick inside edge, before Du Plessis follows suit with a tuck shot towards long leg. AB de V is back in, but two fuller deliveries bring zero runs. Nothing doing for South Africa at present.

8.57am GMT

12th over: South Africa 47-2 (De Villiers 3, Du Plessis 10) Time for a bit of spin for India, hoping to pick apart this batting order after the seamers roughed them up in the first ten overs. Ravindra Jadeja comes in, and it’s four singles – two for each batsman – and two dot balls off the over, as South Africa keep the scoreboard grimly ticking over.

8.53am GMT

11th over: South Africa 43-2 (De Villiers 1, Du Plessis 8) In comes AB de Villiers. It’s fair to say there’s a bit of weight on his shoulders. Beyond the big man, the middle order looks a little fragile - Vernon Philander will be batting at 7, with a dodgy hamstring. Sharma has De Villiers and Du Plessis grubbing around for singles, with the former getting on the board with a guided stroke out to third man.

8.49am GMT

WICKET! Amla c Shami b Sharma 22 (South Africa 40-2)

This is a big breakthrough. Sharma bangs in three consecutive short balls, the first a harsh wide, the second pulled awkwardly by du Plessis to square leg. Amla is up next, and he tries a pull shot from head height. It looks to be heading for the boundary, but Shami is underneath it. He gets both hands on the ball, short of the rope, and just like that, Amla has gone. Suresh Raina will be delighted.

Updated at 8.57am GMT

8.45am GMT

10th over: South Africa 38-1 (Amla 22, du Plessis 5) Finally, a little bit of breathing space for Amla as Shami loses his line for the first time today. He takes two thanks to a Kohli misfield at mid-off, then pulls a short ball for a very welcome four. If India weren’t regretting that rick in the last over (and I’m sure they were), they will be now. Amla has managed to get himself into the groove in the face of some pretty fierce pressure.

8.42am GMT

9th over: South Africa 28-1 (Amla 16, du Plessis 4) ...and from the final ball, a pivotal pratfall from Suresh Raina! Amla tried to drive it beyond Rahane at cover, but he fields it brilliantly, and Amla is caught halfway down the track! The throw misses the stumps, but Raina collects – then misses the stumps from a couple of inches. Replays show that if he had connected, Amla would have been gone. But he didn’t. And I’m not sure how.

8.39am GMT

9th over: South Africa 28-1 (Amla 16, du Plessis 4) South Africa are finding themselves in an increasingly tight spot, but this is where Hashim Amla excels. He’s happy to defend four of Sharma’s first five deliveries, desperate to preserve his wicket, taking just two runs off the second ball...

8.36am GMT

8th over: South Africa 28-1 (Amla 14, du Plessis 4) Shami, who left the field during the last over due to an injury, is fit enough to come back in, and his dynamite start continues, forcing Amla into a flick towards square leg, which drops just short of Rahane. After a single for Amla, Du Plessis defends a good length ball, then, in an unexpected move, comes down the track for the final ball. It moves away and just misses his outside edge. Great start from Shami - even these two wily campaigners can’t get a read on him.

8.31am GMT

7th over: South Africa 26-1 (Amla 13, du Plessis 3) Mohit Sharma comes in, bowling to du Plessis, and he continues the hot, hot heat generated by India’s pace attack, forcing Du Plessis to stay on the back foot. Du Plessis takes a single, before Amla punches an angled delivery towards midwicket for two. To close the over, Sharma gets one to move in towards off-stump. Amla edges it - but it sails past Dhoni and goes for four! Lucky...

Updated at 8.32am GMT

8.25am GMT

6th over: South Africa 19-1 (Amla 7, du Plessis 2) Shami’s first ball of the over is an awkward, short one which loops off Amla’s glove, but drops short of fine leg. Shami continues his strong start, mixing up the length nicely to stifle first Du Plessis, who nicks a run off a fuller delivery, then Amla, who defends the final two balls of the over. South Africa haven’t got any fluency going so far.

Updated at 8.27am GMT

8.22am GMT

5th over: South Africa 17-1 (Amla 6, du Plessis 1) South Africa won’t be too concerned by that early loss, especially with two experienced batsmen in the middle. Amla plays a lovely clip through square leg which just stops short of four, but they run it for three. Two more singles from the over, with du Plessis happy to leave a couple of good length balls from Yadav.

8.18am GMT

4th over: South Africa 12-1 (Amla 2, du Plessis 0) That’s a wicket maiden from Shami. He and Yadav had to try and make an impression early on, and they’ve certainly done that, their pace and variety of length fairly shredding de Kock’s nerves. They will be delighted, particularly given the young left-hander’s record against them - but de Kock did what he absolutely couldn’t afford to do; he panicked.

Updated at 8.18am GMT

8.15am GMT

WICKET! de Kock c Kohli b Shami 7 (South Africa 12-1)

That didn’t take long. After two short balls from Shami, de Kock chases a fuller one, trying to drive it through the off side, but it’s over-ambtious, and flies low to Kohli at mid-off!

Updated at 8.15am GMT

8.13am GMT

3rd over: South Africa 11-0 (Amla 2, de Kock 6) Yadav brings up two more dot balls, care of two solid, back of a length deliveries. A fuller delivery, then a shorter one which de Kock pushes beyond short cover, picking up two. Yadav then pitches a bouncer which de Kock tries to pull, but it whacks him on the thigh. Still not looking settled.

8.08am GMT

2nd over: South Africa 8-0 (Amla 2, de Kock 4) Mohammed Shami steams in towards Amla, and is fortunate as Amla clips his second delivery to Rahane at square leg, rather than the fence. A wide, then Amla picks up a single, poking a shortish delivery out towards third man. Two more dot balls from Shami close out the over, with no width for de Kock to have a swing. Perhaps for the best.

8.03am GMT

1st over: South Africa 6-0 (Amla 1, de Kock 4) For South Africa, the advantage of restricting India to 307 is that the openers don’t need to hare after runs. Sadly, nobody’s told Quinton de Kock. After Amla works a single out to long leg off Yadav’s first delivery, de Kock top-edges a hook shot. It hangs in the air for a good while, but drops over the slips and bounces away for four. The rest of the over brings four dot balls and a wide from Yadav, which de Kock swings at anyway. Amla has a quiet word at the end of a skittish over.

7.57am GMT

England update

Rob Key on England’s World Cup: “It’s not a disaster just yet... if England lose to Scotland, then maybe”. Maybe?

Anyway, enough about that. Amla and de Kock are at the crease, and we’ll be off momentarily.

7.53am GMT

Thanks Daniel. So, here we are. India could have set South Africa a truly brutal target to chase down; in the end, some excellent, determined bowling in the death overs has given them a fighting chance. The Proteas still have a mighty big target to chase down - 308 runs, no less - but then, they have Hashim Amla, Faf du Plessis and a terrifying, all-action automaton by the name of AB de Villiers. India are favourites, especially with the lights coming on - but this total is far from beyond South Africa. This should be good.

Updated at 7.55am GMT

7.32am GMT

India set South Africa 308 to win

What an entertaining, invigorating 50 overs that was. South Africa started well, mainly because Dale Steyn was bowling, India batted wonderfully in the middle, then South Africa finished well, mainly because Dale Steyn was bowling. And we’ve ended up with a great total - one that’s testing, but not such that South Africa need to bat like meshuggeners from the start. Or, put another way, we’re dead set for a thriller.

So, after the break, Niall McVeigh will guide you through the rest of the day - but if, in the meantime, you fancy detaining yourselves, here’s something about when cricket and real life collide.

Updated at 7.42am GMT

7.27am GMT

50th over: India 307-7 (Dhoni 18, Ashwin 4) Philander has done his left “hammy”, but will bat if necessary. Anyway, Steyn is in, starting with a dot outside off, then one in the blockhole that Ashwin turns to midwicket. Next, Shami backs away and kind of bends his knees inwards - doesn’t look great, but he bundles the ball to long leg for four. Then, two swings and misses to two outside off, and then again - that’s just five from the final over. Dale Steyn is alright.

Updated at 7.35am GMT

7.23am GMT

49th over: India 302-7 (Ashwin 4, Shami 0) Dot to finish from Morkel - just five from the over.

Updated at 7.24am GMT

7.21am GMT

WICKET! Dhoni c De Kock b Morkel 18 (India 302-7)

South Africa’s bowling has been largely superb these last few overs. Morkle goes short and hard, Dhoni tries to make room for the hook, top-edges, and De Kock does well to stretch and pouch.

Updated at 7.23am GMT

7.21am GMT

49th over: India 302-6 (Dhoni 18, Ashwin 4) Ashwin paddles Morkel over where the slips aren’t, the ball dropping just shy of third man and bringing Dhoni back onto strike. But he can only work a single, useless, and next delivery, Ashwin backs away and Morkel follows him. So Ashwin feints and sways, Morkel goes straight, he’s pulled over mid-on, not out of the middle but not anywhere near a fielder, and they run three.

7.17am GMT

48th over: India 297-6 (Dhoni 17, Ashwin 0) Dhoni is ridiculously strong, fiding the space to pull for four when cramped on leg stump. Next ball, a low full-toss, marmalised for four straight down the ground, then another pull over backward square-leg; poor Parnell, looking at 85 off his nine overs. Dhoni! Dhoni! Dhoni! chant the unsympathetic crowd.

7.14am GMT

WICKET! Jadeja run out (De Villiers) 2 (India 284-6)

It’s impossible to be as good as AB De Villiers is, except AB De Villiers is as good as AB De Villiers is. Parnell bowls wide and full, Jadeja drives to mid-off, sets off, stumps break one bounce, doesn’t bother waiting for a look. Brilliant.

7.12am GMT

47th over: India 284-5 (Dhoni 5, Jadeja 2) Excellent over from Tahir, just six from it. Suddenly, this is a good total, not a frightening one.

“Quite amusing how whenever India does well, it is attributed to the pitches being roads,” emails Raj. “India won the Champions Trophy in England in 2013 and the one-day series there the following year. The matches were not played on subcontinental roads.”

Yep, disagree that the roads here - if they’re even roads - are to suit India. But their record overseas isn’t great; even the Champions Trophy win was over twenty overs or so in the final, and berating England says very little. They’re a good side, sure, but they seems to rely on conditions more than most.

7.07am GMT

WICKET! Rahane lbw b Steyn 71 (India 278-5)

Another innings of consummate skill and pace comes to an end. Rahane waits for one that’s on middle, tries a mow over midwicket, missses, gone. That’s the over.

Updated at 7.08am GMT

7.06am GMT

46th over: India 271-4 (Rahane 79, Dhoni 1) South Africa are pulling this back. Dhoni carves hard at his and Steyn’s first ball, getting a single to cover. Then three beauties: a wide yorker - Rahane edges into the pitch, De Kock dives brilliantly to stop - then another wide yorker, then a yorker into the body. But Rahane is Rahane, and he pounces on - a wide yorker - flaying over mid-off for six.

7.02am GMT

45th over: India 271-4 (Rahane 71, Dhoni 0) They crossed, so Rahane is back on strike, and he takes two to square-leg off the final ball of the over.

7.00am GMT

WICKET! Raina c Sub (Rossouw) b Morkel 6 (India 269-4)

You bowl short to Raina, everyone knows that. Morkel bowls short to Raina because he knows that, Raina pulls, and this time it’s right at Rossouw, who claps it gratefully to his bosom.

Updated at 7.01am GMT

6.59am GMT

45th over: India 269-3 (Rahane 71, Raina 6) The one like Morne comes back - Philander’s off again, so De Villiers will need to fiddle to make up the remaining overs. Oh dear, South Africa - Raina swats to midwicket, Rossouw dashes in, makes it, dives forwards and spills it.

6.56am GMT

44th over: India 266-3 (Rahane 70, Raina 4) Single to Rahane, then Parnell offers width and Raina isnae missing out, hanging back and waving a cut past backward point for four.

Updated at 6.57am GMT

6.53am GMT

WICKET! Dhawan c Amla b Parnell 137 (India 261-3)

That innings deserves a panoply of expletives. Amla dropped him, it’s true, but even so, a masterly knock. He’s out now, though; Parnell bangs one in and he drags a pull from wide of off, splicing straight to long leg. Even so, Amla takes it with his hands apart and fingers pointing down; he wasn’t far off dropping that.

Updated at 7.03am GMT

6.52am GMT

43rd over: India 261-2 (Dhawan 137, Rahane 69) Rahane pulls hard and they run two - Rossouw fields very well on the square-leg boundary. Parnell then sees Rahane coming down, drops short as you do, but it bounces high enough to be called wide. Next ball’s a full-bunger, driven through cover and forcing Duminy to dive on the fence. And it’s a no-ball! But the free-hit delivery is better a low full-toss and Rahane digs it out to short midwicket.

6.48am GMT

42nd over: India 254-2 (Dhawan 137, Rahane 64) Tahir is back, and quickly wishes he wasn’t, Rahane hopping down the track and clearing his legs at the same time in order that he might pagga the ball over long-on - there’s a man on the fence, whatevz, yeah. Then a wide, then a single; Tahir’ll take that.

While @SDhawan25 is hogging the limelight @ajinkyarahane88 quietly playing a v.imp knock. What a player.#CWC15

— VVS Laxman (@VVSLaxman281) February 22, 2015

The definition of praise.

6.45am GMT

41st over: India 245-2 (Dhawan 136, Rahane 57) Parnell on for Steyn, and he opens with two dots; very nice. But then Rahane slaps over midwicket, it’s a kind of tennis shot really - my days, he’s got a bit behind it - and the ball hits the rope on the full. Six! But the rest of the over is tidy enough, just two singles from it.

“Anyone else think Morkel looks like David Cameron in his delivery stride?” asks Sahil Kher.

I’ve always though him a Biff, who, of course, has nothing whatsoever in common with our dear Premier.

6.40am GMT

40th over: India 237-2 (Dhawan 135, Rahane 50) Less a daddy, more a forefather. Morkey jags one in from leg to middle, good length, but Dhawan’s seeing it in slowmotion, so he shuffles across and powerflicks it for six over backward square. This is spectacular! But the ball after next, he attempts a mow and misses - it bounces over the top, and not by much, before a single raises the hundred partnership and Rahane glances a single off his pads to bring up his own fifty. With the batting that’s to come, these two can really get stuck in and take some risks.

Updated at 6.40am GMT

6.35am GMT

39th over: India 227-2 (Dhawan 126, Rahane 49) Oh we say! Shikhar Dhawan has just punished Steyn’s slower ball over mid-on, flat, for six, and then glanced the next one over slip for four. This has been a creative, delicate, vicious, majestic masterpiece of an innings. How you feeling, Hashim? Anyway, that’s 44 for the powerplay.

“The worst format possible, most annoying set of commentators, sub-continental roads to suit India, abysmal decline in the quality of fielding and probably the worst English team in memory....is there any good reason to continue watching this World Cup?”

Top o’ the mornin’ Krishnan Patel! And yes, you’re right in most aspects, but yes, there’s a good reason to continue watching this World Cup: it’s the World Cup.

6.30am GMT

39th over: India 214-2 (Dhawan 114, Rahane 48) Back comes Morkel, who persuades one to lift and Rahane sways away - lovely ball. Warne said the pitch would quicken up under lights, and there’s also some cloud cover, but then, what a response from Rahane. First, he spanks one back over the bowler’s head - it’s a little overpitched, yes, no matter, yes - and follows it with a whipcracked drive through cover. This total could be monstrous.

Updated at 6.30am GMT

6.26am GMT

38th over: India 206-2 (Dhawan 114, Rahane 40) And here he is, starting with a beauty - it bounces and leaves Dhawan, spitting past the outside edge as he goes back on his toes. Just two off the over - and, incidentally, Steyn now looks like Laine Price.

6.21am GMT

37th over: India 204-2 (Dhawan 113, Rahane 39) Tahir replaces Parnell, and after the batsmen take a single apiece, Dhawan steps inside a straight one and lofts it over backward point for four - the predominantly Indian crowd are lapping this up. But Tahir comes back well, three singles off the last three balls - Dhawan has refocused really well after his ton, ready to make it a daddy. We’ll be seeing Steyn shortly, I shouldnae wonder.

6.17am GMT

36th over: India 195-2 (Dhawan 106, Rahane 37) India take the powerplay, and continue knocking the ball around - they’ve taken a lot of singles when the ball goes straight to the man, which says plenty about the dimensions of the outfield. Mayrick Pringle reckons South Africa are definitely looking for a wicket, and in general, the Channel 9 commentary really does a person hankering after Sky’s coverage. Duminy’s penultimate ball gives Rahane too much room outside off, so he slices it over cover for four, and it’s followed up with one on the pads, flicked behind for four more. This is excellent from yerman, relegated down the order last time out - his 37 so far have come from 27 balls.

Updated at 6.18am GMT

6.10am GMT

35th over: India 183-2 (Dhawan 103, Rahane 28) Parnell slants one across Rahane, who stretches and gets his hands through it quickly enough so that even though it’s off the toe, it still beats Morkel, lanking around the boundary from third man to backward point. Then a two off the hip, followed by a flowing drive in response to another wide one - perhaps Parnell should try bowling over the wicket. But a single brings Dhawan onto strike, and there it is! A square-cut, cracked to the boundary, and he’s the happiest man on the planet at this second - what a feeling knowing that must be. His hundred has come off 122 balls.

Updated at 6.12am GMT

6.06am GMT

34th over: India 172-2 (Dhawan 99, Rahane 21) Duminy back on, and there’s a single to Dhawan to fine leg, then one to Rahane at square leg. Man, Dhawan wants this hundred - consecutive balls bumped down the track to nowhere, consecutive drive phases, consecutive turning backs.

Updated at 6.07am GMT

6.04am GMT

33rd over: India 170-2 (Dhawan 98, Rahane 20) Parnell returns, and begins with a leg-side, slower-ball wide, before Dhawan slides closer to his ton by turning one down to fine leg - Morkel’s misfield allows him to come back. With Rahane still playing himself in, Dhawan has become becalmed - emcees, stick that in your book of rhymes - but then Rahane hangs back waiting for one slanted across him that bounces waist-high, and he clatters a pull for four in front of square. Next ball, Rahane stretches to drive, edges between keeper and slip - not that it carried - and that’s fo mo, making it 14 from the over.

  
write a comment

0 Comments