Due to rain delays, the World Cup final between Australia and Sri Lanka has been shortened to 38 overs per side. Match about to begin; updates to follow. Australia batting first.
2nd over: 0/4. Ian Botham just mentioned that the first World Cup, in 1975, was a 60-over-per-side deal. At this rate, by 2037 we’ll be down to 20 overs or so.
4th over: 0/16. First six of the match to Gilchrist, now 14. Malinga the slinger very economical; his second over a maiden bowled to cautious Hayden.
5th over: 0/26. I’m Matthew, I’m from Queensland, and I’m here to block. Hayden has scored just two of Australia’s total. And now six, after a brutal lofted cut.
6th over: 0/27. More accuracy from Malinga, more caution from Hayden. He’s scored 6 from 21.
8th over: 0/35. Sri Lanka are containing Australia brilliantly, but we have wickets in hand. Not much time to use them, though.
10th over: 0/46. These Lankans are hard to hit; this is the lowest Australian score at the ten-over mark in the whole series.
11th over: 0/62. Two fours then a six from Gilchrist, now 46 off 35.
12th over: 0/65. Muralitharan introduced. Not spinning it much, but still difficult. Well, he would be; he’s a chucker.
14th over: 0/76. Gilchrist has his 50. Now 54 off 46, and looking to hit BIG.
15th over: 0/95. This is more like it; two sixes from Gilchrist in one over. Hayden is now sweeping against the spin, opening up the on-side.
16th over: 0/98. Hit comments for Dylan Kissane’s view.
17th over: 0/112. Another Gilchrist six (his fifth) brings up the Australian 100, followed by an on-driven four. Lankans now rattled.
18th over: 0/122. What looked to be a tight Muralitharan over turns into another blowout. Six sixes so far in this innings, all from Gilchrist.
20th over: 0/137. Best opening partnership in World Cup final history. Vaas back on, now aiming for line instead of swing.
21st over: 0/149. Hayden off-drives Malinga for six; Gilchrist registers the fastest century in World Cup finals; fine sportsmanship from Lankan ‘keeper Sangakkara, who declines a catch appeal.
22nd over: 0/163. Hayden now 38 off 54, and menacing.
23rd over: 1/172. Hayden now OUT. Malinga deserved that.
24th over: 1/176. Gilchrist now 120. Trivia point: he doesn’t do weight training. It’s all timing.
26th over: 1/186. Australia in accumulation mode.
28th over: 1/203. Another Gilchrist six, Ponting not yet settled.
29th over: 1/216. Adam Gilchrist has faced 99 balls and scored 146 runs, including eight sixes. In a World Cup final. Read those two sentences again.
30th over: 1/222. Fifty partnership up; Ponting has scored 19 of them.
31st over: 2/227. Can you hear the drums, Fernando? Maybe not, but he can certainly hear the cheers after finally dismissing Gilchrist for 149 off 104 balls.
32nd over: 2/231. Symonds and Ponting at the wicket.
34th over: 2/243. Ponting 26 off 37. Malinga returns again.
36th over: 3/264. Ponting run out.
FINAL TOTAL: 4/281. Sri Lanka requires greater than 7.4 runs per over to win.
SRI LANKAN INNINGS
1st ball: Tharanga smashes Bracken for four.
2nd over: 0/7. Tait immediately over 90mph off a very sedate run-up.
3rd over: 1/12. Tharanga gone, caught Gilchrist bowled Bracken. Aggressive response from veteran Jayasuriya.
4th over: 1/18. Ahead of Australia at this point.
6th over: 1/34. Lankans lash out; Sangakkara and Jayasuriya peel runs off Tait.
8th over: 1/39. Glenn McGrath on in his final game. Run rate for Lankans now up to eight. Three off the over, and still ahead of Australia.
10th over: 1/42. Sri Lanka now behind Australia at the same point of their innings; and that was before the Gilchrist onslaught.
12th over: 1/52. McGrath tightens the screws.
13th over: 1/66. Jayasuriya takes three boundaries off one Watson over; Sri Lanka back on course.
14th over: 1/82. Outrageous batting from Sangakkara, who belts McGrath all over the park; Lankans now ahead again.
15th over: 1/93. Sangakkara now 36 off 39; he’s dragged the required run rate down to just over eight.
16th over: 1/102. This might go all the way.
18th over: 1/110. Rain is about. So is Hogg, who’s slowed the ferocious Sri Lankan batting.
20th over: 2/124. Kumar Sangakkara drills his 50 – beautiful innings – then is caught by Ponting off Hogg for 54 off 52 balls. Captain Jayawardene now in.
22nd over: 2/139. Sri Lanka fighting like hell.
24th over: 3/148. Clark bowls wild-swinging Jayasuriya; required run-rate now up to nine. McGrath returns, as does rain.
25th over: 3/149. Play called due to rain. That’s me done – over to you, commenters!
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