1.18pm EDT 13:18 34th over: Pakistan 142-3 (Babar 56, Sohail 22) Target 238 “There will reach a point when Williamson feels like he has to make something happen,” says Nas on telly, “and he will have to go back to Santner. He’s got 18 deliveries of gold up his sleeve.” It’s Ferguson for now, who
34th over: Pakistan 142-3 (Babar 56, Sohail 22) Target 238 “There will reach a point when Williamson feels like he has to make something happen,” says Nas on telly, “and he will have to go back to Santner. He’s got 18 deliveries of gold up his sleeve.” It’s Ferguson for now, who keeps slamming down his short stuff, but these two are both well enough set that they avoid any potholes. He hurries up Babar to begin and strikes his leading edge but the ball goes straight to ground at cover.
“Surely New Zealand pop music begins and ends with the perfect Hurt Feelings by Flight Of The Conchords,” insists Matthew Dony. “Also a useful anthem for those of us disappointed in the direction of England’s World Cup.” Great shout.
33rd over: Pakistan 139-3 (Babar 55, Sohail 20) Target 238 Williamson now into his fifth, but we have passed the stage where he is beating the bat. For now, at least. Three risk-free singles constitutes a very good result for the chasing side.
“Enjoying your fine wordsmithery today,” emails Jimmy Mayer. Why, thank you. “This is a lovely upbeat tune by an upcoming Kiwi band that captures my current feelings as a hope-killed England fan. We were all happy unhappy before everyone ruined our world cup by saying we would win. Go Beths yourself everyone. The Kiwi twang on “remembering puns and to take out the buns” is also a delight.”
Sounds like this is going to be ight in my sweet spot. Enjoy it during drinks.
32nd over: Pakistan 136-3 (Babar 54, Sohail 18) Target 238 Ferguson’s raw pace is back as they start to mix it up, Santner held back for three a touch later. Aside from a legside wide, he’s asking a question every ball of Babar in particular, flinging it down at the better part of 90mph. But he’s seeing them well onto the bat, no doubt far happier facing this than spin at this stage of the chase.
31st over: Pakistan 132-3 (Babar 52, Sohail 17) Target 238 Williamson persists with at Sohail, who is good enough to get himself off strike without any risk. Back on strike later in the over, he’s beaten by another that has turned square before playing out the rest with soft hands. He’s nearly out the other end of this.
“Evening Collo.” Nick Toovey is here. “Seems as if EnZed have missed a trick by not picking Ish Sodhi today. Santner, not a renowned turned of the ball, is ripping them like Murali out there. I wonder if they’re old pal Jeetan Patel, with his expert knowledge of Edgbaston, was consulted?”
The question I have is how Ish Sodhi is ever out of this team?
“Love the Kiwi hit parade but can’t help feeling sorry for Flight of the Conchords being left off the playlist,” submits Jonathan McKinley. “A bit of “Boom” might work at the fall of the next wicket (hopefully today)?”
If there weren’t two spinners operating, this would be fixed.
30th over: Pakistan 128-3 (Babar 51, Sohail 15) Target 238 That question again: do New Zealand just bowler Santner out, as their best bet? He’s into his seventh here and working over Babar this time around, who is happy to get off strike. Sohail goes the other way, taking him on over midwicket for a BIG SIX! Not the worst strategy with the ball spinning so much, using his feet to get to the pitch. This is a brilliant contest. This game will probably be won in the next handful of overs.
29th over: Pakistan 120-3 (Babar 50, Sohail 8) Target 238 Sohail is in all sorts of strife to Williamson now as well, twice beaten on the outside edge from consecutive balls! The skipper is giving it just as much of a rip as the specialist twirler. Earlier, he cut a four but it was the only ball he came close to middling. “It’s like a day five pitch at the moment,” says Nasser Nussain on television.
28th over: Pakistan 116-3 (Babar 50, Sohail 4) Target 238 Another brilliant, probing over from Santner. How hasn’t he picked up a wicket? He spins hard across Sohail’s blade to begin, beating the inside edge, bouncing another into the pad near enough to the glove to prompt an appeal for a catch close to the wicket. Another ragged delivery then angles back; just kept out. He has 0/11 from six.
Babar to 50!
27th over: Pakistan 115-3 (Babar 50, Sohail 3) Target 238 The task isn’t quite as tough against Williamson, the sweepers picked out for the first half of the new over, Babar bringing up his half-century with one around the corner. The Kiwi captain, though, does find the inside edge to finish. He has to keep going, I think.
“Never mind the upturned collar or wearing a jumper in the field,” writes Dan Taylor. “I spent an unnecessary part of the 80’s wearing a bandana as a headband because I’d seen Martin Crowe do it.” There’s a good reason to bat in a bandana. Dan Norcross, from TMS, explains the science behind it in the final stanza of this.
26th over: Pakistan 112-3 (Babar 49, Sohail 1) Target 238 Santner gives Babar a long hop and it’s nearly a second wicket in two overs caught at deep midwicket! Thankfully for the Pakistan No3, his hoick doesn’t end up going to hand. Sohail’s turn, and he’s beaten on the inside edge. Quality bowling again from the tweaker.
“Harmonic Generator by The Datsuns is a total classic,” contributes Louise Wright. Ah, The Datsuns, they sure had their moment. “I also saw a young NZ garage band a year ago that redefined the term full-on, but I can’t remember their name other than it started with “The” which doesn’t narrow it down much. I believe this is a reflection of me having given my all to their musical stylings, so clearly they’re great, but I can see that it’s not much help to you.”
Time for another from me, I think. Cut Off Your Hands’ first album was an utter gem. I could pick any song from it. But this is both the happiest and saddest.
25th over: Pakistan 110-3 (Babar 48, Sohail 0) Target 238 The decision to bowl himself made sense: he has 35 ODI wickets, TMS tells me, his last ODI scalps also against taken against Pakistan in January last year. The new man Sohail pats a full toss away to begin. If he bats even half as well as he did on Sunday, they’re home.
“I think we are buggered to be honest but this Phoenix Foundation jam helps dull the pain,” observes Kiwi Adam Groucott. “Big Cricket fans they are too, I believe Sam penned some cricket pieces for big paper. Lou Vincent’s cameo sadly dates the video, poor Lou.” He finishes by saying nice things about the OBO. Thank you.
WICKET! Hafeez c Ferguson b Williamson 32 (Pakistan 110-3)
The captain does it! He’s brought himself on to break the partnership and that’s exactly what he’s done! After going for the reverse sweep the ball before, Hafeez went hard over midwicket from the next, popping the catch down Ferguson’s throat on the boundary. Just when the Blackcaps were in strike, the captain with the golden touch has dragged them straight back into the contest.
24th over: Pakistan 105-2 (Babar 46, Hafeez 29) Target 238 Santner has a second slip in place. How do they manage his overs? Does he bowl them out? He’s the most important man on the park right now. As the sole spinner, all eyes are on him. But it isn’t to bee this time around, Pakistan through it unscathed. It doesn’t mater that only one run was added. This is all about keeping Santner quiet.
“Please reassure the whippersnapper Mac Millings that some of us turned up our collars in homage to (I wouldn’t dare say imitation of) Sir Garfield,” emails Geoff Wignall. “Sweaters were usually just a question of how many – essentially determined by wind direction (it was the Lancs coast).”
Pakistan’s 100 is up!
23rd over: Pakistan 104-2 (Babar 45, Hafeez 29) Target 238 Neesham has an important job to do here, keeping the pressure on to maximise Santner’s potency. Again he’s good early before spraying a wide then giving Babar a short ball, which he tucks into through midwicket for four. “That was a free hit,” says Graeme Swann on TMS. “Neesham doesn’t have the pace for that on this wicket.” A single to cover raises the 100 for Pakistan and the roar around Edgbaston is everything you want a World Cup to be. To think where this side were a week ago. Last ball, Hafeez edges through third man for another four! That’s a big over: 13 off it!
22nd over: Pakistan 91-2 (Babar 38, Hafeez 24) Target 238 Santner is giving the ball a real chance to turn and doing everything but take a wicket. He wins an edge from Babar that runs away for two before beating the bat with an unplayable. Too good. Another edge next up, the quicker one clipped high on the bat and smacking the ‘keeper Latham in the chest. Yep, that’s a drop the replay confirms. What they would give to be able to throw the ball to Ish Sodhi right now up the other end.
21st over: Pakistan 89-2 (Babar 36, Hafeez 24) Target 238 Neesham again gets through a tidy enough over, three singles taken to the sweepers on the legside, the all-rounder attacking the stumps throughout.
“If you are looking for the seminal kiwi classic for the groundsman to play,” begins Brent Lindsay, “then look no further than dalvanius and the Patea Maori club 1982 classic “poi e”. One of the great video clips too.” Okay, in it goes.
20th over: Pakistan 86-2 (Babar 34, Hafeez 23) Target 238 Mix-up! Babar was running back to the danger end first ball of Santner’s new over, scrambling back after pushing behind point. Five dots to finish, Hafeez pushed back in his crease by Santner, who is getting plenty over overspin. Graeme Swann is asked on TMS if New Zealand missed a trick not playing a second spinner. “Absolutely.”
“Only one option on the NZ pop front,” insists Peter Salmon. “Perhaps the most perfect pop song of all time.” This is a big build up. “Not even going to try and work in a cricket reference. Listen, just listen!” I can’t right this moment, but I will pop it in on the basis that I’m enjoying evident passion for the track.
19th over: Pakistan 84-2 (Babar 34, Hafeez 21) Target 238 Neesham is on in an effort to replicate his earlier success, having performed so well at the death against Carlos Brathwaite on Saturday, it is worth remembering. He does well here with five dots until the final ball, which gives Babar just enough time to get onto the balls of his feet again, punching once more through point. Such a classy shot.
It’s The Spin in podcast form! Geoff Lemon and Felicity Ward are the all-Aussie panel joining Emma, and they discuss yesterday’s game; critiquing England’s top order, England’s bowling and the cricketarist (I am told).
18th over: Pakistan 80-2 (Babar 31, Hafeez 20) Target 238 It is the left-arm spin of Santner for the first time today and he’s immediately on the money, beating Babar with a one that dips before turning. After exchanging singles, Babar is squared up from the final ball, the edge spilling away behind point. “If the pitch is going to grip like that,” says Rameez Raja on TMS “you’ve got to be so mentally tough.”
17th over: Pakistan 77-2 (Babar 28, Hafeez 20) Target 238 Babar is high on the balls of feet playing one of the shots of the day first ball after drinks, timing Ferguson to the point boundary. Surely Pakistan’s best player will go on with it today. Hafeez is less convincing, beaten first then edging, Ross Taylor doing brilliantly to stop four runs with his right hand but only six inches away from a superb snaffle at first slip.
Hafeez has nipped off the ground to the toilet during the break as he did in the fixture at Lord’s the other day. Let’s do some emails while we wait.
“Lockie’s sensational pace and all is fine, but that Ferguson ‘stache is to die for!” says OB Jato. Too right. I’ve started my own recently, but not a patch on Lockie’s.
“Loving your work.” Thank you, George Brown. “On the subject of Kiwi music, I trust that you’re familiar with the mighty Fat Freddy’s Drop, known for their epic, 20 minute live versions of their tracks? I feel that the slow build and delayed gratification would appeal to cricket fans… Plus the harmonica player’s outfit is white enough to play Test cricket in.” You better believe I am.
16th over: Pakistan 71-2 (Babar 23, Hafeez 20) Target 238 Nice from Babar, using what pace de Grandhomme has to tickle a couple to third man, then giving the strike to Hafeez. He’s playing the all-rounder carefully until he’s gifted a long hop to finish, punishing it behind point. That’s drinks. We’re right in the balance.
15th over: Pakistan 64-2 (Babar 20, Hafeez 16) Target 238 Hafeez won’t give this up to Ferguson, don’t worry about that. Short early in the over, he’s cutting through point for four, then pulling the next short ball for the same result! Ferguson sticks with the plan, this time slipping his bumper into the grille! This is proper cricket.
14th over: Pakistan 56-2 (Babar 20, Hafeez 8) Target 238 de Grandhomme has Latham up to the stumps to start his middle-overs spell after such an important contribution earlier with the bat. They’re easier runs at this end, Babar twice picking up two to finish, splitting the sweepers on both sides of the wicket.
“I guess this had to be the clash of two best mustaches in the WC: Ferguson vs Hafeez,” writes Kali Srikanth. “A big ahoy from DC!! How on middle earth do NZ produce fast bowlers with such clean bowling action with accuracy and maglev level pace. From Hadlee to Cairns (in his prime) to Bond to Southee to Boult to Martin…and on.” To Ferguson. His action is a delight. Full commitment.
13th over: Pakistan 51-2 (Babar 16, Hafeez 7) Target 238 Okay, we’re back after toughly ten minutes we aren’t getting back. Instead of going upstairs to begin, Ferguson attacks the stumps of Hafeez. Knowing the shorter one must be coming up next, the veteran gets back early to pull confident for four! The quick delivers a perfect response of his own, beating the edge with an outswiger. Top contest.
“I have no doubt, Adam, that you are far too young, despite OB Jato’s suggestion, to be taken as far back as 1992 by anything,” asserts Mac Millings (incorrectly). “On the other hand, the dream I had last night about Bob Willis’s 8-fer at Headingley in ‘81 dates me pretty well, as does the fact that, when I was a kid, I used to wear my collar up because that’s what the South African Cantona, Tony Grieg, did.”
I still wear a cricket jumper whenever I’m in the field because that’s what Mark Waugh did. A habit I’ll never need to break now that I live in England.
The delay is, of course, because of the sight screen. They are running out some black extra covers for a corner that is now white. Ladies and gents, the World Cup.
Back to my happier topic: which Kiwi songs should the Cricket Ground DJ belt out when the Blackcaps have something to celebrate? There are few things better in sport than an Eden Park crowd giving this a BIG blast during rugby/cricket.
12th over: Pakistan 46-2 (Babar 16, Hafeez 2) Target 238 Just the follow up that Ferguson needs from the other end, Henry keeping Hafeez down there for the duration, the old boy keeing the strike with one to midwicket. Time for round two. There’s a brief delay between overs for reasons that are unclear, allowing for some Simon Doull analysis on Ferguson. “He has big buttocks,” [and they cannot lie]. “Most of the great bowlers have a solid lower half that allows power.”
“Babar needs to play within himself today,” Abhijato Sensarma. “People tend to criticise him for his slow strike rate, but this chase is custom-built for him to anchor with a classical knock out of an ODI in the 90s. If he does win it for his team, the tournament table is going to open up furthermore, and the fourth playoff spot’s occupation will become as unpredictable as this Pakistan team.”
11th over: Pakistan 45-2 (Babar 16, Hafeez 1) Target 238 Ooooooohhhhhh! Hafeez nearly runs himself out first ball! What is he doing? Ferguson has him feeling off the front foot in defence, the 38-year-old taking about four steps down the track for reasons best explained by him. Had the throw been on target, he would have been gone first ball. Next up, the bouncer! Accurate and anging back, he keeps it off his helmet with his glove. That’s class fast bowling. Watching back the Imam dismissal, that’s shorter than I’ve given it credit for below as well. Rapid. He keeps going, cutting Hafeez in half with another banged in there, finding his inside edge with the final delivery of the brilliant set. What an outstanding over.
WICKET! Imam c Guptill b Ferguson 19 (Pakistan 44-2)
Ferguson is in the book from his second ball! Running in with his long sleeves, black boots (are they even boots?!) and shirt untucked, he’s hurled one down just short of a length, Imam getting a leading edge that’s taken by Guptill making a big dive in front of him! Too quick. Ferguson now has 15 wickets in this World Cup.
10th over: Pakistan 43-1 (Imam 19, Babar 15) Target 238 Henry not far away with hsi off-cutter, winning Babar’s inside edge. A good response from the right-hander too, striking a confident push into midwicket for a single to keep the strike. Ooooooooh, the cricket ground DJ has gone and had a blinder between overs…
9th over: Pakistan 41-1 (Imam 18, Babar 14) Target 238 Two word class cricketers duking it out here, Babar creaming Boult for a classy cover drive on the up and later repeating the shot for a boundary again. But to begin, the left-armer beat him with an absolute gem that seamed away to miss the outside edge and off-stump by no more than an inch collectively. He then beat him again. Outstanding cricket.
“Quite right,” adds Jack Jorgensen. “I’m ashamed of myself for forgetting Shakib.” Nae bother, it hasn’t just been you over the last decade. But that’s set to change now. I trust we all saw the marathon handshake when he won POTM on Monday?
8th over: Pakistan 33-1 (Imam 18, Babar 6) Target 238 Henry goes again. How long before we see Lockie Ferguson, I wonder? Brendon McCullum doesn’t want Kane Williamson to change the winning formula with the quickest bowler they have, leaving him until the end of the tenth over so extra fielders can be put in position for his short ball. Babar strikes a nice drive to point but Santner stops runs on the circle there. Other than that, Henry – who took some brutal tap from Brathwaite on Saturday – is right on top. Babar keeps the strike with one to square leg.
7th over: Pakistan 32-1 (Imam 18, Babar 5) Target 238 Ian Smith makes a good point on the telly that New Zealand need to gallop through their overs as Kane Williamson will be suspended if he’s pinged again for a slow over rate, as he was against the West Indies. Imam starts against Boult here with a neat push through cover for two but the Blackcaps’ spearhead bounces back with five tidy dots.
6th over: Pakistan 30-1 (Imam 16, Babar 5) Target 238 Babar is calling loudly as he picks out the fielders inside the circle, leaving nothing to chance while playing himself in. Ooops, scrap that: next ball he’s nearly holing out from a badly miscued pull shot, de Grandhomme putting in a full-length dive running back at midwicket, just short of pulling in a classic catch. Babar is far more convincing through the posh side, timing three through cover point from the balls of his feet.
“This World Cup has been a wonderful celebration of left-armers,” Jack Jorgensen says. “Starc, Amir and Boult obviously, but also Riaz, Cotrell, Behrendorff, Mustafizur, Udana and now Afridi for pace. Add to that Kuldeep and Santner for spin. If only England had kept David Willey in the squad.”
Good shout. And don’t forget Shakib, who took 5/29 on Monday.
5th over: Pakistan 24-1 (Imam 15, Babar 0) Target 238 Good stuff from Imam and New Zealand there, the opener chopping into Boult into his pad flap and pulling the ball out with his hand. He was about the instinctively throw it back to the quick but instead dropped it to the ground, laughing that he didn’t know what he was to do in that situation. Smiles all round. From the delivery before, Imam’s edge was won by the bowler, albeit through about third slip down to the rope.
4th over: Pakistan 20-1 (Imam 11, Babar 0) Target 238 That wicket settled things down, after four boundaries in the first 13 deliveries of Pakistan’s reply. Much better from Henry, giving up just a single to cover from Imam. Babar defends the first couple of balls of his day. The classy No3 has a big job ahead of him here.
“Are you sure the Pakistani fans aren’t taking you back to 1992?” asks OB Jato. Well, as I am sure you all know, every time Pakistan have won a global trophy it has been after getting into serious trouble during the group stage. Dare to dream.
WICKET! Fakhar c Guptill b Boult 9 (Pakistan 19-1)
After playing a crunching square drive to start the over, Fakhar is sorted out by Boult from the final ball of it, his leading edge flying high in the air, Guptill running back with the flight to take the chance at cover point. The flick was on but he was through it too early. The end of an exciting opening stand.
3rd over: Pakistan 19-1 (Imam 10)
2nd over: Pakistan 15-0 (Imam 10, Fakhar 5) A lovely stroke from Fakhar to get his day underway too, leaning into a full Henry delivery and lashing it through cover for four. He takes a single in that direction too, running it hard. This is a positive start from Pakistan. Imam’s turn, who plays a gorgeous straight drive to the rope. Hold that pose, young man! Yes, it was a tad full again but you’ve got to put them away and that’s precisely what he’s done. Delicious. From the final delivery they push for two, a well-timed clip this time past square leg. 11 from the over.
1st over: Pakistan 4-0 (Imam 4, Fakhar 0) Boult gets some nice shape away from Imam first up, finding his inside edge onto the pad. The opener makes solid contact with the middle of the bat soon enough, though. Guptill executes an enthusiastic diving stop inside the circle to deny Paksitan’s first single but nothing is stopping the left-hander’s pull to finish, smashed over the square leg umpire for four. Shot. The horns being blown by Pakistan fans are taking me back to 1999.
The players are back on the field. Pakistan need 238 to keep themselves in the hunt for a semi-final start. As for New Zealand, if they can do the business it will earn them a lot of friends in England, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka. Trent Boult has the first over, Imam-ul-Haq walking out with Fakhar Zaman to face the first ball. PLAY!
Speaking of enigmatic characters. I’m at Old Trafford at the moment, where a couple of hours ago Chris Gayle announced to us that he is coming out of Test retirement against India in the series that follows this World Cup. So now, he’s availabile for international selection in Tests and ODIs… but not T20s. I’m sure that return will come before the T20 World Cup next year. Move aside, Shahid Afridi. Oh, and he didn’t tell Jason Holder about it. The Windies captain found out from our questions when he sat down to talk to the media about an later. Sure.
Anyone else watching this lunch time show on Shoaib? I can’t look away. Those yorkers. Dear me. Even though it ended Mark Waugh’s career, this is my favourite.
“Hi Adam.” Afternoon, Alistair Connor. “The sign of a great team is that there are always people to step up and take responsibility. Today it’s Jimmy and Big Col, but it could have been, dare I say, anyone in the team, or squad. Nevertheless, calling them “great” seems like needless flim-flam, too fulsome, not in keeping with one’s national modesty. They are… adequate. More than adequate: capable. It makes me… proud to be a New Zealander? No, the word is too strong: well satisfied.”
Nicely put. What I like about this team is that they didn’t play a game together after February this year. They needed a lot to go right. Yes, the softer draw helped with that. But now they’re doing it tough. Tough teams win World Cups.
Thanks, Rob. A mighty, marathon OBO and what a fightback to document. Jimmy Neesham, The Bradman of Twitter has delivered in a way that so many of have wanted for him for so long. We sat down with him a couple of weeks ago to discuss how close he was to quitting the sport. GO YOU GOOD THING.
Pakistan need 238 to win the game and, realistically, to stay in the tournament. Adam Collins will talk you through what is likely to be a squeaky run-chase – and that’s just for England, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh, never mind the teams involved in the match.
50th over: New Zealand 237-6 (Neesham 97, Santner 5) Jimmy Neesham finishes the innings style, cuffing Wahab Riaz’s last delivery over midwicket for six! He ends on 97 not out from 112 balls, an exceptional innings on a tricky pitch. It was intelligent, determined and occasionally sparkling; Kane Williamson couldn’t have done it better. After a very difficult start, in which Shaheen Afridi bowled beautifully, New Zealand stole 140 from the last 19 overs, including 82 from the last nine.
49th over: New Zealand 223-6 (Neesham 85, Santner 4) Amir limits the damage in his final over, with six runs and no boundaries. It hasn’t been his best day, however. He took a wicket with his first ball but nothing after that. He finishes with figures of 10-0-67-1.
48th over: New Zealand 217-6 (Neesham 84, Santner 1) New Zealand will be pretty happy with this score, especially as they were 94 for five after 30 overs.
WICKET! New Zealand 215-6 (de Grandhomme run out 64)
de Grandhomme has gone, run out after trying to steal a second to Amir at third man. He played a fine innings of 64 from 71 balls, and his partnership with Neesham was a gem: 132 in 21.2 overs.
47th over: New Zealand 209-5 (Neesham 78, de Grandhomme 63) Neesham blasts Amir’s slower ball over midwicket for six – notably, that’s the first Amir has conceded in this tournament. That’s the start of a great over for New Zealand, from which they pilfer 18 runs. de Grandhomme smears a boundary down the ground to bring up the 200 before flicking another boundary past short fine leg. On a tricky pitch, this pair have scored at more than a run a ball.
“Industrious half-centuries are all good and well,” says Ian Copestake, “but at the end of the day you can’t beat an insouciant fifty.”
I’ll see that and raise you James Vince’s insouciant 0 yesterday.
46th over: New Zealand 191-5 (Neesham 70, de Grandhomme 54) New Zealand scamper hither and thither to pick up seven runs from Wahab’s eighth over.
45th over: New Zealand 184-5 (Neesham 69, de Grandhomme 50) de Grandhomme works Amir for a single to reach an industrious half-century from 63 balls. Neesham then flicks a low full toss for four to bring up an outstanding hundred partnership.
“If NZ manage to get 250, they take this match and the cup,” says Siraj Khan. “Print it and keep it somewhere.”
Can’t I just keep in my inbox?
44th over: New Zealand 176-5 (Neesham 63, de Grandhomme 48) Neesham survives a referral and review for caught behind off the similar delivery. What a peculiar incident. He tried to hit a wide yorker from Shaheen which went under the bat and through to Sarfaraz. Pakistan appealed for caught behind, so the umpires went upstairs to see whether it was a bump ball.
The third umpire wasn’t allowed to use Ultra Edge, because it was an umpire referral rather than a Pakistan review, so he gave Neesham not out – at which point Sarfaraz reviewed so that they could use Ultra Edge. That confirmed there was no edge. There are a few questions about the protocol there, but ultimately the right decision was made.
Meantime, Shaheen ends an immense spell with figures of 10-3-28-3.
43rd over: New Zealand 172-5 (Neesham 61, de Grandhomme 46) A cracking stroke from de Grandhomme, who picks Amir’s slower ball and pumps it over extra cover for four. New Zealand are right back in this game, which is very good news for England, and quite good news for New Zealand too.
In other news, it seems Chris Gayle is for turning, at least off the field.
42nd over: New Zealand 166-5 (Neesham 60, de Grandhomme 42) A rare poor delivery from Afridi is flicked past short fine leg for four by Neesham, who is playing a gem of an innings. Some good running brings another seven runs for New Zealand. They were 97 for five after 31 overs at drinks, since when they have scored 69 from 11 overs.
41st over: New Zealand 155-5 (Neesham 52, de Grandhomme 39) New Zealand takes three singles from Shadab’s final over. He finishes with figures of 10-0-43-1; the one was Kane Williamson, which makes it a very good spell of bowling.
“Point of order to Louise Wright,” says Phil Harrison. “If you can’t hum a Swans song, you certainly can’t describe anything performed by Sunn O))) as a ‘ditty’.”
Crikey, it’s all kicking off at Noise Club.
40th over: New Zealand 152-5 (Neesham 50, de Grandhomme 38) Back comes Shaheen Afridi, whose first ball is a magnificent slower ball that beats de Grandhomme and just misses the off stump. Neesham then works him for a single to reach a streetwise half-century from 77 balls. He made 26 from his first 58 balls and 24 from the last 19.
“I’m keeping this one in the back pocket, you know, just in case…” says Adam Dawson. “As featured on the excellent CND/NME video comp ‘Carry on disarming’ – and unusually you can hum along to it. PS it’s Sunn O))) … ;-)”
The only metal band with a smiley in their name.
39th over: New Zealand 150-5 (Neesham 49, de Grandhomme 37) Wahab has such a sharp bouncer, and de Grandhomme does well to snap his head out of the way. The next ball is a bit fuller, the oldest trick in the book, and de Grandhomme misses a leaden-footed swipe. He exacerbates Wahab’s agita by top-edging the next ball straight over Sarfaraz’s head for four. de Grandhomme has ridden his luck throughout this innings, but he is making useful runs. New Zealand have scored 53 from the last eight overs.