21st over: India 126-0 (Rahul 58, Rohit 64) Rohit swings at Rubel and doesn’t get all of him, carting high towards wide long on – the ball’s in the air a long time and Tamim doesn’t drop it. Any port in a storm. The batsmen run two, then Rahul nurdles one, and that’s a better over – pace off the ball seems like a better option for Bangladesh.
20th over: India 122-0 (Rahul 57, Rohit 61) The problem for Bangladesh now is that quiet overs won’t do it, especially when a quiet over means five singles … and a drop? Rahul shoves back to Mossadek, who goes low to field … but it’s not clear whether the ball carried and he couldn’t hold, or if it fell short.
19th over: India 117-0 (Rahul 55, Rohit 58) Rubel into the attack and Rahul is ready for him, waiting for his slotted loosener and cleansing it back past him. Good morrow, young sir, and welcome to the middle. Rubel’s next effort is on the pads, so Rahul turns it away and a misfield grants him the two he needs to raise his fifty; he’s looking very confident now. I wonder with him, though, if he’ll ever be top level, or just someone who scores big against less good opposition but when it really counts is unlikely to offer much more than a spawny 40. Anyway, Rubel then beats him outside off before due punishment is administered, a fit as cover-drive for four more. If Bangladesh can’t find something and soon, this is going to get pretty ugly and ugly pretty.
18th over: India 105-0 (Rahul 44, Rohit 57) Mosaddek into the attack and Rohit sweeps his second ball for two; that’s the hundred partnership. Four singles follow and both these batsmen are seeing it now, their footwork so sharp and dainty.
17th over: India 99-0 (Rahul 42, Rohit 53) Rahul cuts Shakib – I think he cussed down his mum – but an excellent dive at point from Sabbir saves four. A single follows, then Rohit connects with a sweep but picks out square leg; they run one.
16th over: India 97-0 (Rahul 41, Rohit 52) KL Rahul comes to the party! Sorry, Mark Nicholas just elbowed me off my keyboard, but what happened was Rahul caned Mashrafe over wide long on for six! He then adds three more with a flick to midwicket, and India are flying.
“You want a life hack?” asks Ian Copestake. “You can’t handle this life hack. Viv Richards fairly famously suffered from haemorrhoids and faced down the social embarrassment that goes with it. I don’t know if his discomfort ever reached the stage of having to have the blighters removed but if he had known this hack he would not have needed to. To all OBOers suffering in silence I say unto you that a fibre supplement like metamucil is all you need. It will change your life.”
It’s been said before and it’ll be said again, but there is nothing the OBO cannot do for you. I’m thinking about combining it with an agony uncle column.
15th over: India 87-0 (Rahul 32, Rohit 51) Time’s up, my child. Rohit presses forward, backs away, and admonishes Shakib over the short boundary at midwicket – Virat asks that the runs be chalked off due to the unfairness of it all, but nothing doing. Next, a single down to the point fence, and that’s yet another fifty for yerman, who’s now just 27 behind Warner and 13 behind Finch in the competition top-scorers list.
14th over: India 78-0 (Rahul 31, Rohit 43) This is much better from Bangladesh, who’ve stemmed the flow of boundaries. A two and two ones come from the over as we see the highest averages of one-day openers; Rohit is top with 57.88, Amla second with 49.89. Basically, don’t be dropping him.
13th over: India 74-0 (Rahul 30, Rohit 41) Perhaps the middle overs have come early because this is another tight one. Rahul takes one to cover, the only run of the over.
“Talking of keeping stuff in the freezer,” says John Starbuck, “do the same with your bottle of Limoncello, but remember to bring it out near the start of the meal so it’s had the ice melted ready for consuming with the dessert. (Note: this is a reprise of an OBO email some years back.) PS. When you get to a certain age, you no longer have to worry about being cool or not.”
We admire in others the poise which eludes us.
12th over: India 73-0 (Rahul 29, Rohit 40) Mashrafe must’ve been tempted to thank himself but forces another turn and it’s a much better effort, ceding just two singles.
“Vital life hack that I successfully deployed as recently as yesterday evening,” advises Brian Withington . “Changing the rubber grip on a cricket bat without a cone (re)using just a plastic bag. Engenders a tremendous sense of satisfaction that overrides any lingering environmental concerns.
As long as you paid your 5p for it, infinity billion for Brexit is a bargain – that’s the calculation, right?
11th over: India 71-0 (Rahul 28, Rohit 39) Shakib into the attack – I’m a little surprised it’s taken so long – and he sends down a much-needed over of serious bowling, just a single and a wide from it.
“That clip of Stevie Wonder on Sesame Street is one of my favourites,” emails Simon McMahon, “and as luck would have it, I’m going to see him in Hyde Park on Saturday, the day after I’ve been to Lord’s to see Bangladesh play Pakistan. Now I’m hoping that Stevie will turn up at the cricket and give the Bangladeshi anthem the full treatment. I think the ICC is missing a trick there.”
How can we make this happen? Dave and Alex doing GSTQ, Fleetwood Mac on God Defend New Zealand, and so on.
10th over: India 69-0 (Rahul 28, Rohit 38) The thing about England beating India is how it’s really knocked their confidence … ah yes, there’s Rahul coming down to Mushrafe’s first ball and cracking it past mid off for four. And, well, oh dear – India, who tend to go slowish at the start to go ape later on are taking Bangladesh off the set, Rohit caressing through third man for four more.
9th over: India 59-0 (Rahul 23, Rohit 33) Lifehack: do not drop Rohit Sharma. After Rahul nudges a single to midwicket, consecutive fours, the first clouted on the up through extra, the second chased and angled, flat-batted, through backward point. In case Tamim is following the OBO, here’s another lifehack: keep your scotch bonnets (the best chilli pepper by far, don’t @ me) in the freezer, so that once you’ve chopped them you’re free to take your lenses out, go to the toilet, or do any of the normal, stupid things you were never warned not to do. Any more for any more?
8th over: India 47-0 (Rahul 21, Rohit 24) Mark Nicholas talks about Englanc crowding Rahul, thereby putting Rohit under pressure – it seemed to really upset him. Anyway, Saifuddin gives Rahul one on his pads which he expertly glances for four, so Saifuddin goes back outside off, overpitching, and the full face says in your face; four more. A single follows, that’s another fat-up over, 11 from it. Bangladesh are in a situation.
7th over: India 36-0 (Rahul 11, Rohit 23) A full one from Mustafizur hauls Rohit forward, and he unloads the suitcase at a drive, edging wide of slip for four as the ground spins around Tamim, grey, tessellating circles subsuming his vision. Two singles follow.
6th over: India 30-0 (Rahul 10, Rohit 18) Ker-nuck! Rohit, beaten by Saif’s first ball, larrups his third over extra cover for another six; poor Tamim. A single follows, then Rahul takes two through midwicket and everything about this smells huge.
While you follow along here, there’s plenty else going on – join Tanya Aldred’s county blog to make sure you spend your day in the proper manner.
5th over: India 21-0 (Rahul 8, Rohit 11) After three dots, Rohit swipes across the line … and running around the square leg fence, Tamim – Hebrew meaning, “Perfect” – is chugging along to pouch! Except he spills it and his team are now in world of trouble. That was so miserable it deserves its own Blackadderian extended metaphor: more miserable than Mark Hughes chopping onions, with The Champ tattooed onto his eyelids.
4th over: India 18-0 (Rahul 8, Rohit 9) Bit of swing for Saifuddin, who then beats Rahul with length and bounce. Two more dots follow one strays straight; Rahul turns it away, then Shakib dives over it and turns two into four.
3rd over: India 14-0 (Rahul 4, Rohit 9) Mustafizur replaces Mashrafe and concedes three singles. Already, Bangladesh need a wicket, because getting stuck into the middle order early is the only way they win this, save a ludcirous intervention by one of their batsmen.
“With everyone talking up Shakib,” says Matt Potter, “has it gone under the radar how brilliant a tournament Mushfiqur Rahim is having? Comfortably the highest run scoring keeper in the tournament and very few errors behind the stumps.”
Agreed, he’s been excellent. There’s just something almost mystical about what Shakib’s doing – he’s got that ability to see in simplicity that only the best have.
2nd over: India 11-0 (Rahul 2, Rohit 8) Mohammad Saifuddin opens from the other end and is immediately into stride, bowling mainly full of and on a length. Rahul digs out his final ball for a single to square leg, the only run off the over.
1st over: India 10-0 (Rahul 1, Rohit 8) India avoid the ignominy of an opening-over maiden, Rahul easing Mashrafe for one to backward point. A wide follows, then a dot and a short one; Rohit deadbats it back to the bowler. Nah, not really. As if! He spanks it for six over deep backward square, then turns two to midwicket, and that’s a useful start. Also: is Rohit the coolest man in this competition? Virat is also a contender, but only if you define “cool” as “everything every human should be but can’t be”, rather than “calm, composed and with a mortifying yet inspiring presence”.
“What’s your take on a deliciously contrived result tomorrow?” asks Brian Withington. “A narrow win for England would almost certainly take NZ through on Net Run Rate. Adam Collins was intrigued by the prospect of cricket’s own version of the 1982 ‘Disgrace of Gijón’, when Austria and West Germany role-played out a 1-0 win for the latter that caused a furore that changed the playing format of all future World Cups. We won’t even mention Somerset’s declaration vs Worcester in the 1979 B&H after just one over as that wouldn’t help the NRR any more (and got Somerset retrospectively banned).”
There’s a game on tomorrow? I’ve no idea what you’re talking about, but were there to be one, we could be sure that both sides would go at it like meshuggeners.
The India anthem is a lowkey banger, and what I love about Bangladesh’s is that, like Stevie on Sesame Street, it shows no mercy. It’s got stuff it wants to say, and it’s saying it, properly and well.
There’s already a fairly decent racket in the ground, but it won’t feel like a proper atmosphere until there’s a band and people cheering their own taxed-from-football songs.
Do we need an England World Cup song, and who would sing it? An Alex and Dave duet?
It’s taken 12 minutes, but finally they’re showing us highlights of England-India. But I still see that sweep from Fat Gatt, Wasim castling Lamb, and Imran dancing…
Sky have some VT for Shakib, who says he’s not sure why it’s all going so well for him. He’s got himself fitter, but isn’t the only person working hard, which is to say asking someone good at something how they’re good at something is like nailing gold dust to the sea.
Two changes apiece: for India, Bhuvi replaces Yadav – Virat references that short boundary one more – and Karthik replaces Jadhav.
For Bangladesh, Mahmudullah doesn’t make it, and is replaced by Sabbir Rahman, and Rubel Hossain also plays, replacing Mehidy Hasan.
India win the toss and … will bat.
It’s a used wicket and got slower and slower on Sunday, plus it’s good to put runs on the board, apparently.
Accuse me of recency bias if you like, but I don’t think there’s ever been a competition quite like this one in one key aspect: we’ve not a clue who’s going to win it. Usually, we think we know even if we don’t, but if the last four turns out to be Australia, New Zealand, India and Pakistan, I’d feel confident laying New Zealand but wouldn’t have a clue about the rest.
I’m beginning to doubt that a box-room in north London is, in fact, the best place to spend today.
Neither side is likely to alter much following their last match. India have the option of restoring Bhuvneshwar Kumar to their XI and I fancy they might, to shore up the batting as much as anything. He’d replace either Mohammed Shami, who bowled really well against England except when he didn’t or, given the flat track and asymmetric boundaries, either Kuldeep Yadav or Yuzvendra Chahal. My guess is that Chahal gets the chop.
As for Bangladesh, Mahmudullah, who hurt his calf against Afghanistan, is good to go.
The phrase “bad World Cup” is an oxymoron up there with “cool beard”, “orderly Brexit” and “young love”, but for a while, when it was raining and predictable, we were on the cusp. Now, though, as we complete the penultimate round of matches, we stand on the cusp of a jazzer for the ages. There is still only one side guaranteed a semi-final slot, with five others ruckusing for the remaining three – including both of those charged with enriching our Tuesday.
India are almost there – a win today or a win over Sri Lanka on Saturday is all they need. But suddenly, that “all” isn’t uttered quite as glibly as before. Their three champions – Rohit, Virat and Jasprit – should do enough, but aggravation against Afghanistan and defeat to England made clear that if they don’t, the others can’t be relied upon to intervene.
Bangladesh, meanwhile, need a bit of help: a win today and a win over Pakistan on Friday will only be sufficient if New Zealand beat England tomorrow – or if they win big and New Zealand lose big. The former is far more likely than the latter. Bangladesh have loads of runs in them, enough variety with the ball to cause problems on a track that will slow, and in Shakib Al Hasan, a force of nature and one of the players of the tournament. If he can transmogrify the toss to ensure that his team bats first, India will start to wonder.
But, in the end, however fun the round-robin has been, knockout brilliance is required to permanently enshrine England ’19 in the annals of humanity – those of us with a host-nation bias will hope that Shane Meadows doesn’t wind up making the series – and, more or less, that epoch begins today. It could be very, very special.
Play: 10.30am BST