15th over: Sri Lanka 62-4 (Mathews 7, Thirimanne 2) Jadeja keeps it tighter still, even with a slip and a short leg. And that’s drinks, with Sri Lanka falling apart and India, yet again, well on top without having to get everything right. This is one game that seems unlikely to finish in a win for the side batting first.
14th over: Sri Lanka 61-4 (Mathews 6, Thirimanne 2) Pandya keeps it tight. The score predictor is saying 243, which the Sri Lankans would surely take, depending on the timing of their flight.
13th over: Sri Lanka 58-4 (Mathews 4, Thirimanne 1) I’ve worked it out: the Sri Lankans have a flight home booked for about 5pm. Their next ploy is to try and contrive a run-out, but the fielding isn’t quite sharp enough to make it happen.
Here’s Uma Venkatraman, pondering the semis. “If India win today and Australia lose, India get to play New Zealand in the semis. India might prefer to play the Kiwis rather than England, and the Kiwis would be happy to avoid Australia. As a bonus, we would get to watch India and New Zealand play after the earlier washout.” Good point. “That would leave England the task of denying the Aussies another final appearance and they would earn the gratitude of the cricketing world – well, at least mine. I would even root for England over India/NZ in the final.” It’s a deal.
12th over: Sri Lanka 55-4 (Mathews 2, Thirimanne 0) How did this happen? The Sri Lankans have turned a breezy start into a crisis.
Wicket!! Fernando c Dhoni b Pandya 20 (SL 55-4)
Nooooo! Pandya tries a slower-ball bouncer and Fernando can only wave at it and get a top edge. That’s a smart move by Pandya, a hammer blow for Sri Lanka, and a fourth dismissal this morning for old man Dhoni.
11th over: Sri Lanka 54-3 (Fernando 20, Mathews 1) Five minutes ago Jadeja looked like being a curiosity in this World Cup, the sub fielder who was hardly ever off the field. But now he’s back as a bowler and doing the business – he saw Mendis coming and fired the ball in, but not so quick as to lose his natural turn away from the right-hander. Kumar Sangakkara reckons he will be ‘a force’ if, as you’d expect, India play England at Edgbaston.
Wicket!! Mendis st Dhoni b Jadeja 3 (SL 53-3)
Kohli turns to spin, Jadeja finds some turn, and Mendis’s turn is all over as he charges down the track and misses. That was a strange decision, a desperate measure at a less than desperate time.
10th over: Sri Lanka 52-2 (Fernando 19, Mendis 3) The bowling change does come, but it’s Bumrah who is taken off. Hardik Pandya replaces him, goes back-of-a-length as usual, and concedes only a couple of singles. So the powerplay ends with honours about even, given that the Sri Lankans have had to cope with the genius of Bumrah.
“If England do play India again,” says Niall Mullen, “I wonder if Bumrah could tread on a ball while playing rugby.”
9th over: Sri Lanka 50-2 (Fernando 18, Mendis 2) Kohli shows some faith in Kumar, not with his fields, which continue to change about three times an over, but by keeping him on. And it’s repaid as Kumar finds a tight line to tie Mendis down. The only run in the over comes from a misfield.
8th over: Sri Lanka 49-2 (Fernando 18, Mendis 1) So Fernando is joined by Mendis. I have seen the future of Sri Lankan cricket and it is working already – Mendis takes a brisk single to get off the mark, and Fernando stands tall again and eases a square drive away for four, before pulling for four more. So Bumrah, after conceding only five off 19 balls, goes for nine off the next five. Keep him on, Virat – this is a proper contest.
Wicket!! Perera c Dhoni b Bumrah 18 (SL 40-2)
The masterclass continues. Perera, trying to find a way to score his first run off Bumrah, hangs a crooked bat out at a quick one outside off, which straightens to take the edge and give Dhoni another simple catch. And Bumrah has 2-5.
7th over: Sri Lanka 40-1 (Perera 18, Fernando 10) Kohli persists with Kumar and perhaps regrets it as Fernando plucks another stroke from an old textbook, an upright push through the covers that’s so well timed that it goes for four. Then, as if suddenly alarmed at being labelled a classicist, Fernando chips high over mid-on for two. Kumar has 4-0-35-0. Even the captain of Ilford 2nds might take him off now.
6th over: Sri Lanka 33-1 (Perera 17, Fernando 4) If that decision had stood, Bumrah would have had 2-0 off 16 balls. Instead he has 1-5 off three overs, as Fernando cashes in with a straight push for four, showing him the maker’s name. That’s class.
It was too high, just going over the leg bail. Good news for Sri Lanka, and for the neutral.
Wicket? Fernando given LBW b Bumrah 0
Bumrah, still immaculate, pins Fernando on the crease. Only the height can save him.
5th over: Sri Lanka 28-1 (Perera 17, Fernando 0) Kumar finally gets it right and hurries Perera into a top-edged pull. It’s an easy catch for either mid-on or mid-off, but they both go for it and they collide. It’s Pandya and Kuldeep, a pair of schoolboys. Perera celebrates by smoking through the covers and tickling past Dhoni. Kohli has given up on slips altogether now, which is a bit feeble.
4th over: Sri Lanka 17-1 (Perera 7, Fernando 0) So Bumrah follows a maiden with a wicket maiden. And so far this game is like what Graham Gooch famously said about facing New Zealand in 1990 – the World XI at one end and Ilford 2nds at the other.
And here’s Peter Gluckstein. “As you quite rightly say, SL winning the toss should make for a more even contest. So, in future World Cups, why not award the toss in every game to the lower ranked team (going into the tournament)?? Might have completely screwed England in our last two games, mind you!”
Wicket! Karunaratne c Dhoni b Bumrah 10 (SL 17-1)
Boom boom Bumrah! After nine dots, even Karunaratne gets frustrated and has a waft outside off. A bottom edge and Dhoni barely has to move.
3rd over: Sri Lanka 17-0 (Karunaratne 10, Perera 7) Kumar loses his length. Too short, so Perera shovels him to midwicket for three, even though it’s off the toe of the bat. Too short again, and even Karunaratne can slap that for four. Too full, and any opener in the world can clip that behind square for four more. Great over for Sri Lanka, and for the game.
2nd over: Sri Lanka 5-0 (Karunaratne 1, Perera 4) No need to score runs off Bumrah – just survive. Karunaratne manages it, but you do wonder, not for the first time, if he is cut out to be a one-day opener.
1st over: Sri Lanka 5-0 (Karunaratne 1, Perera 4) Bhuvi Kumar opens up – Sourav Ganguly reckons he’s been brought in to swing the ball away from the left-handers. He has two to bowl at here: Karunaratne, who is watchful as ever, and Kusal Perera, who drives his first ball, on the up, for a spanking four. Virat Kohli responds by taking second slip out, which seems a little hasty.
India do rest a fast bowler, but it’s not Bumrah – it’s Shami, who is replaced by Jadeja, making for a shorter tail. Kuldeep comes in for Chahal as Kohli rotates his wrist spinners. Sri Lanka stiffen their seam attack, and their lower order, by bringing in Thisara Perera for Jeffrey Vandersay.
India 1 Rohit Sharma, 2 KL Rahul, 3 Virat Kohli (capt), 4 Rishabh Pant, 5 MS Dhoni (wkt), 6 Hardik Pandya, 7 Dinesh Karthik, 8 Ravindra Jadeja, 9 Bhuvneshwar Kumar, 10 Kuldeep Yadav, 11 Jasprit Bumrah
Sri Lanka 1 Dimuth Karunaratne (capt), 2 Kusal Perera (wkt), 3 Avishka Fernando, 4 Kusal Mendis, 5 Angelo Mathews, 6 Lahiru Thirimanne, 7 Dhananjaya de Silva, 8 Thisara Perera, 9 Isuru Udana, 10 Lasith Malinga, 11 Kasun Rajitha
Dimuth Karunaratne wins the toss and – like every captain now – chooses to bat first. Which should make for a more even contest.
A few sub-plots. Sri Lanka, who will finish sixth whatever happens, pulled off an upset against England – can they do the same to India? They did it the last time these two sides met, also in England, in the 2017 Champions’ Trophy, which perhaps makes it less likely now, on the basis of lightning not striking twice in the same place. Can Avishka Fernando, who announced himself with a sumptuous hundred against the West Indies’ quicks on Monday, do something similar to Bumrah and Shami? Or will Bumrah be rested, now that India are being expected to play as often as everyone else? And if so, will Kohli be short of a cutting edge?
Morning everyone and welcome to day 38 in the Big Brother house. By this evening, Phase One will finally be over. Only one question of any significance remains to be answered: who will finish top?
It will be either Australia or India, both of whom play today. They’re through to the semi-finals already, but there’s a small prize still to be fought for: facing New Zealand, who are on the slide, rather than England, who are back to their best. Australia are ahead by a nose, also known as one point, so if they beat South Africa in the day-nighter at Old Trafford (from 1.30pm BST), the top spot is theirs. If they don’t, and India have seen off Sri Lanka in this game at Headingley (10.30am), it will be Virat Kohli who joins Kane Williamson for the toss on Tuesday. Somehow, this clunky format has managed to hold our interest to the end. As round robins go, it’s been even more long-winded than the Christmas sheet of A4 from a boastful friend. But a lot more entertaining.