14th over: South Africa 70-1 (Markram 35, du Plessis 12) Oof, nearly caught! Faf du Plessis swings Mortaza away through midwicket, but doesn’t get elevation. He’s very nearly held by midwicket but the dive doesn’t quite get there. Singles from every other ball make it a profitable over for South Africa. They’re chasing 331 and they need more than 7 per over from here.
13th over: South Africa 61-1 (Markram 33, du Plessis 5) Shakib rattles through another over for four singles. I can confirm that he is gathering no moss. No moss at all.
12th over: South Africa 57-1 (Markram 31, du Plessis 3) Now the skipper himself to bowl, as Mashrafe Mortaza rings the changes. Markram is more comfortable with seam bowling, and he collects five singles along with du Plessis.
“As your old-fashioned OBO seems to sight based without embedded audio, do I presume that you will be including full notation, or at least basic tablature, for all the guitar bits? Apparently somebody said that some bloke is playing a bat-shaped guitar or something. Probably also not Slash.”
Hard to know, Robin Hazlehurst. Slash hasn’t had much work lately from all evidence, and top hats don’t come cheap.
11th over: South Africa 52-1 (Markram 28, du Plessis 1) Shakib al Hasan, the prince of all-rounders, comes on for his first bowl. Markram is suitably chastened and repentantly blocks out most of the over and takes only a single. The fast of the penitent. (It was Quinton’s fault, really.)
10th over: South Africa 51-1 (Markram 27, du Plessis 1) More consternation in the crowd as they fancy another run-out on a quick single. But Markram and his captain make it to the end of Mehidy’s over.
WICKET! South Africa 49-1 (de Kock run out Mushfiqur)
What a disaster for South Africa! What a shambles that is. Mehidy doesn’t get credited with the wicket but he helps create it. He beats de Kock on the inside edge with a straight ball, getting a nick that squeezes between pad and bat. It doesn’t bowl de Kock, but nearly does, flying past the leg stump. Could Mushfiqur have caught that? Maybe. Markram sees the ball skipping away and calls yes for a run, but de Kock is standing looking backwards, too concerned about his stumps. By the time he turns back Markram is halfway down. De Kock says no, then yes, then no, Markram turns back, and de Kock is several paces out of the striker’s ground stranded as Mushfiqur gets a glove off and throws down the stumps.
9th over: South Africa 48-0 (de Kock 23, Markram 25) Mohammad Saifuddin, the young seamer, comes on for a roll. Markram times him nicely through cover for four, but he nearly gets de Kock. The SA dasher advances, gets a massive leading edge trying to play to midwicket, and somehow it clears backwards point and goes for four.
8th over: South Africa 39-0 (de Kock 19, Markram 20) Mehidy calms things down with an over of four singles. Bangladesh have had a few near-misses, but they could yet be punished if this partnership settles.
7th over: South Africa 35-0 (de Kock 17, Markram 18) Nearly a run out! Mad from Markram, he hits Mustafizur hard and straight at mid-off, but runs anyway. Sprinting down and Mahmudullah has time to throw but misses. Would have cooked him by miles. Then there’s a raucous shout against de Kock but it would have been going down leg. And Markram finishes the over by edging through first slip, but Mortaza has already taken his catcher out. Why? Whyyyyyyy?
“I quite like the delay of the manual keyboard,” writes Peter Salmon. “It must be what it was like back in the day when the commentary would be relayed by cable and read out to the sound of pencil ends hitting desks. Why not a typewriter? Don a trilby, type it up, then run into a phone booth at the end of each over and dictate it down the line to Cheryl on the switchboard in Salford Quays. Assuming that’s not how it works now.”
In fact the accuracy of your description is eerie. Do you have a camera in here?
6th over: South Africa 28-0 (de Kock 15, Markram 13) De Kock tries the back-away-slash again, but Mehidy has packed the off side and it finds the field. This after a ball that he nicked onto his pads. The sensible thing would be to get off strike, and de Kock eventually drives a single to long off. Tidy over, but Bangladesh need an early wicket to maintain their ascendancy.
5th over: South Africa 27-0 (de Kock 14, Markram 13) I take back everything I said. This over Markram lines up Mustafizur with an enormous straight drive that doesn’t hit anything. The ball was just too short for the shot and decked away with the left-armer’s angle across the right-hander. So the next ball Markram stands up tall and punches square instead, beating point for four. And as the Fizz adjusts his line closer to off stump, Markram steps across to open up the leg side, and flicks the ball away through midwicket for four more. That’s a hell of a shot to a ball that wasn’t at all full.
“If only there was some way to magically transmit your words across the airwaves rather than having to write them, people would then be able to listen to you via some sort of electric receiver instead of writing in to complain, causing even more delay.” Nonsense, Mark Hooper. We don’t live in fantasy land. I suppose you want to start a new life under the sea? It’s not going to happen.
4th over: South Africa 19-0 (de Kock 14, Markram 5) Slash! No, not the Guns N Roses guitarist. Quinton de Kock doesn’t like hanging around, so even against an off-spinner he takes his chances. Backs away to Mehidy and flays a ball off his stumps to the point boundary. Hot.
3rd over: South Africa 15-0 (de Kock 10, Markram 5) Aiden Markram does enjoy Test cricket, and Mustafizur is Bangladesh’s most dangerous bowler. So Markram decides to take the conservative route to this over, defending stoutly. Mustafizur makes him play at every ball, and the last gets him two runs thanks to a deflection in the gully.
2nd over: South Africa 13-0 (de Kock 10, Markram 3) Mehidy Hasan will open the bowling from the Vauxhall End with some tidy off-spin. Markram takes a single, exposing his left-handed partner to bowling that turns away. And it draws an edge immediately, but one that beats the slip and skips away for four. A sequence of singles follow.
“A manual keyboard?” expostulates Andrew Benton on email. “What other types are there? And there I was, thinking you had a long suffering secretary helping you out. But maybe it isn’t you after all? How can we know? George Orwell was Eric Blair, George Eliot was Mary Ann Evans, Cary Grant was Archie Leach, Geoff Lemon, the real Geoff Lemon, who are you?”
I could have built a machine to do the typing for me. A certain amount of double handling, to be fair. But it would also remove all handling from the equation. Confused? I am.
“I shall be reading your account with my manual eye-set, so fear not, I shall accept all time variations,” writes Ant. “In fact, being in France, I am already one hour ahead, but I promise not to give the score away.”
In the ending, Charles de Gaulle gets an airport named after him. The ultimate honour. Everyone loves airports.
1st over: South Africa 4-0 (de Kock 4, Markram 0) Here we go. One slip in place. Quinton de Kock on strike, the left-hander. Mustafizur Rahman, such an exciting fast bowler. He gets some lift out of this pitch immediately, drawing a miscue from de Kock outside off stump that bounces hard into the ground and into the cordon. The batsman waits out a couple of balls, then opens his blade plays gorgeously over backward point for four! No swing, just placement, timing the ball on the bounce over the fieldsman. Gets tangled up against the last ball and can’t work it to leg.
If you’re at a loose end during the break and want to know more about Bangladesh cricket, have a go at this podcast on the 1999 World Cup. It’s an interview from Guardian writer Adam Collins with that Bangladesh’s 1999 captain Aminul Islam, who was instrumental in getting Test status for his country and starting them on their path to where they are today.
Indeed. I’m sorry to say that I’m also reduced to using a manual keyboard for this exercise this afternoon, so at times these updates may be two minutes behind real time. If you are relying on me for pitch-siding, then your strategy requires a rethink. But if you want to create our own alternate timeline in which nothing happens until I say it, then I am happy to act as the deity in this particular universe. In the beginning was the word, and without the word no reality can exist.
As a neutral, what a lot of fun that was. Bangladesh batted with verve and vigour, but most importantly with complete confidence. Imagine saying five years ago that they would smash 300 against South Africa in a World Cup. The crowd at the Oval is so into this match – they were cheering those Phehlukwayo wides as though they were the winning runs in a final.
“The worst live update coverage,” sniffs Martin Thompson. “The bloody game was over and your update was still showing the action from the 49th over!”
Ah yes, I forgot to say earlier in the innings that our mind-reading software isn’t working today, so I had to type my thoughts instead.
50th over: Bangladesh 330-6 (Mahmudullah 46, Mehidy 5) What a finish this is from Bangladesh. The last six overs of the innings have brought 70, including 14 from Rabada’s final over. Mahmudullah flicked the first ball into the crowd at midwicket, a gorgeous bit of timing and wristwork, and then Mehidy slammed his first delivery through extra cover for four. Wonderful, stirring stuff; the two runs off the last delivery mean this is Bangladesh’s highest ever ODI score!
WICKET! Bangladesh 316-6 (Mosaddek c Phehlukwayo b Morris 26)
After another miserable over for South Africa, Morris gets a wicket with his final delivery when Mosaddek spoons a simple catch to mid-off. Before that Mahmudullah pulled consecutive boundaries to fine leg and deep midwicket.
48th over: Bangladesh 302-5 (Mahmudullah 24, Mosaddek 26) Phehlukwayo guides Bangladesh closer to 300 by bowling consecutive wides, and they also get an extra run when van der Dussen’s throw riocochets off the stumps. South Africa have been shoddy in the field. An expansive drive over extra cover from Mahmudullah takes Bangladesh past 300 for only the second time in a World Cup match.
“Hi Rob,” says Eugene Chester. “Is there a guitarist at the ground today? I heard one on the radio coverage yesterday and a friend told me they caught a glimpse on TV of a man apparently playing a cricket bat at Bristol! Any idea what that’s all about?”
Nope, I’ve not heard anything about that. Sounds interesting though!
47th over: Bangladesh 291-5 (Mahmudullah 18, Mosaddek 23) Mahmudullah is dropped off the bowling by Rabada at deep square leg off the bowling of Morris. He ran in too far, had to turn round and seemed to lose sight of the ball as it dropped over his shoulder. It went through his hands and bounced miserably over the boundary for four.
It’s the start of a very expensive over – 15 from it! Mosaddek lashed the last two balls to the fence, a muscular pull followed by a scorching cover drive.
46th over: Bangladesh 276-5 (Mahmudullah 12, Mosaddek 14) Bangladesh have only scored 300 once before in a World Cup match, against Scotland in 2015. Their highest score against a Test-playing nation in a World Cup is 288 for seven against New Zealand in the same tournament.
Rabada returns to bowl his penultimate over … and nothing much happens. Five from it.
45th over: Bangladesh 271-5 (Mahmudullah 10, Mosaddek 11) Phehlukwayo is unlucky when Mosaddek, well beaten for pace, top-edges a tennis shot over the keeper’s head for four. Mosaddek tries again next ball, and this time he nails it through mid-on for four more. Bangladesh should reach 300 from here.
44th over: Bangladesh 260-5 (Mahmudullah 8, Mosaddek 2) Imran Tahir’s final over goes for three runs. His figures don’t look that great (10-0-57-2), but the timing of those wickets was vital. Might even be matchwinning.
“Enjoyable as the Proteas struggles are, they do lack the sort of easy-to-dislike characters they had in the past,” says Dave Adams. “Even Duminy was one of the least objectionable of the Graeme Smith-era team. Indeed many teams seem to lack the utter shithousery of years past. David Warner is a modern panto villain, but would’ve looked like a choirboy among (say) the Aussies’ 1989 touring side. Are players becoming more like the ‘role models’ the media keeps saying they should be? Am I just becoming an old git? “
The latter, and I say that with empathy.
43rd over: Bangladesh 257-5 (Mahmudullah 6, Mosaddek 1) In the last eight overs, South Africa have taken three wickets for 40 runs. This is turning into a terrific game.
“Hi Rob,” says Rob Razzell. “I was idly leafing through this year’s Wisden when I saw reference to ‘Rob Smyth, a cricket writer based in Orkney’. Are there two Rob Smyths? Surely you’re bashing this out from a bedsit in Sittingbourne? PS why will India’s first game be South Africa’s third? Seems bizarre.”
There are two Rob Smyths, but only if you count my moodswings. As for the other question, that was explained earlier – basically, it’s because India said so.
WICKET! Bangladesh 250-5 (Mushfiqur c van der Dussen b Phehlukwayo 78)
Mushfiqur cuts Phehlukwayo to deep point, where van der Dussen takes a calm catch. This is an excellent spell for South Africa, who have pegged Bangladesh back in the last 10 overs. Mushfiqur played a charming innings of 78 from 80 balls.
42nd over: Bangladesh 250-4 (Mushfiqur 78, Mahmudullah 4) Mahmudullah survives a big LBW appeal after pushing around Tahir’s googly. Tahir was desperate to review, but South Africa have none left. That was close.
“So 190 x 2 = 380 = on for 400 QED,” sniffs Andy Bradshaw. “Also, the Liverpool mailing list wasn’t me, but I could always sign you up to the Man Citeh one.”
41st over: Bangladesh 245-4 (Mushfiqur 76, Mahmudullah 1) A very good over from Morris, who concedes just one and gives Mahmudullah a few problems with the short ball.
40th over: Bangladesh 244-4 (Mushfiqur 75, Mahmudullah 1) “I was at the Oval on Thursday,” begins Graham Pierce, “and can say:
“1) it seemed to be the head of a guitar and body of a cricket bat. Like a chimera but much more boring.
2) I don’t think the PR gurus who dreamt it up considered the possibility of 18 wickets falling. The guy playing it seemed to lose inspiration and possibly his will to live about halfway through the chase.
3) I am still optimistic that they’ll make him play cricket with an electric guitar for the second half of the tournament.”
WICKET! Bangladesh 242-4 (Mithun b Tahir 21)
Another one for Tahir. Mithun had a big mow across the line and dragged the ball onto his stumps. These are really handy wickets for South Africa, which could be the difference between chasing a gettable 300 and an unlikely 340.
39th over: Bangladesh 240-3 (Mushfiqur 73, Mithun 20) “I’m afraid I can’t take ‘credit’ for mailing list hi-jinks,” says Matt Dony. “Or, at least, I’m pretty certain it wasn’t me. Things got a bit hazy by the end of the night…”
How was your breakfast kebab?
38th over: Bangladesh 235-3 (Mushfiqur 72, Mithun 16) Markram returns to the attack, presumably just for one over to complete the Ngidi/Duminy/Markram allotment. His fourth ball is a vile long hop that Mithun pulls for a huge six, and the next delivery is blasted down the ground for four.
“If we double the score at 30 overs, Bangladesh are on for 400,” says Andy Bradshaw. “Which is nice.”
Andy, you need a new calculator.
37th over: Bangladesh 223-3 (Mushfiqur 71, Mithun 5) Rabada is inscrutable at the best of times, and he’s just about managing it at the worst of times. His eighth over is excellent, with just a wide from it. In the context of the innings, his figures are impressive: 8-0-38-0.
36th over: Bangladesh 222-3 (Mushfiqur 71, Mithun 5) The new batsman Mithun hoicks a full toss for four to get off the mark third ball.
“Found myself worrying in the night about a potential flaw in the tournament…” says Pete Salmon. “We’re all pretty much agreed fourth place will need about seven wins, maybe six… So two losses and you are pretty much gone. The Saffers may lose today and become lame ducks. Could we end up with three, four or five lame ducks for the second half? Ok when they play each other I guess, but a team at 1-7 or 2-6 might not be super motivated for the late stages… Thoughts?”
I don’t think that’ll be a huge problem, because you could get through with five wins so most teams will have plenty to play for. And even if they know they’re out, that isn’t always a bad thing. Afghanistan, for example, will be desperate to win every game regardless of the overall situation.
WICKET! Bangladesh 217-3 (Shakib b Tahir 75)
Imran Tahir takes a vital wicket for South Africa, bowling Shakib behind his legs. Shakib moved across his stumps to sweep, missed and was bowled middle stump. He almost yorked himself.
35th over: Bangladesh 217-2 (Shakib 75, Mushfiqur 71) “This is a lot of fun for me at the minute,” says Mac Millings. “I always love to see Bangladesh doing well, and I enjoy watching SA struggle, especially as my Dad (hi, Pops!) is South African. Sadly, though, he apparently watched his team, Liverpool, win some sort of trophy yesterday, in the company of Howard Gayle and Roy Evans, so he’ll be absolutely in-bleedin’-sufferable for the next Every Time I Speak To Him.”
He won’t be insufferable when he’s wrongly imprisoned for putting me on an LFC mailing list.
REVIEW! Bangladesh 216-2 (Shakib not out 74)
South Africa have lost their review. They appealed for caught behind against Shakib, who tried to hook an excellent bouncer from Rabada, but it was given not out on the field and there was nothing on Ultra-Edge.
34th over: Bangladesh 215-2 (Shakib 74, Mushfiqur 70) Four more to Shakib, who tries to drive Tahir and gets a edge that scoots past short third man. With every passing over, South Africa’s hole gets deeper.
33rd over: Bangladesh 207-2 (Shakib 67, Mushfiqur 69) Kagiso Rabada returns to the attack. South Africa desperately need something from him – a hat-trick, a wicket, an epiphany. He manages none of the above.
During the over, the commentator Ian Bishop tells us that Lungi Ngidi will take no further part in the game becaose of his hamstring injury.
32nd over: Bangladesh 200-2 (Shakib 65, Mushfiqur 64) A full toss from Shakib is cuffed over midwicket for four by Shakib. This has been a bruising experience for South Africa, especially as they chose to bowl first.
“300 is the new 220/230,” says Andrew Hurley. “Sometimes competitive, usually not nearly enough.”
After the first few games of this tournament, not to mention last night’s sport, I have no idea
31st over: Bangladesh 194-2 (Shakib 60, Mushfiqur 63) “I haven’t actually been able to watch any of the cricket live so far, but I’ve heard the fella with the bat-shaped guitar described,” says Matt Dony. “Am I right in understanding he’s basically playing famous riffs on repeat and going nowhere with them? That sounds like the perfect gig! It’s basically what I do whenever I pick up a guitar these days! Where do I sign up? (Not today, though. No loud music for the next few hours, please.)”
Matt Dony is a Liverpool fan, folks. And a new suspect in mailinglistgate
30th over: Bangladesh 190-2 (Shakib 59, Mushfiqur 60) Tahir returns to the attack and is swept round the corner for four by Mushfiqur. This is great stuff! I am certain Bangladesh went into this game thinking they would win, but I’m not sure they thought they would be 190 for two after 30 overs.
29th over: Bangladesh 182-2 (Shakib 57, Mushfiqur 54) Mushfiqur reaches a lovely half-century from 52 balls, cutting Phehlukwayo over backward point for four. He’s such a perky, feelgood batsman, unless you’re South African.
28th over: Bangladesh 177-2 (Shakib 57, Mushfiqur 49) I forgot to say thank you to the person who signed me up to the Liverpool FC mailing list. Very good. Very funny. Very very. Meanwhile, Shakib smears Morris’s first ball over midwicket for four. South Africa look powerless to stop this assault, and a Shakib single brings up the hundred partnership from 95 balls. Boring middle overs my foot.
“Great tournament shaping up,” says Bill Hargreaves. “Difficult to predict.”
Not sure I agree. On the evidence so far, Pakistan have got it in the bag.
27th over: Bangladesh 170-2 (Shakib 52, Mushfiqur 48) Phehlukwayo has a biggish LBW appeal against Shakib turned down. Inside edge.
26th over: Bangladesh 166-2 (Shakib 50, Mushfiqur 46) Shakib top-edges Morris for four to reach a classy, authoritative fifty from 54 balls. Bangladesh are playing so well.
“This is the best atmosphere I’ve experienced at a cricket game for a long time!” writes Vivek Madan from the Oval. “Hugely enthusiastic and excited Bangla support all around. Really thrilled for them. Saffer supporters look a little pained though!”
25th over: Bangladesh 160-2 (Shakib 45, Mushfiqur 45) JP Duminy, on for Markram, starts with a lamentable long hop that is creamed for four by Mushfiqur. His first over costs 10, with Mushfiqur driving the last ball immaculately through extra cover for four more. South Africa are officially in the malodorous stuff.
24th over: Bangladesh 150-2 (Shakib 44, Mushfiqur 36) Morris returns to the attack, with South Africa in increasingly desperate need of a wicket. Five from the over, which takes Bangladesh to 150 at better than a run a ball. They have played beautifully.
In other news, I’ve just realised that Lungi Ngidi is off the field with injury as well. This is becoming quite a test of South Africa’s mental strength.
23rd over: Bangladesh 145-2 (Shakib 43, Mushfiqur 32) Mushfiqur, on the run, slices a drive over extra cover for four off Markram. He was aiming straighter but he got enough on it to clear the infield. If I was a South African fan now, I would be pretty worried – especially as their next game is against India.
22nd over: Bangladesh 137-2 (Shakib 41, Mushfiqur 26) Oof! Shakib edges Tahir’s googly wide of slip and away for four. That was beautifully bowled. But it’s another good over – nine from it – for Bangladesh, who are dictating play.