Category Archive: India Cricket

India Cricket News

Jul 23

England beat India in a thrilling Women’s World Cup final – a photo essay

Photographer Tom Jenkins had exclusive access around Lord’s to capture all the action and atmosphere of a dramatic Women’s World Cup cricket final

This was one of the great Lord’s finals and there was a buzz around St John’s Wood before a ball was bowled. On the Wellington Road the ticket touts were out in force and they seemed more eager to buy than sell. Not even Rachel Heyhoe Flint, one of the world’s great optimists and the captain of England in the first World Cup final in 1973 – they were two years ahead of the men – would have dared to envisage this.

Continue reading…

Permanent link to this article:

Jul 23

England beat India by nine runs to win Women’s Cricket World Cup – live!

England were crowned Women’s World Cup winners, winning by nine runs after a pulsating finish against India at Lord’s

5.59pm BST

A tournament that deserved a grandstand finish got exactly that. 7-for-28 was the India collapse, just at the moment they looked to have this trophy. But then came Anya Shrubsole. Her five wicket spell are what dreams are made of. Simple as that. What a tournament, what a final. Cricket, ay? On behalf of Vish and myself and the others who have been on the OBO today and during the Women’s World Cup, thanks for your company. It’s been a lot of fun. England: World Champions. Brilliant. G’night.

5.56pm BST

A quick report. With plenty more to come from Vic and Vish over the next couple of hours.

Related: England beat India in thrilling final to win Women’s Cricket World Cup

5.54pm BST

Post-game interviews. Sarah Taylor in tears, discussing how close she came to not playing this World Cup. A brave call from her to miss a year of cricket. A mighty comeback.

A round of applause for coach Mark Robinson from the assembled crowd, most of them have hung around for the presentation, up in a tic.

@Anya_shrubsole 2001- What a place! I’d like to play here ….for England … in a World Cup final. #WWC17

5.48pm BST

A word for Mithali. She sat there in her pads until the penultimate wicket fell. Her final World Cup game. Really something else. What a player. 7-for-28 the final Indian collapse she had to watch from the sidelines.

Well played England. Genuinely couldn’t have happened to a nicer bunch. Hard luck India, you had a magnificent tournament. #WWC17

This one will hurt a long, long time. You sense that Mithali and Jhulan, who won’t play another World Cup, will never get over it. #WWC17

Just having a little sob up here in the press box.

England. Shrubsole. Wow.#WWC17Final

5.44pm BST

9.4-0-46-6. Anya Shrubsole’s analysis. 5-11 in her final spell, in 19 deliveries. She’s just won the World Cup single-handedly. Very emotional scenes up here. Ebony Rainford-Brent on the radio in tears. Magical scenes. The best of our sport.

Anya!!!! Of course it was!!! #WWC17

5.41pm BST

Next ball, it didn’t matter, Shrubsole takes her sixth. It’s emphatic, stumps everywhere. Extraodinary scenes in the middle of Lord’s. ENGLAND HAVE ON THE WORLD CUP!

5.39pm BST

DROPPED! JENNY GUNN HAS DROPPED THE MOST BASIC CHANCE. It would have won the World Cup. Mid-off was where she was. It’s unbelievable!

5.38pm BST

Shrubsole again! Forces the false stroke, Deepti tries to slap and it’s a high top edge and Sciver again takes a clutch catch. It’s not a pretty replay for the young gun Deepti.

5.37pm BST

48th over: India 218-8 (Deepti 13, Poonam 0). It’s raining at Lord’s! No one way they will come off. Gunn was back for that, I neglected to add. Only three from it, and very nearly another run out to end the over as well. 11 from 12 needed. BOWIE and Freddie getting a run from the Cricket Ground DJ.

5.35pm BST

To point goes to the shot, the all is yes, she’s sent back. Shrubsole – of course! – is there. The throw is good enough. Taylor does the rest with a swooping collect, taking the stumps and leaving the batsman well short.

5.31pm BST

47th over: India 215-7 (Deepti 13, Pandey 3). It requied inside edges, squirts, shoves. An extra. The aforementioned favourable decision upstairs. But they’ve found seven from the over and haven’t lost a wicket. 14 from 18 needed. Realistically, England need three wickets.

The last time I shouted out loud in the Lord’s press box was July 2005. I’m there again #WWC2017final

5.29pm BST

NOT OUT! “Inconclusive” the call from the third umpire. “That looked out on four of the five angles,” says Ebony Rainford-Brent on the radio. I’m with her. Goodness me that’s stiff.

5.27pm BST

HAS SARAH TAYLOR STUMPED DEEPTI? We’ll find out in a moment.

5.25pm BST

46th over: India 208-7 (Deepti 9, Pandey 1). Deepti goes over Hartley’s head first ball of the set. For all the wickets, they don’t yet need more than a run a ball. Three further singles come. So. Seven from it. India need 21 from four overs. Shrubsole still has overs – two of them.

When I was 19, I was working out how to make myself puke to relieve hangovers. Deepti Sharma is trying to win a World Cup solo. #WWC17

5.22pm BST

The vice-captain has done it! Through the gate of Goswami first ball, three wickets in eight balls for the champion quick. She has 4-for-38, England have one hand on the World Cup and they know it. Or is there another twist? This comp, don’t doubt it.

45th over: India 201-7 (Deepti 3, Pandey 0)

5.19pm BST

Khrishnamurthy holes out to mid-on! It’s a slog across the line, fat top edge, no mistake made by the Queen of the World Cup. Three wickets in a couple of overs. India capitulating.

5.17pm BST

44th over: India 198-5 (Krishnamurthy 34, Deepti 1). Neglected to mention that Krishnamurthy smacked Hartley inside-out to start that over, way back when. A moment of chaos when Deepti tips and runs. Mercifully, for India, sent back. Just in time. Sent upstairs. But she’s back. Just. Over ends with Krishnamurthy hoicking fine, it’s aerial but lands safe. Again. Just. A game of inches here. Literally. BUCKLE UP. 31 from 36 needed.

Imagine Goswami has to win it with the bat after that bowling display. #WWC17

5.12pm BST

Hartley beats Verma sweeping, into her leg stump it goes! The crowd go WILD, as does the young spinner. Hate to say it, but might be in India’s interests though, as Deepti surely more likely to make a dent in this than Verma was? 33 from 39 required. Two wickets in five balls the damage. WE HAVE OUR GRANDSTAND FINISH!

5.08pm BST

How about that! Shrubsole back and gets the urgent wicket, Punam goes after a mighty hand. She wants to review but the umpire says no, she has taken too long! It all comes after Krishnamurthy clobbered back to back boundaries, carrying the first over cover, doing just enough. The second much more defiant, straight over mid-off. To borrow from WM Lawry – IT’S ALL HAPPENING!

43rd over: India 191-4 (Krishnamurthy 28, Verma 0).

5.04pm BST

42nd over: India 182-3 (Punam 86, Krishnamurthy 19). Hardley for a third spell. And she nearly gets Krishnamurthy! How do you beat the outside edge and leg stump? She has. The same player gets deep in the crease to play another little late cut off her stumps. Just gets the bat down in time. India have turned down a gear here. They are eight runs above DLS at the over. Important fact, as it is even darker than it was three minutes ago. In other words: England need a wicket, urgently.

5.02pm BST

41st over: India 178-3 (Punam 84, Krishnamurthy 17). Marsh for her final over from the Pavilion End. Punam, the big wicket, nearly gives them a chance too – off the top edge, back of the bat almost, when sweeping. But it falls safe. The field is taken on a couple of times. It’s almost hit and run stuff, but it is working. Five from it. Marsh through her ten for 39. Still need 5.67 an over through the final nine. Not for nothing.

And you know what I said about rain and it not playing a part? It’s very, very dark at Lord’s again. Watch this space on that. Probably 40 minutes needed to finish this thing in regulation, as they say in the US sports.

4.58pm BST

40th over: India 173-3 (Punam 80, Krishnamurthy 16). Right – Punam is fine. Well, she’s hasn’t gone off. It’s Gunn, into her sixth. Slower ball met with a quick single by Punam, Marsh racing in from the circle at third man. Bit deep there, the consensus. Punam again in the action to end the over, using her feet and going through the air at cover point. A heave more than a stroke. Brunt puts in the big ones to prevent a boundary, slipping in the process. She gives it her all. Seven from it.

4.52pm BST

Cramp? It’s actually not a real drinks break, they are taking one on account of Punam Raut going down with what appears to be cramp. She’s been on the ground a long time though, with several support staff trying to help. Looks to be in a lot of discomfort. Umpires watching on closely. Worse than cramp? A hamstring issue? Stand by.

4.49pm BST

39th over: India 166-3 (Punam 75, Krishnamurthy 15). Marsh delivers a very penetrative set. A leg before shout, another that nearly slips through to finish off. One from it. Two good overs for England on the bounce. They grab a drink.

4.48pm BST

38th over: India 165-3 (Punam 74, Krishnamurthy 15). Oh no DROPPED! It’s Gunn back, wins the false stroke from the dangerous Krishnamurhy, and the captain Knight has put it down diving to her right. You wouldn’t hear of it. Brilliant set of hands usually. She digs her her into the ground after the chance goes down, an acknowledgment of what has just happened. After the missed stumping from Taylor a quarter hour ago or so – it shows the pressure of this setting. Four runs the damage by the time the over is finished. Gunn’s been England’s most frugal today, has plenty of work yet to do.

I’ve covered 10 major men’s finals, and three featuring the women. But this one, stuck in front of the TV, is by far the most nerve wracking

4.43pm BST

37th over: India 161-3 (Punam 73, Krishnamurthy 12). Marsh continues. So they’re trying to spin to win. India have taken the upper hand since losing Harmanpreet. Punam deflects behind point and it’s four! Hartley isn’t known for her fielding an this isn’t her best piece of work down there. That hurts. Marsh fights back, only two other singles coming. “England have got to believe here that the are going to get that wicket,” the advice of Charlotte Edwards on radio. “They have got to believe.” Real passion there. “This is where someone has got to put their hand up.”

4.39pm BST

36th over: India 155-3 (Punam 68, Krishnamurthy 11). Hartley, in her 1990s shades, to go again in her seventh. Little dab from Punam gets two early in the over. Then when she gets her chance, Krishnamurthy replicates her slap down to long-off from the previous over, but excellent work from Gunn racing around to cut it off from long-on. Committed, athletic fielding. She won’t be denied when going squarer though, a beautifully struck inside-out boundary. Turning into an excellent over. Added to when Hartley sprays one, a wide added. Right. Ten off that. The first over of the batting power plan a most effective one. India need 74 from 84.

Jenny Gunn bowled four overs for four runs earlier and hasn’t been seen since.

4.36pm BST

35th over: India 145-3 (Punam 65, Krishnamurthy 5). Krishnamurthy took four balls to score, but she did it was straight and effective, to the rope in front of the pavilion. Marsh earns a stumping chance off Punam! Taylor misses the stumping! Blimey, didn’t expect to be writing those words. It’s gone between bat and pad, it didn’t look like Taylor saw it until late. But it was in and out of the gloves. Punam survives.

Krishnamurthy has done a great job as a finisher the last two games. Now to step up to something bigger. #WWC17

4.32pm BST

34th over: India 138-3 (Punam 63, Krishnamurthy 0). Krishnamurthy sweeping from the get go, but unable to get off strike. Brilliant over from Hartley, happy to maintain her attacking disposition. High risk, high reward. Has matchwinner written all over her.

Remarkable innings from Kaur: only 1 of her 51 on the offside. Some sort of record?

4.28pm BST

She got all of that sweep, but straight down the throat of Tammy Beaumont! Bringing Hartley back has worked, the England players elated as they race to where the catch was taken at the backward square leg rope. The stand of 95 comes to an end. But forget about that: Harmanpreet Kaur is gone. Huge.

4.26pm BST

33rd over: India 136-2 (Punam 62, Harmanpreet 50). A different kind of innings to Thursday but no less important the half-century here by Harmanpreet Kaur. 78 balls to get there. A couple of those big, powerful sixes, but for the most part careful accumulation has defined her stay so far. To be precise, two sixes, three fours and the rest all in singles. 5.60 now the required rate. “I’m living and breathing every ball here,” says Charlotte Edwards on the radio.

4.23pm BST

32nd over: India 133-2 (Punam 61, Harmanpreet 48). Knight throwing the ball around now. Needs to. Hartley is back. Hoping, presumably, that Harmanpreet will try and take her down and fail. But it is Punam in the action. For the wrong reasons initially, looking for a single that isn’t there, having to send Harmanpreet back. But no confusion next up, down the track and driving with power over cover. Just about her best shot today. Hartley fights back well, and beats Puman’s outside edge to finish the over. Six from it.

In case you were wondering, rain will not – unless something mad happens – play a role in this final. Very funny now, albeit through the clouds. But not at all grim. We’ve defied the forecast.

By now the rain was supposed to be set in for the day. #wwc17

4.18pm BST

31st over: India 127-2 (Punam 56, Harmanpreet 47). Acknowledging the need for a wicket, Brunt is back as well. Only went through four earlier on, so not a bad shout. But it’s a frustrating over for her. Not much wrong with the direction but seven from it, the bulk of them behind point using her added pace. Not helped by an overthrow, passing by Brunt when Hartley misdirects her return. From here, India need 5.37 an over. The partnership is currently 84.


4.15pm BST

30th over: India 120-2 (Punam 50, Harmanpreet 46). Shrubsole goes again. Punam makes good contact on a pull shot, saved by I think it is Brunt sweeping at square leg. Athletic diving stop close to the rope. Further singles are exchanged before Punam gets her third half-century of the World Cup with a push behind square to end the over. 75 balls, a couple of boundaries and a straight six along the way. Important hand. Job far from done. England need a spark. Better yet, a wicket. Tempo in India’s favour.

This partnership is exactly what India needed. Harmanpreet is just coasting for now. Holds the key

4.11pm BST

29th over: India 114-2 (Punam 46, Harmanpreet 45). Sciver has an important role to play here, especially with Hartley unlikely to get through ten from here while Harmanpreet is out there. She concedes a boundary to her here, tickled very fine from the stumps. On another day that would have bowled her.

4.08pm BST

28th over: India 108-2 (Punam 45, Harmanpreet 40). Right, so only the one over from Knight before she returns to Shrubsole from the Nursery End. Hope she gets a chance from the other end to generate some huge movement towards these right handers at some stage. Can’t complain about this though, only two from it.

4.03pm BST

27th over: India 106-2 (Punam 45, Harmanpreet 39). First ball of Sciver’s new over gets India to 100 with a single to square leg from Harmanpreet. Fantastic response from their supporters, and there are plenty of them in here at HQ today. Oh, Harmanpreet times a cagey little pull shot from middle stump. It keeps a fraction low (well, doesn’t get up) but has all the time in the world to adjust her stroke and pick out a gap behind square. Building, building. Run a ball over the last five overs,and 5.35 needed to win from here for India.

Great support for India in the crowd today! #WWC17 #ENGvIND

3.59pm BST

26th over: India 99-2 (Punam 44, Harmanpreet 33). Knight brings herself on, with Harmanpreet increasingly keen to have a go at Hartley. Good leadership. Options galore with the ball, been a big part of England’s success. The 50 stand between these two comes from the first ball of the over, Punam tucking around the corner for a single. 79 balls to get there. Harmanpreet drives down the ground with ease getting Punam back. And it’s a big full toss from Knight. So big that it wins a free hit. She doesn’t fully capitalise, grabbing a couple to deep cover. TMS reminding me that Punam and Harmanpreet both made half-centuries the previous time India played at Lord’s, defeating England when chasing 230. All a bit familiar, then. Raj made 94 not out that day, mind. Seven off this one. Scrappy start from the skipper. Finishes with a second fully. Hmm.

3.54pm BST

25th over: India 92-2 (Punam 39, Harmanpreet 32). Sciver brought back to replace Marsh. Keeps Punam honest, a decent shout for leg before. It’s going down, and then quickly realise that and don’t review. Mel Jones on radio complimentary of Sarah Taylor’s influence in preventing any wild referrals. Four singles, including another Punam ramp. We’re at the half-way mark. England were 103-3. Don’t yell at me, I know this means nothing. I’m just sharing.

Do you think #MithaliRaj could have made her ground?

Watch the key run out here #WWC17

3.52pm BST

24th over: India 88-2 (Punam 36, Harmanpreet 30). Oh that’s magnificent from Harmanpreet, the back pad along the ground, swinging with the straightest arms. The contact enough, landing in the grandstand, the chap in the front row putting down the catch. Second time she’s done that. Into the 30s. Nine from the Hartley over – the bowler she seems most keen to take on, much as she was the left-arm orthodox of Jess Jonassen on Thursday. She won’t need long to rip this game apart.

3.48pm BST

23rd over: India 79-2 (Punam 36, Harmanpreet 22). Marsh’s third over on the bounce where four singles have been added. Nothing more. Both sides probably happy enough with that. Three of those down the ground. A scoop too. Punam had a couple of goes at that now.

“It seems an obvious point to make but Jenny Gunn is a bit good, isn’t she?” James Higgott likes the England all-rounder’s work. “She fires them in, barrel straight, on target every time. She’s an automatic pick for me. I’m glad they’ve held a few of her overs back, keeping her powder dry for later.”

3.46pm BST

22nd over: India 75-2 (Punam 34, Harmanpreet 20). Hartley encourages a Harmanpreet dance early in the over. As I tried to explain after her 171 the other day, you just have to hold your breath when she goes down the track like that. Each time is an event. It only gets her a single this time though. Two from it. Hartley doing plenty right here early on.

This isn’t a bad shout.

If Kaur comes early then Hartley could spear the ball down the legside for Sarah Taylor to claim the legside stumping.

3.41pm BST

21st over: India 73-2 (Punam 33, Harmanpreet 19). 75 for Duckworth Lewis at the end of this over. I raise this becuase we have a game with 20 overs now registered. They get four from the over, all risk-free, leaving them two runs short of that mark. But the point is, we have a smashing contest on our hands here. Especially with Harmanpreet now up and about. Get yourself in front of a TV. This is spot on.

Three @englandcricket captains together.

Karen Smithies, @ConnorCricket & @Lottie2323 #WWC17

3.38pm BST

20th over: India 69-2 (Punam 31, Harmanpreet 17). A mate of mine popped on the social media the other day that when his boy grows up he hopes he can keep like Sarah Taylor. She shows her unique game awareness again here, dancing around while Punam is mid-ramp. So close to gloving it, too. Oh but forget about that: Harmanpreet has just done her thing! Dance, stop prop, swing of the arms, connect, six! And a big’un! Nearly into the crowd, 20m beyond the actual boundary. On ABC TV in Australia overnight Gideon Haigh compared her posture to that of the iconic Victor Trumper image (that he’s literally written the book on, so he would know). Buckle up.

3.35pm BST

19th over: India 59-2 (Punam 28, Harmanpreet 10). Excellent little session since Raj was removed, England conceding 16 runs in 35 balls thereafter with Marsh’s set here conceding four. India helped by a legside wide. But it did give Taylor the chance to show off her mad skillz again behind the stumps.

It shows how big the new audience is that so many people are suddenly shocked at Gunn’s action. (been tested & cleared) cc @RafNicholson

3.31pm BST

18th over: India 55-2 (Punam 27, Harmanpreet 8). Right, so it’s Hartley. We’ve seen her left-arm spin claim big wickets in this tournament, not least Meg Lanning. That was the game with the biggest crowd before this one, and she as ice cold under pressure. Here, she tosses it up to Harmanpreet from the get go, 45mph. Five high-quality dots before the Indian matchwinner goes sweeping to end the set. A single to square leg keeps her the strike. Big contest between those two coming up, surely.

3.26pm BST

17th over: India 54-2 (Punam 27, Harmanpreet 7). Marsh giving it some air, encouraging both the drive. Harmanpreet doesn’t make great contact and it goes back to the bowler. Looked close to reaching her on the full. Not to be. Punam more convincing, out to deep point for a couple. Four from it. Time for a drink in the middle, with Alex Hartley ready to take the ball for the first time in England’s defence of 228 when they return. And for those on weather watch, it is very sunny. And we’re three overs away from “a game” as they say in DLS speak. On the radio, Lottie says England are “just in front.”

3.22pm BST

16th over: India 50-2 (Punam 24, Harmanpreet 6). Maiden for Jenny Gunn. Completed after a fantasic diving stop on the circle at cover to end the over. Didn’t quite catch who it was – maybe Beaumont. That’s what India did so well. The standard of fielding lifting for the final.

3.18pm BST

15th over: India 50-2 (Punam 24, Harmanpreet 6). The ground holds its breath… Harmanpreet just clears mid-on! It’s a false stroke, far from the middle of the bat. Four instead. There’s another pause when Marsh really fancies a leg before shout against Punam. She’s well down, they elect not to review. “Might have been worth a cheeky DRS,” says Charlotte Edwards on TMS. 50 up in the over as well. Required rate now above five, India currently going at 3.33.

3.16pm BST

14th over: India 45-2 (Punam 24, Harmanpreet 1). Punam runs the first Gunn deliver of a new set to third man. Harmanpreet collects a couple of more dots before getting off the mark to her eighth delivery. Means very little though, she’ll swing when she’s good and ready. In case you missed the numbers, her first 50 came in 64 balls on Thursday against Australia. The next 121 in 50 balls. Have that. Great from Gunn, four runs from her three overs. Great story given she thought her career was pretty much done and was happy enough just to make the 15.

Rachael Heyhoe Flint’s son Ben Flint rang the bell to signal the beginning of the India innings at Lord’s #LoveLords #WWC17

3.12pm BST

13th over: India 43-2 (Punam 23, Harmanpreet 0). The run out came to the first ball of Laura Marsh’s spell. Watching the replay, hard to know why no dive came. Odd cricket, awful running. Harmanpreet is the new player to the crease. We’ll come to her in a tic. She’s in careful defence to the rest of the over, Marsh recording a maiden to begin. Talk about exactly what England needed.

Good news for @Tammy_Beaumont#MithaliRaj walks back to the pavillion on 409 tournament runs – one run behind the #WWC17 top scorer!

3.09pm BST

What a moment! Sciver whips a throw in and Raj has to rely on a mistake, but Sarah Taylor doesn’t make this, catching the ball in front of the stumps and taking the bails carefully balanced on one leg. Cannot overstate just how good Raj looked until that moment. It’s a slow walk off. She knows.

3.06pm BST

12th over: India 43-1 (Punam 23, Raj 17). This is a really good start from Gunn, two singles into the off-side – one via a drop-and-go – the only runs off her two tidy overs.

3.05pm BST

11th over: India 41-1 (Punam 22, Raj 16). Big over for India, ten from it after two maidens. Punam takes Sciver over midwicket and it nearly goes the full journey. Not without risk, but a nice pressure release. The cover drive from Raj is one to swoon over. It rockets out to the rope. Immense timing.

Double verification on the women’s toilets line from earlier in the OBO.

I’ve found a downside to hosting women’s matches at Lord’s: the queue for the women’s loos are a nightmare. #WWC17 ‍♀️‍♀️‍♀️‍♀️

3.02pm BST

10th over: India 31-1 (Punam 17, Raj 11). Back to back maidens to end the power play. Good captaincy from Knight, getting Gunn on who immediately lands her medium pace in those familiar long sleeves. She wears them since – by her estimation – the Australians tried to stitch her up way back when for chucking. A million miles from here, though.

2.59pm BST

9th over: India 31-1 (Punam 17, Raj 11). Sciver on to replace Brunt at the Pavilion End. She’s found a solid length, just short of anything that Punam can swing her arms through. Maiden, the first of the innings. And the six in the previous over, I neglected to note, was the first of the match. 108 were struck in the group stage of this World Cup. Harmanpreet added seven more herself in the semi. We’ll see her soon enough, no doubt.

Wish the rain would piss off to wherever the members are…

2.55pm BST

8th over: India 31-1 (Punam 17, Raj 11). Big from Punam! Oh and classy too, down on the one leg and boshing Shrubsole back towards us in the media centre, clearing the rope by a metre or two. A single to third man keeps her the strike. The lights are on all around Lord’s, but the sun is bright as well. Well, brighter than it has been. Maybe just maybe we get this done without a rain delay? Would be quite something given that brutal forecast.

2.53pm BST

7th over: India 24-1 (Punam 10, Raj 11). On that’s super timing from Raj, clipping off her pads past square leg and racing to the boundary to begin the Brunt set. She’s striking the ball nicely, on back foot then front. She’s in.

“I hope many others out there have enjoyed the #WWC2017 as much as I have,” writes Chris Drew. “Hope we have a great finish.” Concur. x2. It has been magnificent. Deserves the big finish. Not a Duckworth-Lewis one.

2.49pm BST

6th over: India 20-1 (Punam 10, Raj 7). Shrubsole concedes singles to each as the over begins before dropping into a shoebox to Punam for the remainder. Tidy.

Related to the previous post, a poem on Anya Shrubsole in on the email from Ian Spencer. Let’s give it a run:

2.45pm BST

5th over: India 13-1 (Punam 9, Raj 6). Mithali in no hurry, presenting a calm and straight blade to Brunt. Purposeful, hitting the fielders on the ring. She’s looking the part. Made an unbeaten 94 when India knocked England off here in 2012. Oh and there she goes, last ball of the set launching into a full-blooded square drive. No chance for the sweeper. She’s away. And I fancy she might be on one as well. We’ll know soon.

What a comp she’s had. Off the field, firing a helluva blow at the pre-World Cup media briefing. I was seated next to her when she went through a journalist who asked who her favourite man is to watch play. Real get-the-popcorn stuff. Her twitter following then: about 4000. Now? 115,000. Have that. The poetry reading before her first innings. Then along the way, overtaking Charlotte Edwards for the most runs ever for a woman in ODIs (5992), the next over smashing a straight six to go beyond 6000 as well. Says what she means, means what she says.

2.40pm BST

4th over: India 13-1 (Punam 8, Raj 2). Punam Raut goes heaving, taking Shrubsole over her head for India’s first boundary. She’s played more convincing strokes than that, not getting all of it, but it is enough.

Raf raises a good point. There is still, reportedly, rain about. We nearly went off earlier, but through the drizzle they continued. Reserve day in place here, so if it does chuck it down we just continue on tomorrow. Mostly likely won’t make a difference at the Pavilion End. The MCC have backed this event in big time, but their members haven’t. The official from the Club is that they are all over in the new Plum Warner, which to be fair is pretty full. But still. Optics, and all that. I’ll try not to mention this again as this isn’t a day for negativity.

How much will the apparently impending rain be on India’s mind? Means they need to start with a bang rather than a whimper. #WWC17Final

2.35pm BST

3rd over: India 8-1 (Punam 3, Raj 2). Punam Raut, who made a ton against Austalia only last week, in defence to Brunt for the most part. A bit of early consolidation called for after the early incision. She deflects a single to third man, giving Raj the strike for one ball. She lets it go with ease and poise and all that.

Mandhana is one of my favourite current female batsman but what a sudden drop. Scored 196 in first 2 matches then 36 in the next 7. #WWC17

2.33pm BST

2nd over: India 6-1 (Punam 2, Raj 1). Inside edge from the captain Raj, her first ball ending up at fine leg. A few ooohs and aaahs. It’s her last innings in World Cup cricket, declaring that she will have well and truly given it away by the time the cavnival comes around four years from now.

England take their first wicket. Of course it’s Anya #WWC17

2.30pm BST

A nervous start spraying three wides, but soon as Shrubsole hit the mark it went through the gate of Mandhana for a duck! The Indian opener smashed the England seamers to all parts in the competition opener. She’s struggled since the first week of the World Cup but it is still a massive early breakthrough. England away! And Anya loves it, superb celebration all the way into the arms of ‘keeper Sarah Taylor.

2.25pm BST

1st over: India 1-0 (Punam 1, Mandhana 0). Tidy start from the attack leader. Brings Punam forward for the most part. A single to third man. Temptation would have been for Shrubsole to bowl down the slope with her natural movement towards right-handers. But as Jarrod Kimber notes to my right, that’s a mistake touring teams make at HQ, not hosts.

“There is a huge queue for the ladies,” reports James Higgott. “My friend Nemone tells me she has never had to queue for the loo at Lord’s before.” Makes sense. The ECB reported during the week that 50% of all tickets sold in World Cup 2017 have been to women and girls.

2.22pm BST

Before we start. Not the most bold prediction, but Anya Shrubsole to run amok with the slope. She’ll be coming from the Nursery End after Katherine Brunt starts off running in from the Pavilion. It’s Mandhana and Punam for India. Both have made hundreds in the tournament. Play!

2.19pm BST

Pop on TMS. The aforementioned Clare Connor is speaking from the heart and it’s wonderful. “You see little girls out there from all sorts of backgrounds on the outfield. When Karen led the team out here in 1993 that was six years before women were really accepted into this club… the next chapter is there to be written. It is up to us.”

Connor is now discussing Eileen Ash, who rang the five minute bell before play earlier. She wore her 1937 blazer. She’s 105 years old. Powerful radio.

2.13pm BST

Let’s have ourselves a grandstand finish.

Righto. Let’s take stock. So India require 229 to become world champions. Imagine saying that a week and a half ago when they were thrashed by Australia and racing towards early elimination? But they’ve barely put a foot wrong since, continuing through their bowling innings this morning. It came together beautifully, delivering very few four-balls, enough problematic ones, while putting in a tremendous shift in the field. Only one run out came in the end, but several direct hits kept constant pressure on England. Who threatened and threatened but never really got going.

1.53pm BST

50th over: England 228-7 (Gunn 25, Marsh 14) As expected, no Pandey. Deepti Sharma will finish the innings of from the Pavilion End. Gunn thinks she might have snared four very fine as she mistimes a sweep but excellent fielding from fine leg, up in the circle, saves three. So ends a good over from Sharma – just seven from it. Well, it’s competitive, especially on a surface that did seem to be taking turn. Is it enough for England? We’ll find out in half-an-hour…

1.49pm BST

49th over: England 221-7 (Gunn 21, Marsh 11) Can’t imagine Pandey will bowl the last over. Her seven so far has given away 53 runs. Give the innings rate is under five, she’s been a wee bit expensive. Singles off every ball bring six runs as Gayakwad finishes with 1-49 from her 10 overs.

1.46pm BST

This. Very much this

A young fan in the MCC Museum at Lord’s this afternoon.

1.45pm BST

48th over: England 215-7 (Gunn 18, Marsh 8) Now that’s the over they needed. Gunn starts it with a four clubbed through midwicket for four. Immediately, right-arm seamer Pandey is on the back foot. So much so that she accidentally bowls a full-bunger which Gunn hits to square leg for a couple. The free hit brings a single but off the last ball, Marsh walks at the bowler and hits through extra cover for four. Decent, that – 14 from it!

1.42pm BST

47th over: England 201-7 (Gunn 10, Marsh 3) The 200 comes up from 287 deliveries. Just the 16 fours, as Rajeshwari Gayakward returns to bowl her remaining two overs. Five come from the over, with two at the end as Marsh dips down and works the ball around the corner.

1.40pm BST

46th over: England 196-7 (Gunn 8) The last of the big-hitters is gone. Now it’s all about finesse from here on, as Laura Marsh joins Jenny Gunn.

1.38pm BST

Gunn hits to cover, runs, but it’s Brunt who’s in trouble. Deepti Sharma gathers, aims and hits the stumps at the keeper’s end.

1.33pm BST

45th over: England 192-6 (Brunt 32, Gunn 6) A single off the fifth ball sees Jenny Gunn plough into the back of Deepti Sharma! It’s not a fair fight. Gunn’s two foot taller and Sharma’s all bones. Thankfully, they don’t come to blows.

Time for Katherine Brunt to take a few risks now – go for broke – no point leaving it until the final over.

1.30pm BST

44th over: England 188-6 (Brunt 30, Gunn 4) That’s more like it! A first boundary in six overs as Brunt clouts loopy Deepti Sharma through cover for four. And, thanks to Gunn’s speed, they manage to take nine from that over.

1.27pm BST

43rd over: England 179-6 (Brunt 23, Gunn 2) To be fair to Gunn, as the quickest in the side, she’s doing the…ermm… brunt of Katherine’s running. Two scampering twos and a dash for one gets England and Brunt five more.

1.24pm BST

42nd over: England 174-6 (Brunt 18, Gunn 2) Brunt doing her bit, charging between the wickets like a Yorkshirewoman raging at the dying light. Gunn, though, needs to get a wiggle on. Currently 2 off 16…

1.22pm BST

41st over: England 171-6 (Brunt 15, Gunn 2) Three singles. They’re no good, truth be told. Still time to get above 220 which is probably par on this surface but not with that Grandstand boundary. England are good at doing the odd containing job and they’ll need to do their darnedest with that.

1.20pm BST

40th over: England 168-6 (Brunt 13, Gunn 1) Power Play done and, well, it’s not pretty. Just the one wicket lost but only 13 scored and four of those came with one shot from Brunt…

Goswami, 3-23 off her 10 overs. Superb bowling in a World Cup final #WWC17

1.17pm BST

39th over: England 165-5 (Brunt 11, Gunn 0) Gunn is striking them well, but there’s not much really she can do but hit fielders. Does need a bit of time to get her eye in but, as she showed against Australia and South Africa, she doesn’t mind the odd pump down the ground. England need a few of them…

1.16pm BST

38th over: England 164-6 (Brunt 10, Gunn 0) Wicket maiden in the Power Play? India will take that. Again and again and again.

1.14pm BST

Now that is definitely LBW. Sciver walks forward and across – not enough, on both counts – and is struck in front by a Goswami inswinger. The umpire gives it out, but Sciver has to review as the main woman. No good. She’s off.

1.12pm BST

37th over: England 164-5 (Sciver 51, Brunt 10) Single takes Sciver to a well-earned half-century: her ninth of her career and her third score of 50 or more this tournament.

12.59pm BST

36th over: England 157-5 (Sciver 49, Brunt 5) The first over of the batting Power Play – three allowed outside the circle, remember – sees just two runs scored. Goswami, back into the attack, does superbly to keep both Brunt and Sciver honest. Sciver even follows one delivery that gets away from her, almost edging through to Verma.

12.55pm BST

35th over: England 155-5 (Sciver 48, Brunt 4)

Brunt and Sciver out there together. Landladies uniting – a fact pilfiered from this excellent piece by Jonathan Liew. They’re nearly torn apart as Sciver just turns and runs a second and is nearly run out by a foot. Sushma Verma tries to gather and throw behind her back and onto the stumps but misses. It’s Power Play time…

12.51pm BST

34th over: England 151-5 (Sciver 45, Brunt 3) Phew. What an over that was. Turns out Sarah Taylor did actually hit the ball and the applause was to encourage Nat Sciver to keep going.

12.49pm BST

33rd over: England 146-5 (Sciver 43, Brunt 0) And Goswami is on a hat-trick! Looks a stinker of a decision on first viewing: sliding down? Perhaps not as the replay show it to be clipping. Still, one of those decision that could have gone Wilson’s way. Quality bowling from Goswami, though. Brunt gives it the big front foot forward and blocks out the hat-trick ball.

12.46pm BST

Did she get a tickle on that? Well Taylor didn’t review, so perhaps she hit it. Caught down the leg side. But then she turns as she walks off. And turns once more to clap with her bat… did she get a send off? I’m so confused.

12.41pm BST

32nd over: England 144-3 (Taylor 43, Sciver 43) Almost stroke-for-stroke now, Sciver and Taylor, especially as Sciver’s cutting down on the boundaries. Fireworks imminent?

12.37pm BST

31st over: England 140-3 (Sciver 41, Taylor 41) Goswami returns, just as these two have their eyes in to pinch singles at will. They’re given some help by Sushma Verma, who gives away a couple of extra runs when she can’t gather a delivery down the leg side. Three extras to the score.

12.32pm BST

30th over: England 133-3 (Tylor 39, Sciver 39) Both batsmen neck and neck as they go into the final 20 overs. Quick refresher: there’s a batting Power Play to take which they’ll probably call after 35 overs. Meanwhile in the stands…

Wow!! #WWC17

12.28pm BST

29th over: England 128-3 (Taylor 37, Sciver 36) Cute from Sciver, using the pace of Kaur – who, were she cheeky enough, might have Mankaded Taylor at the start of the over . Sciver gets on one knee and helps around the corner with a fine paddle that goes for four.

@Vitu_E Groundsman looking like he just wants to shout “Get off my pitch”

12.25pm BST

28th over: England 118-3 (Taylor 33, Sciver 31) Deepti Sharma’s back on from the Pavilion End and, even without hitting the sweepers, the pair are quick enough to just push to the left or right of those in the ring. “Come on girls!” writes Anomita Banerjee. “Show opponents that girls in blue has power to win this game and shall do it. So go Indian women cricket team make all Indians proud again!” Can’t argue with that. They’ve got a great team – perhaps the best Mithali Raj has had at her disposal.

12.21pm BST

27th over: England 114-3 (Taylor 31, Sciver 29) Ooooosh – stand and deliver from Sciver! Pandey’s back into the attack, with cover in the covers and one out at square leg… so Sciver thumps down the ground for four! Quality stroke and great timing on a pitch that isn’t allowing many to hit through the line.

12.19pm BST

26th over: England 107-3 (Taylor 29, Sciver 24) A few raincoats have gone on and the hover covers are being prepped but so far, the only action is on the field. Taylor’s been quietly going about her business without hitting a boundary yet.

12.16pm BST

25th over: England 103-3 (Taylor 26, Sciver 23)

Just as the first bit of drizzle falls, Sciver gets on one knee and sweeps Harmanpreet Kaur’s part-time doozies around the corner for four! That’ll help. Rain clutters the mind when it comes to DLS and wickets in hand. Sciver doesn’t care for much of that. Nine from the over.

12.13pm BST

24th over: England 94-3 (Taylot 24, Sciver 17) Clouds have closed in at HQ, I’m afraid. I think it’s starting to spit but the players are still cracking on. The lights have been on for some time, which I didn’t mention earlier. Groundstaff tetchy…

12.12pm BST

23rd over: England 91-3 (Taylor 21, Sciver 17) Another few singles and India are starting to set some obscure fields. Three people occupying a small area on the legside fence – that kind of stuff.

Groundsmen are moving their chairs. Not a good sign, rain coming by the look of it.

12.07pm BST

22nd over: England 88-3 (Taylor 19, Sciver 16) More singles between these two. Steady as they go.

Sarah Taylor is just so so good to watch. One of the finer sights in world cricket @Vitu_E

12.02pm BST

21st over: England 85-3 (Taylor 17, Sciver 15) Steady as they go, with Taylor and Sciver pushing singles to the boundary-riders. That’s new, by the way. England struggled previous to negotiate situations when their boundary options were cut off. Now, especially with Sciver and Taylor, they have enough nous and the game to push into gaps. Confidence, too. That’s the biggest change.


11.58am BST

20th over: England 80-3 (Taylor 14, Sciver 13) A couple of iffy singles in and among them but a handy six from the over. Sciver’s nearly caught short as she charges towards the keeper’s end but, even with a direct hit, she just makes her ground.

11.55am BST

19th over: England 74-3 (Talyor 10, Sciver 11) And another for Sciver… this time using her feet to get down to meet the leggie on the full to bunt through midwicket. Goswami, out on the leg side, needs to be four times as big and five times as quick to cut that one off.

11.53am BST

18th over: England 69-3 (Taylor 10, Sciver 6)

Sciver in the mood. Again. A bit of flight from Deepti Sharma and she gets right to the pitch of the ball, hitting towards the Pavilion for four.

11.50am BST

17th over: England 64-3 (Taylor 10, Sciver 1) Beating 370 twice is all well and good, but you don’t want to fall in a heap in a final. Sciver off the mark with a strike through cover. And I mean through cover.

Mithali’s third brilliant referral of the comp. #WWC17

11.44am BST

Not out is the onfield call but even Knight knows she’s lucky to get the benefit of the umpire’s doubt. Mithali Raj sends it upstairs and the replays show that Knight wasn’t able to get her front pad out of the way for that sweep. Yadav strikes three reds and that’s it for the skipper done. England have lost three for 16…

11.41am BST

16th over: England 63-2 (Taylor 10, Knight 1) These two exchange the strike just the once, as Deepti Sharma switches to the Pavilion End

11.39am BST

15th over: England 61-2 (Taylor 9, Knight 0) Potential for turning a good start in to a sticky one. Bit unnecessary from Beaumont, who had got out of her funk with that overdue boundary.

11.32am BST

Ha, it wouldn’t be a Women’s World Cup match without a dismissal off a full toss from a leggie. Poonam Yadav is the recipient of this wicket. Beaumont the one with egg on her face. It dips just before Beaumont tries to lash it into the Grandstand – Goswami takes a few giant strides in from the legside fence to take the catch.

11.29am BST

14th over: England 59-1 (Beaumont 23, Taylor 7) That’s the new ST30 in a nutshell. Bit of air from Gayakwad and Taylor is down the track, extending the arms into a drive and beating mid on and mid off, who are up in the circle. When mid on is dropped back, she punches the single to give Beaumont a go, cutting behind point. It was her first scoring shot in 16 balls…

11.26am BST

13th over: England 52-1 (Beaumont 19, Taylor 4) Fifty up with a wide as Deepti Sharma tries to tempt Taylor with some width. She’s a great in waiting, is Sharma. She’s not quite set the tournament alight with her batting, aside from a 78 against Sri Lanka, but she’s gone a handy job with the ball.

11.22am BST

12th over: England 49-1 (Beaumont 19, Taylor 3) Out walks Sarah Taylor and up sit a few journalists in this press box. What a story this would be: returning from a year out of the game – a break which she thought might be permanent – and unfurling a masterclass in a home final. Quills at the ready…

11.18am BST

A dab around the corner too many? Gayakwd, this time from over the wicket, cramps Winfield for room, yet the right-hander still insists on trying to create an angle and ends up being bowled around her legs!

11.16am BST

11th over: England 47-0 (Winfield 24, Beaumont 19)

15 straight dot balls. John Buchanan’s spidey sense must be tingling.

11.13am BST

10th over: England 43-0 (Winfield 22, Beaumont 19) The Power Play ends with two consecutive maidens (remember that bit earlier about one too many dot balls in the opening 10?). Nevertheless, 43 for no loss is an improvement for these two.

11.11am BST

9th over: England 43-0 (Winfield 22, Beaumont 19) OUT! No… Winfield survives! Goswami looks to have pinned Winfield in front. And the umpire thinks so too, taking a moment before sending the right-hander on her way. The great Vic Marks, sat to my right, reckoned that was hitting leg. However, Hawkeye shows it to be continuing its path just wide of the stump. Finally, after a host of starts, is that the bit of luck Winfield needs to finally register a score of note? A second consecutive maiden for Goswami.

11.07am BST

8th over: England 42-0 (Beaumont 19, Winfield 22) Change of bowling as the slow left-arm of Rajeshwari Gayakward comes on to replace Pandey from the Pavilion End. A “New England” clinic follows. Rather than pat back in front of square, Winfield drops to one knee and tickles a couple around the corner for four. Used her initiative brilliantly, there, which is hard for most, let alone a player who has come into a World Cup final with little by way of form.

11.01am BST

7th over: England 30-0 (Beaumont 19, Winfield 10)

Our first maiden of the innings. Respectful from these two, as Goswami tightens them up. A few who know better – can’t move for ex-pros in this box (I’ve got two former England internationals to my right) – say that these bowlers should swap ends.

10.57am BST

6th over: England 30-0 (Beaumont 19, Winfield 10) Consecutive fours from Beaumont – the first lashed through point; the second caressed – brings the heartiest cheers of the day. The sort that can be heard outside. Literally, Jamie:

Lovely atmosphere outside the ground @Vitu_E – we can hear the crowd roar and there’s a desperation to get inside #ticketcollection #Lords

10.55am BST

5th over: England 21-0 (Winfield 10, Beaumont 10) Smarter from Beaumont and Winfield. One of the areas that women’s cricket needs to work on is manouervering singles in the only 10-overs, with only two outside of the circle. Two singles and a two in that over see four scored with little fuss. Worth knocking it about while Goswami and Pandey struggle to find the right lines.

10.51am BST

4th over: England 17-0 (Beaumont 9, Winfield 7) Tidier from Pandey, who thinks she’s taken for four by Winfield only for point to pull out a fine stop.

The current scene. Keep everything crossed that this holds, you good souls:

Need to capture that sun before it leaves!! The atmosphere is tangibly different, it’s making me emotional! #WWC17

10.47am BST

3rd over: England 15-0 (Winfield 6, Beaumont 9) Goswami’s not getting great carry through to the keeper, but she is offering width. When one does get up enough, Beaumont – no higher than your knee – gets hold of a cut enough to beat point for four.

10.42am BST

2nd over: England 11-0 (Winfield 6, Beaumont 5) Shikha Pandey, as per, runs in from the Pavilion End and Winfield takes one off her pads through square leg for her and England’s first boundary. There shouldn’t be a second, but some slack fielding at mid on – proper Tower Bridge effort – gives Beaumont one, too. Again – the noise. Incredible.

A good morning to Steven Cooper: “What a stunning match on Thursday. People will be talking about Harmanpreet Kaur’s knock for a long time.” Thankfully, she’s overcome a shoulder injury to make today’s XI.
“I thought Australia did well to get so close in the end. India are probably going to have to produce a similar level of performance today to take anything from this match, particularly after losing the toss. The tournament has been a real boost for women’s cricket. I’m supporting India, but hoping for a competitive match with both teams at their best.”

10.37am BST

1st over: England 1-0 (Winfield 1, Beaumont 0) Jhulan Goswami, leading ODI wicket-taker, in her last World Cup, gets us underway from the Nursery End. Lauren Winfield, one part of the Bash ‘Em sisters, lets the first ball go by. The roars are over the top. It’s just a dot ball, lads and lasses. I don’t think they care. A single to third man and England, the crowd and this match are underway…

10.30am BST

Right – come at me with your words. Tweet me with at @Vitu_E or go ahead pass on any longer thoughts to my humungous email address,

Eileen Whelan was given the honour of ringing the bell for the start of play. She played for England, Middlesex and the Civil Service. She says the two things that keep her fit are yoga and wine. She’s 105. There’s a lesson for all of us…

10.20am BST

As expected, you’d say. England aren’t too hot on chasing – they managed to get away with it in the semi-final against South Africa – but setting and defending is what they do best. Both sides are unchanged from their respective semi-finals.

England: L Winfield, T Beaumont, S Taylor, H Knight, N Sciver, F Wilson, K Brunt, J Gunn, A Shrubsole, L Marsh, A Hartley

That’s certainly a unique way to deliver the #WWC17 trophy!!

10.02am BST

There’s a danger of overstating just how big a deal today is. And the last thing you’d want from a Guardian Over-by-Over blog is hyperbole (ahem). But walk with me, for a moment. Up until 1999, women weren’t allowed to be MCC members. So, you know, people like Rachel Heyhoe-Flint – the woman who came up with the idea for a World Cup (the women got their first, FYI) – Enid Bakewell and countless other trailblazers couldn’t set foot in the Pavilion on their own. Now, they’ll probably be on the sauce an hour into this match and get royally tanked. As they should.

This day has been a long time coming. Alex Hartley, who played four seasons for Middlesex Women has never played on this pitch. She’s never even used the Nursery Ground to turn her arm over (it pelted it down all day yesterday). The brilliant thing was seeing the number of girls and boys accompanying their parents to Lord’s. For some, it’ll be their first experience of this ground, let alone women’s cricket. Never mind women’s cricket, opening Lord’s to so many more (£30 for your most expensive ticket is good going).

Crowd at St Johns Wood tube station ahead of Lords #WWC17final #sellout #gameon @ICC

2.01pm BST

Vithushan will be here soon enough. In the meantime, here’s a scene-setter for a momentous day for women’s cricket:

An England win could kickstart a new generation of players in this country. Success for India could see funding go through the roof as the BCCI look to build on its success with initiatives such as a women’s IPL. Regardless of what Raj has done and what Knight will do, this 2017 World Cup final is the most important match of their careers.

Related: Women’s World Cup 2017: England fully prepared for destructive India

Continue reading…

Permanent link to this article:

Jul 21

England take on India at sold-out Lord’s in Women’s World Cup final to savour

Alex Hartley spent four seasons with Middlesex and has never played at the game’s headquarters but she gets her chance on Sunday for England against India

It is a quirk of the women’s game – one that does not reflect well on domestic cricket – that England’s left-arm spinner Alex Hartley, having spent four seasons playing for Middlesex before returning to her home county Lancashire this summer, has never played at Lord’s. In fact, only in her last two seasons at the club were the Middlesex Women allowed to use the indoor school, situated next to the Nursery Ground, and they have never trained on the grass wickets.

The only chance she had to have a good look around Lord’s came about 10 years ago, when she accompanied her father on a tour of the ground. With England training here before their sold-out final against India on Sunday, the 23-year-old took the chance to take in her surroundings on Thursday.

Related: Tammy Beaumont: ‘I genuinely doubted whether I was good enough’

Related: Sarah Taylor revels in tense finish as England make Women’s World Cup final

Continue reading…

Permanent link to this article:

Jun 21

Amnesty International: fans arrested in India for cheering Pakistan win ‘must be freed’

• Nineteen men arrested in India following Pakistan’s Champions Trophy win
• Fans face life imprisonment for sedition for chanting pro-Pakistan slogans

Nineteen cricket fans arrested in India for celebrating Pakistan’s win against India in the Champions Trophy “should be released immediately”, according to Amnesty International.

On Monday police in Madhya Pradesh arrested 15 people in Burhanpur for allegedly committing “sedition” by shouting “pro-Pakistan” and “anti-India” slogans. Four more cricket fans were arrested in Karnataka allegedly for celebrating Pakistan’s 180-run win.

Related: Hail the Unbelievables! How Pakistan found cricketing redemption

Related: Unstoppable Pakistan crush India by 180 runs to win Champions Trophy final

Continue reading…

Permanent link to this article:

Jun 20

Anil Kumble steps down as India head coach

• Kumble steps down just three days before limited-overs tour of the Caribbean
• BCCI had invited applications for the head coach role last month

Anil Kumble has stepped down as head coach of India just three days before their limited-overs tour of the Caribbean gets under way.

The 46-year-old, who took on the role 12 months ago, led India to the final of the Champions Trophy, where they were defeated by fierce rivals Pakistan at The Oval.

Related: Hail the Unbelievables! How Pakistan found cricketing redemption

Continue reading…

Permanent link to this article:

Jun 20

Sarfraz Ahmed receives hero’s welcome on return to Karachi – video

Pakistan captain Sarfraz Ahmed arrived home to a hero’s welcome in Karachi on Tuesday after Pakistan’s win over arch-rivals India in the ICC Champions Trophy final. Fans crowded into the streets and waiting through the night to catch a glimpse of him with the trophy. The captain dedicated the win to the fans, and said he hoped to bring more trophies to Pakistan

Continue reading…

Permanent link to this article:

Jun 19

Champions Trophy 2017 review: our writers’ awards and hopes

Pakistan won most neutrals’ hearts with their final win over India while England still have work to do to when they host the next World Cup

Fakhar Zaman, an unknown three weeks ago, restored our faith in fairytales, scoring vital runs in every game he played, culminating in that hundred at The Oval. Vic Marks

Related: Sarfraz Ahmed’s alley cats are streets ahead as they seize the moment | Barney Ronay

Related: Pakistan thrash sorry England to reach Champions Trophy final

Related: Pakistan beat South Africa in rain-hit match to revive Champions Trophy bid

Continue reading…

Permanent link to this article:

Jun 18

Pakistan captain hopes Champions Trophy win jogs a few memories at home

• Sarfraz Ahmed: Hopefully playing nations [now] come to Pakistan
• Let’s hope this kick-starts momentum in Pakistan again, says Mickey Arthur

Pakistan produced a story for the ages as they defied all pre-tournament predictions and thrashed their much-fancied rivals, India, to win the Champions Trophy. With victory by 180 runs in the final, Sarfraz Ahmed lifted their first 50-over trophy since the 1992 World Cup.

Ranked No8 in the world at the start of the tournament, Pakistan endured a harrowing defeat against the same opposition at Edgbaston a fortnight ago, and few could have envisaged they would be celebrating on the podium at the end of their reunion in the final, having posted 338 for four after losing the toss then bowling out Virat Kohli’s side for 158 in 30.3 overs.

Related: Sarfraz Ahmed’s alley cats are streets ahead as they seize the moment | Barney Ronay

Continue reading…

Permanent link to this article:

Jun 18

Sarfraz Ahmed’s alley cats are streets ahead as they seize the moment | Barney Ronay

Pakistan’s Champions Trophy final defeat of India showed that success in sport can emerge from a less managed environment with perseverance and craft

Rip up the ECB blueprint. Ditch the talent‑pathway, bin the nannying selection policies, puncture the sealed blue Lycra juggernaut. Pakistan are ICC Champions Trophy champions, a victory not just for Sarfraz Ahmed’s wonderfully balanced and skilful team, but also for the idea that success in sport can emerge from a less managed environment, from talent, perseverance and the sheer nerve and craft to seize the moment in front of you.

If Imran Khan’s world champions were cornered tigers this Pakistan team are more a bunch of Manhattan alley cats, an agreeably feisty mix of strays, old hands and kittenish brio, transformed into champions in the last two weeks by a peculiar sporting alchemy. Pakistan did not just creep past India at the Oval. They romped home by 180 runs, outplaying on every register superstar opponents fed by a powerhouse domestic scene, but cowed here into a horribly flaccid heap of wafts and nibbles.

Related: Pakistan v India talking points: Fakhar Zaman drives Pakistan’s transformation | Ali Martin

Related: ICC Champions Trophy 2017: the story of the tournament in pictures

Continue reading…

Permanent link to this article:

Jun 18

Pakistan v India talking points: Fakhar Zaman drives Pakistan’s transformation | Ali Martin

Pakistan’s surge was complete in the Champions Trophy final, with Fakhar Zaman and Sarfraz Ahmed vital to their victory

Fakhar Zaman neatly summed up the glorious chaos from which Pakistan seems to draw its cricketing strength, having begun the Champions Trophy as an uncapped drinks carrier and ended it with a maiden one-day international hundred in just his fourth appearance, an average of 63 and a shiny winner’s medal. There was chaos along the way in the left‑hander’s 114 from 106 balls too, not least the edge behind on three off a no-ball, the four leg-byes that pinged off his helmet in the following over and some wacky running that included the mix-up that left Azhar Ali run out. But the counter-attack that followed his opening partner’s demise was breathtaking in its execution, not least the takedown of the two Ravis, Ashwin and Jadeja, that plundered the spin twins for eight fours and three sixes including one audacious straight hockey-style club off the former. A decade on from a spell as a trainee in the Pakistan navy, it has been plain-sailing for Fakhar at the start of his international voyage.

Continue reading…

Permanent link to this article:

Jun 18

Unstoppable Pakistan crush India by 180 runs to win Champions Trophy final

Pakistan 338-4, India 158
• Pakistan win by 180 runs

A brilliant opening spell by Mohammed Amir followed by a near flawless performance in the field led to Pakistan taking the Champions Trophy with astonishing ease. They won by 180 runs against an Indian side widely tipped to prevail before the start.

Even after Pakistan had chalked up 338, which owed much to a barnstorming century from the new boy, Fakhar Zaman, there was still the feeling that the target was well within India’s compass, especially given Virat Kohli’s incredible record of scoring runs when chasing.

Related: Pakistan beat India by 180 runs to win ICC Champions Trophy 2017 final – as it happened

Continue reading…

Permanent link to this article:

Jun 18

Pakistan beat India by 180 runs to win ICC Champions Trophy 2017 final – as it happened

Fakhar Zaman’s remarkable hundred and Mohammad Amir’s immense new-ball spell drove Pakistan to a stunning victory over India

5.33pm BST

Our match report has arrived, so I’ll leave with you with that. Thanks for your company throughout a hugely enjoyable tournament, and thanks to Pakistan for thrilling us as only they can. Bye!

Related: Unstoppable Pakistan crush India by 180 runs to win Champions Trophy final

5.32pm BST

Sarfraz walks over with a big smile, raises the trophy and growls with delight. As he does so, all the players come flying down the podium to join him in celebration. Pakistan have won the Champions Trophy!

5.30pm BST

The Pakistan team are being called up to the podium one by one. Each man is putting a white jacket over his green kit. They look like a stag party of golfers. It’s quite a good look, and they can wear what they like after this performance.

5.26pm BST

Virat Kohli: “I want to congratulate Pakistan and their supporters. They had an amazing tournament. The way they turned things round speaks volumes for the talent they have. It’s disappointing for us but I have a smile on my face because I’m very proud of how we’ve played in this tournament. They outplayed us, they were more intense and passionate on the day.”

5.25pm BST

The Player of the Tournament is Hassan Ali. You never know with Pakistan (remember Mohammad Zahid, Basit Ali and others?) but he has the talent and personality to become a superstar.

5.23pm BST

We’ve updated our pictorial story of the tournament. You’re just one click away from viewing it.

Related: ICC Champions Trophy 2017: the story of the tournament in pictures

5.20pm BST

The Golden Bat goes to Shikhar Dhawan, the leading runscorer for the second consecutive Champions Trophy. The Golden Ball goes to Hassan Ali, the strutting catalyst of this Pakistan triumph who took three wickets in each of Pakistan’s four victories. He has been magnificent to watch.

5.18pm BST

The Man of the Match is the remarkable Fakhar Zaman. Of course it is. Fakhar, you Zaman.

5.16pm BST

Congratulations to Team Pakistan on their great performance in winning #CT17 And how wonderful to watch Fakhar’s raw talent in action.

5.14pm BST

Congratulations @TheRealPCB, the team & the whole country for such a great win.#CT17. Boys you made us happy & proud. Up & above 4rm here!

5.13pm BST

As Mike Atherton says on Sky, there are some brilliant individual stories to go with the collective triumph: Fakhar, who hadn’t played an ODI before this tournament, Mohammad Amir, Shadab Khan, Hassan Ali, Sarfraz; even Mohammad Hafeez’s death-hitting today.

Amir’s new-ball spell was staggeringly good. His dismissal of Kohli wasn’t just the champagne moment of the tournament, it was the Moet & Chandon Dom Perignon Charles & Diana 1961 moment.

5.09pm BST

Sarfraz is holding his child and chatting to his wife. The celebrations are actually quite muted – maybe it’s disbelief, maybe they’ve surprised even themselves. The manner and margin of their victories over England and India – after limping through the group stages – was staggering.

5.07pm BST

Hasan and Sarfraz to finish it. So appropriate. Them two have been beyond brilliant. What a captain, what a team.

5.06pm BST

The Pakistan players are draped in flags as they walk round the field. Their coach Mickey Arthur – who has known dark times of his own in England – is being interviewed.

“It’s been an up and down ride but I’m just so proud of the boys. We came back superbly after the first game, and the whole group kept believing. We knew we were better than we showed in that game. It’s a remarkable achievement, I’m so proud of everybody.”

5.05pm BST

If there’s been a more improbable Pakistan triumph than this, it’s yet to be written

5.01pm BST

Post-match interviews

Mohammad Hafeez: “Thanks to almighty Allah. It’s a great team effort. After losing the first game we were nowhere. I’m really happy for all of Pakistan because they’ve been waiting for this for a very long time. It’s a great day, I’m so happy.”

5.00pm BST

Virat Kohli is very gracious in defeat, smiling as he shakes hands with the Pakistan team. There’s no point getting upset about something that is beyond your control – and when the force is with Pakistan to this extent, it is not up to the opposition to decide who wins.

4.58pm BST

The last wicket was taken by Hassan, with Bumrah bounced out. Pakistan’s players all get to their knees in celebration. This, even by Pakistan’s standards, is a staggering story. They started the tournament as an egregious shambles; they ended it by slaughtering the hosts and the holders, who also happened to be England and India. They are and always will be the most interesting team in the history of sport.

4.55pm BST

Pakistan have done it!

4.53pm BST

30th over: India 158-9 (Kumar 1, Bumrah 1) Kumar slices Junaid high into the off side, just like Richard Illingworth did for the last wicket in the World Cup final 25 years ago, but this time it lands safely.

“Ponting is a remarkably prescient commentator,” says James Lane. “He literally said, ‘It’s amazing how little things like that can make you lose your wicket’ seconds before Jadeja edged to slip.”

4.49pm BST

29th over: India 156-9 (Kumar 0, Bumrah 0) With Pakistan on the brink of victory, Ramiz Raja is ushered back into the commentary box. That’s a nice touch. A wicket maiden from Hassan, who has electrified this tournament.

“Hi Rob, following the OBO whilst lying on a beach in Chicago Illinois,” says Thomas Walker. “Beautiful hot weather here, if only Americans had the good taste to play cricket instead of that garbage baseball. Anyway very excited for the Pakistan win, I think they’re everyone’s second favourite team – not having a home for all these years, they still keep fighting and do their nation proud. I had an Indian cabbie last night who was certain of an India win but was gracious enough to admit he’d be happy with a Pakistani win too. I feel like there’s a thawing in the cricket hatred between those two proud countries, hopefully that translates to politics too. Anyway, thanks for the coverage, can’t wait for the Ashes later in the year (Aussies to reclaim the urn of course).”

4.46pm BST

This is turning into an epic demolition! Ashwin fishes at a sharp lifter from the brilliant Hassan and edges through to Sarfraz. Pakistan, what are you doing to us?

4.44pm BST

28th over: India 156-8 (Ashwin 1, Kumar 0) Pakistan’s largest victory over India, when batting first, was by 159 runs at Delhi in 2005. This would be a reasonable occasion on which to set a new record. I must say, this morning I feared that the match might be hopelessly one-sided and an anti-climax. I was half right.

“That 2009 OBO was a trip down memory lane,” says Guy Hornsby. “Boom-Boom in his pomp, Gary Naylor in his pomp, Millings talking of gin & milk. Halcyon days. Never mind that though, whatever happened to Lou Roper?”

4.41pm BST

Pakistan are two wickets away from never-ending glory. Jadeja dabbles at the new bowler Junaid and edges to slip, where Babar takes a sharp catch.

4.39pm BST

27th over: India 154-7 (Jadeja 15, Ashwin 0) Jadeja actually dashed to get back in his crease before Pandya, to ensure he wasn’t run out. That, I would humbly suggest, was a serious error of judgement. Pandya hinted at a miracle; Jadeja hints at a 141-run defeat.

4.35pm BST

Oh my. Pandya is run out after a dismal mix-up. Jadeja pushed the new bowler Hassan into the covers and stood his ground; Pandya had set off and was stranded, with Jadeja for some reason not sacrificing himself. Maybe it all happened so fast and he didn’t have time to realise what was going on. Either way Pandya had a seriously affronted coupon as he walked off, and he smashed his bat against the boundary in frustration. No wonder: he had played a spectacular innings of 76 from 43 balls.

4.33pm BST

26th over: India 152-6 (Pandya 76, Jadeja 13) Pandya launches Fakhar for consecutive sixes over midwicket, the second a monster. That’s his sixth six of the innings, and he has 76 from 43 balls. Is something brilliant happening?

“Absolutely delighted for Pakistan,” says Andrew Hurley. “Great for cricket. That is all.”

4.28pm BST

25th over: India 137-6 (Pandya 63, Jadeja 11) Shadab continues, despite being taken for 23 by Pandya in the previous over. This time Jadeja faces most of the over, and there are just three runs from it.

“It’s late here in Kuala Lumpur,” says my former colleague Mina Ashraf. “What’s your energy drink du jour, iIneed some.”

4.26pm BST

24th over: India 134-6 (Pandya 62, Jadeja 9) Six balls from Fakhar, six singles.

4.23pm BST

23rd over: India 128-6 (Pandya 59, Jadeja 6) Pandya hits three consecutive sixes off Shadab to move to a storming 32-ball fifty. It will probably mean nothing, but he has played outrageously well. A furious drive through extra cover for four makes it 23 from the over. India need 211 from 27 overs.

4.20pm BST

22nd over: India 105-6 (Pandya 36, Jadeja 6) Fakhar continues with his occasional left-arm spin. India milk him for three singles, which is not enough, or indeed in the same continent as enough.

“What does the Win Predictor say?” says Kabir Sethi. I think it’s showing a negative percentage for India.

4.18pm BST

21st over: India 102-6 (Pandya 33, Jadeja 5) Pandya is playing extremely well, and clouts Shadab through the covers for four.

“Slightly disappointing, looking at that yesteryear OBO Naylor linked to, that even back then my main topic of conversation was booze,” says Phil Sawyer. “It’s almost like I have nothing else in my life.”

4.15pm BST

20th over: India 93-6 (Pandya 27, Jadeja 3) Mercurial, emotional, raw talent, when they get on a roll … Pakistan even give cliches a good name. I don’t know how they have done this. I’m not even sure what they’ve done. Nothing can top 1992, we know that, but this comes close It’s telling that, on all three occasions Pakistan have won ICC tournaments*, they were thrashed in the opening game. In Pakistan cricket, chaos and glory are siblings.

Anyway, Imad Wasim comes into the attack – and then limps off after three deliveries. Fakhar Zaman completes a boundaryless over, which means India need 246 from 30 overs.

4.09pm BST

19th over: India 89-6 (Pandya 24, Jadeja 2) Pandya is batting in a bubble, almost ignoring the match situation. He drives Shadab for a huge six down the ground and has 24 from 18 balls.

4.06pm BST

18th over: India 80-6 (Pandya 17, Jadeja 0) “Hi Rob,” says Farooq Khan. “I live in São Paulo and we’re it not for OBO I wouldn’t be able to follow the match! Am absurdly nervous, trying my best not to think about glory for Pakistan! Could this be the end of a long long run of losses to India in big ODI tournaments…..ZINDABADDD!!! PS – my Brazilian wife is feigning excitement also and I’ve nearly crashed three times while driving while looking at the updated.”

Legal disclaimer: the Guardian is not responsible for etc and so forth.

4.02pm BST

17th over: India 72-6 (Pandya 11, Jadeja 0) That was the last ball of the over.

4.01pm BST

Jadhav slogs a big legbreak miles in the air, and Sarfraz charges round to short extra cover to take the catch. Shadab, at the age of 18, has two wickets in the Champions Trophy final, and Pakistan are administering a thrashing of epic proportions.

3.58pm BST

16th over: India 67-5 (Jadhav 9, Pandya 4) I wonder what Misbah is up to today. After the miseries of 2007 and 2011, this will mean plenty to him.

“You and me eight years ago,” says Gary Naylor,

producing a photo of an erotic persuasion that I don’t recall being taken
. “The last par here may well be in play again.” Amen to that. Their ability to summon a collective force that no team can stop is endlessly fascinating.

3.53pm BST

15th over: India 62-5 (Jadhav 5, Pandya 3) Jadhav dumps Shadab impatiently over midwicket for four. India need 277 from 35 overs.

“If Pakistan win, that means that England didn’t choke,” says Felix Wood. “They merely facilitated this great story. England did this. You’re welcome, world.”

3.51pm BST

14th over: India 54-5 (Jadhav 0, Pandya 0) I know nothing can ever top 1992, but this victory will go into folklore. The ICC rankings say Pakistan are the eighth-best ODI team in the world. A fortnight ago, that ranking flattered them. Now they are going to win the Champions Trophy by slaughtering their two greatest rivals in the semi-final and the final. England, India and logic have taken one helluva beating.

“Do you think Osman Samiuddin is furiously scribbling an update to The Unquiet Ones?” asks Jonny Sultoon. I hope so, that book is a masterpiece. Also, this tweet.

I wrote a history of Pakistan cricket and I have no qualms in admitting there are days when I know nothing about how they work.

3.46pm BST

Another one! Another one! Dhoni hooks Hassan flat towards deep midwicket, where Imad Wasim takes an excellent running catch.

3.45pm BST

13th over: India 54-4 (Dhoni 4, Jadhav 0) That was the last ball of the over. It was lovely bowling, particularly straight after the wrong’un. This is, unless you’re an Indian fan, feelgood cricket for the ages.

3.44pm BST

The teenage leggie Shadab Khan strikes in his first over! Yuvraj, beaten by the googly the previous delivery, pushed forward tentatively with bat close to pad. It was pad first and, although the umpire gave it not out, Shadab pretty much demanded that Sarfraz go for the review. He did, and replays showed it was hitting middle halfway up. Pakistan – absurd, brilliant, beautiful, unfathomable Pakistan – are rampant.

3.38pm BST

12th over: India 50-3 (Yuvraj 21, Dhoni 1) The brilliant Hassan Ali is coming into the attack. Yuvraj looks much more confident now and whaps a couple through midwicket. A single brings Dhoni on strike and he leaves a few more deliveries outside off stump.

“I am so so so so nervous,” says Aryan Rana. Wait until it goes to a Super Over.

3.32pm BST

11th over: India 47-3 (Yuvraj 18, Dhoni 1) I think Amir would have come off had he not taken that third wicket. He did, so he continues. Dhoni, who takes his time to play himself in regardless of the circumstances, leaves a series of deliveries angled across him. A maiden from Amir, who has lovely figures of 6-2-16-3.

3.28pm BST

10th over: India 47-3 (Yuvraj 18, Dhoni 1) The offspinner Mohammad Hafeez comes into the attack. Yuvraj, who had been so nervous against the seamers, punishes him for three superb boundaries. Fourteen from the over! If India want to know how to win this game, they don’t need to look too far back for a precedent of sorts.

3.25pm BST

9th over: India 33-3 (Yuvraj 6, Dhoni 0) That was the last ball of the over. Replays show it was a cross-seam delivery from Amir, which popped to take the edge.

3.24pm BST

Dhawan, who was playing extremely well, pushed outside off stump and edged straight through to Sarfraz. The line and length were immaculate. Mohammad Amir is bowling gloriously! He has three for 16 in five overs. After all he has been through, and all Pakistan have been through, this almost brings a lump to the throat.

3.22pm BST

On 18 June 2017, in the city of London, Mohammad Amir achieved greatness. He’s got another one!

3.17pm BST

8th over: India 31-2 (Dhawan 20, Yuvraj 5) Dhawan launches into a bit of width from Junaid, flashing a couple of excellent boundaries through the covers. He is playing as if nothing has happened at the other end.

3.14pm BST

7th over: India 22-2 (Dhawan 11, Yuvraj 5) Amir is bowling tremendously, with just a leg-bye from his fourth over. He’d be on the longlist for the Joy of Six: Big-Game Players. I know not everyone will agree but his success fills me with joy, because of his genius, his backstory and his sheer Pakistanness.

“Rob!” says Sahar Ahmed. “I’m sitting here all alone in Dublin of all places to be during what is turning out to be INSANITY AT ITS FINEST and I think I’m losing my mind! Bhangra dancing on my own in my studio flat with shoddy streaming on my laptop!”

3.10pm BST

6th over: India 21-2 (Dhawan 11, Yuvraj 5) Yuvraj, who has started pretty nervously, top-edges Junaid for four and is beaten outside off next ball. India bat really deep – they have Ashwin or Jadeja at No9 – so they shouldn’t panic yet. This, I realise, is easier said than done.

3.06pm BST

5th over: India 16-2 (Dhawan 10, Yuvraj 1) Dhawan gets the first boundaries of the innings, hooking Amir for four and then driving superbly through extra cover. He ends the over with a loose push that flies just wide of the diving Shadab at backward point. This is scorching stuff.

“People said I was mad when I said Pakistan can’t lose from here, back in over 28,” says Pete Salmon. “But who’s mad now – he who was called mad, or those who would call him so? Eh? Anyone else reading Foucault at the moment?”

3.03pm BST

4th over: India 7-2 (Dhawan 1, Yuvraj 1) Pakistan. Pakistan. Two weeks ago they were marmalised by India, and looked like one of the worst Pakistan ODI teams in living memory. They sneaked into the semi-finals, where they demolished the hosts. Now they are all over the holders, with Junaid bowling an excellent maiden to Yuvraj.

2.57pm BST

3rd over: India 7-2 (Dhawan 1, Yuvraj 1) Amir bowled a majestic spell in the 2009 World T20 final, when Pakistan beat Sri Lanka, but this is off the scale: he has dismissed Rohit, had Kohli dropped and then got him next ball. After everything he has been through in England, this would be quite an update to his life story.

2.55pm BST

Kohli had been dropped at first slip, a simple chance to Azhar, but Amir just kept attacking the outside edge. Kohli tried to work to leg and got a leading edge to backward point, where Shadab took a simple catch. Pakistan’s cornered tigers are savaging India!

2.54pm BST

Mohammad Amir has dismissed Virat Kohli the ball after having him dropped! This is extraordinary. I can barely feel my fingers!

2.50pm BST

2nd over: India 4-1 (Dhawan 1, Kohli 3) The left-armer Junaid Khan shares the new ball. He has some ODI record against Kohli – two runs, three wickets – and has two balls at him after a single from Dhawan. Kohli ignores the first and works the single for a single, taking his Junaid Average from 0.66 to 1.00.

“Hey Rob!” says Tim Cooper. “Spirits here in the Oxford University Club bar are very high, perhaps because they have Paulaner Hefe Dunkel on TAP!”

2.46pm BST

1st over: India 2-1 (Dhawan 0, Kohli 2) Amir’s first ball cuts Kohli in half. This is a sensational tone-setting over from Amir. Replays show Rohit was right not to review that LBW – it pitched in line and would have hit the top of the stumps.

2.42pm BST

Amir has returned to the side after missing the semi-final with a back spasm. He bowled a sensational first over to Rohit in the group stage, beating him three times I think. This time he’s got him! Rohit has gone third ball, LBW to a beautiful inswinger! That is a huge moment for two reasons: Rohit, who is averaging millions in this tournament, and Virat Kohli, who is averaging gazillions, is in against the new ball and his nemesis Junaid Khan. It was a peach from Amir, a classic left-armer’s dismissal. Rohit discussed a review with Dhawan, perhaps thinking it pitched outside leg, but decided against it.

2.39pm BST

In the group match between these sides, Pakistan opened the bowling with the left-arm spinner Imad Wasim. I don’t think he’ll need to get loose for a while yet. Pakistan will surely attack India with left-arm pace in an attempt to get early wickets.

2.36pm BST

How are your nerves? You can email me on about this, that or even the cricket.

2.21pm BST

Some lunchtime reading (and, er, looking)

The gallery is especially good.

Related: ICC Champions Trophy 2017: the story of the tournament in pictures

Related: Jenny Gunn laughs off chucker taunts and trains sights on World Cup glory

Related: Women’s Cricket World Cup: Australia favourites but England could go close | Vithushan Ehantharajah

Related: The Recap: sign up for the best of the Guardian’s sport coverage

2.18pm BST

Thanks Tim, hello all. At the start of this tournament, Pakistan and India thought they were competing for the Champions Trophy. Turns out there was something else on offer: immortality. Either Pakistan will win the tournament by beating India in the final, having gone from the ridiculous to the sublime in record time; or India will do so by chasing down 339 – a record in an ODI final – to beat Pakistan. Take the 2005 Ashes celebrations, multiply them by a thousand and you’re still nowhere near.

This is going to be immense. It’s already immense. And it will be settled by a contest between two irresistible forces – India’s batsmen and Pakistan’s bowlers. Virat Kohli, perhaps the greatest matchwinner in ODI history, and with an average of 253 in this tournament, could cement his legend today – or Hassan Ali, the revelation of the Champions Trophy along with Fakhar Zaman, could create his own. Whatever happens in the next 50 overs, we will be talking it for a long time, probably forever.

2.14pm BST

50th over: Pakistan 338-4 (Mohammad Hafeez 57, Imad Wasim 25) Hafeez, swapping elegance for cute force, smites a slower ball from Kumar back over his head for six. No more fireworks off the last few balls, but even so that’s a great effort from Pakistan. With their bowlers, and their mid-innings wiles, they should be able to defend this. But India have the stronger batting on paper, and the pitch is a belter, so it’s still anyone’s game. Stick around and Rob will talk you through the second half of the day. Thanks for reading, writing and cracking those rueful jokes. Here’s Nabeel Younas again: “Still waiting for them to self-explode. Guess I’ll have to wait a little longer … On a slightly more serious note, the key is getting out Kohli before he gets going.” Absolutely.

2.07pm BST

49th over: Pakistan 329-4 (Mohammad Hafeez 50, Imad Wasim 23) Bumrah hits the stumps – and the bails stay on! A reprieve for Hafeez, who jammed down too late on a yorker. The camera catches Kohli looking daggers at the gods, as well he may. Then there’s a free hit, which Hafeez on-drives for a couple, an da single in the same direction which takes him to a superb 50 off 34. This is now the highest score in the tournament. And then there’s another no-ball. Sloppy from Bumrah, though he does well to confine the damage from the free hit to a single.

An email turns up from Krishnamoorthy. “And talking about DC Boon, he used to remind me of the detective Thomson (or Thompson) of Tintin. Those were the days of the unfortunate Indian supporter, when Australia used to slaughter India regularly.” Not just India.

2.01pm BST

48th over: Pakistan 318-4 (Mohammad Hafeez 46, Imad Wasim 20) Kumar keeps the batsmen down to singles, but the 50 partnership comes up off only 31 balls. Imad tries a reverse hook, and gets a leg-bye off the elbow: painful, but effective. Only five off the over, as Kumar remains a beacon of excellence.

1.56pm BST

47th over: Pakistan 313-4 (Mohammad Hafeez 44, Imad Wasim 18) Bumrah starts his over well, dealing in singles, but as so often today, Pakistan adapt and find the rope: Imad murders a perfectly decent slower ball through mid-off. He has 18 off 11.

ATB, representing Australia, picks up on our conversation from the 42nd over. “‘We need to know how many cans of lager he had on the flight over.’ Not as many as the Indian bowlers. :-)”

1.52pm BST

46th over: Pakistan 304-4 (Mohammad Hafeez 41, Imad Wasim 12) Hafeez puts a faint blot on his copybook by turning a three into a two after slapping Kumar to the cover boundary. But this is spectacular batting. And Rob Smyth has a good spot for you. “Only twice has a team chased over 300 to win an ODI final, but both times it was India: Lord’s 2002 and Dhaka 1998, the latter against Pakistan.”

1.49pm BST

Hafeez does it the stylish way with another six, pulled over square leg, Ponting-style. And it was a slower ball from Kumar. Take that!

1.47pm BST

45th over: Pakistan 294-4 (Mohammad Hafeez 32, Imad Wasim 11) Just when Jadhav’s round arm threatens to take the bounce and the fun out of the equation, Hafeez gets to the pitch and lofts him for six. And then Imad follows suit, with more of a low mow, but it’s six more. Hafeez has 32 off only 20 balls, and Pakistan are back in charge.

1.44pm BST

44th over: Pakistan 278-4 (Mohammad Hafeez 24, Imad Wasim 3) Back comes Bumrah, and Hafeez tucks him for a silky four. Each time there has been a setback, the next man has stepped up: textbook team sport from Pakistan. And you can’t always say that.

Over on Twitter, ATB is back for more. “Just looked at the full scorecard. Umpire DC Boon. Our own David Boon an umpire! When did that happen?” Referee, technically, but point taken. We need to know how many cans of lager he had on the flight over.

1.39pm BST

43rd over: Pakistan 270-4 (Mohammad Hafeez 18, Imad Wasim 1) Sometimes a bit of round-arm filth is just what you need. Although, to be fair, Jadhav does bowl properly some of the time, and that over goes for only four.

1.36pm BST

Kohli goes back to Jadhav and a ploy that looked desperate turns out to be inspired, as Babar lofts him to long-off. Pakistan are 267-4 and India are hanging in there.

1.34pm BST

42nd over: Pakistan 266-3 (Babar Azam 46, Mohammad Hafeez 15) Kumar finally takes some punishment as Hafeez pulls for four. The commentators reckon Sarfraz has sent him with a licence to hit.

An email arrives from Romeo. “Bhuvi [Kumar] is probably my favourite Indian cricketer, but Karachista/Selima [34th over] should know I am both neutral and enjoying a great game – but also supporting Pakistan.” It’s complicated.

1.29pm BST

41st over: Pakistan 257-3 (Babar Azam 44, Mohammad Hafeez 9) The Jadhav experiment is cut short as Jadeja returns. Hafeez belts him for a straight four off his very first ball, an follows up with a delicate sweep for four more. The slow bowlers’ bill now stands at 144 off 19 overs. If Pakistan win, that will be the reason why.

1.26pm BST

40th over: Pakistan 247-3 (Babar Azam 42, Mohammad Hafeez 0) An exemplary over from Kumar, who now has 1-11 off six.

A tweet lands from Ebly Pamplemousse. “You’re forgetting India’s unerring ability to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory. As such, the match can go either way.” Right now, they are snatching respectability from the jaws of humiliation.

1.24pm BST

Kumar ties Shoaib down, so he tries to break free with a tennis smash, which just goes up in the air. Jadhav takes a redemptive catch and Pakistan are 247-3.

1.20pm BST

39th over: Pakistan 246-2 (Babar Azam 42, Shoaib Malik 12) Kohli, in a tight corner, turns to Kedar Jadhav and his amateurish round-arm – allegedly off-breaks, but surely not spinning. Shoaib marks the occasion by removing his helmet. Jadhav concedes a row of singles, which is fine, and two wides, which is mildly unforgivable.

1.15pm BST

38th over: Pakistan 239-2 (Babar Azam 39, Shoaib Malik 10) Babar slaps a four through backward point, and then surpasses himself with a flick off the hip for four more. “Shot of the day so far,” says Shane Warne, which is high praise. Babar, who inched to 11 off his first 23 balls, has 28 off 19 since the fall of Fakhar’s wicket. This may be the morning of Sarfraz Ahmed’s dreams.

Ian Copestake is back at us. “Ashwin has clearly not heeded the lesson to be learned from a certain pool scene in Caddyshack, namely that no good will ever come of floaters.”

1.11pm BST

37th over: Pakistan 227-2 (Babar Azam 28, Shoaib Malik 10) Kohli brings back Jadeja, and Shoaib Malik comes to the party with a six, launched over long-off. India’s spinners, both fine bowlers, have gone for 127 off 17 overs.

1.07pm BST

36th over: Pakistan 216-2 (Babar Azam 25, Shoaib Malik 2) Tidy again from Pandya, but then Babar plays a front-foot pull for four, which draws applause from Kohli. Good shot, sporting response. Babar is stepping up here, just as Fakhar did.

A tweet arrives from Benjamin Parker. “With Fakhar gone, I reckon Pakistan are just as likely to be 280 all out as reaching 350.”

1.03pm BST

35th over: Pakistan 209-2 (Babar Azam 18, Shoaib Malik 2) Cometh the hour, cometh the Babar: an elegant tuck off Bumrah, and that’s Babar’s first four, off his 27th ball. At the other end Pandya has 1-34 off eight overs, excellent going in the circumstances.

12.59pm BST

34th over: Pakistan 202-2 (Babar Azam 12, Shoaib Malik 1) So Pandya has a wicket, the first by an Indian bowler today. A fine over, and a sudden problem for Pakistan: Babar has been tentative, and Shoaib is rusty. Sky’s score predictor is saying 324, which seems too high to me.

Meanwhile, Karachista (between the 31st and 32nd overs) has decided to drop her alias. “You just made my day my mentioning me on #OBO,” she tweets, “and my real name is Salima.” So that may have made her day all over again.

12.55pm BST

Fakhar finally takes one risk too many, slogging Pandya over point, where Jadeja takes a fine catch running back. That should be the turning-point Kohli was praying for. Pakistan are 200-2.

12.53pm BST

33rd over: Pakistan 200-1 (Fakhar Zaman 114, Babar Azam 11) Ashwin continues – is this blind faith from Kohli? It feels like it as Fakhar clears his front leg out of the way and swings a slog-sweep for six. That’s the 200 up, and the fourth fifty took only 41 balls. Ashwin takes his cap with 0-70 off his ten overs. Spell-check wanted to call him Ashen just then, which is spot on.

12.49pm BST

32nd over: Pakistan 191-1 (Fakhar Zaman 106, Babar Azam 10) Pakistan have been winning matches with their mid-innings bowling. Here they are threatening to win one with their mid-innings batting. The curious thing is that India’s seamers have bowled well, with plenty of dots. Pandya keeps on asking the right questions, and Fakhar sometimes gives the wrong answer – charging down the track just now and mis-hitting to midwicket, but not in the air so he gets away with it. His edges tend to be bottom or inside edges, and that has saved his skin a few times.

12.45pm BST

An email from Karachista, which may not be their real name. “Peter Salmon [28th over] does realise he’s talking about Pakistan, right? As unpredictable as a British summer. Anything could happen.” For what it’s worth, the sun is looking very settled in the sky.

12.42pm BST

31st over: Pakistan 186-1 (Fakhar Zaman 103, Babar Azam 8) After running out his mate, Fakhar had to make amends – and he already has, by accelerating at just the moment when he might have gone into his shell. He made a nervous start, but the nineties were absolutely nerveless. That’s drinks, with Pakistan rampant. Kohli now has one job: to get Fahkar out.

12.38pm BST

A sweep off Ashwin, and that is a fabulous hundred on the biggest stage, off only 92 balls. What a Zaman.

12.36pm BST

30th over: Pakistan 179-1 (Fakhar Zaman 96, Babar Azam 8) Panda hits the same and beats Babar, who has been batting like it’s 1983. The dots are suddenly piling up. Will Fakhar let it get to him? I rather doubt it. He nicks the strike, cannily, with a leg-bye. If you double the 30-over score, you get carnage.

12.33pm BST

29th over: Pakistan 176-1 (Fakhar Zaman 95, Babar Azam 7) Kohli keeps Ashwin on, which is quite a show of faith, and it’s repaid as Ashwin finally keeps it tight. Even so, the two spinners have gone for exactly 100 off their 14 overs. That would not have happened if England had beaten Pakistan on Wednesday.

12.30pm BST

28th over: Pakistan 175-1 (Fakhar Zaman 94, Babar Azam 7) This time Fakhar gets lucky, feathering a hook off Panda that goes just over Dhoni’s outstretched glove for four. Fakhar’s last 39 runs have come off 20 balls, which is a match-winning rate. And still the Grauniad’s spell-check wants to call him Faker.

“Right,” says Peter Salmon. “I’m calling it. There is no way Pakistan can lose from here. No way at all.” Brave, minister, very brave.

12.26pm BST

27th over: Pakistan 167-1 (Fakhar Zaman 89, Babar Azam 4) Fakhar is on fire. He lifts Ashwin for six over long-on, then eases a drive for three through the covers, and finishes off with a late cut for four more. This partnership is worth 39 already and Babar has four of them. Poor old Ashwin may have to be taken out of the attack: he has 0-53 off seven overs.

A tweet arrives from ATB down under. “Enjoying the live coverage, thanks. Game isn’t on TV here in Australia.” That seems extraordinary. The ICC puts the TV audience today at 366 million.

12.21pm BST

26th over: Pakistan 150-1 (Fakhar Zaman 76, Babar Azam 2) Fakhar has made up his mind: he’s going to keep on hitting. He lofts Jadeja for a straight six, then flays him for a square four and rounds off the over by melding those two strokes, with a dancing lofted cover-drive for four more. That’s the 150 up. Great stuff.

12.18pm BST

25th over: Pakistan 134-1 (Fakhar Zaman 61, Babar Azam 1) Fakhar gets the scoreboard ticking again. He has to decide whether to change his game here and hold the show together, as Azhar would have done. The perfect dilemma for Fathers’ Day.

“Morning,” says Damian Clarke. picking up on Simon Bogli’s line from the 20th over. “…‘a father’s classical qualities, ie. steadiness, reliability, trustworthiness…’ Thanks for that. Funniest quote I’ll read today, and I’m speaking as a father.”

12.15pm BST

24th over: Pakistan 129-1 (Fakhar Zaman 57, Babar Azam 0) Jadeja, seizing his chance like Scrooge on Christmas Day, rattles off some miserly dots. Fakhar manages a single off the last ball. He owes his team big-time now.

12.12pm BST

23rd over: Pakistan 128-1 (Fakhar Zaman 56, Babar Azam 0) Ashwin returns, persists with that leg-stump line, and finds no joy – until Pakistan opt for a spot of hara kiri. Game on.

12.11pm BST

Well, that was coming. Azhar clips to leg and sets off, Fakhar doesn’t and when Azhar turns back, he has no chance. To add insult to self-harm, there was a run there. Pakistan are 128-1.

12.07pm BST

22nd over: Pakistan 125-0 (Azhar Ali 58, Fakhar Zaman 54) Jadeja, who twice gave Fakhar too much width in his last over, now does the same for Azhar, who helps himself to a four and a two. Kohli must be thinking about losing his cool.

And here comes Ian Copestake. “I was worried this would not be much of a match-up, given Pakistan only physically turned up in the first meeting. But this is tasty.”

12.04pm BST

21st over: Pakistan 118-0 (Azhar Ali 52, Fakhar Zaman 53) Pandya, who’s been testing, beats Azhar as he swats at a bouncer. Only four off the over, but this is a handosme platform.

12.02pm BST

20th over: Pakistan 114-0 (Azhar Ali 50, Fakhar Zaman 51) Fakhar, who’s been getting restless, finds relief by cutting Jadeja for four, to the strangely vacant cover-sweeper zone. Azhar hurdles to leg and reaches a fine fifty. Fakhar then trumps him with another cut for four. That’s his third successive fifty, just when Pakistan needed it.

An email from Simon Bogli. “It’s ironic that the game is on Father’s Day as a father’s classical qualities, ie. steadiness, reliability, trustworthiness, are entirely lacking in Pakistan’s modern cricket, both on and off the field.” A grain of truth there, but also a whiff of one of a Victorian father’s qualities: a tendency to be a little harsh.

11.55am BST

19th over: Pakistan 103-0 (Azhar Ali 48, Fakhar Zaman 42) Pandya bowls a length ball outside off – once a stock ball, now a wily variation – and Fakhar is so surprised that he misses it by a full bat’s width. Then he takes a single, and India finally hit the stumps, with a dead-eye throw from Jadeja, but this time Fakhar is well in. Sod’s law is bearing down on India today.

11.51am BST

18th over: Pakistan 100-0 (Azhar Ali 46, Fakhar Zaman 41) Jadeja continues, Azhar takes an easy single into the covers, and that’s Pakistan’s highest opening stand against India in an ICC tournament. Fakhar celebrates by using his feet and slog-chipping a four to wide mid-on. That’s the hundred up, but India are by no means out of this: they’ve bowled well apart from the wides, and one wicket may well bring two.

11.45am BST

17th over: Pakistan 93-0 (Azhar Ali 44, Fakhar Zaman 36) Azhar, tied down by Pandya, tries to hit him for six and just skies it, safely, over the covers. “Come off the sticker!” scoffs Shane Warne. And that’s drinks. The morning belongs to these two opening batsmen, who have ridden their luck, run like idiots, and reeled off some glorious shots.

“Evening Tim,” says our old friend Phil Withall. “There seems to be a reserved and clinical mindset from Pakistan today. Fully focused and very content to build. It’s a little like Smyth building someone up before crushing them with a remorseless retort. I fancy them to get 350 plus.” That would be routine for the Oval, but still immense in a final. Not so sure about the clinical bit: have you seen the running?

11.39am BST

16th over: Pakistan 90-0 (Azhar Ali 42, Fakhar Zaman 35) Yet another bowling change as Ravindra Jadeja replaces Ashwin. The batsmen do a little light milking. Still no sign of turn, which will bother India more than Pakistan, with their non-spinning spinners.

11.36am BST

14th over: Pakistan 86-0 (Azhar Ali 40, Fakhar Zaman 33) Hardik Pandya comes on and instantly appeals for LBW against Azhar. It’s the back leg, and thus a bit high. Hawkeye suggests it would have hit, but only the bail, so a review wouldn’t have worked. Faker hooks, handsomely, and only gets a single. He needs to keep calm and carry on here, not get frustrated. Agar shows the way by waiting for some width and upper-cutting for four.

The White Stripes’ Seven Nation Army rings out. It seems to be becoming the national anthem of the whole world.

11.31am BST

14th over: Pakistan 78-0 (Azhar Ali 35, Fakhar Zaman 31) A better over from Ashwin brings a false stroke from Fakhar, who tries a reverse sweep for no reason at all and doesn’t get hold of it.

11.27am BST

13th over: Pakistan 74-0 (Azhar Ali 33, Fakhar Zaman 29) Pakistan go back to getting them in singles, rather shakily, and Bumrah bowls yet another wide. One team is giving away extras, the other is offering run-out chances. We’ve all played in games like this.

11.22am BST

12th over: Pakistan 69-0 (Azhar Ali 31, Fakhar Zaman 27) Ashwin continues. He has a slip, which Ricky Ponting, on commentary, feels is a waste as Ashwin is pushing it through on leg stump, like the ghost of Eddie Hemmings. It works for a bit but then Fakhar dances down the track and clips him for a nonchalant four to midwicket. A streaky start is turning into a formidable one.

11.19am BST

11th over: Pakistan 63-0 (Azhar Ali 30, Fakhar Zaman 22) Kohli brings back Bumrah, so the double entendre is on again. But the most likely source of a wicket may be a run-out, as Azhar takes an unwise single to Kohli, who misses the stumps. Fakhar plays a straight push for four, which shows (a) he’s got his eye in at last and (b) there are bags of runs in this pitch. There’s then an lbw appeal against Azhar, but it’s too high to interest Richard Kettleborough, the only Englishman out there today.

11.15am BST

10th over: Pakistan 56-0 (Azhar Ali 29, Fakhar Zaman 16) Ashwin continues, tries a quicker one, and gets swept for four by Azhar. First blood to Pakistan, which is just what the neutral ordered.

An email arrived about half an hour ago from Scott Thomas. “The glamour of elite sport writ large for all to see, there.” I wondered what he was referring to. “Just thought it was funny that the stage etc. for the presentation later on was out by the bins, towed by a hire van with some official-looking sign hastily stuck to it.”

11.12am BST

9th over: Pakistan 48-0 (Azhar Ali 23, Fakhar Zaman 14) Kumar restores order again, mixing it up with bouncers and slower balls to Fakhar. Another maiden: he has gone for only 10 off his five overs. But Pakistan can afford it.

11.08am BST

8th over: Pakistan 48-0 (Azhar Ali 23, Fakhar Zaman 14) Searching for a wicket, Kohli goes slow, in the normally reassuring shape of Ravi Ashwin. This reduces the chances of Fakhar getting out to Bumrah, which would have been a thrill for lovers of schoolboy humour. Ashwin bowls two wides, the fifth and sixth of the day already, and then concedes the first six. Well played Azhar.

11.07am BST

Kohli turns to spin and Azhar launches Ashwin over mid-off – not just the first six of the day, but the first big shot to go anywhere straight. Advantage Pakistan.

11.03am BST

7th over: Pakistan 38-0 (Azhar Ali 16, Fakhar Zaman 13) Kumar restores order, by the simple method of bowling straight and tucking Fakhar up. But, so far, it’s been Pakistan’s morning, if only because they’ve got away with mayhem.

10.59am BST

6th over: Pakistan 36-0 (Azhar Ali 15, Fakhar Zaman 12) Azhar plays an upper cut off Bumrah, the very model of a calculated risk, and gets four. Then he tries a slog, as bad as Fakhar’s in the last over, and clean misses. But he recovers with a cultured nudge through square leg. In setting out their stall, Pakistan are trying to show us all their wares in one go: the good, the bad and the ugly.

10.55am BST

5th over: Pakistan 27-0 (Azhar Ali 7, Fakhar Zaman 12) Fakhar continues to live dangerously, hooking too late at Kumar’s bouncer and taking it on the side of the helmet. He seems none the worse for it, and even gets four leg byes. Then he gives Kumar the charge and plays a blind slog. It’s a stroke from club cricket, but it brings four through square leg. Has the tide turned already?

10.51am BST

4th over: Pakistan 19-0 (Azhar Ali 7, Fakhar Zaman 8) Well, well. Fakhar falls for the one slanted across him, but escapes because Bumrah overstepped. Facing the free hit, he manages to nutmeg himself. He then gets his first boundary – off the inside edge, like his first run. Finally, there’s a proper attacking shot, as Azhar latches on to a short one and pulls it for four. A big over, 12 from it.

An email comes in from Nabeel Younas. “Feeling a little apprehensive already with Pakistan batting first.” Don’t blame you. “They usually go into their shell, unable to know a decent first score. Minimum of 300 needed for even a chance, but they need to stay positive throughout the innings which they just struggle to do, especially through a lack of regular singles.” That hasn’t been the problem so far. But still, no wickets yet.

10.46am BST

Fakhar was on his way, nicking Bumrah… but it was a no-ball. Pakistan are 9-0 when they should be 8-1.

10.44am BST

3rd over: Pakistan 7-0 (Azhar Ali 3, Fakhar Zaman 3) Azhar edges Kumar, but safely, through the vacant gully. Kohli should surely have four catchers, not two. Fakhar takes a quick single and would be gone if the cover fielder had hit from eight yards. Jittery stuff from Pakistan, but they survive.

10.40am BST

2nd over: Pakistan 3-0 (Azhar Ali 1, Fakhar Zaman 1) Jasprit Bumrah opens from the Vauxhall end, all arms and angles. He starts with a full toss and appeals for lbw against Fakhar, which is optimistic. The scoring is opened by a wide, and the first run from the bat is an inside edge. Pakistan have begun so timidly, they’ll probably end up winning. But when Azhar gets a run, it’s a solid one, pushed into the on side.

10.34am BST

1st over: Pakistan 0-0 (Azhar Ali 0, Fakhar Zaman 0) The first ball is bowled by Bhuvneshwar Kumar, and it’s very English – a classic outswinger, too wide to bother Azhar Ali. Martin Bicknell would have begun like that. Kumar follows up with a couple angling in, which Azhar blocks. When he tries a drive or two, he finds the men in the ring. A maiden!

If you’d like to see highlights of India’s last game, the semi-final against Bangladesh, you’ve come to the right place.

10.25am BST

For the victims of all the terrible events in cricket nations over the past few weeks, from the floods in Sri Lanka to the fire in the Grenfell Tower in London. The silence is immaculately observed, and followed by dignified applause.

10.14am BST

Not up to speed on the history of this fixture? Dileep Premachandran has a scene-setter that is more like a highlights reel.

Not up to speed on the way the 2017 Champions Trophy has gone? Have a look at this.

Related: ICC Champions Trophy 2017: the story of the tournament in pictures

10.08am BST

Viral Kohli wins the toss and gets the first big cheer of the day. He opts to bowl, not (he says) because the chasing side keeps winning, but because it’s a fresh pitch and he thinks there might be something in it for the bowlers.

India are unchanged. Pakistan, as expected, recall Mohammad Amir, presumably at the expense of his handy understudy, Rumman Raees. “They’re gonna need 300,” says Shane Warne, which seems a fair shout. But remember– they can win with 109. Cornered tigers!

9.43am BST

Morning everyone, and welcome to the big one. Yes, it’s Fathers’ Day here in Britain. In fact, this really is the big one – the final of many fans’ dreams, and of every administrator’s. It’s the first time a major cricket tournament has ever culminated in the biggest local derby in the whole of sport.

It’s India v Pakistan. It’s also superstars v journeymen, overlords v underdogs, well-oiled machinery v something more mercurial, and, broadly speaking, batsmen v bowlers. Pakistan have Azhar Mahmood, who only retired five minutes ago, as their bowling coach, and he has a theory about this. “My theory is: batsmen win you games, bowlers win you tournaments.” It was true when Pakistan won the World Cup under Imran Khan, blowing away a hefty England batting line-up.

12.25pm BST

Tim will be here shortly. But in the meantime, here’s some pre-match reading, from Dileep Premachandran …

Related: Pakistan cling to spirit of Javed Miandad rather than ghost of Chetan Sharma | Dileep Premachandran

Related: India and Pakistan promise Champions Trophy final of contrasts fit for the age | Barney Ronay

Related: Virat Kohli: composure is key in India-Pakistan Champions Trophy final

Related: Will Pakistan’s dangerous trio give us a final to savour against India? | Vic Marks

Continue reading…

Permanent link to this article:

Jun 18

ICC Champions Trophy 2017: the story of the tournament in pictures

From the brutal ball-striking of Virat Kohli and Ben Stokes, regular stoppages for the early summer rain, and the match-winning partnership of Bangladesh’s Shakib Al Hasan and Mahmudullah to the genuinely quick bowling of Mitchell Starc, the mercurial nature of Pakistan’s cricket and England’s collapse in the semi-final, here are the standout photographs from the 18-day tournament

Continue reading…

Permanent link to this article:

Jun 16

India and Pakistan promise Champions Trophy final of contrasts fit for the age | Barney Ronay

Pakistan’s rag-tag band and India’s well-grooved favourites offer a clash of styles in a showpiece that will reflect South Asia’s dominance on and off the field

Put out more flags. Dust the cobwebs from your blue and yellow BCCI-issue jester’s hat. Pencil the words “Pakistan Zindabad!” across the plastic George Cross on the sill of your smudged white van. It’s coming home. It’s coming home. The near-defunct ICC Champions Trophy (2017 edition) is coming home. Just not, as it happens, to England.

Instead Sunday’s bravura final between the imperial might of India and Pakistan’s rag-tag band of rebels looks an appropriate conclusion to a tournament that has been dominated on the field of play by teams from the subcontinent and in the stands by the energy of the British south Asian diaspora.

Related: Virat Kohli: composure is key in India-Pakistan Champions Trophy final

Related: Women’s Cricket World Cup: Australia favourites but England could go close | Vithushan Ehantharajah

Continue reading…

Permanent link to this article:

Jun 15

India reach Champions Trophy final after victory over Bangladesh – video highlights

India will face Pakistan in the final of the Champions Trophy this weekend after beating Bangladesh by nine wickets at Edgbaston on Thursday. Chasing 265 runs, India produced a superb batting display to seal the win with 59 balls to spare. Rohit Sharma…

Permanent link to this article:

Jun 15

India set up Pakistan Champions Trophy final with defeat of Bangladesh

Bangladesh 264-7; India 265-1
• India win by nine wickets with 59 balls to spare

There was a rare occurrence in Birmingham. In contrast to just about everything else in the past year, the pundits were proven correct. India cruised to victory over Bangladesh just as the polls predicted and they now make their way down to London for the Champions Trophy final against Pakistan on Sunday.

The Oval will be bursting with vibrant supporters of both sides while every television from Mumbai to Multan will surely be relaying the action to the devoted millions of fans back home. It should be quite an occasion here and there.

Related: India thrash Bangladesh to reach ICC Champions Trophy final – as it happened

Related: Pakistan thrash sorry England to reach Champions Trophy final

Continue reading…

Permanent link to this article:

Older posts «