Category Archive: Pakistan Cricket

Pakistan Cricket News

Jun 19

Hail the Unbelievables! How Pakistan found cricketing redemption

With their win over India at the Oval on Sunday, the Pakistan cricket team wrote another chapter in their long, twisting story

For a story to successfully attach itself to a sports team over a number of decades while players and personnel change, while the game itself changes, while the world changes, it has to be flexible as well as meaningful and distinct. In the case of cricket, no team has a more oft-invoked story than the Pakistan national side. In the three decades I’ve been pinning my emotional wellbeing to the fortunes of the Pakistan cricket team, they have always been a group of men about whom you say: “They can win this, but it’s quite likely they won’t,” and equally: “They can’t win this, but it’s possible they will.” The Unpredictables. The Mercurials. The Never-Count-Them-Outs. But although this story has been shaping itself since the 80s, it became cast in stone 25 years ago, when Imran Khan’s team started their World Cup campaign in the most startlingly dismal manner, relying on a win against cricket-minnows Zimbabwe and a rain-enforced draw with England to get them past the initial stages of the tournament, and then went on to win five matches in a row and lift the cup.

That victory has been much invoked since Pakistan won the Champions Trophy at the Oval on Sunday, after starting the tournament being so crushed by India that they walked off the field looking more like pulp than men. But parallels only go so far. The 1992 Pakistan team was expected to perform well; the real surprise was that they stumbled so badly before picking themselves up and showing their well-recognised worth, and then some. The Pakistan team of 2017 couldn’t have looked more dissimilar. They entered the tournament ranked eighth out of eight; the captain was newly appointed; most of the players young and unknown. And then there were the players who weren’t in the squad because they were being investigated for corruption; and the hugely talented bowler Mohammad Amir, who was trying to find redemption after having been found guilty of spot-fixing and banned for five years, but whose team-mates had been consistently dropping catches off his bowling since his return to the international game; and the largest and most heartbreaking story of all, which is the team’s inability to play any games in Pakistan since the 2009 terrorist attack on the Sri Lankan cricket team, which has deprived the players of the emotional and psychological strength that comes from playing on home ground. Things were so bad that all the Pakistan supporters I spoke to had lost faith in the story. Before the opening match, Pakistan supporters weren’t praying for victory; that was too outlandish a prospect. Instead, they were praying for rain.

Related: Champions Trophy 2017 review: our writers’ awards and hopes

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2017/jun/19/hail-the-unbelievables-how-pakistan-found-cricketing-redemption

Jun 18

Pakistan thrash India in Champions Trophy final – video highlights

Pakistan thrashed bitter rivals India by 180 runs in the final of the Champions Trophy on Saturday to win the title for the first time. Helped by 114 runs from Fakhar Zaman, Pakistan put up a total of 338 at the Oval. India were immediately under press…

Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/sport/video/2017/jun/18/pakistan-thrash-india-champions-trophy-final-video-highlights

Jun 17

Virat Kohli wary of being favourites but says India will cope with pressure

• Kohli claims group-stage thrashing of Pakistan is irrelevant to the final
• ‘Everyone is aware of the talent they have – they can beat any side in the world’

Virat Kohli said India will be neither intimidated nor arrogant when they face Pakistan in Sunday’s Champions Trophy final despite the widely held expectation his players will be the ones donning the International Cricket Council’s natty white blazers come the end of the blockbuster encounter. Kohli’s defending champions are the world’s No1 one-day team in waiting – victory here would knock South Africa off top spot – and after a nine-wicket demolition of Bangladesh in Thursday’s second semi-final face the side they so comprehensively outplayed when their campaign got off to a flyer a fortnight ago.

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

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

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2017/jun/17/virat-kohli-india-pakistan-champions-trophy-final-the-oval

Jun 17

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

India thrashed Pakistan in the Champions Trophy group stages but the pace attack of Junaid, Hasan and Amir can deliver a much-needed tight finishNo matter where they meet, a cricket match between India and Pakistan brings parts of the globe to a stands…

Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/sport/blog/2017/jun/17/pakistan-india-champions-trophy-final-oval

Jun 17

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

Sarfraz Ahmed’s Pakistan have the look of destiny’s children before Sunday’s Champions Trophy final against a Virat Kohli-inspired India

Back in the intensely hot summer of 2005, India and Pakistan played a six-match ODI series that wound its way from Kochi in the deep south to Jamshedpur in the east, before finishing in New Delhi via the western outpost of Ahmedabad. With India 2-0 up in the series, Osman Samiuddin, whose The Unquiet Ones is the definitive work on Pakistan’s cricket history, and I took the train from Visakhapatnam to Jamshedpur.

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

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2017/jun/17/cricket-champions-trophy-pakistan-miandad-sharma-india

Jun 14

England’s familiar exit leaves ECB’s dream scenario out of reach

There will be a temptation to paint England’s semi-final defeat by Pakistan as a failure but that would be unfair on many levels

Oh, England. Plus ça change, plus c’est the same bleeding thing all over again. Engines revving, back seat loaded with buccaneering white-ball heroes, the England and Wales Cricket Board’s grand, musical Champions Trophy carnival float stalled decisively in Cardiff, undone by some familiar foes. For all the talk of adrenal new eras and white-hot modernity it was the old uncertainty batting first against nagging bowling on a grippy pitch that derailed England’s campaign against a Pakistan team who produced a wonderful all‑round performance in victory by eight wickets.

In one sense we have been here before, most notably four years ago at Edgbaston in the final of the previous edition of this competition. That defeat came on a pitch that might have been airlifted in from the subcontinent, just as the slow grip of Cardiff might have been prepared as a tribute to the desert tracks of the Emirates on which Pakistan have occasionally thrived in recent years.

Related: Pakistan thrash sorry England to reach Champions Trophy final

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/sport/blog/2017/jun/14/england-pakistan-champions-trophy-ecb-dream

Jun 14

Pakistan thrash sorry England to reach Champions Trophy final

• England 211; Pakistan 215-2
• Pakistan win by eight wickets with 77 balls to spare

England checked out of the Champions Trophy with an embarrassing whimper in an eight-wicket semi-final trouncing at the hands of Pakistan in Cardiff.

Eoin Morgan’s men returned to Wales on the back of an unblemished group-stage campaign with their eye on a third successive home final in this tournament, and an ongoing statement of their intent for the 2019 World Cup on home soil.

Related: Pakistan power into Champions Trophy final after hammering England – as it happened

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2017/jun/14/england-pakistan-champions-trophy-semi-final-match-report

Jun 13

England turn to Bairstow for Champions Trophy semi-final against Pakistan

• Yorkshireman to replace Jason Roy as opener in only change
• Jonny’s best attribute has been his relentless attitude, says Eoin Morgan

Eoin Morgan has tipped the “relentless attitude” of Jonny Bairstow to come to the fore on Wednesday as England make one change to their batting lineup for the Champions Trophy semi-final with Pakistan in Cardiff.

The England captain stopped short of naming his XI before a toss he admitted he hopes to lose – a reused pitch at Sophia Gardens is behind that – but could do little to play down the fact Jason Roy has been dropped after the misfiring opener played a minimal part in a training session and Bairstow was the first batsman in the nets.

Related: England may find low-scoring Cardiff a hindrance in Champions Trophy semi | Vic Marks

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2017/jun/13/england-jonny-bairstow-pakistan-champions-trophy-eoin-morgan-cricket

Jun 12

Pakistan chasing Sri Lanka’s target of 237 to win in Champions Trophy – live!

3.40pm BST

10th over: Pakistan 65-0 (Azhar 16, Fakhar 43). Fakhar doesn’t have to do much here, Lakmal – brought back after one over from Thisara – angling into the left-hander from around the wicket and missing his line. Bread and butter for a lefty, turned around the corner and beating the man at the 45. Four more. By the eight of the power play’s final over a further four come, helped by a legside wide. Pakistan getting a chance to lay an early knock-out punch, I reckon. Athers confirms that Pakistan did need to win in ten overs to top the group. So that’s resolved now, it’ll be India and Bangladesh at Edgbaston on Thursday. Delicious.

John Williams on the email is helping me out on rivers and music. Perhaps not the most conventional OBO topic but let’s run with it. “Here’s a fine tribute to chilling by the mighty River Taff courtesy of tremendous Cardiff girl group The Baby Queens.” Thanks. Here it is.

3.34pm BST

9th over: Pakistan 57-0 (Azhar 16, Fakhar 36). Pakistan’s 50 is up through the Pradeep over. They’ve got their act together after looking ropey to begin. Then INTO THR RIVER AGAIN! What did I say about Pradeep? He’s done nothing wrong here, winning the fattest top edge slogging to midwicket, but instead it has gone out of the ground at third man! Get the fandangled bat speed machine on Fakhar’s blade there, I say. That’s gone bloody miles. A new ball comes out for the second time in as many overs. Oh I should add: Pradeep won his edge more conventionally to begin the over. The nick, of course, fell just short of first slip. Urrrgh. 13 more from the over. Sri Lanka another half hour or so from being out of this game.

So then, sticking with the Melbourne/river theme. Our Kylie and Our Nick with Their Duet.

3.29pm BST

8th over: Pakistan 44-0 (Azhar 16, Fakhar 24). WHOA! Into the RIVER goes Azhar to the first ball of Thisara Perera’s day. Have some of that. More or less right over his head. Reminds me of a club ground sometimes, Cardiff, with so many balls lost into the River Taff. Umpire Gunner Gould brings out a box to pick from. Certainly one way to break the proverbial shackles. He’s back to form, playing back along the carpet, immediately thereafter. When Fakhar gets his turn he doesn’t miss a beat, flogging Thisara back past his feet for four more. Making a nice dint in this chase now. A wide follows. Not a great start at all from the quick. 13 from it.

A song about rivers. It’s a little bit sweary, but a lot good. I’ll have another one for you next over.

3.23pm BST

7th over: Pakistan 31-0 (Azhar 9, Fakhar 19). Thrilled to see The Unluckiest Man In World Cricket Nawan Pradeep get a jam roll, replacing Malinga. He gets about with a bit of colour in the hair, a mullet out the back as well. Can move it both ways, in the air away from right handers and off the seam back towards them. The Sri Lankan Jimmy, how I described him last year. He’s into it early here, beating Fakhar on the outside edge then Azhar on the inside. I reserve the right to get very excited if, for just this once, things go his way.

Pakistan will need a new captain and keeper if they are found – after the game – to have been more than two overs behind the rate…

3.19pm BST

6th over: Pakistan 27-0 (Azhar 7, Fakhar 18). Athers on the box doing some expert computer analysis of Malinga’s action. Boils down to this: he’s hitting the shiny side of the ball rather than the seam, making it hard to swing. In the middle, Azhar fires a shot for the first time today, over the 30 yard circle and to the rope down to midwicket. Not the most convincing hoick you’ll see in this comp, but sufficient. Much more encouraging for Pakistan is the straight drive that follows, albeit straight to a fielder. He retains the strike with a single clipped to square leg, a sweeper out there early. Six to the slower of the two men from it.

Some colour here about semi-final tickets. In short: don’t play with touts if you’re an Indian fan who picked up one for Cardiff.

Info with regard to semi final tickets. pic.twitter.com/y0MnhvJe8X

3.13pm BST

5th over: Pakistan 21-0 (Azhar 2, Fakhar 18). Malinga again. Another quick single where Azhar looks exposed, failing to slide his bat properly, to the brief excitement of fielders. But he’s home. Only that and another single from the set. No hurry here, of course. But Azhar could do with getting his act together.

Chandimal being retired off by Sri Lankan fans on the interwebz. Bit harsh, given he stitched together – from memory – six half centuries on the spin about nine months ago. But I do admire the photoshop.

Hope this is Chandimal’s last limited over match for Sri Lanka #ThankYouChandimal pic.twitter.com/snf5BWlMfp

3.09pm BST

4th over: Pakistan 19-0 (Azhar 1, Fakhar 17). The Sri Lankan fans break stride with the drums they have going in the outoer to give Azhar the Bronx Cheer when he finally gets off the mark, 15 balls after his arrival. Lakmal beat him with the first of the over too. But let’s himself down to Fakhar ending the over with a gimme on the hip, the opener making no mistake. He’s away.

Bit going on in the Shires, evidentially. Join Will Macpherson in another tab. County cricket: bloody hell.

County cricket – bloody hellhttps://t.co/DBaVbHjUu4

3.05pm BST

3rd over: Pakistan 14-0 (Azhar 0, Fakhar 13). “Have a look how UFO-like the ball comes down” asks Simon Doull of Malinga. You know what, I reckon we noticed that at some point over the last 15 years. The bowler twice overpitches on the spin here though, Fahkar taking both to the point boundary. The first was a full toss, but the second require some lovely timing to beat the ring. Malinga reverts to round the wicket. Doull adds to his earlier criticism, to be fair to him. He believes that Malinga once upon a time was more upright. Yeah? The change of direction has changed nothing though, Fahkar hitting the off-side rope for the third time in the set, courtesy of a delightful cover drive. Malinga ends the eventful over with a beauty, beating the left-hander with one that straightens after pitching. Handy.

If Zaman bats sensibly, no one will be able to call him a silly Fakhar… #ct17

2.58pm BST

2nd over: Pakistan 2-0 (Azhar 0, Fakhar 1). Pakistan’s run comes from Lakmal’s first delivery of the afternoon, a legside wide. Surprised Pradeep hasn’t got the new one – he is class. Blimey, what did I say about Pakistan never doing things easily? A clean pick up and throw – from Gunathilaka again, would have surely had Azhar back in the sheds, a suicide single for reasons that only the two in the middle can explain. Of course, he missed the pick up, so the throw never came. Village. No further runs. Get ready for chaos.

Of openers to have batted 10 innings since the 2015 WC, Azhar (79.19) has the 2nd lowest SR in #CT17. The lowest? Shehzad’s 74.61 #SLvPAK

2.54pm BST

1st over: Pakistan 0-0 (Azhar 0, Fakhar 0). Malinga has the new ball and immeditely finds his length, Azhar shouldering arms a couple of times then displaying a nice, straight blade. OH NO! DROPPED CATCH! Azhar flogs a shorter delivery to gully and Ghunathilaka has put it down. Sharp chance, low. But after batting the way they did it has to be taken. The replay doesn’t flatter, nothing wrong with the catching height. A maiden that should be a wicket maiden. Well then.

2.50pm BST

“You can’t judge a pitch until both teams have batted.” Simon Doull’s take as they walk back on. To the White Stripes, of course.

But why can’t you? The both teams/judgment line is used a lot. Hell, I’ve almost certainly said it. But in this rapid world of ours, why can’t we judge a track earlier than that? Don’t they evolve across the 100 overs anyway? Ponder that. Okay, we’re on.

2.46pm BST

Afternoon. Thanks, Daniel for steering us through the morning. Pakistan’s quicks have done their bit. Can their sketchy batting list do the same and pop them through to the final four? On paper, of course they should. But I’d be surprised if it was easy. I’ve watched a lot of Pakistan over the last few years and nothing is easy.

Phil Russell is straight out of the blocks with a query on the email. “How many overs do Pakistan need to get these in to have a good enough NRR to win the group? Guessing it’s about 10?” Oh yeah, I like this. But I have absolutely no clue how to calculate. Despite doing this for a living, I leave NRR and DLS to others. Someone fancy having a bash at it for us before they players arrive?

2.24pm BST

So, thanks all for your company and comments; Adam Collins will be here presently to narrate the chase.

2.24pm BST

Sri Lanka batted pretty well through most of that innings, but were undone, first by Hasan Ali and then by a brilliant post-drinks spell from Junaid Khan and Mohammad Amir. Or, put another way, Pakistan are Pakistan so pakistaned; and as such, might still lose.

2.22pm BST

That’s not enough is it?

2.21pm BST

Pradeep leaps back to try and turn to leg but instead loops up a return catch via leading edge. What a performance from Pakistan!

2.19pm BST

48th over: Sri Lanka 235-9 (Malinga 8, Pradeep 1) Malinga takes a single, Pradeep does likewise, and then a slower ball absolutely befuddles the former. It’s impossible to watch limited overs cricket and not wonder how its finest exponents will do in Tests, and I can’t wait to see Hasan; he finishes with 3-43 from his 10 overs, and with seven wickets in the tournament sits behind Plunkett and Hazlewod in the list of bowlers.

2.16pm BST

He’ll throw the bat! Except Hasan has sent him an off-spinner that makes it harder for him to generate the necessary power to clear the long boundary. Instead he picks out the fielder, ending a gutsy, intelligent and crucial knock.

2.14pm BST

48th over: Sri Lanka 232-8 (Gunaratne 27, Malinga 6) Amir’s first two balls cede just a single, and then Hasan Ali dives very nicely to stop Malinga’s flick around the corner. Naturally, Amir responds with a bouncer – Gunaratne has been backing away, so the bowler followed him – and there’s a brief pause but no new helmet. Gunaratne, though, remains unshaken, adding two and enjoying a wide, before taking a single to retain the strike. Will he throw the bat or take whatever he can?

2.10pm BST

47th over: Sri Lanka 226-8 (Gunaratne 23, Malinga 5) Hasan continues and the batsmen look for singles … Malinga taps to cover, and breaks into a stroll well before Hafeez shies – if he hits it’s out by miles … but he misses. Next, Hasan slams it in, and Gunaratne looks at something in his midriff, and at the same time scoops a one-bounce. The no-look Gunascoop.

2.05pm BST

46th over: Sri Lanka 218-8 (Gunaratne 17, Malinga 3) Sanjay Manjrekar reckons Hasan has been the picks of the bowlers; I’d go Junaid, who returns here to finish off. And after two singles and a wide, he ought to have another wicket! Gunaratne plays a reverse flick off a low full-toss which loops up to short third man; it’s a dolly, but Faheem Ashraf leaps unnecessarily and spills it nonetheless.

1.59pm BST

45th over: Sri Lanka 214-8 (Gunaratne 16, Malinga 1) A run a ball gets around 245; a run a ball and a big over gets around 260. Sri Lanka are still properly in this.

1.58pm BST

As I was saying, Hasan Ali was just about to send down a off-cutting slower delivery that induced Lakmal to slog and miss far too early. The ball duly clips the very top of the bails – for extra amusement, entirely without his knowledge. Byeee! Off you pop!

1.56pm BST

45th over: Sri Lanka 213-7 (Gunaratne 16, Lakmal 26) The excellence of this comeback cannot be overstated. Of course, Pakistan were never going to sustain that frankly repulsive brilliance, but Sri Lanka could easily have been tempted by the prospect of home. Yet they were not.

1.53pm BST

44th over: Sri Lanka 210-7 (Gunaratne 25, Lakmal 15) Amir returns in place of Hasan, but his first delivery is too straight; Gunaratne eases it down to fine leg for three, Fakhar again saving the boundary. Lakmal, meanwhile, is enjoying himself; he turns two away to mid-on, then smacks a fuller one over the bowler’s head to the fence.

1.50pm BST

43rd over: Sri Lanka 200-7 (Gunaratne 18, Lakmal 12) The batsmen are in now, and it looks like they’ll post a target to give Pakistan pause; you’d back them to chase 240, but with someone else’s money. They take three from the over, raising their team’s 200 in the process; the partnership is 33.

1.47pm BST

42nd over: Sri Lanka 197-7 (Gunaratne 16, Lakmal 11) Hasan serves Lakmal a half-volley, and credit where it’s due – despite his confusion these last few minutes, he doesn’t miss out, slamming four through mid-off. And after a leg-bye and a single, he raps four more; Hasan is bowling fuller than before to remove the tailenders, when his shorter length was working fine.

1.44pm BST

41st over: Sri Lanka 187-7 (Gunaratne 10, Lakmal 8) Imad sends an arm ball at Lakmal that totally hoodwinks him by doing absolutely nothing, so next go he tries to mow into the leg side and takes it on the boot. There’s a strangulated appeal, but that was going just dow, and Lakmal does better thereafter, stroking a single to long-off. No more runs from the over, though we should note that Umpire Oxenford signals wide, is told by his partner that the ball flicked the pad, so overrules himself.

1.40pm BST

40th over: Sri Lanka 185-7 (Gunaratne 9, Lakmal 7) Hasan isn’t as on it as he was earlier, which tells us that it’s probably time for a jaffa. But not this over, which sees a princely one added to the total; to be competitive, Sri Lanka need another 60, I’d say.

Rob Smyth returns to note that “These *profanity as a compliment* won a World Cup after losing their first game by 10 wickets, being bowled out for 74 in the third and winning one of the first five games!”

1.37pm BST

39th over: Sri Lanka 184-7 (Gunaratne 8, Lakmal 7) Sarfraz, who has captained superbly since winning the toss – his changes and field placings have been very good indeed – brings on Imad. His first delivery flicks the pad, and it looks close though still going down, then is followed by five more dots. The boot has stopped stamping the throat, to tread on it instead.

1.34pm BST

38th over: Sri Lanka 184-7 (Gunaratne 8, Lakmal 7) And here’s the man who started it the first time: Hasan Ali has the ball, and he won’t wait to be asked. He’s not bowling that quickly though as he searches for his line, ceding three; who’d have thought that’d count as welcome respite half an hour ago?

“Initially thought it was a huge gamble to bowl first,” emails Nabeel Younas, “what with Pakistan being awful at chasing half-decent totals (never mind huge ones), but it’s paying dividends at the moment. It’s nice to see all the seamers playing their part. In the past, one or two would play well but be let down by an expensive spell by another errant bowler.”

1.30pm BST

37th over: Sri Lanka 179-7 (Gunaratne 5, Lakmal 5) It’s always invigorating to be reminded that amid the scoops, flat-bats and slogs, brilliant bowling beats all else. Things have quietened for a second – perhaps it’s time for Hasan – but it doesn’t much matter.

“Both times Pakistan won a global tournament they were thrashed in the opening game,” recalls … RA Smyth, obviously. And they also won in Cardiff last term. Good luck, England!

1.26pm BST

36th over: Sri Lanka 174-7 (Gunaratne 4, Lakmal 1) And Hasan Ali has six overs left! I’m not sure he’ll need all of those. But Gunaratne sees five wides added to the score, before Amir slings down a rare yorker – somehow, an under-edge earns a single. It is amazing how quickly this game has been effectively finished … or has it? This is Pakistan after all.

1.23pm BST

35th over: Sri Lanka 167-7 (Gunaratne 3, Lakmal 0) That was last ball of the of the over, but let’s not mither with fripperies of that ilk. We are in the presence of greatness, we are in the presence of Pakistan. Savour every last sensation.

1.22pm BST

What a spell this is, at both ends! This is back of a length and moves just as Thisara plays, then spanks his edge on the way past, to be snaffled in front of his phizog by Babar at first slip. That’s a fine catch! Sri Lanka don’t know what has hit them! Pakistan has hit them!

1.20pm BST

35th over: Sri Lanka 167-6 (Gunaratne 3, Thisara 1) Every run is now a struggle. Re the haal, read and love this.

Related: Exploring the soul of the Pakistan cricket team

1.16pm BST

34th over: Sri Lanka 165-6 (Gunaratne 2, Thisara 0) Amir is bowling sharply now! But Thisara finds a leg-bye, then Fakar lets the ball through his legs at point and they run two. The crowd are absolutely loving this; every ball is an event, and Pakistan are swarming Sri Lanka now! In steams Amir, Gunaratne edges, and Sarfraz looks to have taken another brilliant catch, diving right and holding low! Except his momentum rolls him over, the ball spills, and the soft signal is not out; the tape confirms it. Can Sri Lanka bat the 50?

1.11pm BST

What a catch this is. What a catch this is. And what a wicket this is! Dickwella edges unexpectedly, so Sarfraz changes direction and slides a glove under the ball, on the dive. That three wickets for one run in 12 balls since drinks!

1.09pm BST

33rd over: Sri Lanka 162-5 (Dickwella 73, Gunaratne 0) This is such an attack. Wicket-maiden from Junaid, and 320 has suddenly become 270.

1.07pm BST

The haal is rolling! Junaid, whose last over was a beauty, slants in a full one which nips off the seam, zooms away from the bat, kisses its edge, and is taken behind. De Silva, who only arrived yesterday, is probably wondering why he bothered.

1.03pm BST

32nd over: Sri Lanka 162-4 (Dickwella 73, De Silva 1) That was Amir’s first wicket of the competition, and ramps up the pressure on Dickwella; he is going to have to carry this innings while the others swing around him. One off the over, to go with the cricket, and Amir is now up to 138 clicks.

Mathews’ average vs left-arm pace in ODIs is 28.31, his lowest against any bowl type. He is yet to face Aamir or Junaid in this inns. #CT17

1.00pm BST

And there it is! Amir extracts some extra bounce and Mathews mistimes his flick to midwicket – he ought to have played into the off side really – sending an inside-edge careering into his stumps! My days did Pakistan need that.

12.58pm BST

32nd over: Sri Lanka 161-3 (Dickwella 73, Mathews 39) That break might just help Pakistan who are searching for something.

12.54pm BST

31st over: Sri Lanka 161-3 (Dickwella 73, Mathews 39) I think we’ll see Mathews going hard now; Dickwella will stick around, so there’s a chance for him. Sarfraz recognises this, bringing back Junaid, and he spirits a seam-upper past Dickwella’s outside-edge and then another! He felt for both of those, and how set he is tells you how good they were. And there’s another! Beautiful bowling.

“I kid you not, but am editing a draft paper by a co-author which has ‘commonly-used’, ‘ad-hoc’ and ‘near-total’, returns Kabindra.

12.48pm BST

30th over: Sri Lanka 160-3 (Dickwella 73, Mathews 38) In which regard Pakistan bring back Amir, but Mathews isn’t arsed; he takes a couple of stutter-hops down the track and clouts four over mid-on. He timed that so, so well – as he does a pull off a short ball, which only gets two not four because of an excellent stop from Azhar Ali. He is zoned.

12.45pm BST

29th over: Sri Lanka 151-3 (Dickwella 73, Mathews 30) “Something between the six and the eight will be on Sri Lanka’s mind.” Er, what might that possibly be? This is a good over anyway, four singles before Dickwella gets well forward to the final ball and slams it hard into the ground and away for four through cover. Beautiful shot., and Pakistan are back to needing a wicket.

12.41pm BST

28th over: Sri Lanka 143-3 (Dickwella 67, Mathews 28) Dickwella pulls a bad ball towards square-leg, but Fakar Zaman hares after it and saves a single with his dive; they run three. In commentary, they reckon Sri Lanka will be looking for five an over till about 37, at which point they’ll want their sloggers in.

12.39pm BST

27th over: Sri Lanka 138-3 (Dickwella 63, Mathews 27) Imad’s first ball is wide and pleading for punishment; Mathews picks out the man at point, and chastises himself accordingly. Oh my! After a single, Dickwella back away and, to paraphrase John Arlott, plays a chop so late it’s reincarnated. The ball was right in front of the stumps; that was as dicey as riley.

12.36pm BST

26th over: Sri Lanka 136-3 (Dickwella 62, Mathews 26) As I was saying, Mathews will immediately saunter down the track and hoist Hafeez for six. Next ball, he defends to leg, sprints down the track, AND IMAD SMASHES DOWN THE STUMPS AT THE BOWLER’S! BUT MATHEWS’ DIVE HAS PRESERVED HIS WICKET! That’s brilliant for both batsman and fieldsman. Nine off the over.

“Your point on spurious-hyphenation is so very-good and well-taken. This habit in-fact totally-annoying,” tweets Kabindra.

12.32pm BST

25th over: Sri Lanka 122-3 (Dickwella 62, Mathews 18) Imad returns and is gently milked, five come from the other and we’re halfway; Sri Lanka will have t turn it up soon, but not quite yet; they don’t bat all that deep and will need this pair to score most of their runs.

12.28pm BST

24th over: Sri Lanka 122-3 (Dickwella 61, Mathews 14) Hafeez isn’t spinning it, but is hurrying through overs so fast as to make them vanish. Four off this one.

12.26pm BST

23rd over: Sri Lanka 118-3 (Dickwella 58, Mathews 13) Fahim sends down an accidental beamer; Dickwella handles it well, hooking for one. It’s still a no ball, though, so Mathews has a free hit – or a “free-hit” if the scoreboard is to be believed. And really, what is it with hyphens these days; I recently saw a footballer described as playing “in-behind”. Er, ok. Anyway, Mathews flips for four to wide midwicket; the Lankans needed that. And they keep at it thereafter, adding four more singles and a two to make it 12 for the over, their most profitable since the fourth.

12.20pm BST

22nd over: Sri Lanka 106-3 (Dickwella 53, Mathews 7) Dickwella doesn’t get all of a sweep, but the ball drops short of deep square-leg and they run a one. It’s been a while since the last boundary, and the remainder of this over sees a wide, a bye and a single.

12.16pm BST

21st over: Sri Lanka 102-3 (Dickwella 51, Mathews 7) Aha – Fahim is back at Hasan’s end. Mathews takes a single, then Dickwella ramps him – Junaid almost runs past the ball, coming from wider. Athers uses this as an opportunity to point out that at Cardiff, you want your men fine, as the boundaries are shorter there.

12.12pm BST

20th over: Sri Lanka 100-3 (Dickwella 50, Mathews 6) Hafeez on for Fahim and Dickwella comes down immediately, taking one on the pad. So he waits for the next ball, turning to leg and ambling through for his fifty, which has come off 52 deliveries. Mathews then edges two, before imparting a leading edge that drops safe and adds one. Six an over from here gets 280, eight an over gets 340.

12.09pm BST

19th over: Sri Lanka 96-3 (Dickwella 49, Mathews 3) Sri Lanka have righted themselves somewhat, but need this partnership to do some work. After the batsmen add a single each, Hasan goes around the wicket to Dickwella, of whom he’ll particularly want rid; a single gets him down the other end, but a decent line and some extra lift discomfits Mathews, who swings at the final ball, missing.

12.03pm BST

18th over: Sri Lanka 93-3 (Dickwella 47, Mathews 2) Quick running earns Dickwella two, but Fahim retorts well with a skiddy delivery that shoots past the edge. But like Anthony Soprano Junior he struggles to maintain, sending down consecutive wides and ceding two further singles.

“I failed not to swear when I just checked the score.” emails Hugh Maguire. “This Pakistan attack…

11.57am BST

17th over: Sri Lanka 86-3 (Dickwella 43, Mathews 1) Hasan’s third nut is a nut, bouncing just enough, moving just enough, and making Mathews look cumbersome. He doesn’t get a touch though, so resets to go again. One off the over.

“Does sitting through a meeting without a single yawn count as an achievement? Ok I also looked ‘engaged’,” tweets Sraye.

11.53am BST

16th over: Sri Lanka 85-3 (Dickwella 42, Mathews 1) Mathews has a look, which makes this a chance for Pakistan; if they can get shot of him, they’ll be set. But he flat-bats one to point to get off the mark, then Dickwella, who’s still at the other end, gets a single of his own.

“Not sure this is my greatest achievement re my child,” emails Peter Salmon, “but the ONE TIME I forgot to bring a nappy bag with me, my one-year-old daughter Pearl threw up all over the back of the car while I was out shopping. I had to strip her naked and run to the nearest clothing shop. ‘Please help me,’ says I. ‘I need some clothes for my child!’ Not a good dad look. I may have set gender politics back several years, although it was in Shropshire, so maybe not. Oh, and surely ‘Shine on You Crazy Diamond’ is more appropriate for a game featuring Lasith Malinga.”

11.49am BST

It’s all changed! Chandimal stretches to crack a wide one through cover, but doesn’t move his feet at all and ends up dragging on via bottom edge.

11.47am BST

15th over: Sri Lanka 83-2 (Dickwella 41, Chandimal 0) Pakistan needed that, and Hasan sends down a similar delivery, quick and nipping back but a touch shorter with a touch more bounce. Chandimal wears it on pubis and the fielders are up!

11.44am BST

Bazzer of a jazzer from Hasan! He goes wide of the grease and slings down a quick one which swings in and clatters the actual bails, middle and off. He celebrates like he means it too, and that’s Pakistan cricket right there!

11.42am BST

15th over: Sri Lanka 82-1 (Dickwella 41, Mendis 27) Pakistan don’t look like getting a wicket nor to they look like stemming the flow of runs. But Hasan is a wicket-taker, and nearly nobbles Mendis when he goes to flicks to leg only to inside-edge into the pad…

11.39am BST

14th over: Sri Lanka 81-1 (Dickwella 40, Mendis 27) Hello, hello, is there anybody in there? Just nod if you can hear me, is there anyone home? This morning I stubbed my toe on a ladder, and managed to yelp without swearing in front of my 3-year-old daughter; do email in with your finest recent achievements. Seven from the over, and their doing a fine job of accumulating without fuss.

WATCH:

In-play highlights from the winner takes all #CT17 clash https://t.co/vkgEHTQrLs#PAKvSL pic.twitter.com/K7KxxuBNCX

11.35am BST

13th over: Sri Lanka 74-1 (Dickwella 36, Mendis 24) Hasan Ali into the attack and he overpitches a touch, so Mendis welcomes him to the match with a drive on the up, more or less one-armed; his bottom hand flies off the bat while he plays the stroke. Hasan responds well enough though, ceding four singles from the remaining five balls, the last of which is a jazzer, lifting sharply off a length and leaving Mendis to play inside it.

11.30am BST

12th over: Sri Lanka 66-1 (Dickwella 34, Mendis 18) Sarfraz tries Fahim, and Dickwella goes to third man again, adding two, then square leg for two more. Off the fourth ball, though, he nearly drags on, but Pakistan can’t build pressure; Babar is caught chilling, turning one into two.

Another wonder of the modern world: Paulie Gualtieri’s laugh.

11.25am BST

11th over: Sri Lanka 60-1 (Dickwella 28, Mendis 18) Mendis takes a single, then Dickwella goes down on one knee to flip around the corner to fine leg; they sprint the first run to enable the second. Then, after a dot, Dickwella shows that he’s on top of Imad, waiting to see if the ball moves, then feathers it late, earning four at third man. A two and a one follow, making it 10 from the over; Pakistan need something.

11.19am BST

10th over: Sri Lanka 50-1 (Dickwella 19, Mendis 17) Lovely from Mendis, leaping back and across to glide four through square-leg with velvet wrists. Next ball, he comes down to defend, so Junaid hurls at him and/or the stumps – he chuckles to compound any annoyance – and then grinds it in further by cracking four more to backward square-leg. Lovely tackle, 10 off the over, and Mendis is now in.

11.16am BST

9th over: Sri Lanka 40-1 (Dickwella 19, Mendis 8) Time for spin; Imad Wasim is on. Mendis turns a single to square-leg, Dickwella does likewise to cover – they sprint through – and then Mendis pushes a further one to leg.

11.10am BST

8th over: Sri Lanka 37-1 (Dickwella 18, Mendis 6) Oh this is lovely! Mendis leans into a length ball, the first of the over, and introduces it to the full phizog in perfect form. That’s four all the way. I mean of course it is, because every four is, but there was never any doubt. Or something like that. But Junaid comes back well, ceding only another single.

11.05am BST

7th over: Sri Lanka 32-1 (Dickwella 18, Mendis 1) Dickwella twists one to midwicket and they run three; Ashraf does well to be arsed with the chase, saving one in the process. Mendis then opens his account with a single and Amir slings down a bumper – Dickwella ducks – and then flicks two to midwicket. They kept things ticking nicely in that over.

11.00am BST

6th over: Sri Lanka 26-1 (Dickwella 13, Mendis 0) Mendis, who’s in lovely touch, has a look at the bowling – perhaps he’s learning from Gunathilaka, who forced it.

10.56am BST

This was very simple, and just what Pakistan needed. Gunathilaka looked to drive on the up, the ball wasn’t there for him, he went anyway, and lobbed a simple catch to mid-off. He’ll be ruing that missed two harder now; don’t laugh.

10.54am BST

5th over: Sri Lanka 26-0 (Dickwella 13, Gunathilaka 13) Some much-needed control from Amir; he starts with a bouncer, and his line is much tighter this over, nothing too straight. A single off the final delivery is all it yields; really it ought to have been two.

10.50am BST

4th over: Sri Lanka 25-0 (Dickwella 13, Gunathilaka 12) Crack! Begone! Junaid gives Gunathilaka width first up and he does not miss out, rocking back to fling hands, wrists, arms and shoulders right through the ball which sizzles through cover to the fence. A dot follows, and then Gunathilaka goes again, forcing over midwicket. He’s not timed that one, but it dribbled over the rope nonetheless and the bowlers are now under a bit of pressure. And even more so now; Dickwella strolls across his stumps while the ball’s still in-hand, then, when it arrives, ramps it over the keeper for a one-bounce four! Beautifully done!

10.45am BST

3rd over: Sri Lanka 12-0 (Dickwella 9, Gunathilaka 3) Dickwella turns Amir’s opening delivery around the corner; it drops just short of Hafeez at short midwicket. Two twos follow, and then, after a dot, yerman goes; he tries to lift of the leg side but instead imparts a top edge; they run three and it falls safe. But this is much better, a gen-u-ine flick to wide long on which also adds three. Much better over for the Lankans.

10.39am BST

2nd over: Sri Lanka 4-0 (Dickwella 4, Gunathilaka 0) Junaid with the ball at the other end, and he finds a touch a seam – just enough – to move one away from Gunathilaka. But it defeats his edge, and then so does another – except this time the batsman plays, looking to drive down the ground, then he misses again. Maiden, and a fine one at that.

10.35am BST

1st over: Sri Lanka 4-0 (Dickwella 4, Gunathilaka 0) Amir opens up with a beaut, swinging away and squaring up his man. It’s proper windy out there, throuser billowing like garish marquees, so Dickwella has a look at things before timing a push, transferring his weight perfectly into the stroke to find the point fence. That was fit as, was that.

10.31am BST

Play!

10.31am BST

Mo Amir is warming his arm as Ramiz tells us batting is about “not having a pixelated mind”. I love that. I think Dickwella will be fine.

10.28am BST

It has now seamlessly segued into Seven Nation Army. Imaginative, what.

10.27am BST

It’s ripe for a jungle remix, though.

10.26am BST

The Sri Lanka tune is a choon.

10.24am BST

Anthem time. There’s hardly anyone in the ground; is it really beyond the organisers to go around local schools handing them out for nowt?

10.21am BST

A pleasure of watching cricket is partial, passionate, knowledgeable commentary. This ICC broadcast squad has ruined that.

10.18am BST

Imad Wasim reckons Babar Azam is the best player of his age in world cricket. He’s certainly the most fun.

10.15am BST

I’m compiling the seven wonders of the modern world.

1. Ramiz Raja’s hair.

10.14am BST

Angelo Mathews is important. More news as I get it.

10.10am BST

Ramiz reckons we’ve got a typical English track, and Athers confirms that there’s more in it for the seamers than at the Oval, with quite a thick layer of grass. Boundaries are short straight and long down the ground.

10.09am BST

As far as our teams go, Pakistan make one change: Faheem Ashraf for Shadab Khan, a seamer for a leggy. The short boundaries and general conditions are responsible.

The Lankans have also made one change, an batsman for a batsman: Dhananjaya de Silva for the inured Kusal Perera.

10.05am BST

Angelo Matthews would’ve done likewise – overhead conditions might be helpful, and there’s a touch of grass on the pitch.

10.00am BST

Roughly, we watch sport for two reasons: to see what happens, and to see something incredible; in both of those aspects. we have no greater ally than the Pakistan cricket team. In this tournament alone, they have been annihilated by India and have annihilated South Africa thanks to their peculiar confection of aggressive bowling, enterprising batting and wondrous awfulness.

Sri Lanka, meanwhile, have been much the same: first they were walloped by South Africa and then they caned India. Accordingly, relating what’s likely to happen today is a complete waste of time; we’d be as well nailing jelly to a wall, or asking the Great British public a crucial question to determine the future of the nation. All we know if that at some point there’ll be a winner, and that team will meet England in the semi-final. Enjoy the ride!

Continue reading…

Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/sport/live/2017/jun/12/sri-lanka-pakistan-icc-champions-trophy-2017-live

Jun 07

Pakistan beat South Africa by 19 runs (DLS): Champions Trophy – as it happened

10.10pm BST

That’s all from me. Back with you for the first innings of India-Sri Lanka tomorrow!

10.03pm BST

REPORT: Ali Martin breaks down an against-the-odds win at Edgbaston

Related: Pakistan win the maths battle with South Africa and are back in contention

9.57pm BST

This result leaves Group B fascinatingly poised. India, South Africa and Pakistan are all on two points. India, though, have a game in hand, which they’ll play tomorrow against Sri Lanka, who lost their opening match convincingly to South Africa. Hopefully weather won’t have a hand in that one – the forecast around the Oval looks decent (ish).

9.51pm BST

Water way to end a grim run

Pakistan’s last seven matches at Champions Trophy:

L
L
L
L
L
L
W (today)https://t.co/TzElh3zXKK #CT17

9.47pm BST

Oh sweet relief! The match has been called by the umpires and Pakistan, 119-2 after 27 overs, are the winners. The DLS par was 100 and, well, they’re comfortably above that.

The match has been abandoned, and Pakistan have won by 19 runs (DLS).

Group B is thrown wide open…https://t.co/pX5FYAKHNk pic.twitter.com/RGCMaI2szo

9.43pm BST

Strong suggestion. I’ve never not thought about this when at a match affected by rain.

Slip and slide competition on the covers. Players compete 1v1 in batting order with the captains last. Furthest wins each round.

9.38pm BST

“Rain Spoiling Matches!” You got that right, Syed Ameen. “Do you think the venues can be changed depending on weather for semi finals and final?” Afraid not, for planning, policing and many other reasons, too.Also, it’ll be pointless – it’s raining all over England! Should be fine tomorrow for India-Sri Lanka at the Oval. Unless I’ve now jinxed that.

9.32pm BST

An update that not only comes from the ground but PACKED with “local knowledge”

still raining. very close to end now, you’d think.

9.29pm BST

Zohra wants skin-on-skin combat

@Vitu_E Mudwrestling to decide a washout – ample resources, and sure chance of Sarfraz leading Pakistan to victory there?

9.27pm BST

“Do you think play will resume or not?” asks Sunveer Hariparsad. Looking unlikely I’m afraid. Though there does seem to be a concerted effort to mop up. Which, given “local knowledge” must mean they think there’s a gap big enough between now and the 10:26pm cut-off time to get some worthwhile play. Will keep you all posted.

9.22pm BST

I’d like to add this to my suggestion of Fives. Mainly because I think I could give any current international cricketer a run for their money on the top three:

Quote-off. Player nominated. Coin toss to choose from:
– The Office
– Arrested Development
– Peep Show
– Something rubbish like Mighty Boosh

9.14pm BST

Could get on board with this:

Frinkiac-off. Each team nominates a player to choose a Simpsons quote. Funniest one goes through.

Neesham v Hales would be a great battle

9.10pm BST

The boring answer (i.e. the correct one)

Team that won its group qualifies

Re washouts and what to do about a result, don’t we just ask the BCCI @Vitu_E?

9.03pm BST

“A bowl off is a bit too sterile,” writes Google’s Adam Collins. “The options are endless. A game of darts, but on the condition they have a fag in their mouth for it. That’ll sort out the cricketers from the athletes. If Australia are in it, perhaps who can throw a kettle over a pub? We have Finchy in the XI, after all. Bloody good rep.” Best arrower I know, definitely the best arrower you know.

8.58pm BST

Email up, this one from Thomas Jenkins: “Vish, do you know what the procedure is if any of the knockout games are washouts? I mean I’m assuming the home team gets a bye in that event. obviously, but what would happen to the other semi? Do they just pick up where they left-off the next day?”

Unfortunately, there aren’t actually any reserve days for the semi-finals, only the final. So I’m not really sure what they’ll do.

8.52pm BST

“They should turn the Brum floodlights up to 11 to dry the pitch out.” I think they have, Ian Copestake:

Such a shame about the rain but Birmingham skyline looking rather lovely in a pink-studded, glowering sort of way. pic.twitter.com/rGPVkV6uX2

8.51pm BST

“Old school couples on TV?” starts an email from Damian Clarke on Ebz and Daggers. “I wonder, was she thinking Terry and June or more George and Mildred?” I’m clueless on both couples – is one worse than the other? Always seen them as more of a Philip and Gordon the Gopher pairing.

8.36pm BST

Something to pass the time: OBO-er and razor sharp broadcaster Adam Collins spent some of his most recent TMS session Googling England and Surrey’s Ebony Rainford-Brent. I’ll let him pick up the story:

8.30pm BST

*sad emoji* *annoyed emoji* *Pakistan 19 ahead of the DLS par score after 27 overs emoji*

Still raining heavily at Edgbaston #CT17 #PAKvSA pic.twitter.com/mY24lErf1R

8.24pm BST

The noises from Edgbaston aren’t promising for South Africa. The covers have been “nailed” down and quite a few have already left. The ground staff are out there moping up, which is one crumb of comfort. It is still raining through…

8.03pm BST

For those of you wondering about DLS – this video from Cricinfo does well to explain the intricacies of all three letters.

To confirm, Pakistan are 19 ahead of the calculated par score after 27 overs, which is 100.

Mizzle settling in here. Cut-off time for the game to end is 10.26pm #PAKvSA

8.00pm BST

While you’re here and while it rains – don’t forget to vote tomorrow!

Related: Election 2017: parties enter final hours of personalised and bruising campaign – live

7.48pm BST

Off for a brew to get me through these Pakistan blessed rains.

For balance, here’s Toto

7.42pm BST

27th over: Pakistan 119-3 (Azam 31, Malik 16) The over starts with Pakistan 17 ahead of the DLS par and the rain starting to hold firm. A nervous Mickey Arthur watches on from the Pakistan dressing room as an equally nervous Rabada oversteps! Free hit is signalled as the majority of the 18,000 in the stands chant “We want six!” Azam scuffs the full ball into the ground, straight to midwicket. They get nothing, but they don’t seem to care. Azam turns the volume up some more to close out the over with a punched on-drive that races across the sodden turf for four.

AND THEY’RE OFF! PAKISTAN ARE 19 RUNS AHEAD OF THE DLS PAR…

7.37pm BST

26th over: Pakistan 113-3 (Azam 27, Mailk 15) Morkel to Mailk brings an extra point fielder. But extra bounce and width means Malik can do as he did in the previous over: rock back and throw his hands through the ball. And now Babar Azam has done the same! The crowd are back where they began – right behind Pakistan.

7.34pm BST

25th over: Pakistan 104-3 (Azam 23, Malik 10) Big over as a rusty Rabada comes back into the attack and is lashed over point and edged down to third man for consecutive fours. Three figures up for the Chasers in Green (a reminder that South Africa are in their yellow away kit, so as not to clash with the opposition, despite the fact that game has been played in whites since Abraham was giving Isaac throwdowns.

7.27pm BST

24th over: Pakistan 95-3 (Azam 23, Malik 1) The perfect change, the perfect result. Morkel has his third, bringing Shoaib Malik to the crease. Last ball is digged into the ribs but Malik gets away with a single to midwicket.

#CT17 intriguingly,it seems to be Du Plessis calling most of the shots out in the middle. With input from AB.

7.23pm BST

Morkel, back into the attack. Second ball – success. Hafeez commits half-heartedly to a pull and top edges it into the night sky. Imran Tahir, chugging in from fine leg, takes a brilliant diving catch.

7.20pm BST

23rd over: Pakistan 93-2 (Azam 23, Hafeez 26) Only wickets will win this for South Africa. Parnell is just offering width. Surely, the value play for AB de Villiers, is Morkel back on. Fourth ball, another short ball, but this time Azam waits a touch so he can punch it through point for four. It brings up the duos fifty from 91 balls. What started as a farcical partnership has morphed into “match-winning”.

7.18pm BST

22nd over: Pakistan 86-2 (Azam 14, Hafeez 24) Oh hello… Tahir flights one up to Hafeez and the right-hander goes downtown for a glorious six! Tahir scratches his head, AB consults his lines again. Daylight (12 runs) between Pakistan and the DLS par score…

7.14pm BST

21st over: Pakistan 78-2 (Azam 17, Hafeez 17) Wane Parnell, whose first two overs brought no threat and 16 runs, is back into the attack and running into the wind. Hafeez drives into extra cover for two, then dots up the rest of the over. A few play and misses keep things interesting, as AB de Villiers urges his fielders to move things along as quick as possible as he consults his own personal DLS sheet.

7.10pm BST

20th over: Pakistan 76-2 (Azam 17, Hafeez 15) DRAMA! Tahir hits the pad of Babar Azam. Umpire Ravi says not out but South Africa review… it’s definitely pad first… it’s hitting in line… but it’s going over the top! Amazing! Has ball-tracker been set to “PERTH”? Relief for Pakistan. Four runs from the 20th over. We now have a game.

7.04pm BST

19th over: Pakistan 72-2 (Azam 16, Hafeez 13) Something different here as Azam goes up over the in-field on the leg side: almost like a rugby up-and-under in terms of height and distance, as it plugs not far away from the fielders but does allow Azam to nip back for a second. Now Hafeez is playing along – FINALLY! The right-hander gives himself room to punch through cover point. Boundary… no! Brilliant work from Imran Tahir, who palms the ball back in play to save a run and even jumps to his feet to throw into the keeper. The groundstaff are hovering… and Babar hits a four! Short from Morris and Azam helps it on his way over his shoulder. If Pakistan don’t lose a wicket in the next over, they’re officially ahead of the game…

7.00pm BST

18th over: Pakistan 62-2 (Azam 9, Hafeez 10) Stunted appeal for caught behind from Tahir and de Kock. They think Azam has nicked off. He hasn’t – he’s just taken a divot out of the pitch with the toe of his bat. Umpire Ravi, ears like a bat, is unmoved. So, seemingly, is the Pakistan score.

6.58pm BST

17th over: Pakistan 61-2 (Azam 8, Hafeez 10) Morris first ball finds the edge, but the lack of intent from Pakistan means Azam’s soft hands ensure it doesn’t carry to Amla at first slip. Another slipper in now. Nothing for him to sniff at. Yet.

6.53pm BST

Weather update from a man who is normally used to seeing the rain fall mainly on the plain

Just started in Droitwich Spa! Should just about get a game in.

6.50pm BST

16th over: Pakistan 60-2 (Azam 7, Hafeez 10) A feeler from Tahir. Some with a bit of a flight, a couple showing a bit of turn. Three singles taken. And drinks.

6.46pm BST

15th over: Pakistan 57-2 (Azam 5, Hafeez 9) Another strong over for South Africa, this time Morris is the bowler. Two runs conceded. Oh and Imran Tahir is on next…

6.42pm BST

14th over: Pakistan 55-2 (Azam 4, Hafeez 8) Another quality over from Morkel concedes a single to the man out on the leg side fence and a leg bye. He’s currently 2-7 from five overs. Pakistan need 15 runs in the next six overs…

6.37pm BST

13th over: Pakistan 53-2 (Azam 3, Hafeez 8) Two more dots for Hafeez… and now a four! “Glorious cover drive?” I’m sure you’re wondering. “A cut? Perhaps even a front foot whip through midwicket?” Edged, I’m afraid, just out of the reach of first slip. Runs are runs, though. Just ask the Pakistan fans who have just wildly applauded a wide from Morris that brings up the team fifty. Pakistan need to be 70-2 when 20 overs are up if they are to be ahead on DLS…

6.33pm BST

12th over: Pakistan 44-2 (Azam 2, Hafeez 1) Finally, after 20 balls, Azam drops one down to third man for a single. Sarcasting cheers fill the Birmingham air and are soon replaced by a smattering of boos. And a leg bye to end the over. Stop it Pakistan, you’re spoiling us with these four runs from the last five overs…

6.29pm BST

11th over: Pakistan 42-2 (Azam 1, Hafeez 1) Change in the bowling as Chris Morris, another seamer with long legs and longer arms, takes over from Rabada. And that’s three maidens on the bounce. No run scored off the last 19 balls. From enthralling to embarrassing for Pakistan and this innings is only 11 overs old. Hafeez has faced 12 of those 19, by the way…

6.25pm BST

Today’s DLS calculations. Worth keeping tabs on this…

A few umbrellas going up here at Edgbaston. Here’s your DRS table #PakvSA #CT17 pic.twitter.com/rTaUrTqx6F

6.24pm BST

10th over: Pakistan 42-2 (Babar 1, Hafeez 1) Morkel on a roll. Azam plays and misses at a ball that angles in and leaves him, whispering salty nothings in his ear on the way through to Quinton de Kock. Finishes with a similar effort. Azam’s all over the place. Two maidens in a row…

6.20pm BST

AS IT STANDS

oh computer pic.twitter.com/cFjZbELf37

6.19pm BST

9th over: Pakistan 42-2 (Babar 1, Hafeez 1) Nerves from the middle has transferred to the crowd, who are now silent aside from the murmurs of “oh, not again” from those in lighter green. Maiden for Rabada.

6.16pm BST

8th over: Pakistan 42-2 (Babar 1, Hafeez 1) Morne Morkel digs one in short, Fakhar top edges it into his helmet. Laughs. Can I vote for him on tomorrow? Maybe hold fire. Both he and Azhar are out in the space of two balls. Two new batsmen to the crease, in fading light on a pitch that South Africa are just starting to read well. Oh and this…

Now behind on DLS… #ct17

6.13pm BST

Bone-headed from Azhar Ali, who should no better. Morkel digs one in short, Azhar ramps with no real conviction, to Imran Tahir who takes a simple catch. Tumble thrown in for dramatic effect.

6.10pm BST

Oh boo to that. But brilliantly done by Morkel: off-cutter from around the wicket messes with Fakhar’s footwork and timing. Naively, he follows the bounce and edges cleanly to Hashim Amla at first slip.

6.08pm BST

7th over: Pakistan 40-0 (Azhar 9, Fakhar 31) Azhar’s got his eye in. Exhibit A: Rabada, digging one short from around the wicket, rolls his wrists to hit through square leg, all along the floor, for his first boundary.

6.06pm BST

6th over: Pakistan 35-0 (Azhar 5, Fakhar 31) Morne Morkel back into the attack to drag things back for South Africa and he concedes just three. Azhar gets a couple after seemingly an age.

Question has to be asked- where has this FAKHAR been hiding? Great start Pakistan!!

6.02pm BST

5th over: Pakistan 32-0 (Azhar 3, Fakhar 29) This kid. This 27-year-old kid. Rabada gives him length, Fakhar gets under it. Really under it. High and away to long on for four. Next ball, Rabada goes fuller and the leftie punches him through cover. And another tip and run. That’s the most impressive element of Fakhar Zaman so far: he’s keen to rotate the strike with the right-hander. Something Pakistan have seemingly ignored in the past.

5.57pm BST

4th over: Pakistan 23-0 (Fakhar 20, Azhar 3) Get around this Fakhar. First two balls of the over, pings Wayne Parnell twice through cover point. Last ball, he runs the ball down to third man and thinks he can get two. Azhar Ali says no, Fakhar just about hears him in time and dives back into his crease as a throw comes in.

5.53pm BST

3rd over: Pakistan 12-0 (Fakhar 10, Azhar 2) Eeeeeesh… naughty bumper from Rabada has Fakhar flailing. Luckily, the opener’s feet aren’t planeted when the full ball comes later, which he’s able to punch down the ground for four. However, problem for South Africa… fresh from his maiden ODI golden duck, AB de Villiers is struggling badly with what looks to be a right hamstring injury. He was running after that boundary with all the heart of the bloke from that Alt J video…

5.48pm BST

2nd over: Pakistan 7-0 (Azhar 2, Fakhar 5) Second ball of Fakhar’s ODI career is lashed behind point for four. Easy game. Parnell’s short and wide, but his following delivery – just as short but a lot straighter – gets big and threatens the knuckles and throat. Tip and run to cover gets Fakhar off strike. Couple of unwelcome umbrellas up in the crowd…

5.45pm BST

1st over: Pakistan 2-0 (Azhar 2, Fakhar 0) Kagiso Rabada opens the bowling to Azhar Ali, but the man we’re concerned with right now is standing at the nonstriker’s end. Fakhar Zaman, a 27-year-old left-handed batsman, is making his ODI debut. Six List A hundreds to his name and an average of 50, too. He featured in the warm-up matches against Bangladesh and Australia but didn’t get a bat because of, yep, weather. Rabada’s start is spicy: one delivery jumps on Azhar and takes a bit of glove. Two around the corner gets Azhar and Pakistan off the mark. It’ll be Wayne Parnell to Fakhar…

5.40pm BST

One eye to the Sky, the players have made their way out to the middle. Pakistan just need to go at 4.4-an-over from their 50 overs. I’ll keep you abreast of any DLS targets as and when I get them…

5.35pm BST

Evening, evening. Vish here. Hope you’re all dandy. Helluva second innings in prospect at Edgbaston. There’s a bit of shape through the air, a bit of movement off the deck and belief in Pakistani eyes. Finally, the Champions Trophy has its first quality pitch and a competitive matc… sorry, one second – Tom Bryant has just stopped by for a quick chat… [off mic] “Ermm… no… that Gladiators lunchbox was here when I sat down. Well don’t throw it away! I’ll hand it in to Lost Property on my way out… definitely… Sorry? It’s going to tip it down at 6pm? Seriously?! Oh for [PROFANITY WE’D PRINT IN FULL BUT CENSOR ON LIVE TEXT] sake!”

Presumably you heard all of that? Here’s your radar. It looks grim. In other news, Hasan Ali – dead ringer for comically unlucky ne’er-do-well Ziggy Sobotka from The Wire – made amends for his horror show against India with 3-24 from his eight overs and a decent catch to get shot of Kagiso Rabada.

5.15pm BST

So South Africa set Pakistan 220 to win. That was superb from Sarfraz’s side, who were on top throughout and should be pleased with themselves, even if at one point they may have hoped to restrict South Africa to fewer than 200. Still, you wouldn’t be all that surprised if Pakistan fail to chase this down – one thing is likely: there’ll be drama. Join Vithushan Ehantharajah in a few minutes for all the action.

5.12pm BST

50th over: South Africa 219-8 (Miller 75, Morkel 0) Miller is on strike, having smartly sent Rabada back as the ball swirled in the air before that catch was taken at the end of the last over. He pulls the third ball hard for two but he doesn’t want singles so he ignores a couple of chances to bring Morkel onto the strike. Two runs from the first four balls then … make that two from five. The last is clunked through the covers for four.

5.09pm BST

49th over: South Africa 213-8 (Miller 68, Morkel 0) And that’s over. Hasan Ali, having taken that catch, will bowl the final over.

5.08pm BST

Miller hammers Junaid over the top of long off for a huge six. It was barely a half volley but it flew into the stands. Junaid follows up with a bouncer that’s called wide. The batsmen swing a couple of singles away before Rabada top edges a pull for four more. But a top edge from the last steeples into the off side and Hasan takes a tricky tumbling catch.

5.02pm BST

48th over: South Africa 199-7 (Miller 61, Rabada 21) I’ve given you duff information because sumz are hard – this is Amir’s last over so Hassan (in all probability) will be needed for one. Rabada pulls powerfully here for the first boundary since the 39th over and then smartly digs out a yorker. This is a very good over for South Africa in the end – 11 from it. Rabada is the only man to go at better than a run-a-ball this innings.

4.58pm BST

47th over: South Africa 188-7 (Miller 59, Rabada 12) Rabada – who has looked composed and organised since coming to the crease, though not likely to take the game away from anyone – chips a slower ball halfway to cow corner for one and Miller takes a single to move to 59 – 41 of those runs have come in singles.

4.54pm BST

46th over: South Africa 182-7 (Miller 57, Rabada 8) Amir once more. Single, single, single, then Miller does well do dig out at reverse-swinging yorker for two. Runs off every ball, in fact, but still no boundaries.

4.49pm BST

45th over: South Africa 175-7 (Miller 53, Rabada 5) Junaid continues. Four singles from the over: this innings has been a bit England circa 1975-2015.

4.44pm BST

44th over: South Africa 171-7 (Miller 51, Rabada 3) In stat news, there have been just six boundaries in this South Africa innings, four of those from the openers. Amir and Junaid have the overs left to take Pakistan all the way to the end of the innings here. Amir keeps the batsmen to four runs – in singles – on this occasion.

4.40pm BST

43rd over: South Africa 167-7 (Miller 50, Rabada 1) Miller brings up his 50, his slowest in ODIs, from his 83rd ball. Rabada’s awkward shovel shot from his first ball drops a yard or two short of mid on but he digs out a yorker next up to get off the mark. Junaid is convinced the ball hit the batsman’s foot before the bat and convinces his captain to review … then avoid’s Sarfraz’s gaze as the replay show the ball thunking into the middle of the bat.

4.35pm BST

This was coming. Morris has a big heave at Junaid and can only sky the ball towards long off. Hassan takes a calm catch.

Sums up the transformation in Pakistan’s fielding – Hasan Ali put down Yuvraj Singh in almost that exact same spot on Sunday

4.32pm BST

42nd over: South Africa 163-6 (Miller 48, Morris 27) Amir sends down a superb over of full stuff at Chris Morris and South Africa squeeze out just three runs to add to the tally.

“From your list, looks like 7th June attracts low ODI scores,” writes Jeremy Nash. “A couple of crackers from the first world cup this day 1975 including Sunny Gavaskar’s infamous 36* in the full 60 overs.”

4.27pm BST

41st over: South Africa 160-6 (Miller 48, Morris 24) Junaid Khan returns to the attack. And he’s bowled him! But it’s a no ball! Morris was clean bowled but Junaid had overstepped by an inch or two. Morris, like his batting partner, gets a reprieve. He digs out the free hit for a single. Junaid then beats Miller’s inside edge with a beauty.

4.22pm BST

40th over: South Africa 156-6 (Miller 47, Morris 22) It says much for the fragility of this Pakistan side that I’m already fretting about their ability to chase down what’s sure to be a modest total even if these two batsmen stick around for a while. Amir continues and from the last knocks Miller of his feet with a yorker that crashes into the pad. Up goes the appeal and up goes the finger but Miller reviews immediately. Well, immediately after picking himself up. This could be sliding down the leg-side … and it is (by quite a distance). Miller gets a reprieve.

4.15pm BST

39th over: South Africa 153-6 (Miller 47, Morris 19) BOOM! Chris Morris gets down on one knee and hammers Shadab down to cow corner for four. Fine shot. And if either of these batsmen has a bit of freedom to attack it’s him. Miller joins him in a sweep but picks up just a single as he egdes towards his half-century.

4.12pm BST

38th over: South Africa 143-6 (Miller 45, Morris 11) Amir returns to the fray as Pakistan hunt for that one wicket that would get them into the tail. Five runs from it as South Africa continue to play it safe.

4.10pm BST

37th over: South Africa 140-6 (Miller 43, Morris 10) Imad returns to the attack. Just a couple of singles again.

“I’m following the match by OBO and, apart from being truly astounded by the different teams fielded by Pakistan today and against India (so many players with the same name, yet universes apart in ability and commitment), I find myself wondering what are the lowest totals scored in international tournaments by sides that used up all their allotted 50 overs,” writes Chris Fowler. “ I don’t mean the minnows in a World Cup, I mean this sort of contest, between two habitually able sides. South Africa would seem to trying to book themselves a place of honour in that list, the way they’re going up to now (over 35).”

4.04pm BST

36th over: South Africa 138-6 (Miller 42, Morris 9) Shadab continues and drags one down but Miller can only pick out the man on the midwicket boundary. Five from the over.

“I’m not sure if I’m referencing Freud or Star Wars, but I can’t help feeling that Pakistan is somehow a reification of all of South Africa’s darkest fears,” writes Peter Salmon. “A team that wins when it should lose (which is the opposite of South Africa), wilful, mercurial, and which operates entirely by emotion (the Bizarro Kallis). A serpent, wrapped around the very being of the Proteas, but whose existence the victim somehow willed, and without whom it ceases to be … As Nietzsche said, ‘when you stare into the abyss, the abyss stares into you’. The Proteas should have that on their team whiteboard on days like this.”

4.00pm BST

35th over: South Africa 133-6 (Miller 40, Morris 6) After drinks – tea, milk, no sugar, thanks – the excellent Hassan continues. Miller, the key for South Africa if they are to post any kind of competitive total, pushes to the extra cover boundary for two then drives more forcefully for a single. Five in total from the over.

3.53pm BST

34th over: South Africa 128-6 (Miller 37, Morris 4) Morris has a nice big footwork-free heave at Shadab, who watches the ball rip past the swishing outside edge. Two from the over and South Africa going nowhere fast.

3.50pm BST

33rd over: South Africa 126-6 (Miller 36, Morris 3) Morris again struggles to pierce the field as Hassan charges in once more. Eventually he flicks to deep square leg for a single. Three from the over.

3.46pm BST

32nd over: South Africa 123-6 (Miller 34, Morris 2) Shadab gets the chance to bowl at Morris, who is a terrific striker of the ball but perhaps not the greatest manipulator of the strike. He struggles to get the leggie away and there’s just two singles from the over.

3.44pm BST

Is there a more thrilling thing in cricket/sport than Pakistan bowlers with their tails up?

3.43pm BST

31st over: South Africa 121-6 (Miller 33, Morris 1) Hassan’s hat-trick ball is an attempted yorker that Miller does well to dig out. The bowler collects and throws down the stumps for good measure. Miller got his back foot back just in time. A brilliant stop from Hafeez at extra cover keeps the volume cranked up to 11. Pakistan are crackling with energy and enthusiasm. A superb maiden from Hassan.

3.39pm BST

30th over: South Africa 121-6 (Miller 33, Morris 1) The 18-year-old leg-spinner Shadab Khan comes into the attack for the first time. He sends down two dots at Miller then has his utterly flummoxed and beats him past the outside edge with one that goes straight on. Morris gets off the mark with a top edge that drops safe. Three from the over. Hat-trick ball to come …

3.36pm BST

29th over: South Africa 118-6 (Miller 31, Morris 0) Brilliant stuff from the seamer, who has figures of 4-0-10-3. That last ball was a jaffa, angled in from round the wicker and just seeming away a touch to crash into off-stump. Glorious.

3.34pm BST

That wicket puts Pakistan in among the all rounders. And … OOF! This one has off stump cartwheeling out of the ground. Parnell goes first ball and Hassan will start his next over on a hat-trick.

3.32pm BST

Cracking catch this. Hassan has bowled beautifully and has his second wicket. Duminy edges a full one to slip and Babar takes a brilliant diving catch low to his right.

3.28pm BST

28th over: South Africa 114-4 (Miller 29, Duminy 6) Hafeez is going to bowl his full 10-over allotment in one spell. Two runs from the first five balls then Miller charges down the track and launches him over long on for six. Hafeez finishes with figures of 10-0-51-1, which don’t really reflect how well he’s bowled.

3.24pm BST

27th over: South Africa 106-4 (Miller 22, Duminy 5) Hassan sends down five dots at Miller, the penultimate of which is a well directed short ball that has the batsman flailing. The first maiden of the innings … no, Miller carves a drive through extra cover for a single from the last.

3.21pm BST

26th over: South Africa 105-4 (Miller 21, Duminy 5) Hafeez into his ninth over on the bounce. CLONK! Miller heaves him into the stands wide of long on for six! Fine shot, and one that eases the pressure a touch.

3.18pm BST

25th over: South Africa 97-4 (Miller 14, Duminy 4) Hassan continues and Miller continues to struggle to get the ball away. Three dots then a push for a single. Duminy shovels a pull out to square leg for another, then a quick Hassan bouncer flies through to Sarfraz. Just those two from the over.

3.14pm BST

24th over: South Africa 95-4 (Miller 13, Duminy 3) JP Duminy has immediately looked at ease out there – three balls faced, three singles scored. A fine stop from Shadab at short extra cover denies Miller a boundary but he cuts away for a single from the next. Just two runs from Hafeez’s latest.

3.11pm BST

23rd over: South Africa 93-4 (Miller 12, Duminy 2) These two now have a rescue job on their hands. They’re more than capable of doing it obviously, but Pakistan are in inspired mood.

3.07pm BST

Hassan Ali into the attack. And Faf du Plessis out! The South Africa No3 drags Hassan’s second ball back onto his stumps and he’s gone for a 44-ball 26.

3.06pm BST

22nd over: South Africa 90-3 (Du Plessis 26, Miller 11) Beautiful shot from Du Plessis, who lap-sweeps Hafeez to fine leg for four. That’s his first boundary, from his 41st ball.

A bit of extra info on that AB stat from earlier from Ali Martin: “AB has in fact now completed the set – a golden duck in ODI (today), Twenty20 (last year v Australia in Durban) and Test cricket (2012 v New Zealand in Dunedin). Also signed off from his Test career, perhaps, with a pair against England in Centurion …”

3.03pm BST

21st over: South Africa 83-3 (Du Plessis 20, Miller 10) South Africa churn out the singles like a late 90s Indie band (Mansun had five – five! – from Attack of the Grey Lantern). And, like Mansun’s Attack of the Grey Lantern, there are five singles from this Imad over.

2.58pm BST

20th over: South Africa 78-3 (Du Plessis 17, Miller 8) “It’s great to watch this fight shown by Pakistan,” writes Ian Copestake. “Nasser Hussain got a bit of a strop on when one fielder applauded a Pakistan miss at the stumps when he should have hit them, but it missed the point of the togetherness the team is showing after what was an utter collective brain fart of a performance against India.”

Runs from this Hafeez over, seven of them, all in ones and (Roger) twos.

2.54pm BST

19th over: South Africa 71-3 (Du Plessis 13, Miller 5) Every dot is being cheered from the stands and the Pakistan players seem to be feeding on that energy. There are three for the fans to celebrate here and just three singles from another excellent Imad over.

2.51pm BST

18th over: South Africa 68-3 (Du Plessis 11, Miller 4) Three wickets for the spinners but I don’t think we’ve seen a ball turn yet. It’s just been good, accurate wicket-to-wicket stuff. There’s even a spot of good fielding in the covers here: who are you and what have you done with Pakistan? Two singles from this Hafeez over.

2.48pm BST

17th over: South Africa 66-3 (Du Plessis 10, Miller 3) We have apparently just seen AB de Villiers’ first ever golden duck. Though I think we should really add “in professional cricket” to that – there has to have been a golden in the back garden or down the park at some point.

A brief break for drinks then Imad continues. Just two singles from the over once again.

2.42pm BST

16th over: South Africa 64-3 (Du Plessis 9, Miller 2) Hafeez continues. The batsmen nudge and nurdle a single each. The Pakistan spinners have been excellent – their combined figures: 8-0-25-3.

2.38pm BST

15th over: South Africa 62-3 (Du Plessis 8, Miller 1) Well, well, well.Who’s going to be the first to use the word ‘choke’?” Behave yourself, John Starbuck. This has become a wonderful start for Pakistan. Imad has two for eight from his four overs.

2.36pm BST

De Kock’s 33 came off a 49 balls. Sedate by his standards. Imad (2-0-6-1) continues. And he has De Villiers first ball! Edgbaston goes bananas! The South Africa captain played a loose cut and picked out the man at backward point. Hafeez takes the catch to spark some early-afternoon pandemonium.

2.34pm BST

14th over: South Africa 60-2 (Du Plessis 7, De Villiers 0) Another important wicket for Pakistan, who are right in the game at the moment. De Kock goes in similar circumstances to Amla, trapped lbw by a spinner just as he looked to break the shackles.

2.32pm BST

De Kock skips down the wicket to Hafeez and launches him down to cow corner for a one-bounce four. Lovely shot. But two balls later he’s gone! Hafeez should’ve had him last over but this time the finger goes up as De Kock misses a slog sweep.

2.29pm BST

13th over: South Africa 55-1 (De Kock 29, Du Plessis 6) On commentary Rameez Raja reckons that failure to review was down to a “lack of positive intent” but that seems a little harsh – it was definitely one of those that you expect to see clipping leg stump but going with the umpire’s call. Imad rattles through another tidy over – just a single from it.

2.27pm BST

12th over: South Africa 54-1 (De Kock 29, Du Plessis 5) Chalk up another misfield – Farkad makes a mess of a simple collect in the deep. To be fair, the outfield is one of those that stokes fear of horrible knee injuries, though neither of the misfields so far were due to an unwillingness to dive. There’s a big shout from the last as Hafeez slaps De Kock on the pad. Umpire Illingworth reckons it’s going down and Pakistan opt not to review. Hawkeye shows it would’ve have been overturned on review.

2.22pm BST

11th over: South Africa 50-1 (De Kock 26, Du Plessis 4) A misfield at extra cover – Shahzad, on as 12th man – allows Du Plessis a single that should not have been. Still, just three from another tidy Imad over.

2.18pm BST

10th over: South Africa 47-1 (De Kock 24, Du Plessis 3) Mohammad Hafeez into the attack at the Birmingham End. De Kock drills one wide of midwicket and Junaid has a long chase to the boundary – the batsmen run three. Six from the over.

2.14pm BST

9th over: South Africa 41-1 (De Kock 20, Du Plessis 1) A huge breakthrough for Pakistan just as Amla looked to be going through the gears. There’s no respite in this South Africa batting lineup, though. Faf du Plessis nudges himself off the mark.

2.12pm BST

Left-armer spinner Imad Wasim comes into the attack and he immediately makes the breakthrough. Amla goes back and looks to turn through the leg-side, misses, and is caught plumb.

2.08pm BST

8th over: South Africa 39-0 (De Kock 19, Amla 16) Signs that these two are, like a wedding guest after the five-drink mark, beginning to find their rhythm. Amla flicks Junaid off his hip for four and there’s nine from the over.

2.03pm BST

7th over: South Africa 30-0 (De Kock 17, Amla 9) Two more dots, then De Kock nudges Amir for a single. That’s the only run from the first five balls but from the last Amla steps to the off and heaves a short one out to the midwicket boundary for four.

1.59pm BST

6th over: South Africa 25-0 (De Kock 16, Amla 5) That bus gets around. How does one bus get all the big gigs? There must be other buses that could do the job. It’s the Michael Buffer of buses. The Bill Nighy of buses.

Junaid continues. De Kock picks the slower ball from the last and nudges through the on-side but again the ball slows up on the outfield. Three runs, five from the over. When was the last time South Africa scored only one boundary in the first six overs of an ODI?

1.55pm BST

5th over: South Africa 20-0 (De Kock 11, Amla 5) Amir goes short to Amla and gets called for a couple of wides, with Amla having a bit of a flap at the second. Neither batsman has really settled so far. Six from the over in ones and wides.

Meanwhile …

Told by a police officer outside Edgbaston that the Pakistan team bus is formerly Boris Johnson’s “£350m back to the NHS” Brexit bus…

1.49pm BST

4th over: South Africa 14-0 (De Kock 9, Amla 4) The ball is just nipping around a touch and it’s Junaid’s turn to find the inside edge. This time the pad comes to De Kock’s rescue. But the pad is the offending party next up, with Junaid yelping an lbw appeal – it was a bit high and going down (but other than that etc and so forth). And a third reprieve for De Kock – a forcing drive, a thick edge … and four runs through the vacant third slip area.

1.45pm BST

3rd over: South Africa 10-0 (De Kock 5, Amla 4) Amir is a whisker away from doing for De Kock, jagging one back and finding the inside edge. The ball, though, misses the stumps and drops a yard or two short of Sarfraz. Three dots later Malik has the chance for a run out but misses the stumps from mid on – De Kock was well short. That was an opportunity to turn a solid start for Pakistan into a very good one.

1.41pm BST

2nd over: South Africa 7-0 (De Kock 4, Amla 2) It’s Junaid Khan at the other end. De Kock thick edges to third man for a single and Amla gets off the mark with a push through the covers for a couple – on a quick outfield that might have made the boundary but the surface looks a little slow. Amla looks to take that out of the occasion with a huge waft at the next but he connects only with Edgbaston air and the ball zips through to Sarfraz.

1.36pm BST

1st over: South Africa 4-0 (De Kock 3, Amla 0) Mohammad Amir starts off with the ball for Pakistan and starts off with a wide. A couple of dots later he offers De Kock a little too much width and he carves away through backward point for three.

“Away kits? Has cricket finally gone stark staring mad?” rages Richard O’Hagan. “Why in the name of Kerry Packer’s wallet does any team need an away kit?” To be fair, I think, strictly speaking, it’s their T20 kit rather than a bespoke change kit. AndIthinkIquitelikeitthereIsaidit.

1.26pm BST

Out come the teams. Pakistan in their traditional green; South Africa in their away kit of eye-wateringly bright yellow.

1.07pm BST

South Africa: De Kock, Amla, Du Plessis, De Villiers, Miller, Duminy, Morris, Parnell, Rabada, Morkel, Tahir.

Pakistan: Azhar, Fakhar, Babar, Hafeez, Malik, Sarfraz, Imad, Amir, Shadab, Hassan, Junaid.

1.06pm BST

South Africa win the toss and they’re going to have a bat. “We feel getting a big total is going to be important,” says AB de Villiers. No changes to the Saffers side.

Sarfraz says he would’ve preferred to bat first. Two changes for Pakistan: Junaid Khan and Fakhar Zaman come in.

12.51pm BST

This should also be on your pre-match reading/viewing list:

12.46pm BST

A couple of bits of cricket news you may have missed. Adil Rashid is a happy chap:

Related: Adil Rashid happy to play part in England squad after impressive return

Related: Cricket Australia pay offer ‘a very fair deal’, says Adam Gilchrist

9.57am BST

Hello all. It’s slightly unfortunate that on matchdays in this tournament so far thoughts immediately turn to the weather and today there’s good news and bad news. The good news is that the forecast for Edgbaston is dry until around 6ish, at which point the bad news kicks in, with rain more likely as the evening goes on. We should squeeze a game in with a bit of luck. Fingers crossed.

With that unpleasant business out of the way, on to the cricket. This looks like a mismatch on paper – a somewhat shambolic Pakistan began their Champions Trophy campaign with a comprehensive 124-run defeat against India, while world No1s South Africa battered Sri Lanka by 96 runs – but there is hope for the underdogs. Pakistan have won three of the last four ODI meetings between these sides, including their most recent fixture at the 2015 World Cup.

Continue reading…

Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/sport/live/2017/jun/07/pakistan-v-south-africa-icc-champions-trophy-live

Jun 07

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

• South Africa 219-8, Pakistan 119–3 after 27 overs
• Pakistan won by 19 runs (DLS)

Pakistan lived up to every well-worn trope about the mercurial nature of their cricket, delivering a resurgent, prediction-defying performance in the field followed by a tense run chase that felled South Africa via Duckworth-Lewis and kept their Champions Trophy campaign alive.

Sarfraz Ahmed’s side had been written off as no-hopers after their lamentable defeat to India here on Sunday. But as the rain fell in Birmingham and forced the players off at 7.38pm, his batsmen were 119 for three from 27 overs, chasing 220 to win, and 19 runs above the par score of 100. Victory was theirs when the match was called off at 9.44pm.

Related: India and Pakistan fans put aside their rivalry and pay their respects | Andy Bull

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2017/jun/07/south-africa-pakistan-champions-trophy-group-b-match-report

May 16

Misbah and Younis did more than serve Pakistan – they served cricket

One of the great Test partnerships has ended with the retirement of Misbah-ul-Haq and Younis Khan, who carried Pakistan through their darkest years

Some retirements leave you feeling older all of a sudden, as if time has just moved on in a leap. There were two such on Sunday night. Misbah-ul-Haq and Younis Khan played their final games, a Test against West Indies at Windsor Park in Dominica.

Related: David Warner’s Ashes power play strikes blow for players left behind | Vic Marks

Related: Sign up to the Spin

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2017/may/16/misbah-ul-haq-younis-khan-pakistan-retirement-cricket

Apr 05

Wisden accolade caps stellar year for Warwickshire’s Chris Woakes

• England player is named as one of publication’s five cricketers of the years
• Others are Ben Duckett, Toby Roland-Jones, Misbah-ul-Haq and Younis Khan

Chris Woakes of Warwickshire has been named as one of Wisden’s five cricketers of the year to cap a stellar 12 months in which he went from the brink of the international scrap heap to playing a central role in England’s Test and one-day teams.

He is named in the quintet along with Ben Duckett, rewarded for his 2,706-run summer for Northamptonshire and England Lions, Toby Roland-Jones, the seamer whose wickets helped Middlesex win the County Championship, and Pakistan’s two veteran batsmen Misbah-ul-Haq and Younis Khan.

Related: Chris Woakes: ‘The IPL is a one-off opportunity I can’t turn down’

Continue reading…

Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2017/apr/05/chris-woakes-wisden-cricketers-of-the-year-england

Mar 26

Al-Qaida leader behind Islamabad hotel bomb ‘killed by US drone’

Qari Yasin is believed to be linked to the 2008 Marriott atrocity and the 2009 attack on the Sri Lankan cricket team bus

An al-Qaida leader believed to be responsible for the 2008 Marriott hotel bombing in Islamabad and the deadly attack on a bus carrying Sri Lanka’s cricket team in 2009 has been killed by a US air strike, the Pentagon claims.

The drone attack on Qari Yasin, “a well-known terrorist leader” with ties to the Pakistan Taliban, took place on 19 March in Paktika province, the Pentagon said in a statement.

Related: The Spin | The first step on a long, difficult but welcome road back to cricket in Pakistan

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/mar/26/al-qaida-leader-behind-islamabad-hotel-bomb-killed-by-us-drone

Mar 07

The Spin | The first step on a long, difficult but welcome road back to cricket in Pakistan

The news that the country is to host international cricket again will be greeted with joy there and caution elsewhere but can only be good news for the game

Last Sunday there were a dozen games of cricket going on in one place or another, domestic fixtures in towns and cities across Bangladesh, South Africa and Zimbabwe, a one-day international in North Sound, Antigua, another, between two women’s teams, in Mount Maunganui, New Zealand, and the second Test between India and Australia in Bengaluru.

Related: Pakistan to host international cricket again with T20 series versus World XI

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2017/mar/07/pakistan-return-international-cricket-the-spin

Mar 06

Pakistan to host international cricket again with T20 series versus World XI

• Four-match Independence Cup series to take place in Lahore in September
• Giles Clarke: ‘The terrorists cannot win – cricket must not give up on Pakistan’

The International Cricket Council is planning to send a World XI to Pakistan in late September for a four-match Twenty20 series in Lahore that will look to build on the successful staging of the Pakistan Super League final in the city on Sunday.

The four-match series at the Gaddafi Stadium – to be called The Independence Cup to mark the 70th anniversary of partition – is intended to continue the reintroduction of top-level cricket to the country after a near eight-year hiatus. The break resulted from the attack on the Sri Lanka team bus in 2009 and has meant Pakistan, bar one series against Zimbabwe two years ago, have played home internationals at neutral venues.

Related: Joe Root and Chris Woakes save England to seal series win over West Indies

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2017/mar/06/pakistan-host-international-cricket-t20-series-world-xi-icc

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