ICC World Cup - 2nd semi final

Australia v South Africa

Australia won by 7 wickets (with 111 balls remaining)

0.1

Pollock to Gilchrist, no run, on off stump, a good length and it's defended

0.2

Pollock to Gilchrist, no run, just angling back into Gilchrist this time who rocks back, defends it to leg and tells Hayden to "wait there". Hayden does just that

0.3

Pollock to Gilchrist, no run, a well-timed defensive push back to the bowler

Apparently, according to Botham, South Africa have "no second chance" here. Well I never.

0.4

Pollock to Gilchrist, 1 run, Pollocks drifts this one down the leg side and Gilchrist nobbles it off his pads for a bye

Good grief. It's Hayden on strike. Watch out, crowd

Just one slip in

0.5

Pollock to Hayden, no run, short and wide, Hayden's eyes light up and he cracks it straight to short extra cover

Hammered, in fact. Absolutely hammered, but no placement

0.6

Pollock to Hayden, no run, Pollock roars for no apparent reason, probably just felt like it, and Hayden defends this off the back foot

Just a single from that opening over - a disciplined one from Pollock

End of over 1 (1 run) Australia 1/0 (149 runs required from 49 overs, RR: 1.00, RRR: 3.04)
ML Hayden    0* (2b)      SM Pollock    1-0-1-0
AC Gilchrist    1* (4b)     

Now then, it'll be Langeveldt from the other end with two slips

1.1

Langeveldt to Gilchrist, OUT, oh and he's bowled him! A terrific ball, swinging very late into Gilchrist who was rather trapped on the crease - trying to work it to leg - and it squeezed through the gate, knocking out his middle stump

AC Gilchrist b Langeveldt 1 (4m 5b 0x4 0x6) SR: 20.00

Super ball, that. Langeveldt's benefiting from the breeze whooshing across the ground which really will help with his inswing to the left-hander. Can he produce an outswinging beauty for Ricky "aw look, mate" Ponting?

1.2

Langeveldt to Ponting, 1 wide, well he got a bit too excited there, Langeveldt. Short, wobbling down Ponting's leg side who attempted to pull before realising there was no need

1.2

Langeveldt to Ponting, no run, and that'll be another wide this time outside the off stump. But no, Aleem Dar thinks about it but decides it's just within the limitations

1.3

Langeveldt to Ponting, no run, again very wide and much too short from Langeveldt, allowing Ponting to crack it off the back foot into the covers

Pitch it up...

1.4

Langeveldt to Ponting, no run, ah, there's the length; Ponting comes forward, almost walking into this forward defensive

Encouraging swing again for Langeveldt

1.5

Langeveldt to Ponting, no run, a touch too short again but the line was straight, forcing Ponting to defend which he did with the straightest of bats

1.6

Langeveldt to Ponting, FOUR, my word, that is a thing of majesty from Ponting. On his middle-and-leg stump, he walks into the most perfectly timed on-drive

Quite beautifully played. The on-drive is the most delicious of strokes, and one I cannot play for the life of me

End of over 2 (5 runs) Australia 6/1 (144 runs required from 48 overs, RR: 3.00, RRR: 3.00)
RT Ponting    4* (5b 1x4)      CK Langeveldt    1-0-5-1
ML Hayden    0* (2b)      SM Pollock    1-0-1-0

2.1

Pollock to Hayden, no run, Hayden is forward, taking a giant stride down the pitch, working it powerfully to mid-off

2.2

Pollock to Hayden, no run, far too wide from Pollock who is very fortunate not to be clattered for at least four; Hayden cracked it powerfully off the back foot but straight to point

2.3

Pollock to Hayden, no run, swinging into Hayden, a much better length this time and it's pushed to a short extra cover

2.4

Pollock to Hayden, no run, just short of a length, Hayden cuts it to cover but again can't break the gap

2.5

Pollock to Hayden, no run, well bowled. Angling across Hayden who immediately decides to leave it alone, shouldering arms. Six of those please, Pollock

2.6

Pollock to Hayden, no run, and he finishes the over well, dead-eye straight and Hayden works it to leg but can't get a single

End of over 3 (maiden) Australia 6/1 (144 runs required from 47 overs, RR: 2.00, RRR: 3.06)
ML Hayden    0* (8b)      SM Pollock    2-1-1-0
RT Ponting    4* (5b 1x4)      CK Langeveldt    1-0-5-1

3.1

Langeveldt to Ponting, FOUR, and he's dropped. Ponting pulls, with immense power, and Prince at short midwicket dives to his right to attempt to pull off one of the tournament's most brilliant catches...but can only get a fingertip to it. Such was the force if Ponting's stroke that it still went for four

3.2

Langeveldt to Ponting, 1 no ball, cracked off the back foot to cover

3.2

Langeveldt to Ponting, no run, good line, here, Ponting pushing it off the back foot

3.3

Langeveldt to Ponting, FOUR, shot, Ponting, pulling this shorter delivery quite beautifully through midwicket - in front of square, too

He is looking in quite ominous touch here

3.4

Langeveldt to Ponting, no run, ah, good comeback from Langeveldt, the former prison officer, forcing Ponting to defend on the front foot. That's the length

"It don't mean a thing if it aint got the swing" roars Esher's Martin Williamson

3.5

Langeveldt to Ponting, no run, "nah mate," cries Ponting as he creams this straight to cover

3.6

Langeveldt to Ponting, FOUR, exquisitely driven straight back past the bowler for four. No more need be said

End of over 4 (13 runs) Australia 19/1 (131 runs required from 46 overs, RR: 4.75, RRR: 2.84)
RT Ponting    16* (12b 4x4)      CK Langeveldt    2-0-18-1
ML Hayden    0* (8b)      SM Pollock    2-1-1-0

4.1

Pollock to Hayden, no run, cut to point; Hayden still can't get off the mark

Are we feeling sorry for Hayden? Are we balderdash...

4.2

Pollock to Hayden, 3 runs, oh but he's off the mark now. Hayden's had enough of this block-prod-block malarkey, picking up this half volley and dispatching it over midwicket for four. Not pretty, but very Hayden-esque

4.3

Pollock to Ponting, 1 run, that's a terrific line from Pollock, on off stump and Ponting pushes it just past the bowler - immediately Ponting sets off for a run, and gets it, much to Pollock's disgust

4.4

Pollock to Hayden, no run, a squirted, smudged yet purposeful inside edge to mid-on

4.5

Pollock to Hayden, no run, good length just outside off and Hayden is resolute in defence

4.6

Pollock to Hayden, FOUR, oh he's definitely had enough now, Hayden. A stroke of brute, ugly power, heaving it through midwicket, flat, for four

End of over 5 (8 runs) Australia 27/1 (123 runs required from 45 overs, RR: 5.40, RRR: 2.73)
ML Hayden    7* (13b 1x4)      SM Pollock    3-1-9-0
RT Ponting    17* (13b 4x4)      CK Langeveldt    2-0-18-1

And Smith has managed to persuade Kallis to take the ball. Ponting's now moving the sightscreen - well, not him exactly, but he's gesturing to the winners on the boundary to shift it. And finally, we can resume...

5.1

Kallis to Ponting, no run, a touch too wide but a good length, Ponting defends off the back foot back to Kallis

A walking defence

5.2

Kallis to Ponting, no run, too straight from Kallis, on Ponting's middle stump and he flicks his wrists to midwicket, setting off for a single before Hayden sends him back

5.3

Kallis to Ponting, no run, another big stride down the pitch from Ponting, creaming it to cover. He looks in absurd touch

5.4

Kallis to Ponting, no run, good length, just drawing Ponting forward - at good pace, too - and Ponting cracks it on the front foot, opening the face of the bat, to Gibbs at point

5.5

Kallis to Ponting, no run, driven to extra cover

5.6

Kallis to Ponting, no run, a textbook cover drive, but straight to mid-off

End of over 6 (maiden) Australia 27/1 (123 runs required from 44 overs, RR: 4.50, RRR: 2.79)
RT Ponting    17* (19b 4x4)      JH Kallis    1-1-0-0
ML Hayden    7* (13b 1x4)      SM Pollock    3-1-9-0

Ah, excellent, here's Andre Nel into the attack. Here he comes, tearing up to the crease

6.1

Nel to Hayden, no run, and it's defended off the back foot

Nel already looks like he's about to blow a gasket. He is furious

6.2

Nel to Hayden, 1 run, banged in short, but it's down the leg side and Hayden works it down to fine-leg. Nel falls over in his follow-through, as he so often does

6.3

Nel to Ponting, FOUR, terrible ball, a massive wide which Ponting just leans into, stroking it through cover, bisecting mid-off and cover, and it races for four. Absolutely no chance of stopping that

6.4

Nel to Ponting, 1 run, ooh that's better from Nel, a tighter line which forces Ponting to defend...though it's padded away and they pick up a single

Slip in, and a man on the drive

6.5

Nel to Hayden, 1 run, but it's too straight, Nel not able to adjust his line and Hayden clips a single to leg

6.6

Nel to Ponting, no run, driven to mid-off

End of over 7 (7 runs) Australia 34/1 (116 runs required from 43 overs, RR: 4.85, RRR: 2.69)
RT Ponting    22* (22b 5x4)      A Nel    1-0-7-0
ML Hayden    9* (16b 1x4)      JH Kallis    1-1-0-0

Well this is all going smoothly for 'straya. Judging by the lack of emails coming in, I suggest most people have switched off, such is their confidence Australia will win. Can't blame you, but do stick around if you can

7.1

Kallis to Hayden, 1 wide, good bounce from Kallis but, oh dear, it's very wide of the off stump and rightly wided by the not-so-wide umpire

7.1

Kallis to Hayden, no run, ooh and a play-and-a-miss outside off - fuller this time from Kallis and Hayden tries to late cut, but the ball kept a touch low

7.2

Kallis to Hayden, no run, crunched on the front foot to cover

7.3

Kallis to Hayden, no run, hammered! My word, he very nearly killed short extra cover. Andrew Hall the fielder there

7.4

Kallis to Hayden, FOUR, grief, that is some shot from Hayden. No great foot movement, flicked on the up through mid-on for four. Extraordinary shot in fact

7.5

Kallis to Hayden, 1 run, pushed to mid-off this time and he sets off for a single

More sightscreen nonsense

7.6

Kallis to Ponting, no run, worked to leg but no single on offer

End of over 8 (6 runs) Australia 40/1 (110 runs required from 42 overs, RR: 5.00, RRR: 2.61)
RT Ponting    22* (23b 5x4)      JH Kallis    2-1-6-0
ML Hayden    14* (21b 2x4)      A Nel    1-0-7-0

Australia are cruising like a luxury ferry on the ocean here. All too easy. Around the wicket from Nel

8.1

Nel to Hayden, no run, defended on the front foot

Matt in the US says: "Oh, we are still here. Just not much to talk about. This is like watching a puppy get mauled by rabid turtles. Slow yet ruthless." We like that line

8.2

Nel to Hayden, no run, just a touch wide, giving Hayden the room to free his arms and he strokes it to cover but Hall does magnificently to prevent the single. Or the two, three or indeed four

8.3

Nel to Hayden, no run, tighter line and a fuller length which Hayden back-cuts to point

8.4

Nel to Hayden, 3 runs, on leg stump, Hayden leans on it and clips it through midwicket. But the man at deep midwicket makes a fumble, allowing them through for two. Hall is not pleased, and the stump mic picks up every word

8.5

Nel to Ponting, 1 wide, wide of the off stump, left alone...but it's a wide

8.5

Nel to Ponting, no run, down on one knee, Ponting carves it to cover

8.6

Nel to Ponting, OUT, got him! Terrific ball from Nel, yorking Ponting who tried to work it through midwicket, playing across the line - a poor stroke to a very fine ball, and Nel sets off on a Bravo-like aeroplane celebration lap of the wicket

RT Ponting b Nel 22 (38m 25b 5x4 0x6) SR: 88.00

End of over 9 (4 runs) Australia 44/2 (106 runs required from 41 overs, RR: 4.88, RRR: 2.58)
     A Nel    2-0-11-1
ML Hayden    17* (25b 2x4)      JH Kallis    2-1-6-0

Gnasher, cricket's biggest fan, sighs a huge, erm, sigh of relief as he announces he's finished Cricinfo's county wrap. Evidence that the treadmill of cricket is taking its toll on everyone?

9.1

Kallis to Hayden, 1 run, swinging into Hayden who works it through midwicket

9.2

Kallis to Clarke, 1 leg bye, drifting down Clarke's leg side and he works it off his pads

9.3

Kallis to Hayden, FOUR, absolutely magnificent shot. The power...just breathless. Perfectly reasonable ball; Hayden swings through the line like a monster, and even though it rattles off the non-striker's stumps, no one can stop that going for four. Ominous power

9.4

Kallis to Hayden, no run, again monstrously struck but this time straight to mid-off

9.5

Kallis to Hayden, no run, timed off the back foot to extra cover

A Michael-Vaughan-like very-short-mid-on comes in

9.6

Kallis to Hayden, no run, Hayden pulls but, for once, can't get hold of it

Here's Jenno for another 10 overs. T'ra for now. And h'lo from me. Cheers Willo.

End of over 10 (6 runs) Australia 50/2 (100 runs required from 40 overs, RR: 5.00, RRR: 2.50)
ML Hayden    22* (30b 3x4)      JH Kallis    3-1-11-0
MJ Clarke    0* (1b)      A Nel    2-0-11-1

10.1

Nel to Clarke, no run, shuffled through, bustling effort, but that's just left alone outside off - Clarke with all the time in the world (cue Louis Armstrong song music)

10.2

Nel to Clarke, no run, more leaving

10.3

Nel to Clarke, no run, a bit of wobble and no dobble as that one nips back in and that's defended forward

10.4

Nel to Clarke, no run, more leaving this time, that one outside off

Clarke's practising his Robin-Smith style sway-and-leaves - no Judge eyes, though, disappointingly

10.5

Nel to Clarke, FOUR, nice shot to get off the mark, leaning into that one outside off on the front foot and Nel's furious with himself

10.6

Nel to Clarke, no run, outside off and that's just defended forward

CB in Australia has this to say: "Clearly Matt is from South Africa, as I don't see a puppy getting mauled, I see a cake in the oven, played in fast slow motion (if there is such a thing), slowly yet seamlessly rising." I think both are valid. Anyway, let's see what they can cook up now

End of over 11 (4 runs) Australia 54/2 (96 runs required from 39 overs, RR: 4.90, RRR: 2.46)
MJ Clarke    4* (7b 1x4)      A Nel    3-0-15-1
ML Hayden    22* (30b 3x4)      JH Kallis    3-1-11-0

11.1

Kallis to Hayden, 2 runs, over the wicket, by the way, that's poked into the covers for a quick single and there's a very close shy from ABCdEV... ooh. Overthrows result

11.2

Kallis to Hayden, 1 run, dabbed out off the back foot out to deep point where it's winged back in without much fuss

The gum-chewing Hayden's now doing some gardening. Somehow I can't really see him planting begonias and tending to his lavender in 'real life', but you never know

11.3

Kallis to Clarke, no run, left alone outside off

11.4

Kallis to Clarke, no run, short, straight and that's defended down, Clarke calling for Hayden to "Wait on". Again, I can't see him doing that, either

11.5

Kallis to Clarke, no run, hostile bouncer, Kallis finding some spring there with one which whistles past the grille. Good bouncing, there

11.6

Kallis to Clarke, no run, a tamer one, this just floating down the channel and it's left alone easily

This pair haven't exactly been in a rush since they came together - despite that near run-out: nevertheless they are picking the runs off when they're available

End of over 12 (3 runs) Australia 57/2 (93 runs required from 38 overs, RR: 4.75, RRR: 2.44)
MJ Clarke    4* (11b 1x4)      JH Kallis    4-1-14-0
ML Hayden    25* (32b 3x4)      A Nel    3-0-15-1

12.1

Nel to Hayden, 1 run, driven straight to long-off

12.2

Nel to Clarke, no run, outside off and Clarke launches into a cover-drive but he doesn't time it very well at all

Now Clarke rehearses the shot a few times, timing each one much better, naturally

12.3

Nel to Clarke, no run, left alone outside off

12.4

Nel to Clarke, no run, bustled through down the channel and Clarke leaves it alone again

Slip in now, moved from midwicket

12.5

Nel to Clarke, 1 run, outside off and Clarke drives that, again without total timing, to the covers

12.6

Nel to Hayden, no run, round the wicket and that's eased into the covers

End of over 13 (2 runs) Australia 59/2 (91 runs required from 37 overs, RR: 4.53, RRR: 2.45)
ML Hayden    26* (34b 3x4)      A Nel    4-0-17-1
MJ Clarke    5* (15b 1x4)      JH Kallis    4-1-14-0

13.1

Kallis to Clarke, 1 run, just to say strays onto leg and that's tucked into square

13.2

Kallis to Hayden, 4 leg byes, outside leg, that would have been good to a righthander, but he's a lefty, of course, and that's pawed round through fine leg

13.3

Kallis to Hayden, no run, a touch of width outside off, Hayden connects cleanly and cuts that to gully

Hayden now windmilling his arms round, just checking they're loose

13.4

Kallis to Hayden, 1 run, quick single to mid-off

13.5

Kallis to Clarke, 1 run, on leg and that's tucked forward with some excellent placement in front of midwicket - Hayden turned down the second

13.6

Kallis to Hayden, (no ball) 1 run, on off and Hayden fails to pull that cleanly in front of square - ah, an overstepped no-ball is signalled - and he rehearses the shot when he makes it to the non-striker's end

13.6

Kallis to Clarke, 1 run, on leg, bounces up and that's tucked into short midwicket

A boy in the crowd who looks about as old as Stuart Broad looks - ie 12 - is blowing a huge green trumpet. Top trumpeting. Maybe it is Broady...

End of over 14 (10 runs) Australia 69/2 (81 runs required from 36 overs, RR: 4.92, RRR: 2.25)
MJ Clarke    8* (18b 1x4)      JH Kallis    5-1-20-0
ML Hayden    28* (38b 3x4)      A Nel    4-0-17-1

14.1

Nel to Clarke, no run, left alone outside off

14.2

Nel to Clarke, no run, a touch of width outside off and that's cut to point

14.3

Nel to Clarke, no run, outside off, short, and Nel's really pleased with himself, jogging through and laughing like Muttley. Clarke goes to play and then drops his hands at the last minute

14.4

Nel to Clarke, no run, outside off again, driven to the covers and again it's all about waiting on

Nel's really fired up - what's new? - it's good to see his passion even in what's doubtless a lost cause

14.5

Nel to Clarke, no run, on off and that's driven to the covers

14.6

Nel to Clarke, no run, more of the off-side stuff, tidy, and that's defended down

By the way it's drinks.

End of over 15 (maiden) Australia 69/2 (81 runs required from 35 overs, RR: 4.60, RRR: 2.31)
MJ Clarke    8* (24b 1x4)      A Nel    5-1-17-1
ML Hayden    28* (38b 3x4)      JH Kallis    5-1-20-0

15.1

Langeveldt to Hayden, 1 run, up there, on off, and that's driven back out to mid-on

15.2

Langeveldt to Clarke, no run, outside off, dragged down a touch, and that's poked off the back foot to the covers

15.3

Langeveldt to Clarke, no run, outside off and Clarke shuffles over with his pleasingly straight bat which he presents to the ball

15.4

Langeveldt to Clarke, 1 run, outside off and that's driven out to extra cover

"I want three slips and a gully," announces Gnasher, who's nowhere near a cricket pitch

15.5

Langeveldt to Hayden, no run, on off and that's driven to short cover where it's picked up immediately

15.6

Langeveldt to Hayden, no run, over the wicket, incidentally, and that's driven into the covers

Nel's off the field, by the way, having treatment on the digit he injured before the match. It obviously makes no difference to the Aussies, though

End of over 16 (2 runs) Australia 71/2 (79 runs required from 34 overs, RR: 4.43, RRR: 2.32)
ML Hayden    29* (41b 3x4)      CK Langeveldt    3-0-20-1
MJ Clarke    9* (27b 1x4)      A Nel    5-1-17-1

16.1

Hall to Clarke, 2 runs, on leg and that's tucked in front of square

16.2

Hall to Clarke, no run, on the money and that's driven to covers

16.3

Hall to Clarke, FOUR, on leg and that's a lovely shot from Clarke, timing that off his legs in front of midwicket

All the Aussies commentating on Sky (and I include pseudo-Aussie Mark Nicholas in this) just loved that shot

16.4

Hall to Clarke, 1 run, outside off, eased through the covers

16.5

Hall to Hayden, 1 run, driven forward and there's a nice little single

16.6

Hall to Clarke, no run, on leg and that's poked to short midwicket

The famous (infamous?) artist Jocelyn Galsworthy has just been spotted producing an oil painting of the ground. I've been told the interesting thing about her pictures is that they all look the same and every one has the same clouds, whether it be London or Lahore.

End of over 17 (8 runs) Australia 79/2 (71 runs required from 33 overs, RR: 4.64, RRR: 2.15)
MJ Clarke    16* (32b 2x4)      AJ Hall    1-0-8-0
ML Hayden    30* (42b 3x4)      CK Langeveldt    3-0-20-1

17.1

Langeveldt to Hayden, no run, comes from wide of the wicket, and round too, and that's defended forward

17.2

Langeveldt to Hayden, no run, on the money, on off, and that's defended forward

17.3

Langeveldt to Hayden, 1 run, right up there and that's driven straight

17.4

Langeveldt to Clarke, 1 run, outside and that's thlocked out to the cover boundary with a caress of a nudge off the front foot

17.5

Langeveldt to Hayden, FOUR, slower ball monstered through long-off with a two-bounce four - doesn't even hang around to see where the ball went. Nonchalant or what

17.6

Langeveldt to Hayden, no run, straight batted off the back foot to mid-off

"Was Richie ever seen as pseudo-English?" muses Tony Coughlan

End of over 18 (6 runs) Australia 85/2 (65 runs required from 32 overs, RR: 4.72, RRR: 2.03)
ML Hayden    35* (47b 4x4)      CK Langeveldt    4-0-26-1
MJ Clarke    17* (33b 2x4)      AJ Hall    1-0-8-0

18.1

Hall to Clarke, no run, up there and that's defended forward

18.2

Hall to Clarke, no run, straight and played forward

18.3

Hall to Clarke, no run, right up there and that's driven to mid-off

18.4

Hall to Clarke, 2 runs, driven through the covers and that's two more rubbed off the target

18.5

Hall to Clarke, no run, driven into the circle on the leg-side and that's thrown back in

18.6

Hall to Clarke, FOUR, outside off and that's driven through cover

Hall really didn't like that and the colour of that language can only be described as blue.

"Is this artist an ICC approved artist, and is she using ICC approved paints?" asks an Aussie in Denver. More importantly, how come she gets paints and an easel into the ground and the average punter can't even bring a bottle of water?

End of over 19 (6 runs) Australia 91/2 (59 runs required from 31 overs, RR: 4.78, RRR: 1.90)
MJ Clarke    23* (39b 3x4)      AJ Hall    2-0-14-0
ML Hayden    35* (47b 4x4)      CK Langeveldt    4-0-26-1

19.1

Langeveldt to Hayden, 1 run, driven to wide mid-on

"Is there a little commentator rivalry going on here?" asks Cheese. "You don't like Beefy, you don't like the Aussies, you don't like Mark Nicholas, is there anyone you do like?" We like Kylie.

19.2

Langeveldt to Clarke, no run, driven to mid-off

Mike emails: "I just went to your 3D animation page and one of the players made a rude gesture at me." One thing is certain ...if it was a right-handed player he would have gesticulated with his left hand.

19.3

Langeveldt to Clarke, no run, outside off and driven to cover

19.4

Langeveldt to Clarke, no run, outside off, down on one knee and that's driven to cover

19.5

Langeveldt to Clarke, FOUR, slower ball, lovely shot, a languid punch through mid-off

"It's really painful, that, punching the ball down the ground," says Martin. He's on in just one more delivery, you'll be delighted to learn

19.6

Langeveldt to Clarke, 1 run, tucked off the hips to square

"Do Jocelyn Galsworthy's paintings always show an Australian victory as well?" asks Tony. Here's the link to her website. Judge for yourself.

Meanwhile, her biggest fan Martin is here to talk you through the next ten overs

End of over 20 (6 runs) Australia 97/2 (53 runs required from 30 overs, RR: 4.85, RRR: 1.76)
MJ Clarke    28* (44b 4x4)      CK Langeveldt    5-0-32-1
ML Hayden    36* (48b 4x4)      AJ Hall    2-0-14-0

I actually own one of her paintings. Unfortunately.

20.1

Hall to Clarke, no run, straight and blocked, all very correct

20.2

Hall to Clarke, 1 run, driven to mid-on and a quick single, Pollock picks up and hurls the ball right into the ground in front of Boucher, the kind of return that you see regularly in club cricket (well, at Merrow you do)

20.3

Hall to Hayden, no run, hit back hard at Hall, on the half volley and he semi stops before ringing his hand in pain

20.4

Hall to Hayden, no run, blocked to mid-on about twice as hard as most people can drive it, Pollock stops

20.5

Hall to Hayden, 2 runs, yorker which Hayden jams down on, still managing to squeeze the ball into the leg side

The crowd are growing animated. Or drunk.

20.6

Hall to Hayden, no run, knee-high full toss, hit back to Hall who stick out his right hand and fields

50 needed at 1.72 an over.

End of over 21 (3 runs) Australia 100/2 (50 runs required from 29 overs, RR: 4.76, RRR: 1.72)
ML Hayden    38* (52b 4x4)      AJ Hall    3-0-17-0
MJ Clarke    29* (46b 4x4)      CK Langeveldt    5-0-32-1

Justin Kemp comes on. It won't make a difference to the outcome but Smith has to be seen to shuffle the deckchairs. Lots of arm waving from Smith.

21.1

Kemp to Clarke, no run, very gentle loosener, pushed into the off side

21.2

Kemp to Clarke, 1 run, drifts to leg and Clarke helps it on its way to long leg

21.3

Kemp to Hayden, no run, prodded to mid-off

The football score anyone?

21.4

Kemp to Hayden, no run, patted to extra cover

21.5

Kemp to Hayden, no run, defended into the off

The ICC will love Hayden batting like this. The longer the game lasts, the more ad breaks they can get in to TV coverage.

21.6

Kemp to Hayden, no run, full toss hammered straight at mid-on. You can almost hear the purring in the commercial department at ICC Towers in Dubai

End of over 22 (1 run) Australia 101/2 (49 runs required from 28 overs, RR: 4.59, RRR: 1.75)
ML Hayden    38* (56b 4x4)      JM Kemp    1-0-1-0
MJ Clarke    30* (48b 4x4)      AJ Hall    3-0-17-0

Shaun Pollock back on at the Media Centre End. Is this his last spell in World Cup cricket?

22.1

Pollock to Clarke, 1 run, half volley push-driven to long-on

Football score to follow. Look away now if you don't want to know ...

22.2

Pollock to Hayden, 1 run, to describe this as pedestrian is an insult to pedestrians ... patted to long-off for variety

Joe Cole's put Chelsea one up against Liverpool after 29 minutes. It's nearly half-time now. This update was brought to you by Soccinfo in association with... etc

22.3

Pollock to Clarke, no run, steered off the open face of the bat to point

22.4

Pollock to Clarke, 1 run, driven to long-on

22.5

Pollock to Hayden, no run, slightly shorter, Hayden drops at his feet and looks for a quick single, Clarke decides that would be too exciting and turns it down

22.6

Pollock to Hayden, 2 runs, clipped to deep midwicket where Nel is lurking, both batsmen push for two from the off and make it with ease

End of over 23 (5 runs) Australia 106/2 (44 runs required from 27 overs, RR: 4.60, RRR: 1.62)
ML Hayden    41* (59b 4x4)      SM Pollock    4-1-14-0
MJ Clarke    32* (51b 4x4)      JM Kemp    1-0-1-0

23.1

Kemp to Clarke, 2 runs, leg-side half volley, clipped off his toes and Pollock has to chug round from long leg to field

23.2

Kemp to Clarke, no run, well bowled ... a yorker which Clarke dug out late

23.3

Kemp to Clarke, no run, mistimed drive, aimed at mid-off and hit to mid-on

Someone do something. Please. South Africa are almost going through the motions.

23.4

Kemp to Clarke, no run, flicked to mid-on

23.5

Kemp to Clarke, no run, firm drive back to Kemp, the ball bounces kindly to him at midriff height

the best ball of the over. He didn't let go and has to turn and start again.

23.6

Kemp to Clarke, 1 run, leggish and Clarke sweetly whips that wide of midwicket and mid-on has to scoot round to field

: "We've got to make this cricket thing more difficult for the Australians," says Rupert. "How about a biathlon - cricket and ball-room dancing? That means that Goughy and Ramprakash will be back in the English side and I reckon Nel would be man of the tournament!"

End of over 24 (3 runs) Australia 109/2 (41 runs required from 26 overs, RR: 4.54, RRR: 1.57)
MJ Clarke    35* (57b 4x4)      JM Kemp    2-0-4-0
ML Hayden    41* (59b 4x4)      SM Pollock    4-1-14-0

24.1

Pollock to Clarke, no run, slightly short, cut hard to point

24.2

Pollock to Clarke, no run, outside off, Clarke looks to cut again, misses and Boucher whips the bails off

24.3

Pollock to Clarke, 1 run, third time lucky, outside off and this time Clarke finds the space, running the ball down to third man

24.4

Pollock to Hayden, OUT, Hayden hits that one the up and dead straight, but he gets under it, Smith runs round a few yards from long-on and holds a steepler, but his knee buckles as he took the catch.

ML Hayden c Smith b Pollock 41 (115m 60b 4x4 0x6) SR: 68.33

Smith's hurt his leg there and immediately threw the ball into the ground. Hayden would never have played that shot had the target been 250 rather than 150. Even he seemed to have enough.

Claire suggests: "For Nel, Dancing with the Stares perhaps? Hur hur."

24.5

Pollock to Clarke, 1 run, Clarke stands tall and smacks the ball off the back foot through extra cover

Smith is still on the field but in distress.

24.6

Pollock to Symonds, no run, firm drive but no run as he fails to find the gap either side of mid-off

End of over 25 (2 runs) Australia 111/3 (39 runs required from 25 overs, RR: 4.44, RRR: 1.56)
A Symonds    0* (1b)      SM Pollock    5-1-16-1
MJ Clarke    37* (61b 4x4)      JM Kemp    2-0-4-0

If you are really bored check out the County Championship round-up.

25.1

Hall to Clarke, no run, half volley driven to Smith at mid-on. Smith grimaces as he bends and switches to mid-off hoping the ball doesn't go there

25.2

Hall to Clarke, no run, back to the bowler, much to Smith's relief

25.3

Hall to Clarke, 1 run, driven straight back to the right of Hall, mid-on scampers round to field. had Smith been there, he would never have made it

25.4

Hall to Symonds, no run, Symonds back and pushes the ball to mid-on with a loud Brummie "wait"

Jordan Blackwood has keenly studied Jocelyn's works. "Punter - very flattering portrait. Gilchrist - she has a thing for 'im...makes him young and more impish than ever. Vaughanenstein - accurately captures ol' lightbulb head here."

25.5

Hall to Symonds, 1 run, Symonds back again, this time he flicks it square on the leg to get off the mark

25.6

Hall to Clarke, FOUR, Jenny purrs as Clarke eases the ball off his pads between mid-on and midwicket. All so easy, all so predictable

Cal has a point. "I'm not sure if Rupert's suggestion would necessarily help - after all, Australia has the singing-and-dancing Brett Lee."

End of over 26 (6 runs) Australia 117/3 (33 runs required from 24 overs, RR: 4.50, RRR: 1.37)
MJ Clarke    42* (65b 5x4)      AJ Hall    4-0-23-0
A Symonds    1* (3b)      SM Pollock    5-1-16-1

"and Haydos will be Man of the Match given how many times he has "danced" down the wicket this tournament..." chimes in Scott.

26.1

Nel to Symonds, FOUR, horrible long-hop which may have been an attempted bouncer from the snarling Nel, Symonds smacks it dismissively through midwicket. Fetch

26.2

Nel to Symonds, 1 run, carved through the off side, Nel stares and Symonds just trots past him without even giving him the time of day

26.3

Nel to Clarke, FOUR, slashed over gully this time

Nel continues to fume. He's like a miniature poodle growling at a Great Dane. Utterly pointless and he looks a bit silly. This is one time he should just button it and stay anonymous.

26.4

Nel to Clarke, no run, better ball, on target and blocked

26.5

Nel to Clarke, no run, outside off stump, Clarke leaves it

26.6

Nel to Clarke, 1 run, outside off at 86mph, Clarke hits it into the ground, it dribbles into the off and they run a single

The rate is now under one an over.

End of over 27 (10 runs) Australia 127/3 (23 runs required from 23 overs, RR: 4.70, RRR: 1.00)
MJ Clarke    47* (69b 6x4)      A Nel    6-1-27-1
A Symonds    6* (5b 1x4)      AJ Hall    4-0-23-0

27.1

Hall to Clarke, 1 run, pushed back straight as an arrow, mid-on again has to make a fair amount of ground to his left to field

27.2

Hall to Symonds, no run, Symonds half forward and drives hard to extra cover

27.3

Hall to Symonds, no run, whipped off middle to midwicket

27.4

Hall to Symonds, no run, dropped full and creamed back at Hall's midriff, technically a chance but it was really travelling and at this stage of the game, there's not much point in heroics

"Hayden got out at 41 for third time in this World Cup," notes Lax, making a firm bid for a job with Cricinfo's stats geeks. Excuse the tautologies

27.5

Hall to Symonds, no run, Symonds much more circumspect after the let-off

27.6

Hall to Symonds, FOUR, the restraint lasted one delivery ... outside off, smashed past extra cover and over the rope before you could say "what a rubbish ball"

End of over 28 (5 runs) Australia 132/3 (18 runs required from 22 overs, RR: 4.71, RRR: 0.81)
A Symonds    10* (10b 2x4)      AJ Hall    5-0-28-0
MJ Clarke    48* (70b 6x4)      A Nel    6-1-27-1

28.1

Nel to Clarke, no run, driven into the ground and Nel takes at chest height in his follow through

28.2

Nel to Clarke, no run, chipped to mid-on, in the air but Nel would have needed to be Spiderman to have got across to that

28.3

Nel to Clarke, no run, wide and smeared to point where Gibbs makes a good stop diving to his right

28.4

Nel to Clarke, no run, into the ground, Clarke ponders the single but the ball went no more a yard in front of him and Nel was wise to what he was thinking

"What about 'The Weakest Link' for the whole South African side?" thunders Anthony, a South African. Harsh - at least they made it into the semis...

28.5

Nel to Clarke, FOUR, hit on the up, over mid-on and that's his fifty off 75 balls

28.6

Nel to Clarke, no run, checked drive, with a sniff of an inside edge, to mid-on

End of over 29 (4 runs) Australia 136/3 (14 runs required from 21 overs, RR: 4.68, RRR: 0.66)
MJ Clarke    52* (76b 7x4)      A Nel    7-1-31-1
A Symonds    10* (10b 2x4)      AJ Hall    5-0-28-0

The end is near ...

29.1

Hall to Symonds, no run, straight and Symonds very respectfully blocks

29.2

Hall to Symonds, no run, swished off middle to midwicket where Kallis makes a decent stop even though he overshot once he had got a hand to the ball

29.3

Hall to Symonds, 2 runs, clipped off leg stump to deep backward square leg

29.4

Hall to Symonds, 1 run, Symonds heaves towards midwicket, get a thick edge and the ball scoots down to third man

29.5

Hall to Clarke, no run, pushed to extra cover

If this was a boxing contest it would have been called off about an hour ago.

29.6

Hall to Clarke, 1 run, Clarke takes a couple of steps and drives to mid-on

End of over 30 (4 runs) Australia 140/3 (10 runs required from 20 overs, RR: 4.66, RRR: 0.50)
MJ Clarke    53* (78b 7x4)      AJ Hall    6-0-32-0
A Symonds    13* (14b 2x4)      A Nel    7-1-31-1

Malcolm Speed still grinning. As he probably is in his sleep. Percy has gone AWOL, which is a worry ...

30.1

Langeveldt to Clarke, 2 runs, controlled cut to third man

30.2

Langeveldt to Clarke, no run, patted into the covers

30.3

Langeveldt to Clarke, no run, yorker, Clarke digs it out with a little sniff of lateness

30.4

Langeveldt to Clarke, no run, flicked to Pollock at mid-on, a quick call of "no" doesn't stop Pollock hurling the ball at the non striker's end

30.5

Langeveldt to Clarke, no run, outside off, no contact

30.6

Langeveldt to Clarke, no run, blocked to extra cover

Two emails land back-to-back. One says we are utterly biased towards Australia, the next says the same but to South Africa. Hmm ... "History recalls 500,000 English fighting 25,000 Boers for four years, so we are anything but weak!" the latter concludes ...

End of over 31 (2 runs) Australia 142/3 (8 runs required from 19 overs, RR: 4.58, RRR: 0.42)
MJ Clarke    55* (84b 7x4)      CK Langeveldt    6-0-34-1
A Symonds    13* (14b 2x4)      AJ Hall    6-0-32-0

31.1

Hall to Symonds, 1 run, worked through square leg

Speed's grin appears to be stuck. Perhaps he has gone home and been replaced by a waxwork?

31.2

Hall to Clarke, FOUR, Clarke gives himself room and cracks that back from where it came, with interest

31.3

Hall to Clarke, (no ball) 1 run, driven past extra cover, and a no-ball

The scores are level.

31.3

Hall to Symonds, FOUR, leg-side full toss, Symonds does the business with a swish through midwicket and that's Australia into their fourth successive final

That's all from Jenny Thompson, Will Luke and Martin Williamson. Many thanks for staying with us through a one-sided match and we will be back, along with Sriram Veera and Jamie Alter, for Saturday's final. It's almost all over ...

Presentations "We tried to be nice and positive," admits Smith. "It's a fantastic feeling," grins Ponting. The Man-of-the-Match award went to Glenn McGrath.

Australia win by seven wickets The South Africans acknowledge the support they have received and then head off to lick their wounds, the Australians amble onto the outfield and start a lap of honour.

A clinical performance from the defending champions and the dominated this game from the off. The last few hours have been pretty poor for neutrals, dreadful for South Africans, but that's not Australia's fault. They have done the business and will meet Sri Lanka on Saturday in a re-match of the 1996 final.

Tournament Results
Australia v Sri Lanka at Bridgetown - Apr 28, 2007
Australia won by 53 runs (D/L method)
Australia v South Africa at Gros Islet - Apr 25, 2007
Australia won by 7 wickets (with 111 balls remaining)
New Zealand v Sri Lanka at Kingston - Apr 24, 2007
Sri Lanka won by 81 runs
West Indies v England at Bridgetown - Apr 21, 2007
England won by 1 wicket (with 1 ball remaining)
Australia v New Zealand at St George's - Apr 20, 2007
Australia won by 215 runs
More results »

Photos

Apr 25, 2007

Michael Clarke shakes Mark Boucher's hand, Australia v South Africa, semi-final, World cup, St Lucia, April 25, 2007

Michael Clarke shakes Mark Boucher's hand

© Getty Images

Apr 25, 2007

South African cricketers leave the field after losing to Australia during the ICC Cricket World Cup 2007 semi-final match at Beausejour cricket ground in Gros Islet, St Lucia,

South Africa leave the field after losing to Australia

© AFP

All photos for this match | Galleries