44th over: India 337-4 (Rahul 49, Suryakumar Yadav 29) And SKY starts exactly that process! Has Green bowling now, pace, likes that, and this ball is on his pads. Suryakumar Yadav loves to step across to off stump and lift those balls over backward square leg. Does so, for six. Next ball, same shot, six more.
That is his signature shot, the one he must have got from watching AB de Villiers. Green switches it up, bowling a slower ball outside the off stump… and SKY drives it over cover for six! What a shot there! Picks it, times it.
Fourth ball. Goes for six! On his pads again, dumped over midwicket.
Green goes back to width, and manages to stem the bleeding. Only a single, and a risky run as backward point fields well. Then a run to KL Rahul through the off side. The over costs 26. Maybe 400 is back on.
43rd over: India 311-4 (Rahul 48, Suryakumar Yadav 4) Zampa has his light-enhancing shades on now as the day gets darker. Nearly has SKY stumped! Flight from Zampa, a rarity, and it lures the batter out before turning past his edge. Carey gets the bails off quickly but SKY has the presence of mind to scoot his toe back as soon as he missed the ball. Just makes it. Only two singles from the over, as SKY struggles there. This scorecard could be a lot worse for Australia given where it was an hour ago, but India still have seven overs to make it so.
42nd over: India 309-4 (Rahul 47, Suryakumar Yadav 3) Top over from Hazlewood. Three singles. Gets the ball to cut in slightly at SKY, hitting him on the pad. Hazlewood likes it but Smith gestures that it’s too high, going over the stumps. I’m with Smith. They don’t review. Ball tracking shows it slipping past leg stump anyway.
41st over: India 306-4 (Rahul 45, Suryakumar Yadav 2) Six first ball, a wicket then four singles from the next five. Good comeback from Zampa.
Finally something falls for Zampa. First ball of his over is pounded into the sightscreen, but Kishan goes across his front leg next time and gets a high top edge. Carey pulls off a 50 yard sprint and takes the catch. SKY in next.
40th over: India 296-3 (Rahul 43, Kishan 25) Hazlewood back, with three of his overs remaining. Keeps the lid on for a few balls, then Rahul backs away and flips a cut shot fine through deep third for four. Hazlewood comes back with a good ball that smashes him on the back leg, and the Australians go upstairs, but it’s missing leg stump on the angle.
39th over: India 289-3 (Rahul 38, Kishan 23) Abbott is trying his changes of pace, anything that might disrupt the ball-striking in this run fest. Looking for the slow bouncers. Doesn’t help much. Wide down leg, wide for height on a short one that he disagrees with, chatting to the umpire, then a short ball down leg that Ishan Kishan swings away for four. And again, this time pounded in front of square.
38th over: India 276-3 (Rahul 37, Kishan 13) Does well, Spencer Johnson, to concede only five, considering this innings is steaming along. Beats the bat, bowls a hard length and isn’t picked off. One ball is timed nicely but Hardie the sub fielder does well tumbling across to save a boundary.
37th over: India 271-3 (Rahul 36, Kishan 9) Another huge one from KL Rahul! This time Green is the unfortunate recipient. Timed the pants off that over deep square leg.
36th over: India 260-3 (Rahul 28, Kishan 7) Spencer Johnson strays down leg, deflecting away for four. Then an inside edge from Kishan, does it bounce in front of Carey or did that carry? Diving away to his right, with a left-hander on strike, and he gloves the ball away for a run. That gives KL the strike, and he slashes a wide ball behind point for four. Johnson finishes with a good yorker, but it’s an expensive over.
35th over: India 249-3 (Rahul 18, Kishan 6) One ball in the over, first ball of his innings, and Ishan Kishan lifts it off leg stump over fine leg for six!
Ton and done! That’s the style of the day. Gill goes across the line of a ball, looking to smash it over long on, but the length is too short for that and it goes straight up in the air. Would have hit the roof at Docklands, but here the keeper settles under it and takes the catch.
34th over: India 235-2 (Gill 103, Rahul 11) Spencer Johnson returns to bowl, the fast left armer. Five from the over. Gill has 1230 one-day runs this year, and five centuries among them.
33rd over: India 230-2 (Gill 97, Rahul 9) The singles keep ticking over for Gill… 98… 99… he tucks awkwardly across the line and can’t score from Abbott next chance he gets. Then takes a desperate run from the last ball of the over, leading edge towards Warner at mid off, but runs with the shot and dives in!
32nd over: India 225-2 (Gill 97, Rahul 7) Off the mark with a huge hit! KL Rahul gets the googly from Zampa, overpitched though, waits for it to dip, then launches it over long on. Massive hit well into the spectators.
31st over: India 216-2 (Gill 95, Rahul 0) Gill is joined by KL.
That is absolute nonsense from the third umpire. Shreyas mistimes a push that skews back towards Abbott. He dives across to his right and takes an excellent one-handed catch. All of his fingers wrapped around the ball. As he lands, some sliver of the cheek of the ball perhaps taps the ground. It’s a catch all day long, but it gets given not out.
Doesn’t much matter. Shreyas, cramping, slogs one more boundary through midwicket, then hits one high in the same direction for Short to run in and catch it diving forward.
30th over: India 210-1 (Gill 94, Shreyas 100) More frustration for Zampa, as a flick around the corner scoots under the fielder’s dive and away to the boundary. But that soon brings delight for Shreyas, who moves to 98, then ticks over the two singles he needs for his milestone. ODI century number three for him, after missing a lot of cricket with the back problems that have kept bothering him. He’s starting to cramp here in the heat, and takes some time for treatment.
29th over: India 202-1 (Gill 92, Shreyas 94) Abbott driving the ball into the pitch, making it difficult to time as Gill charges and doesn’t get much on his pull shot. Four singles from the over.
“What’s more exiting to commentate Geoff: Gill’s cover drives or the opening stanza of the Preliminary final last night?” asks Dec Brennan.
Cricket is my game, but I have to say that last night’s footy had rather more riding on it than this centre-wicket net session. Sport can offer technical brilliance but it still needs to feel like it matters.
28th over: India 198-1 (Gill 90, Shreyas 92) Four from the Zampa over, as the lull continues. I doubt it will last long. India are on for a bumper score.
27th over: India 194-1 (Gill 88, Shreyas 90) Sean Abbott back into the fray. Hits the spot right away, holds them to working a few singles. Could the Indian players have milestones on their minds now, wanting to get there safely?
26th over: India 190-1 (Gill 86, Shreyas 88) Three from the Green over, as the batters catch their breath.
25th over: India 187-1 (Gill 85, Shreyas 86) This is ruthless from India. These two keep picking up boundaries, Hazlewood again smacked from the first ball of the over. Gill strikes him over mid off. Five decent balls to follow, but the over still costs eight.
24th over: India 179-1 (Gill 79, Shreyas 84) Green is back, that heavy-footed approach to the crease. Doesn’t give away much initially, bowls a good length that Shreyas can’t get under, but eventually he slips full and Shreyas can drop-kick it over midwicket for four.
23rd over: India 173-1 (Gill 78, Shreyas 79) Hazlewood looking for something, anything, on a batting track with tiny boundaries. Staying on that off-stump line. Almost deflects a straight drive back onto the stumps, but Gill had has bat planted.
22nd over: India 168-1 (Gill 76, Shreyas 76) Tidy over from Short, four singles from it, but Australia are in trouble here. The partnership is 152.
21st over: India 164-1 (Gill 74, Shreyas 74) Hazlewood comes back, fill-in captain Smith turning to his main quick, but the boundaries keep coming. First ball of the over, chopped with great timing by Gill through backward point.
20th over: India 158-1 (Gill 69, Shreyas 74) Matthew Short on to bowl with his lanky off-breaks. The Indians have a look for a few balls, then Shreyas hits another flat shot over deep midwicket for six. He’s surged past Gill’s score.
19th over: India 147-1 (Gill 67, Shreyas 65) That hurts Adam Zampa. Not his fault initially: bowls a good few balls, four dots to Shreyas. Then bowls a low full toss. It’s dipping and drifting, not the easiest ball to smash, and Shreyas only clips it through midwicket towards the boundary rider. But Green sliding across misfields and deflects it over the rope. Zampa yelps in frustration, Steve Smith gesticulates. Brad Haddin on commentary is so confused that he calls the fielding “un-Australian-like”. And because he has overpitched, Zampa drags the next one down and gets smacked flat into the crowd by Shreyas for six! None from four balls, ten from two balls.
18th over: India 137-1 (Gill 67, Shreyas 55) Economical shot from Gill, just waits for Johnson’s pace to arrive and opens the face to glide four runs. Johnson responds with a good bouncer, only gives away a couple more runs from the over.
17th over: India 131-1 (Gill 62, Shreyas 54) Zampa shows off some turn. Bowls a lot of straight breaks, but that one does drift and spin a long way past Gill’s edge. Only three from the over.
16th over: India 128-1 (Gill 60, Shreyas 53) Ohhhh dear. It shapes to be a good over from Spencer Johnson. The left-armer comes around the wicket, cramping them for room as he angles in. Four singles, a dot ball… but then the siren goes off. He’s overstepped on that fifth ball. It’s a free hit. So Shreyas Iyer walks right at him and flat-bats six over long off. So often you see the free hit missed or cloughed as players swing too hard. That one is nailed, and it raises the batter’s fifty.
15th over: India 117-1 (Gill 58, Shreyas 45) Mistimed slog from Gill against Zampa, but he still gets four from it. Off the inside half of the bat as he gallops down, smeared through midwicket.
14th over: India 111-1 (Gill 53, Shreyas 44) Two quiet overs, and that’s enough for Gill! Advances at Green and drives him dead straight, over the bowler, over the sight screen, into the crowd. Huge six for his half century. Takes a run to get off strike, then Shreyas Iyer hits one just as straight but all along the ground for four. Quite the effort from Gill – he was 9 from 19 balls, now he has a half century at about 1.5 runs per ball.
13th over: India 100-1 (Gill 46, Shreyas 40) Decent over from Zampa, almost beats Gill through onto the pad as the batter overbalances while striking out through midwicket. Shifts his line towards leg stump once or twice to change things up. Four singles all told. India into triple figures.