Australia v New Zealand: Cricket World Cup 2023 – live | Cricket World Cup 2023

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39th over: Australia 279-5 (Maxwell 10, Inglis 1) New Zealand REVIEW Santner’s second delivery to Inglis. It was a angled into the right-hander, who missed with a back-foot push. It looked out to the naked eye and I was surprised when it wasn’t given. DRS gives it Umpire’s Call – but that was very favourable to the batter with the ball hitting a lot of leg stump according to the animation. Penny for David Warner’s thoughts.

Inglis eventually gets off strike, allowing Maxwell to ignore the noise and reverse sweep with those rubbery wrists for a magical boundary. What a cricketer.

WICKET! Labuschagne c Ravindra b Santner 18 (Australia 275-5)

The poor batting continues for Australia. Labuschagne’s only attacking stroke to the spinners, pretty much, has been the long-reach sweep, and it hasn’t looked assured, especially against the extra bounce of Santner. His dismissal is exactly as you can picture, length around off stump from the tall bowler, a top-edged sweep from the batter, a nice catch running in from the midwicket boundary from Ravindra.

38th over: Australia 274-4 (Labuschagne 18, Maxwell 6) Latham is really mixing things up here, quickly going back to Boult – and it almost brings about a wicket – but not in the way you might imagine. Labuschagne drills to the cover sweeper, turns for two, but Maxwell rightly tells him to wait. Labuschagne had already set off though and found it hard to change direction, but the throw was to the keeper’s end, not the bowler’s ending any chance of a cheap dismissal.

Maxwell doesn’t mess about with the strike, driving gracefully through the covers for a couple, then mashing a full toss back down the ground for his first boundary.

37th over: Australia 266-4 (Labuschagne 17, Maxwell 0) That dismissal probably suited both sides. New Zealand celebrate a wicket; Australia get Maxwell at the crease. Marsh’s struggles, another cheap dismissal for Smith, Labuschagne isn’t setting the world alight… there are still spots up for grabs in this Australian side.

WICKET! Marsh b Santner 36 (Australia 264-4)

Marsh’s stodgy innings ends just as he looked like he was in! Santner replaces Henry in the attack and he drops short, allowing Marsh time to rock back and pull for just his second boundary. Perhaps it was a softener? The next delivery is much quicker and flatter and catches Marsh wrong-footed, crashing into the stumps. Australia’s slow decline since that incredible opening stand continues.

36th over: Australia 260-3 (Marsh 32 Labuschagne 16) Australia remain in the doldrums after drinks with Marsh missing out on a Ravindra full toss and Labuschagne almost losing his off bail after failing to connect with a sweep. The No 5 goes for the same shot to the final ball of the over – and he middles this one, sweeping powerfully in front of square for a pressure-releasing boundary.

35th over: Australia 254-3 (Marsh 31 Labuschagne 11) Henry’s right-arm pace replaces the left-arm speed of Boult. He starts well, keeping Marsh and Labuschagne pinned to their crease but then he overpitches a fraction and that’s the invitation Marsh was looking for to extend his arms through the ball and club a straight drive for four – his first boundary, 44 deliveries after arriving at the crease.

The second and final drinks break is upon us.

34th over: Australia 248-3 (Marsh 26 Labuschagne 10) Ravindra is the man Latham turns to for the time being to eat up some middle-overs, and the left-arm spinner hits his lines and lengths to keep each batter to just a single apiece. Marsh is now 26 from 42 and Labuschagne is getting bogged down following his bright start.

33rd over: Australia 246-3 (Marsh 25 Labuschagne 9) It’s just been highlighted that Lockie Ferguson has been off the field for over an hour – presumably with an injury – making Latham’s decisions around who should bowl the remaining overs increasingly complicated. For now Boult continues but he’s unthreatening in an unremarkable six-run over.

Glenn Phillips 3-37 off 10
Rest of NZ to that stage 0-203 off 22

— Daniel Cherny (@DanielCherny) October 28, 2023

32nd over: Australia 240-3 (Marsh 21 Labuschagne 7) Glenn Phillips ends his match-turning spell with superb figures of 3-37. Magnificent, consistent, uncomplicated bowling in the face of an almighty opening onslaught.

His final over contains a glorious reverse sweep from Labuschagne, as well as the sight of umpire Marais Erasmus having a stern word with Latham. Aaron Finch on the telly reckons it’s a warning for New Zealand’s fielders throwing the ball deliberately into the keeper on the bounce. One of those cricket rules that annoys me. It’s their ball, why can’t they do with it what they want?

31st over: Australia 233-3 (Marsh 19 Labuschagne 2) It’s been a long time coming, but New Zealand have returned to pace with Trent Boult coming back into the attack. Marsh demonstrates more intent immediately but he can only engineer a single from three deliveries. That bings Labuschagne on strike who is DROPPED badly by Mitchell at third! Normally such a safe pair of hands Mitchell saw the ball all the way off the bat following a lazy glide to a shorter delivery, but falling forward the ball spilled from his grasp to the disbelief of the bowler. Huge let-off for the Australian No 5.

Australia were 175-0 after 19. 58-3 from the following 12.

30th over: Australia 230-3 (Marsh 17 Labuschagne 1) Phillips, brought on in an emergency, now has 3/30 from nine overs. Big chance for Labuschagne to follow-up his improvising knock against the Netherlands to force his way into the long-term reckoning.

WICKET! Smith c Boult b Phillips 18 (Australia 228-3)

Between overs Stoinis ran out with drinks, presumably with an instruction to Marsh to get a ruddy move on. Perhaps with an added “do you not know who we’ve got padded up waiting to come in?” The big lad doesn’t seem to heed the message, rotating strike to bring Smith to the crease, who unleashes his frustration by miscueing a drive off the inside half of his bat straight to mid-off! Phillips has three! Australia’s momentum has stalled and the questions over the performance of the top-middle order are only going to grow.

Another one for Glenn Phillips.
Another one for Glenn Phillips. Photograph: Arun Sankar/AFP/Getty Images

29th over: Australia 227-2 (Marsh 15 Smith 18) Santner induces an edge from Smith, playing away from his body, but it bounces just wide of the diving slip and runs all the way to the boundary for four. Not much else to report. Both sides seem happy to go through the motions at the moment.

28th over: Australia 219-2 (Marsh 13 Smith 12) Marsh continues just dobbing away innocuous deliveries from the crease with absolutely no intent. Ricky Pointing on commentary is getting increasingly irate. Marsh has crawled to 13 from 27 in a peculiar knock.

27th over: Australia 215-2 (Marsh 11 Smith 10) Santner is now recalled to the attack, and with him a slip to Marsh. The Australian responds with a well-timed sweep for two, his best attacking stroke of the day so far. We’re now into a more traditional middle-overs phase of the match as New Zealand focus on economy and two new batters get their eyes in.

26th over: Australia 209-2 (Marsh 7 Smith 8) Latham, perhaps distracted by the carnage of that opening partnership, could now bring his frontliners back, but he is persisting with Ravindra and Phillips for now. The latter keeps things tight, going for just three singles, with Marsh still oddly defensive at the crease, inching to seven from 19.

25th over: Australia 206-2 (Marsh 6 Smith 6) In contrast to Marsh’s withdrawn demeanour, Smith has come out full of intent. He takes Ravindra over mid-on without getting all of the stroke, then drives firmly to beat the dive of cover. He is six off five, Marsh the same score off three times as many deliveries.

24th over: Australia 201-2 (Marsh 6 Smith 1) Excellent from Phillips with the wicket and just one run from the over. Australia are in an extraordinarily strong position, but this is now a testing period for their middle order. Marsh has looked stodgy early on, and we know there is now fierce competition for places.

Australia vs New Zealand in ODIs in Asia:

AUS – 13 wins
NZ – 0 wins#CWC23

— Nic Savage (@nic_savage1) October 28, 2023

WICKET! Head b Phillips 109 (Australia 200-2)

Phillips has two! It’s the same delivery he’s bowled all spell, angled into the left-hander from around the wicket. This time Head gives himself room to hit through the off-side but ends up beaten by one that skids on a fraction, thudding into the middle of middle.

Head departs to a standing ovation after slogging 109 runs from just 67 balls.

Travis Head.
A stunning knock from Travis Head. Photograph: Arun Sankar/AFP/Getty Images

23rd over: Australia 200-1 (Head 109 Marsh 6) Another Ravindra over, another chance to enjoy Head skipping a couple of metres down the track, keeping his head low and over the ball, and lofting a six with consummate ease. The frequency of Australia’s hitting this innings is beginning to undermine the quality of the strokeplay. I’m getting numb to the majesty of the shots.

“Deep in drafting a long-delayed precautionary power of attorney letter of wishes in the early hours (as you do),” begins Brian Withington in typical fashion, “it suddenly occurred that there might be some cricket on to keep me company. Imagine my consternation at seeing (and disbelieving), checking and then rechecking the score! I’m left wondering whether the NZ skipper has also drafted an appropriate letter to cope with adverse unfortunate circumstances rendering him utterly powerless?”

22nd over: Australia 191-1 (Head 101 Marsh 5) That’s the fastest ton by an Australian opener in a world cup, the third fastest by any Australian, and Head’s fourth in ODIs. Awesome hitting.

100 to Travis Head

Travis Head cuts Phillips to the point sweeper to bring up his century from his 59th delivery. What a stunning return to the side.

21.3 overs: Australia 189-1 (Head 100 Marsh 4)

21st over: Australia 187-1 (Head 99 Marsh 3) Ravindra is played away for a couple of singles, which adds an element of surprise to Travis Head sashaying down the pitch and belting a massive six over wide long-on. Immediately afterwards he may have tickled a very fine and very difficult chance behind down the legside, but it also might have been thigh-pad. Anyway, Latham was nowhere near pouching it standing up to the stumps.

20th over: Australia 177-1 (Head 91 Marsh 1) Australia stick with their prematch plan and Mitch Marsh strides out at first drop. That’s probably reasonable, nobody would want to see Glenn Maxwell wallop 300 now would they…

WICKET! Warner c&b Phillips 81 (Australia 175-1)

Finally a breakthrough! With his 19th delivery Phillips again arrows the ball towards the base of leg-stump from around the wicket. Instead of milking the single as he had so often beforehand, Warner tries to get his feet out of the way and loft over the top, but he ends up only bunting a cramped shot straight back to the bowler who holds onto a straightforward chance in front of his face.

Consecutive centuries followed by a 65-ball 81 from the Australian opener. This is one heck of a World Cup swansong.

New Zealand's Glenn Phillips grabs the wicket.
New Zealand’s Glenn Phillips grabs the wicket. Photograph: Deepak Malik/Shutterstock

19th over: Australia 175-0 (Warner 81 Head 90) Yikes! The first sighting today of the dodgy Dharamsala outfield with Daryl Mitchell sliding to intercept the ball at fine leg only to find his right knee digging deep into the turf. He seems ok, but that really isn’t good enough for a world cup venue. Head then capitalises on the first loose delivery from Ravindra, punching a wide ball through the covers for four. Ten from the over with the minimum of fuss.

18th over: Australia 165-0 (Warner 79 Head 82) The boundary-less delivery count peaks at 27 before Head effortlessly lofts Mitchell back over his head for four.

17th over: Australia 158-0 (Warner 77 Head 77) Perhaps sensing his side has wrestled back a smidgen of control, Latham withdraws the valuable Santner, who has helped even the balance of the contest. Rachin Ravindra comes on in his place, and the left-arm spinner almost buys a wicket straight away when Head comes down the track and batters a shot across the line straight to – and straight through – Phillips at short-midwicket. That was technically a chance, but the fielder did well just not to injure himself.

Ravindra backs himself and makes it four overs in a row without a boundary. To Warner he’s over the wicket, inviting the drive. To Head he’s around the wicket firing the ball flat across the left-hander. Clever cricket.

Time for a drink – and a welcome opportunity for New Zealand to gather their thoughts.

16th over: Australia 155-0 (Warner 76 Head 75) Three overs in a row now without a boundary! Phillips continues his line of attack from around the wicket, cramping the two left-handers.

15th over: Australia 151-0 (Warner 74 Head 73) Consecutive overs without a boundary! New Zealand are in dreamland. We’ve seen Warner adjust his tempo this world cup already and it might not be a bad idea for him to ease through the innings now, bed in, and allow Head to tee off from the other end.

14th over: Australia 146-0 (Warner 70 Head 72) Can Glenn Phillips fare any better? Yes he can. From around the wicket the offspinner lands a succession of flat deliveries on a length, into the pads of Warner, that the batter respects. Could that take the wind out of Australia’s sails?

13th over: Australia 144-0 (Warner 69 Head 71) Poor Mitchell Santner. He starts with a wide. His fourth delivery is floated above the eyeline and deposited into the middle of next week by a rampaging Head. He then DROPS a chance off the next ball, failing to hold onto a tough chance diving to his right in his follow-through. He got there in time but the ball didn’t stick in his mitt.

12th over: Australia 133-0 (Warner 68 Head 62) Ferguson – one of the quickest bowlers in the game – is being ragdolled. Without any concern for his wicket Head drives him square for two, then bludgeons a four straight down the ground with a stroke that could almost be described as thuggish. Good fielding limits further damage.

“Maxwell in at first fall?” asks Peter Moller. I hope so, just for the look on Steve Smith’s face.

11th over: Australia 124-0 (Warner 66 Head 55) A rare win of sorts for New Zealand with Santner conceding just six runs and one boundary. A TV graphic then indicates Australia are course for 500+ at this run-rate.

10th over: Australia 118-0 (Warner 65 Head 50) Is this fun any more? I’m getting queasy now. Warner extends a telescopic bat to dab a Ferguson wide behind point for four, then he carts a 154kph length delivery disdainfully over midwicket like The Fast Show’s Competitive Dad.

This start has been like watching that clip of those Orcas tossing seals around in the shallows. As it unfolds you’re in awe of the skill of the monsters, but after a while you just want the torture to end.

David Warner’s highlights against New Zealand.

9th over: Australia 108-0 (Warner 55 Head 50) Massive moment in the game now with Latham being forced to call on his form bowler, Mitch Santner, much earlier than he would prefer. It doesn’t work. Oh how it doesn’t work.

Warner sweeps fine for four before Head takes over, ignoring the extra flight out of the hand to send a straight drive into the upper deck. Then he hoicks to leg to bring up his 50 in just 25 balls – the fastest of the tournament so far. Good to see the South Australian easing his way back after injury.

Welcome to the World Cup!

Travis Head hits a 25-ball fifty as Australia’s 100 comes up in no time #CWC23

— (@cricketcomau) October 28, 2023

8th over: Australia 93-0 (Warner 50 Head 40) David Warner brings up a 28-ball 50 with a single to the onside. The delivery beforehand he lap-pulled Trent Boult for six as calmly and finely as you like. The aggression, the timing, the range of strokes… I’m not sure I’ve ever seen anything quite like this from an opening partnership before.

Fifty for David Warner! And it’s taken only 28 balls #CWC23

— (@cricketcomau) October 28, 2023

7th over: Australia 86-0 (Warner 43 Head 40) 19 from the over! Change of bowler, but no change of luck for New Zealand. Lockie Ferguson digs his first delivery into the pitch but Warner was waiting for it, getting under the ball and carving a six over cover point. Six more follow soon afterwards with Warner seeing the ball in slow motion, staying underneath the bounce and upper-cutting over third. Head joins in the fun, smearing Ferguson’s final delivery for four straight back down the ground. It only just cleared mid-off, but that was perhaps in the fielder’s benefit consider the force behind the stroke. This is fantasy batting.

David Warner
David Warner on a tear for Australia. Photograph: Money Sharma/AFP/Getty Images

6th over: Australia 67-0 (Warner 28, Head 36) Boult changes tack for his third over, looking to bowl leg-stump yorkers in a bid to replicate death-overs conditions against the Australian onslaught. He only lands a couple in the desired area, but gets away with the concession of just one boundary, Head muscling one through midwicket a la Lance Klusener. This has been brutal from the Aussies.

5th over: Australia 60-0 (Warner 26, Head 31) If you just switched on you could be forgiven for thinking this was a rain-shortened 5-over bash the way Australia are batting. New Zealand keep faith with Henry, but it’s hard to understand why. Head goes 4-4-6 to start the over, beginning with a thick edge from a full-blooded thrash with his eyes closed and teeth gritted, followed by a lofted drive over extra-cover, then a nonchalant whip over midwicket.

Matt Henry is 0/44 from just three overs. His career ODI economy rate is 5.16.

4th over: Australia 46-0 (Warner 26, Head 17) I’m not privy to New Zealand’s planning, but I am pretty sure neither Plan A nor B includes Trent Boult starting his over with a wide half-volley. But that’s what he dishes up, so David Warner throws his hands at it and cracks it through the covers for another boundary. Four balls later Warner casually deposits another white ball into the crowd over midwicket, picking the length out of Boult’s hand, keeping his lower body low and accelerating high into the shot, like Rory Fowler driving a golf ball. This is punishing stuff.

3rd over: Australia 36-0 (Warner 16, Head 17) Oh geez, Warner is in some kind of form. He welcomes Henry to the crease for his second over by dropping his front knee and carting a length delivery miles over midwicket. Two shots in a row, one from each opener, that are a real show of strength. But that’s just the beginning.

Henry, rattled, oversteps, and Head obliterates the free-hit towards the top of Mount Everest. Oh no. Oh no. Oh no. Henry overstepped delivering the free-hit! This time Head steps deep into his crease and pulls with brute force for another six! Australia with 21 runs from just two balls!

The bowler does well to end his misery without further calamity, but this is a catastrophic start from the Kiwis who will already be considering Plan B.

2nd over: Australia 14-0 (Warner 9, Head 5) If there is any movement on offer in the air or off the pitch, Trent Boult will surely locate it. But on the evidence of the left-armer’s opening over, there is none to be found. It takes Head only five deliveries to reach a similar conclusion, smashing the final ball of the over through the line and over long off for a four so dismissive it will make Tom Latham question his afternoon plans.

1st over: Australia 8-0 (Warner 8, Head 0) Henry starts well, bowling a couple of deliveries back of a length to Warner on a tight third-fourth stump line, but then he chucks in a rubbish wide half-volley that Warner gobbles like a hungry dog, before the Australian makes it two boundaries in the over with a shovel off his hip over the ring field and away to the midwicket fence. A very clear demonstration of the importance of line and length against a batter in this kind of form. Little indication this pitch is a win-toss bowl-first surface.

Travis Head is immediately in the action on his return to the side, and he heads out to the middle to join the in-form David Warner, who has back-to-back centuries. Warner on strike, Matt Henry has the ball. Here we go.

Anthem time in Dharamsala, confirming – if confirmation was needed – that Australia will play in yellow, New Zealand in black, and that Australia’s national anthem isn’t great, and New Zealand’s is.

If I was an international cricket coach I would just stick this on the change room projector about now.

Not only is Dharamsala absurdly beautiful, but playing conditions will also be pleasing on the eye to both XIs. Unlike the fierce heat, humidity, and smog further south, up in the Himalayan foothills it’s cool (with a top of 21C), dry, and perfect for athletic exertion.

The pitch has so-far proven one of the most favourable to swing and pace bowling, which means we could be in for a rare lower-scoring bowler-dominated clash, considering the talent on display in both attacks. In all five matches here, including today, the team winning the toss has elected to bowl.

The HPCA Stadium, Dharamsala.
The HPCA Stadium, Dharamsala. Photograph: Prakash Singh/Shutterstock

Australia XI

As expected, Travis Head is back in the Australian XI, but unexpectedly it is at the expense of Cameron Green – not Marnus Labuschagne. The form of Glenn Maxwell with the ball has surely altered selectors’ thinking, reducing the need for a pace-bowling allrounder. And now that Head is back, his part-time overs could paper over any cracks.

Head’s recall at the top of the order shuffles everyone else down a place, including Steve Smith, who gave fans of reading between the lines plenty to enjoy when he was asked about his demotion to No 4. “I’ll do whatever the team wants,” Smith said. “I’ve got a pretty good record at three, so I was a bit shocked in a way, but I’ll do what I need to for the team.”

Australia: 1 David Warner, 2 Travis Head, 3 Mitchell Marsh, 4 Steve Smith, 5 Marnus Labuschagne 6 Josh Inglis (wk), 7 Glenn Maxwell, 8 Pat Cummins (capt), 9 Mitchell Starc, 10 Adam Zampa, 11 Josh Hazlewood

Travis Head is back in Australian colours.
Travis Head is back in Australian colours. Photograph: Darrian Traynor-ICC/ICC/Getty Images

New Zealand XI

The Black Caps make just one change with Jimmy Neesham replacing Mark Chapman, who has a minor calf niggle. Veterans Kane Williamson and Tim Southee continuing their rehabilitation from injuries on the sideline.

Mitchell Santner’s left-arm spin looms as a major factor. Australia’s middle order has struggled to build on promising starts, and we know how the Aussies don’t enjoy slower bowling, so the in-form Kiwi’s spell of ten between overs 10-40 will provide an intriguing battle within a battle. It is also the allrounder’s 100th ODI.

New Zealand: 1 Devon Conway, 2 Will Young, 3 Rachin Ravindra, 4 Tom Latham (capt & wk), 5 Daryl Mitchell, 6 Glenn Phillips, 7 Jimmy Neesham, 8 Mitchell Santner, 9 Matt Henry, 10 Lockie Ferguson, 11 Trent Boult

Mitch Santner has excelled for New Zealand this world cup.
Mitch Santner has excelled for New Zealand this world cup. Photograph: Alex Davidson-ICC/ICC/Getty Images

New Zealand won the toss and elected to field first

“We are going to bowl. I think it looks a decent surface,” says Kiwi skipper Tom Latham. “Obviously a slightly earlier start hopefully might give us some assistance with the new ball early on.”

Before we get to the toss, just some other Australian cricket news that slipped out during the week with the national governing body reporting a dent to its bank balance. Those figures reflect uncertain times for the game’s established orders as franchise cricket eats away at the power base of international boards and India’s status as the golden goose grows ever more problematic.

Hosting the Twenty20 World Cup last year has gone some way to balancing the books at Cricket Australia, after the organisation announced it recorded a $16.9m loss in 2022-23.

The governing body said the loss was driven by an “expected low point in the revenue cycle” given it was a non-Ashes year, although the game set a new attendance record last summer.

Geoff Lemon had the good fortune to witness Glenn Maxwell’s 40-ball century in the flesh a few days ago. Now we get to enjoy him rhapsodising over the innings the Victorian’s career had been leading inexorably towards.

He is playing in his third World Cup: 21 innings, 656 runs, a strike rate of 162.37. It is by far the fastest scoring in any World Cup career of more than four innings or 74 runs. The closest record with more runs is Brendon McCullum, godfather of the tonk, who went at a comparatively sedentary 120.84. Maxwell has produced a career unlike anybody else’s. This occasion was seeing it at its fullest, most riotous expression.

The Black Caps have been enjoying their time off. His Holiness presumably asking Kane Williamson how he stays so chill.

A privilege to meet His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama at his residence in Dharamsala this morning.

Images courtesy of the Office of His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama.

— BLACKCAPS (@BLACKCAPS) October 24, 2023


Jonathan Howcroft

Jonathan Howcroft

Hello everybody and welcome to live OBO coverage of match 27 of the 2023 Cricket World Cup. Australia v New Zealand will get under way in Dharamsala at 10.30am local time (4pm AEDT/6am BST).

A quick look at the table tells us the group phase has already satisfied its function of identifying the semi-finalists, and it has done so with two fifths of the tournament still to go. We will be squeezing every last drop of juice from the narrative lemon between now and November 15 to keep things interesting.

SAF 10pts from 6 games
IND 10 from 5
NZL 8 from 5
AUS 6 from 5

SRI 4 from 5
PAK 4 from 6
AFG 4 from 5
BAN 2 from 5
ENG 2 from 5
NED 2 from 5

Regarding today’s fixture, that’s probably leaning into the possibility one of this pair – most likely New Zealand – could be vulnerable to an improbable surge from either Sri Lanka or Pakistan. Following today’s encounter with an in-form Australia, the Kiwis have South Africa, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka to come, all of which carry a degree of risk. The Aussies might look at greater threat with only six points secured to this point, but they have yet to play Afghanistan, England, and Bangladesh.

I still don’t expect the top four will change between now and the semis, but that lemon isn’t going to squeeze itself.

Helping their cause today, New Zealand have enjoyed almost a week off since they lost to India, and they have spent it in one of the most picturesque corners of the globe. Australia by contrast are in the thick of a clump of matches, the latest of which proved a record-breaking one for Glenn Maxwell in Delhi.

After a poor start to the world cup Australia are coming to the boil nicely with key bowler Adam Zampa finding form, key allrounder Travis Head returning from injury, and a number of key batters enjoying time in the middle. There remain question marks overs the best XI, and there still isn’t that swagger you associate with the most formidable nation in world cup history, but Andrew McDonald won’t mind that if his troops keep logging the points.

That should do for now, so settle in while I steer you through the pregame and first innings, after which Rob Smyth will see you through to the end of play.

If you’d like to get in touch while I’m on, please fire all communication to

The Himachal Pradesh Cricket Association Stadium in Dharamsala, one of the most picturesque cricket grounds in the world.
New Zealand and Australia will meet at the Himachal Pradesh Cricket Association Stadium in Dharamsala, one of the most picturesque cricket grounds in the world. Photograph: Arun Sankar/AFP/Getty Images

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