Follow all the build-up to the fight of the year
Win the ultimate British and Irish Lions trip to ...
Will the track or tyres dominate? Are Merc really the faves? Can Webber get back on track? And...
Daniel Storey draws ten conclusions from the Premier League 2012/13 season.
Sky Sports caught up with Theo Walcott to talk England ahead of their forthcoming friendlies.
Sky Sports' reporters reflect on how the 20 Premier League clubs have done this season.
Watch the videos, vote & have your say on what has been the best Champions League final.
ICC World Cup
New Zealand win by 110 runs Hugely impressive victory by a Ross Taylor-inspired New Zealand. The only disappointment for the Black Caps being a serious-looking knee injury for captain and bowling lynchpin Daniel Vettori. Join us tomorrow for India v Netherlands.
Over 42: Styris W-1-0-W 192 WICKET! Yep, this had to happen. Razzaq tries to clear the ropes at long-on but can't get the ball beyond the sizeable obstacle of Oram. Styris then entertains everyone by bowling a bouncer that has last man Shoaib Akhtar ducking. WICKET! Shoaib slices the next ball high into the sky, and Nathan McCullum settles under a horrible, swirling chance to take a fine catch and complete the innings. Thumping good win for New Zealand, who go top of Group A.
Over 41: McCullum 1-0-1-1-1-0 191-8 - Only singles from the over. Two tight overs have rather brought an end to the fun.
Over 40: Styris 1-0-1-0-1-1 187-8 - Wily old craggy-faced Scott Styris halts the Pakistan boundary-bothering. Only singles from the over, although Umar Gul catches the eye with a fine-looking clip off his toes to deep midwicket. England fans will tell you that Umar Gul Can Bat.
Over 39: McCullum 4-1-1-0-1-1 183-8 - Umar Gul collects four more with a sweetly-timed cover-drive. Only singles from the rest of the over, but it's just about keeping Pakistan in with a theoretical chance of victory. New Zealand only had 160 runs on the board at this stage of their innings...
Over 38: Oram 1-1-1-2-4-1 175-8 - Fifty partnership comes up in just 32 balls. Defiance. Forty-eight runs from the batting powerplay, and Umar Gul has played a full part with 23 runs in 14 balls.
Over 37: Mills 0-4-1-4-6-2 165-8 - Razzaq completes his 50 with an uncomplicated biff over square-leg as Mills goes for the yorker and gets it wrong. Umar Gul joins in the fun with four through midwicket and then a huge towering six straight down the ground. Seventeen from the over as Gul swipes the last ball to deep midwicket for a couple.
Over 36: Oram 0-0-1-4-1-0 148-8 - Slice of luck for Razzaq as he gets a thick outside edge past a diving Brendon McCullum for four. He's closing in on a half-century which will slightly ease the pain of bowling one over for 30 earlier.
Over 35: Mills 4-1-1-0-0-4 142-8 - Razzaq once again manages to splat a boundary early in the over, and this time manages to add another later on as well with a crunching cover-drive. Too little, too late... or is it? Yes, yes it is.
Over 34: Oram 0-4-0-0-1-0 132-8 - Powerplay + full toss = boundary. But there's little further damage as Oram recovers from that early setback against Razzaq with some decent short balls, including everyone's new favourite delivery the slower-ball bouncer.
Powerplay Razzaq plays the one card remaining in his increasingly sorry looking hand.
Over 33: McCullum 1-0-0-W-1-1 127-8 WICKET! Rehman survives one huge lbw appeal before being given for the next one. At first glance it appears to be stone dead, but Rehman instigates the Harper Decision Review System. Replays are not Rehman's friend here, each one looking plumber than the last. Three red lights, decision upheld, and no more reviews for Pakistan. Which is frankly the least of their concerns in this match. Umar Gul is the new batsman and gets off the mark straight away. Razzaq keeps the strike, something he probably needs to do another 16 times if his side are to have any chance of doing something that would be extraordinary even by the standard of comeback we've seen already during this tournament.
Over 32: Styris 0-4-4-0-1-0 124-7 - Razzaq produces a gear change of almost as startling unexpectedness as Taylor. Well, not really, but he does bludgeon a couple of powerful boundaries down the ground to complete the all-rounder's double of 5000 runs and 250 wickets in ODI cricket. He is in elite company alongside only Sanath Jayasuriya, Jacques Kallis and Shahid Afridi.
Over 31: McCullum 0-2-4-1-0-0 115-7 - McCullum struggling to grip the ball here as dew starts to make its presence felt. Either that or he's using that as an excuse for a ball fired wastefully down the legside that Razzaq clips for four, but Nathan doesn't seem the sort.
Over 30: Styris 0-0-1-0-0-1 108-7 - Just two singles off Styris' second over. Put a fork in this game, it's done.
Over 29: McCullum 0-0-W-0-3wd-0-0 106-7 WICKET! McCullum buys a wicket with an absolute pie as Umar Akmal slogs a long-hop straight to Oram on the midwicket boundary. That should be that as Rehman strides to the crease wielding a bat boasting a great many red marks on it, but alas a high percentage of them on the edge. He doesn't even get the edge to his first ball, and survives a big leg-before shout.
Over 28: Styris 0-1-0-0-0-0 102-6 - Styris opens up his trusty bag of wily allsorts to good effect.
Over 27: McCullum 0-0-1-1-0-0 101-6 - With Vettori indisposed, Nathan McCullum takes over the spin-bowling responsibility and starts well enough. Just two singles and a near run-out from the over, with Razzaq forced to get the dive out after being sent back due to a fine diving stop by sub fielder able Kane Williamson. Pakistan's 100 is up in news of minimal significance.
Over 26: Franklin 4-0-0-0-1-1 99-6 - Akmal steps down the wicket and whacks Franklin over wide mid-on for four before urging the bowler to get back to his mark and serve up some more as some words of congratulation and commiseration are exchanged.
Over 25: Southee 1-0-0-0-0-0 93-6 - Another good over from Southee, again getting the ball to slant away from the right-hander and find the outside edge. Razzaq the batsman this time, but the ball bounces short of Taylor at slip.
Over 24: Franklin 4-0-0-1-0-0 92-6 - Unlike his brother's efforts, most of Umar Akmal's cricket is extremely easy on the eye. The booming cover-drive that starts this Franklin over is as good an example as any.
Over 23: Southee 1-1-0-1-0-1 87-6 - The impressive Southee back into the attack, and he almost collects Razzaq with a nip-backer that narrowly misses the off stump as the batsman shoulders arms.
Over 22: Oram 0-0-2-1-0-1 83-6 - Four runs come from the over, but there's already a very real sense of motions being gone through here. So to speak.
Over 21: Franklin 1-0-1-0-0-1 79-6 - A rare Kiwi misfield allows Razzaq a single as Franklin continues to do a decent job with his left-arm reluctant.
Over 20: Oram 0-0-0-0-3-0 76-6 - A gloriously perfect straight drive from Umar Akmal brings three runs and makes a mockery of the ICC's continued reluctance to introduce bonus runs for artistic merit.
Over 19: Franklin 0-1-0-1-0-1 73-6 - Franklin may these days carry with him a Watsonian, Kallisesque reluctance towards the bowling part of his all-rounder status, but he produces a tidy enough over of left-arm lively here.
Over 18: Oram W-4-0-0-0-0 70-6 WICKET! Short and sweet from Afridi as he plays down Bakerloo against a ball that was actually on the east-coast mainline. He's just missed a dead straight delivery and looks genuinely astonished when it hits the middle stump. Abdul Razzaq is the new batsman, who gets off the mark in unconvincing style as he sets off for a single, gets sent back and just beats the throw which flicks off the stumps and away for four overthrows.
Over 17: Franklin 0-6-1-2-0-0 66-5 - Afridi greets the arrival of Franklin to the bowling crease by levering a length ball high over the ropes at midwicket for the first six of the innings. The next ball is absolutely murdered through square-leg and gets to the boundary rider in the blink of an eye. In news away from this game, the ECB have confirmed that Stuart Broad is out of the World Cup. No replacement confirmed as yet but, let's face it, it's Chris Tremlett isn't it?
Over 16: Oram 0-4-4-1-2-0 57-5 - Afridi knows but one way to play. Successive boundaries are swatted away on the legside as the Pakistan captain starts the long, difficult road to 'doing an O'Brien' for his side.
Over 15: Southee 0-0-0-W-1-0 46-5 WICKET! Another wicket for Southee. New Zealand really are bowling superbly well here. Southee again gets just enough away movement to send Misbah's attempted cover drive skewing to gully off the outside half of the bat. Styris takes the catch and Pakistan have lost their top five inside 15 overs. Shahid Afridi is the new batsman, and he immediately goes for the big shot and hammers a drive to mid-off for a single.
Over 14: Oram 0-1lb-0-0-0-0 45-4 - Oram has another lbw shout against Misbah turned down. This looks much closer than the last one, but having burned one review New Zealand decide against risking another. Doubtful whether it was hitting enough of the stumps to get a decision overturned.
Over 13: Southee 0-1-1-4-0-0 44-4 - A wicked short ball from from Southee is too quick for Umar Akmal, who gets a top edge on a pull shot that flies over the slips for four.
Barbie Our Shanghai correspondent Matt Prince brings a distressing update. "Sad news for my girls today when we heard that the Barbie Shop in Shanghai closed yesterday, I'm going to miss my trips there." The Barbie Shop closes as Broad is (apparently) ruled out of the World Cup. Strangely fitting somehow.
Over 12: Oram 0-1-0-1-1-0 38-4 - Taylor decides to review an optimistic lbw shout against Misbah. Oram getting a bit of bounce, and that had to be going over the top. Hawk-eye confirms it. Suppose we should let the birthday boy off: he's had a pretty good day up to now.
Over 11: Mills 1-0-4lb-0-0-0 35-4 - A rare offline delivery from Mills flicks off Misbah's pads for four leg-byes as Brendon McCullum dives full-length but can't quite get there. The sheer effort, though, was in stark contrast to the leg-byes Kamran waves by earlier today.
Powerplay New Zealand remember to take the powerplay.
Over 10: Oram 0-0-1-1lb-0-0 30-4 - Oram comes into the attack and backs up the good work of Mills and Southee with a tidy start.
Over 9: Mills 0-0-0-0-1-0 28-4 - Mills bowling a sensational opening spell here, twice arcing the ball past Misbah's outside edge. Misbah does all he can do and simply grins back at the bowler. Too good. Meanwhile, while we wait on news of Vettori, reports are emerging that Stuart Broad's World Cup is over.
Over 8: Southee W-1-0-2-0-1 27-4 WICKET! Another one goes. Kamran Akmal's horrible match ends with a nick to... Ross Taylor at first slip. Smart low catch from the Black Caps' stand-in skipper, a man Kamran Akmal will never want to see again. Good delivery from Southee, moving the McGrath-patented half-bat width off the seam to take the outside edge. Umar Akmal is the new batsman, and gets straight off the mark with a single before Misbah-John-Turturro-ul-Haq picks up two for a legside nurdle and one for a drive to deep point off a thickish outside edge.
Over 7: Mills W-0-0-W-0-0 23-3 WICKET! Mills traps Shehzad in front as he plays all round one. The Pakistan opener is left in the unenviable position of asking for Kamran Akmal's advice on the soundness of a Daryl Harper lbw decision, but wisely decides to depart without using Pakistan's one remaining review. Younus Khan is the new batsman. He comes in and punches gloves with Akmal who, to his enormous credit, manages to make contact. WICKET! Younus goes! Lovely delivery from Mills, jagging back through the gate and beating an optimistic drive to crash into the off stump.
Over 6: Southee 1-4-1-0-1-0 23-1 - Problems for New Zealand here. Akmal hits the ball in the air towards mid-on where Daniel Vettori tries and fails to get his hands under the ball. Four to Akmal, but far more seriously Vettori has done his knee in. After trying to continue for a couple of deliveries, Vettori accepts the inevitable and hobbles off the field, handing the reins to Taylor. He looks in a lot of pain and can barely get himself off the field. Not good for the Kiwis.
Over 5: Mills 0-0-1-1-1-0 16-1 - I'm not sure if this is a genuinely brilliant fielding display from New Zealand or if what happened earlier has just lowered my expectations. Probably a bit of both. Either way, a couple of good diving stops in the covers - one from 35-year-old veteran Styris - save six runs between them.
Over 4: Southee 0-0-0-0-0-0 13-1 - Any chance, do you think, of Kamran Akmal being out handled the ball? He's nearly out in the second most ironic fashion available, caught behind, after narrowly missing the ball with a tentative forward prod.
Over 3: Mills 0-2-0-0-0-4 13-1 - A classy, wristy flick from Shehzad brings only two runs through a combination of slack running and sterling scampering round the rope from Southee. The last ball of the over is a wide half-volley, and Shehzad puts it away in handsome fashion. No need for running this time.
Over 2: Southee 0-W-0-0-0-2 7-1 WICKET! New Zealand's charge continues with the ball as Tim Southee's nip-backer thuds into Hafeez's kneeroll. Umpire Llong raises the finger and, after consultation with his mate, Hafeez decides to review. But Hawk-eye shows the ball clipping the leg stump, and the original decision stands. Kamran Akmal is in at number three, needing just 132 runs to make up for his wicketkeeping performance. He gets the first two of them with a back-foot punch through cover.
Over 1: Mills 0-4-0-1-0-0 5-0 - Mills starts the innings with an outswinger that goes past Hafeez's outside edge before offering a bit too much width and getting flayed through the covers for four. Jamie How shows he's not only in this side for his explosive batting by pulling off a stunning diving stop at backward point to save four runs as Ahmed Shehzad is left stuck on nought.
Cliche New Zealand, there, applying the old ODI formula: take your score after 37 overs and double it. Simple.
Betting The Taylor-Oram onslaught has seen New Zealand go as short as 1/4 with Sky Bet to win this game. Pakistan are 11/4 to continue the drama by chasing this down.
New Zealand 302-7 Incredible. One hundred runs from the last five overs of the innings as Pakistan's gamble in bowling out Umar Gul and Afridi during the powerplay backfired in spectacular fashion. Kamran Akmal's twin let-offs in Ross Taylor's first five minutes at the crease go straight in somewhere near the top of the list of expensive fielding blunders.
Over 50: Rehman 6-6-W-4-2-1 302-7 - The carnage continues as Oram deposits the first two balls of the final over miles beyond the ropes at long-on and long-off. He tries to repeat the dose but this time finds only long-on. That ends a partnership of 85 runs. From 3.5 overs. Some of the most astonishing hitting against some of the most appalling bowling you will ever, ever see. Kyle Mills is the new batsman, and he edges his first delivery down to the third-man boundary to continue the carnage. A chip down the ground brings two to bring up the 300 - after 44 overs New Zealand were 188-5 - before the last ball is dabbed to short third-man. A truly astonishing last six overs of the innings after Pakistan had seemed to be controlling things.
Over 49: Razzaq 4-6-0wd-6-0wd-2-4-6 283-6 - Remember the scratchy, out-of-nick, feet-in-concrete Ross Taylor from earlier? Me neither. All it needed was a couple of inexplicable let-offs from Kamran Akmal and 100-odd deliveries and he's back to his old self. A powerful drive splits the cover fielders before two more balls are sent flying over the ropes at midwicket. Razzaq bowls two wides outside the off stump in a desperate bid to stop Taylor clearing the midwicket ropes again. A miscued drive down the ground brings a hard-run two for Taylor. His poor damaged bat screams no more, and after a change of willow Taylor continues the assault by flat-batting down the ground for four before once again threatening the trees outside the ground at midwicket. Somewhere in the middle of all that the 50 partnership came up off 14 balls or something ridiculous. Last five overs: 95 runs.
Over 48: Rehman 2-0-4-0wd-1-1-6 253-6 - Pakistan gambled on bowling out their key men during the powerpay. It has backfired horribly. Oram joins the charge now as he picks up two from the first ball before pinging the ball over square-leg for four and then launching the last ball of the over for six over long-off. Fifty runs from the last three overs.
Over 47: Shoaib 4-6-6-0wd-0-4-0wd-6 238-6 - Shoaib back into the attack, and Taylor absolutely demolishes him. The first ball is flayed through point for four before successive full-tosses are deposited high over square-leg for sixes. Shoaib, rattled, then bowls a wide before Taylor misses as he again aims legside. But Shoaib again offers width to Taylor who again gets the ball over the point fielder for four before Shoaib bowls another wide. It's all falling apart for Pakistan at the death here. Best yet! Taylor goes through to his century in magnificent style by launching the last ball of the over miles and miles back over midwicket. Taylor goes from 76 to 102 in the space of one astonishing Shoaib Akhtar over. Taylor, remember, was missed/dropped twice by Kamran Akmal before he'd reached double-figures. Happy birthday, Rose!
Over 46: Umar Gul 1-0-1-6-W-0 210-6 - Umar Gul also into his final over now, and he too suffers some punishment as a short ball is swiped over midwicket for an 86m maximum by McCullum. At what point can we say he's officially better than his brother? WICKET! Probably not yet. Great response from the bowler, a cleverly disguised slower ball that has McCullum in approximately 15 different minds before he opts for the inside edge into the off stump. Umar Gul ends another highly impressive day's work with a leg-before appeal against Jacob Oram. It's too high, but Umar Gul has backed up his superb opening spell (5-1-8-1) with a fine one at the death to end with 3-32 from his 10 overs.
Over 45: Afridi 0-0-1-6-1-6 202-5 - Big over for New Zealand in the powerplay as McCullum smashes a huge six over long-on before Taylor unfurls a slog-sweep to similarly devastating effect. Afridi's figures take some damage in his final over. The Black Caps go past 200.
Over 44: Umar Gul 1lb-4-0-1lb-0wd-0-1 188-5 - Superb timing brings McCullum four as he plays the ball through the gap at cover-point with superb timing. A searing leg-stump yorker clocked at 150km/h almost gets through McCullum before an attempt to repeat the trick just slips down the legside for a wide.
Over 43: Afridi 1-1lb-0-1-1-1 180-5 - Nathan McCullum is the new batsman and he survives a big lbw shout first ball after being beaten for pace by Afridi. Sliding down leg, and the batsman trot through for an extra. Still only singles in the powerplay.
Over 42: Umar Gul 0-1-1-0-0-W 175-5 - Umar Gul might have come out of the attack to return right at the end but for the powerplay, which has forced Pakistan to keep him on. Styris shows that huge experience is now barrier to succumbing to powerplay fever as he immediately aims an almighty mow at the very first ball and makes no contact. WICKET! A couple of singles bring Styris back on strike and, after a couple more unsuccessful heaves Styris is hit in front of middle-and-leg after walking across his stumps. Looks plumb, and Styris decides against employing the Harper Decision Review System. Which tells you just how out it was. The curse of the batting powerplay strikes again.
Powerplay Now the powerplay is taken.
Over 41: Afridi 0-2-1-4-0-3 173-4 - Plenty of double-teapotting, first as the New Zealand batsmen are allowed to scamper back for a second run and then as there seems to be confusion over whether or not the powerplay has been taken. Nigel Llong, adopting the tone of a slightly stressed parent after a setback while trying to potty-train a recalcitrant toddler, tells the players that if they don't tell him about it there's not much he can do. Styriis channels his aggression into constructive ends by crashing a cover-drive for four and then back-cutting for three. Take that, authority!
Over 40: Umar Gul 1-1-0-0-1-0 163-4 - Taylor is once again squared up and beaten by one that shapes away. Definitely some technical gremlins that need shooing away with a coaching broom. Kamran Akmal surprises everyone in Kandy, not least himself, by pulling off a decent diving stop as a Styris bottom edge threatens to bounce away to the boundary.
Over 39: Rehman 1-1-2-0-1-0 160-4 - The birthday good fortune continues for Taylor as he sends a top-edged sweep steepling down towards fine-leg but finds safety.
Happy Birthday "I can go one better then Rossy Boy as I scored a birthday hundred once," says Ben Bowker. "12 overs 1 for 102..."
Over 38: Umar Gul 1-1-1-1-0wd-0-0 155-4 - Umar Gul back into the attack for Pakistan after a sustained spell of strangulation by spin. Both Taylor and Styris seem reasonably happy with the change as singles are accrued easily enough.
Over 37: Rehman 1-1-1-0-0-0 150-4 - Fact: Taylor is only the second batsman to make a birthday 50 at the World Cup. The first was Inzamam-ul-Haq. New Zealand's 150 is up.
Over 36: Hafeez 1-0wd-1lb-1-1-0-1 147-4 - Afridi fields the ball by treading on it. Lucky not to turn his ankle. Still, at least he didn't try to eat it.
PItch "What's the wicket like, Dave? If NZ manage to get, say, 230 - would that be competitive?" asks David Frew. Yeah, but it would be below par. The pitch has got a bit in it but nothing dramatic and the outfield is super fast.
Over 35: Rehman 0-1-1-1-0-1 141-4 - Taylor completes his Akmal-assisted birthday half-century. Not been his finest knock by any means, but he's battled hard after his early struggles.
Over 34: Hafeez 1-0-0-0-1-0 137-4 - Hafeez doing a good job for Pakistan in these middle overs. He's through six overs for just 21 runs and the wicket of Franklin. Hasn't conceded a boundary.
Over 33: Afridi 0-1-0-1-0-2 135-4 - Afridi mixing up the pace nicely in this spell. Bowling beautifully and, understandably, brim full of confidence.
Over 32: Hafeez 0-1-1-1-1-1 131-4 - Nudging and nurdling the order of the day for Taylor and Styris as Hafeez continues his homage to Crofty.
Over 31: Afridi 0-4-1-1-1-0 126-4 - Slice of luck for Taylor as he hits the ball in the air but between the two fielders at point, and he collects four. Drop! Genuine edge from Styris, predictable clang from Akmal. Wasim Akram then produces one of the all-time great commentary understatements: "He really needs to work on his keeping." Or just burn his wicketkeeping gloves and abandon the whole sorry caper as a bad job.
Over 30: Hafeez W-1-1-0-3-1 119-4 WICKET! Franklin's stay is brief as he falls to a marginal leg-before decision. Hafeez, from round the wicket, hits a tentatively half-forward Franklin with a straight-onner and Daryl Harper raises the finger. Franklin reviews instantly because a) the umpire is Daryl Harper and b) he's very close to being outside the line. But the Hawk-eye graphic reveals an amber 'on-field call' with the finest slither of ball in line with off stump at the point of impact. No doubt about it going on to hit the stumps, and Franklin has to go. Scott Styris, who with the benefit of hindsight probably should have batted at five, is in at six. He's off the mark with a single straight away, and then picks up three more with a whip through midwicket. As promised, the drearylull was mercifully brief. Gotta love Pakistan.
Over 29: Afridi 1-1-0-0-W-1 113-3 WICKET! Afridi picks up his 15th wicket of the tournament as he beats Guptill with some lovely flight and drift to get the ball between bat and pad and into the timbers. Lovely delivery - not too many of Afridi's wickets generally come through flight and drift. James Franklin is the new batsman at number five, and he's off the mark straight away with a punch wide of mid-on.
Over 28: Hafeez 0-1-1-0-0-2 110-2 - Hafeez truly has taken the Robert Croft delivery-stride pause and run with it. Or, more accurately, stopped running. Close! Drearylull almost at an end as Umar Akmal produces a piece of fielding every bit as brilliant as his brother's has been terrible, winging in a throw from the deep as Taylor takes a second run and taking out the one-stump target. Taylor's scampering was successful, though, and he was home by a foot.
Over 27: Afridi 0-1-1-1-1-1 106-2 - Yep, it's the drearylull. Don't worry, though. Won't last long with Pakistan involved.
Over 26: Hafeez 0-1-0-1-0-0 101-2 - Square-leg umpire Nigel Llong asks the third umpire to take a look at a stumping appeal even though Guptill's back foot never moved. Llong, presumably, simply caught out by a display of competence from Kamran Akmal and wanted to be sure he hadn't started hallucinating.
Over 25: Afridi 1-0-0-1-1-1 99-2 - The mid-innings drearylull is generally less of a feature in Pakistan matches, but the last three overs of tidy but non-threatening spin are ominous.
Over 24: Hafeez 1-0-0-0-0-1 95-2 - Mohammad Hafeez into the attack, and Guptill eases the ball down the ground for a single to reach a half-century. Made a brisk start thanks to varied Pakistan shoddiness, but it's taken him 27 balls to go from 40 to 50. Has to bat through now.
Over 23: Afridi 0-0-0-1-1-0 93-2 - Afridi gets away with a thigh-high full-toss that arrives at Taylor too quickly for the batsman to do anything about it. Just a couple of singles from the over.
Over 22: Abdul Razzaq 0-1-0wd-0-1lb-1-4lb 91-2 - Wild and woolly over from Razzaq, who drifts down the legside a few times. Not much punishment to his figures with the runs generally coming via deflections off pad rather than bat. The last ball of the over flicks the pad and goes for four after a naff effort from Kamran Akmal who puts in a token half-dive at a ball not that far away. His footwork is worse than any other keeper I've ever seen at international level. Coupled with his crashing cymbal hands, one wonders how and why he ever came to take up wicketkeeping.
Over 21: Afridi 1-1-0-0-0-0 83-2 - The tournament's leading bowler Afridi into the attack with his rapid leggies. He's on the spot straight away and gives up just a couple of singles in his opening over.
Over 20: Abdul Razzaq 0-0-0-0-0wd-4-2 81-2 - Taylor decides enough is enough and gives Razzaq the charge, prompting the bowler to bung the ball down the legside for a wide. Another forward shimmy next ball gets Taylor into position to clip the ball nicely over midwicket for four before he picks up an easy two from the next ball. Just that one aggressive move down the wicket seems to have got Taylor moving.
Over 19: Umar Gul 1-0-0-0-0-1 74-2 - Taylor still looking horribly out of sorts here, with his feet stuck in mud as he gropes at a fine Umar Gul outswinger.
Over 18: Shoaib 0-1-0-0-1-0 72-2 - Shoaib may well be some considerable distance past his prime, but he remains a spectacular sight. Today, he is also a spectacularly grumpy sight. Which only adds to the splendour. Figures of 8-0-42-1 tell only the tiniest fraction of the tale.
Over 17: Umar Gul 0-0-0-0-0-1 70-2 - Taylor really struggling here. His footwork's deserted him and he's all hands at the moment. He plays and misses here pushing way out in front of his head after surviving a confident lbw shout. Pakistan opt against a review, and Hawk-eye shows the ball jagging back nicely but bouncing just a smidge too high. A cracking yorker from Umar Gul almost sneaks under Taylor's bat, but Rose survives before pinching a single to midwicket from the last ball of the over.
Over 16: Shoaib 1-0-0-0-0-0 69-2 - Shoaib ends the delayed powerplay with a fine over. Just a single from the over as Taylor, still trying to work out how exactly he's still batting, pushes out to deep cover.
Over 15: Umar Gul 0-0-0-4-0-0 68-2 - Fifteen overs here that perfectly sum up Pakistan. Sensational bowling, appalling bowling, unforgivable profligacy and dreadful wicketkeeping. And Afridi forgot to take the powerplay. Guptill gets four more for a thick outside edge that flies well wide of the solitary slip fielder.
Over 14: Shoaib 0-4-4-0-0-0 64-2 - "Happy birthday to you, Happy birthday to you, Happy Birthday dear Ro-oss, Happy birthday to you. Love from Kamran." Two breathtakingly appalling pieces of wicketkeeping from Kamran Akmal give Ross Taylor a couple of stunning birthday reprieves. First Kamran lets a regulation edge fly a foot wide of him and away for four before showing why he let that one go by grassing a truly regulation chance two balls later. Amazing.
Over 13: Umar Gul 0-1-W-0-0-1lb 56-2 WICKET! Good news for New Zealand as How's non-innings comes to an end to bring blessed relief to all who were forced to watch it. Bit harsh, but not really. How plays all round a straight one to be hit in front of everything and off he trudges with just four to his name for 29 balls of drudgery. Never mind Jamie How, more a case of Jamie Why. Birthday boy 'Rose Taylor' is the new batsman with work to do.
Over 12: Abdul Razzaq 4-0-0-4-0-1 54-1 - How may be stuck in neutral, but Guptill's going through the gears nicely enough as he starts the belated powerplay with a punch through cover and a beautiful lofted drive over mid-off for a one-bounce four. Again, he scampers a single from the final ball of the over.
Powerplay Afridi remembers to take the powerplay.
Over 11: Umar Gul 0-0-0-0-0-0 45-1 - Shahid Afridi forgets to take the bowling powerplay and then complains to the umpire. Not the umpire's job to remind the captain how to do his job, but Afridi is still unhappy. How plays and misses twice in succession and then gets an inside edge into the pad that trickles past the off stump. Superb first over from Umar Gul, which almost makes up for his captain's forgetfulness. "Happy 27th Birthday Rose Taylor" reads a sweetly misspelled banner in the crowd. Thought that counts.
Freebies That 10-over powerplay should have been a cracker for Pakistan, but three no-balls from Shoaib brought New Zealand a total of 17 runs. Add the four runs he flung over Kamran Akmal's head, and you've got almost half the total.
Over 10: Rehman 0-2-1-1-0-0 45-1 - Rehman bowls another over of tidy darts. He's done his job well enough, but New Zealand's lack of intent against him has been painful.
Over 9: Shoaib 0-0-0-0-0nb-4-0wd-1 41-1 - Shoaib paying a heavy price for overstepping here as he follows up another big no-ball with a deeply ordinary delivery for the free hit. Short this time, and Guptill swats it through midwicket for four. No timing, but this outfield is no friend of bowlers. It's like glass. Shoaib's growing frustration is not helped by being harshly wided for a bouncer that passed a millimetre wide of the leg stump. Guptill takes a single from the final ball of the over to keep How off strike. Canny.
Over 8: Rehman 0-1-0-0-0-3 34-1 - How, on just two from 19 balls, makes a panicked dart down the track and just about jabs the inside edge of the bat down on the ball and squirts the ball into the legside. Wisely, he takes a single from the next ball to get away from the strike before Guptill collects three for a fine leg-glance.
Over 7: Shoaib 0-0-0-4-0-4 30-1 - Slice of luck for Guptill as he edges a wild drive just wide of a diving Younus Khan at slip. An even bigger piece of good fortune follows from the last ball of the over as Guptill defends the ball straight back to the bowler, who immediately flings it past Kamran Akmal for four.
Over 6: Rehman 0-0-0-1-0-0 22-1 - If the Rehman plan is simply to keep things tight, then mission accomplished. Can't help but wonder whether prime wicket-taking overs aren't being spurned though.
Over 5: Shoaib 1-0-0-0-0-0 21-1 - Good over from Shoaib, although the fact Jamie How Is He A Top-three Batsman? is on strike for the last five balls undoubtedly helps.
Stick "I'm hoping for a Pakistan victory," explains Shaun Tiley, "As I've been getting plenty of stick from the New Zealander in our office after Ireland managed to beat us."
Over 4: Rehman 0-1-0-2-0-1 20-1 - Tidy enough stuff again from Rehman, but you can't help wondering if Pakistan are opening with a spinner for the sake of it or because it's currently in vogue rather than because it's a shrewd tactic on this particular pitch.
Over 3: Shoaib 0-1-0-0-1-0nb-4 16-1 - Shoaib shaves Guptill's off stump with another sublime nip-backer, but once again pays the price for overstepping. The two worst balls he's bowled so far today have been the free hits. This time it's full and wide, and Guptill flays it through extra-cover for four. Shoaib getting plenty of movement off the deck. Suspect Pakistan's other seamers would like a go with this ball in the first 10 overs here...
Over 2: Rehman 1-0-0-0-0-0 9-1 - In what is now officially the least surprising surprise move ever, a spinner opens the bowling. Teams should try to catch openers unawares by using two quicks with the new ball these days. Anyway, it's Abdur Rehman bowling Yardyesque darts and doing it rather better than England's estate agent. Just a single to Martin Guptill from the over.
Prediction "Come on the Black Caps!" exclaims David Frew. "I have them to win handsomely in our work WC prediction game. I need to make up ground after backing Kenya to beat Pakistan!" Not an ideal start.
Over 1: Shoaib 0-1-0nb-6-W-0-0 8-1 - Shoaib gets us under way and gets away with a big no-ball first up. Umpire Nigel Llong spots another one two balls later, though, which gives Brendon McCullum a free hit. Unwise. Even more foolishly, Shoaib serves up a length ball that McCullum slaps over midwicket for six. WICKET! Revenge is swift, though. Full, straight and nipping back through a rather large gate to knock back the off stump. Rarely dull when Pakistan are in town. Buoyed by that early success, Shoaib is instantly about 10km/h quicker for the new batsman Jamie How who is beaten first up.
Anthems The national anthems are out of the way, and we're ready to go.
Feedback As always, we can't do this alone. Thoughts, gripes, rants and raves to Dave.Tickner@bskyb.com. Ta.
Teams Jesse Ryder isn't fit, so the Black Caps replace one big man with another as Jacob Oram comes into the side.
New Zealand BB McCullum (wk), MJ Guptill, JM How, LRPL Taylor, JEC Franklin, SB Styris, NL McCullum, DL Vettori (c), JDP Oram, TG Southee, KD Mills.
Pakistan Mohammad Hafeez, Ahmed Shehzad, Kamran Akmal (wk), Younis Khan, Misbah-ul-Haq, Umar Akmal, Shahid Afridi (c), Abdul Razzaq, Abdur Rehman, Umar Gul, Shoaib Akhtar
Toss Daniel Vettori has won the toss and chosen to have a bat on what he describes as a "dry wicket". New ball, as ever, crucial.
Welcome The World Cup group stage rumbles on with what ought to be a pretty entertaining clash in Kandy between the tournament's form horse Pakistan and New Zealand, who have spend the early part of this tournament casually squashing minnows.
Read the views of former England captain Nasser Hussain with skysports.com.