| Scoreboard after Australian innings. (Reuters)
From when you were ogling Mandira Bedi before the match, right through the breaks in play when you were being urged to ‘kar lo duniya mutthi mein’ or whatever (all timings local, please add 3 hrs 30 minutess for IST).
Anti-war demonstrators outside The Wanderers, a hundred but sounding like a thousand… “1,2, 3, 4, We don’t want no bloody war... ” banners saying: ‘Go back coward Aussies’. Dispersed before team coach arrives.
8.25 am: John Wright is the first man in Indian training colours to step on to the Wanderers, as Sourav and the rest trickle in.
8.46 am: Team India goes into a three-minute huddle before dispersing for warm-up.
End of 1st over: Dravid walks Zaheer till the edge of the circle, having a quiet word with the keyed-up young pacer as he heads for fine leg
3rd over: Sourav edgy at second slip, hauls up Nehra for being slow off the blocks… paces about as Srinath is pulled by Gilchrist.
Seventh over: Sourav stands by bowler Srinath, at mid-on, for just one delivery (after Gilchrist’s six), before returning to slip
14th over: First chance for a huddle, after Sehwag catches Gilchrist off Harbhajan, followed by drinks that the Indians seem to be in a hurry to finish
16th over: Nelson. 111 for one. The entire Aussie contingent in the crowd, and even some Indian supporters, stand up, with one leg off the ground — under exhortations over the public address system — to stave off “bad luck to the unfortunate batsman on strike,” which in this case is Ponting. Ponting steals a single, sparing David Shepherd the hop
20th over: Harbhajan scalps Hayden; Nafisa Ali in tricolour saree and blouse, and Shilpa Shetty in red dress and casual grey trousers, go berserk.. For the first time on Sunday, the ‘Jeetega bhai jeetega, India jeetega’ roar is passionate
End of 32nd over: Drinks. Public address system urges “adult spectators” to be “responsible” while enjoying their cricket with beer. Spectators are warned of a rand 40,000 fine if anyone steps on to the field.
End of 34th over: A feeble try to raise the ‘jeetega...’ chant fades fast
41st over: Pointing’s one-knee-one-hand swing over square leg for six off Nehra forces Indian supporters into an uneasy, awestruck silence. Kangaroo corner goes crazy.
43rd over: It’s left to Nafisa ‘pretty picture of patriotism’ Ali and Shilpa ‘under green hat’ Shetty to start up an ‘India, India...’ cheer that spreads slowly, till Ponting pulverises them into a long silence.
50th over: The replay of the last of Ponting’s sixes is watched carefully on the big screen by Sachin, from deep fine-leg.
2.15 pm: The South African Airways flypast draws more cheers than anything till now. That mood corrected in seconds when Sachin and Sehwag stride out to the middle.
1st over: Wanderers shocked into silence as Sachin goes. A handful of Aussie supporters starts up a slow, mocking “Hoo, haa Tendulkaaa, Hoo, haa Tendulkaa..”
End of 1st over: Ponting runs quite a distance, just to pat McGrath on the back.
End of 3rd over: Ponting, Gilchrist and Lehman in mid-pitch meet.
l 5th over: Sourav’s six brings the crowd alive, tricolours unfurled; Sehwag’s six finds Shilpa dancing with Nafisa, ‘Indiaaaa, Indiaaa...’
11th over: All eyes on the dark clouds drifting in. A small section of die-hard fans chants: “Allah megh de, paani de...”
End of 11th over: Sehwag and Dravid in never-ending mid-pitch meeting, an eye on the sky.
End of 12th over: Darkness descends rapidly, wind turns chilly. Is the invocation working'
14th over: A huge roar as umpires signal groundstaff to be ready with pitch covers. The first umbrellas go up; runs rain from Sehwag’s bat.
Drinks: Cheers greet the announcement that “patrons must keep their tickets to enter the grounds tomorrow in the event of a replay due to rain interruption before the side batting second has completed 25 overs.”
17th over: McGrath comes back; the lights come on; the skies open up. The din, demanding that the players go off, is defeaning.
3.34 pm: The players leave the field, the covers come on, the sky starts to clear. The PA system says: “Only if play is not resumed for an hour will the Duckworth Lewis system be applicable.”
3.45 pm: Here comes the sun, the covers come off
3.59 pm: The lopsided battle in the bullring resumes. Lights switched off. A certain Mr Gundappa Vishwanath takes a stroll round the stands, pausing for some cricket talk in rare quarters where he remains recognised and revered. Vishy is all praise for the way the Aussies batted.
20th over: The first full Mexican wave at The Wanderers inspires Sehwag to blast Bichel.
End of 20th over: An announcement that Australia were 126 for two after 20 (against India’s 122 for 2) draws a fresh round of “Jeetage bhai jeetega...”
End of 21st over: The official attendance figure for the Cup final: 31, 779
23rd over: Even as Sehwag smashes it around as if he’s got an SMS from his mom, some men in blue in the stands are bowled over by, believe it or not, an Australian. A blonde bombshell prancing about in red bikini top, blue jeans and Australian flag proves that Indians aren’t allergic to all things Australians, after all.
End of 25th over: Confirmation over the PA system that the final will be decided today.
End of 28th over: A drink for Dravid, a bat for Yuvraj.
End of 29th over: Rain clouds gather, the wind picks up, Dravid steals a glance at the Duckworth Lewis sheet in his pocket before having a word with Yuvraj.
30th over: A rumble in the skies draws a roar from the Indian ignoramuses.
31st over: The sky over the stadium clears.
34th over, 5 pm: The sun plays hide ’n seek; the lights are back on.
39th over: Lee bowls Srinath. The till-now slow trickle of Indian supporters leaving the stadium picks up pace. Ground-staff take up positions all around in anticipation of the last ball.
40th over, 5.40 pm: World Cup 2003 is over. Congratulations Australia! screams the scoreboard
6.18 pm: As the champs take a bow and set off on a victory lap in a nearly-deserted stadium, the storm breaks out. The losers have trooped off, with more than a member of Team India glancing back at the Aussie celebrations