Good morning all. Just getting in from your Friday night out? or simply a World Cup addict? Either way, Sports Mole has you covered for the 40th game of this World Cup is the final one from Pool A as already-qualified Australia face already-eliminated Scotland at Hobart.
This is not quite a dead rubber. The Aussies will be keen not to slip up as victory would see them leapfrog Sri Lanka into second in Pool A and could make the difference between facing South Africa or Ireland in the last eight. A famous win for Scotland would see them avoid the wooden spoon.
AUSTRALIA WIN THE TOSS AND ELECT TO BOWL
wins the toss and inserts Scotland in gloomy conditions, citing the rain forecast for later in the day as the reason for his decision. He'll want to roll the Scots over and knock them off sharpish.
One change for either side in the bowling department as the Aussies bring back paceman Pat Cummins for spinner Xavier Doherty and Scot swap Iain Wardlaw for fellow seamer Alasdair Evans.
AUSTRALIA: Aaron Finch
, David Warner
, Steve Smith
, Michael Clarke (c), Glenn Maxwell, Shane Watson, Brad Haddin (wk), James Faulkner
, Mitchell Johnson, Mitchell Starc
, Pat Cummins
SCOTLAND: Callum MacLeod, Kyle Coetzer, Matt Machan, Preston Mommsen (c), Freddie Coleman, Richie Berrington, Matthew Cross (wk), Josh Davey, Rob Taylor, Michael Leask, Ian Wardlaw
Batting first might just be the best thing for Preston Mommsen
's side. They face the risk of being blown away by Mitchells Starc and Johnson, but that beats chasing leather for 50 overs doesn't it?
The Scots have ran Bangladesh and Afghanistan close thus far and may be disappointed not to have closed one of those games out for a maiden World Cup victory. The chances of that happening today are slim. Remember they are without spinner Majid Haq
, sent home for social media comments.
The two teams are out for the national anthems and that means that we're close to starting. There is another World Cup game going on this morning of course, Zimbabwe taking on India in Pool B. Zimbabwe are currently 173-4 off 37.3 overs. I'll have half an eye on the action in Auckland too.
Here we go then. The feared Mitchell Starc to bowl to Scotland's best bat Kyle Coetzer. Play!
Start starts with a maiden and has Coetzer hopping around with a mix of those swinging yorkers and some sharp short stuff. The Northants opener scored 150 against Bangladesh, but this is an entirely different game. I doubt any of this Scottish lineup will have faced an attack quite like this before.
Back in the side, Cummins takes the other new ball and appears rusty. There is plenty of width on offer and Callum MacLeod takes full advantage by crashing two fours through point.
WICKET! KYLE COETZER caught SMITH bowled STARC 0(11)
Starc has been all over Coetzer early doors and now gets his man. The Scot looked understandably unsure against the 150kmph left-armer and gets stuck in the crease flashing at one outside off-stump. There is no foot movement at all and Steve Smith takes a sharp catch above his head at third slip.
The left-handed Matt Machan is in at three and denies Starc successive maidens by digging out a yorker and running through for a single. Losing their most experienced and prolific batsman within the first three overs is really going to test the resolve of this young Scotland side.
Cummins is again far too wide and MacLeod throws his hands through a couple of carves which bring him two more boundaries. This third seamer position is proving a headache for Clarke. Cummins is struggling for form and fitness and Josh Hazelwood isn't pulling up trees either.
Machan drives Starc nicely through cover, just using the pace on the ball and it rolls away for four. He looks far less comfortable against the short stuff though, and is fortunate to not pick out a fielder when twice scooping the ball up into the leg-side. He then survives a tight lbw call last ball.
Cummins is quickly hooked and Shane Watson into the attack early. There is no swing through the air and a friendly half-volley is punched down the ground smartly by Machan for four.
WICKET! CALLUM MACLEOD caught WARNER bowled STARC 22(19)
A breezy little knock from MacLeod comes to an end. He had thrived on width in his 22 - double his highest previous score at the tournament - but cuts Starc straight to David Warner at point. The bounce perhaps got a bit high on him, but he will no doubt be disappointed that he couldn't keep the ball down.
WICKET! PRESTON MOMMSEN caught STARC bowled WATSON 0(2)
Scotland's skipper goes quickly as he top edges a hook off Watson, and Starc does the rest backtracking at square-leg. Mommsen has arguably the best technique and usually the best temperament of the Scotland lineup, but should not have been playing that shot so early in his innings and was never in control of it.
The minnows are three down inside eight overs and staring down the barrel, but that does not stop Machan from launching a Watson length ball over cover for four. They might as well play positively because one ball against this high-class attack is eventually going to have your name on it.
No respite for the Scots as one world-class left-armer is replaced by another. Mitchell Johnson hits a back-of-a-length area and new man Freddie Coleman is firm in defence. Maiden.
Machan (26) takes advantage of the last over of the power play by beautifully stroking Watson back over his head for a one-bounce four, having previously played a swivel pull for two.
WICKET! FREDDIE COLEMAN caught CLARKE bowled JOHNSON 0(7)
A third Scottish batsman goes for a duck as Johnson gets in on the act. Coleman pushes too hard at one angling across him and an edge flies through to the slips, where Clarke takes a good catch diving to his right.
It is vital that somebody stays with Machan for a few overs and that task falls to Richie Berrington. He gets off the mark by fending a well-directed Johnson bouncer to third-man.
WICKET! RICHIE BERRINGTON caught WARNER bowled MAXWELL 1(6)
Maxwell burgles a wicket first ball with a friendly half-volley which Berrington slices into the hands of Warner at cover. There is a gulf in class between these sides, but no excuse for a dismissal as soft as that.
Haddin misses one which turns down the leg-side for four wides and Machan drives for two out to the cover sweeper as Scotland take six off the over. They may have lost a wicket to him, but the associate nation will be relieved with every over Maxwell bowls at the expense of the quicks.
Wicketkeeper Matt Cross is in at seven and uses the pace of Johnson to squeeze him away to the boundary through backward point. He probably regrets that immediately as Johnson gets him hopping with a couple of fast bouncers. Subsequently Cross is hesitant getting forward and across to the pitch of the ball and Johnson goes past the outside edge three times to finish the over.
Scotland take three singles into the leg-side as Maxwell looks to give the ball some flight. A shorter ball is patted back to finish by Cross, who may not be keen to get down the other end.
Machan continues to take the fight to the Aussie quicks and is looking slightly more comfortable against the short stuff than he was to start with. He doesn't get all of a pull which beats Aaron Finch
to the rope and then lifts a cut shot deliberately over the infield and away to the boundary. He is now on 40 off 33 balls and MacLeod (22) is the only other Scot to have reached double figures so far.
Maxwell is round the wicket to Cross, who pierces the infield with a square drive which brings him his second boundary. He cannot pick the gap again as five dots follow before drinks.
UPDATE: Zimbabwe have been bowled for 287 in the penultimate over against India. In his final ODI, captain Brendan Taylor starred with a wonderful 138, well supported by Stuart Williams with 50. Pace trio Mohammed Shami, Umesh Yadav and Mohit Sharma all took three wickets for India.
WICKET! MATT MACHAN caught FAULKNER bowled CUMMINS 40(35)
Cummins is back into the attack with a much-needed wicket. Machan tries to help a short ball around the corner, but gets too far underneath the ball and it just about carries to Faulkner at long-leg. The left-hander played well and aggressively, but that flaw in his technique has eventually cost him his wicket.
WICKET! MATT CROSS caught HADDIN bowled CUMMINS 9(21)
Pace has been Australia's X-factor this morning and there is too much heat on this delivery from Cummins. Cross gets himself into a really awkward position and the ball comes off the shoulder of the bat and goes through for a simple catch to Haddin. Scotland's last recognised batsman is back in the hutch.
Very nearly three in an over for Cummins as he beats the outside edge of number nine Rob Taylor with a beauty which went across him and nipped away late. Can Scotland get to 100?
Josh Davey - who was the surprise leading wicket-taker at this World Cup - sensibly goes on the attack against Maxwell, firstly coming down the track and flicking him over mid-wicket and then slogging in the same direction. Three more runs follow, and that could be the last spin we see.
Buoyed by his two quick wickets, Cummins is really steaming in now and his fourth over yields only a leg-bye. If he could polish off this tail then that would do his confidence great guns.
You can see why Davey has earned himself a contract at Somerset. He looks accomplished with the bat also, driving splendidly through extra cover to finish James Faulkner's first over.
WICKET! ROB TAYLOR caught HADDIN bowled CUMMINS 0(6)
Cummins strikes again to leave Scotland eight down. This is almost a replica of a delivery which he bowled to Taylor in the previous over and this time the number nine prods the bat away from his body and the edge goes straight into the gloves of Haddin.
The 100 comes up for Scotland courtesy of a gorgeous Davey (20 off 18 balls) clip off his pads. Michael Leask is in at 10 and does really well to dig out a first-ball yorker on leg stump.
Buzzers! Starc does well to stop a Leask drive at mid-off and throws at the bowler's end, where neither Cummins was there to collect or Finch to back up. The ball goes for four overthrows. Faulkner is not amused! Just a little bit of rain in the air, but hopefully the strong breeze will see to it.
Cummins reverts to the wide filth that he threw down in his opening spell and Leask smashes him for three boundaries in a row through the off-side! The first two are unorthodox flat-bat shots, but the third a more delicate drive through square point. Great shots for a number 10!
Clarke has been forced to spread the field a little bit because of Scotland's stroke making. They are going at a healthy five an over which is an indication that they have continued to be brave and positive despite the regular loss of wickets. Davey picks up three more pushing Faulkner through cover.
PLAYERS OFF FOR RAIN: The umpires have brought the players off with Scotland on 130-8 (Davey 26, Leask 23). The rain that his been around for a while had briefly got heavier, but was starting to ease and I fancy that the players could have stayed on. The Australians certainly didn't want to come off.
Fingers crossed we aren't in for another on-and-off morning as we were with England versus Afghanistan in Sydney yesterday. There is a strong wind coming from one end of the Bellerive Oval so hopefully that will blow the rain away. The locals are suggesting it may only be a short break:
This is the reason why Michael Clarke opted to bowl at the toss, and his bowlers did what he would have asked of them by quickly ripping through the Scotland top order. They had the minnows seven down inside 17 overs, but have encountered some strong resilience from a Scotland tail playing their shots.
UPDATE: The covers are coming off in Hobart and we should have play again shortly.
LATEST: India have lost two early wickets in their case of 288 at Eden Park, with openers Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan both falling in the same Tinashe Panyangara over to leave them 21-2.
After a rather unnecessary 25-minute delay, we are ready to resume in Tasmania and Clarke has asked Starc to clean up this Scotland tail. The impressive Davey is on strike. Play!
WICKET! JOSH DAVEY bowled STARC 26(35)
And he immediately comes up with one of his unplayable yorkers! Davey's defence had looked solid, but he can do nothing to keep out an off-stump yorker from around the wicket. The end is nigh.
WICKET! IAIN WARDLAW bowled STARC 0(2)
Indeed Scotland cannot see out the over as Starc bowls last man Wardlaw for his fourth wicket. This isn't quite yorker length, but completely beats Wardlaw for pace as he tried to give himself room.
That all finished rather abruptly after the resumption of play! Starc truly is the best in the world at getting those yorkers in and very few have been unable to keep them out so far at this World Cup. He moves to the top of the wicket-taking charts with 16 courtesy of his 11th four-for in only 38 ODIs.
The Australia response will begin very shortly. The tea interval is not scheduled for another hour and 20 minutes or so and they may set themselves a target of knocking this 131 off before then.
Captain Michael Clarke has decided that he needs some time in the middle ahead of the latter stages and he has promoted himself to open alongside Aaron Finch. Iain Wardlaw had ball in hand. Play!
Clarke and Finch pick up singles into the leg-sides off their first balls and the skipper then pulls the first boundary of the innings by getting on top of a 132kmph Wardlaw bouncer.
Great opening set from Rob Taylor and he should have had a wicket. Finch edges a ball angling across him but Mommsen cannot hold on at second slip. The ball was barely above the ground when it reached him, but it travelled slowly and the Scotland captain should have taken it. An even better delivery, swinging in through the air and then nipping away off the seam, beats Clarke. Absolute seed.
You cannot afford to give players of Finch's calibre a lifeline and the muscly opener has Mommsen squirming as he takes 14 off Wardlaw's second over. The first boundary is a well-timed clip off his pads, but the pull for six and four just to the right of the diving mid-on fielder are all about brute force.
WICKET! AARON FINCH caught COLEMAN bowled TAYLOR 20(10)
Finch has been aerial with many of his early strokes and this time he picks out a fielder! He does not get over a loose drive and Coleman takes a good catch diving forward at cover. Taylor has the wicket that he deserved for his opening over.
The Aussies shuffle their batting order around some more as Shane Watson comes out at three - it has been Steve Smith in recent games. Watson watches as Clarke narrowly clears the rope at long-leg with a flick hook which the wind carried over the fielder. Wardlaw has been too short and Clarke tucks into a wide one which flies to the point boundary to take him to 20 from as many rocks.
Watson plants that front leg down the pitch and drives nicely twice picking out the fielders. Taylor continues with his full length and his final ball is punched for a single wide of mid-off.
Davey, with 14 wickets to his name so far in the tournament, comes into the attack for the expensive Wardlaw. Australia take three singles to move to within 87 runs of their target.
UPDATE: India are now three down in Auckland, where Ajinkya Rahane has run himself out to leave his side 74-3 off 18 overs chasing 288 to win against Zimbabwe. Virat Kohli and Suresh Raina at the crease.
Neither Clarke or Watson are afraid to take the aerial route down the ground, undeterred by Finch's dismissal. Clarke's drive for four almost presented Taylor with the chance of a return catch, but Watson's flew safely between the stumps and mid-off to the boundary. He is so strong in that area.
A maiden for Davey as Clarke inside edges one into a rather painful area.
Watson smashes a rare wayward Taylor ball through square cover. There is a bit of chirp between the two and the Aussie responds by backing away and slapping a length ball back past the bowler with a flat bat. Watson famously has a dirty mouth, but apparently Taylor isn't shy either!
A short-arm pull from Clarke beats the diving mid-on on its way to the fence and four more follows with a elegant cut through point. Davey can still afford a wry little smile as he fools the Aussie skipper with a slower ball bouncer. Clarke has 34 from 39 balls, but has taken a few blows along the way!
A few dark clouds are appearing above the ground and Australia clearly want to get this over with before more rain comes. Wardlaw is greeted back into the attack by Clarke launching him over mid-on for a 89m six. Watson tries something similar, but gets right underneath it and the ball falls short and plugs. These two have now put on 50 and taken their side to within a half-century of victory.
WICKET! SHANE WATSON caught CROSS bowled DAVEY 24(23)
Another World Cup wicket for Davey, who now has 15 for the tournament. Fine-leg is in the ring and Watson tries a ramp shot which he top edges, with wicket-keeper cross coming round to take an easy catch.
WICKET! MICHAEL CLARKE caught LEASK bowled WARDLAW 47(47)
A great catch on the boundary from Michael Leask secures Scotland a third scalp and the big one of the Australian captain. Wardlaw's ill-advised short-ball ploy has cost him 45 runs but now also earned him a wicket as Clarke pulls in the air square, where Leask dives low to take a stormer. A run-a-ball 47 will do Clarke some good, but he no doubt would have liked to see it through to the end.
PLAYERS OFF FOR RAIN: And this is why Australia have been batting the way that they have. Clarke has been worried about the forecast of rain and it comes right on schedule - 6pm local time.
This shower is much heavier than the one which inexplicably brought the players off earlier. The tea interval scheduled for around half an hour's time is now being taken so time is not being lost as of yet.
James Faulkner, the finisher who has not yet had the chance to finish in this tournament, was the man out to replace Watson before the delay. Not sure yet who will follow Clarke, but I suspect that it will be Glenn Maxwell as the Aussies hastily go in search of the final 39 runs that they need to win.
A reminder that Australia must win this match to leapfrog Sri Lanka and finish second in Pool A, avoiding a likely quarter-final against South Africa. Twenty overs must be played in the second innings to constitute a game and a washout would see the Lions finish higher on virtue of more games won.
UPDATE: The run chase is finely poised in Auckland, with India needing 137 runs off the final 16 overs. They lost Virat Kohli to fall to 92-4, but a fifty partnership between Suresh Raina and MS Dhoni has taken them to 151-4 in pursuit of 288 against Zimbabwe. Dhoni has seen them home so many times before.
Hamilton Masakadza has just dropped a sitter! Raina top edges a paddle sweep off Sikandar Raza and the ball somehow slips through his fingers at short fine. That could be a huge moment in that match.
Not good signs from Hobart I'm afraid. The tea interval is now over but the rain persists.
How the weather can quickly change in Australia! Blue skies and a delightful rainbow overhead now, with the umpires out in the middle inspecting the conditions. The outfield will be rather damp.
UPDATE! The covers are coming off. No word of an official restart time yet though.
LATEST: India need 84 from the final nine overs to beat Zimbabwe at Eden Park, with Raina (71) and Dhoni (46) still at the crease. A required rate of nine an over is not as intimidating as it once was.
WEATHER UPDATE: Eurgghh. It's raining again at the Bellerive Oval, where the covers are back on. Doesn't this Australian weather know that I have a bed to go back to? I'm as frustrated as you are Pup.
The more time that the players spend off the field, the more chance that Duckworth-Lewis has a say. The interesting thing is that Australia might have already surpassed a potential revised target.
HUNDRED! Suresh Raina goes to an important century in Auckland - his fifth in ODIs and first in a World Cup. He has captain cool still with him as India seek 41 runs to beat Zimbabwe off 32 balls.
UPDATE! The covers are again coming off in Hobart, and this time it does not appear to be a false dawn. The umpires are happy with the conditions and a restart time has been set for 8.35 GMT.
There certainly will be not be any messing around when the Aussies return to the crease. They will not want to risk another rain break and I fancy that there will be some big swings from almost ball one. David Warner is the man elected to join James Faulkner and Wardlaw will finish his over. Play!
Warner smashes his first ball for a huge six over long-off and whips his second for four through mid-wicket. Twelve off the over in total and Wardlaw has now gone for 57 in five.
There is more rain in the air and pressure on these Australian batsmen to score a boundary almost every ball. Faulkner obliges with two strikes over the off-side infield and a third falls just short of the sweeper. Warner crashes a full toss for a massive, 104m six and then strikes along the ground toward the same mid-wicket area, with the ball beating the diving fielder to the rope. Davey gets his yorker in well to finish, but a big over for the Aussies leaves them needing only seven to win. Warner 21 off 6 balls.
AUSTRALIA 133-3 (MICHAEL CLARKE 47, MITCHELL STARC 4-14) beat SCOTLAND 130-10 (MATT MACHAN 40) by seven wickets
Panic over. Australia needed only two overs and 10 minutes after the restart to seal a victory which secures them second spot in Pool A. Faulkner (16 not out) slogs a six to get them over the line.
RESULT: And it is also all over at Eden Park, where Raina (110*) and Dhoni (87*) see India home against Zimbabwe with eight balls to spare. The 196-run partnership between the Chennai Super Kings teammates rescued their side from a dangerous position and maintained India's 100% Pool B record.
India and Australia are on course to clash in the semi-finals, but first must get through the last eight. India face Bangladesh, while Australia will play the winner of tomorrow's game between Ireland & Pakistan.
Meanwhile, Scotland bow out without a win. They were ripped apart by sheer pace today, but will look back on the match and their World Cup campaign as a whole as a great experience for their young squad. While they lost out in tight matches with Afghanistan and Bangladesh, and maybe would have liked to push the Test-playing nations closer, they have by no means disgraced themselves in this tournament.
That's it from me. Thanks for joining Sports Mole this morning and staying patient through the rain. I invite you to follow all of next week's quarter-final's with us, starting on Thursday at 3am. Until then...