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England v Canada
St Lucia, 18 March 2007

Test Match Special podcast | Blog



WORLD CUP, GROUP C, ST LUCIA:
England 279-6 (50 overs) bt Canada 228-7 (50 overs) by 51 runs

England were some way short of their A game but still did enough to register their first victory of the World Cup by seeing off minnows Canada by 51 runs.

Asked to bat first on another slow St Lucia wicket, they struggled for runs in the middle overs, before weathering a brief collapse to finish on 279-6.

Canada were restricted to 65-4 after 17 overs of their reply but finished on 228-7, their best total in World Cups.

England had no Andrew Flintoff, banned by team management for poor discipline.

ACTION AS IT HAPPENED (ALL TIMES GMT)

By Ben Dirs

CANADA INNINGS

50th over: Can 228-7
Collingwood with the final over and Canada need 58 from it to win. Come on Canada, you can do this! Codrington tugs Colly down to fine-leg for four, although I'm not sure he got anything on it. One from England's last ball, Codrington pushing down the ground, but Canada are 51 runs short. It's a win from England, but it was not particularly impressive. On this form, the Kenyans will fancy their chances on Saturday.

49th over: Can 222-7
Codrington mis-times a pull and gets a single to mid-wicket. Plunkett short and Chumney pokes him down to third-man. Umpire Doctrove turns down a decent lbw shout by Plunkett, and it did look to be sliding down leg. Almost there. I feel like I used to after Communion at church - the end is in sight, just a bit more blather from Father Martin to get through.

Wicket falls
48th over: WICKET - Dhaniram run out (Bopara/Collingwood) 30, Can 217-7
Dhaniram slaps Colly over extra-cover and Monty is unable to save four. However, Dhaniram, so impressive until now, is run out next ball, Bopara throwing to the bowler's end from third-man and Collingwood throwing down the stumps. Not clever by Dhaniram, looking behind him as he made his way down the wicket. The imposing Codrington is next at the crease and I get the impression he is capable of putting manners on some of his shots. He top-edges a hook first-up and gets one for it.

47th over: Can 212-6
One more for Chumney, driving Plunkett to long-off for one. Expansive drive by Dhaniram, but Colingwood restricts him to just one with a half-stop. Chumney swings KerPlunkers down the ground for a single.

46th over: Can 207-6
Chumney is clearly starting to irritate England's quicks and Anderson gets him ducking with a bumper. Chumney is unbowed, however, clipping Anderson to leg for one. That's Canada's highest ever score in the World Cup. Dhaniram then climbs into one, smacking Anderson to the long-off boundary. Good cricketer Dhaniram. Crikey O'Reilly, I'm bored.

"From Richmond Hill, Ontario, nominal hometown of Ashish Bagai, the Canuck wicketkeeper. We are proud over here that our Canadian lads evidently did not dress in women's clothes and hang around in bars before today's game. Good solid performance by the Canucks. If England play like this against Kenya, who killed us, you will be back to Blighty amidst the biggest storm of controversy for English cricket in 20 years."
Steve Payne in the TMS inbox

45th over: Can 200-6
Pretty insipid this by England, I've felt more intensity watching a game of corporate softball on Clapham Common. Chumney gives Plunkett the charge and misses with a wild and windy woosh. Chumney is then hit with a bumper before Plunkers goes tumbling in his follow-through. Chumney brings up the 200 with a drive to long-off. Dhaniram plays out to point and Chumney just beats Vaughan's throw.

44th over: Can 198-6
Anderson pulls out of his run-up, Monty not in position at wide long-on. A leg-side wide from Anderson. Chumney had a go at that, had he connected, the ball would have ended up in St Vincent. A swipe from Chumney and he gets one for it. Dhaniram gets a single for a carve into the off-side before Chumney digs out a yorker and scampers one, Vaughan missing with his shie from mid-off.

43rd over: Can 193-6
Short ball from Bopara and Chumney is furious with himself for missing out, swatting himself on the pads. But he does latch on to a slower ball from Bopara, launching the Essex youngster over long-off for six. Lusty. Three more from Chumney and the Canadian challenge is still alive.

Jonathan Agnew
"If Chumney has connected with everything he'd had a go at, he'd be on about 175."
Jonathan Agnew on TMS

42nd over: Can 184-6
Chumney stands up to Anderson and on-drives for a couple. Good shot that. Anderson retaliates with a yorker, but Chumney squeezes it out. Low full-bunger from Anderson and Cumney drives for a single.

41st over: Can 180-6
Chumney goes after Bopara and misses with a swish outside the off-stump. Unable to get the scoreboard ticking over, Chumney, and the game is trickling away from Canada. Quite a bit of noise now in the ground as Chumney does get one for a clip to leg. Two from the over and Canada really need a few more than that at this stage. That said, they've shown England up a bit here, this is not a steamrollering by any means.

40th over: Can 178-6
Chumney doesn't appear to know much about batting. He lunges at Monty and misses, the livewire Nixon whipping the bails off once again. Looking at that again, I think Chumney was gone, but Nixon didn't bother appealing. Well I never...

39th over: Can 177-6
Another decent shot from Dhaniram, swishing Bopara through the covers for a couple.

"It's a run-saving field from Vaughan rather than a 'let's wrap this innings up' kind of field."
Jonny Saunders on TMS

38th over: Can 174-6
Dhaniram is a confident looking player and he whips Monty to leg for a single. Panesar has another lbw appeal against Chumney turned down by umpire Parker. That was going over.

37th over: Can 173-6
Dhaniram gets a couple for a bottom-edged cut and one for a thick outside edge. Mike Selvey informs us that Bob Woolmer was big into 1970s 'arena rocker' Peter Frampton back in the day and played his album over and over when they used to room together. Nice touch.

Wicket falls
36th over: WICKET - Samad lbw b Panesar 36, Can 161-6
And down goes Samad, Monty hitting him on the fall and umpire Parker not hesitating this time, pointing a sausage index finger in Samad's direction. Canada's bowling hero Dhaniram is next in and he flays Monty through the covers for four first-up. He gets another couple for an uppish clip to mid-wicket

Wicket falls
35th over: WICKET - Mulla st Nixon b Bopara 58, Can 160-5
Bopara is back on after a quick blast of Plunkett. Mulla has a dirty great swipe at Bopara and misses and Nixon whips off the bails. Relief for England, sharp glovework from Nixon, who's having a decent game. Good knock that by Mulla, he had England sweating there for a while. Chumney is the new batsman and he's beaten by Bopara.

34th over: Can 160-4
England by no means out of the woods yet. Samad almost plays on, but just manages to kick the spinning ball away from his stumps. The wristy Samad flicks Collingwood to mid-wicket for one before Mulla gets one for a clip to the same spot. Canada skipper Davison appears to be tucking into a bowl of soup up on the balcony. Doesn't really look like soup weather in St Lucia, unless it's gazpacho. Brutal shot fom Samad, sticking Collingwood over the deep mid-wicket fence and onto the roof. Old Vaughany might be getting a bit worried about this.

That's 50
33rd over: Can 151-4
Plunkett is back on and I reckon that's a sensible move. He gets his first ball the outside edge of the groping Samad. Samad gets one for a steer to backward point. Mulla rocks back and brings up his fifty with a savage cut for four. Not clever bowling by Plunkett, not clever at all. Mulla gets another single to fine-leg before Samad whips Plunkett away for one.

32nd over: Can 142-4
More tight stuff from Collingwood, four fom it, but Canada are in a position from which to launch an attack at least.

Jonathan Agnew
"Mother's Day today Gus, I hope you've sent your cards and flowers off here there and everywhere...oh dear, have you forgotten?..."
Jonathan Agnew on TMS

31st over: Can 138-4
Samad drags Monty round the corner for four, the ball just brushing his glove. Quicker ball from Panesar has Mulla rushing his stroke but he gets a single for a push into the covers. Six from the over and Monty not having much luck.

30th over: Can 132-4
Samad tries to chop Colly down to third-man and misses. An off-cutter from Collingwood has Samad in a spot of bother but the batsman gets one for a prod to third-man. Colly's dibbly-dobblies keeping Canada honest.

29th over: Can 130-4
Vigorous lbw appeal from Monty against Mulla but umpire Doctrove is unmoved. Not sure why not, that was splattering everything. Mulla adds insult to injury, smearing Monty down to the third-man boundary for four. Mulla clips Panesar to leg to nick the strike.

28th over: Can 122-4
Mulla stands tall and drives Collingwood on the up for a single. Samad gets one for a steer to third-man and these two Canadian batsmen looking pretty untroubled to me. Maybe England need a blast from one of their quicks to hose one of them out.

27th over: Can 119-4
Drinks all round for the England players and not a dodgy cocktail in sight. Bit of spin for Dalrymple, gripping and turning back into Mulla. Twelfth man Straussy gets a bit of work on the point boundary and the partnership between Samad and Mulla now worth 48 runs. Samad pushes a single to cover before Mulla leans back and glides Dalrymple to wide third-man for four.

26th over: Can 110-4
Samad nibbles Collingwood down to a very fine third-man for four. Deliberate stroke, and a very nice one.

25th over: Can 105-4
Three wides given up by Dalrymple before Samad brings up Canada's ton with a tickle round the corner. Mulla then piles into Dalrymple, mullering him to the long-off boundary for four.

24th over: Can 96-4
Samad flicks Colly to long-on for a single before Mulla reaches for one and is beaten outside the off-stump.

"I went to prep school at Holmwood House in Kent where Bob taught during the winter term and he is the reason that, although Sussex born and bred, I have supported Kent all my life. He will be greatly missed."
Keith Tracy in the TMS inbox 23rd over: Can 94-4
Dalrymple and his darts and there are three singles from the over.

22nd over: Can 91-4
Collingwood into the attack and it's a tidy first over, just three from it.

"Just heard the news about Bob Woolmer, and as I write poetry about cricket, was moved to write the following:

Bob Woolmer (1948-2007)
Soft hands, soft voice, softly stay with us.
Its a hard game, hard ball, hard bat,
Hard on the mind and the soul;
And hard on the breaks and bruises
Are the knocks, written, read and said
That hurt the hurt, deny redemption
In turning a hard game harder.
You listened, listened to tomorrow;
Different, less hard, more heart-felt.
Soft hands, soft voice, softly stay with us.

David Fine in the TMS inbox

21st over: Can 88-4
Stand and deliver from Mulla, hitting on the up and getting four through point. Vaughan and Bopara have a natter but it doesn't make much difference, Samad hoisting him over the mid-wicket boundary for six.

20th over: Can 74-4
Athletic fielding from Vaughan at mid-off, no signs of those injuries. Mulla gets one for a clip to square-leg. Decentish crowd in now as Monty continues twirling away and we have what is approaching an atmosphere in St Lucia.

19th over: Can 71-4
Mulla twirls and misses at Bopara but Mulla does get four for a carve through point. Bopara's bowling is getting Nixon in a lather, cries of "gorgeous, gorgeous" from behind the sticks.

"I just thought I would share a tribute to Bob by using his own words he uses on his website to describe life. 'Yesterday is history, Tomorrow is a mystery, Today is the present - a gift to make the most of.'"
Richard Colley, Bromsgrove, in the TMS inbox

18th over: Can 67-4
It seems like only a matter of time before Monty takes a wicket, but Mulla turns him away for one. Just one from the over and this is attritional stuff now from Canada.

Wicket falls
17th over: WICKET - Billcliff b Bopara 20, Can 65-4
Samad opens the face and runs Bopara away for one. Monty gets a bit of a cheer for a good throw to wicket-keeper Nixon. Billcliff swishes and misses before Bopara gets his man, Billcliff playing inside the line and the ball hitting the top of off. Lovely ball that. Players will have a wet while Mulla makes his way to the middle.

16th over: Can 64-3
Umpire Parker looks a bit like the Bishop of Bath and Wells from Blackadder ll. Monty doesn't want to bend down too close to him, he might get a red hot poker where it hurts. Billcliff dabbles at Panesar, who is bowling tidily but without luck so far. Maiden.

15th over: Can 64-3
Bopara is going to have a go with the ball and his first delivery is a wide. Bopara finds the edge of Samad's bat and Joyce, standing a long way back, takes it on the bounce. Samad whips Bopara to deep mid-wicket for a couple.

14th over: Can 61-3
Panesar has Billcliff groping about like Mr Magoo for five balls before the batsman smashes him over long-on for six. Monty won't mind that too much.

"I remember sitting behind Bob Woolmer and David Lloyd of the Evening Standard on a flight and saying, 'Lloyd's got another exclusive', and Bob said 'if you don't get anything out of me, you're not a very good journalist'."
Gus Fraser on TMS

13th over: Can 55-3
The crowd have livened up a bit, a few of the locals processing round the ground and giving it some hammer on their drums. A chap absolutely sparko on his back in the crowd turning an alarming shade of lobster red. Looks like he's been out on the sauce with Flintoff. Two from the over.

12th over: Can 53-3
It's Monty time and his first ball turns extravagantly away from Billcliff. Thick outside edge for two from Billcliff.

Wicket falls
11th over: WICKET - Davison c Bell b Anderson 21, Can 51-3
The danger man gone, coming down the pitch to Anderson and picking out Bell at deep extra-cover. You feel Canada's hopes have evaporated with the fall of Davison's wicket. Such was Bob Woolmer's influence as a coach that his achievements as a player are often overlooked. He played 350 first-class matches for Kent, Natal, Western Province and England, plus 19 Tests, scoring more than 15,000 runs and taking 420 wickets. Samad is the new batsman and he survives the over.

10th over: Can 51-2
Billcliff and Davison are looking pretty comfortable here. Plunkett serves up a wide half-bunger and Billcliff scythes him to the cover-point boundary. Another wide from Plunkett before Billcliff gives him the charge and misses with an ugly swipe.

"A night on the drink? A game of cricket? Not important anymore after the untimely death of Bob Woolmer."
Tom Howarth in the TMS inbox

9th over: Can 44-2
Billcliff leans back and almost puts his back out trying to carve Anderson into the covers, but misses out again. A wide from Anderson before Davison gives it some hammer, slapping the bowler straight over the top for four.

"Bob Woolmer thought about cricket the whole time, was a very intelligent cricketer and took coaching on to a whole new level."
Alec Stewart on TMS

8th over: Can 38-2
Bit of width for Davison and he throws everything at it and gets two through the covers. Billcliff has a wild and windy woosh and is beaten by Plunkett but he does get a single with a clip to extra-cover.

7th over: Can 34-2
Billcliff, like someone chopping down a tree, carves Anderson away for four. Boundaries coming thick and fast for Canada. Some awful news just in that Pakistan coach Bob Woolmer has passed away in Jamaica at the age of 58. That puts a few things into perspective.

Wicket falls
6th over: WICKET - Bagai c Pietersen b Plunkett 6, Can 22-2
Another wicket for Plunkett, Bagai backing away and upper-cutting him straight down Pietersen's neck at third-man. Just in case anyone hasn't heard, Pakistan coach Bob Woolmer has been found unconscious in his hotel room and is in a serious condition in hospital in Jamaica. Not good news. Davison winds up and slams Plunkett through the covers for another four. Plunkett almost gets his man next ball, Davison hitting across the line and getting rapped on the pads but umpire Parker deciding it was missing. No idea why, that looked plumb. Davison drives through the covers for a couple.

5th over: Can 22-1
Lovely back-foot drive by Bagai and that's another boundary for Canada. Bagai backs away and twirls Anderson down to third-man for one.

4th over: Can 17-1
Not much footwork from Bagai, who is beaten again outside the off-stump. Bagai does get off the mark with a push into the covers. Plunkett thinks he's got Davison feathering one behind but umpire Parker is having none of it. Davison rubs Plunkett's nose in it with a doozy of a cover-drive for four.

"We thought this would be a month of tedium, but for the last four days it's been nothing but news."
Mike Selvey on TMS

3rd over: Can 12-1
Airy-fairy drive from Davison but he gets four with a sweetly-timed back-foot force.

"I really can't believe what's going on with England. Nanny state and nanny cricket officials. English cricket started going downhill when Gower got disciplined for his aeroplane antics! You should be ashamed of yourselves."
Richard 'Definitely a Bloke' Pierce-Saunderson

Wicket falls
2nd over: WICKET - Barnett b Plunkett 7, Can 8-1
Plunkett shares the new ball with Anderson and his first ball is flayed through the covers for four. But KerPlunkers strikes back, getting one to jag back and clip the top of off-stump. Barnett shouldering arms, good ball from Plunkett. Wicket-keeper Bagai is the new man in and he misses with an attempted back-foot force first-up.

1st over: Can 4-0
Anderson to have first go with the pill and, as we all know, he's a very naughty boy. His first ball shapes away from Davison, who holds the record for the fastest ton in World Cup. Davison off the mark with a clip off his legs before Barnett scoops a pull over Pietersen at mid-wicket. Two for it. Anderson goes up for lbw next ball, but it pitched outside leg. Four from the first over.

"If that is how Paul Nixon plays after a night on the lash, then maybe a blind eye should be turned more often! The game is big enough to be able to cope with the odd player having a few too many bevvies!"
Trish Bowyer in the TMS inbox

1742 GMT: Umpires are out, the Canadian openers are out and here come England.

ENGLAND INNINGS

"I can't believe you guys are making such a meal out of the whole FF affair. It's no worse than Billy Bremner in Copenhagen Harbour in a rowing boat. And he is still one of Scotland's greats. These guys are only human. Young humans at that. And I really can't believe you're drafting in employees of that salacious rag the News of the World to comment. You've lost me as a listener. I'm off to watch trash on the telly."
Pat 'Not a Bloke' Mason in the TMS inbox

50th over: Eng 279-6
Waist-high full-bunger from Cummins and Collingwood swings it away for four. Collingwood gets two more for a push to long-off, Nixon and Cummins, a combined age of almost 80, having a little coming together as the England gloveman dives home. Collingwood has a heave at one and gets just the one for it. Cummins tinkering with his field before bowling the final ball but it's all a bit of a waste of time, Nixon flicking him down to fine-leg for four before mowing a full-bunger over the wide long-on boundary for six. Nineteen from the final over and that's 23 from eight balls from Nixon. Do I like that. Let's be honest though, that wasn't much cop from England, all a little bit stodgy. Saying that, they should have Canada on toast.

49th over: Eng 260-6
Stick with it folks, only two more overs to wade through. Colly gets one for a clip to leg and Nixon reverse sweeps his first ball for four. Clever. Nixon follows up with an extraordinary shot, charging Codrington and whipping him over the top for four, like a fly fisherman casting his line. Nixon gets four more for another reverse and KP's having a chuckle at that up on the balcony.

"Saw Hue and Cry at Roundhay Park, Leeds, a massive arena. They were supporting Madonna."
Steve in the TMS inbox

Wicket falls
48th over: WICKET - Dalrymple c Bagai b Cummins 2, Eng 245-6
Fine stop in the covers by Bhatti and Collingwood has to make do with one. Not sure what it is about Dalrymple, but he leaves me extremely underwhelmed as a sportsman. He is to cricket what Rich Tea are to biscuits. And there he goes, crumbling like a Rich Tea in a hot cup of PG Tips and getting a whopping edge behind to the tumbling Bagai.

Wicket falls
That's 50
47th over: WICKET - Bopara b Codrington 29, Eng 242-5
Fifty for Collingwood from 41 balls, just what the doctor ordered for England. But down goes Bopara, playing a shocker of a reverse 'flick' and losing his off-stump to Codrington. Decent knock from Bopara, however.

"This whole thing with Freddie seems awfully reminiscent of Gascoigne and the dentist's chair before Euro '96 - except a little bit more civilised, obviously, because it's cricket. So, what are the chances that England's beloved mercurial, toothy-grinned bad boy takes the team to the semi-finals, where they will lose to their oldest enemies? Oh, and Hue and Cry didn't stick around because a) nobody could work out if their names were Hue and Cry, or if it was just a silly punning band name, and b) they only had one tune, which made the concerts rather too short to fit the stadium format."
Nick, New York, in the TMS inbox

46th over: Eng 237-4
Good shot from Collingwood, tugging Samad away for four. Samad then serves up a beamer which Collingwood slaps to backward square-leg for seven. That was Samad's second beamer and that's him out of the attack. He trudges off to the long-off boundary and Bhatti completes the over. Colly swings his first delivery away for four before slapping him through the covers for three, Codrington collapsing over the ball like a stack of jenga bricks. Not clever. Bopara whips a Bhatti full-bunger through mid-wicket for four and that's 22 from the over.

45th over: Eng 215-4
Collingwood pierces the inner-ring with a push into the covers for two. Some devil from Bopara, using his feet and whipping Codrington to the wide long-on boundary for four. The Essex youngster has been a breath of fresh air since he came in.

44th over: Eng 206-4
Collingwood and Bopara still in third gear - you'd think they'd be giving it some serious humpty at this stage. Bopara misses out on a full-bunger. Bopara has the most extravagant follow-through I've ever seen. When he plays his clip to leg, it looks like he's having some sort of seizure.

43rd over: Eng 201-4
Bopara brings up England's 200 with a tug to long-on and Colly gets a couple with a work to leg. Whatever happened to Hue and Cry? They had the basic building blocks to be a good, solid arena band.

42nd over: Eng 197-4
Samad back into the attack and Bopara nurdles him to the leg-side for one. Collingwood picks up a couple with a clip to mid-wicket, Bopara really motoring between the stumps. The Essex boy has injected a bit of urgency to proceedings, and how we all needed that.

41st over: Eng 191-4
Codrington sticks one in the slot and Collingwood bends his front leg and slaps him through the covers for four. Bopara then flicks Codrington away for four to fine-leg before whipping him wristily to square-leg for one. More news on Flintoff - he will not be considered for the captaincy should Vaughan get injured. Blown it all for a few pina coladas and a spin on a pedalo. You silly sausage.

"You would think England are safe, but it only takes one maverick, and in Davison, Canada have one of those..."
Mike Selvey on TMS

40th over: Eng 181-4
Carpe diem Ravi! The Essex all-rounder clips a Dhaniram full-bunger through mid-wicket for four. A rather uncomfortable-looking reverse sweep from Collingwood for a couple. That's Dhaniram done, and he finishes with figures of 3-41.

39th over: Eng 173-4
Codrington back into the attack. Bopara takes a crazy run after looping a leading edge to mid-on. Colly gets one with a carve into the covers. Fine save by Davison at mid-on, but Bopara gets another single. Bit of conch action in the crowd. I thought the fun Taliban had banned stuff like that?

38th over: Eng 169-4
Talking of super powers, umpire Peter Parker's hat has just been ripped from his bonce by a sudden gust and dispatched to the deep mid-wicket boundary. More nudge and nurdle and three more to the total.

37th over: Eng 166-4
Bopara is next man in and we all know who's boots he's filling today. More news reaches me that Freddie has been binned as England vice-captain. Five from the over and this has got Collingwood written all over it in 12ft high letters. Someone has just passed me an interview Vaughan did with the Guardian. Apparently, if he had a super power it would be to "make people disappear". Wonder who he'd like to make disappear at the moment?

Wicket falls
WICKET - Pietersen c&b Dhaniram 161-4
KP's gone! That was a load of old rubbish, prodding an absolute dolly straight back to Dhaniram. Dhaniram has a nice line in celebrations, this time it's the 'upside-down tortoise'. Good grief, England really are a mediocre outfit.

Wicket falls
36th over: WICKET - Joyce b Dhaniram 66, Eng 66
Joyce is next to perish, trying a reverse sweep and getting himself bowled by Dhaniram. Joyce's dig took him 103 balls and the fans, from the sound of things, are glad to see the back of him. Collingwood is next up the ramp. Just seen Dhaniram's celebration, very Warnesque - look at that wiggle!

35th over: Eng 160-2
Boos now from the St Lucia crowd as Joyce continues to give Davison the barn door treatment and he riles them further by nicking the strike with a sweep from the final ball.

34th over: WICKET - Bell c Codrington b Dhaniram 28, Eng 153-2
Bell out, trying to slog-sweep Dhaniram and Codrington taking a steepler behind the stumps. I think the slow handclaps might have got to Belly there. All hail KP! The big man strolls out and rat-a-tats Dhaniram straight over his head first ball for four. Oh, the relief. KP then has an ugly sweep at one and Dhaniram strangles an appeal - well outside the line.

33rd over: Eng 152-2
A Joyce single brings up England's 150 and there are just three from the over. It's all very flat out there. I once wheeled my nan over to a village cricket match and parked her up. After 20 minutes or so, she goes: "Innit a disgrace, all this wasted space, you'd think they'd stick some flats up".

"Does Mello the mascot have a beard? I think they are obligatory if you have a 'zest for life', aren't they?"
Steve in the TMS inbox

32nd over: Eng 149-1
Dhaniram on and England are getting some slow handclapping. Reverse sweep from Bell - Gattingesque. Six from the over.

31st over: Eng 143-1
Davison back on and England still poking about like it's a timeless Test. More milking and four from the over.

30th over: Eng 139-1
Just seen World Cup mascot Mello having a couple of sherberts up in the stands. Bet he won't be mucking about on any pedalos later on. According to the organisers, he's a teenager and "a bit like" a raccoon. He also has "a positive attitude and a zest for life" and is "aware of social and health challenges around us". You could learn a few things from Mello, Freddie. Maybe you could meet up? Rumours tonight? Three singles from the over. For the love of God, deliver me KP!!!

29th over: Eng 136-1
Bell uses his feet to Codrington and lofts him over mid-off for four. Brutal, or about as brutal as Bell can get. Five from the over. Anyone got any matchsticks?

28th over: Eng 131-1
If this England innings was an album it would be something obscure by John Coltrane. It's very difficult viewing.

27th over: Eng 126-1
Ian Smith reckons Codrington looks like Marvin Hagler. He is an enforcement officer. Not sure what he enforces exactly. Love? More nudge and nurdle from Bell and Joyce.

That's 50
26th over: Eng 122-1
Bell nudges to mid-wicket for one before Joyce flicks Dhaniram to backward-square to bring up his fifty. It came from 74 balls and included four fours and a six.

25th over: Eng 119-1
Aggers on TMS is claiming Canadian spinner Codrington looks like Hot Chocolate lead singer Errol Brown. Jonny Saunders reckons he looks like Sol Campbell. I have no opinion on it. Someone told me recently that I look like Ray Mears. But then I've also been told I look like Mike Tyson "when I laugh". Five from the over, England still treating Davison with the utmost respect. This is all a bit soporific.

24th over: Eng 114-1
England really aren't very good, are they? Joyce and Bell are prodding and poking at Dhaniram as if he's the lovechild of Derek Underwood and Shane Warne. Bell gets three for a sweep.

23rd over: Eng 109-1
England happy just to milk Codrington and I can't help thinking that if this was Sri Lanka or Australia playing against Canada, someone would have rattled up a ton by now.

"Why couldn't it have been Jamie Dalrymple who was out boozing and falling off a pedalo?"
Michael Finnigan in the TMS inbox

22nd over: Eng 107-1
The new bowler is slow left-armer Dhaniram, a fork-lift truck driver who likes "spending time with his wife". Joyce tickles him for one, but Bell showing him plenty of respect.

21st over: Eng 106-1
Bell is the new batter. Apparently he was out on the razzle the other night as well, which is a bit like discovering your school's head boy has been caught round the back of the tuck shop pawing Maureen the dinner lady. Tight enough over from Codrington, one from it from Joyce.

Wicket falls
20th over: WICKET - Vaughan c Davison b Samad 45, Eng 101-1
Vaughan waits on a Samad dibbly-dobbly and carves him away for four. He then brings up the England ton with a couple into the covers. But Vaughan is out, getting a ropey old half-bunger from Samad and slicing it straight to Davison at backward- point. The England skipper is furious at that. He looks like he's returned from dropping his dry-cleaning in to find his car's been clamped.

19th over: Eng 95-0
Codrington into the attack with his tweakers and Joyce gives him some tap, larruping the big man straight over his head for a maximum. Joyce follows up with three through extra-cover and Vaughan grabs a single with a clip to mid-wicket.

"If India go out of this tournament you won't be able to see for the smoke of effigies."
Mike Selvey on TMS

"The guy fell off a pedalo. The way things are going you would have thought he crashed the Titanic!"
Shaun Robinson in the TMS inbox

18th over: Eng 85-0
Uppish drive by Joyce and Chumney almost takes a pearler in the covers, but can't hang on. Another false stroke by Joyce, top-edging a sweep. Joyce shows a bit of frustration, stepping down the track but missing with a windy old woosh. England have been pegged back slightly here. Someone get out, I want to see KP go ruddy mad.

17th over: Eng 82-0
Good stop by Mula at extra-cover and some of the Canadian fielding close to the bat has been pretty decent to be fair. Wonder what Freddie's up to? Vaughan gets a couple with a clip to mid-wicket and Davison is doing a good job here, putting a lid on England's progress somewhat.

16th over: Eng 77-0
Samad is the new bowler and he bowls off the wrong foot, like a military-medium Mike Proctor. Tidy stuff, however, just a couple from it. Batsmen have a drink.

Jonathan Agnew
"The fact that Vaughan didn't just say Flintoff has been dropped and said there would be more news later suggests there is more dramatic news to come. This chap Samad looks like he's on a pogo-stick. There was a time when bowlers messed about with silly actions to put the batsman off. I don't think Samad's doing that."
Jonathan Agnew in the TMS inbox

15th over: Eng 75-0
Joyce and Vaughan swap sweeps and Joyce gets another one with a tickle to leg.

14th over: Eng 72-0
Joyce misses out on a Bhatti half-bunger but gets one with a caress into the covers. Vaughan gets all lary and smears Bhatti over mid-wicket, one bounce over the fence. Calm down Michael. That's right in the slot and Vaughan plays a more authentic straight drive for four. Dibbly-dobblies from Bhatti, and England's openers are making hay in the St Lucia sunshine.

13th over: Eng 62-0
Davison bowling tidily and that's a maiden over. Good decision to get Cummins off.

12th over: Eng 62-0
Joyce in full flow is a sweet sight, and he times Bhatti through the covers once again for three. Just seen Anderson and Lewis up on the balcony. Lewis just smiled, Fletcher won't like that.

11th over: Eng 59-0
Canada skipper Davison has seen enough of Cummins and brings himself into the attack. Vaughan waits on one and times him through mid-wicket for four. Four from the over and England cruising.

"I think dropping Freddie might be a masterstroke. Clearly he's not needed today, but this will hurt him all the same. If this acts to give us a fully- focused, determined and professional Flintoff for the rest of the tournament, then we've got a much better chance than with a half-hearted, eye-off-the-ball Flintoff in tow."
Simon Hitchens in the TMS inbox

10th over: Eng 55-0
Just one from the over and England are becalmed for the moment.

"I had a chaplain called Reverand Cummings at my school who retired at the age of 75. I cant see what the Canadian bowler looks like, but is it my chaplain?"
Fraser Dunk in the TMS inbox

"I think Neil Dobson is right, look at all those pirates - black beard, blue beard etc - always in load of bother them blokes."
Steve, Mirfield, in the TMS inbox

9th over: Eng 54-0
Rank long-hop from Cummins and Vaughan brings up England's fifty with a text-book cut shot. My old cricket teacher 'Benny' would have loved that. In fact, he would have procured a picture of it, laminated it and stuck it up above his bed. Ten extras already, very easy so far for England.

8th over: Eng 47-0
Someone has shown me a picture of Canada coach and former Notts seamer Andy Pick and he indubitably looks like the only gay in the village - platinum blonde barnet, tank top, bit of lippy. Marvellous stuff. Just one from the over

"I think we should look on the bright side...at least Freddie didn't find a Jet-Ski..."
Scotty, Southampton, in the TMS inbox

7th over: Eng 46-0
Another wide from Cummins before Codrington indulges in some Keystone Kops stuff out on the cover boundary, dragging the ball back only for it to rebound off his shin and over the rope. Nice shot by Joyce. This Codrington's a character, chasing down another Joyce drive and flicking it back to...no-one in particular. Cosy times for England, Joyce will be calling for his pipe and slippers soon.

"'Beardism?' I think you'll find it's called pogonophobia. The unnatural and persistent fear of beards. As someone who also enjoys sporting beards I can only sympathise with Freddie's plight. It's one of the unfortunate facts of life that having a beard gets you into trouble. When was the last time you saw Flintoff falling off a pedalo clean-shaven? It's just another form of racism."
Neil Dobson in the TMS inbox

6th over: Eng 39-0
Classic Vaughan, clipping Bhatti to the mid-wicket boundary. The England skipper will be very keen to post his first one-day ton against what would appear to be a very tame bowling attack. Bagai decides he can deal with the pace of Bhatti and elects to stand up to the stumps. Peche de la peche from Vaughan, latching on to a ball right in the slot and timing him straight down the ground.

5th over: Eng 31-0
Leg-side wide from Cummins and he's not using all his experience here. Half-hearted lbw shout against Joyce, but plenty of bat on the ball. More wild stuff from Cummins and Joyce flays him to the cover-point boundary. Heroic effort by Barnett out on the rope, but he can't prevent four. Action replay with the next delivery and Joyce is purring.

"Oh how we laughed when Pietersen and Flintoff 'couldn't remember' meeting Tony Blair after securing the Ashes. Oh how we chuckled, watching the mighty England squad, blearily ambling around the capital. Fast-forward to not two years later and we are appalled when Mr Flintoff, our talisman, falls off a pedalo whilst in the West Indies. How attitudes change, eh?"
Mr Woggle, Cambridge, in the TMS inbox

4th over: Eng 21-0
Apparently Bhatti likes "reading, travelling and badminton". Joyce pushes him into the covers for a couple.

"You often speak about bowlers trying to take pace off the ball, but with Bhatti you get the impression he's trying to put as much on it as possible. He's deceptively slow..."
Mike Selvey on TMS

3rd over: Eng 17-0
Peachily-timed by Joyce, clipping Cummins through mid-wicket for the first boundary of the day. Once again the crowd is more than disappointing, I've played Graham Gooch's Test Cricket on the Commodore 64 in front of more people. Wild by the Canadians, wicket-keeper Bagai letting a Cummins delivery bounce away for four byes.

"Flintoff has scotched rumours that he'll be sent home...and vodkad, ginned and Martinied them."
Tom Jones, Dubai, in the TMS inbox

2nd over: Eng 7-0
Bhatti to share the new ball with Cummins and Joyce gets one to point. Vaughan is beaten again and it's a nervy old start by the England skipper.

"I usually find that I play better when I am hungover. I feel more inclined to hit the ball harder than run. Also, I see the openers are in, I think I will summons mother and instruct her I want lunch."
Russell, East London, in the TMS inbox

"The Beard Liberation Front, the informal network of beard wearers, has said that the surprise omission of Freddie Flintoff from the England Xl to face Canada in their latest World Cup match may be an example of 'beardism', irrational prejudice against the hirsute."
BLF chief Keith Flett in the TMS inbox

1st over: Eng 4-0
Players are out. Joyce still looking for his first World Cup run and he's off the mark with a clip off his pads. Cummins, who played in the 1992 tournament for West Indies, is the bowler. Three wides from Cummins, who is very much military medium. But he pulls out a plum that pitches and leaves Vaughan fencing. Four frrom the over.

"Would England have dropped Freddie if today's match was not against a minnow? These guys are grown-ups, and old enough to know they are mortal. National disgrace."
Kidner Kumaran in the TMS inbox

"A lot of rumours are flying around that Andrew Flintoff might be sent home. I think that would be an over-reaction - not even Ian Botham ever got sent home from a tour!"
Pat Murphy on BBC Radio Five Live

1325 GMT: England have played Canada once before, at the 1979 World Cup. Canada batted first and scored 45 from 41 overs! Sensational stuff. England sneaked home with 46.1 overs to spare.

"Freddie has been spotted practising his shots. Not pull shots or cover drives. Sambuca."
Neil, Manchester, in the TMS inbox

1320 GMT: If Flintoff wants to cheer himself up this afternoon, he can always remind himself he's not Inzamam-ul-Haq. I bet he's looking forward to touching down in Islamabad.

Canada: G E F Barnett, A M Samad, A Bagai (Wkt), J M Davison (Capt), I S Billcliff, D R Chumney, A A Mulla, S Dhaniram, G R Codrington U Bhatti, A C Cummins.

England: M P Vaughan (Capt), E C Joyce, I R Bell, K P Pietersen P D Collingwood, R S Bopara, J W M Dalrymple, P A Nixon (Wkt) L E Plunkett, J M Anderson, M S Panesar.

"The England boys are on a jolly. Look at Bangladesh - they are poor and have pride and are hungry. I am glad they beat India, they deserved to win."
Anil in the TMS inbox

1310 GMT: Bopara is in for the naughty Flintoff and Canada have won the toss and put England in. A further statement on Flintoff "will be issued in due course". I was just wondering what an irate Duncan Fletcher would look like. Funnily enough, Nasser Hussain thinks England have done the right thing in dropping Freddie, Ian Botham thinks it's an "over-reaction". I wonder what Both thinks would have been unacceptable? Slaughtering some junior members of the team, making ear necklaces out of them and indulging in some exotic fungi until the early hours? Hussain has also suggested Flintoff was warned "three or four times" about his late-night sessions in Australia and "bringing back a drinking culture" into the England team. The plot thickens.

"A fine meal is usually as good as the ingredients you put in it - England were indisciplined against New Zealand, and maybe we know where that came from now."
Gus Fraser on TMS

"We all know Freddie and he loves a night out but you can't take anyone lightly and it's a serious breach of discipline."
Jonathan Agnew on TMS

1300 GMT: Afternoon/morning/evening/whatever time of day it is where you are everyone. The sensational news is that Freddie Flintoff will not be involved today following his pedalo pile-up the other night - he's been binned by an irate Duncan Fletcher. What a donut. The News of the World went with "Shipfaced" today. Brilliant. He's not even at the ground apparently. He'll probably spend the day down Rumours. Not the one in Clacton, the one in St Lucia.

SEE ALSO
England - Players to watch
14 Feb 07 |  England
Canada - Three to watch
14 Feb 07 |  International Teams


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