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Last Updated: Friday, 18 May 2007, 14:20 GMT 15:20 UK
First Test, day two as it happened
England 553-5 v West Indies (close)

Matt Prior became the first England wicket-keeper to hit a century on debut as England piled up 553-5 against West Indies on day two at Lord's.

Moments later, Ian Bell also passed three figures as the pair shared an unbroken partnership of 190.

With Alastair Cook and Paul Collingwood also hitting hundreds, it was the first time four Englishmen had done so in one innings of a Test since 1938.

Prior was 126 not out when bad light halted play, with Bell on 109.


By Ben Dirs


e-mail (with 'For Ben Dirs' in the subject) or use 606


1824: Right folks, it's been lovely chatting all day, but I suspect there'll be no more play tonight. So, have a marvellous Friday night and hopefully I'll see some of you again tomorrow. Salute!

"Can you tell Sarah (see below) that it probably depends on what colour her hair is. Curly blonde ringlets is good (if a little Shirley Temple), ditto straightened rock chick - brunette. Probably best off staying at home if ginger..."
Dave, Buckinghamshire, in the TMS inbox

"In response to the tough question posed by Sarah in Canterbury, my vote would be for ringlets."
Mike in the TMS inbox

1812: Prior arches his back and cracks Taylor into the covers, but he only gets one for it. Bell gently cuts Taylor down to third-man for a couple before Prior throws the kitchen sink at one and gets four to wide long-on. Taylor serves up a bumper, Prior swats him from outside off-peg and the ball ends up at smashing into the mid-wicket fence. But that's all folks, the umpires have decided it's too dangerous for the fielders to play on and players go off. Prior finishes on 126, Bell 109 and both batsmen puff out their chests and suck in the applause as they stroll off the pitch. Cracking day for England, although it's not officially stumps yet. 553-5

"Sarah, after a few pints of Shepherd Neame, I doubt the 'blokes' (see below) will give a monkey's if it's waxed into a three foot spike."
Richard, Salisbury, in the TMS inbox

1805: The umpires offer the light and obviously the batsmen don't take it. They'll stay out all night now and bat West Indies out of the game. Prior makes room and misses with a flash but marmalises Bravo next ball over mid-off for four. Bravo gives Prior some chin music and Prior, attempting a hook, is hit on the noggin. Two leg-byes. 540-5

"Given your lament that the female readers have been quiet today, thought I would be very girly and seek some advice as to getting ready for a night out - do blokes prefer curly ringlets (my natural state) or straightened rock chick-esque hair? Ta! Still wondering how old you are..."
Sarah, Canterbury, in the TMS inbox

1802: Reverse sweep from Prior for two and there is a conflab going on on the England balcony. I'd imagine the chat is: if we declare, will the umpires immediately offer the light? In which case, England may as well stay out there and rack up as many runs as possible. Bell grabs a couple with a straight drive. 534-5

1756: Oh, do stop it Rachel (see below), you're making me blush (I publish these emails...). Bell cuts Bravo down to third-man for two before playing a rather uppish square-drive that falls just short of the gully fielder. 527-5

"As one of your female readers I can't say that I know why the rest of the female world are quiet. As your suave and sexy writing style usually distracts me from even the most interesting of tasks I banned myself from reading today in the hope of getting some work done! Finally I've finished my daily allocation of boredom and have logged onto the net to see that you are missing me just as much as I've missed you."
Rachel, France, in the TMS inbox

"Someone has already changed Prior's Wikipedia entry about his debut Test. Anyone care to claim credit for this?"
Alistair, Leeds, in the TMS inbox

He's reached 100
1751: Bell becomes the fourth man to score a ton in the innings with a turn to square off Gayle. Off comes the lid and up go the arms - he enjoyed that, that's his sixth in Tests. It came off 180 balls and included 11 fours. Prior clips Gayle through mid-on for one. 524-5

1748: Bell rocks back and carves Bravo behind point. Prior stays back and punches Bravo through the covers for one before Bell moves to within one of his ton with a chop to point. The England players mass on the balcony in anticipation...but they'll have to wait until the next over. 520-5

He's reached 100
1743: Prior scoops Gayle over his shoulder to move to 99. Kidology from Gayle! Making to bowl but not releasing the ball. However, Prior does get his hundred on debut, carving Gayle through backward-point. Lovely knock that. He's the first England wicket-keeper to notch a ton on debut, and it came off just 105 deliveries. Dare I say it? Gilchristian...West Indies are getting a real kicking here. 515-5

1741: Sarwan tries to upset Prior with a quicker one and Prior flogs him through mid-wicket for four to move neck-and-neck with Bell on 95. He nips ahead of Bell with a single, and will have the strike next over. The last time four England players scored tons in the same innings was against Australia at Trent Bridge in June 1938. 508-5

1739: Bell tickles Gayle round the corner for one and Prior posts England's 500 with a mis-cued stroke through mid-off. One more for Bell - but my money's on Prior reaching his ton first... 501-5

1736: Not much chat from our female readers today, not sure what they're all up to. Prior grabs a single before Bell moves to 94 with a couple off Sarwan. 497-5

1733: That's a brutal stroke from Prior, baseball-batting Gayle straight down the ground for four. He's almost caught Bell, who was 56 when Prior came to the crease. Three more singles and this is England's record sixth-wicket partnership against West Indies at Lord's, 131. 494-5

1731: Clever hands from Prior, leaning back and feathering Sarwan down to third-man for a few. He's now on 82. Bell gets down on one leg and sweeps for a couple before thinking about giving Sarwan the charge - but thinking better of it. 487-5

1728: Bell turns Gayle to leg for one. Just seen Plunkett padded up on the balcony - I fancy him to do some damage with the ball on this deck. 480-5

1725: More byes given up by Ramdin, and he really isn't having a good match. Sarwan shoots him daggers. Prior makes room and very nearly chops down on his stumps before swinging Sarwan away for four, Ganga allowing the ball to scurry underneath his prone body. Things are falling apart for the Windies... 478-5

1722: Gayle to turn his arm over and there are just two singles from the over. 473-5

"Bob Pickett (see below) has spoiled our tea. There we were worried about whether npower Abbie would call or if the queue for the Mumms tent would go down, but now we are worried about the global implications of our wanton consumerism. Really put me off my Square Pie..."
MJ at Lord's in the TMS inbox

1715: Prior tucks one round the corner and Bell just makes his ground. Umpire Rauf is a strange chap - he stood at square leg for a full 10 seconds before referring it to the man upstairs. Bell tickles Sarwan one round the corner before Prior gets one for a similar shot. 467-5

1712: More luck for England, Prior wafting at Powell and the ball slicing away for four. Two more to Prior, and that's the hundred partnership, of which Prior has hit 72 and Bell 25. 463-5

"I met Johnny Borrell at Waterloo Station once. He was munching on a Burger King Whopper Meal. I don't know how he gets into those leggings of his." David Hudson, Toronto, in the TMS inbox

1706: Sarwan is going to have a bowl...and his first ball gets some humpty from Prior and ends up over the deep mid-wicket rope. Another four from Prior, tickling the West Indies skipper round the corner, before making room and carving him through point. Prior is now on 66, just 14 runs behind Bell. 457-5

"You also get thrown out of Spearmint Rhinos if you fall asleep. Or so I've been told."
Keith Davis in the TMS inbox

1703: I'm still in shock at the state of Dunst. That radiant young lady of the upside-down kiss is no more - she has withered away to a sunken-cheeked Shoreditch type. Shame on you Borrell! Get a Whopper down her neck. Prior gets one for a cracking drive but is unable to divert a lifter one from Powell. 446-5

1659: That's gift-wrapped with a bow on it from Collymore and Bell is onto it in a flash, tugging him round the corner for four. Two more for Bell courtesy of a dab through square-leg. The Windies pacemen look like broken men out there - could Prior be the first wicket-keeper to score a ton on debut for England? 443-5

That's 50
1653: Prior latches onto a blockhole ball and laces Powell through the covers for four and the Sussex man brings up his fifty on debut with a dismissive club through deep mid-wicket. That's the first fifty on debut from an England wicket-keeper since Jack Russell in 1988, and it came off just 55 balls. 434-5

1649: Corey "unluckiest bowler in cricket" Collymore locates Prior's edge, but the ball drops short of Gayle at first slip and runs away for four. 425-5

Geoffrey Boycott
"It think England should get to 500 and then put West Indies in for an hour tonight..."
Geoffrey Boycott on TMS

1645: Bell bags a couple with a thickish outside edge. Lovely shot of a couple of MCC members fast akip in the crowd. Looks like they've been drugged. Do that at a football match and you'd get thrown out. Not drugging people, falling asleep. Powell serves up a yorker and Bell does very well to jam down on it. Still grafting, Powell, good health to him. 420-5

1639: Prior picks up a single with a nurdle to mid-wicket before Bell tucks Bravo to leg and scampers a quick single. Bravo tests Prior out with a bumper and the Sussex man thinks about having a swing at it, but pulls out at the last second. Good decision that. 418-5

"The phrase 'A fair old lick' It comes from the word 'lickite', meaning fast, in association with 'split'. A 'fair old lick' is then a derivation of that phrase."
Mike Gordon in the TMS inbox

1632: Kirsten Dunst and Johnny Borrell are hanging out with the members, which makes for a rather incongruous sight. Dunst looks like she's been living off Rice Krispies for the last five weeks and living in a squat and Borrell looks like a cut-price Pete Doherty. My colleague is beside himself with anger because neither is wearing an MCC tie.414-5

1627: Purrs to the left and right of me as Prior unfurls a classic cover drive. Beautiful high follow-through, lovely stuff. More runs for the Sussex gloveman, two more with a whip through mid-wicket. And he collects another couple with a mis-timed pull through wide mid-on. Really rattling along here Prior, 550 a very realistic target. 409-5

1622: Bell tucks Juliet away through mid-wicket and runs up a couple before bringing up England's 400 with a mis-cued on-drive for four. BC Lara is getting stuck into the wine up on the balcony - rather that than getting flogged by England's batsmen. 401-5

"Where does the expression 'fair old lick' (see 1601) come from and why does it denote speed. I have given a few things a fair old lick in my time and, I have to say, none of them at any great pace."
Martin, Middlesbrough, in the TMS inbox

1618: Prior is really rollicking along at the moment and he picks up three more with a clip through wide mid-on. A shot of Mike Brearley in the crowd sipping on a glass of chilled Chablis - study in sophistication. Prior nicks a single before Bell is beaten by Powell. A strangled caught behind appeal from bowler and keeper, but Prior appeared to clip his pad with his bat. 395-5

1614: Looks like we're in for a 7o/c finish. Not sure how I feel about that personally. Prior picks up a single with a sliced drive and moves effortlessly to 30. Bell nearly chops on attempting a late cut, and he's playing second fiddle to Prior at the moment. 391-5

1609: Taylor strays down leg and Prior collects one more with an easy clip off his pads. 389-5

1604: Players are back out and we're about ready to go. Sun still out at Lord's and Bell gets one from the first ball with a tuck to mid-wicket. Prior thumps Bravo through mid-off for four - the bowler wasn't too far away from that, but it was travelling at a fair old lick. Another boundary for Prior, Bravo squaring him up and the ball running away through third-man. That's 13 from the over, Bravo dragging one in short and Prior tugging him away for another four. Not quick enough for that, Bravo, especially not on this sort of pitch. One more single with a push to mid-on. 387-5

"This is about the time us City lot return from the pub for a quick hour to catch up with emails to find out where we're going at 5.00." Jon in the TMS inbox

"Transnational corporations rake in huge profits, but ordinary Americans see few benefits. Instead, they suffer from free trade's bad consequences: flat wages for workers, increased drug trafficking, and environmental deterioration. Jonathan Howarth might need to re-write this to avoid accusations of copyright theft or just plain cheating."
Bob Pickett in the TMS inbox

1541: Prior rolls his wrists on a short one from Taylor and runs one and Bell works him off his hip for a single. That's tea-time folks, I suppose all you City lot are off down the pub. 372-5

1538: Bravo tests Prior out with a bumper and the Sussex man doesn't deal with it too well at all. Prior, however, does get off the mark with a clip through mid-wicket for four. Well done sir, no-one likes to see a duck on debut. 369-5

1533: Wicket-keeper Prior is the new man at the crease and he likes a bit of crash, bang, wallop what a picture. Bell gives him the strike with a nurdle to mid-wicket, but Powell sends his final delivery miles down leg and Prior is unable to tickle it away. 364-5

Wicket falls
1525: Collingwood b Bravo (Eng 363-5) Bravo gives Colly some width and Collingwood misses out on a buffet ball. Bravo then gets one to arc back into Colly and the batsman tries to tickle it over the wicket-keeper's head, but misses. But Colly is toast, Bravo getting one to nip back and hit the top of off-stump. A well-deserved standing ovation from the Lord's faithful and what can you say about any Collingwood innings? Nuggety, earthy, gritty. All hail the Ross Kemp of English cricket - give that man his own cop show on ITV.363-5

1522: Colly comes over all macho, sashaying down the pitch and marmalising Gayle over long-on for four. Another single to wide mid-on and Collingwood is now 111. 363-4

1519: Colly works Bravo through mid-wicket for a couple and it's Gayle time. Good luck trying to turn it up that slope. 357-4

"Thought you might like to know that for 100,000 less (than a flat overlooking Lord's) you could snap up a two bed penthouse in Chelmsford overlooking the back of Debenhams and the Tesco car park."
Steve Daniels in the TMS inbox

1515: Collymore slips down leg and Collingwood turns him away for a couple, the first runs in some time. Collingwood picks up a sharp single with a tuck to mid-wicket. Gayle has a little chat with Bell as he strolls past. I heard a great story about Gayle the other day - it involved a very elderly gentleman at Lord's and the word "pussy". That's all I'm saying. 355-4

"I'd have epaulettes made from toast, so I could have a sideways nibble on my drive to work."
Gareth Williams in the TMS inbox

1506: Juliet's back on and he slices Collingwood in half with a beauty that nips back and shaves middle stump. That's the third maiden on the trot, the Windies still fighting, and that's good to see. 352-4

"I remember seeing Gatts in a kipper tie once - must have been in his healthier days."
Jon in the TMS inbox

1502: Johnny-on-the-Spot from Powell and Bell pats back a maiden over. 352-4

"Just been for the proverbial long lunch - three hours chatting up the npower girls. We are now back in situ - the good news is that England are batting, apparently, the bad news is we are down to one bottle of shampoo and the two litres of G&T I hid in the ginger beer bottle." MJ, at Lord's, in the TMS inbox

He's reached 100
1455: Colly fairly piles into that delivery from Taylor, flaying it through the covers for four, and he brings up his fourth Test ton next ball with an outside edge that runs away to the third-man fence. That century came off 178 balls and that was a nuggety little knock - all hail the Steve Davis of cricket (and I mean that in a very nice way).352-4

"Can anyone simplify the history of Trans-national Corporations into two sentences? If so, I can continue listening to these two piling on the runs without feeling so guilty about next week's economics exam."
Jonathan Howarth in the TMS inbox

1452: Tom Sheldon wants to know what the run rate is since lunch. Well, England are rattling along at over five an over, which is a damn sight quicker than they were for most of the World Cup. Single apiece for Colly and Bell, although Powell gets one past the edge of Bell's bat, another smashing devlivery. 344-4

"My mate Ben was at uni with a guy who decided to live off Guinness alone. He was the first person in the South West to be diagnosed with scurvy since 1860."
Will Beattie in the TMS inbox

1449: Jaffer from Taylor, Collingwood nibbling at one that nips away up the slope before squaring up the Durham grafter with another beauty that pitches and spits off a length. Corker of an over, take a bow Mr Taylor. 342-4

"I'd like all my ties to be made of fillet steak, with button mushrooms for cuff links."
GD, Manchester, in the TMS inbox

1440: I would like to assure The Mankster (see below) that the man who collapsed and failed his exam doesn't now spend his time chasing the dragon but is a very successful sound engineer with a very famous Scottish band. Collingwood tucks Powell away behind square for one and players will have a wet. 342-4

1437: Some people are out on the balconies of the overlooking flats watching the cricket. I'm looking for a new flat and these ones are actually quite reasonable - only 600 grand for a two-bedder. Taylor short again and Bell fills his boots, carving him through point for four. But Taylor hits back well, first beating Bell's outside edge before doing him with one that jags back. Agony for the 22-year-old quick, but he's toiling manfully. 341-4

"How is the bloke not passing his exams funny? (see below) He's probably a smack addict now, but as long as he's a source of humour for you. Nice."
The Mankster in the TMS inbox

1435: Powell plops one in short and Collingwood yanks him away for four before picking up another couple with a flip off his pads. Signs that the Windies are flagging. I seem to remember saying something similar during the Adelaide Test when Collingwood was at the crease... 337-4

"I wrote my dissertation at university in two days consuming nothing but ground up caffeine tablets dissolved in Red Bull. Reckon it might have taken a couple of years off my life expectancy."
Robert Donnellan, London, in the TMS inbox

That's 50
1429: Taylor, into a new spell, drops short and is rat-a-tat-tatted away by Collingwood through square-leg for four. Colly moves to 85 with a clip through mid-wicket for three. That's Bell's 50, the Warwickshire man throwing his bat at a length ball and the ball squirting over the gully region and running away for four. Lucky, but I like it. 331-4

1424: Bell 46 now courtesy of a clip to mid-wicket for one. Collingwood really is in decent touch now and that's another boundary with a tradmark punch through the covers. Short and wide from Powell and Collingwood slaps him through point for one. This really is marvellous to behold - the murmur of the crowd, the sun beating down, shirt necks open, Lord's verdant grass rolled out before me...which I was there. 320-4

"Is it true that John O'Brien's cat (see below) is rather nervous today waiting for him to come home from work as he was left stranded on 98 not out overnight?"
Huw James in the TMS inbox

1419: Collymore goes through Bell like an Abrakebabra kebab, but Bell strikes back with a dreamy cut for four. Belly punishing anything loose now and he collects a single with a tuck through mid-wicket. 314-4

"Apparently, a man can live on eight pints of Guinness a day. I've experimented with this for the past three years but always get a bit scared of dying, and stop off for a kebab on the way home."
Chris, Hertfordshire, in the TMS inbox

1412: Colly gets up on tippy-toes and nudges Powell to mid-wicket for one. A wasted bumper from Powell and umpire Koertzen signals wide - the batsman would have needed to be the size of Robert Wadlow to have reached that one. A shot of Gatting lolling about in the stand in his egg and bacon MCC tie. I'd imagine Gatts would like all his ties to be made of egg and bacon. Maybe they are? Four from Collingwood, a cut through point. 309-4

"Please get rid of reporting what is happening in the cricket and just keep the horrible jokey comments."
Best regards, Sam Waller, Edinburgh, in the TMS inbox

1409: Close your eyes and imagine this one: Master Bell plants his left foot, positions his head over the ball and leans into Collymore's delivery just outside off-stump. The ball disappears through the covers and over the boundary rope for four. Aaah, Bisto...that's the England 300. 302-4

1405: Bravo strays onto Bell's pads and that's meat, drink, bread and butter - or, as Geoffrey Boycott has just said, like putting on your shoes in the morning. Whatever way you look at it, it's four runs. Bell averages 62 in his first innings in Test cricket and 26 in his second. Remarkable. 297-4

1357: Collymore has shed his jumper and Belly top-edges him down to the third-man boundary. Sarwan decides to take the new cherry. Bit of extra nip from Collymore and Bell is beaten. Bit of Red Bull for Collingwood at the end of the over - when I was at university, I knew a man who stayed up for two days revising with only Red Bull for sustenance, and when he went to get out of his chair at the end of the exam, he collapsed. The funniest part is, he missed out on a pass by 2% and got chucked out. Bell and Colly exchange a couple of single apiece. 293-4

1352: Collingwood nicks a single with a steer to point and Belly grabs a single with a force into the covers. 283-4

"If a clown booked a meeting during your lunch break, couldn't you have asked him to juggle the meeting around your other commitments?"
Matt W, Norfolk, in the TMS inbox

1349: Collingwood picks up the first run after lunch with a nurdle to wide mid-on. Right, sandwich over, you have my full attention... 281-4

"Please get rid of the horrible jokey comments and comments and please just report what is happening in the cricket."
Best regards, Mick Mellors in the TMS inbox

1345: Players are back out after lunch. My early entries will be brief as some clown scheduled a meeting during my lunch break and I'm still eating. Maiden over from Bravo. 280-4

"I like to unwind after a long day at the office by going home, rolling up my socks into a ball, and then bowling a few overs at my cat."
John O'Brien in the TMS inbox

"We are now banned from eating in our office after someone choked on a roll mop herring last year. He had to be given the heimlich roughly from behind until it dislodged itself."
Chris Baker, Hertfordshire, in the TMS inbox

1312 Don't forget to check out Alec Stewart's latest blog at - today he's offering his thoughts on who will drop out of the team when Vaughany and Freddie F return.

"If the BBC live text commentary team had a fight with the Cricinfo live text commentary team, who would win?"
Daniel Horsley in the TMS inbox

"My cousin emailed yesterday to say they had all been banned from eating ANY food at all at their desks for hygiene reasons. She was apoplectic (as she brushed the remains of her prawn and avocado sandwich onto the floor)."
Ste Pritchard, Chester, in the TMS inbox

1300: Morton's first two balls barely pitch on the cut grass and are called wides. Real tempters from Morton these, military medium outside off. Go on Colly, dare you...he does pick up two with a tuck to mid-wicket. Morton's last delivery is wild down leg-side and Ramdin, who looks a different cricketer from the World Cup, can only parry it away for two byes. Colly on 63, Bell 23 and England are 280-4. Enjoy lunch, see you in a bit.

"I share your food eating in the office pain. A rotund colleague has just opened some Co-op 'Thai' chicken legs, and a fan is blowing the wretched aroma right my way. Think it's time to nip outside to get a sarnie."
Tom C in the TMS inbox

1257: Six very casual, laid-back deliveries from Gayle, who bowls as if he's in his pyjamas playing cricket with his son at the end of his bed. Morton is going to have a dart last over before lunch...wonder how his nan is? 275-4

1255: Good, probing over from Bravo - plenty of hoop away from the right-handers, which probably explains why Sarwan has yet to take the new cherry. 273-4

1248: The new ball is now due...and Sarwan decides to give his spinner Gayle a few exploratory overs before lunch. I can never quite get my head round Gayle as a spinner - surely he's too cool to spin? In fact, he's too cool to bowl full-stop in my book. Bell nudges a single and Colly brings up the 50 partnership with a delicate late cut for a couple. 271-4

1245: Not having much luck these West Indies quicks - Bravo gets another through Collingwood like a dose of salts, but the Durham man is sticking around. 266-4

"Ben, I think you are right about hot food in the office. I am two desks away from you and eating a cold rocket and pasta salad. I think that is OK, but maybe I am wrong?"
Claire in the BBC website office

1242: Where do we stand on people eating hot food in the office? Someone's tucking into something in mine and it's almost making me gag. I can't spot who it is - it's like someone's poured some hot milk over a bowl of Kitekat. Collymore tries some chin music and Bell paddles it round the corner for four. England have steadied the ship for now. Get your head down Belly and graft. 266-4

1238: Bit of width from Bravo and Collingwood rocks back and carves him into the covers - where Smith saves well. But Colly piles into the next delivery, lacing Bravo through extra-cover for four. 262-4

"You get the feeling West Indies have missed the boat with Collingwood, he looks to have ridden out his luck..."
Mike Selvey on TMS

1233: Collingwood deliberately angles Collymore down to the third-man boundary and Morton gives chase, dives full length and only succeeds in pushing the ball over the rope. Morton stays on the deck for a few seconds for effect - the little drama tart. 258-4

"As a 56-year-old non-accountant, I can assure you that I would have easily pocketed that catch. Ageism from the Beeb, really..."
Geoff Littlefield, soon to be 57, in the TMS inbox 1230: According to Aggers on TMS, there is always a bloke anti-streaking duty at Lord's. Remember Erika Roe? Aaah, an English peach...Bell deflects the newly-introduced down to square-leg for a couple and umpire Rauf, who isn't covering himself in glory today, should have a word with him for running down the middle of the pitch. Crackerjack stroke from Bell, an extra-cover drive that races away for four. 253-4

"Fray Bentos and cheap red wine,
Is all they eat in the Argentine,
But after a scrap with the English navy,
They'll ask 'em the recipe for chips and gravy."
The belligerent Pete Rowden in the TMS inbox

That's 50
1221: That's Collingwood's 50 - his fifth in Tests - brought up with a Collingwoodian nudge for one. Not the greatest of knocks - he should have been out three times this morning - but he will not give a monkey's and will now have a ton in his sights. 245-4

1217: Jaffer of a delivery from Collymore, getting the ball to arc away from Collingwood, but Colly moves to 49 with a tuck to square-leg. 244-4

"Fools! Godwin's Law does not dictate that any Nazi analogy made in a blog/thread indicates said thread's death. Rather it states that the longer a thread goes on in an internet chat/on a messageboard the closer to one becomes the probability that someone will call someone else a Nazi or liken them to one."
Eoin in the TMS inbox

1214: Blowers and Colin Croft are on about panties and knickers up in the TMS commentary box - someone's sent some undercrackers in with "Spank Me" emblazoned across the back. Back in the day they'd get a nice Victoria sponge. And people accuse me of dumbing down...Bell finding some form now, whipping Taylor through mid-wicket for four. I think Taylor needs to stick his feet up for a while. 243-4

1209: Adam Price has just told me not to "knock train driving" (see below). I assure you, I wasn't and I am well aware the lucky so and sos cry slightly less when they look at their pay packets at the end of each month than I do. Collymore is on for Powell and he gets one past the bat of Bell. Belly is still not off the mark - tortuous this, who said anything about stacks of runs...Gloria! Gloria! In excelsis Deo! Bell is off the mark with a clip to mid-wicket for one. 239-4

1205: Taylor still hooping it about like Wasim Akram with a sackful of dirt, but he slides onto Collingwood's legs, twice, and is punished with fours both times. Taylor retaliates well with a yorker, but Colly just manages to dig it out. 236-4

1158: Collingwood gets another life, top-edging a pull and Taylor shelling another sitter on the mid-wicket fence. Taylor looked like a 56-year-old accountant trying to take a catch in a game of corporate rounders on Clapham Common. Not clever, Collingwood nicks a run. Gareth Price has just pointed out that Bell scored stacks of runs batting at six against Pakistan last summer, so his demotion is a bit of a red herring as far as Gareth and I are concerned. 227-4

"Dear Mr Dirs, I hope that you can pass your mother's address details to my investigation team. We have the matter of her casual discarding of tobacco products to discuss with her. No excuses, littering is littering, and it carries an 80 fine. Yours truly, Chris Rooke, Litter Warden, Brentwood Station."

1154: Colly gets a rare loose ball, a full-bunger outside off-peg, but misses out. The Lord's murmur is in full effect now and Colly does pick up a run with a clip to mid-on. 225-4

1150: Ripper of a ball from Powell, the ball arching away from the groping Bell. Just two leg-byes from the over and it's the Windies with the whip hand this morning - England's batsmen are scratching around like like Mr Magoo at the moment. 224-4

"Sorry about that Mrs Dirs (see below), it was a moment of drunken stupidity. You'll be glad to know the blister healed well though."
Charlie, Brentwood Station, in the TMS inbox

1145: Taylor beats Colly with a decent away-swinger before Collingwood loses his footing trying to avoid useful Taylor inswinger. The Jamaican is bowling like Imran Khan all of a sudden. Another one beats the upright bat of Collingwood and it's not easy going by any means for the hosts. 222-4

1141: Collingwood flicks Powell from outside off-stump to mid-wicket for a couple before yanking him through square-leg for one to nick the strike. Just had a remarkable email in from Simon - apparently a law exists, Godwin's Law, that states that any Nazi analogy made in a chat room, blog etc means that that particular thread or chat is dead. Look it up in Wikipedia. Does that mean I have to jack it all in Simon and become a train driver? 222-4

1137: Bell is the new batsman and the Warwickshire man survives the over. 219-4

Wicket falls
1133: WICKET - Cook c Bravo b Taylor 105 (Eng 219-4)
Bit of justice for Taylor, Cook carving him straight down the throat of Bravo at gully. Never at the races today Cooky, a nervy sketchy little half hour. But you can't argue with five tons in 15 Test innings.

"You don't say this very often about an umpire, but that was a disgraceful decision by umpire Rauf..."
Mike Selvey on TMS

1130: Nervy shot from Cook, playing uppishly into the on-side. Cook then flashes at a wide one and flashes hard - but the ball evades his wand and Ramdin's gloves and runs away for four. Someone once flashed at my mum at Brentwood station. She flicked a lit cigarette at his nether regions. Cook tucks Powell neatly off his legs to nick the strike. 219-3

1127: Taylor strays onto Colly's legs and the Durham man gets in a right pickle trying to glide him away, but Collingwood should be out next ball playing no shot - not sure what umpire Rauf was thinking, that was clearly hitting the top of off-stump. Geoffrey Boycott, for one, is apoplectic. 213-3

1123: Another good ball from Powell, pitching and arching away from Collingwood's bat. Maiden over. 212-3

1118: Crackerjack stroke from Collingwood, punching Taylor through the covers for four. Oh my giddy aunt! That's an absolutely shocking drop from Ganga at gully. Colly had a go at a drive, sliced it and Ganga looked to have pouched it. Absolute lollipop. Morton, in shock, jumped in the air at second slip, a bit like Joe Frazier after getting punched very hard in the face by George Foreman back in the day. Colly picks up a single and that's a choker for the tourists. 212-3

1113: Another bumper from Powell, but Cook eases out of line like a palm tree bending in the wind. Maiden from Powell and he's head a shoulders above his fast bowling collleagues so far. With regards nothing in particular, does anyone watch The Apprentice? Someone recently told me that the blonde woman in it who looks like she should be playing space-sax in the Star Wars cantina was at university with me (I believe she's called Katie). I still feel quite queasy, a bit like some poor Austrians must have felt after being told Hitler went to the same art class as them. 207-3

1108: Taylor, who bowled like a drain yesterday, shuffles into the crease and Cook picks up the first run of the day, a clip to long-leg. Bit of shape from Taylor, but Collingwood bags a couple before flicking Taylor away for the first boundary of the day. 207-3

"I watched The Last King of Scotland and the cricket highlights last night. I then had a nightmare about being attacked by Idi Amin swinging a Kookaburra Bubble. Fortunately Chris Gayle (bearing a striking resemblance to Marvin Gaye) stepped in and saved me."
Sam Browne, Ascot, in the TMS inbox

1105: Right, we're off. Powell it is with first go with the ball and Colly it is to face. Powell is obviously a little chilly, he's got his shirt buttoned up right to the neck like a 1960s Mod in a John Smedley. Bit of early chin music for Collingwood, and it gets the Durham man hopping. Good first over. 200-3

Jonathan Agnew
"Thank you very much to Sally for her naughty knickers..."
Jonathan Agnew on TMS

"Instead of going to library to do some Heat Transfer and Fluid Flow revision (I do chemical engineering) I am going to sit in my room with my first can of Lilt already cracked open. Cook Double Hundred anyone?"
Nick Campbell-Kelly, should be revising in Manchester, in the TMS inbox

"I think the England batsmen will fill their boots substantially today..."
Lord's groundsman Mick Hunt

1056: Look, I'm not one to pass the buck, but I'm going to pass the buck - I don't write the top four pars so it wasn't me who made the terrible rick saying Flintoff is next into bat. This country...

1040: Morning all. From where I'm sitting, it looks like an absolute jamspangler of a day, which means there should be stacks of runs in this Lord's pitch for England. So slip off your shoes under the desk, undo one button on your shirt/blouse and grab a couple of Lilts from the office fridge - unless you're not at work, in which case get outside and sunbathe or go for a walk or something. And students - DO SOME REVISION!

"What do we think for todays play then? Cook double hundred, Collingwood 70ish, Prior 50? England declare on roughly 500 and a have a few overs at the Windies this evening - all weather permitting!"
Marksie in the TMS inbox

"Walked into the office this morning and the covers are on. My computer was underneath a leak last night - could this be a sign of things to come?"
Matt in the TMS inbox



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