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England v West Indies 2nd Twenty20

England 173-5 (19.3 overs) bt West Indies 169-7 (20 overs) by five wickets

England drew the Twenty20 series with West Indies after sealing a five-wicket win in the second match at The Oval.

The hosts lost three wickets in 14 balls and then Kevin Pietersen chipped a simple return catch for 19.

Paul Collingwood hit the first six but was stumped for 27, but Owais Shah hit some inventive strokes in an unbeaten 55 to clinch it with two balls left.

Chris Gayle fired 61 from 37 balls and Marlon Samuels hit three big sixes but England limited the Windies valiantly.


By Ben Dirs


20th over - Eng 173-5 Extraordinary! Gayle is going to bowl the final over - it's the first one he's bowled in two matches. Bit of gamesmanship from the big man, as he fails to release his first delivery. Two from his first ball, Shah driving to long-off. Shah flogs Gayle away for a single and England need three from four. Mascar gets a short one but is only able to tug it away for a single. Two from three...and that's a wrap, Shah missing a straightish one and the ball running away for five wides. I like this Twenty20 cricket, I've had more fun in the last two days than I did during the entire World Cup...

19th over - Eng 164-5 Two for Mascarenhas with a whip to square-leg and England need 13 from 11. One more for Mascar with another clip to leg. Fairy Liquid hands from Shah, opening the face and picking up one to third-man. Mascar yanks Rampaul away for a couple and picks up another one with a push into the covers. A wide from Rampaul and he clutches his head in despair - he knows that could be costly. Six needed from six. Someone fetch me a bed pan!

"Sarah, forget Paul and Bill, let's meet at my bedsit in Slough."
Phil Davey in the TMS inbox

"I'm off out now with the girls for a fun night out in Canterbury - please thank my suitors for their very kind offers - I especially like the idea of Lake Geneva."
Sarah, Canterbury, in the TMS inbox

That's 50
18th over - Eng 155-5 Sammy plonks one in short and Shah yanks him away for four. You have to think if these two can stick around, England have got this in the bag. Two more for Shah, Rampaul fielding well at long-off, before he brings up his fifty with a clip to mid-wicket - that came off 31 balls and was full of invention.

"Correction, LC in Cornwall - this is where all the sad single people hang out on Friday evening!"
Sian, Berkshire, in the TMS inbox

17th over - Eng 146-5 Shah likes to open the face and he laces Smith to the third-man fence. Thirty five needed from 21 balls...four more for Shah, tickling Smith down to the third-man fence. That's not clever from the bowler. One more single from Shah into the leg side and I seriously need a comfort break. Four more, leg-side wides, and Mascarenhas nicks the strike with a push to long-off.

"Is Bill rich?"
Sarah, Canterbury, in the TMS inbox

16th over - Eng 130-5 Shah moves to 20 with a sweep for two and follows up with the shot of the day, paddling Samuels round the corner, one-handed (no need for that) for four. Another boundary from the Middlesex man, scything Samuels through third-man, and he bags two more with a clip to mid-wicket. An extraordinary stroke from Shah - if I may, a gravedigger shot - shovelling Samuels over his left shoulder for another four, and that is a big over for England, 16 from it.

"Message for Sarah from Canterbury: forget Bill's kind offer (see below). I can offer you all the happiness you want - I am having a lovely dinner overlooking Lake Geneva, and following the match on my mobile. I'll pick you up at the airport in the morning!"
Paul, Switzerland, in the TMS inbox

15th over - Eng 114-5 Four dot balls from Powell before Mascarenhas whips him away for one. Shah turns Powell away for a single, but England need some mallet here - Mascarenhas provides it, leaning back and carving Powell through backward point for four.

"So this is where all the single people hang out on a Friday evening. And all this time and money I've wasted going out."
LC, Cornwall, in the TMS inbox

Wicket falls
14th over - WICKET: Collingwood st Ramdin b Samuels 27, Eng 104-5 That's the ticket from the Durham nugget, sticking a size 10 down the track and hammering Samuels ober wide long-on for six...but he's toast next ball, leaving his crease and getting stumped by Ramdin. Smart work, England up to their knees in the sticky stuff. Mascarenhas, his two gold hoop earings shimmering underneath his helmet, is the new man and he blocks the final ball of the over.

13th over - Eng 98-4 Colly's luck continues and he picks up two for a top-edged sweep. One more for the England skipper with a carve into the covers before Shah nurdles into the leg side for one. Two more for Colly with a straight drive and England now require 72 from 44 deliveries. Step on it chaps, this is running away from you.

"Sam (see below) - I recommend heavy drinking. I am up for a beer as long as you don't sulk all the time. Patrick Conway's outside Grand Central?"
Greg, USA, in the TMS inbox

12th over - Eng 91-4 Three singles from England before Samuels and Ramdin think they're got the England skipper caught behind. Umpire Llong looks at Samuels as if he's just found him asleep in his flower bed. England dealing in singles here, they're in need of some biffda.

11th over - Eng 85-4 Shah picks up a couple with a wristy square-drive, Morton with an athletic piece of fielding on the boundary rope. One more for Shah with an off-drive. Plenty of chirp from the West Indian fielders and they really are reborn after their Test mauling. Two more singles and this is very evenly poised.

"I'd like to take this opportunity to ask Sarah from Canterbury if she'll marry me. My details: I like cricket and, as does Sarah, always read this commentary (have to as we don't get coverage on TV here)."
Bill, Switzerland, in the TMS inbox

10th over - Eng 80-4 Colly is caught behind off a Smith beamer - but the umpire rules it a no-ball. Colly is a lucky skipper so far, and he lollipops Smith into wide open space in the covers. Bit of nudge and nurdle from England, and we have a game on our hands.

"Dear Dirs, I resent the earlier allegation that only those in the City and students tune into your comical little look at the world of cricket. There are people who work (unlike students) but are very poorly paid (unlike the City types) who also are fond of whimsical cricket banter. As a teacher I feel I should make this clear. However, give it three weeks, I shall be being paid, but not working. The best of both worlds..."
Hannah, Tunbridge Wells, in the TMS inbox

Wicket falls
9th over - WICKET: Pietersen c&b Sammy 19, Eng 68-4
We have some Sherbet, Howzat, on the loudspeakers, as KP goes in very soft fashion, dollying the ball straight back to Sammy. Sammy does his little Jimmy Somerville jig, although I'd never suggest to the big St Lucian that he reminds me in any way of the wee ginger man. Shah is the new man and he's off the mark with a clip through mid-wicket.

8th over - Eng 66-3 That's an ugly swipe from Pietersen and he's beaten by Smith on the inside. KP does pick up a couple with a flick off his legs and repeats the shot for two more. KP nicks the strike with a single and there are just five from the over.

"To Sam (see below) - Get your ugliest and most unclean friends to stalk your ex for a few days. She'll be back knocking on your door in no time."
Steve, Guidance Advisor, in the TMS inbox

7th over - Eng 61-3 Powell trying a bit of short stuff and KP flogs him through mid-wicket for four before hooking him for another boundary. Controversy at The Oval - Powell gets one to jag back at KP, Pietersen has a swish at it, feathers it, but Ramdin grounds the ball behind the stumps. Powell reckons it was out, although, to his credit, Ramdin didn't claim the catch. Pietersen always seems to rub everyone up the wrong way. A couple for Colly with a flick off his legs.

"For the guy with relationship problems, I find gin usually works for me. And a trip to Spearmint Rhino."
AA Tomlinson in the TMS inbox

Wicket falls
6th over - WICKET: Trott c Ramdin b Rampaul 2, Eng 43-3
Trott's a gonner, attempting a pull and feathering a catch to Ramdin behind the stumps. Not the greatest start to his England career and the hosts are tottering. Rampaul nearly cleans up Pietersen, KP outside edging and Bravo almost getting his fingers to it in the slips. Advice to Sam in New York (see below) - put your lipstick back in your handbag and get on with it, there's no point moping about in your bedroom listening to The Smiths when there are women who need your love all over the Big Apple. Collingwood is off the mark with a yank through mid-wicket for four.

5th over - Eng 43-2 New boy Trott is the new batter and he's off the mark with a couple. KP still to face. Funnily enough, ever since I posted our email address, we've had quite a few emails. Four for God, lashing Powell through the covers.

"You complained about a lack of chat. Well. I'm just recovering from a pretty sad relationship breakup and all I can manage to do at work today is refresh the BBC sports pages. Any relationship recovery advice?"
Sam, New York, in the TMS inbox

Wicket falls
4th over - WICKET: Prior b Rampaul 22, Eng 38-2 Crackerjack stroke from Prior, larruping Rampaul over extra-cover for four, and he puts manners on a leg-side delivery, carting it through square-leg for another. Prior is, as that old folk song goes, lovin' it, lovin' it, lovin' it, and that's three more for a hoick over mid-wicket. But that's what you call a comeback, Rampaul shattering Prior's stumps with the final ball of the over.

"RE: Emails drying up. What with the frenetic pace of Twenty20, maybe people fear that they will overload you? There are already rumours that you're a bit fragile and secretive. Wouldn't want to tip you over the edge, old chap."
Stuart, Bath, in the TMS inbox

Wicket falls
3rd over - WICKET: Cook b Powell 9, Eng 25-1 Ham, Essex, has just, rightly, pointed out that the reason I haven't been getting many emails is because the address wasn't on the page. How embarrassing...Prior gets a rap on the gloves from Powell and the physio has a look - a bit of the magic stuff and he's ready to bat on, the little soldier. Cook picks up four with an outside edge through the slips...actually, that came off his thigh. Powell serves up a peach that pitches and leaves Cook and he removes the Essex man next ball, making a right royal mess of his timbers. Bowling at a fair lick Powell, that was a fine over.

"Do I win a prize for watching the most sports events simultaneously? I have Federer-Safin on the TV, Roddick-Verdasco on live text, England v Windies on live text and the county Twenty20 scoreboard page open as well..."
Andi, sunny Bristol, in the TMS inbox

2nd over - Eng 20-0 Monty has donned the Groucho Marx get-up, and he even gives us a little cigar wiggle. The crowd loved that. A huge leg-side wide from Rampaul but his next ball is a pearler which slices Prior in two. Rampaul over-pitches on Prior's legs and that's bread and butter, the ball disappearing to the mid-wicket fence. Prior is seeing the ball like a planet and he slams Rampaul through square-leg for another boundary.

"Just watched Jimmy Anderson being interviewed. I remember the first time I heard him speak, I was expecting a high-pitched voice, but was shocked to discover how deep it was! It was around about the time us ladies were plugging him as cricket's answer to David Beckham... Anyway, it would help if your e-mail address was printed somewhere where it could be easily spotted."
Ham, Essex, in the TMS inbox

1st over - Eng 10-0 The West Indies players are out and here comes Cook and Prior - Prior looks keen, he takes to the field like a man being chased by a bear. Cook gets the England innings under way with a tuck off his legs before Prior is almost run out, but Powell's throw misses. It's overcast in Surrey, but Cook looks to be seeing it OK as he times Smith through the covers for four...and repeats the shot for another boundary. Ten from the first over, we have Jacko on the loudspeakers.

"Playing to a couple of old soaks down the Dog and Duck? Are you referring to a recent Sam Lyon gig?"
Steve, Boston, in the TMS inbox

"I'm still here having been patiently waiting for the riff raff to disappear. Truth be told, I've only just been able to focus after last night. Is it true that Thursday night is the new Friday? If not I'm in trouble later..."
Matt in the TMS inbox

1905: Apologies - amid the mayhem, I got very confused and lost count of the wickets! Sorry...damn this Twenty20...


"Sam Lyon's clockwatching on the Federer-Safin match on Centre Court. Perhaps people have heard he's more likely to publish emails and have defected?"
Sarah, Bucks, in the TMS inbox

20th over - WI 169-7 Two for Sammy with a scythe through point - fine stop by Trott. And Sammy just avoids being run out next ball, sliding from about 10 yards out and just beating the throw from backward point. This Sammy's a character, and he picks up another couple with a full-length dive, before Anderson sticks him on his backside with some chin music. A bye from the last ball and that, ladies and gents, was utter mayhem as usual. A very gettable target for England, but it's not a given...

"You complain about emails not being published, but you never publish mine. Is that because I'm not witty or pretty enough? I'm just a lowly Brit having to watch this text instead of the real thing cos I'm in the USA. Cut me some slack, please."
Sally in the TMS inbox

Wicket falls
WICKET - Dw Smith run out (Pietersen) 2, WI 161-7 Smith is run out, Bravo sending him back and KP delivering the killer blow from the long-off boundary.

"Why is it that you publish everybody else's emails complaining that you don't publish emails but you never publish mine?"
Patric, Chandlers Ford, in the TMS inbox

Wicket falls
19th over - WICKET: Morton c&b Sidebottom 18, WI 158-6
Better from KP, chasing down a skimmer from Smith, and Morton is gone next ball, dollying a catch back to Sidebottom. Morton storms off in furious fashion, as if he's just had a row with his girlfriend in Netto.

18th over - WI 157-5 Two dot balls from Yardy, but Morton hands him his backside on a plate next ball, crashing a full-bunger into the stand at mid-wicket. Dwayne Smith is off the mark with a single and Morton follows suit. Poor fielding from KP, attempting to pick the ball up with hand, fumbling, and Smith nicking two.

Wicket falls
17th over - WICKET: Ramdin c Collingwood b Sidebottom 10, WI 146-5
The emails have ground to a halt, which is always a little disconcerting, like playing a gig to a couple of old soaks down the Dog and Duck. If you're out there, let's have some chat. Ramdin's gone, chipping Sidebottom to Collingwood at mid-off. Three from the over and a wicket, just what the doctor ordered for England.

"As promised, I am now emailing to complain about you not publishing the email I sent earlier suggesting that you seem to like emails from people complaining about you not publishing their emails."
Simon, East Sussex, in the TMS inbox

16th over - WI 144-4 Morton is off the mark with two to long-off and he picks up another pair of twos with brutal straight drives. Morton has wood and, by the look of things, he's not afraid to use it...

"You seem to like publishing emails complaining about other emails not being published, so if I email you to complain about this one not being published please will you publish the latter?"
Simon, East Sussex, in the TMS inbox

Wicket falls
15th over - WICKET: Samuels c Mascarenhas b Collingwood 41, WI 130-4
Ding, dong, the witch is dead - Samuels mis-cues Collingwood straight down Mascar's throat at long-on. Good take from the Hampshire man, snaffling the ball above his head. That ball went to high, Samuels has time to run and catch it himself. A trademark shovel from Ramdin brings him four but Anderson shows more good form in the field, diving full stretch at short fine-leg and limiting Ramdin to a single when it could have been four.

14th over - WI 126-3 A couple of singles from Ramdin and Samuels before Samuels waits on a slower delivery from Mascar and gets two for it. That shot from Samuels came down with snow on it, a huge, steepling six that ends up four rows back, and he follows up with a carve through the covers for a couple. England still bowling too short and too wide - lessons not being learned...

Wicket falls
13th over - WICKET: Gayle c Broad b Collingwood 61, WI 108-3 Samuels has got a serious bit of willow between his fists and he flashes Collingwood through the covers for a couple. But that's the end of Gayle, the Windies skipper backing away and skying an attempted pull to Broad at short fine-leg. Samuels is not bowed, however, and he carves Colly through backward point for four. Ramdin is the new batsman.

12th over - WI 106-2 Yardy is into the attack with his darts. A couple of singles. Hicky has scored a ton off 44 balls in Worcestershire's Twenty20 against Northants - and there are still seven overs left. Oh, that's brutal from Samuels, the right-hander skipping down the pitch like Margot Fontayne and marmalising Yardy over long-off for a colossal six. Samuels follows up with a four through the covers and I've not seen this level of bullying since Gripper Stebson was making Roland Browning's life a ruddy misery on Grange Hill (wa-wa-wa-waaaa!).

11th over - WI 90-2 Good grief - Samuels backs away and crunches Broad over extra-cover for a maximum. Sir Viv makes that noise again, the one when it sounds as if he's being given a foot massage. A wide from Broad before Samuels throws the kitchen sink, the fridge and the collection of amusing egg cups at a widish one - and misses. Smart fielding from Anderson, diving full length at fine-leg to limit Gayle to two runs. The crowd think Broad has got Samuels off the final ball, but KP couldn't quite get his fingers under the ball running in from long-off. Good stop though, two runs for Samuels.

That's 50
10th over - WI 78-2 Samuels is the new batter. Gayle glides Mascar through backward point and the ball slides under the dive of Pietersen and races away for four. One more for Gayle before Samuels caresses Mascarenhas through point for a couple. Mascar plonks one in short and Gayle's eyes light up like a pinball machine as he slaps the ball over mid-wicker for a maximum - that's his fifty, from 29 balls.

Wicket falls
9th over - WICKET: Richards lbw b Broad 10, WI 64-2 Bit of width from Broad and Richards scythes him through point for a couple. A boundary from Richards, dragging a ball just short of a length to the mid-wicket fence, but he's dust next ball, swishing across the line and getting himself trapped in front. England are bossing this contest at the moment.

8th over - WI 58-1 Here's Mascarenhas. Richards picks up a single with a nurdle to leg before Gayle grabs one to point. A sliced heave from Richards yields another single, he and Gayle share another couple and West Indies are becalmed. Mascar is Johnny on the Spot, good first over.

"In regards to Ms Price's next born, surely it should be called Asda?"
Jacob Brown in the TMS inbox

7th over - WI 52-1 Ugly from Gayle, missing with a cross-batted heave and the ball almost uprooting his leg-stump. A shot of Plunkett sat on the England bench - and he's sporting a Groucho Marx glasses-moustache-nose combination. These England chaps are mental. That's a fine over from Broad, just two singles from it.

"Never thought I'd be one to enjoy a 'cheeky bit of top shelf' action but I found myself at The Oval yesterday singing, dancing, and singing along with the rest. Must tell you about my rubbish celeb spot though - Jon Tickle from Brainiac was sitting just behind us, and was rather amusing as well as a little 'merry'. He was starting up the chants - great stuff!"
Sarah, Bucks, in the TMS inbox

Wicket falls
6th over - WICKET: Simmons c Broad b Anderson 9, WI 49-1 Simmons has shaken off the rust and he larrups Anderson over extra-cover for four...but that's the youngster gone, slicing Anderson down to Broad at third-man. Simple snaffle for the Leicestershire paceman. Richards, on debut, is the new man and Anderson gets all lary, bumping him second ball. That's called a wide by umpire Llong.

"I played a frame of pool against Chris Gayle two years ago. He beat me with a fluke on the black. I see his luck is still in today."
Ela Dirlanda in the TMS inbox

5th over - WI 44-0 Time for a change as Broad is wheeled into the attack. Gayle gives Simmons the strike with a clip to leg and the youngster is off the mark from his 13th ball, inside edging for a single into the leg-side. Gayle puts manners on another Broad delivery - I think I saw the ball having a bit of a weep as it made its way back to the middle from the mid-wicket fence. I was about to write that Gayle is batting like a blacksmith, but, apparently, an irate reader wrote in recently to complain that blacksmith's "actually do some very ornate work". Simmons' first boundary, scooping Broad over his shoulder down to the fine-leg fence.

4th over - WI 33-0 Gayle is blazing away and he carves Anderson through the covers for four. Sarah from Canterbury asks if I have a ghostwriter for Twenty20, although I'm not sure what she means by that. Gayle goes flamingo and yanks Anderson away for another boundary before slapping the Lancashire through mid-off for yet another four. Not many emails coming in, I think all the City boys and girls are already about 12 pints in and all the stooodents are rubbered after their exams. Poor old Lendl - still on nought and Gayle nicks the strike with a single.

3rd over - WI 19-0 A bit of Smooth Criminal as Gayle gives Sidebottom some hammer, launching him over mid-wicket for four. Another couple for the Windies skipper, chipping the Notts seamer over point. That's peche de la peche from Gayle, getting his left leg out of the way and heaving Sidebottom through the covers for four - 19 from the big man, Simmons marooned on a big fat duck.

"Has anybody noticed how Andy Murray looks like Odd Bod out of Carry On Screaming?" Sometimes these observations are good to share."
Hugh, Shenfield, in the TMS inbox

2nd over - WI 8-0 If Test cricket is a Penguin Classic and one-day cricket is Nuts magazine, then Twenty20 is indubitably a cheeky bit of top shelf. You're well aware it's a bit wrong, but, in your heart of hearts, you know it's more enjoyable than the other two. Anderson shares the new ball with Sidebottom and Gayle picks up one with a flick off his thigh. Simmons charges down the pitch twice like a man challenging a burglar, but he's struggling to get off the mark - eight deliveries without a run, and that's just not Twenty20 cricket...

1st over - WI 7-0 Dreamy start from Gayle, Rolexing Sidebottom through extra-cover for four. The Windies skipper follows up with a similar shot for three, Broad making a fine stop on the boundary. Not sure Simmons gets this - he leaves his first two deliveries outside off-peg. Simmons does free his arms from the final two balls, but good fielding in the covers prevents any runs.

"Depending on whether the baby takes Jordan's surname or Andre's, I would go with Half if it is hers, and Forgotabout if it's his. On the other hand we could just call her Monty and be done with it."
Seb, Brazil, in the TMS inbox

1729: Players are out - stand by for some hit and giggle...

"Ben, can you confirm today's rumour (that I am starting) that Monty has not been selected because he is locked in negotations with Gordon Brown over joining the new Cabinet as Lord Privy High Fiver to the Treasury?"
Michael Gale in the TMS inbox

"I remember a line Jordan came out with on the Frank Skinner show a few years back. Awful woman. I think they should call the new born Antanddec, in honour of the diminutive Geordie duo who effectively set them up."
Geoff, Bexleyheath, in the TMS inbox

1722: I'm not sure the England camp really understand this form of the game. Cook and Bell are clearly not suited and Monty should be a shoo-in. The big news of the day is that the West Indies have almost unanimously voted for Chris Gayle as the "coolest" bloke in their squad, and I would have to agree with that - the man makes Bob Marley look like Frank Spencer.

Jonathan Agnew
Sir Viv Richards
Jonathan Agnew: "Is Austin Richards a relation of yours, Viv?"
Sir Vivian Richards: "Not that I know of..."

1716: A big shout out to Jordan and Andre - on this day, a baby girl was born. Apparently, they're both insania at reports that the chavvy is to be called Crystal. So let the debate begin - what should Jordan and Andre call their new-born? Flicking through the channels a couple of weeks ago, I happened upon their fly-on-the-wall reality show. Some of the stuff that comes out of that woman's mouth would have made The Manning blush.

1712: Dimitri Mascarenhas says yesterday was the most enjoyable day of his cricket life. A decent debut from the Hampshire man and friend of Shane Warne. He bowled decent enough, but failed with the bat. Expect more slower balls from him today - and hopefully plenty of fireworks with the willow.

1709: News in of the ball that was shellacked out of The Oval by Marlon Samuels yesterday - it was found in a gutter by Stockwell station in the early hours of Friday and is currently convalescing in Lambeth hospital. That little fella took one hell of a beating... "Everything's crossed for captain Collingwood. I think I am in love with him."
Chris (female), Notts, in the TMS inbox

1703: West Indies win the toss and, not surprisingly, Chris Gayle decides to have a bat. Yesterday's destroyers-in-chief Shiv Chanderpaul and Devon Smith are out - not sure why - which means Lendl Simmons and Austin Richards (on international debut) are in. Richards is a 23-year-old batsman from Antigua.

England: A Cook, M Prior (wkt), IJ Trott, K Pietersen, P Collingwood (capt), O Shah, D Mascarenhas, M Yardy, R Sidebottom, S Broad, J Anderson.

1644: Hello you lot - stand by for more chaos than you'll find on the first day of an Ikea sale. Although, hopefully, we won't get any stabbings at The Oval. England, sticking manfully to a losing formula, are unchanged, which means no Monty for the second day running. They're not learning these England selectors - the man will be brilliant in any form of cricket. For the love of KP, TRUST HIM!


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