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England v West Indies 1st Test

England 553-5 dec v West Indies 363-7 (close)

Spinner Monty Panesar took four wickets for England but West Indies fought back bravely on day three of the first Test.

Panesar bowled Devon Smith and trapped Ramnaresh Sarwan (35), Daren Ganga (49) and Runako Morton lbw as they slumped to 187-5 replying to England's 553-5.

But Dwayne Bravo (56), Shiv Chanderpaul (63no) and Denesh Ramdin (60) feasted on bad bowling as they closed on 363-7.

England were hampered by the absence of Matthew Hoggard, who did not bowl after suffering a thigh strain before lunch.


By Ben Dirs


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



1838: Monty it is with the final over of the day. Chanderpaul collects one with a nurdle to leg. Big lbw appeal against Powell but umpire looks absolutely disgusted. Replays suggest that was hitting. Powell looks out again next ball, but the umps is having none of it again...and that's a wrap. Definitely a Windies day, a very gutsy effort. As for the England seam bowling, just leave it, right? Thanks for keeping me company, see some of you tomorrow. 363-7

Wicket falls
1833: WICKET - Ramdin c Collingwood b Plunkett 60 (WI 362-7)
What a blow for England, Plunkers locating the edge of Ramdin's blade and Collingwood taking the catch diving to his right at second slip. Good take. If you took that wicket and chopped it in half it would have Durham written all the way through it. Wicket-maiden. 362-7

1829: Monty's first ball of his second spell isn't as good as the first ball of his first - Ramdin leans into it and the ball races away for four through extra-cover. One more for Ramdin and we have two overs remaining. 362-6

1826: Lord's is as pretty as a picture as the shadows swoop in. Ramdin strokes Plunkett through mid-on for two and tucks him round the corner for one to nick the strike. 357-6

1820: Ramdin tucks Colly to mid-wicket for one and the Windies have avoided the follow-on. Generous applause from the Lord's crowd. Luke Davies and Mark Wheeler - Rachel Gamble says hello - what is this, Chorley FM? 356-6

1817: Ramdin plays a wild and windy woosh and misses. Ramdin's concentration's wavering here and he gets a leading edge, but the ball doesn't carry to extra-cover. Maiden over from Plunkett. 352-6

"Apropos your nan's false teeth, my father lost his down the toilet after a rugby club dinner - he thoughtfully awoke the whole family (in the early hours of the morning) and we went outside to inspect the drains. Being the youngest, I was lowered with a candle (very Dickensian) to search for said teeth - despite the fact that they were presumably halfway to the sewage farm."
Keith, London, in the TMS inbox

1812: On comes the long walking stick from stage left and Harmison is off. Ramdin turns Collingwood away for one and that's the Windies 350. Spirited stuff from the tourists. Collingwood gets one to nip past the edge of Chanderpaul's bat...and repeats the trick. Full-bunger from Colly and Chanderpaul collects two with a drive through the covers. 352-6

1808: Pretty dismal this by England, Plunkers plopping one in short and Chanderpaul twirling him away for four. Seven overs left after this one. That's a jaffa from Plunkett, pitching and leaving a groping Chanderpaul. Only five runs needed to avoid the follow-on. 350-6

That's 50
1805: Still Harmison, and the main problem for England is that he's wasting the new ball. Short ball from Harmison and Ramdin swivels and pulls him away for four. Bit of barracking now for Harmison, who looks like he would rather be having his hand slammed repeatedly in a car door right now than bowling at Lord's. That's Ramdin's fifty courtesy of a beautifully timed cover-drive for four. 345-6

1801: Plunkers finds his radar and serves up a maiden. Ave Maria! Melanie from Oxfordshire wins a Bendy Bully! (see below) An imaginary one, presumably. 337-6

"The answer (see below) is a gut-twisting 11. Nearest guess before this post wins a Bendy Bully."
Martin, Cheltenham, in the TMS inbox

1757: Half-bunger from Harmison and Ramdin brings up the fifty stand with a cover-drive. Plunkett it was with the distinctly ordinary piece of fielding. The next ball gets the same treatment - Harmison is bowling not particularly fast and in not the right places. His third ball goes miles down leg-side for a wide and before Ramdin deflects him down to third-man for a couple. Testing times for Strauss, with Hoggy resting up, he hasn't got a lot of options here. 337-6

"Time for another wicket or two me thinks. While we wait, to dredge up the earlier topic of cricket-loving women, I've never seen Ramprakash as that sexy. I'm a life-long Trescothick fan, although in his recent absence I have to admit to being tempted by the fresh young Cook, and he's the same age as must be destiny!"
Rachel Gamble in the TMS inbox

1754: Plunkers gets one past Chanderpaul's blade before straying onto his legs and being whipped away for one. Ramdin gets half-forward and the ball hoops past his nervy nibble. That's better from Ramdin, standing tall and slapping Plunkett through the covers for four. Good cop, bad cop this from Plunkett, or licorice allsorts, whatever you fancy. 327-6

1749: Another leg-side wide from Harmy before he flings down a ball miles outside Chanderpaul's off-stump. I don't like saying this, but this is very nearly Martin McCague territory for the Durham lad. McCague once consumed 72 pints of Guinness on a stag weekend in Dublin. Wonder what he was drinking the rest of the time? Harmison's better half turns up for one ball, getting one to jag back viciously and slice Ramdin in half. Not pretty this. 321-6

1743: Plunkers is on and let's hope he's better than he was in his first spell. If it wasn't for Monty, West Indies would be about 700-1. Not much cop that over from Plunkett. I said he'd take a stack of wickets in this match. I was very, very wrong...that said, he does pick out a plum, Chanderpaul getting one for an inside edge down to third-man. 319-6

"Sorry to inform you Ben, but unfortunately you may lose some of your readers in the next few minutes as the Cup Final comes to a close and something interesting will be on the TV."
Steven Brockenbrow in the TMS inbox

"My mate guesses seven ginger nuts, personally I think Martin needs to get a life."
Patrick, Durham, in the TMS inbox

"Did the bowling of Paul Collingwood stir your sub-conscious into fancying a ginger nut? I guess nine."
Melanie, Oxfordshire, in the TMS inbox

1740: Right, Stevo, shows us what you're made of big man. Can I say who won the Cup final? Last time I posted a football score some bloke in Hong Kong got upset because he was waiting for the highlights. Ramdin gets an edge, but the ball falls just short of Colly at slip. Stand and deliver! Ramdin creams Harmison through the covers for four. I sounded like Sid James clapping eyes on Windsor's cleavage when he hit that. Harmison's not right here: another delivery has Prior flinging himself down leg side, and Ramdin tucks into another tasty morsel outside off-stump, the ball disappearing over the rope at point. Whoops-a-daisy Martin Hayesy. 318-6

1734: Monty's ton comes up, the left-armer spinner dropping short and Ramdin helping himself to the buffet. Ramdin is almost cleaned up next ball, playing back to a quicker delivery. Drifting a bit here. Someone stick a fork in me, I'm done. 309-6

That's 50
1730: That's the Windies 300, Chanderpaul moving to 48 with a four off his hips off Collingwood. And that's Chanderpaul's 41st Test fifty, an airy drive bringing him four down to the third-man boundary. Dangerous games by Chanderpaul, padding up to Colly and getting struck on the pad, but umpire Koertzen gives his head a vigorous shake. Good decision, that was probably missing off-stump. 304-6

1726: Dreamy shot that from Ramdin, easing Panesar through point for four. England haven't taken the new ball. England could do with another wicket here. Where's Harmison? No, can't be bothered... 296-6

"My commiserations to Jake Brotherton (see below). I'm doing a history degree and have only had to write three essays all year."
James Batten, Durham, in the TMS inbox

1723: Hoggard is up on the balcony and he looks like Ronnie Barker when he used to get dressed up as that tramp. I think he's tucking into some wine gums, or maybe they're Nigella seeds? I can't really see from here. Just the one from Colly's over, a flat pull from Ramdin. 292-6

1719: The new ball is due in two overs and Plunkers is windmilling his arms in the field. A strangled lbw appeal from Monty, but Ramdin did get some wood on it. Wristy drive from Ramdin and he gets a couple for it. Monty has now bowled 27 overs and taken 4-93. Tremendous effort, but I suspect he'll now have a puff. 291-6

"Perhaps your readers would like to hazard a guess at how many ginger nuts I had to discard from an old packet before I found a crunchy one? I will post the answer at 5.30."
Martin, Cheltenham, in the TMS inbox

1714: Collingwood gets one to spit off a length and Chanderpaul yanks his bottom hand off the glove. Colly doing a good job here for England, as he always seems to do. Never has a sportsman wrung so much from his natural talent. England should be happy to have him. D Canterbury (a man, he wants me to point out), has emailed in to say Glamorgan's JAR Harris, aged 17, has taken 12-118 against Gloucestershire. Harris for England, says Canterbury. 290-6

"I am sitting here feeling extremely guilty. I am 13-years-old and supposed to be completing three essays for Monday. However, my willpower is feeble, and I have written three lines. Keep up the good work!"
Jake Brotherton, Birmingham, in the TMS inbox

1712: Ramdin flips Monty round the corner for a couple and players have a drink. 290-6

1708: That's a maiden over from Collingwood, very finely-poised this. 288-6

"Richard Ellison looked like Barbara Dickson, though she mainly bowled off-breaks as opposed to Ellison's swingy trundlers."
Tim in the TMS inbox

1704: Monty has another lbw appeal turned down by umpire Rauf, who stares back at him and chews him gum like a Spaghetti Western baddie. Streaky from Ramdin, a late cut for four. Richard Ellison, apparently, is a cricket coach at that fine public school Millfield. 288-6

1700: Chanderpaul gets one for a thick inside edge and Ramdin is off the dreaded blob with an edge down to third-man for one. 284-6

"Apropos yesterday about the flasher. My mom was walking the dog in the park when this guy in a grubby raincoat flashed her. She'd let the dog off the lead so flicked him in the 'nether regions' with the chain. Apparently he went cross-eyed and sank to his knees."
Sandra in the TMS inbox

1655: Huge appeal for lbw against Chanderpaul. Monty went beserk, like a toddler who's just been told he can't have a Happy Meal. Playing no shot Chanderpaul, and that may have been hitting. Got a decent stride in though. Ramdin's on and he's playing a risky game, hiding his bat behind his pad. 280-6

"Richard Ellison? Judging from his Cricinfo picture, I wouldn't be surprised if he's now making a good living as a Bobby Ball impersonator."
Melanie, Oxfordshire, in the TMS inbox

Wicket falls
1651: WICKET - Bravo c Cook b Collingwood 56 (WI 279-6)
Colly onto Bravo's legs and that's bread and butter, four through mid-wicket. But Colly's broken the stand of 92, Bravo playing a 'flamingo' shot and shovelling the ball down Cook's throat at deep mid-wicket. Good knock from Bravo, although there's not much batting left. Ramdin in next. Cook only just reached that, took it a couple of inches from the ground.

That's 50
1646: Good knock this from Bravo. He slaps Monty over mid-wicket for four and posts his fifty with a rat-a-tat-tat over wide long-on for a maximum. That's the first six of the game. Lovely comeback from Panesar, Bravo searching and Bravo missing. Fifty off fifty balls for Bravo, who hails from Santa Cruz, Trinidad, the same town as BC Lara. The Cup final is meandering towards penalties like a clapped clown's car chuntering towards the breakers yard. 273-5

1641: Bravo nicks a quick single, pushing Collingwood into the covers and beating Pietersen's throw comfortably. 263-5

"More emails eh? Does anyone remember Richard Ellison? What happened to him? That's my random thought while watching the Cup Final and reading your text."
Rachel, Lincoln, in the TMS inbox

1638: Take that, you swine! Bravo comes down the track and clobbers Panesar straight down the ground for four. A couple of feet to the left and umpire Rauf would have had cherry pie all over his face. 261-5

1634: Collingwood is on, and not before time. Crackerjack stroke from Bravo, lacing Colly through mid-on for four. Emails dropping off...need...more...emails... 256-5

"I blame Mark Ramprakash for a lot. Despite being older than me, he's fitter, better looking, and far more talented. Damn all that tasty fried food!"
Callum Wheeler in the TMS inbox

1630: Monty gets one past the outside edge of Chanderpaul's bat. Prior shells the ball, but I don't think it got a nick. 252-5

1626: Full-bunger from Harmison and it gets what it deserves, Bravo turning him away for four. That's the Windies 250, Bravo getting two more to mid-wicket. Harmison a passenger at the moment. Unlike Iggy Pop's Passenger, I suspect everything will not look good tonight for Steve. 250-5

"Cricket-loving women? I blame Mark Ramprakash."
Melanie, Oxfordshire, in the TMS inbox

1621: Still Monty, and Chanderpaul clips him round the corner for one. Bravo gives it some hammer, sashaying down the pitch like Margot Fontayne and slapping Panesar over wide mid-on for four. Good shot that. Chanderpaul gets a thick outside edge for one. Bit of turn out of the rough for Monty, the ball just missing Chanderpaul's off-peg. 244-5

1619: They're dropping like flies in the members' stand, the port and Stilton has gone down a treat. Harmison strays onto Chanderpaul's legs and the little left-hander moves to 36 with a flip round the corner. 234-5

Henry Blofeld
"Your grandmother was pretty good at cricket, wasn't she Geoffrey?"
Henry Blofeld on TMS

1613: Chanderpaul picks up a couple with a tuck to mid-wicket before leaning back and feathering Panesar through point for one. Another couple of milked singles and it's becalmed out there in the middle. 233-5

1610: Harmison's radar is all at sea still. Bravo leans back and picks up a single and Chanderpaul grabs one with a tuck to mid-wicket. 228-5

"We get an old man to do our gardening sometimes, although he's not called Ernie but rather Gilbert. He has an odd technique for cutting our hedge, which involves standing on top of a car with a hedgetrimmer whilst someone else drives forward and backwards."
James, Leeds, in the TMS inbox

1606: Bravo moves to 18 with a clip off his legs for four. A heavily-decorated war hero in the crowd, marvellous stuff. My nan, as I have previously mentioned, was a queer sort. Aside from throwing her false teeth down the rubbish chute, she disposed of my grandad's war medals in the same way. Understandably, the rest of the family was not impressed. 226-5

1604: Players are back out and it's Harmison to have first go with the cherry. Hopefully someone's opened him during the tea break and twiddled a few knobs. Erm, his first ball is a rank long-hop and Chanderpaul carves him through point for four. Harmy drops his final ball down leg and that's a singularly unimpressive over from the Durham man. 221-5

"I think the Rachel picture issue has gone to your head - a few too many women comments getting published. Men are wittier (though obviously not as pretty) - fact. Please amend."
Ben in the TMS inbox

"Where have all these cricket-loving women come from? There aren't any in the real world - if I ever mention cricket to a girlfriend, she tends to jog on sharpish. Or maybe it's because I haven't washed since 1981."
Tim in the TMS inbox

1554: Charlie Henderson, text commentating on the FA Cup final, summed the first half up as "dour". My colleague reckons Ernie Hoggard sounds like an old bloke you'd get round to do your gardening. I couldn't argue.

"I know how Rachel feels - I have AS exams next week and here I am, watching the cricket when I should be revising. Cricket always seems to be played whenever I have a load of exams coming up and I seem to be a bit of an addict."
Chloe, St Helens, in the TMS inbox

"Cricket ruined my mock grades during the Ashes series, now you seem intent on thwarting any intent that I had on revising for my GCSEs. Thanks, I shall explain that to my future employers."
Sophie Parker in the TMS inbox

1540: Monty drops short and Chanderpaul leans back and twirls his wand, the ball racing through backward-point for four. One more from the last ball before tea, a dab to the leg-side. 217-5

1538: Colly's going to have a bowl and he can't bowl there at his pace, Chanderpaul rattling him through point for four. 211-5

1534: Touch short from Panesar and Bravo drives him crisply through point for four. That's the Windies 200, 154 more needed to avoid the follow-on. Sorry Rachel! Someone has just pointed out that you were Sir Vivian Richards for a couple of minutes! Lovely stuff. 207-5

1530: That's a dreamy shot from Chanderpaul, waiting on a Plunkers delivery and whipping him through cover for four. Rachel's got her pic up on the site (see below), but I'm not Paul Daniels, I can't do it for everyone. 199-5

1526: Panesar is a text commentator's nightmare, I've never known anyone to rip through their overs at such a rate. Two from it, a couple of ambled singles. Mark Lawrenson has just described the FA Cup final as a "good advert for the cricket season". Stick with us. 195-5

"Ben, when I fail this year at uni I will hold you partly responsible. I have tried and tried to get some work done today, but my self-discipline has failed me." Rachel Gamble in the TMS inbox

1523: Plunkers is flicked through mid-wicket for one by Bravo before Chanderpaul nudges him down to fine-leg for a single of his own. One more for Bravo, easing Plunkett to square-leg. 193-5

Wicket falls
1516: WICKET - Morton lbw b Panesar 14 (WI 187-5)
Panesar does it again, trapping Morton in front with another straight one, and off he goes, leaping about as if someone's set fire to his turn-ups. Bravo is next in - averages 32 with the bat - and he's off the mark with a couple to mid-wicket. Dirty great cheer for Monty as he trots down to his fielding position at long leg with all the infectious enthusiasm of a seven-year-old being called in for ice buns and fizzy pop.

1512: "Smell the leather", says Plunkett to Morton, and Morton jerks his head out of line. Streaky from Morton, thrashing at one outside off-stump and the ball thumping into the third-man fence. Not much batting left for West Indies. Bravo can have a go, but it's a pretty long tail from there. 187-4

1510: Monty still toiling manfully, that's a maiden over to Chanderpaul. 182-4

1506: Morton and Chanderpaul share singles before Morton unleashes a crackerjack stroke, putting manners on a slot ball from Plunkett and the ball racing away for through through wide mid-off. 182-4

1502: Just a couple of singles from Monty's over and there's Windies legend Lance Gibbs in the stands. Stephen Fry's in today as well, a descendant, of course, of former England captain CB Fry. 176-4

1458: Chanderpaul whips Plunkett away to leg for one. There's a man in the crowd wearing a full Saxon outfit. Where I was at university, there was a man who used to dress as an Anglo-Saxon at all times, even when buying Pot Noodles in Alldays. About halfway through my second year, the police nicked his sword. 174-4

1455: Panesar drags one short and Chanderpaul laces him through point for three. Bat-pad catch appeal against Morton, and it's not a bad one, it looked as though he might have played it onto his boot and into the hands of Bell. Morton punches Panesar away for one. 173-4

1450: Morton is almost gone for a blob, Plunkett getting one to rear off a length, but Collingwood at second slip can only parry the ball. Good effort from the Colly. Feather touch from Chanderpaul who picks up a couple through extra-cover. Trevor Bailey is back in the TMS commentary box, good to have him back. 169-4

"Referring to yesterday's comments about Katie in The Apprentice: I think she sounds like Jo Brand but looks like POB."
Pete, Southampton, in the TMS inbox

Wicket falls
1445: WICKET - Ganga lbw b Panesar 49 (WI 165-4)
To Sarah (see below), fill your boots. Monty's 'avin it at Lord's! (sorry Mr Johnston) Rauf's trigger-happy today, but that was bang on again, Ganga padding up and getting himself trapped in front. Ganga was expecting that ball, given plenty of flight, to turn, but once again it went straight on and would have hit middle and off. Monty has 3-26 now from 10 overs, and thank God for him, the seamers are bowling like ruddy idiots.

"Me again! A thought - you obviously like to put photos of the TMS team when quoting their pearls of wisdom. Would you like your readers to start attaching photos to their emails?"
Sarah, Canterbury, in the TMS inbox

1441: Better from Plunkers, a maiden. Players will have a drink. 165-3

1437: Bit of inside-out from Ganga, stroking Panesar through the covers for four. Monty then has a pretty decent lbw shout turned by umpire Rauf. Hawkeye says that was going over the top of off. Good decision sir. 165-3

1434: Streaky runs for Ganga, playing on the walk and squirting the ball down to the third-man boundary. A couple of singles before Ganga grabs a couple with a clip off his legs. 159-3

"Re. Andrew Johnston - 'An example of more correct English is that abbreviations such as 'I'm' are incorrect in written English except when quoting.' As a professor of linguistics and English, let me tell you that the above is the typical nonsense that makes us professionals despair. Listen, you 'I'm' as much as you jolly well want!"
Phil in the TMS inbox

"Any chance of saying hello to those of us laid on the nude beach at Laguna Bay in Second Life who are following the cricket with you?"
Rachel Howey in the TMS inbox

Wicket falls
1425: WICKET - Sarwan lbw b Panesar 35 (WI 151-3)
Oh, Monty, we love you so! Sarwan is a goner, hiding his bat behind his pad and making himself a plum lbw candidate. Umpire Rauf, he of yesterday's shocking leg before decision against Collingwood, is bang on with this one. Chanderpaul - The Crab - is next up the ramp.

"Was that comment by the same Andrew Johnston who appeared in the Canadian talk show 'Sex, toys and chocolate'? If so, he is a true bastion of the English language. Please pass him my congratulations."
Alistair in the TMS inbox

1420: Harmison has been binned and Plunkers' first ball is a rank wide outside off-stump and runs away for four. Ganga drives firmly and the ball flies past imaginary third slip and races away for four. That's the Windies 150, and the tourists are going at a fair old lick. Another wild wide from Plunkett, and Prior is really earning his crust behind the stumps. Plunkers does pull out a plum from somewhere, Ganga just pulling his bat out of the way in time. 151-2

1418: Panesar drops short and Sarwan leans back and cracks him through point for four. To Sarah from Canterbury, if we didn't have people sending in lots of emails like you, this page would be far more rubbish than it is now. 141-2

1414: I hate to relate this to you ladies and gents, but Harmison looks to have mislaid his mojo. Not since I saw Don Topley lose his run-up against Notts in Ilford in 1983 have I seen someone fall apart like this. Just one ball outside off-stump and four leg-byes from his final delivery. 137-2

Geoffrey Boycott
"Strauss has to do more than use his two main seamers, he's got to use Collingwood here and there..."
Geoffrey Boycott on TMS

"When you gets lots of emails from the same person, do you think they're a bit sad?" Sarah, Canterbury, in the TMS inbox

1410: My cricket editor is apoplectic that, at the Wembley parade of heroes, Tony Curtis wasn't introduced as he once delivered 'tired and emotional' introduction to the Electric Light Orchestra at Wembley in 1978". Allegedly. Sarwan sweeps Panesar for a couple and replicates the shot twice for four more. 128-2

1407: Strauss is sticking with Harmison, but Harmison is posing no questions at the moment. All leg-side, shades of Australia. 125-2

1403: Sarwan grabs a couple with a push into the covers off Panesar. Monty's keeping things tight, shame about Harmy at the other end. 122-2

1401: Lovely touch from Ganga, caressing Harmison through wide mid-on for four. Think it's time to give Steve a blow back in the dressing room. Is Kirsten Dunst at the ground today? 118-2

1357: Ganga nudges a single from Panesar's over. FA Cup starting at 3 - Caroline Cheese is clockwatching on that one. Can't say I'm that fussed personally. Is John Bumstead playing for Chelsea today? 114-2

1353: Not 10 minutes ago I was just banging on to my editor about how good Harmison was bowling and all of a sudden he's bowling like Thora Hird. Loads of leg-side stuff in that over and that's keeping gloveman Prior honest behind the timbers. Someone give Harmy a slap. 113-2

1350: Just two from the over, a brace of singles. 112-2

1346: That's a jaffa of a ball from Harmison, squaring Ganga up, but Ganga then fills his boots twice off his legs for four. Ganga nicks a single with a nudge into the covers. Harmy going for some runs now, 20 off his last two overs. 110-2

"Your sloppy English and juvenile slang greatly detract from the pleasure of following the Test by my only possible means, online. Please write in English and please give up the more juvenile slang, if you are old enough to know the difference! An example of more correct English is that abbreviations such as 'I'm' are incorrect in written English except when quoting."
Andrew Johnston in the TMS inbox

1343: That's a decent lbw shout from Panesar, but Sarwan did get a bit of a squeeze on it between bat and pad. Sarwan is almost undone by a quicker ball and he looks like a dead man walking at the moment. That's the Windies ton, courtesy of two leg-byes. 101-2

1338: I thought I'd take the chance to say thank you for all your emails today. It's always a bit depressing travelling in on a Saturday morning thinking no-one's going to be reading because it's a weekend, but, as my colleagues will attest to, I have been giggling inanely at your missives as usual today. Players are back out after lunch.

1327: Warwickshire and England's Ashley Giles is on our blog at the moment. Go and keep him company and chat about his road to recovery and the Test by clicking on the adjacent link.

"Ernie is a good name. My late grandfather Ernest Toseland played for Man City, won the league and FA Cup with them, one of their best ever players. He was often referred to as 'Ernie' by the press and his team-mates. If it's good enough for him, it's good enough for Hoggard."
Andrew McLean in the TMS inbox

Apparently Hoggard's injury is a "strained adductor muscle", news which prompts Messers Botham, Gower and Holding to all stroke their inner thighs on Sky as an indication as to where the injury is. You don't need to see that on a Saturday afternoon I must say, especially with Gower boasting that landed-gentry-style smirk as he gazes adoringly at Beefy. This isn't late night Bravo fellas, calm it down.

1301: Harmison will take the last over before lunch. Harmy's radar goes mental and Prior does very well to snaffle that way down leg. Sarwan shows Harmison the maker's name and the ball races through mid-on for four. My old cricket coach, 'Benny' Hawes, would have been salivating over that. He used to salivate a lot, come to think of it. Crackerjack stroke from Sarwan, leaning back and whip-cracking the ball through cover-point. That's lunch - what shall I have today?... 97-2

1257: Windies skipper Ronnie Sarwan is in next and the crowd think they've got him first ball, Bell snaffling at short-leg, but he was nowhere near it. Panesar drops short and Sarwan slaps him through point for four. 87-2

Wicket falls
1253: WICKET - Smith b Panesar 21 (WI 83-2)
It's Monty time! Big round of applause and we've got a slip and a forward short-leg in close...and he's had Smith on toast first ball! Smith playing for a bit of turn but the ball went straight on and took off and middle. I like Monty, I'd like to sit with my arm round him on the sofa all night watching documentaries on BBC Four.

1248: Hoggard's off! He breaks down in the middle of his run-up, grabs his sweater and troops off with a bit of a limp. Abrakebabra last night? Eoin Morgan of Middlesex and, erm, Ireland is on as a replacement. Not a clue what's going on there. Collingwood completes the over. 83-1

1244: Lots of chat about silly names this morning off the back of Hoggard calling his offspring Ernie. Personally, I don't mind Ernie, but then I'm called Ben Dirs. Smith lashes Plunkers through the covers for four, lip-smacking stroke. 83-1

1241: Hoggard keeps up his nagging line and length and Ganga's taking no chances - a maiden. 79-1

"Come on Dirs, where's your normal flood of inane rubbish to keep me amused as I fail to revise?"
Arthur, London, in the TMS inbox

1237: Plunkers serves up a toe-crusher and Ganga gets himself in a bit of a pickle trying to get his feet out of the way. Lovely balance from Ganga, clipping Plunkett through wide long-on. Monty it is giving chase and he drags the ball in before the boundary and the batsmen run two. Wonder what Monty thinks about all these cheers he gets for just picking up a ball? Personally, I'd be a bit offended if my boss ruffled my hair and gave me a wink when I logged on every morning. 79-1

"In response to Michael Ryan (see below): did you squeeze her and did she let out a little whine?"
Robert Flint, London E3, in the TMS inbox

1232: Half-bunger from Hoggard and Smith is all over it like a Fosters suit, the ball racing through the covers for four. Smith replays the stroke and he looks an attractive stroke-player this Grenadian. 76-1

"Talking of poles and £2.5K, my mate left his credit card behind the bar at some dodgy establishment last night and when he got home he had a bill for £2,500! I don't think he was too happy. Nor his missus."
Another Long-Suffering Nottingham Forest Fan in the TMS inbox

1226: Hoggs is right on the money and Mike Selvey on TMS tells me he's bowling a 'heavy ball' this morning. And he's right, lots of balls hitting the splice of the bat. That's a maiden. 63-1

1222: Ganga nudges Plunkett to leg for a single and, Gayle back in the hutch, this is fairly heavy going now for the Windies. 63-1

1218: Hoggard is on for Harmison and he has Ganga feeling for one, but the ball drops short of the slip cordon. Hoggard drops short and Ganga turns him away for a single. 62-1

1213: Plunkers has a decent lbw shout turned down by umpire Rauf - it could have been missing Smith's leg-peg. Smith fills his boots, piling into a good-length delivery and the ball racing away for four through cover. 61-1

1210: A single apiece for Ganga and Smith and someone has obviously got their paws on Harmison since his return from Oz, he's looking like a handful again. 57-1

1203: Plunkers almost misses the cut grass and Prior can only deflect the ball towards the third-man fence. Ganga collects three with a push into the covers. That is a shameful stroke from Smith, a ropey old cross-batted hoick, and the ball squirts down to third-man for a couple. 53-1

"Well, if poor Ernie Hoggard ever thinks that his name was unfair, I would have to disagree. I was in Burger King last night for my own shame and met a girl called Grape!"
Michael Ryan in the TMS inbox

1159: Not exactly chocca at Lord's, which is confusing me, seeing as it's supposed to be a sell-out. On a serious note, people should be told if they don't turn up before 12, their ticket gets resold. Bore off Dirs...Smith tucks Harmison round the corner for a single. 44-1

Wicket falls
1149: WICKET - Gayle b Plunkett 30 (WI 38-1)
Plunkett into the attack...and he's cleaned Gayle up second ball, the Windies opener playing all round a delivery of full length. I would just like to say at this point that Plunkett was my tip for wickets this match. It's down in writing somewhere. That wasn't clever batting by Gayle, it was pretty much a straight half-bunger. Smith is the new batter, and he's off the mark with a sliced drive through third-man for four. A bit of hoop for Plunkett, not much footwork from Smith - you do the math... 42-1

1148: Harmison is punched straight down the ground for four by Gayle before the languid left-hander whips him through square-leg for another boundary. 37-0

1143: Gayle attempts to flick Hoggard through mid-wicket, but ends up chipping it uppishly for nothing. But that's buffet bowling from Hoggard, Gayle whipping him off his legs for four. Chas n Dave doing Glasto? I thought Richard Stilgoe was headlining this year? 26-0

"Chas and Dave haven't split - they're playing Glastonbury next month."
Nathan, Grimsby, in the TMS inbox

1139: Harmison looking pretty smooth this morning, rolling into the crease like a Rolls Royce Phantom. "I'm bored already" says the man to my left. And he was at the World Cup for seven weeks. That's worrying. Gayle tucks Harmy away for one. 22-0

"Just wondering whether the dancer was still attached to the pole that fall on Tom. Wouldn't be too bad that."
Martin Worsley, Ashby de la Zouch, in the TMS inbox

1136: Having a bit of trouble with his line at the moment Hoggard, and Ganga clips him away for a couple. 20-0

1130: Harmison is Johnny-on-the-Spot so far and Geoffrey Boycott is purring in the TMS commentary box. A leg-bye and a no-ball from the over. 17-0

"I am reading Ben! Went with ringlets and think they were a success! For Dave from yesterday, have mid-length brunette hair, with blonde and red highlights. Does look very nice - have a very good hairdresser!"
Sarah, Canterbury, in the TMS inbox

"Ernie Hoggard - how much more Yorkshire could a name be. Answer: None. None more Yorkshire."
Richard Paterson in the TMS inbox

1125: Blowers is on about cranes again on TMS - what is it about Blowers and cranes? Not much chat from Prior behind the timbers, although people tell me he's got more rabbit than Sainsbury's, although not The Badger. A few years ago I was renting a house with a piano in the living room and we tried to hire Chas n Dave but they were too expensive. Apparently they've split. Big shout for caught behind off Ganga, Prior taking a good catch way down leg, but umpire Rauf looks at Hoggard like he's just discovered him drinking his 1787 Château Lafite. Buffet ball from Hoggard and Gayle clips him away for four. But Gayle loses concentration next ball, missing with a woolly woosh. 15-0

"To Steve (see below), that was bad, but at least you got to leave work! Muggins is still here. Can't have been half as uncomfortable as Mrs Hoggard's evening, though."
James, Belfast, in the TMS inbox

1116: Ganga is off the blob with a flick to square-leg for two. But it's another good over from Harmison. Steve, apparently, reckons he's got nothing to prove today. I beg to differ, having sat through his frankly abominable Ashes efforts. 8-0

"In response to Steve (see below), I watched my beloved Nottingham Forest get crushed by Yeovil last night, then a pole fell on me."
Tom, Nottingham, in the TMS inbox

1110: Gayle is off the mark with a clip to leg before he scores the first boundary of the innings, a mis-timed drive through mid-off. That's a serious piece of wood big man's wielding. Monty gets his mitts on the ball for the first time, to generous applause. 6-0

1107: Harmison is on and his first delivery jags back and just misses Ganga's off-peg. If Sarah from Canterbury is reading, I'm interested as to what she went with last night - ringlets or straight? More importantly, any joy? I spent a good portion of my evening talking to a Scottish woman obsessed with a very good friend of mine. Wasn't really what I wanted to hear. Plenty of lift for Harmison and that's a good, probing opening over. 0-0

"Picking up where you left off yesterday, I'm wondering if anyone's Friday night was less marvellous than mine. I spent £2,500 of my own company's money on a big works do but didn't make it myself as I spent the evening in A&E with my eight-year-old son. Can anyone cheer me up by bettering that?"
Steve, Buckinghamshire, in the TMS inbox

1058: Players are out ladies and gents and we have Ganga and Gayle to open for the Windies. Hoggard to have first bung and his first delivery is bang on the spot. His second ball pitches and springs away from Gayle and I'm going to make a reckless prediction - this game will be all over by tomorrow afternoon...That's a maiden to start. 0-0

"You have to feel sorry for the West Indians, no practice at all on this tour so far, and now they face a good English bowling attack in English conditions. Lambs....slaughter!!"
James, in the TMS inbox

1052: And the word is through - England have now declared. Hoggard and Harmison are going through their warm-ups on the outfield ahead of taking the new ball.

1049: Apparently, Matthew Hoggard will have a spring in his step this morning as his wife Sarah gave birth to a baby boy last night. The Yorkshire seamer was not present, of course, as he was watching Prior and Bell light up Lord's, but no doubt he'll want to get this Test done and dusted as soon as possible so he can get back 'oop norf' and wet the baby's head. And baby-cradling celebrations, samba-style, will be the order of the day after wickets all day I'm sure. Oh and the Hoggards have decided to name the boy Ernie. As in Bert and... Nice.

1043: The crowd is piling in at Lord's, under decent-looking skies again and the unconfirmed word is that an early, if not immediate, declaration is in the offing for England.



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