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Last Updated: Friday, 8 June 2007, 16:24 GMT 17:24 UK
Third Test day two as it happened
England 370 & 34-1 v West Indies 229 (stumps)

Monty Panesar and Ryan Sidebottom put England in charge of the third Test against West Indies on a bizarre day.

Steve Harmison and Liam Plunkett produced an erratic display after Ian Bell hit 97 in England's 370 all out.

But Panesar took 4-50 and Sidebottom 3-48 as the Windies collapsed from 216-4 to 229 in the space of 44 balls.

But England, who had a lead of 141, lost Andrew Strauss lbw second ball to Fidel Edwards in their second innings and were 34-1 at close of play.


By Ben Dirs


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



"Drop Strauss, but don't bring in Bopara. Recall Robert Key. He made a couple of sixties today, displayed some interesting strategies to help with the reverse swing in pre-season, and looks hungry."
Gary P in the TMS inbox

1830 - Eng 34-1 Windies think they've got Cook - but Bowden misses both the big nick and Ramdin's perfectly acceptable catch. The tourists are furious, and they have every right to be. Bowden signals a bye because Ramdin threw the ball away in celebration and England ran one. Shocker from the Kiwi, very deflating for Collymore. And it gets worse for West Indies, Ramdin shelling the ball, the ball ricocheting onto the helmet and England picking up five. That's a wrap - and despite the runs and the wickets and all the rest, that wasn't the cleverest day's Test cricket you'll ever see. England lead by 175. Sam Lyon is on clockwatch debut tomorrow, so all be nice to him. Thanks for reading and I'll catch up with you soon.

Ryan Sidebottom
Ryan Sidebottom - I thought he bowled quite well
1821 - Eng 28-1 That's Edwards' 16th no-ball, but it was a good delivery, another snorter that has Vaughan hopping in the crease, but he follows up with another no-ball. Real liquorice allsorts this from Edwards. Arif A Khan reckons Eric Idle on the cross in Life of Brian looks like Ryan Sidebottom - and you know what? He's right...I salute you, Arif, for such sterling work at this late hour. Nine-ball over from Edwards.

1818 - Eng 25-1 Cookie clips Taylor off his legs for a couple before the Essex man displays some elegance, leaning into a Taylor delivery and the ball racing away for four. Two more, pushed into the off-side, and Cook looks as comfy as ever.

"Anyone else think we should drop Strauss, push Cookie, KP and Collie up one and bring in Ravi Bopara at five?"
Chris Greenwood in the TMS inbox

1811 - Eng 17-1 Vaughan with his first boundary of the innings, tucking Edwards off his pads and through mid-wicket for four. Two more for a similar shot before Vaughan misses with an airy waft outside off-stump. Oh, that's nice, Vaughany moving to 10 with a creamy on-drive. Edwards has gone from brilliant to ordinary in the space of five minutes.

1805 - Eng 7-1 Sorry everyone, I forgot to insert the ducks! Mistake corrected - I didn't realise you cared so much. Taylor strays down leg and Cook tickles him away for four.

Our for a duck
1753 - WICKET - Strauss lbw b Edwards 0, Eng 1-1 Back out, let's go...Edwards kicks off with a no-ball...oh dear, oh dear, oh dear...jaffa from Edwards, getting the ball to hoop back into the left-handed Strauss and just miss off-stump. And Straussy's miserable run continues, Edwards getting another ball to swing back and trap the Middlesex man plumb in front. Vaughan is rapped on the pads first-up, but no hint of lbw. Edwards spars at a ripsnorter, although it was a no-ball. Edwards enjoying this - he strides down the track and takes a close look at the England skipper. Another crackerjack from Edwards has Vaughan fencing and this is how to bowl on a pitch like this, superb from Edwards.

"Take it from me, if Monty had three wives and a woman to do the cooking he would not be going leap-about in a meadow."
Paul, Ballymena, in the TMS inbox

"Break out the bubbly and hang the bunting - Glamorgan have won a game at last."
Colin Allcars, Newport, in the TMS inbox


Wicket falls
1744 - WICKET - Collymore c Collingwood b Panesar 4, WI 229
That's a wrap, Collymore having a dart and Collingwood snaffling the catch at first slip. Poor old Sir Vivian is apoplectic on TMS, he can hardly contain his anger - West Indies lost their last six wickets for 13 runs from 44 balls. I have to agree with Viv, it's more like watching a mid-level county match than a Test encounter.

Wicket falls
1739 - WICKET - Chanderpaul c Pietersen b Sidebottom 50, WI 225-9
And another! The anchor has been ripped out by Sidebottom, Chanderpaul driving the ball straight to KP at short cover. That's 5-9 in 37 balls, Edwards the last man in.

Sir Viv Richards
"This is some of the poorest cricket I think I have ever witnessed...five days is too long for some of these teams..."
Sir Vivian Richards on TMS

Our for a duck
1732 - WICKET - Taylor c Strauss b Panesar 0, WI 225-8
Monty's done it again, Taylor prodding forward and Strauss taking the catch at second slip. If Monty was a man in love after the Sammy dismissal, he's a man with three wives and another woman who just does the cooking after getting rid of Taylor. That's a double-wicket maiden, and everyone likes those.

Wicket falls
1730 - WICKET - Sammy c Collingwood b Panesar 1, WI 225-7
Another wicket for Monty, the ball gripping, catching Sammy glove and Collingwood snaffling the catch at first slip. Monty goes leap-about, like a man madly in love bounding through a meadow. Taylor is next up the ramp.

"Re. Ian Mallinson - you can say 11.48 feet. That's not mixing metric and imperial, but merely decimal representation of imperial units."
Howard Mills in the TMS inbox

Wicket falls
1724 - WICKET - Ramdin c Pietersen b Sidebottom 5, WI 224-6
That's not clever from Ramdin, mis-timing a pull and spooning Sidebottom straight down KP's neck at square-leg. Sidebottom's dander is well and truly up - debutant Sammy gets a bumper first ball and Ryan follows through and growls at him - strange chap. Sammy is off the mark with a single.

1717 - WI 220-5 Apparently our scoreboard says Plunkett got the wicket - I was right, the computer is wrong, it was Sidebottoms. Big lbw shout by Monty against Chanderpaul, but the left-hander got a decent stride in and umpire Bowden is having none of it. Panesar has settled into a very deep groove, another maiden. Drinks. More technical difficulties - by the time you read this, I'll probably have my feet up and be watching Beverly Hills Cop II.

"Re Jim Kane - You can't say 11.48 feet. You are combining metric and imperial measures. 11 feet 5 and three quarter inches is about bang on."
Ian Mallinson in the TMS Inbox

That's 50
1713 - WI 220-5 That's Chanderpaul's fifty, whipping Sidebottom to square-leg for one. Chanderpaul is so reliable it hurts. He's like an old Mark 2 Golf that you know you can still take for a drive through the Champagne region without it ever letting you down. Sidebottom replies with a ripsnorter than has Ramdin jerking backwards.

1710 - WI 219-5 Chanderpaul nurdles Monty down to short fine-leg for one. One for Ramdin before Monty gets one to spit off a length and Chanderpaul's glove shoots off the bat handle. Chanderpaul picks up another single with a clip to square-leg.

Wicket falls
1700 - WICKET Bravo c Prior b Sidebottom 24, WI 216-5 A frustrated Vaughan turns to Sidebottom for a bit of control...and he's had Bravo on toast with Gentleman's Relish, the batsman fending at one and Prior taking a good tumbling catch to his right. Savage celebrations from The Side, did he like that. Ramdin is next in and he's hit by Sidebottom first-up. Ryan gives off a little roar - no need for that.

"Regarding the longest lunch - I've eaten half a packet of liquorice shoelaces today, that's approximately 3.5m (or 11.48 feet for you oldies) by my reckoning."
Jim Kane, Manchester, in the TMS Inbox

1658 - WI 215-4 Bravo skews Monty down to third-man for a couple. Should have been three, but Monty's struggling a little bit with that gammy leg of his. Lovely flight from Monty, Bravo playing no stroke and the ball just missing off-peg by a coat of varnish.

"I always imagined that God would be a batsman and off-spin bowler. Perhaps with more emphasis on the batting."
Ruaridh, London, in the TMS inbox

1654 - WI 213-4 Chanderpaul clips Plunkett through mid-wicket for a couple and bags another two with a curious chop to backward-point. Plunkers attempts a bumper and Bravo unveils the flamingo shot, getting up on one leg and shovelling the Durham man away for four. Another single for Bravo and that's eight from the over. Back over to you Monty...

1652 - WI 205-4 Monty's keeping his side of the bargain, his second successive maiden - can Plunkers keep England's collective thumb pressed to the jugular? Or will he bowl a few down leg, one miles outside off, one over the batsman's head and another just outside off?

1648 - WI 205-4 A couple of leg-byes before Bravo clips Plunkett to third-man for one.

"I can confirm to Adrian in Kent (see below) that the advert in question definitely didn't take place in Aldershot. At no stage were there signs of a boarded-up shopping centre or a deserted Gala bingo hall and I'm fairly sure the dry ski slope doesn't get that sort of traffic."
Gordon, Farnborough, in the TMS inbox

1645 - WI 202-4 Chanderpaul is almost caught out by a fizzing delivery from Monty, staying back and missing with an attempted cut. Maiden over, the office is abuzz with accusations and recriminations as to why our whole site has just gone backwards about 15 minutes.

"Re: who's had the longest lunch today. I've just polished off two foot-long meatball subs from Subway! Can anyone beat that?"
Stew, Whiteley, in the TMS inbox

1638 - WI 202-4 A few technical problems apparently - sorry about the lack of updates of late. Lovely pick-up shot from Bravo, lifting Colly over mid-wicket for four to bring up the Windies' 200.

"Well, yes, medium pace - but my run-up is fast!"
Rev'd Dominic Stockford

1635 - WI 197-4 Bravo tries to whip Plunkers away through mid-wicket, gets a thick leading edge and runs one. Four more for Chanderpaul, who moves to 39 with a wristy clip down to third-man. Another boundary from Chanderpaul, carving the hapless Plunkett through gully. It's time for some dibbly dobblers, here comes Colly...

"Does Liam Plunkett remind anyone else of the boy in Roald Dahl's The Witches, who, after being fed some magic potion, is in the process of turning into a mouse? I'm trying to find some Quentin Blake pictures to illustrate my point.."
Edd, London, in the TMS inbox

1629 - WI 188-4 Bravo goes for some hammer and England think Monty's trapped him - but umpire Dar adjudges it struck him just outside the line of off-stump. Bravo picks up one before Chanderpaul rocks back, flashes his blade and the ball disappears for four through point. Super shot.

"Never mind City fat cats having a long lunches, a former secretary had enough working for me and never came back from lunch. Having never given formal notice, that lunch is officially 11 years, two months and three days."
Rob, Newport, in the TMS inbox

1627 - WI 183-4 Crackerjack stroke from Chanderpaul, creaming Plunkett through the covers for four. Someone on the radio just said Chanderpaul has the third-fastest ton in Test cricket. Weird, I always thought he was all nudge, nurdle, nurdle and nudge. More leg-side byes for four and Plunkers continues to spray it about like a Roy Hattersley after lunch at The Commons. Great save from Prior down the leg-side saves four more and you've got to feel sorry for the new man.

1624 - WI 175-4 That's six dot balls from Monty, although Bell takes a full-blooded drive from Bravo on the calf. Nasty.

"I can't wait to get home to see the Hawkeye distribution of Harmy and Plunkers' deliveries. I've just got a spanking new telly and I reckon it will look like that Sony advert with all the balls dropping down the hill in Aldershot or San Fransisco or wherever it was."
Adrian, Kent, in the TMS inbox

1619 - WI 175-4 Bravo turns Plunkett off his hip for a couple and Chanderpaul weighs in with a single of his own.

"Ha! I'll take any odds that Reverand Dominic (see below) is a medium pacer. You can't imagine a man of the cloth steaming in from the boundary bowling as fast as God himself."
Andrew Hills in the TMS inbox

1616 - WI 172-4 City boys and girls - back from 'lunch' yet? In fact, who's had the longest lunch today? Just one from Monty's over, a cheeky nurdle from Chanderpaul.

"If it was beatifully sunny yesterday in Amsterdam, today it is uncomfortably sweltering, the air is as heavy as Gatts after Melton Mowbray's annual pie-eating contest. A storm is on the horizon." Dutch Bird (aka Kate), Amsterdam, in the TMS inbox

1614 - WI 171-4 Bravo moves to five with a nurdle to leg before Chanderpaul opens his shoulders and cover-drives elegantly for four. Bravo gets up on tip-toes and steers Harmison down to third-man for a few.

Wicket falls
1606 - WICKET - Smith c Bell b Panesar 40, WI 157-4
That's Smith gone! The batsman came down the pitch to Monty, drove the ball into his heel and Bell snaffled the catch at silly point. Choker for Smith, no-one likes to see that...apart from just about everyone at Old Trafford. That's Monty's 50th Test victim in his 16th Test, Bravo is next up the ramp, extras could become top scorer again soon. Big lbw shout against Bravo, but umpire Dar reckons it was going over the top. Juliet is off the mark with a flowery drive through the covers for four.

"I organised the last stag do I went on in Brighton. Twenty six of us did a cycling pub crawl around Sussex. Only four people fell off, and one of those was because he saw a horse giving birth."
Dan, London, in the TMS inbox

1603 - WI 157-3 Players make their way to the middle and we'll be off in just a minute. Peter from Milton Keynes will be pleased to know that this is my final session of the match. The bad news is we'll have someone else doing it who'll probably muck about all day like me. Off to Brighton for a stag tomorrow - aaah, the brisk, sea air...Chanderpaul scores the first runs after the restart, clipping Harmison off his legs for four. Another singularly unthreatening over from the big man.

"Being intrigued as to what you look like, I have just done a Ben Dirs search in Google Images. Which one are you? Miss Scarlet? The kitten? The one wearing the bright pink dress? Or maybe, strangely, the scenic looking bridge?"
Dave Hewitt, Kidderminster, in the TMS inbox

"I see on the BBC website, Allan Donald has compared Liam Plunkett to McGrath. One can only presume he is referring to Rory." Rodders, Chesterfield, in the TMS inbox

1539 - WI 153-3 Chanderpaul leans on the ball and times Monty through the off-side for a few. Smith bends his front leg and England think they might have him, but the ball ricochets off his pad and past Collingwood at slip. That's tea - STOP EMAILING FOR 20 MINUTES! Unless you're Peter from Milton Keynes.

"I may be 44, but I can still bowl six balls an over on or just outside off-stump. Why is it that highly-paid international cricketers of a more sensible age can't manage it?"
Rev'd Dominic Stockford in the TMS Inbox

1535 - WI 150-3 Harmison is still bowling in the low 80mph, about seven or eight mph below his normal pace. Chanderpaul picks up three with a shovel through the covers and that's the Windies 150. Not long to go until West Indies save the follow-on.

1533 - WI 146-3 Smith drives crisply to long-on before Chanderpaul sweeps Monty for four. Even Panesar's getting a bit of tap out there at the moment.

1530 - WI 141-3 Smith plays uppishly and Cook fields well diving to his right in the covers to limit the batsman to just one. Smith gets a bumper and the batsman hooks him to mid-wicket for a couple. Smith repeats the stroke for one, the ball falling just short of Plunkett. Right, had enough of this - Peter from Milton Keynes (see below), come to the front of the class and let's see if you really can do any better. I'll give you 10 minutes to describe a couple of overs and we'll see what everyone thinks - deal?

"Could you please start writing your reports in English instead of gibberish? Your copy really is dire (pardon the pun). It is bad, lazy reporting, and almost anyone could do the job better. Could we just have a report of the action and the times of the incidents, please?" Peter, Milton Keynes, in the TMS inbox

1524 - WI 138-3 Smith picks up a couple with a tuck to leg. Many of you have pointed out that if Chanderpaul is in a hole he wouldn't need a shovel. Whatever...more short stuff from Sidebottom, carving the Notts man down to the third-man fence for four.

"Just a thought, is it possible to put automatic side barriers on a cricket wicket, as they do on a Ten Pin bowling lane?"
Pete in the TMS Inbox

1518 - WI 131-3 Roars of "Eubank! Eubank!" and there is the big man, looking resplendent as ever and lapping up the attention. Blimey that man could have a fight. That's vicious from Harmison, getting one to thwack Smith in the biceps. Smith gives himself a rub and pretends it didn't hurt. Very much like Eubank, in fact. Three singles from the over, better control from Harmison.

"As a cricket fan north of the border, I take great exception to the Alan Rough remark. Although you are completely right, he was rubbish."
Alastair Duncan in the TMS inbox

1513 - WI 128-3 Smith leans back and punches Sidebottom through point for four. And we have an inflatable 'companion' on the pitch! A policeman apprehends him and pops his helmet over his unmentionables, a la Twickenham 1974. Sidebottom drops short and Smith fills his boots, carving him through point for another boundary.

Wicket falls
1508 - WICKET - Morton c Strauss b Harmison 35, WI 116-3
Harmison's broken through with an absolute jaffa, the ball raring up at Morton, taking the edge and Strauss snaffling the catch at first slip. Chanderpaul is next man in and he's a man for a crisis - he's been in so many holes in his Test career I'm surprised he doesn't bat with a shovel.

1503 - WI 111-2 Good ball from Plunkers and Smith is batting as if Prior's sneaked up behind him and tied his shoelaces together. That's quite simply magnificent from Morton, a Dandy Highwayman off-drive for four. Sorry! Forgot that Goughy was back up at Yorkshire!

Jonathan Agnew
"This bowling is quite simply dreadful, it's not Test standard - if you can't bowl it straight, you shouldn't be here..."
Jonathan Agnew on TMS

"All these lucky people getting sausages in their inbox - all I get is spam."
James, Belfast, in the TMS inbox

1458 - WI 105-2 On a serious note, it actually looks like Harmison's losing it a bit here, as in getting a bit 'yippy'. Four more byes down leg-side. More tumbling from Prior before Harmison serves up a full-bunger that Smith fails to dispatch. That wasn't a very good over. Darren Gough has taken five wickets for Yorkshire today...

"Harmison's bowling again is a huge disappointment. How can England's selectors justify selecting this guy? How many opportunities does he get, when others are left out? It's unacceptable that the selectors seem to find this standard of bowling acceptable..."
Anup Shah in the TMS inbox

1455 - WI 101-2 These emails are going berserk today - many thanks and apologies if you don't get posted, it's nothing personal. Well, sometimes it is. That's the Windies ton, Morton turning the Durham seamer behind square for a couple. Plunkett's last ball just about sums up the standard in this match so far - miles wide from Plunkers, a blacksmith's hoick and miss from Morton and the ball spilling out of Prior's gloves behind the timbers. What channel's the tennis on?

1451 - WI 98-2 Morton gives Panesar some tap, smearing the left-arm spinner over wide long-on for his second maximum. Two more singles and this is more like a bit of one-day slap and tickle than a grown-up Test match.

1446 - WI 90-2 Smith and Morton share a couple of singles and Plunkett continues to spray it around. This bowling is in sharp contrast to the last time I went to see a Test between England and West Indies - West Indies went in with Ambrose, Marshall, Walsh and Patterson. Gooch scored 154 not out, and I saw just about every ball. Happy days...

"Thanks for the Whoops-a-daisy, Martin Hayesy comment - I have now been christened Daisy by my friends..."
Martin Hayes, London, in the TMS inbox

1443 - WI 88-2 Two singles from Monty's over and umpire Bowden goes 'Merson double boozing' again - it's time for drinks.

"The only Leon Rowley (see below) I know is a partner at a large accountancy firm - can I ask which client he's charging this afternoon while he's busy emailing TMS?"
Bally in the TMS inbox

1440 - WI 86-2 Smith gets one on the lid, the ball ricocheting down to short fine-leg for a couple. Smith fends at Sidebottom and is beaten before Smith picks up four streaky runs, throwing the kitchen sink at one and the ball flying through a rather Alan Rough-like dive from Strauss at first slip. Four. This is all very exciting, but as the man to my left just pointed out rather forcefully, it's not really very good.

"David Fairfield (see below) - I strongly object to you airing amongst the general public my private conversations with my wife. It may surprise you to learn that she now skis remarkably well."
Matthew Stolz, Bordeaux, in the TMS inbox

1435 - WI 80-2 Morton whips Panesar off his toes for one. Quick single from Smith and he would have been toast had Vaughan hit. That was suicidal.

1431 - WI 78-2 Rancid looking wide from Plunkers...and another! Umpire Dar signals the second and this seam bowling from England is extremely mediocre. More misfired dross from Plunkers before he has a confident lbw appeal brushed off by umpire Dar - it pitched outside leg.

"I'm disapointed to hear you're not feeling so good today Ben. Nothing to do with spending last night wrapped in a luminous green towel wearing wrap-around shades, drinking cheap plonk and insulting Geordies while trying your best to spoil any chances your 'friend' may of had of a brief holiday romance? Or was that last Friday?"
John Ginivan in the TMS Inbox

1426 - WI 75-2 That colossal, drunken roar can only mean one thing - it's Monty time! Monty gets one past the edge of Smith's bat, to oohs and aahs from the crowd, before Smith pushes into the off-side for a couple. To Chris Simpson (below), I didn't steal, I borrowed. Morton comes over all macho and carts Panesar over wide mid-off for a maximum. Take that you swine!

"How can you moan at Simon Hornby for nicking jokes when you stole two jokes in the first half an hour's play this morning from The Office and I'm Alan Partridge?"
Chris Simpson in the TMS inbox

1422 - WI 66-2 A man from the football desk, who gets angry about stuff, has just leant into me in savage fashion and said: "Get something on there about these $*@$&* who get dressed up at the cricket - what's that all about?" I'm not sure really - what is it all about? Smith pushes Plunkett into the covers for one.

"Only somebody with the name Brendan Shine could record songs entitled, I'm A Savage For Bacon & Cabbage and Do You Want Your Old Lobby Washed Down Con Shine?'"
Jonthebhoy, Dumbarton, in the TMS inbox

1418 - WI 64-2 Morton has a wild and windy woosh and misses - not clever. But he follows up with a cover-drive for four before making me come over all Sid James again with an absolute doozy of a straight drive. That was lip-smackingly good.

"Pointless remarks - I once saw an Englishman in Verbier teaching his wife how to ski. His only instruction to her was the constant repetition of 'that's it, down the slope'."
David Fairfield in the TMS inbox

Wicket falls
1412 - WICKET Gayle c Cook b Plunkett 23, WI 49-2
Gayle's gone, and you could see that coming. Mr Nice and Easy attempting a back-foot drive and skewing Plunkett to Cook at backward point. Windies in a world of trouble. Morton is the new man and England have three slips posted. Plunkett started off well but he tails off, another couple down leg and Prior is throwing himself about like Ronaldo on roller skates out there. Saying that, I can see Ronaldo at a roller disco.

"I have also received a text saying 'sausages for tea tonight'."
M Trescothick, Taunton, in the TMS inbox

1408 - WI 48-1 Gayle has gone all Twenty20 on us, flailing away with a couple of horrible, horrible strokes. They were to cricket shots what Jordan is to haute couture. Maiden over from Sidebottom.

Jonathan Agnew
"I'm not sure about Steve Harmison practising on the square, he could practice on the moon and it wouldn't make any difference at the moment..."
Jonathan Agnew on TMS

1403 - WI 48-1 More leg-side nonsense from Harmison and there are a couple of leg-byes. A shot of Allan Donald up on the England balcony - he looks nervous, like a dyslexic on Countdown. Another bye - I can't imagine Prior's happy about this. If anyone looks at his stats years down the line, they'll comment he was a very good batsman and one of the worst wicket-keepers in Test history.

1359 - WI 44-1 Smith is off the mark with a thick inside edge for one. Simon Hornby (see below) - come into my office. Many of our readers have pointed out that your ironing board comment was nicked from Viz. Four laps round the office in your swimming trunks. Sidebottom plonks one in short and is carted through the covers for another four by Gayle.

"A propos pointless remarks: sitting in a pub in Yorkshire, my husband and I heard a bloke turn to the woman next to him and say 'do you know its a year to the day since I laid your lino'. It still makes us laugh to this day."
Lindsay, Ascot, in the TMS inbox

1354 - WI 38-1 Harmison gets one to take off off a length and get Smith hopping in the crease...but his next ball is miles outside off. He never really looks like he's enjoying himself much Harmison. I rather suspect he might turn out like my nan. In her dotage, I wheeled her over to a village green to watch a spot of cricket. After sitting there for 20 minutes or so, she turned to me and said: "Innit a disgrace - you'd think stick a block of flats on this". I wheeled her back to her nursing home soon afterwards. Better finish from Harmison, although he's only bowling 82mph. Odd.

"Never stand behind the Devil in a post office. He takes many forms."
Graham Hewitt in the TMS inbox

1349 - WI 36-1 The West Indies management have lodged a complaint with the match referee over England practising on the square during the lunch break. Short and wide from Sidebottom and Gayle piles into that, slathering the ball through extra-cover for four. The only person I've ever met who was cooler than Gayle was an old Irish balladeer called Brendan Shine - a former carrot farmer before turning to music, he performs under the monicker Mr Nice and Easy. He also performs in a Pringle lambswool rollneck-v-neck combination.

1346 - WI 31-1 Right, I've just stuffed half an Upper Crust baguette down my neck (the other half fell in the keyboard) and players are out. Feel a bit better for some food - I didn't feel too clever this morning if I'm being honest. More byes against Prior's name - funnily enough, they were Harmison's fault. Four for Gayle, edging Harmison through the slips, before Mr Nice and Easy latches onto a leg-side delivery and the ball races away to the fine-leg fence. Four more for Gayle, yanking Harmison to the deep mid-wicket fence and Harmison is having an absolute mare - 14 from the over.

"On the subject of mundane and pointless remarks, my mother has just got to grips with the text facility on her phone and recently sent me a text saying 'sausages for dinner tonight'."
Mark Tippins in the TMS inbox

"Am I the only one concerned that Simon Hornby's mate's mum is spending time round his house?"
Leon Rowley in the TMS inbox

1333: Sir Alec of Stewartshire's latest blog is up on the site - go and have a look and see what The Gaffer has to say.

"My friend's mum recently pointed out that I have the same ironing board cover as her. Can anyone think of a more mundane and pointless remark to make than this?"
Simon Hornby, Preston, in the TMS Inbox

"What did John Major do? Rushed through an ill-advised and ill-prepared privatisation of Britain's railways, for which the taxpayer's subsidy is now 2-3 times more than it was in the days of British Rail, and much of which goes straight into the pockets of shareholders."
Martin, Southampton, in the TMS inbox

1301 - WI 17-1 Another weird old shot from Gayle, missing with an attempted pull. That's right, Chris, play for lunch. He does knuckle down and lunch is called - STOP THOSE EMAILS FOR 40 MINUTES! See you in a bit...

"Whenever I need to expose my buttocks in Woolworths, I try to do it near the pots and pans. No fewer shoppers, but the shiny surfaces create a hall of mirrors effect, which makes it difficult for witnesses to be sure where the flasher was. I make good my escape during the confusion which inevitably ensues."
Marc Kelly in the TMS inbox

"Kit (see below) has committed a crime by practising his cricket on hornets, as they are a protected species. I know this because we had a hornets nest in our roof. A guy removed it by knocking the nest into a bin and taking it out to the forest. Apparently he then rolls the nest out onto the ground and runs like the clappers!"
Alexander Brown in the TMS inbox

Wicket falls
1252 - Ganga lbw b Harmison 5, WI 17-1 Harmison steams in, all arms and legs, like a Hindu deity running for a bus...and his first a ruddy wide...short and high over Ganga's shoulder...and his second is a load of old rubbish and ends up slapping into the fine-leg fence. Hmmm...A couple outside off-stump...before another runs away for four down leg-side. Another leg-side wide and this is very ugly to watch...AND HE'S TRAPPED GANGA LBW!!! That's Russian roulette for you, Daren, you're bound to get your brains blown out at some stage. Smith gets an absolute jaffa second-up, the ball spitting off a length and just missing the top of off. That was one of the strangest overs I've ever seen.

1247 - WI 6-0 Right, players are out and West Indies will have to face a tricky few overs before lunch. Sidebottom takes the new ball and there's a hint of swing there away from the left-handed Gayle. Gayle goes for one outside off-stump - not sure what he was attempting, but it looked like he was buttering a giant piece of toast. Gayle is off the mark with a clip to leg before Ganga flicks Sidebottom off his pads for four. Ganga moves to five with a tuck to mid-wicket. It's Harmison time...


"I walked into B&Q last night and some old boy dressed in orange asked me if I wanted decking. Fortunately, I got the first punch in so that was the end of that..."
Tony, Manchester, in the TMS inbox

"Talking of hornets, we had three in the house the other day - they sound like ominous mini-helicopters. I killed two with my favourite pull shot, but the one-handed reverse sweep was a complete failure."
Kit, Deepest Leicestershire, in the TMS Inbox

"What did John Major do? (see below) He set the groundwork for peace in Northern Ireland for which Blair took all the credit. He created a surplus in the treasury and set the economy into overdrive which the Labour government has shamelessly squandered. He has written a book called 'More than just a Game' about cricket. Now leave the grey one alone!"
John McCabe, Shrewsbury, in the TMS inbox

Wicket falls
1235 - WICKET - Sidebottom b Edwards 15, Eng 370
That's a wrap - Ganga belatedly turns to Edwards and he promptly cleans Sidebottom up. Panesar stranded on 14, and they were some very handy runs for England - and a pain in the ruddy neck for the tourists.

"'Whoops-a-daisy, Martin Haysey' - Are you referring to the ex-Arsenal, Celtic, Wimbledon, Swansea, Huddersfield, Peterborough, Dover, Crawley, Romford, Purfleet and Bishop's Stortford footballer?"
Geoff, Lancaster, in the TMS inbox

1233 - Eng 370-9 Raucous applause as Monty drives for another couple before he rocks back and pulls Collymore away for four. John Major grinning inanely up in the box - all of Old Trafford is loving this.

1229 - Eng 361-9 That's a crackerjack stroke from Sidebottom, rat-a-tat-tatting Bravo over mid-wicket for four. One more for Sidebottom before Panesar goes for a blacksmith's mow outside off-peg - and misses. Peche de la peche from Monty, scything Bravo through extra-cover for four and he picks up one more with a mis-timed pull. Every run now is a little dagger in the West Indies heart...

1225 - 351-9 Panesar looking solid in defence - just one wide from Collymore's over.

"I'd like to defend Woolworths. My local store is often crowded with shoppers - apart from the Haberdashery aisle, which still seems to look like one of those small wool shops you used to get in the 70s."
Mark Pollard in the TMS inbox

1220 - 350-9 Extraordinary scenes at Old Trafford - Sidebottom tries to swing Bravo away and Taylor makes an absolute Horlicks of the catch at extra-cover - "the worst dropped catch I've ever seen", says Aggers on TMS. Taylor sinks to the floor and buries his head in his hands, as if he's just returned from the theatre to find someone's stolen his brand new stereo and relieved themselves on his pillow. Whoops-a-daisy, Martin Hayesy. Sidebottom goes for another, and this time the ball flies over the wicket-keeper and runs away for four.

Wicket falls
1215 - WICKET - Bell c Ramdin b Collymore 97, Eng 338-9
Choker for Bell - he gets a ripsnorter from Collymore and gloves it to Ramdin behind the timbers three short of his ton. Another class innings, though, from Bell, although that doesn't stop the crowd giving Monty a bigger cheer than him when he bounds onto the field.

1209 - Eng 338-8 Sidebottom prods Bravo just short of Sammy at gully before missing with an attempted hook, like a man trying to repel a hornet. Bell saunters down the track and has a little word, like a teacher chiding a naughty child for flicking someone's ears in assembly. The Notts seamer is hit with Bravo's penultimate ball before Bravo has an optimistic lbw appeal turned down by umpire Bowden - plenty of wood on that.

"Last time I was in Woolworths, a streaker could have run down any aisle, such was the lack of patrons. Rather sad really, Woolworths was a big part of my Saturday when I was young."
Ian, Fife, in the TMS Inbox

1204 - Eng 337-8 Aggers has been having a chat with Allan Donald and the South African legend, who's been helping out the England bowlers, reckons Harmison is going to go ruddy berserk on this pitch. Bell scampers a quick single and Sidebottom is still looking pretty well put-together in defence.

1159 - Eng 336-8 John Major's in the house! What did he do again? There is a gaggle of priests in the crowd, but we can't work out if they're real priests or not - they don't look the age to be mucking about in fancy dress. Bell drives elegantly for one before Bowden does his Paul Merson "double boozing" impersonation and I believe that means it's time for drinks. Billy Bowden=odd.

"I feel compelled to defend Miss Hilton. Not only is she a fine young lady, I especially admire some of her film work."
John, Wolverhampton, in the TMS inbox

1156 - Eng 335-8 Sidebottom is off the mark with a nurdle round the corner and Bell nicks the strike with a flick to leg.

"I'm beginning to think that in order to get an email published by you, Mr Dirs, you have to be either 'Sarah, Canterbury', 'Sarah, Bucks' or 'Kate, Amsterdam'. This is blatant sexism and I shall be writing to my MP (if I knew who he/she was)."
James (AKA Loretta), London, in the TMS inbox

1149 - Eng 333-8 I met up with some old university friends last night and one of them accused me of one of the most despicable things a man can ever accuse another man of doing - refusing to walk in corridor cricket. And this from a man who used to put soil in our video player when he was drunk. And then blame it on me. We shan't be meeting again. Bell picks up boundary with a steer through third-man before straight-driving Edwards for another four to move into the 90s.

"Following on from my threat to expose my buttocks in Woolworths, can anyone suggest which aisle may possibly contain the least patrons?"
James Howlett in the TMS inbox

1145 - Eng 325-8 Belly Boy might want to step on it here, I can't see Sidebottom and Monty hanging about for long. He does pick up one with a tuck down to fine-leg. Sidebottom looking pretty organised in defence - his only knock in Test cricket brought him four runs.

"'Impecunious!' I had to look that up. Who would've thought that I'd learn more from reading about the cricket than I ever did at school."
Tom Dennison in the TMS inbox

Wicket falls
1137 - WICKET - Harmison c Ramdin b Edwards 18, Eng 324-8
Harmison is out, but not before making a valuable few runs. The Durham paceman was trying to back away from another bumper but umpire Bowden decided he gloved it to Ramdin behind the timbers. Here comes Sidebottom, and his stats suggest that mane of hair of his may be hiding a pair of long, floppy ears. He does, however, survive the over.

"Can I be the first to second you on your assessment of Miss Hilton."
Claire, Fife, in the TMS inbox

"Talking of gangsters, on the way home from work last night I was approached by a man who pulled my trousers right up to my chest. It was Wedgie Kray."
O Dirlandas in the TMS inbox

1135 - Eng 323-7 That's a good-looking stroke from Bell, a text-book cover-drive, but he gets just one for it.

"About 4-5 years ago, Rusty Lee joined our gym in Bromsgrove, Worcestershire and I did a fitness programme for her. As expected, I could hardly get a word in and I saw her down the gym twice afterwards. I should've got her 'Jerk Chicken' recipe when I had the chance."
Lyndon Jones in the TMS Inbox

1130 - Eng 322-7 Bell picks up a single with a steer through point before Harmison is bamboozled by a ball just short of a length, the ball just missing his middle stump. No-ball from Edwards, who had all sorts of problems over-stepping yesterday, and things are slipping away from the Windies here.

"Suggestion for Clive (see below) - tell your wife she deserves a bit of girly time and give her some cash so she and her mother can do shopping and lunch - she'll think you're fab and you can get the beers in and settle down in front of the telly. This of course doesn't work if you're somewhat impecunious."
Sarah, Canterbury, in the TMS inbox

1124 - Eng 321-7 Three more from Harmison with a decent cover-drive before Belly picks up a couple with a clip to mid-wicket to move to 80. Good shot for one for Belly, rolling the wrists and dragging Taylor away through mid-wicket. I see Hilton's been released after serving three days of a 23-day sentence. And they say Ronnie and Reggie had it tough. Ronnie and Reggie were gentleman villains - they carried old ladies across busy roads (FACT), drank gallons of tea with their old mum (FACT) and it was only ever 'Their Own' they stabbed to death in seedy flats, chopped up into little pieces and stuck in a flyover in Essex (ALLEGEDLY). Ronnie and Reggie=coupla saints. Hilton=sub-human scum.

"To Clive in Burton (see below) - if divorce is a bit extreme, try this contract killing website:"
John, Rugby, in the TMS inbox

1118 - Eng 314-7 Real devil from Edwards - this isn't chin music, this is a whole chin marching band from the Windies paceman. Harmison does manage to chip another one to mid-wicket. A jaffa from Edwards, swinging and jagging away from Bell off the pitch. Sir Vivian just called Edwards Fidel Castro - he also thinks the wicket-keeper's called Frey Bentos.

Sir Viv Richards
"This is not an eight-round fight or a 10-round fight - this one is going the distance..."
Sir Viv Richards on TMS

1113 - Eng 313-7 Plenty of fancy dressers in today - cavemen, batman, a load of blokes dressed up as npower girls. Oh look, there's a fella dressed in a fat suit and eating a butty...wait a minute, sorry, it's Jade Goody...that's classic Harmison, chipping a little sand wedge over mid-wicket for a few.

"Eddie Murphy isn't in the Big Momma's house movies, that's Martin Lawrence!"
Mark, Cannok, in the TMS inbox

1107 - Eng 309-7 Harmy is brought a new lid before angling his bat and guiding the ball through third-man for four. Aggers on TMS reckons he didn't know much about that, but I think he's being a little uncharitable. More chin music from Edwards and Harmison averts his eyes once again. The way he's going, Harmy is going to get cherry pie all over his face. The England paceman is hit on the chest but he does get a couple with a scoop over his shoulder - brave man to come back for a second.

1103 - Eng 303-7 Harmison to face first and Taylor is getting plenty of hoop - Sidebottom will be giggling maniacally up on the balcony. Smell that, Harmy! The England paceman takes his eyes off the ball and gets another whack on the head before opening his shoulders and mowing Taylor through the covers for a few. Well, this is interesting - Taylor serves up a rank full-bunger that pitches wide outside off-stump, balloons over the wicket-keeper's head and runs away for four. That's the England 300.

"I have it on good authority that Rusty Lee is now making a very decent living as Eddie Murphy's stunt double in the Big Momma's House movies."
Johnsy, London, in the TMS inbox

1059: The Windies are all hugging each other like a load of 80s ravers and here come Belly and Harmison.

"Has anyone got an good excuse I can use to stop the mother-in-law coming round over the weekend and stop me watching the cricket? I figure a divorce is a bit extreme."
Clive, Burton on Trent, in the TMS inbox

1052: I've just heard the Old Trafford groundsman Pete Marron on TMS saying he wants to have Monday off to play golf - that might give you a clue as to how the pitch is going to play...

"Seeing as I have been spectacularly unsuccessful in getting any emails published, I have just bet my work colleagues that I will show my bum in Woolworths if you print this."
James Howlett in the TMS inbox

1047: Jimmy Adams just corpsed doing the weather forecast on Sky! He told us it wasn't going to rain all day, lost his lines and then waved the cameras away. I've told you once and I'll tell you again - you don't get former West Indies batsmen to do the weather forecast, you get Wincy Willis! What happened to Rusty Lee?

1042: Edwards was all revved up yesterday, I haven't seen a West Indies paceman bowl with that sort of spite for a good few years. Still looks pretty overcast at Old Trafford - not sure what these modern forecasters are up to - bring back Wincy Willis, I say. Here's Soul Limbo on TMS, we're almost off...

"Rubbish weather! They predict sun all weekend and now they're predicting rain! Make your mind up! Dear me. What you reckon? Bowl them out twice today and then I'll get my money back for Sunday, or should I look forward to sitting in the rain all Sunday?!"
Jack Byrne, Stockport, in the TMS Inbox

1020: Good morning on day two. Should be a good one. Finally the Windies have produced something of their old fire and made England sweat for their runs.

BBC cricket correspondent Jonathan Agnew, in his Test Match Special blog on the BBC Sport website, is relishing the chance to see Steve Harmison bowl on this wicket later in the day. Expect uneven bounce, pace and movement. But can we expect accuracy?



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