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Page last updated at 16:28 GMT, Saturday, 17 May 2008 17:28 UK

First Test Eng v NZ - day three as it happened

FIRST TEST, Lord's (day three, rain stopped play):
England 89-0 v New Zealand 277

Almost constant drizzle on day three of the Lord's Test left England frustrated as they were denied the chance to gain a stranglehold over New Zealand.

Play was confined to a 40-minute spell in the morning session, as England reached 89-0 with more composed batting from Alastair Cook and Andrew Strauss.

They were replying to New Zealand's 277 and will struggle to force a result now with only two days remaining.

Cook just had time to record his second first-class half-century of the season.

LATEST ACTION (ALL TIMES BST)

By Tom Fordyce

606: DEBATE
e-mail tms@bbc.co.uk (with 'For Tom Fordyce' in the subject), text 81111 (with "CRICKET" as the first word) or use 606. (Not all contributions can be used)

PLAY ABANDONED FOR THE DAY

1722: That's it. They've pulled the plug. There'll be a lot of water heading down that plug-hole. Apparently it's meant to be a little better on Sunday. Could it be worse?

1718: Rain. Three people left in the ground.

1700: The ghost inspection has been and gone. Nothing came of it. I'm lost in the Doldrums.

From Chloe in St Helens, TMS inbox: "Days like these always make me feel that we should invent the sport 'water cricket'. Maybe it could be played on water skis or something."

1620: Hello? Hello? There'll be an inspection at 1640, we're told. Probably to see if anyone's still awake.

From Carole in Maidenhead, TMS inbox: "Huh? Wassat? Time to get up for school? Err?"

In other news, England's old strikeforce has started to dismantle itself - follow the link below to read more.

1556: They're taking tea. Poor things must be starving.

1523: It was - it's raining again.

1513: They're starting to take the covers off. Judging by the colour of the clouds overhead, it's to give the groundstaff a gentle cardiovascular work-out.

1506: Some entertainment at last for the crowd at Lord's - they're showing the FA Cup final on the giant screens. At Wembley, they're showing the rain falling at Lord's on their giant scree... oh, of course they're not.

1500: The inspection never happened - it's still raining. Spitting. Softly misting.

Alison Mitchell
"The umpires have been in touch with the Met Office and there may not be a break in the rain until 1600 BST. They're going to come out at 1450 for another look"
Alison Mitchell on TMS

Jonathan Agnew
"The rain isn't heavy - it's just annoying, persistent, light drizzle"
BBC cricket correspondent Jonathan Agnew on TMS

1320: Pudding can over-run to a third course - it's still drizzling. If we re-start in this Strauss will have to come out in a snorkel.

LUNCH

1235: Let the bells ring out - a decision has been taken. We'll be taking an early lunch, but not until 1240. Takes time to lay the table and wash your hands, after all. If pudding doesn't over-run, that means we could get under way again at 1320. Although it'll probably be raining.

1230: Covers are spread across the ground. Officials are apparently considering whether to take an early lunch or not. No hurry, chaps.

1220: As the rain beats a gentle rhythm on the pavilion roof, much like an LTJ Bukem chillout mix, why not dip into our FA Cup final build-up, as helmed by Lady Caroline of Cheese?

1210: It's not tipping it down, but neither is it clearing up. If this weather were a sitcom, it would be Two Pints of Lager - annoying, dispiriting and seemingly never-ending.

RAIN STOPS PLAY

1205: With heavy heart I type the words, "rain is falling".

From Roger Winter, TMS inbox: "Your comment at 11h46 suggests that Baron Morris of Handsworth is of lesser quality than Sir Paul McCartney, Will Greenwood et al. This is a shocking slur for which you should immediately apologise and explain yourself. Do you not support representation for the working man and woman?"

Think of it this way, Roger. You're strolling round the back of the Nursery Stand on your way to the ice-cream concession, and in quick succession you spot Macca, Greenwood and Morris. When you return to your seat clutching a fistful of 99 Flakes, which names do you mention to your pals first?

1159: Eng 88-0

That's 50

Mills drops short and Cook glides him away through cover for a sweetly-timed four. That's his half-century - the 17th of his Test career so far. 125 minutes, seven fours and 79 balls in that one. Palms meet around the ground.

1155: Eng 81-0
Strauss slashes at a Martin spitter and sends the ball spiralling over the slips for a two-bounce four to the third man fence. Answer to chat below: both Bill and Steve Bucknor are recipients of the Order of Jamaica. That is officially the dullest question I have ever asked.

1150: Eng 76-0
Former trades union leader Bill Morris is watching on from a hospitality box. There's been a noticeable decline in the quality of celebs at Lord's in the last few days - on Thursday we had Sir Paul McCartney and Mick Jagger, on Friday Will Greenwood and Nick Easter, and today Baron Morris of Handsworth. Obscure quiz question for you - what does Bill have in common with one of our umpires today? Cook up to 46, Strauss on 27.

1146: Eng 75-0
Martin decides to switch to round the wicket. Strauss is happy with that - the ball won't be angling across him any more. Martin strays onto his thigh guard and is touched down to long leg. Rain holding off, gloom still glooming.

1141: Eng 70-0
Mills is getting the ball to bounce and move away down the slope, and Strauss flirts with a tempter like a tipsy teenager. Cook watches with stern disapproval from the other end.

1136: Eng 69-0
Worrying scenes for one spectator in the Tavern Stand. Wearing the sort of storm-proof coat you might don to sail across the Roaring Forties, they are slumped in their seat, head lolling. I know it's not the most exciting morning of Test cricket, but to be asleep at 1136? I'm sensing a misguided Friday night on the London tiles.

1132: Eng 68-0
Kyle Mills from the Pavilion End, and he gets one to snake past Cookie's uncertain lunge. Brendon McCullum narrows his eyes like a gunslinger behind the timbers.

1127: Eng 68-0
To relieved applause, the players jog down the pavilion steps. Chris Martin polishes off the remaining three balls of his over and Strauss stays sensible.

From Andrew Duncan, TMS inbox: "Let's try some positive thinking. Maybe if we all wear shorts it might get sunny."

Tried that on Friday, Duncan. By midday my knees had locked and my ankles turned pale blue. Nasty business.

1119: What-ho - the hover-cover is speeding off. News from umpire Simon Taufel: "We'll be starting as soon as possible."

1110: A tractor trundles around the outfield. Behind it two men drag a rope across the playing surface, as if a giant is shortly to appear for a spot of skipping.

1056: Quelle surprise - the start has been delayed. In the stands, a young boy huddles against his dad under the shelter of a huge golf umbrella, wearing the shell-shocked look of a child whose slippers have just come to life and tried to eat him.

From Brett Nevin, TMS inbox: "So what you're saying is the decision I made to opt for shorts this morning when I dragged my sorry carcass out of bed, was, how do you say, a monumental error?"

1050: Hmmm. The umpires are out, but so are their umbrellas. Could be looking at a delay here before we've even started. Harumph.

While we await news and raindrops, website users might enjoy this nice little batting masterclass with Alastair Cook.

Drive off the front foot like Alastair Cook

1030: One of these days I'm going to be able to start a day off without mentioning the words "grey", "forecast of showers" and "at least three jumpers".

Still - let's not be mealy-mouthed - we're due to start on time at Lord's, and if it happens to rain later, we'll cross that flooded bridge when we get to it.


see also
New Zealand in England in 2008
14 Nov 07 |  Cricket


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