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First Test England v NZ - day four as it happened

FIRST TEST, Lord's (day four, close):
New Zealand 277 & 40-0 v England 319

Michael Vaughan returned to form with a patient 106 as England established a two-run first innings lead on day four of the Lord's Test against New Zealand.

Replying to 277, Andrew Strauss (63), Alastair Cook (61) and Vaughan were the hosts' only noteworthy scorers.

Daniel Vettori (5-69) removed Paul Collingwood and Tim Ambrose with successive balls before England were bowled out for 319.

Jamie How and Aaron Redmond guided the tourists to 40-0 at the close.

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)

CLOSE OF PLAY

1900: NZ 40-0
Monty skips in again but How is rock-solid behind six dot balls. Well played New Zealand. That's us all done - the draw remains the big favourite. Thanks for the email chat as always. Mitch on the wheels of steel on Monday.

1857: NZ 40-0
Siders hasn't quite hit his straps here. He goes over the wicket and then round but seems to be forcing it a touch. England's lead is now just two.

1852: NZ 40-0
Redmond dices with death again as he plunges a pad down the track. Taufel refuses to rise to a raucous roar. The sun's come out again - we'll keep going for a while yet.

1848: NZ 39-0
Was that a chance? Broad strays down leg and Redmond gets an inside edge which Stumper Ambrose can only get a pimpled fingertip on. Vaughan then dives over a drive at mid-on to ship a bonus boundary. Broad glowers with Malfoy malevolence.

1842: NZ 32-0
Broad's getting decent in-jab down the slope. Both batsmen pick up streaky singles from inside edges through square leg before Redmond lofts the bowler back over Bucknor's head for a surprise four.

1839: NZ 26-0
Tight and testing from Mont. How gets the benefit from Taufel as he bat-pads two straighteners away.

1836: NZ 24-0
Good aggression from Broad. How drops a single into the leg side. The light's holding up, for now at least.

1831: NZ 23-0
Should have been instant dividends for Mont too. He beats How's prod with flight and turn and hits his back leg bang in front of the off-stick, but somehow Umpo Taufel turns it down. Baffler.

1827: NZ 22-0
Vaughan decides Jimmy isn't doing it and turns to Malfoy Broad instead. How responds with a dreamy straight drive for four. Could be Monty at the other end too.

1821: NZ 17-0
Who would doubt Aaron Redmond? He steps back and creams Sidebottom through backward point with a delightful square cut. Who said 'pair'?

1817: NZ 13-0
No swing for Jimmy yet. How gets right behind the straight ones, steers a leg-aimed one for two to deep square leg and block-drives off the back foot for four through point. It's getting mighty dark out there...

1813: NZ 7-0
Redmond's still waiting - he leaves five Siders sliders alone and dead-bats the other back down the pitch.

1807: NZ 7-0
Nice shot from How, clipping Jimmy A through midwicket for four as he over-pitches. Aaron Redmond still hasn't scored a Test run. If he bags a pair he'll be only the second man in history to do so at Lord's on debut. The other? Stand up Chris Tremlett, although watch your head if you do.

1802: NZ 3-0
How jabs an inswinger just past the waiting Bell at short leg. Almost. The official close of play is 1830. However, according to our collegaues on the radio version of TMS they can add half an hour for Saturday's lost play and half an hour for overs not bowled today, so we could be here until 1930. Although if the light lasts till then I'll kiss a flying monkey.

From Mr and Mrs Hargreaves, London, TMS inbox: "Lots of records today. Is there a record for the number of records achieved in a day?"

1758: The teams are out again, but the light isn't good. Sidebottom to charge in against How. This might not last long.

ENGLAND INNINGS

1749: WICKET - Vaughan c Marshall b Vettori 106, Eng 319 all out

Wicket falls

Vaughan goes for another big heave and connects sweetly, only to pick out Marshall on the midwicket fence. That's a five-for for Vettori (5-69 from 22.3) and his 250th Test wicket. Super performances from both skippers. England have a lead of 42 - but will the light hold long enough for them to have a decent joust at the Kiwis?

1748: Eng 319-9
Time for Vaughan to have a slap. He almost dislocates his back trying to dump Mills into Regent's Park and then lofts a drive to long-off to pick up a paltry single.

1740: WICKET - Panesar c Flynn b Vettori 0, Eng 317-9

Out for a duck

And Monty's back in the hutch too. He lasts all of two balls before gloving Vettori's off-spinner straight to short midwicket. The crowd boo.

1736: WICKET - Sidebottom c Taylor b Mills 16, Eng 317-8

Wicket falls

Sidebottom smells liberation after his skipper's moment of glory and wafts airily at a wide one. That's him gone - daftness. A Vaughan fact for you that I was too scared to mention before - he's never been out in the nineties at Test level.

1732: Eng 317-7

He's reached 100

That's more like it - Vaughan cracks Vettori to deep square leg for two and then goes again for a lovely four to bring up his 18th Test ton. Off comes the lid and up go the arms, and the crowd rise to him. Vaughan now has Test tons against every Test-playing nation except Zimbabwe, who he can't play against anyway. He's also tied with Graham Gooch as the scorer of the most Test centuries at Lord's - six.

1725: Eng 305-7
Kyle Mills, looking a little like an older version of Andy Murray, pushes one across Ryan Sidebottom and is flayed through cover for a angry four. Vaughan's pegged on 93. Not a good number for a Sheffield Wednesday fan like him, 93 - it's the year they lost both League and FA Cup finals to Arsenal.

From Chris Whiffin, TMS inbox: "Following the south-east Asia correspondence earlier in the day, I can confirm that the monsoon season is hitting Vietnam with some force. My hotel in Hanoi is currently being flooded out."

1722: Eng 299-7
Sleepiness abounds in the stands. Siders controls a thick edge through gully for four. England players are huddled together on their balcony like tracksuited penguins.

From Tommy Wide, Kabul: "Anand - not as boring as being stuck on lockdown in a little compound in Afghanistan I assure you. This match is a life-saver!"

1718: Eng 295-7
Two easy ones off Vettori. Creeping along, England. Siders is accidentally stealing the strike, squeezing the brakes on Vaughan's ton-chase.

1714: Eng 293-7
Three singles off the steady Jacob. Lead to 16, partnership to 24.

1710: Eng 290-7
Siders steers Vettori's shorter one in the covers for a quick two. Could be interesting still, this match. If England can squeeze out another 40 at least and then have a trundle against the Kiwi batsmen, there might yet be life in it. Just need the light to hold for a while.

1707: Eng 288-7
Oram to Vaughan, and it's a second successive maiden.

From Anand, TMS inbox: "Just left the Compton Stand for the pub. What a boring and cold day. Now at the pub."

1701: Eng 288-7
Single from Vaughan to mid-off, and that's drinks. Vaughan needs 12 more for only his second ton in 23 Test innings.

1658: Eng 287-7
Maiden from Oram. 30 overs left in the day in theory - if the light were to hold, we could be here till 1900. And if England were to keep scoring at the current rate, they could be 90 runs ahead by the close. Ifs and coulds all over the place.

1655: Eng 287-7
Vaughan's starting to motor. He drives Vettori down to the long-on ropes for three and steals a single to give Siders another chance. Vettori then beats everyone with a ripper from the footholds outside Siders's off stump. England lead by 10.

1652: Eng 281-7
Vaughan takes an immediate single to stitch Siders up in kipper fashion. Siders responds with a dasher of a three himself, timing it through midwicket like a man born to bat.

1648: Eng 276-7
Vaughan takes a look at what's left in the hutch and decides to lob caution out of the window. An old-skool late cut picks up a classical four, with another dabber for three keeping Siders off strike for Giant Jacob's next foray.

1641: WICKET - Broad b Oram 25, Eng 269-7

Wicket falls

That's what you call a bowling change. Oram's fourth ball jags back up the slope and through Broad's yawning gate, and the castle is toppled. Good little knock from Broad, and there's not much left in the ranks to keep Skip company - Siders, Monty and Jimmy A.

1638: Eng 269-6
Broad's derring-do seems to have stirred Vaughan from his slumbers. He waits for the dip on Vettori's flighter and drills it elegantly between extra cover and mid-off. Next ball is all ugliness - a mis-hit thump just over mid-on for four more. The deficit's down to eight; Vaughan now on 75.

1634: Eng 261-6
It's a driving masterclass from Broad. Southee goes full, looking for swing, and Broad creams through cover with right elbow high. Purrs around the ground.

1629: Eng 256-6
Martin's in automaton mode. He seems to have been bowling all day. Just a single off that display of relentless accuracy. 32 overs from him already in this innings - more than a third of his team's total.

1624: Eng 255-6
He's done it again - the ball after Redmond can only get fingertips to a one-handed diving chance at second slip off Vaughan, Broad leans into a full one on off and creams it back past the bowler for a four to the pavilion steps. Southee almost has his revenge with a spitter which takes a thick edge and falls just shy of first slip.

1621: Eng 250-6
Super shot from Broad. He gets across to a fuller one from Martin and times it beautifully through point. Biggest cheer of the afternoon from the half-full grandstands.

1617: Eng 243-6
The pressure's still laying heavy on English shoulders. Vaughan over-reaches for a Southee away-swinger and steers it uppishly just in front of point. Close. England's hopes of a win are disappearing fast - these two are hanging around rather than looking to rattle 'em up.

1613: Eng 243-6
Nice work again from Martin, mixing up the away angler and the in-slider to have Broad guessing. Partnership up to 35.

1609: Eng 242-6
Steady Eddie from Southee. He curves each ball in to middle and away past off, and Vaughan pulls his blade high and dry. A tickle to leg to keep the scorer awake.

From Gordon Latimir in Moscow, TMS inbox: "Beautiful weather here in Moscow. Possibly should swap the cricket and football venues for this week. Also more chance then of getting cricket ticket here than football ticket."

1604: Eng 241-6
Good job Chris Martin enjoys bowling against left-handers - with the exception of Vaughan, every one of England's remaining batsmen is a leftie. Broad stands tall to glide a back-foot push down to third man.

TEA

1540: Eng 239-6
Vaughan goes down on one knee and drives Southee with sweet elegance for four. And that's tea - Vaughan 61 not out, Broad on 10. Vettori's got 3-33 off his 13, Chris Martin 2-65 off 28. New Zealand's session without a doubt.

1536: Eng 235-6
Martin roars in against Broad. Vettori's left an enormous gap in the covers to tempt Broad into jousting at a tempter, with three salivating slips waiting for a bite behind him. Broad jabs down a toe-crushing in-swinger for a single to long leg before Vaughan nicks the strike with scurried one dropped off the back foot.

1532: Eng 233-6
Southee's getting the chance of a dart. Three slips in for him against England's skipper; he gets some bend away and Vaughan leaves all six alone. Good start from the fresh-faced slinger. Probably time for two more before tea.

1528: Eng 233-6
Here we go. Vettori makes a ball gesture at Umpo Bucknor and lobs the cherry he's handed to Chris Martin. Some wobble from the off for the bounding Martin and Broad can't get him away. Vaughan eases down the track from the non-striker's end and has a word about keeping bats from the dangle.

1524: Eng 233-6
No sign of the new ball as Vettori has another pop. Easy two for Vaughan with a checked drive to mid-on. Tea in 16 minutes.

1521: Eng 231-6
Nice drive apiece from the England boys. Vaughan times Mills away through cover for three before Broad does the same. 46 behind now, and the whiff of danger is still in the air.

1515: Eng 223-6

That's 50

Vaughan pushes two through midwicket and brings up his 19th Test 50 with a tickle to leg. 125 balls and six fours in the knock, and England could do with him doubling that up. There's Chris Cairns in the stand, a splash of grey in his beard now, halfway down a chilly lager.

1513: Eng 218-6
Broad has a waft at Mills' angler and escapes again. He then picks up two with a tickle round the corner. Chat between the batsmen as Vettori tweaks his field.

1508: Eng 216-6
Vaughan waits for Vettori's in-drifter and, rather than thrusting a pad down the track KP-style, gives himself room to time one through midwicket for a pressure-popping four. New ball's due in a couple of overs. Gulp.

1505: Eng 212-6
Vaughan dashes a single to get Britsa Broad back on strike. Mills drops short and Broad tucks behind square for two. It's gone very quiet at Lord's - except for among the close fielders, who are chirping like startled starlings.

1500: Eng 208-6
Lordy - Broad thrusts purposefully at one just outside off and just fails to give the nibble. Hat-trick saved. Two balls later he thrusts again and escapes by the same margin. Double-wicket maiden from Vettori. England are on the ropes.

1456: WICKET - Ambrose lbw Vettori 0, Eng 208-6

Out for a duck

This is like the old days - Ambrose pads up to Vettori's in-floater and doesn't stand a chance. Golden quacker for Ambrose in his first Test innings at home. Vettori's on a hat-trick, and it's chaos out there.

1453: WICKET - Collingwood c Taylor b Vettori 6, Eng 208-5

Wicket falls

The spinning skipper's done it again - Colly prods weakly and Taylor tumbles leftwards at slip to bag the snag. Colly never looked set - as scratchy as a dog with fleas.

1452: Eng 208-4
Mills strays onto leg stump and Vaughan glides it away through square for a help-yourself four. If you fancy a slice of Lord's pie on Monday, they've slashed ticket prices - 20 for adults, 10 for the over 65s and free for under-16s. Cash only.

1448: Eng 203-4
Super work, Mitch. Miserable shot from Vaughan though - an eyes-high swipe that misses by a mile and leaves Vettori unable to understand how the off-stump survives.

By Mark Mitchener

1442: Eng 203-4
Martin, who's bowled well this afternoon and appears to be the workhorse of this Kiwi team, charges in to Vaughan again, while on TMS, Blowers accuses Boycs of "reading a saucy newspaper". Ooer. Some good running brings three runs as Vaughan doesn't quite middle a cover-drive towards the Mound Stand. Colly survives the rest of the over, the players take a drinks interval and that's a good time for me to hand back to Tom.

1438: Eng 200-4
Like he did four overs ago, Southee strays down the slope and Vaughan works him off his legs for a seemingly effortless four. Vaughan nudges a leg-bye, then Colly rides his luck when he drives, gets an inside edge past the stumps and it sails away past McCullum for four to bring up the England 200.

1433: Eng 191-4
Colly is off the mark with a quick single into the covers. For Vaughan, Martin adjusts his field, sending the fourth slip all the way over to the square leg boundary. A no-ball increases England's score as Henry Blofeld on TMS spots an aeroplane. Vaughan then pushes forward, there's a big shout for lbw as it hits him just below the knee-roll but Bucknor eventually shakes his head. Hawk-Eye, however, suggests that it may have clipped the top of the stumps. Fortunate or not, Vaughan dabs a quick single off the last ball as they rotate the strike.

Text in your views on 81111
"10 runs is a bit obscene perhaps but good idea Boycott, it should be added to the extras on the scorecard as slow over-rate. How about four runs per over under a required rate set by the ICC, new rules in the making!"
James, Ipswich, via text in 81111

1428: Eng 188-4
Vaughan beautifully square-drives Southee for four, then has to duck a bouncer. He sees off the rest of the over, with the odds of this game finishing in a draw increasing by the minute.

"I have just been listening to Radio 1 and apparently someone has just texted in a song request for 'Slow Left Arm' by Daniel Vettori"
Nick from Manchester in the TMS inbox

1424: Eng 184-4
Geoff Boycott explains how he prefers the understated celebration of Jim Laker's 14-wicket Test to the modern trend of glove-pumping for every boundary (or even more often than that). Colly is facing for the first time, and is beaten by one from Martin which just evades his outside edge as he prods defensively. When the Durham man does get bat on ball, he can't beat the infield. Another man is brought over, leaving Martin bowling to a 7-2 off-side field, with just mid-on and long leg on the other side. Another maiden for Martin.

"I am a leading member of the 'Bring Mal Loye in instead of Ian Bell so he can do some of those really good slog sweeps for six Club', and you certainly don't want to be crossing us with any inadvertent support for Ian Bell from fear of retribution from Sarah, Bucks and her posse"
Paul in Lancs in the TMS inbox

1419: Eng 184-4
Paul Collingwood strides to the crease - he often had to get England out of trouble in New Zealand, but what will his approach be now? Southee has Vaughan playing and missing again, keeping the pressure on the England skipper. But when Southee eventually strays onto leg stump, Vaughan flicks him away to the backward square leg boundary, before digging out a good yorker.

Wicket falls
1413: WICKET - Bell c McCullum b Martin 16 - Eng 180-4
Martin looks as consistent as before against Vaughan, and still has three slips and a gully posted - though it's odd to see a Kiwi slip cordon without the recently-retired Stephen Fleming. Vaughan works away another single as Daniel Flynn scampers in from the midwicket boundary to prevent a second. Geoff Boycott replaces Tuffers in the TMS box and has one of his regular grumbles about international sides' poor over-rates - he recommends 10-run penalties be given for each over a side is short of its required rate. Then, Martin finds the edge and Bell, trying to force a shot off the last ball, gives Brendon McCullum an easy catch.

"Ian Ronald Bell is a one of the technical best batsmen in the world. However, please name one match-turning innings he has played against any decent opposition under pressure. There isn't one example in 36 Tests. He normally falls apart as easily as the cake I cooked for my mother on her birthday"
Dave, London, in the TMS inbox

1409: Eng 179-3
It's still Southee from the Pavilion End, while the TV cameraman shows a couple on a pedalo in nearby Regent's Park. But no sign of Freddie Flintoff there, or back at Lord's where Bell leans forward to guide a single to long leg, reducing New Zealand's lead to less than 100. Vaughan similarly nudges one off his pads for another single to pinch the strike.

"Talking about being 'stuck with you for a bit', please don't have such low self-esteem. Even if your name is an anagram of 'Me crank hermit', we're happy to have you. I've argued with many people about this, but we are"
Alan, Edinburgh, in the TMS inbox

1405: Eng 177-3
Vettori withdraws himself from the attack - might he change ends? Anyway, Chris Martin returns, while commentator Bryan Waddle rebukes summariser Phil Tufnell for using his TMS tie as a belt. He might be joking there. Vaughan has to get up on tip-toes to defend a lifting ball from Martin, while James Marshall (watched from the stands by his equally curly-haired twin brother Hamish, whose Gloucestershire side are not in action today) gives the ball a good polish as it's thrown back to the bowler. Vaughan thinks about a quick single off the last ball but Vettori swoops in from cover, and that's a maiden for Martin.

Phil Tufnell
"There's good running between the wickets from these two - they'll hope to get England into a good position by tea"
Former Middlesex and England spinner Phil Tufnell on TMS

1400: Eng 177-3
Vaughan can't quite time it against Southee, as the Kiwis are giving absolutely nothing away. CMJ thinks Southee can aspire to Glenn McGrath-like consistency, which will mean he won't need express pace. He keeps it tight, and only a Vaughan single off the fifth ball of the over bothers the scorers.

1356: Eng 176-3
Bell carefully guides Vettori away for a single, while the left-arm tweaker is quickly through his over. Vaughan adds a single of his own - with Southee having done the fielding (at deep point) on both occasions, he's not getting much rest between his bowling stints.

"I'm a fully paid up member of the IRB fan club. It's a wise move not to cross us"
Sarah, Bucks, in the TMS inbox
[Is that Ian Ronald Bell or the International Rugby Board? MM]

1354: Eng 174-3
Vaughan carefully guides Southee off his legs through midwicket for four with a flick of the wrists. He then gets down on one knee and flashes at one outside off-stump but misses. England are now 103 behind.

Text in your views on 81111
"How does Bucknor give Pietersen out when he turned down three even more 'out' ones off Monty the other day?"
Anon, via text on 81111
[We ask you to include "CRICKET" as the first word of your texts as the 81111 number is used by Radio 1 and others - but don't forget to append your own name! MM]

1349: Eng 170-3
Bell is showing "a bit of urgency" according to CMJ, and dabs a single off Vettori, who has posted several close catchers. Vaughan adds another, while Vettori, as ever, is showing great variation of flight, turn and control. And just as I write that, a long-hop is clubbed away behind point for four by Bell.

Christopher Martin-Jenkins
"I don't care what anyone else says, I think New Zealand have bowled very well indeed this morning. Southee has a nice, classical action, and I think potentially he could be very good"
Christopher Martin-Jenkins on TMS

1347: Eng 164-3
Tim Southee has his first bowl of the day. If you haven't seen him before, he looks extremely young and trots in bowling right-arm medium-fast over the wicket, very close to the stumps. Vaughan jabs a quick single to mid-off, and Bell nudges one into the covers.

1342: Eng 162-3
Vettori takes the first over after lunch, and hurries one on to Bell, who gets a thin inside edge onto his pad. There's a big shout, but Steve Bucknor shakes his head. Since I got back from New Zealand at the end of March, I've been in witness protection from the Ian Bell Fan Club after the player ratings I gave for the NZ series, so let's hope we can all be positive about the Warwickshire chappie. A paddle-sweep for two is the only scoring stroke of the over.

1337: Right, Tom's off for his break, so you're stuck with me for a bit. Aggers and the TMS crew (joined by Angus Fraser, amongst others) have been holding an interesting phone-in discussion over the interval - with lots of chat about the IPL and the future of county cricket.

By Tom Fordyce

LUNCH

1300: Eng 160-3
That's it for the morning session - a good one for New Zealand. Bell scampers through for a tight one at the death and Vaughan clocks the cherry on his right buttock as How flings wide of the stumps. Nicely poised, this match - fetch yourself a sanger and we'll reconvene in 40.

1257: Eng 159-3
Maiden from Vettori to Vaughan. Time for one more before lunch. Bell averages 58 in Tests at Lord's, compared to 43 overall - England need that from him now to keep any sniff of a win alive.

1253: Eng 159-3
Bell joins Vaughan at the front. The ground's still buzzing from KP's send-off. There's a mix of excitement and crushing disappointment. McCullum's already stellar levels of chat and bounce have increased fivefold.

From Richie Lee, TMS inbox: "Cambodia? Hey, I'm in Vietnam desperately trying to keep tuned in to TMS. There's a bit of a typhoon blowing tonight and transmission is erratic."

1247: WICKET - Pietersen lbw Vettori 3, Eng 152-3

Wicket falls

Massive wicket for the Kiwis - KP mis-reads Vettori's line and plunges a pad straight down the track. He's hit in front of middle-and-leg and Bucknor - for once - gives the bowler the nod. Spot-on decision - his bat was miles away from the ball. McCullum bounces for joy like a child on a trampoline; Vettori tears off on a lap of high-fives.

1245: Eng 148-2
KP's walking all over the crease looking for his first run. A mis-field at mid-on gives him a hurried three.

1241: Eng 148-2
Vettori twirls to the scratchy Vaughan and bags a maiden. KP twitching at the other end like a rabbit on Ritalin.

1235: WICKET - Strauss lbw Oram 63, Eng 148-2

Wicket falls

He's gone, just when a century seemed to be on the menu. Oram, going over the wicket, pitches one on leg and gets it to straighten. There's two noises but Taufel gets it spot on - it was front pad first, back pad second, no bat at all. Fantastic decision.

1232: Eng 148-1
Strauss is playing Vettori well. There's enough variety there for a summer season at the Cliffs Pavilion in Southend, but he waits for the loop and turn to play out and then plays late with soft hands. Vaughan tries a risky lofter and gets a leading edge over a scrambling midwicket.

1229: Eng 143-1
We're filling up now - somewhere around three-quarters capacity. A pale blue sky is studded with fluffy white, while down below the outfield is the definition of summer green. Oram concedes a tucked three behind square off Strauss as he strays like an errant hound.

1225: Eng 140-1
Vettori decides the time is right for a twirl. Strauss goes down on one knee and proposes a sweep to fine leg for a scampered three. England now 137 behind.

1220: Eng 136-1
Tidy from Oram, keeping the plug in at one end while Martin tests at the other. Strauss goes expansive with a drive and pads an edge through to McCullum. "How-zooooh..." exclaim the slips.

From Alex, TMS inbox: "Following the progress online here at the Pink Palace in Phnom Penh. Any chance I'm the first person to email TMS from Cambodia?"

Certainly from the Pink Palace, Alex. I think Dirs went to the Vegas branch of that chain while Stateside for the Calzaghe fight.

1214: Eng 133-1
Even monks have dark nights of the soul. Strauss throws a wild blade at one miles outside off and avoids thinning an edge by the width of a ballerina's eyelash. Martin then gets one to spit like a cobra and Strauss does well to glove it short of first slip.

1207: Eng 126-1

That's 50

Warm applause as Strauss goes to his 50 with a gentle tuck to midwicket. Looks much more like his old self, the huge-armed opener. He's been leaving all those angled tempters outside off with the discipline of a Benedictine monk. Vaughan gives an almost imperceptible nod of approval.

1200: Eng 125-1
Mills takes a blow. Oram jogs in and plonks a series of have-a-go's just outside Vaughan's off-stick. Skipper refuses to nibble, and that's drinks.

1156: Eng 125-1
Martin has his dander in attack position. He gets one to sneak away from Strauss but gets a thicker edge this time which bounces in front of James Marshall at second slip and cracks curly-mop on the shin-bone. Marshall winces, Vettori laughs.

1152: Eng 125-1
Great ball, that one from Martin. The love-child of Brian Lara and Stretch Armstrong couldn't have reached that with the middle of the blade. Skipper Vaughan trots onto the green and survives Mills in jabby fashion.

1145: WICKET - Cook c McCullum b Martin 61 Eng 121-1

Wicket falls

Martin's beginning to wobble. He drops short to Cook and is smashed through midwicket with creamy brutality, gives away a quick single and then over-compensates against Strauss and is cut away to the point fence. But after another single, he gets one to jag back up the slope and roars with delight when McCullum bags a tumbler in front of first slip. Told you something was about to change. Sorry, Alastair...

1139: Eng 111-0
Relieved applause as Strauss rocks back and toe-ends a pull to the midwicket fence. Mills then spears one through the gate - there's an enormous bellow from the slips, but Taufel shakes a stern head. Little kiss on the pad, he says, but no blade. According to Bill Frindall, there hasn't been a change of bowler or batsmen since 1703 on Friday. Expect that to change shortly.

1135: Eng 105-0
Martin goes over the wicket to angle an couple of tempters across Cook. The Essex tyro has a dash at one and puffs out his cheeks as he almost snicks a skinny one.

1131: Eng 105-0
Maiden again. On TMS radio version, Phil Tufnell is discussing his trip to see Neil Diamond in concert. "Layers of emotion," he says admiringly.

1128: Eng 105-0
Useful over from Martin - he beats Cook with one that pitches on off and sneaks away towards McCullum's left hand behind the timbers. "Argh!" shouts Giant Jacob O at gully.

1123: Eng 105-0
Nervous gulp from Strauss as Mills squares him up and finds a thick edge - but the ball fizzles away through the empty third slip slot for a four that's 100% streakiness.

1118: Eng 101-0
No-ball/leg-bye combo off Martin beings up England's ton. nice running from the England pair this morning - eagle-eyed and bushy-tailed. There's a child in the stand who can't be older than 12 months. In his mouth is wedged a large dummy, possibly to prevent him eating the miniature bat he's cradling in his podgy palms.

1114: Eng 98-0
Vettori and his merry band aren't happy with the shape of the ball. Bucknor loves this sort of query, and begins a minute examination of three different options. Mills is bowling as if the stumps were the width of an elephant's backside - the ball's either two feet wide of off-stump or flung at the batsmen's heels. Four leg byes off one wayward lobber.

From Paul in Lancs, TMS inbox: "My heart says 'follow the cricket'. My head says 'You need to focus hard on the strategic development of childcare and early years education in NW England in the context of possible/likely significant economic downturn.'"

1106: Eng 93-0
Excited schoolchildren scream with delight as Strauss pops a single off his legs. Easy fellas - we've got a long day ahead of us. At least keep a little something back for when Cook edges a two down to third man.

From Nick Halsall, TMS inbox: "Lordy, Tom, here we go again. Just about recovered from Day 3 - managed to perfect the Wolf Blass scam yesterday - lovely girls handing out free samples in an attempt to lure unsuspecting citizens into buying a case. Spent all day there merrily sampling and didn't spend a penny. Have vague recollections of it being a bit rainy, and arguing over a taxi. Other than that, I think I got away with it."

1102: Eng 89-0
Mills has four balls of his interrupted over to polish off. He trundles all four wide of Strauss's off-stump in the very definition of loosener.

1055: Here come the players, spring in the steps. Paltry crowd in at the mo, but let's give it time.

1045: Could be a good day for batting today. Pitch looks like a belter, and you wouldn't expect much sideways wobble. Michael Vaughan will be aiming for a day of boot-filling for his boys, with possibly a little half-an-hour joust at the Kiwis late doors.

1030: Sing hosannas, parp your horns, weep fat tears of joy - we're starting on time!

The sun is visible at Lord's. Repeat - the sun is visible at Lord's. Grown men are crying all around me.


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


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