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England v NZ - Third Test day three as it happened

THIRD TEST, Trent Bridge (day three, close):
England 364 v New Zealand 123 & 177-5

New Zealand require a further 64 to make England bat again after closing day three in the final Test at Trent Bridge at 177-5 in their follow-on.

The morning went to drizzle but England took less than an hour to seal the final four Kiwi first innings wickets.

Stuart Broad struck twice in an over and James Anderson finished with 7-43.

After both openers fell before tea, Brendon McCullum (64) hit his 10th Test fifty, sharing 94 with Daniel Flynn who fell for 49 two overs before stumps.


e-mail (with 'For Ben Dirs' in the subject), text 81111 (with "CRICKET" as the first word) or use 606. (Not all contributions can be used)

By Ben Dirs



1928 - 177-5
Sidebottom with the final over of the day and Oram stand-and-delivers him straight down the ground for four. Another four from Oram courtesy of an outside-edge before Siders tries him out with a bumper. Five slips in for Oram, but there are no dramas in the final over and New Zealand finish 64 runs behind. I thought Broad was the pick of England's bowlers today, but there were a couple of manful knocks by McCullum and Flynn, who showed bucketfulls of character. See you all tomorrow, I love you all dearly.

1925 - 169-5
A maiden over from Monty - AND CHANNEL FIVE'S HIGHLIGHTS PROGRAMME HAS STARTED ALREADY! Extraordinary scenes.

Wicket falls
1919 - WICKET - Flynn c Ambrose b Sidebottom 49, NZ 169-5
Woe for the brave Flynn, flailing at a wide one from Sidebottom and Ambrose taking a fine catch diving to his left. Full of character that knock from Flynn, his first Test fifty must be just around the corner. The burly Oram is the new batsman and Sidebottom gets one to nip back at him and hit him in the right thigh. However, he survives. Is this the longest day of Test cricket ever or does it just feel that way?

1913 - 168-4
Nothing much happening in Anderson's over but Panesar very nearly pulls a rabbit out of his hat, Hopkins almost popping up a catch to Bell at short-leg.

1909 - 168-4
We have another six overs this evening, and it looks like we may get them all. What was that I said about Alan Hansen shopping at Morrisons? Short from Panesar and Flynn back-cuts him to third-man for a couple to move to 49. Bit of fizz from Panesar out of the rough before Monty thinks he's got Flynn lbw, but the ball struck him outside the line of off-stump. Another good decision from Umpire Hair.

1907 - 166-4
Just a couple of singles from Broad's over before Anderson very nearly cleans Hopkins up with a fine yorker. Hopkins having trouble seeing this ball - a full-bunger from Anderson and Hopkins outside edges one bounce to gully. The umpires check their light meters, but Hopkins didn't have any trouble seeing that delivery, an inswinger into Hopkins's pads which the right-hander whips through mid-wicket for four.

"As a critical realist in Barrow Manilow Studies at the University of Somewhere in Lancs, I need to point out that we need to broaden the analysis from simple cause-effects (or not) when it comes to Manilow and suicide. We need to look at the potential for widening lay knowledge of the supposedly emerging correlation actually itself contributing to a growth of Manilow-suicide self-reinforcing social processes in a polymer urn/path dependency manner."
Paul, Lancs, in the TMS inbox

If you've heard today's announcement about the Twenty20 Champions League which is set to happen this autumn, Aggers feels there are already a few important questions which need answering - you can read all about it on the TMS Blog...

1857 - 159-4
Anderson digs one in short and Hopkins is off the mark with a quick single into the covers. Good running from Flynn, turning Anderson round the corner and taking on the arm of Panesar. Two runs. Anderson serves Flynn up some chin music and the youngster plays it well, keeping his eye on the ball while ducking underneath.

"If it weren't for Barry Manilow, I'd have foolishly flown over the Bermuda Triangle in 1986. Thanks Bazza, your knowledge of atmospherical dangers knew no bounds."
Cen in the TMS inbox

1852 - 156-4
Flynn nudges a single to give Hopkins the strike - it's the Kiwi wicket-keeper's second innings of the day. A leg-bye gets Hopkins off strike and Flynn nicks the strike with a tickle round the corner.

Wicket falls
1846 - WICKET - McCullum b Anderson 71, NZ 152-4
Crackerjack shot from McCullum, creaming Anderson through the covers for four and holding the pose. But he plays on two balls later, the ball shaping back in and ricocheting off his inside edge and onto his middle stump. Big wicket for England, McCullum eyes his bat suspiciously as he trudges from the field. Good knock that from McCullum.

1843 - 148-3
Streaky from McCullum, coming down the track and edging Panesar down to Vaughan at third-man. Three runs for the stroke. Monty drops short and Flynn whips him through mid-wicket for a couple to move to 40. This partnership is now 90.

1839 - 141-3
Just one single from McCullum from Broad's over and Anderson is back on at the other end. McCullum bags another run before Flynn works Anderson off his hip for a single. McCullum shuffles across his stumps and clips Anderson down to long-leg for another single. Anderson strays onto Flynn's hip and is whipped away for four. "Australians would call him 'nuggety'" says Jonathan Agnew on TMS. But that wasn't very nuggety from Flynn, fishing outside off-stump and getting beaten. New Zealand are exactly 100 behind England.

"Interesting fact about Barry Manilow: some years ago they discovered that suicide rates in US cities were highest where Barry sold the most records; in maths jargon there was a 'strong correlation of statistical significance'. No-one ever figured out whether buying the records was the cause, or if it was just something that depressed people did."
Frank Dunn Dulwich, in the TMS inbox

1831 - 133-3
McCullum moves to 60 with a lofted off-drive. Not sure he meant that, but it beat the fielder at mid-off and ran away for four. Quick single to Broad from Sidebottom's final ball and McCullum seems to have taken a liking to the Notts bowler of late.

"Alan Devonshire finished 13th in The Derby. Obviously not as fit as he used to be."
Sam in the TMS inbox

1827 - 128-3
Flynn lunges forward to Broad and is beaten. Chastened, he refuses to play shots at Broad's final two balls of the over. McCullum's recent onslaught aside, this isn't the most scintillating cricket at the moment. Paul, High Wycombe (see below), what kind of bra did your wife get?

"In response to Jakarta Jock (see below), has it occurred to you that Del Boy might be aspiring to be a Rupiah millionaire? If so, another couple of T-shirts and you'll be there."
Dan Croft in the TMS inbox

That's 50
1820 - 128-3
A checked drive from McCullum and he picks up four to long-on. And there's McCullum's fifty, McCullum applying the broadsword to a wide one from Sidebottom and dispatching the ball to the point fence. And another! Sidebottom straying onto McCullum's legs and McCullum clipping him to the square-leg boundary. McCullum's 10th Test fifty and it came off 103 balls, which is glacial by his standards. McCullum almost undoes all his fine work next ball, swinging wildly at a wide one from Siders, and he declines to play the same shot next ball.

1816 - 116-3
Broad is back on and I fancy him to pick up another wicket before stumps, he's been England's most dangerous bowler today. Broad drops one short and Flynn mistimes a pull shot, but Panesar, tottering round like a new-born foal, is unable to get there. He does, however, prevent four.

1810 - 113-3
Vaughan has a little chat with Umpire Hair and he is given permission to bring Sidebottom back on. Too straight from Sidebottom and McCullum whips him away through mid-wicket for four to move to 42 not out. One more for McCullum courtesy of a nudge to mid-off. Flynn gets a couple of tempters outside off-stump, but the left-hander reins himself in. Very good partnership this for New Zealand, worth 55 so far.

"This Sarah is still around. Just slightly busier than I was last summer as no longer living the student lifestyle. Well, I did wake up at 12.30 today but apart from that..."
Sarah, Bucks, in the TMS inbox

1807 - 108-3
Poor run from McCullum and Flynn should have been gone. Substitute fielder White of Derbyshire was the man at cover, but his throw was slightly awry and Ambrose was unable to beat Flynn home.

1804 - 103-3
One run for McCullum with a tuck into the leg side, but otherwise that's another miserly over from Monty. This pair have shut up shop and are waiting for the light to fade.

1755 - 102-3
The umpires' continued fiddling with their light meters has prompted Vaughan to turn to Monty and Collingwood. McCullum smothers an over from Panesar with uncharacteristic patience before Colly starts wobbling it, getting one to boomerang away from the left-handed Flynn. Another maiden. Martin Block emails in to inform me that his nan used to own a Barry Manilow video. My most amazing Barry Manilow story is that Duke McKenzie, the only British boxer to win world titles at three different weights, is his biggest fan. I was in Las Vegas with him recently and he was genuinely upset that Manilow had just left town.

"Whatever happened to 'The Sarahs'? We don't hear as much from them nowadays. Did they pick up an injury during the close-season and aren't up to commentary and witty incites at the moment?"
Martin, a Yorkshire man exiled to the south, in the TMS inbox

1752 - 102-3
Yet another lbw appeal from England, this time from Broad against McCullum, and again Umpire Hair is spot on with his verdict - that ball was just missing leg. Broad drifts onto Flynn's pads and is tickled to the long-leg boundary for four. That's the New Zealand ton. Glid (see below), many thanks, but shouldn't you and your lady friend be off your noggins listening to ambient music or something?

"My girlfriend is feeling sorry for you not having enough emails. We are drinking beer at a festival in Staffordshire, while reading your commentary. Does this make you happy?"
Glid in the TMS inbox

1746 - 95-3
Magnificent caught and bowled effort from Sidebottom - McCullum gives it some hammer, rat-a-tatting the bowler straight down the ground and Sidebottom just fails to drag it in with his right hand. Big lbw appeal next ball, but Umpire Bucknor adjudges, rightly, that McCullum got an inside edge. And another lbw appeal - or was it a caught behind? - but it was too high for leg before and it didn't hit the bat. Fine over from Sidebottom, and you have to say the officiating today has been first-class. Umpire Hair fiddles with his light meter...

1742 - 94-3
Broad replaces Monty. Cricinfo have just pointed out that all the Kiwi batsmen have been standing well outside their crease in the second innings, "clearly a tactic to nullify the prodigious swing". Just one from the over, a push to mid-off from McCullum. Broad doing a very good job for England today.

"My Indonesian fiancee has just made the first sale in her clothing business. She turned to me and said: 'This time next year we'll be millionaires'. I've travelled half way around the world only to marry Del Boy!"
Jock, Jakarta, in the TMS inbox

1735 - 93-3
McCullum picks up a single off Sidebottom before the Notts seamer gets one past Flynn's outside edge. Sidebottom's next delivery shoots through and leaves Flynn groping, but that's a rank long hop from Sidebottom and Flynn fills his boots, swatting the ball to the point boundary. Paul (see below) - want to swap? I quite like bras.

"At least you're lonely while watching cricket. I'm having to wait whilst my wife chooses a bra."
Paul, High Wycombe, in the TMS inbox

1732 - 88-3
McCullum gets up on tippy-toes and carves Sidebottom over point for four, and there's a couple more, Panesar limiting McCullum to two with a good stop at long-leg. The light deteriorating, we certainly won't be playing until 1930 BST. Maiden over from Panesar, he's giving these New Zealand batsmen nothing.

1726 - 82-3
Light permitting, we'll have play until 1930 BST this evening, and it's looking reasonably bright up in Nottingham. McCullum rotates the strike with a flick round the corner before Flynn opens the shoulders, swinging Monty to the square-leg fence for four. A rare aggressive stroke. Indeed, today's batting has been about aggressive as a Barry Manilow concert.

1724 - 77-3
Sidebottom nagging away outside Flynn's off-stump and the consensus in the TMS commentary box, Geoffrey Boycott excluded, is that the little left-hander is looking pretty organised today. That's a maiden over.

1718 - 77-3
Flynn stays back and misses with an attempted cut. Flynn does pick up one with a clip to mid-wicket but McCullum is becalmed - he stays patient and sees off the rest of Panesar's over without offering an attacking stroke.

1716 - 76-3
Flynn stands tall and deflects the ball to behind square on the leg side for one. Anyone know how Paul Brush fared in The Derby? Just one from the over.

"Has any professional cricketer caught someone out, thrown the ball up in the air and have it land on their head?"
James Longman in the TMS inbox

1711 - 75-3
Monty's first ball is driven easily into the covers for one. This is Monty's first over of the match, and we've already had 74 overs from England. Monty strays onto Flynn's legs and is shovelled away for one, but otherwise that's a probing over. The emails have dried up, let's crank it up folks, I'm desperately in need of some company.

1707 - 73-3
Two men back for the bouncer with McCullum on strike, but McCullum nurdles Sidebottom to mid-wicket for one. Another fine decision from Umpire Bucknor - Sidebottom thinks he's got Flynn lbw, but he did in fact get a decent inside edge on it. What's that ruddy noise? IT'S MONTY TIME!

1702 - 72-3
Broad should have done better with a run out attempt there, but the ball gets stuck in his hand and the batsmen steam through for a leg-bye. Broad tempts Flynn with a bumper, but Flynn declines the hook shot. More chin music for Flynn, who of course lost a couple of teeth to an Anderson bumper at Old Trafford, but again he leaves. Well-played Flynn. Pretty bright out there now, much better conditions for batting.

1657 - 71-3
Here's Anderson to Flynn, and the left-handed batsman plays a wild and windy woosh outside off-stump. But that's better from Flynn, twirling a drive through the covers for three. One leg-bye before Anderson slides onto Flynn's pads and is tickled fine for four. There's a little snapshot of modern Britain, some chap with a full-blown punk mohican and his girlfriend with more piercings on her face than a second-hand dartboard. I can't imagine Sid Vicious and Johnny Rotten lolling about in deckchairs beyond the boundary rope at Arundel.

1654 - 63-3
Sir Geoffrey is in diplomatic mood today - "Flynn can't bat", he says dismissively. But that's three runs from the new man courtesy of an edge down to third-man.

1650 - 59-3
Flynn is the new man at the crease, and he's on a pair. Huge shout from Anderson against McCullum - the batsman was expecting the ball to shape away but it darted back in instead. Umpire Bucknor, however, decided that was going over. No shot from McCullum, but he was a couple of feet outside his crease, so the umpire might have been right. McCullum gets off strike, tucking a single off his legs.

Wicket falls
1638 - WICKET - Taylor lbw b Broad 14, NZ 58-3
McCullum turns the face of his bat too early and Anderson locates his leading edge. Single for McCullum. Taylor plays a very similar stroke and squirts a couple down to third-man. Fine stop by Broad at mid-wicket - uppish from Taylor, that was very nearly a catch. That one stayed low from Broad and dribbles between Ambrose's legs and runs away for three byes. Crackerjack square drive from Taylor, that's four runs. But Broad cleans him up next ball! Taylor playing across his front pad and getting himself trapped plumb in front. Broad bowling like a dream at the moment, he is the Lexus of fast bowlers.

"There was talk earlier today about the paucity of Australian comedy. As another who resides here I can assure you that comedy thrives. Only today I was reading in the press about the future Test comeback of Shane Warne due to the lack of decent Aussie spinners."
Steve Barlow, Perth, WA, in the TMS inbox

1634 - 46-2
Players are back out after tea and we'll have play in a moment. I'm really flagging now. Anyone got any funny stories? McCullum plays loosely first ball after the restart and the ball fallsjust short of the fielder at cover. McCullum plays back and shoulders arms and very nearly loses his off-stump. Risky, that kept a bit low. McCullum steals the strike with a punch to mid-off.

"Has anyone else noticed the resemblance between Clint Eastwood and Brendon McCullum?"
Steve Moore, Benfleet, in the TMS inbox


1612 - 45-2
Anderson back on and McCullum nurdles him for two behind square. One more for McCullum with a push into the covers and that's tea time... be back in 20...

1606 - 42-2
Too straight from Broad and Taylor works him to mid-wicket for a few. Kamikaze running from the visitors, Taylor very nearly run out by Broad but the Notts man disturbing the bails with his hands rather than the ball. Good return from Vaughan out in the deep. One for McCullum with a flick to mid-wicket and I think we might see a bit of Monty before the tea interval.

"'Great leavers' - surely John Edrich, who could play and miss, and then give the impression he'd actually deliberately left the ball better than anyone."
Stephen Gould, Long Island, NY, in the TMS inbox

1602 - 38-2
Three slips and a gully in for Taylor against Sidebottom and the new batsman picks up a single with a flick to fine-leg.

"I'm at work in Ecuador this morning, but making time to follow the events at Trent Bridge. I asked some of my 'compañeros' if they knew anything about the great sport of cricket. One of them replied enthusiastically, 'it's that game they played in Alice in Wonderland!'"
Richard, Ecuador, in the TMS inbox

1558 - 37-2
Big lbw shout by Broad against McCullum, but Umpire Hair decided that was sliding over the top. Broad then gets one to jag back off the seam and hurry McCullum up and that's a maiden over. Broad has been England's best bowler so far today.

Wicket falls
1548 - WICKET - How c Cook b Sidebottom 19, NZ 33-2
Sidebottom gets his man, How outside-edging to Cook at third slip. The England team don't seem to like the Black Caps opener - Siders celebrates as if he's just nailed treble-twenty to win a speedboat on Bullseye while the normally mild-mannered Cook looks as if he's Sidebottom's non-playing partner. Taylor is the new batsman and he picks up four with a dab to the long-leg fence.

1540 - 33-1
Vaughan finally gets his way and the umpires delve into the magic box of balls. Umpires Bucknor and Hair finger the replacements and hold them up to the light as if they are rare truffles before deciding on an ideal replacement. Broad pops the new ball up and McCullum smacks him through the covers for four. Broad uses the width of his crease, but McCullum twirls him through point for a couple. Has cricket seen a more exaggerated leaver than McCullum? He shoulders arms as if Broad is bowling with balls of dung. Broad thinks he's got McCullum with his final ball of the over, but Umpire Hair is having none of that, and I think he's right, that didn't touch anything. Histrionics from Broad and Ambrose, and Hair has a headmasterly chat with the young seamer when he hands back his cap.

1538 - 27-1
Vaughan is desperate to get rid of this ball - he has the umpires check it out again but again the umpires toss it back. Not sure why Vaughan wants to offload it, it looks to be swinging like a doozy. Sidebottom nagging away outside How's off-stump, and that's a maiden.

1533 - 27-1
McCullum flips Broad off his hip and Sidebottom, sprawling full-length, does well to limit the batsman to just two runs. A handsome swine, Broad, he puts me in mind of a rather thoughtful, introverted First World War officer. Broad over-pitches and is slapped through the covers for four by McCullum - lovely shot that.

1529 - 21-1
How prods tentatively at Sidebottom as news filters in of another impressive four-wicket haul from 2005 Ashes hero Simon Jones. Could he be back to haunt the Aussies in 2009? He's a determined so and so, don't rule him out. A ton for Owais Shah in the County Championship and he could be in England's line-up for the first Test against South Africa.

Wicket falls
1522 - WICKET - Redmond c Ambrose b Broad 2, NZ 21-1
Broad floors Redmond with a classic sucker punch, tossing up a nibbler just outside off-stump and the batsman feathering a drive to Ambrose behind the stumps. McCullum is the new man in the middle and he gets another juicy outswinger from Broad first ball. McCullum leaves it late. You have to fancy Broad against McCullum here, I can't imagine the latter shouldering arms for too long. He leaves Broad's final ball of the over and almost loses his off-stump. Wicket-maiden.

Vic Marks
"I think Broad has been England best bowler today, curiously because he doesn't swing it as much as the others and can control the ball more."
Vic Marks on TMS

Meanwhile, looking ahead to the South Africa series, who should - or will - drop out if Andrew Flintoff is fit to return? Take a look at Alec Stewart's TMS Blog...

1519 - 21-0
The umpires are having a look at the ball after just 7.2 overs, but Umpire Bucknor turns away the man with the box and decides there's nothing wrong with the cherry they've got. Yet another leading edge from How who clearly has serious problems with his technique. This time the ball squirts once bounce to Pietersen at backward-point. That's a maiden from Anderson.

1515 - 21-0
Broad back on and he's almost got a wicket with his first ball, How jabbing at a wide one and Collingwood failing to take a spectacular catch at second slip. This may be a little harsh, but I think maybe he should have done better there. Another outside-edge from How, this time all along the floor for four. How picks up three more with a clip off his legs to short fine-leg.

1510 - 14-0
A tempter from Anderson and Redmond is very nearly drawn into the drive. And that's an absolute ripsnorter from Anderson, the ball straightening, squaring Redmond up and very nearly taking the edge of Redmond's bat. Big shout from Anderson and Ambrose, but Umpire Bucknor looks at the bowler as if he's just caught him stealing his pants off the washing line.

1507 - 14-0
How and Redmond exchange singles, but otherwise that's a probing over from Sidebottom.

1500 - 12-0 The sun beginning to break through now in Nottingham as How gets a thick outside edge for four, the ball evading a typically dramatic dive from Pietersen at backward-point. I reckon that ball had hit the boundary rope before Kp hit the deck. How attempts to clip Anderson to mid-wicket but gets a leading edge that spoons into the covers. One run. Redmond picks up a single with a clip to fine-leg before How gets another leading edge that balloons into the covers for a single. No luck for Anderson, How riding his.

1457 - 5-0
Strange chap Sidebottom. For one so quietly-spoken off the pitch, he's got a lot to say on it. He appears to have the right hump with How simply because the New Zealand opener has the temerity not to give him his wicket. Just one from the over, a nudge into the covers from Redmond.

1453 - 4-0
It's Anderson to share the new cherry with Sidebottom and he immediately slips into a good line just outside Redmond's off-stump. Anderson gets one to duck back at pace, but Redmond plays it well.

1448 - 4-0
Risky shot from How from the first ball of the innings, shovelling Sidebottom uppishly past Bell at short-leg, but it produces four runs. And that's a wild stroke second ball, playing an expansive drive to a widish ball from Sidebottom and missing. How on-drives the fifth ball of the over and Sidebottom does well to get a right hand to it. Siders sends a few verbals How's way and How gives it back. More words after the final ball of the over and I've no idea what that's all about.

1444: The contribution of Broad should not be underestimated there, he applied some much-needed control when all around him seemed to be losing their heads. He finished with 2-10, and I'd keep him going at the top of New Zealand's second innings if I were Michael Vaughan.


Wicket falls
1433 - WICKET - Hopkins lbw b Anderson 15, NZ 123 all out
And that's a wrap, Hopkins playing across the line and Anderson trapping him in front. That may well have missed leg, but Umpire Hair didn't dally. Anderson finishes with 7-43 from 21.3 overs, the third best innings analysis in a Test match at Trent Bridge. New Zealand still 241 behind, Michael Vaughan invites them to bat again.

Out for a duck
1433 - WICKET - O'Brien b Broad 0, NZ 123-9
Broad picks up his second two balls later and that was an absolute jamspangler of a delivery, the ball pitching on leg and ripping out O'Brien's off-peg. Martin, who averages 2.46 in Test cricket, is New Zealand's number 11 and Broad very nearly cleans him up with the final ball of the over, the ball pitching on off-stump and nipping away a little too much. Wicket-maiden from Broad on his home ground, magnificent over.

Wicket falls
1430 - WICKET - Mills c Pietersen b Broad 1, NZ 123-8
Broad into the attack for Sidebottom and he strikes with his third ball, Mills rocking back and carving a drive straight to KP at backward point.

1428 - 123-7
Anderson's radar still all over the oche. He gets one inswinger to slide down leg - good take by Ambrose around his ankles. And that's poor from Anderson, a reckless in-ducker flying down leg and racing away for four more byes.

Geoffrey Boycott
"These New Zealand batsmen couldn't hook a coat on a peg, never mind a bat on a ball"
Sir Geoffrey Boycott on TMS

1422 - 119-7
More wild stuff from Siders and the ball beats the despairing dive of Ambrose behind the sticks and runs away for five wides. Not clever from Sidebottom, and Boycs reckons he's not side-on enough. Alison Ely writes to tell me that John Fashanu now presents Deal Or No Deal Nigeria, "aided by a bevvy of leggy lovelies". "AWOOGA!" Got any pictures?

"I remember Charlie Drake even though I was hardly out of a pushchair. Just looked him up on Wikipedia for old time's sake. They reckon he was born in the Elephant and Castle - presumably in the days before mothers were advised not to drink during pregnancy."
Peter, Switzerland, in the TMS inbox

1418 - 114-7
Hopkins finding some solidity and getting comfortably behind the ball. Anderson does dredge up a rare pearl, drawing Hopkins forward and then getting the ball to nip away off the surface. But not enough making the batsmen play from Anderson and Sir Geoffrey reckons Michael Vaughan should put him on at the other end.

1415 - 114-7
Mills poking about out there, but Sidebottom lets him off the hook with some wayward stuff. His fourth delivery seems to slip out of his fingers and almost misses the strip altogether while his sixth ball slides down leg and runs away for four off Mills's hip. England really not making this difficult enough for the Kiwis.

1411 - 110-7
Anderson serves Hopkins up with a booming inswinger which almost whips the batsman's feet away from him. Another full delivery from Anderson, but this time Hopkins manages to jam his bat down in time. Better from Anderson with the pressure now off.

Wicket falls
1403 - WICKET - Vettori c Strauss b Sidebottom 7, NZ 108-7
Hopkins gets back and across and steers Sideobottom to point for a couple. One leg-bye before Sidebottom trashes Anderson's dreams of a 10-wicket haul, getting one to nibble away from Vettori and Strauss pouching a straightforward catch at first slip. Siders goes up, before tempering his celebrations on remembering he's relieved himself on Anderson's chips. Mills is the new man and he plays a sketchy poke past Bell at short-leg for one first ball. Sidebottom then gets one to arc violently into Hopkins and the Notts man gives the batsman the wicked stare. You will notice that I have included a comparison of Gareth Hopkins and Charlie Drake below. As you can see, Vic Marks was right, they look exactly the same as each other. A quick Wikipedia search reveals Peter Gabriel once produced one of Charlie Drake's records in the 70s. Remarkable.

1400 - 105-6
Just a single from Anderson's over, and he almost traps Vettori in front with the final ball of the over, but Umpire Hair adjudges the batsman got a thin inside edge on it.

Gareth Hopkins (right) and Charlie Drake
Hopkins (right) and legendary English entertainer Charlie Drake
1356 - 104-6
Sidebottom struggling for the right line at the moment, still too wide to Vettori and the New Zealand skipper choosing not to play away from his body. Sidebottom does make Vettori play with his final ball of the over, but Vettori just dabs it into the covers and refuses a run. A cagey old opening to the day's play.

"Sadly there is not a character called Thrombosis, but you will find little has changed in Gladiator land; ludicrous names,tight Lycra, muscle heads who take themselves too seriously, annoying referee catch-phrase and an overly-enthusiastic ex-footballer shoving a microphone into the face of guy who has just failed to run up an elevated 'travelator' - similar to the ones at ASDA. Kirsty Gallagher is looking good though in the Ulrika role..."
Martin, Bournemouth, in the TMS inbox

1353 - 104-6
Anderson loses control momentarily and the ball swings miles down Hopkins's leg-side for four byes. Not a lot Ambrose could have done about that. England's seamers not finding the right areas at the moment, no problems for Hopkins and Vettori so far.

1349 - 100-6
Ironic cheers as Sidebottom locates the middle of Vettori's bat before the Kiwi skipper turns Siders away for four through mid-wicket to bring up the hundred. Vic Marks on TMS seems to think New Zealand's Hopkins is the spit of Charlie Drake. Most people under the age of 70 won't know who Charlie Drake is... I'll mock something up.

1344 - 96-6
Anderson's first three deliveries are wide outside Hopkins's off-peg and the little wicket-keeper doesn't have to play. Plenty of away swing from the Lancashire man, and the last three balls go the same way as the first. Of the first 12 balls of the day, not one has made contact with a bat. I like Lulu, she has to be the only woman who looks more attractive as a pensioner than she did in her teens. Which raises an interesting question...

"Talking about Morrisons, Hubbie and I are in dispute over Lulu's appearance. He says how fantastic she looks for her age. I say, how fantastic she looks for that amount of plastic surgery, make-up and careful uplighting (and no close-ups). Hubbie thinks she's natural. COME ONNNN!"
Carole, Maidenhead, in the TMS inbox

1339 - 96-6
Sidebottom has four balls remaining of his over, and Vettori leaves his first delivery which hoops away lavishly from the left-handed batsman. Too wide from Sidebottom and Vettori doesn't have to play at anything. Anderson, looking more than a little relieved, rips off his cap and walks purposefully to his mark.

1334: Anyone seen the new series of Gladiators? Any truth in the rumour that one of the gladiators is called 'Thrombosis?' Bloke down the pub told me. And how's Ian Wright getting on? In an attempt to offload his 'comedy jester' tag, I hear he's been reciting Goethe between games. Is that true? Here come the players, we'll have play in a moment...

1320: The roller is on the pitch and there are players warming up out on the outfield. We seem to be on traget for a 1340 BST start. They're looking to get 75 overs in before stumps, which is about as likely as Alan Hansen actually shopping at Morrisons.

"A Dame Edna bit of insight into why Australians are good at sport: "Good food and diet; open air life; juicy steaks; sunshine - and the total absence of any kind of intellectual distraction."
Nadia in the TMS inbox

1303: The covers are coming off - most of them anyway - but the main covers over the track and run ups remain. News reaches me that we'll have play at 1340 BST, which still seems like an awfully long time off.

1250: Some classic old footage on Sky at the moment, Dennis Amis has just run out Sir Geoffrey! Dear, dear me, imagine running out Geoffrey Boycott? I think I'd rather have my nose bitten off. I'm off for a bit of lunch.

1238: What is going on out there? No wonder there are people who think this sport is a joke. Everyone's been sat about picking their backsides and talking a load of old rubbish for the last two hours, and when they eventually take the covers off everyone goes off for lunch! Who's everyone got in The Derby? I'm going for Alan Devonshire. Who names their thoroughbred after an impish 1980's West Ham winger? If I ever buy a horse, I'm going to call him Geoff Pike.

1227: Aaah Nadia (see below), one of the old school. Of course, my offensive remarks about Australian comedy were merely an attempt to wind our Antipodean cousins up. I quite liked Kath & Kim, Kel was an excellent character. However, no Australian has ever bettered such marvellous Kiwi lines as: "Cause you're so beautiful, Like a tree, Or a high-class prostitute, You're so beautiful, you could be a part-time model".

"I feel I must speak up in defence of Australian comedy. Kath and Kim is a hoot, Dame Edna is the finest and funniest megastar housewife to have ever graced old Blighty and Oz has also gifted us joyful stand-ups like Adam Hills. New Zealand comedy has put all of their eggs in one basket with Rhys Darby and FOTC, albeit, brilliant eggs in a rather gorgeous basket."
Nadia (contributing her test best figure of 36-24-34) in the TMS inbox

1221: Right, there's going to be an early lunch at Trent Bridge, 1240 BST. The big covers are coming off now and we should have play at 1320 BST.

1217: Talking of Winehouse (see below), a cabbie turned round to me a few weeks back and went: "Do you know that Amy Winehouse? I'd like to lock her and Peter Doherty in a house and burn it down..." Is that the most black cabbie thing anyone has ever said? Anyone seen Madonna's new video? Who on earth does she think she is? She's actually old enough to be my mother. She's got better legs than my mum though.

"Australian comedy isn't all that bad. Russell Coight's All Aussie Adventures is possibly the funniest show ever made. Imagine a cross between David Brent and Steve Irwin!"
Ben Kennedy, Leamington Spa, in the TMS inbox

"Having lived in Australia for five years, I can confirm that Australian comedy is about as funny as multiple bereavement. The Chaser's pretty good, but that's about it. However, they did name a swimming pool after a prime minister that drowned, which absolves them from any jibes about American-style irony aversion."
David Whitley, Sheffield, in the TMS inbox

1200: Have to agree with CMJ, this is when Test cricket really shoots itself in the foot. It's light enough, we've got a full house of 17,000, millions watching on the box, and we're not playing because of a few "spots of rain". This is when I have to agree with those who think cricket is a joke sport. Sir Boycs is doing his nut on TMS now: "They muck about too much at cricket, get them out there, get on with the game..."

Christopher Martin-Jenkins
"They jolly well should be playing. It's a bright morning, it's not raining and the umpires are standing around chatting, it's ridiculous..."
Christopher Martin-Jenkins on TMS

"Just gone on to YouTube and decided to watch an episode of Bod instead of Flight of the Conchords. All the old favourites are on there: PC Copper, Aunt Flo, Farmer Barleymow, Alberto Frog and his Amazing Animal band. For your records, the milkshake he chose was Strawberry."
Dan Partridge, Surrey, in the TMS inbox

1151: CMJ tells us it "looks bright enough to play" at Trent Bridge... but they're not playing. News reaches me that Amy Winehouse has been warned that "the sores on her face could become gangrenous at Glastonbury". Our forefathers worried about gangrene on the battlefields of Europe, now we have gothic jazz singers worrying about gangrene at a music festival in Somerset. This country...

"With you on Flight of the Conchords - and the relative paucity of Australian contributions to the sum total of human comedy. With the exception of, 'Oi, Tuffers! Can I borrow your brain? I'm building an idiot'."
Owen, Hackney, in the TMS inbox

1144: Bit of chat about Yorkshire all-rounder Adil Rashid on TMS. Many of you seen him play? The chat is he's still considered more of a batsman who can bowl a bit rather than a genuine all-rounder, while both Vic Marks and Alec Stewart point out that he doesn't give it enough 'fizz'. That's a little bit disappointing, I thought he might be hovering on the fringes of the England team in a year or so's time.

"I think Ambrose has been good. I'd like to see him dive more athletically, but I think he'll develop that. He's impressed me and everything he's done he's done well. The sign of a good keeper is one you don't notice and we haven't noticed him much since he's come into the side."
Former England wicket-keeper Alec Stewart on TMS

1126: I cannot wait for Euro 2008 to kick off, can you? No? No, me neither, I'd rather watch reruns of Bod over and over again for the next three weeks. Actually, if this bad weather continues, get yourself onto YouTube and have a look at Flight of the Conchords. I recently discovered "New Zealand's fourth most popular digi-folk paradists" and ended up watching all 12 episodes in one day. Magnificent, and I particularly love the fact that it's miles funnier than anything Australia has produced over the past 30 years. Kevin Bloody Wilson makes Roy Chubby Brown look like Eddie Izzard.

"The light must have been pretty bad at Trent Bridge yesterday, as Pete Blott could see only five of the six banks of floodlights."
Alan Williams in the TMS inbox

1115: England bowling coach Ottis Gibson is on TMS - he knows a thing about taking 10 wickets in an innings, he took 10-47 for Durham against Hampshire last year. Just seen Collingwood's wicket being replayed on TV - that boy is in some seriously bad nick, it looks like he's batting with a stick of liquorice. Apparently it's brightening up a little and the groundstaff are hovering... we should have cricket before lunch...

"The sunshine should break up the cloud in the early afternoon, which could lead to showers, but today won't be a total write-off. And we should be looking pretty good for the next couple of days - Sunday and Monday should get up to 23C."
BBC weatherman on TMS

"Isn't it time this nonsense of 'bad light' was put to bed? I sat at Trent Bridge late yesterday afternoon when they all trooped off and just wondered what the problem was. I also looked at the five banks of floodlights and thought TURN THEM ON! Eighteen thousand people paid upwards of £30 each not to watch cricket! It's the 21st Century chaps - let's make progress here and consider the paying public for once!"
Pete Blott, Leicester, in the TMS inbox

1059: The covers are going nowhere at the moment - it's still raining, if only lightly, but there's not a lick of wind to blow the dark clouds away. New Zealand require 68 to make England bat again, and given these conditions, you would have to expect England to stick the visitors back in if they fail to make the necessary runs.

1054: Jimmy Anderson is chasing Muttiah Muralitharan's Trent Bridge Test innings record of 8-70, which the Sri Lankan legend set in 2006. You'd have to fancy the Lancashire man to beat that, but Kiwi skipper Daniel Vettori is a gnarled old blighter and he won't be gifting Anderson anything.

"Should Anderson take the next wicket to fall he will become the only England opening bowler to take the first seven wickets of a first innings, bettering George Lohmann, Sydney Barnes, Ian Botham and Neil Foster."
Steve Pittard in the TMS inbox

Jonathan Agnew
"The outfield isn't wet, the pitch is dry and it's just a case of waiting for the wind to get up a bit and blow these dark clouds away."
Jonathan Agnew on TMS

1045: Just been told an amazing story about Danish comedian, author, and radio presenter Sandi Toksvig. Unfortunately, I can't tell you what it is because I might get sued, but it involves a scooter, a Range Rover and a very small middle finger.

"It is 3.36am here in Calgary and it's raining hard. Is it just me or is this rain business getting to the point of ridiculousness? I'd take a fiver on any horse other than Big Brown to take the Yankee Triple Crown and a tenner on Collingwood getting a century. And I've gotta agree - Sidebottom can't contain himself much longer, ditto 'Malfoy' Broad."
John, Calgary, in the TMS inbox

1035: Let's all cross our fingers for Jimmy, who could join Jim Laker and Anil Kumble as the only men to take 10 wickets in an innings in Test cricket today. On a personal note, I'm in serious need of a pep up, battling as I am the demon weed. I find that I am constantly furious at the moment: on the Tube this morning, a woman allowed her two children to duck in front of me and nick a couple of seats. I was about to point out that when I was a kid my mum used to make me stand up and give adults a seat on public transport, but I realised that a) I would have sounded about 70 and b) I might have been stabbed.

1030: All right? Fiver this match is all over by 6pm. Not sure about Jimmy nabbing a 10-fer though, I have a horrible feeling Sidebottom's going to relieve himself on Anderson's strawberries. Bad news - it's a bit overcast at Nottingham and the covers are on, we may not be starting on time. A bit of drizzle, but the main problem is bad light, although the men in the know are predicting an improvement.

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

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