SECOND ONE-DAY INTERNATIONAL, Edgbaston:
England 162 (24 overs) v New Zealand 127-2 (19 overs)
New Zealand were denied victory when the second one-day international was abandoned with only six balls left to be bowled to constitute a result.
The Kiwis were on course for a revised 160 from 23 overs but at 127-2 after 19 rain and gloom took the players off.
In a match first cut to 29 overs per side, Luke Wright smashed successive sixes and also hit five fours in 52.
Paul Collingwood hit 37 in 24 balls and Dimitri Mascarenhas added a useful 23 as England made 162 off their 24 overs.
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"What a joke this is! Sometimes I wonder what actually goes on in the authorities' heads... what cake they are going to have perhaps during the HALF HOUR tea break? So much for Law 23... common sense! For God's sake! Cricket officials get your act together. Grrr!"
Harry, Worcestershire, in the TMS inbox
"This shambolic end to the game could have and should have been avoided, if the break between innings had only been 10 minutes, instead of the 30 minutes. This farce does the wonderful game of cricket no favours in any way."
Mark in the TMS inbox
1929: That's that then, the most anti-climactic game of cricket since, erm, last year's World Cup final. Thanks for the chat though, it was a lot of fun as usual.
NEW ZEALAND INNINGS
20th over - 127-2 The umpires are having a chat - is this fit for international cricket? And the players are going off! Remarkable! New Zealand would have only needed seven from that over to win it! NO RESULT! ALL THAT FANNYING ABOUT FOR NOTHING! A HALF HOUR BREAK BETWEEN INNINGS! WHAT A JOKE SPORT! McCullum looks like a man who has just got home from a party with the most beautiful girl in the world only to discover his mate has got his mum staying and she's sleeping in his bed.
19th over - 127-2 Two for McCullum with a drive into the covers - good fielding from Anderson, just dragging the ball in short of the rope to prevent a four. It is seriously grotty out there now, dark with heavy rain. McCullum punches Wright to long-off for one before Wright dredges up a useful yorker for a dot ball. Styris has a lusty swing and picks up two to deep mid-wicket and follows up with a very handy boundary, the batsman squeezing out a yorker down to the third-man fence.
18th over - 117-2 Styris clips Swann to point for one and it's now coming down in stair rods in Birmingham. McCullum punches Swann into the off-side and scampers two before McCullum twirls Swann into the covers for one. Styris attempts the reverse sweep but doesn't make contact. We need to complete two more overs for a complete game...
17th over - 113-2 Wright back onand he nearly gets one through McCullum's defences first ball. One run however. A leg-bye before Wright pushes into the covers for a single. Bell makes a fine stop in the covers next ball, plucking the ball out of the air on the bounce. the umpires have a chat, but decide to soldier on.
16th over - 109-2 Seriously dark now at Edgbaston, it must be like batting in Ray Bans. Styris picks up one with a drive to mid-on before McCullum plays a clever reverse sweep for four, beating the diving Pietersen at gully. Swann strays down leg and is clipped to square-leg for one - fifty from 42 balls. Two more singles from the over and we have rain - CMJ on TMS says "you would only think about taking the dog for a walk in this if you were wearing a mackintosh..."
15th over - 101-2 Mascarenhas into the attack and his first ball is a gift, over-pitched on leg-stump and McCullum helps it on its way for four. McCullum and Styris exchange two singles apiece and the tourists pass 100. The Kiwis need 59 from eight overs, and you'd have to stay they're favourites.
"Not only does Scott Styris look like George C Scott but he looks like Kirk Douglas, which is quite a double..."
Christopher Martin-Jenkins on TMS
14th over - 91-2 Three singles from the first balls of Swann's over. McCullum then steals the strike with a single from the final ball of the over. You know what someone said to me the other day? "Peacocks strut because they can't fly". And immediately the image of Ian Poulter popped into my head.
13th over - 87-2 McCullum whip-cracks Collingwood to wide long-off for one and Styris finds some timing with a back-foot punch to deep cover. Colly tries a slower ball which Styris waits on and dabs to backward-square for a single. One more for McCullum with a clip to mid-wicket and the groundstaff are emerging from their dugout as the clouds move in...
12th over - 81-2 Styris is the new batsman and that boy can give it some hardcore rat-a-tat-tat. He's off the mark with a nurdled single and McCullum nicks the strike from the final ball of the over. Coldplay have just struck up outside my window! The man opposite me looks like he's chewing a ball of tin foil.
11th over - WICKET - Taylor c Wright b Collingwood 25, NZ 79-2
Very murky out there according to Aggers on TMS as McCullum guides Colly down to third-man for a single. Taylor bags one with an ugly smear into the leg-side and McCullum nurdles into the leg side for one. But that's a huge breakthrough for England, Taylor heaving Colly to deep mid-wicket where Wright snaffles the catch. Top snaffling.
10th over - 76-1 Swanny into the attack with his off-spinners and he gets plenty of turn with his first delivery. Swan tosses one up and McCullum clips him through mid-wicket for one and Taylor bags two with a slog-sweep. Taylor then gets stuck into Swann, dropping to one knee and swatting him over deep mid-wicket for four. That was bigger than jungle. And as we all know, jungle is massive.
9th over - 69-1 McCullum nurdles Anderson into the leg side for one before Taylor gets a huge slice of luck, going for an ugly hoick and getting a thin deflection just past his leg stump. Four runs, and Taylor then plays a lovely clip off his pads to the deep mid-wicket boundary. Anderson sees McCullum coming and digs one in short - one run for McCullum with a fend into the on-side. The partnership now 44.
8th over - 58-1 Class from McCullum, coming down the track to Broad and lacing him through the covers for four. Broad drops short and is dragged round the corner for four more - Mascarenhas it was with the attempted catch - before McCullum nurdles a single to give Taylor a go. Taylor drives to mid-off for one, McCullum steals the strike with a single and New Zealand require 102 from 15 overs. It's going to be a tight one...
7th over - 47-1 There's some chaps dressed up as Where's Wally? Unsurprisingly, they look like a bunch of wallies. Collingwood gets one to seam back at McCullum and cramp him up but McCullum nurdles Colly into the leg side next ball for three. Colly drags one in short and Taylor yanks him away for four and the England skipper strays onto Taylor's stumps next ball and is flipped to the long-leg boundary. New Zealand upping the rate, and it's getting pretty gloomy at Edgbaston now, as well as Trent Bridge... and probably for that matter Headingley...
6th over - 36-1 Crackerjack stroke from McCullum, rocking back and pinging Wright through point for four. Looking very gloomy at Trent Bridge now as McCullum nicks a single to bring Taylor, still on nought, onto strike. Taylor looks to play Wright to mid-wicket but gets a leading edge and the ball squirts away for a single to third-man. Tip and run from McCullum, nudging Wright into the covers for one. Stand by for some stand and deliver from McCullum.
5th over - 28-1 The big-hitting Ross Taylor is the new man in the middle and Collingwood, taker of four wickets in the last game, is into the attack. McCullum picks up a cheeky two to mid-wicket - KP a little bit sloppy there, he should have limited them to a single - and McCullum follows up with another tuck to leg for one. Taylor flails and misses and Ambrose whips off the bails... but the man upstairs sees that the batsman was in.
"Can't say I'm impressed with the 'new look' scorecard. At least with the previous one, I could reduce it and drag it down to the right hand corner of my screen. Makes it easier to fool my supervisors that I'm actually working. Do any other TMS regulars agree?"
The Crow, Milton Keynes, in the TMS inbox
4th over - WICKET - How c Shah b Broad 16, NZ 25-1
Clever little paddle down to long-leg by McCullum and he gets three for the shot. Fine fielding from Wright, flinging himself full-length, and Mascarenhas it is with the throw. Doozy of a cover-drive from How brings him four runs before Broad gets one to jag back wickedly off the seam and the ball ricochets off of How's inside edge and runs away for four. Broad not having a great deal of luck so far, the Kiwis stepping up the run-rate. But How's gone! Soft dismissal that, How just chipping the ball straight to Shah at short mid-wicket.
3rd over - 14-0 How picks up a single with a streaky outside edge off Broad and McCullum nicks a single of his own. One more for How before McCullum prods into the off-side to steal the strike. Norris On The Spot bowling from Anderson, just four from the over, and that's not good enough at the moment from New Zealand.
2nd over - 10-0 McCullum wants to get stuck into Broad first-up - advances down the crease and gets a thick outside edge down to third-man for one. That's unlucky for Broad, How bottom-edging a pull and the ball just missing his sticks and running away for four. Not a lot Ambrose could have done about that. Broad extracts a bit of extra bounce and McCullum misses out with a lusty cut shot. Decent over from Broad.
1st over - 4-0 Not a particularly clever start from Anderson - two off-side wides. He patches things up with four straight dot balls before How gets off the mark with a clip through mid-wicket for a couple. Clearer skies, we could get a game here. The latest news is that the tourists require 160 from 23 overs, via the Duckworth-Lewis method.
1759: England fall into a huddle and we'll have play in a minute... here come New Zealand's opening bats, McCullum and How...
"Hah! The most common of my mum's stock phrases occurs whenever a newborn babe appears on the telly. You'll be guaranteed to hear: 'That's not a newborn baby!' Followed by any number of reasons."
Alex Guigan in the TMS inbox
1753: Covers are coming off and we'll have play in three minutes... no we're not, we're starting at 1806... the cut off point is now 1816... I'm getting a bit irritated by all this to be honest...
"Further to Mr Longman (see below), I too read about Gazza on the BBC website this morning, and my mate told me, and it was also mentioned on Sky Sports news. So I heard it here fourth. Can anyone better me?"
Richard, Birmingham, in the TMS inbox
1746: Some catastrophic news: there's been a shower, the covers are on and TMS scorer Malcolm Ashton reckons if we don't get any play before 1806 BST, the game's up.
1743: While you're munching on an interval sandwich or maybe just staring at Tina from accounts or John from back-office, consider this advertisement for sheds, it's the best thing you'll see all week. I've been told to take it down... sorry... it had a brilliant little ditty on it though... think "Come and get your black bin bags" from Phoenix Nights...
"The news that Gazza might manage the Philippines was on the BBC sport website this morning. I also read it in the Daily Star. So, truthfully, I heard it here third."
James Longman in the TMS inbox
"Speaking of mums' 'wait for it' stock phrases, whenever my mum sees a Gurkha on the TV it's always: 'Brave little men... those kukris will have your head off and you wouldn't know it until you'd nodded...'"
Adrian King in the TMS inbox
24th over - WICKET - Broad run out 1, Eng 162 all out
Southee very nearly cleans up Broad with an inswinging yorker to complete his hat-trick, but the ball just misses off-stump by a couple of inches. And from the final ball of the innings, Broad drives to deep cover and, attempting a second, is beaten by Flynn's throw to Hopkins. We don't yet know what the Kiwis will be chasing, but, rather bizarrely, we've now got a 30 minute break... TMS scorer reckons New Zealand require 165 to win it under the Duckworth-Lewis method...
"If everyone thought like Gina (see below), no-one would have invented the sandwich toaster - think about that..."
John, Manchester, in the TMS inbox
24th over - WICKET - Swann c Hopkins b Southee 1, Eng 161-9
Swanny goes next ball, the England spinner top-edging a pull, like Mascarenhas before him, and Hopkins taking a far easier catch.
24th over - WICKET - Mascarenhas c Hopkins b Southee 23, Eng 161-8
Mascarenhas drives a half-bunger from Southee to long-off for a couple before slapping Southee straight back over his head for four. But he's gone next ball, top-edging a pull to square-leg and Hopkins making up a lot of ground to take a fine diving catch.
23rd over - WICKET - Ambrose c Taylor b Mills 1, Eng 147-7
Ambrose gone, clipping Mills straight to Taylor at mid-wicket... never found his timing Ambrose, a bit frustrating little stay at the crease. Swann is the new batsman and he's off the mark with a single first ball. Mascarenhas flips a Mills full-toss over mid-wicket for four and digs out a yorker for a couple. The Hampshire man picks up one more with a drive to long-on.
22nd over - 146-6 Mascar burgles a single to get Ambrose back on strike. Ambrose reaches for a widish delivery but fails to make contact and he misses out on another tempter from Southee. Ambrose does pick up a single with a squeeze through point before Mascarenhas jams down on a yorker outside off and the ball races away for four. Mascar goes for a big heave from the final ball of Southee's over, but doesn't make contact and the ball dribbles away for one. News just in that the Philippines want Paul Gascoigne as their new manager! You heard it here first! What next? Zimbabwe installing Peter Andre as their new president. Actually, I can imagine Andre as a tyrant sitting on a throne wearing a necklace made of his enemies' ears.
21st over - WICKET - Collingwood c Flynn b Elliott 37, Eng 137-6 Low full-bunger from Elliott which Masca drives to long-off for one. Collingwood rocks back and carves Elliott to third-man for four but is out next ball, chipping to extra-cover where Flynn takes a fine catch diving full-length. Very important knock that from the England skipper, 37 from 24 balls. The batsmen crossed and Mascarenhas nicks a single to bring wicket-keeper Ambrose onto strike. The little fella survives the over.
"On the subject of people being gullible, on a walk in the Peak District I convinced a group of cub scouts that Highland Cattle were woolly mammoths."
Matt Duckworth in the TMS inbox
20th over - 132-5 Colly punches Vettori to mid-wicket for a couple. Mascarenhas is the new batter and Colly gives him the strike with a sharply-run single. The Hampshire all-rounder is off the mark immediately with a clip to long-off before his skipper picks up two more with another clip to mid-wicket.
19th over - Shah lbw b Elliott 18, Eng 126-5
Shah reaches and squirts Elliott into the off-side for one. Two more singles apiece for Colly and Shah before Shah, heaving across the line, is beaten by a slower delivery from Elliott and trapped plumb in front. A decent cameo from Shah, 18 from 18.
18th over - 121-4 Three nurdled singles before Colly sashays down the track and marmalises Vettori 10 rows back into the stand at long-on. England really stepping it up with five overs left.
"When at primary school, we convinced a lad that the city he was from, Hereford, was in fact an island and that everytime he went there he must have fallen asleep when crossing the bridge from the 'mainland'."
James, London, in the TMS inbox
17th over - 110-4 Shah goes ballistic! Too straight from Styris and the Middlesex man is all over it like a Fosters suit, hammering it over mid-wicket for a massive six. A leg-side delivery is then flicked away for four by Shah before Collingwood latches onto one right in the slot, lacing Styris through the covers for four. Another four from Colly courtesy of a quirky scoop over the wicket-keeper's head and the medium pace of Styris is receiving some fearful tap.
16th over - 91-4 Vettori strays onto Shah's pads and is worked to mid-wicket for two. Shah arches his back and cuts hard for one more.
"I have to say that since the resumption there's been some fairly average international cricket..."
Jeremy Coney on TMS
"The BBC website is absolutely fantastic but when I just want to follow a day's play of cricket I have to read the utter rubbish that Joe Public has written - utter garbage. I can't believe people participate in such poor and meaningless banter. Please set up a separate forum for these out of work misfits. I've been meaning to write this for a while."
Tim, London, in the TMS inbox
15th over - 88-4 Shah is the new batter. One for Colly with a tuck behind square and Shah is on strike. He's off the mark with a sketchy single, a leading edge popping over the bowler's head, before Colly sweeps fine for two and then runs Styris down to third-man for four. Good shot that.
14th over - WICKET - Bopara run out 10, Eng 80-4
Collingwood is off the mark with a trademark clip to mid-wicket but he should have been stumped next ball, the England skipper skipping down the track, missing only for Hopkins to miss the straightforward stumping. One bye. But that's more shocking running from Bopara next ball and I've got a sneaking suspicion that the Essex man's neurotic running might cost him 500k later this year. Bopara goes for a quick single, turns and joins his skipper at the same end. Hopkins whips off the bails and Bopara had actually thrust his bat ahead of Collingwood's and is given out. Got all that?
13th over - 77-3 Collingwood is now in the middle with Bopara, but it's the Essex all-rounder who plays out the final two balls of the over from Elliott.
1637: If play does get under way soon, we believe the game will now be a 24-over-a-side slapabout. All covers are off now... left, players are out and we'll have play in a minute. You have to say that this is make or break now - any more rain and this game is toast.
"I recently, with the assistance of my friend, convinced his American wife that the theme tune to the A-Team was the Canadian national anthem."
Tom Newfield in the TMS inbox
"Ben - I have never understood the criticism of some bands sounding the same. Isn't that the point? And also, in any other walk of business, if you produced something that sold 20 million items, would you really decide to change it?! And anyway, Elvis seemed to do OK sounding the same. So Sally and Sarah, I am with you all the way, so to speak."
Gina, Gloucestershire, in the TMS inbox
1631: All of the covers are off now except the main one on the wicket itself. The umpires are currently having a look, but there still look to be plenty of puddles dotted around the edge of the track. We now have a rope skipping across the surface of the outfield and the Kiwis are having a bit of catching practice, so clearly more play is expected. In answer to your question Chris, I believe that today's stats so far will indeed enter the record books, even if the game is eventually abandoned.
"My mum lost her mobile phone once, now she keeps it by the house phone at all times."
Chris,Teddington, in the TMS inbox
"If this match is called off does Luke Wright still get his 50 recorded in the annals of the game?"
John, Manchester, in the TMS inbox
1623: Some of the covers are coming off again and TMS scorer Malcolm Ashton reckons that unless play restarts by 1711 BST, we'll have no play at all. I'll keep you posted. I once told an ex-girlfriend that Japanese people are unable to sneeze and she believed me. We were both living in Japan at the time.
"In sixth form we managed to convince a mate that Peter Beardsley was Italian, but played for England because of his nan. He believed us for nearly a week!"
Mitchell, London, in the TMS inbox
"My Aunt used to go to school with Billy Ocean... FACT! Put that in your pipe and smoke it cricinfo!"
Wes, MK, in the TMS inbox
1615: Not looking good folks - the covers have gone back on, the rain is looking heavier and it's highly unlikely we'll get a game unless we're back out by 1700 BST, which doesn't look likely. Mums are indeed very gullible. They also have stock comments for all situations. For example, when my mum's watching a programme about apes, she will always at some stage say "oooh, ain't they human..." Just you watch, your mum probably does it as well.
"What is it with mothers? A TV bloke installed a new set at my mum's house and left the remote on the table. After she'd let him out she saw the controller and said 'Oh, he's left his calculator".
JB, London, in the TMS inbox
"Whilst I don't claim to ever have tittered at a bread product per se, when my (now) fiancee and I were students in 1998 we were fencing with French sticks in Sainsbury's Fallowfield having had a few at the thoughtfully placed pub next door. A mistimed swipe from myself and a commendable duck from the missus ensured that I cracked an unsuspecting punter, innocently perusing the fruit and veg, across the noggin with a loaf of Sainsbury's best. She was not amused. Needless to say we were and how we laughed as we were escorted, breadless, from the premises."
Si, Cardiff, in the TMS inbox
1601: Covers are coming off and here come the umpires... it looks like we'll have some play in a few minutes... Andrew Tuffield (see below) - more knowledgeable opinions on cricinfo? Why, what are they saying about Billy Ocean on there? Obviously you can't answer that because then you'd have to admit you were still secretly looking at this while pretending you were really angry and actually looking at cricinfo.
"What utter drivel on the commentary today, guess it's time to go over to cricinfo.com - much more knowledgeable opinions there. Oh, and by the way, let me know to what address I should send the broken bottle, anything to help out."
Andrew Tuffield in the TMS inbox
13th over - WICKET - Wright c Styris b Elliott 52, Eng 77-3
Arlo White on TMS has just pointed out that Vettori looks a bit more demonstrative out on the pitch today, which makes a change. Normally he looks so downbeat it must be like being skippered by Tony Hancock for the rest of his team. The rain drives in and Wright goes for some more tap over long-off and is caught in the deep by Styris running in. And that's that for now, players are off for rain.
12th over - 76-2 Vettori is going to attempt to stem the tide. Balletic from Bopara, punching him into the covers for two before clipping him to mid-wicket for two more. One more for Bopara and we've got some seriously dark clouds blowing in over Edgbaston...
"On the subject of Chris Martin, his dad owns a camper van shop in Exeter, the size and quantity of which have grown in direct relation to the sales of Coldplay's whinings..."
Will Ward, Cardiff, in the TMS inbox
11th over - 71-2 Two singles apiece for Bopara and Wright and that's Wright's fifty courtesy of a flick to long-leg for four - 33 balls, six fours and two sixes. Savagery in motion.
"On the subject of gullibility, no-one could match my dear departed mum. We once convinced her that the Man City mascot was Mike Summerbee ('one of the shortest players in the Football League,' we said). It also was not uncommon for her to exclaim 'ooh they've scored again' upon seeing an action replay. If she was around today I bet you could convince her that Coldplay were a truly excellent band." Andrew, Sidmouth (painfully near Exeter, Chris Martin's home town), in the TMS inbox
10th over - 63-2 Wright backs away and laces Mason over the covers for four before absolutely marmalising the bowler over wide long-off for six. And another! Wright drops to one knee and jamspangles Mason over the deep mid-wicket rope. Take that you swine! No-ball from Mason and now Wright has a free hit... big old heave-ho from Wright and he picks up one more for a thick inside edge. Wright now 46. Bopara doesn't look to have improved his running much, he's got all the composure of Scrappy-Doo - he pushes into the covers, is sent back again and just manages to beat the shy with his dive.
9th over - 43-2 Grant Elliott, on one-day debut, is into the attack. He's been playing for Weybridge in the Surrey leagues. Some sharp running from England - Wright pushes to gully and Bopara easily beats the throw before Bopara is sent back and would have been out if How's shy had hit. Bopara does pick up a couple with a drive into the covers.
8th over - WICKET - Pietersen c Vettori b Mason 13, Eng 40-2 Mason into the attack. Pietersen hasn't quite hit his straps yet and he mistimes an attempted mow to mid-wicket and picks up a single. Wright gives it some hammer, clobbering Mason to wide long-off for three. But that's KP gone, slapping Mason straight to Vettori at mid-off. The last time I felt such a sense of anti-climax was when I told the bloke opposite that Billy Ocean did, in fact, grow up in Stepney and not, as he had always thought, Miami.
7th over - 36-1 Mills drops short and Wright mows him through the covers for four. Tremendous strength from Wright, that was pretty much a cut shot on the front foot. Bit of luck for Wright, carving Mills over the fielder at backward-point for four. Two more for Wright before Mills goes up for a half-hearted lbw appeal, but he was a long way down the pitch. A football writer has just wandered over and said the following: "I would rather nail my head to my coffee table than listen to Coldplay." He hovered by my desk for a moment and then walked off.
6th over - 26-1 That's better from Wright, the Sussex biffer sending Southee sprawling with a clubbed straight four. Wright picks up a single with a clip to fine-leg before KP slaps Southee to the mid-wicket fence. Pietersen backs away to leg and is very nearly yorked - the Kiwis winning this on points at the moment.
5th over - 17-1 Three singles from Mills's over, but Wright is struggling to put much meat on his strokes and he looks like he's batting in divers boots.
4th over - 14-1 Wright bags another couple with a squirt to point before Southee strays onto Wright's pads and Hopkins manages to limit England to one leg-bye. Bit agricultural from Pietersen, hoicking across the line and picking up one to wide mid-on. Regarding Chris Martin of Coldplay, I would rather punch myself in the stomach than go and see them perform in concert. Then again, the last gig I went to see was Christy Moore, so I'm not exactly modish.
"For Sally the Coldplay fan (see below), I totally agree with you Sally, Chris Martin is amazingly talented. How he can get all their albums to sound exactly the same, keep the same dreary tone going for years and get people to purchase tickets to their concerts is remarkable. Well done son, you tricked a nation!"
William Bradley, Enniskillen, in the TMS inbox
3rd over - 9-1 Mills gets one past Pietersen's defences before KP saunters down the track and clips the bowler over his head for a couple. A couple of people have emailed in to point out I keep starting sentences with "right". Sorry Kate, I have nothing against left-handers...
2nd over - 7-1 KP threads a drive between the two fielders either side of point and runs two. One more for Pietersen off the bowling of Southee before Wright creams the first boundary of the day, using his feet and flipping Southee to the long-leg fence.
1st over - WICKET - Bell c Vettori b Mills 0, Eng 0-1
It's about three-quarters full at Edgbaston as Mills runs in to bowl the first ball of the match... but the New Zealand seamer has to abort after the bails come off. Bell fends the first ball of the match to gully for no run but he's gone just two balls later, Vettori taking a difficult swirling catch over his shoulder at mid-off. Not a clever knock on his home patch from Bell. The batsmen crossed and Wright is now at bat, with new man KP at the other end. Wright blocks out the over and that's a wicket-maiden from Mills.
1458: The umpires are out and we'll have play in a couple of minutes. Bell and Wright to open up for England and here come the Kiwis...
"Regading your son being a goat (see below), we were in the pub when a friend of mine exclaimed that a man had just walked in with a goat to which my girlfriend said "really?" She was even gullible enough to marry me. Bless."
Jonno in the TMS inbox
1453: I always used to like the smell of Mr Men books when I was a kid, and I also had a thing about Airfix glue. Wonder what KP likes smelling? Probably himself.
"Not sure about sniffing tennis balls but the smell of magazines does it for me. First thing I do with the Sunday Times mag is have a good whiff. The LFC magazine also has a particularly good bouquet."
Brian Durand, Senior Engineer, in the TMS inbox
"I thought Alexander O'Neal was dead."
Matt, under the Heathrow flight path, in the TMS inbox
1450: Right ladies and gents, let's have it - the pesky Kiwis won the toss and they've put England into bat... play in 10 minutes...
1432: Right, a bit of team news, Dimitri Mascarenhas is in for Ryan Sidebottom (he's got a sore side) and now I've got to go off again for 20 minutes or so because they're jazzing up the cricket index or something...
"KP has started something here. Today I've signed my expenses claim form left-handed. If my claim for oysters and champagne on the way to sell concrete to a guy in Wolverhampton is rejected then I'll know I've got some way to go to match KP's ambidextrous-ness."
Nigel, Bury, in the TMS inbox
"The cows in the field behind my house have stood up. Hope maybe?"
King of the Swing in the TMS inbox
1425: Right, some good news: play will start at 1500 BST, if we have no rain between now and then. The game will be 29-overs-a-side, so if you stick around, you're quite likely to see another one of KP's wonder-shots...
1302: Right, I'm actually off now, byeeee!
"I arrived at the checkout at the weekend laughing as I walked past a woman who opened the freezer door and turned to her husband in shock and proclaimed 'oooh, it's freezing in there!' Genius!"
Huw, Chesterfield, in the TMS inbox
"Nice to see Birmingham living up to the adage that if it doesn't look like it's going to rain, then it already is. On the bread-sniffing subject, I once found myself stepping out of my car at a petrol station, inhaling and letting out a satisfied 'hmmmmm' noise, much to the bemusement of the lady at the next pump. I can't be the only one who enjoys the smell of freshly cut petrol?"
Phil, Southampton, in the TMS inbox
"Chris Martin of Coldplay is amazingly talented, just stick to talking about cricket."
Sally in the TMS inbox
1251: Right you lovely lot, my superiors have decided that there's probably something a little more constructive I could be doing rather than talking about bread, so I'm going to call it a day for now. If there is any update on play, obviously we'll keep you posted. Loving the emails, especially that one about the chimpanzee sitting on skateboard, that made me giggle...
"I don't know if anyone remembers, but a few years ago at Wimbledon there were two brothers called Murphy and Luke Jensen who played in the doubles. They were surfy-looking American mavericks and one of the brothers, Luke, was known for switching hands during rallies. When asked why he did it he came up with the immortal line, 'because the chicks dig it'. Robin Givens obviously did as she had a child with his brother Murphy. He was also nicknamed 'Dual Hand Luke'."
John in the TMS inbox
"Talking of editorial corrections, I wouldn't be surprised if you have someone from Radio 3 wandering over fairly soon to take you to task for describing Jazz as a form of 'popular music'. While it incorporates influences and tunes from popular music, Coltrane is surely not pop!"
Gavin the Muso, London, in the TMS inbox
1245: Some emails in asking when the next umpires' inspection is. The answer is, there are no inspections planned as far as we know because it's still raining, which is a bit of a choker to be honest.
"I took some money out of the ATM this morning after typing in my pin number with my left hand. Eat your heart out Kevin Pietersen."
Marc, Devon, in the TMS inbox
"Laughing at bread and static is all very well, but the most funny thing I heard recently was when my two-year old son suddenly put down his fork at teatime and announced with great solemnity 'I am a goat'. Still drizzling here less than a mile from Edgbaston. Sigh."
Kate in the TMS inbox
"I don't often find myself having a good old chuckle at bread, but the sight of a panini sends me wistfully into my childhood saying, 'got, got, got... oooooh, need, I'll give you the Watford badge and Remi Moses for that one'."
Derrie Monteith in the TMS inbox
1232: The man sitting next to me has just informed me that Alexander 'It's Nothing But Hearsay' O'Neal and Jane 'Talks About Vaguely Rude Stuff On Afternoon Telly' MacDonald are performing at Fontwell Park racetrack tomorrow, if anyone fancies.
"I have never found myself laughing hysterically in the supermarket bakery section. However, when I arrived at the checkout yesterday with the wrong type in my basket, I did afford myself a rye smile."
Darryl Smith in the TMS inbox
"On the subject of Graeme Swann, look at the picture of him wearing the RAF beret on the home page. I'm not sure whether he looks like a Stephen King character of inner turmoil and terror or a modern-day Windsor Davis from It Ain't Half Hot Mum. Either way, it scares me a little."
Liz Rothe in the TMS inbox
1228: One of my editors has just strolled over to inform me that Paltrow is in fact Chris Martin's wife, not his girlfriend. Whatever she is, she's still a sort.
"As a gay man reading your commentary, Matt Lucas being back on the market is of no great interest. Some of us do have taste you know! If some of the England cricket team were suddenly on the gay market, that would be good news! Cook and Anderson to name but two!"
Mark on the sunny Sussex coast in the TMS inbox
"I am going to watch my mate 'Loggy' play in a Twenty20 match later. 'Loggy' was also nicknamed 'Big Lump' when playing Sunday Football so I am not expecting many KP Flamingo shots, but I am guaranteed entertainment!"
South, Brighton, in the TMS inbox
1220: Got to be honest Sarah (see below), I'd rather go and see Chris Martin the right-arm fast-medium New Zealand bowler in concert than Chris Martin and Coldplay. Chris Martin of Coldplay is about as musically innovative as Stretch & Vern. Top-drawer girlfriend though, especially in seven-inch heels. Still loads of umbrellas up at Edgbaston and we have covers draped across seemingly half the ground.
"Went to see Coldplay the other night in Brixton, they were pretty good actually. Their gigs are rather civilised compared to some I have been to. No moshing and therefore no bruises in the morning."
Sarah, Bucks, in the TMS inbox
"In response to Alan, is he having a laugh? The only good thing to come out of Manchester is Oasis. We have Duran Duran, UB40, Nigel Mansell and Jasper Carrott."
Nick Yates in the TMS inbox
"Further to said bread sniffing, my tennis partner and I have always enjoyed the striking odour that comes with cracking open a new tin of tennis balls. On one occasion at the local park, both hunched over the latest tin, a passing jogger said over our shoulders, 'now that's what I call a fetish'. I don't think we've done it since."
Guy, Switzerland, in the TMS inbox
"Re: switching hands in other sports - I tried it once during an arm-wrestling competition in Batley Working Men's Club and didn't see the end of my pint."
Johnny X, St. Albans, in the TMS inbox
1208: Listen, I'm not going to mess you about, but I'm not very confident about getting any play today. But we can still speak about laughing at bread and static and stuff if you want. Is this the most sterotypically Irish thing you've ever heard? I was having a beer with a mate and his Irish dad last week and when we left the pub the old man's car had been nicked. And, without skipping a beat, he said: "For ***** sake, I could have had a few more beers." Beautiful.
"Me and my fiancée were in New York a few months ago and we had the same problem with static electricity. We would turn the lights out and be amazed (if not slightly concerned) with the blue sparks we were producing. When we brought it up with the lady at the front desk (who, incidentally, was not a people person) she too thought I was lying. Yet, oddly enough, she believed me when I jokingly told her that my spiky hair was a result of the static electricity, not hair gel. They're a strange bunch."
Andy, Nottingham, in the TMS inbox
"I think you will find that you 'furl' an umbrella, as opposed to collapsing one."
Pete in the TMS inbox
1200: TMS are going off air, which isn't a good sign. Talking of greetings cards (see below), does anyone else still get birthday cards from their mum with 1970s sportsmen on? I swear I had former West Brom and Ipswich midfielder Romeo Zondervan on the front of my birthday card a few years back.
"No bread-related humour recently, but I did find myself in a fit of hysterics when I found a birthday card with a chimpanzee on the front in Woolworths yesterday. A man of 27 should no better but he (or she) was sat so nonchalantly on a skateboard. All that for 49p!"
Nick, NW1, in the TMS inbox
"I reckon they should designate three fielders in each team who have to throw the ball with their weaker hand. I was trying this last night and instead of my normal sturdy action I developed a very bendy armed approach with an odd little skip/hop in the delivery stride. There was even a little involuntary squeak on release."
Stuart Thomas, City of London, in the TMS inbox
"Ben, I was in Vegas in April, and I also found myself getting static shocks all the time. It got so bad that I was afraid to open the doors, and had to let people go ahead of me. I would also not hold them open for anyone coming in behind me, which made me appear rather rude."
Edd, London, in the TMS inbox
1151: BBC Sport's Sam Lyon is talking to Graeme Swann for his column tomorrow, so any questions would be gratefully received.
1143: Good news for any gay men reading this! Matt Lucas is back on the market! He's split with some chap called Kevin McGee and, judging by the pic on the Metro website, I reckon it's because Kevin nicked Matt's hair. Alison in Ghana has emailed in asking: "Why all the controversy over KP's switch-hit 'thingummy'?" There's a piece on the website that may help you out.
"Well, only three days to go until the first Village League matches since Pietersen's 'switch-hitting'. I wonder if it will have the same effect on village cricket as Harry Kewell's 'around-the-back-cross' did on Sunday League football?"
Dan Greenslade, Doncaster, in the TMS inbox
1137: If Phil 'The Power' Taylor were to change to left-handed, what might his new nickname be? Phil 'The Four-Year-Old Girl' Taylor? There are some who believe Taylor is as great a sportsman as Tiger Woods. Much as I like darts, that's like saying handbag house is as important a genre of popular music as jazz. The brollies are being collapsed and the umpires are having a look at Edgbaston...
"This switching to your opposite hand could work well in other sports. I'd definitely watch more darts if Phil Taylor and Co had to use their wrong-un. 'Phil, you scored 14' would make it far more interesting. Who wants to watch 180,140,180 all night?"
Steve Reynolds in the TMS inbox
1135: I'm been on a bit of a fitness drive lately and am trying to eat properly and stuff. The other day I found myself smelling a baguette in Tescos. On realising what I was doing, I start giggling to myself and looked round to discover I was being watched by a couple of women on the fish counter. Has anyone else been caught laughing at bread recently? Still raining in Birmingham...
"Unfortunately Alan Willoughby (see below) is deluded (like a lot of people from Manchester) when he asks 'Who said Birmingham was the second city?' the answer is 'the rest of the country with the exception of the inhabitants of that village in Lancashire'."
Kev Walsh (a proud second citizen) in the TMS inbox
"Totally agreed Ben! I must have been in the same enclosure as yourself at Ascot. I think it's called The Wear a Nice Shirt and Tie Combo and Come Home with Fake Tan all over it Resulting in Numerous Arguments with the Missus for Weeks to Come Enclosure. Ruddy good day though!"
Jon, Northampton, in the TMS inbox
"Nothing to do with cricket, but found this very funny - confirms that the French are terrible drivers and that it really wasn't their night yesterday."
Sam in the TMS inbox
1121: Apparently Coldplay are playing at Television Centre this evening. I found 10p once. I see Melinda Messenger is now hosting a late-night phone-in show on ITV1. One minute she's on a double glazing billboard in Swindon, the next she's presenting Late Night Bingo. How the mighty can fall.
1114: We hear that if play hasn't started by 1612 BST, there will be no play. KP is a left-handed golfer apparently. Apparently England great Peter May was so good at playing golf right-handed that he got bored, bought himself some left-handed clubs and got down to scratch. And I bet Peter May didn't own a driver with a head the size of a microwave oven.
1112: Talking of static charges, I was in Las Vegas ("oooh, look at you!") recently and the static I was producing there was spectacular. When I turned the lights out to go to bed, I could actually see blue sparks coming off my pillow. However, when I tried to tell people about this, I could tell they thought I was lying. Don't you hate that, when you tell someone something slightly unusual and they think you're lying. I'm a grown man - why would I lie for KP's sake?
"Unfortunately Boots have replaced carpets with wood flooring so the fun of creating static charges in there is past. Mind you, the carpets in John Lewis still create static sparks when you least expect it and cause unfortunate side effects to children in buggies."
Diana in the TMS inbox
1106: Light rain falling at Edgbaston and all the chat in the TMS commentary box is about KP's new shot. Not since Dick Fosbury thought to himself, "hang on a minute, I'm going to do my spuds a mischief going over that bar front-wise" has an innovation caused such a stir in sport.
"What a wonderful extension Kevin Pietersen's switch-hit is to the skill and the craft of batting..."
Jeremy Coney on TMS
"Regarding your comment on the best feeling in the world, I think my favourite has to be when you wake up and are about to jump out of bed, then check your alarm clock and you have only been in bed 20 minutes. Unbelivable. Unless of course you only went to bed at 6am and have to be up at 6.30..." Phil Peel in the TMS inbox
1100: Excitement in the office! One of the covers to the side of the wicket is removed...only to be replaced by an even more robust looking one...but then that one gets removed! WHAT THE RUDDY HECK IS GOING ON OUT THERE! We've got a 'whale' out there soaking up some of water up and there are brollies flying all over the place - not pleasant.
"Who said Birmingham was the second city? That privilege is Manchester's..."
Alan Willoughby in the TMS inbox
"Shame about the weather, but on a more sprightly note, I hit the nets last night with a few mates and the entire evening was spent attempting the KP Switch Hit. I think 10 out of around 1,000 balls actually made a decent contact and now my right leg looks like that of a Dalmatian due to the powerful combination of my pasty white British legs and lots of switch-hitting cricket bat-induced bruises! We bow to you KP! Take a bow son! Take a bow!"
Jon, Northampton, in the TMS inbox
1048: Cricket isn't the only sport being ruined by the weather today, apparently Royal Ascot is due for a dousing as well. According to fashion critic James Sherwood in a piece on our website, Ascot is all about 'fascinators', pearls and pashminas. Funny, when I went a few years ago it seemed to be all about coach loads of orange Essex girls wearing no shoes, flashing their undercrackers and vomiting on their mate's hair. Maybe James hangs out in a different enclosure to me.
1025: All right cricket people? The news this morning is rubbish, unless you've just woken up thinking you were supposed to be at work before suddenly realising you'd booked the day off - is there a better feeling in the world than that? Anyway, it's lobbing it down in Brum and the start is delayed. Even worse, the BBC forecast for England's second city says it will be raining its backside off all day. So, sadly, we might have to wait another day to see another one of KP's reverse slog-sweeps. On a brighter note, I just found this in the TMS inbox:
"As kids, we went to Boots on a Saturday afternoon and shuffled our dodgy Don Johnson slip-ons on the threadbare carpet, thus producing a static charge. We then proceeded to touch pensioners on the earlobe as they'd lose balance and sometimes stumble (NB: no Older People were injured during these acts). These high-jinx only lasted a few weeks as my mate Jason got collared trying to steal a foot-spa for his Nan (ironic karma in action?) and we all got barred."
Cen in the TMS inbox