Third Test, Antigua (day three):
England 566-9 dec & 31-1 v West Indies 285 (close)
Graeme Swann claimed a five-wicket haul as England bowled out West Indies for 285 and finished day three of the third Test in Antigua 312 runs ahead at 31-1.
Swann took two wickets before lunch but England wilted in the sun as Ramnaresh Sarwan hit 14 fours and a six in 94.
But Swann, in only his third Test, struck twice in two balls to claim 5-57 and Andrew Flintoff took 3-47 as the last three wickets fell in three overs.
England decided not to enforce the follow-on but lost Andrew Strauss.
LATEST ACTION (ALL TIMES GMT)
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ENGLAND SECOND INNINGS
2138: Right, that's me done for the evening. Fascinating day's play, I'm sure you'd agree, and a pretty good one for England. Thanks for all your emails as always, and sorry we can't post them all. Sammy Lyon's on tomorrow, be gentle with him.
"Just how ill will Harmy and Freddie feel if this Test slips away after declaring for 566? Better to have battled on for 11 overs and then ended this thing on Wednesday."
Jeff in the TMS inbox
"England should bat out 40 overs and try and get 160, which would leave the West Indies needing 470 or so and with 140 overs or so to bowl West Indies out..."
Sir Geoffrey Boycott on TMS
2131 - 31-1 Cook gets off the strike with a nudge into the covers. Anderson fends off his hip, but Cook declines the run. Hinds has put Anderson down in the slips! Anderson fending, Hinds falling to his right and shelling a catch he should have taken. Hinds' birthday today. He'll be lucky to get a Chinese burn from Edwards. Anderson gets another short one, but this time he manages to steer it downwards. Second no-ball of the over, however, and Anderson leaves the final ball of the day well alone.
2124 - 28-1 Ten minutes of cricket left, and the Windies will fancy rooting another England batsman out before stumps. Taylor switches to round the wicket to Anderson, who plays and misses.
"It's a sad day when our bowlers are struggling after just one day in the field! Cricket is a summer sport, played almost exclusively in the heat. Even our pampered footballers soldier on in the rain and snow, so I think Harmy should just have a Berocca and get on with it."
Hugo, New York, in the TMS inbox
"Not only do we have Flintoff and Harmy under the weather, but Anderson with an ankle strapping on. If one of them breaks down and they start OK, we would have had a LONG session in prospect tomorrow morning. Also, after the 51 shambles at Sabina Park, can you imagine the nerves and twitchiness if we had 50/100 to knock off on day five for the win?"
Steve, St Helens, in the TMS inbox
2116 - WICKET - Strauss c Smith b Edwards 14, England 23-1
West Indies have the breakthrough, Edwards locating Strauss's outside edge and Devon Smith taking a smart catch at second slip. Sir Boycs and Aggers can't quite believe what's going on out there - England have sent out a nightwatchman! Here comes Anderson. Chin music first up, and Anderson does well to play it down. Edwards is bowling at a serious lick here - Anderson fends his second delivery past second slip and away for four.
"Dirs, did you get my valentines card on Saturday? It was the one with Boycott's head photoshopped onto a woman's body."
Anon in the TMS inbox
"Good decision by Strauss to not enforce the follow-on. Nobody still knows what the pitch will do so get runs on the board and we'll see what happens. Bat positively and try to leave five sessions to bowl the West Indies out. 220ish should be a score that will be safe enough."
Tom in the TMS inbox
"Is not batting again symbolic of the softies we have playing these days? What's wrong with another day in the field? Yes, so it's a tad warm out there, mentally draining, tiring for the bowlers etc. But 'in the good old days' and 'when men were men' we'd have been out there putting it up 'em!"
David in the TMS inbox
2112 - 23-0 Strauss tucks Taylor off his hip for one and Cook picks up a single. Taylor gets one to fly through off the halfway line - that would have cleaned Strauss up if it was straight - before Strauss skies a hook, but it lands in no-man's land.
"If the argument is that Flintoff and Harmison need to recover, then that is a valid point, but there are only 11 overs left in the day, they have the full night to recover. By not enforcing the follow-on you solve a small possible problem of Flintoff and Harmison not recovering for tomorrow with a much larger problem of forcing the batsmen to score fast so that a declaration can be made before lunch tomorrow. England need 250 to be able to declare then, and that is not easy."
Bent, Denmark, in the TMS inbox
2106 - 20-0 Edwards gets Strauss swaying with a short one, and the little man is really slinging it down - that ball was 92mph. Short of a length again from Edwards and Strauss drags him round the corner for one. Cook is off the mark with a nudge to mid-off. Edwards up to 94mph now, but it's a no-ball and flies miles over wicket-keeper Ramdin's head and away for five wides. Strauss steals the strike again with a nudge off his hip.
2103 - 11-0 Taylor shares the new ball with Edwards, and he very nearly has Strauss playing on, the ball running away for four. This time Strauss glides Taylor past gully for four before tugging Taylor away for a single.
"Don't like this batting again malarky, don't see the benefits. Surely by flying in to bat we are just robbing ourselves time to bowl the Windies out?"
Andrew, still trying to write his immunology essay, in the TMS inbox
2057 - 2-0 Strauss and Cook are back out, and it will be Edwards to have first bung with the ball. Eleven overs for the England openers to negotiate tonight. A few emails in criticising Strauss's decision to bat. Not sure about that - as far as I can make out, neither Harmison or Flintoff aren't feeling too clever, so probably best for them to stick their feet up and recover. England off the mark with a no-ball, and Strauss is off the mark with a single off his pads.
"All the cricketers of my generation would say, 'yes, enforce the follow-on', cricketers of this generation say, 'no, we'll bat again'. The danger with not enforcing the follow-on is that you waste time and lose your momentum..."
Vic Marks on TMS
"This sort of position is perfect for someone like Tresco, shame he cannot be tempted out of retirement."
Join the debate on 606
WEST INDIES FIRST INNINGS
2045: The question now is, will England put the hosts back in or have a bat themselves? My money's on them not enforcing the follow-on - would you want to stay out there for another day or so? Confirmation in, England are going to bat... see you in a minute or two...
2044 - WICKET - Taylor c&b Flintoff 19, West Indies 285
Flintoff drags one down and Taylor flogs him through mid-wicket for four... but that's it folks, Taylor goes for another pull and Flintoff just about hangs onto a steepler.
2037 - WICKET - Benn lbw b Swann 0, West Indies 279-9
Five wickets for Swanny - Benn lunges forward and misses a straight one... Fine performance from the Notts man, finger-spinners don't normally have much luck on this ground. Edwards is the last man in, and Swann's first ball to him misses everything. Not sure how he survived that. Edwards is off the mark next ball with a nurdle to leg, before Taylor swipes Swann to deep mid-wicket to nick the strike. Muttiah Muralitharan is the only other spinner to take five wickets in an innings in a Test at the Recreation Ground.
2031 - WICKET - Nash c Collingwood b Flintoff 18, West Indies 278-8
Freddie Flintoff is back into the fray, and he puts an end to Nash's rather torturous innings - 18 from 81 balls - with his second ball. The ball angling across Nash, Nash chasing it and Collingwood snaffling the catch at second slip. Here comes Sulieman 'Big' Benn, the West Indies number 10. One leg-bye, West Indies need 88 to avoid the follow-on.
2026 - 278-7 Taylor looking pretty comfortable out there now as he clips Anderson off his hip for one. Taylor, of course, has a Test century to his name, against New Zealand last year. Nash picks up one more, he's hanging on in there like a barnacle on the underside of a boat.
2021 - 275-7 Nash now on 16 courtesy of a single into the covers. That's a snorter from Broad to Taylor, who drops the wrists and fends it away. Anyone seen Daniels and McGee's spoof Armani Posh and Becks ad? Daniels doesn't look too great,but McGee actually runs Posh pretty close, she's got flesh on her arms and everything.
"Sorry Jez from the BVI (1949), but that's an illegal string bet. You can't say you are going to see someone and then raise them in the next breath - this isn't Hollywood."
Graham, Tonbridge, in the TMS inbox
2017 - 274-7 Anderson serves up a wide, bit too much hoop there, before Nash clips him down to fine-leg for one. West Indies trail by 292 runs. Going back to Babs Windsor, if you'd have walked into a Shoreditch boozer wearing a mullet and skinny jeans back in her day, the Kray twins probably would have had you buried under a flyover. Or did they only do it to their own? Sorry, losing my train of thought slightly, it's been a very long day.
"I don't actually see Swann as Monty's main opposition. Swann is more useful against left-handers. I think Rashid is the main threat to Monty because he can turn it both ways. He can actually catch, throw and hold a bat too."
Adam in the TMS inbox
2010 - 272-7 Broad on after the drinks break, you'd fancy him to pick up a wicket here, he's controlling the new ball well. But that's a handy looking stroke from Taylor, an attractive flick off his legs. Sorry, I seemed to have cursed Broad momentarily - Taylor comes over all Sir Vivian, leaning to his right and flicking the ball to the mid-wicket fence. But that's not too clever from Taylor, a heads-up drive, and he's beaten once again by Broad.
2003 - 265-7 Anderson has another lbw shout turned down, that was going way down leg. "I think Anderson could swing an orange," says Sir Boycs on TMS, and he's also delighted to see fellow Yorkshireman Adil Rashid on the field. Nash fends off a riser from Anderson rather awkwardly and picks up a single. Taylor finally gets some bat on ball, but even that was a thick edge.
1958 - 264-7 That's an absolute jaffer from Broad, the ball swinging into the left-handed Nash and striking him on the toe. The umpire signals a run from the bat, but it was swinging down leg anyway. Taylor is drawn forward and beaten again, but once again this pair somehow survive the over.
"So then Mr Dirs, who reckons that this performance from Graeme Swann will end with a lengthy spell on the sidelines for Monty? To be honest, given his performance in recent Tests, I hope so. It's be a bit rough on Swann if he ends up taking eight wickets in the match and gets dropped again."
Hinders, Barnet, in the TMS inbox
1954 - 263-7 Anderson has the shiny new nut in his hand and he finds swing immediately. Taylor is beaten on the outside edge before Taylor squirts a swinging yorker out to point. Taylor beaten again, and that was very much Anderson's over... but nothing to show for it...
1949 - 263-7 Swann puts some revs on it and Nash nicks it to just in front of Collingwood at first slip. Nash now has nine from 56 balls. Two more to his total, however, courtesy of a clip off his pads for two. Lazy fielding from Anderson at deep square-leg, should have been a single. It's new ball time...
1945 - 259-7 Swann keeps it tight, no runs from that over... Harmison to continue, and he very nearly has Taylor run out, the tailender admiring his rather extravagant straight drive. Biff! Harmison digs one in and Taylor is struck on the helmet. Nash has a rather airy-fairy waft outside off-stump and is beaten. A strangled lbw appeal against Nash, but that was sliding down leg, and also a little high. Decent over, however, from the under-the-weather Harmison.
"See 1839 - Last rich man gaoled? December 2007, Conrad Black."
Graeme in the TMS inbox
1937 - 259-7 Harmison to have a bowl and that's a tasty looking shot from Taylor, a cover-drive for two. The hosts still need 102 to make England bat again. Strike that, 98 - another dreamy cover-drive from Taylor.
"Regarding Shakespeare and his sexy beard, I generally believe his sexiness isn't confined to just that one area. I find the Bard rather appealing, myself."
Charlotte in Lancaster, currently studying a book on adaptations and stagings of Shakespeare's plays in the Restoration period, in the TMS inbox
1930 - Ramdin c&b Swann 0, 251-7
Whoops-a-daisy, Martin Hayesy! Full-bunger from Swann and Ramdin lobs it straight back at him - Swanny's on a hat-trick. Jerome Taylor is the new batsman, and all of a sudden every seamer on the field is warming up. Taylor lunges forward and smothers the hat-trick ball. Ooh, that's uglier than a Bejam's Indian platter - almighty heave from Taylor, and he doesn't get it at all. One for the shot.
1928 - WICKET - Sarwan c Flintoff b Swann 94, West Indies 251-6
Oh deary, deary me. Sarwan comes down the wicket, tries to thrash Swann over the top and only succeeds in finding Flintoff at short mid-wicket. That's a gimme, and that's three wickets for Swanny.
1926 - 251-5 Sarwan moves to 93 with a swish through the covers off Collingwood. Sarwan pushes to mid-on, and we're pretty much just holding out for the new cherry at the moment.
1921 - 246-5 Lots of students emailing in of late, all studying extremely high-brow topics. If you believe what the Daily Mail tell you, everyone's doing doctorates in handbag house at East London Poly. Swann is milked for four singles, easy as pie...
"I hope you can help me - a couple of Fridays ago I was stuck at Schoenefeld airport Berlin, desperate to get one of the 10 flights in and out of a snowbound Luton that day. I had a brilliant conversation about the chances of England winning the Ashes this summer with a gorgeous girl who's doing a D Phil at Oxford - based in Berlin. She struck me as just the sort who would either be reading or contributing to your blog - so knowledgeable and opinionated. Any chance of a mention?"
Richard in the TMS inbox
1918 - 242-5 Hello, I'm back for the 73rd over of the innings, and just in time to see Sarwan back-cut Colly for four before stepping into a magnificent straight drive for another. Sweet as the proverbial nut.
1915 - 233-5 Nash looks the more likely out of the two to fall at this stage - for anybody wanting a dose of hope on where the next wicket might come from. Both teams still just taking it easy.
"Do you also believe Shakespeare has a sexy beard?"
From a Dreaming student, currently gazing at a King Lear text book, in the TMS inbox
1911 - 230-5 Collo drifts down the leg and Sarwan guides it to the boundary. Easy runs. He then pitches one short and Sarwan pulls it to square leg. I guess England field will give it 20 minutes to let their egg sarnies digest and then they'll rip right back into the batsmen. Maybe.
1907 - 223-5 Swanny is straight back in the action and continues to mix it up. Sarwan flicks one round the corner and Nash hangs in there seeing off three full-length deliveries. Some good 'air' balls.
1904 - 222-5 Harmo has got heat sickness, so Mr Collingwood (he's got to be a little achy after his efforts at the crease) picks up the ball and gets his arm over. A steady six balls after tea with Nash not looking too interested to pick up the run-rate.
1902 - 221-5
Dirsy has slipped off for a well-deserved break. Not sure if he's grabbing some munchies or sweating in the gym. Hold the back page - he's back, but stuffing his face with a nan bread. Whatever. It's Mark Ashenden here filling in until the curry disappears. Knowing his form, it could be a matter of seconds. England back on the pitch hunting for wickets.
1839 - 221-5 Sarwan turns Broad away for a single to square-leg. Nash attempts a cut and gets an under-edge, and that's tea folks. When was the last time a rich man was sent to prison? The 1700s?
1835 - 220-5 Nice shape from Anderson, the ball swinging in before leaving the right-handed Sarwan. A peach. Sarwan pushes into the covers for one. Running low on emails if anyone fancies sending some in. Anderson digs one in and Nash manages to fend it down from under his chin.
1831 - 219-5 A chance! Sarwan thrashes a shot straight back at Broad and the Notts man just fails to get his hands to it. It was a sharp chance, but you've got to take those. Harmison is on for Flintoff, and he's currently bent over in the outfield as if someone has kneed him in the jaffers. Not a well boy. Broad, striving for a yorker, is flipped round the corner for two by Nash.
1826 - 214-5 Two for Sarwan with a clip off his toes before Anderson gets one to hold its line and beat Sarwan's perpendicular prod. But that's a good shot, Sarwan flashing Anderson through point for four. One more for Sarwan with a square-drive and he's looking in very decent nick. ECB chairman Giles Clarke is talking to Aggers on TMS, and it's safe to say that Broad's wicket hasn't cheered him up much. He sounds like a man who has just gone through his new girlfriend's handbag and discovered that her real name is Arthur. New bat time for Sarwan... actually, he requires a new rubber.
1821 - 207-5 Nash is the new man at the crease and the Australian-born grafter ducks under a bumper from Broad. That's a good stroke though, creaming Broad through square-leg for four.
1816 - 203-5 Broad gets a big round as he walks back to his fielding position out in the deep. Sarwan unveils a cover-drive for a couple off Anderson, and there is a whiff of reverse swing for the Lancashire man.
1809 - WICKET - Chanderpaul c Prior b Broad 1, West Indies 201-5
Bit of lift from Broad and Chanderpaul is beaten. AND HE'S GONE! Loose stroke from Shiv outside off-stump and Prior takes a straightforward catch down by his toes. Huge wicket.
1805 - 201-4 Shiv goes through his normal routine - hammering out his guard with bat and bail - before taking up his usual stance at the crease, with left foot in front of his stumps and his right foot pointed towards mid-on. He blocks out the over.
1802 - WICKET - Hinds c Prior b Flintoff 27, West Indies 200-4
Real desperation creeping into England's appealing now - lbw appeal from Freddie against Hinds, but it pitched well outside leg. BUT FREDDIE'S GOT HIS MAN NEXT BALL! Bit of movement away from the left-hander and Prior takes a very handy catch diving to his left. How England needed that... what they don't need is Shiv Chanderpaul. If he gets in on this, they'll need a water cannon to remove him.
"The reference to Christine Hamilton is factually incorrect - please refer to her in future by her correct name, Mrs British Battleaxe."
1759 - 200-3 Strauss keeps shuffling his pack, and Broad is back into the England attack. Tremendous stroke from Sarwan, but Broad is saved by the stumps at the other end. Sarwan looks to punch Broad into the off-side but only succeeds in diverting the ball onto his toes. Stinger.
1752 - 200-3
Sarwan nibbles at one outside off-stump and is beaten. Sarwan steers Flintoff past the man at gully and runs one before square-cutting with no little elan to bring up his 31st Test fifty. It came from 84 balls and included nine fours and a six. Handy knock. Sarwan flicks off his pads to bring up the Windies 200.
"Uh oh, our bowling unit is falling to pieces. Anybody got the brown tape, papier mache and cardboard to stick them back together? Especially Freddie and his glass body!"
Join the debate on 606
1749 - 193-3 Pietersen continues - West Indies still trail by 383 runs. Make that 379 - Hinds falls to one knee and drags KP away for four. Too short from Pietersen, and Hinds very nearly does himself a mischief in flogging it into the stand at deep mid-wicket.
1742 - 183-3 Some rather disturbing news coming in about Sir Allen Stanford... HANG ON A MINUTE! NO! Flintoff gets one to spit up at Hinds, the ball balloons to point, but Pietersen, falling forward, is unable to get his fingers underneath it. Anyway, here's the BBC stuff on Stanford: "Texan billionaire Sir Allen Stanford and three of his companies have been charged over a $8bn investment fraud, US financial regulators say. The Securities and Exchange Commission said the businessman had orchestrated "a fraudulent, multi-billion dollar investment scheme". Oops. Flintoff drops short and Hinds flogs him through mid-wicket for one. Heart-breaking stuff for England's pacemen.
1738 - 182-3 Bit short from Pietersen and Sarwan rocks back and slaps him through third-man for four. A moral victory for Pietersen from his final ball, flighting one up, getting it to turn back, and Sarwan just managing to snuff it out. "Connoisseur cricket," according to Sir Boycs.
1735 - 178-3 Freddie is back on, and this English seam attack are looking extremely battle-weary now. Hinds gets a bumper, which he ducks underneath, and that's a maiden. KP's going to have a bowl...
"In response to Iain, I imagine watching the Windies over the last few years has felt very much like going to work, hence retiring is only appropriate."
Simon in the TMS inbox
1729 - 178-3 That's a jaffer from Harmison, getting the ball to hold its own and leave a defensive prod from Hinds. Harmison doesn't look at all chipper, he's sweating terribly. Stick around and you might get to hear what he had for breakfast. Decent over though.
1725 - 176-3 Sarwan really looking to get stuck into Swann, and he drops to one knee and plays a delightful sweep for four. One more for Sarwan with a paddled single to long-leg before Hinds sweeps Swann for another four. Strauss needs to get his thinking cap on - if it's not hitting that groove, there's not much happening.
"Ah... Gravy, the second biggest legend on Antigua. The biggest legend will always be Eric, our taxi driver on the 2005 tour who was so upset at being 20 minutes late, he laid on free beers all night for us after Lara's 400. Now that's service. How come gravy 'retired' anyhow? Watching cricket isn't something you normally retire from."
Iain in the TMS inbox
1720 - 171-3 Yet another grubber from Harmison, but again it wasn't straight. Harmison tries a short one and Hinds' pull shot is saved by Swann at mid-wicket. Hinds is surprised by a ball that rears up slightly, before missing with an attempted pull.
"Sometimes you've got to buy yourself a wicket, you've got to be a little bit more expensive to get wickets instead of just bowling seam-up every over... you can't just go for four seamers every time..."
Sir Geoffrey Boycott on TMS
1718 - 167-3 Sarwan is looking to get after Swanny, and he very nearly offers the Notts' spinner a return catch. Lovely loop from Swann, and this time Sarwan misses with an ugly hoick. But that's a doozy from Sarwan, perhaps the shot of the day, and full-blooded, Greenidge-esque slap through the covers for four. And a maximum! Sarwan rat-a-tat-tats Swann into the stand at long-on, causing a English chap with the consistency of suet pudding to lose his footing.
1713 - 157-3 One more bye to the total - we've had 17 already. Harmison, who's a little bit under the weather we understand, has taken over from Anderson and is steaming into Hinds from around the wicket. Harmison drops short and Hinds swivels and pulls him away for one. Another half-tracker from Harmy, and this time he's yanked away for another single. Harmison gets one to hit the groove, but once again Hinds has little trouble dropping his bat on it.
1709 - 154-3 Swanny to continue and Hinds bravely shoulders arms, almost losing his off-peg to a ball that goes straight on. Hinds is not exactly incontinent with runs at the moment, but he is, as they say in sporting circles, doing a job for his side.
1706 - 154-3 Anderson gets one to square Sarwan up, before the right-handed batsman plays a delightful angled cut for four. Many thanks to Harry Harland, who has sent in a picture of Kenneth Williams as an umpire.
"Re Adam's rating of Monty - ridicule is nothing to be scared of..."
Karl, Basingstoke, in the TMS inbox
"Great to hear Gravy's on the scene. Is he the only person to have celebrated his retirement by parading round a cricket ground in a bridal dress? I'd like to think so."
Joel, Notts, in the TMS inbox
1701 - 150-3 Anderson, in his 11th over, drops short and Sarwan leans back and laces him through point for four. Sarwan looks in pretty good nick out there. Hinds picks up a single with a punch into the covers before Sarwan pulls on the ballet pumps, sashays down the pitch and flat bats straight back to bowler Swann. Hinds happy to smother Swann's work at the moment.
1654 - 143-3 Swann gives it some air and Hinds whips him to the long-on boundary. Harmison was the fielder there, falling over the ball like a punch-drunk giraffe.Note toa disgruntledSteven Waring in the Czech Republic - yes, there is sunshine and barbeques (funnily enough), but there are no chants from the Barmy Army. Yet.
1649 - 138-3 Sarwan gets a nice juicy half-volley on his pads first-up after lunch and he punches it through mid-wicket for four. Not a good start from Anderson. Better line for the rest of the over from Anderson, coming in from the Factory Road End.
"I met Adam Ant in a bar in Camden over the weekend. We discussed cricket briefly - he called Panesar 'basic at best' and said Swann was the better bowler of the two."
Tanters, Central London, in the TMS inbox
1646 - 134-3 It's Swanny to Hinds. A short leg and a silly point in. Hinds tucks to mid-wicket for a couple. The cameraman has got his lens stuck up another bikini-clad England fan's nose.. he really does sail close to the wind this boy...
1643: Bright sunshine in Antigua, and here come the players... we'll have a restart in a couple of minutes... Gravy's back at the Recreation Ground! Britain gets Wee Jimmy Crankie, Antigua gets Gravy. That probably says something about our respective nations, though I'm not sure what.
"For all those eulogising about 'Babs' Windsor and her charms, I'm afraid I can't agree. Jacki Piper was my favourite. Shame she appeared mostly in the later, rather rubbish Carry On's, which were more like the 'Confessions' films, but without the nudity. Still, they perpetuated the uniquely British/70s' myth that any man, anywhere - even if he looked like Tony Booth or Robin Asquith - could get a woman. A true meritocracy."
Rob Hill, Milton Keynes, in the TMS inbox
1637: Just spied Christine Hamilton roaming the bottom floor of Television Centre. From the short glimpse I got of her, I deduced that in her salad days she was indubitably one hot buttered crumpet.
"How could Trevor Bailey be left out of a Trench XI? Worth quoting Neville Cardus: 'Before he gathered together 20 runs, a newly-married couple could have left Heathrow and arrived in Lisbon, there to enjoy a honeymoon. By the time Bailey had congealed 50, this happily wedded pair could easily have settled down in a semi-detached house in Surbiton; and by the time his innings had gone to its close they conceivably might have been divorced.'"
Richard Green, Columbus, Ohio, in the TMS inbox
1604 - 132-3 Swann will get one more over in before lunch. Just one from it, a crisp whip to mid-on... Broad will have a go at the left-handed Hinds, but the left-hander plays it well, and picks up a single from the final delivery before buns, courtesy of a fiddle to long-leg. Very entertaining session that, see you in 40... AND NO MORE EMAILS UNTIL I SAY SO!
"I'd like Jack Russell beside me in the trenches. Dependable, good hands, eccentric and could always rustle up a battlefield watercolour during the dull bits."
Fraser, at work, Glasgow, in the TMS inbox
1556 - 130-3 Bit of width from Broad, Sarwan throws the kitchen sink at it and Collingwood - can he do no wrong? - pulls off a fine save in the covers. Broad gets one to nip back at Sarwan, but the Guyanese right-hander just manages to get some willow on it. What about Gladstone Small for the Trench XI? Would save the rest of the chaps plenty of digging.
1546 - WICKET - Powell c Collingwood b Swann 22, West Indies 130-3
A McGrathian effort so far from Broad, really pinning Sarwan to his crease. Another maiden. And Swann's got another one - Powell lunges, edges and CollinGod stoops to his left and snaffles a sharp catch at slip. It was strange to see Powell, not noted for his patience, stick about so long, like seeing Keith Richards sat cross-legged with a cup of tea in a strip joint. Ooooh! Decent lbw shout against Hinds first-up, but Umpire Koertzen reckons, erm, I'm not sure what. Decent stride actually, and Hinds was playing a stroke.
"Re Trench XI - how can Atherton not be in? The man batted for the best part of three months in South Africa with only his faithful pet Jack Russell as company without giving the Boer even a glimpse of his wicket."
Chris, York, in the TMS inbox
"Just don't let Gatting in the trenches - he'd eat all the rations on day one. Mind you, he'd probably start on the rats by day two, so every cloud
Jon, Walton on Thames, in the TMS inbox
1544 - 130-2 One more over before lunch, and it's Graeme Swann's. Hang on a minute, there's another 20 minutes until lunch... sorry... some decent turn back into the right-handed Powell, but the nightwatchman is doing a very good job for his team here. Doughty.
"Best Barbara Windsor line from a Carry On film was in Carry On Doctor (I think). Ambulanceman Anthony Sagar is leaning on the back of his ambulance eating a pear. Up struts Babs in a close-fitting top. 'That's a nice-looking pear!' she says, and you can guess the rest. Aaah, the scriptwriting talents of Talbot Rothwell!"
Keith Edwards in the TMS inbox
1539 - 130-2 The tall, sandy-haired Broad comes smoothly into the crease and gets one to nip back at Powell, but the batsman plays a good leave. Almost a run-out next ball, Powell risking a poorly-judged single and Broad missing with his throw - the batsman would have been out by a few feet.
"Re Paul Spice's England Trench XI. I can only assume that Messrs Brian Close and David Steele were leading a rebel tour or engaged on a forerunner of the IPL to be unavailable for selection for the Trench Tour. Mr Brierley, whilst plucky, is surely too much of an artsy intellectual to be a natural first choice?"
John Withington in the TMS inbox
1536 - 129-2 Swanny gets one to rear up at Powell, who again shows soft hands in fending it off. Swann really giving it some revs, and Powell is deceived again, inside edging past the fielder at short leg. Really doing a job for England, Swanny, more wickets for him in this innings I think.
1532 - 128-2 Broad is into the attack, and his first ball is bang in the groove (literally), nutmegs Prior and runs away for yet more byes. Bit of lift from Broad and Powell plays it well, before Powell gets another pea-shooter from Broad, which he does very well to keep out. Powell pulls and the fielder at square-leg makes a fine stop to limit him to one run.
"Mr Spice (see below). One word. Gooch. Where is he in this trench team? That man's moustache is as pipping as a privet hedge; enough to win a war single-handedly. Shame on you."
JP in Retford, Notts, in the TMS inbox
1528 - 123-2 That's a maiden over from Swanny, Sarwan on 13, Powell still there on 19 from 67 deliveries...
1525 - 123-2 Sarwan is looking to play shots from the get-go. Short from Flintoff and Sarwan rocks back and laces him through point for four. Sarwan nurdles to leg before Powell, groping, is beaten outside off-stump again. Powell, from an England standpoint, is starting to become a little bit irritating.
"I would absolutely not want Botham in the trenches - constantly moaning about his fellow soldiers' war records (especially Private Hussain) and saying, 'I don't know what's going on out there' every time a shell lands."
Matthew Howes, Brentwood, in the TMS inbox
1520 - 118-2 England think they've got Powell caught behind. Lovely flight from Swanny, Powell wafts outside off-stump, but Umpire Koertzen looks at Swann as if he's a particularly noisome haemorrhoid. Maiden over, who knows whether that hit anything or not?
"Is Harmison being a bit 'dickie' code for him being homesick and having to fly back to Durham to be with his mum?"
Ruth from Bradford, West Yorkshire, in the TMS inbox
1517 - 118-2 There's Sarwan's first boundary, whipping Flintoff off to the backward square-leg fence. Sarwan leans back and looks to cut, and very nearly drags on. Two more for Sarwan with a punch into the covers.
"John Snow in an England Trench XI? Come on. When the going gets tough, the tough write poems?"
Piers Pennington, London, in the TMS inbox
"To Paul Spice (see below): No Botham!?!? The man is on a one man mission to insult the Australians at every turn, I bet he never touches Fosters either and sticks to good old fashion John Smiths! That's good enough for me!"
Graham in Ingatestone, Essex, in the TMS inbox
1508 - WICKET - Smith b Swann 38, West Indies 109-2
Bye, bye Smithy, and prepare for a rollocking. Swann tosses one up and Smith loses his head, looking to swat the spinner over mid-wicket, missing and finding his middle stump back in gear. Big wicket, here comes Sarwan. Sarwan is off the mark from his first ball with a nurdle off his pads before Powell plays a wild and windy woosh outside off-stump and is very nearly castled. Swann really making things happen now. Powell squeezes into the covers and goes for the run. Sarwan sends him back, an England fielder hits with his shy, and Powell picks up a single from the ricochet.
1503 - 109-1 Flintoff's first delivery keeps low, but Powell manages to keep it out. Powell adds two more to the total with a clip to mid-wicket, and, as Sir Boycs has just pointed out on TMS, the nightwatchman is batting far better than he bowled...
"Re Paul Spice, surely an England 'trench' 11 would have to include Jack Russell? His bristly 'tache made him look like a First World War Sergeant Major too."
Martin in Sunderland in the TMS inbox
1458 - 107-1 Powell goes to heave Swann over the top but doesn't quite get it and runs just one.Swann gets one to turn lavishly outside off-stump, but Smith plays it well. Alan (see below), no sign of Colly and his dobblies thus far. As for "faux-Cockney"? She was from Shoreditch, sir, which is about as Cock-er-ney as it is possible to be (or was back in the 50s - now it's full of ruddy eejits in very thin jeans ashamed of their parents' wealth and exhibiting a complete failure to understand that they are the laughing stock of the rest of the London populace).
"Excuse me, Mr Dirs. I don't understand this national obsession with Barbara Windsor. She is living proof, if indeed it were needed, that a whole career can be based on nothing more than a faux-Cockney accent and the moral turpitude to allow her pneumatically enhanced super-structure to muscle in on any scene that she was supposed to be 'acting' in. Any sign of Colly coming on to bowl with his dibbly-dobblies? Oooh, cheeky..."
Alan in Barcelona in the TMS inbox
1453 - 106-1 Freddie replaces Harmison, who apparently is a little dickie at the moment and off the field. Flintoff produces his first scuttler of the day, the ball shooting through at shin height, nutmegging Prior and running away for four. Twenty-three extras so far.
"This partnership is only serving to give the other Windies batters encouragement. An opener and a nightwatchmen putting on 50+. England need to revert to good old-fashioned stump to stump bowling."
eirebilly on 606
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"Here's my proud England Trench XI. Read through that lot and whistle The Great Escape Tune. That'll be the picture. :-). M Brearley, A Stewart, R Smith, P Collingwood, K Barrington, A Knott, A Bedser, J Snow, G Arnold, A Fraser, M Hendrick. Dah, dah. Dah dah, dah, dah-dah..."
Paul Spice in the TMS inbox
1448 - 102-1 Swann is back into the attack as Harmison retreats to the pavilion. Smith gives him some rattle, skipping down the pitch and bringing up the West Indies ton with a four through wide long-on. Watchful from Powell, lunging forward and smothering the rest of Swann's over.
1443 - 97-1 More orchestra-ache for England - Harmison gets one to lift on Smith and the ball catches the shoulder of the bat and balloons to the third-man fence for four. More authentic from Smith - Harmison over-pitches and Smith steers him down the slope for four. One more for Smith with a nurdle to mid-wicket, as the groundstaff ready themselves beyond the boundary rope. Sir Vivian, a man who knows Antigua like the back of his bat, reckons rain is not imminent.
"Wouldn't an analogy for a Carry On film without Babs be a fruit salad without the melons? Sharpen up there, Dirs."
Paul in Lancs in the TMS inbox
1439 - 88-1 Anderson plays and misses outside off-stump again. Getting a little bit frustrating for the Burnley Bullet now. One more run to nightwatchman Powell, who's showing plenty of spunk out in the middle. Smith nicks the strike with a nibble round the corner.
1435 - 86-1 The sun retreats behind some cloud, which will be some relief to England's fielders. Nice ball from Harmison, angling the ball into the left-handed Smith and very nearly ripping out his off-peg. Sir Vivian purrs, as if he's just been presented with a big slab of chocolate fudge cake. Harmison bowling within himself, more controlled, and he looks more dangerous as a result. More variable pace and Smith drops his hands on it and watches the ball scoot away to the third-man fence.
"Good fast bowlers are like good boxers, the don't try to knock the other guy out with every punch..."
Sir Vivian Richards on TMS
"Bad omen: Of Colly's seven Test tons before yesterday, only one had resulted in an England victory. Good Omen: that one was against the Windies!"
Rob in the City (not a Banker!) in the TMS inbox
1431 - 81-1 Anderson manages to get a shooter from the Pavilion End this time - had that been straight, Powell would have had his stumps splattered. Nice stroke that from Powell, punched Anderson into the covers for a couple.
1427 - 79-1 Harmison keeps it tight to the left-handed Smith, who plays the first five balls watchfully. And the Durham paceman hits the ridge with his final ball, the ball flies through at shin height, misses off-stumps and races away for four byes.
"What will ruin my afternoon at work quicker? Powell hanging around or Ben Dirs filling the screen with unfunny unimportant ramblings."
Rob, Kent, in the TMS inbox
1422 - 75-1 Anderson drops short and Smith rolls his wrists and moves to 19 with a pull to mid-wicket. Fuller length from Jimmy and Smith defends rather tentatively outside off-stump. Chatting about Carry On Cruising on TMS, tremendous film. Sid James was the skipper on that particular ship, AKA Captain Wellington Crowther. But early for Babs, so not really worth watching really. Carry On without Babs is like a roast dinner without any root vegetables.
"Dirs, can you stop using the description 'full bunger', please? It really irritates me. You're not Australian."
Andy in the TMS inbox
1418 - 72-1 The Swann experiment is over, here comes Harmy. Smith turns him away for a single to mid-wicket. Not much happening in that over, the tectonics of the track not yet coming into play.
"It's nothing to with Colly being northern. Unfortunately for him he bats between KP and Freddie, which is rather like being summoned for an identity parade and finding out you have Mother Theresa and Princess Di either side of you."
Alex, Grays, in the TMS inbox
1414 - 71-1 England won't want Powell hanging about too much, clogging up this Windies middle order like a particularly stubborn clump of toilet tissue in a U-bend, but he plays that over from Anderson pretty well. Sky employ cameramen of very high taste, female-wise, in the Caribbean. He dwelled so long at that fetching blonde lady between overs, she had grounds to make a formal complaint.
1409 - 71-1 Swanny's going to have another over. We've got a slip, a forward short-leg and a silly point in for Smith. Not a lot they can do about that - full-bunger from Swann and Smith swings him away for four. Two more for Smith with a drill into the covers. Alan (see below), but every great side needs an inspirational skipper. Clement Atlee had some very good ideas, but having him as a war leader would have been like having Richard Stilgoe as England captain.
"Mr Dirs, it wasn't Churchill who won the war, it was ordinary working folk like my Dad who lost his life in doing so."
Alan in the TMS inbox
1406 - 63-1 Anderson on at the other end, and nightwatchman Powell fences and edges past the slip cordon and away for four. Not sure why there was no third slip in there, bit odd that. Jimmy tests Powell out with some rapid chin music, before getting one past Powell's defensive prod. not much luck for Anderson - Powell gets one off the shoulder of the bat and the ball loops over the slips and away for another four.
"I'm not going to go on a Monty-bashing session here, but Swann really tossed that up, it was a real off-spinner's delivery..."
Jonathan Agnew on TMS
1402 - 55-1 Righto, players are out and there is a sense of astonishment in the TMS commentary box as it is revealed that Graeme Swann will have first go with the ball. I can only assume it is to facilitate a change of ends. Devon Smith is on strike and he blocks Swann's first delivery. Swann gives it some serious tweak, gets one to turn a mile and Smith is beaten - but it turned so much, Prior was unable to whip off the bails before Smith got his back foot back down. Smith skews Swann into the covers, and that was a very handy first over from the Notts' finger-spinner.
"Could we please get a sense of perspective on this Collingwood thing. Graham Thorpe got his runs against the very best of attacks. Collingwood gets the odd hundred when HIS back is against the wall as opposed to Thorpe, who got runs when the TEAM's back was there. Graham Thorpe would have got 400 against this attack on this pitch!"
Simon Brewer in the TMS inbox
"Despite being a huge Colly fan myself, I think Michael's (se below) pushing it to say that he's similar to Thorpey. Maybe in attitude, but never in batting class. We should recognise Colly's contribution to the team comes in guts, grit, and graft, not style and grace. Every team needs that player - and we're just lucky that ours comes with fantastic fielding and some handy bowling skills too. Praise be to Colly!"
Joe, (in Iowa for now), Worcester in the TMS inbox
1354: Come on chaps and chappesses, you're really testing my patience now: "I for one was always a little baffled by the remarkable security of position enjoyed by Thorpe." He was head and shoulders a better play than almost anyone else in the England team the whole time he was playing. How Ian Bell was picked ahead of him for the 2005 Ashes, I will never know...
"In reply to Michael Cook, 1340, it has nothing to do with Collywobbles being a northerner. It has everything to do with his hair colour. I for one was always a little baffled by the remarkable security of position enjoyed by Thorpe."
John Gilchrist, Edinburgh, in the TMS inbox
1347: If you were reading some of the comments last night Colly (highly unlikely, I know), just remember, Churchill was booed only months after winning the War. That's where your blood, toil, tears and sweat gets you with some members of the British public Colly, a one-way ticket to Ungrateful-ville...
"It's time to send down some chinners then hit that halfway line for a few grasscutters, that's the order for the bowlers today. Surely James and Frederick can mix it up enough to confound the Windies? I'm pretty sure that Chanderpaul will deal with the pressure but he'll still need the other 10 to perform and support him."
Mark NG in the TMS inbox
1340: Rather bizarrely in the circumstances, we had a bit of a row on these pages last night over the merits of Paul Collingwood, who had just completed his eighth Test century. Michael Cook in the TMS inbox is still feeling a bit punchy this morning:
"Much, frankly annoying, debate yesterday regarding Collingwood. Interesting to note that no one compared him to Graham Thorpe, which was the name that sprang to my mind when looking for a comparable past player. Taking away the left hand/right hand thing, they are both gutsy, busy middle-order players, able to scrap and defend when necessary but with the ability to go on the attack when necessary and bat well with the tail. Both good fielders with the ability to bat against pace and spin equally well. I don't recall Thorpey getting anything like the slagging that Collingwood has to put up with. Surely it couldn't be anything to do with the fact that Colly is one of them northerners?"
1335: Afternoon all. Should be a very intriguing day's play today - the hosts require 367 to avoid the follow-on, and with Shiv Chanderpaul in your side, that's always a possibility. That said, Shiv won't have encountered many wickets with a halfway line running across it just short of a length... Freddie and Co will be a-peppering, of that we can be sure...