First Test, Lord's (close, day two):
England 377 v West Indies 152 all out and 39-2
England produced an outstanding bowling display to assume total control of the Lord's Test against West Indies.
The star of the show was Graham Onions, who marked his Test debut with 5-38 as the tourists slumped to 152 all out.
That was 225 runs short of England's 377 and, having been forced to follow on, they then lost captain Chris Gayle (0) to James Anderson.
Ravi Bopara had earlier made 143 and Swann an unbeaten 63, while Fidel Edwards finished with figures of 6-92.
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BAD LIGHT STOPS PLAY
Yup - we're done. Super day for England, woeful for the Windies. Hats off to England's golden Graemes/Grahams, and to all the fine emailers. I'll be here again in about 16 hours time. See you then?
1809: WI 39-2
Swann twirls with chippy menace. Simmons takes the single he's offered to get Swann's rabbit Smith on strike. Now then... Gaaghh - he nearly has him ell bee first ball, and then induces a wary forward defensive for the final ball.
That could be our lot, however - there's darkness in them there skies. The umpires offer the light to Smith and Simmons and the Windies pair are back in the pavilion like they're on elastic.
If the light improves in the next ten minutes we'll start again. Do I think it will? Nope. Not if I'm being honest.
1806: WI 38-2
Hold on - it can't be, can it? It is - it's Bresnan Time! Let's go ball-by-ball in his honour...
1. Wide of Smith's off-stump, left alone.
2. Short, pulled by Smith to deep midwicket for a single.
3. Full to Simmons' pads, flipped to fine leg for one.
4. Length on off-stump - dot ball.
5. Angled across the leftie, left alone
6. Brings it back in to leftie, defended off back foot.
Mmmm - solid enough. In other news, dark clouds overhead. Time to sail up the Swanny.
1803: WI 36-2
Anderson puts two men back for the hook - one at deep midwicket, one at long leg. Smith is drawn into a big slap at the first short one but his top edge bounces between the two fielders and goes on to the fence for four.
1758: WI 31-2
Cries of disbelief from the three-man slip cordon as a mis-hit from Simmons spoons up in the air and falls just short of the in-dashing mid-on fielder. Broad does the Malfoy stare and stalk back to his mark. Simmons, clearly rattled, aims a huge cover mow at the next one and nearly thins behind.
1754: WI 30-2
A warm buzz around Lord's as the afternoon excitement mixes potently with alcoholic inbibations. Smith jabs off the back foot into the covers for one, Simmons does the same and Smith repeats.
1750: WI 27-2
Simmons now. Anyone else feeling deja-vued? Super clip off the pads for four as Broad strains legwards.
1742: WICKET Sarwan b Anderson 2, WI 22-2
Hold on - Bresnan's touched the ball! After Smith steers Anderson down towards the point boundary, Bopara hares after the ball, hauls it back and Brezza is there to pick up the pieces. Never mind that, though - Sarwan's gone! Jimmy cramps him up with a steepling lifter and Sarwan can only jab the ball down into his own castle.
From Tim Lunnon, TMS inbox:
"With regards your suggestions for what to do on Saturday, how about combining a trip down to the coast with watching cricket. The mighty St Peters 2nd XI are taking on Forest Row 1st's at Preston Park, in Brighton. A grandstand allows for covered seating, with views of two pitches (just in case one game gets boring), or alternatively sit on the grass not used for a pitch and enjoy a picnic. Also enjoy what is possibly the only cricket pitch inside a velodrome, so if the cricket gets boring, you can always go for a cycle."
1739: WI 16-1
Broad again, and there's a screamed appeal as Smith jumps into a fast in-dipper - bit of bat in that, plus probs a fraction too high. Come on, Straussy - invite Tim Bresnan to the party, won't you?
1734: WI 14-1
Sarwan in for the second time in four hours. Jimmy almost cuts him in half with a grim reaper of an in-cutter and then has the batsman tumbling to the ground with a lifter past the titfer.
1729: WICKET Gayle c Swann b Anderson 0, WI 14-1
Anyone up to anything on Saturday? Fancy a day-trip to the coast or something? Gayle fences feebly at that slider from Jim down the hill and Swanny - homme du jour along with Oignons - bags a tumbler at third slip. It's happening again...
1729: WI 14-0
Broad, his fringe plastered to his forehead with sweat, nearly cleans Smith up with a terrifying late in-nipper. Next up he goes clean through the gate but fails to take the gatepost with him. Still no sign of Tim Bresnan being given the ball.
1725: WI 14-0
Nice from Smith. He leans back to batter Anderson's attempted bouncer through square leg for four, nearly killing the umpire in the process, picks up four leg byes off his thigh guard and then top-edges an almighty heave way, way over Prior's upturned head for four more.
1720: WI 1-0
Three slips and a gully in for Broad, and Smith shovels a single off his hips. Oohs and arghs as a lifter outside off sees Prior get airborne for a photograph-this take.
1715: WI 0-0
Right then. Gayle and Smith are out in the middle again, and it'll be James Anderson to open the attack. To the 10,000 of you emailing in Onions punions, they're all excellent. Super first over this, Jimmy running the ball down the slope away from the left-handed skipper and then getting one to missile back into Gayle's whipped-away gloves.
WEST INDIES FIRST INNINGS
1658: WICKET Baker lbw Onions 17, WI 152 all out
And there it is - Onions has five wickets! He's absolutely run rings round them this afternoon, and what a debut that is - 5-38 after going for nine off his first over. Super ball to polish off the innings too, an in-dipper from wicket to wicket that traps Baker bang in front.
Follow-on, anyone? Yup - it's being enforced..
From Rich, TMS inbox:
"The Met office has rain and poor visibility at 10am and 1pm tomorrow - there is hope for us Saturday ticket holders! And we all know they are never wrong, right?"
1653: WI 151-9
Baker's enjoying himself here. With nothing to lose, he climbs into road again and flays him to the deep square leg boundary for four more.
Btw - anyone remember what I wrote at 1503? Mystic Meg - I'm comcing after you...
1648: WI 146-9
Onions again - and Baker swipes merrily, hoicking from outside off through midwicket for four. Anyone else feel sorry for Tim Bresnan in all this?
1644: WI 142-9
Broad fancies this now - Baker takes his blade away and is so close to being castled that you have to blink to make sure the ball hasn't passed clean through the stumps. And then - calamity! England somehow miss the world's easiest run-out opportunity. With the batsmen mid-pitch and taking their lids off, Anderson shies and misses, Broad fumbles three times and they dive home. Imagine that sentence read with the music from Benny Hill in the background and you're somewhere close to how it looked.
From Robert Walker, TMS inbox:
"Too much happening to keep up from work. At this rate I'm going to have to start following something really slow. Can we have some live text gardening?"
1640: WI 139-9
Now then - six balls for Onions to claim a five-for on debut at HQ. Edwards waltzes down the track and smears a massive slog over midwicket for four, misses with another mighty mow, rumbles a couple of singles and then mows again. Somehow the timbers remain upright.
1635: WI 133-9
A lot of unhappy emails arriving in the TMS inbox from punters with tickets for Saturday. Broad does his best to keep the match alive with a second wicketless over on the bounce. Booo.
1630: WI 132-9
Baker now, with Onions having sliced through the Windies batting order - and he's a fingertip away from joining his mates back in the hutch too. Fast one outside off, wild slash and Colly can't quite hang on to a diver at second slip.
1625: WICKET Ramdin lbw Onions 5, WI 128-9
Onions! Again! Four wickets for two runs in seven balls for him now, and the West Indies have lost five wickets for 12 runs in 19 minutes. Keeping up at the back?
1622: WI 128-8
Six slips - six! - in for Fidel as Broad steams in. The batsman throws hands and shoulders at the ball and picks up a streaky four through point. Don't forget to breathe.
From Tina Paddock, TMS inbox: "Who are this team and what have they done with England?"
1618: WICKET Benn c Swann b Onions 2, WI 119-8
This is getting ridiculous. Benn, who was surprised by the fall of those earlier three wickets that he got to the crease with his gloves, inners and helmet still in his hands, escapes a narrow lbw shout, inside edges a two and then edges his next one to a diving Swann in the gully. Four wickets in seven balls - Onions is sizzling, and the West Indies have fallen out of the frying-pan into the fire...
From Dave Griffiths, TMS inbox:
"If we're going down the route of advertising for occasional players for our Saturday XIs, can the Arcadians 2nd XI get a mention please? We were all out for 21 on Saturday, having conceded 236, and this week I have 7 confirmed names on the team sheet, with the prospect of finding four more less than rosy (can I borrow an Optimastron for the day please?). Even Dirs can have a game if he wants."
1612: WICKET Taylor c Prior b Onions 0, WI 117-7
And another - and it's Onions again! Taylor wafts feebly down leg and succeeds only in gloving loopily to the tumbling Prior. Three wickets in four balls for England, and steam is rising from my keyboard.
From Mark, TMS inbox:
"The 'Optimismometer' is off the scale! Maybe a new flavour of crisp in the making - Swann and Onion."
1609: WICKET Simmons c Strauss b Onions 16, WI 117-6
And another! Two wickets in two balls, and Graham Onions has his first Test scalp - he gets lift and leap at Simmons' clavicle and Skipper Strauss takes a fine catch above his head at slip.
1607: WICKET Nash c Collingwood b Swann 4, WI 117-5
More Swannage, and there's a yelped appeal against Nash as he props forward with pad forward. And what a catch that is! Colly takes a beauty at slip as Nash throws a drive at the off-spinner, and Swann is more on the money than Betty II.
1603: WI 117-4
Nice attempted yorker from Onions - sliced away by Simmons. The diminutive batsman then keeps his blade to himself - first maiden of Onions' Test career.
1558: WI 117-4
No respecter of reputations, Lendl Simmons - he comes down the track and smashes the leading Test wicket-taker of 2009 back over his head for a massive six. After a strolled single, Swann beats Nash all ends up with a fearsome spitter past his tremulous outside edge.
From Chris Burton, TMS inbox:
"Further to 15.22 Ed Walters - I had the pleasure in playing in that game with Master Fordyce. Not sure he was a ringer though, he only made 12. Don't worry about Alex, Tom, anything you said to him was no doubt fully deserved. Anyone interested in bettering Tom's efforts for us, please get in contact as we're a bit thin on the ground this season."
Hell of a ball that got me out, though - so fast it was almost invisible. No mention of the two catches I took too, I see - no wonder you're struggling for players...
1554: WI 108-4
Sandwiches munched and light improved, we're back out. Graham Onions to begin from the Nursery End, and Nash slaps him through point for four. Hmmm. A loose one down leg rebounds fine for four leg byes before a nice straightener sizzles past off-peg. Just been told that Graeme Swann is the leading wicket-taker in Test cricket this year. Result.
BAD LIGHT STOPS PLAY - TEA TAKEN
Boo - the light-meters are out, and the Windies have had enough. Can't really blame 'em. The umpires decide to take tea early. Grab yours and we'll all take a quick breather.
1528: HAT-TRICK BALL, WI 99-4
...and Nash survives. Ooof. Defensive prod into the covers. Double-wicket maiden, however, and Swanny (three overs, 2-7) gets a special KP bear-hug as the Lord's crowd roars its approval.
1527: WICKET Chanderpaul c Collingwood b Swann 0, WI 99-4
And another! Joy unconfined for Swanny, and why not - he's turned a fullish one a mile outside Chanderpaul's off-peg, the edge is found and Colly goes leftwards to snag the pouch at slip. He's on a hat-trick...
1522: WICKET Smith b Swann 46, WI 99-3
And what a change it is too - he's bowled him first ball! No great tweak there, just one that went straight on through the gate. Swann got Smith out about 400 times over the winter (I exaggerate in lieu of actual stats) and now he's done him again.
1522: WI 99-2
Onions is chopped away (etc) by Simmons for two more. Looks like Swann's got the bellow to return from the Pavilion End next up - 18 minutes until tea.
From Ed Walters, TMS inbox:
"My friend Alex, who I have to copy and paste and then email your commentary to (he's not allowed the internet at work, other than at lunch) has just told me that you once played for Magdalen CC near Hampton Court. Did you? He is a little old and often gets muddled up does Alex."
He's spot on, Ed. Filled in as a ringer after a late drop-out. Earlier in the day I'd done the London Triathlon, which didn't stop Alex from calling me through for endless quick singles. Tell him I'm sorry for swearing at him.
1518: WI 96-2
David Frost visible there in the crowd, a boom microphone-length away from John Major. Who said cricket had the wrong image to appeal to the kids? just a dabbed single from Smith off Jimmy's probers.
1512: WI 95-2
Onions for over #2. Decent pace from the off, this time - and then decent pace off the middle of Smith's bat, all the way to the long-off fence. Smith tucks away another single, and he's running rings round Onions at the moment. Sorry.
From Wes MK, TMS inbox:
"Do we need to start compiling your and Dirs bowling/batting stats? Dirs 0-44, Fordyce 2-26."
1508: WI 89-2
Anderson tears into Smith. Lovely shot first off - a drive past extra cover for a boundary that's 25% effort, 65% timing and 10% fast outfield. Jimmy responds with a rapid slider that nearly takes Smith's poking edge.
From Paul in Lancs, TMS inbox:
"If you work at it you should be able to develop both an away swinging curse, where what you say will happen doesn't, and the indipper, where the event nips back late just after you've said it won't.
"I'm told Dirs is working on a slower curse where what he says will happen actually happens just after we've thought it won't, while Pranav is working on the reverse curse where something happens just as he said it would but where you fully expected it not too from the way he was holding the sentence structure."
1503: WI 85-2
Now then - has Strauss called for Onions? He has - let's go ball-by-ball...
1. Ooops - dropped short, pulled by Smith for four
2. Fuller ball, pushed for one
3. Touch short, pushed for two more by Simmons
4. Hoorah! Full swinger which Simmons leaves alone
5. Ooof - inside edge onto pad.
6. Whhops - short again, pushed through midwicket for two more.
So there we go - nine off Onions' first over in Test cricket. It'll probably get better.
1457: WI 76-2
Lendl Simmons is the new batsman, and there's a huge shout as Anderson traps him on the back pad - sliding down leg, says the umpire. Anderson flings one wide of off and stalks down to fine leg.
By the way - ever tried pole vaulting? I can recommend it...
1452: WICKET Sarwan c Prior b Broad 13, WI 70-2
Sarwan's seeing it like a beach ball out there - or is he? Even as I type the words, the mockers fall like lead weights upon his shoulders and he thins a waft straight through to Matt Prior. Dear oh dear - that's the fastest curse I've ever produced. Sarwan caught Prior caused Fordyce bowled Broad 13.
1448: WI 66-1
Ooof - nice ball from Jimmy, spitting across left-hander Smith from right-arm over and finding a thick outside edge - four just past gully's right hand. Bellows from behind the timbers; Jimmy squints at the clouds with arms in teapot position.
From Laurie, TMS inbox:
"Was it just me, or was Dirsy a bad luck charm for the England team? 2 wickets fall for no runs and Windies rack up 44 easy runs - what'll happen when he comments on a full day?"
The Ashes, Laurie.
1442: WI 62-1
Broad to Smith, and a pinger on middle-and-off is applauded by a stern-faced Colly in the gully. A shorter one is half-pulled away - Alastair Cook huffs and puffs after it and hauls it back for three. Still three slips in; plenty of casual chat coming in from that direction.
1439: WI 55-1
Jimmy A races in, and Sarwan dishes out the same treatment - a wristy four flicked through the on-side with the balance of a high-wire walker. Getting darker overhead...
1435: WI 50-1
Gayle looked almost annoyed by that - only the third time in his career that an expression has crossed his face. New man Sarwan hammers a bail into the crease to take his guard, stands up tall and smashes Broad through midwicket for four. Broad snarls back down the pitch.
1432: WICKET - Gayle b Broad 28 WI 46-1
Respect to Dirsaldo. As Romford's best smoker departs, dark clouds gather overhead - the second phrase unrelated in a causational way with the first. Enough of that, though - Gayle's gone! He tries to play with an angled bat at one from Broad that jumps back at him and succeeds only in playing on to his leg timber. Broad goes ripe bananas, and England have the breakthrough...
1427: WI 44-0
Easy single for Smith, before Anderson over-pitches and Gayle times him through the covers for four. Anderson getting the ball to nip back now, but Smith gets a big inside edge onto his pad. Here's Tom Fordyce. Bye.
1423: WI 38-0
There's Stuart's old man Chris in the crowd. He'd make a fine Dr Who. Broad Jr getting the ball to zip around, and this time he gets one to jag back and snag Smith's sweater. Smith works to square-leg for one. Boycs getting very excited about bras on TMS. Have a listen. "Any complaints about bras or pants, get them on your emails now," says Aggers.
"How often has there been a bowler who has taken two in two balls twice in an innings? Positively Fidelicious!"
Ken in Edinburgh in the TMS inbox
1419: WI 37-0
The Swann experiment is over, and here's Anderson. Short and Smith is right on top of it, and it's taken by Cook at square-leg. Anderson short again and Smith twirls him through point for four. Quick one from Smith, dropping the ball down and scampering down the track. A 7-2 off-side field for the left-handed Gayle and he's beaten outside off. Lazy old woosh.
1412: WI 32-0
England are convinced they've got Gayle caught behind, but Umpire De Silva isn't having any of it. Hot Spot reckons it clipped his pad, so that looks like a top decision. Another boundary for Gayle, heaving Broad straight down the ground off an inside edge. Gayle bending Broad over and slapping him like his daddy at the moment - right in the slot and Gayle piles into it and thrashes him through the covers for four more. Good comeback from Broad, getting the ball to duck back at the left-handed Gayle.
1409: WI 24-0
West Indies steaming along here, with Smith punching Swann firmly down the ground for four. And there's four added to the leg-bye column. Swann strays onto Smith's leg stump and is nurdled away for a couple, and I think this little Swann experiment might be at an end. I KNOW! I MEANT STUART BROAD, NOT CHRIS!
1407: WI 14-0
First boundary of the West Indies inning, Gayle steering Broad through backward point for four. Suicidal from Gayle, the Windies skipper diverting the ball onto his foot, the ball dribbling into the off-side. Gayle then hobbles a few steps down the pitch, before turning and just making his ground with a full-length dive. Crackerjack shot from Gayle, creaming Broad through mid-off for four, and he follows up with a cut through the covers for four more. Not sure if it's true, but it's rumoured Gayle can slam revolving doors.
1402: WI 2-0
Not sure what's occurring here - guess who's sharing the new ball? That's right, Swanny. I can only imagine Andrew Strauss believes Gayle doesn't fancy starting his innings against a spinner, and that's a ripper from Swann - the ball turning big and beating Gayle outside off. Gayle does pick a run next ball.
Here's Stuart Broad with the new cherry, and Gayle's not hanging about and having a look - he backs off and slashes into the covers, but it's well fielded. Dangerous leave from Gayle, the ball pitching on middle and nipping back, but luckily for the Windies skipper, it was high. Three slips in for Gayle and KP at gully, but Gayle picks up the first run with an inside edge onto his pad which squirts away to mid-off. Broad up at 91mph in that over, he's been down the gym...
From BBC Sport's Oliver Brett at Lord's:
"Without a shadow of doubt, it is colder now than it was at 8.45am at my house this morning (about five miles from the ground). There are people milling around miserably with parkas, scarves and ponchos on wondering what on earth persuaded them to order a cold beverage from the bar. What they needed was a hot toddy or a pint of mulled wine."
Truth is, no-one really gives a monkey's if Onions knows one end of a bat from t'other, but we're soon to find out if he can cut it as a Test match bowler. In answer to your question, Andy in Tooting
, Edwards will be on a hat-trick at the start of England's second innings. Here's the Windies openers, Chris Gayle and Devon Smith.
1344: WICKET Onions b Edwards 0, Eng 377
Does Graham Onions know his onions? Not when it comes to batting, it seems - his first Test innings lasts one ball as he's castled by a straight one from Edwards. 6-92 for the Barbados paceman, his eighth five-fer in Tests.
1341: WICKET Anderson c Ramdin b Edwards 1, Eng 377-9
Old Swanny's in a fun mood, and so is Jimmy Anderson, but he's not having much luck hitting the ball - a back-foot flash and a miss before he repeats the stroke and nicks Edwards to Ramdin behind the stumps. Five-fer for Fidel, and it should have been more.
Afternoon. Ben Dirs here, Tom Fordyce is off doing something called 'jogging'. Players just about to come out for the afternoon session, we'll have play in a couple of minutes...
1258: Eng 377-8
Taylor to Swann, man of the morning, and another bouncer is ducked under. After a scampered single Jimmy is back in the firing-line, and he's not enjoying this - another dry-throated poke at nothing outside off. A huge roar goes round the ground as he finally lays blade on ball and picks up his first run after 17 deliveries.
That's lunch too - enjoyable little session. Get your face in the trough and we'll reconvene in 40. Possibly in the company of Ben Dirs. Oh happy days. Should you need some entertainment, Radio TMS are currently playing some splendid Ashes archive material and will be discussing other cricketing issues. Magic.
Alternatively, you can discuss the morning's play on 606
Join the 606 debate
1254: Eng 375-8
Gutsy stuff here from Jimmy A. Baker has asked for a forward short leg to be brought it, and Jim is blasted with a fanfare of musique du chinne. With a nervy step to leg and another airy poke outside off, he lives to waft again.
From Jim in Leeds, TMS inbox:
"Fitting that you should say 'kaboom' whilst blimps are being discussed - the Hindenburg went down 72 years ago yesterday. Just thought I'd share."
1249: Eng 375-8
Swann fends a nasty lifter from Baker behind square for one more. Jimmy wafts hopefully at a wide one and then - oouuch - ducks into a short one and is smashed on the back of the lid. He drops to the ground and is in some bother here - and no wonder, because the replays show that the ball hit half-lid, half-head. A piece of helmet has flown off too.
The physio is on, full of tender words and care. Jim takes his time, but he wants to continue - the crowd love that, and quite rightly so.
From Rob Lyons, TMS inbox:
"Yeah, well David Ross - when it turns out that swine flu is just a bad cold for us, but lethal to the Inflatable Ones, you'll be the first one up against the wall. Collaborator."
1244: Eng 374-8
Kaboom - Swann will have them there all day long - Taylor serves up a half-volley and is creamed delightfully through the covers for his ninth four. 60 now for the cavalier twirler, almost triple his previous best Test score.
From Daire in Sheffield, TMS inbox:
"re: Micki in Bournemouth: the optismatron being subjected to thoughts of an England appearance in the world 20/20 final would be offset by the Pessimisatron's overpowering force of Australia also making it there. Maybe if the two devices were put together it would be an English version of a large hadron collider - end of the world anyone?"
1239: Eng 369-8
The buzz from Ravi's departure dies down as Jimmy Anderson strides to the middle. Swanny strolls over for some senior partner advice, and Anderson then plays and misses at four consecutive deliveries.
From David Ross, TMS inbox:
"I for one welcome our blue skinned, inflatable overlords."
1233: WICKET Bopara c Nash b Taylor 143, Eng 368-8
Alas, it's over - Ravi aims a tired drive at a slower one and lofts the ball straight down cover's throat. He throws his head back in disappointment as he trudges off, but the crowd rise to him - super knock from the Essex tyro, with 17 fours and 284 balls in the day-long innings.
1230: Eng 367-7
Smooth soul sensation Lionel Baker rumbles in, and watchful singles ensue. Hands in pockets all the way round the Windies field.
From Diane Ayres, TMS inbox:
"Can you confirm if there is a large blue blimp currently hanging over Lords? I can see one from my office window and my sense of direction isn't great so I can't work out where it is. If there isn't one, please can you inform people that the alien invasion has begun somewhere within sight of Paddington."
Start hoarding tinned food, Diane - the multi-limbed barbarians are at the gates. Or at Westbourne Grove, anyway.
1225: Eng 365-7
Three singles off a tightening Taylor. The debate rages all around me - is Swann the new Gilo? Or the new Eddie Hemmings?
From Micki in Bournemouth, TMS inbox:
"Got my ticket for the World Twenty20 Final through in the post yesterday- very excited. Everyone else looking forward to an England v Australia final? Or would that actually bust the Optismatron?"
1221: Eng 362-7
Singles apiece as Baker toils, and then Swann leans back to an attempted bouncer and pulls it like Alec Stewart into the crowd beyond the midwicket fence. Super shot, and that's his 50 - 73 balls, eight fours and that six in the innings. Monty, where is thou sting?
1217: Eng 354-7
Whoosh - that's more like it. Bopara waits for a leg-stump help-yourselfer and drills it through square leg for a sweet four. Easiest of peas out there this morning.
From Sean in Bristol, TMS inbox:
"With regard to Carole in Maidenhead's Moodometer, why reinvent the wheel? You can get fish out of crackers that scientifically analyse your mood."
1212: Eng 348-7
It's awfully quiet out there today. The Lord's pitch is still doing a bit but not enough to get the tourists chirping and even less to bother the sparse crowd at Headquarters. England won't be complaining, though, and a Swanny leg-bye followed by a driven single by Ravi keeps the hosts ticking over. Fordyce is back, a relieved look across his features.
1210: Eng 346-7
Ravi gets the scoreboard ticking once more with a cracking back-foot drive for one, so Fidel ups the anti and sends down a devilishly quick bouncer to Swanny. But that'll be a no ball old boy. Swanny flicks Fidel down to fine leg for four and, although he plays and misses at the following delivery, England won't be too displeased with that over.
1204: Eng 339-7
David Ornstein here for three overs while Fordyce takes a comfort break. Nice, aggressive over from Baker. That's more like it. Swanny takes a blow to the bottom hand from a ball that nips back in off the seam, and then almost gloves a bouncer to wicketkeeper Denesh Ramdin. Baker is a touch wayward to finish but claims a maiden nonetheless.
1159: Eng 339-7
Bopara, relaxed in the shadows so far this morning, leans back and cuts Fidel high over point for four. Fidel over-compensates and Bopara drives him beautifully through mid-on for four more. 132 now for Ravi B, 40 to Swanny.
From Carole in Maidenhead, TMS inbox:
"'Moodometer' does it for me. Allows a subtle variation of 'Moo-ometer' for use as a gauge when dealing with hormonally-challenged females."
1154: Eng 331-7
Ropey again from Taylor - short and wide, and Swann batters it to the cover fence. In the stands, Lee Westwood is deep in conversation with Chris Broad. Broad Snr is miming a gentle chip-shot from about 25 feet; Westwood is nodding as furiously as his Harry Hill shirt collars allow.
From BBC Sport's Oliver Brett at Lord's:
"The floodlights are telescopic things which can only be fully extended (and used) on the rare occasions that Westminster Borough Council approve a temporary planning application - eg the odd Twenty20 Cup match. Also they don't really tower in their non-extended state. The lowest lights are about the same height as me, and there's a (presumably half-frozen) man on a cherry-picker huddled over a TV camera. He must be around 15 metres above the top lights."
1150: Eng 327-7
That's more like it from Fidel - a skiddy bouncer that Swann ducks to avoid taking on the beak. A jab down to third man for a single, and the partnership creeps up to 52.
From Dan P, TMS inbox:
"Having successfully tapped up the IT manager at work to allow me to side-step the Web-blocking that's been put in place, so that I can follow the Test, imagine my despair when they went off for bad light. Grrrrr."
1144: Eng 325-7
The light must be awful - Graeme Swann has just driven Jerome Taylor for successive fours through cover. The West Indies team don't look hugely into this - and as I type the words, Swann smashes another through the same slot for four more. Champagne, anyone? On the Flintoff front, he's now seated in the members' section of the pavilion. Since he's not wearing a tie and jacket, I expect him to be thrown out shortly by a brace of furious stewards.
Hello - we're off again. Or rather, back on again.
From Paul in Lausanne, TMS inbox:
"I expect the reason Flintoff hasn't been up to any high-jinks with the crutches is because he is so used to having them that the novelty has worn off."
A glimpse there of Andrew Strauss on the England balcony, feet up on the ironwork, staring out at the skies like a man considering a second bowl of breakfast cereal. The cover is on in the middle, but just to give the groundsmen something to do. Around the ground, the brand-new floodlights tower, as unused as Geoff Boycott's self-deprecation.
From Duncan Garfield, TMS inbox:
"Surely the Sir Alan (Sugar not Stanford) has taught you by now to know the market place, and I fully expect to outsell you in the UK market with my 'Pessimeter'. Me thinks you should try the USA for your fancy goods."
The cricket version of bad light is a strange thing indeed. You'd sunbathe in Leeds in this.
From Mike Bell in Ashford, TMS inbox:
"With Swann's Test career still in its infancy, it would be nice to think that shot for four through extra cover could become his cygneture shot. Sorry."
What's this? The umpires have the Light Meters of Doom out, and the England pair are trudging off. Can't say they looked hugely troubled by the conditions so far, but there you go. Fetch yourself a hot beverage and sponge finger and I'll keep you posted.
1123: Eng 313-7
Change in the field for Edwards - he's lost a slip and gained a short extra cover, clearly fearful of the flashing Swanny blade. He drops short and is hoicked away for two - Swann moves to 22, his highest Test score. Super riposte from Edwards next up - a devilish away-swinger that almost clatters the Swann timbers.
From Russell Plumb, TMS inbox:
"RE: 10.50: Wouldn't 'Optimometer' have been easier? Although I think Optismatron is a better name."
1117: Eng 308-7
Who's that lurking inside the England balcony, wobbling around on crutches? It's Fred, that's who, accepting a cup of tea proffered by a servile Alastair Cook. No sign yet of any crutch-related high-jinks of the sort enjoyed by people around the world - how far can you travel on one swing, pretend the crutch is a machine-gun etc. Two singles.
1113: Eng 306-7
Yup - Benn was merely preparing the way for Skiddy Fiddy. A stiff-looking creaky opener down leg is followed by another that Swann tickles for a single, before Bopara drops one at his feet and scampers through for another. Drops one in the cricketing sense, I should say. Hello - Swann takes a stride down the track and smashes Fidel back over his head for a brutal four. Next ball, as all and sundry expect a take-that bouncer, Edwards pitches one up and gets Swanned again - straight through cover for another flashing four.
1107: Eng 296-7
Jerome Taylor from the Pavilion End, and he's taken the new ball too. Three slips and a gully in, and Swann hips away a leg-bye before Bopara flips another loose one away to fine leg for another. Radar a touch wonky at the mo. Another leg-side loosener is tucked away by Swann for one more single. Early-doors lack of atmos at Lord's.
From Richard in Pinner, TMS inbox:
"I predict optimistically that today Tim Bresnan will take 6-38 in helpful conditions which should see him retain his place just long enough to take 0-193 against the Aussies in Cardiff."
1102: Eng 293-7
Sulieman Benn to get us underway from the Nursery End. Might just be to get Fidel down the other end. Ravi drives gently and picks up a squeaky single as mid-off mis-fields. Swann pushes gently to point and strolls one of his own. Lord's only a third full, you'd have to say. Under these conditions it might make sense for the supporters to huddle together and take turns on the perimeter. A brace of singles to conclude us.
Here come the West Indies players, Michelin-manned up in hundreds of layers. And, cold on their tails, the England pair of Bopara and Graeme Swann.
Let's take out the Optimismometer, then (memo to self: consider re-branding before releasing to wider market). John Pierce in the TMS inbox
sees English "swiping and perishing" before the Windies are dismissed for 150; Sy Fox
believes Tim Bresnan "will get a hat-trick in his first over". Sunburn-Stripey Man
(see below) says England all out for 325, Windies six wickets down at the close.
Decent forecast for later on, according to the men with the barometers and pine-cones at the BBC Weather centre. Some sun, and only a 10% chance of rain. The man sitting opposite me, fresh from the Nursery Stand yesterday, is sporting the classic seated-all-day sporting tan - pale as a ghost on one side of his face, beetroot on the other. It's like Tommy Lee Jones reprising his turn in Batman Forever.
From BBC Sport's Oliver Brett at Lord's:
"The four-man steel band, clad in winter fleeces, have gingerly started up for the morning. Rather curiously, they have selected Stevie Wonder's I Just Called To Say I Love You as their opening number. I guess Guus Hiddink won't be using those words if he's on the blower to a certain Norwegian football official today. Just a smattering of drizzle in the air, but the pitch is uncovered."
So, Day Two at Lord's. Grey overhead, but no reason why we shouldn't be underway on time - England to resume on 289-7, and looking for 400+, according to unbeaten centurion Ravi Bopara. Hats off to the sunny optimism of a man who hasn't been involved with England for very long.
Ah, Thursday at Lord's, and the first day of the Test mat
. hold on, it's day two. And still a Thursday. How did that happen?