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ENGLAND FIRST INNINGS - STUMPS
Righto, that's stumps. Many thanks for all your chat today, I believe Tom Fordyce is doing this tomorrow, so see you Monday...
From GordonPembury on 606:
"Why do we bother with Tests at Old Trafford? Always rains or has bad light when the rest of the country is bathed in sun"
1750 - Eng 275-5
(see below), two Tests ago in Dhaka Bell was the only man to pass three figures in an innings, so he's already got that monkey on his back. It's raining now, I think we're done.
1748 - Eng 275-5
Right, the hover cover is dragged into place and it looks like we might be done for the day. Most of the chat in tomorrow's papers will focus on the dismissal of Kevin Pietersen, and my how this man divides the nation. Silly dismissal, no doubt, but you can't ignore the fact he'd already scored 64 runs and was England's second-highest scorer on the day. Oh, and let's not forget we're in the entertainment business here, and the boy's box office while he's in...
Johnny O'Shea in the TMS inbox:
"Am I right in saying this would be the first time Ian Bell has ever scored a century for England, where he is the only centurion in the innings? And then of course we will always be able to say 'and that was only against Bangladesh'. Poor Belly..."
1734 - Eng 275-5
To straight from Razzak and Bell turns him away for one. But that's that, the umpires have a quick chat and off they go for light. Strange day all in all, although reasonably absorbing. Dave in Hornchurch
is right, most people in Essex don't even know there is a fruit called an 'orange' and most bars in Romford on a Friday night look they're hosting a Willy Wonka Chocolate Factory office party.
Dave, Hornchurch, in the TMS inbox:
"In Essex, the colour 'orange' originates from the skin colour of the female population of said county."
1729 - Eng 274-5
Razzak keeping things tighter than the bark on a tree, just a single from his over, Prior with a prod to mid-on. Interesting - Shafiul is back into the attack, but he's going to persevere with the old nut and see what he can do with it. Two for Prior with a flip off his hip.
Nemo, Istanbul, in the TMS inbox:
"Re: DINZ - Surely if your girlfriend had a tonsorial Duckworth/Lewis situation, she'd agree to come out for half a pint and a third of a kebab so long as you got her home for 10:23?"
1721 - Eng 271-5
Shakib has really put a stint in today, really bleeding for his side, but that's short and Bell stands tall and punches him to the deep mid-wicket boundary. Wide from Shakib and Bell cuts him for a couple, and the new ball is now due - only problem is, I'm not sure they've got any of their seamers on the field.
Paul, Ipswich, in the TMS inbox:
"In Romania, oranges are called 'portocali' because Portugal is the supposed origin."
1719 - Eng 263-5
We could be in for a 6 o'clock finish tonight, which would be a collector's item indeed. Big leg before shout from Razzak against Prior, but Umpire Bowden decides that was drifting down leg. Not sure about that, looked like it was ripping out leg to me, and Hawk-Eye agrees.
1715 - Eng 263-5
Well done to Trevor in Lancs who spotted my deliberate mistake - you don't have an oar on a canoe, you do, of course, have a paddle. Prior uses his feet to Shakib and tucks him to leg for a single.
1712 - Eng 262-5
Razzak loses his line and Bell tickles him round the corner for four. Two more for Bell before a single gives the strike back to Prior. Prior steals the strike with a nurdle to mid-wicket from the final ball of the over.
1710 - Eng 254-5
Mushfiqur wears one on the inside of the knee before Bell pushes into the covers for one. Prior provides some fielding practice for the rest of the over as reports of rain from around the Old Trafford area start to trickle in...
Chris in the TMS inbox:
"Wikipedia says: 'The colour is named after the orange fruit, introduced to English via the Spanish word naranja which came from the Sanskrit word ?????? (n?ra?ga). Before this was introduced to the English-speaking world, the colour was referred to (in Old English) as geoluhread, which translates into Modern English as yellow-red. The first recorded use of orange as a colour name in English was in 1512, in the court of King Henry VIII.' So fruit first, orange later!"
Dinz in the TMS inbox:
"Just last night I asked my girlfriend out for a pint and a kebab, and she replied that she'd love to but her 'hair was all Duckworth/Lewis', ie. completely messed up with no reasonable explanation."
1701 - Eng 253-5
Prior releasing some pressure with a beefy square-drive for four and he picks up four more with a streaky outside edge. Prior is all squared up by the last ball of the over, at times he looks like he's batting with a the oar of a canoe. Drinks...
1659 - Eng 245-5
Prior is beaten all ends up by another lavishly-turning delivery from Shakib, he's proving a real handful on here. Prior looks stung, like a man has just been told the campervan he bought for two and a half grand two years ago is now worth next to nothing. I have personal experience in that area. Looks like we might be in for a spot of rain in Manchester, the skies have darkened and the groundstaff are massing on the boundary.
1656 - Eng 244-5
Prior finally finds a gap in the off-side field and scampers one - nice fielding there from Bangladesh's livewire skipper Shakib. Emails Joe:
"What makes an orange orange? Was the orange called an orange because it was orange? Or was orange not a colour until we called the oranges orange?" Anyone?
1653 - Eng 243-5
Shakib really turning the screw here, this pair are momentarily beached. Thank you John in Sunny Southampton
for pointing out that Pietersen's last first-class match for Hampshire came in the 2008 County Championship against Somerset, where he scored 100 runs in Hampshire's first innings.
1650 - Eng 243-5
Bell uses his feet to Razzak and clips him to mid-wicket for one. Prior's not as adept in finding the gaps as his partner, and he edges just short of slip with a rather wooden prod.
1647 - Eng 242-5
Prior sweeps Shakib for one before Bell pounces on a short one, making room and carving Shakib away for four. One more for Bell with a cheap single into the leg-side.
1644 - Eng 236-5
Razzak picks up a single, before Bell sees out the rest of the over to general indifference from a well-toasted Old Trafford crowd. Anyone watching the clock and thinking, "it's late on a Friday, I'm well hacked off, I think I might hand in my notice", I give you two words - Lembit Opik.
1640 - Eng 235-5Steve
(see below), I have absolutely no idea what that was in reference to, but it was a very interesting story, well done. Prior moves to four with a nurdle off his pads before Bell is rather squared up by one that straightens. Can you watch the cricket from that conference centre? I've decided it resembles a late-80s own-brand games console, maybe something you could pick up at Dixons.
Steve in the TMS inbox:
"Errol Flynn also faced problems with the authorities and alcohol, being criticised for drinking on set. He announced that he was starting a health-kick and began eating numerous oranges. Everyone was very impressed until it became clear that the oranges had been injected with vodka."
1637 - Eng 234-5
Many thanks Mitch, I enjoyed my little stroll around the exercise yard. Razzak back into the attack and Prior could do with a few runs here, he's got that chap Kieswetter breathing down his neck. The Sussex man turns Razzak away for a single from the final ball of the 67th over.
1633 - Eng 233-5
Shakib, plenty of sun cream splashed across his face, is worked to fine leg for a single by Prior, while Bell carefully defends his stumps. Meanwhile, with all this talk of World Cup sweepstakes earlier today, I can reveal that I managed to pick out... Uruguay. Now all I need is a time machine to take me to 1930 or 1950. Anyway, here comes the Dirs to take you through the rest of the day.
1630 - Eng 232-5
Short and wide from Shahadat, Bell says "thank you very much" and wristily flicks a four through third man, before powerfully pulling four more past mid-wicket.
From Dav, London, via text:
"Surely the so-called 'Bell Debate' was put to bed in South Africa? I think a century with England at 223-5 would be most welcome and not 'cheap'"
1625 - Eng 224-5
New bowler, same action as Cap'n Shakib replaces fellow left-arm twirler Razzak. Prior tries to slap Shak through the covers but the Tigers have looked a little more nimble in the field today than they were at times at Lord's. Prior prods forward and Shakib turns one past his outside edge - maiden over and advantage Bangladesh. What wouldn't Monty Panesar (remember him?) give to bowl on this pitch? Old Trafford's pretty much his favourite ground, as his past stats show...
From Ian, Surrey, via text:
"Why is KP getting slaughtered when as far as I'm aware he is currently still our top scorer in the innings? What about Cook?"
1622 - Eng 224-5
The delighted Shahadat's hair is standing up ("standing up for fine weather", as my grandmother used to say) as he charges in to new batsman Matt Prior, who steps back and steers a single through point to get off the mark.
1618 - WICKET - Morgan c Jahurul b Shahadat 37 - Eng 223-5
What a catch! Shahadat angles one in to Morgan from around the wicket, Morgan slashes and is brillantly caught one-handed by the diving Jahurul Islam at gully.
1615 - Eng 223-4
As the sun disappears behind some clouds, Razzak tosses it up to Bell but he's not succumbing to Pietersen-itis and stays within his crease. The TMS commentators keep wondering how Bell would have been out first ball earlier today if Bangladesh had put a short leg fielder in... Razzak completes his maiden over.
1613 - Eng 223-4
Morgan and Bell push Shahadat for some singles, while it appears on the texts (see below) that "The Bell Debate" is raging once more. Bell pokes a two through the covers to take England to 222 - nearly every England fan will be thinking of the late David Shepherd and his leaping about on multiples of "Nelson". A single takes Bell to 56, Morgan has 37 and this stand is already worth 70.
From Williams in Richmond, via text:
"Oh no, here comes another cheap Bell century to keep him in the team for another year... Meaning Collingwood will come back in most likely for Morgan. I'd far rather have Morgan in the team for the first Ashes Test than Bell. 10 times as much bottle than the Shermanator!"
1609 - Eng 217-4
Left-arm spin from the skipping Abdur Razzak - and rather like the last over, Morgan steers a single and Bell sees off the rest of the over. Meanwhile, the aforementioned Shafiul is having a fitness test just outside the boundary rope, practising his bowling.
1605 - Eng 216-4
Shahadat Hossain takes the first over after tea - he's Bangladesh's one remaining seamer after Shafiul Islam collapsed to the turf with cramp in the afternoon session. Morgan rotates the strike with a single, Shahadat goes round the wicket to Bell and angles a couple across him, to which Bell offers no shot.
From Quin, Twickenham, TMS inbox:
"KP is not a poor player, just a frustrating one. He has the ability to be average 50+, but not the mentality"
Bangladesh fielders on their way out, most of them get a little pep-talk from coach Jamie Siddons at the pavilion gate. Then, after Bell and Morgan stride to the middle, Bangladesh linger near the boundary to have a Michael Vaughan-style "huddle". By the way, a very important player looks set to miss the World Cup and may be joined by a second - I won't spoil the surprise but suggest you
have a quick peek at our World Cup index
if your curiosity is piqued.
From Edd, Newcastle, via text:
"A little harsh to slam KP for 64 off 81 balls whilst Trotters gets away without mention on a treble. We know how he plays, so long as he keeps hitting those figures it's not the end of the world"
Right, while Mr Dirs takes a little break, I'll be with you for a stint (please manually refresh the page to see the names change). In answer to Ben's question about KP and my beloved Hampshire, I can tell you he last played for the county in a Twenty20 Cup game against Middlesex on 11 June 2008. He took 3-33 from three overs before scoring 43 from 29 balls in a losing cause. His last Championship appearance was earlier that season when he scored exactly 100 against Somerset in a typical Taunton run-fest.
Paul, Reading, in the TMS inbox:
"To Rob (1511) - KP not a quality batsman? I would have to agree with you.After all, he's only got the 46th highest Test average of all time, and is only the 10th highest of players in the world today. Poor form."
1544 - 215-4
Razzak with a maiden before the tea interval, Bell putting up the shutters... Stephen
(see below), Mrs Winthrope was a very formidable woman in the Hattie Jacques mould - his shot came too early, he wasn't ready for it...
Stephen Brooks in the TMS inbox:
"How did your father get on against Mrs Winthrope the PE teacher in that school punch-up?"
1539 - 215-4
Lots of people are extremely irate at the criticism of Pietersen, the Hampshire man (when was the last time he played for them by the way?) has more friends than you might (or might not) think. Morgan and Bell exchange singles before Morgan eases a full-bunger from Mahmudullah into the covers for a couple.
1535 - 211-4
Bell drops to one knee and carves Razzak to the backward-point boundary for four to bring up his 24th Test fifty. Lucky to be there to be honest, he looked to have been plumb lbw earlier in the over.
Paul in Bath in the TMS inbox:
"Wasn't Keith Miller lauded for refusing cheap runs and only knuckling down against top-class opposition? At least KP is not obsessed with boosting his average."
From N79 on 606:
"I guess the one good thing about the ball turning on day one is we have the world's best spinner"
1532 - 207-4
This left, right-handed pair have settled into full milking mode now, nothing more exotic in that Mahmudullah over than a nurdle off the pads...
1529 - 204-4
England passed 200 in that previous over, by the way, a landmark that was received with rather lukewarm applause from the Old Trafford faithful. Three from Shakib's over, all in singles... I see Rio's out of the World Cup, oh well, I always had trouble picturing him lifting the trophy anyway...
1526 - 201-4
Mahmudullah coming round the wicket to Morgan and he keeps it tight for four balls, before deceiving Morgan in the flight and forcing an inside-edge down to fine-leg for a couple. Umps on the walkie-talkie, no idea what that's all about. The fun police have nicked an inflatable crocodile! BOO! But they've given it back! GET IN THERE FRANK!
1522 - 199-4
Shakib really gives it a rip, but Bell doesn't bother looking at that one, a ball that pitches and spits right like fat off a sausage. Three for Bell with a glide to third-man before Morgan nicks the strike with a nibble off his pads.
1519 - 195-4
Mahmudullah with some off-spin now. Bell eases him through mid-on for a single before Morgan picks up two more with a clip off his pads. It's all tweak, tweak, tweak at the moment, we might even finish on time...
1515 - 192-4
That's a quality shot from Morgan, it put me in mind of Justin Langer, a well-balanced square-drive for four. Bell had opened up the over with a single to mid-wicket, by the way. We're treated to a bird's-eye view of the new conference centre - pity the poor birds, from up there it looks like a giant hole-punch.
1511 - 188-4
Shahadat coming in round the wicket to the right-handed Bell and Bell eases him into the off-side for one. Morgan settling in nicely, he looks like he wants to be - I said "wants to be" - in for the long haul.
Rob Helps in the TMS inbox:
"Your comment about Pietersen being like the intelligent kid in school is all very well - except he isn't, is he? Because if he was he would eventually realise that there are times when you have to knuckle down to it, and that's something he's never going to do. He's nothing more than an intimidating slogger who too many people mistake for a quality batsman. And we all know he's going to do it again, and again, and again..."
1507 - 186-4
Shakib getting another one to grip and turn and Mushfiqur puts down a very sharp chance off Bell. Four for Morgan with a flamboyant, 'en garde!' cut. Simon in Peterborough
, I'm sorry to say I think you might be right. My dad was telling me he had a fight with his PE teacher back in his day, all properly organised with boxing gloves and everything. In case anyone was wondering, his day was the 1940s, not the 1820s....
Simon, Peterborough, in the TMS inbox:
"Re 1444 - No contest between Boycs and KP. Boycs would take an age to warm up and would take classic pose as laid down in the Marquis of Queensbury coaching manual only for a bored KP to utilise a well shod size 13 into the home-grown Yorkshire veg."
1503 - 179-4
The news from the Bangladesh dressing room is that Shafiul's injury isn't really an injury at all, but nothing more debilitating than a dose of cramp. Bell pushes Shahadat into the covers for one before Morgan shows the maker's name and eases down the ground for four. Whoah! Great comeback from Shahadat, the ball pitching outside off, jagging back and very nearly ripping out off-stump.
1458 - 174-4
Shakib still giving it some revs and he locates the edge of Bell's bat. One for the shot before Morgan keeps things ticking over with a nurdle to mid-wicket. Shakib proving a real test here, just one more run from that over.
1455 - 170-4
Two for Bell with a shovel down to deep square-leg. One more for Bell with a flick off his pads before Morgan gets a let-off, the Middlesex left-hander prodding outside off-stump, edging and the ball just evading the man at slip and galloping away for four.
Lord Geoffrey Boycott:
"What did Steve Waugh retire at, 36? And there I was, aged 40, batting against the greatest fast bowling attack ever..."
Beth in St Albans in the TMS inbox:
"I just noticed Shakib's interesting sun cream application: is he meant to look like Michael Jackson from the nose down? I'm also interested to know whether he used a ruler to get that perfect straight line across his face. Cricketers and sun cream is a fascinating subject..."
1450 - 163-4
After a protracted drinks break, Morgan nibbles to fine-leg for a few. One for Bell before Shakib sees Morgan coming and drags one in short. Nice work. From the OED: batter, n.3 One who bats; esp. the player who uses the bat in the game of cricket: 1773 J. DUNCOMBE Surry Triumphant st. xxxiii, in R. Freeman Kentish Poets (1821) II. 368 At last, Sir Horace took the field, A batter of great might.
Sue in Accrington in the TMS inbox:
"A batter is something you make pancakes with. A batsman is somebody who knows which end of a funny-shaped piece of wood to hold and ideally what to do with it."
Daniel Beckell in the TMS inbox:
"It's not just the 'minnows' that KP gets bored by - remember the 'shot' at Cardiff in the Ashes? I'm sure there are numerous others. Which is why, very good though he may be, he will never be world-class. Do Graeme Smith, Ponting, Lara, Tendulkar etc, etc lose their wickets in the manner that KP does? No, once they're in they're in and it takes a good delivery to get rid of them - not the continual self-destruction that KP seems to specialise in. Grrrrrr."
1444 - 159-4
"Good chance now for Morgan to show the selectors that he's not just a one-day one-trick pony," emails Nathan in Dublin. Indeed, hurling shots are very nice in Twenty20, but we're yet to see how much they're worth in Test cricket. Boycott can be heard making his way through the TMS commentary box telling people to "'op it", like a school bully cutting a swath through the top deck of a bus, before settling in behind the microphone and giving Master Pietersen a piece of his mind. Who would win a behind the bike sheds fight between Pietersen and a peak Boycott? FIGHT FIGHT FIGHT!
1440 - 159-4
Bell backs away and turns Shakib away to leg before Shafiul does himself a mischief in the most innocuous of fashion, trotting in to field at square-leg. Off he goes, and Bangladesh are in a pickle now, they've only got one recognised seamer left on the pitch. Morgan is off the mark with a nibbled one to leg.
Annoyed in Coventry in the TMS inbox:
"Surely Kevin Pietersen's walk-out music should be The Red Hot Chilli Peppers' Give it away as that's what he always does with his wicket."
1434 - 154-4
I can only conclude that Pietersen gets a bit bored against what he deems the 'minnows' of world cricket. He's like the intelligent kid in school who finds it all a little bit easy - so bored he starts mucking about and ends up failing his end-of-year exam. Shahadat is back into the attack and Bell turns him away for a single to move to 24. Eoin Morgan is the new batter and there's only a slip and a gully in, which is odd. Big period this, who will seize the day? Morgan defends the final two deliveries.
1426 - WICKET - Pietersen st Mushfiqur b Shakib 64 (Eng 153-4)
Remarkable stroke from Pietersen - Shakib sees him coming, alters the flight, but KP then adjusts and smears him through mid-off for four. He looked like he was skimming the top of his swimming pool. That's dreadful from Pietersen three balls later, dancing down the track, finding himself beaten by the turn and getting himself stumped. The sound of silence.
Charlie, London, in the TMS inbox:
"I got Uruguay in my office sweepstake last week. I scribbled out the second and third 'u' in the word and showed him the slip and tried to say he was bullying me."
1424 - 147-3
Pietersen hoists the scuttling Razzak over long-on for six, and he then looks to repeat the shot but is beaten in the flight. One more for Pietersen with a swat to mid-wicket before Bell, once again, shuts up shop. A colleague drops a three-pack of Jaffa Cakes on my desk and I can feel myself choking up. Life is all the better for these random acts of kindness.
1419 - 140-3
Paddle-sweep from Pietersen for one, as Justin in Bucks emails in to ask: "Was the design of this new media centre deliberately modelled on the electric heater?" Like it, maybe there's the option to stick another bar on as those early autumn days start to roll in? Oooh, that ball from Shakib has gripped and turned square - Bell is nowhere near it, but someone will be giving Swanny a nudge up on the balcony, he's bee licking his chops at that.
1416 - 139-3
Neat glovework from Mushfiqur behind the stumps, he's an unobtrusive little stumper. Pietersen plops Razzak into the covers for one before Bell smothers the rest of the over.
Joseph Peake, Bristol, in the TMS inbox:
"Re: the woman who looked like Gary Busey. Was her mate a strapping, Buddha-fixated, squinty-eyed gentleman with a ponytail?"
1412 - 138-3
Pietersen walks into delivery from Shafiul and the ball gallops away for four - odd shot on the walk, almost as if he was running a vacuum over the carpet. Short from Shafiul and that hurried KP, but not enough - Pietersen rolls his wrists and smashes him for four. And there's Pietersen's fifty courtesy of a clip off his pad, and the rather perfunctory celebration suggests he's now in the mood for more.
Joseph Peake, Bristol, in the TMS inbox:
"Had my office sweepstake yesterday. Got very excited and was first there, two pounds in hand. Pulled out New Zealand so decided to have another go and pulled out Honduras. It's then I realised why I wasn't a betting man."
1408 - 129-3
Razzak with that boomerang approach to the wicket and Pietersen sees him coming, swinging him over mid-wicket for four. Pietersen gets on tip-toes and flicks Razzak away for one more before Bell turns Razzak away for a couple. Super late cut from Bell for four, that was like honey dripping off the back of a spoon, and just as sweet.
1405 - 118-3
More cloud this afternoon, but it's still well worth a walk up, it's a bona fide tops-off day. Just one from that over from Shafiul, off the bat of Pietersen.
1402 - 117-3
KP with a single before Bell latches on to one in the slot from Razzak, swinging him over long-on for six. Umpire Bowden's has one of his periodical seizures, as if he's being exorcised, and everyone gets back down to work. Oh dear, as is his wont, Bell almost ruins all those classy strokes with a hideous slog-sweep off the final ball, a bit like sticking his knife into a partially finished canvas.
1358 - 110-3
I've just pulled out a plum in the office World Cup sweepstake - the glorious Dutch, let's hope they're all on speaking terms at the moment. Speaking of the Dutch, there's Belly with a cover-drive akin to a brush-stroke from Vermeer. Four for it.
1353 - 105-3
Rio Ferdinand has hobbled out of England's first training session in South Africa, but the more worrying news for me is that he suffered the injury being "turned by Emile Heskey". Pretty bad news all round. Pietersen has the look of a man who wouldn't mind notching a double-hundred, but wouldn't be all that bothered if he got out for 40 - a lofted drive over wide long-off four for, just evading the fielder.
1349 - 100-3
Pietersen has come out swatting after lunch, and that's a rancid stroke, wafting at a wide one and missing, like someone underarm casting a rod. Pietersen tucks a straight one from Shafiul to leg to bring up England's ton.
1344 - 99-3
Right we're back out and it's Razzak to bowl the first over after lunch. His first ball is dragged down, but Pietersen is only able to carve him away for one. Same again second ball, and this time Bell picks up one with a cut. Pietersen shows some intent, skipping down the track, but crashes the ball straight back to the bowler. Crackerjack stroke from KP, skimming the ball to the wide long-off boundary. A slip and a short-leg in and a shortish extra-cover and Razzak goes up for an lbw, but that was sliding down leg.
Just a reminder that Aggers is chatting to Whispering Death on TMS, AKA Michael Holding. Not much whispering going on at the moment, he's got some fairly forthright views on the game...
Ian Bolton in the TMS inbox:
"Re Dai in Newport - I'll Top Trump that by taking to the field to the tune of 'One Million Billionth Of A Millisecond On A Sunday Morning' by the Flaming Lips. That's providing I'm batting on a Sunday (and in the morning)."
Nick Grief, Chatham, in the TMS inbox:
"I'm looking forward to hearing what Geoff Boycott has to say about Bangladesh's bowlers. Presumably they're a bit better than his grandmother now? Maybe she's been coaching them?"
Paul Harper, Manchester, in the TMS inbox:
"Re Benny Hill. My parents used to run a pub in Rochdale and one of 'Hill's Angels' used to play for our women's darts team. She was very nice to know, but was never chased through the pub out of the front doors and back in through the side doors at high speed to my knowledge."
1301 - 92-3
KP moves to 22 with an extravagant, rather regal, sweep for one. Bell slips into 'thou shall not pass' mode, reeling off a series of coaching manual forward defensives, and that's that, definitely Bangladesh's session.
1259 - 91-3
Other than that one piece of machismo, a lofted drive straight over the top for four, Pietersen has been rather anchored so far, which might be a good thing. He dabs Razzak off his pads for one before Bell is unable to pierce the off-side field with one of those impeccable, text-book drives. Bell cuts, but is again unable to find a gap. No, we will have one more over before lunch, Shakib to bowl it.
Ben, New Cross, in the TMS inbox:
"Re the lady that looks like Gary Busey (see below), was her mate dark- haired, keen but dumb, and prone to use the word dude a lot?"
1250 - 90-3
KP nurdles off his pads for one. Bell, looking twitchy at the crease, his Test place not entirely nailed down, but that's a settler, the Warwickshire man helping a full-bunger down leg all the way to the boundary. Perhaps just one more over before buns and cakes and stuff...
Rob, Derbyshire, in the TMS inbox:
"Re Dai in Newport - Well in that case, I'll trump you with '7 Seconds' by the mighty Youssou N'Dour. Hold on - does that even give me time to get to the crease?"
From jmhanley on 606:
"No.4 for me often steers a ship off course or takes the reins from the openers. They're required to patiently build an innings and solidify a team's position... I'd rather Collingwood doing that than KP. I'd love to see KP come in with no shackles, down the order at 5, 6 or even 7, and just belt away... Worked well for Freddie"
1250 - 85-2
That was some bowling change from Bangladesh skipper Shakib, and it brings Ian Bell to the crease. Chat on TMS as to why they haven't got a short-leg in, and hey presto, Bell inside-edges his first ball and the ball pops up to where short-leg would have been. The switch is made, but the horse is already halfway down Sir Matt Busby Way. Bell is off the mark with a twiddle round the corner, KP gets one for a sweep, but England in a bit of a pickle here.
1245 - WICKET - Cook c Siddique b Razzak 29 (Eng 83-3)
More left-arm spin, this time in the form of Abdur Razzak, who was absent at Lord's. Cook takes a new guard... and he's gone first ball! Edge, and that's a sharp catch by the man at slip, who goes by the name of Siddique.
1243 - 83-2
One for Cook before Pietersen turns Shahadat off his hip to fine-leg for one. Shahadat from round the wicket, and that ball, angled into the left-handed Cook, is turned away for one more.
1239 - 80-2
Pietersen gets to the pitch and drives into the covers for two before sashaying down the crease and flipping Shakib over mid-wicket for a few - the fielder didn't see that at all, suggestions he lost that in the background of this new conference centre, all red paint and dazzling glass. One more for Cook with a nibble to mid-wicket.
1235 - 73-2
Shahadat over-pitches a couple of times but Cook is unable to get him away. One bye, but that's the only run from that over. Pretty full crowd in now, although there still look to be plenty of seats. It's strictly flip-flop out there, a real doozy of a day.
Dai, Newport, in the TMS inbox:
"Re: Danny in Bolton - The Cure's '17 Seconds' beats you by a whole four. Plus, it involves not listening to the pathetic posturing cack that passes for So Solid Crew's 'music'. Hope that rant doesn't earn me a cap in my bottom."
1230 - 72-2
Pietersen prods forward rather unconvincingly and the ball strikes his back leg. A strangled appeal from Shakib, who, when it is turned down by Umpire Bowden, wears the slightly disgusted and startled air of a man who has surreptitiously picked his nose at a dinner party, forgetting that he had previously been tucking into a slab of Roquefort. A maiden over. Pietersen's highest score at Old Trafford is only 60, so now's the time to put that right - the situation rather demands.
1227 - 72-2
Pietersen gets all squared up by Shahadat and edges, but the ball falls well short of the slips. A rather triumphant looking shot from Pietersen, standing tall and twirling into the covers for one.
1222 - 71-2
Cook in no frills mode as he pushes a single into the covers, and there's nothing overly-frilly about that from Pietersen, who uses his feet to Shakib and creams him through the covers for a couple. Shahadat, distinctly mediocre in his first spell, replaces Shafiul...
1219 - 67-2
Shafiul to continue to continue and Cook tucks him off his hip for one. Shafiul seeks to test KP out with a bumper, but only succeeds in picking up a wide for his efforts. Shafiul may well be given a rest now, he's had nine industrious overs. To the lady sitting opposite me on the train this morning - the one telling her mate she had to leave Bluewater early on Sunday because she was getting "too much unwanted attention" - you look a little bit like Gary Busey.
1215 - 66-2 Phil
(see below), by Yakety Sax I assume you mean the Benny Hill 'chase' music? Would you employ a lady in a neglige and a little bald old chap to lead you to the crease? A slip, a short-leg and a short extra-cover in for Shakib to Pietersen - left-arm spin is KP's kryptonite. Cook carves through point for a couple before clipping off his pads for one. Two more for KP with a dab round the corner before he gets a little bit bored, pitter-patters down the wicket and thumps Shakib over the top for four.
Phil in the TMS inbox:
"I'd go out to bat either to Yakety Sax or Entrance of the Gladiators (the clown music). People should be prepared for what they're about to see."
1210 - 56-2
Lordy, Shafiul's got that one to hoop back miles off the seam and scythe Pietersen in two. Unfortunately, the wicket-keeper was equally as bamboozled as the batsman and the ball raced away for four byes. News in that Steve Finn, taker of nine wickets at Lord's, has been given an incremental contract by the ECB.
1206 - 52-2
Shakib Al Hasan with his left-arm loopers into the attack. Cook pushes into the covers for one before Pietersen nudges him through mid-wicket for a single of his own.
Danny in Bolton in the TMS inbox:
"I think So Solid Crew's '21 seconds to go' would prepare the crowd perfectly for my imminent dismissal."
1204 - 50-2
In case you're wondering why this isn't going through, it's because it isn't working properly. Sorry about that, we've got our best men and women working on it. Kevin Pietersen is the new batsman, let's hope he fancies a bit of Bangladeshi action now, he didn't look too interested down at Lord's. He's off the mark with a clip off his hip for one. Shafiul getting plenty of hoop away from the left-handed Cook, but there's England's fifty courtesy of a leg-side bye.
1158 - WICKET - Trott b Shafiul 3 (Eng 48-2)
Trott's gone! Shafiul is scything through the England top order - that one looked to nibble a bit and it castled the Warwickshire man via inside-edge and pad.
1157 - 48-1
Rather a surprise that Strauss wicket, the previously torpid crowd stirring suddenly, as if some young scamp had just ruffled the hair of the priest after receiving the host at Sunday mass. Mahmudullah really does rattle through his overs, that was a maiden to Cook...
1152 - 48-1
Jonathan Trott is the new man at the crease, England's double-centurion at Lord's. He goes through his various affectations at the crease, tucking and checking and double-checking, looking like a man about to tackle the north face of the Eiger, and is off the mark with a clip to deep mid-wicket. A vociferous lbw appeal from Shafiul as Trott falls forward, but that was missing leg.
1148 - WICKET - Strauss c Kayes b Shafiul 21 (Eng 44-1)
We've got a wicket! Mahmudullah sends down a rather innocuous over of spin before Shafiul gets to to nip off the seam, Strauss has a half-hearted push and Kayes snaffles a simple chance at second slip.
Paul in Lancs in the TMS inbox:
"Being something of a cricket traditionalist, I'd prefer to go out to bat to John Cage's avant-garde 1952 composition '4 Minutes and 33 Seconds (of complete silence)'. Indeed, given my batting, that should be long enough for me to go out, have my innings and get back in again."
1145 - 43-0
Shafiul gets one to arc away from Strauss and the England captain, leaden-footed, fences and is beaten. Short and wide from Shafiul but Strauss misses out, crashing the ball straight to the man at point. Strauss picks up a single for a drop into the covers before Cook fills his boots, lacing Shafiul through cover-point for four. I see Stuff Magazine has published it's top-15 'cool list'. Unsurprisingly, you will find none of the items in my man-purse, although there is invariably a pack of Juicy Fruit.
1140 - 38-0
It's the ninth over and already we've got some spin, Mahmudullah is now into the attack. He goes round the wicket immediately and appeals a few balls in, but that was missing a second set down leg. One for Strauss with a back-foot steer.
Joe, London, in the TMS inbox:
"On the subject of entrance music, I've got my first White-Collar boxing match tomorrow night. I'm going in to 'Mama said knock you out' by LL Cool J, but I was very tempted by Boy George's 'Do you really want to hurt me'."
1137 - 36-0
This Bangladesh new-ball attack is what you might call genuinely pop-gun. Shafiul seaks to prove me wrong with a bumper, but Strauss sways underneath as if it's nothing more menacing than a stray dandelion clock. No alarms and no surprises so far for this England opening pair, just a Cook single into the covers from that over.
Chris Hey in Stockport in the TMS inbox:
"In response to the T20 batting 'theme' music question, I would have Steady As She Goes by The Racontuers. I am not a T20 style batsman."
1131 - 35-0
Bit ugly this for Bangladesh so far - Shahadat strays onto Strauss's pads and is worked away for four more. England are incontinent with runs at the moment. Shahadat attempts a slower ball and Strauss reaches for it and cue-ends the ball to the third-man boundary. Rob Davies
(see below), I think I'd like to make my way to the crease to that music Darth Vader bowls about to in Star Wars - the sci-fi chap a couple of seats down assures me it's called the 'Imperial March'. Menacing.
Rob Davies, the best number five in the league and the destroyer of many a promising career, in the TMS inbox:
"With the return of Twenty20 cricket to these shores, what 'theme' music would you walk out to bat to? Had a think last night during a game and would find it hard not to choose 'I am the Resurrection' by the Stone Roses, but if that is too pretentious would settle for 'Big Pimpin' by Jay Z."
1127 - 22-0
"It's a statement," is Phil Tufnell's diplomatic verdict on Old Trafford's new conference centre. He might be right, if by 'statement' he means a very unwelcome one with a see-through plastic window and covered in lots of threatening red. Over-pitched from Shafiul and Cook whips him off his pads for four.
1123 - 18-0
Shahadat, despite his bristling approach, rather 'puts' the ball down the other end - for a Test-class batsman it must be like seeing a drunk rushing towards you in a pub, only for said drunk to give your chops a playful squeeze on arrival. Four for Strauss, short and wide from Shahadat and the England captain rocks back and whip-cracks him through cover-point. Jack
(see below), would Aggers forgive Lily Allen if he ever discovered she'd been ingesting her cricket via Sky instead? Exactly.
Jack, possibly sinning in Basingstoke, in the TMS inbox:
"Ben, I feel quite dirty - I would normally be following the Test via your live text coverage or by TMS Special, but I have some time off work and would feel like I'm having an affair if I watched it live. Will you forgive me if I give into temptation?"
1118 - 14-0
England into double figures courtesy of a single from Strauss into the covers. Cook is squared up by Shafiul and gets a leading edge, but Shafiul rather spoils his good work by then sending down four leg-side byes.
1113 - 9-0
Cook is off the mark with a dreamy little clip off his pads for four - bowl there to the Essex southpaw, and that's how he rolls. Another peach from Cook, spotting the full-length ball from Shahadat early and just persuading the ball to the wide long-off fence for four more. One slip is given the heave-ho in order to bolster the off-side field.
1108 - 1-0
Three slips and a gully in for Shafiul Islam to Strauss, and the England skipper gets an early bumper - 86mph, decent revs. Bit of sideways movement for Shafiul and Strauss is beaten by some distance outside off. Decent first over that.
1104 - 1-0
Not sure about this new conference centre at Old Trafford, it looks like the baddie's cliffside gaff in North by Northwest. But red. Right, the first spurt of Jerusalem this summer, and in comes Shahadat Hossain into Andrew Strauss. The first run of the match goes to the England skipper courtesy of a dab into the covers. Shahadat, right-arm medium-fast, bustles in towards Cook with lips pursed and plenty of intent, before plopping the ball down the other end like a bag of mouldy spuds.
Tim from Sunni Dubai in the TMS inbox:
"Morning Ben, good news reaches me of a newly opened curry house called 'Brick Lane', serving authentic British Indian curries brought to Dubai. I wonder if I order now it will be here before tea?"
Ben, Essex, in the TMS inbox:
"Pleasantly surprised to see England doing some forward thinking with regards to Shahzad. The conservative selection policy seems to be slowly ebbing away in favour of more experimentation, which is exactly what we should be doing on home turf against Bangladesh with the Ashes in mind. Here's hoping he impresses now he's finally got his chance."
Rosalie Birch in the TMS inbox:
"I was just wondering if you might be able to mention our Chance to Shine mascot at the toss today? He's Declan Fisher, 11, from Blackpool. If you were able to say that he's a Chance to Shine mascot that would be a fantastic help to the charity and hopefully all the ball-by-ball commentary faithful will take a look at our website in one of the breaks in play!"
Former England skipper Mike Atherton, intimate with Old Trafford of course, reckons there should be pace and bounce in this pitch, although the green tinge it had seems to have been toasted off. It's a ripper of a day in Manchester - a no-nonsense early June ripper, a daubing of Smurf blue sky above a slosh of green, it's poster-paint, infant school simple.
Shahzad announced a couple of weeks ago, after the Twenty20 reception at Downing Street, that he had never been to London before. "I was lost on the Edgware Road, doing U-turns and getting nowhere," he said. If things don't work out with England, he could always get himself a job as a London cabbie.
Shahzad, 24, became the first British-born Asian to play for Yorkshire back in 2004, but he has only played 26 first-class matches since, mainly because of injury problems. He takes his wickets at an average of 34, and he's pretty handy with the bat, averaging almost 33. He's not express, but Andy Flower likes him, he's got what coaches call that "something".
Tamim Iqbal, Imrul Kayes, Junaid Siddique, Jahurul Islam, Mohammad Ashraful, Shakib Al Hasan (capt), Mahmudullah, Mushfiqur Rahim (wk), Shafiul Islam, Abdul Razzak, Shahadat Hossain
Bangladesh have made two changes to the side beaten at Lord's - left-arm spinner Abdur Razzak and seamer Shafiul Islam come in for seamers Rubel Hossain and Robiul Islam, who were pretty powder puff last week.
Andrew Strauss (capt), Alastair Cook, Jonathan Trott, Kevin Pietersen, Ian Bell, Eoin Morgan, Matt Prior (wk), Ajmal Shahzad, Graeme Swann, James Andeson, Steven Finn
England skipper Andrew Strauss has won the toss and England are, rather predictably, going to have a bat. Yorkshire's Ajmal Shahzad will make his debut for England, with Ryan Sidebottom missing out. "It was a tough one," said Strauss. "Ryan's more experienced and being a left-armer gives us more variety, but it's a big chance for Shahzad and he gives this attack a youthful look."
Morning all, or whatever it is where you are. It's the first day of the second Test between England and the touring Bangladeshis today, with the hosts defending a 1-0 lead in the series. Although I feel compelled to warn you that anyone expecting a similar level of entertainment and excitement to Phil Taylor's recent Premier League match against James Wade, in which 'The Power' hit two nine-darters, is likely to be sorely disappointed. When they cremate that man, they will discover he was made of pubs.