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ENGLAND FIRST INNINGS - CLOSE OF PLAY
OK folks, many thanks for sticking with it today, I think we got a pretty good day's cricket - some impressive seam bowling early on from Asif and Aamer, a couple of curious innings from Cook and Pietersen, a typically nuggety knock from Collingwood and a maiden Test century from every Englishman's favourite Dubliner - apart from maybe Ronnie Drew. Some knock that, I think he's got a future...
Jonathan Farrington in the TMS inbox:
"No doubt that KP needs time at the crease, and he hasn't been getting it. Doesn't matter how good you are, you cannot just turn up to a Test match and expect your game to simply fall into place. Somebody needs to tell him, as Edison once said to Mrs Edison, 'you'll eventually see the light dear'. Just hope it is well before the squad leaves for Oz."
1833 - 331-4
Imran Farhat, an occasional leg-break bowler, to bowl the final over of the day... a slip and a leg-slip in for Morgan, who pats to square-leg for one. Farhat with a chest-high full-toss and Collingwood tugs it away for four. These leg-breaks not breaking much and Colly's happy to smother... ooph! Signs of uneven bounce there, that ball shot through at shin height and Colly would have been gone if it was straight, but he survives and that's stumps...
Simon, Cheltenham, in the TMS inbox:
"Let's not get too excited and over-hype Morgan. We have been here before, anyone remember Trott's entrance to Test cricket? Brillant 100, then it took him five Tests to get another score and is now struggling. A flat track at Trent Bridge against Pakistan is not the same as the first morning of the Ashes in Brisbane..."
1829 - 326-4
Part-timer Umar Amin to bowl the penultimate over of the day. He's a bustling medium-pacer and his first ball is cut away by Morgan for a single. Akmal standing up to the stumps, which gives you some idea of his pace, and Colly and Morgan exchange another couple of singles.
1825 - 323-4
This pair now closing in on the record England fifth-wicket partnership against all opposition - 254 between Greig and Fletcher against India in 1972. Morgan drives square on the off-side for one after a crisp clip to mid-wicket for two. Strangled lbw appeal from Gul against Colly, but that was sliding down leg - and he hit the cover off it. Two more overs to go...
1820 - 320-4
Akmal's day just got markedly worse - that ball from Aamer shoots through and hits him just above the pad on the kneecap. Aamer over the wicket to the right-handed Collingwood and the Durham Nugget brings up the 200 partnership with a punch through the covers for four. Well done to Brian Lawrence who points out that although Fred Fane was born in Ireland, he wasn't actually Irish - "like the Duke of Wellington".
Tom Caston in the TMS inbox:
"Watching Morgan reminds me of Graham Thorpe in his prime - compact, mentally unflappable, every shot in the book - and using a Kookaburra! Exciting stuff. Watching Akmal keep reminds me of my stepfather in his prime... hopeless."
Gabes, Cambs, in the TMS inbox:
"I realise you won't publish this, but how brilliant is Eoin Morgan? Quick feet, phenomenal eye, solid temperament, a genuine star. Incidentally, I hear he did his degree in ballet, but he only got a tutu."
1814 - 315-4
Collingwood nibbles the newly-recalled Gul round the corner for a couple, actually they were leg-byes. Collingwood leaves one and is very nearly cleaned up by Gul before Gul gets one to wobble off the seam, but Collingwood gets bat on it. Fine bowling from Gul, this time Colly is beaten outside the off-stump.
1810 - 313-4
A couple of singles from Aamer's over, the kid's still not giving them much. Irish-English centurions-wise, we are talking about Tests - Ed Joyce scored a one-day ton against the Aussies a few years back.
Anon in the TMS inbox:
"To Redknapp - look at the commentator's name. Surely that is an indication of what you can expect?"
1805 - 311-4
Seven overs to go, stumps will be roundabout 1830. Too wide and too full and you can't get away with that at his pace to a man as set as Morgan - four through the covers and that's now England's highest fifth-wicket partnership against Pakistan. Malcolm the TMS stat-man has pulled out a plum! Fred Fane was born in County Kildare and scored 143 for England around the turn of the last century.
1800 - 306-4
Aamer is back on, with this pair five short of beating the highest-ever fifth-wicket partnership for England against Pakistan, the 192 made by Bailey and Compton at the same ground in 1954. Right on the money from Aamer, a tickle off his pads from Morgan.
Alex in the TMS inbox:
"100 with a six? Watch and learn KP!"
1756 - 305-4
Crackerjack stroke from Morgan, easing through the covers for four to bring up England's triple-ton. Salman Butt does now take the new cherry and Mohammad Asif has first dibs on it. Two more for Morgan with a whip behind square. Is Morgan the first Irish-born player to score a ton for England? TMS have got their best man on it...
Doug, Cardiff, in the TMS inbox:
"With reference to Redknapp below, I completely agree with his sentiments. This detailed cricket analysis is spoiling a perfectly reasonable discussion on white goods in higher education."
1751 - 298-4
Kaneria to continue, no new ball for now, and there are three singles from his over. Sorry, I was so excited I got my graphics mixed up - Morgan has only made 100, his maiden 150 will have to wait for now.
1747 - 294-4
One over until the new ball and hopefully they'll dust off Aamer for a few overs, he's hardly bowled since tea, just two overs. Morgan's ton! And he's brought it up with a straight six! Move over KP, there's a new star in the England firmament.
1745 - 287-4
Kaneria gets another one to spit back into Morgan but Umpire De Silva reckoned, rightly, that it hit him outside the line. Wristy sweep from Morgan to move to 96 before Colly topples the man at silly-point with a throaty drive - he's OK though. Kaneria tosses one up and Colly skews a drive down to third-man for four before swaying back and heaving into the covers for one more.
1741 - 281-4
Malik back on and he's round the wicket to Morgan. Morgan nicks a quick single before Colly nurdles to leg for one of his own. Another single for Morgan, milking time for Malik...
Paul in the TMS inbox:
"Oooh, its all gone a bit quiet since Rednapp had a shout. Bit like when the clever lad in the class told us to all stop messing about and we knew he was right really but just laughed at him to hide our shame."
1737 - 278-4
Kaneria really getting some grip now and he very nearly castles Morgan, the Middlesex man playing loosely and almost getting himself bowled through the gate. More turn with the next delivery before Morgan sweeps for four - he's now made 93 from 145 balls.
1735 - 273-4
Gul still testing out the middle of the pitch but Morgan's rolled his wrists on that and picked up a single. Collingwood thinks about having a pull but suddenly thinks better of it and stiffens up, as if he's just been rumbled with his hand in the till of the pavilion bar.
1729 - 272-4
Kaneria serves up a full-toss and Collingwood clips him through mid-wicket for four. Kaneria spears one into Morgan and the left-hander turns him round the corner for one.
H in the TMS Junk Folder:
"To Redknapp (see below) - Yes. Yes we do."
Peter Thomas in the TMS inbox:
"I realise you won't publish this, but thought I'd send it anyway."
1726 - 266-4
Not sure where Aamer's gone, but they're sticking with Gul - short and wide and Collingwood carts him through the covers for four. Gul tries out a bumper with two men back and Colly has a go at it, the ball landing just short of one of them. Gul experimenting with the middle of the pitch and Morgan misses with an attempted hook. Corking evening in Nottingham, that track just keeps getting drier and flatter.
1720 - 261-4
A shot of Pietersen up on the balcony as players takes drinks, playing with his ear and pouting contemplatively. He doesn't look in a great frame of mind at the moment - if he walked into a room full of flowers, he'd start looking for the coffin. Magnificent four from Morgan, moving to 82 with a laced drive for four, and he follows that shot up with a whip-cracked cut for four more. Morgan's only made six first-class tons, he's on the verge of making it seven.
Redknapp in the TMS inbox: "I realise you won't publish this - I'm speaking as one of countless cricket fans who rely on BBC online to keep up with play - do you really have to be so stupid and infantile? Grow up for all our sakes."
1714 - 253-4
NOT OUT! Poor old Umpire De Silva made to look a monkey again, that was sliding down leg, and thanks to the big screens at Trent Bridge, everybody knows it...
1713 - 253-4
Morgan leg before to Kaneria! Morgan saunters down the track and they're going to review it...
Mark in Lancaster in the TMS inbox:
"I've just finished my MSc in Sandpaper Studies. Big subject that - after a whole year I'd only really scratched the surface."
1710 - 252-4
Risky single from Morgan and Colly bags a single of his own. To say Akmal's been village today would give blacksmiths and butchers across the country a bad name, it's like he's keeping with cymbals strapped to his hands. Dreamy square-drive by Morgan, four for it.
1704 - 244-4
Whoops-a-daisy, Martin Hayesy - Collingwood's come haring down the track, looking to give Kaneria some ding-dong, been beaten in the flight and Akmal's missed the stumping chance. A day to forget for Akmal - another one. Collingwood reaches 50 a couple of balls later with a glide behind square, that's his 20th in Tests. Morgan nibbles round the corner for a single, a fine over by Kaneria goes unrewarded.
1700 - 240-4
Collingwood with an off-drive for one before Gul gets one to angle into Morgan from round the wicket, although it was a dirty great no-ball. Well-judged again from Morgan, the ball rising over his stumps, before England's Dubliner plays a rock-solid forward defensive.
Gareth (Woking) in the TMS inbox:
"That mention of Minstrels reminds me of when I went to the doctors as a child with a peanut stuck in my ear. He poured in some warm chocolate and it later came out a Treat."
1654 - 238-4
Morgan tickles Kaneria round the corner for two before clipping to mid-on for a single. Collingwood moves to 47 with a nurdle to mid-on and it's time for some more Umar Gul, who's been a little disappointing today.
1651 - 234-4
Looks like Strauss, not to mention Sir Beefy, was right - this pitch looks like a ruddy, bloody belter. Loose from Colly, losing his shape badly there, but that's a better shot, latching onto a half-tracker and yanking it away for four. Colly follows up with a mis-cued drive, just to let us know he's timing's not quite there.
1647 - 230-4
Short from Kaneria and Morgan darts back and cuts for one. Pakistan looking a little ragged and out of ideas now as Collingwood clips into the leg-side for one.
Tom, Manchester (expecting awkward silence should we ever meet), in the TMS inbox:
"Ben, re: the Han Solo incident - I not only feel I can relate to you, I feel I know you, like you and respect you."
1643 - 228-4
The sun is out now in Nottingham as Collingwood plays an ugly old heave, a Chinese cut for four. Asif looks disgusted, like a man who's just got home from the tattooist, looked in the mirror and discovered he's had Ann Widdecombe drawn on his buttock instead of the Tottenham cockerel that he asked for. Still a whiff of swing out there, which might explain that false stroke from Colly.
1641 - 222-4
A single for Collingwood before Morgan drops to one knee and dabs Kaneria round the corner for a couple. Morgan is pretty much in the position Neil Fairbrother was when he first came into the England Test side - everyone knew he was a class one-day player, but the Lancashire man could never cut it in the longer form of the game. A big score from Morgan would go some way to disproving the doubters.
David Quainton, London, in the TMS inbox:
"I did an apprenticeship at Hasbro but was sacked on suspicion of theft. To be honest, it was a Risk I was willing to take."
1637 - 219-4
Morgan glides down to third-man for a couple to take this partnership past 100. Asif switches to round the wicket to the left-handed Morgan but Morgan remains watchful. Kaneria back on, he's looked bobbins today.
Ben in London wondering what Tim could have offered in the TMS inbox:
"Tim in Maidenhead must feel like a man who auditioned for the lead role in a Hollywood blockbuster only to get a non-speaking role as 'man on bench'. His name is there on the screen, but no one heard what he was going to say..."
1632 - 217-4
Not many ladies emailing us today, which is rather surprising, what with men like Tim
(see below) telling such magnificent and hubristic tales. Morgan persuades new bowler Azhar Ali through the covers for four before driving straighter this time for four more to move to 67. Not sure how much more we'll see of Azhar Ali, that was lollipops.
Tim in the TMS inbox:
"Talking of lifts, I was in a lift at Lord's, a year or two ago, when John Edrich walked in. The steward asked to see his pass. 'The name's Edrich,' came the reply, a little gruffly. The steward blinked, uncomprehendingly. The lift stopped and Edrich departed. 'One of the stands here is named after his cousin,' I explained. The steward thought about it, then said: 'So what?' It's not much of a story, is it?"
1627 - 208-4
Asif only sending it down at high 70mph, but it's always niggly, nagging stuff, he's not a man you can take too many liberties with. Collingwood stays back when perhaps he should have been forward and is rapped on the pads, but it was high.
1623 - 208-4
Many thanks to Sam Sheringham
there, making his Test debut behind the keyboard as I chomped merrily on some Minstrels. That one keeps low from Kaneria and Morgan does well to squirt into the leg side for a single. How's the weather, emails Dinz
- pretty good, the sun's been pressing its face against the clouds all day without ever getting through, but there's no threat of rain. Asif back on...
1620 - 206-4
Morgan splits midwicket and mid-on with his favourite shot to pick up three of Aamer. Colly is tempted by an away swinger from Aamer but pulls his bat away in the nick of time.
1616 - 203-4 MORGAN GETS HIS FIRST TEST 50!
Morgan skips down the wicket and launches Kaneria over the top for a boundary which takes him to 49 and reaches the landmark with a dabble off his toes for a single off the next ball. A fine knock in testing conditions. Are we watching England's Ashes number 6?
1613 - 196-4
Aamer and his pals are up in unison as the ball smashes into Colly's front pad but the ball pitched outside leg and the appeal is rightly turned down. Tempting fate here but these two look well set.
1608 - 196-4
It's Kaneria from the other end and he looks a bit more on the money after a cuppa or two. The batsmen nab a single apiece, with Morgan edging ever closer to his first Test fifty.
1604 - 194-4
Aamer is into the attack again after tea and Collingwood tugs him away for a boundary on the leg side before watching out the rest of the over.
1539 - 190-4
Morgan plays a watchful final over before tea time and that's been a pretty good rebuilding job by Collingwood and Morgan, who have put on 72 for the fifth wicket. That bad joke about lifts (see below), it was actually from George in Bristol
rather than Tim in Maidenhead. "I feel like one of those comedians who had their jokes stolen by Chegwin," says George, a little optimistically.
1539 - 190-4
Collingwood turns to mid-wicket for one before Kaneria drops short and Morgan twirls him through cover-point for another boundary to move into the 40s - one more over before lunch and it'll be from Malik. I was in the lift during lunch and some bloke ran for it and just made it between the closing doors. I said: "Like it, a little bit Han Solo." Cue five floors of agonising silence.
1536 - 184-4
Just the two runs from Kaneria's over, a single for each batsman, before Malik thinks he's got Morgan leg before - Umpire De Silva says no, but that pitched on middle and was hitting leg. More improvisation from Morgan, dabbing Malik round the corner for four.
Tim in Maidenhead in the TMS inbox:
"I did my degree in lift engineering, not a bad three years, had its ups and downs..."
1530 - 178-4
A single for Colly before Morgan back-cuts to squarish third-man for no run. Morgan plays inside the line of a ball that goes straight on before Malik gets one to grip and beat the forward defensive. Someone give Swanny a nudge, it's started doing things...
1526 - 177-4
Short from Malik and Morgan jumps backwards and chops hard for one run. Kaneria serves up a rare no-ball and the only run from the bat is from Collingwood... I started doing a washing machine degree but found it a bit too technical - I always preferred getting mangled...
Bob, Plymouth, in the TMS inbox:
"Re: Charlie Parry - Sorry to hear about that Charlie, but don't worry, I hear these things go in cycles
1521 - 172-4
Full-bunger from Kaneria and Collingwood crashes him to the deep mid-wicket fence. And there's the fifty partnership courtesy of a clip to leg from Collingwood before Morgan digs out that reverse-hurling shot of his, ignoring the man at slip and the ball racing away for four. The Middlesex man hitting his straps...
1517 - 163-4
Morgan comes over all limited overs, dropping to one knee and flipping Malik round the corner for four... four more! From being rather bunged up, England are all of a sudden incontinent with runs, Morgan drilling a fuller delivery through the covers. On current viewing, Collingwood might have been half right about this Pakistani attack...
Charlie Parry in the TMS inbox:
"I graduated with a washing machine degree last year, but with the credit crunch and lack of graduate jobs, I feel like I've been hung out to dry a bit."
1514 - 154-4
A slip and a forward short-leg in for Morgan but that's a cute shot, a run through third-man for four. Kaneria really not on his game today, that one's over-pitched and Morgan's driven him through the covers for four more.
1510 - 146-4
A maiden over from Malik and it's time for the missing man, Danish Kaneria...
James Bradley in the TMS inbox:
"Re. washing machine degrees - I've got a PhD in them, I'm a spin doctor."
1507 - 146-4
Short and wide from Gul and Collingwood's all over that like a cheap suit, pinging the ball to the extra-cover boundary. And another! Identical stroke, pressure released, for now... no-ball and Collingwood turns Gul away for another run. And Morgan breaks off the shackles now, flipping Gul just past the man at mid-wicket and away for four more. Fifteen from the over...
1500 - 131-4
Collingwood with a steer into the covers for one before Morgan chips to mid-off for a single of his own. Short from Malik and Colly stays back and turns him away for one more. Michael Vaughan ruminating on TMS as to why Kaneria isn't being used - he's heard a whisper that perhaps the Pakistan team don't rate him too highly...
1457 - 128-4
Gul, who sends it down anywhere between 83-88mph, to continue to Morgan. No easy runs now, everything bang on the money, but Morgan's happy to leave anything outside off-peg at the moment...
Mark, Derbyshire, in the TMS inbox:
"Over the years, England's selectors have been called many things. Brave isn't one of them."
1453 - 128-4
Morgan drives into the off-side for one before Colly uses his feet and prods into the leg-side for a single. Malik is back into the attack by the way and there are two more singles from his over...
1447 - 125-4
We had drinks there, in case you were wondering where I'd gone. Just 22 runs since lunch, and they've been back out for more than an hour. Maiden over from Gul, Collingwood pretty much strokeless...
Alun Davies in the TMS inbox:
"Re: Washing machine degrees - many years ago when I studied Washing Machines it was 45 degrees. How standards have dropped."
1441 - 125-4Andy in Edinburgh
(see below), apparently Middlesex want him, although you'd want any contract to be absolutely watertight. Asif lures Morgan into a loose drive before locating the outside edge. In the shorter version of the game Eoin Morgan's got more variations than a Swiss Army knife but the England selectors will want to discover one thing in this series: is he able to cut out all the funny business and stick around? Well, that moment is already upon us.
Andy, Edinburgh, in the TMS inbox:
"To answer Simon from Bedford, Pietersen can't go back to playing for his county as Hampshire don't want him. I can't see any other county coming in for him either as he's never going to be available. He's not in form, I'll give you that, but it would be a brave man who left him out, especially if he had his bat in his hands!"
1436 - 125-4
Umar Gul back into the attack, he's replacing Aamer. Morgan picks up a single down the ground as the sun desperately tries to peer through the clouds. Stat attack: apparently KP has now not scored a ton in 22 innings, while Trott has failed to pass fifty in 13 of his 17 England innings. Hmmm... Gul finishes his over off with a yorker which Collingwood saw coming.
1431 - 124-4
Whether he knew that bounced or not, Rameez Raja reckons Akmal was to blame - "any other keeper would have been standing two or three feet up," he says on TMS, before accusing the Pakistan keeper of being "a little chubby". Calm down Rameez, no need for that. Asif with an absolute peach of an outswinger that leaves Collingwood for dead, that would have had a few of the old-timers purring, just beautiful stuff.
Joe Ashby in the TMS inbox:
"Anthony (see below), I studied washing machines at university - came out with 30 degrees."
1427 - 124-4
Collingwood moves to three with a single off his pads. Morgan gone?! Pakistan are convinced he is, the left-hander apparently feathering a catch to Kamran Akmal, but replays show it bounced into his gloves. Only a couple of inches, let's say he didn't know anything about it...
Simon, Bedford, in the TMS inbox:
"Can anyone explain why KP is still in the team? He needs loads of batting practice, which he would be getting if he was sent back to county cricket. Bell or Bopara should be batting."
1423 - 123-4
Asif now to Morgan and the little left-hander looked to play inside the line of that ball down the old corridor of uncertainty, which currently must look like that corridor in The Shining to these two England batsman. That's a nice shot from Morgan - it was on his pads but the balance was sure and his aim was true, through mid-wicket for four.
1418 - 119-4
Bit of pressure now for England - one bloke in the middle who publicly stated he thought the Pakistan attack was overrated, another one who needs a few runs to nail down his place. Aamer's dander is up, but that's a bit wild to new batsman Morgan, the ball arcing miles down leg. The Middlesex man off the mark with a tuck round the corner. Sorry about that, got my review symbols mixed up below...
1412 - WICKET - Trott lbw b Aamer 38 (Eng 118-4)
Yep, Umpire Hill was right first time - that ball pitched in line and was hitting the top of off. Beautiful bowling that, the ball dipping back into the right-hander late...
1412 - 118-4
AND ANOTHER! Trott shouldering arms to a straight one, although it's going upstairs again...
1410 - 118-3
Those reviews were a bit of a waste, they should have held them back for someone who's in form. Aaah, look who it is, Paul Collingwood - he reckons this Pakistan attack is overrated. Next he'll be telling us Germany aren't much cop at football... surprised he didn't get a job as a pundit on the World Cup. Colly is off the mark with a clip off his pads for a couple...
1408 - WICKET - Pietersen b Asif 9 (Eng 116-3)
Over-pitched by Asif and that's a decent shot from Trott, a cover-drive for three. GOT HIM! Pietersen pushing forward and the ball cannoning onto the stumps off his inside edge. To be honest, he was lucky to get nine...
Anthony Spicer in the TMS inbox:
"I studied for three years at Imperial College to obtain my mathematics degree. As Dr Boycott has not spent a day in university lectures, does he feel that his 'degree' is equivalent to receiving an MBE for scoring seven runs? If so, will he be giving it back?"
1405 - 108-2
Not out - Hotspot picked up nowt and the suspicion is his bat clipped his pad. An appeal by Aamer now, but put down down to youthful enthusiasm, it pitched miles outside leg. Ugly stroke from Pietersen and he very nearly drags on before KP feathers round the corner for four - lucky there, that should have been extras. Crackerjack delivery from Aamer, forcing Pietersen to poke at one, and it's all a little bit like hard work for KP. That's what happens if you don't fancy playing any county cricket for a couple of months in the middle of summer...
1359 - 108-2
Pietersen with just one run from 17 deliveries so far. KP showing some intent, walking into a flowing off-drive, but it's fielded. Pietersen being made to play by Asif and he drives handsomely again for no run. At last! Widish from Asif and Pietersen flays through the covers for his first four. Pakistan think they've got him next ball, though - Pietersen lunging forward and Asif and Akmal have obviously heard something, it's another review...
Phil Weston in the TMS inbox:
"Acknowledging the fact that David Cameron is a silver spoon-in-the-mouth Henry of enormous proportions does not require a socialist viewpoint, its just a simple acknowledgment of the facts."
1355 - 104-2
Aamer angling across the right-handed Trott and Trott has a rather woolly woosh at it and misses. Aamer continuing to ask questions and now he squares Trott up with a ball that nips back at him. The final ball of the over fizzes across Trott towards the slips, another wicket now would make it very interesting.
1351 - 104-2
Not out - Hawk-Eye reckoned that was hitting the stumps, but merely shaving the bail, so it's therefore the umpire's discretion.
1349 - 104-2
Pietersen, like a man sticking his hand in a loaded mousetrap, reaches for one before jagging his bat inside the line - he definitely played at that. Asif, built like a bus ticket, beats Pietersen, who was playing across the line, and they fancy that's lbw - referral...
1345 - 104-2
Players are back out after lunch, it's Kevin Pietersen and Jonathan Trott in the middle for England, Aamer to continue from the Radcliffe Road End - manually refresh and the word LUNCH will disappear. A lavish leave first-up from Pietersen and an optimistic appeal, not sure what for. One leg-bye and nothing else, this young boy's going to turn into a real canny bowler - if they can keep him fit. Talking of cock fighting, I saw some on a recent visit to Thailand. It was only amateur stuff though, and call me a purist, but the headguards and vests rather took the edge off for me.
Pete, Lutterworth, in the TMS inbox:
"Re: David Cameron I thought the BBC was supposed to be politically neutral - or does that not extend to their overtly socialist sports commentators. I suppose you might prefer supping ale out of a pit boot?"
I have just received an email from TMS producer Adam Mountford which reads thus: "The phone lines are open if you'd like to speak to the TMS panel of legends at lunchtime - 0800 092 6030 is the number. We will have Geoff Boycott, Alec Stewart and Michael Vaughan taking your calls. Plus you can e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or text 84040. We especially want to get your thoughts on what England need to learn this series with the Ashes in mind."
Paul in Lancs in the TMS inbox:
"My dad used to tickle trout on the Ribble, right next to the Tickled Trout just outside Preston (Junction 31 of the M6). Is there a pub called the Baited & Roasted Badger near your mum's place? It would be logical."
Who won that round? Maybe England by a whisker. I have to say, it was just good to see some top-class, proper Test match bowling, from Asif and Aamer at least. Right, I'm off for some lunch - STOP EMAILING FOR A BIT!
1303 - 103-2
Asif recalled for the last over before lunch... "Pietersen looks like a horse, constantly looking over the stable door, frantically trying to get out," says Blowers on TMS, and I couldn't agree more. Pietersen reaches for one and squirts into the off-side, but it's fielded. Tense times indeed, but he is off the mark with a thick inside-edge for one. And that's that for now, although the halt in play doesn't stop Trott from gouging his guard out even deeper...
Four more streaky runs for Trott off the outside edge before Aamer, coming round the wicket, thinks he's got his man lbw, but it looked a little high and there's no referral. Hawk-Eye reckons that would hit the top of leg... They're racking up the runs in Colombo. India are now 669-9 at close of play on day four, 27 ahead of Sri Lanka who declared at 642-4. Tendulkar made 203, Suresh Raina 120, and Mahendra Dhoni 76. Never has a draw looked more inevitable.
1254 - 98-2
A slip, a forward short-leg and a short mid-wicket in as Shoaib Malik is given a twirl before lunch. Streaky boundary for Trott, skewing a cut shot just past the man at slip. One more for Trott with a nibble round the corner, KP still not off the mark...
1251 - 93-2
Pietersen is next up the ramp and he gets a snorting, angled delivery second-up, the ball arcing across him. This could be a very special contest.
1248 - WICKET - Strauss c Akmal b Aamer 45 (Eng 93-2)
Aamer's got his man, and Akmal's made amends! Casual flash from Strauss, the shot of a man who thinks he's in, and this time Akmal makes no mistake. Big wicket that just before lunch. Gemma
(see below), she's not a barbarian, she's actually quite forward-thinking and scientific and likes to test all her toiletries out on her badgers before popping them in the oven.
Gemma in the TMS inbox:
"I hope your mum is baiting that badger before she roasts it Ben!"
1245 - 92-1
Rolex timing from Trott - full-toss from Kaneria, although it was dipping fast, and the Warwickshire batsman clips him through mid-wicket for four. And there's the fifty partnership courtesy of a single from Trott, and it came from 87 balls. Aamer to bowl another spell before lunch.
Mark Griffiths in the TMS inbox:
"Good point about the kids/seats thing, and while we're at it, when was the last time you saw any of them up a chimney? Society is falling to bits around us."
1241 - 87-1
Strauss stands tall and punches a single into the off-side and every run for the England captain will feel like a little jab to the solar plexus for Mohammad Aamer, who should have had him caught behind for not a lot. Trott doesn't quite time that off-drive and that's a pretty good stop from Butt running round to limit the batsman to one run.
1236 - 85-1
... NOT OUT! Trott looked pretty relaxed during the whole referral process, and rightly so - big inside edge and the owlish De Silva ends up looking like a bit of an eejit. Sweet on-drive from Trott for four before Kaneria retaliates with a delivery that grips and beats the batsman's forward thrust.
1233 - 79-1
Trott gets one from Kaneria that shoots on and it's given out by Umpire De Silva...
1231 - 79-1Mrs Fink
(see below) - I'm thinking maybe she doesn't. Michael Vaughan on TMS suggesting the Pakistanis maybe haven't done their homework - "got to go round the wicket to Strauss," says the former England captain. Tidy over though from Gul, it's a maiden.
Mrs Fink, Hertfordshire, in the TMS inbox:
"I once witnessed a woman using curling tongs while 'driving' down the M1 near Junction 5 - you know who you are!"
1227 - 79-1
Kaneria beams Trott, the ball sliding out of the top of his hand, and a rather startled Trott tugs him away for a couple. Strauss using his feet and prodding Kaneria down the ground for a couple more.
1223 - 72-1
Gul with a fine ball just outside off, and perhaps Strauss had a nibble at that and is beaten. That's not so clever from Gul, short and wide and Strauss moves to 41 with a flash through point for four. Much talk of train etiquette via email - when did adults start giving up their seats for children and not vice versa? My mum used to give me a whack round the back of the head and make me stand up when someone needed a seat "because children have more energy".
1220 - 66-1
Time for some spin, Danish Kaneria from the Radcliffe Road End. A rancid long hop first up, so wide that Trott is unable to reach it and ends up falling over. Trott pushes into the covers for one, Strauss picks up one into the leg-side. David Cooper
(see below), I'm hosting a cock fighting tournament in my mum's kitchen on Sunday if you fancy it, she's doing a nice roast badger for tea.
David Cooper in the TMS inbox:
"Bring back cock fighting!"
1216 - 64-1
Short from Gul and Strauss rolls his wrists and pulls him away for four. Aamer with some quirky fielding out on the boundary - for quirky read bad. One single for Strauss before Trott picks up a few to mid-wicket - Gul has released the pressure valve here, the reign of terror has ended...
1209 - 56-1
Trott unfurls an elegant cover-drive for four, that was sweet like candy to my heart. Asif, from the Pavilion End, keeps it tighter than bull's backside during fly season for the rest of the over. What about Cook? Under a bit of pressure? His technique's going to get a thorough examination for the rest of this summer, that is for sure.
Terry D in the TMS inbox:
"I saw a lady putting make-up on a bull before slaughtering it on the Circle Line this morning but I'm inclined not to mention it as I don't want to offend anyone."
1204 - 52-1
One for Strauss and one for Trott before Gul serves up a rare freebie, a half-bunger outside off and Strauss fills his boots, lacing through the covers for four. That's drinks...
1159 - 46-1
Asif has merely been switched, it's Aamer who's got his feet up. One for Strauss to fine-leg and since that wicket the run-rate has rather dwindled, just four singles since then. I see David Cameron's put his foot in it again - 1940 our proudest year? Where was he in the summer of 1981? Probably at the Bullingdon Club, drinking Drambuie and Tizer out of Boris's brogue...
Justin in the TMS inbox:
"I saw a lady, if she can be called that, cutting her nails on the Tube. They were cut onto a cloth which was then shaken to get rid of them. If that is deemed socially acceptable, I think there are no boundaries. Personally I might start up a barber service on the Northern Line. Make a killing I reckon."
1154 - 45-1
Umar Gul is chucked the ball, he's going to replace Asif from the Radcliffe Road End. Gul, with this prancing approach to the wicket, "like a horse doing dressage," as Blowers puts it, finds the inside edge of Strauss's bat and the England skipper picks up a single to square-leg. Really testing stuff this, all three seamers making the ball talk so far, and they're spiteful, cutting words...
1148 - 44-1
"A reign of terror," shouts the man opposite as Trott is beaten by a vicious, spitting delivery from Aamer, right across the bows. Trott manages to get off the mark with a single from a ball that nips back in. One for Strauss down the ground...
1144 - 42-1
Strauss is beaten by Asif - and again, Strauss's toes ending up pointing straight down the pitch and the ball just leaving him off the pitch.
Matt in Mauritius in the TMS inbox:
"Andy (see below) - I gave myself a back, sack and crack on a Virgin train bound for London Euston last week and nobody batted an eyelid."
1140 - 42-1
Trott next up the ramp and he gets a horrible delivery first-up, the ball swinging lavishly and the Warwickshire batsman was lucky to jab his bat down on it at the last moment...
Tejas Gokhale in the TMS inbox:
"Your comments on bullfighting in Spain are equally disgusting to comments made by pro-racists 100 years back. More disappointing is the BBC allows idiots like you to put your stupid personal opinions about completely unrelated subjects in cricket sections."
1138 - WICKET - Cook c Farhat b Aamer 8
That's wild from Aamer, the ball slipping out of his hand and almost missing the cut strip and racing away for four. But Cook's gone next ball! Another tentative poke, an edge and Farhat pouches the catch at first slip. Not a great innings that from the Essex left-hander, he looked like the Cuprinol Man.
Vic Marks on TMS:
"It's a terrible morale-deflator when a straight-forward, regulation catch goes down..."
1132 - 37-0
Too straight from Asif and Strauss turns him through square-leg for four. Cook squared-up by another hooping delivery from Asif and that's a streaky four through third-man. Apologies, the Pakistan wicketkeeper is Kamran Akmal of course, not Kaneria, I blame last night's chicken dansak, I really am struggling here... I think Akmal might have had a dodgy dansak last night on the evidence so far - big, arcing delivery down leg side from Asif and Akmal doesn't move a muscle and it's four byes. A wooden prod from Cook and he's beaten but he nicks the strike with a single into the off-side.
Andy, Tooting, in the TMS inbox:
"Sir Ben of Dirsyshire, at what point would it be acceptable for me to have a wet shave on a train if women are splattering themselves with make up all the way to work?"
1128 - 23-0
Aamer gets one to jag back at Cook and rap him on the left thigh - no referral, that was going over. Cracking contest this - Cook goes to leave but, as with Strauss a couple of overs earlier, doesn't pull his bat out of the way in time and cue-ends into the pitch.
Dave, Bristol, in the TMS inbox:
"Several 6ft-plus fast bowlers? A Trent Bridge wicket that's already as dry as a Salvation Army wedding on the first day? Should be over by day three. Also reckon that if/when the wicket does start to crumble then Kaneria might have more to offer than Swann. Tough challenge for our lads and no mistake."
1124 - 22-0
Mohammad Asif is as cunning as fast bowlers come - if only some of his off-field decision-making had been as wily, he might have taken a couple of hundred Test wickets by now. He makes Bungle off Rainbow look like Isambard Kingdom Brunel. Another nagging, metronomic over from him, no runs from it.
1119 - 22-0
Four leg-byes off the thigh of Strauss before Strauss picks up a streaky boundary through the slips, trying to pull his bat out of the line and cue-ending down to third-man. Ooh, that's an absolute ripsnorter from Aamer and Strauss has feathered it - unfortunately for Aamer, Akmal has shelled an absolute sitter behind the stumps. Aamer really in the groove now, every ball shaping away from the left-hander, lovely to watch...
1115 - 13-0
Too straight from Asif and Cook plays a typical clip through mid-wicket for a couple. This day 29 years ago the Princess of Hearts wed some chap who looked like Alan Partridge at St Pauls. I remember that day well - my eldest brother set up a row between me and my middle brother, taped us both beating each other up and then threatened to leak the tape to my dad. You could hear the glorious event on the TV in the background.
1111 - 12-0
The Pakistan team all wearing armbands today in memory of the 152 people killed in a plane crash yesterday, a terrible business. Aamer gets one to nibble away from Strauss, that's a better line, before repeating the trick. Good contest this, Strauss watchful, maiden over...
Luke, London, in the TMS inbox:
"Morning Ben, got to agree with Rob from Northants, that Aussie batting line-up last week was incredibly average wasn't it - Katich, Ponting, Clarke, Hussey
err, oh hang on
1108 - 12-0
Winning the toss and batting on an overcast morning in Nottingham? Arold Larwood will be spinning - or should that be swinging? - in his grave. Mohammad Asif looks like a tasty customer to me, but that's not a good start, leg-side and Strauss clips him off his pads for four after Cook had got under way with a single. Three slips in for Strauss, but that's swung back into the left-hander and there are two more. Asif gets one to swing late and there's a strangled appeal, but Umpire Hill reckons that was going down. Too straight again from Asif and there are three more easy runs for Strauss through mid-wicket
Righto, players are out and it's Mohammad Aamer with the first over... left-armer Aamer, with a bowling action like honey dripping off the back of a spoon, finds Strauss's outside edge but it's thickish and the England skipper is off the mark. Aamer struggling with his line otherwise, although he did get the final ball to hoop away slightly...
I have been asked to remind you that TMS has started on the wireless and the video scorecard has cranked into action - the former is available worldwide but the latter is UK only. Not my fault! Tickets available at Trent Bridge if you fancy heading down there, pretty measly crowd at the moment. I see they've banned bullfighting in parts of Spain. What's the problem with a bunch of blokes baiting and beating up an animal before stabbing it to death for the benefit of a baying crowd? It's political correctness gone mad.
Rob, Northants, in the TMS inbox:
"Morning Benny Boy, I've just been chatting with a friend and our conclusion is that Pakistan's attack is overrated and looked good against an average Aussie batting line up. Anyway, I'll be there tomorrow so I hope the weather holds as I predict an easy England win."
James in Woolwich in the TMS inbox:
"Certainly looking forward to a stiffer challenge for the England batsmen this series, I'm also looking forward to having a good look at Eoin Morgan against a top-quality attack. For me, the jury is still out on whether he's a Test batsman. He can nail his Ashes place right here if he plays well."
Right, so I got that completely wrong then - despite the cloud, everyone reckons Strauss was correct to bat first first. I'm rather looking forward to seeing this Pakistan attack in action - you've got the experienced Umar Gul, the very exciting 18-year-old left-armer Mohammad Aamer, a top-class spinner in Danish Kaneria and maybe the best of them all, the lanky, nagging Mohammad Asif. Proper Test match bowling...
Pitch inspection from Beefy - very dry he notes, "it's a no-brainer you have to bat..."
Teams for the record:England:
Andrew Strauss (captain), Alastair Cook, Jonathan Trott, Kevin Pietersen, Paul Collingwood, Eoin Morgan, Matt Prior, Graeme Swann, Stuart Broad, James Anderson, Steven Finn.
Pakistan: Salman Butt (captain), Imran Farhat, Azhar Ali, Umar Amin, Umar Akmal, Shoaib Malik, Kamran Akmal, Mohammad Aamer, Danish Kaneria, Umar Gul, Mohammad Asif.
Pakistan are also as anticipated and unchanged from the team which beat Australia by three wickets at Headingley last week.
England's side is as expected. Eoin Morgan bats at six and there's a four-man bowling attack, Tim Bresnan the man left out of the 12.
And Strauss has won it. He decides to bat. Salman Butt says he would have batted first too, but he fancies his attack to cause problems in the overcast conditions.
Hello you lot. You well? The first day today of what promises to be an intriguing series between England and Pakistan, fresh from their first victory over the Aussies in 15 years last week. It's cloudy up in Nottingham, England might want to win the toss, this Pakistan attack looks pretty handy to me...