From lethal_vettori on 606:
"Pakistan have the edge, but I wouldn't say they were entirely dominant. If England bat anything like as well as they can, and I certainly expect them to bat better than they did first up on a more docile looking pitch and with a bit more sense, then Pakistan could yet find themselves in trouble."
From Phil Taylor, stuck on a train at Grantham trying to get home to Leeds but still going nowhere, TMS inbox:
"What's a pirate's favourite cricket shot? The square cutlass!"
Aggers and Geoff Boycott are going to review the day's play on TMS - remember, you can download it as a podcast later if you want to play Boycott Bingo [see 1751]. We've got time for one last pirate joke...
Not a good last hour for Cap'n Strauss, who dropped Asif near the start of that last-wicket stand, and then lost his own wicket cheaply. Mention should be made of
an astonishing innings at Colchester,
where Strauss's old opening partner Marcus Trescothick, who made an unbeaten 228 from 230 balls in Somerset's 367-8 against Essex, with James Hildreth adding 59, tail-ender Murali Kartik swiping 52 not out from 59 balls, and none of their team-mates passing 10 (with four falling for ducks!).
1831 - Eng 6-1 (3 overs)
This should be the last over of the day if they're going by the pavilion clock. Anderson is brave in getting behind the line of the ball against left-arm quick Amir, but defends his stumps well and that concludes the day's entertainment. Pakistan lead by 69 after two days' play.
From David, TMS inbox:
"Why is it OK to send a nightwatchman in after four balls of the innings, but not OK to send one in at the start of the innings? Why did England not open with Anderson (facing) and Strauss (non-facing)?"
1827 - Eng 6-1 (2 overs)
Mohammad Asif has three slips, a short leg and a shortish mid-on for Anderson, who defends most of the right-armer's over before leaving Cook the last ball, which he leaves.
1822 - Eng 5-1 (1 over)
Poor old Jimmy Anderson has to go out as nightwatchman, Pakistan are likely to get three of the (technically) remaining four overs in. Anderson prods his first ball past the bowler and races through for a single. Should he be protecting Alastair Cook, or the other way round?! The Essex opener defends his first ball, right out of the MCC coaching manual (or in his case, probably the GA Gooch coaching manual).
1819 - WICKET - Strauss c Hameed b Amir 4 - Eng 4-1 (0.4 overs)
Mohammad Amir to take the new ball, he has three slips and a gully in for England skipper Andrew Strauss. The second ball of the innings sees Strauss attempt a pull, he could easily have dragged it onto his stumps (as Bradman did to his first ball from Bill Bowes in the second Test in the Bodyline series - at least in the Australian mini-series version) but it sails safely past the stumps and down to fine leg for four. But it's all over for the Cap'n as he pops a regulation catch to second slip from the next ball but one.
From Davsk, Oxford (and others), TMS inbox:
"Re: Captain Hook's name. As JM Barrie, author of Peter Pan, said: 'Hook was not his true name. To reveal who he really was would even at this date set the country in a blaze.'"
Tim (below), you misunderstand me. I've seen plenty of bare-headed batsmen before - but I've never seen a batsman remove his helmet and ask his non-striking partner to carry it (rather than calling the 12th man on to take it off the field).
From Tim, Cardiff, via text:
"You must have fairly limited viewing hours of Test cricket for this to be your first experience of 'bare-headed' batting."
Right, while Alastair Cook girds his loins in the hope of surviving until close of play, I need to ask you to manually refresh the page once more (or hit F5) for the change-of-innings to switch over at the top. Swann finished with 4-68, by the way.
PAKISTAN FIRST INNINGS - 308 all out (LEAD BY 75)
1807 - WICKET - Asif c Anderson b Swann 8 - Pkn 308 all out (101 overs)
Asif has removed his helmet again, and steers a two to the cover boundary. "He'll get him with the arm ball, lbw or bowled," notes Tuffers on TMS - and next ball, he smacks the ball straight to mid-off and leaves Azhar stranded on 92, when it might have been a little more unselfish to take a single and allow Azhar to blaze away for his maiden Test ton. Still, KP gives Azhar a little pat on the back as the players walk off. Pakistan lead by 75.
I know I accidentally typed 269 rather than 296 after the 99th over, please don't all email in - manually refresh the page to rectify matters!
1804 - Pkn 306-9 (100 overs)
Nine overs left tonight, Asif is helmeted once more, and a single from Azhar brings up Pakistan's highest total of the summer. Asif defends well against Finn, and prods a single into the covers. Azhar has another big heave-ho, bit of a one-day slog but that's over extra cover for four, it nearly went for six! Finn drops short, Azhar pulls it to cow corner for four more and he's up to 92.
1759 - Pkn 296-9 (99 overs)
Bizarrely, Asif removes his helmet to bat against Swann - and gets non-striker Azhar to hold it while he bats bare-headed! Never seen that before. Maiden over.
1756 - Pkn 296-9 (98 overs)
A change of ends for Finn, but no change of luck for England as Pakistan's last pair continue to frustrate them. England respond by bowling a foot outside off stump, Azhar hangs his bat out to the last ball and manages to poke the last ball to third man - rather surprisingly, they take two.
From Pete in Ascot (though others made similar suggestions), via text:
"If I could afford to, I'd open a posh gym in Barbados. It would be called Pilates of the Caribbean."
1751 - Pkn 294-9 (97 overs)
An email to TMS has suggested a hilarious new game that you can play while listening to the TMS podcast each night. It's called "Boycott Bingo" and you get a point every time you hear Geoffrey mention corridors of uncertainty, Yorkshire, uncovered pitches, "me mum could have caught that in her pinny" etc. I'm sure you know the sort of Geoffreyisms we mean. Back on the pitch, Swann replaces Finn as England look to prise apart this last-wicket stand. Azhar tickles a four off his hip, and picks up a single off the last ball as England lazily keep mid-on back for the last ball of the over.
1747 - Pkn 289-9 (96 overs)
England don't want this partnership to linger too much longer (if at all) - Vic Marks on TMS thinks the next 40 minutes could be crucial for how this day (and the Test) pan out. Azhar flicks Broad off his hip, but this time he rejects a single. Azhar then edges through the vacant second slip area, that's four, and he keeps the strike with a single off the last ball.
From Bob in Great Gransden, via text:
"Re: What was Captain Hook called before losing his hand [see 1726], was he called Captain Hand Tenille?"
1742 - Pkn 284-9 (95 overs)
Azhar eventually resumes his innings, and Asif angles his bat well against Finn to steer a single through the covers. Azhar finally decides to take a single, and Asif sees off the rest of the over without too much trouble.
Simon Mann on TMS:
"Strauss should say to Azhar, 'I'll let you have a runner, as long as it's Mohammad Yousuf'. Remember, England didn't let Graeme Smith have a runner for cramp in the Champions Trophy."
Azhar is down, looks like a bit of cramp in his calf. The Pakistan physio comes on and punches the back of his legs.
From Hamzah, via text:
"Hi Mark - The bowing down of Pakistani players when they reach a landmark has been misunderstood for a long time, often mistaken for kissing the ground and I guess I'd like to make everyone a little more knowledgeable. Actually this bowing down is one of the fundamental parts of how Muslims pray (bowing down and giving thanks to Allah) - so in the past when we've seen Inzamam, Yousuf, Younus Khan and Imran Khan etc do it is solely for the purpose of thanking God. Many times the Sajdah is performed when reaching 100 but I guess Azhar Ali did it at 50 too as it is Ramadan. I hope that clears it up for all"
1735 - Pkn 282-9 (94 overs)
Azhar turns down a couple more singles against Broad's deep-set field. As before, the field comes in for the fifth ball, and Azhar clobbers him over long-on for a first-bounce four! But he can't get the last ball past the man at short mid-wicket. We technically have 14 more overs to bowl tonight - looks like we'll be going until 1830.
From Tim Haveron Jones, Marlow, TMS inbox:
"What's a pirate's favourite shop? Ah-harrr-gos."
1731 - DROPPED CATCH - Pkn 278-9 (93 overs)
Finn replaces Anderson, Asif gets an inside edge which squirts harmlessly to the area where leg slip would be (if there was one). Then, he belies his number 11 position by belting a cracker of a four through extra cover - and next ball, he nicks one to Cap'n Strauss who can't hold on to the chance at first slip.
From Chris, Virginia, USA, TMS inbox:
"Re: Owen London, 1523: All the current ICC Test umpires were nominated, and so was Rudi Koertzen who has now retired. This means there are more nominees for Umpire of the Year than there are Test umpires."
1726 - Pkn 274-9 (92 overs)
Pakistan lead by 37, will Azhar look to farm the strike now? Broad has two slips in, but most of the fielders are in the deep, saving two. He knocks the ball to Finn at deep mid-wicket but turns down a single. The field comes in for the fifth ball of the over, Azhar takes a big swipe and the ball sails over the bowler's head for four. The last ball is a bouncer, Azhar swings and misses so England will have a go at Asif.
From Gavin in sunny Portugal, via text:
"Re: the pirates, what was Captain Hook called before he lost his hand?"
1721 - Pkn 270-9 (91 overs)
Mohammad Asif (another man to favour the long-sleeved old-style cable knit sweater) is Pakistan's last man, but I wonder how Alastair Cook's mind must be drifting towards a nervy last hour with his Test career (in the short term at least) on the line... Asif survives the over.
1717 - WICKET - Ajmal b Anderson 0 - Pkn 270-9 (90.2 overs)
Anderson is pushed for a single by Azhar - and considering the runs Ajmal scored at Edgbaston, why not? And just as I write that, Ajmal is beaten by pace and swing and has his furniture rearranged. Perfect ball, hitting the top of off stump.
1716 - Pkn 269-8 (90 overs)
New batsman is Saeed Ajmal, who prods his first ball and sets off for a dodgy single to Steve Finn at mid-wicket, but he is sent back and Finn's throw to the bowler's end is wide
From Simon, London, TMS inbox:
"In response to Vic Marks on TMS (1456), surely Matt Prior is our 'bowler of last resort'?"
1712 - WICKET - Amir c Prior b Broad 6 - Pkn 269-8 (89.5 overs)
England are already concerned that the ball (all of 10 overs old) may be getting out of shape as Azhar knocks a single. Broad goes round the wicket to the left-handed Amir, who edges to the keeper for Broad's second wicket of the session.
From Assad from Leyton, via text:
"Just thought I should let you know Azhar kneels down to thank God and not to kiss the ground. Most of the Pakistan players do this."
1708 - Pkn 268-7 (89 overs)
Anderson makes a great stop off his own bowling as Azhar plays straight - then completely needlessly throws the ball at the stumps (though Azhar was making no attempt to run), it hits Azhar on the leg and shoots away for four overthrows! As he had played the ball with his bat, the overthrows count as runs off the bat. Azhar is now the top scorer in the innings, and increases his score to 60 by pushing the last ball for a single.
From dyrewolfe on 606:
"Slow but solid 50 for Azhar. Along with Yousuf he's really anchored the middle of this innings."
1701 - Pkn 263-7 (88 overs)
Azhar nudges Broad for a single, now it's Finn's time to be off the field for a bit - he's having a stretch in front of the dressing-room area. A drinks break is called for (and Finn may return at this point).
From many, many people, via text:
"Awful Pirate joke time? [see 1603] Why are Pirates called Pirates? Because they ARRRRRRRR!"
1657 - Pkn 262-7 (87 overs)
Anderson finds Amir's edge but it doesn't quite carry to second slip's left - although a third slip diving forward may have grasped it... It was Swann off the field, not Pietersen, but he's back on now.
1651 - Pkn 262-7 (86 overs)
Chris Schofield is on the field again, this time for Kevin Pietersen, as Amir and Azhar plunder three singles against Broad - while Aggers recalls his Test debut against the all-conquering West Indians at The Oval in 1984, when he hid in a cupboard to avoid being chosen as nightwatchman. (That fate befell Pat "Percy" Pocock, who bagged his second pair of the series). By the way, the James Caan interview from earlier today
is now available to listen to on the TMS podcasts page.
From Nick, Chesterfield, TMS inbox:
"The combination of the test commentary and the shipping forecast on long wave is something as British as tea and scones or rain and bank holidays. It also allows me to indulge in two of my favourite pastimes, listening to the cricket on TMS and wondering if the wind will drop sufficiently to get my boat out of port for once!"
1648 - Pkn 259-7 (85 overs)
Another lovely shot from Azhar, a back-foot drive through the covers for four brings his second Test fifty (from 122 balls), and this is now his highest Test score (53 not out). He removes his helmet and kisses the ground.
1644 - Pkn 255-7 (84 overs)
New batsman is the left-handed Mohammad Amir, wearing a long-sleeved sweater, and he nicks one just wide of Morgan for four to open his account.
1640 - WICKET - Kamran Akmal c Morgan b Broad 10 - Pkn 251-7 (83.1 overs)
What was that I said about England's poor old wicketless seamers? Kamran flashes at one outside off stump from Broad, and Morgan takes a regulation catch at backward point.
1638 - Pkn 251-6 (83 overs)
Anderson oversteps for a rare no-ball, his second of the innings, before he swings it past Kamran's forward prod. A misfield by KP at gully allows a two to third man, while Prior makes an eye-catching stop down the leg side to prevent a likely boundary. However, the England seamers remain wicketless since the second ball of the day as Anderson strays down the leg side and Kamran flicks it through square leg for four. A single off the final ball, and Colly takes a painful-looking blow on the hand. Pakistan lead by 18.
1634 - Pkn 243-6 (82 overs)
New batsman Kamran is beaten by a beauty from Stuart Broad which sneaks past his outside edge as he gets up on his toes to defend. The Pakistan keeper is off the mark with a push through the covers, for which they run three.
From Nigel, nr Oxford, TMS inbox:
"Re: Owen  - I'm disappointed not to see Brian from the Free Press pub in Cambridge not on the ICC Umpire of the year list. A finer official and gentleman could not be hoped for. Always handles the annual grudge match with the St Radegund with the utmost control and dignity."
1628 - SECOND NEW BALL TAKEN - Pkn 240-6 (81 overs)
Jimmy takes the new cherry from the Vauxhall End, but Azhar clips a four through square leg, that was straight off the meat of the bat. Azhar then has some treatment from the physio at the end of the over - and fans of Dermot O'Leary or James Caan may wish to check out
the latest photos on the TMS Flickr photostream.
From Gareth Ross, Hitchin, TMS inbox:
"It might not be such a bad thing for England to be on the back foot for this Test and even the next one. They will have to learn to bowl long spells without reward in Australia and perhaps they were getting too cocky and expecting a wicket every couple of overs. Patience is the key for the Ashes as the ball won't do a lot out there. And Test cricket needs a strong Pakistan as we have more or less lost the West Indies to one-day cricket, they seem to have no interest in the long form of the game any more."
1623 - Pkn 236-6 (80 overs)
Kamran Akmal replaces his brother, and defends the rest of Colly's over. The second new ball is available, and Jimmy Anderson's taken his cap off...
1620 - WICKET - Umar Akmal run out (Morgan direct hit) 38 - Pkn 236-6 (79.3 overs)
Colly bowls short enough for Umar to power another four through backward point - Pakistan are ahead by three. Then, Umar prods the ball into the covers, there's never a single there, Eoin Morgan underarms the ball back to the striker's end and hits the stumps - and after a quick check with the third ump, Umar's out!
Vic Marks on TMS:
"There's a reliable way of telling these batsmen apart - Azhar Ali blocks it, and the other bloke doesn't."
1617 - Pkn 232-5 (79 overs)
Azhar is careful in defence against Swann, then a single takes him to 45. Umar shovels a single over his shoulder, he's up to 34.
1613 - Pkn 230-5 (78 overs)
As Pakistan's score creeps towards England's 233, Colly makes a great stop off his own bowling as Umar tries to power him through mid-on. A gentle tickle to fine leg for two brings up the fifty partnership.
1611 - Pkn 228-5 (77 overs)
Umar rocks back and cuts Swann for four, a single takes him to 31 from 40 balls. (By comparison, Azhar has 44 from 105). Azhar tries to steer the last ball away and they run two - which are signalled as leg byes.
1607 - Pkn 221-5 (76 overs)
Paul Collingwood to continue bowling his cutters, trying to keep it tight until the new ball can be taken. Azhar knocks a single off his legs, Umar prods a quick one to rotate the strike.
From Simon Lindsay, TMS inbox:
"I recently read about a new form of one day cricket in Australia - playing with split innings. Which got me thinking about other ideas: how about playing T20 but hiding the scoreboard so that the batsmen are never 100% sure of the score and therefore will play every shot as if it's their last, going for maximums every ball?! This will increase both entertainment and also mental ability!"
1603 - Pkn 219-5 (75 overs)
With six overs remaining until the second new ball becomes available, Graeme Swann will continue from the Vauxhall End. He has a long-off and a deep mid-wicket for Umar Akmal, in case the youngster has a swing, but he carefully prods a single, as does Azhar. A paddle-swept two takes Umar to 25.
From Davey L, midstream, the River Mersey, via text:
"On the subject of salty sea dogs , how does a pirate keep fit? Gym lad."
England and Pakistan ready to resume. Stand by your beds for a really awful joke on the texts...
From Tom, Edinburgh, TMS inbox:
"Mark, you're losing your touch. When you published the comment about the SportSync Radio, shouldn't you have added 'other portable digital-audio-delaying devices may or may not be available'? Whatever happened to good old BBC impartiality?"
Kim (below), you raise an interesting question. I can direct you to
the BBC iPlayer
where you can listen to any BBC cricket programmes from the last week, including the Phil Tufnell Cricket Show and entire previous days of TMS - while there's also
the TMS podcast page
where you can hear Aggers and Boycs review each day's play, along with the odd special feature like yesterday's "Ovalgate" look back at the forfeited Oval Test of 2006.
From Kim Caley (a lady), Ipswich, TMS inbox:
"Can I ask, can I listen to your commentary again? I missed yesterday's lunch and tea discussions and really want to listen? Have I missed out or is there some special trick I need to use!?"
From Mike Hood, Newbury, TMS inbox:
"Thank you for a very stirring lunchtime interview with James Caan, which has moved me to donate to Unicef. I hope other listeners have responded similarly."
Right, keep an ear on TMS - after the county scores, Aggers (and possibly Tuffers) will be speaking to TV presenter Dermot O'Leary. He was part of the Sport Relief team, captained by Tuffers, which toured India in 2006 for Sport Relief.
1540 - Pkn 215-5 (74 overs)
A mere 13 overs after we first saw him warm up, Paul Collingwood is going to have a trundle before tea with his right-arm medium-paced Colly-wobblers, from the Pavilion End. He bowls round the wicket to Umar, who pulls him for a single, while Azhar steers a two which takes him to 42 - his second-equal highest Test score. And that, ladies and gentlemen is tea. With 104 runs and one wicket lost, that's definitely Pakistan's session.
1536 - Pkn 212-5 (73 overs)
Umar's had enough with all this "be watchful and play for tea" malarkey, he leaps out of his crease and bashes Swann over his head for a straight six towards the sightscreens! A long-hop is swiped through mid-wicket for four, evading the man who's 10 yards in from the mid-wicket fence, before a single takes Umar to 21. An expensive over for Swann.
1533 - Pkn 201-5 (72 overs)
Broad fires in a short one at Umar, whose lips are smothered in white sun cream in the manner of Andrew Symonds. He breaks the deadlock by steering a single through mid-wicket, while Azhar patiently turns a leg-cutter off his legs for four to push Pakistan past 200.
From Alan on the briny sea, TMS inbox:
"FAO Jim lad, London . Ah harr, as a weather beaten salty sea dog, I can confirrrm, ah harr, the loss of the shipping forrrecast, be a dastardly deed indeed..."
1529 - Pkn 196-5 (71 overs)
Unremarkable maiden over from Swann to Azhar.
1526 - Pkn 196-5 (70 overs)
Aggers on TMS feels Umar is having to curb his natural aggressive instincts against Broad as Pakistan bid to edge their way towards a first-innings lead. England starting to let the game drift a little, I fear.
From Oliver Yates, London, TMS inbox:
"On the way back from lunch, I just popped into a pub near my office to check on the cricket. Good timing - as I walked in, Swann took Yousuf's wicket. And bizarrely, the barmaid was the spitting image of Swanny (I think it was the chin). Does anyone know of any pubs in the Oxford Street area with barmaids resembling Anderson, Broad or Finn? I'm willing to pop in for a drink in any and every one of them, if it'll help our chances of bowling Pakistan out."
1523 - Pkn 196-5 (69 overs)
Azhar continues to defend stoutly against Swann, he'll have learned a lot from that long partnership with Yousuf. Once more, Swann isn't happy with the condition of the ball, so Umpire Davis gets out his nail-scissors and snips away something from the edge of the seam. A two takes Azhar to 36.
From Owen, London, TMS inbox:
"Re: the ICC Awards longlist, glad to see Billy Bowden, Aleem Dar, Steve Davis, Asoke de Silva, Billy Doctrove, Marais Erasmus, Ian Gould, Tony Hill, Daryl Harper, Rudi Koertzen, Asad Rauf, Simon Taufel and Rod Tucker all got the nod for Umpire of the Year. Did anyone not make the cut?"
1518 - Pkn 194-5 (68 overs)
Some spectacular "Boundary Fox" efforts from the swooping Finn at fine leg as he tries to prevent a four, but his foot just touched the rope as he dived and that's four for Umar. It's been a long day of toil for Broad.
1514 - Pkn 190-5 (67 overs)
Swann tosses it up to Umar, who is resolute in defence. Just a single from the over.
From Kieran in Wiltshire, via text:
"If Swann's omission was an oversight, why did Angus Fraser say he had been unlucky? Doesn't that imply he was left out on purpose?"
1511 - Pkn 189-5 (66 overs)
It's still a Notts bowling attack from both ends as Azhar edges Broad for a couple. The tall seamer is still wicketless, having taken 0-38 from 14 overs. We're just under half an hour from tea, and 14 overs away from the new ball being available.
From Nick, Somerset, via text:
"This definitely shows that we are going to struggle in bowling the Aussies out this winter on a good surface in good weather. As I send this, we just got Yousuf out."
1507 - Pkn 187-5 (65 overs)
A great diving stop by Kevin Pietersen prevents Umar Akmal from getting off the mark, but the right-hander then steers a three through the covers. It's pursued by Schofield, who's still on the field, but Colly's back on so we suspect one of the bowlers (possibly Finn) is off. Another smart Schofield stop brings Azhar a single, and two more singles reduce England's lead to 46.
1503 - Pkn 181-5 (64 overs)
When Colly was off the field briefly, by the way, he disappeared into the groundsman's hut and was then seen sharing a joke with a fan in the front row of the stand. (His substitute fielder was Surrey's former England leg-spinner Chris Schofield). Broad replaces Finn, Azhar steers a two through mid-wicket and takes a quick drink of water at the end of the over.
1459 - Pkn 179-5 (63 overs)
A warm ovation for Swann as he completes his over against new batsman Umar Akmal - he's the third fastest bowler to 100 Test wickets (in terms of time) after Kapil Dev and Mitchell Johnson.
1456 - WICKET - Yousuf c & b Swann 56 - Pkn 179-5 (62.4 overs)
Colly briefly leaves the field, more on that in a minute, but Swann makes the breakthrough and secures his 100th Test wicket when he forces Yousuf to give him a fairly simple return catch.
Vic Marks on TMS:
"We've seen Collingwood warming up - I always think it's good to get your 'bowler of last resort' on before you reach the 'last resort' stage."
1454 - Pkn 179-4 (62 overs)
No Colly just yet - Finn continues, and a signature Yousuf cover drive brings the veteran his eighth four. When Finn strays down the leg side, the old master guides a single to fine leg.
1449 - Pkn 174-4 (61 overs)
It's still Swann from the Vauxhall End, although Paul Collingwood is swinging his arms at slip in the manner of a man who's just been asked to loosen up and have a go from the Pavilion End. Single from Yousuf, and England's lead is ticking down by the minute.
Vic Marks on TMS:
"This Yousuf innings has been a master class for the likes of Azhar Ali to watch from the other end. He's not only scoring runs, he's wearing England's attack down, as they've not had to bowl many overs in this series."
1443 - Pkn 173-4 (60 overs)
A fierce Yousuf square cut is cut off by the stooping Paul Collingwood at backward point, that was four runs if it had been a foot either side of him. But the bearded right-hander then connects with a thumping off drive for four. A tickle past slip through third man - dubbed "an off-glance" by CMJ on TMS - brings him four more, and a tip-and-run to mid-off brings up his 33rd Test fifty from 95 balls. (He also has 24 centuries).
1439 - Pkn 164-4 (59 overs)
Aggers on TMS has noticed a number of planes on the flight path to Heathrow, but clearly yearns for the days of Concorde... and the schedule of warm-up games for next year's World Cup has been announced - England will play Canada and Pakistan in Dhaka before the main event begins. Meanwhile, back in the middle, Yousuf pushes Swann for a single - Pakistan trail by 69.
From Alexis in Bath, via text:
"Good to see Pakistan making a game of this one."
1436 - Pkn 163-4 (58 overs)
Shot of the day contender from Azhar as he beautifully cover-drives Finn for four off the back foot, and that's the fifty stand. And I'm going to give Stuart from Edinburgh [text at 1413] the benefit of the doubt - I'm sure he meant to say "batting" rather than "betting"...
1431 - Pkn 159-4 (57 overs)
Yousuf plays out a maiden from Swann, it's still fairly bright at The Oval. Aggers is impressed that England aren't leaking runs - "in Australia this winter, the message should be 'if you can't get them out, bowl maidens'" is his verdict.
1429 - Pkn 159-4 (56 overs)
After a single from Yousuf, Azhar defends well against Finn - while Cap'n Strauss, stood in the slips and chewing gum like there's no tomorrow, suddenly reminds me of ex-Australia captain (expert slip catcher and prolific chewer) Mark "Tubby" Taylor. And another great captain from the past, ex-West Indies skipper Clive Lloyd, has stressed that Swann's omission from the ICC awards list (see earlier) was "a genuine oversight".
From Elliot, TMS inbox:
"I am annoyed by constant talk of the death of Test cricket. This form of the game needs a rejuvenation. Why is there no Cricket World Cup for Tests? It would be totally compelling. The simplest form would be to have the eight top-ranked sides play a seeded knock-out, so to win you play three games. Each Test is seven days to nullify draws. If a match is drawn, the side with the best overall strike rate wins (which promotes shots and not overt defence approach). Also, to avoid overkill it is played every four years."
1424 - Pkn 158-4 (55 overs)
Aggers on TMS has noticed a dark cloud lurking in the vicinity of The Oval, while non-striker Yousuf nearly runs himself out as he sets off for a run which was never there and has to lumber back into his crease. Maiden for Swann, who has 2-28 from 13 overs.
1421 - Pkn 158-4 (54 overs)
Anderson takes a rest, and it's time for lanky Middlesex seamer Steven Finn from the Pavilion End. Azhar guides him through mid-wicket, Ali Cook gives chase from mid-on and they run three. Yousuf seemingly effortlessly cover-drives a four, his experience is beginning to tell.
From Chris Pellow, Getxo, Spain, TMS inbox:
"Sorry to spoil all the enthusiasm at the idea of inventing a widget to delay audio signals to sync them with satellite TV transmissions, but it's already been invented. There's a portable radio called SportSync Radio advertised on the internet that does precisely that."
1416 - Pkn 151-4 (53 overs)
Yousuf - who scored 1,788 runs in 11 Tests in 2006, let's not forget - is looking increasingly confident as he plays out a maiden over from Swann, and shares a joke with Prior between overs.
From Adam, Middlesex, TMS inbox:
"Re: Stuart Brady : You could make an audio enhancement to the system which has James Caan (or another Dragon) saying 'You're out', when the machine knocks off your bails."
1413 - Pkn 151-4 (52 overs)
Yousuf is starting to cut loose, smacking Anderson for four through mid-wicket. A single takes him to 35, while Azhar firmly off-drives the "Burnley Express", who may be tiring a little, for four more.
From Stuart in Edinburgh, via text:
"England's total of 233 may not have set the heather alight, but given Pakistan's batting record this series, it should still give them a good shout for a first-innings lead or at worst, a slight deficit."
1409 - Pkn 142-4 (51 overs)
Yousuf dabs Swann for a single, and the off-spinner changes his angle of attack by going round the wicket to Azhar, who plays out the over.
1402 - Pkn 134-4 (49 overs)
Swann spins one past Yousuf's bat and millimetres over his middle stump, to cries of "ooh" from the close fielders (keeper, slip, short leg and leg slip). Yousuf turns a single to square leg.
1359 - Pkn 133-4 (48 overs)
Azhar tries to force Anderson to leg, there's a half-hearted shout for leg before, it certainly rapped his pad on the way down the leg side but curiously it's signalled as a run off the bat (despite missing his bat by a fair whack). Yousuf clubs Jimmy through mid-wicket and they run three as Cook gives chase, and while a member of the ground staff comes on to talk with umpire Tony Hill, I've just been handed a Jammy Dodger. Some sawdust is eventually brought on and the over is completed.
From Julian Powell, TMS inbox:
"Why don't England just tell Swann, at the start of each over, 'this is a new spell'. Hey presto, a game lasts 20 overs max - it's the new form of Twenty20! I've tickets for Saturday - is there going to be any cricket left to watch?"
1352 - Pkn 129-4 (47 overs)
Yousuf clips Swann off his legs for a single, then bellows "no" (or its Urdu equivalent) when Azhar looks interested in a second run. The youngster steers his third four through the covers, before another flowing drive brings him three, while CMJ on TMS expertly explains the difference between the oft-misused "less" and "fewer" - "less coal, fewer sacks" is his way of remembering it.
From Edd, listening in the combine, via text:
"If you enjoy the benefit of a digital radio recorder, you could pause the radio and then press play about three seconds later, delaying the superb TMS commentary to bring it in time with the pictures"
1349 - Pkn 121-4 (46 overs)
James Anderson resumes proceedings from the Pavilion End, replacing Stuart Broad. He's been swinging the ball for much of the morning, but hasn't been able to find the edge yet and when he overpitches, Azhar straight-drives him for four.
1346 - Pkn 117-4 (45 overs)
A quiet resumption after lunch as Mohammad Yousuf sweeps Graeme Swann for a single, while Azhar Ali joins in the fun by belting a four through the covers and then knocking the last ball for a single.
From Steve from Canterbury, via text:
"I thought Cook had the driest hands [see 1257] because they were never in his gloves long enough!"
From Stuart Brady, TMS inbox:
"Having enjoyed whacking balls in baseball batting cages in the US where you simply pay, walk in with a bat and helmet and then hit balls pitched by an automatic machine which then collects the balls back via slopes and guttering, I have often wondered why we don't have similar cricket batting cages in this country. I think I'd need £500,000 and James Caan can have 50%!"
Dragon's Den star James Caan on TMS:
"I'm a big fan of Twenty20 - it's short, sharp and sweet. But you need a balance, as I think we're almost over-exposing it."
Time for a sandwich - while in an interesting bit of news, Graeme Swann has apparently been added to the long-list for ICC cricketer of the year (after his mysterious omission yesterday). Have a listen to TMS - after Kevin Howells rounds up the county scores, Aggers is going to have a chat with
James Caan of Dragon's Den...
Former Somerset and England off-spinner Vic Marks on TMS:
England v Pakistan day two photos
"While England have shaded the session, the balance of the match is difficult to determine as Yousuf can still be the backbone of this innings."
1302 - Pkn 111-4 (44 overs)
Possibly the last over before lunch, Broad has a short leg and a leg slip in for Yousuf and gives him some "chin music" to deal with - an off-cutter sails through his defences, just flicking his trouser pocket. A single through mid-wicket from the penultimate ball of the session brings up 'Nelson' (111), but Azhar digs out the last delivery. We've seen 63 runs and three wickets this morning - time for lunch.
1257 - Pkn 110-4 (43 overs)
Azhar Ali is the new batsman, he may be battling to keep his place and he sees out a wicket maiden. Meanwhile, the Brisbane Courier (below) ought to have written "least sweaty" (rather than "least sweatiest"). And anyway, I thought it was Alastair Cook who had the driest hands (which is why he handles the ball and shines it when they're looking for reverse swing).
1254 - WICKET - Riaz lbw b Swann 27 - Pkn 110-4 (42.1 overs)
Riaz is a long way down the track, Hawk-Eye suggests the ball was just clipping off stump - and in both cases, it's "umpire's call", so Steve Davis's original decision stands, Pakistan lose a review and Riaz is on his way after some defiant nightwatchman work. Swann is now on 99 Test wickets.
1252 - Pkn 110-3 (42.1 overs)
Swann back for his second spell of the day, can his "wicket in first over" routine work again? Yes, it hits Riaz on the pad, the umpire raises his finger - but Pakistan call for a review...
From Jim, London, TMS inbox:
"Can anyone confirm whether weather-following sailors get frustrated by a day's cricket interrupting their stream of shipping forecasts?"
1251 - Pkn 110-3 (42 overs)
Broad bowls the replacement ball, Riaz nudges it off his legs for a single. Some furious shining from England's fielders between deliveries, but they're still struggling to break this partnership.
TV presenters past and present, Dermot O'Leary and Michael Parkinson, are spotted in the Oval crowd - then it's deja-vu time from four years ago as the state of the ball is questioned... Umpire Steve Davis takes out his ball calipers (the things that look like handcuffs, the ball has to be able to pass through one but not the other) and fourth umpire Peter Hartley is summoned with a box of replacement balls. A new ball is selected by the umps - thankfully there's no suggestion of any shenanigans or any penalty runs... phew!
1244 - Pkn 109-3 (41 overs)
More expert timing (the sort of "expert timing" that everybody who was "kung fu fighting" fought with) from Yousuf helps him straight-drive Finn for four.
1240 - Pkn 105-3 (40 overs)
A loose one from Broad is signalled as a wide, and the Notts seamer kicks at the popping crease in frustration. These two have added 29 from 82 balls, but Pakistan still trail by 128.
From Angry Steve in Bristol, TMS inbox:
"Yet another wicket for Swann, if only he was as good as Harris, Bollinger, Watson and Clarke! Good call that ICC."
1235 - Pkn 104-3 (39 overs)
Riaz tickles a single to mid-on to bring up three figures for Pakistan, Yousuf leg-glances for four past the man at long leg, that's his first boundary (and Pakistan's first for seven overs). After those two early wickets, it's been steady progress from the tourists.
From Helen, Abingdon, nr Oxford, TMS inbox:
"I can confirm that A*s certainly do exist in A-Levels, having achieved five of them this morning. I just hope the England bowlers can match the success of us students."
1230 - Pkn 99-3 (38 overs)
Riaz weaves away as Broad pings in a bouncer from the Pavilion End - and again, the cheeky nightwatchman pinches the strike off the last ball!
1226 - Pkn 98-3 (37 overs)
After a single from Yousuf, Finn has a leg slip in for Riaz, who is hit on the armguard and runs a leg bye - despite not playing a shot, the leg bye is allowed because he was taking evasive action. Yousuf taps a well-judged single to extra cover - while Andy (below), I guess you could start by looking at Jason Gillespie's double century against Bangladesh after he went in as nightwatchman for Australia. Riaz rotates the strike well, then Yousuf plays and misses at a lifter.
From Andy in Wimbledon (not Andy Murray), via text:
"More to the point - has a nightwatchman ever made the highest score in an innings or even a Test match?"
1221 - Pkn 94-3 (36 overs)
Riaz looks happy to farm the strike as if he's the established batsman, though he waves at Broad to pull up when someone walks behind the bowler's arm. Maiden over. Meanwhile, any Surrey fans at The Oval will not be happy to hear that
their county side have been taken to the cleaners by Worcestershire,
losing by 238 runs in the County Championship at New Road.
From Tonde (biggest England fan), via text:
"What's the record number of wickets lost opposite a nightwatchman?!"
1217 - Pkn 94-3 (35 overs)
Finn replaces Swann at the Vauxhall End, nightwatchman Riaz has played increasingly confidently during his hour-plus at the crease and guides a two through the covers. Another two takes him to 22, before he sways away from a bouncer and nicks the strike with a dabbed single to third man. And what's more, the auto-updating text appears to be working - woo hoo.
From Paul Graham, TMS inbox:
"I keep hearing about the low attendances at Tests this year, and the reasons given are cost of tickets and number of matches. Can I add another reason please? That is the general bad behaviour and drunkenness of the crowd. I have been going to international cricket since I was a lad and I am no longer prepared to sit amongst people whose only objective is to get drunk. Most of them know nothing of the game and have little interest in it. It really is no fun sitting in cramped seating having people passing backwards and forwards, spilling their beer and staggering to the toilets, before eventually falling into a drunken stupor sometime after lunch. It would help if all grounds were to provide more alcohol-free seating, but until they do neither I nor the group of friends that come to cricket every year will be back I'm afraid. Such a pity."
1212 - Pkn 89-3 (34 overs)
Change of bowling and time for Stuart Broad. Yousuf steers a two to long-off, then Wahab sets off for a run which was never there and has to dive back into his crease at the non-striker's end, banging his elbow as he does so and earning him a visit from the Pakistan physio. Aggers and Ramiz Raja on TMS confidently predict a run-out between this pair, the way they're going.
1201 - Pkn 87-3 (33 overs)
Swann has a slip and a helmeted short leg in for Yousuf, who nudges a single before Riaz continues his doughty defence. A drinks break, and perfect timing for the BBC Radio 4 Long Wave listeners to have the Shipping Forecast inflicted on them.
1159 - Pkn 86-3 (32 overs)
Yousuf turns Anderson off his legs for a single to get off the mark, then is nearly run out when Riaz calls him for a very dodgy single. Nearly run out by the nightwatchman, that would have been embarrassing... A single doubles Yousuf's score, Anderson's been out of luck this morning.
From FleetJackHobbs on 606:
"Of all the Test grounds, I can picture the Oval best. Problem is, the pictures come complete with Stuart Surridge & co rolling over any county that came their way. Meanwhile, ghostly applause & encouragement to Swann from one JC Laker."
1155 - Pkn 83-3 (31 overs)
Riaz is having a great Test debut here, swiping his third four through square leg, then he mistimes another sweep and is almost caught by Ali Cook at short leg, but the ball came off his forearm.
1152 - Pkn 79-3 (30 overs)
Yousuf, who's been out of international cricket since Pakistan's disastrous tour of Australia, isn't quite timing the ball yet. That's three maidens on the spin. And if, like Richard Batty (below), you want to relive previous days on TMS (or Tuffers' weekly show on BBC Radio 5 live), you can check out
recent cricket programmes on the BBC iPlayer.
From Richard Batty, TMS inbox:
"The chap who wants the exciting prose needs to listen to Aggers and Tuffers talking about Dragons' Den yesterday afternoon. I was in tears of laughter whilst travelling home and had to pull over as I couldn't keep driving the car. It's the funniest thing I've heard on the radio since Brian Johnston was laughing as he tried to sum up the day's play, Tuffers has a new career opening up for him as the modern day Frankie Howerd!"
1149 - Pkn 79-3 (29 overs)
Swann, who now has 98 Test wickets, hits Riaz on the pad but it hit him outside the line. There's a slip, a short leg and a short-ish mid-wicket in for the nightwatchman, who defends stoutly.
From Ash in Cornwall, via text:
"Mark. Why do you not have a symbol for a dropped catch? Can I suggest a hand dripping with butter."
1146 - Pkn 79-3 (28 overs)
Maiden from Anderson, but he gets a couple to whistle past Yousuf's outside edge - the former Pakistan skipper is yet to score, despite his prodigious record against England (see below).
1142 - Pkn 79-3 (27 overs)
Swann seems to have such a good record at getting wickets in the first over of a spell, perhaps he ought to bowl in one-over spells. Pakistan's new batsman is the prodigiously-bearded Mohammad Yousuf, who safely defends his first ball before rotating the strike with a leg bye. Riaz sweeps, comes back for a second and makes his ground.
1138 - WICKET - Butt c Prior b Swann 17 - Pkn 76-2 (26.2 overs)
Graeme Swann to have his first twirl of the morning against the left-handed Butt, who square-drives the off-spinner for four. But then Swann spins, Butt cuts and Prior pouches at the third attempt after a bit of juggling! Another Swanny Super Over special!
From Anonymous, via text:
"Please can the BBC stop using funds to send the Masterchef finalists to Paris in first class and fix the problem which causes the text commentary to freeze. I am eating in to my valuable 'Quota time' by refreshing my page continuously. Thank you."
1136 - Pkn 72-2 (26 overs)
Maiden over from Anderson to Riaz, and it looks like we're turning to spin...
Former Middlesex and England spinner Phil Tufnell on TMS:
"I used to wear a chest guard - it was one of the first things that went on."
1131 - Pkn 72-2 (25 overs)
A single takes Butt to nine, Riaz nudges one past his favoured gully region. Finn gets a bit of swing but that's a beautiful off-driven four for Butt which powers past mid-off. But the Pakistan skipper then has to wear one on the rib cage when he fails to defend a lifter from Finn. Ouch.
From Mike, Kent, TMS inbox:
"As an exiled Lancastrian in Kent, I've come to Canterbury to watch Kent v Lancashire today. Just asked one of the stewards if he could tell me the Test score, and he said very seriously, 'Why, who's playing?' Wouldn't get that up north!"
1127 - Pkn 66-2 (24 overs)
Riaz looks a competent nightwatchman, holding his bat out and angling another four past backward point.
Christopher Martin-Jenkins on TMS:
"I asked no fewer than four policemen if there was a barber nearby, and several other people, but I eventually came across a well-known grocery store, and the lady on the counter said there was one near the post office. Although there was no striped pole outside, a Greek Cypriot barber did a great job for six quid. My regular barber tends to go on about Portsmouth Football Club a bit too much, until you've got no hair left."
1123 - Pkn 62-2 (23 overs)
Another tentative nightwatchman's poke from Riaz, but Cap'n Strauss has plugged the gap at third man so that's only a single. Butt prods into the covers, it's chased by Jonathan Trott but he's overtaken by Morgan, looking to make up for his drop last over, and two more are added.
From Richard in Pinner, TMS inbox:
"With the advent of the review system I'd like to see a change in umpire protocol. My suggestion is that having given a raised single digit for the initial verdict this is then followed up by a two-digit send-off in the event of the review being unsuccessful."
1118 - DROPPED CATCH - Pkn 59-2 (22 overs)
Butt slashes outside off stump... and is dropped by Eoin Morgan at backward point! Bounced out of his hands, Anderson doesn't look happy and they run two. Could this be an important let-off for the tourists?
From Simon, Hammersmith, TMS inbox:
"Big test for England today, with perfect batting conditions the bowlers will have to make things happen. Today we will find out just how good this four-man attack really is. It should be perfect preparation for conditions in Australia."
1114 - Pkn 57-2 (21 overs)
Riaz pushes Finn into the covers, sets off for a single but is sent back by Butt, so Finn's figures remain unblemished until the enthusiastic nightwatchman opens the face and squirts the ball to the third man boundary for four.
From Sam, Bath, via text:
"I'm lying here in my hospital bed having just had back surgery, this page is all I have to amuse myself with so let's have some witty and exciting prose!"
1110 - Pkn 53-2 (20 overs)
Aggers and Vic Marks appear astounded at Christopher Martin-Jenkins' sudden appearance in the TMS box, sporting a haircut he got this morning, as Jimmy Anderson takes the second over of the day and nightwatchman Riaz plays an exaggerated forward defensive stroke before ducking a bouncer which sails over his head. He's off the mark with a nudged single to fine leg, Butt gets an edge which sails past third slip for four.
1105 - Pkn 48-2 (19 overs)
Captain Salman Butt, moved down from the opening berth to accommodate Hameed, finds himself coming in at number four for the first time in his Test career, with nightwatchman Wahab Riaz still in at the other end. Butt pulls away as Finn runs in, there appears to be something in his eye. Riaz pokes a gloved finger through the grille of Butt's helmet which seems to do the trick, and Finn completes a wicket maiden for sparkling figures of 4-4-0-1.
1100 - WICKET - Hameed c Prior b Finn 36 - Pkn 48-2 (18.2 overs)
Steve Finn gets the first over of the day - and repays his captain's faith when he induces Yasir Hameed, playing his first Test since 2007, to edge the second ball of the day to keeper Matt Prior for a regulation catch.
Some of you have doubted my assertion that A-star grades exist in A-Levels. I can promise you that
A-stars have been introduced to A-Levels this year,
having been available in GCSEs for a few years. I won't name and shame the doubters, but any repeat offence will see you sent to the headmaster's study (or failing that, the match referee's office). England are out on the field and ready to resume.
Michael Vaughan may be expecting clouds, I'm mildly concerned that the auto-updating text may be on the fritz - so if your screen stays static for too long today, it's probably worth manually refreshing your page (or going back to the main cricket index, then back to the live text again) rather than assuming I've deserted my post...
From Andy, Tooting, TMS inbox:
"Morning Mark, had a lovely day at the Test yesterday. Managed to win £1 off a mate by betting that Cook would be out for under 30, saw Mark Nicholas do a very good Boycott impression, oh and the cricket wasn't bad either!"
While Test Match Special prepares to take to the airwaves at 1045, I can recommend a couple of other juicy items for your listening pleasure - a special podcast, broadcast yesterday, about the controversial Oval Test of 2006 which saw Pakistan forfeit the match amid allegations of ball-tampering. Darrell Hair, Andrew Strauss, Shaharyar Khan and David Morgan all have their say. And there's also the regular TMS podcast, with Aggers and Geoff Boycott reviewing day one's play.
Both these can be found on the TMS podcast page
- happy listening.
From Carlsberg_express on 606:
"As I've got tickets for Sunday, let's hope the sun stays out for a few days and it's a run fest. Alternatively 2 days of rain should do it!"
Morning, everyone, and thanks to Pranav Soneji for an entertaining day in the live text chair yesterday. Today is the morning when teenagers around the country receive their A-Level results (and I start to sound like a grumpy old man by pointing out there were "no such things as A-star grades in my day"), and Pakistan's batsmen are under the microscope for a stern examination of their own. Time and again this summer, their bowlers have given them hopes which have then been dashed by batting collapses. They're 48-1 in reply to England's 233 - and it was blue sky and bright sunshine above The Oval when I passed it on the train this morning.