The Over: England v West Indies – Second Test, Days 2 & 3

So, having skived off yesterday (one of us was playing and winning an actual cricket match, the other was descending into gin sodden bewilderment watching Eurovision for the first time) we’re back. Anyone with a job interview soon in which they may have to discourse at any length on cricket is advised to read the following vital points:

Huzzah for Darren Sammy! Yes he’s by no means a respectable third seamer and he’s scored 11% of his test runs in that innings, but the media reaction seemed to sum up the goodwill he’s getting as he sets about making the Windies competitive again, in the face of a board that seems largely to be either simply suicidally incompetent or so riven with bizarre internal politics they don’t have any time to worry about the shambles of a team they’ve fielded for the last few years.


The Over: England v West Indies – Second Test, Day 1

Now this is more like Test match weather. After huddling together for warmth at Lord’s last weekend, it’s been absolutely sweltering. Clearly conditions are more to the West Indies’ liking as well, as they had a pretty good day by their standards. Here’s the lowdown from Day 1:

It’s good to see the visitors putting up some fight, although the top order displayed all of its usual marshmallowy consistency in folding to the new ball. Kirk Edwards in particular would get more runs by eating a dodgy curry or two. However, in Samuels and Chanderpaul, they appear to have found two batsmen who have hit form at the right time. Unlike his funereal crawl off the square on Sunday when we watched a heartbroken man tear himself from the crease, Samuels strode off this evening with head held high. Sammy as well hit some absolute exocets around the ground. It’s encouraging to see a decent score without Chanderpaul being the only pillar holding them up.

The Over: England v West Indies – First Test, Days 3, (4) and 5

We enjoyed our saunter down to Lord’s yesterday (one of us even made it back for a short while today) but the weekend of cricket has slightly messed up our daily report thingy. So here’s what we picked up over the weekend.

Shiv Chanderpaul really is awful at running between the wickets, isn’t he? He gets away with it because he’s such a good batsman but the number of dodgy runs he took in this Test was ridiculous. Mind you, the whole side need to work on it. There were only two runouts in the match but countless stutters, mix-ups and murderous glares. The most surprising part is that running between the wickets is not that difficult. It only requires a modicum of communication and a little bit of practice. We reckon that Ottis Gibson will have the whole team on extra detail between now and Friday.

TGECF at the Test

Here is your blogging team, blockeverythingmolesworth (left) and testmatchspecialist (right) enjoying the fourth day at Lord’s. We have, of course, blurred our faces in order to maintain our blogging anonymity (but just look at those blazers!).

First Test LIVE from Lord’s – Evening session update

We went the entire day without seeing the sun and are now tending to our frostbitten extremities. After a lack of wickets in the first couple of sessions, we saw six in the final one.

Darren Sammy’s little cameo slightly livened up the day which had had most of its life sucked out of it by Chanderpaul’s batting. It may only have been 30-odd but it took the edge off the cold.

First Test LIVE from Lord’s – Afternoon session update

Sooo cold. We’re about to go and get a restorative cup of tea. Another pretty sedate session but at least England got a couple of wickets to make things more exciting…

Only 144 runs in the first two sessions – Boycott would be proud. Chanderpaul really dug in but ultimately got a bit bogged down and felt he had to play a couple of shots.

First Test LIVE from Lord’s – Morning session update

What better way to see the action than first hand? Both of your loyal bloggers have wandered down to the home of cricket to sit around shivering and bring you the news as it happens! We’ve even been spotted by Sky in our ridiculous blazers. See if you can too! So here’s what’s happened this morning:

Bloomin’ ‘eck it’s chilly today and it’s no wonder that it’s not really swinging. All the quicks have bowled good spells but Broad seems to have attempted a return to his ‘enforcer’ role by bowling half-trackers at Marlon Samuels, although to be fair, Samuels initially looked about as comfortable against the short ball as a certain Suresh Raina.

The Over: England v West Indies – First Test, Day 2

Day 2 is in the bag and England are wending their way towards a 4 day win (which they’ll need because it’s going to piss it down on Sunday). So what caught our eye today, apart obviously for the fact that this was the second day of cricket in a row in which it didn’t rain?

‘Loosener? What loosener?’ Stuart Broad presumably said as he wandered up to the crease for the first ball of the day, promptly getting Shannon Gabriel (the latest Test cricketer to be a headline-writer’s dream – Blowers was having a lot of fun with it on TMS) caught in the slips for a golden quacker. In the process, Gabriel joined the illustrious list of players to get a golden duck in their first Test innings (the list is longer than you’d think), Broad got his seventh and everyone who had overslept and arrived late missed it. It was England’s day in a nutshell.

The Over: England v West Indies – First Test, Day 1

It’s only been five and a half weeks since England’s last Test match but it seems like an age ago. Today marked the start of the Test summer (although it might be helpful if spring would turn up first…) and we hope you, like us, are excited.

There’s just something about Lord’s. It seems different from any other ground – just the look and sound of the whole place has something special about it. The crowd sounds exactly like a cricket crowd should; the outfield is always perfect; Henry Blofeld is on the radio. But above all there’s an aura about the place that you can’t put your finger on. You couldn’t find anywhere much more British.

England v West Indies – first Test preview

It’s that time of the year again – the first Test at Lord’s has come around. Both of us are dusting down our garish blazers and stocking up on pastry-encased pork products ready for an assault on the Warner Stand on Sunday, but in the meantime, there’s three whole days of cricket to be played. So what are the big issues ahead of the Test match (other than how many pork pies we can eat in a day)?

1. Jonny Bairstow, England’s latest flame-haired Number 6 – Jonny Bairstow will make his England debut tomorrow, barring calamity, and in doing so will become the 13th father-son pairing to play Test cricket for England (and the first, by our reckoning, since Stuart Broad emulated his father Chris). There’s no doubt he is an exciting cricketer and this is definitely the right time to throw in a new face – Bairstow will almost certainly be given the whole series to show his talent. We’re just a little bit bitter that James Taylor wasn’t picked, but only because it would have made us look like incredible (even clairvoyant) analysts of the game, as we picked him to play in this Test all the way back on 2nd February. Oh well, can’t win ’em all. Bairstow is probably the better pick at Number 6. We reckon Jonathan Agnew’s suggestion that Taylor would have played if a higher order place was up for grabs is pretty accurate. Anyway, good luck Jonny. As for poor Ravi Bopara, our conclusion is that someone up there (presumably a cricket fan themselves) really doesn’t want Ravi to play any more Test cricket, even with his ridiculously unrepresentative record against this opposition.