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.

When Jonathan Trott is batting, everything is calm and in control and the whole world just feels like a safer place. He sailed smoothly to 58 before nicking off to Darren Sammy, much to everyone’s surprise. With Strauss up the other end, you could quite easily turn off the TV/radio for an hour or two and be fairly confident they’d still be batting when you turned back on (unlike during many of our formative years following England).

Every useless cricket hack in the country (and there are many) have all suddenly lost their banker article whenever else inspiration fails them (which is often). Yes, the ‘__ innings since Andrew Strauss last scored a century’ chart has had to be reset to zero, having previously stood at a fairly whopping 26. A big well done to Andrew – he’s had this particular silverbacked gorilla on his back since November 2010, so it must be something of a relief to finally be able to stick two fingers up at the media. It was a very good innings but he really should have gone on 95 when Edwards overstepped and Chanderpaul dropped the catch at slip, so it was two missed chances in one go. A fifth Test century at Lord’s gives the impression that he kind of likes it here…

KP was in full IPL mode when he strode to the crease. He was just starting to take a liking to the bowling when he pretty much middled one into Ramdin’s gloves – a really good catch by the keeper. One shot by KP was an absolute beauty – like the flamingo but turned about 70 degrees so that he was flicking it straight back past the bowler. Extraordinary.

We’re a bit reluctant to say this given our jinxing prowess (incidentally neither of us were in a position to do any jinxing today – normal service resumed tomorrow or Sunday), but England really should go on and make 500 here (again…). We’re all looking forward to watching Bairstow bat. And Prior. And Bresnan. And Broad. And Swann. But not really Anderson.

Darren Sammy really is slow. Seriously slow. When you’re only just bowling faster than Jonathan Trott (whose balls get overtaken by enterprising insects in mid-flight) you really ought to be thoroughly ashamed of yourself. His bowling is moderately accurate and fairly economical but it’s just so unremarkable (and did we mention slow?) He’s clearly a decent leader, but he’s an ordinary cricketer apart from that.


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