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 other captain also came into this series under, well, a certain amount of questioning if not outright calls for him to be dropped. Two tons later (and a dismissal in the Lord’s murk this last time last week) and Strauss seems to be safely set to avoid the fate of predecessors including Michael Vaughan and Nasser Hussain: being booted out by the Saffers. English cricket, at times, these days looks positively sane. Compare with the West Indies board above, and one begins to see why one side is rather better than the other at the moment.

In the latest of our extremely brief series of articles which are trying-to-avoid-a-massive-hatchet-job, we move onto Tim Bresnan. He’s finally started to get some reward for his bowling again, and his 40-odd not out won’t have hurt his batting confidence after a duck last week. The big question remains will he play against South Africa, or will Finn get a chance? Bearing in mind this England team remain prone to some dramatic collapses, Bresnan’s batting might well see him into the team for the rest of the summer. Seven wickets in the match and counting won’t hurt, either.

Nothing is going right for Kirk Edwards on this tour is it? What a day he’s had. Unable to buy a run he’s now got flu, and with the Windies top order displaying all of the resistance of a soggy tissue, he had to be wheeled to the ground from his sick bed (we’d like to think in a bath chair with a rug over his legs in a delightfully Victorian way) strapped into his pads and sent out to the middle, before being sent back almost immediately by the combination of Messrs Bresnan and Rauf, whereupon he’ll now presumably be wheeled straight back to the hotel. Sometimes the life of the professional sportsman looks short on glamour (and long on paracetemol). Perhaps his immune system can also rid him of a bad case of the yips. Hope he feels better, and has found the ability to lay bat on ball, by Edgbaston.

We dipped in and out of the Sunday session but we were gripped by the bizarre episode of Gardeners Question Time being enacted on the Trent Bridge pitch. Anyone who feels like explaining what the blazes was going on (are Notts CCC going to be the Man City of cricket, only with their very own oil well beneath the pitch?) is encouraged to let us know below. It looked like some fairly serious landscaping. Of course, if there’s a beautiful shrubbery or perhaps a bed of chrysanthemums there when the T20 nonsense starts, all will be revealed.

One more semi-serious reflection – just think where the Windies could have been if Kemar Roach has kept his foot behind the line yesterday (N.B. the problem with counterfactuals like this is of course that Jonathon Trott could just have brought up an excruciatingly boring 200, as England grind their way to massive lead…)


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1 Comment

  1. Like this blog….as a West Indian I agree with most of your sentiments about the West Indies team. That being said I am a Jimmy Anderson fan…terrific bowler. Did an article on the 2nd Test as well on my blog:


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