It's back, finally. (As is the rain by the looks of things...)
Who's your pick to start? Rumours of no Broad and both Wood and Archer playing, and who to fill Root's birth* at 4?
*this is an entirely intentional pun-based mis-spelling, grammar fans
Top 4 Will be Burns Sibley Denly Crawley and they know they’re in a shoot out for 3 places. Not an exciting top order, but hopefully more solid than in recent years.
In all honesty that's what I'd like to see too - solidity over excitement in those positions, especially with Stokes/Pope/Buttler to follow in the middle order.
Not a great start ...
Its not is it! Have to say I'd have favoured bowling first - overcast, batters lacking practice etc... but here we are. Nice delivery from Gabriel however.
Business as usual collapse from England. They will do well to make 200 plus from this position.
Should have bowled ;)
> Business as usual collapse from England. They will do well to make 200 plus from this position.
Im more optimistic about Anderson, Wood and Archer once they get their hands on the new ball.
Always good for the game to have the Windies put in a good shift. Fond memories of them in their 80s heyday.
All out for 204, not too bad in the end.
67 overs. I'd call that pretty dismal. Still, let's see what Anderson and his chums can do before stumps.
Sunny day tomorrow so the ball will just flow off the bat to the boundary. So hoping for the WI to bat last on a dodgy pitch might not happen.
A good morning for the Windies. I wonder how much of a lead they will build. Much better batting conditions than yesterday all of which begs the question, why did Stokes put England in to bat first?
I think the reasoning was based around not wanting to bat last, already starting to spin a little
Going to be an interesting finish, the way it's going.
A riposte of sorts from England. Both openers getting decent, if a little under par, scores. Crawley and Denly starting to accumulate some runs as well. The final session will be entertaining with Buttler and Stokes to come and a new ball sometime after tea.
In the balance now
Stokes gone for 46. Run rate may do them in the end. Need to open up a bit. But they certainly need to bat to close of play.
A disappointing end to a day that should have delivered so much more. England will do well to get a lead of 200 and that won't be enough.
200 runs or 10 wickets. Squeeky bum time!
The 200 runs are a lot closer than the 10 wickets!
England not in a good position at the mo!
Disappointing end to a day that started so well but well done to the Windies. Some good bowling and disciplined batting.
Probably set up the series better than an England win.
Played the better cricket overall I thought and deserved the win.
Oh dear Jofra. What have you done?
Englands bowling attack further weakened with Jofra Archer being suspended after breaking bio security rules.
Could be a blessing in disguise as it means Woakes will play (who, to be clear, I’d prefer to Curran in almost every situation). However, a bowling attack of Broad/Curran/Woakes/Bess does feel a little second best.
Why is Anderson not bowling at Old Trafford? Seems a strange decision.
> Could be a blessing in disguise as it means Woakes will play (who, to be clear, I’d prefer to Curran in almost every situation). However, a bowling attack of Broad/Curran/Woakes/Bess does feel a little second best.
They could well pick Robinson instead of Curran. But I bet they wish that they could still pick Wood. The attack is a bit samey without a proper quick. Strong lower order though.
Carrying a niggle? He didnt bowl much in the second session of the last test.
Just rested I think. He’s 37(8?) and two tests back to back is probably a bit much for him after months out. Windies bowlers looking pretty jaded today at times.
Hopefully England can establish a psychologically significant first innings (for a change). The bowling should be good enough if they do.
Seem to be going okay although with the look of rain about tomorrow I’m a little concerned about the pace... a post lunch acceleration would be nice. Although of course it’s excellent to see England 3 down after 4 sessions!
Tons for both Sibley and now Stokes.
I wonder if Stokes might pusg the accelerator a bit now.
Sibley gone for 120, now 342/4 and Stokes has picked up the pace a bit, he's on 155
Pope scores quickly too, maybe 450 with 10/15 to go and put the Windies in?
Stokes set up for another double ton. He's an amazing cricketer. Hope he gets it.
Shame he didn't there, but an excellent innings.
After yesterdays *ahem* textbook Manchester weather, do we think England can do it? Looks like good overheads for batting, and the pitch looks relatively free of any demons. Draw for me.
So, if we get the last wicket tonight, who would you open with? Burns and Buttler? Or Curran? Surely hold Sibley back.
Edit: actually Root is probably the best option.
Still likely to be a draw but England are the only team that can win. An interesting final day coming up.
I'd say the most likely outcome is an England win given we are on a day 5 deteriating pitch but the nature of the WI batsman is all three results are possible if England come out swinging and declare early enough to get two new balls, as seems likely. Yet another knife edge match.
For the series a close England win would be the best result. Fingers crossed.
I’d have gone Burns and Stokes, then root, buttler and Curran at 5.
Similarly today, I’d bring Curran in next when we lose another wicket, then Pope, Woakes, Bess, Broad, Burns and finally Sibley if it gets that far. Ultimately I’d be looking to declare after about 10 more overs anyway.
A finely poised match indeed, and what test cricket is all about at its finest. Will be taking my headphones to the crag today...
Declaration on 129/3 from 19 overs. Stokes 78 no off 57. Windies need 312
And Root reviews, Windies 7/1
37 for 4
Good partnership from these two sadly!
And just as I post another goes down!
Blackwood gone just before tea, we needed that!!
Stokes is the game changer for England. No one else can do what he does.
Surely England can't f*ck this up?
Job done. Stokes hits fastest ever England 50 for an opener too. Roll on Friday!
You got what you wanted
Indeed. Some interesting selection decisions for the decider.
Sure...I just hope they select for the ground and likely conditions.
Broad, Anderson and Archer. Given the fickle weather forecast and it being Old Trafford again its probably the right line up although the batting does look a bit weak with Stokes at 4. There's not much depth in that line up.
> Broad, Anderson and Archer. Given the fickle weather forecast and it being Old Trafford again its probably the right line up although the batting does look a bit weak with Stokes at 4. There's not much depth in that line up.
Hmmm, not a fan of this line up to be honest, not enough batting, but hopefully it comes good.
Although, it's starting to look like a good plan after watching the Windies start this morning. Gabriel gone off injured - their bowlers are going to tire by this afternoon. As long as Burns and Root can hold on this morning, there is good batting scores available.
Also liked Holding's analysis of Windies making a mistake by adding an extra spinner but then choosing to bowl first. That said, we've got Jimmy at Old Trafford who's 'well' rested - no wonder they wanted to put off batting for as long as possible.
**Edit - I take full responsibility if there is an England batting collapse before lunch....
> Although, it's starting to look like a good plan after watching the Windies start this morning. Gabriel gone off injured - their bowlers are going to tire by this afternoon.
This sppinner of the W I, Rahkeem Cornwall is a big lad, in the Colin Milburn class of athlete. But he has impressive figures against the lefties!
A good batting performance by 5 and 6. Root was unlucky to go the way he did and Burns batted well for his 50. Minimum 375 from here.
You would expect only one of two winners from here: England or rain
Be fair now, still only in the mid 200s and plenty of scope for England to do an England in the first hour (whenever that may be)
Indeed, how many extraordinary past results do we need to get the message across about the silliness of such calls, and we are far from extraordinary at the moment. Morning start with a nearly new ball could well see an England collapse as the batting doesn't go so deep in this side. England had most of the luck so far.
Whatever happens I'll be OK as long as it's not dull.
Two down already... at least it’s not dull! I will forever be the pessimist regarding England batting having grown up in the halcyon days of the 90s batting line up...
Its hard to judge different periods though. When the WI were in their pomp in the late 70s into the late 80s with combinations of Garner, Ambrose, Marshall, Croft, Holding and Roberts, I wonder how the best batsman at any time would have coped.
Oh I wasn't trying to do that - more that I grew up watching England when they, at least to my young ears, constantly collapsed. Hence I'll always see the England batting as being fragile, regardless of whether it actually is (although I've been somewhat vindicated today)
Malfoy just got to 50 off 33 balls, third fastest 50 in Tests by an Englishman. Wow.
Impressive stuff. He always did have a good eye for the ball. Shame he's lost his nerve for a while.
Jolly good fun that, great job to drag England up to 369
Two wickets as well !
Wasn't it 5th.... two by Botham, one by Lamb and one by Freddie above him?
Anyway... it wasn't dull. On my point above, there are very good odds to be had on a WI win now (upto 75:1 which is just mad for cricket at this stage of the match) !
Equal 3rd I thought.
Lamb Flintoff and Broad all 33 balls to reach 50.
Hopefully they can wrap up the tail early and put the Windies into bat again. A great bowling performance yesterday I thought.
> Equal 3rd I thought.
> Lamb Flintoff and Broad all 33 balls to reach 50.
> Hopefully they can wrap up the tail early and put the Windies into bat again. A great bowling performance yesterday I thought.
I think the Windies will save the follow-on but, unless the forecast is dire, we wouldn’t enforce it anyway, not early on the third day. It’s not the modern way.
Now as we celebrate Broad's nifty fifty yesterday can anyone recall the last time an English batsman actually hit a 100 before lunch against the Aussies? It was some time ago and a county match, not a Test. A very rare occurrence and I was privileged to see it!
Windies in, chasing 399 and are already 1 down without scoring
And maybe Dowrich can't bat as injured and Holder also had a finger and an ankle injury during England's second innings.
Whoops, that's now 10 for 2 with probably 1 more over tonight. The weather forecast for tomorrow is terrible so probably no play https://www.bbc.co.uk/weather/m16
its been a cracking series - lets hope for a grandstand finish
I just can't understand why the Windies put us in to bat first. It really never makes sense. And they have done this twice this series. Could be playing late tomorrow if the latest weather forecast is correct?
In the words of W G Grace "When you win the toss – bat. If you are in doubt, think about it, then bat. If you have very big doubts, consult a colleague – then bat."
Odd, isn't it ? Even fully rested it's a strange call but with limited squad depth and a tired attack its doubly strange.
Like that Grace comment has much relevance to modern cricket. Over the years bowling has become more dominant and more tests finish early. If the ball's due to move much more on day 1 than likely on the forecast for day 2 the best choice is to bowl. I'm not convinced this was a good choice in this test but the decision is often reasonable.
> Like that Grace comment has much relevance to modern cricket. Over the years bowling has become more dominant and more tests finish early. If the ball's due to move much more on day 1 than likely on the forecast for day 2 the best choice is to bowl. I'm not convinced this was a good choice in this test but the decision is often reasonable.
I'd agree with this assessment - how often do you see pitches dry out into roads on day 2/3? If you've got cloud cover, a green top and a swing/seam attack have bowl first. Especially when the opposition are a batsman light and are prone to a collapse... Even with a strong batting line up, look at the damage NZ did to India on green tops last time they played down south. Batting first is often the way, but not always.
On say, the Subcontinent/in the Caribbean and often in Australia where pitches are often dry from the start - bat first every time!
Broad gets his 500th wicket, an important one as well. I'm a bit worried about the weather, I'm a dozen or so miles NE of Old Trafford and I'm getting regular rain showers.
I'm a 1000m from the wicket.
It's been dry all morning, just overcast and a bit breezy.
Tragic if it ends a draw because of the weather.
120 all out, 10 in the match for Broad, 5 in the innings for Woakes.
It's recently turned a bit grim here.
A classy win by England and great bowling by Broad and Woakes. Roll on Pakistan who will provide a sterner test, especially with their batting.
Who was 'man of the series' I would think Broad as it is bowlers that win games!
What an excellent end to what has been an excellent series. See you all on the 5th.
I had tickets for v Pakistan at OT. I now automatically have tickets for v India at OT next year
I was looking at the rainfall radar and thinking what on earth is going on.. how is all that missing the ground? As soon as they won the rain started but my question to you is did it stop again ... was the margin for the win really that close?
It was chucking it down for a while, and did clear up. They would have got more play, but how much ... ?
As they'd already won I'd stopped taking much notice really.
> Who was 'man of the series' I would think Broad as it is bowlers that win games!
You were right. I think Broad was vital for both wins, Stokes had a great series but didn’t do so much in this game.
Great of the Windies to tour at all, I’m sure it wasn’t the most appealing tour ever.
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