A intriguing, twisting, day’s play. West indies consolidated in the morning and then as England took the second new ball lost 6 for 50 while in between avoiding the follow-on – thanks largely to Brathwaite, Blackwood and Chase. Stuart Broad especially, with the second new ball, said he found the right tempo and was pitch perfect. The last hurly-burly 40 minutes was long enough for Crawley and Buttler to sacrifice themselves, and (the superb) Roach and Gabriel to stop England running away with it. Lots to look forward to tomorrow, Broad says England are hoping to bowl with two new balls, which must mean quick runs in the morning. Thanks for all the emails, and see you tomorrow!
Stumps: England 37-2 lead by 219
8th over: England 37-2 (Stokes 16, Root 8) In a very unusual definition of playing for the close, Stokes tries to whallop Gabriel into Didsbury. He fails, but survives. And that’s stumps!
7th over: England 32-2 (Stokes 12 , Root 7) Another superb over by Roach, who mixes slower balls with those on a good length. Root inside edges for two. West Indies rush through the motions – they want another over at England before the close.
“What a bold innovation from Rooteh,” writes Tat Wood, “get the middle-order collapse out of the way before the openers go in.”
6th over: England 27-2 (Stokes 10 , Root 4) We cut to a pensive looking Buttler on the boundary. I still so want him to be the answer. Stokes and Root sprint two. Some excellent ground fielding by West Indies who haven’t given up on anything. If there was a crowd, it would be silent with anticipation, which is lucky.
5th over: England 20-2 (Stokes 6 , Root 2) Root and Stokes try a bit of old fashioned graft against an excellent Roach.
Tom Hopkins opens a can of worms;“I’m kind of getting the feeling that if it was going to happen for Buttler in Tests, it would have happened before now.”
WICKET! Crawley b Roach 11
Crawley attempts an awkward smear to leg and Roach slots the ball between bat and pad and removes Crawley’s middle stump.
4th over: England 17-1 (Stokes 5 , Crawley 11 ) Michael Holding complains that Gabriel’s field is wrong, as Stokes lifts him high, straight legged to just in front of long off. Timing a bit off. Gabriel then drags him inelegantly wide. Crawley on the other hand creams a delightful four.
3rd over: England 9-1 (Stokes 3 , Crawley 6 ) Superb bowling by Roach, a perfect length as England hack about for runs.
An aside: when West Indies were all out, Sibley sprinted off the field only to be told by Root that he wouldn’t be needed. As a blusher myself, I can speak with some authority that it had big potential as a blushing moment.
2nd over: England 5-1 (Stokes 2 , Crawley 3 ) Gabriel nips one back through Crawley’s gate and then next ball sends one through that lifts and leaves him. Crawley swings, for a single. The Old Trafford lights are on. It’s a strange dynamic – one side are playing T20, while the other side are playing Test cricket.
1st over: England 2-1 (Stokes 1 , Crawley 1 ) Stokes knocks Roach for a single, before Buttler tries his extravagant reach at a wide one.A sad walk back. Crawley drives nicely to mid-on and England are, well, where they are. What do they want – 100 by the close – wickets no object? Lots of anticipatory emails arrive that are sadly out of date by the end of the first over….
WICKET! Buttler b Roach 0
The ball after hitting Roach straight back into the non-striker’s stumps, he gets a huge inside edge onto his own stumps. West Indies looks amused. Glad the ECB didn’t fork out £2m for that.
Roll-up, roll-up! Test cricket, it’s where it’s at.
So Stokes’ indigestion is well and truly over! The super over pairing of Stokes and Buttler open the batting!
West Indies 287 all out – trail by 182
The Windies lost 6 for 45 this afternoon, victims of the new ball under sunny Manchester skies. They have Chase to thank for avoiding the follow-on, but England will still be pushing for that win. Quick runs and then two sessions to bowl West Indies out? Weather forecast for Manchester tomorrow is fine. 38 minutes of play left this evening, and 98 overs tomorrow.
WICKET! Gabriel b Woakes 0 (West Indies 287 all out, trail by 182)
A slower ball does Gabriel a cropper, after a superb over which included a fast bouncer and a length ball that hits Gabriel in the nuts (one to add to the counterproductive actions?)
WICKET! Chase lbw 51 (85 balls)
Woakes sends the big man home, with an in-ducker that clocks him on the knee roll. Given not out originally but England review.
98th over: West Indies 287-8 (Chase 51, Roach 5) With a well-run two, Chase reaches his fifty, with a modest raise of the bat and a brief glance up at the sky. Roach congratulates him from at least half a foot smaller. Potentially a match-saving, series-saving, innings.
97th over: West Indies 283-8 (Chase 48, Roach 4) Woakes bowling beautifully but without reward. Chase in good enough form to leave well alone.
96th over: West Indies 283-8 (Chase 48, Roach 4) Chase, who made 47 and 37 at the Rose Bowl, and took five wickets in the first innings here, hits another lip-smacking fours through extra-cover off Curran.
Dear Tanya, writes Peter Rowntree.
“Can’t really believe you are a cat stomach tickler. When a cat rolls on his/her back it is showing you it is happy and secure in its environment, that is not an invitation to tickle its’ tum. In the wild a cat always protects its stomach which is the weakest part of its’ body, so if you tickle the said ‘tum’ the cat thinks you are attacking it and any self-respecting Moggy is likely either to scratch your hand or bite it, or both. You may well say that you are not the sort of person to attack cats, and I believe you, but what I think is not important, what’s important is what the cat thinks and it is likely to mutilate your hand for the aggression you have shown it.”
Guilty! I’m not really a cat person. Those unpredicable claws…I just felt Stokes was more feline than canine.
95th over: West Indies 272-8 (Chase 41, Roach 0) An anti-climactic maiden from Woakes.
Would we even want the Windies to follow on if Stokes is out of action? asks Trevor Barnet.
“Either way difficult to see how this isn’t a draw come tomorrow evening. Doesn’t mean we can’t enjoy it for now!”
Apparently it was indigestion! Stokes is back on the pitch.
94th over: West Indies 272-8 (Chase 41, Roach 0) Anticipation over. Mop them brows. Send for a brew. Chase whips Curran wide of mid-on for four and then pulls a long-hop to long leg for four more. Ten off the over, a follow-on averted, and one plotline crossed out. West Indies a huge stride closer to retaining the Wisden Trophy.
93rd over: West Indies 262-8 (Chase 30, Roach 0) Woakes on the money in his non-regulations black plastic headband. Roach sways, plays a straight bat, thrusts his front pad forward. Eight needed.
Geoff Wignall writes: “Boa tarde Tanya,I like Iain McShane’s suggestion for a rejigged order (87th over), though I might be tempted to open with Curran.But it isn’t going to happen, is it? I suspect Burns and Crawley will open, maybe with Stokes at three, and am very confident that Root won’t be looking to demote himself; so then Buttler, Pope and Curran at 5, 6 & 7 – or Pope then Buttler. Which could work.”
92nd over: West Indies 261-8 (Chase 30, Roach 0) Curran keeps it mostly full, his fourth ball strikes Roach on the pads. England review – but Roach had got an inside edge – England lose a review, with just one now remaining. Nine needed.
91st over: West Indies 260-8 (Chase 30, Roach 0) On a captain’s hunch, Woakes replaces Broad, and Root is rewarded almost straight away as Holder steers Woakes’ second ball to slip. Roach survives the remaining four balls and it’s all getting a bit tasty. West Indies have lost four for 18!
WICKET! Holder c Root b Woakes 2
Holder gives Root some catching practise at slip as West Indies’ Mr Reliable has to leave before steering the ship to safety. Just ten needed to avoid the follow-on!
90th over: West Indies 260-7 (Chase 30, Holder 2) Ah, no. Stokes looks increasingly discomforted by his abdominal pain during the over, and furious when he drifts wide and Chase turns him to midwicket for four. At the end of the over, he walks off the pitch and into the pavilion, replaced by substitute Overton. Did he overbowl after lunch?
89th over: West Indies 256-7 (Chase 26, Holder 2) Stuart Broad is riding the Stuart Broad wave: the eyes are wide, the arms are long, the energy is high. Just a (risky) single from the over. In the nets Archer continues his exertions, watched by THREE men in England tracksuits – as normal human being, that level of scrutiny seems almost unbearable.
88th over: West Indies 255-7 (Chase 25, Holder 2) Stokes, fresh from his 11 over spell before tea, is back. Holder strokes him through the covers for a couple. Stokes rubs his tummy, repeatedly, just where you’d tickle a cat. Stomach muscle issues?
87th over: West Indies 252-7 (Chase 24, Holder 0) The reassuring presence of Jason Holder towers over the stumps. He prods back at Broad’s last three balls, a hand on the shoulder of the West Indies batting. How well Broad has bowled with this new ball! Inspired by his place on the balcony at the Rose Bowl? This from Iain McShane may have a limited shelf life….18 to avoid the follow-on.
“This new ball is talking, Tanya, now Jermaine B has been castled by a great ball from Apache Broad: and it’s saying: “Guys: you may well save the follow-on. But with a hard pill ‘doing The Jam’ and “Going Underground”, this could still be a toughie to save.” So, assuming the West Indies DO save the F.O., do England change the batting order? An hour or so tonight could see England put on another 100 runs. No real need for the estimable Sibbers in such circumstances. My choice to open? Crawley and Buttler; then Stokes, Pope, Curran, in whatever order best maintains a left/right pairing at the crease. Could be fun….”
They take drinks mid-over and the groundstaff hammer the bowling crease and repaint the white lines.
WICKET! Dowrich lbw Broad 0
Broad pitches short and the ball skids on and would have removed leg stump. Dowrich appeals for mercy from the third umpire, but there is no reprieve. Suddenly the English garden is more rosy!
86th over: West Indies 252-6 (Chase 24, Dowrich 0) A glorious Chase cover drive for four spoils Curran’s otherwise immaculate over as the sun beats down on Old Trafford.
85th over: West Indies 248-6 (Chase 20, Dowrich 0) Superb bowling from Stuart Broad, feisty with that new ball, utterly destroying Blackwood’s stumps with one that shot low and sent both bails splaying. Could this yet be interesting? 24 needed to avoid the follow-on.
84th over: West Indies 247-5 (Chase 19, Blackwood 0) Curran roars a huge appeal against Chase after pinning him on leg-stump. The ump raises his finger but Chase reviews immediately and hawkeye shows the ball pitching just a cornflake outside off stump – the seam lying just outside the shadow. The next ball Chase inside edges him for four.
83rd over: West Indies 242-5 (Chase 14, Blackwood 0) Broad’s first over with the new ball earned him that wicket in his second. Brooks, after an important and smart innings, trapped back on his stumps by a beauty that caught him on middle stump.