97th over: West Indies 291-7 (Dowrich 53, Joseph 4) A maiden from Stokes to Dowrich, which means Joseph will have to face a full over. In an empty stand, the England coach Chris Silverwood chats to the chief selector Ed Smith. Any lip-readers out there?
96th over: West Indies 291-7 (Dowrich 53, Joseph 4) Wood greets Alzarri Joseph with a yorker, which very nearly gets through. Then he tries it again and Joseph lofts him for four. It’s a handsome shot and he knows it – he holds the pose.
95th over: West Indies 286-7 (Dowrich 52, Joseph 0) That was the shortest ball Holder had received, and if I’m not mistaken it was the first time in the match that a short ball had brought a wicket. Stokes took it with his personality as much as his skill.
Wicket!! Holder c Archer b Stokes 5 (WI 281-7)
Stokes gets his revenge! He bangs it in, Holder sees it well enough and hooks, but too high, allowing Jofra Archer to take a fine diving catch at long leg. The plot thickens.
94th over: West Indies 281-6 (Dowrich 51, Holder 5) Holder meets a full delivery from Wood with a simple push and gets three for it. A cameraman spots the bottom of his bat, which has Jason Holder scrawled on it in black felt-tip, as if he was still captaining the Under-12s.
“Platonic indeed,” says John Starbuck, picking up on my remark from the 88th over. “Michael Gough dwells in his cave, watching and interpreting the shadows of the outside world according to the Ideal forms.” Classy.
93rd over: West Indies 276-6 (Dowrich 50, Holder 1) It’s a double change as Stokes brings himself on in search of revenge over Holder. Instead the over is all about Dowrich, who helps himself to a two, another two, and a well-made fifty. He started fast, then slowed down, and at no stage would you have guessed that he was hopeless in England last time round. And that’s drinks, with West Indies 72 ahead and cruising.
Here’s Arun Kumar. “I feel England need to give Wood/Archer a bit more time before starting to revert back to Broad/Anderson full time. This is just the first test they are playing after a long break. An approach for the packed summer may be to play a rotation of two of Broad / Woakes / Anderson in three of the matches and have Wood and Archer play four each (might not have got the maths perfectly). Give them time and confidence. They need it for the Ashes.”
92nd over: West Indies 270-6 (Dowrich 45, Holder 0) Off goes Archer, after a spell that was better than it looked in the scorebook, and on comes Mark Wood. He’s accurate enough but still not penetrating.
91st over: West Indies 269-6 (Dowrich 44, Holder 0) Holder is getting right across his stumps, so Anderson will fancy his chances of another LBW. For now, there’s one play-and-miss, and that’s another maiden for Jimmy, who has the very Jimmyish figures of 25-10-62-3.
90th over: West Indies 269-6 (Dowrich 44, Holder 0) And out comes Jason Holder, who’s already half-way to the Man of the Match award. In fact, his only real rival is Michael Holding.
89th over: West Indies 267-6 (Dowrich 42) So that was a wicket maiden from Anderson, and the end of a fine innings by Chase. Old-school, the pair of them.
Wicket! Chase lbw b Anderson 47 (WI 267-6)
Given now! By Michael Gough, who is shaping up as the Platonic ideal of the TV umpire, radiating clarity. The only question was whether it was too high, but Hawk-Eye had it thudding into the top of middle and leg.
88th over: West Indies 267-5 (Chase 47, Dowrich 42) Again it’s a good over from Archer, both silky and fiery, but still there’s nothing to show for it.
And here’s another Gary Naylor tweet from teatime, about Michael Holding. “Mikey has a new lease of life. For a while, he was in a permanent despair about West Indies cricket (justifiably so) but he’s so on it in this Test about absolutely everything. His bowling in 1976 changed my life (I fell in love and I still am). So thanks again Sir.” He’s an international treasure.
87th over: West Indies 266-5 (Chase 46, Dowrich 42) Anderson goes full and leg-stumpish, looking for an LBW, but Dowrich is nimble enough to glance for four. Anderson has bowled one superb over with the new ball and three indifferent ones, to make a spell of 4-0-20-0. “He’ll hate those stats,” says Nasser.
86th over: West Indies 260-5 (Chase 45, Dowrich 37) A better over from Archer, who gets Dowrich jumping with a fierce bouncer. Somewhere in Australia, in the middle of the night, Steve Smith ducks behind the sofa.
“Afternoon Tim.” Afternoon Simon McMahon. “It’s only day three, but I think this Test has provided us with the full set already – weather, an England collapse, disagreements over selection, a Mac Millings XI involving social distancing, reassuring contributions from regular OBOers. If I was French (and believe me, I sometimes wish I was), right now I’d probably have a fag in one hand, glass of wine in the other, and be shrugging my shoulders whilst muttering plus ça change …”0
85th over: West Indies 258-5 (Chase 44, Dowrich 36) Dowrich has been a spectator since tea, considerably boosting the size of the crowd. But now he faces Anderson, who presents him with a wide half-volley. Dowrich drives it crisply for four and adds a pull for a couple. The partnership is 72 and worth every run.
84th over: West Indies 252-5 (Chase 44, Dowrich 30) Archer strays onto leg stump, allowing Chase to clip him for four. And then he does the same again. Last year, Archer was an instant senior player, entrusted with the Super Over in a World Cup final; this year, he’s showing his youth.
83rd over: West Indies 244-5 (Chase 36, Dowrich 30) Anderson is in the groove now, beating Chase’s inside edge, then the outside, then taking the inside edge and hitting him in the area fondly known as amidships. That’s the over with everything except a wicket.
“I’m not sure why Broad is complaining,” says Richard O’Hagan “It seems to me that he is getting to be a better bowler with every over of this Test that passes.” Ha.
82nd over: West Indies 243-5 (Chase 35, Dowrich 30) At the other end it’s Jofra Archer, who so far has been the Archer of the winter, decent but anodyne, rather than the superstar of last summer. He tries a yorker, which has to be a good plan on this pudding of a pitch, but Chase digs out a single.
And here’s a good spot from my colleague Ali Martin. “Shane Dowrich, 30*, already past his series aggregate from three years ago of 24 runs in six innings. Very different player these days (not that England didn’t already know that after his century in Barbados last year).”
81st over: West Indies 242-5 (Chase 34, Dowrich 30) But first, of course, it’s Jimmy Anderson. He gets some shape with the new vector of disease, but goes for seven off the first two deliveries as Chase times a push for four and a tuck for three. Anderson is walking back to his mark rather slowly – I do hope he’s not injured.
A flurry of tweets from Gary Naylor, who has this to say about England’s selection. “Cricket is awash with stats, but sometimes the old lenses are the most illuminating. If your off-spinner has bowled 15 overs on an (essentially) Day Two pitch, your five man attack lacks balance. Wood, Archer and Stokes are the ‘same’ bowler on this wicket – on most.” Not sure about most, as they all have different trajectories, and there will surely be times when England are delighted to have two men touching 95mph. But on this pitch, on this evidence, it’s hard to argue. Can one of them redeem himself with the new ball?
80th over: West Indies 235-5 (Chase 27, Dowrich 30) A maiden from Bess, who has a big shout for LBW against Dowrich, but some gentle turn was taking it down the leg side. And that’s tea, with West Indies already ahead by 31. Jason Holder is bossing the game, and he hasn’t even come in to bat yet. See you in 15 minutes for the new ball.
79th over: West Indies 235-5 (Chase 27, Dowrich 30) Wood produces a decent bouncer, only for the pitch to give Chase time to sway out of the line. Chase calmly pushes into the covers for two, and that brings up the super-fast duo’s century – Wood has 0/54, Archer 0/47. It may be time for another interview with Stuart Broad.
78th over: West Indies 233-5 (Chase 25, Dowrich 30) Chase, by contrast, has 25 off 109 balls. Geoff Boycott would be applauding him, if he hadn’t been pensioned off by TMS.
“Having raised the idea of the OBO XI,” says Pete Salmon, “I like Simon Thomas’s contribution. But surely Foakes is a better bat and keeper than Jones? And I’d be looking at bringing in Adil Rashid – maybe that means Bairstow does in fact take the gloves. Although he could open? Unless Haseeb Hameed is worth another try. Thoughts?” I assumed the idea was for the XI to be as debatable as possible, so Hameed is a good pick. Maybe opening with Ben Duckett…
77th over: West Indies 232-5 (Chase 24, Dowrich 30) Dowrich celebrates by producing his best shot off a pace bowler, rocking back to Wood and playing a stylish square drive off the back foot. His 30 has come from only 40 balls.
76th over: West Indies 228-5 (Chase 24, Dowrich 26) That straight wallop went for a single, so maybe we should see it as Bess saving three rather than dropping one.
Dropped! Dowrich by Bess
Dowrich loves hitting Bess straight, and this time he hits him so straight that it’s a chance for a caught-and-bowled. Bess gets a hand to it, which is brave of him, but can’t hold on.
75th over: West Indies 227-5 (Chase 24, Dowrich 25) A maiden from Wood, who is giving it his all as usual. Five overs to the new ball now.
74th over: West Indies 227-5 (Chase 24, Dowrich 25) Just a couple of singles off Bess.
Talking of whom… “Shame to see Dom doing well for England in many ways,” says Charles Sheldrick. “Don’t get me wrong, I am happy for the lad, but as a Somerset player he will either get dropped despite doing well (Leach) and wonder what might have been or he could move to a more fashionable county and get picked regardless of performance (Buttler).” Oof.
73rd over: West Indies 225-5 (Chase 23, Dowrich 24) Wood has an LBW shout against Chase, but none of his mates join in, as it’s clearly too high. To add insult to inept appealing, the ball trickles away to the boundary. Leg byes are now on 17, which means that if they were English, they’d be one of the more successful batsmen in this match.
72nd over: West Indies 219-5 (Chase 21, Dowrich 24) Back comes Bess as Stokes stays busy as a bee, but the change doesn’t bring the breakthrough. Chase takes three behind square and Dowrich, licking his lips again at the sight of some slow stuff, thwacks a drive past mid-off’s left hand.
71st over: West Indies 212-5 (Chase 18, Dowrich 20) Stokes takes himself off again and summons Wood, so it’s high pace from both ends. Or it would be if the pitch wasn’t so damn slow. Dowrich gets two with a square force.
“Looking back to that earlier comment,” says Simon Thomas, “here’s the most OBOish XI.”
1 – Compton
2 – Denly
3 – Vince
4 – Bell (c)
5 – Bairstow
6 – Morgan
7 – Woakes
8 – Jones (w)
9 – Giles/Ali
10 – Finn
11 – Harmison
So even this team doesn’t have room for Martin Bicknell.
70th over: West Indies 210-5 (Chase 18, Dowrich 18) Archer draws a thick edge out of Dowrich but there’s no gully, so it goes for four. Next ball, Dowrich plays at thin air. If you were Stokes, wouldn’t you love to bring Broad on now?
69th over: West Indies 205-5 (Chase 18, Dowrich 13) A maiden from Stokes to Chase, partly thanks to Rory Burns, who pulls off a sharp stop at cover. England have been good in the field: they’ve just been a bit naive with the bat.
68th over: West Indies 205-5 (Chase 18, Dowrich 13) Another single to Chase, steering past gully, and that’s the first run off the bat in Archer’s spell. He’s warming to the task.
Meanwhile Jen Oram is picking up on Mac Millings’ Socially Distanced XI (12:17). “Omitting ‘Two-metre Peter’ Fulton from your list,” she reckons, “is a howler of Ed Smith proportions.” Ouch.
67th over: West Indies 204-5 (Chase 17, Dowrich 13) Stokes digs one in and Dowrich is an unhappy hooker, not getting on top of it, but he gets away with as the ball drops short of the man waiting at deep square. Then Chase pushes into the on side and the scores are level.
66th over: West Indies 202-5 (Chase 16, Dowrich 12) Archer tries two slower balls in a row at Chase, then cranks it up again and concedes four leg byes as Chase flicks a header into the top corner. That’s 200-up for West Indies, who have mostly been showing England how to play in English conditions.
The players are having drinks, which is less annoying in cricket than it is in football. Dom Bess and Jimmy Anderson have kept England in the game, but West Indies are on top, with the mighty Holder still to come.
65th over: West Indies 198-5 (Chase 16, Dowrich 12) Ben Stokes, who’s been making his bowling changes sooner rather than later, takes the wicket-taker off and turns to himself. Dowrich hides his disappointment and picks up a couple with a squirt square.
“I have no idea why batsmen like Blackwood are so enamoured with the aerial shot in red-ball cricket,” says Robert Speed. “It’s like they feel the runs count double if the ball is played in the air. Bradman averaged 99, and refused to hit in the air.” On that principle, wouldn’t we all have to write in pentameters because Shakespeare did?
64th over: West Indies 196-5 (Chase 16, Dowrich 10) Jofra Archer is getting closer to a wicket. He beats Chase outside off, then bamboozles him with a nasty bouncer, producing a panicky poke that doesn’t quite go to hand at point.
63rd over: West Indies 196-5 (Chase 16, Dowrich 10) Shane Dowrich sees his mate perish to a big heave and decides that he just didn’t execute it well enough. So he dances down the track and belts Bess for two lofted fours, one over mid-on, the other over mid-off. Great stuff.
Thanks Daniel and afternoon everyone. It’s been too long! I feel like the kid at the end of the summer holidays who’s a little too keen to get back to school, and then does something idiotic. Which is pretty much what Jermaine Blackwood just did.
61st over: West Indies 186-5 (Chase 15, Dowrich 0) Holding had heard Blackwood had changed; Blackwood has not changed. England seemed to find that fairly amusing, the wicket celebrated with laughter as much as cheers, a real mind the windows Tino moment – the dry bowling worked, basically. Anyway, Archer returns, and Chase plays out a maiden; England lead by just 18, but will be happy with their start to the afternoon session. Anyhow, my watch has ended – here’s Tim de Lisle to coax you through the remainder of the day.
WICKET! Blackwood c Anderson b Bess 12 (West Indies 186-5)
Crunch! Munch! Chomp! Burrrrp! There go the Party Rings! Blackwood can’t take it anymore, thrashing straight to mid off because he can do no other.
61st over: West Indies 186-4 (Chase 16, Blackwood 12) Good from Bess, tossing one up that’s also a bit fuller, forcing Chase to bring the bat down late. Four dots follow…
60th over: West Indies 185-4 (Chase 15, Blackwood 12) Why are cricket numbers so thin? Blackwood is like a child you give a box of biscuits, then tell they can’t have any. They desperately want to please you, but desperately want to please themselves, and end up having a lot of pleasure making a mess. He’s absolutely desperate to whack England’s greatest-ever bowler to all parts, giving himself a hernia trying to resist temptation. Maiden.
59th over: West Indies 185-4 (Chase 15, Blackwood 12) Bess sends his first delivery wide, and Blackwood isn’t having any of it, cracking it through extra cover for four. A single follows.
“Sirs Geoffrey Boycott and Alastair Cook?” asks John Starbuck about OBO talking points. “I recall we once got an entire day’s OBO out of sitting next to Robin Smith on the train and other encounters with him.”
I had my own close encounter with RA Smith. I was suspended from school for setting the floor of the science labs on fire when he made his 167 not out, so feel like we know each other. Obviously England still lost, but I smoked many many JPS Superkings while my mates were in class.
58th over: West Indies 180-4 (Chase 15, Blackwood 7) Holding says he’s interested to see Blackwood because previously he’s played “a shot a ball”, and he gets off the mark here with a four, looking to drive and edging to four to fine leg instead. So to compensate, he lifts Anderson over point and scurries two – a single follows – and the question now is by how many West Indies will lead. 100 or so might be matchwinning.
57th over: West Indies 173-4 (Chase 15, Blackwood 0) I thought we might see a quick here, but it’s still Bess. Back to Anderson and Broad, I wonder how much of their desire to keep going relates to keeping going together. Not just that they spur each other on, but competing with one of your best mates, when you’ve been doing it as long as they have, must be a very hard thing to say nah ta. If one of them goes, it’ll be Dua Lipa not Lionel Ritchie on the dressing room stereo before you can say unwanted nasal hair. Maiden.
56th over: West Indies 173-4 (Chase 15, Blackwood 0) At some point, Jason Holder is going to come out the hutch and make a century, but in the meantime Jermaine Blackwood is in the middle. Every time I watch Anderson bowl, I’m absolutely stupefied but what he’s still doing, and absolutely in love with how much he loves the game. Cut to SJ Broad, somehow looking angry, hurt and disappointed all in one. Wicket maiden.
I’ve not a clue why Brooks reviewed that – well I do, he was loving it out there and didn’t want to be out – but he really very was. England’s champion does the trick yet again. He’s quite good at bowling, is James Anderson.
WICKET! Brooks c Buttler b Anderson 39 (West Indies 173-4)
Good ball this, finding some extra bounce; looks open and shut to me, but Brooks reviews!
55th over: West Indies 173-3 (Brooks 39, Chase 15) Chase takes a single, which England won’t mind – they’ll want him facing Anderson. But Brooks wangles another, so it’ll be him on strike when the headbanded one returns.
“THAT Aussie photo,” begins Phil Sawyer. “You could have waited until after we’d all finished our lunch before posting that picture of the Aussie team all akimbo, Daniel. It’s just made me spill my lentils.”
Is that a euphemism of which I’m unaware?
54th over: West Indies 171-3 (Brooks 38, Chase 14) Anderson tries a bouncer, which tells you that swing and seam have forsaken him; my guess is we’ll see the ball being passed through circles before long because how dare it not to what Jimmy commands it. Maiden.
“Not taking a position,” says Peter “but I’m so happy that we have a good Woakes selection question discussion going on. That’s your peak OBO right there. Not only is Woakes underrated as a cricketer but as a discussion point. I reckon he may have now moved past Ian Bell as the most discussed OBO cricketer. Anyone else got those sort of numbers?”
You might just be right. Denly has potential, if he can stay in for a bit longer, and old Compdog was nifty back in the day, but his star burned out quickly.
53rd over: West Indies 171-3 (Brooks 38, Chase 14) In commentary, Rob Key bemoans the moaning, miserable captain who gave him his debut; cut to laughing Nasser. Another maiden for Bess, who persuades an edge out of Chase with his final delivery, but it slides backwards into the pad. I don’t think Chase will tolerate much more of this, before freeing his arms.
52nd over: West Indies 171-3 (Brooks 38, Chase 14) Four dots from Anderson, but then he strays straight and Brooks is all over him, clumping over midwicket for four. He does not wait to be asked, and will know that it’s there for him.
“It’s Sam Curran who needs to be in the XI,” says Gary Naylor. “England’s tail has three 11s and its attack needs variety. Holder has shown that 80mph sideways movement in the air and off the seam is handy (always is in England). Plenty of questions in this XI and Curran answers a few.”
I love Curran, but I’m not sure who you leave out for him. Denly maybe? But then you have a lot of bowlers. I think that for him to stay in the side, he needs to bat 6.
51st over: West Indies 167-3 (Brooks 34, Chase 14) Bess is looking grooved out there, beating Chase with the arm ball the highlight of a useful maiden. Perhaps bowling dry is the answer here, because the pitch isn’t doing loads and Anderson is at the other end.
50th over: West Indies 167-3 (Brooks 34, Chase 14) The lights are on now, and Anderson has a short mid-on for Brooks – Crawley, stood just off the pitch, maybe for the mishit drive. What is going on with Rory Burns’ barnet, by the way? He has that late 80s/early 90s Autralian wedge thing trailing out the back of his cap, but needs to chainsaw the sideboards off above the ear to complete the look. Anyway, five more dots from Anderson before Brooks leaps back, opens the face, and bangs through backward point for four. He’s been the most fluent of the batsmen so far.
49th over: West Indies 163-3 (Brooks 30, Chase 14) It’s Bess from the other end – it looks like being a busy afternoon for him. And given the weather and match situation – it’s not hot, England need wickets – Stokes must see him as an attacking option, not a stock option. The over yields two singles.