86th over: West Indies 252-5 (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 246-5 (Chase 20, Blackwood 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.
WICKET! Blackwood bowled Broad 0
Hook, line and sinker.
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.
WICKET! Brooks lbw Broad 68
As plumb as it is possible to be
82nd over: West Indies 241-4 (Chase 14, Brooks 67) The returning Curran is thrown the new ball and is on the button immediately. Were he a perfume, he’d be sold as“Unfazed.” Woody with flowery notes.
Meanwhile, Andrew is not enamoured of the rumoured new Peerage . For me, he’ll always be Lord Beefy of Brexit, England’s top Full Tosser. But Peter Rowntree prefers the tastier, Lord Beefy of Cheddar.
81st over: West Indies 241-4 (Chase 14, Brooks 67) Broad and Root stroke their beards and consider this and that and whether to take the new ball and decide, yes. And why not? One last huzzah. Sam Curran lurks on the boundary tying up his headband (they seem to be universal throughout the team – is this a new Covid-19 England issue headband?). Holy Baloney, it was the right decision to take the new ball. Chase given a torrid time, including an inducker that by the luck of the holy book(s) avoids brushing the top of the stumps. Brooks steers Broad, with an element of luck, through the slips for four.
80th over: West Indies 235-4 (Chase 8, Brooks 63) A Bess half-volley is thwacked down the ground by Chase for four, a Bess round-arm experiment is blocked with bemusement and Craig Overton appears to be on the field for Sam Curran.
79th over: West Indies 230-4 (Chase 8, Brooks 63) Feisty Broad, Steaming Broad. Brooks crouches low as the ball bounces a fist’s height over the stumps. Just one over left till the new ball can be taken.
75th over: West Indies 230-4 (Chase 8, Brooks 62) Bess continues. A late cut by Brooks, lovely, fine, for two and a crazily optimistic single that would have seen Brooks way out of his crease if Broad had made a direct hit at the non-strikers end
The camera pans away to show us Jofra Archer warming up in the nets wearing blue plastic gloves and a multi-coloured mask.
75th over: West Indies 227-4 (Chase 8, Brooks 60) Broad begins with a jam scone, short that passes harmlessly on the leg-side. After three round the wickets, he switches to over the wicket and Chase is immediately troubled. His last ball is back round the wicket. OF all that, make what you will. A maiden.
Good to know the weather is nice in Manchester,” writes Julian Menz.
“I assume the rain and grotty grey Mancunian skies don’t observe Covid travel-bans, as they’ve arrived here in Sweden with a Shaun Ryder-like bitter sneer. Will be watching the football later with a Red Mancunian, and expect that to end badly, with me paying for the beers.
“Dejected pessimism should be far from England’s thoughts now though. A day and a half to go, 17 wickets to take (as I write), and maybe a quick 90+ to knock off tommorow evening….
“It’s looking like a beautiful day (tomorrow, of course).”
Final session – West Indies need another 43 to avoid the follow-on
The umpires stroll out and the players trundle down the steps, mostly be-jumpered.
Michael Atherton is as wise as ever on Sky. He first points out that Dom Bess is very young – just 23 next week. At a similar age, Derek Underwood had bowled 27,000 balls in first-class cricket, Graeme Swann 13,900 balls, whereas Bess has bowled only 7400 balls. Bess is therefore learning his trade at Test match level. He then say that Bess should be aiming to pitch nine feet in front of the popping crease, for optimum dip and grip, and that at the moment his pitch is too variable.
Tea – West Indies need 43 more to avoid the follow-on
75th over: West Indies 227-4 (Chase 8, Brooks 60) Bess flies through one last over, West Indies amble through for three singles, Stuart Broad fields with his giant boot and that’s tea. West Indies can dine fairly confidently, with just 43 more needed for the follow-on. How Joe Root must wish he had Jofra Archer up his sleeves. Time for a quick cup of tea, see you in ten minutes!
75th over: West Indies 224-4 (Chase 6, Brooks 59) A tasty pre-prandial over from Broad, who gets one to rise and rise again off the pitch giving Brooks nowhere to go as the ball jags off the glove and under his armpit and just short of the diving Butler. Four. West Indies 46 away from their magic number and just one over left before tea.
74th over: West Indies 217-4 (Chase 3, Brooks 53) A double change as Root turns to Bess. Let’s see if he can find a bit more consistency this time around. Three tipped off the over, as Kim Thonger mulls over Lord Beefy’s nomenclature:
“Hypothetical of course until we know what’s actually going on, but as a Somerset man myself I feel obliged to point out there are a number of place names in the county that would suit the beefy ennoblement rather well.
Lord Botham of Bossington for example, or Bowlish, or Cad Green. Perhaps even Cricket Malherbie. My personal all time favourite village name is Nempnett Thrubwell. I had a French teacher by the way called M. La Rue who insisted on teaching us phrases such ‘je vais au Nempnett Thrubwell et puis je reste a Ubley’.
Full list here https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_places_in_Somerset for those inclined to these things.”
73rd over: West Indies 214-4 (Chase 3, Brooks 53) Root prizes the ball from Stokes’ hands and throws it to Broad, who we now watch to see if Arthur Graves’s anti-Samson theory is correct. Brooks studiously ignores the tasty short chocolate treats Broad sends down. On TMS, Andy Zaltzman says that 86 percent of Stokes’ balls were short.
72nd over: West Indies 213-4 (Chase 2, Brooks 53) Woakes stretches those long levers and rolls out another over. Fifty for Brooks, a handsome one too, brought up with a couple turned off the knee roll. If he can stay in for another session, West Indies will be home and dry.
71st over: West Indies 209-4 (Chase 2, Brooks 49) Stokes ploughs on, a maiden. Arthur Graves is pondering hair, “ It’s just struck me (maybe much later than most other followers) that Stuart Broad does his best bowling when he has shorter hair. A kind of anti-Samson.”
I’m not sure that’s a function on cricinfo’s statsguru, but I feel in my bones you’re right. Also add Ian Botham, far more potent without the mullet (if less likely to win a peerage.)
70th over: West Indies 209-4 (Chase 2, Brooks 49) Brooks looking increasingly on point, square drives Woakes for four, then four leg byes are given to a ball that he looked to have a touch on.
69th over: West Indies 201-4 (Chase 2, Brooks 45) Whoever suggested Root should make a bowling change, was utterly misguided. Now, perhaps, Stokes will get a rest. Could be the breakthrough England need – but with less than 70 needed, on this pitch, I think it is too late.
WICKET! Brathwaite c and b Stokes 75
Stokes make something from nothing, a back of a length ball and Brathwaite gets a leading edge straight back into those huge paws. And that is the Stokes magic.
68th over: West Indies 199-3 (Brathwaite 75, Brooks 45) Brooks shapes Woakes for four, then Woakes produces an absolute beauty which slides past the outside of Brookes’ pushing blade.
67th over: West Indies 194-3 (Brathwaite 74, Brooks 41) It has all got a bit listless out there, in as much as you can tell without a crowd to list or cheer. Warm sun, short shadows, Stokes bowls his ninth in succession, another all effort over: Brooks remains largely unbothered.
John Starbuck has another example of counter-productiver cricket: “One might add Ricky Ponting’s reactions of rage and highly audible indignation whenever he was got out. It looked as if all the other guys were cheating and only Ricky could see it. Hence he attracted some of the best wicket surrenders ever in highlights packages.”
66th over: West Indies 192-3 (Brathwaite 72, Brooks 41) A bowling change – at the other end. Bess is removed and England’s most hirsute is thrown the ball. Just one run off the over, Brathwaite nudges Woakes nicely off his hip for a single. The follow-on target ticks down, just 77 needed now, with the new ball due soon.
65th over: West Indies 192-3 (Brathwaite 72, Brooks 41) Still Stokes. Always Stokes. He steers his final ball, a nasty riser, into Brooks’ midrift and it hits him somewhere not too painful and billows up just short of the fielder. Shurely time for Stokes to have a rest?
64th over: West Indies 188-3 (Brathwaite 72, Brooks 37) After an orderly over, Bess over pitches with his final ball and Brathwaite absolutely lays into it, furious after being pickpocketed in the cinema, off-driving for four.
63rd over: West Indies 183-3 (Brathwaite 68, Brooks 36) Stokes, who with his longer hair is more matinee idol than enforcer, dispatches the smoking jacket to plough the first three balls short into Brooks. Brooks emerges unscathed.
And to continue Adam’s discussion on counterproductive moves in cricket, Niall Morrissey writes: “You could add to that list Tony Greig signalling his own boundaries with a flourish when facing the fastest of bowling”
62nd over: West Indies 182-3 (Brathwaite 68, Brooks 35) Bess is on the money with his first three balls, but his fourth drifts short and Brathwaite pull him towards the rope where Sibley just prevents a boundary.
61st over: West Indies 178-3 (Brathwaite 65, Brooks 34) Thanks Adam, great stuff. And hello everyone from Manchester, where the sun is streaming through the living room window and the sky is a variety pack of non-threatening white fluffy clouds. Whether England can make anything of them, remains to be seen. Stokes continues, this time a maiden: West Indies need another 92 to avoid the follow-on.
60th over: West Indies 178-3 (Brathwaite 65, Brooks 34) Brooks picks up a single from the final delivery of an accurate Bess over, dancing down the track to clip. Not far away from short leg; the spinner is doing his job. That is drinks! And in turn, it’s time for me to say goodbye for the day. Thanks for your company, I’ll be back tomorrow morning. For now, say hello to Tanya – drop her a line! Bye for now.
59th over: West Indies 177-3 (Brathwaite 65, Brooks 33) Sharp bouncer from Stokes to Brooks around the wicket to begin his fifth. Ooh, and it’s a no-ball for three men behind square leg – you don’t see that too often! “Lucky it wasn’t a wicket,” says Rob Key. Lucky for Dom Bess, who he reckons was the offender at deep square. Brooks plays it cool when the subsequent short balls arrive, simply getting out of the way. It’s underplayed how exhausting it is for quicks when bowling two bumpers an over, then a couple more into the ribs. Stokes won’t have many left in this spell.
Speaking of the two behind square law… Hopkins has one for the counterproductive moves lists: “If all the legends about Bodyline are true, could we add Bradman backing away from a quick one at The Oval in 1930 to the list?”
58th over: West Indies 175-3 (Brathwaite 65, Brooks 32) Dom Bess with a short leg, a slip and a couple of men out on the legside but Brathwaite goes the other way, driving two more through point when Bess gives him enough length to get on the front foot. The opener deserves to go on and complete a ton later this afternoon.
57th over: West Indies 173-3 (Brathwaite 63, Brooks 32) Stokes goes straight to the bouncer and it successful in pinging Brooks on the arm. He’s fine though, straight back on his feet. It inspires the all-rounder to change it up around the wicket with men catching around the corner but the No5 is fine with that, adjusting in the crease to turn a single around the corner, Brathwaite doing likewise to midwicket to finish. I hate to say it England fans, but this could start drifting soon.