WICKET! Sibley c Roach b Chase 120 (England 341-4)
What is this?! Sibley stretches down the track, gets under one, and Roach charges around the fence to take a smart catch at deep midwicket. That’s a proper feat of concentration from Sibley there, which has, in all probability, turned the series.
126th over: England 341-3 (Sibley 120, Stokes 155) Stokes would be an incredible lawyer, or burglar, or torturer. He’s just so methodical, intelligent and savage in the way he gets himself comfortable, then takes people apart for his amusement. What’s amazing about him – what I’m currently finding amazing about him – is his mastery. He can kill you in so many different, inevitable ways, depending on what the situation demands of him, and even his slogging is discriminate and considered.
125th over: England 338-3 (Sibley 120, Stokes 152) Stokes unloads the suitcase at the returning Gabriel, lasering an edge over the cordon for four and doing well to keep shoulders and torso together. Then the other side of Stokes, a lush flick over midwicket adding four more, before a cut that raises his 150. This is absolute worsts for West Indies, and Gabriel compounds his own misery with a no ball on which they also run. 12 off the over.
“Surely we’re approaching the point at which Stuart Broad can feel fully vindicated,” says Geoff Wignall. “See how much better things go for England with him in the team?”
It’s probably time for a trip to the diary room. “I’m proud, elated and vindicated.”
124th over: England 326-3 (Sibley 120, Stokes 140) The partnership is 244 as Chase begins another twirl; again, Stokes takes a single and the Sibster can’t quite find the route to returning the strike.
It was a matter of time. “In honour of Dom Sibley, here’s the all-time Dom Sibley XI,” says Mac Millings.
Brett “Sib” Lee
123rd over: England 325-3 (Sibley 120, Stokes 140) The check drive again – who does he think he is, Floyd Mayweather? – this time for four – then an absolutely vicious, scything, assault past the bowler for four more. He doesn’t get all of that, but the force is with him.
122nd over: England 315-3 (Sibley 120, Stokes 131) Ctrl v, Sibley nudges a single, then Stokes lifts over cover and Sibley … cuts two. Now we’re talkin’!
“I think Harry Kane is always referred to by his full name,” emails Graeme Thorn, “though this might be in part to its phonetic similarity to ‘hurricane’ (if you pronounce it hurry-cane rather than hurry-cun).
Yes, I like to think that if he played for my club, the terraces would be bouncing to this.
REVIEW! NOT OUT!
This looked nice, but again, it’s umpire’s call on height.
121st over: England 309-3 (Sibley 117, Stokes 128) Stokes takes Holder for four more, then misses with the bat and wears one on the knee; time ticks … and …
“Seems a bit churlish to say so with England in such an unusually dominant position,” says Oliver Smiddy, “but this match is a terrible advertisement for Test cricket, particularly in contrast to the first Test, which was the exact opposite. This is exactly the sort of batting performance England needed, but for any neutrals watching, it’s pretty dour stuff, not helped by a really disappointing wicket. Very pleased for Sibley and Stokes though, great knocks so far.”
It’s the weather, I’m afraid – one dry day in the last fortnight or somesuch. But yes, as a moron, I’d happily go and sit in a ground with no cricket going on, just to be there, but if I’d never seen it before I’d be enjoying the telecast but not the action.
120th over: England 305-3 (Sibley 117, Stokes 124) Stokes takes a single from the first ball of this latest Chase over, then Sibley frantically contorts to return him the stroke, but cannot.
“I overheard Tuffers discussing possible nicknames for Sibley on the TMS yesterday,” emails Adam Giles, among which were ‘The Wall’, ‘The Rock’ and ‘The Breezeblock’. It should be noted that at school he was occasionally referred to as ‘The Drying Paint’, though, I must admit, never to his face. I feel like this innings, though admirable, vindicates our choice of epithet.
What more can you tell us?
119th over: England 304-3 (Sibley 117, Stokes 123) Holder gallantly invites himself to absorb the pain for his disciples, as Nasser notes how easily England can rotate their attack for the next Test. I guess a drier pitch might offer West Indies more, but I’m reaching and clutching; we’ve seen these series before. Three from the over.
“I have written a haiku on the occasion of Dominic Sibley’s century,” says Ian Forth.
classic rectitude, unlike
his Classic namesake.”
118th over: England 301-3 (Sibley 117, Stokes 120) The problem with that Joseph injury isn’t just it itself, but how hard the others will have to work as a consequence. Especially as Stokes is easing into a murderous charge, reversing Chase for four before taking a single. Meantime, a question: has anyone ever called “Domsibley” “Dom”, “Dominic” or “Sibley”? And what is it about some names that means they are only ever referred to in partnership, fore and sur? Delealli, Spurs’ Italian funster, is another.
117th over: England 296-3 (Sibley 117, Stokes 115) It never rains, but sometimes it rains so hard it makes your head bleed. Joseph, who’s bowled better than his figures suggest, lasts one ball before departing the field with what looks like a side-strain. Absolute worsts. Brathwaite finishes the over, two singles from it, and West Indies have a long, miserable slog ahead of them.
Tim Woolias has more, er, Sibleyance.
“1. to Eleanor Rigby
Dominic Sibley picks up the bat in a way that not many have seen, glances for three, waiting for Joseph, pushes the ball straight back for a run, in fact it’s his ton.
2. Sibley Stardust
Sibley played for time, batting good with Ben and Crawley.”
116th over: England 294-3 (Sibley 116, Stokes 114) England are going to want to bat once here – if they can make it to tomorrow lunchish, that gives them two and a half days to get 20 wickets, which should be enough. But with Stokes seeing it and various other action to come, they might get to, say, 500, significantly sooner. Four off the over.
115th over: England 290-3 (Sibley 115, Stokes 111) Joseph returns, and the wriggle is on, Stokes iusing the full face to tickle a check drive down the ground … for six. “No, no way! You cannot do that, Ben Stokes!” The timing and power there, absolutely revolting.
114th over: England 283-3 (Sibley 115, Stokes 104) Stokes takes a single, then Sibley wallops four to the fence at deep backward square! That’s the 200 partnership!
113th over: England 278-3 (Sibley 111, Stokes 103) At what point do England open their legs and show their class? It must be soon. Sibley pokes two more.
REVIEW! NOT OUT!
This time, the ball was missing the stumps entirely. Oh, Kemar!
113th over: England 273-3 (Sibley 106, Stokes 103) Here we go again! Roach nobbles Sibley on the pad – the left one this time – and there’s an appeal! It’s refused, so Holder apologetically signals, with 0.0003s remaining.
112th over: England 273-3 (Sibley 106, Stokes 103) Sibley helps Chase around the, er, proverbial corner for three, the only runs from the over. Meanwhile, Ant Pease has a thought.
“Whennnnnnn the ball’s there to heave/but instead it’s a leave/that’s Dom Sibley/When your primary sense/is a forward defence/that’s Dom Sibley.”
111th over: England 273-3 (Sibley 106, Stokes 103) A single turned into the on side. Classic Dom.
REVIEW! NOT OUT!
It looked decent, I must say, but the ball was trimming the bails, so umpire’s call on that, and Poor Kemar Roach’s search for his wicket … goes on.
111th over: England 272-3 (Sibley 105, Stokes 103) Look at Dom! He clumps two to cover, then whips two more to backward square, before Roach beats his outside edge, coming across the pad, and raps the pad! There’s an appeal them, when it’s rejected, a review…
“There’s turn, Dom, but not as we know it,” says William Booth; not as we know it Rooty.
BEN STOKES REACHES HIS HUNDRED!
110th over: England 268-3 (Sibley 101, Stokes 103) After getting two starts at Southampton, Stokes was determined not to let this one slip away – it must be amazing knowing you’re that good at something, and knowing he’s that good at this is one of Stokes’ greatest strengths. He reverse-sweeps Chase for four, and that’s his ton!
Meanwhile, Nicholas Stone emails in with the work I planned to do during lunch till the school run intervened. “I believe Graham Thorpe scored a Test hundred in Pakistan with just one four in it,” he says.
109th over: England 264-3 (Sibley 101, Stokes 99) Kemar Roach and the Hunt for the Elusive Wicket recommences, and after five dots he swings one into Sibley, who edges onto the pad. There’s a yell, but nothing doing, making it another dot and another maiden.
Right then, here we go.
“As soon as I saw your mention of Dom Sibley and appropriate sing-alongs, there was only one song that came to mind,” says David Sharrock.
“Dom Sibley, across the Universe! Always coming forward, ‘cos he can’t find reverse!”
Potential loss of veracity points here, but there’s play-ons off the inside edge, inside edge, Richie.
Now here’s the good stuff. Adrian Armstrong emails in on “Linguistics, poetics, and Dom Sibley”. Need I say more? No, but he does: “There are two handy things about Dom Sibley’s name that make it easy to fit into lyrics.
One is that the forename can be stressed or unstressed, so the three syllables can form two different kinds of metrical pattern. Either unstressed-stressed-unstressed (technically known as an amphibrach), as in the Half Man Half Biscuit lyric ‘Everybody’s doin’ the Dom Sibley stanc’” – Joe Denly having been usurped. Or stressed-stressed-unstressed (technically an antibacchius), as in HMHB’s title ‘Fuckin’ ’Ell It’s Dom Sibley’.
The other is that the final vowel can easily be lengthened, to the point where it can practically take on the value of a stressed syllable.
More metrical possibilities than scoring strokes, then.”
Great stuff. Is there a single question to which the OBO cannot provide the answer?
That was an excellent session for England. They only scored 57 runs, but they’ve cemented a base and got one, nearly two, men into three figures. They need to stamp on it this afternoon because they need time to take 20 wickets; West Indies would settle for one to begin with. See youse in 30 or so.
108th over: England 264-3 (Sibley 101, Stokes 99) Here it comes! The obligatory over of pre-lunch spin! It yielded two wickets yesterday; what does Roston Chase have for us today? A bit of turn and bounce, as yesterday, is the answer, but Stokes finds a two to deep square onetheless, taking him to 99 … then Chase coaxes one past his outside edge! It’s thew final ball of the session, and West Indies are struggling.
“Ball synonyms,” fnarr fnarr’s John Starbuck. “You could go back to the 1950s or so and use the term ‘pill’ as in Molesworthspeak. The Red Pill has another meaning.”
Indeed, as any fule kno.
107th over: England 262-3 (Sibley 101, Stokes 97) Stokes looked well chuffed for Sibley as they hugged in celebration, which is lovely to see, and a compliment that looks like being returned when Gabriel hangs one outside off. But Stokes cracks straight to the fielder, wincing and grinning in the knowledge that he missed out. Instead, he twizzles a single to long leg.
“Maybe don’t put the opposition in to bat after the previous Test finished three days prior,” says Robert Speed, “despite the always-tantalising prospect of it nipping about early doors. It’s always worse batting conditions in the fourth innings compared to the first. I’m constantly amazed how often captains make this same error.”
I guess it worked for West Indies last week, but yes, it looks like a big mistake now. However, if they’d bowled well first up, things would look very different.
SIBLEY REACHES HIS CENTURY!
106th over: England 261-3 (Sibley 101, Stokes 96) Stokes takes one into the the on side, AND THERE IT IS! Sibley forces down the ground, sending Gabriel huffing after it for extra points, and they run three! He’s bagged it up! I wonder how many Test tons have come with just four fours; can’t be many. Anyway, well batted Sir.
Anyone not in the UK and seeking TMS, if yoU go to the BBC’s coverage, you can click on “natural sounds” and that should do it for youse.
105th over: England 256-3 (Sibley 98, Stokes 94) Gabriel returns and beats Stokes immediately, schlepping some extra bounce out of the pitch and rapping a finger; naturally, the ball dies immediately afterwards. A single then gives Sibley the chance to get the brace he needs, but not when there are leaves to be played.
“Nope!” begins Matt Doy. “‘Dom Sibley’ is indeed excellent for this game. But Matthew Snow has made a horrible error. The only way to truly work Dom Sibley into No Diggity is to add an extra ‘Eng-ur-land’ style middle syllable. ‘Sibley’ is a two syllable trochee, not a three syllable dactyl. I’m not buying it, and I will die on this hill.”
In Hebrew, this is called a shva na, now that you ask, and I too have been known to take the difference between it and its opposite, a shva nach, with all the seriousness it deserves.
104th over: England 255-3 (Sibley 98, Stokes 93) Five dots and an official warning for Joseph, who wanders onto the pitch, before Stokes bunts to mid off for one.
“Alf Valentine played a partial season as professional for my village team Rishton in the Lancashire League in the late 1950s, says Iain Noble. “He was a real gent and could make the ball talk. Other notable Rishton professionals were S F Barnes (yes, the Sid Barnes), Subash Gupte, Johnny Wardle, Peter ‘Sounda’ Sleep and a certain IVA Richards (one season sponsored by Hollands’ Meat Pies).”
Athers presented a really good doc about West Indians in the Lancashire leagues – it was last summer I think.
103rd over: England 254-3 (Sibley 98, Stokes 92) Sibley clips two more, then Roach almost persuades Stokes to indulge in timepassing flirtation outside off, but the bat is removed at the last. The partnership is now 173.
102nd over: England 252-3 (Sibley 96, Stokes 92) Joseph returns and Stokes welcomes him back with an edge for four through gully, then clodhops down the track and times a beautiful straight drive to the fence. West Indies need something, badly; meanwhile, does coming in at a decent score paradoxically ratchet up the pressure on Jos Buttler?
“The crimson rambler” is one old-time euphemism for a cricket ball that I quite like,” says Steve Hudson. That’s lovely – let’s not wonder if the ball really is crimson – and very easy to work into this.
101st over: England 242-3 (Sibley 96, Stokes 84) Roach serves Sibley one right in the slot, which he duly turns around the corner for two; he’s stepping on the gas now, and he’s nearly there! Five dots follow, because they can do no other.
“WI are racking up the maidens,” emails Gary Stanley, “but they have got some way to go if they want to match the 6 ball over record set by AL Valentine. 116 overs – 75 maidens – 7 for 127 at Lord’s in 1950. Eyes down lads!”