10th over: West Indies 21-2 (Brathwaite 8, Hope 9) Target 399 Broad roars out a two-armed lbw appeal against Brathwaite, but it hits him high on the thigh and Root is is not interested. Brathwaite strides forward, shows the next ball the full face of the bat, and sends it tumbling away for four.
9th over: West Indies 16-2 (Brathwaite 4, Hope 8) Target 399 A gorgeous length from Anderson has Brathwaite prodding awkwardly in defence.
“Were it in my ambit, I would willingly give you Lyon’s sun in exchange for Manchester’s squally damp and probable showers, for the sake of a great day’s cricket,” writes Alistair Connell, safe in the embrace of southern France.
“I would add ten degrees Celsius, surplus to requirements here, into the bargain. June last year in Manchester wasn’t at all like that, NZ/WI was sunny and hot (though it may have rained every other day of our visit, now that I think of it)“
If I remember rightly, the beginning of the World Cup was miserable, but as it moved north, the weather started behaving.
8th over: West Indies 14-2 (Brathwaite 2, Hope 8) Target 399 The main man has the ball from the Brian Statham end. White hankerchief bandana, hair and shirt flapping in the wind. Hope throws the bat at a wide one and it flies away to the third man boundary.
7th over: West Indies 10-2 (Brathwaite 2, Hope 4) Target 399 From the Jimmy Anderson end, it is… Jimmy Anderson. A strong westerly wind is storming across Old Trafford – Anderson said pre-start how much more difficult he has found bowling at Old Trafford since they switched the pitch around. His fourth ball is a beauty, keeping a little bit low and passing Brathwaite’s outside edge. A maiden.
“Dom Smith’s idea is a good one in principle,” pens Tom Atkins, “but I can’t see how you can make it fit. The width of the Millennium Stadium pitch is 79m, so your boundaries won’t be more than 40m from the centre of the wicket. ICC rule 20.1.3 of Men’s Match Playing Conditions states that boundaries should be no less than 59.43 metres from the centre of the pitch. So the pitch would only be two thirds of the size required and I think you’d end up with a boundary so short as to fundamentally alter the game being played.”
Hmmm, thank you for doing the maths. Great idea though.
Oh! Such a lovely message from Guy Hornsby.
“Can I just say how much I enjoyed yesterday’s OBO? And I didn’t even read it until this morning. I had all sorts going on and only really read a few entries but I couldn’t not get to today without getting up to speed. That’s how much of a cricket companion it is to so many of us. I started back in 2005, and can’t imagine cricket without it. It’s so ephemeral really, seeing those you’ve never met as old friends, such is those recurring names, (though I’ve actually met messrs Naylor, Smyth, Nair, Frame and a few others way back when in a pub one Sunday), and also every new poster or lurker, wrapped up like a warm comfort blanket that arrives like green tops in May. Likewise the Guardian writers, all heroes of the OBO. I still get that frisson of excitement when something’s published. I hope that never goes. YOU LOT.”
Thank you so much Guy. It is an honour to do this job, I’m a latecomer to the party and love it. You readers are so tolerant of our foibles and so very lovely to interact with. But enough! Play is about to start.
Michael Atherton reports a strong westerly wind and possible showers on the radar this morning – something for which Dom Smith proposes a solution.
“To get around the weather problem and seeing as everything is changing by the day, how about playing all Tests in the Millenium Stadium in Cardiff with the roof closed. They could have a drop in strip in the centre and short boundaries (i.e. the touch lines) would be the same for both teams.”
“Any conditions to achieve authenticity could be reproduced such as sprinklers to mimic rain and some kind of heater on top of the strip to mimic hot sunshine baking the pitch.Solved!”
Quick, get on the phone to ECB Towers!
“Just with relation to your last update,” writes Jason Moran. “ I was under the impression from what I’ve heard on the radio previously that all media and broadcasters were staying at the hotel at Old Trafford. Is this not the case?”
“I know Jonathan Agnew recounted the story of a newly married couple, he works for the BBC, she works for Sky, and they are staying in the same hotel but within their collective media protective bubbles, so can only wave at each other from a distance.”
Ah, my bad. I think all broadcasters are in the Old Trafford Hilton, though I believe print media can stay outside the bubble. I’m actually in my front room a couple of miles from the ground.
Morning Matt Winter!
While we rightly bask in the glow of another Anderson/Broad summer, wasn’t this supposed to be the summer of speed with Wood and Archer in fearsome harness?Archer – 4 wickets at 45. Wood (one test so unfair) – 2 at 55. Not sure how that helps the next Ashes campaign. Bah humbug
Perhaps no-one told Broad and Anderson? Let’s judge Archer and Wood when the sun comes out again. The Pakistan Tests are at Old Trafford (ah) and, the more likely sun-trap, The Rose Bowl. Of course, England’s rotation policy now looks dead in the water so opportunities could be limited…
Just been for a quick stroll – the best word I can think of to describe the Manchester weather this morning is “autumnal.”
Some emails have already slithered into my inbox.
“Hey Tanya,” writes Brendan Large from Norway. “I know it was questioned in the last Test OBO but did we ever get a definitive answer on why there is no option to start early on a day like today? Surely after losing a whole day’s overs and with a less than perfect forecast for the day it would’ve been wise to have an extra hour (or two) to get the game finished? Obviously if you’re West Indian this would be a less attractive solution.”
A similar missive from Joe in Bath, “I’m sure I’m the millionth person saying this but if we’re going to play two tests in Manchester can we at least !! have the option !! to !! start !! early !!”
It!! Does!! Seem!! Daft!! The excuse is usually that it is too difficult for punters to get to a ground early. Now it might be broadcasters? I would suggest dew but they start Championship games at 10.30am in September so that can’t be a problem. I guess both teams shake on playing conditions at the beginning of the series and don’t read the small-print – much like the rules for a tie in the World Cup last year.
Weather update: The covers are still on at Old Trafford, but the rain has stayed away for now. There’s even the odd bit of sun, and hopes are high that we’ll get started on time.
For anyone involved in the enjoyable OBO debate yesterday about the 2005 attack v 2020 vintage, here is Vic’s take – albeit referencing 2008.
Here we go again! Welcome to the final day of the Test series between England and West Indies with the series still poised 1-1 after yesterday’s washout. Farewell too, to the Wisden trophy, which enjoys one last day in the sun before retiring to a great wall cabinet either in Antigua or London. All depends, probably, on the Manchester weather which, as I write this 90 minutes before play is due to start, is squally with a hint of damp.
There is a fifty per cent chance of rain between about 1 and 3 o’clock, so England will want to wrap this up quickly. Stuart Broad needs no encouragement – just one wicket away from becoming only the second England cricketer ever to reach 500 wickets. Incidentally, for anyone interested in this sort of trivia, his 100th Test wicket was Mahela Jayawardene , 200th Michael Clarke, 300th Chris Rogers and 400th Tom Latham.
West Indies, 10-2, are chasing an unlikely 399 to win a series in England for the first time since 1988. More realistically, they will be aiming to survive. Whatever happens, English cricket will forever be in their debt for flying from paradise to these Covid-isles.
Beer buff. Tv trailblazer. Alcoholaholic. General zombie evangelist. Total travel scholar.
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- By Lincoln Cress / August 14, 2020