11.41am EDT 11:41 29th over: England 186-1 (Root 89, Woakes 39); target 213. Root moves ever nearer a conversion-rate discussion with a perfectly placed cut in front of square for four that takes him into the late 80s. He now has the most runs in this World Cup, overhauling the agelessly wonderful Shakib al Hasan.
29th over: England 186-1 (Root 89, Woakes 39); target 213. Root moves ever nearer a conversion-rate discussion with a perfectly placed cut in front of square for four that takes him into the late 80s. He now has the most runs in this World Cup, overhauling the agelessly wonderful Shakib al Hasan.
28th over: England 178-1 (Root 83, Woakes 37); target 213. The punchless Brathwaite continues, and his short dobbers continue to get swatted away, mostly for ones in this over until Woakes cracks its final delivery for four. You can’t bowl short at that pace. The sub fielder Fabian Allen has obviously built some kind of rapport with the beer-quaffers behind him, who are cheering uproariously at his every touch of the ball out at deep midwicket.
27th over: England 171-1 (Root 81, Woakes 32); target 213. “This has been an excellent day for England thus far,” says Ian Ward in the commentary box, making the words “thus far” do rather a lot of work. They’re not going to blow it from here. Woakes scoops Gayle to the deep on the legside for two, and will appreciate this batting practice. The strike continues to rotate, and cricket-guitar man goes all turgid-90s on us with a blast of Reef.
26th over: England 166-1 (Root 79, Woakes 29); target 213. Woakes controls a pivoted pull on the legside of Brathwaite for one. Root pushes down the ground for another. Woakes pulls to leg again for two. And does the same again off the last ball of the over. You get the picture. It’s all too easy.
25th over: England 160-1 (Root 78, Woakes 24); target 213. Review! Gayle turns one into Woakes’s pads and Holder thinks, ‘Oh sod it, why not?’ and sends it upstairs, but no dice. The impact’s outside off stump. The next one Gayle drifts into the right-hander is more wayward, and is a wide down the legside, so he goes round the wicket at Woakes for the last ball of the over, which is flicked to mid-on for an ambled single. We’re only at the halfway point and England need only 53 more.
24th over: England 155-1 (Root 76, Woakes 22); target 213. England happy to work the gaps and run the ones from this Brathwaite over. And why not? They don’t have to do anything else.
23rd over: England 150-1 (Root 74, Woakes 20); target 213. Gayle continues to be pretty tight, but not particularly threatening, notwithstanding the ball from which first slip indulged in an optimistic leg-before appeal off the last ball of his over. Not going anywhere near. Four from the over.
Going back to earlier discussions, here’s Anthony Richardson. “So, this ‘runs saved’ fielding graphic. Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for it. But how does it work out how many runs you’ve cost if you drop someone? Do they just add on all the runs the batsman scored from that point? Is that how it works, Tom? But then what happens if someone else drops the batsman afterwards? Do those runs still count against you, as technically it’s your fault he’s still in in the first place? Or are you granted amnesty from that point onwards? Can both errant fielders have runs cost against them? What if the keeper misses a stumping? What then, Tom? Tom? Don’t get me wrong though. I’m all for it.”
22nd over: England 146-1 (Root 73, Woakes 19); target 213. It’s not happening for Brathwaite, who dollies up another short but harmless delivery for the express purpose of being clobbered square for four by Root, which it is. And that’s the 50 partnership already.
What would West Indies give to have been able to swap Monday’s weather in Southampton with today’s. They’d surely have rolled over South Africa.
21st over: England 139-1 (Root 68, Woakes 17); target 213. Huge bi-partisan cheers greet the introduction of Chris Gayle, and some vestige of spin, to the attack. It’s decent too, initially, and a quarter-chance is offered when a mistiming Woakes chips uppishly but short of mid-on. Not a bad bowling change all told.
Andrew Benton writes in with what we might call banter aimed at my esteemed colleague Tim de Lisle. “’And what house, Sir?’ Did Messers Cox and de Lisle go to a famous public school (if giving Johnson’s name was an option it would be Eton presumably)? Makes me wonder if Tim ‘totally brilliant’ de Lisle’s not a bit too establishment for the Guardian….or does that matter not these days. :-)”
Don’t know about that. If you believe some people, we are the establishment.
20th over: England 138-1 (Root 68, Woakes 16); target 213. It’s a long time since I’ve seen West Indies’ attack look this innocuous and off-colour. Thomas returns in place of Holder and his first ball is filth, and treated as such by Woakes, cut emphatically for four. A single and a couple of twos for Root follow before the over’s crowning glory of a majestic controlled pull to the deep midwicket boundary. No sixes in this innings yet, but a surplus of fours of the hightest quality.
Meanwhile, here’s Barney Ronay on rain and the World Cup, and things getting better:
19th over: England 125-1 (Root 60, Woakes 11); target 213. New bowler, same problems for West Indies. Brathwaite comes on, and is greeted straight away with yet another almost insouciant straight drive for four, the first of two in the over (the second despite a valiant attempt by Darren Bravo who crashes into the ropes), alongside an easy two. If he can play this well opening in ODIs he can surely play at No 3 in Tests, Nasser H in the commentary box chirps.
18th over: England 115-1 (Root 50, Woakes 11); target 213. The niggles and injuries continue to pile up today – Gabriel the latest to leave the field, not sure what the complaint is as yet. Holder labours on though, and had his luck been in he might have snared Woakes, whose pull is mistimed a touch and falls just a fraction short of the man at long-on. And then Root reaches 50, for the third time in this World Cup, with a flick to leg for a single. It’s been an effortless half-century at that.
17th over: England 112-1 (Root 48, Woakes 10); target 213. Root’s driving like a dream, as so often, and another one straight from the manual from Gabriel gives him four more. And Woakes looks in decent touch too, punishing another one that’s dug in too short and with too little menace by pulling it in front of square on the legside for four.
Meanwhile, not so much a can as a massive vat of worms has been prised open by all this name-spelling and pronunciation chat. Thomas Hible shares his pain with the group: “I can say it, pronounce it, write it down, show it to the world and his wife, point out the Christian holy book is called the Bible, not bibble, but every single time any either tries to say or spell my name it ends up as Hibble. Sigh.” While John Cox adds: “On misspelling names, when Tim de Lisle and I were serving time at some educational establishment long ago I had the misfortune to have my name taken by the swimming pool attendant for some japery or other. When giving one’s name one was supposed to give surname and house, so ‘Cox KS’, I said. The chap licked his pencil, wrote down COKS, turned back to me and asked, ‘And what house, sir?’. I should have told him I was Boris Johnson, come to think.”
Thanks to the 1,057 other readers who’ve chipped in on this subject.
16th over: England 103-1 (Root 43, Woakes 6); target 213. Chris Gayle plays to the gallery shamelessly, and wonderfully, with a celebra-stop, going down in installments to prevent a Root single at extra cover, and then acting as if he’d just taken a spectacular catch. Woakes adds two more as Holder’s fourth over goes for three. They can amble along at that rate until the finish now, frankly. Play for your averages, boys.
15th over: England 100-1 (Root 42, Woakes 4); target 213. Bairstow ups the ante again, hoiking across the line on the legside with some conviction to add four more. Holder puts another man out in the legside deep in response, and Bairstow is felled in trying to counter it, as his uppercut high behind square on the offside is gathered in the deep by Brathwaite. And Chris Woakes is the new man in, as England opt to get funky with their order, even though Morgan is eligible to bat now. No point in risking himself yet, I guess. And Woakes is off the mark with a lovely straight drive for four to put England in three figures.
“Oh do give over complaining about your names being misspelled,” writes Jim
Kitcat, “what do you think happens to mine every sodding day? And don’t get me started on trying to order a taxi…” While Ian Davis tells me: “If you want to know what happens to all those ‘e’s that get left out of your surname – they end up in mine; probably put there by the same people who removed them from yours.”
Wicket! Bairstow c Brathwaite b Gabriel 45, England 95-1
I’ve only gone and jinxed YJB. His square uppercut isn’t quite timed enough to clear the boundary and he’s caught at deep backward point by Brathwaite.
14th over: England 88-0 (Bairstow 39, Root 42); target 213. There’s something pleasing and orderly about a partnership in which both batsmen are scoring at the same lick. You could see Bairstow and Root bringing up their respective 50s (and maybe even 100s) within the same over. Neither need to hit out given the match situation, and Holder doesn’t offer them much in his third over (though a legside wide disfigures it), though neither does he, nor anyone else, look like taking a wicket. The short stuff is now sitting up and looking easy to deal with.
13th over: England 83-0 (Bairstow 38, Root 39); target 213. Better from Gabriel, giving less room to the batsmen and yielding only three singles, the last of which could have been more after an overthrow but it’s well saved by the fielder at midwicket.
James Higgott has found some common cause with Andre Russell. “Andre Russell’s last name is spelled with a single L on the back of his shirt: Russel. Cricinfo, Sky and his own Twitter account all spell it ‘Russell’. I have two double consonants in my last name and this happens to me all the time. I’d be fuming if I were him.” That would annoy me in much the same way as people leaving the ‘e’ out of my surname does.
12th over: England 80-0 (Bairstow 37, Root 37); target 213. Bairstow may be Ok, but his helmet is not, and needs to be replaced – necessitating a lengthy delay to the start of the 12th over, delivered by Holder. England are punishing all the bad deliveries here, and Holder, whose first over was excellent, is punished for legside straying with an easy flick for four by Bairstow, who swishes at a short one next up and it flies over the keeper to the boundary once more.
“We saw Dennis Wise outside Lord’s before a Test last summer,” writes Miranda Jollie, “walking along St John’s Wood Road eating a bacon sandwich, clearly on his way in.” A thrifty decision by the combative former Chelsea wideman to buy his sarnies outside given how overpriced it is inside the ground.
11th over: England 69-0 (Bairstow 27, Root 37); target 213. A change of ends for Russell, but not of fortunes, a lovely controlled Bairstow uppercut over the slip region bringing four more. An attempt to repeat the trick off a shorter, better delivery fails. A controlled legside pull adds another one before Root does likewise. Bairstow takes a blow to the helmet off the last ball of the over, but is less hurt than Russell who takes a tumble after his delivery stride and rubs himself gingerly. The physios are on for both, and Russell, who’s not moved easily all day, has to limp off. It’s becoming a bit of a nightmare for West Indies, this.
“West country can go hang,” roars Charlie Tinsley, laying bare the divisions within our blighted nation. “Cricket in the East of England is a complete nonevent. Try being a cricket fan in East Anglia. “
10th over: England 62-0 (Bairstow 22, Root 36); target 213. Holder switches it round again, bringing himself on for Russell, who did look to be struggling in his solitary over. And the captain is altogether more miserly, four accurate dot balls followed by a legside single to Bairstow and an awkward one that jags into Bairstow’s upper thigh – a good ball but too high for an appeal.
Martin Monroe reckons he’s spotted Southampton legend Matt Le Tissier in the crowd. Anyone else got any sightings of footballers at the cricket? Or is the football season now so all-encompassing that yer modern top player has no chance of stealing a leisurely day watching another sport when there’s the pointless cash-spinning tour treadmill to eat up the summer.
10th over: England 61-0 (Bairstow 21, Root 36); target 213. Root rocks onto the back foot and whacks Gabriel high to deep square leg for four. Two wides and a single complete the scoring for the over, but England have no need to force this. They’re cruising, though I expected more from West Indies’ attack after their performances against Pakistan, Australia (at times) and in their brief cameo against South Africa, not to mention the way they got among England in the winter.
Seems the ground-allocation decisions have managed to unite the country in grievance. Here’s Gary Marks with a West Country perspective: “After Monday in Taunton there are no more games in the West Country and we are not even halfway through the group stage. Does seem a strange pattern of ground allocations.”
8th over: England 53-0 (Bairstow 20, Root 31); target 213. A double bowling change, as Russell replaces Thomas, but England’s easy progress continues with Root unfurling another fine drive for four before square cutting for three. For all the ongoing angst about Root’s conversion rate in Tests, he’s a massive asset to this one-day side, and has looked England’s most consistent ODI batsman of late. Russell manages to hem in Bairstow rather more successfully though, four dots rounding off the over.
7th over: England 46-0 (Bairstow 20, Root 24); target 213. No surprise to see Holder making a change, bringing on Gabriel for Cottrell but the paceman almost concedes a boundary first up only for a fine stop by the man at short fine leg to save the day. A well-run two for Root following a fumble at the boundary by Thomas ensues. Root cops one in the grille after misjudging an attempted hook – no harm done – and the next short one is called a wide, a signal missed by Sky’s TV bods who cut to an ad with one ball remaining, and from that ball England add another single.
6th over: England 40-0 (Bairstow 20, Root 19); target 213. The England openers, makeshift and otherwise, are turning it on here. Bairstow gives it some aesthetics with a delicious textbook straight drive to the boundary off Thomas. No need to run for that. Root’s “hold my beer” response later in the over is an equally gorgeous cover drive for four.
5th over: England 30-0 (Bairstow 15, Root 14); target 213. A glorious Root drive off Cottrell brings four more. The Test captain then rocks onto his back foot to square cut for two. The left-armer Cottrell switches back to over the wicket, and gets some dot balls off the back of it, including a short sharp proper bouncer that Root swishes at and gets nowhere near.
More on music and cricket from our old mucker John Starbuck: “Ireland are showbands, Kenya and Zimbabwe share Afrobeat with a bit of desert blues and no-one owns up to rai. You might say Netherlands are krautrock but that would be offensive.”
4th over: England 24-0 (Bairstow 15, Root 8); target 213. Root pulls a straight one from Thomas square on the legside for four with breezy efficiency. Another two ensue, and it has to be said that West Indies’ attack isn’t exerting the kind of pressure that Wood, Woakes and Archer were this morning.
“Going back on the point of allocation of grounds,” writes Ross Hall. “The south bias seems unfair! My office overlooks the Old Trafford pitch and that isn’t being touched until this Sunday! There are plenty of nationalities all over the NW England that would love to see some cricket!” Though as an apparent member of the apparent London metropolitan elite that they have in that London, I should point out that Lord’s hasn’t hosted a game yet either. But I agree that there’s not enough Old Trafford and Headingley (or Durham) in this World Cup. Mind, I’d have stuck a couple of fixtures out at Hove and Chelmsford too.
3rd over: England 17-0 (Bairstow 15, Root 1); target 213. Root gets off the mark with a push through the offside and Bairstow clips to leg for another couple before creaming an overpitched Cottrell delivery through the covers for four. Batting’s looking easier than it did this morning already – that was a big toss to win.
2nd over: England 9-0 (Bairstow 9, Root 0); target 213. Thomas drops short and wide and Bairstow square cuts it with withering contempt for four, though he takes a slightly riskier decision to upper cut a more accurate delivery that dobs down between the encroaching fielders. A sense already that West Indies might be overdoing the short stuff. It’s not menaced England yet.
“Death Metal is the genre owned by Scotland,” continues Abhijato Sensarma. “They are not the centre of everyone’s attention, but one simply can’t deny that they play very well and are rising through the charts in recent times with their good, consistent quality. If there’s one complaint I have against them, it’s that they always seems to be banging their heads. They’re at the World Cup, after all, surely they can be a bit less grim now? Wait….. what? Oh…. Now the reason for my preference to listen to death metal in the rain has become clear.”
1st over: England 3-0 (Bairstow 3, Root 0); target 213. The high-salutin’ Cottrell opens the bowling for West Indies and begins with a wayward short one down leg that might have been called wide but isn’t. Bairstow gets England underway with a confident square off-drive for three. A fairly sparky over though. In injury news, Morgan can’t come out for 28 minutes and Roy not until No 7 due to the time they’ve spent off the field.
“Can you explain how the allocation of venues was done?” asks John Hambley in vain. “I am mystified that Windies don’t have a single fixture in London, where the highest number of Caribbean-origin people live, while Australia have four. Not many Bajans or Jamaicans in Taunton or Chester-le-Street.” A more than fair point, though West Indies’ support even in London in recent times hasn’t been what it was.
So Root comes out to open with Bairstow, in place of the injured Roy.
Some emails: first the prolific Abhijato Sensarma with some cricket/music analogies. “We have ten bands on display in this tournament: India plays alternative rock – it is grounded in traditional structures which secures their positions at the top of the charts; they have been innovative often enough to stay in front of others. England specialises in electronic music – they are awesome in favourable conditions, especially when you want to indulge in escapism (but they can be too much for their own good sometimes!). Australia and West Indies play folk music – grounded in traditionalist routes and re-emerging in recent times. Afghanistan has carved out its own identity via country music – native flavour is brought out exceptionally well and they now have quite a few artists going mainstream now. New Zealand are the players of pop music – perhaps too safe, but they’re charismatic and as watchable as ever. Sri Lanka and Bangladesh are both in the pub music industry, getting many gigs but seldom rising to the top. South Africa play Bosa Nova – adapting and improvising on content/strategies from other bands (to their credit or discredit), but are relaxing to experience nonetheless. Pakistan are Hip Hop stars – unpredictable and outrageous, never shying away from turning up at the big moments (but getting in trouble a bit too often).” So who’s grime? Or death metal? Or acid skiffle?
And some more stat-mulling from Paul Headon: “West Indies have been accused of this before, but looking on Cricinfo, they’ve faced/allowed 150 dot balls so far this innings. Staggering proportions! Perhaps they’re all seduced by the Gayle effect…”
Talking of figures, Archer is now second in the wicket-takers’ list for this World Cup, with Wood seventh.
Thanks Tim. Afternoon everyone. And let’s begin with a stat: only six first-innings in this tournament have gone the full 50 overs. This is not what we were expecting, say, this time last year when scoring records were being smashed on sun-baked pitches in insufferably hot weather.
But let’s credit the bowling teams. England’s bowling performances – the Pakistan aberration aside – have probably surpassed expectations in this tournament, and it is they to whom the batsmen should be grateful as they pursue an eminently gettable target. Though an attack spearheaded by Cottrell, Thomas and Gabriel is not to be taken lightly, and the injury concerns surrounding Roy and Morgan make this a chase to be handled with care.
So England have done exactly what they would have hoped for when they put West Indies in. But they got there by a curious route, allowing Pooran and Hetmyer to add 89 before Joe Root, of all people, made the breakthrough with his licorice all-sorts. England’s two spearheads, Archer and Wood, were both excellent on a lively pitch, and Woakes was immaculate too – albeit, like Wood, not in the field.
West Indies will be wondering why they didn’t use their last five overs and also why their master blasters, Gayle and Russell, both fell into the same trap, trying to clear the Hampshire Bowl’s long boundaries. But they may well be thinking that they can win this, because they have firepower too and England may well be without two of their top four, Roy and Morgan, who both limped off.
“Just another game of cricket,” says Jofra Archer, who turns out to be a comedian as well as a fast bowler.
Thanks for your company, your popish humour and your many unused emails – there was just too much happening. Sport at its most riveting. Now over to Tom Davies to see how this episode turns out.
Wicket!! Gabriel b Wood 0 (WI 212 all out)
That’s it! Wood’s yorker is far too good for Shannon Gabriel. “West Indies blown away by England,” says Nasser Hussain – music to the ears of every England fan who can remember any Test series between 1976 and 1990.
44th over: West Indies 211-9 (Thomas 0, Gabriel 0) That’s a wicket maiden for Archer, who is bowling fast and short. “It’s all in the rhythm and the action,” says Michael Holding. Takes one to know one.
“Purely hypothetical of course,” says Anthony Hulse, “but if it turns out that Jason Roy is done for the tournament, do you think that Alex Hales may all of a sudden be considered rather less of a ‘distraction’?” Haha.
Wicket!! Brathwaite c Buttler b Archer 14 (WI 211-9)
Another one – which may be an injustice, as the ball flicked Brathwaite’s sleeve, but possibly the bat too. Both teams are out of reviews, so he has to go, probably taking his team’s hopes of a late flurry with him.
43rd over: West Indies 211-8 (Brathwaite 14, Thomas 0) Wood comes close to joining the caught-and-bowled party as Brathwaite has a flail and mistimes it. If Wood had caught that, it would have made one of the all-time great cricket pictures, as he was practically horizontal in his follow-through, sticking up a hand, like a salmon with a periscope. Brathwaite responds with a six, over midwicket, nice and easy.
42nd over: West Indies 204-8 (Brathwaite 7, Thomas 0) Buttler’s confidence gets the better of him as he reviews again, for caught behind off Archer, and the replay shows the ball hitting nothing at all. England are out of reviews but still on top – only 15 off the past five overs.
“Hi Tim,” says GSG on Twitter. ”Things seem to be ticking along, but is the fielding starting to be a cause for concern? Drops today plus the shambles against Pakistan, whereas it had recently been such a suffocating strength for Eng.” Maybe, but today’s fumbles didn’t cost much, unlike Roy’s gift to Mohammad Hafeez.
41st over: West Indies 203-8 (Brathwaite 6, Thomas 0) Buttler keeps Rashid on and gets some reward – five dots and a single. England are doing rather well, for a nine-man team.
40th over: West Indies 202-8 (Brathwaite 5, Thomas 0) So England lose Morgan, who walked off, very gingerly, after dashing to the stumps to take a throw. But they don’t miss him yet, as Buttler goes for a shrewd review and Archer takes two wickets. The only nerves he’s shown against his old team came with a wide off his first ball; since then he’s been fast, testing, exemplary.
“About that hamstring,” says Sarah O’Regan. “I suppose a torn ham is not too dissimilar to pulled pork.” Love it.
Wicket!! Cottrell lbw b Archer 0 (WI 202-8)
Two in two balls for Archer, who is the kind of Archer you’d have wanted on your side at Agincourt.
Wicket? Cottrell given lbw to Archer
This looks so plumb that even umpire Dharmasena gives it, but the Windies may as well review.