1.09pm EDT13:09 84th over: England 252-4 (Buttler 55, Pope 85) Gabriel hurtles in; his first ball flies aimlessly past Buttler’s off stump. And so it continues for the rest of the over. Some Buttlerstatism: this is Buttler’s 17th 50 in Test cricket, only five times has he reached fifty in fewer than 80 balls. Basically,
84th over: England 252-4 (Buttler 55, Pope 85) Gabriel hurtles in; his first ball flies aimlessly past Buttler’s off stump. And so it continues for the rest of the over.
Some Buttlerstatism: this is Buttler’s 17th 50 in Test cricket, only five times has he reached fifty in fewer than 80 balls. Basically, he’s more of a classical Test batsman in Tests than you think. The question is whether he should be forcing himself into that mode
James Philpot is pondering the unkind Manchester weather:
“Presumably, the England dressing room is aware of the forecast for the next few days – how heavily do you think that will weigh in their minds, given the fact that England have to force a result? #Batdeep doesn’t seem to be applicable any more given the heavy bowling lineup, if England sneak up towards 300 tonight, could we see an overnight declaration? “
I think they’d rather bat “big” and gamble on bowling the Windies out twice?
83rd over: England 252-4 (Buttler 55, Pope 85) Aha! The new ball – and a chance for West Indies to finish the day with some equity. Roach takes it and Buttler promptly edges him through the slips for four.
82nd over: England 246-4 (Buttler 51, Pope 84) And that’s Buttler’s fifty! With a shovel through the covers off Chase and a wriggle of the shoulders as the burden slips.
81st over: England 244-4 (Buttler 49, Pope 84) No new ball? No new ball. Cornwall continues and leaks a couple.
80th over: England 242-4 (Buttler 48, Pope 83) Windies going through the motions here now, England breezing along. Another four, twinking toes, immaculate blade, Pope driving on the off-side
“I’m not really a Buttler sceptic or detractor (I tend to hope that whoever is playing does well, since that generally me as that the team does), but I think that the number that Buttler needs is three or four’” writes Chris Howell. “As in, three or four innings of substance in the remaining tests this summer. It’s a little unfair, in that his 35 at Southampton was overshadowed by the collapse going on around him, while the 40 last game here was overshadowed by what had gone before. It’s good to see him currently being involved in a partnership that is changing the nature of the game England’s way, as he does so often in limited overs matches.”
79th over: England 236-4 (Buttler 47, Pope 78) Another four for Pope as he tickles Cornwall behind square and a weary Gabriel half-heatedly sticks a clod-hopper towards it and tips it over the rope. One over before the new ball.
78th over: England 230-4 (Buttler 46, Pope 73) Chase tosses the ball up and Buttler slams him through the covers, past a semi-comatose cover fielder , for four. That magic fifty is in touching distance.
77th over: England 223-4 (Buttler 40, Pope 71) Cornwall roars an appeal against Pope who looks worried enough for Holder to call for the third umpire. It hit him plump on the front leg, but the review assumes some MASSIVE turn that has the ball ripping past leg. Not out and West Indies lose a review.
Should we be faced with an appeal by Gabriel over a decision regarding Pope, should the umpires refer the appeal to Upstairs, as unopposed to merely upstairs? asks Andrew Tyacke. And how will the decision be conveyed to the field umpires? Personally I favour a thunderbolt to strike the one in the wrong but maybe a short chorus from a celestial choir might be more in keeping with the tranquil nature of cricketing tradition.
76th over: England 220-4 (Buttler 39, Pope 70) Buttler envelopes Cornwall and presses him through extra-cover beautifully to the boundary.
75th over: England 215-4 (Buttler 35, Pope 69) Buttler faces down a Cornwall maiden to a stadium of empty seats.
74th over: England 215-4 (Buttler 35, Pope 69) Chase continues as West Indies wheel through some overs before the new ball.
73rd over: England 212-4 (Buttler 33, Pope 68) It’s still a jolt every time Cornwall approaches the crease. He’s as tall as Jason Holder but four times the width and the walking-talking antithesis of what we’ve come to recognise as a cricketer’s physique (T20 style McCullum muscle or Root-like slender). He has a big shout for lbw against Buttler but an inside edge.
72nd over: England 210-4 (Buttler 32, Pope 67) A maiden from Chase, and a tweet from Gary Naylor.
71st over: England 210-4 (Buttler 32, Pope 67) A risk-free five runs collected from Holder’s over and West Indies need to conjure a wicket from somewhere quickly.
“What number will satisfy Buttler sceptics?” asks Will Wiles. It may not last but so far this is a proper Test innings from Buttler. For me anything more than 50 and he’s done enough to quiet the detractors for the rest of the summer. He’s applying himself to the red ball and needs time and experience just like the top order.”
Fifty would save him for the summer but not quiet the doubters. A hundred would buy him till the winter tour.
70th over: England 205-4 (Buttler 30, Pope 64) A Cornwall maiden takes us up to the final drinks break of the day. A fabulous half-session for England that: 74 runs off it and feeling of breaking-free in the air.
69th over: England 205-4 (Buttler 30, Pope 64) Holder sticks to an off-stump line and from riches England pull just a single from the over.
“Hello” writes Andrew Benton. Hello Andrew! “ I’ve not seen “blooter” in use on the OBO for some time – a fine word for a shot that is, I miss it. And incidentally Google translate says in German it is…..”Blooter”
I like it! I’m imagining a wild throw of the bat?
68th over: England 205-4 (Buttler 30, Pope 64) Ay-oh. Buttler carts Cornwall for two huge sixes, one over long-on and one over deep mid-wicket.
67th over: England 191-4 (Buttler 18, Pope 62) Just one from Holder’s over too as West Indies buy themselves some breathing space.
66th over: England 190-4 (Buttler 18, Pope 61) Cornwall back into the attack to reassert some control, just a single off the over and a reminder of the link to donate to the Ruth Strauss Foundation – an amazing £194K raised at tea!
65th over: England 189-4 (Buttler 18, Pope 60) Five off Holder’s over.
I might switch my email off. Over to you Richard Woods
To add to the pedantry: did you mean “to the manner born”, as in Hamlet Act 1, Scene 4 (“But to my mind, though I am native here / And to the manner born…”)?
Or is this a pun on Pope’s Chelsea beginnings?
And Graeme Thorn:
Whilst we’re talking language and pedantry, the phrase is “to the
manner born”, ultimately deriving from Hamlet. “To the Manor Born” was
the sitcom with the punning title referring to this phrase.
64th over: England 184-4 (Buttler 15, Pope 59) I rather took my eye off the ball that over what with drowing in an inbox Schlamassel of my own making (hope Google translate hasn’t let me down there). Basically Pope is creeping towards the level of princeling, first edging Gabriel down to third man for four then driving the increasingly out of sorts bowler for four more
63rd over: England 173-4 (Buttler 12, Pope 51) Pope pretties up fifty with another boundary, a powerful off drive, his sixth boundary of the innings. He really is to the manor born.
It appears my German GCSE has let me down. I’m handing this over to you.
First Andrew Leal :”I hate to be pedantic, but what the heck. „Schleppen“ actually means to tow in German rather than to toe, which puts a slightly different perspective on Burns‘s shot.”
And Timothy Reston: “In German “schleppen” does not mean “toe” but rather “tow”. So might be used most appropriately for a pull shot.”
Adrian Goldman with the Yiddish angle. “I think we should also point out that the word in English, derives from Yiddish, as in the phrase “schlepping tons of extra baggage to the airport”. – dragging it along the ground.
Which is truly an astonishing way to play a cricket shot, and implies that he actually walked alongside the ball all the way to boundary.
I believe this is against the rules of cricket?
62nd over: England 168-4 (Buttler 12, Pope 43) An eventful over. A stylish ondrive for four from Pope before he is hit on the knee roll. Holder reviews in a slightly half-hearted way – he should have trusted his instincts. It’s close, but not close enough, brushing the top of the bails, umpire’s call – and Gabriel raises both hands in frustration. Mood unimproved when Pope pulls him in front of square, front foot squarely down the pitch, for another boundary.
61st over: England 160-4 (Buttler 12, Pope 39) Nine off the over as tick becomes tock and England start to press on. Ollie Pope rolls those wrists to send the ball spinning to the boundary with a bootiful late cut.
60th over: England 151-4 (Buttler 11, Pope 31) The Old Trafford lights come on as Pope swishes at a short one and Chase comes within a egg-cup of snaffling a superb catch running at full tilt. Buttler swings at a Gabriel bit of old junk for four.
59th over: England 145-4 (Buttler 7, Pope 30) Poor Dowrich is out of sorts behind the stumps this afternoon, fluffing balls that he would normally swallow. Here one bounces awkwardly and he gloves it for three byes.
58th over: England 142-4 (Buttler 7, Pope 30) Yum, that’s delicious. Buttler drives Holder straight down the ground for four. A morale-boost in a single stroke – imagine a surprise A in a maths Test when you’ve been in a C plus phase.
David Keech writes. “Schleps” is derived from the German word “Scleppen”. It has a ton of different meanings in German but the official English translation is “toe”. So “Burns toes it to the boundary”???
Would it be terribly remiss to admit I can’t actually remember the stroke in forensic detail now? But I don’t think a toeing does it justice.
57th over: England 138-4 (Buttler 3, Pope 30) Pope edges Roach between slip and gully and down to the boundary. The sort of four that will please bowler more than batsman.
56th over: England 134-4 (Buttler 3, Pope 26) Holder dangles out the option of the drive. Buttler studiously ignores him with the air of a man thinking about a cigar and a not-out sundowner on a balcony of the Emirates Old Trafford Hilton. Has anyone read Tim Wigmore and Freddie Wilde’s book on T20 cricket? Fascinating on T20 batting and you see how difficult it must be to change mindset. The self/team/risk/ ratio is just completely different.
55th over: England 134-4 (Buttler 3, Pope 26) Pope pushes forward at Roach and gets an outside edge that bounces a couple of feet forward of Holder’s Inspector Gadget-esque arms at second slip. And Buttler bats on in deep cleansing breaths: 3 from 20 balls.
“Afternoon, Tanya,” writes Phil Sawyer.” Nothing wrong with inventing new ways of describing the cricket. Let’s face it, the eccentric language surrounding cricket is one of its charms. Try using the phrase ‘juicy half volley’ to a non-cricket enthusiast and seeing their reaction. And I’ve always thought that ‘meandering’ would be a very good way to describe my own bowling. ‘And Sawyer meanders down another short, wide one, which the batter disdains away for another boundary’.”
54th over: England 131-4 (Buttler 2, Pope 24) Pope’s white warpaint peers through his helmet as he taps Holder back for six dot balls in a post-prandial kind of way. Nice n easy.
A gratifying avalanche of emails about verbs during the tea-break. Starting with Paul Griffin, “Re verbs, there must be ones specific to certain players: Bradman perfected the ball to the boundary, Gower Tiger Mothed the ball past the ropes, Stokes (night) clubbed the ball away (perhaps not any more), Pietersen narcissisted the ball for four. And so on.”
I’ve just dragged some shirts out of the washing machine and can tell you that the Manchester weather is doing her best and set fair (enough) for the rest of the day.
A note from Chris parachutes into my inbox “Just a quick thought while you’re having your brew. Really looking forward to the ‘Bob Willis Trophy’ and some decent county cricket. Fixtures came out this morning https://www.ecb.co.uk/county-championship/fixtures”
Thank you for the prod: those of you who are also fans of the County Championship might like to know that the Guardian will be doing a County Blog for each day of the five rounds of the Bob Willis Trophy.
53rd over: England 131-4 (Buttler 2, Pope 24) One last throw of the dice by Roach, but Buttler and Pope are up to the task, ticking off three singles and then a cheery-enough stroll back for tea. Jason Holder will be pleased with that session, 65 runs, 2 wickets and England hovering dangerously close to that experimental tail. I’m just off to put the kettle on, back in five, for what could be a match-defining final session.
52nd over: England 128-4 (Buttler 1, Pope 22) Pope survives a might-have-been run-out as Chase fails to pick up cleanly from shortish midwicket.
“I’m sure David Boon belched them to the boundary,” writes Colum Farrelly. OBO writers job is to create verbs. The Fiver writers of this parish do it all the time. “blah blah etc” Sir Alex purpled is a favourite.”
51st over: England 127-4 (Buttler 0, Pope 18) A well-into-double-figures run-up gives an air of menace to the sturdy Gabriel. Just a couple off his over as England watch and wait. Does Buttler push and prod or does he “play his natural game”? I can’t bear to watch him poke to 11 off 38 balls before being bowled. In fact, I refuse.
“Hi Tanya,” writes Malcolm Richmond. “As an extra on the Bollywood film ‘83 I got to spend two weeks last summer at Tunbridge Wells watching a re-enactment of Dev’s world record ODI score against Zimbabwe. It was amazing!”
I just googled it! It says due for release this year – has that happened?
49th over: England 123-4 (Buttler 0, Pope 18) Buttler survives an over from Gabriel who tests him him with short ‘uns (he ducks) and length balls (hesitant edge/straight bat).
John Morrisey writes, “.ref. 42nd over. “…schleps it to the boundary”. Wot, eh, wot? Have you just started choosing verbs at random, despite their inappropriate meaning? What next? Paints it to the boundary? Blinks it to the boundary? Belches it to the boundary?” I love belches it to the boundary! But yes, you’ve got me, the thing is that after a while every conventional verb starts to feel a cliche.
48th over: England 122-4 (Buttler 0, Pope 18) That catch really was remarkable, Burns was on the back foot and Cornwall would have had fractions of fractions of a second to react. I was wondering whether he would make the team if he wasn’t a good slip catcher, but I didn’t realise he was that good a slip catcher. That’s the fourth time Chase has dismissed Burns in 40 balls, and Jos Buttler walks out to bat.
WICKET! Burns c Cornwall b Chase 57
Burns cuts one too close to call, and the ball flies past the keeper into the ample right paw of Cornwall at first slip. Fabulous catch!
47th over: England 122-3 (Burns 57, Pope 18) We get a side-on view of Pope as he waits for Gabriel to charge in with that spear-carrier action. He’s pretty textbook – depending on your view of bat up or down.
46th over: England 120-3 (Burns 56, Pope 17) Holder calls for Chase, and Pope plays his first over watchfully.
James Brough writes.
“Gary asks if England have ever fielded a number 6 and 7 with only 2 test centuries between them. Lords 1986 against India, England played Derek Pringle at 6 and John Emburey in the first innings and Paul Downton in the second at 7. Pringle scored his only Test 50. Neither he, Downton or Emburey ever managed a hundred. Either way, our current line up looks an absolute tower of strength by comparison…
So true, though I remember with some affection Emburey sweeping in his visored helmet, presumably taught by his great mate Goochie.
45th over: England 119-3 (Burns 56, Pope 16) Burns doing what Burns does, unobtrusively plugging away, while Pope gets beaten by Gabriel before clipping him smartly off his legs. This is the attrition session.
44th over: England 114-3 (Burns 54, Pope 13) Pope laps at Cornwall and sends the ball purring through mid-wicket in a Merchant-Ivory kind of way for four.
“Good afternoon, Tanya.” Good afternoon Ian Forth!
“Had a thought about a good cognitive test for a concussed cricketer. Show them a picture of Kapil Dev and ask whether he should be classified as a genuine world class all-rounder, according to Guardian OBO contributors.”
Who could say no to this man?
43rd over: England 109-3 (Burns 54, Pope 8) Holder, at second slip, and Dowrich dispute how back he should stand, as Gabriel sends down a maiden. The heavyweights on from both ends for West Indies at the moment.
I see that Cornwall ran through England Lions in Jamaica when playing for West Indies A in February 2018, 5-68. Some familiar names in that England line-up. A Snog, Marry, Avoid, of recent Test hopes.
42nd over: England 109-3 (Burns 54, Pope 8) Thank you Rob, what an excellent discussion on all-rounders and their variations. Also concerned that I missed the missive about OBO writers needing statistics tattooed on their thighs. Anyway, Cornwall slurps in first ball after tea, lands one wide of off stump and Burns schleps it to the boundary.
41st over: England 104-3 (Burns 50, Pope 7) Shannon Gabriel replaces the excellent Kemar Roach (11.4-1-25-2). After a few harmless deliveries he moves around the wicket, who tucks him off the hip for a single to reach an unobtrusive fifty from 126 balls. Well played. He scores forgettable runs, which is a very good quality in an opener.
It’s time for drinks, which is my cue to hand over to Tanya Aldred. You can email her on firstname.lastname@example.org, or tweet her @tjaldred. Thanks for your company and emails (only 42 unread now) – bye!
40th over: England 103-3 (Burns 49, Pope 7) Pope walks down the pitch and clips Cornwall into the leg side for three. He looks like the kind of character who won’t be unnerved by a few low scores and can rationalise them as part of cricket’s eccentricity. He has started like a man in form – busy, purposeful and light on his feet.
“Quite what one calls them is (as we have learned) open to question, but have England ever fielded a No6 and 7 with just two Test centuries between them in 133 innings?” challenges Gary Naylor. “Centuries shape innings and England might be hearing ‘Last Orders’ in the saloon already. Hard to win Tests if your order is 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 8, 8, 8, 10, 11, 11.”
39th over: England 99-3 (Burns 48, Pope 4) Now it’s Pope’s turn for a concussion test after being hit on the helmet by Roach. He tried to pull and was beaten for pace, but he’s fine to continue. Burns then works a couple into the leg side to move within two of a patient fifty.
“Here’s Tom Bowtell. “I note that you demurely wrote: ‘Imran from 1982-92 (51 with the bat, 20 with the ball from memory)’ in over 29; when we all know that stat has been tattooed on your thigh since 1997.”
You’re wrong. What makes that stat even more impressive is that it’s been tattooed on my thigh since 1987.
37th over: England 93-3 (Burns 46, Pope 1) Pope, inexplicably scoreless in this series so far, works his first ball for a single to get off the mark. Roach, who was having a barren spell of his own until recently, has good figures of 10.4-1-23-2.
“Interesting comment from Peter Williams,” says David Murray. “But surely, no matter what the stats say, Botham was a better batsman than Imran Khan, and Khan was a better bowler.”
They sort of overlapped, didn’t they? I’d say Beefy was the better batsman up until around 1984, though I haven’t checked the data. It’s hard to judge Beefy because his numbers towards the end were relatively diabolical, which makes it even funnier that he managed to ruin Australia armed with little more than aura, a mullet and long hops.
36th over: England 92-3 (Burns 46, Pope 0) Rahkeem Cornwall continues to Burns, who comes down the track and drives straight to mid-on. A maiden. Cornwall’s five-step walk-up means he gets through his overs so quickly, which is particularly useful when you are on the hunt at the other end.
35th over: England 92-3 (Burns 46, Pope 0) “My Dear Rob,” says Robert Wilson. “Cricketing taxonomy is an innocent enough vice, (so and so is a lower-order biffer, thingamyjig is a left-arm trundler and Phil Edmonds was something we never understood). We all do it. But Kapil Dev resists all classifications bar one. Kapil was quite simply the most exhausted-looking cricketer in history. That’s because he was the most exhausted cricketer ever. To do him justice you need to be slightly disobliging about the Indian ‘pace’ attack of the era. Because he was it. For nearly a decade, he was an international strike force all on his own. His moustache didn’t droop that way because of fashion, it was the relentless gravity of uttermost (and sometimes thankless) effort. It was noble, magnificent and caused worship in all boyish hearts. To call such a man an all-rounder is near libellous. Kapil Dev looked permanently knackered because he was permanently knackered. He was a whole team. He gets his own genus.”