W Indies vs England
Over 48 Benn 0-W
51ao WICKET! Benn bowls Harmison round his legs and England have collapsed to quite unbelievably abject defeat. Even in the long and distinguished list of England cricketing failures you will have to go a long, long way to find a worse, more embarrassing, more abject surrender than this. Taylor and Benn were magnificent, but England's batting performance has been truly dire. The fact that it happened in the week Pietersen and Flintoff became the highest-paid players in the history of the game only adds to the fun. It's been a long time since we've witnessed scenes like this in the Caribbean. Astonishing. West Indies have won by an innings and 23 runs, and England have managed to be so bad that Harper won't get the headlines despite his very best efforts.
Over 47 Edwards 0-0nb-0-W-0-0-0
51-9 WICKET! The end is nigh now. Flintoff, understandably, goes for the big shot but gets bowled via the pad. Panesar is the final batsman for England, and you can't imagine him hanging around for long. Monty manages to survive the over, thanks chiefly to a couple of wasteful wide ones outside off stump from Edwards. Churlish to criticise a West Indian at the moment, though.
Over 46 Benn 0-0-0-1-W-0
50-8 WICKET! Bad decision on the field, but not one Harper could really overturn. Sidebottom's given out lbw against a spinning ball that would have gone on to miss leg stump. Sidebottom understandably refers it, but Harper can't really say the on-field umpire's got that clearly wrong and the decision is upheld. Of course, that's what Harper so emphatically failed to do with that Sarwan decision at a time when this game was still a contest. Harmison is the new batsman. There's a frank exchange of views between Flintoff and Marshall at the fall of that wicket, and I really don't think the players have quite grasped the concept of the referral system yet. Mind you, with the mixed messages from Harper that's hardly surprising.
Over 45 Powell 0-0-0-0-0-0
49-7 - Sidebottom solidly plays out a maiden over from Powell. Siddy's yet to be dismissed in this match, and he continues to hold up an end admirably if, ultimately, pointlessly. Things really are strange when you can be said to have 'recovered' to 49-7.
Over 44 Benn 0-1-0-1-4-4
49-7 - Flintoff drags England into the 40s with a single to deep point, and Sidebottom adds another single behind square-leg. Flintoff then plays a genuinely top-class stroke, driving inside out through the covers. He follows that with a thump over mid-on, and those back-to-back boundaries mean England avoid the humiliation of their lowest ever score. The dizzy heights of 50 are within reach now.
Over 43 Powell 0-2-0-0-0-0
39-7 - Sidebottom picks up two runs, driving a full-toss through the covers. England tantalisingly close to avoiding their worst ever score now. So brave.
Over 42 Benn 0-0-0-1-2-4
37-7 FOUR! Finally, as this brave eighth-wicket partnership continues, England have their first boundary of the innings. A far more noteworthy achievement at the moment than a wicket, as Flintoff gets four with a late cut off Benn. That takes this partnership up to 11 - the highest of the innings. Flintoff's also made his way to double figures. The Barmy Army are all out of their seats to signal that boundary.
Over 41 Powell 0-0-0-0-0-0
30-7 - Flintoff plays out a maiden over from Powell. Frankly, he might as well just have a slog here. No point just prodding and poking around just waiting to get out.
Over 40 Benn 1-0-0-0-0-0
30-7 - Flintoff gets a single to mid-off to again leave Sidebottom five balls to survive. He does so. Flintoff and Sidebottom have a chat between overs, and they're grinning away at each other. I suspect they can't believe the situation they find themselves in any more than we can watching from afar. It really is a quite astonishing scorecard: no one in double figures, no boundaries. Anyone who backed Strauss for innings top scored, I hope you didn't rip up your betting slip when he was out for nine...
Over 39 Powell 1-0-0-0-0-0
29-7 - Flintoff works to leg for a single, and Sidebottom plays out the over quite solidly in fairness. He plays one very nice off drive. It goes straight to mid-off, but it's about as good as the strokeplay has got in this innings. In fact, now I think about it, I don't think there's been a single boundary.
Over 38 Benn 0-0-0-0-0-0
28-7 - Sidebottom prods and pokes his way through the over from Benn. Quite a long partnership this: England haven't lost a wicket for four whole overs. Brave effort.
Over 37 Powell 0-0-0-0-1-0
28-7 - Blessed relief for England as Taylor is still off the field, so it's Powell back into the attack. Sidebottom takes a crazy single to mid-on and would have been out by yards with a direct hit. Flintoff then tries to take an even sillier one next ball before being sent back by his partner. He dives back to make his ground and just about makes it. I'm not certain exactly where the plot is, but it's safe to say it's no longer in England's possession.
Nick Durst manages to sum up the feelings of a nation without resorting to violence or swears - a superb effort in the circumstances: "This has got to be the most spineless and careless innings in England cricket history.what a disgrace to English sport. They should be ashamed of themselves. Our village team would have put up more of a fight than this." There are hundreds of similar mails currently flooding the inbox. Can't print them all, but I share your pain.
Over 36 Benn 0-0-1-0-0-0
27-7 - A run! A run! Sidebottom gets a single behind point. Flintoff plays out the over, and the umpires call for drinks. Fred'll need something stronger than Red Bull, I fancy.
Taylor leaves the field at the end of that over. Perhaps embarrassed by the ease of his task.
Over 35 Taylor 0-0-0-0-0-0
26-7 - Taylor ends another mesmerising over with a superb yorker that gets under Flintoff's bat and just misses the outside edge. Incredibly, that over contained no wickets.
Over 34 Benn 0-0-0-0-0-W
26-7 WICKET! Running out of words to describe this now. Broad works Benn into the legside, middling the ball into the hands of Xavier Marshall at short-leg. Benn has his second wicket, England lose their seventh with just 26 runs on the board. Twenty-six, by the way, is the lowest ever total in Test cricket (New Zealand in 1955) while England's lowest ever is 45 in 1887. Looks a long way off, doesn't it?
Over 33 Taylor W-0-0-0-W-0
23-6 WICKET! England would dream of 47 all out here. This is astonishing stuff. Collingwood gets an inside edge that just flicks the leg stump and dislodges the bail on its way down to fine-leg. Embarrassingly, Collingwood is scampering runs before Flintoff points out what's happening. England's top five have all gone and unbelievably an innings defeat is looking a good shout here now. WICKET! This is magnificent bowling from Taylor, whose figures really are Harmisonesque now. He's got 5-11 as he bowls a perfectly pitched off-cutter that jags back between Matt Prior's bat and pad and knocks back off stump. A quite brilliant delivery - maybe even better than the one that got Pietersen - and Sabina Park is absolutely jumping. Genuinely unbelievable scenes here. Broad comes to the crease, his five-wicket haul now placed firmly in the shade.
Over 32 Benn 0-0-0-0-0-0
23-4 - Flintoff plays out a maiden over from Benn. England going nowhere fast here.
Over 31 Taylor 0-W-0-0-2-1
23-4 WICKET! Things get even worse for England and even better for Taylor. He pushes one across the England skipper, who gets a fine edge through to Ramdin as he tries to defend. The lack of a referral tells you all you need to know as the skipper trudges off the field. England still trail by 54 with their top four all back in the shed. Flintoff is the new batsman and gets off the mark with two down the ground before keeping the strike with a single to square-leg. At what point do we bring up 47 all out on this ground five years ago? Taylor's figures aren't quite Harmisonesque, but 3-11 is impressive nonetheless.
Over 30 Benn 0-2-0-1-0-0
20-3 - Strauss gets two with a tidy clip through midwicket. He then pads up to one that spins back at him, and there's a big appeal for leg-before. Bouncing too much, I'd have thought, and Koertzen agrees. No referral, but to add some spice to the mix Hawk-eye has that one hitting the bails. Again, you'd like to think that wouldn't have been overturned. But, again, we can't really be sure any more. Strauss gets a single to midwicket to get away from the strike.
Over 29 Taylor 0-0nb-0-0-0-0-0
17-3 - Taylor oversteps to send England racing on to 17-3. But Collingwood calms all the excitement about England's breakneck progress by playing out the rest of the over defensively. A number of England supporters have decamped to the plunge pool and the bar. Good option.
Over 28 Benn 0-0-1-0-0-0
16-3 - Strauss aims a sweep at Benn and misses. The ball bounces up off the arm to short-leg. Big appeal, but Rudi Koertzen says not out. Gayle has a look around to see if anyone has a strong inclination to refer it. They don't, and we all move on. Excellent decision from Koertzen, and a wise decision from Gayle to resist the temptation to refer. Mind, we can't be entirely sure can we?
Over 27 Taylor 0-0-0-0-0-0
15-3 - Strauss plays out a maiden over from Taylor as England's struggles continue. Meanwhile, over in the nets one Owais Shah is going through an intensive batting session using a half-width bat. Bell should have been using that - he'd have missed that cut shot instead of nicking it. Genius.
Over 26 Benn 0-0-2b-1-0-0
15-3 - Well that's unplayable. Benn bowls one outside the off stump that simply rolls along the ground after pitching. Luckily for Strauss it's wide of the off stump and whistles through Ramdin's legs for a couple of byes. A good sweep brings Strauss a single, and Collingwood plays out the last couple of balls.
Over 25 Taylor W-0-0-0-0-0
12-3 WICKET! That could be that for England. A magnificent swinging yorker from Taylor gets past Pietersen's outside edge and sends the off stump cartwheeling towards Ramdin. Delight for the West Indies as England's danger man - the one man who has looked capable of digging them out of this sizeable mess - departs for just one. England still trail by 62 - this could be an innings defeat at present speed and course. Paul Collingwood is the new batsman, and he manages to survive the remaining five balls of the over. He gets a huve ovation from the crowd at Sabina Park as he returns to his fielding position at fine-leg. Really is hard to see how England get out of this now. It'll take them until tea just to scrub off the deficit. A long, long road ahead.
Over 24 Benn 0-0-0-W-0-1
12-2 - Benn's first ball to Pietersen finds the edge, but the batsman plays it with soft hands and gets the ball to ground well short of the slip fielder. A push to cover gets him off the mark and means he keeps the strike. Not the full Red Bull single we know and love - that one was quite safe.
England need captains' innings here - plural - as the current skipper is joined by his predecessor in the middle for the afternoon session. Two balls left in Benn's successful over.
That late wicket has affected the betting, with West Indies now odds on at 4/5 with Sky Bet. The draw's 11/10 with England right out at 14s. Sky Bet's Tom Warburton: "Big Benn strikes again! Bell's dismissal sends the Windies odds on favourites, throughout the next two days we'll look to stay onside with Gayle's men. Benn shall be a crucial part in masterminding a West Indian victory."
England's atrocious batting very nearly dragged us away from the day's main topic: slating the comedy umpiring of Harper. Over to your emails: "the worst cricket umpiring I have ever seen," says Corinne Phipps; "This guy is unbelievable," offers Geoff Brown; "The ICC needs to do something about wrong decisions because it is making the game look so bad," says Shane Newton; and Andrew Ellemore sums up the whole sorry shambles: "What a load of rubbish this referal system is. It takes forever to make a decision. Then the wrong decision is made." Those are the ones I'm able to publish on a family website.
Superb session for the home side. The last three wickets added 40 invaluable runs before Cook and Bell's woes continued. England have only managed to knock off 11 of their 74-run first-innings deficit and have lost two wickets. Both to loose shots, and Bell's particularly brainless. Once again, England need Kevin Pietersen to dig them out of the brown stuff. Bell, meanwhile, will surely have plenty of time to think about his atrocious shot while sat on the sidelines in Antigua.
Over 24 Benn 0-0-0-W
11-2 WICKET! And that extra over proves decisive. Terrible, atrocious, unforgivable inept batting from Bell. He tries to cut the ball despite the lunch break being just moments away, and nicks the ball through to Ramdin. Surely, surely Bell has just used up his final life in this team. Owais Shah simply has to come in - Bell's batting's very nearly as bad as Harper's umpiring at the moment.
Over 23 Gayle 0-0-0-0-0-0
11-1 - Gayle rattles through a quick maiden over, and that will give Benn time for one more over.
Over 22 Benn 0-0-1-0-0-0
11-1 - Benn gets one to kick from a length, but Strauss keeps the bat and gloves out of the way and lets the ball hit him on the thigh pad. The ball loops up to short-leg, but the half-hearted appeals are turned down. Another single on the legside gets Strauss off strike, and Bell plays out the over.
Over 21 Gayle 0-0-0-0-0-1
10-1 - Interesting stuff from the skipper, bringing himself on for a little bowl before lunch. Strauss keeps the strike with another easy single on the legside at the end of a tidy if non-threatening over from the Windies skipper.
Over 20 Benn 0-0-1-0-0-0
9-1 - Big Benn gets his first bowl of the innings. Strauss works a full ball into the legside for a single before Bell crashes a cut shot straight into silly-point's boot.
Over 19 Taylor 0-1lb,nb-0-0-2-0-0
8-1 - Taylor clips the stumps with his bowling arm during his delivery stride, but still manages to complete the delivery. Taylor oversteps next ball, and the ball cannons off Strauss' hip for a leg-bye. Bell collects two through mid-on before a genuine edge bounces well short of the slip cordon. No pace in this pitch. Paul Brown tries gamely to defend Harper's decision: "Could the edge for the last West Indies wicket not have been from the back of the bat as the bat followed through, and not the first time the ball went past the bat?" Nice idea, but no. He didn't hit it.
Over 18 Powell 0-0-0-1-0-0
4-1 - Strauss collects a single in trademark style with a clip off his pads past square-leg. Bell, who is definitely making good on his earlier promise to try and stand taller at the crease, plays out the over.
Over 17 Taylor W-2-0-0-0-0
3-1 WICKET! Cook falls for a duck, and England are in trouble here. He drives loosely outside the off stump and edges the ball to Devon Smith at second slip, who does his best to drop the simple chance but manages to cling on at the second attempt. Big early wicket for the hosts. A in the first innings, under-pressure Ian Bell is given a nice off-the-mark delivery first up which he clips through square-leg for two. Taylor has three men saving a single on the legside, which is at least two too many if he gets his line right.
Over 16 Powell 0-0-0-0-0-0
1-0 - Powell now has the chance to take out his frustration on the England batsmen. The TV boys keep showing the replays of his dismissal, and they don't get any better for Harper. A few of the emails have suggested possible reasons for Harper's error: perhaps he'd celebrated Bob Marley's birthday a touch too hard, perhaps he was in the toilet. I'm sticking to the reason I came up with after the Sarwan farce: he's incompetent. Powell starts with a maiden.
Over 15 Taylor 1-0-0-0-0-0
1-0 - Strauss gets off the mark from the first ball of England's second innings, working the ball into the legside for a single. Cook plays out the over, but I'm still trying to get my head round that decision from TV umpire Harper. Mystifying. Send in your thoughts - keep them clean if you can - by hitting the FEEDBACK icon or emailing Dave.Tickner@bskyb.com
Over 14 Harmison 0-0-0-W
392ao WICKET! Harmison is into the attack, and he finishes the job. Or not. I don't know what's going on. Powell swings at one down the legside from Harmison and misses it by quite some way. Prior gathers and appeals for the catch. Tony Hill raises the finger and Powell refers it. The replays show that Powell's missed it. Daryl Harper decides, for whatever reason, that he's going to uphold the decision. There was clear daylight between bat and ball as it goes through. The clear, irrefutable evidence required for a decision to be overturned, but it isn't. Harper has now managed to get two decisions completely wrong despite having all the replays. Well done. Despite that utterly ludicrous end to the innings, West Indies do have a very good lead of 74. More than England would have wanted to concede this morning: they'll have to bat very well second time around.
Over 13 Panesar 0-0-0-0-0-3
392-9 - Panesar completes another maiden over. Loads of turn for the spinner, but no edge.
Over 12 Flintoff 0-1-0-0-0-3
392-9 - Powell plays nicely into the covers off the back foot, but Broad makes a good diving stop to save a couple of runs. Powell again plays the ball neatly away off his pads for a single to deep square-leg. Another full swing of the bat brings Edwards three more runs over cover, and this is getting to be a very significant lead for the home side. The players take drinks as England try to work out how to finish this innings off.
Over 11 Panesar 1-0-0-0-0-0
388-9 - No sixth wicket for Broad, as Panesar comes on for his first bowl of the morning. Powell gets a single from the first ball of the over before Edwards somehow survives the rest of the over without ever looking likely to lay bat on ball.
Over 10 Flintoff 0-3-1-0-0-0
387-9 - Edwards slaps another drive through the covers and again picks up three runs. Frustrating times for England as this lead begins to extend. Powell collects another single with a neat clip off his pads. Clever from Flintoff here, putting a man out on the hook and following that with a full, swinging ball outside the off stump. Edwards is camped on the back foot and gropes unsuccessfully for the ball. Flintoff smirks. The next ball is the short one, but the batsman manages to get under it.
Over 9 Broad 0-0-3-0-0-0
383-9 - These tailenders looking to be aggressive here. good option - another 15 or 20 here will make a big difference. Edwards gives a full swing through the covers, but gets only three because the outfield is still terrible.
Over 8 Flintoff 0-1-1-0-0-2
380-9 - Powell prods to cover for a single to bring Fidel Edwards on strike for the first time. He gets off the mark first ball with a punch off the back foot. Decent shot. Powell ends the over with another clip into the legside for two runs.
Over 7 Broad 0-1-0-1-0-W
376-9 WICKET! Big moment for Broad. The field comes up for the final ball of the over to try and keep Nash away from the strike. Broad goes one better, as Nash tries to go over the top and pick up a boundary but only succeeds in feathering the ball through to Prior. Broad has his first five-wicket haul at the top level, and he's deserved it for his efforts yesterday and today. Replays show that it was a little off-cutter that did just move away off the pitch, so it's a clever bit of bowling.
Over 6 Flintoff 1-0-2-0-0-0
374-8 - Nash shows faith in new batsman Daren Powell, taking a single from the first ball of the over. Brave decision, but Powell justifies it by working the ball nicely through square-leg for a couple to get off the mark and playing out the rest of the over in solid defence. He plays and misses at the last one, but number 10s are allowed to do that. Missed it by a long way as well. That's the tailender's tactic: hit the straight ones, miss the others.
Over 5 Broad 0-1-0-2-0-W
371-8 WICKET! Broad has his best Test figures as Benn tries to drive through the clovers but can only slice the ball in the air to point where Alastair Cook takes a simple catch. Benn's cross with himself, but he shouldn't be: his approach was spot on this morning, and his 23 runs could prove very handy in the final analysis. Broad, with four wickets to his name, now has a great chance to register his first five-fer at this level.
Over 4 Flintoff 0-0-0-0-0-0
368-7 - Not so easy for Big Benn at Flintoff's end. He plays and misses frequently outside the off stump, but he survives.
Over 3 Broad 0-0-0-6-4-1
368-7 - Astonishing shot from Benn, flicking a short ball from Broad over long-leg for the full count. He bowled superbly, and now he's batting nicely as well. The next ball is flayed over cover for four, and these are vital runs for the Windies. Aggression is definitely the right option for the home side after yesterday's go-slow. Benn, growing in confidence, decides he might as well keep the strike and works the final ball of the over to midwicket for a single. Excellent start for the Windies, and the lead is up to 50. Becoming a significant cushion now.
Over 2 Flintoff 0-0-0-0-0-0
357-7 - Flintoff ends his first over of the morning with a beauty that jags back off the seam and cuts Nash in half. But it doesn't find the inside edge, and Nash escapes. First alarm for the Windies this morning.
Over 1 Broad 0-4-0-0-1-0
357-7 - A third straight Test 50 for Nash. It's not the most convincing way to bring it up, nicking the ball through the slips and away for four, but he'll take it. Broad half-stops a firm drive from Nash, but can't prevent the batsmen getting through for a single. That leaves Broad just one delivery at Sulieman Benn, who defends it solidly. The lead is now 39, and if West Indies can extend it past 70 or 80 they'll be warm favourites.
to day four at Sabina Park. Advantage West Indies at the moment, but if England can pick up these last three wickets in good time and then bat well for the rest of the day, all results are still possible. Join us for the start of play in about 15 minutes.
- 4th - 5th Feb 2009
- A L Hill and R E Koertzen
england BATTING CARD
|Strauss||c Ramdin b Taylor||9|
|Cook||c Smith b Taylor||0|
|Bell||c Ramdin b Benn||4|
|Broad||c Marshall b Benn||0|
|Sidebottom||lbw b Benn||6|
|Total||All out, 33.2 Overs||51|