E ngland did not seize their chance in the first Investec Test when they could have placed West Indies on the rack.
Their new captain Joe Root had spoken of the importance of seizing the moment in day/night Tests when conditions can be more extreme than they are by day – when batting can veer from being much easier against an old pink ball to much harder at twilight – and his team did not do so.
After Root had declared England's first innings at 513 for eight at 6 pm, the cloud closed in, the floodlights were switched on prematurely and the floodgates could have been opened.
James Anderson was in his element, his 500th Test wicket within range in this three-Test series, and if Stuart Broad was wayward it was no doubt through being over-keen to run through this West Indian batting line-up.
Kraigg Brathwaite is by some way the West Indians' most experienced batsman – the only one to have reached 2000 Test runs – and he is no more than 24 years old. He was caught behind, pushing half-forward, in Anderson's second over, the 488th of his Test career.
B ut instead of Brathwaite's wicket being the first of several, England failed to make the most of the swinging pink ball and the fading of the natural light, not to mention the fading of West Indian Test cricket in general.
B oth Kieran Powell and the debutant Kyle Hope were dropped behind the wicket, both off Broad, in this window which England had before rain stopped play for the day, and night, after 16 overs of the West Indian reply..
Ben Stokes did not have a great pink-ball game for Durham in the round of championship matches in late June. On this occasion he made ten, before top-edging a reverse-sweep, not a duck – and at a time when runs were not vital. But he would normally have caught the chance which Powell skewed to his right at gully – or in daylight, and if the ball had been red, at any rate.
In the first half of the second day Dawid Malan had submitted a satisfactory application for an extended run in this England side by scoring 65, although there is far more competition for his number five position than there is for number three.
But something the many candidates for England's spare batting positions are not bringing to the party is specialist fielding skills, and so it was Moeen Ali who was promoted to the slips alongside Root and Alastair Cook – and it was Moeen who dropped Hope low to his left when he had made 14.
S urviving this last session almost unscathed made a suitable reward for West Indies for not falling apart in the field before Root's declaration, as they took five wickets on the second day while England added 166 more to their overnight score.
E ven so, England's total was the second highest recorded in the five day/night Tests to date, while Alastair Cook's 243 was the second highest individual innings.
Cook was imperturbable. He was indefatigable. He was insatiable. Above all he was in – for 562 minutes. During his innings he not only became England's highest run-scorer at Edgbaston but, on a more global scale, dragged himself up to an aggregate of 11,568 Test runs. Sachin Tendulkar may be impossibly remote but, much more feasibly, Cook is now less than 2,000 runs away from second place in the all-time list.
In his 294 against India at Edgbaston in 2011, Cook had become ever more painfully slow as his innings wore on but on this occasion he maintained a sprightly rate throughout, adding 90 off 131 balls on the second day.
After clipping and chipping away at the West Indian pace bowlers, he cut to the chase or, rather, cut Roston Chase and his offbreaks, before playing round a straight one.
T he most important aspect of all about Cook's innings was that it was compiled in England's first innings, unlike his only other century in the last year, in India. What cannot be accomplished by a side whose opener bats for more than nine hours from the start of a match? A draw, at the minimum, is virtually guaranteed, a victory likely.
E ven if Australia hold the ace this winter – superiority in fast bowling – England can trump it if all their other departments function, starting with Cook repeating his triumph of the 2010-11 Ashes series.
And that is the more likely now that Cook is so happy in his own skin – back in the ranks but senior statesman – and so happy for Root to captain.
During their third-wicket partnership of 248 Root was thrilled when Cook reached his hundred, punching the air as if it had been his own, while Cook was full of admiration for Root's fluency of stroke. Not all former England captains have fitted in so well.
None of the West Indian pace bowlers found an answer to the slowness and trueness of the pitch, after Shannon Gabriel and the wristspinner Devendra Bishoo – their two most penetrative bowlers – had been omitted. Their two tallest, Alzarri Joseph and Jason Holder, stoop in the crease and do not use their height. Only Kemar Roach was quick.
So it was not the most stringent of tests for Malan but he coped well enough with what was in front of him.
His footwork was more decisive than that of Keaton Jennings, his technique sounder than that of Tom Westley, while his cover-drives were the shots of the second day. And after Malan had been caught at slip pushing forward defensively, Chase made the most of the lack of intensity which Stokes and Moeen Ali brought to their batting.
T oday, and on subsequent days, as a result of the rain, the match will resume at 1:30 not 2 pm.
PLAY RAINED OFF – WI 44/1 (Hope 25* Powell 18*), England lead by 470 runs
A nd there’s the inevitable, play is sadly off for the rest of the day. Huge shame mainly for the punters looking forward to an excellent Friday night session and a taste of the day/night format.
The good news is tomorrow’s forecast looks excellent. Anderson and Broad will return bursting to have a go, but Hope and Powell should be feeling good after the way they dug in.
Thanks for following 95 percent of Tyers’ work and then the wagging tail from myself. We will see you tomorrow.
N o news sadly is not good news – still in the dark (nearly) regarding whether play will resume at Edgbaston.
Want some foreboding weather photos? Dig in.
Hammering it down
W ell, considering it was 0/1 at the start of this innings, the West Indies have actually recovered quite nicely to get to 44/1.
Sadly it is currently coming down in buckets, which will tick England off as well having set the day up to have a go at the West Indies top order under the clouds.
RAIN DELAY – OVER 16: WI 44/1 (Hope 25* Powell 18*)
O ver-pitched slightly to Powell and he gets that one right, watching it race away for four. Flicks another two off his pads to square as the rain begins, with the groundsmen ready to rumble.
No more runs as the umpires have a chat. We’re going off I’m afraid, hopefully not for long.
OVER 15: WI 37/1 (Hope 25* Powell 11*)
B it of air under that from Hope towards point but he’s safe, getting a four too for his efforts. West Indies settling right down now.
Six off that over in the end as Anderson is left to wait to strike again.
OVER 14: WI 31/1 (Hope 19* Powell 11*)
J ust the one off the over for Hope, some time now since Powell added runs… and as I type that he times it perfectly to find the boundary at deep extra cover. Very nice that.
OVER 13: WI 26/1 (Hope 18* Powell 7*)
A nderson back to settle things down, Powell quite sensibly watching a couple sail narrowly past his pads. Maiden over, the last one a lovely twister with the seam wobbling.
OVER 12: WI 26/1 (Hope 18* Powell 7*)
N ice from Hope, flicking that off his pads for a couple. That’s even better, spotting the length and thrashing that over the head of Westley at short leg to the rope.
Next ball drops just short of Ali at third slip. Very nearly carried, meaning an unhappy Broad. That also went for four, taking Hope to ten off the over.
OVER 11: WI 16/1 (Hope 8* Powell 7*)
E very single person in the crowd looks as though they need an extra jumper. Ahh, summer.
A nderson slowing things right down this over, a 78er coming in, and he follows it up with a big shout! Is it too high? Root think so. Make that three unsuccessful appeals, and Erasmus nailed that one.
OVER 10: WI 14/1 (Hope 7* Powell 6*)
Q uick single from Powell ensures both players are awake post-Tea – could have been dangerous if a direct hit, in fact he certainly would have gone.
Rest of the over passes uneventfully, although Broad looks properly in the mood.
Perfect bowling conditions, but for how long?
E vening all!
With the clouds firmly cemented over the top of Edgbaston you have to think rain is on the way, and unfortunately the Met Office agree.
W ould be a crying shame if play was rained off given the cloud cover will cause the West Indies all sorts of problems. Updates as soon I hear anything.
TEA: West Indies 13/1 (Powell 5* Hope 7*) off 9 overs, replying to 514/8d
I ‘d say Jimmy was at 8/10 and Broady about 6 and half, but they were still a stiff, stiff proposition for the Windies top order. One already back in the hutch, Powell surprisingly dropped by Stokes at gully.
All this came after Cook made serene progress to a huge score, allowing Root to declare with tons of time to play with.
R ain is forecast and, with clouds overhead and the lights coming on, that would probably be the best outcome for West Indies right now. I will hand you over to Ben Coles for the rest of the day. Cheers.
OVER 9: WI 13/1 (Powell 5* Hope 7*)
P owell beaten once, solid to the rest, then nicks a single. That is tea .
OVER 8: WI 12/1 (Powell 4* Hope 7*)
B road jags the ball back off the seam and hits Hope in the thigh pad. Two or three of these are too leave-able though, again. Powell dabs and goes for a single, he’s in the Wide-Awake Club. Got to rotate the strike where you can.
T hat notwithstanding, there’s one over until tea.
OVER 7: WI 11/1 (Powell 3* Hope 7*)
A nderson swings it away from Hope, again and again. He’s beaten twice, fair and square.
Without wishing to labour the point, there is a huge gulf in class between the seam attacks on display today.
OVER 6: WI 10/1 (Powell 3* Hope 7*)
A w, hard lines for Broad. He produces a lovely ball, it draws Powell forward, he prods, it flies very quickly to Stokes at gully. Dropped! Well, you don’t see that very often. It just seemed to be on to Ben a bit quick. He got a good touch of it but then could not hold on.
OVER 5: WI 8/1 (Powell 2* Hope 6*)
A nderson. Another huge appeal, LBW shout v Hope. Oof. This one just sliding down. This is a searching exam. Jimmy realised that he was two feet too short in his first over. Pitching it up a touch since.
OVER 4: WI 7/1 (Powell 1* Hope 6*)
S tuart producing some good balls, like the fifth one of the over here that seams back to shave Hope’s off stump, but overall his radar is not working yet. Either side of the dancefloor.
A therton: “What are you going to buy Broad when he overtakes your (383) Test wickets?”
Botham: “Well I was rather hoping that he might buy ME something.”
OVER 3: WI 6/1 (Powell 0* Hope 6*)
K yle Hope comes in to make his debut. Can leave the first, but it’s damn nearly curtains second ball. He does not read/spot the inswing, he falls over the ball, it hits him on the pad. Above the knee roll. Given not out, and Root gestures “height?” to the bowler. They decide not to review, and are vindicated. Would have just clipped top of the bails.
J immy searching for the bobbydazzler, pitch leg hit off. Too straight. Hope opens his account in Tests with four off the pads.
WICKET! Brathwaite c Bairstow b Anderson 0
T hat’s it! England are on their way, Kraigggggg Brathwaite is on his way. Good ball, angles in and moves away, a real jaffer. Brathwaite feathers it behind, YJB does the rest and West Indies lose their first without a run on the board. Ooof. FOW 0/1
KG was trapped on the crease. Did not move the feet.
OVER 2: WI 0/0 (Brathwaite 0* Powell 0*)
B road very full, wide, swinging away. Powell swishes at it! Terrible shot. You’ve simply got to leave that alone. Broad has a chirp. Looks up for it, Broad. Next ball angles in to the left hander. But by and large, this is again a touch too wide.
OVER 1: WI 0/0 (Brathwaite 0* Powell 0*)
K raigg Brathwaite faces up. Anderson. There’s some away swing. Just six inches too wide, this over, on the whole. Brathwaite leaves it pretty well.
Here’s the key bit, though
T oday has been fairly low-impact stuff so far, it always felt very likely that England would accumulate a lot more runs without much fuss. The question is whether the Windies top order can deal with the moving ball in English conditions.
Here, to ask them that very question, is Mr James Anderson.
England 514/8 dec off 135.5 overs (TRJ 6*)
T ea is at 6.40pm, so England will have just under 40 minutes, perhaps nine overs, at West Indies. Then a rest, and do it again once the lights come on.
WICKET! Cool lbw Chase 243
C hase has hit Cook on the pad. Given not out… but West Indies are going to review. And this looks bad. He’s out! Marais Erasmus has to swallow another pill. FOW 514/8
OVER 135: ENG 512/7 (Cook 242* Roland-Jones 5*)
M iggy Collins is on. Cook is throwing the bat a bit now, slashes wide, a single. The 263 he made v Pakistan at Abu D in 2015 is the next landmark to overhaul. Alastair’s own 294 the highest on this ground.
OVER 134: ENG 511/7 (Cook 241* Roland-Jones 5*)
T oby dutifully plays out a maiden v the Chaser.
OVER 133: ENG 511/7 (Cook 241* Roland-Jones 5*)
H older, who had some injury concerns last night, is putting in a shift and you cannot fault the skipper for effort. Still plugging away. He gets TRJ to edge it! But it goes between slip and keeper. Oh dear.
OVER 132: ENG 506/7 (Cook 241* Roland-Jones 0*)
T he batsmen crossed during that Mo-ment of madness/comedy and Cook duly blocks out the one remaining ball of the over.
He has been joined by TRJ.
WICKET! Moeen Ali c Brathwaite b Chase 0
L OL. Local boy Moeen charges down the pitch, goes for the big yahoo, doesn’t time it and is caught in the covers. Heh. Good old Moeen. A man for the big game, not the small situation like this. I’d rather watch England bowl than bat right now, I reckon. FOW 506/7
OVER 131: ENG 505/6 (Cook 240* Ali 0*)
C an Chairman Mo give this innings the afterburners? Leaves one and blocks another.
WICKET! Holder b Bairstow 18
W est Indies keep chipping away. England’s plan for their engine room to go massive around Cook is not quite working just yet, not that they will be bovvered. Bairstow tries to run the ball down to third man, but it’s too close to him for the shot, and he ends up playing on in rather tame fashion FOW 505/6
The ball just angled in a fraction off the seam. Well bowled.
OVER 130: ENG 503/5 (Cook 240* Bairstow 16*)
S hort and wide, Cook cuts Chase for four. Now he slashes at the ball a bit erratically (getting tired? had enough?) and it flies over slip for four.
OVER 129: ENG 493/5 (Cook 231* Bairstow 15*)
A slice of luck for Cook! The ball from Holder is not really short enough to pull, he gets cramped and heaves it up into the air… but it lands safely. Nobody at midwicket, the bowler and others race to get there, but it lands safe. Hard lines, Jason.
OVER 128: ENG 489/5 (Cook 228* Bairstow 14*)
J onny drives for three into the covers as Chase keeps plugging away.
OVER 126: ENG 482/5 (Cook 226* Bairstow 9*)
C hase has two wickets to his name, and fair play to the feller. But he’s not caused consistent problems, to say the least. YJB dibbles him past the slip for four, then paddle-sweeps for a cosy two.
OVER 125: ENG 476/5 (Cook 226* Bairstow 3*)
J ust one off the over, mid off denying Cook a boundary with a good bit o’ work.
OVER 124: ENG 475/5 (Cook 226* Bairstow 2*)
B airstow goes to sweep, changes his mind, keeper tries a cheeky wee whip of the bails but his opposite number has got one of his little ginger feet back behind the line.
OVER 123: ENG 471/5 (Cook 223* Bairstow 1*)
J ust one in the over, to Cook, who removes himself from the Richie B. Holder the bowler. The bowler’s Holder, the batsman’s… well set.
Something to work on.
OVER 122: ENG 470/5 (Cook 222* Bairstow 1*)
Y JB off the mark second ball. A two and a one take Ali Cook onto the Richie Benaud Special and Windies have reason to be somewhat heartened by the last few minutes.
WICKET! Stokes c Blackwood b Chase 10
S omething of the benefit game dismissal there as Stokes attempts an over-elaborate reverse sweep. The ball hits, I reckon, his wrist, or maybe his glove. Flies quickly, high, to slip where Blackwood takes a decent catch. FOW 466/5
OVER 120: ENG 462/4 (Cook 215* Stokes 10*)
S tokes has come out in ominous mood. Hard, true sweep for four off Chase.
OVER 119: ENG 455/4 (Cook 213* Stokes 5*)
J ason Holder. Sir Ian is not impressed by Holder starting his run up without checking where his mark is properly, and the result is, as you might imagine, a no ball. Stokes clouts it for four. That was the first delivery of the over. Rest are dots, so that’s something.
OVER 118: ENG 450/4 (Cook 213* Stokes 1*)
S tokes gets off the mark with a single through the offside and the rest of the over passes without alarm.
Stokes, and indeed everyone else, coming back out
S till sunny, breezy, threatening clouds but we will play.
Lovely camera shot here. Last night the ground really was an absolute picture under lights.
R oston Chase has four balls remaining of that over.
LUNCH: England 449/4 off 117.2 overs (Cook 213*)
M alan will feel that he’s left a century out on the field there. Could hardly have asked for better conditions. But, that was a decent ball, and he can console himself with the fact that he got a few. His wicket brings lunch.
England put on 101 runs in 27.2 overs for the loss of Dawid Malan in that session.
In the process, Alastair Cook completed his fourth, and quickest, Test double century. The 294 he made against India on this ground could be on, although I fancy Root would like to be bowling at about 8pm, so he would have to score reasonably quickly. The match is England’s to do with as they will. Some rain forecast for later…
WICKET! Malan c Blackwood b Chase 65
S hame for Dawid, but at least something for West Indies to celebrate as Chase produces a good delivery that grips and straightens. Regulation edge. FOW 449/4
OVER 117: ENG 449/3 (Cook 213* Malan 65*)
J ason Holder brings himself on. Cook rifles a pull for four! Nice shot. There will be just one more over before lunch.
OVER 115: ENG 440/3 (Cook 204* Malan 65*)
C ook back cuts for one. Thoughts, or at least Nasser H’s thoughts, have turned to the declaration. he reckons it’s not so much “how many?” but “when?”
England’s best case scenario would be new ball under lights. I reckon Jimmy could absolutely destroy WI if he gets it right, Cape Town 2003 v Pakistan style.
So that would mean batting until half seven or whatever and then unleashing the new ball pair. Rain may change that plan.
S ky’s fancy shmancy graphic here shows that the new ball swung about 1.25 degrees in daylight, and 3 degrees under lights.
OVER 113: ENG 439/3 (Cook 203* Malan 65*)
C ook has his 200! Pure class from him, but a word of sympathy for Kemar Roach. He produces a nice ball outside off, Cook has an uncharacteristic slash at it. It flies in the air through (the vacant) gully. Even still, this should be a regulation bit of fielding down at third man, but Kyle Hope has let it go through his legs and it’s a pretty pathetic sight to be honest.
N ot so this magnificently monobrowed son of Essex. What a man.
OVER 112: ENG 433/3 (Cook 198* Malan 64*)
M alan starting to show some of the selection and placement skills that make him such a useful limited overs player. Picks Chase up early and lofts him down the ground. Now works the ball off the legs. Now cleverly opens his stance, gives himself a little room to manufacture an angle that allows him to place the ball through the offside. Cute, adroit stuff.
OVER 111: ENG 422/3 (Cook 197* Malan 54*)
K emar Roach returns, looking the pick of the bunch again as he beats Malan with a good pill that bites and moves away off the seam.
OVER 110: ENG 421/3 (Cook 195* Malan 54*)
R oston Chase comes on, replacing Cummins. And there’s just one off the over.
Isa Guha is making her dayboo on Sky Sports Test comms right now.
OVER 108: ENG 417/3 (Cook 192* Malan 54*)
C ummins making it easy for England. Leg stump to Cook, clipped for three. Short ball to Malan that sits up nicely for a pulled two, giving the Middlesex man his maiden Test half-century! Well batted Dawid. But the generous Cummins has another gift: a full toss. Malan hits it for four.
OVER 107: ENG 408/3 (Cook 189* Malan 48*)
M alan, looking comfortable (as well he might) pings a neat drive through the covers and has himself a four. Bit of rain coming in. Few spots on the camera lens. Some folk putting on jackets. Breezy, though, so it might blow through.
OVER 106: ENG 403/3 (Cook 188* Malan 44*)
C ummins also with a no ball. Cook now with a peachy drive down the ground, hardly touched, all timing and class.
OVER 105: ENG 397/3 (Cook 183* Malan 44*)
H ere’s Joseph, then. Malan clips the ball for four. A no ball in the over. Poor old Windies. There’s no light at the end of this tunnel. Never mind what colour the ball is, or the time you start the day, if you cannot have evenly matched sides, no sport is going to thrive.
OVER 104: ENG 390/3 (Cook 182* Malan 39*)
C ook clips an overpitched ball to leg for four.
Ian Ward, getting a rare run out on commentary detail, “oooooohhhhs” sharply as Cook cuts here. Bit uppish through backward point but I don’t think it was very near to a fielder. We’ll check on the replay. Meantime, it is drinks .
W indies did find some swing, but it was generally well wide.
OVER 103: ENG 382/3 (Cook 175* Malan 38*)
B it more like it! This was more threatening. Joseph draws Malan forward, nips the ball off the seam and beats his prod. Nicely bowled. Next delivery, gets it to come back in and thumps Malan in the breadbasket. Actually, thigh pad I guess. Well done Joseph. Stick at it lad.
OVER 102: ENG 380/3 (Cook 175* Malan 38*)
I wonder if Jason Holder is like those schoolboy captains who has the bowling changes written down on a bit of paper beforehand? He’s a big fan of the double-change from what I can see, and here he is giving Miguel Cummins the ball. Solid enough stuff but I only saw one ball deviate from the lateral.
On the upside, it’s clouding over at Edgbaston, so maybe that will give the bowlers something to work with.
OVER 101: ENG 378/3 (Cook 174* Malan 37*)
T he first change of bowling of the day and it’s the young man Alzarri Joseph . And it’s a load of technicolor old tut as he serves up two leg-stump deliveries in a row, and one of them a half-volley, to boot. Alastair Cook clips them both to the fence with the minimum of fuss and, well, the rest of the over is at least a bit better but I am struggling to find the positives here.
OVER 100: ENG 369/3 (Cook 165* Malan 37*)
H older continues, and dishes one up for Alastair on the pads. Four. Sigh.
Here’s Alton Ellis out of Studio One covering The Chords’ doo-wop standard in a classic rocksteady cut.
OVER 99: ENG 364/3 (Cook 160* Malan 37*)
K emar Roach is not the kind of man who gives up just like that, either, and he has a huge appeal here as he bangs Cook on the front pad. Alastair was falling across the ball. This looks like it is sliding down the legside, and the man Roach finds skipper unwilling to support him with a review. Correctly, I would say.
OVER 98: ENG 363/3 (Cook 159* Malan 37*)
C ouple of singles.
Grim from the Windies today so far.
L et’s cheer ourselves up with this stone-cold banger.
OVER 97: ENG 361/3 (Cook 158* Malan 36*)
A maiden, I guess, from Kemar Roach to Alastair Cook, but only in the sense that Alastair could not reach most of it. M-E-H. Meh.
OVER 96: ENG 361/3 (Cook 158* Malan 36*)
M alan couldn’t ask for more as he bids to make his first significant contribution in Tests. This is gentle stuff, and he can leave a lot of it.
OVER 95: ENG 359/3 (Cook 158* Malan 34*)
S hot of the day as Malan creams Roach through the covers. Roach is managing to swing the ball, but it’s generally too wide. Umpire does the bowler a solid here when the keeper takes a delivery in front of first slip but the ref gives no wide.
OVER 94: ENG 354/3 (Cook 158* Malan 29*)
21st ball of the day, they wake up the scorer, who marks one against the name of AN Cook as the former England skipper inside edges a single to leg. Malan joins in the fun (subs to check please – thanks) as he also takes a single to the legside.
N ow Cook guides the ball, safely enough I’d say, wide of gully with the thick edge and we have out first boundary of the day.
OVER 93: ENG 348/3 (Cook 153* Malan 28*)
A third maiden in a row! Roach is largely pushing the ball across Malan, he needs to get one that comes back in. Alternative: a bouncer. He deals Malan the bumper here, Malan’s through his pull shot too soon, the ball hits him on the arm.
OVER 92: ENG 348/3 (Cook 153* Malan 28*)
J ason Holder, who was in the wars last night with some sort of shoulder complaint and then a leg niggle as well, brings himself on for a trundle. It’s solid stuff. Cook more than happy to have a look and a block.
OVER 91: ENG 348/3 (Cook 153* Malan 28*)
L argely sliding across the left-hander Malan. Ooh that’s a nice one from Kemar Roach! Fifth delivery, just nibbles, decent pace, Malan drives and misses. Close. But Kemar cannot ask any question with the follow up, which dribbles down leg.
A maiden from the Bajan Roach. Here’s Rihanna, also born in Barbados. She’s from Saint Michael, as is Sir Garfield Sobers and Tino ‘mind the windows’ Best.
Here comes Kemar Roach
D awid Malan in his sights.
England resume on 348/3 in 90 overs (Cook 153* Malan 28*)
Let’s rally round the West Indies
w ith a selection of great records from the region. Desmond (Dekker, not Haynes) you have the floor.
West Indies boys are out
o n the pitch. Tough, tough school for them yesterday. I for one really hope they can roar back today.
Stuart Law looked aghast last night when the West Indies failed to take the new ball ASAP.
“We had discussed that,” Roddy Estwick, West Indies’ bowling coach, said. “So it was disappointing. We had to send a quiet reminder on to the pitch. We conceded 53 boundaries; it shows we were very inconsistent.”
Sir Ian on Joe and Sir Viv
“When Viv was in the mood, you just sat down and relaxed. You knew he was going to get runs. And Joe now has that presence about him when he walks out. He looks like he is going to get a score.”
P raise from Sir Ian Botham does not get much higher than a comparison with Sir Viv Richards, does it?
“I’d like to carry on today, you always want as many as you can. I might nick the first one, I might carry on all day. It won’t be for want of trying, either way.”
W hat a tremendous lad he is.
AN Cook speaks
“Yesterday was a good day for batting. Flat pitch, sun out. The ball did not do much, but then it would not have done much with the red ball either. It is still a step into the unknown.
“Visibility fine, apart from that half hour (at dusk). I think it needs to be dark for a bit longer. You don’t really get that in England. In Adelaide they had two full night sessions and that was fantastic.”
R ight again, I’d say. I reckon at the moment it’s about 80% day and 20% night.
Some colour blind people were not happy
T he governing body of English cricket has been accused of discriminating against colour blind people after introducing a pink ball for the first day-night Test match on Thursday.
Colour Blind Awareness has written to the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) demanding it review the use of the ball which it says is very difficult to spot for people with the condition.
In a strongly worded letter seen by The Telegraph , Kathryn Albany-Ward, the founder of the organisation, warned that the ECB could be even failing colour blind cricketers under equality employment legislation because the visual impairment is seen as disability.
"In the UK there are approximately three million people with colour blindness," the letter says, adding that that equates to possibly one colour blind cricketer in each team, 1,125 spectators at this week's England vs West Indies Test at Edgbaston , and thousands watching the match on television around the world.
"So, it would be extremely difficult to argue that it is reasonable to use a pink ball when so many people are potentially adversely affected," it continues. "This is an issue that urgently needs to be investigated in more detail, including adequate and detailed testing of the ball in different light conditions both by players and spectators with normal colour vision and those with different types and severities of colour blindness."
Jonathan Liew was unconvinced by it all
D usk is falling. To the west, the sun is setting somewhere behind Stourbridge. To the east, the red brick houses of Sparkhill and Small Heath are bathed in a warm, healthy glow. Photographers call this the golden hour. For English cricket, it is the moment of truth.
Is day-night Test cricket the magic syringe that will inject new vigour into an ailing format? Or is it simply a cosmetic indulgence on a par with fitting a hospice out in funky disco lights in the hope that it will stop everyone dying?
The crowd are singing "Please Don't Take Me Home". A football song, although you also occasionally hear it at the darts. But at the cricket, not so much. And certainly not Test cricket.
But the beer has been flowing since morning, the sun has been out all afternoon and best of all, nobody has to go home just yet. It is shortly after 8pm. There are 18 overs still to be bowled. And in every corner of the ground, people are filing through the exits, further thinning out the stands streaked with empty seats.
Scyld Berry’s day one report
A lastair Cook and Joe Root – former and current captain, old master and new – made hay while the sun shone to share a superlative third-wicket partnership of 248 which dominated West Indies in the first day/night pink-ball Test in England.
Cook's unbeaten 153 was his first century since resigning as England's Test captain and his 31st in all. Although the ball was pink, the primary colour on the opening day of this three-Test series was the West Indians' greenness, and Cook took full advantage of the tourists' immaturity in bowling and fielding as he piloted England to 348 for three by the close at 9.30pm.
Nowhere was the West Indian naivety more apparent than when they delayed taking the second new ball by two overs after the Birmingham night had closed in. If there is any consensus yet about day/night Tests – and this is the fifth of them worldwide – it is that batting is hardest against the pink new ball under lights, but West Indies failed to take full advantage by bowling only six overs of pace with the second new ball, not ten.
T yers here. Body clocks okay? No cricket jet lag I hope. I forgot my packed lunch, which would I suppose have been a packed tea. now I will have to get a packed McDonalds for… the drinks interval? I don’t know.
Anyway, yesterday was an occasion, wasn’t it? Let’s get the views of our correspondents.
Day one recap and quotes
A lastair Cook is daring to eye another Edgbaston tour de force after proving he is at least as effective against the pink ball as the red.
Cook (153 not out) was at the crease throughout the first day of England’s inaugural floodlit Test, sharing a third-wicket stand of 248 with Joe Root (136) in a stumps total of 348 for three against West Indies.
England’s all-time record runscorer therefore has an obvious opportunity to even challenge his own career-best 294, made at this same venue against India six years ago.
The opener, whose early innings against the pink ball were largely fruitless, broke that trend with 193 for Essex against Middlesex in the mid-summer round of floodlit County Championship matches.
Cook, who described Root as a “genius” and “the best England player he has played with” after the captain’s 13th Test hundred, will not be getting ahead of himself on day two, but is well aware of his chance to move on to another huge score as the hosts seek to consolidate their advantage at the start of the three-match Investec series.
With his 31st Test century already in the bag, the opener is taking nothing for granted despite the favourable circumstances.
“I’ve got the opportunity to get a big score, with 150 not out on day one,” he said.
“There’s obviously a lot of time left in game, but you can always nick the first one.
“There’s a lot of hard work to do, but I’ve got an opportunity. It’s up to me if I can take it.”
Cook appeared to have little trouble attuning himself at the first time of asking to Test cricket’s new schedule.
He added, however: “I was yawning at 9pm – because it was past my bedtime.
“It was slightly unusual, because you’re programmed to play in white kit starting at 11am with a red ball – it’s what we’ve done for all our careers. Suddenly changing it takes a little bit of time.”
West Indies suffered a chastening experience in the field, despite the early departures of England’s debutant opener Mark Stoneman and No 3 Tom Westley.
Their bowling coach Rod Estwick was not too disheartened nonetheless.
“It’s not fully disappointing … even though we would have liked to restrict England to a lower total,” he said.
“Obviously at 39 for two, we were quite confident, and we were happy with the way Kemar (Roach) bowled after being out of cricket for a year.
“It must be a concern for us that we leaked 53 fours. That is a high percentage of boundaries in 90 overs.”
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