95th over: India 229-8 (Shami 13, Bumrah 14) Shami nabs yet another single, and when Bumrah pulls for one more to raise the 200 lead, we again see Kohli rabble-rousing on the balcony. Two more singles follow, the second when Bumrah hits the stumps again, and surely it’s time for Anderson to have a go at him.
“I’m tempering the nervous tension at Lords with the ECB stream of Essex’s first innings at Sophia Gardens in Royal London Cup semi,” emails Brian Withington. “Cricket is the ideal game for watching two matches simultaneously, actually, despite offending my puritan brother’s sensibilities. Cook’s going along nicely at the moment alongside the very promising Rymell. Just wondering how much Joe Root would like to have him in at Lords for the nerve-shredding chase to come?”
Not that long ago, England’s batting line-up was Strauss, Cook, Trott, Pietersen, Bell, Collingwood, Prior, Bresnan, Swann, Broad, Anderson. I’m beginning to think that was quite good.
94th over: India 225-8 (Shami 11, Bumrah 12) Strauss suggests that when bowling at tailenders it sometimes pays to deploy a slightly straighter line to bring in all three stumps. But in the meantime, four singles come from this latest Robinson over, and England need to have a think.
“Why are England giving verbals to Bumrah?” asks Gary Naylor. “They have 90mph bowler but they’re now bowling at the man and not the stumps. And they’ve riled up the opposition’s main man for the fourth innings. ‘Watch the windows Jasprit!’ a much wiser tactic.”
I assume they’re giving the verbals because how can they not? That said, I give them to my wife and daughter when playing Monopoly so might be a bad person to ask. Other hand, they are bowling short too often, so some full, straight balls to accompany the patter would probably be a good idea.
93rd over: India 222-8 (Shami 9, Bumrah 11) Strauss reckons England need to bring the stumps into play and I wonder if England have been swayed by Bumrah bouncing Anderson. Either way, yerman edges a single, then sends Shami back when he wants to pinch another – a wise decision. The lead is 194.
“This is what it’s all about isn’t it?” asks Guy Hornsby. “Pant charging Jimmy then perishing, a tail that could go for 12 or 70. Woody looking on. After all that, an England batting lineup that could stride home or lose by 100. My god, what a beautiful, maddening, joyful game this is.”
Absolutely. I’ve not a clue what’s going to happen here, nor have I a clue which side will be happier with what we’ve seen so far today. I’m leaning towards India myself.
93rd over: India 220-8 (Shami 9, Bumrah 9) Bumrah cuts hard and Wood’s first ball hares away for four; on the India balcony, Kohli leads the applause to show Bumrah he’s not alone out there. Two dots follow, then Bumrah wears one on the helmet, declines the easy single available, and out comes the physio; the umpires decide this is a good opportunity to take a drink, but the players are at the “We’ve all had a few” stage already; the “hold me back, hold me back”s are imminent.
We’ve had various requests for the TMS overseas link, which is actually right there these days, on the BBC page. But here it is:
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92nd over: India 216-8 (Shami 9, Bumrah 5) This is a very game effort from India’s tail and the squirted singles are adding up. Bumrah is playing at everything and hooks a bouncer for a single, then after an edge drops safe, Shami cuts for one more. So Bumrah, who’s been rehearsing a straight drive, tries to deploy it and misses by miles, goes again, and this time hits the stumps at the non-striker’s. This is so tense – remember Bumrah bombarded Anderson on Saturday evening – and you can feel the needle in the middle seeping through the screen. Words are exchanged, Michael Gough gets involved to calm it down, and this is lovely stuff.
91st over: India 213-8 (Shami 8, Bumrah 3) Wood is bowling quick and Burah misses with a hook then edges fresh air with a huge swipe – that second delivery was 94mph. So Wood goes short again and again Bumrah swings, missing with the bat but connecting with the forear, Anderson on hand behind the cordon fine enough to save the boundary; they run one. This is terrific stuff from Wood, who’s charging in like an absolute thug, and it’s getting lively in the middle as he sears another heat-seeker past Shami’s edge. This isn’t just pace, it’s pace with a plan, and it’s beautiful to watch.
“Having never been to lords, but being a big fan of cricket,” emails Josh Hughes, “I’d love to know what you mean by ‘rows of glorious food’. Is there a food market on the back row, or something?”
Yes, behind the Compton and Edrich Stands there are vans selling brisket, duck wraps, Mr Whippy’s and the like, all of them better than anything cold bought in a supermarket.
90th over: India 211-8 (Shami 7, Bumrah 2) Another slower one from Robinson, who’s bowled well this morning, and Bumrah unloads the suitcase to add two over mid on. Then he goes again, Bumrah swings again, and because so much pace was off the ball, the ensuing edge drops just shy of Buttler.
“This match is India’s to lose now,” reckons V Krishnamoorthy. “Bumrah has all the right conditions to exploit:
1. An achievable target
2. Anxious batsmen
3. Punishing length
4. Rarely straying out of line.”
All of this is true, but one decent partnership and the total is very chaseable.
Sharma is halfway off when the call comes, but his 16 runs might just make the difference when England bat.
India know this is dead but they’ve got reviews in the bank so go for it anyway.
WICKET! Sharma lbw Robinson 16 (India 209-8)
This is full, straight and slower, far too good for Ishant, who misses with his attempted flick while stepping across his stumps, and that’s an insult to an umpire of Michael Gough’s calibre.
89th over: India 207-7 (Ishant 15, Shami 6) Wood does indeed replace and Anderson and looks ok, flinging down a nasty boomp-ah at which Shami fends on the leap. England want a catch in the slips, but the umpire says no and they don’t review; a replay shows it was shoulder, though the ball was close to the glove. His fifth delivery is then bumped back to him and he dives to field, right on his shoulder – eeek! – then completes a maiden.
88th over: India 207-7 (Ishant 15, Shami 6) Now Shami has a shy, banging down his front foot to carve four through point – do England set the field back and assume their lines will keep the score under control pending a good ball or an error, or do they get around the bat and force things? On the boundary, Wood warms up, a good sign for them, but in the meantime three singles follow which take the lead to 180 and Wood is back on the pitch with the ball in his hand. I dare say some light teeth music is en route.
87th over: India 200-7 (Ishant 14, Shami 0) Ishant has a hoik over slip and the ball rockets over slip for four, to Anderson’s intense mirth. Wth the lead at 171, England won’t want too many more of those – 220 seems the kind of score that’d make this a 50-50 match – and Bairstow has moved from slip to fly slip to defend the premeditated edge. Then, after four dots, Anderson goes for the toes and somehow Ishant squeezes out a two – India are doing ok here.
86th over: India 194-7 (Ishant 8, Shami 0) In co-commentary, Dinest Karthik reckons that in England, you can’t just play correctly and hope that’ll be enough because the late movement off the seam means you might need to adjust late doors. That’s what happened to Pant, and you’d fancy that India’s tail will encounter similar tzoros.
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WICKET! Pant c Buttler b Robinson 22 (India 197-7)
Colossal! Robinson is so reliable with his discipline and he yanks Pant forward who plays very straight. But the ball does just enough off the seam, leaving him, caressing the full face, and shooting behind!
86th over: India 197-6 (Pant 22, Ishant 8) Pant flicks two in front of square on the on side…
85th over: India 192-6 (Pant 20, Ishant 8) There was a touch of Andy Flower’s England about yesterday afternoon, bowling dry enough to stay in the game with the ball and pitch offering no help but excuse me while I interrupt myself, after three dots Pant makes room by backing away to leg while springing out of his crease, cleansing Anderson for four through cover. Ridiculous behaviour, yet typical behaviour. A leg bye follows, then Sharma slices a, er, square drive that also runs away to the fence, and the lead is not 165.
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84th over: India 183-6 (Pant 16, Ishant 4) Robinson, like Anderson, is bereft of wickets in this innings, but has been given just 10 overs – this is his chance to affect things, and he’ll know it. In the meantime we cut to Wood, showing off his pecs and swinging his strapped shoulder through a stretch, which doesn’t look good. Anyhow, after four dots Robinson has one leave Pant up the hill and he misses his second defensive push of the morning then, after a single, Sharma fends off a lift-uh that drops clear of short leg.
“Ooo, don’t you just love Test cricket,” emails Bill Hargreaves. “So many variables, so many holes in the dyke to plug, so many opportunities to attempt to exploit. It’s like playing chess, bridge, and the trombone at the same time. Have a little part of my mind dedicated to those Afghanistan teams that showed up at the international events. Fingers crossed for them all.”
Agreed on all counts.
83rd over: India 182-6 (Pant 15, Ishant 4) England have gone for an in-out field, two slips and a gully then men looking for the heave, and after two dots Anderson persuades one to leave Pant as he looks to defend, seam position absolutely fit as. But Pant then gets himself down the other end with an off-side shove and Ishant sees out the remaining two deliveries, just about.
“With Pant at the crease, it just dials up the excitement to 11,” reckons Séin Healy. “I feel he could come out to bat on a motorcycle and nobody would bat an eyelid, just look on appreciatively.”
And rightly so.
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The players are with us and Jimmy Anderson has the ball; Crawley is fielding, so presumably Wood is not…
Public service announcement: I’ve been going to Lord’s with the same group of friends for decades, and part of our routine involves, on day one at least, visiting Waitrose John Barnes next to Finchley Road tube and running around buying everything to complete the fabled and legendary cricket picnic. Well, on Thursday I reached into the cool bag and realised that I didn’t want to eat whatever I was pulling out because it was cold, and just behind me were rows and rows of tremendous hot food. Of course, the existence of a banquet at one’s feet is a fine feeling, but I’m afraid we’ve reached the point at which it is no longer the best way of performing the necessary gluttony. Thoughts and prayers with you all at this sad moment – but please do point out why I’m wrong and what I’ve failed to consider.
“The thrilling anticipation I’m feeling going into this fifth day decider of a fabulous turnaround Test match,” says Dean Kinsella, “is tempered only by the thought that this Indian tail will not last 5 minutes against the GOAT with a new ball in his hand. I would love Woody to get onto the Lord’s honours board but I feel it will be Jimmy’s morning. His first-innings efforts showed what marvellous form he is in and the barrage of bouncers he withstood while batting won’t have put him in the most charitable of moods.”
Yes, he was excellent once he switched from Nursery to Pavilion End, and we can usually be sure that Robinson won’t go for many. But even three big overs, whenever they come and however they arrive, could make a difference so even brilliant bowling might not be enough.
Oh man, I don’t know if I’ve ever heard anyone talk about grief more movingly and with greater clarity than Andrew Strauss, and Sky have just shown us VT of him and others promoting the Ruth Strauss Foundation – which offers support to kids whose parents have terminal illnesses. Now, Mark Chapman – who lost his wife just over a year ago – is with him, and I’m gone. Text TWENTY to 70600 to support them with a score.
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Email! “Morning Daniel, morning everyone,” begins Jonathan McCauley-Oliver. “While today should be great fun there was a cracking match at Sabina Park which finished with West Indies beating Pakistan by one wicket, putting on 17 for the last wicket. However, there were eight ducks in the match, three of them being first-ballers. Add to that the five we have had in this match so far, two of them being first-ballers and you have to ask yourself; what’s going on? And these stats are not boosted by tail-enders, the majority have been top six batsmen.”
It’s also worth noting that, while there are some great bowlers around, we’re not quite in our 90s heyday of Ambrose, Warne, Murali, Walsh, Pollock, McGrath, Donald and the rest. We can’t draw conclusions at this point, but the rise of T20 and its accordant impact on the 50-over game looks to be the most significant factor. Batsmen train their brain to do one thing, then expect it to slip back into another when they tell it to, and that’s not far off impossible.
And what on earth is happening when England bat? I was going to write more words after this, but what on earth could I say?
Yeah, Athers and Wardy also thought that interview sounded grim, though note that the new pellet, due immediately, will go to Anderson and Robinson so perhaps he won’t be required. Thing is, as soon as the shine is off it, England will need that bit of extra pace, and it was Wood who got Pant in the first innings too.
The weather in north London is overcast, and Mark Wood’s mood isn’t far off – not a sentence anyone supposed to wrote. His shoulder, hurt on the dive yesterday – he heard a crack – is sore this morning and he’s not sure whether or not he’ll bowl though hopes a “doctor’s remedy” sorts him out. Though he’s generally been better overseas than at home, he was the pick of England’s attack yesterday and I daresay he’ll be eyeing a spot on the honours book every bit as much as India’s tail are relishing his injury.
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So what’s going to happen here? I’d make England very slight favourites, because if they bowl well this morning even a poor batting performance will get them over the line. But on the other hand, even if they do, if Pant bats well then everything changes or, put another way … wait for it … here it comes … wooooooooooh …. the first hour is crucial.
Our relationship with cricket has changed over the last 18 months, the game taken away from us then restored in stages which highlight its different aspects. And though we didn’t need a pandemic to remind us that we love it, our relationship to it is refreshed nonetheless: first, the return of competition gave us the simple joy of bat and ball. But the return of crowds has reminded us that it’s ours.
Last afternoon, there was nothing of anything going on, ball and pitch benign but Cheteshwar Pujara and Ajinkya Rahane struggling to score. As such, it looked like neither side would be good enough to force a result, but the Lord’s crowd – the Lord’s crowd! – weren’t having it. Out of nowhere, they generated enough of an atmosphere to raise things in the middle and Mark Wood charged in even faster, finding spiteful line, length and lift to revive a match that was slowly expiring.
So here we are at the start of day five with all three results possible, Rishabh Pant at the crease, and thousands of revellers pouring in for some bonus beauty. This is going be excellent.
Play: 11am BST
Source by www.theguardian.com