It seems distinctly possible that day three of this match will see a conclusion. Boards around the world hate this, the loss of revenue if a match finishes early is something of a disaster. But just like it has been said that for Formula One to be exciting, just add water; so for Test cricket to be exciting, just add a pitch that does a bit. And isn’t that the point? Give the bowlers a chance and suddenly every ball matters, because you really aren’t certain what will happen.
18 wickets fell on day two. I’m sure there will be complaints that it is somehow unfair that the ball dominated, and it’s always struck me as peculiar that when bat dominates you might get comments that it’s boring (and it is) but rarely unfair.
Trott’s cheap dismissal probably marks the closing of the book on his Test career. I’ve written about his contribution, but perhaps the best response was that of the England fans out there – a standing ovation; not for his innings, brief as it was, but for the player and what he achieved. Perhaps in days to come he might appreciate that. I hope so.
So much happened today that there are a myriad of things to mention. Anderson certainly deserves a shout out – a player who has spent most of his career trying to drag his average below 30 is suddenly on the cusp of taking it into the 28s, it’s now 29.20, and I’m not sure I’d bet against it dipping below 29 in West Indies 2nd innings.
But the bit today that made me sit up and take note was Jermaine Blackwood’s innings. He got some stick for holing out at the end – that always strikes me as the way everyone else can get a duck, but let’s blame the bloke caught on the boundary for 96. The West Indies would have been dead and buried without him, it was a brilliant, timely, aggressive, brave knock. A run a ball 85 to get the team within 70. It may yet be a match winning hand.
Cook was out in familiar fashion to that we have seen so often. Let’s just say I’ve no reason yet to move on from the technical criticism I’ve bored you senseless with already.
So England are a shade over a hundred ahead, and half the side is out. I’d say England are still favourites as the pitch deteriorates, but – and I know this will come as a shock – I’ve been wrong before.
Day three tomorrow. I can’t wait. Comments as ever below!