England v New Zealand 1st Test: Day Four

England had a fairly decent day today, but New Zealand remain very much on top in the match.  Some of the deficit has been cleared, and both Cook and Bell batted pretty well to recover from yet another poor start.  Lyth will have been disappointed with the shot he played to get out, but let’s hope he’s not under any kind of pressure just yet – he has barely played any cricket in the run up to this series – precisely the scenario pointed out when they chose not to give him a debut in the West Indies.

Gary Ballance again looked out of sorts, but it was a very good ball that got him out.  Alex Hales on Twitter was quick to point out that a player doesn’t average 56 in first class cricket without being able to play the moving ball.  He’s a young player making his way in the game.  A bit of patience wouldn’t go amiss – his start in Test cricket has been a good one.

Cook himself looked technically much better, and given the situation that was a very valuable innings.  But the work has barely started given the position England find themselves in.

Kane Williamson was the glue holding the Black Caps’ innings together, but he clearly found the going much tougher today.  The overhead conditions were cloudy bordering on murky, which is why the eventual lead of 134 will likely prove decisive assuming it remains the same tomorrow.  Indeed, given that, and that New Zealand scored 220-8 today, the size of England’s task is a major one.

BJ Watling was the other major run scorer, demonstrating his worth yet again.  He seems to go largely under the radar for the commentators, but given a Test average of just shy of 40, it’s rather peculiar that he does so.  He’s a proper batsman.

England certainly bowled better today, but given the conditions they ought to be somewhat disappointed.  Some of it was down to happenstance, balls flying just out of reach on a number of occasions; some of it was self-inflicted, catches being dropped and some of it was down to once again bowling too short.  It’s truly extraordinary to see bowlers with the records the opening pair have go through this on so many occasions before belatedly correcting it.  New Zealand consistently are bowling fuller than England are.

Mark Wood took three wickets, none of which were exactly conventional.  He won’t greatly care at the moment – his relief at his first Test wicket was evident.  Yet he showed some serious signs of promise, his pace was good being consistently around the 90mph mark, he used the crease well to vary his line of attack, and got some late swing.  It’s his first game, and basing judgement on that would be foolish in the extreme, but there appears to be something to work with.  Add to that a post-play interview that was delightful in demonstrating the clear joy he has from playing and he’s proving an engaging character.  And then there’s the imaginary horse…

Ben Stokes at one stage appeared as if he was going to combust.  He didn’t bowl badly, and was let down by his fielders, yet he is in the position of bowling too many bad balls but not taking the wickets, hence a fairly poor economy rate.  Again, he is still in the infancy of his career, but perhaps the worst thing would be for him to focus on the economy most of all.  Bowling dry should be a weapon in the armoury, not the whole arsenal.  He’ll have more productive days if he bowls like this.

And then we come to Moeen Ali.  Ignored for much of the first day and again today, he popped up when finally called upon with two wickets in three balls.  He’s doing little wrong at the moment, scoring runs and taking wickets.  Curiously, although he’s a batsman who bowls primarily, it is his bowling that will determine his England career.  With the exception of the tour of the West Indies, when he was coming back from injury, thus far he’s doing all that can be asked of him.

Jos Buttler’s two catches deserve a mention.  Diving catches always look spectacular, but the first one in particular was special, because it is to his wrong side.  Lords does seem to cause wicketkeepers no end of problems, and that will have pleased him, deservedly so.

So another terrific day of Test cricket.  Yet whilst England will be pleased with their day, they are two wickets down and quite some way from drawing level.  With two days to go, England would have to bat the whole of tomorrow and another session to make the game safe, and that seems like a very big ask.  Of course, they will have hopes of winning the game, and to that end a target of 200 would seem to be the absolute minimum.  To do that and score a further 260 runs is asking a lot.  Getting out of this will be tough, and New Zealand have to date been comfortably the better side.



122 thoughts on “England v New Zealand 1st Test: Day Four

  1. Ann Weatherly-Barton (@xpressanny) May 23, 2015 / 8:08 pm

    Boycott, Vaughan and Blowers having a go at Cook’s field placements. Even mild mannered Blowers said that you don’t set that sort of field when the bowler is bowling to a different field. Many of TSM – listening on the radio — asking why it took Cook so long to bring Moeen Ali on. Gee whizz.

    Still lots of good things today. I thought Lyth looked really good and aggressive. Shame he got out to such a good ball. Ballance was very unlucky, Unlike Cook who was extremely lucky.

    I think we will lose to the Kiwis.


    • Timmy May 24, 2015 / 8:25 am

      He didn’t get out to such a good ball. It was about a foot outside off. It’s one that had he had a few games under his belt he leaves all day.


      • Tuffers86 May 24, 2015 / 8:42 am

        Yep, Boult’s loose over was Lyth’s undoing. He had eyes bigger than his belly and got a bit carried away. That’s inexperience.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. SimonH May 23, 2015 / 8:21 pm

    On Mark Wood, Michael Holding made the point that he doesn’t get much of his pace from momentum into the crease so it is almost all coming from his body and especially his shoulder. Holding said this is going to make him vulnerable to injuries (and of course Wood’s had a few already).

    On BJ Watling, one of the reasons it’s odd he’s so under-appreciated is that he holds the record for the 6th wicket Test partnership, set with Williamson against SL recently (and Watling’s contribution was chanceless unlike Williamson who was missed more than once). More remarkably still, he broke his own record set with McCullum while the skipper was making his triple century against India.


  3. metatone May 23, 2015 / 8:59 pm

    On the news: The thought of Gillespie coaching Wood and Stokes and revitalising Broad makes me think England could find a way to be competitive in the Ashes.

    On the day: I’m leaning towards putting money on a draw. I think it will be harder to bowl England out this time around, they’ve staved off the moment of collapse. Yet assuming conditions stay similar it will be difficult for England to up the run rate. So by the time they feel safe to declare, we’ll be well into draw territory.

    I think (absent recruiting Gillespie) England should (rather than being disappointed) be a bit worried by today. Conditions don’t get any better for this attack than this. 220-8 isn’t a bad return, but it points to it being hard to bowl teams out for less than 300+. That’s a lot of pressure to put on your batsmen…


  4. Rohan May 23, 2015 / 9:40 pm

    Good updates, enjoyable read as ever! I like the look of Wood as well. Someone remarked on TMS, that he has a touch of Simon Jones about him. I would say this is most obvious as he gathers himself at the crease and particularly in the way his right arm comes over. A very fast arm and strong shoulder, a la S P JONES, if he can go on to bowl anything like Jones, he will be a great asset………

    I really liked the way that McCullum was clearly trying to attack and force a 3rd wicket tonight. It was not reckless, but you could see he was going for it and knew how important it could be. It will be interesting to see how he goes tomorrow and whether or not this ‘young and inexperienced’ England (we know that is a falsehood) side can withstand the pressure…….I am not convinced they can……….


  5. man in a barrel May 23, 2015 / 9:47 pm

    If you pick 4 seamers at least one has to be the stock bowler. Why do England pick 4 bowlers who carry no threat unless they attack? This is not a vintage WIndies attack. Cook’s judgment of line still looked flawed after 1 hour of play.


    • Pontiac May 24, 2015 / 12:10 am

      England need Wagner but unfortunately he plays for New Zealand.


    • dvyk May 23, 2015 / 10:00 pm

      Me. I even remember him giving a talk at my high school after he retired. He was actually a good foil for Lillee and Thommo, and a deceptively good bowler.


  6. SimonH May 23, 2015 / 10:08 pm

    By my dubious statsguruing, the odds are stacked against an England win. Only 14 times has a team batted first and conceded a deficit of 134 runs and gone on to win (and one of those was Inzy’s forfeit).

    It has only happened twice (excluding Inzy) in England – the last time was 1961 (Richie’s match at OT). The last time England managed it was in 78/79 against the Packered Aussies when Derek Randall made 150 (Botham made 6 in 88 balls – he doesn’t mention that too often).

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Rohan May 23, 2015 / 10:15 pm

    Let’s try again!

    I like the look of Wood as well. Someone remarked on TMS, that he has a touch of Simon Jones about him. I would say this is most obvious as he gathers himself at the crease and particularly in the way his right arm comes over. A very fast arm and strong shoulder, a la S P JONES, if he can go on to bowl anything like Jones, he will be a great asset………

    I really liked the way that McCullum was clearly trying to attack and force a 3rd wicket tonight. It was not reckless, but you could see he was going for it and knew how important it could be. It will be interesting to see how he goes tomorrow and whether or not this ‘young and inexperienced’ England (we know that is a falsehood) side can withstand the pressure…….I am not convinced they can……….


  8. dvyk May 23, 2015 / 10:24 pm

    Gillespie would be exactly what Broad needs. In fact Broad needed him several years ago. Gillespie is exactly what Cook doesn’t need at the moment. Expect trouble if he gets the job. Wood looks good and Stokes is another who would benefit from Gillespie. KP, were he in the side would also have benefited from him a few years ago. “Go get em KP, I’ve got your back if it deosn-ät work today” would have been about all the support such an outstanding and utterly professional and dedicated cricketer would have needed. Root and probably Ballance would have benefitted from KP’s presence too, I suspect.

    Cook still looks scared at the crease, but not as skittery as in the first innings, and of course, with so much experience, he will captialise on any chances given to him tomorrow, even if it looks dreadfully dull.

    McCullum should have played a sensible dull innings and scratched about for 90 balls for his 40, then I wouldn’t even have noticed him enough to ask why he doesn’t realise it when he’s not hitting it right and just play it safe till he gets his eye in. If I was the NZ admin, I’d have massive trust issues about that.

    Atherton mentioned today that Broad and Anderson get frustrated with Cook’s captaincy. He needs to talk to The Anal-est to put him straight on that.


    • Tuffers86 May 24, 2015 / 8:46 am

      Disagree with your McCullum analysis, DVYK, in an otherwise spot on assessment. When Williamson was struggling, it kept the scorecard ticking nicely.


      • Tuffers86 May 24, 2015 / 8:47 am

        Oh hang on. It’s my first over of the day… and you’re being sarcastic.

        Liked by 1 person

    • paule May 24, 2015 / 5:31 am

      The tide is turning, it has been for some time. The question we should ask ourselves is , is this being orchestrated by the ECB? The board has history, the MSM no independence or integrity.
      My guess, given the rash of Pietersen and Cook arguments is that Strauss has reasoned that he can’t put the former to bed without addressing the latter, indeed I wouldn’t be at all surprised had a deal not been brokered between he and Graves along these lines. Pretty tawdry stuff, I know, but what can one expect?


      • Grumpy Gaz May 24, 2015 / 7:14 am

        Much as the KP issue is only a symptom of the disease, so is Cook. It’s the people who decided to hang the next few years of English cricket on a captain who lost an Ashes 5-0 that are the real problem. Those same people chose Strauss to put things right.

        We won the last home Ashes series but there were signs all was not well. A few months later that same team went to Australia and fell apart mentally and physicaly. Where was our much vaunted captain and coach when all that was happening? Why did they not spot the rot earlier? Too much management, not enough leadership.

        In response to that loss they lost the plot completely and put the blame on KP. It’s nice to think that was all Downton but the recent debacle shows the ECB is still on the wrong page. All they had to do to put some semblance of common sense back into English cricket was let KP play ODI and T20 for England but say the test middle order is currently ok. Job done. Instead we get deception and ‘trust’ issues.

        Tell me Dictator, Cricket, how much trust is there in a dressing room where you cannot speak your mind or offer a different opinion to a losing team for fear of offending the management and thus being sacked for no given reason?

        Cook has been set up as the fall guy for this summer but the idiots who backed him are still there behind the scenes. Root and Gillespie will do well in the short term. In the long term the people who spout crap like ‘the right sort of family’ and ‘outside cricket’ are still in place. Graves has shown he is very much one of them and they will inevitably stuff it up again.

        Liked by 1 person

    • Zephirine May 24, 2015 / 10:00 am

      They are playing good cricket in patches but they are a team lacking method, confidence and any motivating philosophy. Neat summary from Holt.


    • Ann Weatherly-Barton (@xpressanny) May 24, 2015 / 12:42 pm

      TMS commentator – don’t know who it was – said that Cook showed such strength of character, mental strength, so strong and surely our very best batsmen? Boycott chimed in and said, yes Cook can show great strength when batting but in captaincy one had to show more flair! The other chap just shut up!


  9. Rohan May 24, 2015 / 6:56 am

    I will try again! See below……

    I like the look of Wood as well. Someone remarked on TMS, that he has a touch of Simon Jones about him. I would say this is most obvious as he gathers himself at the crease and particularly in the way his right arm comes over. A very fast arm and strong shoulder, a la S P JONES, if he can go on to bowl anything like Jones, he will be a great asset………

    I really liked the way that McCullum was clearly trying to attack and force a 3rd wicket tonight. It was not reckless, but you could see he was going for it and knew how important it could be. It will be interesting to see how he goes tomorrow and whether or not this ‘young and inexperienced’ England (we know that is a falsehood) side can withstand the pressure…….I am not convinced they can……….


    • metatone May 24, 2015 / 7:07 am

      I think they will withstand the pressure, not least because the morning is going to be easier for batting – the atmosphere won’t get humid until the showers start around lunchtime.

      Also, England don’t collapse in every match. They could collapse at any time, but actually average a collapse about every 4 (?) (it’s a guess) matches. So they aren’t due yet.


  10. SimonH May 24, 2015 / 8:05 am

    CWOTV off to a flier – Allott reads the Mail headlines and harrumphing turns for a “more balanced” view turns to the Observer’s ‘Cook leads the fightback’.

    After a run of anti-Cook headlines he then says “the headline writers have got it wrong”. Then Selvey says “I’m not sure they’ve been following what’s going on”.

    This is because they aren’t following the ECB line chaps – they are saying what they think.

    Allott’s just called Cook “the poor lad”. Less than five minutes gone….


    • SimonH May 24, 2015 / 8:22 am

      John Etheridge has been quite critical of Cook. Jeremy Coney is playing the polite guest and not being directly critical but implicitly much of what he’s said has been critical of Cook.

      Selvey every bit as awful as expected. He’s been more critical of Bell than Cook in part one.

      No mention of Pietersen yet – saving it for the grand finale? They aren’t just going to ignore it…… are they?


      • pktroll (@pktroll) May 24, 2015 / 8:31 am

        It is when the likes of Selvey finally move on from their pro-Cook anti-Pietersen idiocy then many folk might just talk about cricket again. For all that I’ve hated about the ECB the last 18 months or so there are a number of players that I genuinely like in that side. The Roots, Buttler, Mooen, Stokes and Wood. Just managing these guys properly may help England become a good side again. The problem is we have Cook as captain.

        Oh and kudos to Grumpy Gaz’s post above, that is top notch!

        Liked by 1 person

      • Arron Wright May 24, 2015 / 8:38 am

        Selvey is ringing the bell today as well….

        Hughes tomorrow, no doubt.


      • paule May 24, 2015 / 8:46 am

        Wouldn’t it be great were Selvey to be roundly booed? It’ll never happen at Lords of course, and he’d probably lap it up.


      • SimonH May 24, 2015 / 8:54 am

        Etheridge – “Gillespie is 99% certain to be England coach” (before NZ ODIs he’s said). JE said Gillespie is not worried about Pietersen (only mention in the programme so far and 50 mins have gone) and is “happy to run” with Cook and Morgan as skippers with Root in the background.

        Selvey chimed in Moores suffered when “Goochie” (and Mushtaq) went.


      • SimonH May 24, 2015 / 9:30 am

        Yep – just that one mention of Pietersen in 90 mins. Nothing on public disengagement either.

        Allott gave the impression that he wanted to lynch most of the newspaper headline writers for treason. He also invited Etheridge to wade into Hales for going to the IPL (which Etheridge to his credit didn’t take).

        Day two of this Test was more or less ignored as well. Lots of discussion on how good England were day one and day three – but day two was like it never happened.


      • Arron Wright May 24, 2015 / 9:56 am

        Of all the things I miss least about Sky, CWOTV is near the top. They should just rename it “Inside Cricket Addresses The Nation”. Or as previously suggested “Manufacturing Consent”.

        Liked by 1 person

      • metatone May 24, 2015 / 10:28 am

        I’ve said it before – “Dizzy” is in a position where he’s likely guaranteed 2 years as England coach, no matter what goes wrong – because Strauss is rebuilding. He’s in a strong position to negotiate a pay packet that secures his family for life. That’s a strong incentive to take the job, even if Strauss is a nonsense as a boss…

        Liked by 1 person

    • paule May 24, 2015 / 8:23 am

      I suspect they are following the ECB line. The ECB line may have changed. We are in the corridor of uncertainty……pack your rhubarb.


      • paule May 24, 2015 / 10:45 am

        Consent and content…..


  11. Marge May 24, 2015 / 9:18 am

    Does anyone else think that Gillespie’s alleged “I’ll take the job if I’m offered it” statement suggests that he comes with certain conditions and that the Director, Cricket needs to get those approved with ECB before going any further with Gillespie?


    • jomesy May 24, 2015 / 9:36 am

      My thoughts exactly Maggie and I’d say he’s in a very strong bargaining position as, despite Strauss’s “no rush/right candidate” comments it’s pretty unthinkable they won’t want new coach in position ASAP. If he’s played his hand well, he’ll have pointed out that the appointment of Strauss and his immediate decisions has done nothing to dispel the rancour and that if they want him, it’s on his terms. (God, I hope I’m right).

      Liked by 1 person

      • paule May 24, 2015 / 9:41 am

        I hope so too. Why take the job otherwise?


      • Ann Weatherly-Barton (@xpressanny) May 24, 2015 / 12:50 pm

        Surely no one else is likely to look at the job? The ECB looking at a lot of other candidates? I think this is just ECB PR waffle. They do not have anyone else. If Gillespie says he’s not bothered about KP then he is obviously not able to be “bothered” by KP. So when Strauss says he doesn’t want a “yes” man, he is lying, but perhaps he is telling the truth when he says a new man must accept his (Strauss) “philosophy?”

        Everything changes and everything stays exactly the same.


  12. Boz May 24, 2015 / 9:59 am

    Are there any figures available for the number of working class people at Lord’s for this test match?


    • Zephirine May 24, 2015 / 10:14 am

      How many ticket checkers, groundsmen, kit attendants, drinks preparers and catering staff are there? That would be about it for the working classes, at a guess.

      I met some people who ‘always go to Lord’s for the Tests’. They’re retired stockbrokers, well off. They’re not very interested in cricket and know very little about it. But they go, because one does.

      Liked by 1 person

    • escort May 24, 2015 / 10:25 am

      Tickets still available for today if anybody wants to go. Greame Swann will be pleased because some are priced at £20. Some are also £50

      Liked by 2 people

      • thelegglance May 24, 2015 / 10:27 am

        Tickets have been available for every day of this match. No day has been a sell out. This is against decent opposition over a Bank Holiday weekend. At Lords.

        Liked by 2 people

      • escort May 24, 2015 / 10:33 am

        Perhaps two messages to for the ECB there then.Firstly lower the ticket prices and secondly the fans might be a little unhappy about the way the team is selected and run by the ECB

        Liked by 1 person

      • SimonH May 24, 2015 / 10:48 am

        The message the ECB will take is that nobody wants to watch NZ and arrange to play them less.

        Liked by 1 person

      • thelegglance May 24, 2015 / 12:54 pm

        Has he? That’s bullshit. I looked the day before the Test started and tickets were available for each day. That was on the Lords website, not a third party agent.

        Liked by 1 person

    • escort May 24, 2015 / 10:58 am

      Why do you ask? Are you working class?

      Liked by 1 person

  13. BoerInAustria May 24, 2015 / 10:03 am

    I blame Selvey – he rang Bell


  14. SimonH May 24, 2015 / 10:07 am

    From the first few deliveries, the ball is definitely swinging.

    Loose shot from Bell but good ball and catch (best thing you can say about a reserve keeper is that you’re hardly noticing him).


  15. dvyk May 24, 2015 / 10:07 am

    Well, I thought Bell would get a big score today. Wrong. I’ve mentioned this before, but Cook doesn’t know how to back up. No one will Mankad him in test cricket, but there’s always the danger of a run out off a ricochet.


    • metatone May 24, 2015 / 10:25 am

      I wouldn’t be surprised if Australia Mankad him at some point, just to get under his skin.


      • dvyk May 24, 2015 / 11:17 am

        If they do, I will make a donation to which ever charity that person supports!

        Liked by 1 person

  16. Zephirine May 24, 2015 / 10:22 am

    I wonder what’s wrong with Bell? Even when his batting doesn’t fire, he usually fields very well but that’s been off too recently.

    Perhaps it’s the arrival of his former colleague Straussy. Or having the vice-captaincy taken away. Maybe he wants to be deselected and go back to Warks and have a nice life.

    Liked by 1 person

    • paule May 24, 2015 / 10:48 am

      The England dressing room can’t have been a nice place to be for a decent human being these last few years. Maybe he’s had enough.

      Liked by 3 people

    • SimonH May 24, 2015 / 10:50 am

      It wasn’t widely reported but Bell had to pass a fitness test to play in Bridgetown so he might be carrying an injury – although there has been nothing noticeable in his movements.

      Talking of injuries, McCullum has been feeling his left hamstring a lot.


      • metatone May 24, 2015 / 10:53 am

        England to draw this match and then sneak a win against a McC-less NZ in the second match.
        Cook to be knighted.


      • LordCanisLupus May 24, 2015 / 10:57 am

        Off topic, but you raised it with me yesterday I think, Simon. “The Plan”. Is there one in the book? I’ve read about a third of it and it’s just a love letter to Fletcher and Flower.


      • SimonH May 24, 2015 / 12:25 pm

        LCL, wasn’t the first edition of the book just about Fletcher? Then you could argue there was a clear plan. The chapters on Moores and Flower in the second edition just felt bolted on and I felt he never really got to the bottom of Flower’s approach. It of course wasn’t helped by being written just after the win in India when Flower-worship was at its zenith.

        I’ll forgive him much if he produces a third edition and shows some insight into what happened during the ‘difficult winter’. From his recent newspaper writing I’m not betting on it though.


    • metatone May 24, 2015 / 10:56 am

      Maybe Bell knows he was caught looking out a window? Or whistling at the wrong time?
      He has to know that he’ll be dropped before Cook will – and that kind of pressure doesn’t always turn into scores of 355. Sometimes knowing you’re the fall guy makes you wonder why you bother…

      Liked by 1 person

  17. lionel joseph May 24, 2015 / 10:23 am

    This is good from Cook so far. Credit where it’s due.


    • thelegglance May 24, 2015 / 10:28 am

      Best I’ve seen him look in a couple of years to be honest.


      • lionel joseph May 24, 2015 / 10:45 am

        yep. there have been so many occasions in the last twelve months where he’s stayed in because the bowling hasn’t been up to scratch. it’s been very good this morning and his judgement and movement has been very solid in response.


      • metatone May 24, 2015 / 10:56 am

        Maybe it has all clicked? He was looking a bit all over the place in the 1st innings… but sometimes that’s the moment before things come back together.


      • SimonH May 24, 2015 / 11:06 am

        Cook is playing exactly as he did at Bridgetown – he’s staying in by not attempting any scoring shots off the front foot against the seamers. Tendulkar made a double century in Sydney not playing the off-drive so it can be done but it isn’t especially attractive..

        Cook’s wagon-wheel shows 27 of his 47 have come behind square on the leg side. Some have been clips off his pads but quite a few have been from hooks – NZ have overdone the short stuff to him (although he top-edged the first bouncer and was fortunate it fell safe).


        • LordCanisLupus May 24, 2015 / 11:19 am

          The reaction to the 50 on Twitter was extraordinary. I get that people think he’s looking like his old self, but his old self made big centuries when in his pomp. I’m not saying it’s over the top, but I’m thinking Usman Afzaal, The Oval 2001 at the moment.

          When he gets to 150 then let’s have a party. Because he’s been “nearly back to his best” since Southampton.

          Liked by 1 person

      • lionel joseph May 24, 2015 / 11:26 am

        to be entirely fair, this 50 is way better than his centuries and scratchy 90s of the past 12 months.


        • LordCanisLupus May 24, 2015 / 11:30 am

          Yes. It’s against better bowling. But contrast it against him in prime nick, which this still isn’t, and the bloke at the other end, who has been scrapping and has got 29 already, and it’s more about the message than the content.

          I know I’ll get accused of all sorts, but I don’t get carried away with 50s like the press seem to (not my co-writer and you LJ), as some sort of reinforcement that they are right, and have been. If this is 165 not out tonight, I’ll tip my hat. Let’s wait until that happens.


      • lionel joseph May 24, 2015 / 11:32 am

        The thing is, if he’d been playing like he did at Southampton last year, he would have been out about 10 times this morning.

        It’s tough to judge his scoring rate because he’s always been a player who waits for the bowlers to give him balls to hit, and he’s had very few opportunities today

        ….as he gets two of his favourite balls to cut away and pull away respectively.


      • Arron Wright May 24, 2015 / 11:48 am

        “Rapturous lunchtime applause” coming right up, no doubt.


  18. amit May 24, 2015 / 10:44 am

    Has anyone seen Boult bring the ball in to a left handed batsman yet? He’s primarily bowling outswingers to cook that are being left alone. Zaheer Khan used to set people up and then bring one back sharply for an LBW. I haven’t yet spotted Boult try that trick here.


  19. PepperSydney May 24, 2015 / 10:51 am

    Matt Henry…a devious bowler, delightful to watch him spangle up Joe Root, Joe concentrating like mad to play a shot…


    • BoerInAustria May 24, 2015 / 11:00 am

      Ed Talks (on Cook)
      “I haven’t seen a better concentrator playing for England. I can’t think of anyone better at getting into a space, staying calm and blocking it all out.”

      Pity he cannot block out the Trust issues


      • escort May 24, 2015 / 11:07 am

        Then i guess Ed never saw Mike Atherton play

        Liked by 1 person

      • Grumpy Gaz May 24, 2015 / 12:35 pm

        Clearly Trott is already forgotten.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Benny May 24, 2015 / 12:47 pm

        Does he know nothing about his fellow commentator with the stick of rhubarb?

        Liked by 1 person

  20. metatone May 24, 2015 / 11:20 am

    Dangerous period for NZ now. From here until about 2pm the weather will remain better for batting.
    Around 2pm the threat of showers should refresh the bowling… but by then Cook and Root could have put quite a few runs on.


    • metatone May 24, 2015 / 11:30 am

      Extra danger for NZ is that the key players who have been in T20 mode for a while may be feeling a dip in energy…


  21. SimonH May 24, 2015 / 12:31 pm

    I’d like to see NZ try bowling straighter at Cook with men just in front and behind of square – essentially the Siddle field to Pietersen but at square leg rather than mid-wicket. There might be some chance of a catch but more to block off his main run scoring area. Cook might be too well set by now though.

    I’ll be surprised if Clarke doesn’t try something like that in the Ashes.


  22. thelegglance May 24, 2015 / 12:56 pm

    England going well at the moment, but they are only a couple of good balls away from being deep in the mire. There’s loads of work to do yet.


    • BoerInAustria May 24, 2015 / 1:27 pm

      brilliant game though!
      looking forward to the next 4 tests… oh..


  23. Arron Wright May 24, 2015 / 1:38 pm

    Hey you! You Outside Cricket! Prepare to assume the position, HERETIC.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Grumpy Gaz May 24, 2015 / 2:00 pm

      Well, the ideal situation was Cook back to his best but not captain. Sadly, if he has got his mojo back, we will be stuck with inspid, uninspired leadership for the forseeable future.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Zephirine May 24, 2015 / 2:06 pm

      Well, have to admit there was a v loud cheer from the Lord’s crowd for Cook. Somebody loves him.


      • Boz May 24, 2015 / 3:13 pm

        apparently, Nasser Hussein has claimed that there’s a lovely, warm feeling at Lords and in the whole country for Alastair – not with me there isn’t – it feels the right time to give cricket in England a very wide berth

        Liked by 1 person

    • LordCanisLupus May 24, 2015 / 2:12 pm

      An opener going almost two years without a hundred was never an issue then? Oh well, that’s alright then.

      The vapidity of their argument sickens me. Oh well, he’s made two on the bounce now, so all is well. Great.

      We weren’t wrong.

      This is a very good hundred, and I can say that because I’m not as vindictive and spiteful as these wretched people are. He was shit. Absolute rubbish for 10 Ashes tests and beyond. The North Korean press round is hilarious.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Arron Wright May 24, 2015 / 2:15 pm

        It’s his first hundred at home for 13 matches. He has none in ten at home to Australia. I mean, ffs, we can’t wait before crowing? Hateful.


      • BoerInAustria May 24, 2015 / 2:45 pm

        … and I would like to thank Compton, Carberry and Robson for their patients, support and understanding…


      • thebogfather May 24, 2015 / 2:57 pm

        And he’s still ‘our’ f-ing hopeless captain…


    • LordCanisLupus May 24, 2015 / 2:21 pm

      Said it partially in jest but his last five innings in this test match, i.e the second one of the first Lord’s test of the summer, he now averages 84.75 .


    • jomesy May 24, 2015 / 2:23 pm

      Surely you should always be batting for your future?


  24. Arron Wright May 24, 2015 / 2:18 pm

    You can not get more Inside Cricket than his most recent tweet. God, tonight’s report will be insufferable.


    • escort May 24, 2015 / 4:33 pm

      Why read it if it’s going to be “insufferable”?


      • Arron Wright May 24, 2015 / 4:34 pm

        Do I have to explain this again? Most other contributors seem to get it.


        • LordCanisLupus May 24, 2015 / 4:50 pm

          Erm….Nash appears to have unblocked me on Twitter. This could be interesting.


      • escort May 24, 2015 / 4:51 pm

        If you choose to upset yourself by reading the thoughts of an establishment stooge just because he writes for your newspaper of choice then that is up to you.


      • escort May 24, 2015 / 4:59 pm

        Ok boss.


      • Arron Wright May 24, 2015 / 8:53 pm

        It’s not just the report: sorry I didn’t make that clearer. There was a highly engaged and good humoured community there for years. Now look what a mess it is, polarised beyond repair and occupied by trolls and buffoons who are determined to misrepresent our position in exactly the same way Selvey does. He blames us (look at LCL’s subheading for instance). I blame him: none of the loyal commenters who ended up decamping to blogs like this expected such blatantly partial, personal, agenda-driven stuff to be pushed from a place of trust and privilege for the best part of three years. Even today people BTL are talking about the “vitriol” aimed at Cook as if Clive and the rest just woke up one day and decided to despise him out of pure spite and malice. Today almost reminded me how I felt when both AC and KP made hundreds in Mumbai. But it can never be like that again, and that’s partly down to people like Selvey turning this into Harry Potter v Lord Voldemort, instead of a complex saga of high performing sportsmen.


  25. hatmallet May 24, 2015 / 2:20 pm

    Well done Cook. His 32nd hundred for England, the joint-most – shared with… oh never mind!


  26. lionel joseph May 24, 2015 / 2:41 pm

    Selvey pointed out, quite early on in the piece, that it was Cook’s becoming One Day captain and having to return to limited overs crickets that may have precipitated his decline in test form.

    If I had made such an observation, I would now take the opportunity of pointing this out again, now his form has returned.

    It was an incredibly costly mistake, and now the tide may have finally turned, it would seem to be a better time to look at the losses, rather than over celebrating a slightly Pyrrhic victory.

    I’m delighted that Cook has scored a quality century, it provides some much needed encouragement for the summer. Not least we can stop hearing about how good he is in the dressing room, his inner steel and other such shit.

    But the decision kept Hales out of our one day side. He was a shadow of himself for the better part of two years, and never before has a player enjoyed such a privileged selection, which reflected incredibly poorly on the selectors and the ECB.

    Fuck you all and shut the fuck up is a pretty childish, and very insecure response.

    Liked by 1 person

  27. Grumpy Gaz May 24, 2015 / 4:08 pm

    Oh Ben Stokes you fool! You just took a gigantic dump all over Iron Rod’s moment of triumph! Dead man walking!

    Liked by 1 person

    • metatone May 24, 2015 / 4:14 pm

      Worth noting that the old regime (pre-Farby?) didn’t trust Stokes… for all they will bask in his contributions in this match…


      • BoerInAustria May 24, 2015 / 4:17 pm

        I salute you Sir Numpty – well batted!

        Liked by 1 person

  28. pktroll (@pktroll) May 24, 2015 / 4:33 pm

    Much as I have slagged him off this has been a far better innings from Cook than any he has played since India in 2012. His idiot fanboys will go on about those runs that he scored in the back half of the India series but he looked better balanced even last night in the last hour of play after a dodgy start. Credit where credit is due. He’s understood where his off stump has been again. I make right what has been said above about his removal from the ODI side no doubt having a bearing on this.

    However, what can I say about Stokes. I have had a feeling for a fair while that Mo is not a no 6 and have been happy that Stokes has been restored there. Now he’s even playing a nice cover drive.


  29. hatmallet May 24, 2015 / 4:36 pm

    Stokes averages 49 at #6.

    Warming up before the Sri Lanka Tests with games for Durham, he had more cricket behind him than Prior and Broad, yet was dropped – rumours were that they were punishing him for injuring himself before the World T20.

    2014 could have been so much different for him had England not done that.


  30. escort May 24, 2015 / 4:37 pm

    As the batsman that has been at the crease all day should he not think about taking this game by the scruff of the neck and up his scoring rate? Has he forgotten that there is a game to win?


    • Boz May 24, 2015 / 5:09 pm

      it maybe that Cook is nearing the all-time record runs scorer for England if he get about 60/70 more runs – and doesn’t want to ruin HIS opportunity – so it seems the ‘team’ can wait whilst he seeks personal gratification – he used the West Indies tour as a personal ‘net’ session – has scored 18 runs in the last hour – this is an ego trip for the dear leader, how nice of him!!!


    • hatmallet May 24, 2015 / 7:33 pm

      Has Cook ever been that batsman though? He plays a certain way and does it very effectively (or more accurately, it now doing so again after a few years’ of struggle). Just like Stokes should play his game, Cook should play his.


  31. escort May 24, 2015 / 5:15 pm

    He’s not even looking like attacking the bowling is he? We keep hearing guff from the ECB about the team and trust but this is not the captain batting for the team is it?


  32. d'Arthez May 24, 2015 / 5:43 pm

    So 355/4 for the day. Dear Leader made 121/0 from 240 balls.

    Looks like the draw is saved. But unless conditions are similar to day 3, I don’t think England will be rolling over New Zealand too cheaply, nor do I see a declaration happening with a RRR of less than 5. And since the lead is 295, that makes it very unlikely that the chase will be more than 80 overs (and hence will not involve a second new ball).

    England have been extremely lucky with umpire’s calls throughout the match.


    • d'Arthez May 24, 2015 / 5:51 pm

      Okay, I was two overs early. Cook did not add to his tally (6 balls, no runs).


    • metatone May 24, 2015 / 5:56 pm

      Much as I said earlier on, if I had to put money somewhere, it would still be on the draw.
      An Anderson magic spell could change matters – but much as England don’t collapse in every match, they can’t expect a magic spell from Jimmy, either.


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