West Indies vs. England, Third Test – Day 3

If Day 2 was a very enjoyable day of Test cricket, with first of all England collapsing in a heap once again and then the West Indian team following suit mainly down to the fiery spell by Mark Wood, then Day 3 was the complete antithesis of this. The West Indian side despite taking a wicket with the first ball of the day, looked weary and disinterested especially with Keemo Paul injured and unable to bowl. This unfortunately happens often in a dead rubber game, the series winners can’t seem to find the oomph to drive the final nail in the coffin home and usually what follows is a pretty insipid performance, after all England are no strangers to this, though we would naturally take a poor English performance in this Test for a series win in hindsight.

The opening pair of the tourists were once again in the spotlight, with Rory Burns looking to trying to cement his place in the side for the summer ahead and Keaton Jennings playing in what should be his last Test for a very long while. Therefore it must have been doubly disappointing for Burns hit a loosener from Paul straight down the throat of square leg to depart first ball of the day. Burns has looked compact and in control of his game in this series much as he did in Sri Lanka but the lack of a significant score must be playing both on his mind and those of the selectors. In retrospect, he can be seen as quite fortunate that Jennings at the other end has looked like he has never picked up a cricket bat before. Jennings ironically looked better than he has for the whole series, almost if he was resigned to losing his place after this Test, but having moved to a score of 23, he then managed to miss a ball going down the leg side, which then flicked his stumps and removed the bails. It was a sorry way to go for the soon to depart England opener, but equally rather sums up his unfortunate time at the top of the order. It’s sad to say that Jennings, much like Gary Ballance before him, found his technique wanting at the highest level, but instead of working on his flaws like many used to when they were discarded from the Test team and sent back to county cricket to fix these. He has found himself back in the side without making any significant changes to his technique due to the lack of talent in the ranks. Sadly the result of this was always going to be inevitable failure.

Joe Denly came in and chanced his arm somewhat but also played some good shots on his way to making 69, even if he will be horribly upset by his dismissal which was a lose waft at a wide delivery from Gabriel, when a century was on the cards. Denly has looked far better this game than he did on his debut, though that couldn’t have been too hard and has at least given the selectors a bit of food for thought. One thing I would say is that this is not the motivated West Indian attack of the first two Tests and he still didn’t inspire a lot of confidence at the crease whilst he was batting, so continuing to pick him on one decent Test Innings should be regarded as a rather rash state of affairs (see Mark Wood also). One would think that Denly needs to score a mountain of runs in the first division this summer to keep his name in the frame, something that his average of 34 in first class cricket suggests he might not be able to do. Still England’s complete lack of options at the top of the order may save him for the First Test of the Ashes, though equally I’m sure the selectors are desperate to select James Vince again after a few pretty half centuries.

The rest of the session before tea was very much after the lord’s mayor’s show with Root who has been seriously out of touch all series trying to graft himself into some sort of form and Buttler, who quietly has been the most impressive of England’s batsmen over the past 12 months, milking a tired and under-strength West Indian attack. If watching 2 part-time spinners (though one of them still managed to skittle our batting line up in the First Test) lobbing pies as the English batsmen is your thing then you were in for the treat, most I suspect turned the channel over, another pitfall of the dead-rubber. The only slight panic was when Buttler was given out caught by Rod Tucker when the ball was nowhere close to the bat and thankfully is the sort of howler that DRS was originally bought in to try and eliminate. Root quickly reached his half-century after tea with Buttler reaching his 50 not too long after.

The snooze fest was briefly livened up with the introduction of the 2ndnew ball with Buttler bowled by a cracker of a delivery by Kemar Roach; however at 375 ahead with 6 wickets remaining a huge collapse was going to be necessary to interest even the most ardent of Test Cricket fans. Both Roach and Gabriel bowled very well with the new ball and made the ball talk, indicating once again that the effective use of the new ball is key on this pitch, but Root and Stokes survived the onslaught to put England in a commanding position. After surviving a testing new ball period, Root finally went on to make his 16th Test century which would have been a blessed relief as he has looked as ‘out of nick’ on this tour as I’ve seen him in a long time, though no doubt tinged with regret as he could only make a significant score when the series was already gone.

England now with their bowlers health in mind and wanting to give the West Indies a taste of their own medicine by keeping them out on the field and bowling on a hot and humid day, should have more than enough to win this Test from here. One would imagine that they will try and bat until lunch tomorrow and gain a lead of around 550 before re-inserting the West Indians. Not that this at all matters because we have already lost the series and this only saves a modicum of embarrassment. I’ll be interested if this is reflected in the final thoughts from the England camp at the end of the series.

Judging from the inertia from today’s play, I’m not expecting a load of comments, so those who read the blog but aren’t inclined to comment, why not take 2 minutes to introduce yourself to your fellow community?  Especially as you’re currently reading this after today’s turgid affair! How about name/nom de guerre, how you found the blog, favourite county team (if applicable) and favourite English cricket moment from the past? I’ll Start:

Name: Sean

How did I find the blog: A latecomer to HWDLIA who then transferred over to BOC once Dmitri set up the new site. A few guest posts later and suddenly I find myself writing for the blog.

Favourite County: Middlesex (cue the outrage and inevitable abuse, probably mainly from Danny)

Favourite English Cricket moment: Alastair Cook being hit in the balls…Oh and the 2005 Ashes.

Anyone else game??

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35 thoughts on “West Indies vs. England, Third Test – Day 3

  1. Mark Chapman Feb 11, 2019 / 9:48 pm

    Name: Mark
    Found Blog: Transferred from HDWLIA which I probably found via Twitter
    County: Northants. Unfashionable but develop the odd gem.
    Favourite England moment: Harmison roughing up Ponting.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sean Feb 11, 2019 / 9:56 pm

      Nice to meet you Mark, though it seems you’ve followed us for quite a while. Northants have punched above their weight for a little while and I personally loved it when they beat Surrey in the 2013 T20 final. Not a fan of a certain Jade Dernbach…

      Like

  2. waikatoguy Feb 11, 2019 / 10:23 pm

    Michael is my name and Ive followed his site off and on for a while. Originally from NZ and still follow them primarily.

    Found blog: came over from HDWLIA but followed Thefulltoss before that so probably came over from there.

    County: followed Kent when I lived in England so them, I guess.

    Favourite England moment: I guess a person of my age would say Botham’s ashes was the most notable Ive seen but thinking about it perhaps I should go back to the begining. I first saw England play back in 1977 when visiting Melbourne at the Centennial test. Derek Randall, Tony Grieg, Mike Brearley and all of the rest of the gang. To me its always been the benchmark to judge great test matches by.

    Like

    • Sean Feb 11, 2019 / 10:29 pm

      Hi Michael, good to meet you and thanks for following and commenting. I’d have loved to have witnessed both the 81 Ashes and the 77 centennial Test live, the latter must have been an amazing experience. Just can’t compare today’s game with that sort of era.

      Like

      • waikatoguy Feb 13, 2019 / 5:09 am

        It was something. I still remember little things like Randall fielding at cover and running in instead of walking in with the bowler. And Lillie bowling to him of course.

        Like

  3. Tony Bennett Feb 11, 2019 / 11:11 pm

    Name: Tony
    Found Blog: Came in right at the end of HDWLIA and naturally moved over.
    County: Surrey. I do enjoy the good years when they come, and sometimes the waiting takes a long time.
    Favourite England moment: In terms of when I was actually present, I think it must be England’s win over the West Indies at Lord’s in 2000, by 2 wickets, in those old days when it was just beginning to be possible to believe in beating them. Which went on to happen in that series. And as a non-attender I would go for Botham’s Ashes. During the Headingley 149* I must have called the BT cricket score line repeatedly every minute while Botham approached his ton. I was supposedly at work.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sean Feb 12, 2019 / 7:22 pm

      I remember that game in 2000. I was at the then other half’s family bbq and wouldn’t leave the sofa until the end of the game. I was not the popular one…

      Like

  4. rpoultz Feb 12, 2019 / 7:31 am

    Name: Ross

    Found Blog: In 2014 when looking for some rational thoughts rather than MSM rubbish in the wake of the KP sage. HDWLIA and subsequently BOC have become the must visit site for all things cricket for me. Honestly, this site is a gem!

    County: Should be Essex as that is where I am from but find myself increasingly unable to support due to how the club is run. Have a soft spot for Surrey due to where I work atm.

    Favourite England moment: Tufnell vs Australia 1997 at the Oval! What might have been!!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. metatone Feb 12, 2019 / 8:24 am

    Some thoughts:

    1) Feels unfair to me to bracket Wood with Denly. When properly fit Wood has always bowled in a manner that gives batsmen some pause. He has bowled Test quality spells. Denly on the other hand hasn’t looked like a Test quality top-order batsman in recent years.

    Of course, keeping Wood fit, resting him at the right times, not playing him when he’s not fit… these are all things the England medical setup is useless at… and I could rant about that at length… but that’s not Wood’s fault.

    2) I didn’t get to watch play, so I didn’t know WI were a bowler down on top of it being a dead rubber. Of course, runs still have to be scored, so credit to the individual batsmen, but all the more reason not to let the ECB & management get away with a “we’ve got the train back on the rails” narrative.

    3)

    Nom de rant: Metatone

    Journey: Found HDWLIA as a refugee from The G comment section, looking for sanity as the KP saga started. Drifted on to here like the flotsam I am.

    County: Yorkshire, for my sins. Not only was I born there, but I was a teenager when Tendulkar came over to be the OP. So, got me on both sides of the heritage. Seen enough triumph and disaster with the county to largely be able to treat those two imposters the same. Much more worried about the structures of CC as a whole. Live in London, so in theory I should watch some CC at Mdx or Surrey, but work and schedules haven’t really cooperated in the last couple of years.

    Favourite Cricket Moment: I’ll post it in a reply to this comment as there’s a youtube and it’s a tiny moment.

    Like

    • metatone Feb 12, 2019 / 8:24 am

      Here it is. Of course what makes the slower ball is the preceding fast bowling that makes it a surprise. But still, this is a fantastic moment:

      Like

      • Sean Feb 12, 2019 / 7:25 pm

        Yes that’s mine too. I mentioned the 2005 Ashes as my favourite moment but that really was amazing. I was in a pub in London Bridge and the whole place went wild.

        Like

        • Rohan Feb 12, 2019 / 8:56 pm

          I was fortunate enough to be at Edgbaston to see it. I was in the Hollies stand, what an atmosphere. What we couldn’t see, however, was that it was a slower ball, we thought Harmy had bowled Clarke with a searing Yorker.

          Flintoff’s over to Ponting on the same afternoon was also huge, the place erupted when he got Punter out!

          Liked by 1 person

          • Sean Feb 12, 2019 / 9:07 pm

            Very jealous indeed. Edgbaston is my favourite ground to watch Test Cricket and I always sit in the Hollies when I do. The place must have been absolutely jumping…

            Like

          • Rohan Feb 12, 2019 / 10:41 pm

            Jumping doesn’t even come close Sean, it was unreal, 2005 really was very special and that Saturday at Edgbaston, we’ll it will live long in the memory!

            Liked by 2 people

          • nonoxcol Feb 13, 2019 / 10:47 am

            Rohan

            I can say with confidence that I will never see a better day’s Test cricket than the Saturday at Edgbaston. I was only watching on television but, taken as a whole, it remains the best single day’s *sport* I think I’ve ever seen.

            Like

    • Sean Feb 12, 2019 / 7:24 pm

      My only issue with Wood (and why I grouped him with Denly) is precisely that. Wood is just not effective when not 100 percent and it is rarer than not that he actually is…

      Like

  6. nonoxcol Feb 12, 2019 / 9:57 am

    Name: see above, enough people here know it already

    Found blog: HDLWIA. In the interests of accuracy I just checked, and I first linked to HDLWIA from the Guardian comments exactly five years ago today, on 12 February 2014. The immediate consequences of this were covered in Dmitri’s next two blog posts “Who Are You? Who Who Who…. You Don’t Really Want To Know” and “My Head Is In A Spin. My Feet Don’t Touch The Ground”. The longer term consequences are here for all to see.

    Favourite county: Nottinghamshire. I am a Derbys/Notts border child (to the extent that my parents’ home is in Derbyshire but has a Nottingham postcode). I chose Notts largely because of the players they had in the 1980s, and them having a Test ground. As a non-cricketing county I much prefer Derbyshire, because I like walking.

    Favourite English cricket moment: In my lifetime but not seen live on TV – Bob Willis removing Ray Bright’s middle stump to complete Headingley 1981. Actually seen live on TV – the Flintoff over to Langer/Ponting on day three at Edgbaston 2005. At a Test match I attended – Robin Smith taking Merv Hughes for about 30 off 2 overs at Trent Bridge in 1989. Or counter-intuitively/just to say “I was there” – this.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ball_of_the_Century

    My actual favourite cricketing moment (seen live on TV) is nothing to do with England – it’s the final session or so of West Indies v Australia at Bridgetown 1999. I saw that in Champs, Ecclesall Road, Sheffield, after work. I wonder if you’d have any chance of persuading a sports bar to show non-English cricket instead of *any* football today.

    (Incidentally, the 20th anniversary of that Test match is next month)

    Liked by 1 person

  7. oreston Feb 12, 2019 / 7:17 pm

    Name: Paul.

    Found blog: In 2012 (I think) I started seeing references on the Maxie Allen-era TFT to some bloke calling himself Dmitri Old who apparently had his own place. Found HDWLIA and it all went from there.

    County: Warwickshire, I suppose. Not brimming with enthusiasm these days.

    Favourite England moment: RGD Willis 8/43 at Headingly in 1981 (and being a grumpy bugger in his post-match TV interview). Botham’s Ashes they called that series, but it was always a team effort and no one moment was bigger than that bowling spell.

    Back to present day Test cricket: I see there’s yet another keenly fought contest going on in the Caribbean between two teams each at the very top of their game with a nail biting finish in prospect. Glad that I live am I.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Benny Feb 12, 2019 / 8:54 pm

    Snooze fest – definitely. Love this series for showing so many batsmen leaping around against hostile bowling. Joining in:

    Benny

    County- Surrey. I was brought up in South London. Now in Sussex but it doesn’t compare

    Best moment: Headingly 81, Botham and Dilley and then, as Oreston said, Bob Willis killing the Aussies off. The most extraordinary event ever. Just a mention for Headingly 1957 (yes I go back a long way) listening on the radio with my dad to May and Cowdrey fighting back against the previous astonishing West Indies team with a 411 partnership. Got me hooked

    Like

  9. Rohan Feb 12, 2019 / 9:05 pm

    Name: Rohan

    Found blog: same as lots on here, was looking for some non-biased/balanced/honest pieces on the whole KP affair and saw a link for HDWLIA on the guardian comments, followed it and never looked back.

    Favourite county: always been Surrey, sorry, but born and bred here, so never been interested in any others really…..

    Favourite cricket moment: jeez that’s tough. I think it would have to be the bowling of one Simon Jones in 2005, just great to see and behold, the sheer joy of seeing him bowl fast and control that reverse swing, but close run thing with many others, such as day 5 Brisbane 2010, or the win in the dark when Thorpe was batting etc.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sean Feb 12, 2019 / 9:08 pm

      Yep, that Pakistan Test was memorable and Thorpe always looked totally in control. I was sat in the pub watching the end of the game as I’d just finished my final University exam!

      Like

      • Rohan Feb 12, 2019 / 10:44 pm

        Nice way to do it Sean! I remember watching the end of the Eng v SA test in Joburg 2005 in a pub as Hoggard ran through them, great memories.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Sean Feb 12, 2019 / 10:46 pm

          Ha, I was in the only bar in Doha showing it 😀

          Like

  10. Northern Light Feb 12, 2019 / 9:12 pm

    Name: StJohn. Don’t even try to imagine what my life was like at rural schools in Norfolk. Also don’t imagine I’m in any way connected to the social circles you might expect with a name like that 🙂

    Found blog: Pointed at it when it was still HDWLIA from comments on the Guardian. Never looked back.

    County: Kent – well, Norfolk were never an option and I had a choice between my parents’ two favourites of Kent or Surrey. I’ve always favoured the underdog and Surrey were a bit too big and shiny! I’m still bitter about not winning the County Championship that year when Worcestershire pipped us but we’d been denied a bowling point when one of our opponents couldn’t muster 11 batsmen in their first innings…

    Favourite England moment: Probably the last wicket at Edgbaston in 2005. That whole summer is suffused with rose-tinted memory for me – the only time my Dad has ever visited me in Scotland, the first and only time I’d ever owned my own property (back renting now, such is life) and an Ashes series for the Ages. But that Sunday morning was reminding me of all those many moments as an England fan when things just seemed to be going all wrong, only to pull it out of the fire at the last minute in a most un-England like way.

    I’ll stop now before I get all Fred Trueman on you.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. quebecer Feb 13, 2019 / 1:49 am

    I’ll play.

    Name: Greg. Nice to meet you.

    Found blog: Dirty secret #1 – it was Fred. I stuck it out for quite a while BTL, loyal fella that I am, but then found everyone I actually liked talking with there was actually here. Plus, the fact is that the writing here is better than it is there. Now happy to support this blog in perpetuity. Loyal fella that I am.

    County: Dirty secret #2 – Middlesex. Can’t help it. Grew up there, played in the colts up to YCs etc.

    Favourite England moment: 2005 – the emergence of Pietersen. Before that, I’d loved watching Lamb and Smith take on the West Indies, and Botham’s booming batting before that. You know, if you go back and watch what Botham was doing in the 80s, he was genuinely 20+ years ahead of his time. Although for some reason, my favourite England moment is Kapil Dev hitting those 6s off Eddie Hemmings, back when avoiding the follow on was a thing.

    Dirty Secret #3: I am involved in sports professionally (though quite low on the for chain), but hope that Rooto will keep details secret (zeph might also know).

    Liked by 1 person

    • dannycricket Feb 13, 2019 / 7:55 am

      Middlesex? Boooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo!!

      Like

      • Sean Feb 13, 2019 / 8:00 am

        Right on cue….

        Like

        • dannycricket Feb 13, 2019 / 8:15 am

          I, not unlike Joe Root, know that I must oppose evil like this at every turn…

          Like

          • Sean Feb 13, 2019 / 8:23 am

            Surely you need to go and walk your ferret or something…

            Like

    • Deep Purple Fred Feb 13, 2019 / 2:02 pm

      Oh my God, what have I done?

      Like

  12. Deep Purple Fred Feb 13, 2019 / 2:44 pm

    Name: Fred, obviously. (The Deep Purple bit is just to highlight Quebecer’s inadequacies).

    Found blog: Trying to give Quebecer the slip, (clearly failed). Someone, clive I think, kept banging on about this Dmitri guy, so I had a look. Turned out to be a place full of intelligent skeptics with exceptional cricket knowledge and perspective. I’m a bit of a ring-in, but I haven’t been kicked off yet.

    County: um, London? Edinburgh? Not sure, but they’re my favourite places.

    Favourite England moment:
    Was thinking it might be this (the whole innings, really):

    But ultimately had to go for this, sorry:

    Like

    • Deep Purple Fred Feb 13, 2019 / 2:49 pm

      The KP video was supposed to highlight depositing Steyn back over his head at the 8:40 point.
      The long boundary from the ball outside off immediately preceeding it is a candidate too. It doesn’t really look like a feasible shot, but it was for him.

      Like

    • Northern Light Feb 13, 2019 / 6:00 pm

      No need to apologise for that Cook wicket. Didn’t anyone tell you that this was an Anti-Cook blog?!
      😉

      Like

      • Deep Purple Fred Feb 14, 2019 / 1:59 pm

        Yeah, I felt pretty safe from any backlash.

        Like

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