96th over: West Indies 283-8 (Chase 48, Roach 4) Chase, who made 47 and 37 at the Rose Bowl, and took five wickets in the first innings here, hits another lip-smacking fours through extra-cover off Curran.
Dear Tanya, writes Peter Rowntree.
â€œCanâ€™t really believe you are a cat stomach tickler. When a cat rolls on his/her back it is showing you it is happy and secure in its environment, that is not an invitation to tickle itsâ€™ tum. In the wild a cat always protects its stomach which is the weakest part of itsâ€™ body, so if you tickle the said â€˜tumâ€™ the cat thinks you are attacking it and any self-respecting Moggy is likely either to scratch your hand or bite it, or both. You may well say that you are not the sort of person to attack cats, and I believe you, but what I think is not important, whatâ€™s important is what the cat thinks and it is likely to mutilate your hand for the aggression you have shown it.â€
Guilty! Iâ€™m not really a cat person. Those unpredicable claws…I just felt Stokes was more feline than canine.
95th over: West Indies 272-8 (Chase 41, Roach 0) An anti-climactic maiden from Woakes.
Would we even want the Windies to follow on if Stokes is out of action? asks Trevor Barnet.
â€œEither way difficult to see how this isnâ€™t a draw come tomorrow evening. Doesnâ€™t mean we canâ€™t enjoy it for now!â€
Apparently it was indigestion! Stokes is back on the pitch.
94th over: West Indies 272-8 (Chase 41, Roach 0) Anticipation over. Mop them brows. Send for a brew. Chase whips Curran wide of mid-on for four and then pulls a long-hop to long leg for four more. Ten off the over, a follow-on averted, and one plotline crossed out. West Indies a huge stride closer to retaining the Wisden Trophy.
93rd over: West Indies 262-8 (Chase 30, Roach 0) Woakes on the money in his non-regulations black plastic headband. Roach sways, plays a straight bat, thrusts his front pad forward. Eight needed.
Geoff Wignall writes: â€œBoa tarde Tanya,I like Iain McShaneâ€™s suggestion for a rejigged order (87th over), though I might be tempted to open with Curran.But it isnâ€™t going to happen, is it? I suspect Burns and Crawley will open, maybe with Stokes at three, and am very confident that Root wonâ€™t be looking to demote himself; so then Buttler, Pope and Curran at 5, 6 & 7 – or Pope then Buttler. Which could work.â€
92nd over: West Indies 261-8 (Chase 30, Roach 0) Curran keeps it mostly full, his fourth ball strikes Roach on the pads. England review – but Roach had got an inside edge – England lose a review, with just one now remaining. Nine needed.
91st over: West Indies 260-8 (Chase 30, Roach 0) On a captainâ€™s hunch, Woakes replaces Broad, and Root is rewarded almost straight away as Holder steers Woakesâ€™ second ball to slip. Roach survives the remaining four balls and itâ€™s all getting a bit tasty. West Indies have lost four for 18!
WICKET! Holder c Root b Woakes 2
Holder gives Root some catching practise at slip as West Indiesâ€™ Mr Reliable has to leave before steering the ship to safety. Just ten needed to avoid the follow-on!
90th over: West Indies 260-7 (Chase 30, Holder 2) Ah, no. Stokes looks increasingly discomforted by his abdominal pain during the over, and furious when he drifts wide and Chase turns him to midwicket for four. At the end of the over, he walks off the pitch and into the pavilion, replaced by substitute Overton. Did he overbowl after lunch?
89th over: West Indies 256-7 (Chase 26, Holder 2) Stuart Broad is riding the Stuart Broad wave: the eyes are wide, the arms are long, the energy is high. Just a (risky) single from the over. In the nets Archer continues his exertions, watched by THREE men in England tracksuits – as normal human being, that level of scrutiny seems almost unbearable.
88th over: West Indies 255-7 (Chase 25, Holder 2) Stokes, fresh from his 11 over spell before tea, is back. Holder strokes him through the covers for a couple. Stokes rubs his tummy, repeatedly, just where youâ€™d tickle a cat. Stomach muscle issues?
87th over: West Indies 252-7 (Chase 24, Holder 0) The reassuring presence of Jason Holder towers over the stumps. He prods back at Broadâ€™s last three balls, a hand on the shoulder of the West Indies batting. How well Broad has bowled with this new ball! Inspired by his place on the balcony at the Rose Bowl? This from Iain McShane may have a limited shelf life….18 to avoid the follow-on.
â€œThis new ball is talking, Tanya, now Jermaine B has been castled by a great ball from Apache Broad: and itâ€™s saying: â€œGuys: you may well save the follow-on. But with a hard pill â€˜doing The Jamâ€™ and â€œGoing Undergroundâ€, this could still be a toughie to save.â€ So, assuming the West Indies DO save the F.O., do England change the batting order? An hour or so tonight could see England put on another 100 runs. No real need for the estimable Sibbers in such circumstances. My choice to open? Crawley and Buttler; then Stokes, Pope, Curran, in whatever order best maintains a left/right pairing at the crease. Could be fun….â€
They take drinks mid-over and the groundstaff hammer the bowling crease and repaint the white lines.
WICKET! Dowrich lbw Broad 0
Broad pitches short and the ball skids on and would have removed leg stump. Dowrich appeals for mercy from the third umpire, but there is no reprieve. Suddenly the English garden is more rosy!
86th over: West Indies 252-6 (Chase 24, Dowrich 0) A glorious Chase cover drive for four spoils Curranâ€™s otherwise immaculate over as the sun beats down on Old Trafford.
85th over: West Indies 248-6 (Chase 20, Dowrich 0) Superb bowling from Stuart Broad, feisty with that new ball, utterly destroying Blackwoodâ€™s stumps with one that shot low and sent both bails splaying. Could this yet be interesting? 24 needed to avoid the follow-on.
84th over: West Indies 247-5 (Chase 19, Blackwood 0) Curran roars a huge appeal against Chase after pinning him on leg-stump. The ump raises his finger but Chase reviews immediately and hawkeye shows the ball pitching just a cornflake outside off stump – the seam lying just outside the shadow. The next ball Chase inside edges him for four.
83rd over: West Indies 242-5 (Chase 14, Blackwood 0) Broadâ€™s first over with the new ball earned him that wicket in his second. Brooks, after an important and smart innings, trapped back on his stumps by a beauty that caught him on middle stump.
WICKET! Brooks lbw Broad 68
As plumb as it is possible to be
82nd over: West Indies 241-4 (Chase 14, Brooks 67) The returning Curran is thrown the new ball and is on the button immediately. Were he a perfume, heâ€™d be sold asâ€œUnfazed.â€ Woody with flowery notes.
Meanwhile, Andrew is not enamoured of the rumoured new Peerage . For me, heâ€™ll always be Lord Beefy of Brexit, Englandâ€™s top Full Tosser. But Peter Rowntree prefers the tastier, Lord Beefy of Cheddar.
81st over: West Indies 241-4 (Chase 14, Brooks 67) Broad and Root stroke their beards and consider this and that and whether to take the new ball and decide, yes. And why not? One last huzzah. Sam Curran lurks on the boundary tying up his headband (they seem to be universal throughout the team – is this a new Covid-19 England issue headband?). Holy Baloney, it was the right decision to take the new ball. Chase given a torrid time, including an inducker that by the luck of the holy book(s) avoids brushing the top of the stumps. Brooks steers Broad, with an element of luck, through the slips for four.
80th over: West Indies 235-4 (Chase 8, Brooks 63) A Bess half-volley is thwacked down the ground by Chase for four, a Bess round-arm experiment is blocked with bemusement and Craig Overton appears to be on the field for Sam Curran.
79th over: West Indies 230-4 (Chase 8, Brooks 63) Feisty Broad, Steaming Broad. Brooks crouches low as the ball bounces a fistâ€™s height over the stumps. Just one over left till the new ball can be taken.
75th over: West Indies 230-4 (Chase 8, Brooks 62) Bess continues. A late cut by Brooks, lovely, fine, for two and a crazily optimistic single that would have seen Brooks way out of his crease if Broad had made a direct hit at the non-strikers end
The camera pans away to show us Jofra Archer warming up in the nets wearing blue plastic gloves and a multi-coloured mask.
75th over: West Indies 227-4 (Chase 8, Brooks 60) Broad begins with a jam scone, short that passes harmlessly on the leg-side. After three round the wickets, he switches to over the wicket and Chase is immediately troubled. His last ball is back round the wicket. OF all that, make what you will. A maiden.
Good to know the weather is nice in Manchester,â€ writes Julian Menz.
â€œI assume the rain and grotty grey Mancunian skies donâ€™t observe Covid travel-bans, as theyâ€™ve arrived here in Sweden with a Shaun Ryder-like bitter sneer. Will be watching the football later with a Red Mancunian, and expect that to end badly, with me paying for the beers.
â€œDejected pessimism should be far from Englandâ€™s thoughts now though. A day and a half to go, 17 wickets to take (as I write), and maybe a quick 90+ to knock off tommorow evening….
â€œItâ€™s looking like a beautiful day (tomorrow, of course).â€
Final session – West Indies need another 43 to avoid the follow-on
The umpires stroll out and the players trundle down the steps, mostly be-jumpered.
Michael Atherton is as wise as ever on Sky. He first points out that Dom Bess is very young – just 23 next week. At a similar age, Derek Underwood had bowled 27,000 balls in first-class cricket, Graeme Swann 13,900 balls, whereas Bess has bowled only 7400 balls. Bess is therefore learning his trade at Test match level. He then say that Bess should be aiming to pitch nine feet in front of the popping crease, for optimum dip and grip, and that at the moment his pitch is too variable.
Tea – West Indies need 43 more to avoid the follow-on
75th over: West Indies 227-4 (Chase 8, Brooks 60) Bess flies through one last over, West Indies amble through for three singles, Stuart Broad fields with his giant boot and thatâ€™s tea. West Indies can dine fairly confidently, with just 43 more needed for the follow-on. How Joe Root must wish he had Jofra Archer up his sleeves. Time for a quick cup of tea, see you in ten minutes!
75th over: West Indies 224-4 (Chase 6, Brooks 59) A tasty pre-prandial over from Broad, who gets one to rise and rise again off the pitch giving Brooks nowhere to go as the ball jags off the glove and under his armpit and just short of the diving Butler. Four. West Indies 46 away from their magic number and just one over left before tea.
74th over: West Indies 217-4 (Chase 3, Brooks 53) A double change as Root turns to Bess. Letâ€™s see if he can find a bit more consistency this time around. Three tipped off the over, as Kim Thonger mulls over Lord Beefyâ€™s nomenclature:
â€œHypothetical of course until we know whatâ€™s actually going on, but as a Somerset man myself I feel obliged to point out there are a number of place names in the county that would suit the beefy ennoblement rather well.
Lord Botham of Bossington for example, or Bowlish, or Cad Green. Perhaps even Cricket Malherbie. My personal all time favourite village name is Nempnett Thrubwell. I had a French teacher by the way called M. La Rue who insisted on teaching us phrases such â€˜je vais au Nempnett Thrubwell et puis je reste a Ubleyâ€™.
Full list here https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_places_in_Somerset for those inclined to these things.â€
73rd over: West Indies 214-4 (Chase 3, Brooks 53) Root prizes the ball from Stokesâ€™ hands and throws it to Broad, who we now watch to see if Arthur Gravesâ€™s anti-Samson theory is correct. Brooks studiously ignores the tasty short chocolate treats Broad sends down. On TMS, Andy Zaltzman says that 86 percent of Stokesâ€™ balls were short.
72nd over: West Indies 213-4 (Chase 2, Brooks 53) Woakes stretches those long levers and rolls out another over. Fifty for Brooks, a handsome one too, brought up with a couple turned off the knee roll. If he can stay in for another session, West Indies will be home and dry.
71st over: West Indies 209-4 (Chase 2, Brooks 49) Stokes ploughs on, a maiden. Arthur Graves is pondering hair, â€œ Itâ€™s just struck me (maybe much later than most other followers) that Stuart Broad does his best bowling when he has shorter hair. A kind of anti-Samson.â€
Iâ€™m not sure thatâ€™s a function on cricinfoâ€™s statsguru, but I feel in my bones youâ€™re right. Also add Ian Botham, far more potent without the mullet (if less likely to win a peerage.)
70th over: West Indies 209-4 (Chase 2, Brooks 49) Brooks looking increasingly on point, square drives Woakes for four, then four leg byes are given to a ball that he looked to have a touch on.
69th over: West Indies 201-4 (Chase 2, Brooks 45) Whoever suggested Root should make a bowling change, was utterly misguided. Now, perhaps, Stokes will get a rest. Could be the breakthrough England need – but with less than 70 needed, on this pitch, I think it is too late.
WICKET! Brathwaite c and b Stokes 75
Stokes make something from nothing, a back of a length ball and Brathwaite gets a leading edge straight back into those huge paws. And that is the Stokes magic.
68th over: West Indies 199-3 (Brathwaite 75, Brooks 45) Brooks shapes Woakes for four, then Woakes produces an absolute beauty which slides past the outside of Brookesâ€™ pushing blade.
67th over: West Indies 194-3 (Brathwaite 74, Brooks 41) It has all got a bit listless out there, in as much as you can tell without a crowd to list or cheer. Warm sun, short shadows, Stokes bowls his ninth in succession, another all effort over: Brooks remains largely unbothered.
John Starbuck has another example of counter-productiver cricket: â€œOne might add Ricky Pontingâ€™s reactions of rage and highly audible indignation whenever he was got out. It looked as if all the other guys were cheating and only Ricky could see it. Hence he attracted some of the best wicket surrenders ever in highlights packages.â€
66th over: West Indies 192-3 (Brathwaite 72, Brooks 41) A bowling change – at the other end. Bess is removed and Englandâ€™s most hirsute is thrown the ball. Just one run off the over, Brathwaite nudges Woakes nicely off his hip for a single. The follow-on target ticks down, just 77 needed now, with the new ball due soon.
65th over: West Indies 192-3 (Brathwaite 72, Brooks 41) Still Stokes. Always Stokes. He steers his final ball, a nasty riser, into Brooksâ€™ midrift and it hits him somewhere not too painful and billows up just short of the fielder. Shurely time for Stokes to have a rest?
64th over: West Indies 188-3 (Brathwaite 72, Brooks 37) After an orderly over, Bess over pitches with his final ball and Brathwaite absolutely lays into it, furious after being pickpocketed in the cinema, off-driving for four.
63rd over: West Indies 183-3 (Brathwaite 68, Brooks 36) Stokes, who with his longer hair is more matinee idol than enforcer, dispatches the smoking jacket to plough the first three balls short into Brooks. Brooks emerges unscathed.
And to continue Adamâ€™s discussion on counterproductive moves in cricket, Niall Morrissey writes: â€œYou could add to that list Tony Greig signalling his own boundaries with a flourish when facing the fastest of bowlingâ€
62nd over: West Indies 182-3 (Brathwaite 68, Brooks 35) Bess is on the money with his first three balls, but his fourth drifts short and Brathwaite pull him towards the rope where Sibley just prevents a boundary.
61st over: West Indies 178-3 (Brathwaite 65, Brooks 34) Thanks Adam, great stuff. And hello everyone from Manchester, where the sun is streaming through the living room window and the sky is a variety pack of non-threatening white fluffy clouds. Whether England can make anything of them, remains to be seen. Stokes continues, this time a maiden: West Indies need another 92 to avoid the follow-on.
60th over: West Indies 178-3 (Brathwaite 65, Brooks 34) Brooks picks up a single from the final delivery of an accurate Bess over, dancing down the track to clip. Not far away from short leg; the spinner is doing his job. That is drinks! And in turn, itâ€™s time for me to say goodbye for the day. Thanks for your company, Iâ€™ll be back tomorrow morning. For now, say hello to Tanya – drop her a line! Bye for now.
59th over: West Indies 177-3 (Brathwaite 65, Brooks 33) Sharp bouncer from Stokes to Brooks around the wicket to begin his fifth. Ooh, and itâ€™s a no-ball for three men behind square leg – you donâ€™t see that too often! â€œLucky it wasnâ€™t a wicket,â€ says Rob Key. Lucky for Dom Bess, who he reckons was the offender at deep square. Brooks plays it cool when the subsequent short balls arrive, simply getting out of the way. Itâ€™s underplayed how exhausting it is for quicks when bowling two bumpers an over, then a couple more into the ribs. Stokes wonâ€™t have many left in this spell.
Speaking of the two behind square law… Hopkins has one for the counterproductive moves lists: â€œIf all the legends about Bodyline are true, could we add Bradman backing away from a quick one at The Oval in 1930 to the list?â€
58th over: West Indies 175-3 (Brathwaite 65, Brooks 32) Dom Bess with a short leg, a slip and a couple of men out on the legside but Brathwaite goes the other way, driving two more through point when Bess gives him enough length to get on the front foot. The opener deserves to go on and complete a ton later this afternoon.
57th over: West Indies 173-3 (Brathwaite 63, Brooks 32) Stokes goes straight to the bouncer and it successful in pinging Brooks on the arm. Heâ€™s fine though, straight back on his feet. It inspires the all-rounder to change it up around the wicket with men catching around the corner but the No5 is fine with that, adjusting in the crease to turn a single around the corner, Brathwaite doing likewise to midwicket to finish. I hate to say it England fans, but this could start drifting soon.