16th over: West Indies 38-3 ( Chase 14, Blackwood 2) Target 200 England have been really good with their lengths so far this innings, attacking the stumps and making the batsmen play. I wonder, though, whether Jermaine Blackwood will try and hit his way into things, because even a breezy 40 will make a huge difference. But he makes do with a single for now, while Chase adds two towards midwicket.
Back to accents, Tim Maitland emails in “That’s because Hollywood and the American aristocracy were faking the Mid-Atlantic drawl.”
That’s interesting, thanks – likewise the way things have been reversed since then, which I typed in upspeak.
And we have more on Jimmy’s headdress, from Phil Withall: “I’m not sure what is more worrying, the prospect of England actually winning this test after the first couple of days. Or the fact @jimmy9 has morphed Into Ian Astbury of the Cult.”
If this is where we are, we also need to give Little Stevie van Zandt a shout.
Lunchtime email: “I’m not sure that the accents have diverged all that much,” says Mac Millings of English and American pronunciation. “For one thing, which accents? It’s not as simple as ‘the American accent’ and ‘the English accent’, since each country (I’m guessing you mean Britain for the latter, but the point stands if you mean England) has numerous accents. The most common place for each population to encounter the other’s accent(s) is probably still television and film (or, like, YouTube or whatever), and in those kinds of media, I’d say the true change has been a dramatic decrease in the importance of the ‘standard’ accent over the various regional ones, leading to a perceived divergence of the accents. Maybe. I mean, this – like everything I say or type – is made up off the top of me ‘ead.”
I guess I should have said RP, and whenever I watch US telly from the 50s and 60s, I’m surprised by the similarities, or more particularly by how little differences there are.
What an absolute joy, privilege and mechayeh it is to be totally absorbed by this. Every ball is an an event because every ball counts, and we’ve not a clue how it’s going to pan out, though England are favourites now. Archer in particular bowled beautifully, with good support from Anderson before Wood did what he does, but if West Indies are even five down when the ball loses its shine, they’ve a really good chance of getting home. I cannot wait for the afternoon session – see youse in half an hour or so.
15th over: West Indies 35-3 ( Chase 12, Blackwood 1) Target 200 Chase takes Bess’ final two deliveries for twos, and that’s lunch!
REVIEW SAYS NOT OUT!
It’s good ball from Bess, pitching in line and forcing Chase onto the back foot, but it hits on the thigh and Hawkeye says umpire’s call on height.
15th over: West Indies 31-3 ( Chase 8, Blackwood 1) Target 200 My SkyGo crashes, but returns just in time to see Bess rag one into Chase’s pad, and when the umpire says no, England review! The major excitement, of course, is the opportunity to be talked through another passage by Michael Gough.
14th over: West Indies 31-3 ( Chase 8, Blackwood 1) Target 200 From a shot we saw, it looked like James Anderson was polishing the ball with gozz, which is now against the rules, but we now pan out to see that he’s actually using the sweat off his brow – that is a lovely metaphor. Wood is absolutely loving this, even more than he loves everything else, but Blackwood gets himself going with a single to deep backward square, then Chase nudges two towards a similar area and leg bye follows. West Indies remain little more than a big partnership away; might this one be it?
13th over: West Indies 27-3 ( Chase 6, Blackwood 0) Target 200 What a morning of “Test-match cricket” this has been. To finish it off, Ben Stokes introduces Dom Bess, who starts really well – it’s tough on Leech and tough on Moeen, both of whom have done a lot of good things, but I’d expect him to get a serious run after his efforts over the last few days. He beings with a maiden.
12th over: West Indies 27-3 ( Chase 6, Blackwood 0) Target 200 Wood is into this, spearing one into Blackwood’s pad. There’s an appeal, but it looked high and sliding down, so no review.
“Not having runners isn’t a law change,” says Clive Fane, “just a change to the playing conditions for Tests.” And he is also one of various to note that Hope and Chase is a perfect partnership given the state of the match; the extinguishing of such looks a key moment.
WICKET! Hope b Wood 9 (West Indies 26-3)
What a change! What a natural vector of disease! Wood hurls down a fast bastard that swings in, but what really does for Hope is the length; the ball beats the bat and clatters the top of off.
11th over: West Indies 26-2 ( Hope 8, Chase 4) Target 200 A quieter over from Anderson, as Bess gets loose; two singles from it, and West Indies look a little more comfortable out there. I think Wood is coming on to replace Archer, which is understandable – Wood is good – but Archer looked in the zone.
“Swings and…” emails Dave Manby.
It’s interesting how much the American accent has deviated from the English accent in the last 50 years.
10th over: West Indies 24-2 ( Hope 8, Chase 4) Target 200 If I were Ben Stokes – FAOD, I’m not, though I’ve tried to be – I’d be keeping Archer going for as long as I could. But this is probably the least impressive of his overs so far, four dots followed by two twos that get Chase awat.
“First chance to watch some of the Test,” emails Lee Smith, “and amidst some excellent bowling I note that Jimmy Anderson looks as though he is auditioning for a 90s music video.”
9th over: West Indies 20-2 ( Hope 8, Chase 0) Target 200 Stuart Broad enjoys a relaxing Sunday stroll around the boundary, chortling at the glorious black comedy of how much he’d love to be out there, and how he absolutely is not out there. Meanwhile, Hope flashes at one that holds up in the air, crunching the first boundary of the innings through cover; West Indies needed that. And have a look! Hope goes again, climbing into a cutter for four more! We move.
8th over: West Indies 12-2 ( Hope 0, Chase 0) Target 200 Archer is just so good, beating Chase for pace outside off. He looks like he could bowl all day here, Don Anurasiri-style, and there he is again, insisting Chase dig out a savage of a yorker.
“We, too, are glad that you are climbing back into your screen,” says Bill Hargreaves. “You mentioned (5th over) that Campbell won’t be allowed a runner. Why might this be, please?”
They’ve changed the laws – runners are no longer allowed, which is a huge blow to cricket’s slapstick aspect.
WICKET! Brooks lbw b Archer 0 (West Indies 7-2)
JOFRA ARCHER IS A SUPERSTAR! With Brooks concerned for his incisors, Archer absolutely nails him with a full, fast brute that swings towards the stumps. It’s so out as to be ridiculous.
7th over: West Indies 7-1 ( Hope 0, Brooks 0) Target 200 Anderson flows through another maiden; that’s five in seven overs. England’s bowlers have showed, and batting looks the opposite of fun, except for the weird species of elite sportsmen, it’s the embodiment of fun.
“Do you know how many overs are left please?” asks Peter Byrne. “I’m a simple chap – I’d be happier knowing what run rate the Windies need and Sky aren’t saying!”
There’re a minimum of 81 left now.
6th over: West Indies 7-1 ( Hope 0, Brooks 0) Target 200 Until he got out, Brooks was very assured in the first innings, perhaps more than anyone else in the match. But now he has to face Archer in the groove, forced to veer away from an absolute teeth-seeker.
WICKET! Brathwaite b Archer 4 (West Indies 7-1)
Not anymore he isn’t! Archer has been brilliant so far, and he fires one just outside off and seaming in that has Brathwaite hotstepping, then tentatively chopping down into feet and stumps!
6th over: West Indies 7-0 (Brathwaite 4, Hope 0) Target 200 Brathwaite has answered the question we posed earlier: he’s looking to hang about.
Campbell retires hurt!
5th over: West Indies 7-0 (Brathwaite 4, Hope 0) Target 200 Campbell has a sit down, and the physio comes on to address his right foot, and oh dear – he walks off as we see a replay of an Archer yorker caressing his toe. Eeek. It seems like it’s broken, and though I expect he’ll be back later if he needs to be, he won’t be allowed a runner; bad news for West Indies. Anderson, meanwhile, gets himself five balls at Hope when Brathwaite takes a single to mid on, running through the ludicrous genius of his variations, but Hope survives.
4th over: West Indies 6-0 (Brathwaite 3, Campbell 1) Target 200 Can Archer maintain the pressure of that first over? Not really. Campbell takes a single to fine leg, then Brathwaite twizzles a too-straight one to backward square and they run three. But he’s back on the money thereafter – what a ridiculous talent he is, and what a ridiculous privilege it’s going to be watching him play over the next 10 years or so – sending down four dots. My daughter has just come into the room I’m working from and noted that I look like I’m about to climb into my screen. My days I’ve missed that feeling.
3rd over: West Indies 2-0 (Brathwaite 0, Campbell 0) Target 200 Brathwaite looks comfortable out there, composed and playing late. This is such a huge match, and such an opportunity to be a hero; I say this a lot, but I’ve not a clue how these lads compete without bursting into tears and the sheer emotion of being in such a position. My eyeballs or on the verge of perspiration just thinking about it.
“Richard Kettleborough has experience in umpiring a tie,” emails Andrew Goudie. “Worcestershire vs Zimbabwe. Here’s hoping for a second one today.”
2nd over: West Indies 2-0 (Brathwaite 0, Campbell 0) Target 200 West Indies also have a choice to make: do they protect their wickets at all costs, batting time on the basis that if they’re in for long enough, they’ll win? Or do they try and get it done as quickly as possible, before things can go wrong? Stokes goes with Archer from the other end, who opens with a full, fast yorker that cracks Campbell on the pad; there’s an appeal – rejected – then a discussion but no review as they run two. Archer gets very close to the stumps, so has a better chance of getting a lefty lb than most bowling right arm over, but this looked to have pitched just outside the leg … and it did. Archer looks in the mood though, beating Campbell angling across, then persuading him to top edge … only for the ball to drop just shy of Pope at short leg. That was an excellent over and I cannot wait for his next one. This is gorgeously tense.
1st over: West Indies 0-0 (Brathwaite 0, Campbell 0) Target 200 Anderson finds some away-swing first up, but can’t persuade Brathwaite to play at either of his first two deliveries. His fourth ball, though, is right where he wants it, pitched up and moving away late – Brathwaite waits and waits, then leaves alone. Maiden.
“Morning Daniel,” says Simon McMahon. “Can we have a tied Test, please? Thanks.”