1st over: England 5-0 (Burns 5, Sibley 0) So England have about 40 minutes to survive before the close. Rory Burns, facing Kemar Roach, squirts a full ball through the cordon and does well to keep it down. Dom Sibley, who’s on a pair, keeps a couple of straight ones out, confidently enough.
So England did the business with the tail, but before that they were anodyne. West Indies built their innings and their partnerships, with all of the top seven reaching double figures. Holder surprised us with feet of clay, and Stokes took late wickets despite having a bloody toe. Bess carried on his good work from South Africa, but the story of the innings from an England point of view was that two seasoned seamers, Anderson and Stokes, took seven for 111, while the swifter and less savvy pair of Archer and Wood managed only one for 134. What would Stuart Broad have done?
Wicket! Gabriel b Wood 4 (WI 318 all out)
At last! A wicket for one of England’s two fast bowlers, as Wood yorks Gabriel. The lead is 114.
101st over: West Indies 317-9 (Roach 0, Gabriel 4) Shannon Gabriel gets off the mark with a slog for four. That was a fine innings by Dowrich, who was a walking wicket last time he played Tests in England.
Wicket! Dowrich c Buttler b Stokes 61 (WI 313-9)
Stokes, like Gordon Greenidge back in the day, is even more potent when injured. He bangs in another short one and Dowrich gets strangled. Not content with making England’s top score in this Test, Stokes now has the best bowling figures too – four for 45.
100th over: West Indies 309-8 (Dowrich 57, Roach 0) Dowrich does need to farm the strike now and he shows how it’s done by pushing the last ball of Wood’s over for three. West Indies’ lead is 105, so they may be starting to dream of an innings victory.
99th over: West Indies 306-8 (Dowrich 54, Roach 0) Before the wicket, Joseph was having a ball – a nick for four, an upper-waft for four more. His 18 came off only 12 balls. And then he gave Stokes his 150th wicket in Tests.
Wicket! Joseph b Stokes 18 (WI 306-8)
Injury, what injury? Stokes aims for the off bail, and hits.
During his last over, Ben Stokes winced and felt his foot. He seems to have a toe injury, and puts an extra sock on it. Take himself off? As if.
98th over: West Indies 296-7 (Dowrich 54, Joseph 8) Joseph tries to pull Wood and succeeds only in playing a sliced upper-cut, which brings him two to third man. He also takes a single off the last ball of the over, which shows that Dowrich has faith in him.
“Is Shane Dowrich the most underrated keeper-batsman in international cricket?” asks Abhijato Sensarma. “BJ Watling might have taken the title a few months ago, but he’s garnered enough acclaim since then to be promoted to the class of ‘appropriately-rated’ in my eyes.”
97th over: West Indies 291-7 (Dowrich 53, Joseph 4) A maiden from Stokes to Dowrich, which means Joseph will have to face a full over. In an empty stand, the England coach Chris Silverwood chats to the chief selector Ed Smith. Any lip-readers out there?
96th over: West Indies 291-7 (Dowrich 53, Joseph 4) Wood greets Alzarri Joseph with a yorker, which very nearly gets through. Then he tries it again and Joseph lofts him for four. It’s a handsome shot and he knows it – he holds the pose.
95th over: West Indies 286-7 (Dowrich 52, Joseph 0) That was the shortest ball Holder had received, and if I’m not mistaken it was the first time in the match that a short ball had brought a wicket. Stokes took it with his personality as much as his skill.
Wicket!! Holder c Archer b Stokes 5 (WI 281-7)
Stokes gets his revenge! He bangs it in, Holder sees it well enough and hooks, but too high, allowing Jofra Archer to take a fine diving catch at long leg. The plot thickens.
94th over: West Indies 281-6 (Dowrich 51, Holder 5) Holder meets a full delivery from Wood with a simple push and gets three for it. A cameraman spots the bottom of his bat, which has Jason Holder scrawled on it in black felt-tip, as if he was still captaining the Under-12s.
“Platonic indeed,” says John Starbuck, picking up on my remark from the 88th over. “Michael Gough dwells in his cave, watching and interpreting the shadows of the outside world according to the Ideal forms.” Classy.
93rd over: West Indies 276-6 (Dowrich 50, Holder 1) It’s a double change as Stokes brings himself on in search of revenge over Holder. Instead the over is all about Dowrich, who helps himself to a two, another two, and a well-made fifty. He started fast, then slowed down, and at no stage would you have guessed that he was hopeless in England last time round. And that’s drinks, with West Indies 72 ahead and cruising.
Here’s Arun Kumar. “I feel England need to give Wood/Archer a bit more time before starting to revert back to Broad/Anderson full time. This is just the first test they are playing after a long break. An approach for the packed summer may be to play a rotation of two of Broad / Woakes / Anderson in three of the matches and have Wood and Archer play four each (might not have got the maths perfectly). Give them time and confidence. They need it for the Ashes.”
92nd over: West Indies 270-6 (Dowrich 45, Holder 0) Off goes Archer, after a spell that was better than it looked in the scorebook, and on comes Mark Wood. He’s accurate enough but still not penetrating.
91st over: West Indies 269-6 (Dowrich 44, Holder 0) Holder is getting right across his stumps, so Anderson will fancy his chances of another LBW. For now, there’s one play-and-miss, and that’s another maiden for Jimmy, who has the very Jimmyish figures of 25-10-62-3.
90th over: West Indies 269-6 (Dowrich 44, Holder 0) And out comes Jason Holder, who’s already half-way to the Man of the Match award. In fact, his only real rival is Michael Holding.
89th over: West Indies 267-6 (Dowrich 42) So that was a wicket maiden from Anderson, and the end of a fine innings by Chase. Old-school, the pair of them.
Wicket! Chase lbw b Anderson 47 (WI 267-6)
Given now! By Michael Gough, who is shaping up as the Platonic ideal of the TV umpire, radiating clarity. The only question was whether it was too high, but Hawk-Eye had it thudding into the top of middle and leg.
88th over: West Indies 267-5 (Chase 47, Dowrich 42) Again it’s a good over from Archer, both silky and fiery, but still there’s nothing to show for it.
And here’s another Gary Naylor tweet from teatime, about Michael Holding. “Mikey has a new lease of life. For a while, he was in a permanent despair about West Indies cricket (justifiably so) but he’s so on it in this Test about absolutely everything. His bowling in 1976 changed my life (I fell in love and I still am). So thanks again Sir.” He’s an international treasure.
87th over: West Indies 266-5 (Chase 46, Dowrich 42) Anderson goes full and leg-stumpish, looking for an LBW, but Dowrich is nimble enough to glance for four. Anderson has bowled one superb over with the new ball and three indifferent ones, to make a spell of 4-0-20-0. “He’ll hate those stats,” says Nasser.
86th over: West Indies 260-5 (Chase 45, Dowrich 37) A better over from Archer, who gets Dowrich jumping with a fierce bouncer. Somewhere in Australia, in the middle of the night, Steve Smith ducks behind the sofa.
“Afternoon Tim.” Afternoon Simon McMahon. “It’s only day three, but I think this Test has provided us with the full set already – weather, an England collapse, disagreements over selection, a Mac Millings XI involving social distancing, reassuring contributions from regular OBOers. If I was French (and believe me, I sometimes wish I was), right now I’d probably have a fag in one hand, glass of wine in the other, and be shrugging my shoulders whilst muttering plus ça change …”0
85th over: West Indies 258-5 (Chase 44, Dowrich 36) Dowrich has been a spectator since tea, considerably boosting the size of the crowd. But now he faces Anderson, who presents him with a wide half-volley. Dowrich drives it crisply for four and adds a pull for a couple. The partnership is 72 and worth every run.
84th over: West Indies 252-5 (Chase 44, Dowrich 30) Archer strays onto leg stump, allowing Chase to clip him for four. And then he does the same again. Last year, Archer was an instant senior player, entrusted with the Super Over in a World Cup final; this year, he’s showing his youth.
83rd over: West Indies 244-5 (Chase 36, Dowrich 30) Anderson is in the groove now, beating Chase’s inside edge, then the outside, then taking the inside edge and hitting him in the area fondly known as amidships. That’s the over with everything except a wicket.
“I’m not sure why Broad is complaining,” says Richard O’Hagan “It seems to me that he is getting to be a better bowler with every over of this Test that passes.” Ha.
82nd over: West Indies 243-5 (Chase 35, Dowrich 30) At the other end it’s Jofra Archer, who so far has been the Archer of the winter, decent but anodyne, rather than the superstar of last summer. He tries a yorker, which has to be a good plan on this pudding of a pitch, but Chase digs out a single.
And here’s a good spot from my colleague Ali Martin. “Shane Dowrich, 30*, already past his series aggregate from three years ago of 24 runs in six innings. Very different player these days (not that England didn’t already know that after his century in Barbados last year).”
81st over: West Indies 242-5 (Chase 34, Dowrich 30) But first, of course, it’s Jimmy Anderson. He gets some shape with the new vector of disease, but goes for seven off the first two deliveries as Chase times a push for four and a tuck for three. Anderson is walking back to his mark rather slowly – I do hope he’s not injured.
A flurry of tweets from Gary Naylor, who has this to say about England’s selection. “Cricket is awash with stats, but sometimes the old lenses are the most illuminating. If your off-spinner has bowled 15 overs on an (essentially) Day Two pitch, your five man attack lacks balance. Wood, Archer and Stokes are the ‘same’ bowler on this wicket – on most.” Not sure about most, as they all have different trajectories, and there will surely be times when England are delighted to have two men touching 95mph. But on this pitch, on this evidence, it’s hard to argue. Can one of them redeem himself with the new ball?
80th over: West Indies 235-5 (Chase 27, Dowrich 30) A maiden from Bess, who has a big shout for LBW against Dowrich, but some gentle turn was taking it down the leg side. And that’s tea, with West Indies already ahead by 31. Jason Holder is bossing the game, and he hasn’t even come in to bat yet. See you in 15 minutes for the new ball.
79th over: West Indies 235-5 (Chase 27, Dowrich 30) Wood produces a decent bouncer, only for the pitch to give Chase time to sway out of the line. Chase calmly pushes into the covers for two, and that brings up the super-fast duo’s century – Wood has 0/54, Archer 0/47. It may be time for another interview with Stuart Broad.
78th over: West Indies 233-5 (Chase 25, Dowrich 30) Chase, by contrast, has 25 off 109 balls. Geoff Boycott would be applauding him, if he hadn’t been pensioned off by TMS.
“Having raised the idea of the OBO XI,” says Pete Salmon, “I like Simon Thomas’s contribution. But surely Foakes is a better bat and keeper than Jones? And I’d be looking at bringing in Adil Rashid – maybe that means Bairstow does in fact take the gloves. Although he could open? Unless Haseeb Hameed is worth another try. Thoughts?” I assumed the idea was for the XI to be as debatable as possible, so Hameed is a good pick. Maybe opening with Ben Duckett…
77th over: West Indies 232-5 (Chase 24, Dowrich 30) Dowrich celebrates by producing his best shot off a pace bowler, rocking back to Wood and playing a stylish square drive off the back foot. His 30 has come from only 40 balls.
76th over: West Indies 228-5 (Chase 24, Dowrich 26) That straight wallop went for a single, so maybe we should see it as Bess saving three rather than dropping one.
Dropped! Dowrich by Bess
Dowrich loves hitting Bess straight, and this time he hits him so straight that it’s a chance for a caught-and-bowled. Bess gets a hand to it, which is brave of him, but can’t hold on.
75th over: West Indies 227-5 (Chase 24, Dowrich 25) A maiden from Wood, who is giving it his all as usual. Five overs to the new ball now.
74th over: West Indies 227-5 (Chase 24, Dowrich 25) Just a couple of singles off Bess.
Talking of whom… “Shame to see Dom doing well for England in many ways,” says Charles Sheldrick. “Don’t get me wrong, I am happy for the lad, but as a Somerset player he will either get dropped despite doing well (Leach) and wonder what might have been or he could move to a more fashionable county and get picked regardless of performance (Buttler).” Oof.