India earned that. When Devon Conway went beyond 50, Kohli’s side were in real need of something. They got it on the cusp of stumps after two fine overs from Bumrah (and a string of maidens), set to return tomorrow 116 runs in the black and holding a ball that’s still hooping around. And on that note, thanks for your company. I’ll be back with you again on the OBO for the first spell tomorrow. Bye!
STUMPS! New Zealand 101-2.
49th over: New Zealand 101-1 (Williamson 12, Taylor 0) 26 balls without a run before Ishant got himself in the book. And the light metre has been out as Ross Taylor walks to the middle - suddenly, it’s all happening at Southampton. Watching the replay back, a very good catch by Shami in these dark conditions, moving to his left. Ishant gets two deliveries at Taylor, attacking the stumps and kept out both times. A wicket maiden from the veteran, and what a time for it. Clever captaincy from Kohli too, bringing Ishant back to make the most of the dark and challenging conditions. At the end of the over, the light metre is out there again, and they’re off. And given the clock has struck 6:30pm in Southampton, that means stumps.
WICKET! Conway c Shami b Ishant 54 (New Zealand 101-2)
Caught flicking to midwicket! He’s been keen to play in that direction, and that’s not the first time he’s been dismissed playing that shot in Test cricket so far. A huge breakthrough for India!
48th over: New Zealand 101-1 (Conway 54, Williamson 12) Nasser doesn’t think it will be long before bad light is a factor, which is supported by the shots we are seeing of the thick, dark clouds. It makes this Bumrah over all the more important at Williamson. Oooh, and he beats him with another beauty, a carbon-copy of the ball that did the same in the previous set. But the New Zealand captain is good enough to get through the interrogation.
47th over: New Zealand 101-1 (Conway 54, Williamson 12) The crowd are involved, Indian fans dancing and singing as Jadeja sends down a maiden. It can’t be said enough how different it has felt watching international cricket with spectators back in. Lovely stuff.
“Do these players have a chinwag on the field?” asks SyClopp on twitter. “Why do they not? Are there just that nice chaps, or is it that others, such as the Ashes players, get under their skin.”
Different teams bring out the worst in others. It’s also expected of them when any of Australia/England/India are playing each other.
46th over: New Zealand 101-1 (Conway 54, Williamson 12) It’s dark again at Southampton and Bumrah is just the man to exploit that, sending one past Williamson’s outside edge at pace. His best over.
45th over: New Zealand 101-1 (Conway 54, Williamson 12) Conway brings up the Blackcaps’ 100 from the first ball after drinks, adding two off the outside edge. Canny bowling, the replay shows, with Jadeja landing his arm ball. The left-hander defends the rest.
Conway to 50!
44th over: New Zealand 99-1 (Conway 52, Williamson 12) To the milestone with a lovely little clip for three off Bumrah, once again in front of square, reaching the mark in 137 balls. Fascinating to see on the wagonwheel that he hasn’t scored a single run in the traditional ‘V’, even though he’s been so keen to score on the front foot in his superb Test career so far. He now has 358 runs at 89.5. He’s a gem. Drinks are again on the field, with this another extended session.
43rd over: New Zealand 94-1 (Conway 49, Williamson 11) The crowd’s wish is Kohli’s command: Jadeja is into the attack. He oversteps to begin - amusing given his very straightforward approach - but from that point on, he’s through the over in a flash, finding the rough a couple of times to Conway. He finishes by locating the outside edge too, frustrated to the tune of three runs out to third man, Conway now one run from his 50. Nice start.
42nd over: New Zealand 90-1 (Conway 46, Williamson 11) Bumrah again as the New Zealand quicks are filmed having a lovely time on the balcony - quite meme-able content, if anyone has the energy for that at this time of the evening session. Jasprit has plenty of energy where it matters most, slamming into the deck and hitting Conway’s inside edge into the pad - not far away there. Six from the over.
41st over: New Zealand 84-1 (Conway 43, Williamson 9) Shot, Kane. Deep in the crease to Ashwin, cutting behind point, you know the rest. That’s his happiest place. The spinner finds an edge with the follow-up but it doesn’t go to hand. Settling in nicely, the skip.
40th over: New Zealand 80-1 (Conway 43, Williamson 5) Bumrah’s back, which would normally be a scary prospect, but he’s not been quite on-song yet today. This is highlighted by Conway, who tucks him away with ease for his sixth boundary, moving into the 40s.
39th over: New Zealand 76-1 (Conway 39, Williamson 5) Kohli gives Williamson the option to sweep Ashwin and he accepts, earning his first boundary in the process. Nicely played. The deficit is now 141.
38th over: New Zealand 72-1 (Conway 39, Williamson 1) Conway wants to pull Shami, and does so with authority, but only as far as midwicket. The response is a fuller delivery that really jumps, biting the left-hander on the bottom glove - that stings. Shami follows up with a big inswinger from round the wicket; well left by Conway, who knows where his off stump is. Handy re-start from Shami.
37th over: New Zealand 72-1 (Conway 39, Williamson 1) Conway does the heavy lifting here against Ashwin, who has a spring in his step after taking the wicket of Latham. The spinner gets one look at Williamson, who defends him off the front foot. There are a lot of menacing clouds over the Rose Bowl, but it remains dry for now.
36th over: New Zealand 71-1 (Conway 38, Williamson 1) For those who like the WinViz tool (I do), they currently have India at 12% to win and New Zealand 29%. Shami is straight at Williamson’s stumps, forcing him to defend throughout. Good bowling; a maiden.
“Happy to see the team name in front instead of a sponsor’s name,” says Adandkumar on twitter on India’s kit. “Call me old fashioned.”
35th over: New Zealand 71-1 (Conway 38, Williamson 1) The vice captain makes way for the top dog, Kane Williamson. With 24 Test centuries and 7129 runs, he’s already a great. But what an opportunity he has here, to secure New Zealand’s first major men’s trophy, and so much of that might hinge on how their skipper fares here. Oooh, and he would have been in strife had a leg slip been in position! An inside edge goes right there, but to no catcher. He concludes the successful over with a hard-spun delivery that goes beyond Conway’s outside edge. Ashwin is right in the game now.
WICKET! Latham c Kohli b Ashwin 30 (New Zealand 70-1)
Taken at short cover! He was through the stroke early, Ashwin giving it a fraction more air. Well thought through by India’s brains trust.
34th over: New Zealand 70-0 (Latham 30, Conway 38) Nifty batting from Latham, taking a quick single to point. Conway deals with the rest. Drinks are on the field with 35 overs left - in theory, at least. I assume the cut off remains 7pm despite the six minutes lost earlier.
Abhijato Sensarma has been thinking. “I’ve had a long-standing query about the lengths bowled in swinging conditions, especially in England. For years, everyone said Broad and Anderson bowl too short on a ‘pretty length’ (as described by Sangakarra), with the new ball swinging past the batters without forcing them to play at it. They’ve amended their lengths in recent years and reaped the rewards. Even Shami has the habit of bowling rippers that fail to get a wicket because of their short length. Why not ... change it?”
Ian Bishop goes some way to explaining that on the broadcast, saying as he got older he found it easier to adapt his length.
33rd over: New Zealand 69-0 (Latham 29, Conway 38) As Conway drives Ashwin for four through covers, the “oooh Ravi Jadeja!” chant starts from the Indian fans at the Rose Bowl. It won’t be long before he gets a chance, I’m sure. Nevertheless, another tricky over.
32nd over: New Zealand 65-0 (Latham 29, Conway 34) Edge, uppish, and through! Latham gets four just to the left of gully, frustrating Shami yet further. A false stroke. He’s up for leg before to finish... but the angle has that going down the legside; no review.
Cracker of a piece, this: Jonathan Liew talking to Nathan Leamon. He’s a crucial man in the England camp, their long-term analyst, and he’s written a superb book with CricViz polymath Ben Jones.
31st over: New Zealand 60-0 (Latham 25, Conway 34) Conway clipping to begin Ashwin’s fresh over, getting three from the overpitched ball. Latham is getting as far forward as is safe when defending, which nearly becomes a problem for him to finish when one to turn and beat the outside edge - the first that’s ripped big.
30th over: New Zealand 57-0 (Latham 25, Conway 31) It is Ishant making way, but for Shami - India’s best bowler so far - not Bumrah. And he starts with a gem, forcing Latham to play from round the wicket before beating his outside edge. On telly, Sangakkara wants him to pitch it up more so those fine deliveries have a greater chance of locating the edge. Latham is through the rest safely. Maiden.
29th over: New Zealand 57-0 (Latham 25, Conway 31) So, one over of Bumrah and now we’re back to Ashwin? Maybe it’s Bumrah to follow Ishant? A probing maiden at Conway starts his new spell. What do we make of India’s uniform? I know it isn’t everyone’s cup of tea having the team name on the front, but I’m into it. As I am their return to proper cricket jumpers since last visiting in 2018.
28th over: New Zealand 57-0 (Latham 25, Conway 31) “It hasn’t done as much as when New Zealand bowled when it was swinging around corners,” says Nasser as Ishant starts a fresh set. He still has three slips in position, round the wicket at Conway. Now a big shout from Ishant when going past the edge with a beauty! He believes there was a noise but there is no support from the cordon. It was a good decision not to review, the technology later confirms on TV.
27th over: New Zealand 54-0 (Latham 25, Conway 28) Bumrah’s back in place of Ashwin and it nearly brings a breakthrough! Down comes the slower ball and Latham is through it early, checking a drive just beyond mid-off, but very much a false stroke. But it’s Conway’s turn later in the over and he brings up the New Zealand 50 with a compact tuck, timed well enough into the midwicket gap for four. More runs for Conway before he’s done, helping himself to three from a full toss, denied a boundary by the diving man at cover, Shubman Gill, taking some speed off the ball when diving.
26th over: New Zealand 44-0 (Latham 22, Conway 21) Good again from Latham, immediately turning Ishant around the corner for a single - he’s up for this. Conway has some work to do when the big quick gets one to lift, but he plays it softly, ripping his bottom hand off the bat at the point of contact. Tekkers. From there, leaving then defending before missing out down the legside to finish.
25th over: New Zealand 43-0 (Latham 21, Conway 21) Over the wicket, Ashwin to Conway. This is the first time that the New Zealander has faced spin in his Test career, with the exception of Joe Root. An inside edge onto pad at one stage, but there’s no catcher in front of the wicket, a leg slip and a slip instead. Another maiden.
24th over: New Zealand 43-0 (Latham 21, Conway 21) Back to back maidens, Ishant now looking to come back off the seam at Latham. Given how well the opener left before tea, that’s not a bad play.
“As patient as New Zealand’s openers have been, something has got to give,” insists Neelash Naik. “If the Indian quicks move their line slightly closer to the stumps, wickets could tumble. Getting past 200 might be much harder than it looked earlier today.”
23rd over: New Zealand 43-0 (Latham 21, Conway 21) Nasser makes a good, balanced point on telly (there’s a timeless tweet): Ashwin on for a long set-and-forget now instead of the seamers while the Dukes is still new? “There’s not a lot there for him at the moment.” On the other hand, he adds, New Zealand need to look to score off him, otherwise Kohli will be able to get valuable rest into his quicks.
22nd over: New Zealand 43-0 (Latham 21, Conway 21) A busy over for to start the final session, Conway driving Ishant through the covers for three - a lovely shot - then Latham getting an edge to ground, running away to third man for four. Of note: he started over the wicket before sacking that new plan off within three balls.
The players are back on the field
There are, in theory, 48 overs still to come today. There is more chance of me walking on the moon than India getting those in, even with Ashwin and Jadeja there. I’m not going to let this OBO go down the over-rates wormhole, but I’ll note in passing that this is now so out control that it can only be fixed via penalty runs. Capiche.
“Papa Collins.” Robert Wilson, always a pleasure to see your name. “Typical carnivorous ex-quick stuff from you there in Over 16. Thigh, body, thigh again. You’re sociopathic, you lot, treating the batter’s body as a scorecard, like every slap and thunk is an immoral victory. That said, India used to have a bloke called Gundappa Vishwanath, who kept the same form of scorecard. He took it really personally, getting hit. Like he was saying, seriously, have you seen what height I am? Nearly every time you hit him, it put another ten runs on his score. Gavaskar sucked a lot of the oxygen out of his career rep but he was an absolute legend against you meat-eating bastards, a sawn-off Hercules giving it loads against the Windies. There’s something about tiny batsmen I can’t help loving.”
Brian Close energy there. I was looking at his final First Class game recently (for I am such a cool dude), and it was when Ken Rutherford made his triple ton - the first for New Zealand in England, at the Scarborough Fest in 1986. Kenny was so blitzed from the night before that he spent lunch sleeping on 100* and was 300 by tea.
Kumar Sangakkara getting a lot of love at the tea break. And he’s now being presented his ICC Hall of Fame cap from Sunil Gavaskar. “You have been the conscience of international cricket.” Nice stuff.
“Afternoon Adam.” Brian Withington! “As a surprise Father’s Day treat my daughter is back up from London for the weekend, where she works helping homeless people get off the streets of East London, not far from where I was born and brought up. Talking of proud fathers, what’s Winnie doing to make your Father’s Day special? Also enjoying the top quality test cricket by the way.”
That’s special, Brian. Very pleased to hear it. I was treated to some art that Winnie made with her mum and granny, my favourite chocolate, crips and a Sunday roast. After seeing very little of them during the last two weeks at Edgbaston and Bristol, it was spot on.
TEA: New Zealand 36-0
21st over: New Zealand 36-0 (Latham 17, Conway 18) Bumrah - into the attack to replace Ashwin - is sending down the final over of the session. He starts round the wicket, which is standard practice for the champion to left-handers, but changes that mid-over after a chat with Kohli. Two balls to go from over the wicket, can he make him play? He does, with a beauty to finish, just missing the outside edge. Perhaps a sign of things to come in the final stanza, but an excellent effort from this pair to get through 21 overs without loss.
20th over: New Zealand 36-0 (Latham 17, Conway 18) In the air... and it doesn’t carry to gully off the shoulder of Latham’s bat, the second time in this spell Shami has been dangerous in that region. Conway’s turn, copping a fourth whack on the thigh from the quick. He attacks the stumps with a fuller delivery next but it’s straight enough for Conway to collect his third boundary, tucking it fine. Oooh, and more action here, Shami locating the outside edge, to gully again.
19th over: New Zealand 31-0 (Latham 16, Conway 14) First runs off Ashwin, Latham going past Jadeja at mid-on for one, Conway doing likewise to mid-off then Latham finishing with a third single down the ground. Really good cricket from the New Zealand openers.
18th over: New Zealand 28-0 (Latham 14, Conway 13) Shot. Conway gets high on his feet to time Shami through cover for three. That’s one way to break up the quick’s excellent rhythm. Latham retains the strike again, clipping a single down to fine leg. Considering the degree of difficulty out there, these two are going very nicely.
“Hi Adam.” Hello, Abhijato Sensarma. “I’ve never been one to support elaborate nationalism in public discourse, but cricketing matters are the exception. I’m torn between wanting the best for Jamieson and Conway (and their stats), and wanting success for my own team of choice i.e. India. The latter lets go of the initiative far too easily on English shores. I thought we had changed. Hopefully we have, and this is just their twisted way of letting us know the Gabba miracle wasn’t a one-off.” It was no one-off. Keep the faith.
17th over: New Zealand 24-0 (Latham 13, Conway 10) Ashwin to Latham with a silly point in, but he’s safely through it, defending from start to end, getting a big stride in when the ball is full. Two maidens from the champion off-spinner to begin his afternoon.
16th over: New Zealand 24-0 (Latham 13, Conway 10) Shami to Conway - Box Office stuff - and he hits him on that thigh once again to begin the set, jagging back from wide of the crease. Then back to that stock delivery, shaping away outside the off-stump. Classy bowling; good leaving. Back on the body later in the over, the left-hander can’t make contact, off the thigh a third time for a leg bye. Latham’s turn, who retains the strike from his inside edge.
15th over: New Zealand 22-0 (Latham 12, Conway 10) Ashwin, welcome to the attack - our first look at spin in this match, New Zealand going in without. And he’s straight on the money to Latham, finding his inside edge by the time the over is out.
“Ad-ers.” Hello, Andrew Benton. “Are you still in Bristol or back to Londinium? Did they bubble you all up at the County ground, or were you all left to your own devices? It’s nice that the place got an outing in the national and international cricket media, hope more international come Bristol’s way!”
I returned last night for Father’s Day! What a wonderful Test Match it was. We weren’t bubbled for broadcast, but the players were. There are two further internationals at Bristol during the next fortnight, England’s women and men both turning out in ODIs.
14th over: New Zealand 22-0 (Latham 12, Conway 10) A snorter from from Shami to Conway to start, spitting over the slips after hitting the splice - that’s more like it. With Latham tucking a single, it’s back to Conway, who cops a whack on the thigh to finish. This is the contest that matters most out there at the moment.
13th over: New Zealand 20-0 (Latham 11, Conway 9) Ishant is really hanging it outside the off-stump to Conway; this has to be part of a plan to the newcomer with three slips standing by. When forced to use his bat, the left-hander defends with soft hands. The short ball comes next, helped away to find leg on the hook - he’s never worried about playing that shot, as we saw at Edgbaston last week. Latham is solid in defence to finish. With the exception of Shami’s first over, we haven’t seen many balls worrying the opening pair of late.
12th over: New Zealand 19-0 (Latham 11, Conway 8) Lovely shape from Shami from round the wicket, continuing to angle in then seam away. What a handful. But Latham is equal to the task, careful and confident when shouldering arms then well forward in defence.
11th over: New Zealand 19-0 (Latham 11, Conway 8) Ishant resumes his over and Conway is able to leave four of the remaining five deliveries. Pretty good lengths, though. He’s going okay.
“I was rather surprised when it was first named the ‘thumper’ in the ENG/NZ Test,” writes VoiceOfTheMysrterons on twitter. “I thought that the tool was actually called a ‘tamper,’ used for, er, tamping the ground around fence posts and the like. I may be wrong though, I’ve not checked or anything.”
A quick google confirms your hunch. Cricket, ay... what a sport.
“Moral victory for India there,” Anandkumar tweeted to me as Kohli’s men returned. “Seems the only victory we will get today.”
The players are back on the field!
India’s fielders didn’t get off the field before the rain stopped and New Zealand’s opening pair are on their way back. How odd. Play!
It's raining... they're off! (New Zealand 19-0 after 10.1 overs)
Kohli doesn’t like it and his team aren’t hurrying from the field - indeed, he’s staying put in the cordon - but the umpires have decided the drizzle is strong enough to warrant an interruption.
10th over: New Zealand 19-0 (Latham 11, Conway 8) Shami into the attack, bowling in a Test for the first time since his arm was broken on the afternoon India were bowled out for 36 at Adelaide in December. Little did we know how that would serve as a turning point in one of the most remarkable series in modern memory. And sure enough, it’s an eventful over, finding Latham’s outside edge to begin - running away for a couple - then doing the same two balls later, landing just in front of the cordon. He hits the seam again to finish, this time beating the opener with good’un. Super stuff.
Let’s celebrate Shami’s return with some DJ Sammy, who I always think about when discussing the Indian quick, which is quite often.
9th over: New Zealand 17-0 (Latham 9, Conway 8) Ishant stays round the wicket to Latham, with the crowd up and about. The left-hander is able to leave the first half of the over before tucking away into the legside when the ball is back towards his stumps. More good batting from the vice-captain. Conway’s turn, seeing off the rest.
8th over: New Zealand 16-0 (Latham 8, Conway 8) Conway was superb of the front foot against England and is again her,e crashing a cover drive off Bumrah for four. “By the time you get to your third Test Match,” Nasser says on TV, “you can usually find a weakness in a player’s game. I’m yet to find one in Conway.” A good response from Bumrah, finding the inside edge from around the wicket, albeit with a ball that was going well over the stumps. Sure enough, the bouncer follows with the left-hander nicely underneath it.
7th over: New Zealand 12-0 (Latham 8, Conway 4) Thank you, Tanya. Wonderful stuff, as always. Hello! Before Ishant’s new over, the thumper is out doing its thing to slam down the turf where the veteran seamer lands. The thumper wasn’t a major thing until about five minutes ago, right? These days, we see it on just about every day of men’s Test cricket. Right, now to Ishant. He beat Conway with the final ball of his previous over but he’s in at Latham here. Leaving then defending; defending then leaving. Great batting in very tough conditions, with the floodlights doing plenty of work out there.
6th over: New Zealand 12-0 (Latham 8, Conway 4) Latham repeatedly leaves Bumrah. It makes me nervous. But, carefree, he clips him off his toes for the single. Conway lets the last ball fly past, that’s the over and time for me to sign off. Thanks for the messages, Adam Collins will carry you through the rest of the day. May it be as magnificent as the first half. Bye!
5th over: New Zealand 11-0 (Latham 7, Conway 4) Three dots, then Conway is tempted to have a dart at Sharma, but it moves away. Conway, knees bent in anticipation, then attempts a drive but instead edges it through third man for four. Kohli won’t mind that. Next ball, he has a wild swing at Sharma and is a kiss away from an edge behind. Kohli will mind that even less.
4th over: New Zealand 7-0 (Latham 7, Conway 0) Bumrah, beard neatly sculpted, totters in and flings the ball at Latham, who edges onto his pads. Kohli claps his hands enthusiastically. Then relief, as Bumrah over pitches and Latham leans into the ball and sends it skidding to the boundary.
3rd over: New Zealand 3-0 (Latham 3, Conway 0) Ishant is round the wicket at Conway, who, head bent, inching forward, plays and misses with a risky air.
“Shane Bond’s prediction was spot on,” says Ramaswamy. “He said that if India bat first, they’ll be all out in a day. Well, almost. It took 92 overs and a ball. I still can’t get over the ubiquitous Latham and his sure hands.” He was everywhere this morning!
2nd over: New Zealand 2-0 (Latham 2, Conway 0) Bumrah, rigid, clockwork action, up in the 90mphs. Latham picks up a single with a dab. Conway, oof, nearly edges a ball from Bumrah into his stumps, another surprises him with its pace. Quite a time for Conway (in only his third Test) to make a debut against India!
1st over: New Zealand 1-0 (Latham 1, Conway 0) There is fire in these Indian bellies. Ishant has the ball and is launching himself at the crease. Latham resists, then picks up a single with a nudge off his hips.
“Parisian cricket (91st Over). It does exist, but slily, “says Robert Wilson. “You do run into Indian and Pakistani guys with kitbags and loads of Sri Lankans. There a couple of dodgy semi-permanent grounds out in the suburbs, one with a matting pitch that’s seen better days.
“Wonderfully, every now and then you’ll run into someone with no English and then you’re faced with the existential farce of chatting about cricket in actual French. It really makes people stare on the metro. You’d be amazed how hard it is to say Nah, hurling blighted my childhood game - I’m alright off my legs but I couldn’t play a square cut to save my life in the language of Voltaire.
“There’s one chic Parisian club where the actual bar is literally made out of cricket balls. Don’t ask me why.”
The players are out already, Kohli with some performance clapping close to Conway’s ear.
Ruth Purdue asks, “Jamieson is something isn’t he, but why does the camera perspective make him look “slow”. I have been watching him take wickets but it all looks at a gentle pace.Please can someone who is more knowledgable than me about angle we are seeing and how it alters the viewing?”
I agree! He can look plodding on camera. Is it just because he so tall?
India all out
92.1 overs: India 217 all out (Shami 4 not out) Sudden death for India who lost three for four at the end. You’d think they were slightly short of par - with no-one reaching fifty. New Zealand were brilliant and Jamieson almost unplayable with his terrible height and awesome bounce.
Sage Gary Naylor tweeted this before the final collapse!
WICKET! Jadeja c Watling b Boult 15 (India 217 all out)
After they wait while people fiddle about with the sightscreen, Boult sends down the first ball of his over, it is short and Jadeja gloves it behind. That is that!
92nd over: India 217-9 ( Jadeja 15, Shami 4) What to do with a hat-trick ball? Drive it through point for four of course! What astonishing bowling from Jamieson.
Jamieson’s figures: an astonishing: 22-12-31-5
WICKET! Bumrah lbw Jamieson 0 (India 213-9)
A first-ball duck! A gorgeous full-length inswinger that thuds into Bumrah’s pads. Jamieson has five wickets and is on a hat-trick!
WICKET! Sharma c Taylor b Jamieson 4 (India 213-8)
Prodigious bounce, squares Sharma up and is gratefully accepted by Taylor with both hands at first slip.
91st over: India 213-7 ( Jadeja 15, Sharma 4) Just one from a tight Boult over. He’s on the money.
“ As a kiwi fan I’m sitting relatively comfortably at lunch,” writes Ben Macintyre. “Hopefully if we get the last three wickets quite cheaply I think we’d be clear favourites - but perhaps that’s my bias talking.
Do you mind if I copy Colum Fordham’s idea and ask you to wish my dad, Andrew, a happy father’s day too? He too is probably listening and reading about the cricket right now in Paris having been recognised yesterday for creating a junior cricket section in Parisian suburbia and running it for 14 years!
A very happy father’s day to you too Andrew! A Paris junior cricket section - how fantastic. Essential on-the-spot reportage is definitely needed. Get me on Euro-star asap post-pandemic.
90th over: India 212-7 ( Jadeja 15, Sharma 3) Jadeja glances up to the sky - what is yonder golden globe ? Jamieson (3-24) has the post-prandial ball. Sharma picks up a single with a non-textbook inside edge. Wagner saves runs at mid-on with a flying dive, de Grandhomme does the same at point. No stodgy puddings for the New Zealanders.
Thanks William! I’m glad it wasn’t an Ashes preview - we’ve got that to look forward to this winter.
A tweet pings.
I agree, though as the boring old mantra goes, we can’t judge the pitch/first-innings score till both sides have a bat. The Indian attack could be dastardly to face.
New Zealand are already on the field as we await Jadeja and Sharma.
“Dear Tanya,” writes Colum Fordham.
“Dukes ball or Stokes? It’s a toss-up but apart from other obvious candidates such as IT Botham, I would venture that English willow and cricket teas are also up there for an award.
“By the way, could you wish my father Richard Fordham a happy Father’s Day? He’s a big armchair cricket fan in that he reads the cricket news in the Telegraph (can’t have everything) and prepares an interesting pitch in his Hampshire garden for his children and grandchildren.”
A very happy father’s day Richard! Hope you are a having a wonderful day with a game on your tasty Hampshire pitch? And a happy father’s day to all you fabulous dads out there, including my very own lovely dad Ant.
The players prepare to walk out for the afternoon session.
89th over: India 211-7 ( Jadeja 15, Sharma 2) BJ Watling is convinced that Jadeja has edged a brutish bouncer into his gloves, but neither Williamson nor Boult are interested. Replays prove it bounced from Jadeja’s chest - ouch. Jadeja picks up a couple from a cover drive, before shouldering arms to the last ball, which pings off his leg to the keeper. And that is lunch! Four wickets lost, 65 runs scored, superb New Zealand bowling, especially from the mighty Jamieson. But these valuable tail-end runs will make Kohli’s lunch slightly more palatable. Time for a quick sandwich, back soon.
88th over: India 209-7 ( Jadeja 13, Sharma 2) Southee’s turn to torment India. Sharma shuffles a couple, Jadeja clips a single. The penultimate over before lunch.
87th over: India 206-7 ( Jadeja 12, Sharma 0) A valuable little cameo there from Ashwin: the closer India can squeeze towards 250, the more tasty the match. And a DROP! A rare event as Southee shells a neck high ball in the slips. A beautiful away swinger from Boult and a life for Jadeja on 11.
86th over: India 205-7 ( Jadeja 11, Sharma 0) Huge applause from the small crowd as Ashwin brings up the 200 with a drive towards long-off. Then a back-foot drive, hit with punchy perfection outbids the sluggish outfield and goes for four. But the very next ball he goes for another drive, off an outswinger, and Latham takes a superb catch.
WICKET! Ashwin c Latham b Southee 22 (India 205-7)
Ashwin drives, but edges, and Latham, again!, takes the catch at second slip. Suckered!
85th over: India 199-6 ( Jadeja 11, Ashwin 16) The wiry Boult accelerates in, Ashwin picks him off for a single. The two spinners have now put on a valuable 17 in what is bound to be a low-scoring game. Quarter of an hour left till lunch.
Matt Dony raises Brian Withington: “Going purely by the summer of 2019, can I suggest that Ben Stokes is actually England’s greatest gift to cricket?”
84th over: India 198-6 ( Jadeja 11, Ashwin 15) Ashwin again pulls away with Southee mid-stride . As a stern rebuke, Southee sends a glorious outswinger past his flaying bat. New Zealand ask if they can change the (very new ) ball; the umpires go through the motions and say no, no. Ashwin has set his barometer to action: a thick edge through the disbelieving slips and an off drive which the chasing Wagner catches just before the rope.
83rd over: India 190-6 ( Jadeja 10, Ashwin 8) Ashwin is off the mark with a flick off the legs, well played to one that swings in. Then a back-foot punch for a couple more, and a rather lovely turn off his pads for a boundary. Boult generating plenty of swing
“Since the introduction of the game itself, is the Dukes ball (born Tonbridge, 1760) England’s greatest gift to cricket? (On a philosophical note, can the introduction of cricket be considered a gift to cricket?) What/who are the rival candidates for this (patronisingly colonialist?) honour, and why is the Dukes ball nevertheless largely spurned by the rest of the cricketing world? In the immortal words of Mrs Merton, ‘Let’s have a heated debate’.”
Oh Brian Withington, on a Sunday?
Second new ball taken
82nd over: India 182-6 ( Jadeja 10, Ashwin 0) After three balls, Southee takes the shiny, burgundy new pill. Jadeja is watchful, a maiden.
I think this could be your lucky day!
81st over: India 182-6 ( Jadeja 10, Ashwin 0) Wagner is given another over - no new ball yet. I think I’d give it another over or so, they’re making the old one sing. A maiden.
“What is it about Neil Wagner’s short bowling that lends it the suckerpunchesque quality?” asks Abhijato Sensarma. “Steve Smith - the most disciplined batter in Test cricket - got sucked into the void by his tactics time and again when NZ toured Australia. Even now, Rahane deposited the ball straight to the fielder with an aerial shot despite knowing what was coming his way. Mental tactics, temptations to the superior, or simple wizardry? Someone needs to write a dissertation about this. Perhaps Jarrod Kimber.”
Jarrod is definitely your man! I think Wagner looks like the duffer in the pack, short and stocky, so batsmen think they can take him on. Never under-estimate the determination of the short man, as IDS nearly said.
80th over: India 182-6 ( Jadeja 10, Ashwin 0) Tim Southee has the ball swinging to his whim. He bowls Jadeja with a dead ball - Jadeja not ready - and Jadeja then leaves dangerously for most of the rest of the over.
79th over: India 182-6 ( Jadeja 10, Ashwin 0) Rahane hit the ball to exactly where Williamson had just put the fielder. An inexplicable shot. Ashwin backs away and has a wild slog to his second ball. India are subsiding this morning in the face of pure excellence from New Zealand
WICKET! Rahane c Latham b Wagner 49 (India 182-6)
A distraught Rahane falls hook, line and sinker for the short ball trap! He pulls the ball to midwicket who is waiting, almost laughing at the success of the plot. Rahane drops his head to his chest unable to believe he’s been so daft.
78th over: India 180-5 ( Jadeja 10, Rahane 47) de Grandhomme, mullet bouncy in full gloriousness, pounds in. Rahane pings him fine, for four; Jadeja off-drives his last ball for another. Tension releases.
77th over: India 171-5 ( Jadeja 6, Rahane 42) Wagner, a very busy bowler, bustles in. Rahane delights with a little leg glance, beautifully angled and clipped towards midwicket but it doesn’t quite reach the boundary. The outfield is slow. He adds another three through midwicket. And after an intriguing first hour, that is DRINKS!
An appreciation of New Zealand slip fielding:
76th over: India 166-5 ( Jadeja 6, Rahane 37) Shot of the morning! A drive from Rahane trills through the covers but just short of the boundary for three. Jadeja picks up a couple through point as the sun unveils herself for the first time in the match. Sudden plenty for India.
75th over: India 161-5 ( Jadeja 4, Rahane 34) Jadeja, in his first Test since Sydney at the start of the year, flaps at Jamieson and sends the ball somewhat dangerously through the waiting slips, just in front of Southee, for four.
74th over: India 156-5 ( Jadeja 0, Rahane 33) What an over! First, breathing space for India. A no ball! A single! A four!!! as Pant gets off the mark with a flick through mid-wicket. Boult brings some sand and scatters it round the stumps at the bowler’s end then Jamieson throws out a tasty morsel and Pant reaches, way, way too far, flings his bat and is caught. Brilliant!
Tim de Lisle’s wise observation - before the Pant dismissal!
WICKET! Pant c Latham b Jamieson 4 (India 156-5)
NO! Just a couple of balls after getting off the mark with a boundary. A wild drive, superbly caught at second slip with both hands by Latham.
73rd over: India 150-4 (Pant 0, Rahane 32) A bowling change. A spot of Wagner to replace Boult for the first time this morning. But, we get more of the same. Another maiden. not a run off the bat for 41 balls. The watchful Pant now has 0 off 19 balls. This is when nothing is something - the ultimate Test between batsman and bowler.
72nd over: India 150-4 (Pant 0, Rahane 32) The tall blond Jamieson, huge shoulders rocking from side to side, sends down another maiden Rahane, careful, thick edges to the slips, then toe-ends another that way. No hit of a flourish - too risky. The miserly Jamieson has now bowled 18 overs 2-15.
Kohli scratches his head on the balcony - much to consider and with a new ball due soon.
71st over: India 150-4 (Pant 0, Rahane 32) Another excellent over from Boult as poor Pant is stripped of his super-hero powers and locked in the cupboard without a cape. Four maidens in a row.
70th over: India 149-4 (Pant 0, Rahane 32) New Zealand on top this morning. Another maiden from Jamieson as the pressure starts to build on India. Pant drives through the covers but a four is prevented by a salmon-like piece of fielding from Williamson at . Then the lbw appeal... not out on the whim of umpire’s call. With nought off eight balls his feet must be twitching.
An email! Horray! “Morning Tanya,” Morning Jon Salisbury!
“Genuine question, has Kohli ever not challenged an appeal? Doesn’t really seem in his character.”
Ha! I don’t know but I guess being the best batsman in the team tips the scales.
NOT OUT! Umpire's call
No bat involved, but the ball swings too much and would have just hit. Lucky, lucky Pant.
REVIEW! Pant lbw Jamieson.....
Given not out...
69th over: India 149-4 (Pant 0, Rahane 32) A testing over from Boult as Rahane takes a long nervous deep breath. A maiden, the second in a row.
68th over: India 149-4 (Pant 0, Rahane 32) Jamieson thunders into Pant’ s pad first ball. The breakthrough New Zealand were looking for: will India now slump into the abyss of spark the fireworks? Kohli’s careful innings came from 132 balls with just one four.
Apologies, we’re continuing to have email problems, if you want to get in touch perhaps best to try the twitter link for now.
WICKET! Kohli lbw Jamieson 44 (India 149-4)
The big one! A looping inswinger that thuds into Kohli’s front pad and would have hit leg stump.
REVIEW! Kohli lbw Jamieson
Kohli appeals ... ooof it looks close
67th over: India 149-3 (Kohli 44, Rahane 32) Boult, the artist’s artist, gets his first full over. Rahane picks up a couple from a shorter ball, but is beaten by a beauty in the penultimate delivery that reaches to kiss the outside edge.
66th over: India 147-3 (Kohli 44, Rahane 30) The giant Jamieson eats up the grass as he lollops into the crease. He bowls wide and wider, but Rahane isn’t tempted. He picks up a single. And in the commentary box they have spotted a little brightness in the sky.
65th over: India 146-3 (Kohli 44, Rahane 29) Boult polishes off his over from yesterday: Kohli tips the first behind along the ground towards gully and plays the second immaculately back.
The television cameras have panned back to Southampton, where Kohli and Rahane are walk-jogging-shadow-batting onto the field.
Twenty-two years ago today, England held another final. The World Cup final at Lord’s between Pakistan and Australia. After what was, until 2019, considered the greatest world cup game ever between Australia and South Africa in the semi-final, the final was a disappointment - a walkover for Australia. If I close my eyes, though, I can still hear the Pakistani fans blowing their horns at Lord’s.
I’ve just spotted that the email address on the link above is wrong, so sorry if you’ve sent a mail - I haven’t received any yet today! I’ll try to change it now but in the meantime please email at email@example.com.
A toe-crushing yorker to start the day from Shakir:
Pant! shouts my son from the sofa, but let’s ignore the impetuosity of youth for now. It comes down to whether you prefer your food impetuously but immaculately hot or mild but cooked with great skill. Forced to split them, I’d plump for Virat.
Though we must acknowledge that Steve Smith’s Test average soars above all three of them at 61.
Play due to start at 11am BST
Good news to digest with your coffee, as the television shows Rishabh Pant, in a thick India anorak (made specially for the occassion?) and silver chain practising his batting on the outfield.
Inspection at 1020
Expect a delayed, but not too delayed, start. In the meantime, do email me any lazy Sunday morning thoughts.
Weather latest: mizzle.
Ali Martin’s report on the first day:
Good morning! The World Test Championship limps into its third day, soggy hems to its trousers, umbrella at the ready. There were 64.4 overs in yesterday’s weather- interrupted day: time for India to reach 146-3, with Virat Kohli on the brink of a half century. New Zealand’s seamers have impressed in the same way that they have all tour, with disciplined aggression, the titanic Kyle Jamieson the pick of the bowlers.
The weather forecast is for scattered showers, so expect play to be in more than three acts. It will be, more than anything, a test of the players’ powers of concentration and patience. As the longest day of the year fast approaches in the northern hemisphere, cricket can consider itself unlucky. And if the ICC had only held the match at rain-plagued Old Trafford, they would be onto their third full day of cricket. Oh capricious June.
In other news, much sympathy for young England fast bowler Olly Stone, who has just been diagnosed with the third stress-fracture of his young career.