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England v West Indies: first cricket Test, day two – live
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England v West Indies: first cricket Test, day two – live

Simon McMahon joins in on the general ticketing sadness (a tip of the hat to Tailenders).

I’m sorry to have to break it to John Tumbridge, but this Test ain’t going to Day 5. I’m sure there’s probably still cheap tickets available for the Men’s singles final at Wimbledon if he’s looking for something to take his mind off England v Spain on Sunday evening…

53rd over: England 250-4 (Stokes 3, Root 47) Surprisingly, after that bouncer to get rid of Brook, West Indies haven’t gone full pelt with the short ball, though Alzarri Joseph does close his over with one. Root guides it for a single. Time for drinks.

52nd over: England 247-4 (Stokes 2, Root 45) Shamar Joseph decides to opt for full-and-straight against Stokes, though the two men on the leg-side boundary are waiting for the bouncer … It doesn’t come as Stokes drives through the on-side for two.

“Katie (10.37) and John (11.46) both get my sympathy,” writes Tom. “I too have Day 4 tickets: was hoping to be at the send off for our greatest bowler as I was for our (statistically) greatest batter. Will need some serious weather now for this to occur.” Or a magnificent effort with the bat from West Indies.

51st over: England 244-4 (Stokes 0, Root 44) Alzarri Joseph goes short to Stokes first up; this is the tactic now for West Indies, with two men back on the leg-side rope. A fuller delivery outside off closes the over.

Root casually clips Alzarri Joseph through midwicket for three … before Brook finally makes a mistake! Joseph goes short, slightly wide outside off, and the right-hander gets his pull shot all wrong, the edge lobbing up high into the air for the simplest of catches. Joshua Da Silva obliges. A wicket out of nowhere.

50th over: England 241-3 (Brook 50, Root 41) Just one off Shamar Joseph’s over.

“I feel for Katie 10:37,” writes John Tumbridge. “I agree fully, mainly as I have cheapo Sunday tickets, I couldn’t contemplate taking advantage of the generous offer to take a Hospitality seat at £799 plus Vat. Is it cowardly to pray for rain?”

£799. Yuck.

49th over: England 240-3 (Brook 50, Root 40) Just 55 balls required for Harry Brook to reach his 12th score of 50 or more in Test cricket. He’s been delightful this morning.

48th over: England 237-3 (Brook 48, Root 39) Shamar Joseph gives it a go from the Pavilion End, dropping short to Brook who hooks the final ball of the over for six. England are motoring.

47th over: England 231-3 (Brook 42, Root 39) Root now pulls Alzarri Joseph for four before flicking the next ball through square leg for another boundary. Joseph is going at close to seven an over; England are batting aggressively without doing anything really risky.

Here’s a random musical interlude (what I’ve been listening to recently):

46th over: England 218-3 (Brook 41, Root 28) A shortish ball from Seales sits up comfortably for Root to pull away for four, and a perfect drive through cover point brings England’s No 4 another boundary. West Indies’ quicks haven’t really delivered any yorkers so far today, which is a bit of a surprise, particularly when the pitch is offering very little.

45th over: England 210-3 (Brook 41, Root 20) Shamar is off, Alzarri’s in from the Nursery End. He gives Root a single and Brook moves to 41 with a guided slash outside off behind point for four.

44th over: England 205-3 (Brook 37, Root 19) Delightful from Brook, driving Seales through the covers for four. There’s no real movement out there for the quicks, the sun is baking this pristine-looking pitch and England are past 200. A tough day awaits for the West Indies … unless England so something silly.

43rd over: England 197-3 (Brook 29, Root 19) Brook finally gets the strike and is tempted with the second ball of the over, swishing his bat outside off as the ball moves away from him and carries into the gloves of Da Silva. A clip through midwicket grants him two. A single brings Root back on, and he flicks nicely through the leg-side for three, Alzarri Joseph denying a boundary with some fine fielding at cow corner.

42nd over: England 190-3 (Brook 25, Root 16) Jayden Seales has the ball from the Pavilion End, and after beginning with two gullies, one of the men moves out to cover. It’s a tight start from the quick: maiden.

41st over: England 190-3 (Brook 25, Root 16) A bit of low bounce on this pitch, forcing Root to really get down to keep out Joseph’s straight delivery. Joseph is focused on rattling the stumps, everything angled in to the right-hander. Root nicks a single from the final ball of the over, dropping the ball into the covers.

Alrighty, Shamar Joseph will get things started from the Nursery End, with Joe Root on strike. Let’s go.

The players are making their way out on to the field with their red caps on as part of Red for Ruth day.

Ian Palmer writes in:

I grew up watching the West Indies, Brian Lara, Jimmy Adams (nicest man on the planet), Walsh, Ambrose etc, and I always thought watching cricket there looked like my idea of heaven, the atmosphere in the stands, pools, the rum….. so I vowed to go and watch a test there some day, but I only wanted to go and watch when there were 2 really competitive sides playing a ding dong of a test series. That would be the best. I really want this side to come good and be competitive. Please come good. I have dreams to fulfill.

To be fair, Ian, England haven’t won a Test series in the Caribbean since 2004; it’s usually quite an even contest when the two teams meet there. Get yourself over! Also worth remembering that West Indies have won a Test on each of their last two tours here, so they shouldn’t be written off so easily.

Understandable disagreement from Katie here.

Only just clocked that Atkinson’s display yesterday was only his second five-wicket haul in professional cricket. Despite being 26 he’s still quite fresh to this whole thing, this just his 20th first-class match.

Would be great to see him bat with it on.

Here’s all of our coverage from day one.

Morning! I’m at Lord’s where, I’m pleased to report, the sun is out and about. Yesterday was about two quicks: the one leaving and the one just getting started. James Anderson remains the focus but it was Gus Atkinson who tore through the West Indies lineup, finishing with astonishing figures of seven for 45. We’ll be seeing plenty more of him.

England are in a very good spot, leading by 68, with the two Yorkshiremen, Brook and Root, out in the middle. Batting conditions appear glorious. But for the sake of the Test match, it would be quite helpful if they didn’t stick around; should they go somewhat big, it’s hard to see the visitors coming back from it.

I’m here for the first half of the day. Please drop me a line with all your thoughts, queries, concerns, life advice, convoluted connections to cricketers, song requests, whatever makes you happy.

Source: theguardian.com