16th over West Indies 103-8 (Shepherd 21, Hosein 3) Five runs off Jordan’s wicket-taking over as this threatens to dribble to a finish.
“Have you been selected for an English win?” asks Tone White. “Félicitations!”
Well when you put it like that, thank you very much!
Off the legs and into Banton’s hands, the good ship West Indies is tilting dangerously now
15th over West Indies 98-7 (Shepherd 14, Allen 11) Six more! This time Rashid gets powered by Shepherd high and mighty over long off. West Indies need an unlikely, but possible, 74 from 30
14th over West Indies 89-7 (Shepherd 14, Allen 11) These two aren’t going to go meekly into the Caribbean night. Allen takes a courtly bow onto one knee and rockets Moeen over mid-wicket for six.
13th over West Indies 78-7 (Shepherd 13, Allen 1) Shepherd smears Dawson for two huge sixes – and why not? We catch a glimpse of Sir Garry Sobers watching from his eponymous stand (I think), looking fragile in a pale blue shirt.
For all those who’ve asked for a scorecard link – apologies, hopefully we’ll get one up for you asap.
12th over West Indies 65-7 (Shepherd 1, Allen 0 )Two wickets for Moeen, thanks very much, as West Indies lose their nerve and England hold theirs. The night is now raisin black and the floodlights blaze away.
Smith goes for broke, shooting the ball up and away, but it is not long enough, and Vince calmly collects down on one-knee and about eight foot in front of the rope.
Holder eyes up Moeen, has a go, but Moeen holds on with both hands leaning back, as the umpire ducks behind him in anticipation. West Indies are midway between the stumble and the fall.
11th over West Indies 57-5 (Holder 1, Shepherd 0 ) Gorgeous from Rashid – fat leg breaks, chubby googly: perfection.
Poor old umpire Duguid isn’t having his best evening. England review the first ball after the break and the review shows the ball sliding onto the pad and would have kissed leg stump.
10th over West Indies 55-4 (Bravo 23, Holder 1) Moeen, beige arms/bodysuit under his shirt, flows in. Just three from the over as they take DRINKS. At the same stage in their innings, England were 64-2: not much in it runs wise but West Indies have fewer springs left in the box.
Not given out on the field, but England review as Pollard has a go but is pinned on the back leg.
8th over West Indies 49-3 (Bravo 19, Pollard 1) Morgan turns to Moeen Ali, and it works straight away. A match up made in heaven – etc etc. Just a dib-dab for the rest of the over and West Indies need a bit of a regroup here. Both batters now helmet less.
“Good evening Tanya.” Hello Colum Fordham.
“Dreaming of being able to go out to a place like Barbados to watch the cricket live and enjoy the odd snorkel à la Simon Burnton.
In the meantime, content to be in Naples on a Sunday night enjoying watching England’s openers. Just wondering whether they have the makings of test bowlers. I know Mahmood has been in the reckoning for a test call-up but England also need a left-arm fast bowler to vary things up given Sam Curran has been left out. Reading about him on Wikipedia, it would seem that Reece Topley would have the makings of a test quick were it not for his injury-prone career. At least he’s put England in with a shout today.”
Topley feels too fragile for Test cricket, unfortunately, but Saqib is a shoe-in I think, especially with all those warm words of wisdom in his ear from James Anderson. Curran Sam is still recovering from injury I think.
Beaut of a catch by James Vince, sprinting in and diving flat onto his belly to scoop up at deep midwicket
7th over West Indies 46-2 (Pooran 24, Bravo 17) Morgan turns to his magician but Pooran steps aside and tucks into a wide one and sends it scurrying over the rope. One-handed six anyone? Bravo obliges, belting Rashid over Chris Jordan and into the Barbados night.
“Isn’t Simon a Watford fan? asks Austin Baird. “Surely in this wide world we should cut him some slack for that heavy weight.”
6th over West Indies 33-2 (Pooran 19, Bravo 9) Jordan with his first over – and Pooran is dropped again! This time by Morgan in the covers. And he makes England pay almost immediately, smoking Jordan for six over midwicket -hold that stance! – then a thick edge over the rope. Game on!
5th over West Indies 20-2 (Pooran 8, Bravo 7) Pooran gets a life after top-edging Topley into the stratsophere, where it bounces off the moon, then Dawson’s chest as it bobbles from his hands and onto the ground. He’d nearly toppled Bravo with a violent straight boundary the ball before.
4th over West Indies 13-2 (Pooran 2, Bravo 6) Bravo off the mark with a smudge to third man, and the first boundary of the innings comes with a rather lovely wristy cut square of the wicket off Mahmood.
“It’s worth reminding the smug gits snorkelling that the Caribbean is crawling with sharks* types Tim Maitland with hard fingers. “There are bull sharks, hammerheads, black tips, great whites and, worst of all, the highly aggressive tiger shark.
“And if they don’t get you, there are always the venomous jellyfish. That should give them something to think about, shouldn’t it?
*Actually and unsurprisingly in sharp decline because of habitat loss and commercial fishing, but accuracy is not the point here. “
I’d like to make it clear here that I am NOT calling Simon a smug git!
3rd over West Indies 6-2 (Pooran 1, Bravo 0) Turns out Topley deprived himself of another mark in the wickets column as Hawk-eye shows the ball thudded into Hope’s toe and would have been lbw if he hadn’t been run out. Another deeply impressive over and West Indies in danger of doing an England here.
An inswinging yorker stabbed away, Hope goes for the single and Topley throws himself to the ground and flicks the ball onto the stumps. Brilliant work!
2nd over West Indies 5-1 (Hope 0, Pooran 0) Lancashire’s Saqib Mahmood accelerates to the crease, he’s such a well-oiled machine, not an awkward moving part or ungainly twinge to be seen. And West Indies can only manage two runs, as he hits his straps straight away.
Ah, apparently only fully vaccinated fans are allowed entry at Bridgetown.
1st over West Indies 3-1 (Hope 0, Pooran 0) What a return to IT20 cricket from Topley who looks thrilled to be back. Can anyone decipher the tattoos on the inside of his arm?
What a ball from the oak tree Topley! Shimmies into King’s back pad, and it is umpire’s call. Topley punches the air – that’s his first T20 wicket since the 2016 World Cup!
“C and A trainers” writes Tom V d Gucht, “Ah… Brings back painful memories of the trauma involved in non-uniform days at school. It was kind of like a Key Note conference speech in that it was your only chance to showcase the real you to your peers. Sadly, this led to be being black-balled by my school grunge community ome year when I wore a Lenny Kravitz Let Love Rule T-shirt over the top of my long-sleeved Faith No More base layer and the time somebody pointed out the jeans I got from Keighley Market were Levvi’s rather than Levi’s…”
The unforgiving cruelty of year 8s. And here come the players again..
Now this is more like it: a competitive total with a booming brass background. No-one blasted into the stratosphere for England but handy contributions from Roy, Mooen, Banton and Jordan. If you’re retiring for an early Sunday night, thanks for your company, otherwise see you back here in five minutes or so.
20th over: England 171-8 (Rashid 2, Mahmood 7) Mahmood biffs Holder like an old pro, through square leg and smirked over the rope for four. They can only manage a single off the last ball but I think England will be happy with that on a surface that isn’t singing.
19th over: England 163-7 (Dawson 4, Rashid 1) I take back what I said about Jordan being too high – that was an innings of glorious strokes and great gumption – he’s hit the ground running this tournament.
Another juicy flourish from Jordan but this time it can’t escape the long arms of Jason Holder at long off.
18th over: England 153-6 (Jordan 19, Dawson 4) Holder throws out his long arms in bewilderment as Dawson pulls his last ball and it flies over Pooran’s head at deep square leg. Bit sloppy from West Indies in the field today.
Taken with backwards hands and bent knee at long on as Morgan has a fruitless swing looking for the short boundary.
17th over: England 146-5 (Jordan 17, Morgan 13) A nice little swivel-sweep by Jordan who sends Shepherd past short-fine leg for four. And, wow, a whack-a-mole glorious whallop over extra cover against the wind, soaring over the long-boundary for six. A common or garden four from Morgan and that’s a tasty 18 from the over.