As has often been said cricket is played as much in the head as in the field or as someone put it once ‘chess on legs’ and there was an inevitability about today in that WIndies, so far behind, would need resilience and resolve to be able to progress.
I’m adding the photos here as some readers prefer them to my uttering, but close study of the relationship between Stokes and Blackwood shows how things got ‘tense’! NB the photos of Ben Stokes were taken at various times throughout the day not just when things…
The first session was as tense and competitive as we’ve seen so far with England taking a couple of wickets in the session and WIndies scratched a few runs to reach 170+ at lunch with only three wickets lost.
The session seemed to be peppered with reviews – some good, some odd, some wrong, some right – but as I heard Greenidge and Haynes speak earlier in the week, when is the DRS system ever going to be right? If it’s not, then give the power back to the umpires – after all they don’t have much left to do! They don’t look for no balls, they judge the height and width of the delivery, count to 4 then check with each other that they can count to 4, all run outs are referred as are close catches. But dear reader you’ve read this ‘rant’ before!
Today is cooler and cloudier than the previous two and theoretically more helpful to England but resolve and resilience should pay. Let’s see what the afternoon brings!
Even with a few overs of the new ball just before tea, England could not dislodge Brathwaite or Blackwood as they progressed to individual fifties and an overall score of 196/3.
I must admit there’s a refreshing air about this England side, perhaps the Broaderson influence was too strong. I know this may upset their fans who were described by a fellow spectator as the ‘awe-right, awe-right gang’ – the two debutant quicks clearly have promise but we need to persevere. The last session looms with 35 overs to go but what is also noteworthy is that I’m just over half way through the number of potential watching days! Spring in England is ever closer!
The last session is the most tense of the day and perhaps series. Brathwaite completes a dogged and self-assured century closely followed by Blackwood who made 102 having given Brathwaite a 3 hour head start!
A bit of needle crept in, in that Blackwood was out for 0 but not reviewed and later dismissed but off a no-ball. Later Ben Stokes and Blackwood exchanged pleasantries but the umpires stepped in with sound advice to both Stokes and Root. All seemed well when Blackwood reached his ton.
At the close WIndies 288/4 – it looks increasingly like a draw, but there are twists and turns to come I’m sure as resolve and resilience persist.