Let’s take things slowly shall we?

A day more concentrating on the test rather than the scenery…but nonetheless it cannot be ignored for its sheer beauty and brilliance!

This is the view from behind the stadium!

A less than auspicious start by England – nothing really troubled the bats in the first hour to drinks but when Stokes got one to do a bit more, the shape of the session changed. Brathwaite was taken lbw by Stokes as I’ve said and then Overton and Mahmood (who’s having the best time at this stage) found the right line and length to bring the short ball into play.

Straining every sinew and muscle
Celebrate! Brathwaite gone!

Campbell was hit on the head – or rather failed to duck/sway in time, Brooks looked uncomfortable against these two and with lunch looming Blackwood and Bonner took the chance to practice their world class time management skills – and who wouldn’t? – to steer WIndies to 71/3 at lunch; each on 1no. Only 25 overs in the session so don’t get me started on over rates as blood will boil in already warm temperatures!

I knew it would! As soon as I wrote that at lunch I knew by tea it would be nagging and gnawing at me all afternoon and England did not disappoint. They’ve managed to bowl 51 overs in 4 hours (rate less than 13 when the requirement is 15). With 39 overs to go in 150 minutes maximum we’re going to get short changed again and the paying public will not see tests as value for money! Perhaps that explains why the ground is less than a third full and then thanks to a large England contingent.

The cricket media will say it’s disgraceful and something must be done…until the next time a team is so slow and so we go round and round. As for the speed of play this afternoon I’ve seen milk turn faster!

During that session WIndies crawled to 134/7 losing 4 for 63 in the afternoon. Holder had a rush of blood and was caught by Jonny in the outfield and Bonner got himself in a tangle giving a catch.

Bonner gets into a bit of a tangle…and out!
Jason! What were you thinking?
There’s a sniff of a victory in the offing and the locals pour in!
Mayers gets in a tangle too!
da Silva starts getting airborne but not quite like Antigua!
And so does Mayers!

Not exactly sparkling cricket but then this is a test! It’s setting itself up nicely for a low scoring game – not quite what the pitch prognosticators (self included!) had envisaged for today.

This is now really starting to get me annoyed.

As I write this it’s 5.12pm – past ‘scheduled’ close of play and three minutes since the last ball was bowled…we’ve had light meters, new ball brought on, fields set and reset, discussions by the truck load – and I’m paying to watch this! In over 40 years in management and governance I’ve attended minuted and completed committee meetings which haven’t taken this long. For the sake of test cricket, somebody do something and soon!

I promise I shall have calmed down by tomorrow!

In other news, WIndies have taken the lead as England struggle to find Plan B since Plan A has stopped working! Why flog your quick bowlers when there’s less than 10 overs to the new ball and you introduce Leach for over 77!

Overall both innings followed the same pattern but England wickets fell to lateral movement but WIndies to the fast short stuff. What does the pitch hold in store for tomorrow?

At stumps WIndies lead by 28 with da Silva being limpet like (again) 54no but if it goes much slower the match will stop altogether!

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