14th over: England 69-5 ( Duckett 37, Livingstone 10) A better over for England who head for a drink having picked up eleven from Alzarri Joseph’s latest. A short ball sits up for Livingstone to pan through mid-wicket for four.
13th over: England 58-5 ( Duckett 32, Livingstone 4) Gudakesh Motie replaces Ford as Hope turns to spin for the first time. England are watchful, no big shots, nudges and nurdles only. Three off the over.
12th over: England 55-5 ( Duckett 30, Livingstone 3) The increasingly impressive Matthew Forde is into his sixth over on the bounce and England can only muster two from it. Joseph backs him up with another probing over that England manage to eke four runs off.
Guy Hornsby is looking forward to golden slumbers:
“Evening James, and welcome everyone to a 90s throwback white ball innings collapse. This is like something out of the 1999 World Cup, such is the haplessness of the batting so far. But we also look back to India’s T20 style disintegration of 6 weeks ago. Buttler needed time to get going last time, so he naturally hooks first ball. Crawley looked surprised the ball even hit him. Still, perhaps they’re just giving everyone watching in England a bit of sleep back, which is nice.”
11th over: England 51-5 ( Duckett 28, Livingstone 1) Ben Duckett is still there for England and he brings up his side’s fifty to extremely muted applause. Livingstone nudges to square to get off the mark. What can England manage here? They’ll also fancy a bowl on this lively surface. You’d think 200 is still a minimum though.
“Harry Brook in danger of picking up a reputation as a nervous runner.” Suggests Mark Beadle. “The hesitation did for him here.”
10th over: England 49-5 ( Duckett 27, Livingstone 0) Fabulous over, two wickets snared as Sir Garfield looks down from the stands appreciatively. Liam Livingstone is the new man and he needs/owes some runs.
Sayonara Jos! Two in the over for Alzarri Joseph and West Indies! A well directed short ball gets too big on Buttler and his top edged hook shot is swallowed by Joseph at long leg. Hear that? It’s England’s batting card creaking like a storm battered oak/my knees post a game of Friday night five-a-side.
Gone! The slightest hesitation does for Brook as he scampers a quick single and is run out diving for his ground at the non-strikers end. Direct hit from Joseph swooping in, West Indies absolutely on one.
9th over: England 47-3 ( Duckett 25, Brook 1) What an opening spell this is from Matthew Forde, he has 3-16 off his five overs and West Indies are on top at the end of the first Powerplay. West Indies have a gun bowler on their hands by the looks of it. His control and accuracy has been as impressive as the wickets.
Back of a length, zip off the pitch, feather of an edge to the keeper! Forde has his third wicket (he could easily have had five by now) and Jacks has to go. Here comes Harry Brook with the crowd up and rocking in Bridgetown!
8th over: England 45-2 (Jacks 24, Duckett 17) Duckett gets after Shepherd and takes him for three boundaries off the over! A short ball is pulled to the rope and followed up by two crrrrrunching drives through the covers. England punching back.
7th over: England 33-2 (Jacks 17, Duckett 12) Forde is into his fourth over and nearly snares his third wicket – a lofted drive from Jacks just creeps over the infield and plops safe.
6th over: England 27-2 (Jacks 13, Duckett 10) More positive from England who collect seven from Shepherd’s latest, the highlight a dismissive lofted drive from Jacks to a ball that sat up outside off stump.
Back atcha, Simon McMahon.
“If it’s Christmas melancholy you’re after (always) look no further than the greatest partnership never to open the batting for England, Aiden Moffat and RM Hubbert, and their album Ghost Stories for Christmas. The whole album is wonderful, with both original songs and covers, the best known being Lonely This Christmas, and this one…”
5th over: England 20-2 (Jacks 11, Duckett 7) Another probing over from Forde under increasingly leaden skies. Another steepling length ball nearly does for Jacks as he fends off uppishly to midwicket. Just a single off the over.
4th over: England 19-2 (Jacks 9, Duckett 6) Forde looks a real prospect, lovely repeatable action and he’s landing it on a postage stamp outside off stump at the moment. Shepherd is a bit looser at the other end – Duckett collects two from an over-pitched delivery but us then beaten by an absolute snorter that pings off the pitch like a golf ball whanged down on a shiny slab of concrete. This pitch looks particularly spicy to me, if the bowlers get it right then it could be a batters graveyard.
Men in yellow ponchos are appearing on the boundary edge… it looks a bit grey, more Bridlington than Barbados at the moment.
3rd over: England 11-2 (Jacks 6, Duckett 1) This pitch has got plenty of life in it, perhaps as a result of being left to sweat under covers for a few hours. Ben Duckett is the new man and wisely gets off the mark first ball with a clip to leg. Jacks picks up two through the covers.
Crawley takes a stride down the wicket but is undone by pace and bounce – the ball rearing onto his glove and ballooning an easy catch to the slips. Forde has bagged a brace on debut in front of his home crowd! What a start to his ODI career from the 21 year old! England in the sticky stuff.
2nd over: England 8-1 (Jacks 4, Crawley 0) Romario Shepherd starts at t’other end with two slips in place. The trumpets are blaring in Barbados. Four dots are followed by a sublime straight drive from Jacks, showing the makers name and holding the pose.
Matthew Forde has a wicket in his first over on debut. Salt had crunched a drive for four through point earlier in the over but it was a tame dismissal – a miscued drive barely reaching Joseph at mid-off who took a decent catch diving forward. Zak Crawley lomps out to the crease early doors.
1st over: England 4-1 (Jacks 0, Crawley 0)
A plinked drive in the first over is caught by a tumbling Alzarri Joseph at mid-off and they’ve sent it upstairs. I think this is OUT.
The players take to the field and take a minutes silence to mark the passing of Joe Solomon and Clyde Butts. “Out hearts, minds and thoughts are with their families” says Ian Bishop on the commentary.
Right, here we go. Matthew Forde, the debutant, is going to start with the new white orb, Salt and Jacks opening up for England. Play!
Here are the teams:
West Indies: Alick Athanaze, Brandon King, Keacy Carty, Shai Hope (C & WK), Shimron Hetmyer, Sherfane Rutherford, Romario Shepherd, Yannic Cariah, Alzarri Joseph, Gudakesh Motie, Matthew Forde
West Indies have selected 21-year-old allrounder Matthew Forde for an ODI debut, Oshane Thomas misses out.
England: Will Jacks, Phil Salt, Zak Crawley, Ben Duckett, Harry Brook, Jos Buttler (C & WK), Liam Livingstone, Sam Curran, Rehan Ahmed, Gus Atkinson, Matt Potts
Buttler confirms that Potts has come in for Carse due to the latter being a bit poorly.
Shai Hope calls the coin correctly and inserts England with a bit of weather knocking around. It is 43 overs per side with three bowlers being allowed to deliver nine overs each and two eight overs each. Keep up. The first powerplay will be nine overs and the last eight overs. Play is due to begin in just over ten minutes time.
Stand by your beds! We have the possibility of cricket! Toss at 19.10 GMT for a 19.30 GMT start, it’ll be a 43 overs per side game if all goes to plan.
“I was not at the Botham miracle at Headingley in 1981.” Chimes Stephen Hart. “Although every man of my generation with even a vague interest in cricket apparently was. If I had a pound for everyone who has said to me, ‘I was there, mate’, I’d be a very rich man. However I was at the Stokes Headingley miracle in 2019.Honestly.”
Ha. Yes there are definitely a few out there telling porkies/beefies about being there in ‘81. Look at the empty seats!
I gave my brother Will and sister-in-law Lucy my tickets for the Stokes day at Headingley ‘19. I wasn’t being altruistic either, I just thought England were going to get pummelled and it would be a depressing way to spend a morning.
Greetings to Rob Glossop who has a few tight finishes up his sleeve:
Well, given 30 adult years of following England cricket, there have been plenty involving leather and willow – including a wife-annoying dinner on lap for WC final super over – but 37 years following Oldham Athletic has offered more great escapes (and even more dismal non-escapes).
My favourite is probably the earliest, where Division 2 (as was) West Ham’s name was already being engraved on the promotion trophy as 2nd place Latics were 0-2 down to Sheffield Wednesday, before we clawed it back to 2-2. Future Oldham hero (as player and manager) John Sheridan hauled down Latics’ Andy Barlow for a 92 min pen, and Neil Redfearn’s spot kicked his way into the history books. How did I ‘watch’ it? Stranded in the Southeast, it was of course through the pixely pre-internet joy of Ceefax + Final Score. Insurmountable Nirvana. But Ben Stokes has come close once or twice, eh?”
Lovely, nothing like following a nail biter by hook or by crook – here’s how I
had a breakdown followed that same final *Warning – includes heavy doses of schmaltz*
Archer. Guptill. Roy, Buttler, Bails! Relief. Joy. Tears.
Go on then, here’s another on heavy rotation in the Wallace household right now.
No news from the ground, as you may have gathered, but I’m having a lovely time. Hic!
Lovely this, from Joseph Guntrip:
“I watched the Headingley 2019 Test in the bar of the Hilton hotel in Sunderland with my brother and cousin ahead of our grandmother’s 90th birthday party that evening. We were relegated to watching a phone as they showed the football on the TVs, and we missed the winning runs because the BBC sport notification saying we had won vibrated the phone off its precarious perch against a glass!”
Would never have happened with the OBO Joseph!
Still drizzling in Barbados. I’m tempted to open the mulled wine, have already got the Christmas tunes on, the tree is up and the windows are fogged here in South London. I’m always on the lookout for off-beat festive tunes or cover versions, don’t get me wrong I’ll crank some Wizzard and Mariah when the time is right but I’m all about some festive melancholia – the Smith and Burrows album has plenty – this one is a jaunty earworm though.
What is Christmastime without a bit of forced fun eh? As it seems we have a bit of hokey cokey time to kill let’s get the egg nog and mince pies out and settle in by the crackling OBO fire (eco-friendly fuel of course, this is The Guardian and Monbiot could be following…) in honour of Joe Solomon’s passing and his aforementioned role in the tied Test – let’s collate some of your favourite tight finishes and how you were following the action (cricketing mainly obviously but I’m open to other options).
I was lucky enough to be at Headingley for the Woakes and Wood show during the Ashes this summer and at the Oval for Broad’s (slightly sickly) swansong. Both induced some cuticle chewing. Another from recent times is England’s single run defeat to New Zealand at the Basin Reserve in February. I was on the OBO for that one and losing my mind in the wee small hours.
I’m all ears on the emails
The covers are now being pulled back on. Ho Ho Ho.
Good news! We will have the toss at 1.50pm local time (17:50 GMT) and a start time is pencilled in for 2.10pm (18:10 GMT).
Hello and err Boooooo to Michael Bromley…
“Sitting in St Thomas to the north east of the Oval (where the rain typically comes from) it is currently fine but there are dark clouds more or less all around. I’m not sure there’ll be a finish even if the game starts.”
Joe Solomon was, of course, the man who was involved at the nub end of the original tied test between Australia and West Indies in Brisbane in 1960/61.
Here’s Frank Keating on that incredible finish and Solomon’s pivotal role in it:
Wes Hall’s final over: eight deliveries, either six runs or three wickets. Suddenly, it’s scores level, two balls left for either one run or one wicket for victory.
A breathless hush. Hall thunders in, the tailender Kline makes edgy contact and calls his mate Meckiff for the 22-yard winner. But at square-leg, Solomon has pounced. He steadies himself and, with just one stump visible, he tumultuously bullseyes it in a convulsive, conclusive clatter.
Joe (80 last August) remembered vividly. To him an accurate aim was as natural as breathing. “The secret is balance, to be four-square steady as I took aim. You see, I was an east Indian country boy from Berbice, in the sticks, and before we could walk we’d be pitching marbles; later we’d steal ripe mangoes by downing them with sharp little flat stones, not aiming at the fruit, of course, but at their stalks.”
He chuckles on: “I still thank God for those two throws – I know my fame would have been of a very different sort if they’d have missed.”
It seems like if and when the players do emerge that both sides might be largely unchanged but with the potential for a Durham duke out – Matt Potts has been seen marking out his run up and would likely come in for county teammate Brydon Carse.
In sadder news, both teams will be wearing black armbands in memory of Joe Solomon, the former West Indies batter who died yesterday aged 93, and the former spinner and selector Clyde Butts, who was killed in a car crash in Guyana, also yesterday. There will also be a moment’s silence shortly before play begins.
Promising news from Simon at the ground:
“Covers still on, but it’s brightened considerably. It’s rained quite a bit over the last couple of days, but in brief bursts with a lot of dry weather in between, so that might be the end of it. Obviously we’re going to start late, but no word yet on when.”
Night Afternoon in Soho Barbados
Covers on and the toss has been delayed. More as we get it. The weather is due to improve so there is every chance we’ll get a truncated game at some point.
As we wait for further news from Barbados – and I think I saw some blue sky on the TNT sports coverage – England’s women have duffed up India at the Wankhede Stadium to go 2-0 up and out of reach in their T20I series.
Our man on the ground is Simon Burnton and he whangs over an email from Barbados with slighly iffy news:
“Afternoon! The bad news from Barbados is that the covers are on, and it’s raining (lightly). The clouds are thick and dark, you can barely see the hills behind Bridgetown, and though the weather forecast is fine it is also demonstrably wrong.”
Gah. Thoughts and prayers to Simon’s suntan.
Hello and welcome to the OBO of the third and deciding ODI between West Indies and England. The series is tied at one apiece after the first two matches in Antigua – Shai Hope pulling off a spectacular heist for his side in the first match only for Jos Buttler’s men to hit back on Wednesday with a convincing six wicket win.
All eyes on the Kensington Oval in Bridgetown today then to see if Buttler and co can get their white ball train back on the tracks after a disastrous World Cup and ahead of five T20 matches agains the men in maroon this side of Christmas. For Shai Hope and West Indies – today gives them an opportunity to notch their first win against a Full Member nation in a bilateral series since they defeated Sri Lanka in March 2021.
Play gets under way in Barbados in just over 30 minutes’ time, 1.30pm local time.
I’ll be back before then to bring news of the teams and the toss, please do drop me some Christmas post into the OBO mail sack with your thoughts, theories, musings and mirth. Once more unto the breach!