Category Archive: England National Cricket

England National Cricket Team News

Mar 24

Saqlain Mushtaq set to sign two-year deal to be England’s spin-bowling coach

• Former Pakistan spinner set to work with senior side, Lions and Under-19s
• Shashank Manohar reverses decision to stand down as ICC chairman

Saqlain Mushtaq is close to agreeing a two-year deal as England’s spin-bowling consultant, a role that will see the former Pakistan international work with players in the men’s national team, the Lions and the Under-19s.

The 40-year-old joined the senior side’s staff for a brief spell during the Old Trafford Test last summer before touring Bangladesh and India during the winter, with both Moeen Ali and Adil Rashid, England’s first-choice spinners, glowing in praise of his methods.

Related: Trevor Bayliss: I’m not a dictator, says England cricket coach

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Mar 23

Trevor Bayliss: I’m not a dictator, says England cricket coach

Before the Champions Trophy and an Ashes series the Australian intends leaving no stone unturned watching emerging players in the County Championship

A few things have become familiar in Trevor Bayliss’s time as England coach. The wide-brimmed floppy atop his head and permanent long sleeves – Bayliss, like so many Australians, is all too aware of the sun’s threat to those who spend a lifetime working in its glare – is one. A grinning, if not always winning, England team is another. So are the stern look and discreet style – pronouncements, public or private – come only when absolutely necessary.

Related: Jason Gillespie checks in with Kent for short-term assistant coaching role

Related: Cricket’s All Stars scheme is fine but kids must see the game as well as play it | Andy Bull

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Mar 19

Batman begins: meet Haseeb Hameed, English cricket’s rising star

It has taken a father’s obsession and a brother’s sacrifice to create the brightest cricketing prospect England has seen in years. Tim Lewis meets ‘Baby Boycott’

As the Observer’s photographer, Murdo, is about to take his first picture, Haseeb Hameed moves a step to the side, like he might do on the cricket field to interrupt the run-up of a bowler while he readies himself. “Hang on,” he says, before standing on one leg, hopping for balance. He removes first one sock, then the other and slips his bare feet back into his loafers. Hameed continues: “It was cold when I put them on this morning.”

It’s still pretty chilly for bare ankles now, to be fair, as we stand on a terraced street in south Bolton in mid-January. Murdo, as Scottish as shortbread, looks on approvingly. “You’re a hard man,” he says, before clicking the shutter.

My dad’s always had a dream of one of his sons playing for England

Personally I don’t want to put my success down to talent. I’m a believer in work

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Mar 14

Holding to Boycott: the greatest over ever, or just the most memorable?

Michael Holding says he bowled plenty of faster and better overs in his career, but the six balls that assailed and finally dismissed Geoffrey Boycott in Barbados 36 years ago today do take some beating Continue reading…

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Mar 08

Jason Roy wants to be known for winning matches by scoring centuries

The opener, who boasts nine fifties and three centuries from his 37 caps, says scoring huge hundreds are at the forefront of his mind

After a day spent frolicking on the beaches and finding themselves in the lens of the paparazzi, England’s one-day cricketers resumed business at the Kensington Oval on Wednesday in preparation for their mission to complete a first ever series whitewash against West Indies in the Caribbean.

Related: England’s Woakes and Plunkett down West Indies after Morgan’s ODI century

Related: Joe Root and Chris Woakes save England to seal series win over West Indies

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Mar 08

England ready to recall Alex Hales for the final ODI with West Indies

• 28-year-old is back in touring party of West Indies after broken right hand
• Paul Farbrace: ‘We see him as our opening batsman with Jason Roy’

Alex Hales is in line to make his England return against West Indies in Barbados on Thursday and has been told by the management that his opening partnership with Jason Roy is their first-choice pairing going into the Champions Trophy in June.

The 28-year-old was added to the touring party on Tuesday having recovered from the broken right hand suffered in January that, along with his decision to miss the tour of Bangladesh on security grounds, has seen him score only 23 runs in two one-day internationals since the end of last summer.

Related: Kevin Pietersen to make surprise Surrey return for Natwest T20 Blast

Related: England’s Chris Woakes finds life is good on and off the field

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Mar 05

Joe Root and Chris Woakes save England to seal series win over West Indies

• West Indies 225, England 226-6; England won by four wickets
• Pair shared unbroken 102 after England stumbled to 124 for six

It needed an unbeaten 102-run seventh-wicket partnership from Joe Root and Chris Woakes to see England clinch their one-day series against West Indies with a match to spare, with the pair rescuing the tourists from a dramatic middle order collapse in Antigua.

Eoin Morgan’s side had come to the Caribbean looking for a workout ahead of the summer’s Champions Trophy and after Friday’s relative cruise this time around they got one, having bowled out the hosts for 225 before finding themselves 124 for six at the halfway point.

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Mar 05

West Indies v England: second ODI – live!

7.36pm GMT

29th over: England 140-6 (Root 62, Woakes 7) And this is the last of Nurse, who England nudge away – though his fourth delivery bounces big on Woakes, causing minor consternation. Nurse finishes with 3-34, and a revitalised game; well done him, and and well done Jason Holder for bowling him through and supporting him with slips. England require 86 from 126 balls.

7.34pm GMT

28th over: England 136-6 (Root 62, Woakes 7) Here comes your Bishoo to bowl the final over of a telling spell, and after a single to Root, Woakes cracks him square on the off side for the first boundary in absolutely ages. Bishoo ends wih 2-43 off his ten. England require 90 from 132 balls.

7.31pm GMT

27th over: England 131-6 (Root 61, Woakes 3) This is Nurse’s penultimate over; Nurse Ratched, as far as England are concerned. Root shoves his first ball for one, then four dots follow before Woakes, who looks comfy, takes a single down the ground and Root does likewise to midwicket . England require 95 from 138 balls.

7.27pm GMT

26th over: England 128-6 (Root 59, Woakes 2) All England need to do is not get out. Easy, right? A wide helps, then a single to Root and two to Woakes. England require 98 from 144 balls.

7.24pm GMT

This is great bowling, and the dancing has begun! Moeen was still thinking about the one that left him in the previous over so when one drifted in on him, he did nothing – until it rammed middle and off, at which point he picked up his bat and returned hutchwards.

7.23pm GMT

25th over: England 124-5 (Root 58, Ali 3) Moeen plays for turn, none comes, and there’s minor excitement as the ball goes past his edge. I wonder who’ll be used when these two are done – and if Holder will try and finish this, or hold back something for the death.

7.20pm GMT

24th over: England 120-5 (Root 56, Ali 1) Moeen won’t have been expecting this, having been born in mere 1987. Can he persuade himself to knock the ball around, or will he thrash over the top and get himself gone?

“How about that ‘unthrillingness’ in the 20th over?” emails John Starbuck on behalf of the six others. “Apart from remarking on its awkward construction, your readers will be thinking ‘careful what you wish for’.”

7.16pm GMT

We have ourselves a ballgame! Bishoo and Nurse have done exceptionally well to first apply the breaks, then the vice, and Buttler edges a cut, Hope hanging on at the second attempt.

7.15pm GMT

24th over: England 117-4 (Root 54, Buttler 0) Root pushes forward and edges Bishoo! But it’s thick enough to run away for three.

7.14pm GMT

23rd over: England 114-4 (Root 51, Buttler 0) Root is unmoved by the vaguely increased tension, working a single, then Nurse spins one away from Buttler. Keen to get off the mark, he then calls Root through for a single after nudging to midwicket and has to turn and fling himself back; one more step and he was toast.

7.11pm GMT

22nd over: England 113-4 (Root 50, Buttler 0) So, have we ourselves a ballgame? England still have plenty of batting to come, but they also have a fair few runs left to get. They’re favourites, for sure, but won’t be wanting to lose any more wickets in the next bit.

7.09pm GMT

Stokes leans back to force a cut away, can only edge, and Hope takes a smart catch behind the wicket.

7.08pm GMT

22nd over: England 113-3 (Root 50, Stokes 1) Root gets one of the least memorable fifties you’ll ever see, Collingwodian in its stealthy, relentless accumulation. But then Stokes props forward to Bishoo, misses, and takes it on the pads. The ball was going down, but that’s a warning.

7.07pm GMT

21st over: England 112-3 (Root 49, Stokes 1) Surely West Indies now bring on Brathwaite to try and get Stokes ego before. But, in the meantime, he’s off the mark second ball, then Root adds a two and a one.

7.04pm GMT

Pitching in-line, umpire’s call on the stumps – the ball was dislodging the off-bail. Well bowled, Ashley Nurse.

7.03pm GMT

This one goes on with the arm, Morgan waits for the spin that didn’t come, plays down the wrong line, and REVIEWS! Looks out to me…

7.02pm GMT

20th over: England 108-2 (Root 46, Morgan 7) West Indies have staunched the flow of boundaries, at least; after a wide, Morgan bunts a single and Root takes three to point. Then another single, and, well, this is thrilling only in its entire unthrillingness.

6.59pm GMT

19th over: England 102-2 (Root 40, Morgan 4) There just isn’t very much West Indies can do about any of this. Even quiet overs are fine, and in the middle are two men with the skill and temperament to guide England through as many of them as necessary. Perhaps it might be worth bringing some pace back to get at Morgan before he’s in, because there’s another over exceeding the run rate, currently standing at 3.95.

6.56pm GMT

18th over: England 98-2 (Root 40, Morgan 4) Bishoo twirls through, Root sweeping a brace then a guiding a single off the final two deliveries of the over.

6.48pm GMT

17th over: England 92-2 (Root 32, Morgan 0) Root and Morgan knock Nurse around. Drinks.

“90s dance produced a lot of quality,” tweets Michael Avery, “like Livin Joy’s ‘Dreamer’.”

6.45pm GMT

16th over: England 92-2 (Root 32, Morgan 0) Root and Morgan knock Bishoo around – I might just store that line on my clipboard.

6.43pm GMT

15th over: England 87-2 (Root 32, Morgan 0) So out comes the in-form Eoin Morgan; what a sentence that is to type.

6.42pm GMT

As I was saying, Roy can’t help but swipe at one outside off – it’s a decent ball, daring him to take it on through the wind and to the long boundary – and that’s a straightforward catch at wide long-on.

6.41pm GMT

15th over: England 87-1 (Roy 52, Root 33) Nurse is bowling reasonably enough, but isn’t looking likely to break through – instead, a tempered pull earns Roy two and his fifty.

6.38pm GMT

14th over: England 83-1 (Roy 49, Root 32) Bishoo opens his third over with a wide, and then, after a dot, Roy reminds him what’s what, carting a shot one to the midwicket fence. And this is the problem, I guess – you create pressure and take wickets by bowling a succession of good balls. Put that insight in your pipe and smoke it.

6.35pm GMT

13th over: England 73-1 (Roy 42, Root 30) This is good from West Indies just as England were threatening to pull away. Bowling very straight, Nurse limits the batsmen to four singles – still more than the run rate.

6.32pm GMT

12th over: England 73-1 (Roy 42, Root 30) Bishoo is somewhat grooved now, Root’s sweep for one the only run off the over. In a way I’m surprised – England won’t want to let him settle – but on the other, little point getting all excited chasing such a low total.

6.30pm GMT

11th over: England 72-1 (Roy 42, Root 29) Nurse into the attack for some more powerplay behaviour and this is the first tight over in sometime, just three from it.

6.28pm GMT

10th over: England 69-1 (Roy 41, Root 27) Later than I expected, Holden turns to Bishoo, and Roy has a look, for one ball, before sweeping him left-handed, from outside off, to the fence at third man. Er, ok then! Perfectly normal behaviours!

Elsewhere, it seems that BBC 6 Music are following the 90s riff.

Wouldn’t be a #DNB6Music playlist without @therealLTJbukem and ‘Horizons’, before that you heard ‘The Bass II Dark’ by Asylum

6.23pm GMT

9th over: England 63-1 (Roy 35, Root 27) Root takes a single, then Roy chucks everything at a pull, minding at the past second that there’s a breeze going on and taking his bottom hand off the bat. Smart gear, that, and it saves him, the ball dropping short of the fielder as they run one, and then Brathwaite drops short so Root glances him to the fence. And four more arrive next ball, Root leaping onto tippy-toes to square-drive to the point fence, two more follow, and England are rinsing: 12 off this over, 13 off the previous one.

6.19pm GMT

8th over: England 51-1 (Roy 34, Root 16) Holder continues and Root nabs three more to midwicket, then a single apiece brings Roy back onto strike. Ah. So he waits for one that’s marginally wide of off and chleanses it to the midwicket fence, then twists the next ball to square leg, raising the 50 partnership – it’s come off 31 balls.

“In other news, Chris Jordan is about to become a PSL champion,” emails Chris Drew. “Another for the CL team?”

6.13pm GMT

7th over: England 38-1 (Roy 25, Root 12) Brathwaite, CR into the attack Root turns two away towards midwicket, then charges and swipes three more – it should carry over the fence but holds up in the wind instead. Roy then turns down a single Root is certain exists, but it makes little difference – after that early wicket and scare, England look to have this squantied right down.

6.09pm GMT

6th over: England 31-1 (Roy 24, Root 6) The standard of 90s pop-dance tunes really was outstanding: Haddaway, Culture Beat, Shabba (sorry, for avoidance of doubt, that was me interjecting, not listing an R&B act in a pop-dance list). Anyway, back out in the middle it’s techno techno techno techno as Roy powerstrokes a straight six. The control there was startling.

6.05pm GMT

5th over: England 24-1 (Roy 18, Root 5) England are taking things gently, at least until Roy clumps Gabriel over fine mid-on. Is it just me, or does he have the game for Tests? And here he is, oh yes! Four more, whammed over cover.

To carry on Rob’s 90s revival, here’s the finest album track of the period, period. Even if later album releases ruined things by removing the rap.

6.00pm GMT

4th over: England 14-1 (Roy 10, Root 4) Roy runs a single down to third man, and then Root gets himself going – must be a while since he’s faced seven straight dots – thanks to a wide, short one, slashed through backward point.

5.55pm GMT

3rd over: England 9-1 (Roy 9, Root 0) Roy’s hit on the pad off a full one, but it was going well down. Well, that’s how it looked to me, the reality being somewhat closer. Either way, Roy is down the ground next ball, gliding a beautiful four. “Ah, pleasant! Sheer pleasantry, just to look at that,” says commentary. And three more follow, though these are dicily obtained, narrowly avoiding dive de Brathwaite. He has nearly pulled off two stunners, in the process pulling off zero stunners. Ah.

5.50pm GMT

2nd over: England 2-1 (Roy 2, Root 0) The certainty of the fielders was persuasive, I must say. But what can you do.

5.50pm GMT

Well, this is an odd one. In the absence of Snicko, Ultra Edge and Hot Spot, it’s simply a case of umpire’s judgement, or, more accurately, proof. And there’s not enough – though I’d not be surprised if the third umpire thought it was out.

5.46pm GMT

2nd over: England 1-1 (Roy 1, Root 0) Roy absolutely marmalises a wide one from Holder, and Brathwaite, at mid-on, dives like a goalkeeper, leading with his top hand, but can’t quite hang on. Still, that was pretty incredible. And what’s this! Holder spirits one through Roy, there’s a huge appeal, the umpire says not, and immediately comes the call to review, led by Hope behind the stumps. The bat is miles from the pad, so any noise is likely to be incriminating.

“What are the thoughts around Finn’s performances out there, Daniel?” asks Bill Hargreaves. “For me he had the potential to be a stalwart next to Anderson and Broad had his management or development taken a different direction, possibly?”

5.42pm GMT

1st over: England 1-1 (Roy 1, Root 0) That might be the series for Billings, with Hales likely to come back in for the next match. Truth is, he’s probably more suited to the middle order at the moment, it’s just his bad luck that the same is so of various other monsters. Anyway, Root, who was castled by Gabriel on Friday, edges going hard, and is relieved to see it bounce in front of slip – quite how it didn’t carry, I really do not know. Great over.

5.39pm GMT

Well well well! After Roy takes a single from the first ball, a lovely delivery, full and on middle, is edged to Nurse a second slip, he parries it across to first, and that’s gone!

5.37pm GMT

The players are preparing themselves … can Shannon Gabriel get the early wickets Windies need?

5.32pm GMT

“What’s with all the upbeat talk of England winning?” emails Chris Drew.
“We’re doing a 90s throwback day remember! We know how to lose from anywhere.”

Exactly – and that all begins with cheap talk.

5.29pm GMT

“It is, like the rest of his appearance, stolen from Tamsin Greig,” says Dan Lucas of Finnsfringe, also a town in the Rhineland.

5.24pm GMT


Wasim Akram as tv camera shows overhead view of Lahore “look at the amazing, eternal & beautiful city of Lahore” #PslFinalLahore

5.23pm GMT

“In an effort to tempt fate away from soling the notion that there are any certainties in life/sport,” emails Ian Copestake, “West Indies’ total is only 70 short if their bowlers up their game and/or England fail to bat like chumps.”

I know, I know, but I’m not sure either side has a Windies win in them. As for certainties, general boredom and misery is one, I suppose.

5.17pm GMT

It’s been bothering me all day, but I am finally able to make an announcement: Steven Finn’s fringe is stolen from George McFly.

5.10pm GMT

To ponder: are England seriously going to negotiate and at home Champions Trophy without Stuart Broad?

5.09pm GMT

It’s very very hard to see how England don’t win from here. Their batting is so strong these days that someone always turns up, and chasing such a low total, that’s pretty much all it’ll take.

5.01pm GMT


Darren Sammy’s reaction after hitting a huge six. #HBLPSLFINAL #QaddafiStadium #PZvQG

5.00pm GMT

Bumble reckons Windies are 70 under par – that’s a damning verdict indeed.

4.59pm GMT

Plus, Plunkett for Woakes would barely touch the overall hunkfactor of England’s attack, which has probably never been higher.

4.57pm GMT

Liam Plunkett, then. He’s had some ill luck to find himself only playing limited overs gear – he had a fairly decent summer in 2014, then got injured at a bad time and hasn’t had a sniff since. I wonder if he might be more use on flat tracks than Woakes.

4.53pm GMT

Ta Rob, and well bowled England, who’ve put themselves in position here. We’ve said that before!

4.51pm GMT

That’s a really good effort from England, who need 226 to win the match and series. It should be a doddle. Daniel Harris will be here for the England run-chase. Bye!

4.51pm GMT

Jos Buttler ends the innings with a superb run out, hitting the stumps direct with the non-striker Gabriel well short.

4.49pm GMT

48th over: West Indies 221-9 (Bishoo 0, Gabriel 1) Plunkett now has figures of seven for 72 in this short series.

4.47pm GMT

Plunkett gets his third wicket, zipping one through Nurse’s expansive drive to hit the stumps. This has been a pretty efficient bowling performance.

4.45pm GMT

47th over: West Indies 220-8 (Nurse 9, Bishoo 0) The almost absent-minded nonchalance of Roy’s throw to Billings showed just how normal that type of one-two dismissal is nowadays. WHAT IS GOING ON OUT THERE?

4.43pm GMT

Brathwaite smashes Rashid towards wide long-on, where Roy and Billings combine superbly to take the catch. Roy caught the ball inside the rope and then, as he was falling over the rope, threw it nonchalantly to Billings.

4.40pm GMT

46th over: West Indies 218-7 (C Brathwaite 23, Nurse! 7) The new bowler Plunkett drifts onto the pad of Nurse, who flicks him around the corner and wide of short fine leg for four. It’s a scruffy over, with a couple of wides as well. West Indies are sneaking towards a workable score.

4.35pm GMT

45th over: West Indies 207-7 (C Brathwaite 22, Nurse 0) Brathwaite, who is playing well now, crashes Rashid down the ground for four.

4.32pm GMT

Holder slog-sweeps Rashid miles in the air, and when the ball eventually comes down Rashid takes a very well-judged catch.

4.30pm GMT

44th over: West Indies 199-6 (Holder 13, C Brathwaite 14) Brathwaite gives us a reminder of his power, hustling Woakes through midwicket for four with little more than a short-arm jab. Eight from the over.

4.25pm GMT

43rd over: West Indies 191-6 (Holder 12, C Brathwaite 8) A good over from Rashid costs just four singles. West Indies are really struggling now.

4.22pm GMT

42nd over: West Indies 187-6 (Holder 10, C Brathwaite 6) With Brathwaite at the crease I’m surprised Stokes hasn’t asked to bowl, or at the very least threatened to kill Eoin Morgan with his bare hands if he doesn’t give him the ball.

For now Woakes continues to Holder and Brathwaite, two huge men who can hit the ball a long way, but at the moment can barely get it off the square. Woakes has terrific figures of 7-1-18-0.

4.18pm GMT

41st over: West Indies 182-6 (Holder 7, C Brathwaite 5) Rashid is back and has a big appeal for LBW against Holder turned down. Morgan decides to review. The only issue is whether Holder actually connected with his attempted lap sweep. The umpire thought so; replays suggested otherwise. But Holder survives because the point of contact with the top of the stumps was umpire’s call. The England balcony are not impressed.

4.12pm GMT

40th over: West Indies 176-6 (Holder 4, C Brathwaite 2) Woakes, not Stokes, returns to the attack to bowl at Carlos Brathwaite. His batting form has been surprisingly poor since he marmalised Stokes in the final of the World T20, and in that over he is rapped painfully on the glove by Woakes. West Indies probably need at least a run a ball from the last 10 overs to make this competitive.

4.09pm GMT

39th over: West Indies 173-6 (Holder 3, C Brathwaite 0) That was the last ball of the over. Carlos Brathwaite is the new batsman.

4.08pm GMT

Carter the stoppable six machine. He tried to blast Plunkett over mid-on, a bit of a premature stroke, and sliced it high to Rashid at mid-off. It was a lively innings of 39 from 36 balls but now West Indies are in the ill-smelling stuff.

4.03pm GMT

38th over: West Indies 171-5 (Carter 39, Holder 2) Moeen bowls his last over, and Carter bids him farewell with a big six over long-on. Shot! Moeen ends with decent figures of 10-0-44-1.

4.00pm GMT

37th over: West Indies 163-5 (Carter 32, Holder 1) “In another 90s throwback,” says Chris Drew, “we now have Carter the Unstoppable Six Machine at the crease!”

3.58pm GMT

Plunkett strikes with the second ball of a new spell. It was a nothing delivery really, drifting onto leg stump, but Mohammed lifted it gently to Rashid at mid-on.

3.51pm GMT

36th over: West Indies 158-4 (Mohammed 50, Carter 28) The lively Carter hustles Moeen for four more through midwicket. As on Friday, he has given the innings considerable impetus; he has 28 from 25 balls.

3.49pm GMT

35th over: West Indies 149-4 (Mohammed 50, Carter 19) Ach, apologies; we’ve been having a few technical problems. West Indies have started to get a move on: seven runs from Finn’s over and now 13 from the returning Stokes’s. Six of those came from one thumping pull stroke by Mohammed that took him to his second half-century in three days. That’s a particularly good effort given that, before Friday, he has played two ODIs (across five-and-a-bit years) and scored six runs.

3.43pm GMT

34th over: West Indies 136-4 (Mohammed 43, Carter 14)

3.43pm GMT

33rd over: West Indies 130-4 (Mohammed 41, Carter 10) Carter gets his first boundary, rifling a half-volley from Finn back down the ground. Stokes, meanwhile, is back on the field; apparently he has just jarred a finger.

3.36pm GMT

32nd over: West Indies 123-4 (Mohammed 41, Carter 3) Excellent stuff from Moeen, who keeps Carter to a single from the over and now has figures of 7-0-21-1.

3.35pm GMT

31st over: West Indies 122-4 (Mohammed 41, Carter 2) Finn has troubled every batsman with the short ball today. That includes the new batsman Carter, who gets a leading edge that loops safely wide of backward point for a single. Finn’s performance in this series will probably get him into the Champions Trophy squad, though there is a lot competition for the seam-bowling places.

“If that’s your seam attack (and I’ve no problem with it), what’s you batting line-up?” says Chris Drew. “Any changes from here?” Probably just Hales for Billings, though I would definitely have Billings in the squad as he is such an impressive utility batsman. Hales’ experience and capacity to score 150 give him the edge though.

3.28pm GMT

30th over: West Indies 120-4 (Mohammed 40, Carter 1) “Stokes has just dropped the IPL,” sniffs Ian Copestake.

3.28pm GMT

Brathwaite’s work is done. He walks straight past a big-spinning delivery from Moeen and is stumped by a mile.

3.25pm GMT

29th over: West Indies 117-3 (K Brathwaite 42, Mohammed 38) Finn replaces the relatively expensive Rashid (5-0-33-0) – and he has Brathwaite dropped off his fifth ball. It was a relatively simple chance for Stokes, running back from midwicket when Brathwaite mistimed a pull, but his positioning was poor and it burst through his hands. He injured himself in the process and is leaving the field. It looks like he has damaged the middle finger on his right hand. It’s almost surreal to see him put down a chance like that.

3.19pm GMT

28th over: West Indies 113-3 (K Brathwaite 40, Mohammed 36) Mohammed is into his work now. After four dots from Moeen he slaughters him back over his head for another boundary. The rain seems to have cleared so we should be okay to go straight through the 50 over.s.

3.14pm GMT

27th over: West Indies 109-3 (K Brathwaite 40, Mohammed 32) Mohammed gets down on one knee to swipe Rashid over midwicket for the first six of the innings. That was a cracking shot. It’s raining fairly heavily now, though play is continuing for now.

3.12pm GMT

26th over: West Indies 100-3 (K Brathwaite 39, Mohammed 24) Mohammed scrunches Moeen to long off for a single to bring up the hundred. It’s been a good recovery from the West Indies, though Moeen is quietly doing an economical job: 4-0-13-0.

3.09pm GMT

25th over: West Indies 98-3 (K Brathwaite 38, Mohammed 23) Brathwaite gives Rashid the charge, gets nowhere near the pitch and decided to mow him towards cow corner for a single. That’s one of five runs in the over – runs being the operative word in this partnership, as only eight of the 52 have come in boundaries.

3.07pm GMT

24th over: West Indies 93-3 (K Brathwaite 35, Mohammed 21)

3.05pm GMT

23rd over: West Indies 91-3 (K Brathwaite 34, Mohammed 20) Brathwaite heaves Rashid towards cow corner for a couple off the last ball of an over that brings five runs.

“I attended the Active Bradford Sports awards on Thursday, my primary school was nominated for an award, and was disappointed that Rashid (who was also up for an award) wasn’t there,” says Tom Van der Gucht. “At the time I had a similar attitude to Andrew Gale (when Rashid declined to play for Yorkshire at the end of the season) but hearing him in action now, I’m can almost understand why he was unable to make it.”

3.02pm GMT

22nd over: West Indies 86-3 (K Brathwaite 31, Mohammed 18) It’s pretty gloomy in Antigua, and the groundstaff are getting ready just in case. Two from Moeen’s over. West Indies have rotated the strike a lot better in the last few overs; on this pitch you’d expect with the lowest dot-ball ratio to win the match.

2.58pm GMT

21st over: West Indies 84-3 (K Brathwaite 29, Mohammed 17) Brathwaite pumps Rashid down the ground for four. It wasn’t a perfect stroke but he got enough on it to clear mid-on. Rashid’s reply is excellent, an even slower legspinner that growls past the edge.

2.55pm GMT

20th over: West Indies 76-3 (K Brathwaite 24, Mohammed 16) Moeen Ali comes into the attack in place of Stokes. The bowling changes have been pretty mechanical so far but that’s fine; this pitch doesn’t really need funky captaincy. Seven from the over, all in ones and twos. This is good batting. Now, assuming everyone is fit, what would be your seam attack for the first game of the Champions Trophy? I’d probably go with Woakes, Willey, Wood and Stokes.

2.51pm GMT

19th over: West Indies 69-3 (K Brathwaite 21, Mohammed 12) Adil Rashid is coming on to replace Liam Plunkett (4-1-11-0). His first over is on the malodorous side, with two wides in the first four balls and then a full toss. He improves towards the end, mind you, and there are six runs from the over.

2.47pm GMT

18th over: West Indies 63-3 (K Brathwaite 19, Mohammed 10) Stokes is worked around for six in that over, four singles and a two. I have no idea what else to say.

2.40pm GMT

17th over: West Indies 57-3 (K Brathwaite 15, Mohammed 8) A maiden from Plunkett, and that’s drinks.

“Oh!” says Chris Drew. “1990s link. That would be this.”

2.38pm GMT

16th over: West Indies 57-3 (K Brathwaite 15, Mohammed 8) It’s fair to say England are on top, but this score isn’t a disaster for West Indies given the nature of the pitch. If they can beg, steal and borrow their way to 250, they will have a chance.

2.31pm GMT

15th over: West Indies 52-3 (K Brathwaite 13, Mohammed 5) Mohammed opens the face to glide Plunkett through the vacant slip area for four. Actually there was a bit of edge in that and, as Sir Robert Key says on Sky, it’s unusual for Morgan not to have a slip in when the opposition are 47 for three.

2.29pm GMT

14th over: West Indies 47-3 (K Brathwaite 13, Mohammed 0) “Afternoon Rob,” says Chris Drew. “Just over one month to the potentially promotion deciding clash: Northamptonshire v Glamorgan. Proper cricket is on its way back!”

Yes, but what’s that got to do with the 1990s?

2.27pm GMT

Ben Stokes makes things happen, part 31204101863. It wasn’t a great delivery, short and wide, but it got the wicket. Hope threw his hands at the ball and bottom-edged to Jos Buttler. Any golden-armed all-rounder would have been proud of that wicket.

2.25pm GMT

13th over: West Indies 45-2 (K Brathwaite 12, Hope 16) Plunkett hurries through another over, one from it. England have bowled very straight today.

2.20pm GMT

12th over: West Indies 44-2 (K Brathwaite 11, Hope 16) It’s time for Ben Stokes, who didn’t bowl in the first ODI. His first over is adequate and brings four low-risk runs. It’s all a bit low-key at the moment.

2.16pm GMT

11th over: West Indies 40-2 (K Brathwaite 10, Hope 13) Liam Plunkett replaces Steven Finn. Five from the over. No, no I wasn’t paying attention.

2.12pm GMT

10th over: West Indies 35-2 (K Brathwaite 9, Hope 9) Chris Woakes has proved tens of thousands of people wrong by becoming an England regular. I wonder if he’s proved his own subconscious wrong as well. Either way he looks the part now, certainly in one-day cricket. The moment I type that, he drops short and is muscled through midwicket for four by Brathwaite. Commentator’s curse?!?!?!?!

2.09pm GMT

9th over: West Indies 31-2 (K Brathwaite 5, Hope 9) Hope turns Finn just short of Despair at square leg. Later in the over, Finn drops short and is scorched through the off side for a fine boundary.

“I miss Neil Fairbrother, Rob,” weeps Guy Hornsby. “Almost as much as I miss Graeme Thorpe. Artists at forging an innings, but the former with so much unfulfilled international promise. He could’ve been a superstar. It’s great to see that skill hasn’t totally evaporated in these thick-batted, slow-bouncer times. Morgan & Billings grafted on Friday, and we’ll need that again today. All these 90s touchstones, it just makes me want to listen to Different Class. There’s a Stokes riff in there somewhere.”

2.04pm GMT

8th over: West Indies 23-2 (K Brathwaite 5, Hope 1) Brathwaite slaps Woakes just wide of the jack-knifing Root at gully. It would have been a superhuman catch. The new batsman Hope then inside-edges just short of Buttler. This really isn’t an easy pitch. It’s two-paced – slow and slower – and not at all conducive to strokeplay.

“You know things are bad,” says David Horn, “when English cricket in the 90s is providing you with comfort.”

2.00pm GMT

7th over: West Indies 21-2 (K Brathwaite 4, Hope 0) Every milestone in Steven Finn’s career is worth celebrating, given all he has been through and will probably continue to go through. He’s such a likeable, admirable bloke, with a spirit that is paradoxically fragile yet unbreakable. Only Darren Gough and Stuart Broad have got to 100 ODI wickets for England in fewer matches than Finn’s 67.

“Was intrigued to read of an ‘insinuation of swing’ earlier,” says Brian Withington “Any chance of a ‘semblance of seam’ too?”

1.58pm GMT

Steven Finn gets his 100th ODI wicket. Powell tried to pull a short ball that was too wide for the stroke, and it lobbed straight up in the air for Finn to take a simple catch.

1.55pm GMT

6th over: West Indies 21-1 (K Brathwaite 4, Powell 9) Chris Woakes has quietly become the leader of England’s seam attack in ODI cricket, and he has started superbly here. He is bowling very straight and just short of a length, making him hard to get away on this tacky pitch. His figures are 3-1-4-0.

1.50pm GMT

5th over: West Indies 19-1 (K Brathwaite 3, Powell 8) After five dot balls, Powell punches Finn classically through mid-off for four. That stroke notwithstanding, this looks a difficult pitch to score on. Funny that, as it’s the same pitch that was awkward to score on the other day and now it’s even more tired. Identifying what is a decent score will be so important for the West Indies; even something as low as 240 might be enough, though they’ll probably want nearer 270.

1.47pm GMT

4th over: West Indies 15-1 (K Brathwaite 3, Powell 4) Brathwaite is dropped by Morgan off Woakes at mid-on. It was a brilliant attempt. He dived high to his left, extended a telescopic left arm to reach the ball… but couldn’t hang on. A maiden from Woakes.

“Scrolling through on my phone and coming across that Neil Fairbrother video, I knew right away who was doing the OBO today!” says David Horn. “Your 90s nostalgia gives you away. But what a player he was. England’s first ODI specialist. The spiritual Godfather of Morgan and Buttler. I remember watching him once against Surrey and the way he moved his feet was quite incredible. He seemed perpetually on the move.”

1.43pm GMT

3rd over: West Indies 15-1 (K Brathwaite 3, Powell 4) Powell is quickly off the mark, forcing Finn through point for four.

“Dear rob.smyth,” writes Odell. “We are looking for employees working remotely. My name is Odell, I am the personnel manager of a large International company. Most of the work you can do from home, that is, at a distance. Salary is $2700-$5800.”

1.41pm GMT

Lewis has gone! He tried to turn Finn to leg and got a leading edge towards short cover, where Billings took a smart catch diving forward. It looked like the ball stopped in the wicket a bit, and that’s likely to be an issue all day on this used pitch.

1.38pm GMT

2nd over: West Indies 11-0 (K Brathwaite 3, Lewis 8) Chris Woakes will open the defence from the Sir Andy Roberts End. There’s an insinuation of swing to the right-handed Brathwaite, no more than that, but his line is good and there are just two from the over.

1.34pm GMT

1st over: West Indies 9-0 (K Brathwaite 1, Lewis 8) It used to be the bowlers who opened the attack. These days it’s the batsmen, and in this case Evin Lewis. He slams his first two balls, from Steven Finn, through the offside for four to get the West Indies off to a flyer.

1.25pm GMT

The Joy of One, England v West Indies in ODIs

Neil Fairbrother’s magical innings at Lord’s in 1991, one of the more bittersweet hundreds scored by an England player in the 1990s.

1.22pm GMT

In other news, there is a belting Test match going on in Bangalore. England need to improve a fair bit if they are to compete in the Ashes next winter.

Related: Renshaw and Marsh edge Australia ahead of India in Bangalore Test

1.04pm GMT

West Indies K Brathwaite, Lewis, Powell, Hope (wk), Mohammed, Carter, Holder (c), C Brathwaite, Bishoo, Nurse, Gabriel.

England Roy, Billings, Root, Morgan (c), Buttler (wk), Stokes, Moeen, Woakes, Rashid, Plunkett, Finn.

1.03pm GMT

They are unchanged, as are England. Next!

10.39am GMT

Good afternoon. The pitches in the West Indies bear approximately 0.00 per cent resemblance to those in England. In that sense, a series win here would have very little significance when England attempt to win this summer’s Champions Trophy. But confidence, individual and collective, is something you can take all round the globe. Maurice Mentum has the world’s most powerful passport.

In that sense a victory would be valuable, especially if it involves individual success for key players like Eoin Morgan and the type of nuanced batting performance that shows England have more than one way to skin a bowling attack. They will need another such performance today, as we are playing on the same wicket that was used for the first ODI. I say ‘we’; I’m not putting on my pads, I haven’t taken guard on middle stump, Dude.

Related: Fate hands Alex Hales return to England fold after troubled winter

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Mar 05

The night Kerry Packer took David Gower to the casino

It’s January 1991, Brisbane, Australia, the Ashes are in full swing and England’s star batsman is invited out gambling by the man who reinvented cricket

I only met Kerry Packer the once. We were in Australia for the 1990-1 Ashes. For the first test, at the Gabba, our tour captain, Graham Gooch, was absent, injured, and my great mate, Allan Lamb, led the side. It was a game not destined to last long. By the close of day two we were batting for the second time, having earned a first innings lead of 42. We were 3-56, I was one of those three, and Lamby was 10 not out overnight.

Then we had an invitation to join Kerry for dinner, a great idea but for the fact that he was staying at Jupiters (where they do all sorts of things well but not apostrophes) on the Gold Coast so we needed to get there and back after play.

Kerry, a keen gambler, was keen to use the facilities at Jupiters and so we were all obliged to head for the tables

Continue reading…

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Mar 04

Fate hands Alex Hales return to England fold after troubled winter

Alex Hales hopes to play some part in the ODI series in the West Indies as he recovers from a broken hand and he has set his sights on next winter’s Ashes

Alex Hales believes his winter of discontent could yet have a sunny conclusion in the Caribbean as he strives to prove to the England management that his broken hand has fully healed to allow him to resume an international career that, by his own admission, has ground to a halt.

Hales is not officially part of the squad in Antigua but arrived on the island on Tuesday to continue his rehab to the injury he suffered when dropping a catch against India in January. A scan the day before his flight showed the fracture is no longer present and now increasing grip strength on the bat handle is the final test.

Related: England’s Woakes and Plunkett down West Indies after Morgan’s ODI century

Related: Marchant de Lange to join Glamorgan in latest example of South African exodus

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Mar 03

England’s Woakes and Plunkett down West Indies after Morgan’s ODI century

• England 296-6; West Indies 251
• Eoin Morgan’s century sets platform for 45-run victory in opening game

Eoin Morgan led the way for England in Antigua as his 10th one-day international hundred, followed by a largely clinical display from his side in the field, secured a 1-0 lead against a West Indies side that briefly flickered in the run chase before eventually fizzling out.

Related: West Indies v England: first ODI – as it happened

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Mar 03

West Indies v England: first ODI – as it happened

  • England 296-6 beat West Indies 251 by 45 runs
  • England take 1-0 lead in three-match series

9.36pm GMT

They take a 1-0 lead in the three match series. The second ODI is on Sunday and will be played back on this very same wicket in Antigua. No doubt the anticipation is killing you. Bye.

9.34pm GMT

Gabriel looks to flick into the on-side, gets all in a tangle and it loops up off the glove to the keeper.

9.32pm GMT

47th over: West Indies 250-9 (Gabriel 0, Bishoo 11) Target 297 It looks like this match is still twitching and gasping, like the roadkill you thought was dead and can’t quite bring yourself to put out of its misery. Nurse thunders a full one from Woakes back over long-off for six … ah no, then he’s out. Shannon Gabriel remains between England and a mighty triumph. Ahem.

Simon McMahon writes: “I met my wife on the OBO.” WAIT FOR IT …

9.29pm GMT

Full and quick from Woakes, Nurse plays around it and the review shows the ball just clipping leg stump.

9.28pm GMT

Nurse given lbw, so he might as well review.

9.26pm GMT

46th over: West Indies 244-8 (Nurse 15, Bishoo 11) Target 297 In theory, this is a nice shot from Nurse, backing away and trying to go inside out over extra cover. The only thing that’s out is the timing and as such he sends a looping edge down to third man on the bounce. After a handful of singles, Bishoo slogs a couple of ugly fours through the on-side. 53 from 24 needed.

Phil Sawyer is right, this place is a ladies magnet. I’m so rock n roll I’m off to bed @DanLucas86 This one’s in the bag, after all.

9.22pm GMT

45th over: West Indies 232-8 (Nurse 13, Bishoo 1) Target 297 Woakes is back for Plunkett. I guess Morgan wants to give Plunkett one of the final two overs, hence taking him out of the attack with one left in the bank. We might not get there though as Brathwaite doesn’t read Woakes’s slower ball and holes out. Nurse, on the other hand, reads the very next ball perfectly and slog-sweeps over mid-on for six. Next ball is launched high into the air but lands safely behind the bowler before Moeen can get to it.

A question from John Starbuck: “Given that it’s only three single days of meaningful play, does this qualify as an overseas tour? That’s if you measure it by the depth of tan for English teams.” When are the three days of meaningful play, John?

9.18pm GMT

Slower and in the slot. Brathwaite slams it up in the air Root, stationed in the circle at mid-off, orders all other fielders out of the way and steadies himself under it.

9.16pm GMT

44th over: West Indies 223-7 (Nurse 5, C Brathwaite 12) Target 297 Dismissive from Brathwaite, standing tall and clubbing it with the toe-end of the bat over mid-off for his first boundary. That’s all very well and good, but they need a few more like that and none are forthcoming in the rest of this over. “When you get to this stage, every ball’s an event” says Rob Key. None of this match has been an event, Rob.

Here’s … look, Phil Sawyer, you’re the only one reading now. “‘I think we’ve even had a married couple meet on here before.’ Jeremy Theobald and Lynn Bashforth. Unwisely they even let me stay with them for a couple of OBO meets in that London. And Naylor was the guest of honour at their Sri Lanka wedding, Turns out the OBO IS the place to meet. Form an orderly one, ladies.”

9.11pm GMT

43rd over: West Indies 215-7 (Nurse 3, C Brathwaite 6) Target 297 Finn has a big grin on his face and well he might: it was an excellent piece of footwork to get rid of Mohammed. Ashley Nurse is the new batsman with 87 from 48 needed, or 11ish an over, maths fans. These two don’t seem that fussed about the escalating required rate, mind, as they nudge and nurdle another five singles.

9.09pm GMT

42nd over: West Indies 210-7 (C Brathwaite 4) Target 297 One. One. One. One. One. Out. More singles than there are swiping right on Phil Sawyer, then the big wicket as Mohammed’s excellent knock comes to a tame end. Stick a fork in this one, it’s about done.

9.07pm GMT

Brathwaite drops it down and sets off for a quick single. It’s a race between Finn and Mohammed from the non-striker’s end and the bowler gets there first and kicks the ball into the stumps with the batsman short. Agüeroesque tap in.

9.04pm GMT

41st over: West Indies 205-6 (Mohammed 69, C Brathwaite 2) Target 297 Now Carlos Brathwaite, average 13 but let’s all judge him on four balls, comes to the party. Just four singles from this over and it’s just nudging back England’s way.

“Tinder is full of women interested in middle aged men who have nothing better to do on a Friday night than email the OBO? Well colour me interested. Sorry to abandon you, Dan, but I’m off to engage with my admiring throng.” Believe it or not there was a time the OBO effectively was Tinder – I think we’ve even had a married couple meet on here before.

9.00pm GMT

Plunkett gets his third for 30. Holder looks to be cute and run a slightly back-of-a-length ball down to third man. He can only feather it through though.

8.58pm GMT

40th over: West Indies 201-5 (Mohammed 67, Holder 4) Target 297 Finn is on for Woakes as Morgan looks for another wicket to go in for the kill. Well, at least I assume that’s his thinking; not sure Finn is the right man for that job though. A slow, harmless leg-side ball is worked away for two to bring up the 200. Finn taking LCD Soundsystem’s advice here.

8.53pm GMT

39th over: West Indies 196-5 (Mohammed 66, Holder 0) Target 297 Another half-hearted appeal for lbw against Mohammed when Plunkett raps him on the thigh pad. The batsman had both feet off the ground at the time though, so it was going comfortably over the top. No matter though, as he gets rid of the dangerous Carter a couple of balls later, ending the partnership at 82 from 83 balls. The new man is Jason Holder, who can hit a mean long ball himself. Mohammed gets four more with a well-placed back-foot cut through point. Rashid pulls off a good stop on the rope from the last ball and there’s very nearly a run-out as Holder was so, so late coming back for the second.

8.48pm GMT

What a catch this is! It’s a heaved hook into the wind form Carter and Roy comes haring in from the boundary, judges it perfectly and dives forward to take a catch just six inches off the ground!

8.46pm GMT

38th over: West Indies 188-4 (Mohammed 60, Carter 52) Target 297 Mohammed looks to get in on the clubbing action, having a big old heave at a short ball from Woakes that followed him down the leg side. He doesn’t really get hold of it, but the ball lands out at deep mid-on between two converging fielders. Couple of runs there and five from the over, which makes it something of a minor relief for England.

8.39pm GMT

37th over: West Indies 183-4 (Mohammed 57, Carter 51) Target 297 Double change, in fact, and Plunkett is back. He strays down the leg side and Carter flips it down to long-leg for the four runs needed to bring up his 44-ball 50. In retrospect, he is able to lay bat on ball. Nine from the over is just what the doctor ordered. Time for drinks.

8.34pm GMT

36th over: West Indies 174-4 (Mohammed 55, Carter 45) Target 297 Change of bowling, thank god. It’s Woakes for Root – Bumble suggests that Stokes might be carrying a knock, which is a good bet. He drops short and Carter absolutely monsters one out of the ground! He got underneath it and gave it a good full swing of the arms, hitting with the breeze and into the palm trees outside the ground. We’re going to have a delay while we get a new ball. Eventually they find one and Carter cuts it for a well-run two through point. 10 from the over and this is starting to get slightly interesting.

@DanLucas86 Is Phil Swayer a real person, or a Lankbot? And Hull is the city of culture 2017

8.28pm GMT

35th over: West Indies 164-4 (Mohammed 54, Carter 36) Target 297 Half a shout for lbw when Mohammed misses a sweep, but I reckon that was turning away from off-stump. Incidentally the 50-partnership came up in that last over, from 57 balls. A single brings Carter on strike and he too misses a sweep and is hit on the pad, but this was a googly that pitched outside leg stump.

8.25pm GMT

34th over: West Indies 161-4 (Mohammed 53, Carter35) Target 297 This is a fifth over for Root. Ben Stokes hasn’t bowled yet. There’s flattering the new captain and then there’s this, Eoin. Carter, after surviving a rather bizarre appeal – it was incredibly muted – drives through cover for two then slogs a length ball on the up, straight back down the ground for the first six of the innings. Another two, then Carter reverse slogs through point for four more! That might be the end of Root.

Simon McMahon is still with us. “Dan, there’s nothing I like more on a Friday night than sharing emails about the colour mutations of 16th century carrots with people I’ve never met, whilst a shit cricket match plays out in the background. There’s not much live cricket in Dundee, so I call that livin’ the dream.”

8.21pm GMT

It is a bump ball.

8.21pm GMT

I think Carter is out here: he’s just absolutely smashed one back into Root’s midriff and the umpires are checking to see if it’s a bump ball, I think.

8.20pm GMT

33rd over: West Indies 147-4 (Mohammed 53, Carter 21) Target 297 Given the number of dangerous hitters down the order for the West Indies, this is probably going to be a close, exciting finish. It’s a pretty damn dull middle though. Carter provides the highlight of this over by stepping a long way outside off and shovelling it to fine-leg for a couple. He has 21 from 29 despite my earlier assertion that he can’t hit a ball. Huh.

8.17pm GMT

32nd over: West Indies 139-4 (Mohammed 51, Carter 15) Target 297 That’s a first ODI half-century for Jason Mohammed. It took 63 balls and featured six boundaries. In context – he came in after his side had lost three for three in 14 balls – it’s been a strong innings but he needs to step up a gear in a few overs’ time if his side is going to win this.

8.13pm GMT

31st over: West Indies 134-4 (Mohammed 47, Carter 14) Target 297 There’s a huge appeal for a catch behind when Carter tries to cut a leg-break that’s turning back into him from near the top of off stump. That was a really poor shot to play to that ball but we won’t criticise too much, as he does pick up a couple of boundaries in the over. There was a sweep nailed aerially but safely through midwicket and then a late deflection that trickles agonisingly to third man.

8.11pm GMT

30th over: West Indies 123-4 (Mohammed 46, Carter 5) Target 297 A return to the attack for Joe Root. I guess Morgan just wants to keep pace off the ball for as long as possible and let the required rate spiral. Carter cuts for two off the final ball but that’s it for the over.

Some crap cricket town emails. First Phil Sawyer: “‘Even Copestake and Naylor have better things to do tonight it seems, Phil.’. Thanks Dan. That makes me feel so much better about my life choices. Not sure about your suggested riff about worst town to watch cricket in, as any town with a cricket ground automatically improves it for me. However, as a naturalised (Lanky) Lincolnite nowadays, I’m obliged to point out that anyone who’s ever watched a cricket match in Hull probably wins that one hands down.”

8.07pm GMT

29th over: West Indies 121-4 (Mohammed 46, Carter 3) Target 297 I haven’t seen much of Carter but he looks to be a very inventive batsman. He has such a range of strokes, and looks very extravagant when reeling out the reverse sweep. He hasn’t hit a bloody thing with any of them.

8.05pm GMT

28th over: West Indies 119-4 (Mohammed 45, Carter 2) Target 297 Like Mansun, extra cover is (in) a wide open space and Mohammed takes full advantage, creaming a half-volley up and over it for four runs. The required rate has gone up above eight now so he’s probably going to have to hit a fair few more of those.

8.02pm GMT

27th over: West Indies 112-4 (Mohammed 39, Carter 1) Target 297 Jonathan Carter – wasn’t that also the name of Noah Wyle’s character in ER? – finally gets off the mark from his eighth ball with a push back down the ground for one.

7.59pm GMT

26th over: West Indies 109-4 (Mohammed 37, Carter 0) Target 297 That wicket is a massive blow for the West Indies you would think. The partnership was going well and Hope looks like a very promising, talented batsman. Now Hope has gone (etc etc) you suspect there might not be enough depth in the batting lineup to take them home from here.

Here’s Marie Meyer: “I’m with Bumble. Until the 16th century carrots were pale yellow, looking like skinny parsnips. Dutch growers discovered a mutation that they nurtured into today’s much richer color. However, the word ‘orange’ as a color word was not yet part of our language. And so the color name ‘carrot red’ was born.”

7.56pm GMT

25th over: West Indies 108-4 (Mohammed 36, Carter 0) Target 297 That that delivery from Rashid proved successful is a very poor advert for cricket. The new man is Jonathan Carter and he misses out with a couple of attempted sweeps. Wicket maiden.

7.54pm GMT

This is atrocious cricket. The delivery is short, wide of off and uglier than your OBOer when his flatmate wakes him up at 4am. Hope doesn’t move his feet, swishes the bat in and edges to gully. Finn dives forward to take a good catch.

7.51pm GMT

24th over: West Indies 108-3 (Mohammed 36, Hope 31) Target 297 Ooh, after what I said in Moeen’s previous over he goes close to getting rid of Mohammed. The batsman celebrates his survival with a couple of fours; a deft cut past backward point and an agricultural slog into the wind but over midwicket.

7.49pm GMT

It pitched on middle and leg, turned past the inside edge and was missing leg stump by a fair way. It looked close in real time but, it transpires, wasn’t, really.

7.48pm GMT

Moeen thinks he’s got Mohammed lbw. Given not-out but it looked close. Think it’s going to be missing leg.

7.47pm GMT

23rd over: West Indies 98-3 (Mohammed 26, Hope 31) Target 297 This is going to be a rubbish series, isn’t it? The TV commentators are playing Identify The Flag In The Crowd.

7.44pm GMT

22nd over: West Indies 94-3 (Mohammed 23, Hope 30) Target 297 Moeen comes round the wicket and gets one past Mohammed’s outside edge. Given that the ball isn’t doing much and the wind is going in the wrong direction to bring it into the batsman from this end, I’m not sure round the wicket is the best approach.

7.42pm GMT

21st over: West Indies 90-3 (Mohammed 21, Hope 28) Target 297 More like it between the wickets from this pair, as they run hard for two into the on-side. A few singles later and the 50-partnership is up, from 59 balls. It’s been a good one after the top order did its wet paper towel impression.

Robert Wilson is back: “Whilst I commiserate with Phil Sawyer’s tourist-jingle ordeal, I’m obliged to say Skegness-Schmegness. The poor lost tourism soul I met worked for an entity that had recently been renamed ‘Destination Chesterfield’. You try finding the haircut or the handshake that makes that a better thing to say to someone you’ve just met.”

7.39pm GMT

20th over: West Indies 84-3 (Mohammed 20, Hope 23) Target 297 Now it’s time for Moeen to lose his line and Mohammed heaves him away for back-to-back fours: the first behind square leg, the second out to cover where Billings misfields and reels it in while touching the rope. 10 from that over and the West Indies will need a few more like it.

“Oh, Dan, I’m afraid there is a certain kind of cricket tragic for whom the prospect of an OBO considerably enlivens their usual Friday night,” writes Phil Sawyer. Even Copestake and Naylor have better things to do tonight it seems, Phil.

7.35pm GMT

19th over: West Indies 74-3 (Mohammed 11, Hope 22) Target 297 Another bowling change: it’s Adil ‘He’s No Joe Root Is He?’ Rashid and he starts with a couple of rank leg-side balls: the first is a wide and the second helped around the corner by Hope with a late sweep. There’s a bit of a breeze taking the ball that way but it’s still pretty poor bowling. Oh and there’s another leg-side wide.

I’ve got much love for the Windies, how can anyone not be? But we really have the makings of an outstanding ODI side @DanLucas86 #BELIEVE

7.27pm GMT

18th over: West Indies 66-3 (Mohammed 10, Hope 17) Target 297 Moeen has Mohammed in a wee bit of discomfort with one that turns a bit more sharply than the batsman expected. Three singles and that’s drinks.

7.25pm GMT

17th over: West Indies 63-3 (Mohammed 9, Hope 15) Target 297 That over happened. Meanwhile the good folk over at Guerilla Cricket have been in touch to point out they don’t have ministers doing PR exercises on their commentary. They do, however, sometimes have my voice, so every silver lining has a cloud.

7.21pm GMT

16th over: West Indies 60-3 (Mohammed 8, Hope 14) Target 297 Here’s one of England’s actual spinners, Moeen Ali. Mohammed has a big swing at a smackable straight ball outside off but doesn’t get near it. A little bit of turn out there for Mo but it’s very slow. The required rate is up to near-as-dammit seven.

“Evening Dan,” begins Phil Sawyer, taking us to three emails in this innings and officially past what I expected on a Friday evening. “Anyone who thinks that the Tsar of the Chesterfield Tourist Board (9th over) has it bad has never been to Skegness. There was a jaunty little jingle on local radio here in Lincoln a few years ago advertising Skegness in which the main selling point of the pier was the fact that you could get burger and chips for 99p. I’d have thought the prospect of a burger and chips meal that only costs 99p is a good reason to run quite fast in the opposite direction.”

7.17pm GMT

15th over: West Indies 58-3 (Mohammed 7, Hope 13) Target 297 Lovely from Hope, who leans into a very, very slightly overpitched ball and times it sweetly back past the bowler for four. As far as I can recall, that’s the first thing close to a poor ball – and it wasn’t really a poor ball – the Yorkshireman has bowled today. I still think he should be under consideration for the Test side this summer, but don’t think he will be.

Speaking of the Test side, this is a grand conspiracy theory.

@bbctms @DanLucas86 couple of overs for @root66? Reckon @Eoin16 is after a test spot!

7.14pm GMT

14th over: West Indies 51-3 (Mohammed 7, Hope 6) Target 297 “They’ll be as red as carrots” says Bumble of some underdressed sunbathers in the crowd. Does… does Bumble not know what carrots are? Mohammed gets the first boundary in a while, rocking back and cutting nicely through point with both feet off the ground. Hope then nearly gets out in identical fashion to Braithwaite but drags it down short of Rashid at mid-on.

7.10pm GMT

13th over: West Indies 43-3 (Mohammed 1, Hope 4) Target 297 In fairness to Jason Mohammed, his List A figures are decent: a 40+ average and a couple of hundreds from 48 matches. He is yet another player in single-figures for caps though, aged 30, which is probably a bad indicator for where this team is headed in the medium term. Hope cracks a drive through cover for two and the West Indies have got through an over without losing a wicket. They lost three for three in 14 balls before that.

7.07pm GMT

12th over: West Indies 39-3 (Mohammed 0, Hope 1) Target 297 I don’t think Bumble is too impressed with the Antiguan minster for tourism’s commentary stint: he makes the point that at this time of year, the 5,000 Brits in Antigua probably didn’t need too much persuading. The new batsman is Jason Mohammed, not to be confused with BBC Final Score presenter Jason Mohammad.

7.05pm GMT

This is poor. It’s a short ball that’s begging to be hit, Brathwaite offers the most watery of pulls and toe ends it lamely to mid-on. I might be out of here before the rugby kicks off at this rate.

7.01pm GMT

11th over: West Indies 37-2 (K Brathwaite 13, Hope 0) Target 297 Here’s Liam Plunkett and there goes Kieran Powell. His first ODI for nearly two years ends after just five balls and one run. Hope for the Windies arrives in the form of Shai Hope. This is just the fifth ODI for the Barbadian wicketkeeper, who got a century in his second in November, albeit only against Zimbabwe. A wicket-maiden to begin with for Plunkett.

6.58pm GMT

Plunkett strikes with his second ball! Powell’s return is cut short when he tries to turn a straight ball into the on-side, gets a leading edge and it loops to point.

6.56pm GMT

10th over: West Indies 37-1 (K Brathwaite 13, Powell 1) Target 297 Woakes is back and strikes with the second ball, tempting Lewis and getting the batsman to fall into his trap all too easily. Kieron Powell enters the fray. He gets a single and then, with the last ball, Woakes thinks about asking for lbw but there was a good-sized inside edge.

Meanwhile, a tribute to the fallen batsman.

6.52pm GMT

Short, hooked and top-edged straight down the throat of Billings on the deep square leg boundary.

6.50pm GMT

9th over: West Indies 36-0 (K Brathwaite 13, Lewis 21) Target 297 No more slips for Finn. Instead, Morgan has packed the off-side field, with Roy pretty much acting as a backstop at cover, behind his captain. It’s an effective tactic, as Lewis twice is denied off crunching drives in that very region. Billie Jean comes over the PA at the end of the over, which is nice.

“Daniel, Daniel.” Robert Wilson, Robert Wilson. “So the Antiguan Minister for Tourism is a touch dull, is he? You have to ask yourself quite how exciting or eloquent any Caribbean Tourism Minister needs to be? How hard is it persuade people that it might be nice to go on holiday there? I, on the other hand, once met the Tsar of the Chesterfield Tourist Board. Now that was a heartbreaking hard ask. Poor bloke, it was like something out of Gogol. But rainier.” Oh no I’m not saying he should entertain us, more that he shouldn’t be in a bloody cricket commentary box.

6.46pm GMT

8th over: West Indies 34-0 (K Brathwaite 12, Lewis 20) Target 297 Root gets another over, for some reason. Lewis gives him half a charge and clubs it over extra cover, but it’s all muscle and no timing (as the Manic Street Preachers once sang) and doesn’t get to the rope. Two runs there and five from the over.

6.42pm GMT

7th over: West Indies 29-0 (K Brathwaite 11, Lewis 17) Target 297 Finn continues. These two don’t seem to fussed when running between the wickets; there have been a couple of occasions when they’ve taken a comfortable single out into the deep when two could have been had from running hard. Root thinks he’s caught Lewis at slip but the batsman missed his pull completely and the ball looped up off the thigh pad.

This is a good read, if you can find the time after this thriller.

“Where are the voices from the working class Londoners?” On inequality and I, Daniel Blake with director Ken Loach:

6.39pm GMT

6th over: West Indies 27-0 (K Brathwaite 10, Lewis 16) Target 297 This is a funky one: England’s new Test captain is on for a very early bowl. If explosive impact from the surprise change is what Morgan was going for then it hasn’t come off: he’s milked for five singles from the first five balls and follows those with a dot.

6.35pm GMT

5th over: West Indies 22-0 (K Brathwaite 7, Lewis 14) Target 297 A clip behind square on the leg-side ends a run of 10 successive dot balls. The minister is still doing his PR job on the telly. It’s impressively shameless – aside from mentioning the Sir Vivian Richards Stadium he didn’t say a single thing about the cricket.

Woakes & Finn have found a similar amount of swing early on (0.55° & 0.47°) but Finn has found more seam movement (0.47° v 0.33°) #WIvENG

6.31pm GMT

4th over: West Indies 19-0 (K Brathwaite 5, Lewis 13) Target 297 The Antiguan minister for tourism, investment and a bunch of other things has taken over commentary on the telly and is using the over to advertise the tourism industry. I am not good enough a liveblogger to convey quite how tedious this is. Woakes’ line is a bit wobbly but somehow he gets away with a maiden.

6.28pm GMT

3rd over: West Indies 19-0 (K Brathwaite 5, Lewis 13) Target 297 Shot from Lewis! It’s a gimme from Finn, in the slot just outside off, but the bottom hand comes right through and smites the ball to the mid-off fence. Three more from the over come in singles.

6.23pm GMT

2nd over: West Indies 12-0 (K Brathwaite 4, Lewis 7) Target 297 Chris Woakes from the other end, bowling to the left-handed Evin Lewis. He’s someone you’d describe as a cracking prospect if he wasn’t already 25. He gets a couple with a punchy drive through cover; expect to see him play that shot a fair bit if he stays in. Four more when Woakes drops short and, given how slow it was, sends down a ball that’s as hittable as David Haye.

Remarkably, if the West Indies win it will be their second-highest successful chase ever.

6.19pm GMT

1st over: West Indies 5-0 (K Brathwaite 4, Lewis 0) Target 297 Steven Finn also has two slips for the right-handed Kraigg Brathwaite. There’s a wee bit of movement away from the batsman, which isn’t great when you start wide and send it wider. A wide. This isn’t much of a start from Finn, whose third ball is full, on the pads and tucked through square leg for the first four runs off the bat. Brathwaite’s figures aren’t great, averaging as he does 31 at a strike-rate of 57, albeit from just eight matches.

6.15pm GMT

The players are back out. West Indies need 297. Steven Finn has the ball.

6.09pm GMT

An email! “Evening Dan,” begins cocktail-enthusiast Simon McMahon. “Am with you all the way about Mr Hannon. Saw him in Glasgow last year and he’s coming back in the summer too. Sweet. Also, I see the other half of The Duckworth Lewis Method, Thomas Walsh, is releasing a new album with his band Pugwash later this year. They’re very underrated. The Moeen Ali to Divine Comedy’s Ben Stokes, if you will.”

He’s also a lovely man – I had wine with him last summer. He’s a very funny man, as you’d expect from someone who brilliantly wrote the line “I’m the Catcher in the Rye / I’m the twinkle in her eye / I’m Jeff Goldblum in The Fly”.

5.59pm GMT

Guardian Sport web editor/my boss James Dart is running a half-marathon in Reading to raise money for the National Coastwatch Institution. As Darty puts it:

The National Coastwatch Institution (NCI) is an entirely voluntary organisation, helping keep a supportive visual watch around UK shores. And there’s a lot of coast to keep watch over: the Ordnance Survey records the main British Isles as having 11,073 miles of coast alone. As the NCI says:

‘Each station assists in the protection and preservation of life at sea and around the UK coastline. Currently 50 NCI stations are operational and manned by over 2,000 volunteers keeping watch around the British Isles. NCI watchkeepers provide the eyes and ears along the coast, monitoring radio channels and providing a listening watch in poor visibility. They are trained to deal with emergencies. Over 240,000 hours of organised coastal surveillance were completed in 2015 alone, all at no cost to the public.’

5.51pm GMT

Thanks Vish. England will, of course, be grateful to their captain although perhaps not as grateful as I am: for 40 overs that was horrible to watch. A real trudge on a pretty dire wicket and to get up to nearly 300 is a heck of an effort from England’s middle order batsmen. The wheels might easily have come off when Billings and Buttler went in quick succession but Morgan and Stokes bided their time before going all Logan on the bowlers (go and see Logan; I went last night and it’s excellent).

In 2017 Morgan has scored 280 ODI runs at an average of 70.00 and a strike rate of 104.86. #WIvEng

5.43pm GMT

Most ODI hundreds for England: 12 Trescothick 9 Morgan, Pietersen 8 Gooch, Root 7 Gower

5.42pm GMT

50th over: England 296-6 (Ali 31, Woakes 0) Handy score, that. Considering the nature of the bounce – particularly the wickets of Jason Roy and Joe Root – and the big outfield, that is a thoroughly impressive total that England have posted. They put on exactly 100 in the last 10 overs. Eoin Morgan imperious. That’s all from me – I leave England’s hopes in the hands of Dan Lucas who will be with you shortly. Bye!

5.38pm GMT

A fine innings comes to an equally fine end. Brathwaite bats down a drive into the ground from Moeen Ali. The bowler then gathers his own rebound and throws down the stumps at the nonstriker’s end, with Morgan a few feet out of his crease.

5.36pm GMT

49th over: England 288-5 (Morgan 107, Ali 23) Ton in the bag, Morgan decides to swing from the hip and flays a boundary over the off side for a change. The rest of the over is better from Holder, who realises width to a man with 100 to his name isn’t a good idea.

5.32pm GMT

48th over: England 277-5 (Morgan 101, Ali 19) Gabriel’s overs done – he finishes with two for 58 from his 10 – so Brathwaite returns to finish things off. Pace off the ball means Morgan and Ali have to make do with singles on either side. You can sense the frustration, but, crucially, there aren’t dots. AND BOOM, SIX OVER MIDWICKET FOR MORGAN’S HUNDRED! Cleared the front leg, went big and brought up 100 from 112 deliveries. A brilliant innings, especially considering he had just nine off 32 balls…

5.27pm GMT

47 overs: England 265-5 (Morgan 92, Ali 17)

Morgan’s been involved in 8 of the 23 100-partnerships that Eng have made since the ’15 WC. Only Root (11) has been involved in more #WIvENG

5.22pm GMT

46 overs: England 249-5 (Morgan 87, Ali 8) Moeen has brought his drives out to the West Indies, which is great news for everyone. A couple of flowing ones allow him and Morgan to take nine runs, as Gabriel nails a few yorkers.

5.16pm GMT

45 overs: England 240-5 (Morgan 86, Ali 1) Good stuff from Bishoo, who is brought on to change the pace and is rewarded with a wicket. Credit to Holder for the bowling change, too.

5.15pm GMT

Stokes aims for a fourth six but can’t quite get everything behind a flighted delivery from Bishoo… Holder takes a few steps in from long on and catches easily.

5.11pm GMT

44th over: England 235-4 (Morgan 85, Stokes 52) A third six from Stokes and this one doesn’t need a helping hand from the field. Gabriel doesn’t looked to have dropped that short but Stokes manages to get right under the ball, giving it the full flow of the bat and sending it way, way, way over the midwicket fence. Two more give him his ninth ODI fifty. The hundred partnership comes up thanks to a run and a no ball – it’s taken 110 balls – before Morgan signs off the over with a clean six down the ground. 20 from the over!

5.06pm GMT

43rd over: England 215-4 (Morgan 78, Stokes 40) A good over from Holder sees just three taken from it. England have had a few big overs but they’ve not really stitched them together.

5.01pm GMT

42nd over: England 212-4 (Morgan 77, Stokes 38) Four leg byes start the over and, third ball, the fielder at deep midwicket loses his bearings and, essentially, takes the ball over the rope for another six to Ben Stokes. Kraigg Brathwaite’s the guilty party. That was some good old-fashioned boundary incompetence, far from the nimble quick-thinking we’re used to seeing. All for it!

4.56pm GMT

41st over: England 199-4 (Morgan 76, Stokes 31) Bishoo returns for his fourth over and concedes just three. West Indies haven’t been especially reliable at the death, so 300 isn’t totally out of the question. Would still take something special…

4.52pm GMT

40th over: England 196-4 (Morgan 74, Stokes 30) Ooooooof – first six of the innings and it’s worth the wait! Ben Stokes drops to one knee and obliterates Jason Mohammed down the ground, into the second tier and straight into the hands of a Nottinghamshire fan. Well struck, well held.

4.49pm GMT

39th over: England 187-4 (Morgan 72, Stokes 23) Runs off all but one ball. But it’s still only six taken from the over. While England have some decent hitters in the shed, these two would need to do the brunt of the back-end work given how difficult this pitch is for new batsmen.

4.46pm GMT

38th over: England 181-4 (Morgan 70, Stokes 19) A chance! At first glances, it looks like Shai Hope has missed a stumping, as Morgan dances down the track. But the replays show that the England captain nicked the ball, hence why Hope was unable to gather cleanly. I did wonder why he was bowling ahead of Bishoo, but Jason Mohammed is doing work, here.

4.43pm GMT

37 overs: England 179-4 (Morgan 69, Stokes 18) Fifty partnership between Morgan and Stokes, from 63 deliveries. This is good stuff from Brathwaite, who is starting to run his fingers along the ball, ensuring there’s little pace to work with.

4.40pm GMT

36th over: England 176-4 (Morgan 67, Stokes 17) Wayward from Mohammed and Morgan can drop back and cart him over midwicket for his ninth boundary. More swinging needed, you’d think, especially with the extra pace of Gabriel and Holder to come at the death. Speaking of Gabriel swingers, here’s an offering from Janet Stevens

4.35pm GMT

35th over: England 169-4 (Morgan 61, Stokes 16) Another five runs to England from that over, as Brathwaite does well to ensure that nothing is in the batsman’s arc. So, 15 overs to go and you’d think England need about 120 more to feel comfortable…

4.32pm GMT

34th over: England 164-4 (Morgan 58, Stokes 14) A second over for Jason Mohammed and, disappointingly, it’s actually not that bad. No comic relief from this part-timer. Five runs from it as Morgan and Stokes get a wiggle on.

4.26pm GMT

33rd over: England 159-4 (Morgan 56, Stokes 11) Ridiculous shot from Morgan! Basically a forehand smash brings four down the ground. He walked into it, too, like Federer pouncing from the baseline. Just a thought given the variable bounce: we’ve not seen too many cutters from the West Indies. Something for England’s battery of quicks to think about? Excellent work from Carlos Brathwaite saves two runs as Stokes drives down the ground. And that’s drinks.

4.20pm GMT

32nd over: England 151-4 (Morgan 51, Stokes 9) Part-time spin now, with the offies of Jason Mohammed. Chance for these two to cash in? Not right now – two from the over, as Morgan and Stokes take a single each.

Eoin Morgan for England since he should never have been picked again for being an Irish coward: 28, 102, 43, 51, 17, 40, 50*

4.18pm GMT

31st over: England 149-4 (Morgan 50, Stokes 8) A 32nd ODI half-century for Morgan, who gets there with his 67th ball, getting a single in the leg side off Jason Holder. Both Morgan and Stokes want to come down the wicket, so Holder bowls a few further back to catch them off guard. Stokes, in particular, adjusts well and manages to scamper two.

4.14pm GMT

30th over: England 145-4 (Morgan 49, Stokes 5) Nurse finishes his allocation strongly, with just two conceded from his 10th over.

Glorious stuff on TMS @Vitu_E. Curtly didn’t start bowling until 20 (!) & his mum used to ring a bell every time he took a wicket. Superb.

4.11pm GMT

29th over: England 143-4 (Morgan 49, Stokes 3) Slight delay as Gabriel rushes Morgan and lands a telling blow on the England captain’s bonce. Once the interlude is over (Morgan is fine) Gabriel bowls another snorter that explodes off a good length and nearly takes Morgan’s fingers through to the keeper! Wouldn’t fancy chasing a score in excess of 275 on this deck…

4.02pm GMT

28th over: England 141-4 (Morgan 49, Stokes 2) Vintage Morgan, right there. Having thumped another four to midwicket, leading Jason Holder to bring up the man at mid off in order to give him cover on the leg side, he goes down the ground for four through the recently vacated region. Holder reacts by dropping mid off back again and bringing in point from the fence.

4.00pm GMT

27th over: England 131-4 (Morgan 39, Stokes 1) Pace back on the ball with Gabriel. Presumably, this will be the first of two overs, allowing him to bowl his remaining three overs at the death. Stokes aligns well against him, working a single to midwicket to get off the mark and keep the strike.

3.56pm GMT

26th over: England 129-4 (Morgan 38) Big wicket for West Indies as Buttler, sent in early, falls cheaply. He’d looked to be just getting into things: running hard between the wickets and finding the middle of the bat with a series of ones and twos. Sadly, it was not to be.

3.53pm GMT

There it is – that natural variation from Nurse. Buttler is drawn forward to a ball that goes on with the arm and finds the edge. There’s work to do at first slip, but Jonathan Carter does it exceptionally – diving to his right and taking an excellent one-handed catch.

3.51pm GMT

25th over: England 123-3 (Morgan 36, Buttler 10) Another short ball from Bishoo, another four to Morgan. This time, he picks his spot in front of square on the leg side. There’s a very strong breeze coming in from Morgan’s leg side at this end, meaning anything he hits too high will get held up. As such, he’s persisted with hitting flat. Apart from to the final ball, which he sweeps fine, lofting it over the head of short fine leg.

3.47pm GMT

24th over: England 110-3 (Morgan 28, Buttler 7) Smart over from Nurse, giving the ball a good rip while also aware that a bit of natural variation will give both batsmen something to think about. Buttler is beaten on the outside edge after reverse sweeping for a couple.

3.44pm GMT

23rd over: England 107-3 (Morgan 28, Buttler 4) Pishoo from Bishoo, as he starts the over with a half-tracker that Morgan clubs away to square leg. Given Morgan’s issues outside off stump, you’d think maybe going around the wicket and threatening both edges of the bat would tie him down.

3.40pm GMT

22nd over: England 98-3 (Morgan 22, Buttler 2) Billings goes and Buttler comes in, ahead of Ben Stokes. Smart move from England. This pitch needs a bit of getting used to, so why not send in your most destructive batsman in early to allow him ample time to build.

3.38pm GMT

Oh Sam. Having done the hard work, Billings tries and fails to beat the man at midwicket. It was well struck, but just too close to Brathwaite’s bucket-hands.

3.36pm GMT

21st over: England 94-2 (Billings 51, Morgan 21) Well batted, Sam. Scratchy to start off, starved of the strike inside the first 10 overs, but he has caught up superbly well to bring up that half-century – his 2nd in ODIs – off just 53 balls. Devendra Bishoo is the new bowler and he’s causing both a bit of discomfort. Morgan tries to hit a delivery out of the island but is beaten between bat and pad with a sharp bit of spin.

3.31pm GMT

20th over: England 90-2 (Billings 49, Morgan 21) Sound the alarm – Morgan’s finally got hold of one. Nurse drops short and, with mid off up in the circle, the left-hander moves back and clubs over the top for four.

This is boring. Should give the batsmen bigger bats imo.

3.27pm GMT

19th over: England 83-2 (Billings 48, Morgan 16) Slower ball from Brathwaite and Billings muscles it down the ground for four. Morgan tries to get in on the act but falls victim to the slow outfield and has to run three when he thinks he has four. That brings up the fifty partnership between these two, from 68 balls. Billings very much the dominant partner.

Billings played and missed 4 of his first 9 balls. Since then, he has put on bat on ball to every delivery he’s faced #WIvENG

3.24pm GMT

18th over: England 73-2 (Billings 42, Morgan 12) The torment goes on for Morgan as, first ball, he watches on as Nurse bowls a pie that Billings slaps to square leg for four. What he wouldn’t give for that kind of freebie.

3.20pm GMT

17th over: England 66-2 (Billings 36, Morgan 11) Brathwaite continues after drinks, as Morgan tries to untangle himself from this web of his own making. A couple of the penultimate ball takes him into double figures.

3.14pm GMT

16th over: England 63-2 (Billings 35, Morgan 9) Both these batsmen aren’t keen on hitting Nurse down the ground, which makes sense given how up-and-down the pitch is. Instead, they’re getting cute and hitting behind the wicket. Billings gets away with a reverse sweep which nearly clips onto his stumps… drinks.

3.12pm GMT

15th over: England 59-2 (Billings 32, Morgan 8) Like Billings a few overs ago, Morgan is battling. He’s currently eight from 27 balls. Lancashire fan Phil Swayer emails in, regarding my thoughts earlier on that a fair few county players will be getting their first caps this summer, as England look to manage a heavy workload: “I fear the county raiding that may take place this year. As well as young Haseeb Hameed, who I fear will only be making the odd guest appearance for Lancashire for the next 15 years, Liam Livingstone appears to be in decent early season form for the Lions, with centuries in each innings in the last test against Sri Lanka A. And Lanky really, really, really don’t need their batting weakening any further.” Thank god you’ve signed 42-year-old Shiv Chanderpaul!

3.06pm GMT

14th over: England 57-2 (Billings 31, Morgan 7) Nurse isn’t getting much from the pitch – or himself, truth be told – and Billings reverse sweeps him twice in succession for two boundaries through fine leg. England take 11 from the over, as Billings looks to catch up to “balls faced”.

Nurse getting the treatment

(plenty more where that came from)

3.03pm GMT

13th over: England 46-2 (Billings 21, Morgan 6) It’s taken him some time, but it looks like Billings has got the measure of this pitch. The tell is a classy flick through midwicket that is more timing than force, which races away to the boundary.

2.58pm GMT

12th over: England 41-2 (Billings 16, Morgan 6) Ashley Nurse, leading wicket-taker in West Indies’ domestic 50-over competition, comes into the attack. Like Gabriel, he looks like he can handle himself, but he deals in twirlers rather than grenades. Morgan is able to get under one, dabbing it around the corner for a couple.

2.55pm GMT

11th over: England 38-2 (Billings 15, Morgan 4) SHELLED! Carlos Brathwaite’s first ball of the match is angled across Morgan, drawing him into a drive, that is edged to first slip. Kieran Powell watches it all the way and, even with the added distraction of keeper Shai Hope diving across him, should take the catch. Morgan tries to put him off his line by charging down the wicket and flailing about like a bolshy kid who has just realised he’s on TV, but misses, twice. Maiden.

2.49pm GMT

10th over: England 38-2 (Billings 15, Morgan 4) A second boundary for Billings, as Gabriel drops short and is whipped over square leg for four. The outfield is pretty big, meaning most of the shots that have made it to the boundary keep the fielders interested. Not that one. Finally, a good strike from Billings.

2.46pm GMT

9th over: England 34-2 (Billings 11, Morgan 4) Billings jumps across to the off side to manufacture a single to leg. Shot of the over goes to Morgan, though, who drives Holder on the up through cover for four.

2.41pm GMT

8th over: England 29-2 (Billings 10, Morgan 0) The replays show that, while the ball did keep a touch low, it nipped in off the seam, too. Special bit of bowling from Gabriel, who has been very impressive. Eoin Morgan joins Billings. England on the ropes.

2.38pm GMT

Oh wow… what a delivery that was! Might have kept low, but Gabriel rushes one right through Root. Stumps splattered. Goneski

2.35pm GMT

7th over: England 28-1 (Billings 9 , Root 4) Four from the over, as Root finds three with a flick through midwicket before Billings pinches back the strike, almost running Root out in the process! It’s not been pretty or particularly dynamic from Billings, but he can show he’s got a different side to his game if he comes out of this with a score of note.

2.30pm GMT

6th over: England 24-1 (Billings 8, Root 1) Finally, Billings feels substantial bat on ball, getting four down the ground with a thwack that’s more farm boy than Loughborough graduate. England’s new Test skipper Joe Root is out at number three.

2.27pm GMT

No second chance for Roy! A straight ball, just on a length, doesn’t get above shin height and pins Roy right in front of all three. LBWs don’t get LBW-er.

2.24pm GMT

5th over: England 16-0 (Roy 13, Billings 1) A maiden, but it could have been much better for the West Indies… Roy bunts the final ball back to Jason Holder, who reacts well in his follow-through but can’t cling on. Looks like Holder has hurt himself and will leave the field for treatment…

2.21pm GMT

4th over: England 16-0 (Roy 13, Billings 1) George Rogers has some thoughts on Jonny Bairstow: “Is it fair to say that, given he’s not been a first choice member of the ODI squad and his ever presence in the Test team, he’s not had much of a chance to show what he can do in ODI over the last two years? My memory is more anecdote than fact, but when Jos Butler broke his finger and Bairstow was drafted in against New Zealand, he was the only English batsman to come away from that game with any credit. Scoring 83 not out from 60 balls. And if I’m not mistaken he was dropped the next time they played. Feels harsh to say he hasn’t scored a century since 2014 when the only thing which stopped him there was everyone else getting out. Personally I think he’s probably a better long term pick for the No.4 spot in the ODI squad than Morgan is. Even if Morgan has the more compelling ODI record.”

Oh I was merely presenting Bairstow’s stats rather than having a go at his record. And I think you’re right about his future potentially being at number four, especially as the man touted for that spot, Sam Billings, is currently labouring on one off nine deliveries…

2.16pm GMT

3rd over: England 15-0 (Roy 12, Billings 1) “So, what did happen to the Windies over the past couple of decades?” asks Andrew Benton. “They were once unbeatable, but now all too beatable (hopefully).” The T20 side beg to differ. It is something they are keen to address. As Ali Martin has written this week, the WICB are looking to address the “player drain” from ODI and Test cricket. Back-to-back fours for Roy, both through midwicket, heavy on the wrists.

2.11pm GMT

2nd over: England 5-0 (Roy 3, Billings 0) Two LBW shouts for Shannon Gabriel, against both openers. Both turned down, both yielding leg byes. Good pace from Gabriel, who looks like he spends his spare time ruling the underground boxing scene. One slight stray and Roy lands a jab through square leg for a couple. Billings is looking a bit tetchy….

2.07pm GMT

1st over: England 1-0 (Roy 1, Billings 0) Jason Holder opens up from the Curtly Ambrose Stand end. As it happens, Curtly is perched inside as part of the BBC TMS team for this tour.

We may be broadcasting from the end bearing his name, but Sir Curtly still needed to have his pass checked!

1.58pm GMT

Play due to start at 2pm, with no overs lost. Feel free to get in touch over email ( and on Twitter (@Vitu_E).

A quick thank you to Steve Pye for sending me this piece on the time Mike Gatting got his nose rearranged by Malcolm Marshall…

1.37pm GMT

Moisture in the air and in the pitch – Jason Holder, playing in his 50th ODI, wins the toss and decides to chase. “It feels like a fresh start,” says Holder. Eoin Morgan reckons it’ll be tricky early on and a bit tacky to start. He confirms that Jason Roy and Sam Billings will open the batting.

West Indies: E Lewis, KC Brathwaite, KOA Powell, SD Hope†, JN Mohammed, JL Carter, JO Holder*, CR Brathwaite, AR Nurse, D Bishoo, ST Gabriel

1.29pm GMT

Will Macpherson brings news of another to depart South Africa for county cricket – 26 year-old quick, Marchant de Lange.

Seven recent internationals have already joined counties as Kolpaks this close season, but De Lange is not eligible to play as one, because he has played an insufficient amount of international cricket in the last two years. Kolpak registrations require the player to have played one Test match or 15 limited overs internationals in the 24 months before signing. In that period, De Lange has played just one ODI and one T20i.

Instead, pending the awarding of a visa and ECB approval, he will be registered as a local player as his wife has a British passport.

Related: Marchant de Lange to join Glamorgan in latest example of South African exodus

1.24pm GMT

Shades of 2009, when an England Test was moved from this ground to the old Antigua Recreation Ground because of an unfit outfield.

Mike Selvey’s seethe at the time is worth revisiting

Related: Antigua pitch a disgrace to West Indies cricket

1.07pm GMT

The latest rain has set us back a bit so the toss is going to be delayed. Perhaps of more concern is the bowler’s run-up. The groundstaff are using the roller to press dry soil into an area that looks badly affected by the weather. It seems that they were left open overnight which, given it has been raining on-and-off since 3am, is a tad concerning…

12.53pm GMT

For those that don’t remember, the last time England were in the Caribbean for a one-off ODI series was back in 2014. Then, they used the tour as a warm-up for their T20 squad ahead of the World T20, which was held in Bangladesh. England didn’t make it out of the group, winning just one game and losing to the Netherlands in their final match. But the series did bring some joy to Michael Lumb. Making his debut in the first ODI, he rattled off 106 in a failed chase, opening the batting alongside Moeen Ali, also on debut. That World T20 would be the last time Lumb represented England.

Oh and it’s started raining again. While we wait for it to pass, let’s have some Rahkeem Cornwall…

12.46pm GMT

Hello all – welcome to coverage of England’s opening ODI of the definitely-not-a-waste-of-time-series against West Indies. So begins a packed schedule that leads into two ODIs against Ireland, three versus South Africa and then theChampions Trophy. Four Tests against South Africa follow, as do another three against West Indies, a solitary T20 and five more ODIs, taking us to September 29th. All this, by the way, in the lead-up to an Ashes series. Don’t be surprised if the county cupboard is raided for some stand-ins for the last part of the summer. Might be worth keeping your phone on, too.

England have opted against changing things up for this tour: barring an injury to Alex Hales (who joined the touring party a few days ago), expect them to name a first-string batting line-up at the Sir Vivian Richards Stadium. In lieu of mixing things up, it seems that Sam Billings will get the nod at the top of the order, despite Jonny Bairstow’s form. Bairstow’s an intriguing one. It has not really happened for him in white-ball cricket, yet. He has two List A hundreds, the last of which was scored in a series against New Zealand A, back in 2014. In fact, Bairstow has scored more List A runs for England representative sides – Lions or XIs – than he has for Yorkshire, from 12 fewer innings. Considering how he has turned around his Test career, you’d imagine he’s capable of addressing whatever it is that is holding him back in the other formats.

Wow, @benstokes38. Just Wow.

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Mar 02

England’s Ben Stokes has few fears before Carlos Brathwaite reunion

• All-rounder does not dwell on mauling in World Twenty20 loss to West Indies
• Stokes says IPL millionaire status ‘gives me drive to work even harder’

Plenty has happened to Ben Stokes since he was launched for four successive sixes by Carlos Brathwaite in the final of last year’s World Twenty20 and, speaking before his reunion with the West Indian all-rounder, he insisted that particular low is now firmly behind him.

At training on Wednesday afternoon Stokes smirked when the subject of the Kolkata mauling arose while, in the background, the 6ft 8in Brathwaite was putting on a repeat performance out in the middle of the Sir Vivian Richards Stadium during a range-hitting exercise.

Related: IPL auction: ‘complete carnage’ as Ben Stokes becomes best-paid international player

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Mar 01

John Hampshire, former England and Yorkshire batsman, dies aged 76

Hampshire had been Yorkshire president since March 2016Played eight Tests and won County Championship five timesThe former England batsman John Hampshire has died aged 76. Hampshire was a giant of Yorkshire cricket, having captained the club, played in…

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Feb 25

Tymal Mills: what makes a player with no Tests or ODIs worth £1.4m in IPL? | Vic Marks

A life-changing back injury, an in-demand angle of delivery and an impressive contacts book have paved the way to riches for the bright Englishman

The 21st-century cricketer is so much better at “taking the positives” out of a seemingly bleak situation than predecessors were. This week for Tymal Mills, currently in Dubai playing for the Quetta Gladiators alongside Kevin Pietersen in the Pakistan Super League against players such as Chris Gayle and Kumar Sangakkara, every cloud really does seem to have a silver lining.

Two years ago Mills was diagnosed with a congenital back condition: his spinal cord and his vertebrae are too close together, meaning the former can become seriously aggravated. The experts decided that bowling fast over long periods of time was a risk too far.

Related: IPL auction: ‘complete carnage’ as Ben Stokes becomes best-paid international player

Related: Thangarasu Natarajan’s Punjab deal the latest product of IPL’s dream factory | The Spin

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Feb 21

England in West Indies 2017

Fixtures and squad for England’s brief tour of West Indies, featuring three one-day internationals in Antigua and Barbados.

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