Cow Corner

  • With no balls the Windies struggle

    Less than a week ago an inspired spell from Kemar Roach before the close of play got the West Indies believing that they could pull off a famous victory at Lord's.

    Today, his spell in the 20 minutes before lunch set the tone for a day of toil in the field as England ran amok.

    The infuriating part of it all was that Roach had done the hard bit. He bowled a ball which moved just enough off a probing line to catch the outside edge of Alastair Cook's bat and run behind, where Dinesh Ramdin did possibly even better still to grab a low catch.

    But what Roach had neglected to do was to land his front

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  • ECB and KP in a fine mess

    18 May: Kevin Pietersen tweets: "Can somebody PLEASE tell me how Nick Knight has worked his way into the commentary box for Home Tests?? RIDICULOUS!!"

    23 May: The ECB fines Pietersen an undisclosed amount for the above tweet after a hearing. A statement reads: "The hearing considered recent comments made by Pietersen on Twitter to be prejudicial to the interests of the ECB and a breach of the England player conditions of employment in relation to clauses regarding public statements."

    Pietersen has spent the last seven years with England athletically alternating between the nation's cricketing

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  • The West Indies take a step forward

    June 17, 2000 was the last day West Indies celebrated a Test match victory on English soil.

    The Caribbean side were not the force of old then, but a quick look at the winning team that day points to a remarkable outfit.

    Chris Gayle, Brian Lara, Shivnarine Chanderpaul, Jimmy Adams, Curtley Ambrose and Courtney Walsh all featured in that Test, hammering the English by an innings and 93 runs.

    Today, the best part of 12 years and 15 Tests later, West Indies came about as close to winning here again as they have managed since.

    Chanderpaul aside, there are no star turns in this line-up.

    There are

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  • How good can Broad become?

    One of the few positives on a trying day for England at Lord's was Stuart Broad's four-wicket haul, taking him to 11 for the match.

    It was the first time the big paceman has reached double figures and marked the latest stage in his development from streaky 'enforcer' to genuine strike bowler.

    While James Anderson and Tim Bresnan bowled well without reward, Broad seems to possess an uncanny knack of knocking batsmen over.

    One more victim would have pushed his career bowling average under the magical 30 for the first time. Instead it stays at 30.12, but the trajectory of Broad's career suggests

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  • Two days ago Cowers penned a piece in celebration of Shivnarine Chanderpaul, but watching him in this Test it is becoming clear that there's a downside to Shiv as well.

    He's rated the best Test batsman in the world at present, has faced 270 balls in this match without being dismissed. On the face of it, it's perverse to point out any negatives.

    Michael Holding was fascinating on the subject of Chanderpaul on a commentary stint in the first innings of this match. When asked where the Guyanan stood in the pantheon of great West Indian batsman, he was less than euphoric.

    "How many games has his

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  • Was Strauss really under pressure?

    18 months of waiting...

    A casual sweep of the newspapers prior to the Test series between England and West Indies indicated that Andrew Strauss was supposedly under a great deal of pressure.

    The England captain had indeed endured a torrid run of form prior to the English summer, but he confounded his critics with an unerring knock at Lord's to record his 20th Test ton.

    Albeit against an ineffectual West Indies attack, Strauss kept his composure with dark clouds circling and under lights for his fifth century at the Home of Cricket.

    In addition to drawing level with team-mate Kevin Pietersen on 20 Test centuries and

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  • You can’t shift the Shiv

    Stuart Broad and James Anderson, who was deservedly named England's Player of the Year on Monday, again excelled as the pacemen got the summer off to a fine start with West Indies put to the sword.

    It was a very tough, frustrating day at times for England's bowlers as Shivnarine Chanderpaul - the world's top-ranked Test batsman - set up camp at the crease and stubbornly refused to even entertain the prospect of leaving.

    Chanderpaul defied the hosts as he battled on and on with just Broad and Anderson able to make breakthroughs, but the potency of the pair with the ball swinging was again very

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  • The West Indies: Credible opponents?

    Chris Gayle is back in the West Indies fold - but it sadly isn't going to turn the West Indies back into a force to be reckoned with any time soon.

    Coming into the 'summer' series against England (UK residents looking out their windows may need a reminder that summertime is a mere few weeks away), the West Indies are rated seventh of the Test teams, and eighth of the ODI sides.

    As the documentary Fire in Babylon reminded fans, the great West Indian team of the 1970s and 1980s arose because the players were no longer prepared to be dismissed as 'calypso cricketers', putting in entertaining

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  • Should England be concerned about Broad?

    Andy Flower is not the only one deeply troubled by the persistent injuries and IPL commitments affecting his players, with Stuart Broad's fitness issues perhaps the greatest concern.

    The England paceman, and crucial all-round contributor to the side, continues to fight off the nagging calf strain which kept him out of the second Test against Sri Lanka; but that is just the latest injury set-back.

    Broad had a contract with Kings XI Punjab with the England management, understandably, left in the position of hoping he would not be ruled fit enough to fulfil. That proved to be the case.

    This is

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  • England’s series ratings in Sri Lanka

    Make no mistake about it, England have endured a pretty dismal winter with a 3-0 series defeat against Pakistan in the UAE, and losing the first Test match in Sri Lanka at Galle.

    But Andy Flower's side retained their status at the top of the world Test rankings with a comprehensive eight-wicket victory in Colombo to level the series at 1-1 against Sri Lanka and end on a high.

    Excluding Bangladesh, this was only England's second Test victory on the subcontinent in the last 10 years. That is the scale of the achievement at the P Sara Oval.

    It was undoubtedly a very mixed two-match series for

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