Cow Corner

Ding Dong – The Bell tolls

Cow Corner

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6.15PM - South Africa 7-0 (3.2 overs) - Neil McKenzie drives Sidebottom through the covers for four and then the rain returns. That is the end of it which is excellent news for soothsayer mike_kipling. But it's been Ian Bell's day - see you tomorrow.


6PM - South Africa 1-0 (1 overs) - Gone fishin'. Smith nibbles at Sidebottom's first delivery, an outswinger in the corridor of uncertainty. Ollie Saffell of the MCC staff is on the field for Bell who no doubt is looking for the nearest pistol.

5.45PM - England 593-8 (156.2 overs) - WICKET! Bell becomes the first Englishman to be dismissed for 199 in Test cricket as he looks to smash Harris over the top for his double century only for the slow bowler to take a stunning return catch. Michael Vaughan immediately declares and England will have a go at the tourists tonight - light permitting.

5.25PM - England 587-7 (153.2 overs) - The players are off again with Bell stranded on 197. This is quite heavy rain.

5.15PM - England 579-7 (152 overs) - And we're back after that mini delay. Steyn tries to break his toe nails by bowling a series of short deliveries to Ryan Sidebottom. He also offers a few verbals and with nearly 600 on the board that is about as wise as boasting about your new boyfriend, Mr John Merrick.

5PM - England 579-7 (151 overs) - WICKET! Broad departs after a splendid 76 as Harris gets a hint of turn and manages to squeeze one through the gate as the Notts seamer attempts a lavish drive. Bell produces a reverse sweep to the boundary off Harris to move to 192 and then a shower forces the players off briefly.

4.45PM - England 574-6 (150 overs) - The scoring has dried up and this is the sort of time you hit the beer hard. The crowd put their Thwaites down to applaud the 150 partnership and there is still 30 overs left in the day.

4.30PM - England 567-6 (146 overs) - Is Broad thinking about a ton as he sweeps Harris and then smacks him over the top for bounadries. His old man got six tons and he's 26 away from his first.

hchild - your entry is duly noted. Do we think that jude_surf works on the production team for GMTV given his oh so predictable input.

4.15PM - England 553-6 (142 overs) - This is lavish stuff from Broad as he flicks Morkel through mid-wicket and then plays a Brian Lara style cover drive with a full flourish of a follow through. 68 not out and this is his highest score and also the highest seventh wicket partnership by England against SA. It usurps the record of Johnny Douglas and Morice Bird nearly a century ago in an era when to save priceless energy reserves, Morice was spelt phonetically.

4PM -  The rundown on the competition entries as the batsmen return after tea - 0 anne_helm; james_ssmith; 12 mike_kipling; 30 wardwardymcward; 46 swads43; 46 andy_dgnr8; 61 century.is100; 63 cafeclemence; 70 darrenseal73; 75 abey.catseye; 76  lordofjapes; 92  chrisnewman950; 96  arttidesco; 114 elmhurst99; 115 ichardpmjones; 126 sikka316; 135 tony_villiers; 137 jeanmarcknoll; 156 terryjk2001; 187 sir_skillalot; 195 g_hine; 210 the_kop2003

3.40PM - England 535-6 (138 overs) - Biff!! - Broad pulls Ntini over mid-wicket; Splatt!! - a crashing drive through extra drive and Whamm!! - an outside edge to third man and it's 50 for the young man. That follows scores of 42, 31*, 25, 30 and 64 in his last five innings. England in great shape at tea with Bell unbeaten on 171 - ding, dong. If you want to win that book and you've predicted a SA total over 70 you are in deep doo-doos. TEA - I'm off for a celebratory pernod with a Vimto chaser with Dean Headley.

3.30PM - England 519-6 (135 overs) - And another, Harris hits the century mark as England open their shoulders and Bell brings up his highest Test score. Back to back boundaries off Ntini who offers two deliveries wide of off-stump to dispatch. Broad beats square leg with a thick inside edge off Harris.

3.15PM - England 500-6 (132 overs) - Broad whips Harris through mid-wicket for four and he moves into the thirties once again. The 500 is up to a standing ovation and the last time they managed that was at Headingley last May.

3PM - England 485-6 (128 overs) - Bell puts Kallis away for boundary #16. g_hine stop looking at our rivals - they are the devil, I repeat the devil. Think Simon Jordan meets Jim Davidson and then some.

2.45PM - England 480-6 (125 overs) - Bell punches Steyn down the ground for a boundary and that's his second 150 in Test cricket. The first person to tell me the last time England had two batsmen score 150 in the same innings wins the kudos of his peers and nothing else.

2.30PM - England 464-6 (122 overs) - It's a century for Steyn as a half volley is dispatched to the pickets by Broad. He raises the ball to honour his 27-4-102-1, he will go on the honours board in the Lord's toilet. Bell steers Harris through the covers and the spinner is also on his way to the lav list.

2.15PM - England 447-6 (119 overs) - Stuart Broad as we all know by now could be the world's best number eight and drives Morkel behind backward point for his first boundary. Bell meanwhile cuts the seamer, who is looking for a Michelle, to the fence.

2PM - England 430-6 (115 overs) - WICKET! Ambrose's sticky patch continues as he goes to the second ball after lunch. He fences at a full delivery from Morkel and Graeme Smith takes a low catch at first slip. Meanwhile, Bell plants Harris straight over his head for the cleanest six you'll ever see.

Is disc golf when you smack a three iron really hard down the fairway and pull something in your back?

1.30PM - The umpires have put down their white sticks and walked to the middle. Some mopping up to do and play will resume at 1.50pm. During the break, here's something to discuss. Since readmission over 80% of South Africa's wickets have been taken by the seamers so who was the most innocuous of the SA spinners - Pat Symcox, Nicky Boje, Clive Eksteen, Claude Henderson, Robin Peterson, Harris?

LUNCH 12.54PM - England 422-5 (113.1 overs) - The rain is back, and this time it's angry. The heavens open in squally St John's Wood, and the umpires immediately call lunch. The Springboks' cucumber sandwiches and isotonic drinks will be tasting rather more palatable after picking up a couple of quick wickets. England are still on course for 500-plus but need to knuckle down.

12.45PM - England 414-5 (111 overs) - WICKET! It's raining but a brief shower only means seven minutes are lost and two balls after they return, Collingwood gets triggered by umpire Billy Bowden. An arm ball from Harris hits the pad and nestles in the hands of Hashim Amla at short leg with not even the slightest hint of an inside edge. Two out of England's five dismissals have been umpiring ricks.

12.30PM - England 411-4 (110 overs) - WICKET! Pietersen goes for 152 as he attempts to pull Morkel but only succeeds in gloving through to Boucher. A fine knock ruined by g_hine who clearly tempted fate. Paul Collingwood has only scored one fifty in any form of cricket this season, including in the back garden with a tennis ball against Steve from down the Coach & Horses, but he pulls the 6ft 5in brooding seamer for a boundary to get off the mark.

12.15PM - England 403-3 (107 overs) - After an hour, SA finally introduce Morne Morkel but he cannot prevent the Pietermaritzburg Bradman recording his fifth Test score of 150+.

kimeshin.chetty says "i think the english are getting excited a tad too quick." Yeah but you've just brought Paul Harris on and he's been smashed over his head for a one-bounce four by Bell. That's 400 and this is the highest fourth wicket partnership against South Africa by any nation.

NOON - England 387-3 (103 overs) - Bell collects his eighth Test hundred and his third at Lord's to consolidate his place. He was on 99 for a long time before a nervy punch through the covers brings up his century off 189 balls in 255 minutes with 11 boundaries. Kallis puts down a tough return catch as Pietersen drives hard, he gets both hands to it but can't hold on. KP then compounds the misery by guiding Ntini down to third man and clipping him through mid-wicket for more boundaries.

11.45AM - England 371-3 (100 overs) - KP gets in a bit of a tangle as he moves over to the off and gets a glove on an attempted pull but it just falls out of the reach of the despairing Boucher who puts in a late Drogba height dive. Pietersen then pulls both Ntini and Steyn to the fence prompting Shaun Pollock to say that it's "disappointing from a bowling performance." A bit like saying the invasion of Russia by Hitler was "disappointing from a war performance."

sikka316 - you have a lot to learn about niche cultural references from the eighties. You must be a youngster.

11.30AM - England 355-3 (97 overs) - The outfield is still a little greasy and Mark Boucher goes down the leg-side before doing the splits as the ball swings late and the result is four byes. That job application for Billy Smarts Circus sandwiches a Bell on-side flick and a Pietersen cover drive to the fence. KP then lashes Steyn through the covers and Boucher tips a wide one down the leg-side over the bar for five wides.

g_hine - don't cast aspersions on our budget. It was either the Pantani book or the complete memoirs of Donald Sinden.

11.15AM - England 327-3 (94 overs) - Steyn and Ntini have been too straight this morning and that has allowed both Bell and Pietersen to work the ball through the leg-side for boundaries. The Sherminator has been on the nivea overnight and with nice soft hands guides Dude Where's Makhaya down to third man for his tenth boundary.

statman john has managed to shake off the groupies down the bingo hall at Hendon and has faxed in with the news that this is the highest fourth wicket partnership for England against South Africa and the 14th double century stand for the fourth wicket by two English batsmen.

11AM - A generous round of applause as Kevin Pietersen (104*) and Ian Bell (75*) come out to the middle with their team resuming on 309-3. Dale Steyn is tossed the ball but it looks to be a pretty defensive field with just two slips and a gully.

10.50AM - Pitch report: It looks magnificent, no cracks and very solid but it may get a little quicker today. Remember the second new ball is only ten overs old.

10.40AM -  As always we are giving away a competition prize and as it's the Tour de France we have a copy of the book "The death of Marco Pantani by Matt Rendell". Just tell me what the South Africa score will be at the close tonight.

Mike Kipling - if you are reading, it seems the post office have eaten your prize from the New Zealand series so we will also send you a copy of the book.

10.30AM - Morning everybody. It's a cloudy day at Lord's but we are set for a prompt 11am start as England look to build a massive total on day two against South Africa. A few showers are forecast but fingers crossed.

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