Cow Corner

England win after farcical finish

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England officially win on the Duckworth-Lewis method, with that critical final wicket just sending the match their way and giving them a one-run victory. West Indies coach John Dyson thought that his side were ahead when offered the light, but they were actually marginally behind. 

What an extraordinary way to win your first game of the winter: the miscalculation of an opposition coach who clearly should have asked someone else to check his maths. It's a real shame that such a cracking game fizzled out at the end, but England take a 1-0 lead in this one-day series.



We've no idea who's won yet! There are some big discussions going on between the coaches and the match referee.

The English players are laughing and joking, unable to believe that their opponents have made such a schoolboy error. 

It's a crying shame for what was a thrilling finish to a superb one-day international - and ironically enough, this is a ground that has floodlights...

21:42 - WICKET! - West Indies 244-7 (46.2 overs) chasing 271, Ramdin 11, lbw b. Anderson: Chaos for the West Indies! Ramdin is plum, which puts the Windies behind on Duckworth-Lewis - and then the umpires offer the home side the light.


England are now ahead on D-L, but the dressing room wave their players to take the light and come off. The West Indies think they've won, but it seems that England have - the sums put the home side a single run behind the par score! Strauss looks delighted, and John Dyson, the West Indies coach, seems to be explaining his mistake to his players...

What a way to lose a match! We're still waiting on confirmation, stay right here...

21:38 - WICKET! - West Indies 242-6 (45.4 overs) chasing 271, Pollard 42, b. Anderson c. Harmison : RELIEF FOR ENGLAND! Pollard goes as he skies one off Anderson while pulling for a six - and it's Harmison who's underneath, but this time he takes the catch!

The danger man is gone, and this will be critically tight... By the end of the over, the West Indies need 28 runs from 24 balls, and it's tight as a Duckworth-Lewis's proverbial on the DL method as the batsmen complain about the light...

21:34 - West Indies 237-5 (45 overs) chasing 271: Colly comes back in to the attack and keeps the damage down to four runs off the over. Both light and weather are threatening now, but the Windies are just ahead of the D/L calculation par score...

21:27 - West Indies 233-5 (44 overs) chasing 271: Ramdin and Pollard are keeping the run-rate up against Anderson and Broad, and it's now 38 needed from 36 balls... But the highlight of Anderson's over is Harmison dropping a relatively simple catch which he simply spilled out of his hands and over the rope for four...

Cow somehow thinks that the Geordie won't make the starting line-up for the next one-dayer...

21:16 - WICKET! - West Indies 213-5 (41.1 overs), Bravo 1, b. Anderson c. Bopara:  Harmison comes out of the attack after his miserable over, and Anderson takes Bravo quickly as he comes on instead. Bravo goes for one, but the West Indies are ahead now - including on the Duckworth-Lewis count, which could come in with rain threatening again. 

Dan Sunderland, Cow heartily concurs with your analysis of the Harmison effort today...

21:12 - WICKET! - West Indies 212-4 (40.4 overs), Chanderpaul 46, b. Broad c. Strauss:   Chanderpaul, egged on by the crowd, keeps the hitting going into Broad's over - but where Harmy was bowling wide and loose, Broad is asking more questions. Chanderpaul mis-times a chip over mid-wicket and Strauss pockets a simple catch.

A stunning turnaround in West Indies fortunes there, entirely procued by Chanderpaul. He leaves the field with the home side's target reduced to 59 from 56 balls, and with a half a dozen wickets left it looks good for the home side.



21:07 - West Indies 209-3 (40 overs):  The story of Harmison's over to Chanderpaul: 4-6-4-4-4-4.

Enough said.

We will just add: West Indies are now ahead of where England were at this stage. Suddenly they've gone from underdogs to favourites in the space of six balls.

21:00 - West Indies 183-3 (39 overs): The West Indies decide to take their power play, and will need to plunder the weakened field positions.

By the way: power plays are ridiculously complicated. Why not do it properly? Sound a klaxon in the ground, and say, right, from now on sixes count for 12 runs and fours count for six. Now THAT would make it worth watching.

But Cow digresses - and given that Pollard has just absolutely mullered another six perhaps it's just as well that it doesn't count for bonus runs.

20:48 - West Indies 168-3 (37 overs): Mascarenhas has been doing a nice job of keepig that run rate down again, and the run rate has crept back up from under seven an over to almost eight. There's the odd big shot - Pollard crunched a massive six in to the second tier of the stands off Mascarenhas - but not enough plundering at the moment for the home team...

20:38 - WICKET! - West Indies 152-3 (33.4 overs) Simmons 62, b. Batty c. Anderson: Simmons swings for the fences off Batty and mis-times ever so slightly, bringing the ball up well short and straight down Jimmy Anderson's throat... well, sort of: Anderson did a weird dipping-to-his-knees thing as he caught it, but he held it well enough.

That's a big blow to the Windies hopes of rescuing this game. They'd been reeling in that total brilliantly in the last few overs. Still, Chanderpaul and Pollard only need 117 off 96 balls now - a great improvement on the situation a few overs ago.

20:25  - West Indies 143-2 (31 overs): The rest of Collingwood's over goes downhill fast after the wicket, as Chanderpaul smacks him for four from his first ball, and then a wide on the next scampers off for four. There's 12 off the over, and 31 from the last three. Suddenly the West Indies have turned a weak-looking run chase into a feisty attempt to wrest the game from England's grasp.

20:20 - WICKET! - West Indies 131-2 (30.1 overs), Sarwan 57, b. Collingwood c. Strauss: Sarwan and Simmons plunder Harmison for 10 runs - and a dreadful wide that almost eluded Prior's gloves might have made it worse.

But then Collingwood comes in at the start of the next over and Sarwan chips a stupid little shot straight to the waiting hands of Strauss. That's a poor dismissal from a player who was just looking to cash in on his patient start...

20:10 - West Indies 121-1 29 (overs): Collingwood concedes nine runs in his over, allowing both Windies batsman to get their half-centuries. But Sarwan very nearly goes as he has a dip at a big six: the ball falls well short as he mis-times, but Broad running in from long-on can't quite get to it and it misses his hands by mere inches.

150 needed from 126 balls... Can they do it?

19:57 - West Indies 99-1 (25 overs):  At the half-way stage the game is running away from the Windies as Mascarenhas and Collingwood keep the runs down with steady, unsloggable bowling that concedes a simple three or four runs an over, but no more.

What are Simmons and Sarwan to do? The mountain is getting steeper all the time, and they're now well behind England's scoring rate... Sooner or later we'll have to see some fireworks...

19:47 - West Indies 91-1 (22 overs): Three decent but unspectacular overs from the home side are all well and good, but aren't what they need. That required run rate is crawling up over six and a half now, and England's disciplined bowling lines seems to be pegging Sarwan and Simmons back.

Could this really be happening? Could England win a match? Any match, against anyone?

Cow is starting to believe.... And if that isn't a fate tempter for one of them to slog a handful of sixes then nothing is.

19:37 - West Indies 75-1 (19 overs): Mascarenhas and Batty are in the attack and have succeeded in bringing the run rate crawling to a standstill - something which is clearly frustrating for Simmons, because he pulls out probably the best strike of the match so far with a stunning six straight down the ground.

That was utterly crunched. Magic stuff from the Windies opener, just when it looked like England were squeezing the life out of their hosts.

19:23 - West Indies 60-1 (15 overs): The recent burst of scoring speed has pretty much crept WI up to the run rate that England had at this stage of their innings. Now Dimitri Mascarenhas comes in to the England attack, replacing Harmison - and he actually looks pretty smart with the ball from the off.

19:10 - West Indies 54-1 (13 overs): Three slow overs for the hosts are finished when Simmons opens up and monsters Harmison into the stratosphere. It looks to be flying for six, but falls to earth just short - and then, in the next over, Sarwan gets in on the act by polishing Anderson away for a couple of boundaries. Having looked ropey for his opening few minutes, Sarwan is now 20 from 26 deliveries and the West Indies are making a game of it.

He's fussing with his gloves again, though. Never happy that fella, and he calls for a new pair, which by Cow's reckoning is the third set he's tried so far this match.

18:56 - West Indies 36-1 (9.3 overs): Cow was wondering why Harmison makes it feel nervous, and his third ball miles down leg - which Prior leaps well to save from conceding five runs - reminds it exactly why...

18:52 - West Indies 35-1 (9 overs, chasing 271): The hosts throw off their shoddy start to the run chase with some lovely shot making that turns things round. A boundary in each of the last three overs - including one from a wide - rocket the score up from an atrocious run-rate of two and a bit to a merely poor one of just under four. But hey hey, what's this? Steve Harmison rolls up to bowl... why does that make Cow nervous...?

18:37 - West Indies 14-1 (6 overs, chasing 271): Cracking over from Jimmy Anderson, keeping Simmons pegged right in until a single off the fifth ball of the over. And then, just to ruin all of his good work, Sarwan smacks a gorgeous leg glance that is only saved from the boundary by Barry's highly-committed dive.

Collingwood has been replaced in the field by Ian Bell - and no, it's not a master plan to replace England's best fielder with their second best. Apparently he's had a splitting  headached all day - which only makes his 69 off 77 balls all the more remarkable.

18:27 - WICKET! - West Indies 6-1 (2.5 overs, chasing 271) Gayle 2, lbw b. Broad:  Stuart Broad appealed for LBW half a dozen times as the West Indies skipper plays unsuccessfully across the ball. He just looks like he's not settling in, and Broad adjusts his line to stop pitching outside - and on the next appeal, Gayle is heading for the dressing rooms.

Dream start for England. With the big man gone so early, that 271 target looks pretty hefty...

18:15 - West Indies 0-0  (1 over): The hosts get their run chase under way in the worst possible way: with a maiden over. Stuart Broad's bowling was decent, but superb fielding from Bopara at point was every bit as important in stopping a couple of hefty cuts by Chris Gayle from racing off to the boundary...

Great start from England, though...

17:42 - England 270-7 (50 overs): A poor penultimate over for England is followed by a mixed-up attempt in the final one to run from a mis-hit shot sees Prior certain to be run out - but Broad manages to cross to sacrifice himself instead.  Prior repays the kindness by slaughtering the next shot for a boundary, and running one off the next before Gareth Batty scores two off his one and only ball.

Not a bad effort in the end: it's a finely balanced match now. The total might be as catachable as an STD in Ibiza, but it won't be a walk in the Guyana sunshine for the hosts...

17:36 - England 258-6 (48 overs):  Prior gets stuck in with some cracking, cheeky shots through gaps and over fielders' heads - but can't help wondering why he waited until Collingwood left the building before he got involved.  Two overs left, can England make it to 270 or more?  

17:25 - WICKET! - England 243-6 (47 overs), Collingwood 69, b. Pollard c. Bravo: Collingwood has started opening his shoulders a bit now, hitting a few nice boundaries as the score chips its way up to the 250 mark - but then he overdoes it with a long hit to mid-on that looks for a moment as if it will carry the rope, but drops quickly... and in to the hands of the racing Dwayne Bravo, whose athletic diving catch is a candidate for catch-of-the-tour.Three overs now for Stuart Broad and Matt Priot to have a lash and see what they can do. A few big hits and the total will still be more or less par for the wicket. It just feels like a missed opportunity that the potential 300+ score went out the window. 

17:04 - WICKET! - England 216-5 (42.2 overs), Mascarenhas 0, lbw b. Pollard: It might have felt like a good time for the big-hitting Twenty20 star to come out to the middle - eight overs left, with some power play time remaining - but a total misjudgement on his second ball sees him head back to the dressing room after his second ball.

England have successfully turned a great, winning position into a struggling one. The rain break didn't help much, but now it needs Prior and Colly to stick in.  

16:59 - WICKET - England 215-4 (42 overs), Bopara 62 b. Bravo c. Ramdin: The tourists keep things going well for a while, with Colly getting his 50 and Shah going past 60. But as England play the powerplay card they struggle, not managing to find the ropes under a good bowling assault - and then Shah skies a top edge whilst aiming for the car park. Ramdin runs around and takes an easy catch... But hey: at least Massacreanus is in now, surely he can make the most of the power play?

16:45 - SUN STARTS PLAY BACK UP AGAIN - England 198-3 (39 overs): Those crazy tropics, eh? It's brilliant sunshine in Georgetown now and from the look of the pitch you'd never guess that it was chucking it down for half an hour or so.

Collingwood and Shah pick up where they left off, with Colly now just five shy of his half-century. 

16:35 - RAIN STILL STOPS PLAY - England 190-3 (37 overs):  Still ropey weather in Guyana, and though the covers are back off the wicket that sky is still as gloomy as newspaper soup.

Cow notes with interest Stephen Andersson's comments about the IPL moving to South Africa, and is indeed party to inside information. It's highly classified, but in the interest of keeping your interest while the rain tumbles down, here goes: the IPL will be moved to South Africa; and not only that, the Ashes will henceforth be played between Ireland and Tunisia whilst a new tournament will be introduced as of 2011 called the 11-nation cup, in which three teams take to the field at once. The rules are complicated, but to give you a flavour of the competition suffice to say that it involves blindfolds, ice skates and aluminium barrels of ginger beer.

16:15 - RAIN STOPS PLAY - England 190-3 (37 overs): Apologies for the delay - it's tough using a mouse and keyboard with hooves even without the computer going haywire - but things are back up and running now. Not that you've missed much: rain stopped play at four o'clock, just a few minutes after Shah reached his half-century off 67 balls.

England now look like posting something of a monster total now, so long as Shah can keep his 50+ run partnership with Collingwood going after the interruption.

The wicket had been uncovered a minute ago but the cover is back on now. Rain seems on-and-off like a faulty shower at the moment - doesn't look like they'll be heading back out there any time soon.

15:48 - England 171-3 (34 overs): Collingwood has pushed on to a sharp-looking 32 off34 deliveries - just the sort of cricket England need to build a competitive total on this wicket. His running has been fantastic with Shah, they're making the most of every shot and even when Chanderpaul makes a direct hit with some stunning fielding the all-rounder is well in. You've gotta love him.

15:30 - England 137-3 (28 overs): Colly strolled out to the middle as if he had the deeds to the ground tucked away in his back pocket, and he's already played some audacious shots. A cheeky flip over his head off Miller flies behind him and almost for four - he runs three instead - and this pair look comfortable as they settle in before the ball change in six overs' time.

15:15 - WICKET! England 117-3 (23.1 overs), Bopara 43, lbw b. Miller: Just when Bopara is looking good, he gets trapped LBW by Miller, playing across the line to a ball that just came up a bit quicker than he maybe thought it would.

Cow can only apologise for having tempted fate during the previous update. That, in retrospect, was foolish.

Still, Bopara's 43 off 62 was good going, and England have half a chance if Colly and Massacreanus can produce the goods.

15:10 - England 115-2 (22 overs):  Bopara is relishing the elder-statesman role that he seems to be playing here. Maybe it's the best thing for the Strausses and Pietersens to have gone - just like Paul Collingwood resuced his career last year with a few brilliant rearguard action innings, maybe this is The Moment that Bopara and Shah can really come of age. Maybe they'll guide to England to a magnificent 300+ on a dodgy-looking wicket. Maybe they'll be heroes!

Or maybe they'll all be out in another few balls and it'll be England cricket as usual.

14:55 - England 91-2 (18 overs): Bopara and Shah look as if they're under orders to get things going: there's lots of keen running between the wickets going on, even if it's not exactly raining boundaries. 

Everything seems a bit surreal about this match, somehow. For a poor cow - blessed with multiple stomachs but only a measly brain - it's confusing enough that the late winter weather in Britain looks about six times nicer than it is in the Caribbean. And then there's the West Indies: they were meant to be rubbish in this series, nice easy meat for confidence building. But they're bowling and fielding as if they were - and this will seem crazy - actually quite good at cricket.

14:41 - England 67-2 (14 overs): Owais Shah couldn't be swaggering around more in the crease if he was nonchalantly chewing bubble gum. Then cow spies a close up of his face, and he IS chewing bubble gum - and, outrageously, blows a bubble that almost pops over the bars of his helmet!

What would W.G. Grace say about that, eh? The bearded one was famous for always removing his helmet before blowing bubbles.

14:34 - WICKET! England 64-2 (12.5 overs), Pietersen 17, b. Bravo c. Powell: Things seem to have slowed down to the sort of crawling run rate that makes you think of pipes, comfy armchairs and mugs of Horlicks - and it proves too much for KP, who whallops a six straight back down over Bravo's head! Hoorah!

The Barmy Army go, well, barmy, perhaps encouraging KP to go nuts on the next ball as well. Only it's a much better delivery this time, tighter on Pietersen's leg, and in getting bat to ball he pulls slightly across himself to offer a simple catch.

That's a mega mess-up from England's star man - and now it's time to start praying for those rain clouds to hurry up and start chucking down the wet stuff. 

14:18 - England 50-1 (10 overs): It might be Pietersen who wanders in to the crease, but it's Bopara who suddenly picks things up a wee bit. Perhaps desperate not to be upstaged by the man at the other end he picks up a couple of boundaries and starts looking more comfortable out in the centre.

"Hah!" thinks Pietersen, "I'm not having that," and smacks a boundary of his own - but a couple more good strikes a collected easily by Gayle's well-placed field. Nonetheless, the run rate has crept up to five an over. Better stuff!

14:05 - WICKET! England 28-1 (6.4 overs) Strauss 15, b. Powell c. Bravo: Trouble for England as the skipper goes! What was he thinking there? A ball from Powell comes down so wide that Strauss almost runs across the wicket to reach it. And as he does, he slashes a high, wide, looping catch to Dwayne Bravo, then walks off looking sillier than a pair of custard shoes.

Still, maybe it's the best thing for England: the run rate had been slowing to almost Test-leisurely levels, so a does of KP might be just what was needed. 

14:02 - England 28-0 (6.2 overs): Strauss hits one of those trademark cut shots that would have been the first boundary of the match if one of the fielders hadn't got a hand to it to slow it down. And then in the next over, just as things start slowing down a little too much, Strauss drives Powell for four. 13:52 - England 17-0 (4 overs): Strauss calls a very tight single that gives Darren Sammy a chance to shy at the stumps... and Bopara would have been out by a country mile. No - make that a nautical mile. What was the skipper thinking of there? 

To answer your question, jongros, Cow is glad to see Harmison being given a run-out, if only because it's getting harder and harder to see where 20 Ashes wickets might come from. It's worth seeing if the lanky one can play himself in to form - and even if he's appalling today, well, England have lost so many cricket matches of late that sacking off yet another result doesn't seem to matter much any more. 

13:43 - England 10-0 (2 overs): Fidel Edwards bowls the second over, giving away a run and a couple of wides.

Can England do this? Yes. Will they? Tough to say, but given the looks of the gloomy skies over the northern coast of South America they may not even get a proper chance. Fingers crossed that the rain stays off... 

13:33 - England 7-0 (1 over): It's Darren Powerll who bowls the first over on a pitch that's as dry and yellow as a dessicated banana skin. The West Indies paceman looks a bit shaky in his opening over, putting in a couple of wides and allowing Strauss a nice back-foot shot to leg that almost goes for four and allows them to run three. Bopara hits a similar shot from the final ball of the over and England are off to a decent start.

13:01:  Welcome to our LIVE coverage of the first one-day international between Englandand the West Indies. The tourists have won the toss in Guyana and have decided to have a bat.

And the teams are in as well:

England:  Andrew Strauss (capt), Ravi Boapra, Kevin Pietersen, Owais Shah, Paul Collingwood, Matt Prior (wk), Dimitri Mascarenhas, Stuart Broad, Gareth Batty, Steve Harmison, James Anderson

West Indies: Chris Gayle (capt), Ramnaresh Sarwan, Lendl Simmons, Shivnarine Chanderpaul, Dwayne Bravo, Kieron Pollard, Darren Sammy, Denesh Ramdin (wk), Nikita Miller, Fidel Edwards, Daren Powell


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