6.15pm - "This is the end, Beautiful friend, This is the end, My only friend, the end," as sang by either Jim Morrison or Kyle Mills. 137 runs, four wickets, six rain delays, 90 feedback, a fleece for gremlin_the_cat and a few good shots. We'll be back tomorrow, see you then.
5.40pm - Eng 68-0 (21.3 overs) - A stroke of luck for Cook as he edges Martin wide of second slip after being squared up....and then the players go off for bad light for the 239rd time today. Groundsman Mike Hunt is on the pitch and no-one likes to see Mike Hunt this early in the day.
5.30pm - Eng 61-0 (19 overs) - A trademark Strauss shot, driving Oram square on the up to the fence and runs are starting to come in a hurry with the Middlesex left-hander hooking Martin majestically to the mid-wicket fence. Entertaining stuff for those in the crowd who are still here/awake/sober/conscious. Bring back Record Breakers, we have a new feedback record!
5.15pm - Eng 49-0 (16 overs) - Oram and Southee bowling in tandem, the former is one guy who won't need a ladder to put the Christmas decorations up. Cook hooks the teenager for three and then guides the big man from Palmerston North for a three down to third man. He then collects a hat-trick of boundaries off Southee, opening the face and beating backward point before clipping him off his pads and then driving him off the backfoot through the covers.
terrysmith2104 - we were not on a Pernod run but at the back of the box, advising Blowers on the nuances of speed garage. It seems Henry is something of an Oxide & Neutrino fan.
5pm - Back once again for the renegade master; Default damager, power to the people; Back once again for the renegade master. The players are back on the paddock!!
4.45pm - Not much to report really and the weather forecast for tomorrow, ain't too clever either - LOOK!
4.15pm - We do not have a prompt start after tea. It's dimmer here than a classroom full of Asbo's. It allows me to get my hoofs out and wrap up the fleece which will be winging its way to Norwich next week.
4pm - Eng 26-0 (12 overs) - EARLY TEA or a late tea depending on what way you look at it. 95 runs in the day with a session to go. We are off to arrange a six figure fee for terrysmith2104 to write his first novel - cricket teas, the rise and fall of Scones.
3.45pm - Eng 24-0 (10 overs) - England largely progressing in binary numbers. Sharkbiteshaun - there is a dot between cow and corner in the e-mail addy, the links work now so try again Sir. It seems our editing interface is as reliable as British Gas customer service.
3.30pm - Eng 15-0 (7 overs) - We're back on again and tea has now been put back to 4.30pm which is bad news for fans of free corned beef sandwiches. Have any club cricketers noticed a severe deterioration in the standard of teas in recent times - no more home made scones and clotted cream - it's all GM spicy chicken wings and mini botulism burgers. Cowers blames Thatcher, Margaret not Ben.
3.15pm - Eng 15-0 (5.3 overs) - Cook has been using the Nivea, nice soft hands and he guides a Martin delivery down in front of fourth slip and the ball runs away to the boundary. And then we're off again for bad light for the third time this afternoon to a chorus of boos.
Sharkbiteshaun - we're still waiting for your details -mailto:email@example.com Readers can also use that e-mail address for any personal questions, dates, guest appearances at Bar Mitzvahs etc. gremlin_the_cat is already dreaming of those flip flops. not even 100 runs yet today.
3pm - Eng 4-0 (2 overs) - Strauss sees out the opening over after being re-promoted to the top of the order. Chris Martin takes the new ball and is getting it to sing, presumably some dreary ballad: "Look at the stars, Look how they shine for you." Alastair Cook smacks Kyle Mills' third ball - a short and wide long-hop - through the covers to the boundary.
the_kop2003 is getting nervous about his flip flop potential. New Zealand scored 69 runs today so you need England to be between 184 and 195 at the close to take the shoes.
2.45pm - NZ 277 (86.2 overs) - Well that break for light was shorter than Ronnie Corbett and then a quick WICKET to wrap things up. Vettori shoulders arms to a Sidebottom in-swinger and the left-armer finishes with 4-55.
2.30pm - NZ 275-9 (85.5 overs) - This is Chris Martin's 57th Test innings and he has so far managed 74 runs apparently as a result of not being able to drive which means he never takes his batting gear to net practice. Like England leg-spinner Eric Hollies, the man who famously bowled Don Bradman in his last Test for a duck, he has more first-class wickets than runs. But he survives 12 balls before the players go off for bad light once more.
2.15pm - NZ 274-9 (85 overs) - We're back and there's a WICKET with Sidebottom's first ball. Tim Southee plays all around a straight one and sees his stumps rearranged. That brings the walking wicket Chris Martin to the middle and that prompts Vettori into an urgent rethink as he backs away and cuts Anderson over the top on three consecutive occasions.
2pm: Still no action out in the middle but we've just seen Courtney Walsh and Eric Clapton in the crowd. Old Slowhand was drinking a cup of tea, we assume he takes it with cream.
1.45pm: NZ 260-8 (82.2 overs) - Just two balls from Sidebottom and umpire Bucknor calls the players off for bad light. In the meantime, Mark Ramprakash is chasing his 100th first-class century, click on the scorecard to see how he gets on.
1.30pm: We've been listening to a language course on the headphones during lunch, "Learn Cuban", it's very similar to Spanish but there is less words for luxury items. But we've just lifted our head and noticed it's very dark above.
1pm: NZ 260-8 (82 overs) - WICKET!! Sidebottom is tossed the new cherry and he strikes second ball with a beauty, a full swinging delivery that removes Mills' off-stump. He wheels away in celebration just as Roger Daltrey would do if he had found out that Pete Townshend had got his nose stuck in a railing. That's LUNCH. Well it's been educational cricket this morning - it has made us want to read a book. Just 52 runs but with another 70 overs scheduled, don't give up just yet craigtyrie. CMJ has just offered Cowers his spare Pepperoni so we'll be back in half an hour after we've washed it down with a pint of pernod.
12.45pm: NZ 256-7 (79 overs) - Mills has batted an hour for nine, only marginally bettering Cowers' effort we were talking about yesterday. Nasser Hussain has just said that Stuart Broad has got a bit of his Dad in him - which bit?
12.30pm: NZ 250-7 (75 overs) - Vettori continues to be an irritant to England as he sweeps Panesar to the mid-wicket fence for his third boundary. A chance of a run out but it's Monty who has the shy at the stumps from mid off and misses....Vettori hit the ball straight to him but set off on a single, knowing there is more chance of samuelbanks cracking a funny than Panesar hitting the stumps from 15 yards.
12.15pm: NZ 236-7 (70 overs) - A massive lbw shout from Panesar against Mills but Steve Bucknor is unmoved, it was just going over the top of leg-stump but we fear Monty may have dislocated his larynx with that appeal.
There are 12 entries for the competition which is now closed: 185 gremlin_the_cat; 194 cricketmad333; 199 creed1987uk; 212 g_hine; 244 andrewbeaton2003; 260 the_kop2003; 270 terrysmith2104; 274 mike_deacon2003; 280 sir_skillalot; 287 sharkbiteshaun; 297 cricketcramp; 369 craigtyrie. You can have any size flip flops you want as long as it's ten.
Noon - NZ 232-7 (66 overs) - The first boundary of the morning off the bat as Vettori flails Anderson though the covers. Jim Morrison hair-a-like has come to the wicket and rode out the early storm, gloving four down the leg side. Then a double change with Stuart Broad and Monty Panesar into the attack.
Sharkbiteshaun - to claim your prize, simply e-mail your postal address to mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org and we promise not to send any liquid explosives through the letterbox.
11.45am: NZ 222-7 (63 overs) - WICKET!! Sidebottom drops a few short to Oram and then the big man is tempted into a drive and edges the ball straight to Andrew Strauss at first slip which is juggled but eventually sticks. England only need two wickets plus Chris Martin. Double Nelson strikes and it's good news for cafeclemence who now only needs another 18 Sidebottom wickets in the series to win a pen.
11.30am: NZ 220-6 (60 overs) - Mark Nicholas would describe the current passage of play as "one for the purists" - that translates as nothing is happening. Eight overs, 12 runs, Anderson and Sidebottom bowling a tight line and it's cold. Daniel Vettori averages nearly 40 in his last 40 Tests and is the best number eight in the world which is handy because most of the top seven are not very good.
11.15am: NZ 216-6 (56 overs) - The sound of chin music in the opening over from Sidebottom and he had to bend his back to get it to Jacob Oram's chin level. But he then strays down leg-side and the bye count against Tim Ambrose rises to 16.
The big discussion in the press box is whether the material of England's new trousers is affecting the level of swing. You can't go wrong with Polyester and Polly Esthers is also the name of a Mumbai nightclub frequented by the Barmy Army on the last tour. Anyone know of a worst named dancing emporium than that?
11am: NZ 208-6 (52 overs) - We are underway with Ryan Sidebottom ready to open up at the Nursery End. 99 overs are scheduled for the day - we better tell the line dancing club that we might be late tonight.
10.45am: The humidity is 65% which should mean the Duke ball swings about a bit. The wind is a north easterly at about 9mph, the temperature is 15 degrees celsius (or 59 degrees farenheit if you having trouble working your computer) and there is a "chance" of showers.
craigtyrie must be hoping that Tim Southee goes nuts like he did in Napier after predicting a mighty 369 runs in the day.
10.30am: COMPETITION TIME! How many runs will be scored today? All entries on the feedback below no later than Noon and a pair of Yahoo! flip flops to the winner. They leave a Yahoo! imprint in the sand as you walk along the beach - men will want to be you, women will want to be with you. If Sharkbiteshaun does not claim his or her prize by 5pm we will also throw in the Yahoo! fleece from yesterday.
10.15am: New Zealand reached 208-6 on day one and here's what the papers are saying:
Simon Hughes (Daily Telegraph): "For Stuart Broad against Brendon McCullum, read fresh-faced member of boy band versus tousle-haired rocker. Broad's face hasn't yet developed stubble and he has a sort of wholesome boy-next-door image. He strikes a clear, high note and could easily masquerade as a member of Westlife. McCullum, possibly the most tattooed man in the game, resembles a touring musician who has just emerged from his trailer after a jam session. He looks frisky and dangerous to know. The solos he plays with his bat are more Jimi Hendrix than Chris Rea. They are provocative and outrageous, many played on the move, some with one hand. Commendably Broad stuck to his tune - a steady line around off stump - too much for the lesser players. He was the performer of the day until McCullum returned for his second 'set'."
Derek Pringle (Daily Telegraph): "Apart from Anderson's opening spell, which accounted for Aaron Redmond and Jamie How, England did not bowl well. A more savvy and confident batting line-up might have punished their straying line and wayward length long before McCullum's muscular clouts and pulls began to drag his team back into the game."
Angus Fraser (The Independent): "International cricket has lost too many of its superstars in the last 18 months but in Brendon McCullum New Zealand appear to have unearthed a new one. Shane Warne, Brian Lara, Adam Gilchrist, Glenn McGrath and Inzamam-ul-Haq have all recently waved goodbye leaving the stage open for bright new talent to come through, and McCullum has the potential to light up Test, one-day and Twenty20 arenas for many years to come."
Vic Marks (The Guardian): "The sages have suggested that a diet of Twenty20 cricket is no way to prepare for a Test match. But if it wasn't for their IPL players, New Zealand would be out of this match already."
Mike Atherton (The Times): "Ryan Sidebottom, after 24 wickets in the winter against these same opponents, would have been looking forward to bowling in the conditions as a man might look forward to dining in his favourite restaurant, fully aware that there were all kinds of juicy morsels on offer. Whether the curse of the sophomore slump (second-season syndrome) will hit him remains to be seen, but he was not at his best yesterday, spraying the ball from the Nursery End and clearly uncomfortable at the Pavilion End."
10am: Morning everybody for those who have canoed into work this morning from the Shires, Cowers can confirm the weather is currently overcast but dry in this part of London and we are on course for a prompt start.
- Chris Martin
- Alastair Cook
- Kyle Mills