Cow Corner

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Cow Corner

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19.29 - New Zealand 177-5 (60 overs): Oram clubs two fours off the final over from Sidebottom and that, at last, is stumps. An impressive fightback from the Kiwis but England remain massive favourites, particularly following those two late wickets.

Cowers will be back in the morning, and today's non-event of a competition goes the way of spudaz86 who correctly predicted a New Zealand follow-on.


19.20 - New Zealand 169-5 (58 overs): WICKET!! Flynn goes for 49. He flings his bat at a wide one from Sidebottom, it's a rash shot and Ambrose moves to his left to make the catch. Flynn takes his helmet off at the wicket. He is, to put it mildly, gutted. One short of a maiden Test half-century. Jacob Oram won't thank him for that - he is the new batsman. 

19.08 - New Zealand 168-4 (55 overs): England continue to plug away as Daniel Flynn moves on to 49. Monty has a big LBW appeal turned down by Darrell Hair, who looks like he just wants to go home. Likewise Steve Bucknor continues to look longingly at his light meter, hoping it has dropped below the critical level.

18.51 - New Zealand 152-4 (50 overs): WICKET!! A huge moment for England, and it comes courtesy of Jimmy Anderson and the inside edge of Brendan McCullum's bat. McCullum plays away from his body at a ball a foot outside off stump but plays on and England have their breakthrough. McCullum falls for 71 and Hopkins faces an awkward few minutes before the close.

18.44 - New Zealand 148-3 (49 overs): Monty's back and he immediately finds the edge of McCullum's bat, but the ball squirts just wide of slip. Plenty of turn for Panesar. The Black Caps might fancy their chances if they can make England chase anything more than 150. A long way to go, however - the England lead is still 93. There are 11 overs still to go, but unless the home side can bowl them at around one-a-minute, we won't get them all in. Elvis eats a pie in the crowd.

18.34 - New Zealand 134-3 (47 overs): McCullum is really laying into England here. As if to illustrate the point, he clobbers Sidebottom back over his head for a two-bounce four. Meanwhile Stuart Broad misses a difficult run-out chance and it's a 75-run partnership. New Zealand are still in a massive hole, but it has been impressive stuff from these two.

18.19 - New Zealand 128-3 (44 overs): McCullum swats Sidebottom through long off for four - a gorgeous lofted drive to bring up his 50. He finds the boundary on three consecutive balls but is nearly caught behind off the fourth. A good battle, this. 

18.08 - New Zealand 108-3 (41 overs): With the light deteriorating, England have been forced to bring on their slower bowlers, meaning Monty at one end and Collingwood at the other. Colly's military medium looks particularly innocuous, but maybe he can get McCullum to loosen up and play a few shots. 

17.52 - New Zealand 102-3 (37 overs): The light meters are out, which means the players might not be for too much longer. England have stopped appealing, and now just launch into massive celebrations every time the ball hits a pad. Sidebottom and Broad both try it on to no avail.

17.43 - New Zealand 94-3 (35 overs): These pair have been around for 14 overs and 36 runs now, and eventually McCullum gives Sidebottom a chance of a return catch, but the straggly-haired swinger puts him down despite getting a good hand on the ball. Ooh, that's frustrating.

17.27 - New Zealand 82-3 (31 overs): Monty has come on for three uneventful overs. He's not even appealing. McCullum has moved on to 25, Flynn on 17.

17.17 - New Zealand 76-3 (28 overs): McCullum edges Sidebottom towards Cook but it drops just short! The Kiwis are defending pretty sturdily here, with Flynn and Big Brendan doing a decent job. 32 overs are left, but there's more chance of Austria winning Euro 2008n than of England bowling all of those.

16.58 - New Zealand 67-3 (24 overs): The England bowlers are just starting to look a bit knackered. The tourists are battling reasonably well and Anderson in particular is not bowling with the same zip as he did in the first innings. Not that New Zealand aren't in massive trouble, of course.  

16.42 - New Zealand 58-3 (21 overs): WICKET!! Broad strikes again, rapping Ross Taylor on the pads and Darrell Hair says that is going on to hit the top of leg. Taylor goes for 18. Out comes the false-tooth-bedecked Daniel Flynn.

16.12 - New Zealand 42-2 (18 overs): Cowers's attention is momentarily drawn to the Derby, where ten English pounds are going the way of some grubby-handed bookie. Despite having Ross Taylor and Brendan McCullum at the crease, the Black Caps look happy to defend. And so they should be. The lead is 199 and that is tea.

15:50 - New Zealand 33-2 (13.1 overs): WICKET! McCullum survives a massive caught behind appeal from Broad, but next ball Sidebottom gets his man Jamie How, who edges to third slip Alistair Cook. He scrambled the seam to make sure the ball did not swing. Sidey might land himself in hot water for bellowing at the freshly-dismissed Black Cap, but it won't affect the reality that New Zealand are two down.

15.40 New Zealand 27-1 (12 overs): This is a big test of Brendan McCullum's pretentions of batting three after he was knocked over by Jimmy yesterday. For what it's worth, Cowers thinks there's too much importance placed on where in the order players come. If you can bat, you can bat. And having gone three overs without a breakthrough, England take to moaning about the ball again. And this time they get it changed. Red faces all round at Duke's.

15.25 New Zealand 21-1 (9 overs): WICKET! It's Stuart Broad again and yet another failure for Redmond, who tries an expansive drive to a full delivery and ends up nicking it to Ambrose for a regulation catch. Redmond gone for two. England were whining about the ball (yet again) a minute ago, but it seems to have done the trick. The lumpy ball nearly worked for Anderson, who got another leading edge from How that fell just shot of Pietersen at gully.

15.15 New Zealand 21-0 (7 overs): Superb 'not-out' decision as an Anderson delivery takes a touch on its way through of Ambrose. Steve Bucknor correctly identifies that it came off pad, not bat. How edges Broad to Paul Collingwood at second slip. He makes a valiant, diving effort, but palms the ball up and cannot take it on its way down.

15.07 - New Zealand 14-0 (5 overs): Jamie How tries to work Anderson onto the on side but the ball loops up off the back of the bat and falls safe a couple of yards away from point. A lucky escape. Redmond then gets off the mark with a flick to third man, where Monty Panesar fields with an ultra-tentative long barrier.

14.58 - New Zealand 4-0 (3 overs): Sidebottom has a wee sledge at Jamie How, who responds with some choice words of his own. All fairly standard stuff, but for some reason Ian Smith is enraged.

john1gun asks: "What does 'to avoid the follow-on' mean? Sorry, stupid yank here." Well, you have to 'follow-on', i.e. bat again straight away, if you end the first innings 200 or more runs behind the other team. That is the fate that has befallen New Zealand, and that is why they are batting again.

14.38 - New Zealand 123 all out (46.3 overs): WICKET! ALL OVER! Anderson traps Hopkins LBW with the Kiwi number six trying to flick him to leg. It is a rearguard batting performance strangely reminiscent of mid-90s England. The Burnley Bronco finishes on 7 for 43. England lead by 241 and enforce the follow-on; they will be back out in a few minutes.

14.36 - New Zealand 123-9 (46 overs): WICKETS!!! Broad strikes twice! Mills flings his bat at a full delivery outside off stump and finds Kevin Pietersen at gully, who plucks the ball out of the sky for a fine catch. Mills goes for one. Iain O'Brien is the new man, who is comprehensively bowled second ball by a Broad jaffa that is reminiscent of Jimmy Anderson yesterday. Chris Martin comes in for the final ball of the over with seven close catchers in, but the ball misses off stump by an inch or two.

14.28 - New Zealand 123-7 (45 overs): Four more byes as an Anderson inswinger bananas ludicrously past Ambrose. It's like they're bowling a frisbee or something. Stuart Broad comes in - he swings it less which is a positive advantage.

14.14 - New Zealand 113-7 (42 overs): The ball is swinging a mile - too much, probably. Sidebottom gets one to move about a yard and a half away from Hopkins, and then fires in an inswinger that clips the batsman's pads and goes for four leg-byes. 52 more needed to make England bat again. 

14.05 - New Zealand 108-7 (39.3 overs): WICKET! Rrrrriiiippp!! Hear that? That's the sound of Jimmy Anderson's 10-wicket innings being torn to shreds. Sidebottom tempts Vettori into an ill-advised waft outside off stump and Andrew Strauss pouches it at slip. The Black Caps skipper falls for seven.

14.01 - New Zealand 108-6 (39 overs): Anderson fires off a yelped appeal for leg before. But the ball struck Vettori about two inches below the box, via a thick inside edge, not the toughest decision Darrell Hair will face today.

13.52 - New Zealand 104-6 (37 overs): With the action finally under way, the competition is now CLOSED. Vettori punches a brilliantly-timed four off Sidebottom before Anderson finds Hopkins' edge... and the ball falls just short of Collingwood at second slip. The Kiwis need 165 to avoid the follow-on, remember. Meanwhile, there is good news on the message board if you are looking to become a sugar daddy to some skank you don't know.

13.39 - New Zealand 96-6 (34 overs): We have play! Ryan Sidebottom completes his over that was so rudely interrupted last night and Vettori is made to play no shot. Plenty of swing, though.

13.30 - Play is set to get under way in 10 minutes and this time it looks like it might actually happen. The England bowlers are out in the middle limbering up, and fancy-dressed fans (nice Bananaman outfit) of varying drunkenness are rolling in from the Trent Bridge Inn.

13.00 - Well, the covers are coming off but the restart has been further delayed. Play will resume at 13.40, with tea at ten past four and an extra hour available at the end should conditions allow. 

12.20 - It is still drizzling although conditions are improving. The teams will have an early lunch at 12.40 with a view to getting things under way at 1.20. Says Ian Smith: "I'm a big fan of an early lunch." And doesn't it show...

11.59 - We are 15 minutes away from seeing two old blokes ambling out to the middle looking skywards. Umpires Bucknor and Hair will be out for a pitch/light inspection shortly. 

11.36 - People are taking their brollies down in a possible attempt to con the umps into starting play. But in the words of the 12th man, Fat F****** Chance. It's still very murky and the covers are on. Ryan Sidebottom is out on the balcony fretting about what the humidity will do to his curls.

11.10 - Bugger. A double blow. First of all, Cowers has spilt tea all over its desk. Secondly, the umbrellas are back up, the covers are on and it is raining. No play for the foreseeable future. Well, at least for half an hour or so.

Incidentally, today's prize is a Yahoo! bag. Cowers will be honest - it hasn't actually seen the item in question so cannot confirm whether it is a rucksack, duffle or even one of those incredibly smug I'm Not A Plastic Bag bags that are made in dingy sweatshops by slave labour.

11.00 - Screw 10 wickets in an innings - linron942000 has already got his eye on a perfect 20 for Anderson. It has never been done before, Sir. Jim Laker's 19-90 against the Aussies in 1956 is comfortably the best-ever analysis in a Test match.

Still no sign of the players, so it seems like a good opportunity to introduce today's COMPETITION!

Having given itself a headache with yesterday's Redmond's runs divided by Sidebottom's maidens mindbender, Cowers can do no better than this old fallback today - how many runs will England score today? Only one guess each, and don't all rush for 'nought' at once.

10.47 - Still no word on a start time. We're scheduled to get under way at 11am but it seems the light - not the soggy outfield - is the main problem. 

10.29 - The cloud cover would seem to suggest there is still a bit of swing-potential this morning...Jimmy will be loving that. The covers are on at present, and the light is a little dim, but no news of a postponed yet. 

10.12 - Wonder whether Jimmy had a sleepless night. Not because room-mate Stuart Broad can't sleep with the lights out, but because he is just four wickets from making Test history...  

10.04 - Good morn from Cowers! There has been a bit of overnight rain in Nottingham, and the skies are somewhat murky...however, the chat is that it should brighten up as the day goes on - which is good news for everyone. Except New Zealand, obviously, because they are getting a proper shoeing.

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