Cow Corner

West Indies destroy sorry England

Cow Corner

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19:51 - WEST INDIES HAVE WON A CRUSHING VICTORY! - West Indies 117-2 (14.4 overs):  Chanderpaul takes just three balls to pick up the required three runs, and the home side complete a victory that is devastatingly impressive in every sense. 

Their bowling was superb, the catching was flawless, and the run chase thrillingly ruthless, with only Andrew Flintoff spared from being made to look ridiculous by Chris Gayle's wondrous big-hitting.

But as good as the home side were, England did their level best to make things simple for their hosts. A succession of atrociously mis-hit shots from the batting line-up buried the tourists' chances before they'd even hit the 50 mark, and only a decent rearguard effort by Mascarenhas and Gareth Batty prevented a humiliating defeat from being a record-breaking demolition.

Still, utterly cracking entertainment! We'll see you back here on Sunday for the fourth of this five-match one-day series.      



19:49 - WICKET! - West Indies 114-2 (14.1 overs) Sarwan 10 b Broad: Stuart Broad prolongs the inevitable with a lovely inswinger that removes Sarwan's middles stump...

19:46 West Indies 114-1 (14 overs):  Flintoff takes the ball again, concedes a single to Simmons then four to Sarwan as the Windies number three flukes almost plays the ball on to the stumps before it races off to the boundary.

Sarwan then takes two off a full-toss from Freddie. Just three more needed.

19:33 West Indies 108-1 (13 overs): Just the four off Flintoff in the 12th over, then five more off Anderson's over. A few spots of rain make it look as if the hosts might have to wait a bit to crack open the Red Stripe, but thankfully the weather recedes and Simmons and Sarwan are free to continue their stroll to what will be a crushingly brilliant victory.  If you're after a measure of how good Gayle's innings was, consider that Simmons - a very good batsman - managed jsut eight runs while the man at the other end plundered his 80.

19:27 - WICKET! - West Indies 98-1 (10.2 overs) Gayle 80 b Anderson: The hosts start the batting powerplay - as if they needed it! - and Gayle takes four from Anderson before losing his leg stump.

That is a truly stunning batting performance from the West Indies skipper, who took his 80 from just 43 balls with eight sixes and five fours.

It's a shame the entertainment is over, and with the outcome of the match already decided these last few runs - 19 more needed from 33.4 overs - will probably be something of an anti-climax.

19:16 West Indies 91-0 (9 overs): Gayle is back on strike for the ninth over after Flintoff restricted the hosts to two from the eighth. And the Windies skipper immediately plunders Jimmy Anderson for 13 runs from two balls. He's notched up eight sixes already.

19:06 West Indies 75-0 (7 overs): It looked like Mascarenhas was in for trouble when Gayle retained the strike, and so it proved: a four off the first ball followed by a pair of sixes - one of which came within a few feet of making it over the huge main stand in Bridgetown. A left fourth ball is followed by another six from Gayle - this time, effortlessly over the leg boundary and on to the beach. A mis-timed sixth attempt at a six falls short of the rope but over the heads of the three chasing fielders.

24 off the over. Even for England fans this is intoxicating cricket, you just can't take your eyes off Gayle.

19:03 West Indies 51-0 (6 overs): Freddie Flintoff has a bowl, and it's a (relatively) decent one with just four off the over. Ominously, Gayle forces a single to retain the strike as Mascarenhas comes on to bowl the seventh over...

18:58 West Indies 47-0 (5 overs): Broad takes the ball for the fifth over, and after Simmons gives his skipper the striker the red-hot form of Gayle does the rest. Two fours and a six make it 15 off the over, and the hosts are almost half-way to their target already.

18:52 West Indies 32-0 (4 overs): After a relatively quiet couple of overs - just three runs - the Windies open up again, with a four and a six off the over by Gayle. Awesome stuff.

18:40 West Indies 17-0 (1 over): England's bowling attack picks up where England's batsmen left off - i.e. very, very badly. A couple of bouncers by Broad fly up and over Prior's gloves - it's hard to tell if wicket keeper or bowler was more to blame -  and Broad then concedes two with his fifth ball, and a six from the last ball of the over.

Bloody hell. Gayle didn't even move after he hit that enormous six, which went at least half-way up the stand. At this rate we'll be done by half-past seven.

18:04 - WICKET! - England 117 all out (41.3 overs), Mascarenhas 36 c Bravo b Edwards: It's been a brave 36 by Mascarenhas, but in the end his wicket goes the same way as most of the others: a top edge from a mis-timed pull-hook straight to Dwayne Bravo that gives Edwards his third wicket. 

What can Cow say, other than that it's been an abysmal performance. All credit to the West Indies attack, which did everything right and took all the catches brilliantly. But the only thing that saved England from the worst one-day performance in their history was a bit of timely grit from Mascarenhas.

If nothing else, it's a delicious slice of irony that a string of test cricketers lost their wickets to a series of absurd swipes, while a Twenty20 specialist - known principally for his absurd swipes - dug in impressively.

18:00 - WICKET! - England 116-9 (40.2 overs) Batty 17 c Sammy b Bravo: Averaging two an over in the power play was never going to do, so credit to Gareth Batty for opening his shoulders a bit.

Less credit to him, however, for mis-timing an off-drive that headed high up to the ultra-reliable hands (today, at least) of Darren Sammy, who was running backwards and diving to take a superb catch.

17:56 England 115-8 (40 overs): England take the batting powerplay at probably the perfect moment - and despite a few swishes and swipes, Edwards restricts Batty and Mascarenhas to just a couple of runs off the over.

That's not the way to give the bowlers anything to have a go at. At the moment they'll be doing well to post a half-decent Twenty20 score.

17:45 England 105-8 (37 overs): Mascarenhas seems to be channelling the spirit of Boycott at the moment: he's digging in and playing some pretty sensible cricket. This is the man who's made himself famous for slogging out in any and all circumstances. Amazing stuff...

Well, not 'amazing' maybe. Mildly surprising, perhaps.

Quick acknowledgement to our contributor stephenanderton who was spot on this time last week with his IPL revelation. It's a crying shame it won't be in India, though.

17:32 England 99-8 (34 overs): Mascarenhas pulls Pollard beautifully away for four off a short ball, showing in painful detail that those earlier, thrown-away wickets were simply a matter of poor shot-making. There's nothing wrong with the Barbadian wicket.

Gareth Batty has a terrible, worried look on his face - as if he thinks he's left something on the hob, but can't quite remember - yet he's producing spectacularly unspectacular cricket to steady things along. This is now the highest partnership of the day, and one more run will see them in to three figures at least.

17:23 England 88-8 (30 overs): A huge bouncer from Edwards flies clean over Batty and Ramdin alike to run for four byes. There's no way Batty could have hit that even if he'd had a stepladder to hand - it really should have been called wide too - but at least the tourists have been spared the ignominy of recording their worst ever ODI total.

Now to march on to the ton!

17:15 England 76-8 (28 overs): England's hopes of a day-long downpour evaporate as the skies clear almost immediately and the players run back on with just a few minutes delay. Just 11 runs needed now to beat that worst-ever ODI total... And Mascarenhas seems to be playing some relaxed cricket. Well, it's not as if he'd get in to trouble for getting out to a dumb slog shot after what's transpired here over the last couple of hours.

17:03 - RAIN STOPS PLAY - England 71-8 (26.2 overs): Proof - as if it were needed - that God is an Englishman: the heavens open, and the tourists have a stay of execution.

Just to be clear: this England collapse owes very little to unplayable bowling. The Windies attack has been neat and tidy, for certain, but almost all the wickets were as a result of a succession of utterly atrocious crimes against cricket perpetrated by the England batsmen.

16:53 - WICKET! -  England 68-8 (24.5 overs) Broad c Ramdin b Pollard: Stuart Broad lasts all of two balls before edging Pollard straight to Ramdin. This is utterly shocking stuff. And almost as shocking is Broad's insisted on waiting for Bucknor's finger even though you couldn't hope to see a clearer edge off the bat. Bucknor does not look impressed at the England bowler's lack of grace.

16:49 - WICKET! - England 68-7 (24.3 overs) Prior c Sammy b Pollard: Apologies to Andrew Strauss and co for the commentators' curse: no sooner had Cow clicked the publish button for that last comment than Matt Prior hit what can only be described as *&!%. The ball was spooned up on a plate to Sammy, who took it with ease.

16:44: England 67-6 (24 overs): Mascarenhas slaps a sloppy ball from Dwayne Bravo straight down the ground for four with a horrifically ugly, slappy slash. But England will take 'em when they can. In the very next over the big-hitting all-rounder almost gets himself out with a similarly unclassy shot, but the thick edge flies over slip and runs away for four more.

Unless the England bowling attack produces more magic than a Harry Potter convention the winner of the match seems already decided, but at least these two look settled a bit. Let's hope they are capable of resucing a little respect for the tourists.

16:40 England 55-6 (22 overs):  A swift bit of research reveals that England's lowest-ever total in one-day cricket is 86, achieved against the Aussies in 2001 at Old Trafford.

Just thought you might be interested.

16:28 - WICKET! - England 54-6 (18.5 overs), Collingwood lbw b Bravo: Colly tries to clip a ball away from his pads off Dwayne Bravo, but plain and simple misses the ball and it clobbers his back leg. Steve Bucknor has a bit of a think about it, and eventually raises the finger of doom. The radar predicts that the ball was actually going to miss leg stump by an inch or so, but frankly we've reached the point where the comedy value in an abject collapse is more entertaining than hannging on to that last remaining strand of hope for an incredible turnaround.

And - maybe it's just Cow imagining things - but there was a look in Bucknor's eye that looked disturbingly like that of a vet putting down a disease-ridden but non-terminal domestic pet. He knew it wasn't strictly out, the look said, but he just wanted to help stop the pain. What a gent.

16:24 England  52-5 (18 overs): Prior and Collingwood do a good job of steadying the ship over the last few overs - well, they're both still in at any rate - but the West Indies couldn't be more on top of this match if they put all the England players in a big pile and jumped up and down on top of them.

Where's that rain when you need it, eh? Forget Flintoff being the tonic that England needed - a nice six-hour downpour is what they need just now.

16:11 - WICKET! - England 43-5 (15 overs) Flintoff 0 c Edwards b Bravo: This has gone from a bad showing to an uttter humiliation in full-swing. Flintoff clips a ball away with a waist-high hook as the trys to get the runs going, but in his rustiness he mistimes it slightly and Edwards is waiting gratefully to catch a ball that was so straight at him that it would possibly have landed in his hands even if he hadn't moved a muscle.Colly and Prior to produce a rearguard action for the ages, anyone?

16:03 - WICKET! - England 42-4 (13.3 overs) Shah 17 c Sammy b Baker: More bad news for England as Shah - who has been playing well - goes for a truly weak, lifeless cut that spins back off his bat and gives Sammy an opening to run forward for a well-taken catch.

England are up to their necks in it, and to save them they are relying on Collingwood and Flintoff. This would be a tough one for Freddie even if he'd been on the top of his game for the past six weeks rather than recuperating from (yet another) injury. Let's just hope that they can at least get the score past 100 to limit the embarassment...

Or is that a bit too pessimistic?

15:55 - WICKET! - England 41-3 (12.1 overs) Pietersen 3 c Pollard b Bravo: Dwayne Bravo trots in to the attack and KP tries to assert himself with a massive six off his first ball. Only it doesn't quite work out that way... The ball flies high and loopy, and falls to earth 10 yards inside the square leg boundary where Pollard is waiting to take a catch so smart that it should be wearing a three-piece suit from Saville Row.

England are properly in the soup now. Unless, of course, there's been a secret dressing-room agreement to open the way up for Freddie to come in and save the day on his triumphant return!

15:47 - England 35-2 (11 overs):  Shah and Pietersen manage to steady the ship and get England back in to this match with a few decent shots and boundaries. Shah hits a couple of good slogs, one a wristy effort over square leg umpire and another straight down the ground, while KP is looking a bit sharper.

This would be just the time for the deposed captain to turn things around... but at the moment it's Shah who is looking like the senior partner of the two.

15:33 - England 17-2 (8 overs): More great bowling from Baker, who picks up yet another maiden - and very nearly bags England's star batsman into the bargain.the clearly frustrated Pietersen swishes wildly at the sixth ball of Baker's over and is incredibly lucky to miss it completely. 

England are flailing wildly at the moment, this is extraordinary. At this rate they'll do well to last 25 overs, let alone the full 45 that they've been allotted after that rain delay.

15:26 - WICKET! - England  17-2 (6.4 overs), Bopara c Sarwan b Edwards 10: Disaster for the tourists just two balls after Strauss's dismissal as Ravi Bopara takes Edwards on, trying to pull him for the fences - but he only succeeds in a dreadful mis-timed dolly to Sarwan. Bad, bad news for the visiting side - but there's clearly plenty in this pitch for the bowlers... and particularly a Freddie Flintoff-flavoured bowler.

15:24 - WICKET! - England 15-1 (6.2 overs), Strauss c Gayle b Edwards 2:  Good bowling - particularly from Baker with a couple of maidens - keeps England's run rate down to a crawl, and then perhaps the frustration gets to Strauss. The skipper swings his bat at a ball from Edwards and succeeds only in skying it high and behind him, for Gayle to run back and pick up a decent over-the-shoulder catch.

This is now officially A Good Start for the home side.

15:12 England 10-0 (3 overs):  Edwards's second over gets off to a dodgy start when his second ball bounces high and floats clean over Ramdin's outstretched gloves to run for four byes. Bopara thinks the bowler is attempting another bouncer on the next ball, and goes to duck underneath it... but it bounces lower than Shane Warne's moral standards, and ends up clobbering him in the elbow. Looks painful, but good old Ravi just chuckles it off!15:06 England 6-0 (2 overs): Fidel Edwards produces a cracking first over that - WOAH! - confirms there's plenty of bounce in the pitch, with a ball that might have pierced Strauss's ears had he not been wearing a helmet. Baker then comes on to deliver the second over, and Ravi Bopara calmly knocks his second ball away for four. A wide and a run follow, and England are off to a fair start.

14:54: Good news! The skies above Barbados have cleared, the sun is shining through and the match will start at 3pm UK time. Considering that it's not been raining for at least three-quarters of an hour now, you wonder why it's taken so long to dry out a bit of grass in 30 degree heat. Still, we've only lost a couple of hours play, it'll be 45 overs per side, and it looks clear enough overhead now that with a bit of luck we'll avoid any more Duckworth-Lewis nonsense...

14:00: Still no good news on the weather front. 

It does at least give Cow a chance to be rude about some of the England squad, and invite you to do the same thing. 

And where better to kick off than with a bit of kicking people when they're down? So here goes: what a relief that Flintoff is back, not so much for the all-rounder being present but for the fact that it means Steve Harmison won't get the chance to embarass himself once again. He was a great bowler in his day, but that 'day' was so long ago that he was probably bowling to W. G. Grace at the time. 

13:31: That grey sky is still dribbling, and the start has officially been delayed. Pah. Won't be doing the Barbados Tourist Board much good.

The forecast is for showers rather than downpours, though, so we'll be likely get some cricket going soon even if it could be cricketus interruptus for much of the afternoon.

13:20: The sky in Bridgetown looks greyer than a pair of 20-year-old underpants, and as various TV pundits poke car keys into the wicket - damp but firm, plenty of bounce on offer - spots of rain fall unmistakeably on to the camera. Even if we get under way on time, it doesn't look like they'll get much cricket in before the covers have to come back on.

13:07: We're just over 20 minutes away from LIVE coverage of the third one-day international between England and the West Indies, and things couldn't be poised better for today's match in prospect in Bridegtown. It's one match apiece so far, and England's star all-rounder is back, fit, and ready to go.

Chris Gayle has won the toss and decided to bowl. Here are the full teams:

West Indies: Gayle (capt), Simmons, Sarwan, Chanderpaul, Pollard, Bravo, Ramdin (wk), Sammy, Miller, Edwards, Baker

England: Strauss (capt), Bopara, Pietersen, Shah, Collingwood, Flintoff, Prior (wk), Mascarenhas, Broad, Batty, Anderson

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