England led by 85 runs with four first-innings wickets remaining and Joe Root batting very nicely, when it started to rain
So thats it for day two. The forecast for Sunday is not good, so we may lose the equivalent of one full day from this Test. In the circumstances England need to pile on some rapid runs in the morning and then repeat Thursdays bowling performance. Ill be here to see it happen. Til then, bye!
Play has been abandoned for the day #EngvInd
The ground is basically 98% ready for play, and 2% totally unready and not likely to be ready any time soon. I know this is a super-radical suggestion, but why in this case cant the umpires get the captains together and agree to bring in the boundary rope to exclude the still-soggy patch? wonders John Starbuck. Youd probably have to put a steward in a liferaft or junior paddling pool to mark it out, but people should be able to cope. For the sake of an hours play I dont think its worth it. And besides, if the ball was hit to that boundary and went over the rope, itd get soaked. Its just not happening.
Pack your bags, world. Its time to go home.
All three super soppers now parked. Think we can assume the 5.40 inspection will result in play being abandoned for the day. Shame.
The umpires have just spoken to Sky. Well have a final inspection at 5.40pm, says Marais Erasmus. At this stage a large part of the playing field along the boundary is not fit, thats our concern.
The crowd here would like to see the cricket and wed like to give them some, adds Rod Tucker. Its still part of the playing field so its got to be fit. Its a Test match, not an under-12 match, so weve got to take player safety into account.
The umpires will next attempt to inspect the ground at 5.40pm. The players need to be out by 6pm, apparently, or thats yer lot.
India must be big favourite now, writes Chris Lord. Theyll take to that outfield like six ducks to water.
The 5pm pitch inspection has been abandoned, because theres still a ruddy great big puddle in the middle of the outfield and everyone can see it from the dressing rooms so theres no point.
One corner of the ground remains submerged. At current rates of shrinkage it might take another hour or more to shift it. Heres a live photo:
Theres still a great big puddle on the outfield. The 5pm inspection is unlikely to be the final one, Id have thought.
UPDATE: The umpires have inspected the pitch and decided to inspect the pitch again at 5pm.
Rest easy, world Oliver Smiddys brother lived. Oh he was fine, he writes (Oliver, not his brother). Massive black eye, pathological fear of short-pitched bowling ever since. All good.
The sun is shining in Manchester. Skies are blue and clouds are wispy. The outfield is still very damp, so play is not imminent, but we should get some (further downpours notwithstanding).
I once hit my little brother (then 10 years old) in the face with a perfect bouncer (it had absolutely nothing to do with a divot in the grass nets at my school just back of a good length), recalls Oliver Smiddy. This was before the days of Elf n Safety so we never wore lids. I spent the next hour in mortal fear for my life as we waited for our mum to pick us up. And your brother? What happened to your brother? Thats the problem with you, Smiddy. Always me, me, me.
My old tv was a bit on the wonk, and would occasionally turn itself on around 3am to wait for a software update, writes Ant Pease. This isnt frightening per se, however one night The Lucky Mrs Pease and I shared a couple of bottles of wine and watched the utterly unsettling Ringu (not Pingu; the difference here is very important). Mid way through a fitful night of sleep, I woke up to go to the loo. Walking out of the bedroom, I was confronted by the large-screen TV that wed previously turned off which had turned itself back on, and was lighting the front room with a silent screen of static. I actually screamed.
Here are some pictures of it raining. Youre welcome.
Hello everyone! Simon here, to guide you through the next hours complete lack of action. Im told therell be a pitch inspection at 4.30pm BST. In the meantime, and indeed afterwards, all emails to me at firstname.lastname@example.org, if youd be so kind.
Super soppers hard at work on the outfield #EngvInd pic.twitter.com/61yVNNKlRr
Harkarn Sumal has been frightened: I was working in Warsaw in the late nineties (way before the current wave of Twilight-related cobblers) and spending my weeks in a hotel. Having cut myself shaving one morning, I licked my upper lip to remove a speck of blood. Amused by the fact that the taste hadnt repulsed me, I chuckled at the passing flicker of a thought that I might be a vampire. I left my bedroom for the office, and stepped around a trolley piled high with towels and sheets outside my door. I looked along the corridor, which was about fifty feet long, and saw in the full length mirror that covered the entire far end of the corridor a reflection of the trolley. As I realised that there was no sign of me in the reflection, my heart leapt into my mouth, my stomach churned, and my knees genuinely went weak for a moment. It was real, visceral terror. I had no reflection. I was a vampire. Then a woman appeared beside the trolley in the reflection, and went about her room-servicing task. At this point, I realised the corridor was twice as long as Id thought, and that there was another trolley at the far end. A quick straightening of my tie know and I was off on my way. What a prize berk.
Quite frustrating really. The sun is shining on us at Old Trafford but through the rain, emails Matthew Hothersall from Old Trafford. The lakes on the outfield have been taken over by wading birds again. You could probably have safely called this at twenty past two.
Typical Manchester, playfully teasing, brutally reminding. But whats this? Covers are being taken off, apparently.
The players are taking tea, and its sunny, and its raining. This might cause contractual difficulties should a rainbow materialise, as Emirates have painted all of Old Trafford Emirates off-red. Expect to see the natural world summonsed to a court near you.
In the road I grew up in, the Sharp and Blunt families lived two doors apart from each other, says Andy Bird. Compounding an already improbable coincidence, each familys Mum, Dad and son bore the same Christian name.
And what do you know. Its now stopped raining, theyre removing the puddles and getting to work on the covers.
Im sitting in a hotel in Graskop, South Africa (pop. 47.5), having just abandoned a four-day bike race after day two on account of being too rubbish to continue. Theres no cricket on the telly due to rain, and Im feeling miserable.
So says Emil Levendoglu. This is Graskop. Next!
Bad news from Old Trafford, Im afraid - more rain, and that might just be it.
Loads of you have seent in the Key & Peele sketches, which are indeed great, so here they are:
None of my friends have names that rhyme, moans Felix Wood, thus denying me any name based contributions and the chance to get published on the OBO. This is pretty typical of them.
Whod send in something like that? they ask in unison. That Felix would.
And one last NFL one: Ha-Ha Clinton Dix - Cian Martin has read my mind. His parents were obviously fans Bills predilections.
How could you leave out Jadeveon Clowney,
fumes John Browne, this years first pick in the NFL Draft?
Its unverified, says Ant Pease, but I heard on a rugby commentary once that England winger Marland Yardes dad is called Scotland. If true, thats magnificent work.
Similarly, Scot Gemmils first name is spelled with a single t because its short for Scotland. A silly name, not something youd be mad to carry in the aforementioned place - unless, of course, yer da happened to be Archibald.
Ive always felt sorry for peripheral Indian state cricketer Napoleon Einstein, says Christopher Dale. The nominative determinism attempted by his parents can only be applauded, but the gulf between his career (now turning out for Chemplast) and name is huge.
Maybe he was just small with bad hair.
Fear, with Sarah Morriss: Malaria, Ghana, no electric, running water or English speakers on hand. Hallucinating a creaking water pump as people sharpening machetes to kill me. I had a few fits as well and in a lucid moment had the thought Just let me get back to Birmingham before I die. Im not sure what the scariest bit of all that is really.
The desire for Brum, clearly. But thatd be impossible in Ghana, where even the crocodiles are friendly.
This rain aint going no place. Im sorry.
There was a cornerback in the NFL in the 90s called Scooter McGruder, remembers Simon Johnson, but alas he was not a cricketer either. There is a current NFL player called Willie Colon. Im not sure thats particularly relevant either but rain breaks make work for idle brains.
There are so many better NFL names than that, and in college ball, too. A few:
Probably playing cricket last Monday evening, says
former Leyton Orient player
Steve Castle of when he was most frightened. I top-edged a pull shot and was initially delighted to see it sail over the nearest fielder. However, my joy was extremely short-lived as I watched the ball spin inexorably towards my car which was parked just beyond the boundary. This would have put the tin lid on my week as two days earlier Id been forced to shell out the ridiculous sum of £200 to replace my key which had snapped in the ignition. Fortunately, the ball thudded into the top of a small white picket fence (the much-loved sort often seen in village cricket) and bounced back. A foot higher and it would have smashed into my vehicle. So I suppose things could be worse
At my school, games was football in the playground, and often, cars would be parked behind the goals - in tribute to Stamford Bridge, I imagine. You can imagine the glee.
One of my best mates is called Alexander Dufaye, accuses Joe Crook. Although his mothers maiden name was Van der Zander. So if shed kept that hed have been called Alexander van der Zander.
I can report that the rain that is with the cricket has left us behind over here in Cheshire and we have blue skies once more, reports Alex Roberts. This will serve as either a boost to hopes of play shortly or a gloat that I am bathed in sunshine. Im happy with either so you can choose if you like.
Hopefully we wont lose too long out of the game - I expect the issue here will be how long it takes to clear - looking over Strausss shoulder, it looks like the rains stopped.
The various pressmen confirm that there is a small reservoir on the outfield tarpaulin.
Cricketing names, with Chris Bull: I have one decent one Peter Bowler. If you crossed Mark Taylor with Neil Mallender you could end up with Tayllender, which almost works. Or you could end up with Mallor, which doesnt work at all.
Rubbish contribution, this, excuses John Swan. There was a Cedric Frederick who was a basketball player in the 80s. So not a cricketer, then, but still. And, er, theres me. Im not a cricketer either.
Both are excellent.
Ive just come back from watching my beloved Essendon be beaten by Richmond at the MCG, says Quentin Seik. The highlight of this AFL clash was a young Orazio Fantasia making his debut. Coupled with my my other love Nottingham Forest signing Britt Assombalonga its been a good week for quality names if not quality football.
Were not going to have some cricket for quite some time, I shouldnt wonder. So, lets share some anecdotes. Whats the most frightened youve ever been?
Ok - well, not ok - its now caning it down.
My grandma had 4 daughters, emails Joseph Bradfield, but if she had given birth to a son, she insists she would have called him Alistair McAllister, as it has a nice ring to it. This is surely a rare example of being happy for someone that they never suffered the indignity of being born.
I have a small obsession with names (as can be found under the hashtag #NameOfTheDay). Feel free to send in your favourites.
I should be doing work, begins Blake Gladman, who appears to have confused me with his spouse or boss, but instead Ive been compiling a list of test cricketers whose surnames are cricket terms.as you can see its tenuous at best and Ive given up but maybe there are more? Who knows? Who cares?
Funny that Varun Aaron wasnt deemed worth having prior to this Test. I wonder why.
One-time England captain Fat Gat rhymed. Does that count? asks Robin Hazlehurst. There was even a little poem about him after he got out to Shane Warnes magic ball, which went Fat Gat, Silly [something or other which I cant quite remember].
Heavy but short, apparently.
And theyre off. The hover stuffs coming on too - this doesnt look like a ten minute job, Im afraid - but the dreaded set-in has yet to be uttered.
71st over: England 237-6 (Root 48, Buttler 22) Aaron into the attack and Root wants off, hes narrowing his eyes like Noah - but Mr Erasmus is having none of it. Buttler joins in, but he still isnt. Then Root nudges a single, Pankaj shies, misses, then one from the other side as they take an overthrow because no ones backing up and no ones backing up again - but they settle for two. Crickets the winner, chuckles Bumble, and Root nurdles to long leg for a single.
70th over: England 234-6 (Root 45, Buttler 22) Its getting heavier, so England recline, waiting for the break. Buttler plays a false shot at Jadeja, down on one knee in defence, edging down - and umbrellas are up. One off the over, to Root, and one more over, possibly.
69th over: England 233-6 (Root 44, Buttler 22) Ah, theyre doing rhyming names on the telly - Ron-nie Ira-ni says Nasser, J-P Dumi-ny says Benedict. Its spitting a little, and the groundstaff are preparing themselves.
On a tangent from Brian Brain, emails Ric Latham, when the actor Brian Glover died his obituary in the good old Grauniad started Brian Glover, who died yesterday from a brian tumour...
68th over: England 232-6 (Root 43, Buttler 22) Buttler takes a single, and then Root - whos also an excellent one-day player - caresses a back cut to the third man boundary. Lovely shot.
Srinivasaraghavan Venkataraghavan rhymes, but Im not sure it scans.... emails Martin Bove. Lets ask Nasir.
67th over: England 226-6 (Root 39, Buttler 21) Oh, Panky Pankaj, as theyd know doubt know him in Lancashire. Root edges, but lightly, and the ball doesnt carry, but then it does carry on to the boundary. Thats the fifty partnership, marked with a safe (never a fistbump). Hanky Pankaj would be a nice headline, if ever he were caught en flagrante - as he is by Joe Root, serving up a short, wide one thats cracked to the point fence. If Kumar and Aaron are being saved for the new ball - well the game might be gone by then.
The ultimate in rhyming names, says Richard OHagan, even though he never played international cricket, has to be the Gloucestershire seamer Brian Brain.
66th over: England 217-6 (Root 31, Buttler 21) Odd to say at this point, given weve had very few overs this session, but India needs something - these two look comfy, and arent just going to bat time, Two from the over, via premed sweep from Buttler.
65th over: England 215-6 (Root 31, Buttler 19) Pankaj sends down a wide one, and Buttler frees his arms, stomping onto the front foot to panel a drive through the cover for four. The snap and speed of his wrists is mad - he must annihilate the toothpaste.
Meanwhile, heres mathematics Jeremy Yapp: There was some chat about 666 earlier, which put me in mind of the great 1980s Canberra punk band the Bladder Spasms and their song 333, the number of the bus. Canberra is essentially a series of town centres linked by freeways in the shape of a Y (bear with me, this anecdote is just hotting up). All through my youth, the bus that connected these town centres was the 333. The last one left at 11.10pm, and missing that triple-3 home meant a few hours drunken walk at least, or an unaffordable taxi fare. The Bladder Spasms did a great cover of Iron Maidens 666 the number of the beast, a syllable-perfect rewording about staying too late at a gig and missing the last 333 home.
64th over: England 210-6 (Root 31, Buttler 14) Its Jadeja to continue, the relevant announcement greeted with token jeers - as is the way of these things in cricket, theres animosity once or twice, after which everyone praises their own knowing wit. Root then flicks to leg for a couple, he and Buttler take a single each, then the Varun Aaron, he of the rhyming name - anyone know any others - misfields a mid on, ceding a four to widespread glee.
63rd over: England 202-6 (Root 24, Buttler 13) Its Pankaj to start the session, and Root greets his second delivery with a waft outside off, remonstrating with himself in demonstrative fashion. He then gets down the other end, and Buttler misses with a hoik that raps his pad. Appeals are throaty, but that was sliding well down.
India came out late, so were still waiting ... and play.
Quote from Phil Neville on TMS, chuckles Phil Keegan, talking about football and cricket: The similarities are similar.
Lunchtime email: Statistics clearly never lie, informs Andrew Hewitt, so I thought it might be worth pointing out that if Jos Buttler gets two more runs without losing his wicket he will have a Test average of 100 and be officially better than Don Bradman. Its all looking up for us now, eh?
Mad props if he raises his bat to the crowd.
The first hour is crucial. And so too, the hour after that, and after that, and after that, and so on. But, some hours are more crucial than others; in the context of this Test, the first hour this afternoon, and then the second hour after that. If England are still batting at the end of them, chances are that India will need in excess of three hundred to set a competitive target; thats unlikely to happen. If theyre not, then this is a game.
A good session for India, with three wickets falling and no flood of runs. Varun Aaron has been at the heart of the best of it, catching Jordan excellently and bowling Ali expertly. England lead by 49 with four wickets remaining, and this is still anyones game. Daniel Harris will take you through the afternoon session all emails to email@example.com please.
62nd over: England 201-6 (Root 23, Buttler 13)
One more Jadeja over and one more single and that, then, is lunch. My rainfall map suggests the worst of todays weather is falling just west of England and Wales Ireland and Scotland are both catching some of it but that Manchester might get a bit of rainfall at 3ish.
61st over: England 200-6 (Root 22, Buttler 13)
Ashwin bowls, and Buttler brings up Englands 200 with a drive that flies just wide of a diving mid-off. Time for one more over before lunch.
60th over: England 196-6 (Root 22, Buttler 9)
Another couple of singles. Australia: 239 13s, West Indies 156. The key question, which I dont really have time to answer, is what proportion of all their innings has ended on 13.
59th over: England 194-6 (Root 21, Buttler 8)
Weve definitely entered the part of the session when people think at least as much about their lunch as about the cricket. Even the cricketers. Ashwin bowls, another couple of singles.
58th over: England 193-6 (Root 21, Buttler 7)
The ball is passed to Jadeja, who receives another lusty booing from the Old Trafford crowd before a fairly drama-free, three-singles-off-it over. Initial statistical finding: England have had 345 innings end for 13, and India 164.
57th over: England 190-6 (Root 19, Buttler 6)
Kumars first two deliveries go for singles, the rest dont go anywhere. Whats all this worry about 666? asks David Keech. Havent you realised yet that Englands devils number is 13? Just look how many have been out on 13 over the years! I venture a guess it is far more than any other country. Two more in this innings alone and Root is on 13 as I write. Root survived that, but Im not sure about the international spread of 13s
56th over: England 188-6 (Root 18, Buttler 3)
Another Ashwin over, and some more singles. Three of them. My friend had a t-shirt which read 668 neighbour of the beast, writes Ed Matkin. I asked him why it was not 667 - and he replied that obviously, 667 is on the other side of the road.
55th over: England 185-6 (Root 17, Buttler 3)
Kumar is back, from the other end (not sure if its the Statham End or the Anderson End). Root seizes upon a weaker, wider final delivery and pushes it past point for four.
54rd over: England 180-6 (Root 13, Buttler 2)
Ashwin bowls, two singles. So, James Kirtley has the number of the beast wasnt he banned for adopting the bowling action of the devil? asks Thomas Hopkins. Coincidence? Heres an interview with him from 2006, in which the interviewer shamefully fails to press him on his association with Beelzebub.
53rd over: England 178-6 (Root 12, Buttler 1)
That was a super delivery from Aaron, made even better by the one that came before. He gets so excited that he bowls back-to-back no balls, and then switches to over the wicket to bounce the ball wildly over Buttlers left shoulder and away for four byes (should have been wides, really). Another great over for the extras column. I think 666 looks like a great first half of an over for a batsman but not so good for a bowler, notes Simon Johnson.
More good bowling! Aaron starts the over with a bouncer that Ali doesnt deal with at well, and then immediately follows it with a full-pitched inswinger that clatters into the stumps.
52nd over: England 168-5 (Root 11, Ali 11)
Oooooh! Ashwin continues, and Ali edges just short of slip. The last delivery is flicked to square leg for a single.
51st over: England 167-5 (Root 11, Ali 10)
Aaron slams in a short ball that clips the top of Roots helmet and flies over the slip cordon and away for four leg byes. Had he not been wearing a helmet that would have hurt a lot. The next delivery is a massive no ball. A good over for extras, then, nearly doubling their tally for the innings. A 666 on the shirt shouldnt bother anyone, since its only popular prejudice and uninformed journalism (oh, and Iron Maiden) which still holds this to be the Number of the Beast, writes John Starbuck. Most intelligent people are fully aware that that was a misconception derived from inaccurate maths. The real number of the biblical beast was 616. Who owns that? Thatll be James Kirtley.
50th over: England 162-5 (Root 11, Ali 10)
Kumar finally gets a break, with Ashwin replacing him, and his first over of the day yields no runs. This was being discussed on Sky the other day, writes Jos Roberts of the 666 debate. The ECB have apparently confirmed theyll let the player concerned decide whether they want to be number 666 or 667. Personally, Id go for it but its unlikely to be my choice. Meanwhile, Match of the Days new signing Phil Neville is in the house:
What a view from the press box -the ground looks amazing @LancsCCC pic.twitter.com/vaPhVsN0Vp
49th over: England 162-5 (Root 11, Ali 10)
Aaron bowls a decent yorker, which Root pushes to midwicket for a couple. Surely, writes Ben Eustace, 666 will be awarded retrospectively to Pietersen?
48th over: England 160-5 (Root 9, Ali 10)
Kumars still going, and Root pushes through the covers for a couple to bring the scores level, before Ali pulls through midwicket for four, and past backward square leg for another. So much for him not being able to play a short ball (although these werent the most threatening examples of the genre).
47th over: England 148-5 (Root 6, Ali 1)
Aaron maintains a very similar line throughout, even though its wide of leg stump while Alis facing (there is eventually a leg bye). Gareth Fitzgerald thinks the answer to Rob Cooksons question (over 45) will be Adam Lyth, which isnt a bad shout there may be an opening for an opener soon, with Robson still looking extremely awkward. But will the ECB, like a hotel with no 13th floor, skip 666 because of its devilish associations?
46th over: England 145-5 (Root 4, Ali 1)
Kumars still going, and Ali grabs a single. Davis Hopkins (over 37) might be interested in a visit to Whitley Bays Hillheads Stadium, where he could happily sit in the end named after a big bell. He could even join in a chorus of Howay the Bay with the Bell End choir Of course you can avoid any awkwardness by naming more than just an end after Bell, as in Salfords rugby league ground, the AJ Bell Stadium.
45th over: England 144-5 (Root 4, Ali 0)
Aaron bowls, and Root angles the ball to third man for four. Speaking of Dubious Honours...Who gets to wear the Mark of the devil? asks Rob Cookson. The next player to make it to the England side will get the number 666 shirt (Jos Buttler just missed out with the 665!)
44th over: England 140-5 (Root 0, Ali 0)
Youd have thought, having survived the first of those deliveries, Bell would have known better than to play at the second. India have fought their way back into this game.
Thats lovely bowling! Kumar gets successive deliveries to move away from Bell, the first just missing the edge, the second just clipping it, and England lose their fifth wicket still 12 runs behind.
43rd over: England 140-4 (Bell 58, Root 0)
Varun Aaron bowls, and Bells handsome cover drive flies off the middle of the bat but gets stuck in the outfield and the batsmen run three. Bell leaves the first four deliveries he faces, the fourth of them missing off stump by two inches, and defends the fifth. Tom Morgan writes, of Lancashires ticketing policy: £45 for 1 adult+1 under-16, £90 for 2 adults+2 under-16s how much for 3 adults + 3 under-16s I wonder.
42nd over: England 137-4 (Bell 54, Root 0)
After two successive maidens Bell wants to do some scoring sharpish, so he works the first delivery to square leg for a couple, and then runs a single to leave Jordan, fatefully, on strike. Dear eagle-eyed readers: Bells wagon wheel was wrong. Thanks for alerting me. Refreshed to see a more accurate version.
7 - Bell (2 x 100s, 5 x 50s) has drawn level with Denis Compton (3 x 100s, 4 x 50s) for most Test scores of 50+ at Old Trafford. Prolific.
Super catching! Another short ball, and Jordan pulls it wide of midwicket who catches it diving low to his right!
41st over: England 133-3 (Bell 52, Jordan 13)
Pankaj, having noted Jordans willingness to go after a short ball, shuffles the field and duly bangs one in. Jordan leaves it. Maiden.
40th over: England 133-3 (Bell 52, Jordan 13)
Kumar bowls to Bell, and theres a frustrated strangled half-shout when the ball thunders into his pads via an edge. Maiden. Seeing as the pitch at Old Trafford was rotated through 90 degrees when the ground was refurbished what happened to the previous Ends? wonders David Wall. Were they downgraded to mere Stands and who were the victims of such a snub?
Test Sat ticket news: there are family tickets available in the alcohol free stand £45 for 1 adult+1 under 16, £90 for 2 adults+2 under16's
39th over: England 133-3 (Bell 52, Jordan 13)
Pankaj bowls, and Jordan inside-edges the first delivery past a wrong-footed Dhoni and away for four, and then outside-edges the sixth to third man for another. That video in the preamble may be the most exciting bit of footage ever made. Some cricketers walking, wrties Stuart Morphet. Ring the academy, I hear oscar chat already. Its not just that theyre walking, though, its how theyre walking. Theres a certain understated swagger to it, surely
38th over: England 125-3 (Bell 52, Jordan 5)
Bell gets two with a decent little shot through square leg. Glen Chapple is far more deserving of an end named after him than Jimmy, insists Gareth Fitzgerald. Although, frankly, given exploits for Lancashire, so are Peter Martin and Mike Watkinson. Whats more, there are 16 English bowlers (and two Australians, and a West Indian) who have taken more Test wickets at Old Trafford than Andersons 15. The top four: Bedser, Laker, Panesar, Harmison.
37th over: England 123-3 (Bell 50, Jordan 5)
Pankaj bowls to Jordan, who thrashes a short ball past square leg for four. A very handsome, controlled shot, that. One for the highlights reel. The batsmen then grab a single each, Bell thus reaching his half-century, which has taken him 63 balls. Regarding the question of whether an Anderson End is appropriate, given his relatively small number of county games at Old Trafford, will there be a similar question with regards to the naming of an end stand for Ian Bell at Edgbaston? wonders David Hopkins. I fear poor Bell was destined from birth never to receive that particular honour.
36th over: England 117-3 (Bell 49, Jordan 0)
Testy batting conditions here, overcast and with Kumar getting a bit of away swing from the start. Ian Bell shuffles out of his crease to get to the ball before it starts swinging, and cuts the final delivery backward of point for four.
The floodlights are on and players on their way out to the middle. Here we go with day 2 of this Investec Test Match. Eng 113-3 trail by 39
The batsmen march out, with action imminent. A little thought on the Anderson end: James Anderson has played 25 first-class matches for Lancashire at Old Trafford. Is that enough to merit an end-naming? Brian Statham played over 150 county championship games there.
The Guardians own Andy Wilson has found the blimp van. And hes quite excited about it.
you'll never guess what I saw on the walk to OT this morning - the white van at the bottom of the blimp! pic.twitter.com/L00hdNrU1q
Its very grey in Manchester today, as you can see:
Eighteen days. Its 18 days since the second Test ended with England a shambles, unable to bowl on a bowlers wicket, not much better at batting, with a batsman-captain hopeless at both batting and captaincy. He, everyone agreed, had to go. James Anderson had laboured through 29 second-innings overs, taking only one wicket, and looked in need of an extended rest (which he was probably going to get as a result of a charge for abusing and pushing Ravindra Jadeja). Stuart Broad had taken three wickets in 45 overs in the match.