Cow Corner

Black Caps lay the smack down

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18.55 - England 152-4 (59 overs): THAT'S STUMPS. New Zealand's day and then some. They built a big first innings score behind Ross Taylor and then nipped out three late wickets to put themselves firmly in the driving seat.

More importantly, it is time for COMPETITION RESULTS!

Cowers asked how many runs England would score today. The answer was 152, and the closest guess was from the positively Nostradamus-esque century.is100, who went for 151.

The large flip-flops are yours, Sir or Madam. Send your details to cow.corner@yahoo.co.uk and they will be will be on their way just as soon as Cowers finds a jiffy bag big enough.

Cow Corner is back in the morning as England look to dig themselves out of this hole - see you then.

Second Test scorecard!
Photos from Old Trafford!     

18.42 - England 145-4 (56.2 overs): Aaron Redmond bowls his first over in Test cricket and it is a maiden. New Zealand may be trying to goad Pietersen into a rash shot but he is happy to block. Vettori induces an edge from Sidebottom but it flies through the slip cordon and races to the boundary for four. WICKET! Another Sidebottom edge - and this time he is caught. England pay for their brainless decision to bring out a nightwatchman. Call Cowers naïve, but wouldn't a proper batsman have had a better chance of staying in? And here's Ian Bell.

18.31 - England 141-3 (54.1 overs): WICKET!! Michael Vaughan is trapped lbw by Vettori for a painstaking 30! Darrell Hair has turned down numerous leg before appeals today but finally gives one, with Vaughan caught neither forward nor back and the ball going on to hit middle and leg. Oh, for pity's sake, there's a nightwatchman. Heeeeeeeere's Sidey!

18.20 - England 129-2 (51 overs): Pietersen survives a big lbw appeal after misjudging a sweep to Vettori. England's alleged star man is struggling to assert himself and oh my giddy aunt Avram Grant has been sacked.

17.55 - England 115-2 (44 overs): WICKET!! Strauss goes for 60 thanks to a brilliant catch by New Zealand wicketkeeper Brendan McCullum. O'Brien finds the edge and McCullum takes it one-handed diving full stretch to his left. Kevin Pietersen is the new batsman, and he immediately flicks a four to fine leg. This should liven things up.

17.49 - England 110-1 (43 overs): Jacob Oram has gone for give off his eight overs with his metronomic fast-medium right armers. Michael Vaughan, meanwhile, has faced 96 balls for his 23. Hardly vintage stuff from the England skipper, but at least he's still there. Credit him for not getting frustrated. Boring, boring England it may be but they are chipping away at the lead, which now stands at 270.

17.37 - England 104-1 (40 overs): That's 50 for Andrew Strauss, who has been out there more than two and a half hours. Nonetheless, it has been a gritty innings from a batsman Cowers often feels is a little flaky. England also pass the 100 mark. A useful partnership this, and New Zealand's advantage is slipping away. Good over for the home side, with two Strauss fours off O'Brien contributing to an 11-run over.

17.22 - England 90-1 (36 overs): Strauss relieves a bit of pressure, skipping down the track and belting Vettori through midwicket for four. Super shot. First boundary for 36 minutes and a little under 10 overs. Strauss closes in on his half-century, moving to 45. Vaughan has 21. Old school Test cricket, this. We could have 23 more overs tonight if the light holds. Still bright and sunny.

17.10 - England 81-1 (33 overs): Strauss survives a big appeal off Oram. But the ball struck him outside the line of off stump and he was playing a shot, so Darrell Hair gets that one right. Miserly stuff from the Kiwis, but they would like to get rid of one or both of these chaps before too long.

16.59 - England 76-1 (30 overs): Oooh!! Michael Vaughan leaves an off-cutter from Oram that passes about an eighth of an inch over the top of the off stump. Either that was an excellent leave or he has got away with one. Other than that, it is fairly serene progress from England, for whom Vaughan has accelerated to 20.

16.44 - England 62-1 (26 overs): Chance! Vettori finds the edge of Strauss's bat. The ball deflects off McCullum's pad and Taylor puts it down! It would have been a fine catch but he is more than capable of taking those.

16.40 - England 60-1 (25 overs): Please excuse Cowers, it was momentarily distracted by some drying paint. Vaughan has taken 45 balls to compile his eight. Martin, Mills, Vettori and O'Brien all very economical. None of this six-an-over Anderson nonsense.

16.23 - England 52-1 (21 overs): England's scores over the last seven overs: three, none, two, two, one, two, none. Which is another way of saying New Zealand are keeping it very tight here, with Vettori and O'Brien both looking tidy. And Cowers has nothing even vaguely amusing to add.

An indignant christopherbissell blurts: "Anderson's bully tactics !!! What are you on about patandbarbara? As if he was intending to knock a batsman's tooth out. All Anderson was trying to do was take wickets. As in all sports England get complained about for doing what the rest of the world do."

16.10 - England 47-1 (18 overs): Can we have Ross Taylor back, please? England's run rate slows considerably as the first three overs of the evening session pass without incident.

Meanwhile, patandbarbara is/are less than happy at Jimmy Anderson's bravado after dislodging Daneil Flynn's gnasher: "Do you think Anderson is proud of his bully tactics - must be the way he is boasting about it. Can anyone tell me what England would have done if NZ had knocked out somebody's tooth. I understand that this kind of cricket is quite legal but, okay, shut up about it."

15.40 - England 42-1 (15 overs): TEA. Vettori comes on for a single over that Vaughan blocks out for a maiden. Another session for New Zealand, and England have a real job on their hands here. It is bright and clear - can we really have an uninterrupted day's play? 

15.34 - England 38-1 (13 overs): Boof! Eat my drive! Michael Vaughan strikes a sumptuous four through cover. Cowers is running out of sisters to give away, but the Vaughan off drive can take its pick of the Cowers clan.

15.17 - England 33-1 (9.3 overs): WICKET! Cook falls LBW to O'Brien. The ball jags back a mile and strikes Cook on the knee roll. But was it coming back too far and would it have missed off stump? Simon Taufel raises his finger and Cook is gone for 19. That ball came back at least a foot, and HawkEye thinks it was too high.

15.08 - England 33-0 (9 overs): Possibly the biggest cheer of the day goes up when the giant TV screen at Old Trafford shows a bloke in a gorilla suit holding a massive inflatable banana. Not that anyone seems particularly interested, but England are scooting smartly along at four an over. Doesn't anyone block any more?

15.08 - England 29-0 (7 overs): Strauss rocks back and cuts Mills through point. The ball brushes the fingers of the diving Patel, but he would have had more chance of pinning down that inflatable than of holding that catch. Four more for England. The crowd are getting a bit rowdy, which can only be a good thing.

15.00 - England 22-0 (5 overs): g_hine writes: "'Live scorecard' is a bit of a misnomer. Can you give the monkeys a bit of a pep talk, or wind the laptop up whatever is keeping them from updating the score." Cowers is afraid the monkeys have spent the day bingeing on Magners. Cook nudges his third boundary and England are starting to settle.

14.50 - England 5-0 (3 overs): A shaky start from Cook, who eventually gets off the mark with a quick single. Strauss looks slightly more assured, as does Scooby Doo in the crowd. Martin and Kyle Mills are bowling reasonably, although they might want to make the batsmen play more often. The sun is still out in Manchester and England could have as many as 59 overs to bat this afternoon.

14.37 - England 0-0: Big news for competition fans as England prepare to start their innings. Chris Martin's first ball is delayed as a big red inflatable blows onto the pitch. Jeetan Patel chases it down and grabs it, only to let it slip out of his grasp to enormous cheers. It eventually makes its own, wind-assisted, way off the park.

14.28 - New Zealand 381-9 (90.3 overs): WICKET! England finally get the Coldplay front man on strike and it takes Jimmy Anderson just three balls to Fix Him, uprooting his off stump. There's no Flynn, so that is that. The England players give Taylor deserved props for a brilliant 154 not out. England will be out in a few minutes as they attempt to extricate themselves from their present position under the cosh.

14.16 - New Zealand 381-8 (90 overs): Six more for Taylor! He top edges a hook to Anderson but it easily clears the square leg fence. Now the Black Caps manufacture a run off the last ball of the over and Taylor keeps the strike. AND ANOTHER!! He reaches outside off stump and carts Sidebottom over midwicket for another six to bring up the 150. Astonishing innings.

14.16 - New Zealand 368-8 (88.1 overs): WICKET! Iain O'Brien tries to pull Anderson but the ball gets big on him and he can only chip it up for Bell at short leg. England needed that, and will now look to knock over the walking wicket Chris Martin. Unless the dashing Errol Flynn fancies coming back out.

14.14 - New Zealand 368-7 (88 overs): Four more overthrows! Pietersen and Vaughan conspire to completely cock up a run out attempt. Taylor then mows Sidebottom to deep midwicket, where Broad attempts a catch on the boundary but both he and the ball end up on the wrong side of the rope. Six more! England are a mess. An absolute horror show, but pretty good fun all the same. Now a drop! Bell drops Taylor at cover! Ryan Sidebottom looks like he can't decide whether to kill himself or someone else. If he goes for the latter, there are plenty of contenders.

14.09 - New Zealand 357-7 (87 overs)  Cracking shot by Taylor, smashing Sidebottom to six for his highest ever Test score. He is going for it now with 136 from 159. Iain O'Brien is the new batsman incidentally - brought into the side as a late replacement from the 'going at it from both ends' Tim Southee. Anderson is just getting murdered here. He has gone for 112 from 19 overs - a rate of almost six.

13.58 - 339-7 (84.5 overs) WICKET!! Mills goes for 57 and in somewhat unlucky circumstances, bottom edging a short one from Anderson and the ball cannons into the stumps. My goodness England will be happy to see the back of him. Earlier we had some woeful fielding from Stuart Broad, who shoed at the stumps but missed by a mile and the ball went for four overthrows.

13.52 - New Zealand 331-6 (84 overs): Fifty for Mills, who has done a great job at the bottom of the order. That's his first Test half-century, which is somewhat surprising given how well he has played today. England are tearing their hair out. Remember they have only taken four 'proper' wickets, plus two run outs and a retired hurt.

13.38 - Play is set to  resume in a couple of minutes. A nice day, albeit a windy one at Old Trafford. Cowers had roast chicken for lunch with mayonnaise, salad and crusty bread thanks very much. You?

13.01 - New Zealand 322.6 (81 overs): Cowers will be the first to admit it isn't too hot on 'yoof' speak so it was perplexed when elmhurst99 reacted to the run outs by declaring "ROFLMAO". Some quick research reveals it means "rolling on the floor laughing my arse off". Kids today... what will they think of next?

England have taken the new ball and given it to Jimmy Anderson. The Burnley Bronco hits Taylor on the front pad but Darrell Hair says it is sliding down leg. HawkEye would suggest he is wrong. Taylor then rubs salt in the wound by edging an extravagant drive over slip for four.

And that is luncheon. Unquestionably the Black Caps' session. It could have been even better but for those moronic run outs.

12.51 - New Zealand 314-6 (79 overs): With Mills continuing to boot Monty all over the place, potential golden arm Paul Collingwood is on with three overs until lunch. Monty has reached his 'century', having gone for 101 off his 22 overs. For the record, 32 of Mills's 42 have come from boundaries. And judging by the Kiwis' running this morning, that's probably a good thing.

12.42 - New Zealand 297-6 (76 overs): Mills sweeps Panesar powerfully, and the ball smacks short leg Ian Bell on the neck. A painful blow, partial revenge for the Flynn incident. Michael Holding, MD, says it would probably be better if the ball had not hit Bell flush on the spinal column. Thankfully, he is soon back on his feet and continues to field close to the bat. Nutter. Fifty partnership.

The competition is officially... closed. Please do not enter now, your vote will not be counted but you may still be charged...

12.38 - New Zealand 293-6 (75.3 overs): Yikes! Taylor is nearly run out as he races through for two. Sidebottom's throw  from the outfield just gives Ambrose too much to do. Taylor to 99, but that was mighty close. He eventually nudges one off his pads to bring up a superb hundred from 130 balls. Well played Ross Taylor. Superb knock.

12.27 - New Zealand 286-6 (73 overs): Mills continues to slog away, edging a Sidebottom bouncer over Ambrose for four. Taylor, meanwhile, looks overcome by circumspection. Monty turns one a mile off Flynn's tooth, beating Mills's bat by about a foot and a half. The tail-ender responds with a lofted drive over mid-off. Super shot. And features rearranger Jimmy Anderson is brought on for his first bowl of the day.

12.19 - New Zealand 275-6 (72 overs): Kyle Mills is taking the initiative. He has 15 from 20 balls, including a big six off the groaning Monty. Imagine the racket he makes in bed... Taylor has 96, just one strike away from a superb ton.

12:04 - New Zealand 258-6 (68 overs): Kyle Mills is the new batsman after those two potentially match-defining run-outs. Vettori in particular will be embarrassed at the addition of "run out by Monty Panesar" to his CV. Taylor has moved on to 95 but is running out of partners, especially as it would seem Daniel Flynn won't be coming back.

11.52 - New Zealand 250-6 (65 overs): WICKET!!! Another run-out! Amazing! Daniel Vettori goes in extraordinary circumstances. Monty throws to Ambrose who whips the bails off. Umpire Taufel reluctantly refers it to the third ump and the replay shows that, although Vettori is over a yard in his ground, he doesn't bother to ground either his bat or his foot and it's a quite bizarre dismissal. Vettori is out for one.

11.49 - New Zealand 249-5 (64.4 overs): WICKET!! Oram ambles a single and is completely unprepared for Alistair Cook to gun down the stumps with a direct hit. Superb throw + terrible running = see you later. A good couple of days for people called Cook, of course, what with David's win in American Idol. Oram goes for 38 and Daniel Vettori is the new batsman.

11.44 - New Zealand 249-4 (64 overs): "GAH!!" yelps Monty as Ross Taylor clubs him over midwicket for four. Astonishingly, there are still no takers for no England runs today despite Taylor moving smoothly towards his hundred. It would seem the message boarders are more interested in chatting about booze. Which is fair enough, of course.

CHANCE!! Oram skies an attempted slog and he must be out... but Anderson misjudges it completely and doesn't even get a hand on it! Yes, there's a strong wind, but that was a gimme.

11.33 - New Zealand 229-4 (61 overs): Good morning cafeclemence. Cowers would suggest there may be a good reason why your fantasy team is in the doldrums if you have Chris Broad as your main bowler.

Competition entries to date:  elmhurst99 147, spudaz86 175, cafeclemence 87, century.is100 151. How many runs will England score today? Get your guesses in below.

Meanwhile two blokes dressed as Ricky Hatton and Juan 'The Hispanic causing panic' Lazcano attempt to drink pints while wearing boxing gloves.

Monty's on.

11.19 - New Zealand 216-4 (58 overs): The word on Daniel Flynn is that he is still 'groggy' having lost a front tooth yesterday. Twelve pints of Boddington's last night can't have helped either. Expect Monty to try and turn the ball off some shards of enamel when he gets a bowl later. There are various clowns, gladiators and dalmatians which should give rise to plenty of congas and cup snakes as the day goes on.

Back on the field, Taylor punches a fine back-foot drive off Broad and a more orthodox cover drive off Sidebottom. Both go for four, and he moves on to 76.

11.10 - New Zealand 206-4 (56 overs): A decent opening over from Broad, who comes round the wicket to the left-handed Oram. Ryan Sidebottom comes on, bowling into the wind from the Stretford End. He raps Taylor on the pads first ball but has an optimistic appeal dismissed as the batsmen scamper a leg bye.

Peter Reid is in the house, and he is wearing pointy shoes. Repeat, pointy.

11.00 - New Zealand 202-4 (54 overs): The teams come out on a blustery day at Old Trafford - the wind is 24 mph apparently. The heavy bails are on and even they are getting blown off, so to speak. It's fancy dress day so expect much hilarity from Bumble. The first over will be bowled by Stuart Broad, who performed well without reward yesterday.

10.50: The TV pitch report reveals nothing we didn't already know. It's a good pitch with a bit of life in it. Botham predicts more hostile bowling from Anderson (possibly because Jimmy said so last night) and uses the phrase "bend your back" at least five times in 30 seconds. And there's another from Atherton! 

Cowers would love some of the full English that Mrs elmhurst99 is preparing, thank you. Two sausages, scrambled eggs and black pudding if you've got it. Maybe throw in a fried tomato - important to get your five a day.

10.30: COMPETITION TIME! If you have ever fancied yourself in a pair of large Yahoo! flip-flops and, let's face it, who hasn't, this could be your lucky day!

Today's question is: How many runs will England score today? Answers at the bottom of the article as usual please. Normal rules apply. One guess each, only one person can have each number (so get your 'nought' in quickly). Cow Corner will decide, on a whim, when to stop accepting entries. 

10.15: Good morning everybody! Welcome to the second day of the second Test from Old Trafford. It all got a bit tasty yesterday with Daniel Flynn losing a front tooth to a Jimmy Anderson bouncer.

Still, New Zealand reached 202 for four off just 54 overs and will have Ross Taylor and Jacob Oram at the crease whyen play gets under way at 11am.

The good news from Old Trafford is at least it isn't flipping raining. The sun is is expected to vie for supremacy with clouds today, but with any luck there ought to be a full day's play.

Both sides need to get a move on if they want a result, as meteorologists close to Cow Corner expect some classic Bank Holiday weather on Sunday and Monday.

There's more on yesterday's action here:
Report: NZ 202-4
Day one: How Cow Corner called it

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