England sleepwalked their way to a big first innings lead despite their batsmen intermittently running themselves out for no apparent reason.
As exciting days of cricket go, this was not one of the best; there were no blistering half-centuries from Luke Wright, nor was there the glistening spectacle of Shane Warne commentating on himself getting taken apart. Or, actually, there were, just not in the game we were watching. Alastair Cook and Jonathan Trott are excellent cricketers, but watching them slowly accumulate at four in the morning does often lead to serious life questions and, subsequently, to the solace of the gin cupboard.
Ultimately, their attempts to put everyone into a block-induced stupor were foiled by a combination of Kevin Pietersen, Samit Patel and a late surge from Matt Prior and Graeme Swann. Some traditional comedy fielding also helped England’s cause as India’s interest levels, already set to “minimal” by the first ball of the day, subsided to “completely non-existent” about half way through the second over. Duncan Fletcher doesn’t really do amused at the best of times, he will be extremely unamused tonight.
Any runs England can add are effectively a bonus now, as everyone just waits for the next phase of the game. In the latter half of the day the pitch began to do a little bit of crazy shit, with the ball starting to turn and the odd one deciding not to bother bouncing at all. If Monty Panesar continues to trick everyone into believing he’s really amazing and Samit Patel’s epic bowling finally comes of age, the tourists could wrap this up before tea.