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May 16, 2009
Confrontation of the day
There's something about seeing James Anderson at the crease that fires up Fidel Edwards. It all started in the Caribbean when Edwards gave Anderson a working over in Antigua when he was nightwatchman. The scenario was repeated here and a day's break for rain did nothing to dim Edwards' desire to pummel Anderson. The bowler was close to bursting when Denesh Ramdin missed a chance down the leg side, but only had himself to blame when a no-ball was edged to third slip. Edwards had plenty to say, while Anderson just stared back, but eventually he got his man when the ball cannoned off pad into the stumps. Edwards' wrestling-style celebration was extravagant, while Anderson bit his lip as he walked off.
Wicket of the day
Kevin Pietersen came into his innings on the back of a first-ball duck at Lord's and for a while looked set to put that behind him in grand style as he made a blistering start. However, he was cut short on 49 when he skewed a wild drive to backward point against Sulieman Benn. That his demise came against a left-arm spinner shouldn't come as a surprise - KP has real issues with them. Remember his battles against Yuvraj Singh in the winter and last year against Daniel Vettori? This was the third time in Tests that Benn had snared Pietersen and even before taking his wicket, Benn had caused problems with sharp turn. It's hard to know why Pietersen struggles so much, but maybe he needs to show a little more respect. Australia don't have a frontline left-arm twirler, but Michael Clarke could yet get plenty of overs.
Give-aways of the day
It's nice to get something for nothing. When Matt Prior firmly drove a delivery back at Lionel Baker, he was more concerned about getting out of the way of Baker's firm throw at the stumps. Baker had seen Prior out of his ground for a moment and his shy was on target as he clipped the top of leg stump. But that contact was enough to carry the ball over Ramdin's head and away to the boundary for four runs. All Baker could do was smile, while Prior happily took the unexpected bonus.
Cheer of the day
The third day provided easily the best crowd of the match (not that there has been much competition) and they certainly enjoyed England's dominance. The biggest cheer came when Graham Onions entered the attack on his home ground, but it was a close run thing: the nPower girls received similar acclaim as they made their way around the boundary shortly before the tea interval. A number of fans rose to their feet to give them a standing ovation which they tried to look embarrassed about, but probably secretly loved. That one of those cheering was dressed as a big yellow chick only added to the moment.
Record of the day
When the Riverside ground first came into existence batsmen dreaded their trips north, while the fast bowlers looked forward to lowering their averages. Times have changed now that the surface has settled down and it's usually a fairly even contest between bat and ball. This pitch has looked full of runs - although that's had plenty to do with West Indies' bowling - and the England batsmen have cashed in to the tune of the highest total ever made at the venue. That, though, is where they'll want the batting records to stop as they aim to force a victory over the final two days.
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