West Indies v England, 3rd Test, Antigua, 2nd day February 16, 2009

Pietersen and his histrionics

'How on earth did I survive that?' © Getty Images

Morning Colly
Armed with a new ball the West Indies quicks gave the batsmen something to think about for the first half an hour. Paul Collingwood was greeted by one which climbed and took the shoulder of the bat then saw one whistle past his nose. If there was any chance Collingwood was still dozing, he was soon right on his toes.

Exaggerated KP, surely not?
Trust Kevin Pietersen to make the most of a situation. Everyone knows the pitch is likely to play a few tricks but Pietersen made sure that it was palpably obvious when the ball did something different. If they climbed past his chest he would sway out of the line, then walk down to inspect the surface. When a couple kept low he went down on his haunches as though the ball had scuttled through by his bootlaces. Was it mind games from KP?

Fast-bowler Benn
Sulieman Benn is made to be a fast bowler. He's 6ft 7in and gets plenty of bounce even bowling loopy left-arm spin. For a moment when he was bowling to Collingwood it looked liked he thought he was a fast bowler. Collingwood dug the ball out back towards Benn, who picked it up and shaped to hurl it back at the batsman. He then stood there and eye-balled Collingwood before returning to his mark, all of four strides away.

Daddy's girl
England's top-order batsman all got in (only Jimmy Anderson's use as nightwatchman prevented the top five all getting fifties to better) but then came Andrew Flintoff's turn. Out he strode with a platform of 405 for 5, significantly better than the 16 for 4 in Kingston last week. Two balls later he was heading back after receiving a shooter from Jerome Taylor but he managed a small grin as he walked off. His turn would come with the ball. And on the balcony containing the players' wives, girlfriends and children, Holly Flintoff looked over the rails as her Dad trooped back and tried to calm down.

No referrals, but still a referral
There aren't any referrals in this match because of the hurried relocation of the game, but the action still managed to get held up for nearly five minutes when a decision went to the third umpire. It was the kind that has been allowed for years. Collingwood edged the ball into the ground and it ballooned back to Brendan Nash, who thought it came straight off the foot. It was fairly close, but a puff of dust gave away that ground was hit first, however the third umpire rolled the frames backwards and forwards endlessly before the green light flashed.

Over the rope
Fidel Edwards tried his guts out today for scant reward. He gave Collingwood a real working over, but spent most of the day cursing his luck. Towards the back end of England's huge innings he looked like he may get a moment to enjoy as he clung onto a superb boundary catch off Collingwood's slog sweep. However, he couldn't halt his momentum as he headed over the boundary, although he still had the presence of mind to flick the ball away and prevent a six. It was small consolation.

A fine line
The half-way line from the football markings, that slices the pitch back-of-a-length from the Factory Road End, has been a focal point for all the quicks. Daren Powell managed to find the spot and it is also the perfect area for Andrew Flintoff's splice-jarring length. In consecutive balls he got one to rear past Chris Gayle's face before the next shot along the turf. Flintoff stood and grinned at Gayle but the contest was ended when Steve Harmison fortuitously had Gayle taken at mid-off. There's a fine line between success and failure, in every sense.

Andrew McGlashan is a staff writer at Cricinfo