Darkness falls

I want to allay fears that this scene epitomises English cricket, but I can’t. A couple of pints of beer, feet up…it’s what happens, and it’s pretty great too. Terrific shot from Nottingham…apart from the ugly bar running across the middle.

Darkness falls

The User.

Live discussion: England v Pakistan, 4th ODI, Trent Bridge

In an unsettling development, England nearly competed on an even keel in the third ODI against Pakistan at The Rose Bowl. They nearly took them to the wire, too. Today is the fourth of the five-match series and yet again England are faced with a selection headache. Marcus Trescothick’s withdrawal from the Champions Trophy means he could miss today’s match, too, as Andrew Strauss alluded to. And surely one of Sajid Mahmood or Rikki Clarke will be dropped in place of Graham Onions; at least, we hope so.

Weather is set fine, so we should have a full day’s play – although, inevitably, the dew and moisture of Britain’s late summer will affect conditions under the lights. I’ll be on ball-by-ball, so keep an eye on Cricinfo and leave your comments below of the day’s events.

Cricinfo live scorecard and ball-by-ball details.

Stuart Broad proves appetite for big stage

The Twenty20 Final is arguably the most important day in English cricket. Many will be scoffing at that thought…but after witnessing Trent Bridge yesterday on finals day, for the first time, I am utterly sold by the whole idea. It is a brilliant concept, its credentials further enhanced by Allan Stanford whose cash-injection has produced a superb tournament over in the Caribbean.

It was a big moment for Stuart Broad, then, Leicestershire’s 20-year-old giant. He has bowled quite superbly throughout the tournament, and is among the most economical. Again, yesterday, in the semi-final and final, he was very, very impressive: a smooth, uncomplicated run-up, reasonably high arm, and unerringly accurate. He is 6 foot 6 I believe, and although doctors are predicting he still has room to grow, I hope he stops now. If he grows any taller, he will find it very difficult to sustain himself in this modern world where cricket never stops. But sod the negatives, let’s just enjoy watching him bowl. He could well be on the plane to Australia.

I also enjoyed the Sugar Babes yesterday! Great fun – really brilliant to have mid-match entertainment. And Keedie was there too, belting out some choons. I took some photos, one of which is below

The Sugar Babes

But this has to be my favourite: look at the grumpy pair in the middle!

The Sugar Babes don't receive the acclaim they deserve from this pair of miserable gits

My thoughts on the day, and of Twenty20, are at Cricinfo.

Twenty20 finals day at Trent Bridge

Can’t wait for tomorrow. For various reasons I’ve yet to taste Twenty20 cricket; after the first season, I vowed it was utter tosh. But it’s since grown and, certainly from a bystander’s view, it now appears to be acknowledged as an important (the most important?) tournament in English domestic cricket. It just looks bloody fun, a riotous day out and I’ll be snapping pics on my trawl through the crowds.

It’ll be great to actually be there sampling the atmosphere and speaking to the fans. I’m really keen to see what the attraction is to, for example, someone with an indifference to cricket. My colleage went to one at Chelmsford a few weeks ago and spoke to people there, one of whom was adament that he didn’t watch, follow or particularly like cricket. He did, though, enjoy Twenty20.

Best of all, judging by Nottingham’s lack of hotel rooms, it’s going to be a sell-out too.

Stuck a preview up on Cricinfo. The teams involved are Essex, Nottinghamshire, Surrey and Leicestershire.

Hotels in Nottingham for Twenty20 finals

I’ve just rung round 13 hotels in and around Nottingham, all of whom were booked up. I’m off to the Twenty20 finals at Trent Bridge and, although it’s a sod being 10 miles from the ground, it’s pleasing that every hotel in the centre is sold out almost entirely thanks to a domestic cricket competition.

England v Sri Lanka, 3rd Test, Trent Bridge, 4th day

(Posted in advance)

The fourth day of the final Test at Nottingham. Get a’chattin’.

Update: Murali has ruined England with 8 for 70. Super piece of bowling, that

England v Sri Lanka, 3rd Test, Trent Bridge, 3rd day

(Posted in advance)

The third day of the final Test at Nottingham. Get talkin’.

England v Sri Lanka, 3rd Test, Trent Bridge, 2nd day

(Posted in advance)

The first day brought twelve wickets and it was (just) England’s day. But on what is expected to be a warm summer’s day, on a pitch already threatening to flake, Muttiah Muralitharan ought to have a huge say on proceedings – even on this, the second day. Will England be able to keep him out?

Animated Green Monster routs Durham Students.

Some scorecards are just too good to not share.