Its 7.15pm at Wormsley and the first day of the Test ended just 25 minutes ago. The stark figures are that England were bowled out for 92 having been inserted by India on a green and grassy wicket. India in reply had cruised to 40 without loss before they subsided to 64/6 and eventually finished the day on 87/6 just five runs behind England.
That is a lot to take in and perhaps needs just a little bit of explanation. The trouble is I am not sure that I can explain it. Sure it was a green top and the Indians bowled full and straight for the most part. Niranjana in particular with 4/19 off 14.2 overs reaped the benefit of bowling stump to stump. England's batsmen however played their own part in their downfall, with seven of them falling lbw with the majority playing to leg when they should have been playing straight. Only Sarah Taylor put together an innings on any significance with 30 before she was a leg-side clip lbw victim. This was almost like watching an u15 game of cricket with the batsmen failing to apply themselves properly.
In reply the Indian openers Kamini (17) and Mandhana (22) looked to have summed up the wicket perfectly. Shrubsole, Cross and Odedra all came alike as they moved the score onto 40/0 without too many alarms. England with no spinner in their team (Lauren Winfield and Sonia Odedra were debutants at the expense of spinners Dani Hazell and Steph Butler). Jenny Gunn had been champing at the bit to bowl, frequently warming-up in the gully, next to her skipper. It was not until the 18th over that she got her chance and within two overs she had the first of four wickets under her belt (4/13 off 12 overs) as Kamini feathered one through to Sarah Taylor standing up behind the stumps. It was the start of a rout, in fact Raut was the next victim, falling to Kate Cross bowled neck and crop. Gunn then cleaned up Mandhana and the key wicket of Mithali Raj, before Shrubsole joined the party getting Jain lbw. 50/5 became 64/6 when Gunn took her fourth - another lbw victim. Goswami and Niranjana then played out the last 16 overs, both finishing on 13 not out as England desperately tried to force home their slim advantage.
Tomorrow England will look to knock over the last four Indian wickets quickly and restrict the Indian lead to a minimum. Any more than 50 could be an issue. They will then hope to bat better in their second dig. They could hardly bat worse.
Full scorecard here