Monty Panesar at Old Trafford

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It’s been three years since we last went to the Old Trafford Test and didn’t see Monty Panesar take five wickets. Actually, that’s not strictly true. We went to two days of last year’s West Indies Test and on one of the days he only took four wickets.

In 2006 we were at day three when Monty got five of Pakistan’s top six batsmen. We’ve never experienced such affection for a cricketer from a crowd as we did that day. It was sky-high from the outset and with every subsequent wicket, it went up a notch.

Affection didn’t end five notches above the sky when he polished off the West Indies last year on day five, but it can’t have been far off. After four wickets in the first innings, Monty took 6-137 in the second innings and England won.

Yesterday there were six further sightings of the Monty Panesar celebration. When England had lost six wickets in the first hour, we’d mentally prepared our tirade about how England’s bowlers had lacked the same killer instinct during the Kiwis’ first innings.

That update won’t be appearing on King Cricket after Panesar lacerated their second innings, taking 6-37 as New Zealand stumbled to 114 all out. Monty would surely have bagged seven but for Daniel Flynn‘s absence.

The 25th over was his finest. Panesar pinned Marshall on the back foot with his first ball before nearly getting McCullum with each of his next two deliveries: an lbw shout and a turning lifter which had a Curtly Ambrose delivery for a mother and a Shane Warne leg break for a father. McCullum swept wildly at the next ball and was lbw.

McCullum looks frazzled when he faces Panesar right now. In the first innings, he slogged him for a four and a six off consecutive balls, but Panesar got him in that same over. In all, Panesar’s taken McCullum’s wicket six times in ten innings and if he carries on like this, things aren’t going to change.

Monty Panesar has now taken 25 wickets in three Tests at Old Trafford at an average of 16.72. Unfortunately, he won’t be adding to that record for at least another three years. But that’s a different update. One that might appear later in the week.

England v New Zealand, second Test at Old Trafford – day three
New Zealand 381 all out (Ross Taylor 154 not out, Jamie How 64, Kyle Mills 57, James Anderson 4-118)
England 202 (Andrew Strauss 60, Daniel Vettori 5-66, Iain O’Brien 3-49
New Zealand 114 all out (Monty Panesar 6-37)
England 76-1


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  1. Monty loves Old Trafford, and Old Trafford loves Monty – what a shame there’ll be no more wicket-taking consumation of this love until 2011.

  2. A shame!! You bloody northerners are always whinging!!

    HA, we get three tests here in London. You should try it!

  3. It doesn’t rain now at OT at Test Matches but it’s permanently gloomy and dark in sinful London – Lords and the Oval – pah! Sodom and Gomorrah!

  4. No idea what McCullum was playing at with that sweep. That sort of thing might get you 150 on an IPL featherbed, but on a pitch like that with Monty on form, it’s only going to get you out.

  5. Thats exactly why i tipped him for highest wicket taker and man of the match.

    Watch him become a starfish again, the kind Uncle J said he was.

  6. Monty nearly got McCullum? he DID get McCullum but for some reason it wasn’t given? Wasn’t it Hair at that end? Monty doesn’t have much Anglo-Saxon heritage does he?

    In line with the first innings, the few bad calls made against monty were luckily irrelevant, McCullum made 11 in the first before falling and should have got a duck. Reasonable outcome in the end, woulda sucked if he’d got 150+ too.

    Even against Englands batting, Collingwood inparticular) there were some LBW’s which weren’t given to NZ, even more reason to look at changing the way LBW’s out of your crease are umpired. Make the batsman pay! especially if it’s against Monty!

  7. I remember my days as an 18yo student, when a pint of bitter in Sinclair’s cost just £1.14. Unfortunately, some rotters saw fit to blow the place up later that year.

    Three years later, Sinclair’s re-opens, with a pint of bitter forced skywards to a whopping £1.18.

    That place rocks. It’s damn fine beer too.

    Unfortunately, even though The North is clearly superior, Old Trafford isn’t. I went to Headingley for the first time a couple of summers ago, and it really pains me to say that even Yorkshire’s home ground shames LCCC into submission :o(

  8. I saw Headingley has been renamed Headingley Carnegie. Stupid new name.

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