Monday, February 09, 2009



And the number is 51:

The code for international direct dial phone calls to Peru

The model number of the P-51 Mustang WWII fighter aircraft

Area 51, a parcel of U.S. military-controlled land in southern Nevada, apparently containing a secret aircraft testing facility

Puerto Rico often mentioned as the future "51st State"

A brand of pastis manufactured by Pernod Ricard

The number of the French department Marne


There are times, when watching as a television spectator, when you can't help applauding what is taking place on the screen in front of you. And so it was on Saturday evening as we watched Jerome Taylor's match-winning performance in the First Test at Sabina Park, Jamaica.

The record books will show that the 24-year-old's match winning figures of eight for 85 that lifted West Indies to a sensational innings victory over an abject England but the performance was beyond bare stats - the accuracy and consistency of line and length bowling was simply exceptional. In one short burst he produced five identical balls in a row and he transformed a test series that had been seen by England as a warm-up for the 'more serious' Ashes of this summer into something more exciting.

The fact that England believed that getting West Indies out in the first innings for less than 450 should be seen as a good performance put the whole sorry states of affairs into some perspective.

There were a couple of lighter moments watching the match. Firstly the wonderful optimism of the announcer who, at 6:50 GMT on Saturday, announced to the crowd that tickets were still on sale for Sunday's play. Secondly at just after a quarter to seven Nathalie asked Janis what time she would be cooking tea, to which Janis replied, "in about ten minutes, once England are out." It would have been funny were it not so sad.

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