WORLD TWENTY20 Super Eights, Durban:
India 218-4 bt England 200-6 by 18 runs
LATEST ACTION AS IT HAPPENS (ALL TIMES BST)
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20th over - INDIA WIN BY 18 RUNS
Flintoff hits the last ball for four to take England to 200 but it's an 18-run defeat for England and India's World Twenty20 hopes are well and truly alive - they must beat South Africa on Thursday and hope their run-rate gets them through. Breathless stuff in Durban and a modicum of pride salvaged by England after conceding far too many. Eng 200-6
Thanks to all of you for keeping me company on a frantic day, again apologies I could only post a handful of your emails. I'm off for a couple of looseners, but you can keep up with the live sport with Charlie Henderson talking you through the live footy... I'll see you all tomorrow morning for Australia v Sri Lanka - until then, adios amigos!
20th over - WICKET Wright c Harbhajan b Pathan 16, Eng 196-6 Luke Wright does his best to dampen India's winning margin with a lovely four over the covers before spanking one over cow corner for a maximum. But he falls going for another six next ball - Harbhajan taking a superb catch on the rope, staying inside the boundary by a matter of millimetres.
19th over - Eng 183-5 Flintoff may be on the losing side, but he's giving it plenty of verbals to Yuvraj and Harbhajan - although I'm not sure what he can be saying. Maybe "Pah! Only beating us by a few? You must be rubbish!". Anyway, Harbhajan's over is another excellent one and England can only deal in ones and twos... 12 come off it - 36 needed off the last over. How ironic would it be...
"Re: Clutching at straws - No way... we invented that too. Prepare for Tristan de Cunha to beat us by 109 clutches in the next clutching at straws world cup the day after our team captain has a drunken encounter with a lawn mower at 3am just outside the team hotel."
John Ash, London in the TMS inbox
18th over - WICKET! Collingwood b Singh 28, Eng 170-5 Oh it's gone Pete Tong for England - Collingwood walking across his stumps trying to flick it for six over the short boundary and Singh sends the stumps spiralling across the outfield with a full and straight delivery. Stunning over from the paceman - two wickets and just four runs from it - and England are all but dead and buried. 171-5
18th over - WICKET! Shah c Joginder Sharma b Singh 21, Eng 170-4 Shah goes! The Middlesex man attempts another ambitious hook shot but can only splice it high to Joginder at wide mid-on.
17th over - Eng 167-3 New tactic from me - talk down every England batsman from now on. Owais 'no six-hitting ability' Shah brutalises Joginder Sharma over square leg for a maximum and then spanks one down the ground for four. That after Collingwood boshed one over the covers for three and it's 17 from THAT over... 52 from 18 balls needed...
16th over - Eng 151-3 Collingwood won't be giving up, that's for sure, and the England skipper sends the ball - his mobile number written all over it - straight at the provocative female dancers on the midwicket boundary with a glorious slog sweep off Santh. He clips another four behind square on the leg side, before Shah punches one all along the ground through midwicket for another. Sixteen from that over...
"Never mind the cricket, rugby or football. England would win the "clutching at straws" world championship hands down!"
Ken le Grice in the TMS inbox
15th over - WICKET! Pietersen c and b Harbhajan 39, Eng 126-3 Harbhajan takes a stunning return catch to remove Pietersen and England's best and only hope has surely now gone. Owais Shah - not Freddie, Wright or Mascarenhas who have displayed real six-hitting ability, no - comes to the crease. That said, he spanks a four fourth ball and it's nine from the over - just 17 an over needed. Everybody after me - Easy! Easy! Easy! Ahem... 135-3
14th over - Eng 126-2 This is a killer couple of overs for England, RP Singh tying Colly and KP up brilliantly and conceding just six singles. The England pair are throwing everything at every shot, but slogging aint gonna do it boys... proper cricket shots is what's needed. Proper cricket shots that are hit ridiculously hard and long. Every ball.
"Re: Ben from Swindon. If we invented that sport we would probably be rubbish at it by being brilliant. Would that mean that we would become good at the other sports or am I just confusing myself?"
Gary, Newcastle in the TMS inbox
"Re Ben: I heard the Swedes just beat us at it."
Barney in the TMS inbox
13th over - Eng 120-2 Tremendous over from Pathan - the left-armer went for 14 last over but comes back with brilliant accuracy and just three come off it. India still on course...
"Just for the record this target is extremely feasible... many years ago my school under 14 team hit over 300 in a 20 over game. Admittedly one player got about 220 of those runs while we all watched feeling relieved he went to our school. Do you think that's how England feel about KP? Hang on he went to South African school... errr I'm getting confused."
Dave, Exeter in the TMS inbox
12th over - 117-2 With 13 an over still needed from here, I'd wager we're in for an explosive few overs one way or t'other. Collingwood ensures the boundaries they keep on a coming with a delightful hook behind square, and Pietersen bludgeons Joginder Sharma over square leg for an almighty six before biffing him straight down the ground for another boundary. That's 18 off the over.
"If there was a Sport invented called "invent a Sport and then be the quickest to be the worst at that sport" - England would win hands down.... Does this mean I've invented this sport???"
Ben, Swindon in the TMS inbox
11th over - WICKET! Solanki c Rohit Sharma b Pathan 43, Eng 96-2 Oops! That has to be my first commentator's curse of the summer I think? No? Alright, maybe 249th... Solanki can't make the most of his lives as he swishes one high into the sky and Rohit Sharma pouches circling round from mid-off. A few to end the over. 99-2
10th over - Eng 94-1 I can see the back-page headlines now you know - 'England in play-well-in-dead-rubber shocker!'. KP takes a liking to Santh's seamers and thrashes one through the covers for four. He pinches another couple straight before cross-batting for one and the aggression levels are being stepped up. All England need is for one of the Indian fielders to insult his mother or something and they'd be home and hosed. The over comes to an end with Solanki given another life when he is dropped at square leg by Joginder Sharma - blimey O'Reilly England are giving this a go.
"Can PB stop trying to raise the level of conversation by using words like neophyte. I just wasted 2 minutes looking it up."
Simon in the TMS inbox
9th over - Eng 83-1 Harbhajan continues and England are happy to tick along against him, Solanki tonking him over midwicket for four before the pair pick up five singles.
8th over - Eng 74-1 England are clearly targeting Joginder Sharma - but it nearly ends in misery when Solanki cuts him straight to Yuvraj at gully - only for the big man to drop a simple chance. Yeah - you might have carted England all round the park, but you can't catch a cold sunshine so we're, like, even! Ahem, anyway, it's five singles off the first five before KP kerplunks one through midwicket for four. This is in danger of turning into a game you know...
"..and imagine if we'd invented Football, Rugby, Tennis, err.... oh God, this is a shambles. "C'est n'importe quoi" as they say 'round here."
Shep, Strasbourg in the TMS inbox
"Re; Dave from Manchester - But imagine how much worse it would have been if we actually turned up with a team of Twenty20 Specialists and still went home at this stage..."
Padraig in the TMS inbox
7th over - Eng 65-1 Harbhajan Singh comes on for an early bowl and Kevin Pietersen shows admirable restraint as he and Solanki push it around for nine simple runs.
6th over - WICKET! Maddy c Gambhir b Pathan 29, Eng 53-0 Maddy throws his arms at another loose one from Irfan Pathan and it goes all the way over midwicket for another six - but he's gone two balls later! The opener doesn't quite get enough on a thrashed pull attempt and it goes down Gautam Gambhir's throat at long-on. Solanki ends the over with another cut square for four. 57-1
"I've never understood the notion of playing for pride. Doesn't that just mean that you've already had your backside handed to you? It's a bit like wearing a tuxedo to do your court-mandated community service project."
PB, a cricket neophyte slaving away at a law firm, in the TMS inbox
5th over - Eng 45-0 Joginder Sharma is given his first bowl of the tournament and Maddy cuts him behind point for four second ball. Solanki looks a goner off the penultimate ball but RP Singh falls on the third man boundary rope and it goes for four, and the Worcestershire batsman then cracks one over long-on for six! England are well ahead of where India were at this point, for your information...
"The tactics are obvious - lose no wickets and score runs for the first 13 overs - then unleash 222 off 37 balls with all wickets remaining - YESSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS."
Nick in the TMS inbox
"Lets look on the bright side - at least we didn't invent this game. Imagine the embarrassment if we did!"
Dave from Manchester in the TMS inbox
4th over - Eng 30-0 To be fair, if England can keep wickets in hand and tick along at eight or nine an over... they... no, sorry, I just can't finish that sentence. A back-foot cut brings Maddy a boundary before Solanki carves one over midwicket for another to make it 11 off the over. A shot of the Indians in the outfield reveals Harbhajan Singh smiling away - I'm not sure why he's so relaxed England love a bit of spin bowling don't they?! No?? 189 needed off 96 balls... piece of cake...
3rd over - Eng 19-0 Darren Maddy gets his first four of the innings, cutting through point with a nice piece of timing, and England are rocketing along! Erm, not. Four singles come off the rest of the over and perhaps someone has hoodwinked the England boys into thinking they do in fact have 40 overs.
"Re comment made by Ben 'England playing for Pride'. Sums it up that England would be playing for beer......they may struggle to find Pride being sold in the clubs in SA. More likely to find Castle or Windhoek ."
Marcus, Bermuda in the TMS inbox
2nd over - Eng 11-0 Solanki hits England's first boundary of the innings - a delightful cut off the back foot off RP Singh - but it's still just eight off the over. The asking rate is around 12. Harrumph.
"If you check you will find that Shotley Bridge is neither in Newcastle or Sunderland. It is in Durham."
Paul Day in the TMS inbox
1st over - Eng 3-0 My mid-innings tip that England should open with KP and Flintoff has gone unheeded - darn Peter Moores et al - and it is left to Darren Maddy and Vikram Solanki to get Colly's boys off to a flier. And guess what? They scratch around for six balls and pick up three singles off Sree Santh's opening over. Gawd help us all, this is embarrassing...
"Glen is wondering if England might be allowed 40 overs to get 217 - just to make it competitive."
Glen Fryth in the TMS inbox
This might look weird people - Glen is not referring to himself in the third person ala Michael Vaughan - no, in fact I read it off his Facebook status and thought it rather apt...
20th over - WICKET! Yuvraj c Collingwood b Flintoff 58, Ind 216-4 As my colleague has just remarked - if this were a boxing contest, it would be stopped. Even Freddie gets the treatment from Yuvraj as he kerpows him over point for another six. He eventually falls off the penultimate ball, sending one down Collingwood's throat at long-on, but that is an absolutely huge total and England have two hopes of chasing this down - Bob and no. Ind 218-4
"I hope Flintoff apologises to Broad for winding up Yuvraj ..... that's normally Pietersen's job!"
EamonHolmes on 606
"Does every sportsman who signs for a Nottingham team almost immediately lose the will to live?"
Stevo, a Forest fan, via text
19th over - Ind 207-3 SMASH! BANG! BOSH! SPANK! BIFF! Erm, DOINK! Oh dear, Freddie appears to have made Yuvraj a rather angry young man and it's Broad that is paying the price as the left-hander brutalises six sixes!! The left-hander spanks one for what has to be the biggest six of the competition and repeats the stroke over cow corner next ball. He makes it three in a row with one over long-on and then smashes a fourth over backward point. Broad hasn't a clue what to do and the next two both sail out of the ground, one over midwicket, the next mid-on. Un. Bell. Eevable work from Yuvraj, who brings up his 50 off just 12 balls - the fastest ever half century in international cricket.
"How many times do people need to be told?! Colly is not a Geordie, he's a Mackem as he's a Sunderland lad. I'm from Middlesbrough and therefore I'm a Smoggy. It's that simple, Simon."
Max in the TMS inbox
18th over - Ind 171-3 Freddie Flintoff comes on - looks like he will bowl his quota today thank gawd - but India have already got enough if you ask me. The Lancastrian all-rounder really doesn't look comfortable and his unerring accuracy falters a little as Yuvraj crashes him on the pull for consecutive fours. Twelve off the over. Yuvraj then appears to square up to Flintoff at the end of the over for some reason - like a duck quacking at a passing cruise ship I reckon.
17th over - WICKET! Uthappa b Tremlett 6, Ind 155-3 Tremlett will bowl out and Uthappa shows no mercy in crashing him over wide midwicket for four first ball. But the big man responds again! Don't make Tremlett angry - he'll take your wicket (after conceding 369 runs) eventually! Uthappa attempts to clip him over fine leg, misses, and down go his stumps. Yuvraj races to the wicket - and spanks Tremlett for four over the covers second ball. 159-3
"Can't imagine Colly in a strip club? He's a Geordie for goodness sake, that's the only place I'd expect to find him!"
Simon, Stringfellows in the TMS inbox
16th over - WICKET! Gambhir c Flintoff b Maddy 58, Ind 144-2 Darren 'Mad Dog' Maddy is next in on the action. Gambhir spanks him down to fine leg for four but falls attempting the same shot when he directs it straight at Flintoff. Super knock from the opener but can England drag this back? Four off the rest of the over with Uthappa and Dhoni looking at a few before swinging away I reckon. 148-2
15th over - WICKET Sehwag b Tremlett 66, Ind 136-1 Because India have been struggling for runs, and because Collingwood is worried the crowd are not quite getting enough chances at boundary catches, Tremlett is brought back into the attack. And the poor fella looks like he's been given detention for forgetting his homework diary on his first day at big school when Gambhir banjaxes him through the covers for yet another boundary to bring up his fifty. But wait! The Hampshire man strikes!! Sehwag playing all round the line and back go the stumps - Lordy, that came from nowhere. A couple of singles end the over. 138-1
"Don't forget that Kent won the Twenty 20 cup this year and how many Kent players were selected for the England party?"
Tim, Bradfield in the TMS inbox
14th over - 129-0 Darren Maddy comes on for a giggle - at this rate Luke Wright might even get to turn his arm over - but after Gambhir inside-edges yet another streaky boundary, he lashes one over midwicket for yet more runs. A half decent over but it goes for 11 runs.
"I think Mark of Featherstone is in dire need of a new crystal ball┐"
Iain S in the TMS inbox
13th over - Ind 118-0 Anderson will bowl out his quota in the hope he can get a wicket/stem the flow of runs/get out of the firing line as soon as possible - and he does well to keep it to just eight off his six deliveries. He finishes with figures of 0-25 off four overs - pretty decent in the context of the innings - but India have a platform to absolutely tear England apart in the last few overs. This could get messy.
"I can imagine Jonathan Ross as pirate. What I can't imagine is Colly at a strip club. I just can't."
K8 in the TMS inbox
12th over - Ind 110-0 Nice gesture as it was and all - but can anyone tell me why Tremlett is playing people? Gambhir licks his lips and smashes one down the ground for four before Sehwag gives himself room and kerpows one through the off side for another. A couple of wides follow and it's 12 off the over.
""Web geek" and "cyber dullard" are fine comments from people who follow cricket on the internet all day."
Paul, the cricketing backwater that is France, in the TMS inbox
11th over - 98-0 Collingwood's changing his bowlers more often than his nightclub choices at the moment and Stuart Broad is back on - the new Notts man throws down a fine over before a splendid yorker is inside-edged away for four. A wry smile creeps across his face... yeah, you laugh it up while we weep into our dinners sunshine.
10th over - Ind 90-0 Collingwood brings himself on and it should have brought immediate reward - Sehwag top-edging one high into the night sky but Mascarenhas does not get round in time to catch it at third man. Vikram Solanki didn't even run for it bemusingly. And Sehwag makes him pay with a couple of crunchers through square to bring up his fifty in 38 balls.
9th over - 77-0 England are getting the treatment here. James Anderson returns to the attack and keeps things brilliantly tight for five balls before Gambhir guides the last deliberately down to third man for four and seven more are added to the total.
"Had to laugh at the commentators on TMS..."England playing for pride". Pride got left behind on the tarmac at Heathrow."
Ben M in the TMS inbox
"Go on - prove sexism isn't rife on this site by posting this you inept, unfunny cyber dullard."
Steve Fox in the TMS inbox
8th over - 70-0 Chris Tremlett comes on for his first bowl of the tournament - and what an introduction! - Sehwag throws some almighty humpty at it, finds the top edge and it flies away for six. The opener then pulls away for another four through midwicket before a front foot no-ball gifts him a free hit - which he can't get away. Pure havoc in that over, during which time I receive a text from my dad which simply reads "We are rubbish". Says it all.
7th over - Ind 56-0 Paul Collingwood turns to Dimitri "Sort of looks like a pirate with those soppy earrings in" Mascarenhas - but Sehwag takes an immediate liking to his dobblers, crashing him on the pull for a one-bounce four straight up before flaying a brutaliser over extra cover for six and this is turning into a brilliant start for the Indians.
"A kiss and a wink from all us lovely ladies and we can say anything horrible and get away with it can't we, you old party pooping Johnny no mates web geek. XXX ;-)"
Gina, London in the TMS inbox
6th over - Ind 41-0 Flintoff continues, off a shorter run and off the pace a little bit, but he's still accurate enough to tie up the Indian batsman - aided by a marvellous stop on the boundary rope by Stuart Broad.
"Can you imagine Jonathan Ross as a pirate, "Awwwwwwwwwwwwwww""
Krishna, Wolverhampton in the TMS inbox
5th over - Ind 35-0 DAAARRRR!! Gautam Gambhir finally opens his shoulders with a beauty - crashing Broad over midwicket for a brutal six. Virender Sehwag ends the over with a wristy flick for three and that's 12 off the over.
"Colly must have started Pirate day a bit early when eyeing up that Booty."
Mark, Oxford in the TMS inbox
"To celebrate International Talk like a Pirate day I went out and got my ears pierced - I paid a buck-an-ear..."
Chris in the TMS inbox
4th over - Ind 23-0 As with against New Zealand, Jimmy Anderson just fancied a change of ends but still there's no swing... Virender Sehwag goes after a couple but his timing is worse than an ex-girlfriend at a wedding and three swipes yield just six all-run runs.
"Boooo┐ are you on TMS Sam? Thought we would get someone decent for the England game┐ ;-) xxx"
Ruth P in the TMS inbox
3rd over - 17-0 Andrew Flintoff comes on for an early bowl and there's little outward sign of any discomfort in his ankle. He cuts a relaxed figure the big man, and it's a fine over - even half fit the man is a god with the ball - with just three singles coming off it.
"I have actually been talking like a pirate today to my colleagues, who, it must be said have even less idea of what I've been talking about than normal. Last year was no better either...upon walking in the office and singing "yo ho ho and a bottle of rum", I was threatened with dismissal as my boss thought I was drunk at work..."
Dominic Woodford in the TMS inbox
2nd over - Ind 13-0 England's great find of the summer Stuart Broad will share the new ball and he's Johnny-on-the-spot for the most part, conceding three singles and a wide. No boundaries off the bat yet.
"Why are England rubbish at cricket? Because they Arrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr!!"
Mr Lingo in the TMS inbox
"Avast Master Lyon! I be sendin' mails all day 'bout Talk like a Pirate Day an' you not be printin' one of them! Curse ye ye black hearted scoundrel! Ye be havin' 10 minutes to redeem yourself before the sun be o'er the yard arm and I be down the Admiral Benbow!"
Cap'n Billy Redbeard, Sutton in the TMS inbox
1st over - Ind 9-0 Wayward start from James Anderson in Durban, the Lancashire seamer struggling with his line as he looks for some early swing. A no-ball and two wides precede four leg byes off Virender Sehwag's pads and it's nine from the over.
"Can we have more commentary on the dancers please?"
Rich, Leicester in the TMS inbox
"Arrr, good e'enin' all, today is talk like a pirate day. Me hope this match pro'es t' be a cracker like the recently concluded series in England. Aye, me parrot concurs."
Abhinav Hasija in the TMS inbox
I'll be honest Abhinav, I can't understand a word of that.
1658: The England team stride out to the middle and engage in a huddle, during which I suspect they are discussing in which Durban nightspot they will drown their sorrows later, and the Indian openers are flexing on the outfield. We're minutes away people...erm, ooh-argh and all that...
1654: Here are the full teams then:
England: D Maddy, V Solanki (wkt), K Pietersen, P Collingwood (capt), O Shah, A Flintoff, L Wright, A Mascarenhas, C Tremlett, S Broad, J Anderson.
India: V Sehwag, G Gambhir, A Uthappa, Yuvraj Singh, M Dhoni (capt, wkt), R Sharma, I Pathan, Joginder Sharma, Harbhajan Singh, S Sreesanth, R Singh.
Umpires: B Doctrove and S Taufel
"I think I should change my IM status from "I am at Work" to "I am at TMS Inbox" !"
Gaurav sitting in the office cubicle, Mumbai in the TMS inbox
1652: That news about Freddie is only marginally more surprising than the news that, apparently, there is an International Talk Like A Pirate Day - and it's today! Shiver me timbers and all that, I want you all to send as many emails in today in the style of Blackbeard et al. I mean, something's got to keep us entertained as we watch Freddie stumble about and Colly ogle the boundary dancers...
"Judging by Freddie's waistline he never likes to miss out on anything Indian!"
Tim in Manchester in the TMS inbox
1647: For me, the big news is that Andrew Flintoff will play for England - what on earth is the point of that?! He's far and away England's most important player and the man is clearly not fit! Send him home and get him looked at by the medics for gawd's sake...
"My prediction = England will absolutely hammer India - they will then be billed as world beaters again┐ people forgetting that they are on the next flight home!"
Mark, Featherstone in the TMS inbox
1639: Right, cheers to my editor Paul Grunill for bringing you the early news while I attempted to shovel down something supposedly related to Lamb Rogan from the BBC canteen... if I go missing at times during this commentary you know why... Anyway, the toss has been won by India and Mahendra Dhoni opts to bat first. Funnily enough, Paul Collingwood reckons he'd have bowled first anyway, despite Durban being notoriously difficult to bat in under lights...
India have drafted in Joginder and Rohit Sharma for the first time in the tournament, with Agit Agarker and Dinesh Karthik missing out.
1635: England's team is announced and there's only one change - Chris Tremlett bolstering the pace attack at the expense of Chris Schofield. Viram Solanki keeps the keeper's mitts as Matt Prior continues to rest his cracked thumb.
1630: Right - time for part two. And although England's team management can start looking for flights home after South Africa's win over the Kiwis, there's still plenty at stake as far as India are concerned.
If they win and can beat South Africa on Thursday, it will leave three teams level on four points in the group, with run-rate deciding which two go through to Saturday's semis.
The team news should be interesting - Mike Gatting, Rob Key and others think Freddie should be given several months off to rest his ankle. But the pre-match rumour in Durban is that he will be playing in what is, for England, a dead match.