WORLD TWENTY20 Super Eights, Durban:
India 153-5 (20 overs) bt South Africa 116-9 (20 overs) by 37 runs
LATEST ACTION AS IT HAPPENS (ALL TIMES BST)
2026: The semi-final line-up for Saturday has been confirmed - India will meet Australia, while Pakistan will play New Zealand. And I'm down on the team sheet to be your man in the live text chair for both games.
Many thanks to those of you who have stayed with BBC Sport throughout today's three marathon games - cheers for all your e-mails, sorry if we didn't have room for yours. That's it for tonight, thank you and good night.
INDIA BEAT SOUTH AFRICA BY 37 RUNS - India and New Zealand qualify for semi-finals, South Africa eliminated
"Same old South Africa, always bottlers"
Edward in the TMS inbox
"TMS really need Gavaskar on more often. He seems to have jinxed both Kemp and Boucher"
Visesh, Cambridge, in the TMS inbox
"I was in a primary school musical with Shane Watson as my opposing love interest and I had to sing a love song to him. Does that count? He played a superhero called Captain Vegemite and wore tights, not unlike the current Australian T20 uniform!"
Angela, from Australia, living in London
20 overs - SA 116-9
Ntini can only manage a single - and the hosts are out. India go through with New Zealand.
19.5 overs - SA 115-9
New batsman Ntini swipes a four to third man but it's too little, too late for the Proteas.
19.4 overs - WICKET - Van der Wath st Karthik b Harbhajan 1 - SA 111-9
JVDW swings, misses and is stumped by the acrobatic Karthik. Surely all over now, barring a Sree Santh-style rash of wides?
19.3 overs - SA 111-8
JVDW swings and misses. 15 needed off three balls for SA to qualify.
19.2 overs - SA 111-8
Morkel hits into the leg side, but can only manage a single. 15 needed off four balls for SA to qualify.
19.1 overs - SA 110-8
JVDW clubs a single off Harbhajan - 16 needed off five balls for SA to qualify.
19th over - SA 109-8
Morne Morkel replaces his brother, and is unable to get the last two balls away. SA need 17 off the last over to qualify on net run-rate ahead of NZ - I'm going ball-by-ball, just in case.
18.4 overs - WICKET - A Morkel b RP Singh 34 - SA 109-8
Knowing SA's previous difficulties with required scores, Duckworth-Lewis etc, the scoreboard (which is working again) helpfully shows what will happen. JVDW is on strike, he aims a dreadful shot at RP Singh and completely missed the ball. 20 needed from 11 balls. He eventually works one to third man, but more importantly gets Morkel on strike. 19 needed from 10 to qualify. Morkel swings and gets a lucky edge to third man, they run two. 17 needed from nine balls to qualify. (An unlikely 45 from nine to win the match - we've written that off). Then, Morkel has a wild swipe and is bowled by a superb yorker - is that the crucial turning point?
18th over - SA 106-7
JVDW is the new batsman, and Morkel calls him through for a single. Morkel then heaves one to long-on, but some superb fielding cuts the score down to two. 20 needed from 12 balls to qualify.
17.4 overs - WICKET - Philander st Karthik b Harbhajan 2 - SA 103-7
Philander works the second ball of Harbhajan's over to fine leg to get the big-hitting Morkel on strike. Morkel gets a lucky inside edge which flies away to fine leg for a single. Philander then dances down the track, aims an agricultural heave and is stumped! What was he thinking?
17th over - SA 101-6
New batsman Vernon Philander nearly drags his first ball on to the stumps in a similar manner to Boucher. He then chops a single to third man, which means he takes the strike - which is not the worst thing for India at this stage. Remenber, SA need 25 from three overs to get ahead of NZ on net run rate, even if they lose.
16.4 overs - WICKET - Boucher b Santh 36 - SA 100-6
The wayward Sree Santh returns - his first ball is a wide, but the second is a dot thanks to a great Collingwoodesque stop by Uthappa at backward point. He nudges a single to fine leg, and Morkel brings up the hundred with a dabbed single into the covers. Then, Santh has bowled Boucher - there's a brief delay as everyone tries to work out how he dragged it on from outside off-stump, but that's the end of Boucher.
16th over - SA 97-5
Harbhajan is back on at the other end as Pathan has finished his spell. Morkel tries to drive to extra cover, but it goes to long-on where they take a single. Remember, if South Africa score 126, then they will go through to the semis on net run-rate ahead of New Zealand, even if they lose this match. Boucher and Morkel continue to work the singles - five runs from the over.
"Boucher is a scrapper - he will relish a fight like this"
Sunil Gavaskar on TMS
15th over - SA 92-5
Harbhajan's off, unsurprisingly, but Sharma serves up a half-volley which Morkel despatched for a straight six - measured at 105m. Morkel then tries to hook the next one, but he is struck on the glove as his helmet falls off. Unlike that time with Kevin Pietersen, luckily for Morkel the helmet does not land anywhere near the stumps. What could be worrying for the teams now, though is that the TMS crew have noticed that the main scoreboard is apparently on the blink. In other words, there will be plenty of messages, fake "new gloves" etc brought on, if they can't see the score. But Stephen Brenckley on TMS has noticed a manual scoreboard next to stadium DJ, Dr Beat.
14th over - SA 83-5
Boucher nudges one to point for a single, and Morkel gets a thick edge which goes down to third man for a similar single. The left-hand/right-hand combination must mean plenty of work for those fielders. Boucher seems more in the groove now, taking a single comfortably to bring up the 50 partnership. Morkel swings and misses, and it's called a wide.
"I have the honour of having claimed the scalps of both Marcus Trescothick and Andrew Strauss whilst representing various teams. However I also have the less prestigious honour of being smashed (literally) out of New Road, Worcester by Vikram Solanki and dropping Freddie Flintoff twice in an innings!"
Dave Thomas in the TMS inbox
13th over - SA 77-5
Harbhajan Singh comes on from the Old Fort Road end for our first taste of spin in the entire match. (We received several e-mails at the World Cup proposing that South Africa be docked 50 runs for every match in which they refused to pick a spinner). But it's easy pickings for Boucher as he finally middles one, working the ball to square leg for four. He then opens the face to tickle one down to third man, and it trickles over the boundary after being half-stopped by a diving fielder. Then, he goes to square-leg again with a shot which superbly bisects two boundary fielders. Having "dissed" Boucher in the last over, he's clearly making me eat my words. Morkel takes two off the last ball, and that's 15 off the over.
"My great uncle used to live next to the Neville brothers, and taught them how to play cricket. Shame Phil wasted his talent to go and play average football"
Nick Bridgeman, Shrewsbury, in the TMS inbox
12th over - SA 62-5
Dhoni, still moving a little stiffly because of his back injury, rotates his field and Boucher can't seem to get the ball off the square at the moment, just dabbing the odd quick single. The left-handed Morkel then lifts one over mid-off, which trundles to the boundary for four.
11th over - SA 55-5
Morkel brings up the fifty with a swipe outside off-stump which sails to the extra cover boundary. It's not pretty at the moment from Morkel, but at least they're not losing any more wickets.
"I managed to take a catch for England v Queensland in 1994/95... Martin Love ct sub (Farmer) bowled Tufnell. On the field, Graham Gooch said "Glad you were under that one cause none of these others would have caught it'
Paul Farmer in the TMS inbox
10th over - SA 48-5
Pathan gets a bit of swing as Morkel plays and misses twice, after nudging two off the first ball of the over. He then has another LBW shout as Boucher appears to be hit bang in front, but replays show it pitched a fraction outside leg stump. We're at the halfway point.
"As a number nine batsman I didn't trouble the scorers too much but playing at the Riverside against Durham University, I did deposit Robin Martin-Jenkins very nicely into the River. Believe me, the next ball was not medium paced. But very happy with my six off two balls!"
Gareth Slater, Sheffield, in the TMS inbox
9th over - SA 44-5
A rare boundary as Boucher misses one from Sharma which brushes his thigh pad and sails away for four leg byes. Morkel aims a big shot towards long-on, but they can only take two, while boundary fielder Sree Santh clutches his elbow after throwing it in. Morkel then flicks one in the air which just evades Rohit Sharma at midwicket - it would have been a breathtaking catch if he'd got to it. A better over in terms of runs for the Proteas.
"I went to watch Lashings last summer and got to see the great Jimmy Adams play. I went up to get a photo of him and he asked Richie Richardson to take the photo despite me just wanting him in the photo. He then explained as Richie figured out how to use the camera, 'You see boy, when you are as ugly as I am, you need someone more ugly in the photo to make me look good looking!' I ran up to my dad in excitement after the photo and screamed 'DAD!! JIMMY ADAMS CALLED ME UGLY!'"
Turbo, in his office at work bored, in the TMS inbox
8th over - SA 35-5
Dhoni keeps an over of RP Singh up his sleeve and turns to Irthan Pathan, who has two increasingly close LBW shouts against Boucher turned down by Billy Doctrove. But you can't knock Pathan's economy rate as just one run comes from the over. Remember, if South Africa score fewer than 125, they go out and New Zealand go through.
"Great work on your live text. I had the privilege of hitting Arshad Ayub, former India off-spinner, for a four in the Osmania University inter collegiate tourney playing for Sanghi College in 1983 and a certain Harsha Bhogle was the fielder at forward short leg"
S. Robert Nathan, former All India Radio Hyderabad Sports commentator, in the TMS inbox
7th over - SA 34-5
Joginder Sharma replaces Santh in the attack. The fielding restrictions are off, and Boucher takes a single. While Alison Mitchell on TMS works out who will finish first or second if we have a bowl-out, I think we're a long way away from that. The big-hitting Morkel (remember all those sixes against England) completely mistimes one, which just squirts out for a single. Just another Boucher single, and it's three runs from the over.
6th over - SA 31-5
New batsman is Albie Morkel. Singh has 3-11 from his three overs, and most of those runs came from wides!
5.5 overs - WICKET - Pollock b RP Singh 0 - SA 31-4
After Singh sends down a wide, Pollock is yorked leg stump by one that nips back on the first legitimate delivery he faces. India's to lose from here, surely?
5.3 overs - WICKET - Kemp run out (R Sharma) 5 - SA 30-4
Singh lets one go wide of the off-stump, which Boucher clubs to the backward point boundary. An even wider one is signalled a wide by Billy Doctrove. Boucher then calls Kemp for a quick single, a superb pick-up-and-throw by Rohit Sharma sees Kemp run out at the striker's end, and he doesn't even wait for the third umpire - he knows he's gone.
"Is that David Mitchell of Mitchell & Webb doing the commentary? [It's Stephen Brenckley from the Independent, who is a summariser today along with Gavaskar - MM] Certainly sounds like it, almost expecting 'Oooh that's a bad miss' from his snooker commentat
John Parkinson, Shrewsbury, in the TMS inbox
5th over - SA 23-3
Slightly better for South Africa - Kemp hits his first boundary when he pulls one to long leg, before swinging and missing at the next one.
"Justin Kemp has always been known as a big hitter, and this isn't the biggest ground in South Africa"
Ex-India batsman Sunil Gavaskar on TMS
4th over - SA 19-3
The India physio races on to give Dhoni a quick back massage, but RP Singh is still swinging it well against Boucher and Kemp, who are content just to survive and prod the odd single at this stage.
"It's difficult to get a room in Durban at the moment. Jonathan Agnew found out when we arrived that our rooms had been given to someone else. The hotel thought our group were all members of the same family. We managed to get him a room in the hotel next door eventually"
Alison Mitchell on TMS
3rd over - SA 16-3
New batsman is Mark Boucher, and he's a pretty good man in a crisis. And even in Twenty20, I call losing three wickets for one run a crisis. Santh helps the scoreboard tick over by firing down three consecutive wides. Dhoni comes over, puts his arm around Santh's shoulder and then clenches his other hand into a fist as if to say "Join me, and we can rule the galaxy as father and son". Or possibly "Try and bowl it straight, old chap". When Santh finally sends down a legitimate delivery, Boucher's off the mark with a single to third man.
2.3 overs - WICKET - De Villiers lbw b Santh 1 - SA 12-3
Santh has a huge LBW shout against ABDV, who's pegged right back in his crease, and Hawk-Eye reckons he's lucky to survive - that appeared to be more likely to hit the stumps than the one Gibbs was out for. Two balls later, ABDV is trapped again, and this time the umpire gives him out! The hosts are reeling...
2nd over - SA 12-2
A change of keeper - Mahendra Dhoni, who has plasters on both hands, has apparently felt a back injury as Karthik's reward for that catch is to take over the wicket-keeping gauntlets. New batsman is Justin Kemp, and the Proteas are happy just to see off Singh's over.
1.4 overs - WICKET - Smith c Karthik b RP Singh 4 - Ind 12-2
The new batsman is AB de Villiers (hereafter referred to as ABDV) who in the World Cup this year, either seemed to get a duck or a hundred. Which will it be this time? After he takes a single, Smith is brilliantly caught by Karthik at second slip.
1.1 overs - WICKET - Gibbs lbw b RP Singh 1 - SA 11-1
A crucial early wicket for India as RP Singh curls his first ball back into Gibbs, who shakes his head as he walks off.
1st over - SA 11-0
Herschelle Gibbs and Graeme Smith opening up. Sree Santh takes the new ball - and fires the first ball wildly down the leg side for five wides. Both batsmen and umpire Taufel then have to wave at a spectator to stop moving behind the bowler's arm. After another wide, Gibbs prods a single into the covers. Smith gets off the mark with a well-timed leg glance for four. Santh is getting some movement but his line and length are all over the place at the moment. He also sports a dark blue sweatband on his left forearm, and a maroon one on his right forearm.
"I dropped a sitter in a club game about seven years ago - the batsman was Paul Collingwood"
Aaron Kumar in the TMS inbox
1839: They're back out there already. Haven't even had time for my yoghurt yet.
"If India win, South Africa need to score 125 runs or more to go through at the expense of New Zealand"
Alison Mitchell on TMS
"I had the 'fortune' to work as a c inleaner at the Sydney Cricket Ground 97/98 as a scruffy Backpacker. At the end of each day at Test matches, Oz captain Mark 'Tubby' Taylor let us have free access to the fridge in the dressing room (beers and butties) as it would be topped up by next morning"
Rico, Isle of Man, in the TMS inbox
"My local team played a celebrity team recently. I had the dubious honour of bowling at Jon Batty and Graham Thorpe. The worst moment was when I tried to take a caught & bowled against Batty and my team-mate had to dive to stop the four even though the ball smacked off my hand! I think Matt Dawson from Question of Sport was their best player"
Mark Wheeler, Oxshott, in the TMS inbox
"A few years ago I played in an indoor cricket league in Nottingham. I played against Derek Randall in one match (and managed flukely to get him caught). When he was fielding against us he used to head any ball hit towards him to a nearby fielder for them to catch! Although we weren¿t playing with cricket balls, nevertheless they were pretty solid rubber things - mad as a bucket of frogs!"
Dave in the TMS inbox
"I played squash with Azharuddin in a Hyderabad club a few times in 1993. Then one day Azhar ran into the path of someone making a shot and got his nose broken with the squash racquet being swung full force. Poor chap - he was quite nice about it, though, and brushed it off as a good sportsman should"
Raj , Toronto, in the TMS inbox
"Marcus Trescothick once lent me his bat to chase away some hooligans who were vandalising my car"
Jay in the TMS inbox
20th over - Ind 153-5
New batsman Irfan Pathan plays and misses but they run through for a bye. The last ball of the innings is a high full toss which Sharma hooks high over square leg for six, bringing up his fifty off 40 balls.
19.4 overs - WICKET - Dhoni run out 45 - Ind 146-5
JVDW is handed the last over, and Dhoni completely misses the first ball. He drives the second ball to long-off, and good running sees them scamper two. Dhoni heaves the third ball past long-on for a first-bounce four, he edges the fourth ball where Boucher gets a hand to it but puts the chance down at the second attempt. While Boucher recovers, the Indian pair try for a second run, and Dhoni is run out (as adjudged by the third umpire) by millimetres, by a direct hit. That pair put on 85.
"Is there anybody else who plays Billy Idol's 'Mony Mony' over and over in their heads whenever they see Morne Morkel's name appear on the commentary replacing 'Mony Mony' for 'Morne Morkel' - or is it just me?"
Simon, playing Brian Lara Cricket currently 558-2 after 18 overs with England against Australia on 'Slog Mode' in the TMS inbox [I think it's just you - MM]
19th over - Ind 139-4
Dhoni has a fresh blade of willow in his hand, but misses the first ball from Morne Morkel. Morkel is less wayward than JVDW, although Dhoni heaves a no-ball off middle stump to the midwicket boundary for four, and we have another free hit. But Dhoni completely mistimes it, and just gets a single.
"Received coaching from Darren Gough after winning a cricket competition, we had a small match and I yorked him!...and i was 13 years old... what a beauty!"
Louis in the TMS inbox
18th over - Ind 131-4
After the groundsman comes on with some sawdust to effect some running repairs, Johan van der Wath (hereafter referred to as JVDW) returns and is hammered for a massive six by Sharma, who then slices a wide one over point for four. Dhoni looks heartbroken when it looks as though his bat has cracked.
"I was clean bowled three times (one after another) by Dennis Lillee, Jeff Thomson and Max Walker at a kids day way back in the days of World Series Cricket in Oz. I never even saw the ball from Thommo... he was fast and had loads of 13-year-olds almost in tears with fear. My dad thought it would be fun so he signed me up. Got to keep a bail from the day as well"
Andrew, Denmark, in the TMS inbox
17th over - Ind 119-4
Another change of Morkels - Dhoni leans back and hammers Morne Morkel into the covers for a single, before Sharma steps back and lifts one to third man, where it lands just inside the ropes and pops over for four. After they run a leg-bye, a fortunate top-edge sees Dhoni take another four over the keeper, and he commiserates with bowler Morkel. A much better shot sees more fireworks (literal and metaphorical) as Dhoni lifts one over midwicket for six.
"I was in the dress [see 6th over]. A feeble tour prank. Wilson asked me if my wife was a lady cricketer"
Steve in the TMS inbox
16th over - Ind 101-4
Philander returns, and bowls a bouncer which umpire Taufel signals as an aerial wide. SA skipper Smith seems a ball-magnet in the field, even if one or two of his team-mates have let him down. Sharma and Dhoni take a few singles at will, and the hundred is up.
"I've just congratulated ICC chief executive Malcolm Speed for organising a brilliant tournament here, and he nearly fell off his chair"
BBC cricket correspondent Jonathan Agnew on TMS
15th over - Ind 97-4
Dhoni smashes Albie Morkel into the air at wide long-on, but his brother Morne completely over-runs the ball, which sails through for four. While the Morkel family contemplate a 'domestic', the fortunate Dhoni then scampers a single. Sharma then has a 'life' when he skies one which the bowler and wicket-keeper both go for... and neither of them take the catch. A potentially expensive over for the Proteas in more ways than one?
"As a young Lord's groundstaff spinner playing my first ever county 2nd XI game v Sussex seconds, I had a young Kepler Wessels dropped off a dolly at square leg from my third ball. He then took me apart big time. Two months later I had the yips and couldn't bowl a hoop down a hill! Replaced a few years later on the groundstaff by a lad called Tufnell"
Graham in Leeds (not at all bitter) in the TMS inbox
14th over - Ind 90-4
Ntini's back for his final over, and he keeps it quite tight until Sharma works one off his legs which just eludes the diving Morne Morkel at fine leg. He looks more in the groove now than before, and stylishly cover-drives Ntini's last ball for four. Six overs left.
"I cleaned up a youngish Lara during a game of beach cricket in Trinidad. Leg peg went flying, I'd been drinking rum all morning!"
Jon, London, in the TMS inbox
13th over - Ind 79-4
Another change of bowling - it's one Morkel for another. Albie's not quite as quick as his brother, and Sharma drives him past cover for four. Not even the diving Herschelle Gibbs could get to that one. They then trot through for a leg bye, and Dhoni carefully caresses a single to keep the strike.
12th over - Ind 72-4
Vernon Philander takes up the attack with his right-arm medium-fast seamers - will he make up for his dropped catch? Dhoni misses one which goes inches past the stumps, then he swings that one which flies past Boucher and shoots away for five wides. A couple more singles are added.
"I played Robin Uthappa in a schools match in Bangalore some eight years ago. I contrived to drop a sitter he offered to deep square leg, and injure my finger. The guy who came on as substitute for me caught him next ball. Like I say, he has the catch; but the better story is surely mine"
Rahul, from Bangalore, in the TMS inbox
11th over - Ind 62-4
The India captain Mahendra Dhoni is the new batsman - and they need a captain's innings from him. Sharma's still swinging and missing. Maybe he hasn't learned that batting is a bit like comedy - all a matter of timing? [It's the way I tell them]
10.3 overs - Uthappa c Smith b M Morkel 15 - Ind 61-4
Morkel is out of luck again as Uthappa miscues one past cover for four, but his luck finally runs out when he swings one to Smith at extra cover and the Proteas captain shows his team-mates how to take an outfield catch.
10th over - Ind 57-3
Uthappa is badly dropped at mid-on by Philander off the first ball - at this level, an absolute dolly. Sharma squeezes one past the fielders at midwicket for four to bring up the fifty, then gets a thick top-edge which sails over the cover fielders for four. He's leading a charmed life. We're already halfway through the innings.
"The scorer Bill Frindall played for us in the early 90s. He was doing an after dinner speaking engagement in North Wales and our chairman persuaded him to turn out in our seconds. He was batting with Dixie McNeil (former Wrexham footballer), and after turning for the second run crumpled in a heap in the middle of the wicket with a cry of pain. Dixie turned around to see what had happened and got run out. The chairman had to retrieve Bill from the wicket in a golf cart and we sent out two batsmen to replace him and Dixie. Dixie was heard moaning at how the easier run out was Bill not him"
Mark Edwards in the TMS inbox
9th over - Ind 48-3
Morne Morkel replaces Pollock, and yet again Sharma is swinging and missing. Just two singles are possible from the over.
"I was playing beach cricket with my son and daughter on holiday in Port Elizabeth and Hansie Cronje came and bowled an over at my son in 1997"
Paul Kelly in the TMS inbox
8th over - Ind 46-3
The first change of bowling, but it's still right-arm seam as Johan van der Wath replaces Ntini, and he also beats Sharma's defensive prod, and then the rookie swings and misses against him once more. He finally gets off strike with a single to backward point - and Uthappa finally cuts loose by hooking a six over deep backward square leg, which sees some fireworks let off in celebration.
"I have played against and with both Albie and Morne Morkel. If you want a master of sledging look no further than Morne he is a legend. Albie is just pure class. SA, why has it taken you so long to recognise their brilliance. Maybe they will fancy doing a KP and making England a decent one-day side"
Simon in the TMS inbox
7th over - Ind 37-3
Fielding restrictions are over, Alison Mitchell replaces Aggers on TMS but it's still Pollock, bowling his overs straight through. The boisterous India fans are now a little becalmed after that flurry of wickets. A recovery job is under way from Uthappa and Sharma.
6th over - Ind 34-3
Rohit Sharma is the new batsman as Smith reinstates his two slips, and Ntini beats Sharma outside the off stump. Ump Simon Taufel turns down an lbw appeal as just one run (a single to Sharma) is taken from the over.
"I batted against Julian Wilson (horse racing commentator) wearing a dress"
Steve in the TMS inbox [Who was wearing the dress? You or Wilson? - MM]
5.1 overs - WICKET - Sehwag c Boucher b Ntini 11 - Ind 33-3
Sehwag is caught behind off the first ball of the over! India are collapsing!
5th over - WICKET - Karthik c A Morkel b Pollock 0 - Ind 33-2
New batsman is Dinesh Karthik, who's in for Yuvraj (see team news earlier). After Sehwag hits a single, Karthik departs first ball as he clips the last delivery of the over to square leg.
4.4 overs - WICKET - Gambhir c Smith b Pollock 19 - Ind 32-1
Sehwag and Gambhir both work Pollock through the now-vacant slip area - remember, in this competition, fielding restrictions apply for the first six overs. Gambhir is then easily caught at mid-off as he goes for another big hit.
4th over - Ind 29-0
Sehwag takes advantage of the short boundary at square leg, working an attempted yorker away from Ntini for four. The next one keeps low, beats Boucher and they run a bye. Gambhir tries to smear one through midwicket and it rockets into the air but falls safely in the wide long-on area. Ntini then strays with a wide, and they scramble a couple more singles.
"Back in the 80s, a young Nasser Hussain happened to be at the ground and was roped into Ilford 2nds against my North Middlesex side, smacked 96 and threw a strop when he was out. I was 'keeping and didn't have to take many while he was on strike"
Ian, Denver, in the TMS inbox
"I played against Owais Shah in colts cricket when he played for Wycombe House and hit him for 5 in an indoor cricket match due to funny scoring rules. But every time we played him, he belted us round the park"
Leo in the TMS inbox
3rd over - Ind 19-0
Even though Pollock's on his home ground, he summons a tape measure to the middle as he's not happy with his run-up from the first over. Sehwag's also off the mark as he works the flame-haired all-rounder for two to leg. Gambhir then tries to swipe to leg, but only succeeds in edging it over slip for four. This match's podium dancers have longer hair than any other pitchside dancers I've seen so far - do you think they operate a squad rotation system?
"My sister-in-law's father once bowled Viv Richards in a village game of some sort in Devon. I wasn't there, but I'm told some of the onlookers were quite disappointed - I don't think he scored many"
Robin in the TMS inbox
2nd over - Ind 12-0
Ntini takes the second over and gets some early movement as keeper Boucher takes the first ball in front of the first of SA's two slips. Aggers on TMS compares Ntini's hairstyle (small dreadlocks) to ex-Zimbabwe star Henry Olonga. The first boundary of the innings comes as Gambhir leg-glances for four to fine leg, which brings the pitchside podium dancers into play for the first time in the game. They're in action again as a slightly fortunate swish goes for four through point.
"In the same school year I had the pleasure of scoring a double hundred against Mark Chilton in a school match and a couple of weeks later had the dubious pleasure of being peppered by Eldine Baptiste in a club match and scoring precisely 0!"
Si - on London Bridge working like a trooper in the TMS inbox [Literally on London Bridge? MM]
1st over - Ind 3-0
Sunil Gavaskar on TMS reveals Yuvraj's injury was "tendonitis of the elbow", and Shaun Pollock opens with one that jags back and they appeal for a catch behind off the left-handed Gambhir, but ump Billy Doctrove is unmoved. Gambhir gets the score going with a flick off his legs to the exquisitely-named Vernon Philander at backward square leg for two. A single brings his partner Sehwag on strike, and the final ball is a dot.
"I played against Ian Bell four or five times at various age groups. My drunken claim to fame is him being my bunny rabbit as I kept getting him out caught behind. The last time we played I wasn't picked as our coach wanted to play 3 spinners. 200 runs, later you can only imagine the smile on my face and the smug look I gave the coach every time he put his head in his hands following a towering six over the pavilion on the postage stamp-sized ground. I love living in the past"
Simon Keele in the TMS inbox
1657: Aggers on TMS announces that "night has virtually fallen" in Durban, but they're out there under the floodlights. Graeme Smith has his sunglasses on. The Indian opening pair, Virender Sehwag and Gautam Gambhir, emerge to the cheers of the many Indian fans in the crowd.
"Here I am, a Saffer sitting in a office filled with Indians and Brits. Can you just FEEL THE LOVE!"
Dirk in the TMS inbox
"I don't know about coaching, surely Gibson should be playing for England in Sri Lanka - perhaps Ramprakash could put his tap shoes away and show the central contract brigade how to score runs too"
Andy Turner, still soulless and windowless in Boston, USA, in the TMS inbox
"I got Richie Richardson playing and missing all over the place then eventually caught behind in a Lashings match. Was 16 at the time, didn't have a clue who he was until I got back into the changing room. Turns out he wasn't a bad player"
Niall in the TMS inbox
"Had the pleasure of being hit for six by Mark Ramprakash in a schools match back in the 80s... I think the hole is still visible in the pavilion roof!"
Farjad in the TMS inbox
"I almost got Wasim Jaffer (Indian opener) out on very first ball of the innings but the keeper dropped the catch. When he was playing in Huddersfield Premier League in 2005"
Abdul from Rochdale in the TMS inbox
"I played football with the Spurs bench-warmer Jermain Defoe at St Bonaventure's school, I know he isn't a cricketer but I was feeling left out!"
Dave Miller, East London, in the TMS inbox
"Once had my middle stump removed by Tony Dodemaide and was subsequently told go forth and multiply by Dean Jones who was stood at first slip, both were playing for Nostell CC in the then Leeds & District Cricket League. The following year they signed Ijaz Ahmed who smashed the fastest hundred in the league's history"
Neil Bowden in the TMS inbox
"On one occasion we almost tempted a watching Mike Brearly into going out as our surprise number eight on a game on Hampstead Heath, till his kids came along and whined about wanting to go home"
Paul Dornan in the TMS inbox
TOSS AND TEAM NEWS: India win the toss and will bat first. Yuvraj Singh misses out with an injured forearm (possibly from his six-hitting exploits yesterday, while his place goes to Dinesh Karthik. SA captain Graeme Smith says he'd probably have batted too. Fit-again Makhaya Ntini replaces Andre Nel for the Proteas.
1635: For those of you just joining us, during the Pakistan-Bangladesh game, the TMS inbox has been flooded with memories about famous players who you have played with or against in club cricket. Apologies to the many hundreds we haven't been able to use yet, but I'll try to put a few more on.
"Once played against Ramps when he was 14. Parkfield were one short and struggling at 70-8. Ramps wanders into the ground and they get him to get his kit. Soon the ball is disappearing to all parts as they get to 160 all out. We were then coasting at 150-3 when he comes on to bowl and bowls us out taking 6 wickets in no time, including a hat-trick (of which I proudly was the middle one). We lost"
Nigel in the TMS inbox
"About ten years ago Phil DeFreitas came into our school and bet £1,000 that none of us could get him out. I clean bowled him first ball, only for him to renege on the deal. Anyone know how I can get hold of him?"
Adam from Guernsey in the TMS inbox
"I was once knocked off my bike and rescued by Elle McPherson on High St Kensington - does that count? Although I do think I could have bowled her if we had been playing cricket!"
Matt Sullivan in the TMS inbox
1634: Pakistan and Australia have already booked their places in the last four, but here's the lowdown on how the last two semi-final places will be decided:
South Africa know a win will see them not only qualify for the semi-finals, but also top the group (while taking New Zealand through with them as runners-up). If they lose, they could still qualify - unless their net run-rate drops below New Zealand (who have already played all their three Super Eight games).
India, however, know that nothing less than a win will see them qualify. But the margin of that win (or more specifically, the teams' net run-rate) will decide whether South Africa or New Zealand go through with them. If India lose, SA and NZ go through.
New Zealand will be looking on with interest - as EITHER a South Africa win (by any margin) OR a comprehensive India win (putting a big dent in SA's run-rate) would see the Kiwis through. However, the worst case scenario for the Kiwis is a narrow India win which sends both teams from today's match through.
England can't qualify and will finish bottom of the group. Easy as.
1630: Good afternoon - it seems only a few minutes ago that I was taking you through the late stages of Pakistan's win against Bangladesh. Hang on, it WAS just a few minutes ago. Anyway, also already today, Australia have booked their semi-final place at the expense of Sri Lanka, and Freddie Flintoff's been ruled out of the ODI series in Sri Lanka where Ottis Gibson will be joining England as a bowling coach. And Ricky Ponting has been ruled out of the rest of the World Twenty20.