FIRST ONE-DAY INTERNATIONAL, Guwahati:
India 242-5 bt Pakistan 239-7 by five wickets
Mahendra Dhoni and Yuvraj Singh both hit half-centuries as India eased to a five-wicket win over Pakistan in the first one-day international.
Dhoni (63) and Yuvraj (58) shared a stand of 105 before India's tail completed victory with 18 balls left.
Sourav Ganguly (39) and Gautam Gambhir (44) put on 82 for the second wicket to lay the foundations for India.
Pakistan made 239-7 after opting to bat, with a battling 83 not out from Mohammad Yousuf and Salman Butt's 50.
ALL THE ACTION (ALL TIMES GMT)
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INDIA WIN BY FIVE WICKETS
47th over: India 242-5
Shoaib gets through Uthappa's defence three times without reward as the India batsman looks to see out the match in style - before a brilliant drive down the ground for four takes the hosts to within two. Uthappa needs only two more deliveries, bludgeoning Akhtar high over backward point for four and that's a convincing five-wicket victory with 18 balls to spare.
So India go 1-0 up in the five-match series - don't forget we'll have full over-by-over coverage again on Thursday with Mark Mitchener in the commentator's chair from 0830 onwards. Tune in or miss out. Or something like that.
46th over: India 234-5
The hosts are wobbling a touch here, with Robin Uthappa a little fortunate to survive a confident lbw appeal from Iftikhar - the ball possibly hitting the top of leg stump. Still, Irfan Pathan takes them to within a boundary of victory in highly unorthodox fashion, inside-edging past his own stumps and away for four and India need six off 24 balls.
45th over - WICKET! Dhoni c Akmal b Shoaib 63, India 225-5
Well, well, well... India can't throw this away... can they? Shoaib Akhtar strikes with his first ball back into the attack, Dhoni attempting a wild swipe at a fast wide one and succeeding only in edging high to Akmal behind the stumps. Irfan Pathan comes to the crease with Shoaib's tail firmly up - but the paceman alleviates the pressure with a couple of wides and India see out the over. Ind 229-5
"Sam. 'tempetuous' (42nd over)? A Swiss army knife of a word for 'contemptuous/sumptuous/tempestuous?"
Marc, Liverpool via text
Ah, yes, Mark you spotted my *ahem* "deliberate" mistake. It was, however, secret option 4 - impetuous. Better luck next time.
44th over: India 225-4
A brilliant short-arm punch through the covers brings up the boundary for Dhoni and yet another misfield - this time from Iftikhar off his own bowling - allows the India captain to ease through for a single. It brings Uthappa on strike but, despite having six men inside the ring, not one of them is in a catching position and that suggests Pakistan skipper Shoaib Malik has given up the ghost somewhat. Fifteen needed for victory for India.
43rd over - WICKET! Yuvraj c Afridi b Rehman 58, India 218-4
Yuvraj clips the single that brings up the 100 partnership, and Dhoni responds by spanking a brilliant pull in front of square for four. However, Yuvraj goes off the last ball, looping Rehman straight down Afridi's throat on the long-on boundary... might just be too little, too late for Pakistan, though.
42nd over: India 211-3
Dhoni joins his partner in passing 50 with a nudge to the on side, and Yuvraj then rattles up another boundary with a brilliant punch down the ground. Another impetuous flick through the covers brings Yuvraj a couple more and it's nine from the over.
41st over: India 202-3
Sublime from Yuvraj, the left-hander pulling Rehman away for four and then pinching the single that brings up his 31st one-day international half-century. The hosts now need 33 off 54 balls - can anyone in the Pakistan team pull a miracle over out of the bag?
40th over: India 195-3
Iftikhar is tasked with pulling something out of the bag for Pakistan... but no can do from the paceman. Singles remain the order of the day but none of the home fans in Guwahati are complaining.
39th over: India 192-3
Pakistan have been abandoned by Lady Luck today and Rehman is the latest victim as Dhoni comes down the wicket and sends a thin edge past the keeper, through the slip cordon and away for four. You would have though Malik would have a slip there, but no... and as a result India appear to be cruising.
38th over: India 186-3
Four easy as you like singles help India edge ever nearer the winning total and that's Afridi's allocation done. Figures of 10-0-34-1 for the all-rounder but it looks like it could all be in vain.
37th over: India 182-3
Abdur Rehman thinks he has his man after rapping Yuvraj on the pad with the batsman on the sweep - but it is turned down by umpire Gould. TV replays suggest the Pakistan spinner was unlucky there... and his mood is not helped when Yuvraj gets his front foot out of the way and bludgeons him away for a huge six two balls later. Harsh.
"Upon reading my own message, it appears I might be a bit of a loser."
Nadia via email
36th over: India 176-3
Shahid Afridi succeeds only in keeping me on my toes as he whips through another over in 4.27 milli-seconds, but fails to trouble Dhoni or Yuvraj as four singles come in double quick time.
"India are going to walk this unless somehow Pakistan can get Dhoni out and that seems unlikely. The question is, Will this e-mail be the equivalent of the Commentators Curse??? Only time will tell..."
Jethro Wookey via email
35th over: India 172-3
Another ball change and Yuvraj decides now is the time to attack and get this match done with. A couple of singles precede a wonderful sweep off the last delivery that zips to the boundary. The home crowd are starting to party, the Pakistan players drop their heads just a touch, and my colleague Jamie Lillywhite thinks about getting the teas in for the final, exciting push. I hope.
34th over: India 166-3
Afridi returns to the attack and it's tight enough, yielding just two runs. India need 74 off 96 balls, while Pakistan - put simply - need wickets.
33rd over: India 164-3
Rehman returns to the attack and it almost reaps the reward, Yuvraj pulling him hard to short midwicket where Malik fails to hold on to a very difficult chance. He runs two, bringing up the 50 partnership with Dhoni off just 70 balls.
32nd over: India 162-3
Bosh! Another tame Malik over goes by without incident until the very last ball, when Dhoni takes a couple of steps and tonks the bowler back over his head and away for four.
"I'm so excited. It's Bonfire night; I've got some sparklers in the bag ready to go and it's the first time I've ever emailed TMS when officially not allowed to because I'm at work. I'm hoping Dhoni comes to the party with some fireworks of his own. I can't tell you how thrilling this is."
Nadia via email
31st over: India 156-3
It's all too easy for India at the moment and, with Shoaib blowing hard after every delivery, you have to wonder if Pakistan have a match-turner in their ranks... Yuvraj errs for the first time in his innings, sending a leading edge towards gully, but it falls short and wide of the fielder and the players will go to drinks with India on course.
30th over: India 154-3
Another comfortable over for the Indian batsman, picking up four easy peasy lemon squeezy singles without alarm and Pakistan need a wicket or two as quickly as possible.
"This match is slipping away from Pakistan now. Dhoni is on top form."
Alex via email
29th over: India 150-3
Shoaib Akhtar returns to the attack for a short burst, and this changed ball is definitely behaving a differently to its predecessor. The seamer is finding a touch more swing and bounce, but it does not stop Dhoni hooking the Rawalpindi Express away for four. A couple of singles and a Yuvraj punch for two make it an expensive over from Shoaib.
28th over: India 142-3
Malik continues with a changed ball - the old one had become a little discoloured - and it seems to work for him as he sends down a maiden. Dhoni takes few chances against the spinner - but then he doesn't really need to at this stage and a wicket always changes the complexion of a game.
27th over: India 142-3
Yuvraj, who can often be found out early in his innings against the spinners, is looking calmness personified at the moment and he pinches a couple of singles off another decent Afridi over to keep India ticking over. At this stage in their innings, Pakistan were 96-2...
26th over: India 139-3
Shoaib Malik comes into the attack - and immediately concedes a free hit with a front-foot no ball. Yuvraj can't get bat on ball to punish him, but sends one rocketing to the boundary on the sweep two balls later.
"I think India are still in the driving seat. Even though a couple of wickets have fallen, the total Pakistan has posted is too low. Two or three good overs from Yuvraj or Uthappa's batting would be sufficient for the Indian tail enders to drag it on to the victory."
Byrraju on 606
25th over: India 133-3
Afridi whizzes through another over, conceding just four singles, and I wonder if the India batsmen have decided to see out the all-rounder's allocation and target the bowlers from the other end.
24th over: India 129-3
Yuvraj punishes a bit of width from Rehman, angling the ball down to third man for four. Shoaib attempts to chase it down but he succeeds only in taking out the advertising hoardings and prompting six or seven stewards to help him back to his feet. The paceman might not be a slim as he once was, but two or three of them would've managed, I must say. A couple of singles end the over and India need just 111 more now.
23rd over: India 123-3
More decent stuff from Afridi, three singles coming off another accurate over.
"This match is slightly edging towards Pakistan."
Zia Mahmood via email
22nd over: India 120-3
If Pakistan were under any illusions the hard work had been done, Yuvraj sprints to the crease and crashes Rehman for four through the covers third ball. Three singles follow and it's a decent comeback over from India.
21st over - WICKET! Gambhir b Afridi 44, India 113-3
Brilliant from Afridi. The all-rounder has Gambhir padding up with a couple of rippers and then he does for the batsman with a looped one outside leg that spins behind the number three's pads and takes out leg stump. Big wicket, that. So what do we reckon peeps? Is that the wicket that puts Pakistan on top? Or do India remain in the driving seat? Get your emails and texts coming in, as well as the chat on 606, which is now open for business...
20th over: India 111-2
Mahendra Dhoni takes a look at Rehman, decides he quite fancies a go, and slaps him through the covers for a beautiful four second ball. A faster, flatter delivery brings the same result thanks to a Dhoni cut stroke and a that was a profitable over for the hosts.
19th over: India 103-2
More good work from Afridi, and Gambhir almost succumbs when a leading edge loops out of the bowlers reach and falls safe. Three singles come off the over and the momentum has definitely gone missing from India's batting at the moment.
18th over: India 100-2
Abdur Rehman comes on to bowl his left-arm spin over the wicket, and it's a maiden with Gambhir paying the spinner due respect.
17th over - WICKET! Ganguly run out 39, India 96-2
Huge bonus for Pakistan! Ganguly, whose running has been shoddy all day to say the least, finally pays the price as he is sent back but fails to get back into his ground and is beaten by Salman Butt's fine throw. It needed several views of the replay from the TV umpire, but Akmal whipped the bails off with Ganguly's bat on the crease and the opener is sent packing. Skipper Mahendra Dhoni comes to the crease and paddles one away for four first ball, courtesy of Gul's misfield. Ind 100-2
16th over: India 94-1
Successive boundaries for Gambhir - who really looks in great touch in Guwahati - the number three spanking Iftikhar back over his head and then clipping off his legs to keep India firmly in the driving seat. A couple of singles make it 10 from the over - the third powerplay having been taken - and the hosts are cruising.
15th over: India 84-1
Shahid Afridi comes on to turn his arm over - I reckon the in-form all-rounder is key to Pakistan's efforts here - and the change almost pays dividends immediately as he gains the edge off Ganguly, only for Akmal to spill a difficult chance. Three singles from the over.
14th over: India 81-1
Brutalised! Ganguly picks up on a short one from Gul and dispatches it to the boundary rope on the pull to help keep India well above the asking rate. Pakistan may have to re-evaluate their strategy - and soon.
13th over: India 75-1
Gambhir gets in on the act with a well timed clip off his pads for three - which Shoaib drags in before the rope, injuring himself in the process as he bangs into the advertising hoardings as a result - and he then drives gloriously through the covers for a boundary. As it looks, India are firmly in the driving seat but anything can happen and it might be the effectiveness - or otherwise - of the Pakistan spinners that could decide this match.
12th over: India 66-1
Ganguly breaks the shackles after a few miserly overs and crashes a beauty back over Gul's head for four - bringing up the pair's 50 partnership in the process - and then grabs a single off the last to keep the strike.
11th over: India 60-1
More accuracy from Iftikhar, who concedes just a couple of singles, while Gambhir is fortunate yet again when a thick edge drops short of gully.
10th over: India 58-1
Beautiful over from Gul and it's a maiden. Gambhir plays and misses off the last ball - in fact, TV replays hint he may even have edged it but no-one in the field even offered the slightest of appeals - and Pakistan continue to bowl well without reward in Guwahati.
9th over: India 58-1
Rao Iftikhar Anjum comes on to replace Shoaib and it's a decent over from the paceman until Ganguly takes a step and swipes him over the infield for four off the last delivery.
8th over: India 53-1
Pakistan will be wondering how they have snared just the one wicket so far, Gul the unfortunate bowler this time as one that keeps low zips narrowly past Ganguly's stumps and away for four byes. The opener offers a wry smile as consolation, and then bludgeons a beauty back over Gul's head for six big ones to finish the over.
7th over: India 43-1
Gambhir joins Ganguly in using a couple of his nine lives, the number three surviving despite edging the first two balls of Shoaib's over through the slip cordon. The first goes down as an Akmal mistake, the wicket-keeper on his heels as it flew past him, and the second was Younus Khan's fault, the slip failing to move his feet sufficiently to get to the dipping ball. Both go for four and, to further add salt into Shoaib's wound, Gambhir clips the last ball of the over off his legs for yet another boundary.
6th over: India 31-1
Glorious from Ganguly, the opener pouncing on some room outside off and cutting through backward point for four, followed by gruesome as an ugly swipe sends the ball back past his stumps again. That's a couple of times he has got away with an inside edge already today.
5th over: India 26-1
Gautam Gambhir has been in fine form this year - averaging just under 40 in 17 matches so far, not including his fine Twenty20 form - and he shows early on that he remains in touch, picking on a Shoaib slower ball to drive through the covers for four. A couple of singles, and a misfield from Shahid Afridi, make it eight from the over.
4th over: India 18-1
Ganguly has yet to get his feet moving at the crease and the opener is fortunate to get away with one when he inside-edges Gul inches past his own stumps and away for four. That's the only runs off the over.
3rd over - WICKET! Tendulkar lbw 4, India 14-1
Streaky boundary off the first ball for Tendulkar, outside-edging the ball through gully for four attempting to play through the leg side, but Shoaib exacts the ultimate revenge fifth ball, deceiving Sachin with a slightly slower ball and trapping the Little Master plumb in front.
2nd over: India 10-0
Excellent start from Umar Gul, who concedes just four leg byes following a huge lbw appeal against Sourav Ganguly - the ball pitched outside leg.
"It's time for the paceman Shoaib Akhtar to prove his worth. The matches between the two nations are always gripping and much cause for ulcerations to all the die hard fans of the game. Let's hope the matches are as competitive as they can be and the healthy rivalry and congenial ambiance continues throughout the series. May be best team win."
Zubair Ahmad Shah via email
1st over: India 6-0
Ganguly and Tendulkar - blissfully unaware I've just consumed the monster of all cooked breakfasts - take six off the opening Shoaib over, Ganguly crashing the first boundary of the innings with a deliberate lob over square. Good pace first up from Shoaib, but a little wayward.
0710: Sachin Tendulkar and Sourav Ganguly stride to the crease, full of purpose, and they will be facing Shoaib Akhtar first up...
50th over - WICKET! Rehman run out 0, Pakistan 239-7
Yousuf keeps the momentum going, picking up on a slower delivery to flick over short fine leg for four, but his attempt at a single last ball sees Rehman fall for a duck thanks to Dhoni's direct hit. Yousuf finishes unbeaten on 83 off 85 balls and he may have given Pakistan a chance - though it will take a big effort from their bowlers.
50th over - WICKET! Misbah c Harbhajan b Zaheer 27, Pakistan 233-6
Misbah goes looking to smash Zaheer away down the ground second ball, Harbhajan taking a fine catch on the run.
49th over: Pakistan 232-5
A brilliant sweep fine brings Yousuf four runs and Misbah then swipes one through the covers to bring up another boundary. These two have upped the pace nicely in the last few overs.
"India will get a small target to chase and then proceed to make a mountain out of a molehill leaving thousands of cricket supporters on both sides in need of a pedicure later on."
Ash (from wee Edinburgh) via email
48th over: Pakistan 221-5
Excellent stuff from Zaheer Khan - despite yet more sloppy work from Pathan in the deep - the seamer refusing to give Pakistan's batsmen any room and restricting them to ones and twos.
47th over: Pakistan 214-5
RP Singh does return to the attack, and it's accurate stuff from the left-armer until Yousuf punches one over cover for a brilliant boundary. Nine off that over.
46th over: Pakistan 205-5
Irfan Pathan returns to the attack - a little surprising RP Singh wasn't thrown the ball to my mind - and Pakistan bring up the 200 with a succession of ones and twos before Yousuf pulls one fine for a welcome boundary to keep Pakistan's hopes of a 250 total alive.
"Tied to my computer in Mexico, I should be working on my presentation in an international workshop in Physics, but this battle between the bat and the ball is a huge distraction. And to my utter disappointment, the bat seems to be on the loosing end."
Adnan Bashir via email
44th over: Pakistan 194-5
Misbah-ul-haq brings up a welcome boundary for Pakistan with a rather awkward-looking reverse sweep of Tendulkar, and Yousuf gains a rather fortunate four when Irfan Pathan somehow dances around and then past a sweep through fine leg. A single brings up Yousuf's 50 - a typical half-century from the Pakistan batsman, his 58th in ODIs.
44th over: Pakistan 181-5
When full tosses are pushed away for singles in the 44th over, you know some aggression is lacking in the Pakistan batsmen. You wonder if this pair are waiting for pace to return to the attack - but will it be too late by then? Four off the over and Harbhajan finishes with 1-29 off his 10 overs.
43rd over: Pakistan 177-5
Just six off another tidy Tendulkar over. Marcus, below, may well be right about the danger in "going after" Sach - but one of the Pakistan batsmen has to do something right now, it's no good pushing and prodding through these last few overs...
"I wonder how many of the Pakistan lower order will "go after" Tendulkar in the mistaken belief that he is an average part-timer that can be slog-sweeped for cheap runs... we've seen this year in Twenty 20 how he can be deceptively effective, picking up a few key wickets to set up RP Singh and Zaheer to clean up the tail. Pakistan need to be wary here... he's not called the Little Master for nothing."
Marcus, London Bridge via email
42nd over: Pakistan 171-5
Harbhajan returns and presumably he will see out his allocation now before the return of the seamers in the later overs. Especially if he continues to bowl like this, yielding just three singles. The Pakistan batsmen just have no answer with pace off the ball at the moment.
41st over - WICKET! Malik c Gambhir b Tendulkar 2, Pakistan 165-5
Tendulkar strikes again - the man really is a wizard. In fact, he is so good he can even turn full tosses into wicket-taking deliveries as Malik hooks one down on one knee straight down Gambhir's throat on the boundary rope. Misbah-ul-haq comes to the crease but it's just three from the over. Pak 168-5
40th over: Pakistan 165-4
Excellent work from Kartik, who completes his allocation with just one off his final over and he finishes with figures of 10-0-36-0.
39th over - WICKET! Afridi st Dhoni b Tendulkar 31, Pakistan 163-4
Sachin continues and he gets some treatment from Afridi, who bludgeons him for a brutal four. However, the wily campaigner works Afridi out just a couple of deliveries later. The Pakistan all-rounder comes down the wicket and gives himself room, prompting Tendulkar to zip one wide of his off stump and Dhoni whips off the bails with Afridi barely in the picture. Big wicket at this stage. Shoaib Malik pinches a single off the last. Pak 164-4
"Wow, I have always wanted to write into TMS, and I think at this time I may actually be put up! Pakistan are really going to have to step it up in the last ten overs. It's either going to be a barrage of runs or a drunken collapse - and as a Pakistani fan I fear the latter! School in 2 hours, argh!"
Abbas, London via email
38th over: Pakistan 155-3
Murali Kartik returns and six come off the over. That brings up this pair's 50 partnership - off 48 balls - but one or both has to go on now to push Pakistan up towards 250 and a competitive total. Eight an over from here will do it for them.
37th over: Pakistan 149-3
Sachin Tendulkar will have a bowl - good move taking pace off the ball - and he concedes just a couple of singles, despite Afridi's keenest efforts to bludgeon a couple of deliveries down the ground.
"Morning Sam! Stick another student onto that list, and blame Jane Austen and Charles Dickens for keeping me up this late. Still, at least there was a boundary, so that's one less reason to yawn incessantly."
Simon in Reading via email
36th over: Pakistan 147-3
Yousuf picks up the baton from Afridi, flicking one off his legs for four before out-side edging one wide of the wicket-keeper and away for another boundary. Something had to give with India looking to restrict Pakistan to a total under 220, but with Yousuf and Afridi at the crease, anything is still possible you feel...
35th over: Pakistan 137-3
Huzzah! A boundary! The return of the pacemen has Afridi dribbling in anticipation and the all-rounder uses the extra zip off Zaheer to bludgeon a huge six over the long-on boundary. Sensible work after that, Afridi and Yousuf sharing the singles, and it's 11 from the over.
34th over: Pakistan 126-3
Still the boundaries elude Pakistan. Irfan Pathan returns in place of Harbhajan, whose eight overs have gone for 22, and the seamer yields just six from his comeback turn.
33rd over: Pakistan 120-3
That's better from Pakistan - Yousuf makes the most of an RP Singh misfield to grab three off the first ball and four more singles make it seven from the over. If they can keep that up, Pakistan are looking at a total of around 230 - but that won't be enough, I don't think.
32nd over: Pakistan 113-3
Good work from Harbhajan, who keeps Afridi honest with faster, flatter deliveries. Four come from the over, but still no boundaries for Pakistan.
31st over: Pakistan 109-3
Afridi won't be shutting up shop like Younus before him, that's for sure. The big right-hander takes a swipe at Kartik but only grabs a couple, before another couple come through midwicket. Four off the over.
30th over - WICKET! Younus c Pathan b Harbhajan 25, Pakistan 104-3
Just as I was telling my colleagues how Younus and Yousuf are far better players of spin than they are showing at the moment... Younus goes. Having struggled for rhythm throughout his innings, Younus attempts to up the tempo and succeeds only in punching Harbhajan to Pathan at long-on. Shahid Afridi comes in up the order and gets a single to end the over. Pak 105-3
29th over: Pakistan 102-2
It's a little uninspired in Guwahati at the moment - or maybe I'm struggling to switch out of Twenty20 mode following the World Cup in South Africa - but it could be worse, we could all be preparing six-minute speeches on the word 'bail' like Max below. Apologies Max, but I can't imagine that's too much fun... Back in Guwahati, Yousuf punches a couple down the ground to help bring up the Pakistan 100.
"I'm sitting in front of my computer in the city that never sleeps, switching back and forth between the BBC cricket text and research for my six minute speech that I'm due to deliver tomorrow in my speech recitation class on the word "bail"."
Max Forrester, Manhattan, New York via email
28th over: Pakistan 99-2
Three singles from a tidy, in unexplosive, over from Harbhajan and it has now been over 13 overs since the last boundary.
27th over: Pakistan 96-2
Huge let-off for Yousuf! Kartik gets one to turn and, playing against the spin, Yousuf sends a leading edge high into the midday sun. It spends an eternity in the atmosphere and Sourav Ganguly looks to be comfortably trotting underneath it, only to lose it at the last minute and it drops safe at mid-off.
26th over: Pakistan 93-2
Not sure this is enough for Pakistan at the moment, with just a couple of singles coming off another fine Harbhajan over. It's a bit subdued in Guwahati at the moment.
25th over: Pakistan 91-2
Younus drives to long-off and decent running between the wickets earns a couple. Kartik continues to plug away with unerring accuracy, though, and five dot balls follow.
24th over: Pakistan 89-2
Yousuf paddles a couple in the air, Younus flails unsuccessfully with an attempted reverse-sweep, and it's four off the over.
"And then there's this South African in LA on his Blackberry. You've got to help. I'm starting to enjoy basketball. I use your commentary like a patch. Don't stop, please."
Greg via email
23rd over: Pakistan 85-2
Three close calls for Younus in a fine Kartik over, the spinner finding the edge first ball only for it to fall short of Sourav at slip, and then a big shout for lbw but it struck the right-hander outside the line. The best appeal of the lot comes fifth ball though as yet another arm ball strikes Younus in line, but his big stride saves him.
22nd over: Pakistan 83-2
More swift work from Harbhajan, who concedes four singles with little alarm from the Pakistan batsmen. This could be the order of things for a while with the two spinner wheeling away. Mohammad Yousuf has now completed over 1000 ODI runs against India and is the 7th Pakistan batsman to do so
21st over: Pakistan 79-2
That's the end of the powerplays, but India opt against spreading the field just yet with two new batsmen at the crease. Two singles come off another tidy Kartik over.
20th over: Pakistan 77-2
With spin on from both ends, Younus Khan and Mohammad Yousuf are content to work the singles and four comes off the over.
19th over: Pakistan 73-2
Murali Kartik comes on and immediately finds turn. Shout for lbw against Younus Khan as one pitches in line and straightens, but the batsman gets a long way down and the appeal is turned down. TV replays suggested the ball was hitting halfway up middle, though - it's amazing how often those appeals are turned down isn't it? Four singles from the over.
"This is proving to be a tight encounter from the start... my mates and I are glued to the screen! I have been given chief responsibility of refreshing the page every 5 seconds."
Jahan Khan via email
18th over - WICKET! Butt run out 50, Pakistan 69-2
Harbhajan Singh comes on for his first bowl of the day and he gets a little turn despite ripping the ball down at what is effectively medium pace. Salman Butt takes a step to punch a couple in front of square to bring up his 50 - but it's disaster for the opener next ball! An easy single looks on the cards, but Younus Khan does not respond to the call and Butt can't get back in his ground as Yuvraj Singh's throw zips past him - he has to go.
"Hello - I am currently sitting in my apartment in London Bridge, waking up to talk to my girlfriend in the States - so imagine my delight when I find out whilst casually browsing BBC Sport that there is a one-day international on - hurrah! No sleep for me tonight, I hope the boss isn't reading this tomorrow... or my girlfriend!"
Marcus Dubois, London Bridge via email
17th over: Pakistan 67-1
Murali Kartik - who might just find some turn on this pitch later in the piece - saves a couple of runs with a diving stop on the boundary rope off another Salman Butt flick, but it's better from Pakistan with six coming off the over.
16th over: Pakistan 61-1
Let-off for Younus Khan, spooning one inches wide of Gautam Gambhir at mid-off, but he grabs a couple for it. Zaheer Khan is tucking the batsmen up well here at the moment.
"Add one more to the list of sleep-deprived cricket followers. It's freezing outside, but quite cosy in a Harvard basement where I'm keeping an eye out for the score and another out on a piece of lab equipment. Who cares about the Red Sox ... this is the real thing!"
Amar via email
15th over: Pakistan 59-1
Younus has yet to get going at all so far, looking to work the ball through the on-side at every opportunity with little success. He finds the meat of the bat off the last ball, but a super stop from Gautam Gambhir restricts him to just the single.
14th over: Pakistan 57-1
Better from Zaheer, who restricts Butt to just the single with tidy, consistent work outside off stump.
"Only one awake? I'm a 20-year-old British student studying in freezing Canada and I'm still hanging onto the cricket scores. Roll on England in Sri Lanka. Might look for pictures of open fires on the internet to warm myself up."
Jim (originally from brum), Vancouver via email
13th over: Pakistan 56-1
Kerplunk! Another dreamy drive from the bat of Butt, straight down the ground and he doesn't bother to run - preferring instead to stop and admire as it smashes into the advertising hoardings. A single takes him to 41 off 41 balls and of the 10 boundaries hit by Pakistan so far, he has eight of them.
12th over: Pakistan 49-1
Salman Butt seems unaffected by Akmal's departure, and he crashes a lovely square drive to the boundary one-handed before scampering a quick single to keep the strike.
"Matt, I am a non cricketing performer and I am still awake, although not too sure why, ah, the joys of being a student!"
Dan, Plymouth via email
11th over - WICKET! Akmal 12 lbw b Pathan, Pakistan 44-1
Breakthrough! Much needed from India's point of view and Irfan Pathan is the man soaking up the plaudits. The left-armer gets one to hold its line a little and Akmal plays all round it to be trapped in front. Replays show the ball pitched outside leg, though, and it's a long walk back for the opener who will feel aggrieved at Ian Gould's decision. Younus Khan sees out the over and it's a wicket maiden.
10th over: Pakistan 44-0
Zaheer Khan returns - and the paceman has re-evaluated his approach, looking to bang it into the wicket a little more, as opposed to throwing down full, juicy half-volleys (probably a wise choice). A tidy over yields just a couple of singles but you would think Pakistan will be happy enough with this start.
"I am currently in my real estate office in Brisbane Australia, bored out of my mind in 33 degree heat, house market slower than Wayne Larkins's running between the wicket and here I am 13,000 miles away indulging in a little bit of India v Pakistan on the beeb website! Happy days! I think, Sam, that you and I are the only non-cricketing performers' up at this hour? Please confirm."
Matt (originally from Bristol) Brisbane via email
9th over: Pakistan 42-0
While Butt makes hay against the left-handers at one end, Kamran Akmal has yet to hit his straps and Irfan Pathan restricts the openers to a couple of singles.
8th over: Pakistan 40-0
Butt really is looking in superb form today - the left-hander leaving a couple of Singh seamers alone before bludgeoning successive boundaries down the ground. It would appear we are looking at a bit of a run fest in Guwahati... jubbly!
7th over: Pakistan 32-0
Just as the pressure was starting to build, Salman Butt brings up two glorious boundaries - first with a dismissive flick through the leg side and then with a beautiful punch down the ground.
6th over: Pakistan 23-0
More good work from RP Singh, who concedes just a single off Salman Butt's outside edge. Miserly work from the seamer, who is getting good shape, seam and bounce out there.
"Good Morning from India! It continues to elude comprehension when an Indian captain continues to use Zaheer Khan first up in limited overs when he is so obviously better with the slightly older ball. He should come in first change if he has to play one-dayers. This "fact" has been blindingly obvious to most followers of cricket for quite a while now but I guess "seniority" kicks in and the ball is routinely handed to him for first bowl. I'm sure Dhoni can look at the obvious - he is a smart lad and a quick learner."
Soulberry, New Delhi via email
5th over: Pakistan 22-0
People! I'm in. The slowest cab driver in the world took time out of his usual Miss Daisy chauffeuring responsibilities to inch me into BBC towers at an average speed of 3.7mph - but I'm in. Many thanks to Jamie Lillywhite, who rather modestly neglected to inform you of his own wondrous paisley shirt effort this morning. It's enough to lift the spirits of even the most grumpy of men at this ridiculous time of a Monday morning. Anyway, out in Guwahati Irfan Pathan comes on to replace the expensive Zaheer Khan and it has the desired effect as he bowls down a maiden.
4th over: Pakistan 22-0
A jaffa from RP Singh to end the over, with just two coming off it.
3rd over: Pakistan 20-0
A classical cover drive gets Akmal underway on the boundary front and I am happy to say that Sam has arrived looking remarkably dapper for this time on a particularly foggy morning.
2nd over: Pakistan 16-0
RP Singh finds Kamran Akmal an easier proposition and no boundaries occur in this one. The noise, however, remains deafening.
1st over: Pakistan 11-0
Sam Lyon fans hold on to your hats, the man himself has been beset by a slow taxi driver but he will be with you shortly, two boundaries flicked away by Salman Butt to begin the proceedings as Zaheer Khan struggles with his sometimes troublesome radar.
India: SR Tendulkar, SC Ganguly, G Gambhir, Yuvraj Singh, MS Dhoni (capt, wkt), AR Uthappa, IK Pathan, Harbhajan Singh, M Kartik, Z Khan, RP Singh.
Pakistan: Kamran Akmal (Wkt), Salman Butt, Younus Khan, Mohammad Yousuf, Misbah-ul-Haq, Shoaib Malik (Capt), Shahid Afridi, Iftikhar Anjum, Abdur Rehman, Shoaib Akhtar, Umar Gul.
Pakistan won toss and decided to bat
Umpires: I J Gould and A M Saheba
Pre-match: Here we are folks. What a series this promises to be. Recent history suggests the pressure of playing host in these encounters weighs heavy - in 2004-05, Pakistan bounced back from 2-0 down to win a six-match series 4-2 in India, while India triumphed 4-1 in the most recent series between the two, in Pakistan earlier this year.
To add further spice to this fine sporting rivalry, India dispatched Pakistan twice at the recent World Twenty20 tournament, once with a bowl out in the group stages and then again by five wickets in the final in Johannesburg.
India, with Rahul Dravid rested for the first two matches, will be led by Mahendra Dhoni, while Shoaib Malik leads a Pakistan team, boosted by the return of Shoaib Akhtar, captains a Pakistan side looking to upset the hosts on their own ground.