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India v Australia 1st Test
Bangalore, 9-13 October 2008
606 debate | Mobile scorecards

FIRST TEST, Bangalore (day five):
Australia 430, 228-6 dec drew with India 360, 177-4


By Pranav Soneji

e-mail (with 'For Pranav Soneji' in the subject), text 81111 (with "CRICKET" as the first word) or use 606 (Not all contributions can be used)

1245: So it's a trip up north to Mohali for the second Test, which starts on Friday. Ominously for the Aussies, the Indians have a more than decent record at the Punjab Cricket Association Stadium . Looking forward to sleeping until then. You've been a wonderful audience.

1235: Right, that's that - Ricky Ponting shakes hands with VVS and Ganguly and the first match of the four-Test Border-Gavaskar trophy series is drawn.


1234: India 177-4
Ganguly latches on to a wide, loose delivery from Cameron White, smashing the ball past point for a four, the first boundary in 17 overs. Our Cammie is getting a little desperate now, appealing for an lbw which strikes Laxman outside the line of off stump, bit of edge on that too.

"Regarding Carol (1203) and Paulís comments, one of the more annoying repercussions of me breaking my right shoulder is trying, now that I am back at work, to do the three-finger login salute (Cntrl-Alt-Del). The nose has been tried, but looks too daft. Now itís standing up and tipping over so that my loose index finger gently prods the delete button with balletic grace and poise. Capital letters are OK as long as there are Cntrl buttons in both halves of the keyboard."
Silas from Heidelberg via the TMS inbox

1231: India 172-4
Ganguly turns a ball away to leg for a single, it's all very mundane right now.

1228: India 171-4
Brad Haddin cannot handle Michael Clarke's bullet-like throw which races away down to Stuart Clark in the deep for an overthrow off Cameron White's bowling. White flings a full bunger towards Ganguly, who contentedly sweeps for one. I'm so hungry I could eat a pot noodle.

1225: India 167-4
Michael Clarke continues to twirl at Ganguly, but the former Indian captain is the very definition of obdurance. Another maiden.

1222: India 167-4
Cameron White tosses up some inviting leggies outside off stump for Laxman to drive, but each time the middle order artist finds a fielder on the off side. The cloud cover has dissipated and we now have blue sky in Bangalore. All you holding your breath, let go. Maiden over.

1218: India 167-4
Michael Clarke goes for broke with a huge appeal likely to wake a small town in the Nullarbor Plain, but contact is made outside off stick. Ganguly smoothers the next ball down to deep mid-wicket for two, while the last ball of the over is dropped by Ricky Ponting at silly point. Oooooh! Drama.

1215: I don't quite believe this - the teams are back out again. I have absolutely no idea how much time we have left, but I shall endeavour to inform you whenever I get informed.

"For Carole - Paul apparently still uses the caps lock key. Maybe the Indians need a 'form lock' key so they could turn it on and leave it on for an entire match and not keep getting out just when they could start to dominate."
Jonathan via the TMS inbox

1203: The game has still not been officially called off, but if you're holding your breath for more action, I'd recommend making your way to a hospital right now.

"Think Sehwag is more likely to chutney the bowling (see 1135). Enjoying the updates, unbelievably I'm in Bangalore and the only I'm able to keep up with the scores is through your updates. Can't find the cricket on the telly...maybe I just don't know where to look."
Nanditha via the TMS inbox

"Have only just been able to join you this morning, as boss kept pacing about behind my desk and could see my screen. Hasn't he got any work to do? Anyway, I share Paul in Lancs tension (see 1021), though doubt the credibility of his 'typing with his nose' comment. How does he do uppercase then? Go on, explain."
Carole in Maidenhead


Bad light stops play
1157: VVS and Ganguly are wandering off the pitch while the Australians remonstrate with the two umpires. It doesn't look particularly grim, which is what I presume Ricky Ponting is discussing right now. We've had nine overs since the first bad light interval.

1155: India 165-4
Cameron White goes bananas for an lbw appeal against VVS, a googly which the batsman doesn't quite pick. However, replays show the ball smacking into the top of his pad so unless a drastic change to the lbw law was made in the past five minutes, that was not out. Two runs from the over, another wristy flick through mid-wicket. And more fiddlings with the light meter.

1151: India 163-4
Another tight over from Michael Clark, I bet he took all his money out of stocks before everyone else. Another maiden, although Rudi Koertzen has a little fiddle with his light meter between overs.

1147: India 163-4
Ganguly guides a full toss to deep mid-on for three off Cameron White, although a very shaky single sees Michael Clarke's throw just miss the stumps at the non-striker's end with Laxman well and truly out of his crease. Needless - Australia were centimetres away from a potentially match-winning situation.

1144: India 158-4
What do I know about this cricket lark? On comes Stuart Clark for Michael Clarke, which means the light is perfectly fine for medium-fast seam action. Haddin comes up to the stumps as the field gathers around the bat. However, stoic batting from Laxman ensures no-one is within sniffing distance of his scalp. Maiden over.

1138: India 158-4
Haddin has a faux appeal for caught behind appeal against Sourav Ganguly stared down by Rudi Koertzen, while the former Indian captain flicks two off his legs to wide mid-on off Cameron White.

1135: India 156-4
So we lost about 37 minutes to rain in Bangalore. Michael Clarke twirls away as both batsmen exchange singles. There's not that much urgency out there, which may suggest the Aussies are content to settle for a draw because of a lack of fast bowling penetration

"Yes Bromley James is right, 'marmalised' is a useful verb (see 1119). Mind you, I've never been sure why its not 'vegemised' when Hayden really tucks into one. And shouldn't Sehwag dhosa the odd one into the crowd?"
Paul in Lancs

1131: India 154-4
White takes a leg-stump line to Ganguly, who looks to sweep but to no avail. Maiden over.

Get involved on 606
"As the match draws ever closer to a draw, man of the match is what comes to mind, I think M Hussey for his 146 and 31 stand out, do you agree/disagree?"
SportsFan1980 on 606

1128: India 154-4
Michael Clarke's first delivery is an absolute ripper which bites and turns outside of Laxman's off stump before flying over Brad Haddin's right shoulder for four byes. Those runs also mean that Haddin has now conceded more byes than any other Aussie stumper in a Test match with 52.

1125: India 150-4
Cameron White continues, presumably because the deteriorating light means the seamers will be holstered. Ganguly tucks (another one!) around the corner to square leg for a single. VVS brings up the 150 with a yep, you've guessed it, a flick of his legs.

1119: Right, the Australians are out in the field and we have VVS Laxman and Sourav Ganguly walking to the crease, so expect play to get underway very soon.

"One of my favourite verbs used is marmalised often accompanied with KP somewhere in the sentence."
James from Bromley via the TMS inbox

1111: Umpires Rudi Koertzen and Asad Rauf wander out on to the pitch, lots of various glances here and there.

1103: Still no word on whether play will resume or not.

Another tense day watching the value of my share portfolio fall and decline. Thank God for the cricket. Was just thinking of unusual verbs used to describe batting shots - feather, tickle, nudge, nurdle, prod, spoon. Wondered if you can think of any others..."
Henry via the TMS inbox

Dab, tinkle, squeeze, lick, kiss, brush (Thanks Ketan G)...

Get involved on 606
"Cameron White makes Ashley Giles look like a spin genius."
Timmy2988 on 606

To be fair, Ashley Giles remains (I think) the only spinner ever to have Sachin Tendulkar stumped in Test cricket. Alright, he was utterly bored into submission during England's tour to India in 2002, but a stumping nonetheless.


Bad light stops play
1043: India 148-4
The clouds close in and umpires Koertzen and Rauf offer the light to the Indian duo, who unsurprisingly take them up on the request with 25 overs remaining in the day. Ponting has one of those scowl/grins, which indicates his disgust/bemusement over the umpires' decision.

1039: India 148-4
Gangly opts to shoulder arms to a turning Clarke delivery, prompting a stunted appeal from the close fielders. Hawk-Eye isn't having any of it that though.

1039: India 147-4
Michael Clarke rifles through his over as Laxman opts for the defensive approach. Just watching replays of every single player ruffling Cameron White's hair like a granddad would do greeting his little rapscallion of a grandson after dismissing Tendulkar. No such joy in his following over as Laxman fashions two further runs off his legs, while Ganguly adds a single. Ponting has been told by the umpires that, because of the light situation, only the spinners can operate.

"I'm sure your pink wafer/jammy dodger line (see 1001) was intended to provoke a response and I have to rise to the bait. There is no caparison - a Jammy Dodger is everything you want from a biscuit - crunchy, chewy, sweet, and fruity. Pink wafers merely taste of fake sugar and colourants and turn to mush immediately when dunked. Your sweet-related observations last week were spot on but you need much more research on the biscuit front I fear."
Steve, The City (please don't hate me) via the TMS inbox

1032: India 144-4
Ganguly gets off the mark with an uneasy push through the vacant gully area for two off Cameron White. However, he absolutely leathers the next delivery, a short offering on leg stump, right over mid-wicket for a boundary.

1029: India 138-4
Top bowling from Clarke, who sends down an arm ball which flirts with VVS's off stump. Some more low bounce and the Aussies are sensing something here. What I don't know, but it's something.

Wicket falls
1021: India 138-4 WICKET Tendulkar ct Clarke b White 49
Just when you thought this game was going one way...Tendulkar hands Cameron White his first Test wicket when he chips a harmless ball outside off stump straight into the hands of Michael Clarke at short cover. The ball before Tendulkar had shown his displeasure over the deteriorating light situation and that clearly played on his mind. Sourav Ganguly is the new man at the crease. I wonder if the Indian markets have taken a sudden nose-dive after that dismissal. So Sachin will have to wait until Mohali to succeed Brian Lara.

"Just to keep you up to date as you deal with the cricket drama - the FTSE surged 6% on opening and has bounced around a little since then. I'm so nervous for the Indian team AND for the Icelandic nation, whose stock market opens about now, that I've bitten my fingers off and am typing this with my nose."
Paul in Lancs via the TMS inbox

1019: India 138-3
Reserve umpire SS Hazare brings out the light metres for Asad Rauf and Rudi Koertzen before the start of Clark's ninth over, although Tendulkar opts to leave most of it, apart from the last ball, which he flicks to deep mid-wicket. Apologies for those who read it was a maiden over, I got a little carried away at the prospect of Sachin's 50th 50. Tendulkar moves to 49.

"'Bluey' is misguided, this is not a sporting declaration, Australia missed their chance yesterday going at a snail's pace. Asking India to score at the highest run rate of the match on a 5th day wicket is sheer nonsense, it will be a draw and Australia will have thrown away probably their best chance in the series. India will take all the positives form this."
Nick in Singapore via the TMS inbox

1013: India 137-3
VVS snicks a thick inside edge off Shane Watson onto his pad, but, fortunately for him, it nestles by his back foot rather than rattle into his stumps. Lovely soft hands from Laxman, who dabs down through the vacant slip area down to fine third man for four.

1010: India 133-3
Stuart Clark opens from the other end and sends down six dot balls to Tendulkar. Maiden over.

1006: India 133-3
Shane Watson resumes the attack after tea and we see four men staggered from silly mid-on to square leg for Laxman and his penchant for wristy leg-side flicks. He still manages to pierce the field with the shot for a single, while Tendulkar adds a run to move to two of his 50.

"Do u think india might go for it? Would be awesome if they did."
Arjun via the TMS inbox

Get back to work Chops, there's a global financial crisis going on.

We're back.

"Whilst Mr T will deserve the plaudits for breaking Lara's record, I still think that Lara was the superior batsman. Not just because of his strokeplay (don't left-handers always seem to look more elegant?) but because he managed to score so prolifically for a team that offered him so little support. Lara rarely had the luxury of coming in after a century opening stand and I would wager that more of his centuries account for 40% plus of his team's total score than Tendulkar's. Hats off, though, to the little chappy."
Jeremy, Bahrain via the TMS inbox

I think we are/were truly fortunate to have two of the most gifted batsmen ever to grace the game playing at the same time. It's like trying to debate why the pink wafer is a superior biscuit to the jammy dodger, just impossible.

"Anyone praise the competitive declaration from Ponting which gives both sides a sniff of a win on the final day, you would need to walk a long, long way to find Vaughny or any English captain doing the same..."
Bluey via the TMS inbox

"Pranav Bhai - what happened between 0933 when India were 110-3 and 0937 when India are 121-3? I see that there was a four in there, but the other runs? Dissappeared like the millions in the stock market? Blessings."
Andi Eicher (from Mumbai) via the TMS inbox

Andi, there were a few singles in there but with the spinners on, it's tricky to keep up with everything. I hope this grovelling explanation does the job.

TEA: INDIA 130-3

0941: India 130-3
Fresh from a textbook-perfect drive off Clarke from the previous over, VVS spanks another prestigious drive through extra cover off Cameron White for four. And the last ball before tea sails down fine behind the keeper for four, bringing up the 50 partnership in the process. VVS moves on 28 while Tendulkar is three shy of his 50th Test half century. He is also 17 runs short of Brian Lara's record too.

"Here's a golden chance for Sachin Tendulkar (to prove himself again). He should save the game for India today and silence his critics. And it wouldn't hurt if he surpasses Brian Lara's record in the process."
Vineet, Mumbai, India via the TMS inbox

0937: India 121-3
Haddin breaks the stumps - but forgets to gather the ball, which races away for four byes as Michael Clarke strays outside leg. VVS tucks into a half-volley outside off stump for his second boundary of the day through cover. Lovely shot, nice flourish too.

0933: India 110-3
"One mistake" shouts Brad Haddin after Sachin plays one of his backward sweeps to the man on the 45 off Mike Clarke. He twice doubles up with a push off the legs and gives Ricky Ponting a bit of a stinging with a full-bloodied drive into his calf after the Aussie captain takes evasive action . Serious heart in mouth time for VVS, who injudiciously goes back to a ball which keeps low from Cameron White. That would have been a certain lbw dismissal had he not got his bat down in time.

Get involved on 606
"If India escape this one, they have done extremely well. With the way the ball is moving around, a collapse could happen any moment. Hats off to whoever prepared the pitch - its been a great Test match pitch." Trevorbarker on 606

0927: India 104-3
Clarke gets a vicious ball to spit at VVS, who plays the most delicate of dabs to get on top of the ball and foil the hopes of the close fielders. Tendulkar clocks a googly out of the back of Cameron White's hand, easing the ball through mid-wicket for a single, a run which sees him move to 39.

0922: India 103-3
Tendulkar turns a low-bouncing Clarke ball around the corner to the man at fine leg on the 45, whil Laxman tucks Cameron White off his hips in the following over. it's all about the Aussie tweak twins, although neither is coaxing any discernable turn from this thoroughly worn and cracked surface.

Get involved on 606
"200 runs off 43 overs is not beyong the relms of possibility. I think when/if Tendulkar passes Lara's record, he may cut loose and have a crack at the target score...but then again, he might not. This promises to be an exciting finish. I'm wondering why Shane Watson hasn't been used more in this innings. Is he injured?"
From_the_stands on 606

0915: India 100-3
Clarke, back on for Brett Lee, has VVS in all sorts of bother before Sachin Tendulkar scores the first run off the bat in four overs with a dab behind square for a single off Cameron White. Tendulkar brings up India's 100 with a push to mid-off.

0910: India 97-3
Cameron White bamboozles Tendulkar with a googly, but the ball doesn't grip enough to take the off stump. The Victorian leggie is getting plenty of flight on his tweakers, but how much would you want another blond Victorian on this pitch if you were decked in green and gold? That's the third successive maiden, fair to say India's hopes of victory are as dead as a Monty Python parrot.

0907: India 97-3
More hawk-like observations from VVS, who is almost undone by a surprise delivery from Binga Lee, who cuts his run up with his fourth ball which cannons off the inside edge of the bat to safety. Maiden over.

0902: India 97-3
On comes Cameron White for his first joust of the innings, still searching for his first Test wicket. And he almost has it when Tendulkar flails at a wide, flighty ball outside off stump, but his thick outside edge sails over the head of Matty Hayden at slip for a boundary, although the replay suggests he didn't actually get any bat on that. Nice start from White, although imagine the controversy if that had gone to hand. Tendulkar needs another 29 runs to overhaul Brian Charles Lara as Test match cricket's all-time leading run scorer.

0858: India 93-3
VVS digs out a brute of a reverse swinging yorker from Brett Lee, who sees a thick outside edge squirt off the edge and run down through the gap between second slip and gully. But well played by Laxman, who plays the ball with soft hands, ensuring the ball is along the grass on its transit down to the boundary. He then flicks a neat glance off his pads for another two.

0853: India 86-3
A leg bye boosts India's total by one from Michael Clarke's over. The left-arm spinner doesn't quite have the variety of a frontline spinner, but he mixes up flight with pace complemented by a good line around off stump.

0850: India 85-3
Turns out Brett Lee's hiatus was merely for a change of ends. VVS chases a ball that is too close to drive as Brad Haddin collects the ball around his ankles, absolutely no bounce through to the keeper. The elegant batsman looks a tad village at the moment.

0845: India 85-3
Michael Clarke replaces Brett Lee as VVS whips a wristy pull through mid-wicket for a single. My colleague to my right says even I could have put that ball away for four. He may have a point, but I very much doubt it.

0841: India 84-3
Sachin eyes Mitchell Johnson's latest offerings, but decides nothing is worthy of an aggressive response as he defends, weaves and ducks his way through the maiden over. Time for a spot of beverage.

With India batting, you can never say never as our batting line-up has the capability of crashing down suddenly like anything, more than the recent fiscal markets for sure..."
Mohit Singla, Punjab, India via the TMS inbox

0836: India 84-3
VVS plays the most sumptuous front and back foot drives off Brett Lee, but both MCC straight-out-of-the-coaching manual strokes find their way to close fielders. Gutted. Anyway, just one run from that over which takes Sachin T to 30.

"Slightly ironically, I'm a half-Indian, born and bred in the UK, now working in Mumbai and following this intriguing game on the BBC website. A tiny, tiny bit of me wants wee Mr T to not get to the magic mark until the second Test against England at the CCI in Bombay, because I'll be there, but that does wish upon him failure in this and the next four Test matches that India play in, so seems a trifle unfair. Plus we (that's the Indian part of me showing) need his help to stuff the Aussies and put them on the back foot for the Ashes next year! Keep up the good work - you have me riveted, my F5 button is wearing out!"
Kieron, Mumbai via the TMS inbox

0832: India 83-3
Tendulkar aerially flicks Mitchell Johnson off his hips past Ponting at leg slip for a single as the Aussie skipper moves himself into a very straight silly mid-on for Laxman. Ponting is muttering away like the pub bore about goodness knows what, but I think it's designed to get in the ear of VVS, who flicks two off his hip.

0827: India 80-3
Ricky Ponting piles the pressure on VVS with three fielders in and around the mid-wicket area for that ubiquitous flick off his legs when Brett Lee charges in. Laxman is looking particularly vulnerable, something which the Aussies sense judging by their constant chirps.

Wicket falls
0823: India 77-3 WICKET Gambhir bowled Johnson 29
Lordy, talk about putting the stoppers on the lad after bigging him up the over before. Gambhir plays all round what looks like a very innocent straight, full ball and the death rattle rings around the ground. Johnson is delighted, I would be too if I got a wicket with a very average ball. Actually, that's very harsh. The replay shows Mitchell cut his fingers across the ball, biting on the pitch and dissecting Gambhir's defence. In fact it's a very good ball. Out comes VVS Laxman on a pair. And he's off the pair with the most laconic flick off his pads you could ever wish to see for two. India 79-3 at the end of the over.

"As an Australian living in London, I would like to agree with Neil Viney (0742) that Messers Soneji and Dirs bring a decidedly colourful reading experience to Test match cricket and something that could easily be cross-bred into other sports. The Hunter S Thompson-esque gonzo style lives on through these fine journalists. This however, is where my agreement with Neil stops, because he indicates that England will win the Ashes next year, which means he is not eating enough Vegemite. When in Rome Neil, when in Rome..."
Michael, in London

I think myself and Hunter S. Thompson - one of my all-time heroes - is slightly generous Mike - I can call you Mike, right? - but I'll take it.

0817: India 75-2
Gambhir brings up the 50 partnership as he skips down the wicket and tonks a Michael Clarke full toss through mid-wicket for four. Top shot, he's playing with confidence now, unlike just before lunch, when he looked like he was batting with a pencil in his hand.

0814: India 71-2
Mitchell Johnson raps Gambhir flush on the pad, but contact was very much outside leg stump, so no tough deliberations for Rudi Koertzen. Johnson, searching for early signs of some reverse swing, pushes the ball miles down leg side, past the sprawling Haddin for four very, very harsh byes, taking the match tally to 44. Gambhir then dispatches a spanking square drive to the point boundary for another four. Our Mitchell isn't quite on song like he was on Saturday.

"Gambhir and Tendulkar look to have settled in fairly well....hopefully some Johnno magic changes all that."
Jesse, Melbourne, Australia

0809: India 63-2
Gambhir skips down the wicket and smears Michael Clarke through mid-wicket for a single. Sachin Tendulkar takes time to garden a few strategic cracks in and around his off stump, but none provide too much cause for concern as Clarke tosses up a bit more flight.

0806: India 62-2
No headlines from Mitchell Johnson's over as Sachin Tendulkar gets behind six balls with rock-like solidity.

0802: India 62-2
Clarke has a not too unreasonable shout for leg before turned down by Asad Rauf, who seems to keep his head perfectly still when considering appeals, prolonging the batsmen's anxiety further. Both batsmen exchange singles, but no real turn for Clarke - who has taken 6-9 for Australia in India - as yet.

"I can't see anything else but a drawn Test series between these two. Mind you, if India had batted first in this Test I think they would have taken it easily. As for the Ashes next year, with Australia's 'Old Heads' gradually retiring, I think the Ashes will come back to England again. Does anyone know what has happened to Mohammed Kaif?"
James Watson, Halifax

Jim, I can call you Jim, right? Kaif played in the second Test against South Africa in Ahmedabad, but since India got a royal pasting in that match, the thoroughly talented batsman hasn't had a sniff since then.

0758: India 60-2
Tendulkar nurdles two behind square off Mitchell Johnson, runs which make him the highest Test scorer for ONE TEAM in cricket. Brian Lara's extra runs came the ICC Super Test against Australia in Sydney three years ago.

0754: India 57-2
Gambhir finally connects with a scoring shot, another skidder from Clarke which squirts past Matthew Hayden at first slip for two. The left-hander rocks back to a short ball outside off stump and thumps the ball past point for three, while partner Sachin T tucks in to a juicy full toss through cover for two.

0750: India 50-2
Maiden over from Johnson. No alarms and no surprises, Thom Yorke might say.

"This promises to be a very tense few minutes. India have got to dig in for at least the next hour, during which time the markets will open in London following the G7/Eurozone rescue deal announcements and we'll know properly whether the capacity of the state to influence capitalism exists or not. You appear to have studied economics judging by your library comments, Pranav, and you know your cricket. Has a Test opening batsman ever gone out to bat under one world economic system and come back to find another one in place, or would this be a first?"
Paul in Lancs via the TMS inbox

A thoroughly intriguing question Paul. Maybe John Maynard Keynes was in the midst of a dashing innings at the top of the order playing for Dunny-on-the-Wold's third XI when he came up with his interventionist policies to rid the world of boom/bust economics.

0746: India 50-2
No beating around the bush for Punter, who immediately turns to spin straight after lunch. "Cameron White" you say? Nope. Michael Clarke. His first ball is rank and Tendulkar swivels on his back foot for two through mid-wicket. Clarke's last ball doesn't actually look like it bounced past Gambhir's bat, through Brad Haddin's legs and down to the boundary for four byes.

We're back.

"As a Pom living in Perth, Western Australia, I would just like to add how great it is that our Aussie cousins choose to follow the live text commentary from the BBC. Since moving here I have really been pushing the banter started by the likes of Ben Dirs and carried on by your goodself Pranav. The more Aussies we can get hooked on this lovely website the more sweet the Ashes victory will be next year!!!"
Neil Viney, Perth via the TMS inbox


0704: India 41-2
Gautam Gambhir plays it safe, leaving anything off his stumps from Watson's over, ensuring there are no dramas before lunch. Maiden over. See you back here in 40 minutes.

0659: India 41-2
Mitchell Johnson comes on for a joust, but his first ball - a half volley outside off stump - is dispatched to the boundary by Tendulkar, aided by a misfield from Mike Hussey. Hussey? Misfield? Don't think that's ever been written in the same sentence before. And the Mumbai maestro follows that up with another boundary, this time with a very neat flick off his hips for a fine boundary, before his rubber wrists manipulate the ball for two to deep square. Just enough time for another over before lunch.

0654: India 31-2
Gautam Gambhir has been getting it left, right and centre from the Aussies, everyone's in his ear. Shane Watson gives him an earbashing after sending a bouncer harmlessly over his head for another maiden. Maybe he's asking about the finest nightspots in Delhi for later on in the series.

0650: India 31-2
Stu Clark launches in to his seventh over with Brad Haddin standing up to the stumps and immediately the wicketkeeper smartly whips the bails off with an attempted stumping, but Rudi Koertzen isn't having any of his appeal though. A bit of magic from Tendulkar, who opens the face of the bat and guides a good length Stuart Clark delivery on the up to the deep point boundary for four. Special is one word to describe it. Audacious would probably be another.

0645: India 27-2
Tendulkar turns new bowler Shane Watson off his hip for a single, while Gambhir leaves the majority of the rest of the over.

0641: India 26-2
Shane Watson does some form of stretching contortion as Stuart Clark comes in for his sixth over, bowling around the wicket to Gautam Gambir, who continues to defend belligerently with more and more men descending around the bat. "Oooh look at that, another blistering cover drive!" says Ponting as Gambhir mishits an attempted stroke through the off side. There is an audible increase in chat around the bat as the Aussies get stuck in to a bit of mental disintegration.

"Eating fruit cake, drinking tea. Should be putting together new ride-on mowers but this looks better. Keep up the good work chaps."
Gerald, Sunshine Coast, Australia via the TMS inbox

0636: India 26-2
Tendulkar gets off the mark to Lee with an uncertain backward defence into the leg side. Gambhir is more confident with a flick off his legs.

0632: India 24-2
Gambhir attempts a quick single, only to be greeted by an almighty squawk of "NO!" from the non-striker's end. What's going on here? Gautam Gambhir opts to shoulder arms to a Stuart Clark delivery from around the wicket, a very close shout indeed, but umpire Asad Rauf says no. But while all this is going on Brad Haddin uses his enterprise and hits the stumps with Gambhir out of his ground, prompting a referral to the third umpire from umpire Koertzen at square leg. But Gambhir just - and I really do mean just - gets his bat down in time.

0622: India 24-2 WICKET Dravid ct Ponting b Lee 5
Oh dear. Rahul Dravid flicks nice shot off his legs, but straight into the buckethands of Ricky Ponting, who takes a very smart catch moving to his right, at mid-wicket. The Aussies realise the one man who could drop anchor and bat all day is no longer about. Out comes Sachin and a huge power surge hits India as 1.1 billion people turn on their TVs. Tendulkar needs 64 more runs to overtake Brian Lara as Test cricket's all-time leading runscorer. What a match to do it.

0619: India 24-1
Two runs from that Stuart Clark over, nothing too much to worry the two batsmen.

"'As quiet as a library' (see 0605)? I'm following the coverage from the State Library of Victoria, in Melbourne, Aussie-land, while working on my thesis: around me I see school students eating chips, lounging about, talking, chatting, flirting, sending and receiving SMS messages, making phonecalls. Doing everything but studying (just as I am now following the cricket). If only this library were as quiet as the Chinnaswamy Stadium. Keep up the excellent coverage. "
Andy via the TMS inbox

Ahhh student libraries. Pretending to read about the macroeconomical impact of demand-side fiscal policies while surruptiously eyeing the lovely lady reading the "Botswanan pottery through the 20th century" book to my left... Oh yeah, cricket.

0616: India 22-1
Ponting is going absolutely doolally shouting "NUMBER TWO BOYZZZZZ!" as Brett Lee oversteps with a short delivery which Gautam Gambhir didn't play too well. But the opener plays the next two balls with a beautifully straight bat, while his former captain Rahul Dravid spanks the last ball of the over for a dreamy boundary with what can only be described as a front-foot push. No flourish, no fuss, no aggression, just sheer, unadulterated timing and skill.

Wicket falls
0605: India 16-1 WICKET Sehwag ct Hayden 6
Just one ball after he was dropped by Brad Haddin, Virender Sehwag edges Stuart Clark to first slip Matthew Hayden, who takes a smart low catch and suddenly the M Chinnaswamy Stadium is as quiet as a library. The opener attempts to hit Clark through mid-on and pays the consequence for eschewing a straight bat. Out comes local favourite Rahul Dravid, who sees off the next five balls without too much alarm. That's Clark's first wicket of the match.

0604: India 16-0
Oh dear - Brad Haddin drops a very tough one-handed chance diving to his right as Virender Sehwag nicks an outswinger. The ball hits the top of the wicketkeeper's index finger, flying on to the hip of first slip Matthew Hayden, who looks absolutely aghast as the ball spills to safety.

0600: India 14-0
Stuart Clark trots out six deliveries on the nose as India snaffle two runs from the over.

0555: India 12-0
"Dare you believe" says the man to my right as Gambhir flicks Brett Lee off his pads for a beautifully timed boundary to deep square leg. Wicketkeeper Brad Haddin makes a brilliant one-handed diving stop to ensure a second boundary does not follow.

0552: India 8-0
Sehwag unleashes the most exquisite cover drive you could ever wish to see off the last ball of Stuart Clark's over, doubling India's total to eight. Any more of that and I might faint.

0547: India 4-0
Lee beats Gautam Gambhir with a brute of a second ball, pitching on off stump and straightening as the left-handed opener gropes awkwardly like a blind pensioner. Lee has a big appeal for lbw turned down, although Gambhir's heart must have been in his mouth as Rudi Koertzen pointed down the pitch - but only to indicate to Lee to get off it. Rudi was far too quick off the mark to give that. The last ball of the over is clipped off Gambhir's hips just wide of the outstretched diving right hand of Brad Haddin. Eventful start.

Brett Lee to open up with the new ball.

"What a great first Test this has shaped up to be - let's hope the Indians can show some courage now and see out the fifth day - this is the first real examination of how the Australian bowlers shape up in the post Warne/McGrath era."
Canary on a surfboard via the TMS inbox

So India need 299 runs to win from 83 overs. I'm so excited I could breakdance. However, I don't want to be some sort of harbinger of doom, but the weather isn't exactly top-notch in Bangalore/Bengaluru right now. There's a light roller doing the rounds on the pitch, but Virender Sehwag and Gautam Gambhir better be careful running down the wicket, one of them could fall in one of the hundreds of gaps.

"I'm enjoying your commentary during our working day down here (Canberra). Just a quick note of contention, Shane Watson is a Queenslander not a Victorian. Cameron White the 'spin-bowler aka arm-ball on off-stump specialist', is the Victorian all-rounder. We're a pretty parochial bunch down here."
Brad Waters via the TMS inbox


0531: Australia 228-6
Cameron White aka Josh Homme, lead singer of American axe wielders Queens of the Stone Age, spanks Zaheer Khan through point for a very well timed four. It's all easy going right now with the field spread as Australia move towards the magic 300 mark. Brad Haddin's absolutely belting off the pitch, which can only mean Ricky Ponting has declared.

0526: Australia 219-6
Ishant Sharma continues toiling away, but the Aussies pick up four singles flailed to various parts of the outfield. The M Chinnaswamy Stadium is a touch muted, a few fireworks (cricket-wise, rather than Roman candles-wise) would liven things up.

0522: Australia 215-6
Kumble's thumb is not up to scratch so Zaheer Khan replaces his captain and immediately goes around the wicket, where his first delivery reverses in to Cameron White with real menace. However, the Victorian has ample room on the off side to double up a mishit square drive. Substitute fielder Subramaniam Badrinath is on for Kumble, which means Mahendra Singh Dhoni takes charge of the side once more. Zaheer oversteps as Haddin flicks two runs down to fine leg, which takes the match's extras tally past the century mark. Haddin chips up a leg-side flick in the air, but the ball drops harmlessly between mid-wicket and mid-on. Frustration for the home side.

Wicket falls
0509: Australia 203-6 WICKET Watson bowled Sharma 41
Ishant Sharma ambles in and presents Shane Watson the juiciest of half-volleys which the all-rounder drives down the ground through mid-on for four, taking Australia past the 200 mark. But the resplendent barnet gets his revenge the following ball, cleaning up his stumps with an inswinger which Watson attempts to mow into space. Excellent knock from the Queensland all-rounder, an innings which could just win Australia this Test match. New batsmen Cameron White gets off the mark with a drive through cover for four, an hour of this laddie going ballastic and India could be chasing a 400-run target. Australia are 208-6 at the end of the over.

0507: Australia 199-5
Drama first ball! Anil Kumble, opening the bowling, gets a return catch drilled straight towards his bread basket from Brad Haddin, but he can't get his fingers around the well-struck red thing hurtling towards his chest at some speed. And to make matters worse for the leg-spinner, he has done some sort of damage to his left thumb and the physio is on for treatment. Meanwhile Shane Watson improvises a quite incredible stroke. He goes down on one knee with the intention of playing a sweep, realises the ball is too short and adjusts to play a front-foot cut to the third man boundary for four, a stroke which takes Australia one run from the 200 mark.

0459: If Tony Greig ever put his keys down one of these cracks, it's safe to say he would never see those bad boys again. They are huge. The Indians are out in the field - that explains Ponting's decision then.

Get involved on 606
"This is a golden opportunity to go 1-0 up and he should declare inside the first hour of play tomorrow. On this pitch, 300 is impossible but a collapse is highly probable. Punter should know by now that once they get Sehwag out, the rest of the Indian batting line up will go negative and most likely fold meekly. It's an opportunity he can't afford to miss."
80mph on 606

0450: "WWRD" - what would Ricky do? Give Shane Watson and Brad Haddin licence for the long handle for the first hour of the morning, push the total past 300 and set India an impossible target, guaranteeing either a win or a draw in the first of a four-Test series. OR declare this morning, put your faith in your bowlers on a pitch with more cracks than the Tottenham defence and bowl the Indians out for under a hundred? Hmmm, probably self-explanatory.

0445: I'd better have a darn good explanation as to why I'm up before the roosters on an autumnal Monday morning...why it's the fifth day of a thoroughly riveting first Test match between India and Australia of course.

see also
Australia in India 2008
09 Apr 08 |  Cricket

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