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Last Updated: Sunday, 5 March 2006, 12:03 GMT
India v England as it happened
England 393 & 297-3 dec drew with India 323 & 260-6

Wasim Jaffer completed a maiden century as the first Test between England and India ended in a thrilling draw.

The teams shook hands when the umpires offered the light to the Indian batsmen with their score on 260-6, still 108 short of their target.

There was little sign of what was to come as Jaffer and Rahul Dravid (71) put on 167 in orthodox fashion.

But the game burst into life after tea as India launched a charge before accepting the task was beyond them.



1140: There is some confusion as the umpires are reluctant to officially call off the match but after a few minutes the stumps are drawn.

1135: Laxman comes out but almost immediately the light is offered and accepted. So a match which was drifting towards a limp stalemate is briefly ignited before ending with honours even. The players shake hands and minds will now wander towards Mohali, where the second Test begins on Thursday.

1133: WICKET: India 260-6 (Harbhajan 7) Harmison teaches him a lesson with a perfect yorker to make a mess of his stumps.

1132: Harbhajan makes a mockery of that idea by hitting Harmison across the line and high over mid-wicket for four.

1131: Tendulkar has retreated into a more defensive mode and even Harbhajan is reluctant to adopt his usually manic approach.

1127: The equation is loaded slightly in England's favour now as a mentally and physically exhausted Flintoff charges in once again. The light is fading rapidly and could have the final say after the drama of the previous hour or so.

1123: WICKET: India 252-5 (Dhoni 16) Dhoni attempts another big hit but finds the magnetic hands of Strauss at long-off. Harbhajan is sent out - India aren't giving up the ghost yet.

1121: Harmison comes on as the light starts to recede. The batsmen will not accept it if it's offered but it simply adds to the drama. The target is 116 off 14 overs and the game has been completely transformed since tea.

1116: The first ball is quite brilliantly reverse swept by Tendulkar for four. The second is swept in more orthodox style for another boundary. Dhoni gives himself room and crashes Blackwell high over extra cover to make it 16 off the over and bring up the 250.

1114: Flintoff decides to bring on Blackwell, a move which could be inspired or utter folly. The Somerset man has more one-day experience than Panesar but he is up against some of the best batsmen in the world.

1110: After an expensive over from Flintoff, costing 13 runs, the players take a drinks break. India need 132 more off 15 overs - it has been done before in one-day matches - and England need to calm things down.

1109: Tendulkar then helps a poor Flintoff delivery to fine-leg for his first boundary and launches another one in the same region. The DJ at the ground is greeting each four with a burst of music and Flintoff is tiring. Neither of those are good signs for England.

1106: One of the finest fielders in the world, Paul Collingwood, mis-fields. The tension is increasing.

1105: Dhoni launches into a big drive, gets a thick outside edge off Harmison and races away to third man for his first four.

1103: There is an air of expectancy around the ground as the target comes down to 150. Test cricket has a habit of throwing up some sensational climaxes. Is this about to become one of them?

1057: Tendulkar comes in and immediately looks for a quick single which Dhoni refuses, so maybe the onslaught will continue. That was a superb over from the England captain and just what his side wanted.

1056: WICKET: India 215-4 (Pathan 35) Pathan holes out to Strauss at mid-wicket off Flintoff to end an entertaining 25-ball cameo. Will India now shut up shop?

1053: Harmison restores some sanity to the situation with a tight over which goes for "only" five.

1047: Flintoff's full-toss is wristily flicked away to deep mid-wicket. He moves to 31 off 18. Dhoni then misses with a huge heave: this is not Test cricket the purist way.

1042: Dhoni leaves his first delivery from Harmison alone, to groans from the crowd. They sense something dramatic. He picks up two to get off the mark off a short ball but the fielding was poor. England are rattled as the 200 comes up.

1038: WICKET: India 198-3 (Jaffer 100) The centurion drives Flintoff straight to Strauss at cover to end a valiant effort. Dhoni is sent in as a clear statement of intent. India plan to give this a go - for a while.

1037: Flintoff hits back with an excellent delivery in the blockhole. England are unexpectedly under pressure when it seemed the game was up. The required run-rate is eight an over - perfectly feasible - and the field is set well back.

1034: A powerful drive races away to wide of long-off for four despite Anderson's despairing dive. The next ball is cracked straight down the ground for a six. Pathan has his sights set on something special here having hit 25 off 14 balls.

1033: Flintoff takes the ball at the start of the last hour. A minimum of 22 overs will need to be bowled so "hour" is more likely to be closer to 90 minutes.

1031: Jaffer pushes the ball to point and takes a quick single to complete his maiden Test century off 197 balls in his comeback after three-and-a-half years in the wilderness.

1029: Pathan steps down the track and launches Panesar over mid-wicket for four. A draw is still the likely outcome but England need to keep the runs down.

1028: Suddenly quick singles are being taken, edges are flying around, a docile afternoon could be about to turn into a grandstand finish.

1024: Blackwell dishes up a long-hop which Jaffer should have brought his century up with but he settles for a single to move to 97.

1021: Pathan is promoted up the order and is rapped on the pad well outside the line of off-stump. Monty doesn't care and appeals extravagantly - try telling him this game is petering out. Two balls later Pathan edges wide of slip for four.

1020: WICKET: India 168-2 (Dravid 71) Panesar deserves more respect and the next ball is a beauty, pitching on middle and hitting off-stump to send the India captain on his way. Panesar jumps up and sown, as is his wont - is there some life left in this Test yet?

1019: Dravid plays an outrageous reverse sweep to Panesar. This game is almost in one-day mode.

1011: Such is Dravid's confidence he even comes down the wicket to Hoggard. There is little left here but to see Jaffer finish his hundred and deal with the formalities.

1008: An expensive over from Harmison as Dravid whips him away through mid-wicket and effortlessly flicks him to long-leg for another boundary.

1001: Jaffer edges Hoggard behind but it just fails to carry to Jones. The 150 partnership comes up.

0959: Dravid brings up the 150 with a single off Hoggard. His main objective now is to give his partner as much of the strike as possible to complete his century.

0956: Jaffer moves into the 90s when he flicks a bad ball from Flintoff which strays down the leg-side. It's not been a good day for England's talisman.

0946: Dravid square-cuts Flintoff for four to bring up his fifty and 1,000 runs in Tests against England - only the 10th man to do that. The remainder of this match is really only about statistics now. 141-1

0944: Jaffer picks up a single off Hoggard to record his highest Test score of 87.

0931: Play resumes with the players likely to go through the motions before an early halt is called.

0909: A loud appeal for lbw against Jaffer from Blackwell is turned down by Dar. It pitched a fraction outside leg-stump and the players go off for tea with the game drifting towards a tame draw. 131-1

0904: Dravid pulls a short one from Blackwell straight past the bowler in uncharacteristically aggressive style for four. The spinner didn't exactly break sweat with his attempt to stop the ball.

0857: Interest in the on-field proceedings is dwindling rapidly it seems, with plenty of spectators deep in discussion. For the record, the partnership between Jaffer and Dravid is worth 124 - they added 129 in eerily similar fashion in the first innings.

0846: An extraordinary short delivery down the leg-side from Blackwell bemuses Dravid and bounces past an equally startled Jones but no runs are conceded.

0840: Flintoff will turn his arm over again. Only 42 overs are left now and the Indian fans are amusing themselves with some comical dance routines. The English supporters, like their heroes out on the field, are flagging somewhat.

0837: Blackwell is re-introduced to the attack. It would be the biggest sensation in cricketing history if he triggered a collapse.

0833: Drinks are taken with the England players struggling to come up with any ideas about breaking this partnership. It could soon be time for the occasional bowlers.

0825: Jones appeals for a stumping even though Jaffer's foot is well inside the crease. That was just desperation. The opener responds by hammering Panesar away to the backward point boundary and Dravid continues the punishment when another one is dropped short.

0820: Harmison incurs the wrath of the home fans when he throws the ball back at Jaffer after the ball is played back to him. Suddenly the proceedings have livened up a bit with everyone in danger of nodding off on a lazy afternoon in Maharashtra.

0815: A pushed single on the off-side brings up the 100 for India but soon after Jaffer is close to being run out but Prior, on as a substitute for Pietersen, misses with his under-arm throw from close in. Replays show he would have been out by a yard. The century partnership comes up for the second wicket. 102-1.

0806: Flintoff seems reluctant to try anything radical, with few fielders close to the bat, particularly when the spinners are on.

0800: Jaffer looks on course for a well-deserved century after effortlessly flicking Panesar through mid-on for his 10th boundary.

0757: A perfect illustration of the role Dravid plays for India is seen in the fact that he has 28 from 108 balls, while Jaffer has scored 61 off the same number of deliveries.

0755: Harmison returns. It's merely a question of chopping and changing and praying for something to happen as far as England are concerned. Most observers are already turning their attention to selection issues for Mohali.

0747: Dravid pounces on a rare poor ball from Panesar and cracks it away through the covers.

0743: Bell dives low to his right and gets a hand to Jaffer's drive off Hoggard at mid-off. It was a difficult chance but for England to have any realistic prospect of victory he needed to hold on. 86-1

0739: A desperate dive from Pietersen on the backward point boundary limits Jaffer to three runs but earns himself a nasty bruise which balloons up near the elbow. He goes off for treatment after showing it to virtually all his team-mates.

0730: Dravid gets an inside edge which nearly careers into his stumps. The Indians do look more aggressive. Maybe it was something they ate.

0726: The ball is finally changed after several inspections. Flintoff, after thinking about bringing on Panesar for himself, changes his mind. Maybe the new one will suddenly reverse swing?

0723: Runs are coming easily as Dravid plays a wristy shot to turn Hoggard to the mid-wicket fence. This is not the start England wanted after lunch.

0718: Flintoff drifts down the leg-side and Jaffer duly puts it away. He then cuts for four to bring up his second fifty of the game, before turning the big all-rounder away to the mid-wicket boundary.

0716: A maiden from Hoggard and the Indian skipper looks in the mood to bat out the rest of the day.

0711: The players are back out and Dravid takes strike for the important second session. Hoggard is back on and England need a breakthrough soon.

0632: There are no further alarms for the batsmen as Panesar completes a maiden. India will be happy with their lunch position of 63-1.

0622: There's plenty of chuntering going on in the crowd and the decibel level soars when Blackwell, getting a fair deal of turn, is a whisker away from finding Dravid's edge. Jones drops the ball anyway. The "snickometer" says there was contact - if that is the case it was a costly mistake by the much-maligned Kent wicket-keeper.

0619: A minor victory for Panesar as he beats Jaffer's outside edge. That hasn't happened often enough for England's liking.

0613: Flintoff once again asks the umpire to examine the ball but play continues with the same cherry. Blackwell, who needs to deliver something extraordinary to justify his place, gives the ball a lot of air but he too is frustrated as two runs to Jaffer bring up the fifty for India and the opener drives past cover for his sixth four.

0610: Another firm push on the off-side brings three more to Jaffer. Panesar is trying everything but it's not coming off for him at the moment.

0607: Blackwell is operating at the other end. Based on the first innings, he is unlikely to create much panic in the Indian camp.

0604: Jaffer moves to 28 with two fine on-drives off two tossed-up Panesar deliveries.

0557: The left-arm spinner almost teases Dravid into a mistake but, after their early setback, India look relatively comfortable.

0547: Panesar is brought on after 17 overs. He will be looking to conjure up the kind of ball that bamboozled Kaif late on Friday. There are some oohs and aahs in the crowd as Jaffer drives uppishly to where extra cover would have been. England desperarely want another breakthrough with 40 minutes to go before lunch.

0541: Flintoff gifts Dravid one down the leg-side and the present is duly accepted, the ball helped along to the fine-leg boundary.

0535: Harmison comes back in place of Hoggard at the Jaika End - where most of the success appears to have come for England.

0532: Drinks are taken after 14 overs of sparring in which England have delivered the most significant blow. 23-1

0528: Jaffer misses with an attempted pull and later in the over one from Flintoff keeps lower. The batsman makes no mistake with a delightful off-drive to help release some of the tension enveloping the Vidarbha Cricket Association Ground.

0523: Another fine straight drive from Dravid beats Hoggard and races away to the boundary.

0520: The skipper strays down the leg-side and Jaffer dispatches the ball for four. Runs have not exactly been flowing - 15 in 50 minutes. Flintoff is not happy with the condition of the ball and has a quick chat with umpire Dar.

0510: Flintoff brings himself on for Harmison. Can he produce something special for his country yet again?

0509: Hoggard bowls another maiden, with Jones yelling out more positive feedback. The clouds have started to disappear.

0503: Dravid drives a fullish Harmison delivery straight down the ground to pick up his first four runs. Harmison responds by somehow finding some extra bounce on a flat wicket to unsettle the skipper and then gets the ball to cut back late off the pitch. Good cricket all round.

0457: Wicket-keeper Jones shouts out "let's create some pressure lads" and Hoggard responds with some good tight bowling to Jaffer until he drops one short which the opener puts away backward of square-leg for the first boundary of the morning.

0455: Jaffer turns the ball away to square-leg for the first run off the bat. That brings India captain Rahul Dravid on strike. England will hope to knock down "The Wall" quickly to really create some panic in the home dressing room.

0450: WICKET: India 1-1 (Sehwag 0) And true enough, it leads to a breakthrough as Hoggard produces an absolute pearler to jag the ball back in and clean bowl Sehwag. A dream start for England.

0448: Good fielding from Pietersen at cover prevents Sehwag getting the ball away. The longer England can keep him under wraps the more likely he is to try something too ambitious.

0447: Harmison keeps it tight with England's fielders giving him plenty of encouragement.

0440: Hoggard bowls a lovely delivery with a touch of away swing which Jaffer feels for. That will encourage the England bowlers and their fans. A leg-bye off the next ball gets India underway but Hoggard has made a good start.

0435: Flintoff gives Harmison three slips and a man out for the hook as he roars in to Sehwag. The noise level is cranked up by the crowd as the India opener goes after a wide one but fails to make contact. He looks anxious to get after the bowling as he misses again with his favoured upper cut. Another maiden.

0430: Hoggard bowls the first over hoping to find the kind of movement through the air that stunned India in their first innings. Not much away swing first up as Jaffer safely negotiates the first six balls.

0428: Flintoff gathers his players for a huddle as the Indian batsmen walk out. With Sehwag at the crease, even 368 does not seem a fanciful target but it will be interesting to see what kind of approach India adopt.

0419: Predictably, England declare to give themselves three sessions to bowl out the hosts for a stunning victory. There is a nice breeze blowing across the ground and conditions are overcast following some overnight rain, which will help England's pacemen, although there is a risk of rain.

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