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1st Test England v India

FIRST NPOWER TEST, Lord's - match abandoned as draw:
England 298 & 282 all out v India 201 & 282-9

England were a wicket away from beating India in the first Test when bad light and rain forced a draw at Lord's.

Sourav Ganguly (40) and Dinesh Karthik (60) fell on the last morning to leave the Indians 145-5 chasing 380 but VVS Laxman and Mahendra Dhoni added 86.

Chris Tremlett (3-52), Ryan Sidebottom and Monty Panesar struck after lunch to take England to the brink of victory.

Dhoni (76) and Sree Santh survived 30 balls of spin before poor light forced tea early and there was no more action.



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By Tom Fordyce

1821: Bad news my friends - the rain continues to fall at Lord's and the match has been abondoned - the game finishes as draw. Such a shame, non? This match was an absolute zinger, but the weather robbed us of the concludio. Still - the next Test starts on Friday, and that's only four days away...

From Neil Sibley in west London: "Above me I hear for the first time today the patter of rain on the frosted skylight, and it beats out the irregular semaphor of a draw. Curses!"

I'm not sure you mean semaphor, Neil, but I know what you're saying.

1750: Those footsteps you can hear are the sound of people leaving the optimists' camp in their droves and heading over to join the pessimists. This really isn't looking in any way good. Even the England players have left their balcony. Is that KP throwing his kit into a large bag?

1740: This isn't good - Lord's head groundsman Mick Hunt says he thinks this drizzle will clear up - by about 0300 on Tuesday.

1730: Still raining. Very much in the pessimists' camp is CMJ, who has just stated that he'd be amazed if we get any more play today. And to be fair, he's seen a whole heap more cricket than I have. Then again, he is over double my age.

1710: Still raining. Some of us here are optimistic; others have declared this all over for the day. Which isn't much help to you, but for what it's worth I'm in the chirpy camp.

From Jamie Bideford: "Can we not play under double waved yellow flags, or even a safety car? It worked at the Nurbergring on Sunday."

1655: Grrrr - it's now raining more solidly. Anyone know any anti-rain dances?

1629: No we're not - Umps Taufel has just told TMS's Arlo White that the 1640 resumption has gone out of the window because of this drizzle. Aye-yai-yai. It's actually brighter than it was when they came off an hour ago, but they're not going to do anything until it stops raining. The silver lining? It's only just about raining...

1624: Hmm - the main cover over the pitch is staying on, because there's the slightest sniff of drizzle in the air again. Gulp. I'll keep you posted, but - officially at least - we're still due to kick off again at 1640.

1613: Breaking news - we'll get underway again at 1640, as long as there's no more rain and the light doesn't disappear once again. I'm making no more predictions, not after that horrific aberation at 1531.

1609: Sing hosannas, England fans - Umpire Bucknor has made a made a dramatic gesture with his arm, and the covers are going to be removed!

1600: Right - the covers are on, as that rain has arrived - but it's nothing more than drizzle. This one isn't over yet, even if we have to hang around until 1900 to squeeze in a single over.

1535: Breaking news - they're taking tea. That means 20 minutes of staring at the skies. They could still come out again afterwards, of course, but the light will have to improve. And that rain hold off...


1533: India 282-9
Vaughan toils desperately as fingernails are gnawed all around. Glamour stays put and then steals his single off the very last ball. Hold on - what's this? Taufel has his meter out again, and - yes, he's offered them the light! Fordyce you clown - what were you doing with that chat in the last over? The Indian pair virtually sprint from the pitch.

1531: India 281-9
Sree survives - but only just, only just... Monts drifts one into his pads, there's a massive appeal and Bucks says no. Looked certain to hit, that one. Sree edges past his pads for four. Bums perched on the very edge of pews. I think they'll stay on as long as the spinners stay on, you know. Unless that rain, forecast originally to hit almost an hour ago, finally rocks up.

1528: India 277-9
This is England's chance - Glamour turns down all chances of runs until the final ball of Vaughan's over, which he clumps fine for four. England are delighted - that gives Monty six balls at Sree. Here we go...

1525: India 273-9
Glamour almost edges Monts to Prior but survives by the width of a flea's eyelash. He then scampers a desperate single to steal the strike and save Sree.

1522: India 272-9
I can't believe this - Glamour, supposedly protecting the last wicket, suddenly goes on the attack, flaying Vaughan for four to midwicket and then charging him again to smash another over long-on. He then attempts a single off the final ball and scoops the ball inches away from the man at cover. The rain is holding off, but the light is slipping away.

1518: WICKET - Singh b Panesar 0, India 263-9
Wicket falls
Monty's done him! Arpy is suckered in by a flighted beauty, aims an insane big swing and is cleaned up. Unbelievable. One wicket needed, rain seconds away, darkness like a coal cellar. Sensational scenes.

1514: India 263-8
Damp palms all round Lord's, but with tension rather than rain. For now. Vaughan twirls away desperately and Glamour thrashes him for one four to midwicket before turning down all singles to protect RP. It's got to be Monty from the other end too - anything above trundle pace and the umps will surely haul them all off. 1510: India 259-8
This doesn't look good - Umpo Taufs is waving his light-meter around after every ball. He's now strolling over to Bucks for a chat - what's the result? They're staying on - but Michael Vaughan is going to have to bowl himself...

1506: India 256-8
RP Singh joins Glamour in the breach and survives the remaining ball from Tremmers. Lordy but it's dark out there - but the rain is holding off...

1502: WICKET - Zaheer c Prior b Tremlett 0, India 254-8
Wicket falls
He's got him! Tremmers' lifter surprises Zaheer, there's a tickle off the glove and Prior pouches. England celebrate - but what's this? Uh-oh - it's the first spit-spats of moisture in the air. The Indian players gather on their balcony and look hopefully at the encroaching clouds. It's the most exciting race against time since Phileas Fogg beat his global deadline.

1458: India 251-7
Zaheer's bang up for this - there's no hiding and no skiiving as Siders attacks him with three chin-grazers before pitching one up in search of another ell bee scream.

1453: India 250-7
That's 50
Jabber into the off-side from Glamourpuss, and that's his half-ton - super effort for his team, despite some racey moments. That's the slowest of his five Test 50s, but there'll be no complaints from his compadres if he sees them through the storm.

1449: India 248-7
Siders steams in, Glamour steals a single and Zaheer is left in the lurch. Three slips, gully, short square leg - but Zaheer hangs on with gritty blocking skills.

1445: India 248-7
Suddenly England believe again - Tremmers pins back Glamour, with Zaheer gulping anxiously at the other end.

1439: WICKET - Kumble lbw Sidebottom 3, India 247-7
Wicket falls
Hold on - this match refuses to roll over and snooze - Siders zips one into Anil's pads and he's a goner. Three wickets needed, rain approaching - it's edge-of-seat stuff...

1435: India 244-6
Jim's straining too hard out there. You can't blame him, of course, but a wide heading towards second slip isn't quite the dish that Vaughan thought he'd ordered. Glamour's now moved to 46, and he's looking increasingly relaxed.

From Robert Calvert: "Pah, your complaints about giant birds sickens me. Until you've been confronted by a pack of startled baboons on a secluded road leading to a hotel in Kenya can you have anything to complain about. Look into the eyes of an angry monkey and you will know true evil."

1429: India 241-6
There we go - with Siders about to return, Vaughan requests the cherry and Bucks hands it over to the corkscrew-haired swingman. Poor use of the weapon, though, and Kumble watches happily at three leggish loopers.

From Kev in Hereford: "My wife had to slap a swan the other day for spitting at our youngest daughter. The incident inspired me to search online for a swan recipe. Encouragingly, there are several - it used to be known as 'glasgow goose'."

1425: India 241-6
New ball or not new ball? Vaughan keeps it tucked away with Bucks for the mo as Tremmers fails to crease Glamour's brow. Darker and darker overhead.

From Ged in Manchester: "Not sure of the Brussels ruling on chipolata size (Wikipedia has it as a 'small' sausage). I do think that 8 inches moves it up into the 'snorker' category."

1422: India 238-6
Fielders crowd Kumble like you wouldn't believe - two slips, a silly point, silly mid-off and short square leg. Plus the ever-gassing Prior. Glamour gets on strike and drives with 90% bottom hand for four through long-on.

1418: India 233-6
Tremmers to an anxious-looking Anil K, who pulls his willow sharply out of the way of a rapid one and is a centimentre away from being castled. Increasing greyness overhead.

1414: India 232-6
Monty attacks Glamour from over the wicket again, and the mulleted stumper kicks them all away. "Going nowhere, Monts!" yells a bug-eyed Prior.

1410: WICKET - Laxman b Tremlett 39, India 231-6
Wicket falls
Brilliant ball from Tremmers, bringing one back sharply down the slope and destroying the surprised Laxman's timbers. England neededthat desperately - and they're now into the tail. Can they wrestle the rest out before the heavens open?

1406: India 229-5
Maiden from Monty as he twirls into the rough outside Glamour's leg stump. Instead of kicking the ball away, Glamour tries a succession of bizarre slap-sweeps that bring him nothing but a whole heap of risky trouble.

From Viv C: "Is 'behind the Queen' a safe hiding place for a swan, given the Queen's legal right to eat the preening, self-regarding sandwich thieves?"

1402: India 229-5
Anderson drops short and Glamourpuss cuts him in the air right between gully and point for four. Where's the next wicket going to come from?

From Owen Knight: "Re: Harold Davidson - I thought he actually died some time after the lion mauled him. He was in hospital, recovering from his wounds when the doctors diagnosed him with diabetes without actually testing him. Apparently they gave him insulin which promptly put him in a coma and shortly after, he died."

1359: India 223-5
Laxman looks right in the groove here. He has all the time in the world to play Mont's tweak, and then casually bottom-hands him against the spin to deep square leg for a walked single. Increasing noise from the exuberant Indian fans in the crowd.

1355: India 222-5
Come on Jim - let's raise it... An over-cooked inswinger flies down leg for four byes, and Laxman then leans back to pop a shorter one outside off through point for three. I think I just heard Prior chirping, "Here we go, guys - we're all legends here." Interesting chat.

From Mark Shepherd: "Re: messages from Glen Tregoiing and Ben Hampson. The popular belief is that a strike from a swan's wing can break an arm; but has anyone ever had their arm broken by a swan? I reckon the swans just have a very good spin doctor who makes them sound harder than they really are."

1351: India 214-5
Monty to the rescue - Dhoni slaps him away for a strolled single before VVS plays it safe. Strangely, England don't seem in that much of a hurry - Ian Bell takes an age sticking in his shin-pads before perching at silly mid-off.

From Angharad: "Swans? What about Canadian Geese? They come over here, don't even try and get cosy with the queen, and attack unsuspecting toddlers. It may have been 22 years ago, but I am still not over it."

1343: India 213-5
Ouch - first ball after lunch, Anderson catches Laxman's poking edge, only for the ball to fly at hand-height through the vacant third slip spot. Chat from meterologists isn't good, either - they reckon light rain is half an hour away, with heavy stuff moving in within the hour. It's threatening to skid away from England...

From Jonathon Barnes: "Ref Geoff McHugh, surely the moral of your tragic lions story is to not go to Blackpool. You never said, though, what happened to the lion. Was it sent to London Zoo? Could it be one of the three my great-great aunt killed. Its a small world."


1302: India 207-5
That's lunch, and England's cut-crust sarnies won't be tasting quite as good with this partnership unbroken on 62. India now need 173 more to win, England those five wickets. It's on a knife-edge once again...

1257: India 202-5
Glamour goes on the attack, high-hooking Anderson for a gambler's two and then flicking a leg-stump full one past Siders at fine leg for four. There's then a huge appeal for a caught behind, but Taufs shakes his head. Partisans in the commentary box heap abuse on him, only to backtrap massively when replays show he's made a sensational decision.

From Pete Rowden: "You're not wrong about big birds. Only this weekend a seagull stole an eight-inch chipolata from son's plate that he'd left in the garden whilst he went to the loo."

1253: India 196-5
And here's Siders too, getting definite in-dip to the right-handers. Smiles off the England faces now, with Glamour and VVS looking increasingly relaxed.

From Glen Tregoiing: "Beware of those swans as they act in packs, the arrogant little bullies. I was picnicking with a young lady in Windsor when confronted by 3-4 swans giving it large in front of us. Unbeknown to us they were the distraction and a further two swans were sneaking up behind us and grabbed the food out of our hands. I was on the receiving end of a swift head butt from one of them as I tried to protect her honour (and save my sandwiches). They hide behind the Queen and think they can lord it over the rest of us."

1248: India 194-5
Jimmy A comes back on for a quick skirmish before lunch, and he almost has Dhoni three times in three balls - once with an edge that bounces just in front of Strauss at first slip and twice with rippers past the outside edge at nipple height. Vaughan applauds with furrowed brow.

1243: India 193-5
Tremmers, get your radar back on - Laxman leans lazily onto two short ones and pops them to the cover fence with so little effort he could have redecorated his bathroom at the same time. Partnership up to 48, and it's officially tricky for England now.

From Geoff McHugh: "On the subject of lions, I'm just reading a book about a chap called Harold Davidson. He was a vicar in the 1930s who helped to find the working girls of Soho other occupations. He was defrocked after a sex scandal (the lion will be along soon) and after a series of jobs ended up in a tableau on Blackpool seafront of Daniel in the Lion's den. Unfortunately one day he trod on the lion's tail and it killed him. There's a moral in the story somewhere. "

1239: India 185-5
Big escape for Glamourpuss again, going back to a straightener from Monty and being hit on his back leg in front of leg stump. It looks out all the way, but Taufel's having nothing to do with it. Vaughan oohs from mid-on.

From Ben Hampson: "You need to tell your aunt to watch out for these big birds, Liz. My sister once had her entire packed lunch eaten by a swan at Little Morton Hall when she was about eight. Queen's bird or not, it got a fair kicking from my dad."

1235: India 182-5
Disbelief around the ground as Tremmers' radar goes loopy, allowing Dhoni to aim a leaden-footed drive at a wide full one and crack a lusty four to the cover boundary. England could do with another back in the hutch before luncheon, you sense.

1231: India 178-5
Voosh - Dhoni slashes at Mont's offie again and gets a rapid edge, but Colly, diving to his left, can't hang on. Ian Bell, perched at silly mid-on, pirouettes with anguish.

1228: India 173-5
Guess what - Tremmers bangs in another maiden. Admirable scenes. Mind you, it's been an hour since a wicket fell. Hmmm.

1224: India 173-5
There we go - Vaughan was just swapping Tremmers and Monts around. Monts returns at the Nursery End and immediately gets some turn down the slope. Glamourpuss aims a lusty blow and is done like a dozy kipper.

1221: India 173-5
Tremmers does his tying-up-of-ends routine to perfection, leaving Laxman prodding sleepily outside off.

1216: India 173-5
Colly comes on for a brief wobble, surely just to allow Tremmo to swap ends. A short wide one is slapped away by Glamour for four beforea leg-stump help-yourselfer disappears to midwicket for two more.

1212: India 167-5
Wave your hands in the air - it's Monty o'clock! The excitable tweaker starts well, allowing just two singles. Interesting little period here - England need another couple before lunch, particularly with rumours of post-prandial rain-drops on their way.

1208: India 166-5
Here comes the towering Tremmers for his first joust of the day. Not quite hitting the biscuit early on, but he clocks up a maiden as Laxman retreats into his shell.

From Jonathon Barnes: "My great-great aunt fell into the lion enclosure at London Zoo many years ago. They went nuts. However, she killed three of them before the keepers could drag her off."

1202: India 166-5
Anderson continues with his plan of trying to puncture Glamourpuss's rib-cage, and the housewife's favourite dives desperately out of the line of fire. He then punches a fuller one through midwicket for two. Time for a beverage break.

1158: India 164-5
Siders is trying to transform himself into Jeff Thomson here, sizzling nose-breakers past Laxman's grille and following through to deliver a verbal slap to the chops. VVS slashes widly at a wide one and gets lucky with another edge over the slips.

1152: India 160-5
Glamourpuss isn't enjoying this - he plays a woeful half-cut/hlaf-leave a Jimmy body-shot and gets a looping edge high over the slips. He then attempts to tennis-serve a bouncer into Regent's Park and misses by a mile.

From Gordon Hill: "Re Steve in London - I fear the 'schoolboy' look you are going for will have you found out in no time. Surely the most effective disguise would be hoodie, oversized jeans hanging around the knees and an ability to walk without actually lifting your feet. Avoiding eye contact with anybody and communicating with a series of mumbles will add the air of authenticity and should have you through the gates in time to see Monty clearing up the tail."

1147: India 154-5
Maiden from Siders to VVS, who's batting in strangely stooping manner. No sign of rain yet.

From Angharad: "Chris - thanks for the tip. Luckily we only have the one bathroom which is therefore unisex, otherwise I'm sure the added humilation of being caught in the men's when I am in fact not a man would make the fear of being caught bunking off rather irrelevant."

1142: India 154-5
Laxman scoops Jimmy past a tumbling Tremmers for three, before Glamourpuss ducks out of the way as a wayward booming in-swinger misses everything on its way to the fine leg fence.

From Liz in Accrington: "Actually Angharad, my elderly aunt DID fall into the pelican enclosure at London Zoo once and it's no laughing matter. Ruined her pac-a-mac."

1136: India 143-5
Glamourpuss Dhoni purrs in, to theatrical screams from the female Indian fans in the echoing stands. Siders rips one past his whiskers and then beats a nervous paw outside off.

From Steve in London: "Am currently embroiled in an argument with my mate as to who's going to wear the shorts, plimsolls and cap as we attempt to secure discounted entry to Lords."

1131: WICKET - Karthik c Collingwood b Anderson 60, India 143-5
Wicket falls
Bingo! Jimmy pitches one very full, nips it away at the very last mo and celebrates wildly as Dinesh slashes it straight down Colly's throat at second slip. England on the march here, and they can smell blood.

From Chris: "Angharad - skipping out of work should follow the same principal as a blind date gone wrong - a visit to the gents, followed by deep breathes and a Monty-like 'run for your life' exit. Cannot stress the importance of not looking back over your shoulder."

1128: India 143-4
Siders chugs in to Laxman, and he feeds him a slice of bouncer pie early doors. Whispers from the England dressing-room is that they reckon VVS doesn't like it up him - and sure enough, he's hopping like a panicked flea. Another maiden, and India have only scored six runs in this first half an hour.

1124: India 143-4
Karthik up to face Jim, and he's tugging his blade frantically out of the way of everything. Replays of Gangool's dismissal indicate Bucko made the right decision. VVS bustles in to take up his post at the non-striker's.

From Peter in Colchester: "It's my eldest daughter's ninth birthday today, and although she actively dislikes cricket, she has been whisked off to Lord's with the rest of her cricket mad family as a birthday 'treat'."

1116: WICKET - Ganguly lbw Sidebottom 40, India 143-4
Wicket falls
Left-arm over from Siders, the ball straightens a touch, Gangools is hit bang in front - and that's out! Bucks failed to shake his head immediately and you knew Sourav was in trouble, and sure enough the Slow Finger Of Doom swings upwards.

1112: India 142-3
Jimmy doesn't quite adjust the radar enough for the leftie Gangools, and is flipped away to fine leg for the first four of the day. If you want to come down to Lord's, it's 20 for adults but free for under-16s accompanied by an adult. So find some random kid on the street, bring them in with you and make them pay "half the joint entrance fee". Bingo.

1108: India 138-3
Anything Jim can do, Siders can do better - he booms one in to Karthik first ball and screams an appeal, only for Bucko to shake his sleepy head. Fraction too high. Siders then sends one the other way, and Karthik prods helplessly at thin air. Applause from the lurking slips.

From Jim in Leeds: "Don't you hate it on a Monday when you wake up with a random injury sustained over the course of the weekend, but you don't know where it came from? Currently, I'm suffering what feels like a paper cut on the bit of skin between thumb and forefinger. Insignificant to look at, but hurts more than throwing away the Open by an inch on the 18th green."

1102: India 138-3
Good stuff from Jimbo, bending them into Karthik until he shovels away a single, and then beating a stretching Ganguly with a zippy out-dipper.

From Angharad: "I am desperately, DESPERATELY, trying to think of an excuse to skip out of work and pop up to Lord's, but so far I have nothing. Would anyone like to volunteer as my elderly aunt who has gone and injured herself by falling into the pelican enclosure in London Zoo?"

1058: Here come England - down the pavillion steps and straight into their arms-around-shoulders huddle. Jimmy A to open up, I'd say. Grey-ish clouds but no immediate chance of rain. Here we go...

1052: Empty stands at Lord's so far, so if you're thinking about sacking off work and coming down, you'll definitely be spotted by your boss.

From Callum Wheeler: "Got some splendid sunburn from Lord's yesterday, nursing a tremedous hangover, and back at my desk. So in answer to your question - no, not rested and raring to go. In fact I am frankly annoyed at my Indian chum who took today off to get over yesterday's excesses, and is doubtless sitting high in the stands again to enjoy the end of the game. Still at least he shouldn't have a win to gloat about. Probably."

1046, from BBC Sport's Oliver Brett at Lord's: "Monty Panesar, Michael Vaughan and Ian Bell are all practising their catching in the deep. Vaughany - wearing lycra 'skins' under his gear - just dropped a sitter and Monty flapped blindly at another chance."

From Mike Goldsmith: "Is it just me or is everyone really excited about today's play? I'm unsure how today's play is going to unfold but I have a butterfly feeling in my stomach so I hope it's going to be good."

1030: Morning all - trust you're rested and raring to go after the weekend. Early chat from here is all about the weather - it's not raining. Sure, there's no immediate need for sun-cream and shades, but at least we'll be underway on time.



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