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Last Updated: Friday, 10 August 2007, 12:09 GMT 13:09 UK
Third Test, day two as it happened
THIRD NPOWER TEST, The Oval (day two):
India 664 v England 24-1 (close)

England hopes of victory to square the series evaporated as Anil Kumble hit a maiden century in a mammoth India total of 664 on day two of the final Test.

After Sachin Tendulkar struck 82 and Mahendra Dhoni fired four sixes in an 81-ball 92, Kumble took India to their highest score against England.

He shared 73 for the last wicket, also a record against England, and left the home side with eight overs to face.

Andrew Strauss pulled to fine-leg in the fifth over as they closed 24-1.


By Ben Dirs


e-mail (with 'For Ben Dirs' in the subject) or use 606



1811 - Eng 24-1 Kumble will have the last over of the day and his first ball has Cook lunging and missing like Mr Magoo. Anxious times for Cook, who looks desperate to get off strike. The replay shows that Cook edged that first ball, but wicket-keeper Dhoni put down a tough chance. Cook all over the shop in this last over, but he survives. A proper, tough day of Test cricket for England, India in total control, and it's a case of damage limitation for the hosts for the next three days. See you tomorrow.

1806 - Eng 23-1 Zaheer mining the corridor of uncertainty to Anderson but the Lancashire man doesn't have a nibble. One more over left today.

1800 - Eng 23-1 RIGHT! SAM LYON! GET BACK IN YOUR BOX! I must apologise, I go off for a smoke and a bit of a stroll and the pesky Lyon starts masquerading as me and talking a load of old rubbish. I wouldn't mind, but he didn't even cap up Life on Mars. Right, Santh goes up for an lbw against Anderson but umpire Howell says that was missing leg. Then there's a bizarre sequence, the ball ricocheting off Anderson's pad, onto his bat and through mid-off for four. Odd, and it should really have been lbw. Anderson nicks the strike with a single off Santh's final delivery.

1758 - Eng 18-1 England opt to throw on Jimmy Anderson as nightwatchman to see out the day's final three overs - good luck son, do yourself and your country proud. Cooky shows Strauss how it's done with a splendid hook for four.

Wicket falls
1753 - WICKET! Strauss c Santh b Zaheer 6, Eng 12-1.
And right on cue, Straussy looks to get on top of a Zaheer zinger but succeeds only in top-edging straight down Santh's throat. I take full responsibility for that. I must admit, I'm having quite the day of it...

1752 - Eng 12-0 Lots of stuff on the England openers pads here, with Strauss picking up his first four of the innings with a clip off his thighs through square. It's all very comfortable at the moment.

1748 - Eng 7-0 Cooky brings up England's first boundary with another leg glance that goes fine this time for four. He and Strauss then share a couple of singles and there is no life whatsoever in this pitch. To answer Chrissy's prompt, I'm kind of a cross between Worzel Gummidge and Wayne Rooney, with all the dress sense and charisma of Alan Partridge, sorry.

1743 - Eng 1-0 Alastair Cook gets England going with a nudge off his legs for a single, but suffice to say it's a subdued start to say the least from the hosts.

"I have been fantasising all day as to what Ben looks like, I hope he is a cross between Philip Glenister (a nice bit of rough as in life on mars) and that Martin man in houses under the hammer (smooth with a bit of dosh)."
Chrissy, North Notts (nearer Retford than Mansfield) in the TMS inbox

1737 - Eng 0-0 Zaheer Khan takes the first over, as cries of "we can win this" drift across the office. Much like those muppets who shout "in the hole" at major golf tournaments - it's not big and it's not clever. It's a maiden to kick off with and Strauss is able to leave every delivery alone.

1730: India engage in one of those pointless huddles on the outfield as England openers Alastair Cook and Andrew Strauss stride to the crease, the very pictures of confidence and defiance. Erm, sort of.


Wicket falls
1724 - WICKET: Santh c Vaughan b Panesar 35 (Ind 664 all out)
Santh (35) now has his highest Test score and this is India's highest 10th wicket partnership against England. Kumble nabs a single before Panesar has an enthusiastic lbw appeal turned down against Santh. But that's Santh in the bag, skying Monty to Vaughan in the covers. No high fives from Monty, just a piercing stare. Some seriously ugly figures for England's bowlers - Anderson 4-182, Tremlett 1-132, Panesar 2-159.

1722 - Ind 663-9 Santh clatters KP through the covers for four and I can't help thinking India should have declared by now. Another four from Santh, flipping Pietersen over long-on with the minimum of effort.

1717 - Ind 655-9 Santh tucks Panesar to leg for a couple and picks up one more with a nibble to mid-wicket. The youngster is knuckling down as if he's trying to save a Test on a sticky in Mumbai.

1715 - Ind 652-9 Santh paddles KP round the corner for a single before Kumble picks up a couple with a clip to mid-wicket. Records tumbling all over the place at The Oval - I'm not sure about Bill Cooper, but Roy Castle will be tootling his horn up in heaven. India now have their highest score against England home and away.

"Far be it from me to contradict the great David Gower, but I happen to know that Billy the Trumpet is playing a rotary valve piccolo trumpet in 'A', not 'B flat'. Does that make me a pedant?"
Edward Pascall in the TMS inbox

1711 - Ind 643-9 Santh launches Monty for a maximum and England are getting a roasting here, they really are getting a roasting...

He's reached 100
1707 - Ind 636-9 Kumble rocks back to KP and carves him away for four to move to 97. And that's his ton, in comedy fashion. Kumble gives Pietersen the charge, gets a toe-end on it and the ball runs between Prior's legs and runs away for four. Special moment for Kumble and he savours that moment. A very good knock.

1700 - Ind 624-9 That's four more byes, the ball dribbling through Prior's defences and we've now had 54 extras. Kumble comes down the wicket and chips Panesar to long-on for one to bring Santh on strike. This is now India's highest Test score in England. Santh, who would appear to shop at Elizabeth Duke judging by what's hanging round his neck, once again keeps his end of the bargain and blocks the last ball. Players have a wet.

"I'm not even going to bother sending this to you as you never post any of my emails."
Ian, Cambridge, in the TMS inbox

1657 - Ind 623-9 KP is into the attack. Kumble manages to grab a single off the fifth ball, Anderson misfielding at mid-off. And KP chunters before delivering the final ball, "shall I bowl a beamer at this [insert rude word here]?" He doesn't, and Santh covers up. I get the feeling that Santh isn't very popular.

1654 - Ind 622-9 That's Kumble's highest Test score, skewing Panesar over extra-cover for four to move to 90. And he keeps the strike with a nurdle into the covers.

"Re: Ed in London (see below) - don't you just hate Billy Boasters? Me thinks he is wearing a tie with a ridiculous oversized knot and a footballer's haircut."
Steve, Richmond, in the TMS inbox

1650 - Ind 617-9 Four for Santh with an outside edge and he then gives the treatment to a ball that is full and wide - that's four. Santh is slapping Anderson all round the ring here and that's another four through point. Santh is talking the talk and walking the walk and very much doing the nose biting.

1646 - Ind 604-9 I just had a very sadistic thought while watching that trumpet bloke play. For some reason I thought it would be funny if some gorilla in an orange jacket came flying into picture and sent him sprawling. This match is warping my mind. Kumble picks up a single and Santh keeps his dream alive by blocking the last three deliveries. David Gower of all people has just informed us that Bill Cooper was playing a b flat rotary valve piccolo trumpet.

1643 - Ind 603-9 Biggest roar of the day and I think we've got a streaker! But it's our old trumpeter friend banging out The Great Escape. That's not a trumpet, that's a cornet! No it's not, it's loads of keys! WHAT IN KP'S NAME IS THAT MAN PLAYING! Kumble nicks a single before Santh misses out on an Anderson full-bunger.

1640 - Ind 602-9 Kumble wants his ton and he wants it now. He comes skipping down the pitch to Monty and slams him over long-on for six to move to 82 and bring up the India 600. One more for Kumble with a dab to third-man and Santh (not sure why we call him that, but we do...) blocks the final ball of the over.

1637 - Ind 595-9 Here comes the big man, and I hear this Sree Santh character fancies himself as a tough guy. Throwing down beamers willy-nilly, shoulder-barging Vaughany. Very naughty. It's one of the interesting quirks of sport that if he tried that sort of thing down many of Britain's drinking emporiums, he'd probably get his nose bitten off. But he gets the better of his early exchanges with Anderson, flashing at a wide one and the ball motoring away for four.

Wicket falls
1633 - WICKET: Singh c&b Anderson 11 (Ind 591-9)
RP Singh is not content to play the passive tailender and he rolls his wrists on an Anderson bumper and watches the ball race away to the mid-wicket fence. He repeats the shot and Anderson looks like he's just been custard pied by a very ordinary-llking girl at a youth club disco. But he's got his man next ball, sticking out his left hand and taking a superb caught-and-bowled.

1628 - Ind 583-8 Kumble moves to 75 with a mow through the covers, the sub fielder, whose name we don't know, almost losing his front teeth on the bounce. Kumble on to 76 with a nurdle to leg before Singh, getting himself cramped up, squirts Tremlett to short fine-leg for one. The cricketing equivalent of Chinese water torture this for England, an agonising drip-drip-drip of runs from this pair's bats.

1625 - Ind 577-8 Kumble milks one before Singh whips Panesar through mid-wicket for a couple. Pietersen got down to that rather late, almost as though he had giant Smarties tubes attached to his legs. Time for some drinks. It's got to be time for a spot of Bell?

1623 - Ind 574-8 One leg-bye and Tremlett has a very attacking field in for new batsman Singh and tries the youngster out with some short stuff. But the 21-year-old plays it well enough and England's torment continues for another over at least.

1618 - Ind 573-8 Kumble nudges Monty round the corner for one and it's all gone quiet at The Oval.

"No lager for me thanks Ben. I'm in the City and we've been doing our best to increase the share price of Cristal by horsing through the stuff since 1230 this afternoon."
Ed, London, in the TMS inbox

1616 - Ind 572-8 Alun (see below) - what was Lloyd Cole's skin like? BOOM BOOM! Just one from Tremlett's over, but no dramas for the Indian batsmen.

"With regards to Kat (see below) looking like Tanika Tikaram, I thought I saw Ms Tikaram in Glasgow about five years ago but when I got close it turned out it was Lloyd Cole. I was confused but pleasantly surprised."
Alun in the TMS inbox

Wicket falls
1609 - WICKET: Zaheer c Anderson b Panesar 11 (Ind 570-8)
Zaheer goes for some hammer and holes out to Anderson at long-off. Another one down, but getting through this innings is like trying to drill through to the earth's core. Kumble could have his century yet. Kumble picks up one more with a nudge into the covers. I've just been told that that comment earlier on about putting Smarties tubes on cats' legs isn't funny. Sorry to anyone who was offended, the post has been removed.

1607 - Ind 569-7 That's a class shot from Kumble, freeing his arms and mowing Tremlett through the covers for four. One more for Kumble, carving Tremlett through point. I thought I'd already mentioned it, but, yes, this is the highest ever Test score without an individual ton. This partnership is now 61.

1601 - Ind 564-7 Back already? I just got censored! The King of Spain is dead! Long live The King of Spain! Monty still spearing them in from over the wicket, and Kumble clips him away for one. Monty goes up for a leg before appeal against Zaheer, but umpire Bucknor decides it was missing leg. Gossamer touch from Zaheer, rocking back and feathering Panesar to the third-man fence.

"FYI - Dragon Oil shares down 2p at 2.17!"
Jason, Manchester, in the TMS inbox

"As someone working in the IT industry, can I propose that we outsource our cricket team to India?"
Mike, London, in the TMS inbox

"I got asked by a couple of teenage boys last year at Queen's Club if I played DS Ramani De Costa in 'The Bill' because 'you speak posh like her'. I had no idea who they were talking about but once I got home and found out that she was 14 years older than me and used to be in Holby City I was none too impressed. I don't look anything like her by the way!"
Sarah, Bucks, in the TMS inbox

1540 - Ind 559-7 The last over before tea and Tremlett will bowl it. Plenty of folk hanging out of windows overlooking The Oval and there's a chap passing a very, very long, very, very fat cigarette to his mate next to the Barby. An on-the-dot maiden from Tremmers and that's tea time.

"I once met Kent and England bowler Martin Saggers in a kebab shop outside a night club in Canterbury and he kindly signed my kebab box as well as mentioning that it was the lowest point of his career."
Olly, Sevenoaks, in the TMS inbox

1537 - Ind 559-7 Kumble gets a couple with a clever dab to third-man off Panesar and England are well and truly running on fumes at The Oval. Lots of big, red, flustered faces and furtive glances among the England fielders.

"Mr Dirs, have you actually fallen in love with Dhoni? He has publicly humiliated you but you cant seem to get enough him."
Chris, Henley-on-Thames, in the TMS inbox

1533 - Ind 557-7 Tremlett, who approaches the crease like a giant John Inman mincing between the aisles at Grace Brothers, is rat-a-tatted through extra-cover by Kumble. Kumble picks up a single with a nurdle to leg.

"Why not just watch the screen and report on the cricket action, as trying to constantly introduce irritating smart comments seems to be causing you to make errors. All that is required is a report of the cricket action!"
Neil Martin in the TMS inbox

That's 50
1529 - Ind 552-7 That's Kumble's half-century, angling his bat and picking up a four to third-man. Good knock that, his fifth Test fifty. Plenty of time to push on towards his maiden Test ton, and he'll also have a big part to play with the ball in hand. Sad news on Glamorgan and England's Simon Jones, who has apparently broken down again with a calf strain.

1526 - Ind 547-7 Scything stroke from Kumble, the ball disappearing over the boundary rope at cover. Kumble nurdles one more single and it's all gone a little bit flat at The Oval. Anyone fancy a lager?

1522 - Ind 542-7 Zaheer scampers a quick single before Kumble flips Anderson off his legs and Sidebottom, despite his gammy side, makes a fine sliding stop to limit the batsman to two. Kumble nicks the strike from the final ball of the over.

"I used to get mistaken for Tanika Tikaram lots by visitors to London, which is odd because I look nothing like her. There was even one very upsetting incident when a very tiny American woman tried to force me to sing her hit single on the Central Line."
Kat, London, in the TMS inbox

1518 - Ind 538-7 Kumble fancies a fifty here and he skips down the pitch and slaps Panesar to the long-off fence. One more for the India spinner before Zaheer goes for an almighty heave and almost does himself a mischief squirting a single to square-leg.

1515 - Ind 531-7 Kumble rocks back and carves Anderson through point for four. Apparently the highest losing score batting first is 586 by Australia. Come on lads, we can still do it??? Didin't you used to hate people who'd say that when you were 7-0 down in a football match?

"Can you instruct our trainee reporter Carl Gavaghan to go and make the tea for our editorial department? He is spending too much time following your live text action. That in itself is no problem, but he is neglecting his tea-making duties."
Jon Stokoe in the TMS inbox

1510 - Ind 527-7 Zaheer goes for a crude, cross-batted smear against Panesar and gets a thick inside edge. He tries the shot again and misses on the outside, Prior unable to take cleanly behind the stumps. Monty flashes his smile and God alone knows what he'll do if he takes a wicket today, half of his team-mates will probably lose eyes, so out of control will his high-fiving be.

Geoffrey Boycott
"I've seen people go in and out for more pees than is normal they've been so scared before going into bat..."
Sir Geoffrey Boycott on TMS

1508 - Ind 527-7 Anderson sends down a full-bunger and Zaheer misses with a windy woosh outside off-stump. Zaheer nicks the strike with a cheap single.

1505 - Ind 526-7 Monty's back on and Sidebottom makes a fine stop at mid-off. But that's four more leg-byes, Panesar squirting one down leg and the ball just beating Anderson to the boundary. Even Monty looks a little bit deflated now, which is as rare as catching Bonnie Langford on a bad day. This is now the highest Test score without an individual hundred.

1500 - Ind 522-7 Dave (see below), I suggest you stop reading this nonsense and get back to work - I've got shares in Dragon Oil and if they fall through the floor, I'm holding you personally responsible. Four more leg-byes, Anderson drifting onto Kumble's pads. Prior grimaces and this is all getting a little bit depressing.

"I suspect that a significant proportion of The City Lot are nervously looking at Bloomberg screens at the moment, rather than sipping Champagne. The markets have been doing a Prior today - dropping everywhere."
Dave in the TMS inbox

1456 - Ind 516-7 Bit of swing for Collingwood, which you would expect at his slower pace. Colly getting delusions of grandeur now as he sends down a 75mph bouncer. Zaheer goes for a big one over long-off, skies it, but the ball lands in no-man's land at deep cover. Not much going for England at the moment, although take nothing away from this Indian batting line-up, that effectively wrapped up this series. One for the shot.

"I'm going for a haircut in Abergavenny later if anyone's interested."
Henry Talybont-On-Usk, in the TMS inbox

1452 - Ind 515-7 Sidebottom, I hear, is experiencing some soreness in his side and will have a scan. That's rubbish news for England, especially Tremlett and Anderson. Kumble takes an easy single with a glide to third-man before Anderson serves up a well-directed bumper. Zaheer spars at the ball but there's no nick. Bread and butter push into the off-side and Zaheer steals the strike.

"I would like to point out that Andrew Simpson's (see below) accusations of kebab tampering on the part of the Pakistani team are completely unjustified and have led me to refuse to go back to work after lunch, for at least half an hour."
Bill, London, in the TMS inbox

1448 - Ind 513-7 Zaheer picks up one to fine-leg and there is just one from Collingwood's over. The India innings is becalmed following Dhoni's short, savage hurricane of an innings.

1445 - Ind 512-7 England sticking with KP and Kumble turns him away for a single. Zaheer plays a similar shot for a couple.

1440 - Ind 510-7 Colly to continue and Zaheer is the new batter. Kumble nibbles a single and Colly welcomes Zaheer to the crease with a bit of rib music. I wonder what England's close fielders have got up their sleeves for Zaheer? Some sherbert dibdabs? Some broken chocolate? I reckon they should scatter some truffle shavings when Ganguly is at the crease, that would get right up his nose.

Wicket falls
1433 - WICKET: Dhoni c Cook b Pietersen 92 (Ind 508-7)
Oh my giddy aunt, Dhoni has put so much manners on that ball from KP that it will be bowing and scraping all the way back ot the middle. That was enormous over deep mid-wicket. Dhoni goes for another...and it's another gigantic maximum, straight over the head of Monty at mid-wicket. Ton in sight...and he goes for another...the cameraman thinks he's clobbered it..but Cook takes the catch at mid-wicket! Dhoni falls eight short of his second Test century and KP has the look of a man who has just trumped his girlfriend at the end of a particularly vitriolic argument. Brilliant, though, from Dhoni, who succeeded in making me look very, very stupid.

"With reference to Paul's cat pic, can I please highlight to him that the shoes are clearly on the wrong foot. This is not good for the cat's feet."
Jon Went, Northampton, in the TMS inbox

1429 - Ind 496-6 Please pay no heed to Joe, below, making cats walk like robots is neither big or clever. Vaughan's seen enough of Monty and wheels Colingwood into the attack. The Durham dibbly-dobbler drops short and carved through the covers for four by Kumble. It's time for KP? Not getting much right today, am I?

1425 - Ind 492-6 Tremlett tempts Dhoni with a short one and Dhoni plays a bizarre tennis stroke and gets away with it, the ball landing in no-man's land at backward square-leg. Two for the shot. He then piles into a wide one from Tremlett, whip-cracking him through point for four, before latching onto another poor ball, smearing it through the covers for yet another boundary. Vaughan looks as if he's just been told that he can't go and play golf with his mates because he's got to pick up his mother-in-law from the airport.

1419 - Ind 480-6 That's more like the Dhoni I know, skipping down the track to Monty and slapping him over wide long-on for a maximum. Two more for Dhoni with a carve into the off-side - "Dhoni reveals Dirs inspiration" is a headline my colleague has just made up, with a hint of contempt and a soupson of hatred - and Dhoni gives Panesar the hammer again, plonking him over the long-off fence. Monty's got the hump, spearing one in at 73mph. If Dhoni gets a ton today, what's going to happen the next time he goes to get his hair cut in his home town? He won't just get mobbed, he'll find himself embalmed and deified. Sixteen from the over.

1415 - Ind 465-6 Lip-smacking stroke from Kumble, smearing Tremlett through point for four, and that's the Hampshire paceman's 100 conceded. Kumble picks up one more with another carve to point, where Pietersen fields. I go back to what I said before - isn't KP anonymous in the field for England? Vaughan treats him like the wheezy kid at school who you try to keep as far away as possible from the ball.

That's 50
1411 - Ind 459-6 That's Dhoni's fifty, staying back and clipping Panesar through mid-wicket for four. It came from just 65 balls, but it's been a 'proper' Test innings with plenty of discipline and not a great deal of dash. Damn my ill-considered comments...

"Re. The Cat (see below). It is trying to tell you in its own inimitable way that he wants to die. I think you should help it on its way to the next life. I'm sure your friend will understand. All cats are evil."
Tony, Redhill, in the TMS inbox

1408 - Ind 455-6 Dhoni clips Tremlett to mid-wicket for a couple before staying back and chopping him away for a single. Kumble gets up on tippy-toes and flicks Tremlett to square-leg for one. Tremlett bowling anywhere between the high 70s and high 80s, but not really causing the Indian players any problems. England staring down the barrel at 550, I think...

"He looks as though he's cruising Tremlett, but this is where you need someone to show some aggression and start banging it in..."
Mike Selvey on TMS

1405 - Ind 450-6 Just one from Monty's over from the bat of Dhoni - Monty is the enemy of the text commentator, so quickly does he run through his overs.

1401 - Ind 449-6 Strangled lbw appeal from Tremlett against Kumble - that was going well over. My colleague Julian Shea tells me there is a "disappointing lack of fancy dress at The Oval, all I've seen so far today is someone dressed as a lamb walking along with the Grim Reaper..." What does he think this is, the Sydney Mardi Gras?

1357 - Ind 448-6 Sharp fielding from Monty off his own bowling before Kumble, opening his shoudlers now, shovels him through the covers for four. What a day it is in London. A day for picnicking on Hampstead Heath, romping in Brockwell Lido, taking a whirl on the London Eye...sorry, I've just realised most of you are stuck in offices...apart from The City Lot, who are probably already a couple of bottles of Cristal in.

1354 - Ind 443-6 Anderson's was a short burst after lunch and on comes Tremlett. Dhoni picks up a single with an ease into the off-side. A bit of width from Tremmers and Kumble steers him through third-man for four. This is a day for trench-diggers in the England team.

1350 - Ind 438-6 A maiden over from Panesar, he'll be piling through some overs this afternoon...

1346 - Ind 438-6 Crackerjack stroke from Dhoni, twirling Anderson through point for a couple. And that's another sweetly-timed four from Dhoni, easing Anderson through square-leg - since I accused Dhoni of being little more than a Fancy Dan, he has been hitting classical strokes all round the wicket. I see a brutal 150 coming on...A picture of a cat dressed in cat clothes below. That's Paul Cowan's fault...

Paul Cowan's cat
"You've got to make the cat feel special. I find that dressing a cat up in special cat clothes works a treat. As everyone knows, cats love to show off. I've attached a photo to demonstrate."
Paul Cowin in the TMS inbox

1343 - Ind 430-6 It's Monty to continue and Dhoni picks up a single with a whip to mid-on. Just one from the over, Kumble, probably playing his last Test in England, content just to smother.

1340: Players are back out and we'll have play in a minute...

"Are you an experienced cat-sitter? (see below) Have you considered the possibility that the animal is, in fact, a dog? Or a hairy child?"
Marc Kelly in the TMS inbox

"All this talk of Indian/Asian women, I think I need to enlighten you a little - they have the biggest attitude problem going. Trust me, I know, I'm gonna marry one next week."
Sanjay, Ilford, in the TMS inbox

"The toilet-roll holders in my work are made by 'Kimberley Clarke' which always makes me laugh because I went to school with someone called that."
James Rees in the TMS inbox

1312: Sir Geoffrey Boycott is on TMS talking about his hundred hundreds - tune in and have a listen. Only if you want that is.

"I am desperately disappointed that you seem to overlook the beautiful Thai ladies when staring a little too long at Asian women on Tubes. Please rectify this immediately."
Khun Chomphunut Phongoen, Pattaya, Thailand in the TMS inbox

"Greetings from the Libyan desert. On the subject of Dhoni at the local kebab house, the last time Pakistan were touring Australia (Feb 2005, I think), they played a ODI in Hobart, Tasmania. After the game, I was out looking for some late night/post-match sustenance and I found the entire Pakistan team in a kebab shop, with Shoaib on the grill. Needless to say, I went for a pizza instead."
Andrew Simpson in the TMS inbox

"Who needs books like Men Are From Mars when the comments on TMS give such a deep insight into the male psyche?"
Sarah, London, in the TMS inbox

"Do we think that the Karthik incident is a big blow for the pro-technology lobby or the first part of a cunning attempt on the part of international batsmen (apart from Sourav of course) to sew seeds of doubt in umpires?"
Richard in the TMS inbox

1300 - Ind 429-6 Dhoni nicks a quick single from Anderson's first delivery and the Lancashire man will have five balls at Kumble. Anderson tries out some short stuff, including a couple that pitch and swerve into the batsman, but Kumble drops his hands and watches them well. Not sure if you remember, but I told you recently about a colleague who kept on doing 'Henry Cooper in a 70's Brut advert' impressions in my face 30 or 40 times a day ("Good strong boy!") We told him to stop, but he's started doing it again. What do I do now? That's lunch - NO MORE EMAILS PLEASE DURING THE BREAK!

"To answer Chris' question about Pimm's. Me and my mate put six pints of the stuff down yesterday at The Oval and that did the trick. I sobered up today when I saw that we were paying 7.20 for each one though."
Jason, London, in the TMS inbox

1259 - Ind 428-6 Kumble reaches for one and slaps Monty through the covers for four. Nicely-timed shot, and we'll have one more over before luncheon.

1255 - Ind 424-6 Anderson plonks one in short and Dhoni marmalises him through point for four. Loose stroke from Kumble and he's beaten all ends up by Anderson. And England think they've got Kumble, the spinner turning his back on a wicked bumper and Prior claiming the catch, but the ball clearly came off his arm-guard. Bit cheeky that from England. I'm currently cat-sitting for a friend and I've never known a cat to be so needy and make so much noise. I feed it twice a day, water it and change its litter tray - what could I be doing wrong?

1250 - Ind 418-6 Kumble is the next batsman and Dhoni puts him on strike with a single. Panesar gets one past his outside edge. Kumble, who has a highest Test score of 88, smothers the rest of Monty's over.

"Could I give my best wishes to the Polish cricket team who are attending the match today - good luck to them in their forthcoming game with Slovakia and hats off to their manager and sponsor Mr Colin Cooper, a real cricket pioneer."
Steve Mowan in the TMS inbox

Wicket falls
1246 - WICKET: Tendulkar c Strauss b Anderson 82 (Ind 417-6)
That's a pretty optimistic leg before appeal from Anderson against Tendulkar, that was missing an extra set. Two for Sachin with a push into the covers and four more with a classic on-drive. Tendulkar moves to 78. That's four more, and Tendulkar is remembering his lines now, cuffing Anderson through backward-point with the minumum of fuss. But he's a gonner! Anderson gets one to nibble off the seam, Sachin fences and Strauss snaffles a regulation catch at first slip.

"Aww, my mum loved Tanita Tikaram. I like to think of Prior more like Yazz and the Plastic Population. Everyone gets up and starts bopping away to them, all excited, but soon realises that they're not that good. Cue sheepish looks and sidling back to your Breezers."
Stuart, Bath, in the TMS inbox

1242 - Ind 406-5 Tendulkar, hitting against the spin, pouches a couple to mid-wicket and that's the India 400. And the day's not getting much better for Prior, Panesar spearing one down leg and the ball bouncing over Prior's shoulder and running away for four more byes. Panesar is getting a bit of turn, and he gets one to explode out of the rough and spin across the face of Tendulkar's blade. Ominous for England.

1236 - Ind 398-5 Dhoni stands tall and punches Anderson through the covers for a few - lovely shot that. Sky are showing footage of the time Dhoni went to get a haircut back in India - there were literally tens of thousands mobbing him on his way to Toni & Guy. If that's not weird, I don't know what is. Tendulkar picks up a single with a thick inside edge to mid-wicket. Still Grafting, Tendulkar.

"When you say 'Asian' (see below), perhaps that is a bit too broad as you are covering the women of Japan and China and elsewhere too (although since you don't explicitly mention staring at them, how can we be sure that you are not?). If you are talking specifically of those women of Indian/Pakistani/Bangladeshi extraction, perhaps you could use 'subcontinental'? What a minefield proper cultural identification can be!"
Mark, Oxford, in the TMS inbox

1232 - Ind 393-5 Vaughan turns to Monty and his first delivery, a full bunger, is heaved to the long-on boundary for four. Panesar keeps it tight for the rest of the over and Dhoni covers up. You get the sense this is the calm before the storm, like a faulty alarm clock, Dhoni could go off at any moment.

1230 - Ind 389-5 Dhoni slashes at a wide one from Anderson and Bell pulls off a fine stop in the gully. Dhoni does pick up a single, clipping an Anderson inswinger to leg. Prior makes a good stop behind the timbers diving to his left, but, and it gives me no pleasure to write it, that's four more byes, Anderson losing hit wits and the ball racing to the long-leg fence.

1225 - Ind 380-5 Half-bunger from Tremmers and Dhoni gets on one knee and heaves him through the covers for four. Plenty of right hand in that shot. But that's far more elegant from Tendulkar, standing tall and punching Tremlett to the deep cover fence.

"Re: your remarks about Dhoni's toughness - I think you'll find that Dhoni wouldn't be in the kebab house, he would be standing just outside the door saying to your missus, 'but your boyfriend's not here now is he?'. Also, I can't see him eating a chicken burger, too fattening."
Gareth Evans in the TMS inbox

1219 - Ind 375-5 Big appeal for lbw against Tendulkar, but umpire Bucknor, rightly, says that was missing leg-stump. Dhoni scampers a quick single, Vaughan managing to stop the shy from Cook and prevent any overthrows.

"Damien Lanes (see below) suggests that quaffing Pimm's might be the solution to Dave's problem, but having drunk Pimm's a few times myself, usually at weddings, it seems that it is impossible to get drunk on the stuff. How many bottles are required to turn back the hands of time?"
Chris, Cardiff, in the TMS inbox

1217 - Ind 373-5 Dhoni has a real hack at a wide one from Tremlett and the ball slices away to third-man for two. Big fidgeter Dhoni, he looks like he's stuck on a train from Glasgow to London with no working toilet.

"I once dated a girl, Romford born-and-bred, of Indian descent. She's 23, has graduated from UCL and is studying for a doctorate. I've got her number if you fancy it."
Andrew, Eastbourne, in the TMS inbox

1212 - Ind 371-5 Anderson bowls short and wide but Tendulkar misses out with an airy heave. But that's a bit more like it from the Little Master, slapping the Lancashire paceman through point for four. Classic Sachin. If Anderson was a pop star, he'd be Terence Trent D'Arby: you thought he was going to be ruddy massive but he turned out to be not that good after all. I've got a horrible feeling Prior might be Tanita Tikaram. For the youngsters among you - exactly...

"After the revelation yesterday that there are lots of chaps that like to race their fellow pedestrians, we were wondering if anyone else notices the maker's name when they use a toilet? I prefer to use an Armitage Shanks while my esteemed colleague here prefers to take aim at a Twyfords."
Barters in the TMS inbox

1209 - Ind 363-5 Just one run, a no-ball, from Tremlett's over and England's seamers are keeping the Indian batsmen honest in this first session.

1204 - Ind 362-5 Sidebottom is in miserly mood this morning, but he takes one liberty too many with Sachin and Tendulkar puts manners on him, hooking him away for four. Question answered - he does still have shots to the short ball. Replays show that that shot almost decapitated an elderly lady - there's a cherry mark on the wall next to her head. She finds it funny, although two inches left and her poor kids would have turfing out for a funeral.

"'1118 - Ind 330-4 - Laxman whips Anderson through mid-wicket for a couple' VVS ran four not two! Is this what we pay our licence fee for? incorrect info!"
Palbinder Basuita in the TMS inbox

1158 - Ind 358-5 Here comes the dashing Dhoni - I've got to be honest, I don't think he's all that, looks like a bit of a show pony to me. Answer me this - if the nonsense hits the fan in your local kebab house, where would Dhoni be? On his toes shielding his chicken burger, that's where. He's off the mark with a push through the covers. Spunky lady.

Wicket falls
1154 - WICKET: Laxman c Prior b Tremlett 51 (Ind 354-5)
That's the breakthrough, Laxman nibbling at one and feathering a catch to Prior behind the stumps. The Sussex gloveman puts snow on the ball and his relief is palpable. Good on his team-mates as well, they look genuinely happy for him. Saying that, where's Sidebottom?

1150 - Ind 354-4 Mohammed Tufail has rightly pointed out that I should have said I often get caught staring at "Asian" women a little too long on the Tube, not "Indian". I'm sure the Pakistani and Bangladeshi females of London are relieved to know that they, too, might be stared at by me. Another fine, manful over from Sidebottom, and he has a confident lbw appeal against Tendulkar turned down by umpire Bucknor - it was sliding down leg.

"Benders - I know nowt about cricket, but I'm still spending all day with my wonderful other half at The Oval on Sunday! Tell Dave Rudd to get over it, he should be thankful his wife is supporting his interests and that he isn't being subjected to reruns of Home and Away instead. Changing the subject - should I come dressed as a jelly bean?"
Alison, Crawley, in the TMS inbox

1147 - Ind 354-4 Tendulkar rocks back and misses with an attempted steer - that ball from Tremlett was too close to him. Four hours at the crease for fifty Tendulkar, he's turned into a proper grafter in his old age. He picks up a single with a turn to leg. Plenty of lift for Tremlett, but Laxman yanks his arms out of the way. Watching Laxman bat is like a visit to the opera, all elegant strokes and grand gestures. Watching Collingwood bat is like a visit to a blacksmith's workshop.

"Dave (see below), the only way to achieve your goal and turn your wife back into the attractive woman you married 34 years ago is to drink even more Pimm's than she does."
Damien Lane in the TMS inbox

1144 - Ind 353-4 Sidebottom is unbowed and that's another belt and braces maiden over from the poor mite

That's 50
1137 - Ind 353-4 Tremlett, on for Anderson, drops short, Laxman swivels and yanks him away for four. That's his 29th Test fifty, and what a magnificent batsman he is in full flight. Laxman picks up one more to mid-wicket and it's all glum faces from the England players at The Oval. My colleague Julian Shea tells me that "someone behind me in the pavilion described Prior as 'like a young Gary Sprake', which was greeted with howls by spectators". Aren't there some nasty people out there?

"Re: Dave Rudd's problem. Get her pregnant, mate. That will rule out anymore quaffing of Pimm's and all spare time will be spent perusing baby catalogues and going to Mothercare."
John McNally in the TMS inbox

1132 - Ind 348-4 Absolute crackerjack delivery from Sidebottom, getting the ball to swing and jag away from Laxman. But the Notts seamer strays onto Laxman's pads next ball and is clipped through mid-wicket for four. AND LAXMAN'S GONE! NO HE RUDDY ISN'T! PRIOR'S SHELLED ANOTHER! Laxman edges, Prior dives to his right, deflects the ball past Strauss at first slip and the ball dribbles away for four. That was Strauss's catch. Vaughan looks furious, Prior sheepish. Siders looks like he's just just stepped in some dog mess on his way to his own wedding. Fine comeback from Sidebottom, digging one in and getting it past Laxman's outside edge.

1127 - Ind 339-4 Rolex timing from Laxman, just positioning his bat and the ball racing through the covers for four. My colleague tells me that The Oval has 45 pitches! I should talk to him more often, he's a ruddy font.

"And in a last desperate attempt to get something shown on the screen, my wife (who also had little interest in cricket until recently) commented 'I'm not thurprithed the Indian Cricket team don't travel well, one of them ith Karthik'."
Matt, finishing his bacon cob in Nottingham, in the TMS inbox

"You can almost hear Michael Vaughan's brain ticking over, trying to think of a way to end this crucial partnership. He's tinkering with the field, talking to his bowlers and clapping virtually every delivery with his hands high above his head."
Alistair Watkins, BBC Sport at The Oval

1122 - Ind 334-4 Rusty Lee's back in the house with his lovely lady. I must say, I'm a big fan of Indian women, I often get caught staring at them a little too long on the Tube. Tendulkar slashes at a wide one, his right hand comes off the bat and the ball races away to the third-man fence.

"Dave (see below), hope is truly lost young padowan. I bet there was a time when you wished this young lassie watched cricket and football without wanting the box switched to fat-faced-Sonia on Eastenders. Just relish the moment and get a fridge installed beside the armchair, so she can supply you with cold ones throughout the season!"
James Lindfield in the TMS inbox

1118 - Ind 330-4 Laxman whips Anderson through mid-wicket for four, all run, and Anderson hits back well, firing in a well-directed bumper that has Laxman bending his back, a la Robin Smith. Slice of luck for VVS, fishing away from his body and slicing Anderson over the slips for four.

1115 - Ind 322-4 Fine delivery from Sidebottom, firing one across Tendulkar's bows, and he follows up with some early morning chin music. I think it's fair to say that Sachin's not the batsman he was. Watching him struggling to find his feet yesterday evoked similar feelings to watching a great old crooner like Tony Bennett croaking through his old numbers. It's an honour to see him in action, but a little sad at the same time. That's a maiden over.

That's 50
1105 - Ind 322-4 That's Tendulkar's fifty courtesy of a tuck to square-leg for one - his 45th Test half-century. Not the most fluent knock from Tendulkar, and he shouldn't still be there, but I get the horrible feeling he's about to grind England's noses in it. Dreamy shot from Laxman, easing Anderson off his legs for four.

"Was it just me, or has the number of people in imaginary races from the train station to the office vastly increased today? I only ask because someone flew past me this morning and I clearly heard the word Ovett fall from his mouth as he passed..."
Kev in the TMS inbox

1104 - Ind 317-4 Right, let's have it. Here comes Siders and Tendulkar scores the first run of the day with a push to extra-cover. Absolute jamspangler of a day in Surrey - is it my imagination, but have the weather forecasters been predicting this weather's going to come crashing down for the last week? Tight first over from the Notts seamer, although no swing.

Geoffrey Boycott
"I hope Prior's read all the stuff about him in the papers and that it's been ripped out and pinned up on the dressing room wall..."
A sympathetic Sir Geoffrey Boycott on TMS

1057: England huddle (what contraband passes hands in those huddles? Fruit Salads, Flying Saucers, Nut Crunch?) and Jerusalem echoes around The Oval - we're almost off.

1054: Dear old Karthik has put the cat among the pigeons with his admission that he did nick the ball yesterday, despite Snicko deciding he didn't. It's like the first time I discovered that protective sheaths are only 99% effective.

"'Benders', please help. My wife, who has hitherto shown no interest in any form of sport throughout our 34-year marriage, has become an avid cricket fan. I now come home from work to find her slumped in an armchair, Pimm's in hand and with the house in disarray. She inundates me with trivial statistics and makes ill-judged pronouncements about the capabilities of the England players. Can you or your readers advise how I can turn her back into the sweet, girlie thing I married all those years ago?"
Dave Rudd, Hertfordshire, in the TMS inbox

"It must be the hottest day of the cricketing summer so far. Lots of chat around the ground about whether Tendulkar will make England, and especially Matt Prior, pay for dropping him on Thursday."
Alistair Watkins, BBC Sport at The Oval

1043: My swelling has subsided slightly, thank you all for asking. No more Brando impressions in front of the bathroom mirror, but I did have a crack at some of your other suggestions last night. My Sonia from Eastenders is brilliant, although it's now so accurate, I do a little sick every time I do it.

1039: All right? Make or break for England today - unless they take early wickets, you have to say this series has bolted. Interesting to see the views of Sir Geoffrey on Matt Prior, I have to say I wholeheartedly agree. What about Tim Ambrose of Warwickshire? Averaging 51 with 563 runs for his county this season. Or Pothas of Hampshire? Oh, I don't know...

"Morning Dirsy. Hope the face is less lumpy than yesterday. Just tried to find out the origin of your surname - no joy I'm afraid. Strauss is named after an Ostrich though. Going to be a long day."
Billy Kirby, Sutton, in the TMS inbox

1025 In case you didn't hear Dinesh Karthik's comments last night, he says he is happy he DID nick that delivery from Ryan Sidebottom that deprived him of his century. So, snickometer is fallible (not for the first time).

1001 Just 59 minutes to go until day two begins then, and it seems everyone is still talking about Matt Prior's drop of Sachin Tendulkar. Here's Geoffrey Boycott on the subject...

"They're scraping around trying to find someone who's a reasonable keeper but can make runs. They are more concerned in the modern day about runs which says they don't have that much confidence in the sixth batsman. I understand the problem but you can't just drop people because [Tendulkar's] going to make 160, 170 and he's going to put you in a hole."



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