NATWEST SERIES, Rose Bowl:
England 288-2 (50 overs) bt India 184 all out (50 overs) by 104 runs
England defeated India by 104 runs in the opening one-day international after an impressive display at the Rose Bowl.
Maiden one-day centuries from Alastair Cook and Ian Bell led England to 288-2 off 50 overs after they were put in, Bell unbeaten on 126 from 118 balls.
Monty Panesar ran out Sourav Ganguly in the third over of India's reply and James Anderson took two wickets in an over in a spell of 3-14 from six overs.
Rahul Dravid and Mahendra Dhoni shared 68 but both fell in successive overs.
LATEST ACTION AS IT HAPPENS (ALL TIMES BST)
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"Yawn...bath and bed. Night, night, Ben."
Ste Byrne, Warrington, in the TMS inbox
50th over - WICKET: Singh b Panesar 0 (Ind 184 all out)
Panesar to bowl the final over and Karthick almost puts his back out with an almighty attempted heave. One for Karthick to the cover boundary...no, he wants a fifty and declines the single. Karthick misses out with an attempted sweep before slapping Monty to wide long-off for one. Singh goes for a rancid hoick to cow corner and is bowled with the final ball of the innings. No getting away from it, that was a fine performance from England, but it was dismal from India and a poor advert for cricket, as the swathes of empty seats at the Rose Bowl attest to. Thanks for reading and we'll chat soon.
49th over - WICKET: Zaheer b Anderson 20 (ind 183-9)
Anderson takes his fourth wicket, dredging up a perfect yorker that is far too good for Zaheer Khan. Good cameo, though, from Zaheer, at least one member of the Indian team was prepared to show some spunk. Singh is the final man out of the hutch and he is welcomed to the crease with a bumper, which he just manages to fend off his stumps. Singh survives the over and Anderson finishes with 4-23, his best figures in ODIs.
48th over - Ind 183-8 More tap from Zaheer, who brings out his Big Bertha and clatters Monty over wide long-on for six. Zaheer picks up one more with an ugly heave to long-on before Karthick reverse sweeps for four. Two more overs of this nonsense to go...
47th over - Ind 168-8 Anderson is back on and Karthick moves to 36 with a clip into the covers for three...
"'Colly weed' is a Jamaican term for cannabis leaves. I hope that Matt Prior isn't implying anything untoward about his ODI captain."
Douglas Thomson in the TMS inbox
46th over - Ind 163-8 Colly drags one down and Karthick can only clip one from it. Zaheer gives Colly the long handle, carting Collingwood over wide long-on for a maximum. The England skipper grimaces, as if he's just seen his mother-in-law struggling up the front drive with several Agent Provocateur bags.
"Re: Dr Watson's question, 'What did the quasar say to the Lyman break galaxy?', if the answer's not 'bust a move' I'll be sorely disappointed."
Stuart, Bath, in the TMS inbox
45th over - Ind 155-8 Monty is tucked to mid-wicket for one by Karthick and there's just one from the over...
"There's not much going on, is there? It's a bit dull..."
Alec Stewart on TMS
44th over - Ind 154-8 Karthick carves Colly through the covers for two and picks up another with a push into the off-side. New batter Zaheer lofts Collingwood over the top for four. Without meaning to give it Larry Large, physics was the only subject that went completely and utterly over my head at school and I was genuinely relieved to drop it at GCSE. It didn't help that our teacher used to bound from desk to desk brandishing a fake gun. Imagine a teacher doing that today? He'd be dragged out of the school and burned by a thousand mums and dads all wearing tracksuits and dripping with sovereign rings.
43rd over - WICKET: Chawla run out (Mascarenhas/Panesar) 2 (Ind 145-8)
Chawla is run out, the youngster turning Monty round the corner, Karthick calling and Chawla refusing the run. Mascar had all the time in the world to lob the ball to Monty and Chawla, who left his crease, is the man to walk.
"Strikes me that all these astronomy PhD students need to stop following the cricket and do some actual writing writing up. Same goes for you, Alan: it's the middle of your working day, for goodness sake, go and model some circumstellar disks! Shocking procrastination. Oh..."
Prof Mark McCaughrean, Astrophysics Group, School of Physics, University of Exeter
42nd over - Ind 145-7 Karthick moves across his stumps and chips Colly to mid-wicket for a couple before carving him to the backward-point fence...and again. Karthik showing a little big of dog, but it's all a little bit too little too late.
"Re. Facebook - befriending celebrities is the way forward. Amongst my buddies I can count Dion Dublin, Fabrizio Ravanelli, Chris de Burgh, Kris Akabusi and Steve Ogrizovic. Whether they are real or not is another question, I like to think so though."
Mark, Oxford, in the TMS inbox
41st over - Ind 135-7 Chawla clips Panesar off his pads for a single before Karthik eases a full-bunger into the covers for one.
40th over - Ind 133-7 Karthik drives into the covers for what should have been two, but they amble one. Chawla, who averages 3 in ODIs, is off the mark with a single backward of square.
"Simon (see below), we still need Mr July for our Facebook Men of TMS 2007 Calendar. Are you a fittie and would you like to fill this final calendar boy position?"
Sarah, Canterbury, in the TMS inbox
"Tastiest body part? Fungally-affected (big) toenail after the third application of 'Curanail' pickling agent. De-lish."
Ste Byrne, Warrington, in the TMS inbox
39th over - WICKET: Agarkar run out (Collingwood/Prior) 11 (Ind 129-7)
Karthick bags one with a push into the covers and if you ever needed evidence that 50-over cricket is dying on its jacksie, you only have to see the droves of fans streaming towards the exit. I don't care how bad the Rose Bowl's access is, it wouldn't make a blind bit of difference if people were being entertained. That's Agarkar gone, ambling down the track, getting sent back and Colly finding Prior's gloves with his throw. Off come the bails and India slip further into the mire.
38th over - Ind 127-6 Colly is into the attack and Agarkar yanks him away for four through mid-wicket. Prior calls Colly 'Weed' - anyone got any idea why? My colleague thinks it shows the skipper a remarkable lack of respect. Two more runs for Agarkar, rolling his wrists on a hook and doing well to keep the ball down.
37th over - Ind 120-6 Karthick and Agarkar share singles before Karthick plays a classic off-drive for four. Umpire Doctrove has a chat with Prior, not sure what all that was about. He had a bit of a dig at Karthick there, but Freddie plays the diplomat.
Re Simon - 32nd over. Facebook can be an interesting research source. I like to search for things like 'cheerleading', 'beach volleyball' etc and then look at the pictures..."
RA Court in the TMS inbox
36th over - Ind 112-6 Just an Agarkar single from Mascar's over and I reckon England might win this one. Anyone know which part of your own body tastes best? Half the crowd has gone at the Rose Bowl, and I can't say I blame them.
"If Natasha and Daniel (see below) cannot come up with witty answers to the question, 'What did the quasar say to the Lyman break galaxy?', then I fear for the future of astronomy."
Dr Alan Watson, Centro de Radioastronomía y Astrofísica, Universidad Astronómico Nacional de México, in the TMS inbox
35th over - Ind 111-6 Broad is back into the attack and India milk a couple of singles from his over.
34th over - Ind 109-6 Karthick picks up a single to third-man and Agarkar bags one to long-on. Another very tidy over from Mascarenhas and more and more one-day internatonals resemble F1 grands prix - you know exactly who's going to win from about 50 laps out. I really can't see this fortmat lasting long, it will be the ruin of cricket...
"For Sam, London, I would recommend banana hammocks (aka Speedos) for your trip to South Africa, along with the obligatory English attire of sandals and socks."
Martin Worsley, Ashby de la Zouch, in the TMS inbox
33rd over - Ind 106-6 Karthik flicks Flintoff to mid-wicket for a single but that's the only run of another splendid over from the big man.
"We have just spent a lovely evening picking red carrots, they are lovely raw...Have Fun..."
Greg in the TMS inbox
32nd over - WICKET: Dravid c Prior b Mascarenhas 46 (Ind 105-6)
Great catch from Prior, Dravid attempting the paddle-sweep and deflecting the ball into the Sussex gloveman's hands. That was Mascarenhas's first wicket in international cricket, England are cruising. Agarkar blocks out the over.
"I've just joined Facebook. The first thing I did was search for old girlfriends. Then I got bored. Then I searched for the funniest names I could think of. What do you do next?"
Simon, London, in the TMS inbox
"Dirs, Four of us are heading off to the Twenty20 tournament in South Africa. Any ideas for costumes that will represent the spirit of the live text service? We are Northern, so have no pride."
Sam, London (currently), in the TMS inbox
31st over - WICKET: Dhoni c Prior b Flintoff 19 (Ind 102-5)
Dhoni has a go at a short one from Flintoff and England think he gloved it. Umpire Doctrove thinks otherwise. The next ball is a carbon copy and this time there was glove on it - fifth wicket down, Freddie goes berserk and that's India on toast. Karthik is next up the ramp and he gets a couple of snorters from Freddie. Freddie clenches his fist as he makes his way to the boundary fence - that is one relieved man.
"Sarah, Canterbury, Ben is worse than a scab as he doesn't post my comments. You're better off taking me to watch Kent lose."
Rob, Glos, in the TMS inbox
30th over - Ind 102-4 Dravid pulls out the five wood and the ball comes up just short of the wide long-on fence. Remarkably, they only run one there - you're average Australian pair would have run three. Dhoni takes an easy single to bring up India's 100 before Dravid dabs Mascarenhas into the covers for another. Good fielding from Anderson, diving to his left at long-off to save a couple. Will someone down at the Rose Bowl give India a nudge...
29th over - Ind 98-4 Freddie is back on and Dravid angles him to third-man for one. Dhoni punches into the off-side for a single before Flintoff thinks he's got Dravid leg before, but umpire Doctrove decides that was slipping down leg. Hawkeye says it was clipping the top of leg-stump. Freddie has Dravid fencing at one outside the off-stump. Dravid nicks the strike with a glide down to third-man.
"I'm sure there are lots of places a young swain could escort his lady for a temperate night out. What's worrying is his asking a cricket commentator for such advice."
Steve in the TMS inbox
28th over - Ind 95-4 Outside edge from Dravid for four and four singles from the over. Still no urgency from the Indian batsmen...
27th over - Ind 87-4 Poor over from Monty, serving up a knee-high full-bunger which Dhoni is only able to flog away for a single before sending down a half-tracker which the Indian stopper slaps through the covers for another boundary.
"I'll see your astronomy and raise you some neuroscience - I'm doing a chapter on laminar differences in epilepsy susceptibility in the medial entorhinal cortex. Try getting some wit into that! Geeks ahoy!"
Stuart, Bath, in the TMS inbox
26th over - Ind 81-4 Just two singles from Mascarenhas's over and this is to cricket what the Hillman Avenger is to the world of cars. How many times do I have to tell people, it was a hypothetical question! What do people do on dates in Britain if they aren't getting rubbered? What is wrong with this country? In Germany, people probably go on dates to French Baroque concerts.
25th over - Ind 79-4 There's some tap from Dravid, the India skipper planting his front foot down the track and marmalising Monty over long-off for six. Dravid glides Panesar through the covers for one before Dhoni nudges him for a single to long-on.
"You're like a scab I'm trying not to pick. If you select the right young lady, Ben, you could take me, ahem, her to the cricket!"
Sarah, Canterbury, in the TMS inbox
24th over - Ind 70-4 Dravid gets a thick inside edge that runs to square-leg for one before Dravid glides Mascarenhas down to third-man for another single. Bring on the Twenty20 World Cup, this is like watching paint grow...and, yes, I do mean paint grow...
23rd over - Ind 67-4 Four singles from Monty's over before Dravid waits on one and deflects the ball past third-man for three.
22nd over - Ind 60-4 Dravid angles Mascarenhas down to third-man for one and you have to ask when India are going to put pedal to metal, I don;t really see the point in them poking about like they are.
"I'd love to embark on a cozy relationship with you, but obviously you'll first have to get full marks in my Neighbours quiz. Question 1: What were Josh and Todd doing when Helen caught them naked?"
Katherine, Bromsgrove, in the TMS inbox
21st over - Ind 59-4 Monty gets worked around for a few singles and your suggestions are flooding in for where, hypothetically, a man (in London) can take a young lady for a non-boozy night out.
20th over - Ind 56-4 Dhoni picks up a thick inside-edge to third man before Dravid gets down on one knee and sweeps Mascar down to wide third-man, where a sprawling Broad limits him to a couple. This is torturous progress from India, and it's time for Monty to make his mark.
"How come there are so many astronomy students writing up? I'm writing up mine too - I'll swap Natasha a chapter about Quasars for a chapter about Lyman Break Galaxy Selection."
Daniel Smith in the TMS inbox
19th over - Ind 52-4 Dravid flicks into the on-side for a single, although it was actually a leg-bye. Looking pretty lean, Freddie, he's obviously been steering clear of the donuts while he's had his feet up. Dhoni squirts a single to point off the last ball of the over and Flintoff's figures now read four overs for seven runs. I don't like people who bring out guitars and start playing them at gatherings - what does that make me?
"'Any suggestions for a witty introduction chapter regarding quasars?' (see below)
'A cheesy light snack which is very moorish...' No, sorry, thats Quavers!"
Colin Letchford, Rickmansworth, in the TMS inbox
18th over - Ind 49-4 England skipper Collingwood turns to Mascarenhas and his first over is tighter than John Holmes' swimming trunks. James, Leeds (and mates), where should I take a young lady in the early stages of a relationship if, hypothetically, I wanted to take her out without getting smashed up on booze?
17th over - Ind 49-4 For a moment, England think they've got Dhoni, who is late on a Flintoff climber, but it was a no-ball. That ball definitely clipped his glove. Dhoni then picks up the first run off the bat from Flintoff before India pick up two leg-byes.
"Oh, so the old emails have dried up? Bet you wish you hadn't spurned all those fruity missives I sent you in times of plenty. You are like the field mouse that pranced about in the summer and didn't save up nuts for the winter. Well, go on, you can have my nuts."
James in the TMS inbox
16th over - Ind 44-4 Confident lbw appeal from Anderson against Dhoni, but it was going down leg. Anderson bangs one in and Dravid plays a rare expansive stroke, not quite timing it but the ball running away to the mid-wicket fence.
"In my book, no nipples = no streaker."
Andy R in the TMS inbox
15th over - Ind 38-4 Flintoff still mining that corridor of uncertainty just outside Dravid's off-peg and he demonstrates his fitness by diving to his left and preventing a single. He then locates the edge of Dravid's blade, but the ball falls just short of first slip. Freddie sends one down over 90mph and there is just one no-ball from the over. Players take drinks. Ceri of Solihull wants to know what Foxy Boxing is (see below). Wikipedia, as ever, provides the answer: "Foxy boxing involves two women boxing (or pretending to do so) in a sexualized context as a form of erotic entertainment. The participants are typically dressed in revealing clothing such as bikinis."
"A cozy relationship, eh? You don't have to ask me twice. Presently very bored, working on my thesis. Any suggestions for a witty introduction chapter regarding quasars?"
Natasha, UK, in the TMS inbox
14th over - Ind 37-4 Dravid picks up a single with a dab into the covers and can Dhoni rein in those natural instincts? Anderson strangles an lbw appeal, that ball was sliding down leg.
13th over - Ind 36-4 It's time for Freddie and his first ball is sent down at 88mph. Calm down big man. Blimey, this Dhoni is a magnificent player, I really don't think I've seen a better cricketer in all my years of writing a load of nonsense about cricket. He has a nervy waft outside off-peg and is beaten before Freddie gets another past a tentative fence. Great comeback from Flintoff, as if he was never away.
"Hi Ben, me and the guys on the late shift would be happy to strike up a cosy relationship but we'd like to know where you'd take us on a date? Maybe an old fashioned picture show and a walk on the boulevard?"
James, Leeds, in the TMS inbox
12th over - WICKET: Tendulkar c Bopara b Anderson 17 (Ind 34-4)
Bingo! Anderson angles one in to Tendulkar and is clipped to mid-wicket, where Bopara, easy as shelling peas, snaffles the catch. Massive wicket for England, India in a total and utter horlicks.
WICKET: Yuvraj c Cook b Anderson 0 (Ind 34-3)
Yuvraj is the new batsman and he gets a brute first up, Anderson digging one in short and the batsman taking his eyes off the ball. Anderson bowling in the high 80mphs at the moment and he gets one past a timid fence from Yuvraj. And that's another for Jimmy, Yuvraj sparring at one and Cook, diving to his right, taking an absolute doozy of a catch at fourthish slip. India in a proper old pickle now and I'm thinking feet up, cup of tea, Paxo, Newsnight, 10.30. Let's have it! Dhoni is the new man at the crease and he very nearly plays on first ball but gets one run for it.
"A group of girls in black bikinis have just entertained the crowd by running around the stand on the western side of the Rose Bowl. They were pursued by stewards in a scene reminiscent of a Benny Hill sketch, but all have now disappeared from view."
Mark Mitchener, BBC Sport at the Rose Bowl
11th over - Ind 34-2 Tendulkar slices Broad down to third-man for one before Dravid picks up a single into the covers. That's three for Tendulkar with an ease into the covers and another tight over from Broad.
10th over - Ind 29-2 Dravid tucks Anderson to mid-wicket for one before Tendulkar skews him just short of the fielder at point. Inside edge from Tendulkar and he runs up one. WE'VE GOT SOME STREAKERS! I have never heard Aggers so excited! What's up with Sky? They obviously think streakers are below them nowadays. A row erupts between Aggers and Vic Marks as to whether they were wearing bikinis or not. If they were, added to the fact they never made it onto the pitch, then they weren't strictly streakers. Sorry.
9th over - Ind 27-2 Tendulkar works Broad to mid-wicket for one before Dravid nibbles him to long-leg for a single. Broad then thinks he's got Tendulkar lbw for a third time, but there was plenty of willow on that one. Anyone out there? The old emails have dried up. If anyone decided to email now, we could probably strike up a very cosy relationship by the end of play.
8th over - Ind 23-2 Dravid is off the mark with a clip through mid-wicket for three. Delightful stroke from the Indian skipper. Just the four from the over, however, and England's bowlers are doing a good strangulation job here. You may be surprised to learn that Anderson is England's fifth highest ODI wicket-taker. That's a bit like learning that Luther Blissett is the fifth highest goalscorer for the England football team.
"I further dispute the 'weakest bladder' claim from earlier. My best mate is commonly known as 'Jason Thimblebladder'. I dare anyone to beat four trips to the loo after a pint of orange and water."
Jonny, Billingham, in the TMS inbox
7th over - Ind 19-2 Broad goes up for lbw against Tendulkar, but umpire Doctrove reckons the Little Master was struck outside the line of off-stump. Another huge shout, Broad getting the ball to nip back at Tendulkar, but this time Doctrove says it was going over. That looked very close with the naked eye, but Hawkeye says Doctrove got it right.
6th over - WICKET: Gambhir c Prior b Anderson 3 (Ind 19-2)
Jaffa from Anderson, the ball pitching on middle and leg and beating Gambhir outside off-stump. And that's Anderson's 100th ODI wicket, Gambhir wafting at one outside off-stump again and Prior snaffling the feather behind the stumps. India in a whole world of pain, here comes The Wall...
5th over - Ind 19-1 Good, tight over from Broad, just the one from it, a scampered single from Gambhir.
4th over - Ind 18-1 Gambhir prods unconvincingly to backward-point for one before Anderson serves up another wide. Anderson then thinks he's got Tendulkar leg before, but that was sliding down leg. It's all got a bit raucous at the Rose Bowl...
"That's something you don't want on your CV - run out by Monty Panesar..."
Alex Stewart on TMS
3rd over - WICKET: Ganguly run out (Panesar/Prior) 2 (Ind 15-1)
Ganguly opens the face and plays Broad down to wide third-man for one. Tendulkar turns the ball into the covers, Ganguly turns for a second, is sent back and MONTY RUNS HIM OUT! MONTY RUNS HIM OUT! MONTY RUNS HIM OUT! Panesar with a loopy throw and Prior whipping off the bails. Ganguly just appeared to be ball watching there, that wasn't clever at all. Sachin has a little chuckle with KP as they wait for Gambhir to make his way to the middle, not sure Ganguly found it so funny.
2nd over - Ind 13-0 Anderson sends down a wide before straying down Tendulkar's pads and the ball running away for four leg-byes. Pearling stroke from Tendulkar, standing tall and square-driving Anderson for four. Nine from the over, we're about to find out how good that England total was.
"You want excitement? Snails move at 0.000362005 mph; in 1760, Joseph Merlin, a Belgian musician, invented roller skates and first demonstrated them at a ball by skating across the room while playing the violin; in ancient Sparta, a town drunk was an elected official who was required to get intoxicated every day and reel through the streets as an object lesson for the young citizenry."
Sam, Bristol, in the TMS inbox
"Is Ian Bell married then? If not, I'll volunteer to carry those Agent Provocateur bags up his drive..."
Kirsten, Dublin, in the TMS inbox
1st over - Ind 4-0 Players are back out and it's Ganguly and Tendulkar to open for the visitors. They've played 675 ODIs between them, which is almost 200 more than the whole England team put together. Broad of Leicestershire to open the bowling for England and his first ball swings in and beats Ganguly on the inside. Ganguly is off the mark with a clip to leg for three before Tendulkar squirts one out to point. Alan Orpin! (see below), glad to see you back. I am not a man to hold grudges and I feel like hugging you. By the way, I didn't just make that email up...
"I'm glad you're back, for one reason at least...On the last day of the final Test I gave you an earful that was way out of order, totally uncalled for, unwarranted, unfair, inappropriate, wildly inaccurate and thoroughly anti-social. Just to prick your memory, I wished you sudden unemployment and called you 'a chav half-wit'. Not good. If the disembowellment hasn't gone far enough, please let me know. Have a good series."
Alan Orpin in the TMS inbox
50th over - Eng 288-2 Bizarre from Pietersen, dragging a head-high bumper round the corner for one. Bell, looking absolutely cream-crackered now, makes room and only manages to bottom-edge to wicket-keeper Dhoni for no run. Bell walks to outside off and helps Agarkar over the fielder's head at fine-leg for four. Pietersen lofts the last ball of the innings straight to the fielder at long-off for one and that's that. Strange score that, not often in modern cricket you'll see a side total 288-2 from 50 overs.
"On The Enemies of Reason last night (C4, 8pm), the presenter casually mentioned that in every glass of water we drink at least one molecule has passed through the bladder of Oliver Cromwell. Has anyone else got any bizarre/semi-disgusting facts like that they want to share?"
Ed, London, in the TMS inbox
49th over - Eng 279-2 Zaheer tries out some chin music and Bell manages to roll the wrists on it and run one. Pietersen whips a full-bunger round the corner for one before Bell plays an extraordinary shot, walking down the pitch and slapping Zaheer over wide long-off for a couple. That's a crackerjack stroke, though, Bell making room and creaming Zaheer through the covers for four. Bell picks up two more with a slice to third-man and stand by for some KP fireworks - 300 still on?
"The 1.4 Ford Reader's Wives was a big mistake."
James Gallagher in the TMS inbox
48th over - Eng 269-2 Pietersen picks up an easy single and the umpires take a look at the ball, which now resembles a haggis. A new ball is turfed out and play will continue in a moment. Bell cracks Singh into the covers on the up and runs one before Pietersen chips to long-off for a couple. Pietersen comes down the pitch and smears Singh to extra-cover for two more before dabbing to mid-off for one. One more for Bell and this isn't the grandstand finish we were all hoping for from England.
"I feel I must defend Mr Dirs against the comment from Pricey (see below). If a shot has 'Rolex' timing, it not only reflects its accuracy, but it also alludes to something more glorious and beautiful than a mere Quartz Casio. A 'Rolex' timed shot is like a Ferrari. I'm afraid the 'Quartz' shot would be the orange Lada Riva!"
Ian, Carrickfergus, in the TMS inbox
47th over - Eng 261-2 Bell clips to long-on for one before KP misses out on one in the slot from Zaheer. Zaheer really keeping it tight at the death, but KP does manage to pick up one before Bell walks outside off-stump and flicks Zaheer over mid-wicket for two. The Warwickshire man repeats the shot for two more and there are six from the over.
46th over - Eng 255-2 Bell drives straight for one before KP picks up four with a cute leg-glance. Tendulkar tried to trick KP there with a spear into his legs, but the Hampshire man was wise to it. Pietersen tries to twirl Tendulkar through point but misses - nine from the over.
"The highlight of my trip to Australia a few years ago was working at Channel 7 studios in Sydney and meeting the legend that is Ray Meagher - Alf Stewart to the rest of you. On request, he called me a 'flamin? gallah'."
Steve, Tunbridge Wells, in the TMS inbox
45th over - Eng 246-2 That's Bell's first ODI courtesy of a leg-glance for four. Who said he shouldn't be batting at four? IDIOT! Bell, quite understandably, looks like a man who has just seen his wife struggling up the drive with several Agent Provocateur carrier bags. Pietersen marmalises that one, the ball bouncing just in front of the deep mid-wicket rope.
"Sarah's right Ben, having often trawled the fleshpots of Skem, I can tell you that to tempt a Skem girl into some horseplay, there is no better bait than a KFC bargain bucket with all the trimmings (you know, the wet wipes and stuff)."
Nemo, Strasbourg, in the TMS inbox
44th over - Eng 234-2 Still no streakers all summer - anyone likely to be redressing this situation before the summer is out? Bell picks up one with a clip to leg and KP bags a single with a whip to mid-wicket. Bell stays back and dabs Singh to point to move to 97 and Pietersen bags one more with a carve into the covers.
"Can Nick Smith (see below) please describe in more detail the 'wave' he received from the two 14 year olds...?"
Ben Evans in the TMS inbox
43rd over - Eng 230-2 Awesome timing from Pietersen, clipping Agarkar through mid-wicket and the fielder parrying the ball over the rope. KP gets up on one leg and yanks Agarkar round the corner for one and Bell scampers two with a tuck to long-on. Not clever from Ganguly in the field, and his skipper looks at him like dirt.
42nd over - WICKET: Cook b Singh 102 (Eng 221-2)
Two for Bell and he scampers one more with a dab to point. But Cook loses his off-peg, Singh getting one to nip back slightly and the Essex man dragging the ball on. Cracking knock that from Cook and the crowd rise as one as he makes his way to the dressing room. Guess who's next? IT'S GOD! AND I DON'T CARE WHAT ANYONE SAYS ABOUT HIM! Pietersen is off the mark with a single into the covers.
"OK, that's it. I give up. The self-knowledge that I no longer amuse you enough (and, more importantly, that you know this!) is too depressing after so much success. It's been fab knowing you, Ben. Have a happy life!"
Sarah, Canterbury, in the TMS inbox
41st over - Eng 218-1 One for Cook and four for Bell, whipping a leg-side full-bunger from Agarkar through third-man. "That's rubbish bowling", says Alec Stewart on TMS. Two more singles for Bell and a leg-bye from the over. I would just like to remind you all of a comment I made earlier on: "Bell is the next man in and I continue to be perplexed by England's tactics - WHY AREN'T PIETERSEN AND FLINTOFF BEING PUT UP THE ORDER?! England really don't seem to be learning... " What a wally brain I am.
40th over - Eng 210-1 Cook moves to 99 with a pick-up over mid-wicket for four before bringing up his first ODI ton with a push into the covers. Off comes the lid and up go the arms, the Essex opener and has answered a few critics with that knock - including me. England have to be looking at 300-plus now with KP, Flintoff, Bopara and Mascarenhas yet to come.
"Hundreds win you games, pretty 60s and 70s don't really have a big enough impact..."
Alec Stewart on TMS
39th over - Eng 201-1 Bell makes room and skews Yuvraj uppishly through the covers for a couple and that's England's fifty. Bell stays back and wafts and misses at a flatter delivery from Yuvraj.
38th over - Eng 198-1 Crackerjack stroke from Cook, using his feet and whipping Zaheer through mid-wicket for four. The Essex man works Zaheer to fine-leg to nick the strike.
"I always enjoyed the fact that Ford named its cars after gentleman's magazines. Fiesta and Escort, shame they never brought out the Ford Razzle."
Dunstan Gibson, Leeds, in the TMS inbox
37th over - Eng 191-1 Bell and Cook exchange singles before Bell lofts Yuvraj to wide long-off for a couple. One more for Belly before Cook on-drives to steal the strike. Anyone got anything exciting to tell me? This is about as exciting as church. Although, a mate's brother once burst into Midnight Mass and shouted "Morrissey is the only king!" That was quite exciting.
"Ben, I dispute your 'weakest bladder' claim. I have such a weak bladder I was generally known all throug university as 'Captain Slackbladder'. I'm seriously thinking of missing out the middle man and just spending my evening in a pub toilet pouring lager down the loo."
Jeremy Butterworth in the TMS inbox
36th over - Eng 185-1 Players resume after a quick wet and Zaheer is guided to point for one by Bell. Cook yanks a shorter delivery from Zaheer through mid-wicket for a couple before carving him through point for two more. Cook now 87.
"Without wanting to sound pedantic Ben, your use of the phrase 'Rolex timing' is a bit misleading. As an automatic movement and certified chronometer, it is guarenteed to run within COSC specs of -4 to +6 seconds per day. Quartz watches, whilst much cheaper, are more accurate timekeepers. You are paying for many things other than timekeeping on a high-end watch. Thus, 'quartz timing' would be a better analogy for a well-timed shot."
Pricey, Derby, in the TMS inbox
"Re: 22nd over, Monty Panesar may tell you it's all about areas. However, Warne and Murali say it's about spinning it ruddy miles, and who has the most wickets?"
Shaun, Nottingham, in the TMS inbox
35th over - Eng 180-1 Cook nurdles to leg and Bell plays a similar stroke for one of his own. Good hands from Cook, gliding a straightish ball from Yuvraj through third-man for four. The Essex opener clips to square-leg for one more.
"Well, as long as you don't spend the other two-thirds tugging aggressively at Percy in a doorway (see below), your lady friends shouldn't have too much to complain about."
Robert Matthews in the TMS inbox
34th over - Eng 172-1 Cook and Bell happy to milk Chawla for four singles before Bell picks up a couple with an ease into the covers.
33rd over - Eng 165-1 Risky from Bell, attempting a reverse, dab sweep, and Sunil Gavaskar on TMS reacts as if he's just seen him drop his strides and moon the Northern End. Three singles from the over.
32nd over - Eng 162-1 Cook drives to long-off for a single before Bell rocks back and heaves Chawla over the inner ring for four. Bell now has 63 off 63 balls - how does he manage to look so pedestrian while scoring at a run a ball?
"Sarah from Skem (see below) doesn't know what she's on about. I've been reciting the real names of Neighbours and Home and Away characters for years and I'm happy to say that I'll be getting married in September. So, Alex Papps to you! (those who know, know)"
GD, Manchester, in the TMS inbox
31st over - Eng 155-1 Yuvraj is on now and Cook tucks him away for a single before Bell clips him to mid-on for one. Gossamer touch from Cook, tickling Yuvraj to fine-leg for a few to bring up England's 150. One more for Bell, nurdling to leg and Cook grabs a single with a chop to point.
"Speaking as a lady, I'm always most impressed with any male who has an in-depth knowledge of Australian soaps. I once spent several days at work devising a Neighbours quiz - I find it a very useful tool when assessing a man's character."
Katherine, Redditch, in the TMS inbox
30th over - Eng 146-1 Bell almost comes unstuck, skying the ball to long-on only for it to fall short of the fielder, Karthik, running in. Bell gets one for the stroke before Cook grabs a single with a single to mid-wicket. Two more for Bell with a turn to square-leg and this pair have now put on 100.
29th over - Eng 141-1 Two for Cook with a clip through mid-wicket and he picks up one more with a nurdle to mid-on. That's Bell's 12th ODI fifty, yanking Tendulkar through mid-wicket for four. A cursory raise of the bat from Bell, he's well aware there's a lot more work to do. That knock has only taken him 54 balls so far and the partnership is now 98 from 108 deliveries.
"It started with a champagne beige 1982 Austin Allegro (sadly without the square steering wheel), then a 1991 Austin Maestro Clubman diesel and now a Skoda. The Maestro is now mine and is not exactly a babe magnet. Although two 14-year-olds on a bus once waved at me."
Nick Smith in the TMS inbox
28th over - Eng 132-1 Sweet as a nut from Bell, sashaying down the pitch and lofting Chawla over the long-off fence for six. Bell steers Chawla into the covers for two more and perhaps this has been set aside as the time England give it some hammer.
27th over - Eng 121-1 Rank long-hop from Sachin and Bell is all over it like a 50-year divorcee at Tiger Tiger, crashing the ball to the mid-wicket fence. Single apiece for Belly and Cook and England are looking at a total of 250, you think.
"I saw Limahl at the Northampton Balloon Festival over the weekend. Not impressed. A 10 minute reprise of Too Shy complete with crowd participation before launching into a medley of 80's covers. Chesney Hawkes followed but I'd gone to the pub by then."
Rob Dent in the TMS inbox
26th over - Eng 115-1 Cook strikes his fifth boundary, slog-sweeping Chawla over mid-wicket. Cook drags Chawla away for one more before Bell backs away and steers into the covers for a single.
25th over - Eng 108-1 Tendulkar and his liquorice allsorts into the attack and his first ball is an off-break which Cook cuts to point for a single. Two leg-side wides from Sachin before Cook drives to long-on for two. Strangled lbw appeal against Bell, but that was missing leg.
"A colleague of mine has returned to work today following laser eye surgery. Another 'nasty' colleague has changed the brightness and contrast on his PC and he's on the phone to his optometrist as I write this trying to book an urgent follow-up appointment."
Paul, North Wales, in the TMS inbox
24th over - Eng 103-1 Cook appears to have learned to play the sweep overnight and he dabs Chawla round the corner for one. Bell goes back and steers Chawla through point for a single. One more for Cookey and that's another very tidy over from Chawla - not much tweak, but Johnny on the spot.
23rd over - Eng 100-1 Three singles for England before Cook plays a false shot, chipping uppishly into the on-side, but he runs a single and that's his first fifty in ODIs and England's ton. Sarah (see below), I think you misunderstand - my mate knows the person who trained Bouncer on Neighbours. The real tragedy is, he's obviously got a pretty good memory, but still managed to get an F in GCSE French.
"I understand your pain. Everybody must have been pointing at you and laughing because your father had not chosen to buy the much superior Chrysler Avenger. It looked particularly appealing in bright orange with a black plastic roof!"
Phil, Surrey, in the TMS inbox
22nd over - Eng 95-1 Eighteen-year-old leg-spinner Chawla is into the attack and his first ball beats the bat of Cook. Cook, attempted to cut, is beaten again before playing a rare sweep for a single. Bell nudges for a single before Cook nicks the strike with a clip into the covers. Good over from the youngster, finding the right areas, and, as Monty Panesar will tell you, it's all about areas.
"I would just like to say that you have strange friends. His knowledge of old Neighbours and Grange Hill actors wouldn't entice me into his boudoir."
Sarah, Skelmersdale, in the TMS inbox
21st over - Eng 92-1 Bit of inswing from Ganguly and Bell eases him to mid-on for a single. Good running from the England batsmen, Cook picking up a couple with a turn off his legs. Will, The City (see below), as anyone who has ever been on a date with me will know, I have the weakest bladder in all of Christendom. Add the fact I can no longer smoke in pubs and I estimate I probably spend a third of an average date either pointing Percy at the porcelain or tugging aggressively at a tab in a doorway.
20th over - Eng 88-1 Another four for Bell, freeing his arms and creaming Singh through point. Good comeback from Singh, but Bell manages to dig out an attempted yorker. Rolex timing from Cook, dispatching Singh through wide long-on for four. Better from England, a bit more urgency.
"Ben, I was wondering, have you ever found yourself in the situation where you need the loo in the middle of a game? Do you find you can make it there and back between overs, or do you hold on, grind your teeth and suck it until to the bitter end of the session?"
Will, The City, in the TMS inbox
19th over - Eng 79-1 Bell opens the face and glides Ganguly to third-man for one and Cook carves the medium pacer through point for a single of his own. BELL GOES AIRBORNE! I had to ask how to spell 'airborne' there, so unused am I to writing it when England bat. Four for the shot to the mid-wicket fence and that was a bit like seeing Dr Kildare get all lary and plunge a surgical instrument into one of his patient's neck. My colleague, aware I currently have a temporary cap, has just offered me a fruit gum. If anyone has done anything as nasty as that to you today, please let me know.
18th over - Eng 72-1 Light pouring down from the Rose Bowl floodlights now, it's pretty gloomy on the south coast. Bell nabs the only run of the over with a bottom-edge.
"If you think 'Avenger' was a silly name, what about the Hillman 'Minx'? This conjures visions of Nora Batty draped over the back seat on Ilkley Moor."
Clive in the TMS inbox
17th over - Eng 71-1 Bell bags a couple with a nurdle to leg before Cook clips the dibbly-dobbly Ganguly to mid-wicket for a single. Not exactly savage this from the England top order, you'd see more brutal onslaughts at a night of Foxy Boxing.
"Don't people realise that 'Hillman Avengers' is an anagram of 'Limahl's Green Van'? Or are they all too young to remember Kajagoogoo?"
Tony Thresher in the TMS inbox
16th over - Eng 66-1 Cook plays a willd and windy drive and is beaten but picks up a few with his trademark clip through mid-wicket. Bell scampers a single before Cook is scythed in half by a Singh delivery that nips back and just misses the timbers. Cook smiles sheepishly, like a man who has just been caught with his hand on his mate's mum's buttock at a family wedding. Players take drinks.
"I also suffered from car shame as a school boy. I once had the humiliating experience of having two teachers and a couple of sixth formers trying to push-start my mother's aged and rusty Austin Princess down the main road just as the entire school was leaving for the day."
Sam, Dubai, in the TMS inbox
15th over - Eng 62-1 Cook clips Agarkar to leg for one before Bell waits on one and dabs him to third-man for a single. One more for Cook with a clip to mid-wicket and if I ever write a navel-gazing, acoustic album in the vein of Leonard Cohen, I am going to call it The Turgid Middle Overs.
14th over - Eng 57-1 Lovely stroke from Belly, steering Singh through the covers for his first four. I have a friend who recently took me aside at a wedding and said: "Is that party trick of mine where I try and impress birds by remembering old Neighbours, Home and Away and Grange Hill actors a bit sad at my age?" I urged him to be true to himself. Was I wrong to do so? He's 31.
13th over - Eng 51-1 Crackerjack stroke from Cook, lacing Agarkar through the covers for four before he picks up another couple with a clip to deep square-leg.
12th over - Eng 45-1 One single apiece for Jelly Boy and Cook...
"Get Mustard in the England team as wicket-keeper, I say. He's very exciting, hits some big shots and gives the bowlers a torrid time..."
Jonathan Agnew on TMS
"I once hired a Lada Riva from a company called Rent-a-Heap in Chelmsford (honest). It was very reliable but the heater had only two settings - Off and Siberian Winter - so I spent more on anti-perspirant than on petrol."
Graham in the TMS inbox
11th over - WICKET: Prior c Dravid b Zaheer 19 (Eng 43-1)
Zaheer gets one to nibble away from Prior and the England opener is beaten. Zaheer gives Prior some more trap, he doesn't seem to like him. I have to say, I'd fancy Prior on the cobbles. But Zaheer has got the better of him in this match, Prior looking to whip him through mid-wicket and only succeeding in chipping the ball to Dravid at mid-on. Bell is the next man in and I continue to be perplexed by England's tactics - WHY AREN'T PIETERSEN AND FLINTOFF BEING PUT UP THE ORDER?! England really don't seem to be learning...
10th over - Eng 40-0 Singh is into the attack and he sends down a leg-side wide. Cook moves to 20 with a nurdle to leg and that's another single to Prior's name - he's now 18.
"Has there ever been a more inappropriate name for a family car than a Hillman Avenger? What sort of vengeance does one seek in a four door saloon?"
Ben Taylorson, Durham, in the TMS inbox
9th over - Eng 37-0 Prior gives it some humpty, coming down the track and launching Zaheer over long-off. Great comeback from Zaheer, slicing Prior in half before taking a few steps down the pitch and sending a few choice words the Sussex man's way. Lovely stuff.
8th over - Eng 31-0 Cook picks up four more, glancing Agarkar off his legs, before the Essex man eases the Indian all-rounder through the covers for three more. This England pair stepping it up now, Prior making room and gliding the ball down to fine-leg for a couple. Not much footwork there from Cookey, wafting away from his body and the ball beating his outside edge.
"My dad used to own an orange Lada Riva and we once went on holiday to France in it.
Not only did we have everyone pointing and laughing at us all the way from Lincolnshire to Dover, we also had to suffer the ignominy of having French people point and laugh at us too."
Andy Greenfield in the TMS inbox
7th over - Eng 21-0 Cook stays back and clips Zaheer through mid-wicket for three runs. Didn't quite time that and RP Singh is was who chased the ball down. Prior guides Zaheer down to third-man where Agarkar mis-fields and gives up a couple of runs. Still not a packed house at the Rose Bowl, but it's a day-nighter and I'm sure it will fill out later on.
"In response to your comment (4th over), that's not an amazing stat. Actually, it is, but, well, I fancied defying you."
James Allan in the TMS inbox
6th over - Eng 16-0 Prior carves Agarkar through backward-point where Yuvraj saves the run. Yuvraj hurt himself there, but he's OK to carry on. That's a maiden from Agarkar and, funnily enough, England aren't making the most of the opening overs. Ho-hum...
5th over - Eng 16-0 Cook plays and misses outside off-stump, Zaheer putting a bit of extra grunt into the delivery. Zaheer gets another the jag back at Cook, but that was drifting miles down leg. Chris, Manchester (see below), when I arrived for my first day at Exeter University I thought nobody liked me, but that was mainly due to the fact my dad pulled up in a green Hillman Avenger while everybody else was driving Mercs and Beemers.
4th over - Eng 15-0 Prior flails outside off-stump and picks up one down to third-man before Cook stands tall and punches Agarakar through the covers for the first boundary of the day. Sachin Tendulkar is playing his 389th ODI today - the entire England team have played 477. I defy anyone to tell me that's not an extraordinary stat. Cook misses out on a juicy, swinging full-bunger.
"Re 1414: If you look at Cook's strike-rate and average in ODIs, and Shah's strike-rate and average in ODIs, you will then see that 'the County-that-does-not-exist dasher' has inferior numbers to those of Cook."
Tom, Walton-on-Thames, in the TMS inbox
3rd over - Eng 10-0 Cook pushes Zaheer into the covers and scampers a quick single. Prior pouches three with a steer through cover-point. A comfortable, if unspectacular, start from England.
2nd over - Eng 6-0 Agarkar shares the new ball with Zaheer. Cook shoulders arms outside off-stump a couple of times before whipping Agarkar through mid-wicket for a few. It is of course Sanjeev Bhaskar, not Bashar - thank you Gary Cowen. But, I assure you, Sanjeev wasn't being sarcastic.
"Dear Mr Dirs, Do you ever get the feeling nobody likes you?"
Chris, Manchester, in the TMS inbox
1st over - Eng 3-0 Right, players are out and we're under way. Zaheer has first go with the ball and Cook defends his first delivery. The Essex opener picks up England's first run with a flip round the corner. Prior gets his first runs with a tuck off his hip for a couple. No dramas for England in the first over.
"Can't believe you've spoilt Neighbours for me. I Sky plussed it to watch after work!
Sad I know, but I've hardly missed an episode since 1986."
Paul, Reading, in the TMS inbox
1425: Apparently Freddie is wearing some bionic shoe today and he reckons it's doing the trick. Anyone see that programme about India last night with Sanjeev Bhaskar? There was some old fella on there wearing giant shoes that enabled him to walk on water. "Gandhi would have been proud," said Sanjeev. Absolutely, Sanjeev, I bet Gandhi would have been over the moon to discover that while he was busting a gut trying to gain India independence some clown was mucking about on the river with some inflatable boots.
"Who are Spurs going to play in goal now?! (see 1350 below) I can imagine Harold Bishop being nifty between the sticks."
Andred, Cardiff (wondering if Mr Dirs will print a football- related email), in the TMS inbox
1419: Mark (see below), apologies, didn't catch Aakash Chopra's column this week, I was working and stuff. And I do enjoy commentating on cricket, I was merely attempting to lighten the mood with a gentle, throwaway comment. Alec Stewart is also non-plussed at England's decision not to pick Shah. I have a sneaking suspicion Owais made a clumsy lunge at a female relative of Peter Moores at a recent England dinner and dance.
"If you cared to read Aakash Chopra's column he explained why India will probably field first in most circumstances and if you do not enjoy commentating on cricket, it appears you are in the wrong job."
Mark Worrall, York, in the TMS inbox
1414: Have to say it seems an odd decision to leave Shah out. In the words of the venerable Danny Dyer, I just can't get me nut round why they'd pick the nudge and nurdle twins Bell and Cook ahead of the Middlesex dasher.
England: Alastair Cook, Matt Prior (wk), Ian Bell, Kevin Pietersen, Paul Collingwood (capt), Andrew Flintoff, Ravinder Bopara, Dimitri Mascarenhas, Stuart Broad, James Anderson, Monty Panesar
India: Sachin Tendulkar, Sourav Ganguly, Gautam Gambhir, Rahul
Dravid (capt), Yuvraj Singh, Mahendra Singh Dhoni (wk), Dinesh Karthik, Ajit Agarkar, Piyush Chawla, Zaheer Khan, Rudra Pratap Singh
"A tangerine AND a handful of walnuts! (see below) Such luxury. Riches beyond the dreams of avarice. Some of us had to make do with a suck on a discarded wishbone for a Christmas treat."
Tony Thresher in the TMS inbox
1409: India maintained left-arm duo Zaheer Khan and Rudra Pratap Singh among their attack, with Ajit Agarkar chosen as the other frontline seamer. Teenage leg-spinner Piyush Chawla, who made his Test debut against England last year, has also been selected.
"Lay off The Gatt will you, at least with those seven lemon-scented towels he's getting more than enough of his vital five fruit and veg portions a day."
Martin in the TMS inbox
1404: India have won the toss and are going to field first. Interesting from skipper Rahul Dravid, who clearly thinks it's going to be swinging around in overcast conditions on the south coast. Hampshire fast bowler Chris Tremlett was also omitted on his home ground as county colleague Dimitri Mascarenhas retained his place.
"It's a little cloudy but dry in Southampton, where the Rose Bowl is filling up nicely in anticipation of this first one-day international. England's main warm-up seemed to consist of a very competitive game of touch rugby, while the India players were stood out in a line, while the physio - taking on the role of a school PE teacher - took them through various stretching exercises."
Mark Mitchener, BBC Sport at the Rose Bowl
1350: Freddie back in action, of course, and England could do with a bit of his accuracy with the ball against what can be a rampant batting line-up on its day. News in that the journos down in Southampton have been gorging on an Indian buffet all afternoon. Our source says Gatts had three lamb bhunas, a chicken danzak, a keema naan, four pilau rices, seven of those lemon-scented heated towels and a couple of waiters. Paul Robinson has just been rushed to hospital?!! Who on earth is going to hold the fort at Lasseters?
1347: Afternoon. The first of a seven-match series today at the Rose Bowl in Southampton and I have been looking forward to this like a young lad waiting for Christmas having been promised a tangerine and a handful of walnuts. Owais Shah will not be playing for England, but that's the only team news I've got at the moment.