NATWEST SERIES, Bristol:
England 320-8 lost to India 329-7 by nine runs
India beat England by nine runs to level the one-day international series.
Sachin Tendulkar struck 15 fours and a six in an epic 99, his 80th ODI fifty and Rahul Dravid hit an unbeaten 92 as India amassed 329-7 after opting to bat
England raced to 76 within 11 overs but lost both openers in two balls. Piyush Chawla ousted Kevin Pietersen with his second ball but Ian Bell hit a calm 64.
Dimitri Mascarenhas fired five sixes in 52 off 39 balls and Stuart Broad hit 20 in the last over in a frantic finale.
LATEST ACTION AS IT HAPPENS (ALL TIMES BST)
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50th over: Eng 320-8 - INDIA WIN BY NINE RUNS
C'est tout - Broad does his best, battering the first and fourth balls for six and the second and fifth for four, but the ask was simply too big. The series is locked at 1-1, and we'll go again at Edgbaston on Monday. One million thanks for your emails and attention - super night of fun down in Bristol, and India deserved that one.
49th over: WICKET - Mascarenhas c Agarkar b RP Singh, Eng 299-8
Masca, doing a tremendous job of endearing himself to the England supporters, cracks the first delivery behind square, only to then send a cloud-brusher straight up and straight down into mid-on's hands. Super knock, albeit it in vain - he got those runs off just 36 balls, with one four and a wondrous five sixes.
48th over: Eng 292-7
Masca's showing admirable spunk here. Agar tries a fullish one, and the perspiring all-rounder bashes him for an almighty six onto the roof of the indoor school. Agar then bowls a brace of steeplers, both of which look like certain head-high no-balls, but Umpo Doctrove keeps his hands down. 38 needed from 12...
47th over: Eng 283-7
Smack - Masca smears another mighty maximum over long-on. But it's surrounded by dot-balls and singles, and 47 are still needed from the remaining 18 balls. What might have happened if Monty had played?
46th over: Eng 275-7
Agar back on, and he does the bizzo - no boundaries conceded, and it's disappearing from England now. 55 needed from 24 balls - they'll call this the Miracle of the County Ground if they pull this off now.
From Nick Line: "If it's rapid fireworks that you're after, come on down to sunny Bournemouth where the last Friday night fireworks of the season have just started. Quite spectacular, and I doubt if England can match them."
45th over: Eng 270-7
Arpy returns for the final denouement. Scampering singles off the first two balls, but Masca can't stay on strike and Pup Broad can't find the boundary England need. 60 runs from 30 balls needed - it's do-able, but you know where the smart cash sits.
44th over: Eng 265-7
That's changed things a touch - Masca's decided to end all the messing about. He waits for Chawla's loopers and cracks two in a frisbee-flat trajectory over the midwicket fence for joyously-received maximums. 65 needed from 36...
43rd over: Eng 249-7
If Masca's going down, he's going down with the band still tootling. He drops to one knee against Powar and wallops him high into the cavorting masses beyond midwicket. 81 needed from 42.
42nd over: WICKET - Bell caught Munaf b Chawla 64, Eng 240-7
That could be goodnight Charlie for England - one ball after hoisting a monstrous six over long-on, Bell tries to do the same again and is pouched as easily as you like on the same fence. Those runs took him 96 balls - a decent knock, but not really what the occasion demanded. Is that harsh?
41st over: Eng 233-6
Unlikely that the big runs are going to come from Masca just yet - he fumbles like a nervous schoolboy against Powar's box of tricks. Surely it's spank o'clock now?
40th over: Eng 224-6
Munaf to Masca, and Powar rolls to his right on the cover boundary to save a certain four. 100 needed from 10 overs - it's possible, but where are the runs going to come from? Eh?
39th over: Eng 224-6
Here comes Masca, masticating furiously on a stick of gum. Powar ties him up, and the spinners are winning it for India tonight. 106 needed from 66 balls, and rapid fireworks are required.
38th over: WICKET - Bopara lbw b Munaf 17, Eng 220-6
Woe is Ravi - the ball after two wristy creams through midwicket bring a two and a lovely four, he misses a straighter one and is plumb in front. I say plumb - Hawkeye says it was missing leg, but what does a technologically-unparalled computer know?
From Dave in Virginia: "Over here, a stripper untercracker is what you serve a slicer knackwurst on."
37th over: Eng 214-5
Right - time to get a march on here, Belly. You're well set, the wind is with you and England expects. No?
36th over: Eng 210-5
The squeeze is on here. Bell and Bopa are battling and scampering for all they're worth, but the game is disappearing down the Swanee here.
Re Clifford - as far as I'm aware, most of my relatives are from Essex. But it probably depends on whether you're a millionaire in search of a needy heir. Have you ever had problems with gout?
35th over: Eng 205-5
Porky continues to good effect, and England have to be content with five singles. The required run-rate's climbed to 8.3 an over. Ouch.
From Clifford Fordyce: "My name is Clifford Fordyce, and I am an airconditioning technician from Guyana. I was reading BBC Sport when I saw your name. Do you have relatives or are you from Guyana?"
34th over: Eng 200-5
Landmarks of a sort for the listing HMS Blighty - Bell clips away a brace of twos to take England to 200 and himself to his half-ton. 75 balls it's taken him, so he'd better get a march on. That sounded ungrateful. but you know what I mean.
From Paul in Lancs: "A stripper untercracker is, I am sorry to disappoint you, that wooden bit just below the main paint-scraper section of the tool. Applied to the wall at the wrong angle when scraping paint off, it means you can crack a bit of the plaster off the wall."
33rd over: Eng 195-5
Porky continues, and a tickle here and a tickle there isn't quite enough any more. 135 needed from 102 balls. Gulp.
32nd over: Eng 192-5
Bell, very much the boy on the burning deck, clouts Chawla away with bottom-hand busy to keep England's hopes alive. Ravi B's joined him - will we see a repeat of those almost-heroics against Sri Lanka during the World Cup?
31st over: WICKET - Flintoff c Agarkar b Powar 9, Eng 185-5
No - Fred's gone too! Having battered two of his first three balls for four, he tries to belt Porky into Park Street, only to hole out on the deep midwicket fence. Three more yards and that would have been six. On such margins do meaningless one-day fixtures depend. From Carole in Maidenhead: "If it turns out that you have housemaid's knee instead of gout, what would be the cause? Excessive compulsive cleaning? Over-exuberant proposals to fair maidens? Or just scrapping with Dirsy?"
No man in their right mind would scrap with a human pitbull like Dirs, Carole. You'd have a better chance fighting a mountain. Main reason I've been on my knees is the same as always - my dawn meditation on the roof of TV Centre on the morning of every cricket commentary.
30th over: WICKET - Collingwood b Chawla 27, Eng 176-4
The kid's done it again! Not content with seeing off Champagne Pietersen, Chawla clean-bowls England's captain with another delightful googly. England deep in the miserable mire...
29th over: Eng 171-3
Great little contest developing here between Porky and Colly - Cap'n comes down the track to clout a twirler high over straightish midwicket for four, before Porks drifts one past his outside edge and then nearly yorks him as he steams down the track.
28th over: Eng 171-3
Here's the good news for England fans: at the same stage in their innings, India had scored four fewer runs. The bad news: they'd lost two fewer wickets.
From Neil Anderson: "Please pass on my compliments to Napier Marten, both for his timely and informative reply and for having a truly fantastic name. Nice."
27th over: Eng 164-3
Porky again, and there's only singles to be had. The vice is beginning to tighten, and not only on my bladder.
26th over: Eng 160-3
Three singles off Chaw, and these overs are disappearing so quickly I can barely keep pace. The need to take a courtesy break is pressing - quite literally - but there's no way I can desert my post. Unless someone can pop in here and take over for a few overs?
25th over: Eng 157-3
Porky Powar, waistband manfully straining to keep his magnificent girth in check, wobbles in for some gentle off-tweak. Runs aplenty for Colly as he drives sweetly through extra cover for four.
24th over: Eng 151-3
Colly doesn't want to let Chaw settle here - he goes down onto one knee like an old-skool proposer and mows the youngster over midwicket for a slapping four.
From Pete in Leicester: "As Napier Marten is an anagram of 'nearer ma pint', I believe him when he says he's an expert in words for being drunk."
23rd over: Eng 145-3
Nice from Bell and Colly as Gangools strays - lashes fore and aft getting England marching onwards again. Breaking news from the England dressing-room - Freddie's knee is causing him some grief, so he'll be batting with a runner. If he's needed. Which I'd wager he will be.
22nd over: WICKET - Pietersen b Chawla 25, Eng 134-3
Bristol lies stunned - 18-year-old leggie Chawla comes on, and second ball up he clean-bowls KP right through the gate. Junior goes ballistic, sprinting off into the outfield like a man whose pants are on fire - could that be the key moment in the game?
21st over: Eng 134-2
Gangools skips in, Bell waits for a full one and drives with elbow high to long-off for a mantelpiece portrait of a four. Sweet.
From Paul Ketley: "Can you please explain where I could find an untercracker on a stripper. And what is it exactly? I have clearly had a sheltered life, unlike you, as your gout no doubt reveals your excessive past life."
Here's a clue, Paul - untercrackers are a garment generally hidden from view, yet sometimes purchased at great expense by men for their special ladyfriends.
20th over: Eng 127-2
KP, drenched in relief after those two narrow squeakers, goes on the all-out attack. Agar's the man on the wrong end, getting smashed through square leg for a sizzler of a four and then being whipped through midwicket for another. The crowd are quite frankly loving it.
From Napier Marten: "Greetings. Banjaxed is an Anglo-Irish word meaning ruined or destroyed. Could be of a Romany origin. I'm off to get hog-whimpering."
19th over: Eng 116-2
Torture for Gangools, risible laughter from the west country throng as KP gets two big lives. He gets a thin edge to a little trundler, only for Glamourpuss Dhoni to juggle and deck the chance, and then watches Gangools spill a diving c&b effort. Big moments.
18th over: Eng 115-2
Almost-audible squealing as Agar slams on the brakes, Bell wafting without contact and Yuvraj on his tippy-toes at point when a shot threatens to sizzle past point.
From John: "On my way to Sao Paulo airport for a flight home to Switzerland. Hope this is done and dusted before I board, otherwise I may need to splash out on the onboard internet service. I can't see the Swiss pilot announcing the result."
17th over: Eng 115-2
The top edge of the sun finally dips below the Bristol skyline, and the floodlights are on full-whackeroo. Munaf holds his head in shame as a woeful wobbler sails unaccosted through the vacant first slip zone for five wides, before KP happily tucks away twos in showy fashion like a stripper tucking tenners into her untercrackers.
From Neil Anderson: "Banjaxed? I thought that in my years I had seen every English simile for drunkenness - it seems I was wrong. Where does this word come from?"
16th over: Eng 101-2
Agar, whose ears would raise admiring looks from Andrew Caddick, returns for a second joust and is cut away uppishly by Bell. Powar thunders round on the point boundary, belly wobbling like a sack of yoghurt, and hurls in a wayward throw before puffing his way back round to third man. England bang on the asking-rate here. Reckon it could happen?
15th over: Eng 98-2
Ripper of an atmos in Bristol this evening, it has to be said, and the match is beautifully poised. The posse of nuns to the left of the pavilion rise as one as Bell pulls the chuntering Munaf through square leg for one four and then rocks back to slam one through cover. Always good to see the religious orders enjoying a rare night away from their flocks.
14th over: Eng 89-2
There's so much going on here that the arrival of Champagne Pietersen has gone almost unnoticed. Finally finding the spotlight, KP gets aerial to steer an Arpy lifter away for a rushy two.
From Andrew in Khartoum: "Got packed off to hospital with acute Amoebic Dysentry in the early hours of this morning. My girlfriend finally got me discharged this evening on the grounds she figured I'd whinge less if I was at home following the cricket courtesy of TMS than if I stayed in hospital whinging about not being able to follow it. She's a good girl."
13th over: Eng 86-2
Even if Bell were a cat he'd be getting a touch worried now - he wafts at the hat-trick ball, misses, does the same at the next and is whiskers away from nibbling an edge. He then aims a big slap at an in-cutter and gets an inside edge than slings past his stumps on its way to the fine leg fence. Munaf shouts angrily as he scampers past.
12th over: Eng 80-2
To belly-wobbling roars of delight from the banjaxed masses, Powar makes a porker's ear of a simple chance to pouch Bell on the point boundary. The fresh-faced England man had cut foolishly at Arpy and was on his way back to the hutch, only to be reprieved when the chubby-cheeked fielder spilled the pouch.
From Andy in Wiltshire: "Is it possible for any live commentary to feature the words 'Mike Gatting' without a food reference?"
Not now you've written that email, Andy. Actually, I'm a huge fan of Gatt. Lovely fella, super batsman. Excellent substitute when the heavy roller breaks down.
11th over: WICKET - Cook c Dhoni b Patel 36, Eng 76-2
What the... the very next ball, Cookie pushes nervously at an away-dipper, gets a skinny edge and is on his way. Two wickets in two balls, England are reeling and Munaf will start his next over on a hat-trick...
11th over: WICKET - Prior c Dravid b Patel 33, Eng 76-1
Alas - Prior flays giddily at a short one and skies a steepler to mid-off, just two balls after doing the same off a no-ball.
From Steve in Buenos Aires: "Like Vancouver - still have a good portion of the day to get through so am looking for something to cheer me up as my girlfriend and I split up today..."
10th over: Eng 75-0
Crack Cookie in the plums at your peril - fired up on a tankful of wince, the elegant Essex express smashes Arpy over midwicket for a slightly dicey four, and then drills him at the speed of sound past backward point. If there's a sober man in the house, he's acting very excited.
9th over: Eng 66-0
Munaf Patel on for the dismal Agar, and that's nasty - a vicious in-dipper cracks Cookie in the knick-knacks, and the languid youngster doubles up in eye-watering ouchiness. The very next ball, still crouched like a geriatric giraffe, he fans weakly at a lifter and gets a steepling top-edge which somehow falls short of the in-rushing fielders.
From Freya: "Well, a temporary expat in LA (and a girl) is still busy reading everything everyone writes. On another note, Broad may not be doing v well , but what a fittie - discuss."
An undoubted dream-boat, Freya.
8th over: Eng 60-0
Hello - who's this strolling round the boundary edge to universal adoration? It's only Monty P, you know! Cookie's tucked-away four goes almost unnoticed as Mont conducts a regal tour of the crowd, thousands flocking to kiss his bejeweled feet. I've gone over the top there a fraction, but you get my drift.
7th over: Eng 54-0
Agar's having a waking 'mare here. Prior, standing tall like a Buck House guardsman, punches him through the off-side for two boundaries on the bounce. Say what you like about the sometime stone-handed stumper, but show him some average loose bowling and he'll tuck in like Mike Gatting at a complementary buffet.
6th over: Eng 43-0
Here's a nice fact for England fans - at the same stage in their innings, India were 23-0. Cue optimistic stirrings in patriotic breasts. Cookie, looking as moody as the bass player in a Slowdive-esque shoe-gazing band, waits for Arpy's wider one and slaps it leisurely behind point for four.
From Carole in Maidenhead: "Good evening Tom - only just been able to join you due to a nasty case of work, and have read the whole day's commentary. You poor wee thing. Ungoutably deserving of sympathy. A friend of mine has recurring bouts, particularly if he drinks lager and eats spicy foods... could this be ringing any bells?"
5th over: Eng 37-0
Whoosh - huge let-off for Stumper P as he jousts firm-wristedly at Agar, edges straight to Ganguly at first slip and watches in relief as the patrician makes only a token attempt to bag the chance. What was Gangools thinking? He pulled his hand out of the way there like a five-year-old girl scared of hurting her fingers. Prior swallows hard and smashes the next ball high over point for a lusty four.
4th over: Eng 27-0
There's so much cream from Cook here he could make a trifle for every man in the ground. Arpy serves up a tasty half-volley and the smudge-eyed Essex opener drills it effortlessly through cover.
3rd over: Eng 22-0
Hello - England are motoring like tractor in neutral going downhill - Prior pops one off his legs for four, scurries a single and then watches admiringly as Cookie creams two more - one off his legs, which Arpy makes a laughable effort to stop, and one biffed through cover with wondrous timing.
From Richard Davies: "It's mid-morning here on Vancouver Island off the west coast of Canada so I'm still at work. You¿ve got me until the close of play - no quitting and going home for tea for us ex-pats."
2nd over: Eng 8-0
Stumper Prior to face Arpy Singh, and the shaven-headed battler prods unproductively at the first four balls before carving down to deep point where the barrel-bellied Powar crashes to the tufrf to save the boundary. A man in a pink wig dances a merry jig in celebration.
From Adam Dawkins: "Don't be disheartened Tom - some of us get kicked off the telly, or if we get a rare moment in front of it the enjoyment gets drowned out by cries of, 'Ugh, not cricket...'"
1st over: Eng 6-0
Right - after a quick dash to the smallest room in the so-called interval, we're back. Well, not quite the smallest room - that's the cleaner's broom-cupboard, and she wouldn't be happy if I de-bladdered in there. Anyway - England, needing 6.6 runs per over, get off to a bouncy start thanks to two wides from Agarkar and a punched-off-pads four from Cookie.
50th over: Ind 329-7
Lordy - that's your lot, and Dravid is left high and dry on 92. Reckon England can chase down 330 to win? We'll be back in 10 minutes to find out...
From Chris Lewis: "I'm still here! I am the unfortunate fool who has to work the late shift today until seven; I am manically pressing the refresh button in same kind of attempt at happiness. The polishing Polish cleaners around me look quite perplexed."
50th over: WICKET - Powar c Prior b Flintoff 1, Ind 326-7
Same ball, same result - and that's Fred's first five-for in his England ODI career. Injury - what injury?
50th over: WICKET - Agarkar c Prior b Flintoff 1, Ind 324-6
Right - last over, and Agarkar nibbles a full one behind.
49th over: Ind 324-5
Kablam - Dravid smashes Jimmy off the front foot for an extraordinary six over the cover boundary. The ball travels so fast that it knocks a full pint straight out of a stunned spectator's hands. Soaked in beer, the fan turns to the gallery and raises his arms in unmerited triumph. Dravid then steers another four fine - he could snatch a ton out of this...
48th over: WICKET - Karthik lbw b Flintoff 1, Ind 310-5
And there's another - and possibly another dicey decision from Gunner Gould as well. Fred fired in a full-pitcher, but it looked to be heading well down leg. Hmmm.
From Stuart in Bath: "I think Jonathan Dickie (over 39), with his anagram 'Joint Kinda Ache', is responsible for your gout."
47th over: WICKET - Dhoni c Tremlett b Anderson 21, Ind 302-4
MSD tries to pull a loose short one from Jim, gets through it too quickly and gloves to a surprised Trems at short fine leg. Limited celebrations from the shell-shocked England XI.
From Martin Johnson: "Do the abridged comments and decreasing frequency with which you are posting them now indicate that the process of detonating digits has commenced?"
Thankfully not, MJ - merely that the vast majority of the audience has now left work and gone home. Friday night post-6pm and the email inbox goes as eerily quiet as unplugged electric guitar.
46th over: Ind 292-3
To huge beer-soaked cheers, Fred returns for his final three overs. Dravid waits for an attempted leg-stump yorker and bottom-hands it to the deep midwicket fence as Tremmers tumbles in vain. He picks up two more to a pedestrian Bell at long-on, and Fred is grimacing in his follow-through - surely his ankle isn't about to crumble once again?
45th over: Ind 282-3
Nightmarish times for Pup Broad as Dravid dispenses with his Wall alter-ego in favour of some Henry Heave-Ho. The first ball disappears through midwicket for four, the second backward of point for four and the third for a single to bring up a rapid half-ton. Dhoni then casually clouts another over square leg. 14 off the over, and Pup looks ready to throw a teenage strop.
44th over: Ind 268-3
Fred canters after a Dravid heave, fails to overhaul it and then crashes into the advertising board feet-first. Hmmm. MSD then spanks a full-toss from Trems back down the ground for four more. Who said 1-1?
43rd over: Ind 256-3
Broad continues to throw himself onto the Indian cannon, and Dhoni leans back to crack him high over point for a bouncing four. Delirious celebrations among the Indian fans.
42nd over: Ind 247-3
Steady start from MSD, pushing Tremmers with that bottom-handed flip through cover for a single. Mexican waves breaking out all over the crowd, breaking to boos on the unmoving occupants of the press box.
From Darren in Hornchurch: "I think I had gout once - or was it a goat? It had hard knees and ate a lot of grass, if that helps."
41st over: WICKET - Yuvraj c Collingwood b Broad 49, Ind 243-3
Now that's a catch - Cap'n Colly dives forward at point to bag Yuvraj's feet-rooted drive, and England breathe a lung-bursting sigh of relief. Just as well Mahendra Singh Dhoni's not in nex... oh...
40th over: Ind 236-2
Bopi, straining like a pitbull on a leash, fires one down leg and Dravid flicks him casually fine for four. Ravi then overcompensates, goes wide of off and is slashed wide of point for four more. What do we reckon - 315? 325?
39th over: Ind 225-2
Ouch - Yuvraj leans back to Tremmers' unthreatening short one and clouts it high over midwicket for a one-bounce four. Trems responds with an apologetic wide and no-ball while Yuvraj drives lustily for one more.
From Jonathan Dickie: "A shaven lane - Alan Heavens, 33rd over - is far too modest. Surely with the anagram possibilites of his own he is the only rightful heir to your swivel chair throne once you shuffle off the mortal coil in the inevitable monstrous pain and great suffering."
38th over: Ind 215-2
Dravid punts an attempted Bopi yorker to long-on for two, before stealing another single off his legs. Noise levels in the crowd go up a notch as the celebration juice begins to kick in.
From Richard Godfrey: "Just woken up and read the match report from the start. The public address system at Bristol is noisy. When we filmed Casualty at the university next door, we had to ask them to be quiet during 'takes'."
37th over: Ind 210-2
Dravid flicks and pushes and punches two singles and a double off Tremmers. Yuvraj's winding up for a slapfest here - you can smell it in the air.
From Ian in Cardiff: "Re: over 30 - if my surname was Cockar I would stay quiet."
36th over: Ind 206-2
Nice from Ravi - above-trundle pace and accurate as William Tell's arrow. Just three nibbled singles.
From Clive Wells, Wisconsin: "My American wife describes all cricket as akin to 'enduring a miserable, lingering and excruciatingly painful death'. You have no idea of her glee at reading of your condition. She mentioned something about 'What goes around, comes around' and 'divine justice' and is now singing happily. Marital bliss has not been enhanced by my likening this behavior to the movie images of toothless crones knitting and laughing as the young aristos go to the guillotine. "
35th over: Ind 202-2
Don't want to worry you here, but Freddie is limping. Gulp. Tremmers toils against Yuvraj, who glances delicately off his leg-protectors for two.
From Nick Salter: "Re voice recognition system. Aren't they called secretaries? That technology has been around for years."
34th over: Ind 198-2
Here comes Ravi Bopara for his first serious involvement of the day. Singles are tickled with casual ease until new-man Dravid fine-cuts an in-nipper for a race-away four.
From Matthew Lambert: "Re your obsession with gout. Just wondered if any cricketer has had to retire from an innings with gout. Or maybe a batsman has been given out due to gout-related exploding limbs. That would liven up some of these one-day games."
33rd over: Ind 190-2
Colly, who appears to be suffering with a nasty case of sunburn this arvo, is smashed through cover by Yuvraj for a boards-battering four. Bristol is still buzzing with the inequity of Sachin's demise. That decision was as ridiculous as the notion of Dirs and I being sent to France to cover the forthcoming rugby World Cup in a campervan for seven weeks. That would never happen - would it?
From Alan Heavens: "You can't let Andy Long take over - his name is merely an anagram of Yon Gland, and has nothing of the richness of Fort Comedy and 'Bend, Sir!'. Let us go for David Homer (Hoarded Vim), 14th over, as your replacement. My grandmother hoarded Vim whenever there was an international crisis. I have no idea why."
32nd over: WICKET - Tendulkar c Prior b Flintoff 99, Ind 180-2
Knock me down with a lightweight feather - Freddie's got him! To a devastated keening from the India fans, Sachin fences at a snorter, gets something on it and Stumper Prior takes the best catch of his England career going high to his left. Sachin can't believe it - he stands his ground for a moment, smiling, and then trudges off. No wonder, either - replays show the ball clearly came off his elbow. Umpo Gould's had a stinker...
31st over: Ind 179-1
Is Sachin actually nervous in the 90s here? He tries to batter Colly into Clifton and gets lucky with a leading edge over a galloping Tremmers at mid-off.
30th over: Ind 175-1
That's quite enough Masca for anyone, and Fred returns to bring a semblance of decency to proceedings. Sachin now on 96, just one rattling blow shy of his 42nd ODI ton. 42nd? Wowser.
From Shafique Cockar: "Actually, Tom Fordyce, what with the utter nonsense you come up with sometimes I wouldn't mind it even a teeny bit if you bumped off right this very minute just as you post this - your last contribution to the BBC and the world over. Actually no, sorry. It would, in fact, give me immense pleasure if your death would be painfully long and drawn out so that you suffer to the maximum the same way as you make us suffer over your TMS."
29th over: Ind 172-1
Trundle of the most average sort from both ends as Colly drops short and is slapped away dismissively by Yuvraj over straightish midwicket. Easy peas here for the Indian swordsmen.
From Dominic Woodford: "If you're in serious pain, perhaps you could get the equivalent of a runner for you to type the text commentary while you tell them what to write and rest at the equivalent of square leg. You'll need someone in the BBC office though who can type quickly, and as with cricket, your runner would have to wear exactly the same as you."
28th over: Ind 167-1
Yuvraj, sleepy so far, rouses himself to feast on the buffet that is Masca's medium. Crash - he batters one through midwicket for four. Bang - another one creams past midwicket for four more. Wallop - an even better drive whistles past extra cover for four more. Explosions of joy among the India fans.
27th over: Ind 155-1
Colly brings himself on to crack this toughest of nuts, and Sachin tucks in with a thwacker of two to the midwicket boundary and another popped gently squarer.
26th over: Ind 149-1
Better from Masca - just the three singles off his over. A heavy-jowled man dressed as a Mother Superior chases a novice up the terrace steps as Sachin signals for assistance - looks like he's got cramp in his hand. He's in agony. You and me both, wee man.
25th over: Ind 146-1
Tremmers returns reluctantly to the slaughter, blinking nervously, and is boffed back over his head for a flat skimmer of a maximum from Lord Sachin. England wobbling like a pensioner on a skateboard here.
From Mark Airey: "When your limbs go, maybe you could get a voice recognition system - kind of a reverse to Stephen Hawkings machine where it picks up what you are saying and types it for you so you can keep your job. Actually, as you work for the BBC I doubt the budget is there for that type of technology. Pack your things now while you can."
24th over: Ind 138-1
If Sachin doesn't get a ton here, there should be a public inquiry. He creams Masca through cover with more style than Anna Wintour for another four to move to 79.
From Jon in Colorado: "Don't let comments like Rob's (17th over) get you down. I've been living with gout off and on for over thirty years and can reassure you that, far from being sudden and unexpected, death by gout is a long and extremely painful one."
23rd over: Ind 132-1
Three singles off Jimmy A, one of them a drive to long-off from Sachin that's as sweet as Tupelo honey. Boozy cheers from the Bristol crowd as the early weekend cracks on.
From Ed Evans: "Andy Long - you are a detective straight out of the Colombo, Poirot mould. I admit that it was ME trying to bump off Fordyce and Dirs! And I would have gotten away with it too, if it hadn't been for those pesky kids. Tom - word of advice - don't drink anymore of the coffee."
22nd over: Ind 129-1
Dimitri Masca is summoned for a trundle, and he probably wishes he hadn't been as Sachin goes down on one knee to dab-sweep two delightful fours down to fine leg. Fine leg - hah! What bitter words those are to a man mere hours from total limb explosion.
From Alex Tait: "Re: 18th Over - I think it rather depends on the order your limbs go in. If it's arms first then perhaps you could get the rest of the evening off, or would they make you type with your nose? If it's legs first then you're rather stuck."
21st over: Ind 119-1
Yuvraj the new man in, and he's off the quacker straight away with a timed tuck off the pads for one. Sachin then scoops Jimmy away through square leg for his 12th four to move to an imperious 63.
From Andy Hulse: "If Dr Mark Dennison is my doctor from near Southampton, I now understand why the doctors in the practice always study the computers so hard when you meet them. They're just checking the latest score and trying to look interested."
20th over: WICKET - Ganguly c Collingwood b Flintoff 39, Ind 113-1
Sweet relief for England as they strike at last, Gangools spooning a mis-hit drive high to a backwards-running Cap'n Colly at point. England needed that like I need a new leg.
From Steve Williams: "A friend of mine's grandfather suffered terribly from gout in his big toe. One dark evening he was in such agony that he hobbled down to the garden shed and hacked of the toe with a hatchet. This may or may not have afforded him brief relief from the appalling pain. We don't know as a result of his dying of loss of blood. The legend is that his daughter wheeled his corpse up the garden path in a wheelbarrow."
19th over: Ind 108-0
Colly summons Jimmy A to stop the rot, and rot-stop he does. Just two off the over, and Gangools summons the 12th man to bring him a cooling beverage.
From Andy Long: "What with so many people thinking your job is a cushy number, and both you and the venerable Mr Dirs being struck down with sudden illnesses, is it too much to suggest that some readers/listeners are trying to make you both 'disappear' to open up a couple of vacancies?"
18th over: Ind 106-0
Fred's not having much fun here - Sachin steers four leg byes off his old-skool pads, and Fred boots the ground in disgust. Any suggestions for how a be-gouted man might spend his last 48 hours with limbs? Annoyingly, my work rota means I'll be spending at least a third of them sitting at a desk typing. Gutted.
17th over: Ind 100-0
Crackeroo - Sourav goes ballistic, smiting Tremmers way over long-on for a huge six, and following it up with a four walloped down the ground and another edged through slip. 17 off the over, and that's this pair's 23rd century partnership in ODI's - seven more than the second pair on the list, Hayden and Gilchrist. Smoke that, fact-fans. From Rob Lavender: "Tom, just had a look at gout on a medical encyclopaedia - all your talk of being doomed may well be unfounded! Apparently some people even manage 48hrs before the maddening pain sets in and their limbs explode, one by one. Tell your mates to wear overalls - it can happen quite suddenly."
16th over: Ind 83-0
What an over from Sachin - he clocks up his 80th ODI half-century with a majestic back-foot cream off Freddie, one ball after tickling the big man down to third man for the rudest of fours. Fred's fuming.
From Ian Milne: "If you die of gout, can I put my name forward to have your job? It looks a cushy little number."
You vulture, Milne. My corpse is not yet cold, but already you're trying to worm your way into my shoes. Where's your decency?
15th over: Ind 69-0
Tremmers winces as the Indian pair put him to the sword, Gangools slashing him through the empty first slip slot for four before Tendulks flips a short one over short fine leg for another rope-shaker. Sachin now 41 not gout - I'm sorry, not out.
From Graham Yeo: "I was present at both the D&C and Rowland incidents (though I swear to this day I threw nothing). More amusing still was Glastonbury '99 where Keanu Reeves, fronting his hobby band 'Dogstar', were showered with fruit. Where anybody found fruit at a festival remains a mystery to this day."
14th over: Ind 59-0
Few more no-ball issues for Fred, and he ships three easy singles too. What I wouldn't give for a mere no-ball problem. Doubt I'll ever stroll an easy single again, either - not with my gout.
From David Homer: "With Housemaid's Knee, Tom, your career as a priest might have been even more short-lived that your present one will be."
13th over: Ind 53-0
Tremmers joins the fray, and Sachin greets him with an almighty smack over cover for a sumptuous four. Going to try some reverse mockers here: "Tendulkar in great nick - almost certain to score a rapid-fire ton here."
From Justin Davidson: "Tom - was it you or Ben Dirs who had the moon face?"
Dirs. And, unlike my gout, his toothache has now been cleared up with heavy doses of codeine. He doesn't know how lucky he is.
12th over: Ind 49-0
Freddie comes on, but who cares? I'm dying of gout, and this could be the last ODI I ever commentate on. Mother - if you're reading this, I'm sorry I let you down as a son. I know you desperately wanted your first-born male to become a priest or astronaut, but I just didn't have what it took. Two off the over.
11th over: Ind 47-0
Sachin comes out all guns blazing, flogging Broad through cover from two strides down the track and then cracking him through midwicket for four more. Don't say I didn't warn you...
From Russell in Northampton: "The first time I went to Reading, it was in its transitional phase, just after the heavy era and before the indie shoe-gazers appeared. So we were amused when Deacon Blue were bottled off - but what was even more amusing was when Ricky Ross came back on and started hurling abuse back at the crowd. Problem was, the microphone was off, so he vented rather weakly to a crowd urging him to speak up."
10th over: Ind 39-0
Sachin, looking dangerously on the money, flicks Jim dreamily off his pads through midwicket for four. That's the powerplay overs concluded, and Captain Colly will be happy-ish with that - less than four an over.
From Dr Mark Dennison: "Prepatellar bursitis, otherwise known as housemaid's knee. Often caused by lots of kneeling, hence the name. sometimes caused by gout. From another GP, hard at work , earning my £250k as you BBC types like to believe."
Forget your salary, Dr D - you say I've got gout? Dear Lord - how? When? Why? I don't even drink port, except occasionally over the Christmas period.
9th over: Ind 34-0
Gangools, riled by the 7th-over sledging, creams Broad straight for a four that even an ostentatiously-tumbling KP can't prevent. Colly goes full length at point to prevent another two balls later. What have I done?
From James Riggs: "Re 7th over - shouldn't that be 'Come On Urine'?"
8th over: Ind 29-0
Sun still screaming down from the deep blue heavens, and Jimmy strays down leg at pace to ship two wides. Gangools lofts unconvincingly at a fuller one and just clears KP at mid-off for a streaky two.
From Simon Hunn: "Kevin Rowland is an absolute legend, and the bottling he received at Reading was shocking. My Beauty (1999 covers album featuring the man himself in ladies underwear on the front) is simply fantastic."
7th over: Ind 24-0
Gangools doesn't look in such great nicker today. He's batting as if he wishes his manservant could do the willow-waving for him, while he directs operations from a comfy chair nearby. While sipping an iced lemonade.
From Sam Knight: "Kevin Rowland was the year after. Attempting to relaunch his career whilst dodging bottles of urine to the continual chant of 'Come on Irene' as I remember. Those were the days!"
6th over: Ind 23-0
Tight as you like too from Jimmy A - just an early-doors leg-bye off the over.
From Kevin Temple: "I punched a guy in the stomach on the dance floor at Warwick Uni for throwing a plastic pint glass full of pee at D&C. No need for those kind of shenanigans, and if I remember right one of them had quite a way about her."
5th over: Ind 22-0
Tight again from the steepling Broad, and just a single apiece to the Indian pair. Tendukar's on 15 already, which is a pleasant surprise the way he's been playing this summer. The man's such a legend that it's painful when his exalted levels drop just a fraction - it's like having to deal with Paul McCartney following She's Leaving Home with the Another Day.
From John Dover: "Please do something about the dreadful public address system in the background. It's louder than the commentary."
John - did you mean to send that to my radio colleagues?
4th over: Ind 20-0
Tremendous sparring between Jimmy and Sachin - Anderson goes 1-0 up with a nose-tickling snorter, Tendulkar goes 2-1 up with two tucked fours off his pads and Jim equalises late on with another bat-beater.
3rd over: Ind 11-0
Better from Broad Jnr - just a single to Sachin down to deep square leg. Enthusiastic cheers from the large Indian contingent on board today.
From Olivia Hussey: "Speaking as a GP awaiting the start of my surgery this afternoon and keeping up with the cricket scores between patients - you were probably kept waiting because the Doctor was too busy reading TMS."
More to the point, Dr H, what might be going on with my knee? I got some vague "pre-patella bursitis" chat, but the advised treatment won't be easy - you try keeping your knee encased in ice and above hip height when you're doing a spicy ODI clockwatch.
2nd over: Ind 10-0
Jimmy A from the other end, and Gangools pops him away for an effortless fence-slapper. Some sort of trouble behind the bowler's arm here - all sorts of gesticulation from the batsmen at the guzzling crowd.
From David King: "I remembering opting to see Daphne and Celeste at the signing tent at Reading Festival rather than seeing the last ever performance by Rage Against The Machine. Boy do I feel silly now..."
Wasn't that the Reading where D&C were bottled off the main stage, David? Or am I thinking of a nighty-wearing Kevin Rowland?
1st over: Ind 6-0
Here we go then - with teeth gritted against the pain of career-threatening knee woe, I type the words, "Broad opens to Sourav Ganguly". No great dramas early on - one marginal wide and a scampered single off the lanky tyro - before Sachin T leans into a leg-side sandwich and tucks it away for four.
From Nick in York: "By my calculations, of the first 366 words posted here today, only 138 are relevant to the actual game of cricket. That's 3.7 words out of ten. I set you the challenge of getting it to 5.0 by the end of play."
1425: You know that chat earlier on about the grey weather? It was patent nonsense - there's not a cloud in the sky. That's what comes of filing updates via your Yahoo email while you're actually in a doctor's waiting-room, waiting for your GP to sort out the monstrous swelling that appeared on your right knee overnight.
1420: If you've missed the team news, 'flu has decimated the Indian line-up - which means a late call-up for promising youngster Attishu Attishu.
From Gareth Evans: "Ooh stick you, Ganguly too, and your Dravid..."
From Rich Norman: "What a shocking way to start the commentary on an international cricket match, first of all to mention Daphne & Celeste but secondly to get one of their songs into hundreds, possibly thousands, of readers' heads for the rest of the day."
From David Dickinson: "I'm in Bristol and it's not damp and grey... it's clear blue sky and hot. Is there another Bristol that I don't know about?"
From Peter Collinson: "We had Daphne and Celeste at my old university and as a member of 'crew' I got the dubious pleasure of meeting them backstage. You didn't miss much - though to be fair, they admitted their limitations and said they planned to get on with life in a different regard."
1400: So can England maintain the standard they set at the Rose Bowl, when they actually looked like a decent one-day team? Well, they're going to have to do it the hard way batting under lights after Dravid wins the toss and opts to bat.
1340: On reflection, were Daphne and Celeste really that forgettable? Why, two of their charming ditties are already playing in my head - the seminal Ooh Stick You, and the dark and brooding lament that was U.G.L.Y.
1330: Afternoon all, and what a game we have in prospect today. The second in a seven-match series of biff-boff slap, on a damp, grey day in Bristol, with literally hundreds of people queuing up to get in - does it get any better? There are, sadly, people out there who will try to tell you that this clash will be as forgettable as Daphne and Celeste. Ignore them - for they are fools who know nothing of the ways of cricket.