Third one-day international: Edgbaston:
England 281-8 (50 overs) bt India 239 (48.1 overs) by 42 runs
England secured an impressive 42-run win at Edgbaston to take a 2-1 lead in the one-day series against India.
Ian Bell top-scored with 79 in England's 281-8, and also took two vital catches and produced a run-out.
Chris Tremlett took the key wickets of Rahul Dravid (56) and Sourav Ganguly (72), while James Anderson removed Sachin Tendulkar and Mahendra Dhoni.
Captain Paul Collingwood, who added 44 with the bat, also took two wickets as India were dismissed for 239.
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49th over - Patel b Anderson 2 (Ind 239 all out)
That's a wrap, Patel going for another biggun and Anderson making a mess of his timbers. That was a very clinical performance by England and, whisper it very quietly, they look as though they're becoming a half-decent one-day outfit again - they outbatted, outbowled and outfielded India today. I'm back for my last game of the year on Thursday - thanks for reading, thanks for your emails and I'll see you all soon.
48th over - WICKET: Zaheer b Panesar 11 (Ind 234-9)
Down goes Zaheer, going for the big one and getting himself bowled by Monty. Patel is the last man in and he gets a couple for a nine iron to Cow Corner. Patel and Singh share a couple of singles and India get one more for a leg-bye. Singh heaves Panesar to deep mid-wicket for one.
47th over - Ind 234-9 Not sure how that missed, Singh smearing across the line and the ball from Anderson just going over the top of middle. Zaheer does middle a short one from Anderson and the ball races to the mid-wicket fence.
46th over - Ind 228-8 Plenty of intent from Zaheer and Singh but not enough skill. A number of almighty heaves bring the visitors only four from the over.
45th over - Ind 224-8 Singh looks to smear Broad over mid-wicket before very nearly slicing the young seamer to Prior running towards the boundary, but the ball found wide open space. India need some hefty blows from Zaheer if they are going to get anywhere near the England total. Two more singles from the over.
44th over - Yuvraj run out (Bell/Panesar) 45 (Ind 214-8)
Monty gets one to spin past the face of Zaheer's bat before Zaheer commits suicide, sending Yuvraj back and Bell and MONTY combining to run him out. Panesar looked a little startled to have pulled that run out off, like a dog when you blow in its face, but he still manages to do a little jig. Yuvraj, still on strike, gives Monty the long handle and the ball runs away to the wide long-off fence.
"England look like a competent ODI team. When did this amazing metamorphosis occur?"
43rd over - WICKET: Powar c Bell b Collingwood 6 (Ind 210-6)
Ade O'Connor in the TMS inbox
That's Powar gone and that's a great catch from Bell, diving forward and to his right at mid-wicket. Bell really has come of age as a one-day player in this series and India are in a world of trouble now - those Indian fans have all gone a bit quiet at Edgbaston. Three singles from the Indian pair.
WICKET - Chawla c Bell b Collingwood 1 (Ind 213-7)
That's another cracking catch from Bell, Colly startling Chawla with a slower ball and the batsman ballooning the ball into the covers. The Warwickshire man had ground to make up and gathered the ball a couple of inches from the ground. Barring one of the greatest one-day innings ever from Yuvraj, India are toast.
42nd over - Ind 210-6 Panesar to have another bowl and surely this Indian pair will go after him here. A leg-bye for India and Powar trundles down the wicket with all the grace of the Honey Monster. Yuvraj steps it up, getting down on one knee and slathering Monty into the stands at deep mid-wicket.
"I am still here too, no Bank Holiday here in the BVI despite us being a British territory, what is that all about? Thought I would try and get a mention for our new team, the Wolues CC , who are due to have their first match in Antigua in a few weeks. Incidentally, we were named due to an unfortunate incident with a dyslexic shirt printer."
Matt, BVI, in the TMS inbox
41st over - Ind 201-5 Colly is going to eat into some of Panesar's overs and I can see India going after the England skipper here. Powar sets himself up more like Babe Ruth than Bradman and he clubs Colly over mid-on for a couple. Yuvraj brings up India's 200 with an ugly hoick for one. Powar flicks Collingwood to square-leg for one and he'll retain the strike. Just four from that over and India now need nine an over.
40th over - Ind 197-5 As long as Yuvraj remains in the middle, India have a chance, and he rat-a-tat-tats Tremmers to the long-off fence.
39th over - WICKET: Dhoni c Collingwood b Anderson 13 (Ind 190-5)
Say goodnight, lover boy! Dhoni goes after a rank long-hop from Anderson and carves it straight into the hands of Collingwood at backward-point. That's a bonus wicket for England and a fine catch from Colly, that was really travelling. The burly Powar, who is a serious unit, is the new batsman and he's off the mark with a single. Yuvraj gets a brute of a yorker from Anderson, but the ball misses everything. England in the driving seat now...unless...unless...
"I'm cleaning out my daughter's pet garter snake cage and the little sod (the snake, obviously, not my daughter) has just weed over me. Anyone else made bad choices when it comes to children's pets?"
Michael F Watts, Norwich, in the TMS inbox
38th over - Ind 188-4 Dhoni plays an awkward-looking drive into the off-side for one. Yuvraj gets a short one from Tremmers outside leg-stump and rifles it down to long-leg for a single. Could we be witnessing only the second exciting ODI I've ever commentated on?! I can't remember what the first one was, but I think it involved Ireland during the World Cup.
37th over - Ind 184-4 A slower ball from Bopara is squirted into the leg-side for a single by Dhoni before the fielder at short mid-wicket, KP I think, prevents a hearty pull from Yuvraj from running away for four. Yuvraj stays back and punches Bopara to long-on for a couple.
"RE: Moles & Shells. Thanks to my parents being Indian I have a permanent tan so I have no desire to be sunbathing with or without shells. In fact, the only 'shell' you'd find on my body is the suit (a Donnay one at that) I picked up from Sports&Soccer for £4.99 a few years back."
Naresh, Harrow, in the TMS inbox
36th over - Ind 179-4 A single for Yuvraj before Dhoni works Tremlett to leg and scampers two quick runs. Fine stop from Prior, diving to his left to stop an inside edge from Dhoni. Just four from the over and that will do England at this stage, India require 7.36 runs an over to win it. Apologies Angharad, only just noticed your email below.
"I was wondering if you might post a wee notice about Dulwich Ladies' Cricket Club for any cricket fans of the female persuasion who might like to give playing a go. I know it's near the end of the season but we'll be having winter nets all off-season. The team has loads of beginners (like me!), we train on Sunday mornings with a nets session on Wednesday evenings, and would really love anyone who fancied it to come along - details can be found on the Dulwich CC website."
Angharad in the TMS inbox
35th over - Ind 175-4 Bopara is wheeled into the attack and his first ball is too wide and flailed through point by Yuvraj for four. The Essex all-rounder strays onto Dhoni's legs and is tickled to deep fine-leg for a single.
"My brother and I told our youngest brother that he was an Ewok and that he had been shaven and adopted by the family due to our fondness for the Star Wars films."
Matt Loverock, Bristol, in the TMS inbox
34th over - Ind 168-4 Yuvraj gets a thick inside edge and Monty just manages to drag it in short of the wide long-on rope. Three for the shot. Yuvraj puts manners on a short one from Tremmers and that's four to deep mid-wicket. My word this is evenly-poised...two more for Yuvraj with a crisp punch to long-on and a Tremmers full-bunger brings him another to the same area.
"I'm still here but, like I never win the lottery, my mails never get published: even my having to dodge a drunken driver whilst fielding at silly mid-on yesterday wasn't worth a mention..."
Charlie, North Devon, in the TMS inbox
33rd over - Ind 156-4 The destructive Dhoni is the new batsman and he can give it some serious splatter. Classic from Yuvraj, leaning into a Colly delivery and lacing it through the covers for four. Colly has a fairly confident appeal turned down by Umpire Doctrove before Yuvraj tucks him away for a single. Dhoni is off the mark with a single to mid-off.
"Alison (see below), to be honest luv, this is as new to you as it is to me. Currently got 16 shells of varying sizes on the go."
Lee Masters in the TMS inbox
32nd over - WICKET: Ganguly c Prior b Tremlett 72 (Ind 149-4)
Tremmers has cranked it up since his wicket, a bit more dog from the Hampshire man. But Ganguly goes after him, crashing him to the long-off fence one bounce for four. But that's a great comeback from Tremlett, serving up a tempter outside off-stump and Ganguly nibbling it to a full-length Prior behind the stumps. Good take that, good spunk from Tremmers and England have the whip hand once again.
31st over - Ind 144-3 Yuvraj is the new batter...hello? Hello? Anybody still there? Ganguly drives to long-off for one and Yuvraj is off the dreaded donut with a flick to third-man. Ganguly picks up another single with a punch to point before Yuvraj yanks Collingwood round the corner for a single.
30th over - WICKET: Dravid b Tremlett 56 (Ind 140-3)
Ganguly travels three or four yards down the pitch to Tremlett and laces him through the covers for four. Tremlett really does look out of sorts today...AND HE'S PICKED UP THE WICKET OF DRAVID! The Indian skipper can't decide to go forward or back and gets an inside edge onto his timbers. "In your face, Benders!" I think I saw Tremmers say as Dravid made his way from the pitch.
29th over - Ind 134-2 Two for Ganguly with a drive through cover before he brings up his 11,000th ODI run with a single to long-off. Colly serves up a slower ball and Dravid very nearly drags a drive onto his stumps but picks up two to long-leg.
28th over - Ind 128-2 Ganguly gives Monty the charges and larrups him over wide long-on for six. England have no answer to this onslaught, India are giving them a good old-fashioned bullying.
27th over - Ind 120-2 Just two singles from Colly's over and he's fiddling his way through some useful overs here.
26th over - Ind 118-2 That's Dravid's 81st - yes, you did read that correctly - ODI fifty courtesy of a punch into the covers and Ganguly reaches his 69th ODI half-century two balls later with a delightful glide to third-man.
25th over - Ind 113-2 Dravid piles into a Collingwood delivery and the ball disappears into the crowd beyond the wide long-on fence. The India skipper whips Colly through square-leg for another boundary and picks up one more to steal the strike. The large Indian contingent is going wild for every run and England are getting slapped about the ring at the moment and giving very little back.
24th over - Ind 103-2 The TMS boys are steaming into some chocolate cake sent in by Marion - thank you, Marion. Three singles from Panesar's over and Monty really not asking many questions of this pair.
23rd over - Ind 100-2 Dravid nibbles Colly down to third-man and that's India's 100 - England are just ahead on points, they got there two overs quicker. Collingwood goes up for caught-behind against Ganguly but Prior, let alone Umpire Doctrove, was having none of it.
22nd over - Ind 98-2 It's middle over time and the discussion in the office turns to that old chestnut, "is 50 over cricket past its sell-by date?" Ganguly picks up one before Dravid leans back and chops through point for a couple. Two more singles from the over.
21st over - Ind 92-2 Dravid waits on one and opens the face down to third-man for one. A bit of hesitation between Ganguly and Dravid and Bopara saves the run.
"Re. Lee on a beach: surely then you'd end up looking rather like grandma's wallpaper, with each mole surrounded by a shell-shaped patch of pasty white skin while the rest of you glows like an Bronzed Adonis?"
Alison, Ghana, in the TMS inbox
20th over - Ind 91-2 A couple of singles before Monty gets one past the edge of Dravid's defensive poke. Dravid picks up another one with an ease into the off-side.
19th over - Ind 88-2 Collingwood is England's fifth bowler so far and Ganguly moves to 42 with a nudge into the covers. Wristy from Dravid, working the ball from outside off-stumo to leg for one. A couple more easy singles and this pair are looking ominously comfortable.
"RE: Shells on body tip from Lee in Italy. Love the idea. Am going to try it because I have loads of moles so will look like an artistic sculpture and I'll charge people to come and look at me. With a bit of luck I'll raise enough money NOT to have to work Bank Holidays again..."
Heather, Swindon, in the TMS inbox
18th over - Ind 84-2 The recalled Panesar is into the attack and Ganguly dabs him to mid-wicket for one. Dravid eases Monty into the covers for a single and Ganguly moves to 41 with a nibble to leg. Monty drops short and is flogged to the deep mid-wicket fence. India travelling towards the target at a fair old lick.
17th over - Ind 77-2 Good comeback from Jimmy Anderson after the drinks break and that's a welcome maiden. But England need to root one of these two batsmen out sharpish.
"A good sunbathing tip: protect moles by covering your body in shells in the appropriate areas."
Lee Masters, on a beach, Italy, in the TMS inbox
16th over - Ind 77-2 Ganguly drops one down to third-man for one before Tremlett strays onto Dravid's legs and is creamed through square-leg for another four. Tremmers getting some fearful tap here and Ganguly picks up four more with a thick outside edge and another boundary with a gossamer glide to third-man. India really back in the frame after a few crash, bang, wallop overs. Players take drinks.
15th over - Ind 64-2 Trademark from Dravid, eyes over the ball and on-driving Broad for four. Dravid whipcracks Broad through backward-point for another four and repeats the shot - the Indian skipper can look frighteningly good at times. Andy, Nottingham (see below), I think you massively over-estimate the intellectual capacity of your country-folk (either that or they just like a bit of idle banter) - the emails have gone from a trickle to a veritable torrent since my Smurfs appeal, although I wasn't able to publish Trevor from Leicester's story involving his older brother, a tape recorder and a jar of glace cherries.
"If that tosh about Smurfs is the best that you can come up with to stimulate email traffic then creatively-speaking you're a spent force mate. Maybe you should go back to county cricket clockwatch to work on your technique."
Andy, Nottingham, in the TMS inbox
14th over - Ind 50-2 Tremlett is into the attack and India pick up four leg-byes courtesy of a ball into Dravid's pads and the Indian skipper picks up four more with a clip through mid-wicket.
"Cruel Siblings: My two sisters and I dressed our younger brother in a girl's swimming costume, took him around the local town and told everyone we saw that his name was Roberta."
Carol, Ebbw Vale, in the TMS inbox
13th over - Ind 40-2 Ganguly frees his hands again but England have a packed off-side field for him and Pietersen limits him to one once again with a fine diving stop. Broad, we have decided in the office, has the look of Ricky Schroder, star of The Champ and Silver Spoons. One more single apiece for Ganguly and Dravid.
12th over - Ind 37-2 Ganguly is in expansive mood and another one of those florid drives is stopped well by Bopara in the covers and he runs just one. Another nagging over from Anderson and India are really under the cosh at Edgbaston.
"Re sibling cruelty, my little brother once shot me in the leg with a crossbow."
David C, Nottingham, in the TMS inbox
11th over - WICKET: Karthik c Cook b Broad 0 (Ind 36-2)
Ganguly drives sweetly for one, Pietersen pulling off a tumbling stop, and Karthik is on strike. His first ball is a bumper from Broad and his second is wide and he slaps it straight to Cook at cover. India crumbling and Ganguly leans on his bat and surveys the wreckage with all the gravity of the first man at the scene of an earthquake. Dravid is the next man in and he's a man for a crisis.
"On Christmas Eve (when I was about six and my brother was four), I would wrap a box in Christmas paper and sneak it into the stocking at the end of my bed. At around 11pm, I would wake my brother telling him Santa had been and show him my present. He would bawl his eyes out thinking Santa had not left him anything."
DA, Dubai, in the TMS inbox
10th over - WICKET: Tendulkar c Collingwood b Anderson 8 (Ind 35-1)
Anderson drops short and Tendulkar, eyes like saucers, absolutely jamspangles him through mid-wicket for four. Anderson very nearly gets one through Tendulkar's defences next ball before Sachin upper-cuts him straight to Collingwood at backward-point. Big breakthrough for England and Tendulkar looks to be a batsman on the slide on the evidence of this tour.
9th over - Ind 31-0 One for Tendulkar with a nudge into the off-side. Broad has got something ballsy about him for a young man and he gives Ganguly the stare after a decent bouncer. Broad tries some more chin music and is called for a wide by Umpire Doctrove, not sure what that was about. Broad strays onto Ganguly's legs and is yanked away for a few.
"Re: Sibling cruelty. I told my then four-year-old brother Stuart that if he planted a Fruit Pastel and watered it every day it would grow into a Fruit Pastel tree. He watered it every day for two weeks before my Mum worked out what was going on and I copped hell for it."
Jon Halling, London, in the TMS inbox
8th over - Ind 27-0 Anderson getting a bit of sideways movement. Ganguly gets a bumper from Jimmy and that's another maiden - the Lancashire paceman has come back well following his shellacking at the hands of Ganguly.
"Ben, going by your rendition of the game, I wouldn't blame your brothers for doing that. Really."
Ravi Rakesh in the TMS inbox
7th over - Ind 27-0 Ganguly nudges one before Broad gives Tendulkar a bit of width and Cook saves well at short cover. England have brought India to heel in the last couple of overs after Ganguly's furious onslaught.
6th over - Ind 26-0 The man sat opposite has just revealed he didn't find Anchorman funny. Is he dead inside? One single apiece for Ganguly and Tendulkar and the emails have dried up. I've got one for you: when my brothers used to get bored with my company, they used to send me over the woods to look for toadstools and, therefore, Smurfs and they also used to pretend they had Father Christmas in the garage, usually in the middle of summer, and not let me in to see him. Did anyone's siblings do anything more cruel than that?
"Don't you think that Chris Tremlett has the look of Martin Landau about him? Talking of the latter, I was shocked (naively I suppose), to see a programme about Hugh Heffner which showed Mr Landau as a frequent guest of the Playboy Mansion. Yeargh."
Carole, Maidenhead, in the TMS inbox
5th over - Ind 24-0 Tendulkar tucks Broad to leg for one before Ganguly slices him to third-man for another boundary. Tremlett it was with the dive, but he got down to that like a arthritic giraffe on rollerskates.
4th over - Ind 19-0 Sweet timing from Ganguly, getting his head over a fuller ball from Anderson and the ball racing through mid-on for four. That's even better from Ganguly, leaning into a delivery on the up and holding the pose as the ball disappears through widish long-off. Anderson gives Ganguly some width next ball and Ganguly twirls him through backward-point for a third successive four. Jimmy ties the former India skipper down for two balls but the last delivery is short and Ganguly flogs him over Bell at mid-wicket for the fourth boundary of the over. That's upped the run-rate...
3rd over - Ind 3-0 Tendulkar scores India's first run off the bat courtesy of an ease into the covers but Broad tightens the thumb screws with another tight over, Ganguly very nearly playing on with a thick inside edge which he gets one for.
2nd over - Ind 1-0 Anderson shares the new pill with Broad and he gets one to nip back at Tendulkar first up. India's first run is a leg-bye but otherwise Anderson is bang on the spot with his first six deliveries. A spiteful ball last up gets Ganguly hopping.
1st over - Ind 0-0 Broad has first go with the ball and Ganguly gets a yorker first up which he manages to dig out. No side has chased down a target bigger than 278 in 39 ODIs at Edgbaston. Ganguly drives expansively at a wide one from Broad, but he fails to find a gap and that's a maiden to start.
1430: Right, players are back out and we'll have play in a moment...
"I think Bell is destined for greatness, just look at his initials - he shares them with Beefy and Ian Beale."
50th over - WICKET: Broad c Yuvraj b Singh 10 (Eng 273-8)
Hammer Time from Tremmers, that was absolutely enormous. The Hampshire man gets his left leg out of the way and marmalises the ball straight over the pavilion and out of the ground - another new ball required. Dougie Brown on TMS reckons he's never seen a ball hit so far at Edgbaston. Bit of gamesmanship from Singh, who pulls out of his run-up, but he's got Broad a minute later, the Leicestershire man skewing an ugly heave to Yuvraj at backward-point. Tremmers is doing a decent job at the death and he picks up a couple of braces before pulling away and crashing the final ball of the over to the mid-wicket fence. That's England's innings done and dusted and that should be a pretty competitive total, although I can't help thinking they should have scored a few more.
49th over - Eng 266-7 Broad backs away and steers Zaheer through backward-point for four. The young seamer manages to squeeze out a Zaheer yorker for one before Tremlett should have been run out again, but Zaheer's throw is wide of the mark. Zaheer's spell is over - 0-49 from his 10 overs.
48th over - WICKET - Bell c Karthik b Singh 79 (Eng 255-7)
Singh tries a slower ball and Broad, reaching for it, is unable to squeeze it away. The future Nottinghamshire seamer nudges one into the on-side, but he could have easily been run out there. And that's Bell gone, attempting an inside-out drive and mistiming the ball to Karthik, who comes tumbling in from widish mid-off. About five forward rolls in all from Karthik, what a lovey. Tremlett is the new batter and he should be out from his first ball. The Hampshire giant attempts a suicidal single and should have been out by miles, but he misses the stumps on the turn from all of nine inches. England pick up a valuable overthrow and India's fielding shows few signs of improvement.
47th over - Eng 254-6 Some serious beef between Bell and Zaheer as the batsman sends the bowler back halfway through his run-up. The combative left-armer sends a few verbals Bell's way...and ups the ante after getting one past the batsman's blade. Zaheer loves a bit of needle, and there's nothing wrong with that, but Bell is no longer a man to take anyone's nonsense lying down. He picks up a quick single. Umpire Benson has a look at the ball and decides on a change. Broad nudges one before Bell backs away and carves Zaheer into the covers for another.
46th over - WICKET: Bopara c Dravid b Singh 10 (Eng 246-6)
Clever from Bopara, running Singh fine to the third-man fence. Bopara picks up two more, but he's out next ball, looking to work Singh to leg but spearing a leading edge to Dravid in the covers. Decent little cameo from the Essex man and Broad, who got useful runs in the last match, is England's number eight and he's off the mark with a single. Bell gets two with a pull and that's England's 250.
45th over - Eng 240-5 Bopara nibbles Chawla off his legs for one before Bell climbs into a Chawla delivery and the ball disappears over the long-off fence. Doozy of a stroke that and Bell is now on 73. One more single apiece from Bopara and Bell and England are on for something in the region of 275.
"As the rise of 'The Sherminator' gathers pace, how long before Ian Bell breaks into the top 10 ranking for ODI batsmen? His contribution in this series has been perfect, good on ya Ian!"
Paul, Leeds, in the TMS inbox
44th over - WICKET: Shah b Yuvraj 19 (Eng 226-5) Shah comes over all Barry Bonds, charging Yuvraj and slamming him over deep mid-wicket for six. Shah advances down the track next ball and Yuvraj pulls out of the delivery, but Yuvraj has the last laugh, cleaning Shah up next ball. Yuvraj drops to one knee, punches the air and emits a primeval roar. Shah shuffles sheepishly past like a man keen to avoid a kicking in a provincial high street. Bopara is the batsman and he's off teh mark with a sweep for one. Bell and Bopara exchange singles before Belly pouches two more with an inside-out cover-drive.
43rd over - Eng 220-4 Bell smears Chawla through wide long-on as if he's spreading butter on a giant piece of toast and picks up two more with a punch into the covers. Two more for the local hero with a similar stroke before Bell reverse sweeps for one. Shah nicks the strike with a sweep for one.
42nd over - Eng 212-4 Good running from Shah who picks up a couple with a whip to leg. Bell bags one more with a chip over the covers. Yuvraj decides to go over the wicket to Shah and Shah takes a step away before walking back across his stumps and tucking the bowler away for one. An escape for Shah and shoddy work from Dhoni - the batsman sashays down the track, misses a quicker ball from Yuvraj, but the ball ricochets off the Indian wicket-keeper's wrists.
41st over - Eng 206-4 Shah whips Powar through mid-wicket for a couple before dabbing him behind square on the leg side. My housemate has made contact to say: "If she's going on a fifth date it sounds like he's just been tactically sowing the seeds to ensure there's no chance of a refusal. Bit of a player if you ask me." Oddball.
40th over - Eng 201-4 Shah is the new batter (don't email in - if it's good enough for Boycott and Warne, it's good enough for me...) and he's off the mark with a turn to leg. Bell and Shah exchange singles before Bell brings up the 200 with an ease into the covers.
39th over - WICKET: Collingwood c sub (Uthappa) b Powar 44 (Eng 193-4)
Collingwood gets two for a reverse 'scoop' but is nearly dismissed two balls later. The England skipper top-edges a sweep but Yuvraj us unable to pluck the ball out of the air with a despairing dive. But India do get their man, Colly shovelling another reverse sweep straight into the hands of sub fielder Uthappa at short third-man. Really not very clever that from Collingwood and he's disgusted with himself - he looks like a recently married man trudging home from a strip joint as he makes his way from the field.
38th over - Eng 189-3 Yuvraj has merely switched ends and that's Bell's 13th ODI fifty and third in a row courtesy of yet another clip to mid-wicket. Three more singles from the over and England are manoeuvring themselves into a decent position on Bell's home ground.
37th over - Eng 185-3 Powar is back on for Yuvraj and Colly chips him to mid-wicket for one. Invention from Collingwood, reverse sweeping Powar to the third-man fence. Colly repeats the shot, but this time gets just one for it. Poor ball from Powar, but Bell can only drag it down to fine-leg for a single. This pair are really motoring between the wickets and Collingwood picks up two more with another clip to mid-wicket.
"What you're trying to do as a team is 'out-single' your opponents and generally the team that scores the most singles will win the game."
Dougie Brown on TMS
36th over - Eng 176-3 Zaheer strays onto Bell's hip and is worked to fine-leg for a couple. Patel it was with the sprawling stop. Supposed to be blazing sunshine up in Birmingham but there's none about at the moment. Bell glides Zaheer to third-man, where Chawla fields well and sends in a fizzing throw to limit England to one run. Colly steals the strike with a tug into the on-side.
35th over - Eng 168-3 Colly nicks a single with a chip to leg and Bell paddles Yuvraj round the corner for one of his own. Another Colly dink to leg and Bell eases Yuvraj through the covers for one more. At the moment, Bell and Collingwood are Romulus and Remus to Yuvraj's wolf.
"Sounds like your housemate is displaying an overcautious approach. To use a cricketing metaphor, he needs to start playing some big shots as his innings is too slow and eventually he'll run out of overs with an inadequate total. Of course, playing too many big shots and throwing caution to the wind could see him getting himself out."
Kevin Burgess in the TMS inbox
34th over - Eng 163-3 Dreamy straight drive from Colly for four and he picks up another run with a whip to mid-wicket. Zaheer is worked to leg by Bell for one and Collingwood nibbles another into the on-side for a single.
33rd over - Eng 156-3 Yuvraj gives Bell a bit of width and Bell carves him through the covers for a couple. Colly eases Yuvraj through the covers for one before Yuvraj thinks he's got Bell leg before, but Umpire Benson turns him down again. Players have a wet.
32nd over - Eng 153-3 Bell marmalises Chawla over deep mid-wicket for a maximum before picking up an easy single. Colly picks up one with a glide to backward square-leg.
"Good afternoon Ben. Is Ramesh Powar really that fat?! I'm hearing the chaps on the radio referring to him as Takeaway Man and Keema Naan Man. Surely these sleights on his character are unfair? Re. housemate's predicament (see below), maybe his date is a lady of an old-fashioned bent and will not submit to his charms until a proposal of marriage has been offered."
Stephen Aldington, Caistor, in the TMS inbox
31st over - Eng 145-3 On comes Yuvraj - which apparently means 'Heir to the throne' in Hindi - with his tweakers and it would seem the entire Indian team stopped off at Superdrug on their way to Edgbaston - in 1996. I've never seen such a bad collection of sunglasses. Bel pounces on a short one and tugs Yuvraj for one through mid-wicket. But Yuvraj is very unlucky not to pick up Collingwood lbw, the England skipper missing with a sweep with the ball aiming for his middle stump. No idea why Umpire Benson throught that was missing. A single apiece for Colly and Bell and Yuvraj glares at Benson at the end of the over as if he's just caught him letting the tyres down on his car.
30th over - Eng 140-3 The ginger twins keep the strike rotating against Chawla. Colly goes down the pitch but changes his mind. Bell misses with an attempted reverse sweep. England have got to start moving because the innings could be almost over by the time the seamers return.
"Powar has a great deal of control in line and length then he can mix his paces, which he does very well. He is a very clever bowler, knows his role inside out and gives Dravid great control in the middle of an innings."
Ashley Giles on Test Match Special
29th over - Eng 137-3 Colly watchful against Powar, who has kept it to under four per over so far. He late-cuts to deep backward square for a single. Bell carves to deep mid on but that's it for the over.
28th over - Eng 135-3 Colly breaks the shackles and gives it some hammer, marching down the pitch and slamming Chawla over deep mid-wicket for a maximum.
27th over - Eng 128-3 Apparently Shah is coming in below Bopara - why do I get the feeling he's not that popular with the England hierarchy? Colly looks like dead man walking at the moment and Powar gets another past a defensive prod.
26th over - Eng 126-3 Chawla has got the England batsmen scratching about like Mr Magoo after a night on the sauce and he gets one past an ugly heave from Collingwood. Relief for Colly as he gets off the strike with a work into the covers.
25th over - Eng 124-3 Skipper Colly is the new bat. Bell works Powar through mid-wicket for one and Collingwood is off the mark with a thick outside-edge for a couple. One more for Colly with a nurdle to leg.
"I notice how it's only the guys who are responding to your housemate's dating dilemma (or at least you're only publishing the guys' comments). To add a lady's point of view: no kiss by the fourth date spells disaster. None on the first date is gallant. None on the second is still uber-gallant. None on the third date is either impolite or means he's a feeble drip. None on the fourth date means a write-off. There will be no fifth."
Helen, Wales, in the TMS inbox
24th over - WICKET: Pietersen st Dhoni b Chawla 9 (Eng 118-3)
Bell plays back and Chawla gets one to fizz back and beat the batsman's attempted cut. Bell picks up one before Pietersen is made to look an absolute mug by Chawla, the Hampshire man advancing down the track, missing a magnificent wrongun and Dhoni whipping off the bails. This boy Chawla, still only 18, looks like an absolute gem of a player.
23rd over - Eng 113-2 Bell plants his front foot and slog-sweeps Powar over mid-wicket for four before leaning back and carving the spinner through the covers for another boundary. Pressure released for England. Dave in Birmingham wonders if my housemate has checked whether his date (see below) is his sister or his mother. Not sure. I'll give him a nudge and get back to you.
22nd over - Eng 102-2 It's two-sweater weather for many of the Indians up in Birmingham, but there's a bit of sun. KP prods into the leg-side for a single before Bell is bamboozled by a wrongun from Chawla and picks up one for an inside edge. Chawla, who looks like he could be a real handful, fizzes one past the face of Pietersen's bat and England are becalmed.
"You can tell it's a Bank Holiday when you hear the full eight minutes and one second of Stairway To Heaven on the radio in the middle of the day. It's not just City types and BBC Sport commentators that have to work today you know - those of us who work in hospitality even have to do it on regular pay. Re: housemate's date, she could just be shy..."
Sarah, Bucks, in the TMS inbox
21st over - Eng 100-2 Powar, who looks like a corpulent fly in his giant red sunglasses gets one past a tentative prod from KP, but Pietersen brings up the England ton with a nurdle to leg. Probing stuff from Powar, England having to be watchful.
20th over - Eng 98-2 Chawla has a strangled lbw appeal turned down by Umpire Doctrove...and again...the second one looked a good shout and Pietersen looks to be having trouble picking the young leg-spinner. Chawla drags one in short and is pulled through mid-wicket for four. One more for KP with a clip to leg.
19th over - WICKET: Cook c Yuvraj b Powar 40 (Eng 92-2)
Powar has done for Cook, the Essex opener top-edging a sweep straight to Yuvraj at short fine-leg. England have been pegged back by India after a bright start and Pietersen is the next man at the crease. He's off the mark with an easy single.
"To the unkissed housemate (11th over): beware, danger lies ahead. Four dates without a kiss sounds like wedding bells to me."
Roger Etkind, Cape Town, in the TMS inbox
18th over - Eng 90-1 Johnny on the Spot from Patel, but Bell does pick up a couple with a carve down to third-man. Patel is having trouble with his run-up and Umpire Doctrove calls him for two big no-balls. Bell picks up two more with a carve to third-man.
"Re John from Hull's sleeping dilemna: Urgently get a job as an attendant at a Mexican train station. People fully expect you to be asleep at all times of the day - and you get to wear an entertaining hat."
Dave, B'ham, in the TMS inbox
17th over - Eng 86-1 Powar, something of a cult figure with the Indian fans, is going to have a twirl. Powar looks like the kind of man who leaves the field of play a couple of pounds heavier than when he enetered it. Bell with the only single of the over, Powar giving it plenty of air.
"Re your house mate (see below). HE IS WASTING HIS TIME. She would have decided after about five seconds of the first date whether your ugly friend was snoggable. To continue is wasting time and money that can be better spent on other pursuits."
James Chisholm in the TMS inbox
16th over - Eng 85-1 Cook pushes into the covers for one and Bell picks up one with a glide to third-man. Lots of poor tykes working in the City today for slave-driving American financial institutions. Comrades, I urge you to smash your computers, cut up your ties and draw a chalk phallus on the back of your boss's suit. Power to the people on this magnificent Bank Holiday! Those pork dumplings have gone through me like a dose of salts, I might have to hand over for an over or two...
15th over - Eng 82-1 Cook clips Singh to mid-wicket for one before Bell is off the mark with a tuck to leg. One more for Cook before Singh decides to change his angle of attack and go round the wicket. Bell nicks one more with a push into the covers.
14th over - WICKET: Prior c Chawla b Patel 34 (Eng 76-1)
Prior fancies Patel and he's all over a short one from the right-arm seamer, slapping him over deep mid-wicket one bounce for four. But the Sussex biffer takes one liberty too many, attempting to heave Patel over mid-wicket again and slicing to backward-point. Bell is the next man in and we have the Nurdle Twins at the crease. The last time I called them that, they both scored tons...Cook, who crossed while Prior's hoick was airborne, prods Patel through the covers for a few.
"To John (see below), congratulations on the birth of your daughter. If you have an office with a door that opens inwards you could try the paperclip trick. Spill a packet of paperclips just behind the door and lie down to sleep with your head just by them (with a jumper or other padding between your head and the door). If anyone tries to come in, the cushioned bump on your head should wake you in time, and the paperclips will provide a perfect excuse for you having been prone on the floor for the past however long."
Zoe Parkinson, London, in the TMS inbox
13th over - Eng 71-0 Singh loses his line and gives up a wide before Prior flicks him off his pads for a single. Singh drags one down and Cook is on it in a flash, yanking him through the leg-side for four.
"John from Hull, I find a sneaky 40 winks in a cubicle in the gents is usually fairly easy to get away with. Also, it should be relatively peaceful in there on a Bank Holiday."
Rupert Janisch in the TMS inbox
12th over - Eng 63-0 Crackerjack stroke from Cook, timing Patel through the covers for four. That's a bit special from Prior, sitting back and twirling Patel through backward-point for another boundary.
"I can vouch for Mr Dirs. As a fellow resident of Essex, there are indeed the usual bank holiday engineering works causing disruption and mayhem to those of us unfortunate souls who have to work today."
James Matthews in the TMS inbox (I didn't make this up)
11th over - Eng 53-0 That's England's fifty courtesy of a cheap leg-side single from Prior. Lots of ladies logged on this morning, which is always nice. My house-mate has been on four dates and still not kissed said date. Is there any future in the relationship? A leg-bye and a single apiece for Cook and Prior and this is a cosy start for the England openers.
"Feeble excuse for being late this morning. If the internet lists said engineering works then surely you should have used this information in scheduling your departure time in order to be at work on time."
Yorkshire Kate, Amsterdam, in the TMS inbox
10th over - Eng 48-0 That's a rancid delivery from Patel and Prior heaves him over the covers for four. Prior takes another liberty with Patel, hoicking him over wide long-on for a few. Cook picks up a cheap single before Prior mishits another pull for two more to move to 23. Patel has a word or two with Prior at the end of the over, but he should keep well schtum after an over like that, it was rank. John, Hull (see below), shave all your hair off and draw some eyes, a nose and a smily mouth on top of your head. That way you can sleep face down on your desk and everyone will think you're still hard at work, and loving it.
9th over - Eng 37-0 Prior nicks one before Zaheer gets one to nip back at Cook, but that was sliding down leg. And that's a life for Cook, the Essex opener yanking a short one to Singh on the backward square-leg and the left-arm seamer shelling a dolly. India's fielders look like they were clubbing until about two hours ago. Cook rubs Zaheers nose in it, chopping him through the covers for four.
"My wife and I have just been blessed with a beautiful (if noisy) daughter and because of this I have had about three hours sleep in the last week. I am back at work today for a bit of peace and quiet. Has anyone got any tips on how to get some sleep in the office without getting caught?"
John, Hull, in the TMS inbox
8th over - Eng 30-0 Cook goes to drag Singh round the corner and picks up a couple of leg-byes. Sloppy from India, three men backing up but none of them able to stop Zaheer's rather wild throw.
"What's up Ben? Late again? Some people were up at 5 o'clock this morning baking bread for the masses. Admittedly, I was not one of them - I got up about 10 minutes ago!"
AT, Cornwall, in the TMS inbox
7th over - Eng 27-0 Cook nudges a single before Zaheer serves up a jaffa, the ball pitching on leg and leaving a fencing Prior. Prior bags three with an easy push through the covers.
"Dear Mr Gough, many thanks for stepping in while Mr Dirs was late. How refreshing to get some adult comment on the cricket instead of the usual inane juvenile inconsequential ramblings."
Denzil, Belgium, in the TMS inbox
6th over - Eng 23-0 Cook clips Singh off his toes for two to mid-on and nurdles another single. Prior then plays a wild and windy woosh before Singh reckons the Sussex man has feathered one to Dhoni behind the stumps. Bit naughty that from Singh, and umpire Doctrove is having none of it. Prior picks up two with a push into the covers.
5th over - Eng 18-0 Two more for Cook with a push to wide long-off but he misses out with an attempted pull. He does pick up another single with a nurdle to leg. Paul (see below), if you care to check on the internet, you will see there are engineering works in Essex east of Romford. I didn't even go out last night, I watched Will Ferrell classic Old School and had a Chinese!
"As a licence payer, I would like an update on Mr Dirs' punctuality record, as he appears to be late again, along with a full explanation as and when he deigns to turn up."
Paul, Lancs, in the TMS inbox
4th over - Eng 15-0 Hello! Sorry I'm late, engineering works out in the wilds of Essex. That's my story and I'm sticking to it. Too straight from Singh and Cook clips him through mid-wicket for four. Three more for the Essex opener with a back-foot drive and no real dramas for England in the opening exchanges.
3rd over - Eng 6-0 Behind me, Dirs has added a little briskness to his saunter. He's just logging in now, as Cook works Zaheer to mid-on for the first run off the bat. Prior has a bit of a defensive push, it comes off the edge just behind RP backward point and it runs for four. That's the end of my Prior-like knock. Over to Mr Dirs.
2nd over - Eng 1-0 RP Singh, another left-armer, shares the new ball. He angles it across Prior, who has an impetuous push at the second, but there's no movement here and Dravid may already be cursing under his breath. A great mumbler is Dravid. Even if you're standing next to him you have to strain to hear. Prior won't last long if he keeps up these half-hearted attempted drives. A maiden.
If I'd won the toss I would have batted. If it's cold in the morning here it can nibble around but it looks very dry and could cause trouble later on.
Edgbaston expert Ashley Giles on Test Match Special
1st over - Eng 1-0 Zaheer kicks off to Cook. Two slips in. He's pitching it up on quite a full line but not getting very much movement. England get off the mark with a wide but it takes the scoreboard operator a while to catch up. Cook leaves the last couple alone.
1012: India huddle in the outfield and, somewhere away from the office (he doesn't do Bank Holidays), my boss Paul Grunill says, "What's the point of that? What is he saying now that he can't say in the dressing room?" Regular as clockwork. Cook and Prior head out, through a guard of honour made up of St George flags.
1007: Lots of fluffy cloud around Edgbaston but plenty of blue sky. Dirs is no doubt dashing from White City station right now before adopting a casual air as he saunters into the office.
0948: Paul Collingwood has a look at the Edgbaston wicket and says: "It doesn't look too bad. It's warmed up a bit under the sun."
Of Flintoff he says: "The medical staff have erred on the cautious side, which is sensible with the itinerary coming up." Apparently he has swelling behind the knee, although they hope he will play at Old Trafford on Thursday.
0945: Rahul Dravid wipes the sleep from his eyes, calls the coin-flip correctly and says: "1015 is early even for England. Whatever is in the wicket will be there initially and it looks a good wicket so I don't think it will deteriorate as the day goes on."
0942: More team news. England have been forced into a late change after Dimitri Mascarenhas suffered a hand injury in practice and Owais Shah comes in.
India will bowl first after winning the toss. Left-arm seamer Zaheer Khan is back in their side for Ajit Agarkar.
0940: Good morning on a lovely Bank Holiday. No Dirs yet as he's overslept on his homework or the dog ate his train or something. Expect him when you see him.
The other absent star - although he will be out for the entire day - is Freddie Flintoff. Quite rightly, England aren't going to risk the big all-rounder and have sensibly decided to bring in Monty Panesar after an all-seam attack struggled in the last match.