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Page last updated at 10:39 GMT, Friday, 14 November 2008

India v England 1st ODI as it happened

FIRST ONE-DAY INTERNATIONAL, Rajkot:
India 387-5 (50 overs) bt England 229 (37.4 overs) by 158 runs

LATEST ACTION (ALL TIMES GMT)

By Ben Dirs

606: DEBATE
e-mail tms@bbc.co.uk (with 'For Ben Dirs' in the subject), text 81111 (with "CRICKET" as the first word) or use 606. (Not all contributions can be used)

ENGLAND INNINGS

"They were busy smashing up the Aussies, we were busy in the Caribbean being embarrassed in a meaningless cash cow money game. It kinda shows."
Mark in the TMS inbox

"Are you guys still confident you are going to destroy us in the Ashes? You're rubbish!"
An Aussie in Park Orchards, Aus, in the TMS inbox

"Really surprised England struggled after all that excellent preparation they said they were getting in Antigua..."
Private Ryan in the TMS inbox

"I just pretended I was French for a full half hour in an Indian cafe."
Joseph in the TMS inbox

Out for a duck
38th over - WICKET - Anderson lbw b Pathan 0 (Eng 229) Bopara creams Pathan through the covers for four before slog-sweeping for six - that's his third ODI fifty, from just 37 balls. But that's your lot - Anderson it trapped in front, and England are royally stuffed by 158 runs. That was missing off-stump by about a foot! Who cares, let's all go home... try picking the positives out of that, KP...

37th over - 218-9 Bopara clatters Harbhajan over mid-wicket for six - just - and follows up with a cut through cover-point. England need six more runs to avoid their biggest ever ODI defeat...

Wicket falls
36th over - WICKET - Broad c Gambhir b Sehwag 26 (Eng 195-8)
Broad goes out on his shield, swinging Sehwag over mid-wicket for a couple before holing out to Gambhir at long-on. Bopara gets a lollipop from Sehwag and the Essex all-rounder deposits it over the mid-wicket fence.

Wicket falls
WICKET - Harmison run out (Harbhajan) 0 (Eng 207-9)
Harmison is run out without facing, Bopara turning Sehwag to fine-leg and Harbhajan is on target with his shy...

35th over - 192-7 Broad slaps Harbhajan over mid-on for four and picks up four more with a tickle round the corner. My nan had more purpose than this, and she wanted to be dead for the last 40 years of her life...

34th over - 182-7 ENGLAND POWERPLAY! NOW YOU JUST WATCH US FLY! Bopara nurdles Sehwag to leg for one... Broad slaps Sehwag over mid-on, and the ball lands just short of Singh. Bopara drops to one knee and carts Sehwag over square-leg for a maximum. The overs flying by, England need 206 to win from 96 balls... oh well, at least it's taken our minds off the dismal economic situation...

"The boys are trying to get off the pitch as quickly as possible to make sure that their WAGs are not being hit on by a rich benefactor."
Don Jones, Leicester, in the TMS inbox

33rd over - 173-7 Harbhajan flights one outside off and Broad drives into the covers for one. Bopara flicks Harbhajan to mid-wicket for one before Broad pushes straight down the ground for another single. Drinks...

"Vaughan Williams' Tallis Fantasia is a beautiful, moving, tender piece of music, a pastoral idyll. This debacle requires something quite different: Gorecki's Symphony of Sorrowful Songs, perhaps, or something from Wagner's Gotterdamerung."
John Grayston in the TMS inbox

32nd over - 169-7 Five singles from Sehwag's six balls...

31st over - 164-7 Struggling to keep up here folks, these Indian spinners keeping up a furious over rate. Bopara pushes to long-on for a single before Broad is dropped by Sehwag at first slip. A real dart from Harbhajan, it was fizzing through.

30th over - 162-7 England milking the Indian spinners... well, they might as well, they've still got 19 overs in which to score 225 runs... three singles from Sehwag's over...

29th over - 158-7 Broad chips Harbhajan over cover for a couple before repeating the stroke for one. Two more singles from the over...

Wicket falls
28th over - WICKET - Pietersen run out (Sharma) 63 (Eng 150-7)
Bopara is possibly the worst runner in the history of cricket (and I include Richard Stilgoe in that summation). He drives straight to Sharma in the covers, Sharma throws to the wicket-keeper's end and Pietersen is out by about five feet. Broad is the new man in the middle and he's under way with a paddle round the corner for one. Two more singles from the over.

Wicket falls
27th over - WICKET - Patel st Dhoni b Harbhajan 28 (Eng 147-6)
Nice bit of bowling from Harbhajan, Patel is outfoxed by a doosra and Dhoni whips off the stumps with the Notts all-rounder about four feet out of his ground. Bopara is off the mark with a work to square-leg. KP picks up a single with a leg glance before Bopara nicks the strike with a turn behind square.

26th over - 147-5 Pietersen goes over long-on again, and this time he's very nearly caught by RP Singh - but the ball runs away for four. Three more singles from the over, 10 from it.

25th over - 137-5 Three singles from Harbhajan's over before Pietersen puts away a full-bunger, clearing the fielder at long-on.

24th over - 130-5 Patel slathers Sehwag over wide long-on for another steepling six and a close up of the ball resting on the roof reveals it to resemble a rolled up sports sock. Once the ball is retrieved, Patel clips Sehwag to long-off for a couple before nicking the strike with a drive to long-on. I would argue, Graeme (see below) that you can find desolation and beauty in the same piece of music. What about Cutting Crew's (I Just) Died In Your Arms?

"Vaughan Williams' Tallis Fantasia, a desolate piece..." Nonsense - it is a piece of rapturous beauty. A little like a David Gower cover drive."
Graeme Hall, Hong Kong, in the TMS inbox

That's 50
23rd over - 120-5 Harbhajan is going to have a twirl. KP whips him to mid-wicket for a couple and Patel nurdles him to third-man for one. And there's Pietersen's 20th ODI fifty courtesy of a another nurdled single. It came off just 46 balls, and included five fours and two sixes. Where would England be without him? On the plane to Indore probably.

22nd over - 115-5 A single apiece from Patel and KP before Patel with a wristy flick to wide long-on. Patel then joins in the fun, sashaying down the track and muscling Sehwag over long-on for six.

21st over - 105-5 Pietersen and Patel exchange singles before KP shows some defiance - one steepling six out of the ground at deep mid-wicket, a whip through the covers for four and a sweetly-timed drive for four through long-off. "Doesn't his bum look big in those trousers?" says a woman sitting opposite me. It does actually, he's got a backside like a Arabian stallion.

20th over - 89-5 Sehwag turns his arm over as the chat turns to sad hymns in the office. It really is that bad. Two singles from the over. England's biggest ODI defeat is 165 by West Indies 1994 and Pakistan 2005, but it looks like they're going to clobber that today.

19th over - 87-5 Pietersen's had enough of fannying around - he stamps a big size 10 down the track and marmalises Pathan over the wide long-on fence. A friend of mine once threw a Lemonheads tape of mine out of a car window, not because it was depressing, but because he was a ruddy bully.

"I see the England cricket team of my youth have made a resounding return! On the subject of music to listen to while reading your fine prose, what about anything by Leonard Cohen, or Del Amitri? I once threw a tape of theirs into a field near Reading cos it was so depressing."
Nad in Tottenham in the TMS inbox

Wicket falls
18th over - WICKET - Collingwood c Dhoni b Singh 19 (Eng 76-5)
Paul Collingwood goes fishing, Dhoni snaffles the catch. Collingwood looked about as comfortable as Jim Davidson at the Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras. Patel of Notts is the new batsmen, and England only require 311 to win from 32 overs. Come on England, you can still do it!

"Worst thing ever? A sign in Belfast Europa Bus Station for blind passengers on how to apply for free bus travel - the sign simply asked 'Registered Blind?' That and when the inside of a Milky Way was changed from brown to white. Never tasted the same after that."
William Bradley, Enniskillen, in the TMS inbox

17th over - 70-4 Yusuf Pathan - brother of Irfan - is going to have a go with his right-arm off-breaks. At the moment the game is being played with all the intensity of a gang of students playing Giant Connect 4 in a Fox and Firkin. Four singles from Pathan's over...

"It could have been worse, Tendulkar could have been playing."
Dominic in the TMS inbox

16th over - 70-4 Collingwood flicks Singh fine for four to move to 14 before shovelling into the covers for one. Pietersen wafts lazily outside off-stump and is beaten before yanking Singh to mid-wicket for one.

15th over - 63-4 Collingwood punches into the covers for one and England pick up a leg-bye. The horror... the horror... I recommend you read this while listening to Vaughan Williams' Tallis Fantasia, a desolate piece... that or Send in the Clowns...

"Brought my radio into work. Don't think I'll switch it on."
Donald, London, in the TMS inbox

14th over - 61-4 Pietersen eases Singh through mid-wicket for four... and does it again, before walking down the pitch and slapping the right-arm seamer through mid-off for another boundary. Still a terrific batting pitch this, any half-decent batsman would want to roll this bad boy up and pack it away in their coffin.

"I wonder if Sir Ian Botham still thinks England will beat the Aussies 'easily' in the forthcoming Ashes? Conceding 387 off 50 overs and reduced to 4-38 off 10. I'm sure the ACB will be quaking in their boots."
SB in the TMS inbox

13th over - 49-4 Zaheer gets one past the outside edge of Collingwood's nervy forward-defensive - twice. Colly picks up his first four with a whip through mid-wicket and picks up another with an outside edge all along the floor. Not entirely convincing.

12th over - 41-4 Let's have a discussion: what is the most rubbish thing you've ever seen in the whole world ever? I vote for this England batting effort. It's rubbish. A wide from Singh before KP clips him into the covers for one. Collingwood is the new batsmen, and, as ever, he starts off looking as fluid as a bag of spanners. He's off the mark with an inside-edge for one.

"Is it just me or do the English batsmen want to lose this? Every Indian wicket fell to an aggressive shot, yet every English wicket so far has fallen after a pathetic prod outside off stump. And how has this pitch turned from a belter into one that favours the bowlers? England, just get back on the plane and go home now. I've just lost three hours sleep getting up early to watch this..."
Sumeet in the TMS inbox

Wicket falls
11th over - WICKET - Bell c Dhoni b Zaheer 25 (Eng 34-3)
Another England wicket goes down, Zaheer spearing one across Bell, Bell having a swat and Dhoni pouching an easy catch behind the timbers. I'd rather slam my hand in a van door repeatedly than watch much more than this...

Wicket falls
WICKET - Flintoff lbw b Zaheer 4 (Eng 38-4)
...down goes Flintoff. Freddie square-drives for four before getting a stinker from Umpire Tiffin - that delivery pitched outside leg, but Flintoff's a goner...

10th over - 33-2 Two runs for Bell with a push to mid-off. Pietersen collides with Patel running to the striker's end, but there didn't look to be any malice. Big caught behind appeal from Patel, but the umpire rightly adjudges that it clipped KP's thigh. Width from Patel, but Bell doesn't time it. England are making one of the most benign wickets in world cricket look like a 1940's sticky in Perth.

9th over - 29-2 Bell leans back and tries to pull Zaheer through midwicket, but doesn't quite get it. The Warwickshire man does pick up one with a tickle to deep square-leg.

"Ben, you can't save yourself by saying it was OB. He was your runner, so if he is out, so are you!"
Sumit in the TMS inbox

8th over - 28-2 Bell shapes to clip Patel to mid-wicket but gets a leading edge and the ball lands in no-man's land in the covers. Lucky sausage. Pietersen uses his feet and clips Patel to mid-on for one before Bell dabs to third-man for one more. If England chase down this target, I'll get the train home to Essex naked but for a picture of Yuvraj Singh as a substitute fig leaf.

7th over - 25-2 I WOULD JUST LIKE TO POINT OUT THAT OLIVER BRETT WAS RESPONSIBLE FOR THE FIRST FIVE OVERS OF ENGLAND'S INNINGS... it was of course Sehwag who snaffled those two slip catches, not Harbhajan, and Prior who was dismissed first, not Bell... other than that, Oli's a little trouper... You can stop emailing in now... just one run from Zaheer's over, a leg-bye.

6th over - 23-2 Many thanks to Oli Brett for holding the fort there while I got acquainted with a bacon butty. Well, England aren't playing very well are they? PIETERSEN ALMOST GOES! The England skipper whips Patel to mid-wicket, but the ball falls just short of Harbhajan. Good sportsmanship from Harbhajan, who doesn't claim the catch. KP is off the mark with a flick to leg before Bell moves to 18 with a twirl through point for four. Good shot that.

5th over - WICKET - Shah c Sehwag b Zaheer 0 (Eng 17-1)

Wicket falls
A beautiful late cut, or dab really, from Bell brings the Warwickshire man his second boundary. England have never scored more than 306 to win an ODI, by the way, and Zaheer and Patel have not yet bowled a bad ball between them. Oh, and now Shah edges his fourth ball to a diving Harbhajan. Embarrassment looms for England. KP faces his first ball with the weight of the world on his shoulders, and leaves alone.

4th over - WICKET - Prior c Sehwag b Patel 4 (Eng 12-1)

Wicket falls
Prior finally gets a ball to drive, but edges Patel straight to the lone slip - Harbhajan, standing somewhere between the orthodox first and second slip. Pretty unlucky I suppose, considering everything went for India when they batted. Still, can't say I'm that surprised! Wicket maiden to boot, required rate well over eight an over. Hmm.

3rd over - 12-0 At some point, Prior will need to do what he does best at Hove - get down the track and loft a few boundaries. (This wicket is a bit like Hove would be in late August after a really dry summer). For now, the Sussex stumper treats an admittedly decent Zaheer over with the utmost respect.

2nd over - 9-0 Bell stands tall to stroke Munaf Patel through the covers for four. Still an awful lot of runs in this wicket. Content with that boundary, Bell plays watchfully for the rest of the over. Hey - India only had eight runs from their first two overs. Easy beer.

Ah here's an e-mail which I could have written myself, from James Miall, describing himself as a frustrated Essex supporter: "Why on earth was Bopara not given a bowl? He's in the side as an all-rounder. And he's got a bit of a golden arm; often seems to get a wicket for us when he come on."

1st over - 5-0 Anyone give England even a chance of winning? I'm Oliver Brett and I'll take on commentary duties for the first five overs of England's chase while the exhausted Ben Dirs gets some breakfast. A bare-footed Harmison watches from the players' balcony as Zaheer Khan opens the bowling. Prior and Bell keep the big shots in the locker early on. There's no swing.

INDIA INNINGS

50th over - 387-5 Yuvraj squirts Broad over Prior's head on the bounce and the ball runs away for four. A single to mid-wicket from Yuvraj before Sharma picks up a couple with a steer through the covers. Sharma prods the final ball to point for a single and that was a merciless batting display from the hosts. Yuvraj finishes with 138 from 78 balls, including six sixes and 11 fours. I'm off for a lie down...

49th over - 378-5 Flintoff digs one in and Yuvraj swings him over mid-wicket for six. I think England have been a bit soft on India to be honest - how has that man got a runner?! He looks about as hampered in his movement as Chas and Morph. Yuvraj picks up four more with a streaky outside-edge before Flintoff over-pitches, Sharma makes room and flays him through the covers for another four. This is getting silly now - Yuvraj plays another one of those golf shots, as if he's chipping on from the edge of the green, only the ball very nearly scuds away for six. This is India's second-highest score in ODIs and the highest by any team in India...

Wicket falls
48th over - WICKET - Dhoni b Harmison 39 (Ind 352-5)
Dhoni is castled by Harmison... the India wicket-keeper was trying to flick across the line and simply misses a straight one. Sharma is the new batsman and he scurries one to get Yuvraj on strike. Yuvraj flicks Harmison off his pads for four and the run-rate is up to 7.5 an over...

47th over - 352-4 Freddie, striving for a yorker, only manages to serve up a full-bunger which Yuvraj smears over wide long-on for six. WHAT A SHOT! Flintoff sends down a yorker, Yuvraj shows the maker's name - and the ball fizzes over the long-off fence like a tracer. You're not supposed to be able to do that... two more singles from the over, England are one run away from conceding their highest total in ODIs.

46th over - 336-4 Too full from Harmison and Yuvraj moves to 95 with a whip through mid-wicket. He and Dhoni pick up a single apiece before Yuvraj moves to 99 with a neat clip over square-leg for four. Harmison serves up a leg-side wide before Yuvraj moves to his ninth ODI with a clip to mid-wicket for two - 64 deliveries, 10 fours, four sixes. Yuvraj likes England...

45th over - 322-4 In case anyone wondered, England were skittled for 188 chasing 353 in Karachi three years ago. Three singles and a wide from Anderson's first four deliveries, but he plonks a full-bunger right in the slot outside Yuvraj's off-stump and is punished - four runs. Dhoni gets involved, shovelling Anderson over long-off for six. Five overs to go, England's bowlers are being slapped all over the park.

"Am just coming to the end of my night shift on the labour ward and have not had my bottom pinched in years..."
Chrissy (midwife) North Notts in the TMS inbox

44th over - 307-4 Dhoni crashes a high full-toss from Patel one bounce into the mid-wicket fence. Anderson got a hand to it, but it wasn't really a chance. One more for Dhoni before Yuvraj drops to one knee and plonks one on the roof at mid-wicket. Bad back? You're having a laugh. Yuvraj and Dhoni pick up a single apiece before Yuvraj piles into Patel again, crashing him one bounce into the mid-wicket fence for four. The most runs England have ever conceded in a ODI is 353 against Pakistan in Karachi in 2005...

43rd over - 288-4 Yuvraj is all over Broad like an Asda suit - he flat-bats the Notts seamer over long-off for six before stamping his foot down the track and pulling Broad through mid-wicket for four. Yuvraj picks up one more with a steer to third-man and picks up a couple from the final delivery, a low full-bunger outside off-stump.

42nd over - 278-4 Patel gives one a chance and Dhoni clubs him to the mid-wicket fence. Dhoni arches his back and drives through point for two. Yuvraj and Dhoni exchange easy singles before Dhoni eases Patel to long-off. India set for a big old total...

41st over - 268-4 Yuvraj drives to deep cover for one. Broad squares Dhoni up and the edge flies just past Prior behind the stumps. Two runs for the shot. A wide from Broad before Dhoni drags the final ball of the over to fine-leg for one. Talking of headstones, if you had to have a cricketing theme, what would yours be? I think I'd have: "Here lies Ben Dirs. A peerless square cutter - and a magnificent lover."

40th over - 263-4 I stand corrected by Ramesh - "YOU HAVE COMMITTED A FEW ERRORS!"he screams all the way from Kathmandu - Raina hit three sixes, not six. Patel back on and he's milked for six runs, four singles and a brace.

39th over - 257-4 Dave (see below), I just ignored it. Yuvraj squirts Broad to third-man for one before Dhoni nurdles him round the corner for a single. Short from Broad and Yuvraj whip-cracks him through mid-wicket for four. The end of India's powerplay, they mustered 41 runs from it, which could have been worse for England.

"Regarding batting powerplays, perhaps you forgot, were not aware or ignored the recent series between South Africa and Bangladesh. They had batting powerplays."
Dave from Johannesburg in the TMS inbox

That's 50
Wicket falls
38th over - WICKET - Pathan c Bell b Harmison 0(Ind 247-4)
Harmison is getting a damn good thrashing at the moment. He tries out a slower ball but Yuvraj spots it, moves outside leg and slaps it straight down the ground for four. That's Yuvraj's 38th ODI fifty, and it came from 43 balls. Yusuf Pathan has leapfrogged Dhoni in the order - and he's out second ball! The India all-rounder looking to pull Harmison but only succeeding in dollying the ball to Bell at short mid-wicket. Dhoni is in next and he's off the mark with a cracking square-drive... England aren't going to get their overs in, which could prove costly for Pietersen.

Wicket falls
37th over - WICKET - Raina c Collingwood b Flintoff 43 (Ind 242-3)
Like it Andy (see below), spunky lady. Although not as spunky as your original email which I wasn't able to publish... Raina picks up a couple with an uppish drive to long-off and follows up with a single to cover. Yuvraj scoops an attempted yorker into the off-side for one and Raina drives straight down the pitch for a couple. But Freddie has made the breakthrough! Raina steers a full-bunger to Collingwood diving to his right at point. Good knock that from Raina - 43 from 44 balls with six sixes and no fours.

"Alan in Bali - Who said my criteria was on how good a player he is, although I do happen to think he's not bad. I'm talking ticker, pride and effort. As I said, 'The Man'."
Andy, Brisbane, in the TMS inbox

36th over - 236-2 Yuvraj has called for a runner, I assume it's Gambhir, but I'll let you know. Yes, it's Gambhir. Raina picks up one with a steer to point before Yuvraj rocks back and jackhammers Harmison through point for four. That's savage from Yuvraj, who pulls out the big stick and clumps a 350 yarder deep into the crowd at mid-wicket. That won't do Harmison's confidence much good, he's a delicate flower...

35th over - 225-2 Right, we've got the first batting powerplay in ODI history - this means England can only have three men out, and should spell fireworks. Seems odd to me, what with Yuvraj hobbling about in the middle as if he's been caught short. Raina nibbles Flintoff round the corner for one before Freddie beats Yuvraj with an absolute snorter. Two more singles from the over before Yuvraj crashes Flintoff straight over long-on for six. Brutal. Told you he was only capable of nudging singles.... sorry...

34th over - 216-2 No idea why Yuvraj is soldiering on, he only looks capable of nudging singles. There are five of them from Broad's over...

33rd over - 211-2 Raina sneaks down the pitch and marmalises Pietersen over mid-wicket for another maximum. It had been a pretty tidy over before then, just four singles from the first five balls. Alan in Bali (see below), haven't you got some snorkelling to do?

32nd over - 201-2 Broad to face his nemesis - Yuvraj Singh, you may remember, clobbered him for six sixes in one over in the ICC Twenty20 last year. Yuvraj, now batting with some sort of brace around his waist, pushes to cover for a single. Raina and Yuvraj exchange two more before Raina crashes Broad over mid-wicket for six. That's India's 200...

"I humbly suggest Andy from Brisbane wakes up and smells whatever version of roses are currently in bloom in Queensland. Unless Andrew Flintoff proposes to do something more useful with the remainder of his life than play out his days with England then become a team captain on A Question of Sport then 'The Man' is hardly an appropriate epitaph. There have even been better contemporary players, aside from the umpteen thousand other citizens of the world who have a real job. So there."
Alan in Bali in the TMS inbox

31st over - 191-2 KP is going to have a bowl. Yuvraj tucks him through square-leg for a couple, but he seems to have put his back out taking those runs, he's in a bit of a pickle. Four more singles from Pietersen's over, and Yuvraj is going to need some treatment here. Players will have a wet while he's being rubbed down. Did you read the story about this ancient Greek joke book that's been found? Apparently they found it in Jim Davidson's dressing room.

30th over - 185-2 Raina steers Anderson through the covers for a single and Yuvraj steals the strike with a punch to long-off. Better control from the Lancashire seamer.

29th over - 183-2 Two bumpers from Harmison - Yuvraj takes his eye off the first but still yanks it away for four before playing a more controlled hook for another boundary. Yuvraj and Raina exchange singles, before Yuvraj squeezes an attempted yorker from Harmison to the third-man fence for four. Fourteen from the over...

28th over - 169-2 Yuvraj picks up a single courtesy of an inside-edge and India are becalmed - for the moment at least. Raina dabs Anderson to mid-off for one before Yuvraj unfurls a dreamy cover-drive. However, KP, diving to his right, limits the batsman to one run. A rancid heave from Raina from the final ball of the over, but with these Indian batsmen you always get the impression they're never off the stove.

27th over - 166-2 Short from Harmison and Yuvraj plays a wonky old shot, yanking his head out of the way and paddling the Durham paceman round the corner for one. That's a good over from Harmison, just one from it, and he's in the groove so far today, which is good news for England.

26th over - 165-2 What a shot from Raina - he gets his right leg out of the way and slaps Anderson straight over long-off for six. Super stroke, Anderson getting his backside handed to him so far today. Raina pushes into the covers for a single and Yuvraj nicks the strike with a scurried single to mid-wicket.

"Just started reading and can't believe no one has pulled you up on that 'shellfish cappuccino' comment - foams are so last year. Incidentallly, does anyone know a bar showing the game in Beijing? I've got the afternoon off."
Cha Er De (in Beijing) in the TMS inbox

25th over - 156-2 Harmison back into the attack, Yuvraj is the new batter. Raina stays back and punches Harmy through the covers for one and Yuvraj is off the mark with a nurdle off his hip. Two runs for it after a wild throw from Patel.

Wicket falls
24th over - WICKET - Sehwag c Bell b Patel 85 (Ind 153-2)
Sehwag sashays down the track and clumps Patel over long-on for another maximum. Sehwag makes room and creams Patel through the covers before clubbing him inside-out to the long-off fence. Sehwag incontinent with runs at the moment... BUT WHAT A CATCH! Sehwag pings Patel through mid-wicket and Bell takes a magnificent catch diving low to his right. Bell had two bites at the cherry, but that was a huckleberry.

23rd over - 137-1 A couple of singles from Flintoff's over before Raina chases a wide one and is beaten. Another bang on the money over from Flintoff, just two singles from it.

"I would make one minor change to Freddie's tombstone - 'The Man'. One small word, whole new meaning."
Andy, Brisbane, in the TMS inbox

22nd over - 135-1 Reverse sweep for one from Sehwag before Raina is off the mark with a clip to mid-wicket. A run a ball from Patel's over, India in milkmaid mode against the left-arm spinner. Funny you should say that Jason (see below), because if you punch 5318008 into a calculator and then turn it upside down, it spells BOOBlES.

"Did you know, if you want to know what the time is in India all you have to do is turn an analogue clock upside down and it will be the current time over there!"
Jason Thomas in the TMS inbox

21st over - 129-1 On Sonny Liston's grave, it simply reads "A Man". When Flintoff cashes in his chips, his should read the same. Gutsy bowling from Freddie so far, just one from that over and 17 from his five overs so far.

Wicket falls
20th over - WICKET - Gambhir c Shah b Patel 51 (Ind 127-1)
England have a wicket. Gambhir looks to give Patel some hammer but only succeeds in chipping him to long-off, where Shah pouches a straightforward catch. Good over all round from the Notts spinner, just three runs from it. Patel has his roots in this part of the world apparently, and he was chuffed with that scalp.

That's 50
19th over - 125-0 Freddie's back into the attack - can he pull a rabbit out of the hat? Big lbw shout from Flintoff, but Umpire Tiffin reckons that was going down leg. Not sure about that, it looked a pretty decent shout to me. Gambhir reaches his 12th ODI fifty with dab to third man, but there are only two runs from the over. Alas, KP can't bowl the Lancashire colossus from both ends...

"That 349-9 made by New Zealand in 1999 will be smashed by India if England don't take a couple wickets soon!"
Dan, Somerset, in the TMS inbox

18th over - 123-0 Sehwag charges Patel and mis-times a drive to long-on for one. Gambhir picks up a single before Sehwag, who will fancy a very meaty score here, paddles the left-armer fine for four. Sehwag follows up with an ugly hoick for four through mid-wicket and steals the strike with a nudge through mid-on. Twelve from the over.


That's 50
17th over - 112-0 KP turns to the dibbly-dobblers of Paul Collingwood. It's Colly's 150th ODI - and what a present from Sehwag, two sixes from the Durham man's first two deliveries. He crashes the first over long-off before putting serious manners on the second, which lands on the roof over mid-wicket. Lost ball, Sehwag's 30th ODI fifty, and Colly is getting the bejabbers beaten out of him. Sehwag prods a Colly slower ball into the covers for one, before India pick up four leg-byes. Two more for Gambhir with a flip to fine-leg and there are 19 from the over. England being bent over at the moment.

16th over - 93-0 Quick single from Sehwag before Gambhir picks up a bread and butter single to mid-on. "What's the atmosphere like in the ground," asks Kev in Waterford. It looks like it's jumping to me - it holds between 30,000 and 35,000 and it's ram-a-dam-a-ding-dong. That's a tidy over from Patel, only three from it.

15th over - 90-0 Broad back on and he's still struggling with his lines - his first ball is down the leg-side and India pick up four leg-byes. Broad follows up with a big leg-side wide before being tickled round the corner for one. Paul in Lancs (see below), are you still allowed to pinch nurses' bottoms in hospitals? Short from Broad and Gambhir leans back and crashes him through mid-wicket for four. Leaky from Broad, that was India's 14th boundary...

"I empathise with the heavy-eyed nurse James in York (see below). When it's quiet on the ward those hours from 3 to 5am can really drag, and I don't think even think hospitals now have those metal bedpans you could use for pretend speed skating races up and down the corridor between the wards when the senior night nurse wasn't looking."
Paul in Lancs in the TMS inbox

14th over - 78-0 Samit Patel of Nottinghamshire is wheeled into the attack by Pietersen. In case you haven't seen much of him, Patel is left-arm orthodox - and the Indian batsmen will be licking their chops. Sehwag goes inside-out and flays Patel through the covers for four.

13th over - 72-0 Gambhir shuffles across his stumps and deflects Harmison to fine-leg for one. Harmison digs one in and Sehwag yanks him away for a single. The Durham paceman is getting plenty of lift and hurrying the Indian batsmen, but his final ball isn't too clever - on Sehwag's hip and he's turned round the corner for four.

12th over - 65-0 Freddie and Harmison have certainly tightened things up a bit. Sehwag and Gambhir pick up a single apiece before Flintoff over-pitches and is whipped through mid-wicket for four. Rare bad ball from Flintoff, and he's made to pay. Drinks, India cruising...

11th over - 59-0 We have a powerplay, but no-one seems to know whose it is. I've cribbed! Sorry! Cricinfo say it's England's. Short from Harmison and Sehwag paddles him round the corner for a single. But that's a delicious cover-drive from Gambhir for four - if that stroke was a dish in a restaurant, it would have been a shellfish cappuccino. Quite delightful.

10th over - 53-0 Bit of room from Freddie and Gambhir slashes him through the covers for four. One more for Gambhir with a fend to fine-leg and the partnership is now 51. Sehwag and Gambhir exchange singles as the TMS boys attempt to explain the new powerplay rules - not very well, it has to be said. I'm not totally sure what happens if the bowling and batting side want to take their powerplay at the same time. Any ideas?

9th over - 46-0 Crackerjack delivery from Harmison, the ball spitting off the surface and beating a lazy waft from Gambhir. Another fine ball from Harmison, Gambhir very nearly having a nibble. Good line and length from Harmison in his first over, just two singles from it.

"Fear not Ben, Calzaghe went down in the first round and got up from the canvas to storm to glory. Which means England can take a bit of walloping these first few overs and still turn it around. Or, get hammered in the first ODI and still win the series. Either way, we're golden."
Hitcho in Toronto in the TMS inbox

8th over - 44-0 New rules today - the batting side can choose one of the two powerplays after the 10th over, which I think everyone agrees is a ruddy good idea. Here's Flintoff, and that's a fine delivery, just holding its line and beating Sehwag outside off-stump. Freddie gets one to nip back into Sehwag, but Sehwag picks up one courtesy of an inside edge. Just one from Freddie's over, the man is a marvel with a pill in his hands.

7th over - 43-0 Anderson strays onto Sehwag's pads again and is clipped away for a couple, Broad making a diving stop on the boundary. Trick (see below) - nice name, like it. Then again, I'm called Ben Dirs, so I pretty much like everyone else's name. In answer to your question, the latter - he slides onto Gambhir's pads and is whipped away for another four. The ball travelling over the outfield like a puck over ice... India could be in for a big total...

6th over - 36-0 Gambhir gives Broad the charge and flat-bats him to the long-off fence, like a man attacking an intruder with a baseball bat... you've had the brawn, so now for the brain, a silky glide to the third-man fence from Gambhir. And another! Gambhir strolls down the track and flicks Broad away to the long-leg fence. The Indian openers could only be more comfortable if they were batting in smoking jackets.

5th over - 24-0 Gambhir has a dart, heaving Anderson just over the fielder at mid-on and away for four. Bit of width from Anderson next ball, but Gambhir cuts straight to Collingwood at backward-point. Ripsnorter from Anderson, getting one to spit and move away from the groping Gambhir, but the left-hander picks up one more with a deflection to fine-leg.

"Morning, Ben. I think that nobody embodies the current one-day side's inconsistency more than Jimmy Anderson - which one will turn up? The controlled swingster with an armful of yorkers, or the errant, short-and-wide/full-on-the-legs trier who goes at seven or eight an over? Which one does it look like today?"
Trick, Taipei, in the TMS inbox

4th over - 19-0 Gambhir is in some serious nick coming into this match having scored tons in his last two Tests against Australia. He was banned for the last Test for engaging in a spot of handbags with Shane Watson. He's struggling to get going so far today, however, although he nicks the strike with a mis-timed drive into the covers. By the way, the side batting first have won four out of six times in Rajkot.

3rd over - 18-0 You can't bowl there sunshine - Anderson strays onto Sehwag's pads and is turned away for his second four. Sehwag makes room outside off-peg and twirls Anderson to the backward-point boundary before Anderson digs one in and is called for a wide by Umpire Tiffin. A hideous heave from Sehwag from the final delivery, that shot made me do a little sick.

2nd over - 8-0 It's Stuart Broad to bowl from the Airport End. Why's it called that? Sehwag blocks his first delivery but Broad slides onto Sehwag's pads with his second delivery and the right-handed thumper clips him away for four. Grrrr, that was slinky. One more for Sehwag and it wasn't really a bad one from Broad.

1st over - 3-0 Righto, we're off, and it's Jimmy Anderson to the left-handed Gautam Gambhir... bit of hoop into the left-hander, encouraging for England. This is India's first ODI in India since last November... the strange stats keep coming... decent lbw shout from Anderson, but it pitched outside leg. Anderson follows up with a huge wide before Gambhir picks up India's first runs off the bat with a flip to long-leg for a couple.

"I'm a tad nervous, having not been able to resist the temptation of sticking it to a few Aussies over the recent series. As much as I hate gloating incessantly when we win, pretending I've never liked cricket much anyway when we lose, and reminding every Aussie at every opportunity of the recent results in India, they do say 'When in Rome...'."
Andy, Brisbane, in the TMS inbox

0328: I have just been informed that the highest score in 10 ODIs on this ground was 349-9 made by New Zealand in 1999, so bowlers can get some tap. Apparently it's not even 9am in Rajkot... weird...

"Hi Ben, sat watching and waiting on the text at work. Very heavy-eyed but hoping KP's jet-lagged lame ducks feel a little more spritely than me. I can see us keeping them to 220 and then snatching defeat from the jaws of victory."
James the Nurse, York, in the TMS inbox

India: V Sehwag, G Gambhir, SK Raina, MS Dhoni (capt, wk), Yuvraj Singh, RG Sharma, YK Pathan, Harbhajan Singh, Z Khan, RP Singh, MM Patel

England: IR Bell, MJ Prior (wk), OA Shah, KP Pietersen (capt), A Flintoff, PD Collingwood, SR Patel, RS Bopara, SCJ Broad, SJ Harmison, JM Anderson

0310: Morning all. Let's not muck about: England skipper Kevin Pietersen has won the toss and decided tohave a bowl at the Madhavrao Scindia Cricket Ground in Rajkot. England haven't won a one-day series in India since 1984-85. One thing's for certain, England will need more than the 98 they mustered against a Mumbai pick and mix outift earlier this week. They were a load of old rubbish. Groundsman Dhiraj Parsana reckons the pitch "should offer something for everyone, including Geoffrey Boycott's mother". There's a bit of grass on it, which explains KP's decision.

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see also
Dismal England thrashed by India
14 Nov 08 |  England
Pietersen praises 'super' India
14 Nov 08 |  England
England's Indian challenge
12 Nov 08 |  England
Pietersen calm after dismal loss
11 Nov 08 |  England
Flintoff ton sets up England win
09 Nov 08 |  England
Tendulkar rested for one-dayers
05 Nov 08 |  Cricket
England in India 2008
14 Nov 08 |  Cricket


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