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India v England 1st Test

FIRST TEST, Chennai (day five):
India 241 & 387-4 bt England 316 & 311-9 dec by 6 wickets

Sachin Tendulkar hit his 41st Test century as India scored a magnificent six-wicket win over England in Chennai.

Tendulkar and Yuvraj Singh (85) shared an unbroken stand of 163 as the home side made 387-4 - the fourth highest successful run chase in Test history.

England began the final day well when Andrew Flintoff had Rahul Dravid caught behind for four.

But they could not capitalise on a wearing pitch and Tendulkar hit the winning boundary to finish 103 not out.


By Mark Mitchener

e-mail (with 'For Mark Mitchener' in the subject), text 81111 (with "CRICKET" as the first word) or use 606. (Not all contributions can be used)

1055: We've heard from all the main participants now... and so I'm going to wrap things up here. Obviously a disappointing result for England - but we shouldn't let that detract from a brilliant performance by India over the last two days. Records are there to be broken, after all. And I'm not sure how many neutrals have been following events at Chennai - but I hope you'd agree it's been an absolutely cracking Test match.
Join the debate on 606

Anyway, thanks for your company over the last couple of days (and I must also apologise to Sam Lyon, who was on live text duties for Days 1-3 and declared that if England lost from that position, it would be my fault!) You can continue to debate the match on 606, but thanks again for all your hundreds of e-mails and texts (whether banana-related or not) - sorry we can't use more. Ben Dirs is back in this chair for the first three days of the Second Test which begins at 0400 GMT on Friday - I hope you'll join him then.

"I think this was Sachin's best innings that I have ever seen. I'm a positive player and I always back myself - if it's in my area I go for it and play my shots. The wicket was turning, but Sachin and Yuvraj made it look very easy"
Man-of-the-match Virender Sehwag

1052: And the man-of-the-match award goes to the man who changed the game... Virender Sehwag (with honourable mentions in dispatches for Strauss and Tendulkar).

"We weren't brilliant on the field for the first three days, so it was important to play the last two days with a lot of intensity. Without Sehwag's innings we would have been defending this Test match, but Sachin and Yuvraj really performed when it was needed. The self-belief was always there, but the Chennai crowd was fantastic for us"
India captain Mahendra Dhoni

"It's a very bitter pill to swallow, but both sides can be very proud of coming here to start up Test cricket again two weeks after the [Mumbai] tragedies. Sehwag obviously started fantastically last night, then it was difficult to set fields to the Little Master from Mumbai today. There's a lot of positives for us to take - we'll hope to come back strongly on Friday, but well played India"
England captain Kevin Pietersen

1042: Time for the presentation. ECB chief Giles Clarke hands a silver salver to the local chief of police. What will KP say?

"See 0838 e-mail yesterday - which branch of Woolies is Chris W going to bare his backside in? As if things weren't bad enough for Woolies!"
David, Grim and Up North, in the TMS inbox

Text in your views on 81111
"Instead of having a go at KP and the boys - let's appreciate a brilliant performance by India. Silver lining is that the Aussies are now no longer number one"
Carl, Halifax, via text on 81111

"This is a very important hundred - as if the team wins, the hundred is very special. The game plan was to look for opportunities to score runs and not get bogged down. But Yuvi batted brilliantly, as did Viru and Gautam. To score 387 on a track where the ball was bouncing and jumping awkwardly was great"
Sachin Tendulkar

"Sachin said 'play your natural game', but my dreams have come true as I used to dream of winning a Test match with him. I tried to stay focused and not get involved in any conversations [with England]"
Yuvraj Singh

Sunil Gavaskar
"This century by Sachin Tendulkar will silence all the ignoramuses who say he doesn't score big centuries when it really matters, and question his temperament and ability"
Sunil Gavaskar on TMS


He's reached 100
1030 - Ind 387-4 (98.3 overs)
With the crowd all on their feet, Yuvraj nudges a single to bring Tendulkar on strike again with just four needed. Can he win it with a boundary? Yes he can - he paddle-sweeps Swann to reach his 41st Test century, and Yuvraj lifts him off the ground in celebration!

1029 - Ind 382-4 (98 overs)
Seven needed - Tendulkar pushes Monty for a single to reach 99. What odds Yuvraj to win it with a six? Not likely. Yuvraj rather deliberately defends his stumps, to the delight of the crowd, then nudges a single to leg. Five needed, Tendulkar on 99. He swings and misses at a long-hop down the leg side.

"Who said Test cricket is falling way behind ODIs and T20? Let me tell you, this Test (as with the recent Ind v Aus series too) makes absolute pulsating viewing! I was up at 6.30am watching Freddie tear into Yuvi - it was Test cricket of the highest order. England can hold their heads high though KP's batting is a worry… and STOP having a go at Monty. He'll come back... cream always rises to the top"
Chags, UK, in the TMS inbox

1025 - Ind 380-4 (97 overs)
Swann bowls to Tendulkar, who opens the face to guide a single to reach 98 with nine runs needed. Yuvraj square-drives and they run two - surely he won't deny Sachin his ton? The crowd cheer Yuvraj playing forward defensives, clearly he doesn't want to get lynched for preventing Tendulkar's century!

Text in your views on 81111
"I'm in a telesales job, on a final warning and need to make the phone cook. England have rendered me speechless. Not overly helpful in my line of business. Thanks England"
Mike, London, via text on 81111

1022 - Ind 377-4 (96 overs)
In case you haven't heard, this is set to be the fourth-highest successful fourth-innings run chase in the history of Test cricket, and the highest in Asia. Tendulkar sweeps Monty for four - he has 92 with 15 needed for victory. The "Little Master" then reaches 96 with a fluent cover-driven four - he now needs to score just four runs, with 11 needed. He nudges a single to keep the strike - and who can blame him?

"What bright spark invented work? I am at my desk having to go into a meeting shortly so am going to miss the updates on TMS! My Indian boyfriend took the morning off to watch it, on second thoughts probably best I am in work, tensions were running very high over our morning porridge!"
Rachel, London, in the TMS inbox

1018 - Ind 368-4 (95 overs)
Drinks are brought on for the Indian batsmen, who are both moving a little stiffly now after their marathon stand which is now worth 142. Swann spins one round Yuvraj's legs, but Prior fumbles the stumping chance. Not that it would alter the likely result, but KP looks agonised anyway. A single brings Tendulkar on strike - he needs to score 13 out of 20 runs for a hundred, but he dabs a single - so Yuvraj needs 19 out of 19 to reach three figures.

"This Test match is just like watching Nigel Mansell at the 1986 Adelaide Grand Prix - everything in control, a world championship in the bank only to have a major blowout with 19 laps to go!"
Jacqui Hawtree in the TMS inbox

1014 - Ind 366-4 (94 overs)
With 26 needed, England rotate their bowlers again - Monty replaces Freddie. Yuvraj aims a lusty blow towards long-on, doesn't quite connect cleanly but it lands safely between three fielders and they run one. Tendulkar clubs a three down to long-off to reach 87, and a single takes Yuvraj to 80. With 21 needed, he may need to hit four sixes next over to get his ton.

"It took Sehwag only 68 balls to undo every correct move England made for almost four days. This is going to be one memorable win. Way to go, India!"
Vineet, Mumbai, India, in the TMS inbox

1008 - Ind 361-4 (93 overs)
I suppose one of the only questions left to ask is that with only 30 needed, will Yuvraj overtake Tendulkar, and will the left-hander's acceleration prevent either of them from scoring a century? Swann spears one in at Tendulkar, it flicks his pad, beats Prior over his shoulder and skims away for four leg byes - just about sums up England's day.

Text in your views on 81111
"This is the most annoyed I've ever been with the England cricket team. Ever"
Matt in Leeds, via text on 81111

1005 - Ind 357-4 (92 overs)
Even Flintoff can't seem to work the magic any more as Yuvraj carves him over backward point for four. He shoulders arms for the rest of the over. And time for another Mitchener Confident Prediction: Either India are going to win this match, or you're about to read live text commentary on the most exciting spell of play in the history of Test cricket. Stay tuned.

Blue Peter presenter Peter Duncan dressed as Bananaman
"Bananaman had an enemy called Weatherman [0842]!? Just shows how times have changed. These days the bad guy has a nuclear-powered laser gun that wipes out cities and deflects the path of planets. In the 80s the bad guy would send over a cold front with light drizzle and winds getting stronger in the afternoon"
Mick, Birmingham, in the TMS inbox

0959 - Ind 353-4 (91 overs)
Monty's off despite bowling that maiden, and Swann returns - but he sends down a full toss which Yuvraj whips through mid-wicket for four. How England could do with one of their spinners to bowl like Pat Pocock for Surrey against Sussex in 1972, when he took seven wickets in 11 balls on the last evening... even though the match was eventually drawn!
INTERNET LINK: Pocock's amazing feat against Sussex (CricketArchive)

Text in your views on 81111
"I cannot believe England have snatched defeat from the jaws of victory. I really thought and hoped they were going to get a win on the board. 5-0 [in the ODIs] and one down with one to play in the Tests is embarrassing!"
Jack, via text on 81111

0953 - Ind 348-4 (90 overs)
Flintoff finds a leading edge against Yuvraj, but it falls just short of mid-off. Three more singles, and we've now exceeded the 347 India scored in their fourth innings in that tied Test in 1986. Drinks break, but it may take more than just liquid refreshment if England are to get back into this game.
INTERNET LINK: The tied Test from 1986, on CricketArchive

"Re yesterday's missive [at 0726 in Day 4's live text] - some waters have broken, contractions started, midwife's been notified. Looks like we'll have a result today. Why hasn't Pietersen bowled himself? That often works"
Carol in Portugal [awaiting her first grandchild] in the TMS inbox
[The best of luck to all concerned - MM]

0948 - Ind 345-4 (89 overs)
After five overs with the second new ball, we're back with spin - Monty Panesar, your country needs you. The Northants twirler adjusts his patka before trotting in to bowl to Tendulkar, but the "Little Master" is watchful and sees off a maiden over.

"To Chewy from London [0741]: Bremen is not a bad place at all, I am here as well. Sitting in my bed and preparing for my exam (ahem, ahem). India is going to win this one, but I am just said that it seems to be the end of the road for 'The Wall'"
Rahul in the TMS inbox

0945 - Ind 345-4 (88 overs)
Anderson's off, and that may be the last we see of him in this Test. Flintoff returns to bang in a bouncer at Yuvraj, who is able to walk through for a single through the covers. Tendulkar tickles another to reach 83. Just the two off the over, but with Flintoff unable to bowl both ends, the runs look likely to continue to flow.

"Continuing on the banana theme, my mom has hid the bananas in her room so that I can't find 'em, but I'm using my little bro as 12th man to sneak 'em out! Anyone else out there being deprived of a banana?"
Alistair, Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, in the TMS inbox

0939 - Ind 343-4 (87 overs)
Tendulkar knocks Harmison down to deep square leg for two, Simon Hughes on TMS can't understand why England keep offering the "Little Master" free runs down there. Harmy digs one towards Tendulkar's ribs, but he still manages to work a single to fine leg. Yuvraj rotates the strike again. Looking pretty ominous, this, for England.

"I seem to recall two years ago when we won in India and it was Shaun Udal's day to clean up that Monty was clearly ineffective under pressure that day. Move on two years and nothing appears to have changed. Adil Rashid must be getting itchy fingers"
Richard Dixon in the TMS inbox

0935 - Ind 339-4 (86 overs)
Tendulkar late-cuts Anderson for a single, and one senses the heart has gone out of England here. Yuvraj forward-prods another emphatic four past mid-off to reach 61, before stepping down the wicket to bash another through long-on. India need just 48 now.

"Five days in a row with little to no sleep thanks to this match and definitely worth the potential firing at my job. Let's hope it doesn't lead to a giant disappointment. Although, the banana pop-ups are making this painful ending a little easier to handle"
Mike, Canada, in the TMS inbox

0931 - Ind 330-4 (85 overs)
After that short but economical spell in mid-afternoon, Harmison returns to the England attack. But Simon Hughes on TMS feels India are "chipping away at the target, like shelling peas". Yuvraj works a single off his legs, as does Tendulkar, and Yuvraj finds the gap in the covers to keep the singles coming. Some sloppy cricket from England also allows a couple of overthrows when Flintoff's throw is not backed up.

"England seem to be on the verge of pulling off their party piece of snatching defeat from the jaws of victory. One invariable in a world of innumerable variables is England's capacity to disappoint"
Marcus in the TMS inbox

New ball
0925 - SECOND NEW BALL TAKEN - Ind 324-4 (84 overs)
With what Vic Marks on TMS describes as "the last throw of the dice" for England, the second new ball is taken, and the sparkling new cherry is handed to Anderson. But with most of the field still set back, he can't prevent Tendulkar guiding an easy single to mid-wicket. Another one takes Yuvraj to 53, while a well-run two for Tendulkar to wide mid-on brings up the century stand.

"I am at Hong Kong airport's Virgin lounge... it's foggy, and, as Han Solo says, I have a really bad feeling about this"
Shark in the TMS inbox

"Do the staff at the Bremen Ryanair check-in desk [see 0741] know how dangerous it is to upset a Wookiee?"
Andy Siviter, Birmingham, in the TMS inbox

0920 - Ind 320-4 (83 overs)
Swann bowls round the wicket to Yuvraj, who smears a single off his legs. Tendulkar steers another couple before nicking the strike.

"With the crowd as they are, India cannot play for a draw. Why not keep Harmison on, at a low run rate, forcing the batsmen into mistakes?"
Guy Child in the TMS inbox

That's 50
0916 - Ind 316-4 (82 overs)
Yuvraj nudges Anderson for a single to bring up his fourth Test fifty off 76 balls. Tendulkar turns a single off his legs, Jimmy goes round the wicket to Yuvraj but the singles keep flowing. India need 71 more to win.

"I wonder how many times has a batsman scoring a hundred in each innings ended on the losing side?"
N from India, in the TMS inbox
[Paul Grunill's research tells me the last couple of times it happened were in 2001 when Brian Lara made 221 and 130 in Sri Lanka, but his side lost by 10 wickets, not long after England batting coach Andy Flower made 142 and 199 not out for Zimbabwe against South Africa, who won by nine wickets - MM]

0910 - Ind 313-4 (81 overs)
The second new ball is available now, but not taken as England persist with Swann's right-arm off-spin. After an exchange of singles, Tendulkar guides another single into the covers, and Yuvraj nudges a leg bye to fine leg to keep the strike.

"My Kiwi mate Bob (aka Blobby) who is following this down the coast in Port Gentil, Gabon never thought that India looked like losing this one and I have to say that, for once, the old colonial looks like being correct. Despite the fact that bananas grow aplenty there he has not, as yet today, partaken of the fruit though is, he tells me, contemplating a curry for lunch"
David Roberts, Douala, Cameroon, in the TMS inbox

0906 - Ind 309-4 (80 overs)
Right, stick with me for what could be a thrilling final session of the game, whatever happens. Anderson returns, not having bowled since the morning session. Tendulkar and Yuvraj welcome him back to the attack by carving ones and twos at will as they did before the interval. Five from the over.

Vic Marks
"I'm wondering whether England will do something very uncommon in this match, and take the second new ball - which is available after one more over. It will make run-scoring easier, but should enhance their chances of getting Yuvraj out"
Vic Marks on TMS

"I don't think it's the fact KP 'delayed' the declaration (Paul Chaplin 0812), more that he seemed quite happy for the bats to crawl through a session or more without pushing the score up a notch. A bit of whoomph should have been the call"
Marc Jones in Hong Kong, in the TMS inbox

"What an interesting match! Both teams trying to snatch defeat from jaws of victory. Which team will succeed?"
Gopinath, Bangalore, in the TMS inbox


A ring of fire
0842: Recalling England's win in Mumbai three winters ago, Gus Fraser on TMS wonders whether Flintoff should stick Johnny Cash's "Ring of Fire" on the CD player in the dressing-room. They certainly need something to change their luck...
INTERNET LINK: Daily Telegraph report (March 2006) - Ring of Fire inspires Flintoff's England in Mumbai

Blue Peter presenter Peter Duncan dressed as Bananaman
"Bananaman also had an enemy called Weatherman who could control the weather, so maybe he could help England here by making it rain"
BBC Sport Interactive assistant editor (and shameless Wikipedia looker-upper) Paul Grunill

0840 - Ind 304-4 (79 overs)
87 more needed for India to pull off a famous victory. Yuvraj and Tendulkar milk Swann for more easy ones and twos - and that's tea, with just 83 more needed. There are still 40 overs available to be bowled today, and it's increasingly looking like India's day.

"I am thinking that there could be bowler changes for the next Test - I wonder if Rashid and [Amjad] Khan could make their debuts?"
Paul in Melbourne, in the TMS inbox

0836 - Ind 300-4 (78 overs)
Can Monty make the breakthrough before tea? Yuvraj jabs a single, then the runs keep flowing as they run a bye. Yuvraj ponders a reverse sweep but adjusts his shot to nudge the ball off his pads. Another big lbw shout from Monty as Yuvraj pads up, but he survives and then guides a single to square leg to bring up the 300 for India. Nearly all the crowd are on their feet now.

Blue Peter presenter Peter Duncan dressed as Bananaman
"Bananaman had some less famous sidekicks called Crow and Appleman. Any sign of either of them turning up to help Billy and keep him supplied with fruit?"
OSJ, Lincs, in the TMS inbox

0833 - Ind 297-4 (77 overs)
Tendulkar tries to slog-sweep, the ball rebounds off his pad to Cook at silly point, there are simultaneous appeals for lbw and a catch but both are fruitless. (Unlike the banana-eating messrs Bowden, Tendulkar and Ornstein). He then has a huge heave over deep mid-wicket and it lands just inside the boundary for a first-bounce four.

Text in your views on 81111
"One of the things I love about following cricket is the wonderfully random moments of TMS commentary that you certainly wouldn't get in any other sport such as telling us about a man and his empty water bottle!"
Natalie, Liverpool, via text on 81111

0829 - Ind 293-4 (76 overs)
Tendulkar misses out on a bye when it looks like non-striker Yuvraj's mind had wandered. He then sweeps Monty, fails to connect but they run a leg bye - the significance of which is that India now only need 100 to win. A long-hop by Monty gets the treatment it deserves as Yuvraj flat-bats it over cow corner for six! Tea in 11 minutes.

"A few years ago the great Eddie Merckx was asked who he wanted to win the Tour de France. His answer was that he wanted the best cyclist to win and that he hoped that it was Lance Armstrong - who won. For myself even though an ardent England supporter I hope the best team win. If that means India then so be it - we have only ourselves to blame after batting so slowly on day four. Great advert for Test cricket whoever wins"
Tony, ex of Middlesbrough now Seattle, in the TMS inbox

0825 - Ind 286-4 (75 overs)
Tendulkar sweeps Swann and they run three. Then Yuvraj sweeps and is hit on the pad, Swann leaps up and down like Zebedee to appeal, but umpire Harper is again unmoved. (Hawk-Eye thinks it would have hit middle and leg, about halfway up).

"Re: Chewy (0741). Didn't you know there is a credit crunch, expensive things these Millennium Falcons!"
Richard Carpenter, Norbiton, in the TMS inbox

0821 - Ind 283-4 (74 overs)
KP has a little chat with Monty, but Yuvraj uses the spin with a delicate paddle for two to fine leg, then flicks another two off his toes.

"Dunno about a Hole in the Wall, but this could be another brick in the wall for England and their Ashes hopes"
Pete West, Dubai, in the TMS inbox

0816 - Ind 279-4 (73 overs)
Yuvraj prods forward to Swann, England appeal for a slip catch to Colly as the ball flicks off Prior's gloves, but it was more in hope than expectation. Yuvraj guides a well-run two to fine leg, then gives himself room to steer a single to third man. He has 30.

"Sachin, on numerous occasions, expressed that one of his greatest regrets was not seeing India through to victory in the first Test against Pakistan in Chennai in 1999. (India lost that thriller by 12 runs, despite a ton from Sachin and I was there). This Test has an uncanny resemblance with that one nine years ago. Hope the result does not have any resemblance"
Ratnakar, Bangalore, India, in the TMS inbox

Monty Panesar
0812 - Ind 275-4 (72 overs)
England are back in "spin mode" as Monty replaces Flintoff. He'll aim at the vast craters of rough outside Yuvraj's off stump, but Yuvraj fluently sweeps for four. Then England have a moment of hope when Yuvraj hops down the track, plays and misses and has to stick his bat back into his crease as Prior removes the bails - but the third umpire says "not out". Yuvraj then tries a reverse sweep but misses.

"The fact that India look they could catch England suggests waiting to declare wasn't such a bad idea, but even if he's done the right thing, KP's going to take some heat if this ends in a draw. Life's not fair is it?"
Paul Chaplin in the TMS inbox[You're right, it's not! MM]

0808 - Ind 271-4 (71 overs)
India need 118 more runs at this stage, and needing a wicket, England turn to Swann again - so Harmy's off, despite having conceded just five runs in four wicketless overs. A single takes Tendulkar to 1,000 Test runs in 2008, then Yuvraj guides an easy single to leg to keep the strike.

"Sat in my classroom teaching Year 7s four and six-figure grid references here in Dubai. Keep nipping back to desk to check score... we need Tendulkar back in the hutch or else! Call me 'half-empty' but I don't think we will do it... Come on En-ger-land!"
Nick Cardall in the TMS inbox

0802 - Ind 269-4 (70 overs)
Tendulkar elegantly forces Flintoff for a single through the covers, Yuvraj wants a second run but the "Little Master" is taking no risks. Yuvraj jabs a single off his legs, then Tendulkar tips-and-runs a single to Monty at mid-on - "he picked his fielder well there" says Sunil Gavaskar (also known as the "Little Master" in his day) on TMS, as the Montster's throw to the stumps is wide.

"Hi, thanks for the live text. Here in Kenya we started watching the Test on our national TV but it's off the air now so this is the only way I can keep tabs on the progress to victory India are making. ST will guide them to a memorable win"
Albert Gitonga, Nairobi, in the TMS inbox

Blue Peter presenter Peter Duncan dressed as Bananaman
0755 - Ind 266-4 (69 overs)
This banana craze is getting out of hand - Billy Bowden yesterday, Tendulkar earlier today, and now my match-report colleague David Ornstein, sat next to me, demolishes one of the aforementioned yellow fruits. At this rate, Bananaman himself may be called up for live text duties for the second Test. Tendulkar carefully steers Harmison for a single through mid-wicket, then the female ground staff (in their dark red saris) are called upon for some running repairs to the bowler's footholes. They are soon joined by a man in a khaki-coloured shirt, who repeatedly prods the crease with a large stick.

0750 - Ind 265-4 (68 overs)
Tendulkar pushes Fred for a quick single, then Yuvraj steers a two to reach 21. Fred is still trying to engage him in banter.

A devoted fan of Sachin Tendulkar
"Tendulkar has one huge fan who paints his entire body in Indian colours and follows him around the country - I think Sachin leaves him tickets, as that's the only way he could be sure of getting into the games"
Jonathan Agnew on TMS

"It's important for India that Tendulkar stays there because even if he's in with tail-enders, they won't throw it away if he's there"
Sunil Gavaskar on TMS

Vic Marks
"Pietersen has a dilemma - Swann's been his most dangerous bowler but has leaked runs, while these two are also capable of punishing anything loose"
Vic Marks on TMS

0741 - Ind 262-4 (67 overs)
Flintoff still has a smirk on his face as Tendulkar dabs Harmison for a single and Yuvraj plays and misses a couple of times - one gets the impression England have a team tactic of trying to wind Yuvraj up into going for a big slog. Drinks break.

"TMS is keeping me sane, I'm stuck in Bremen airport having been told there will be a seven-hour delay, does anyone know why my Ryanair flight is delayed?"
Chewy from London in the TMS inbox
[Chewy, why are you flying Ryanair and are not flying with Han Solo in the Millennium Falcon as normal? MM]

That's 50
0737 - Ind 261-4 (66 overs)
KP, Freddie and Umpire Bananaman have a little three-way chat before Yuvraj edges a single - then Tendulkar finally reaches his 52nd Test fifty with a powerful square-driven single. The McNulty magic [see 0731] fails to work - Phil's back in the room and India are still only four down. Flintoff tries some backchat on Yuvraj, chirping away after nearly every single ball, but Yuvraj quite rightly isn't getting involved.

"Here in Kenya on BBC Prime we are watching 30-year-old 'Open all Hours' and every episode of 'Blackadder'. I guess we will get to see Goughie and Dale on 'Hole in the Wall' in another 30 years! Thank goodness for the live text on the cricket! Come on England - I need to get out and meet the girlies for lunch and want to bore them all with an England victory!"
Jane, Nairobi, Kenya, in the TMS inbox

0731 - Ind 259-4 (65 overs)
Not that we're superstitious here at the BBC Sport website, but our chief football writer Phil McNulty has just left the room, remarking to us that England took a wicket the last time he did that. Yuvraj swings and misses at a wild one from Harmy. Then, when Yuvraj fends one off, Harmy stupidly and needlessly hurls the ball straight at Yuvraj (who hadn't left his crease), who has to defend his torso for a second time. A single brings Tendulkar up to the plate again... but he can't penetrate the infield.

"This is cracker of a game! I think the last 10 overs will decide who wins. Being an Indian, my heart says India will win, but looking at past statistics, this is a tough ask! So far so good, India is going all right. It's just over 2.5 runs an over required, as long as wickets are intact. I am waiting for the last few overs!"
Sandeep Kumar, Singapore, in the TMS inbox

0727 - Ind 258-4 (64 overs)
We've gone from an all-spin attack to all-seam as Flintoff replaces Monty. Another Yuvraj single brings Sachin-on-49 back on strike to the crowd's delight. He gets down on one knee to duck a bouncer.

Simon Hughes
"The Indians love their statistics - one of them just came up to me and told me how many first-class wickets I'd got"
Simon Hughes, aka "The Analyst" - 466 first-class wickets for Middlesex, Durham and Northern Transvaal - on TMS
INTERNET LINK: Simon Hughes' career statistics on Cricinfo

0721 - Ind 257-4 (63 overs)
Interesting bowling change - Steve Harmison, nominally England's new-ball strike bowler, is brought on for the first time today. He took 0-33 from four overs last night, being savaged by Sehwag. Tendulkar digs out his first ball, then continues his steady progress with a single to reach 49. Yuvraj rotates the strike to bring the crowd to their feet - their hero Sachin is rapped on the pad, it's a half-decent shout, Harmy's confident but umpire Harper shakes his head. Hawk-Eye suggests it was just going over.

"Repeated mention of "Hole in the Wall" - is this a reflection on Rahul Dravid?"
Ashok in the TMS inbox

0716 - Ind 255-4 (62 overs)
With the field now spread out, Tendulkar dabs Monty for a quick single to mid-wicket. Yuvraj strides down the track to hoist him over mid-on for a first-bounce four. A high-risk shot - miss it and you'll be bowled or stumped - but it came off. A single brings Tendulkar back on strike, with the crowd baying for a half century, but a single takes him to 48. This stand is already worth 31, seemingly in no time at all.

"Daniel Woolstone [0517] is not alone - my tea-boy had also gone AWOL until yesterday. Having taken great delight in telling him the score at lunch on the 4th day, he sloped off looking sorry for himself and wasn't seen again... until an appearance first thing this morning; his confidence seemingly restored"
Alex Brown, Abu Dhabi, in the TMS inbox

0712 - Ind 248-4 (61 overs)
Yuvraj guides Swann for a single. Four of Tendulkar's 40 Test centuries have come on this ground, he may need another today if India are to win. A single takes him to 46, then Yuvraj bashes his first four between mid-off and cover. He then slog-sweeps a four towards some delighted Indian fans behind the mid-wicket fence - an expensive over for Swann.

"It seems we are on track for victory with 200-3 before lunch, target 287-4 before tea and 100 runs in the final session with about five or six wickets should be achievable"
Sudharsan, Singapore, in the TMS index

0707 - Ind 238-4 (60 overs)
Tendulkar gets a thick edge wide of Colly at slip and they run two. He then goes for the big one, shovelling Monty over square leg and down to the fence for four to get the Indian fans waving their flags again.

"Hi Mark, it's always great to read your comments as well as all those coming in from around the world, but it is a bit frustrating to be able to watch it - do England look threatening enough to wrap this one up?"
Shaun, Adelaide (via Sheffield) in the TMS inbox
[Watching England is nearly always frustrating, I think it's compulsory! MM]

Blue Peter presenter Peter Duncan dressed as Bananaman
0704 - Ind 232-4 (59 overs)
More Bananaman action - with Billy Bowden having indulged at square leg yesterday, Tendulkar summons India's 12th man, who brings him a banana as well as a chest guard. The chest guard may protect him from being battered by the outside-leg-stump line Monty's been bowling - but will the banana unleash any super-powers? He steers Swann for a single, then Yuvraj is off the mark with a swept single. Tendulkar looks capable of scoring a single off every ball, while Yuvraj then goes for one of his characteristic legside slog-sweeps but fails to connect.

"Cracking cricket and stories of heartfelt reunions across this great globe. Is there anything that TMS can't fix? Maybe Cilla should have a guest spot. Bravo chaps, loving the human angle"
Ben in the TMS inbox

0659 - Ind 229-4 (58 overs)
Monty tosses one in down the leg side which Tendulkar sweeps just past Prior's feet for four. Aggers says Prior is having to "act as a hockey goalkeeper", keeping his pads together at anything down the leg side. Tendulkar dabs a single - Monty has plenty of rough to aim at with the left-handed Yuvraj on strike, but can't find the edge.

Text in your views on 81111
"Don't worry people. England will wrap this up after lunch and win by 61 runs in the end. Trust me"
Dave, via text on 81111

0656 - Ind 224-4 (57 overs)
Yuvraj Singh strides to the crease - clearly he's a fine, aggressive player in the one-day game but "is he reliable enough in this pressure situation?" ponders my "gaffer" Paul Grunill. Swann bowls round the wicket to the left-handed Yuvraj with three close catchers plus a Reasonably Short Extra Cover.

"The idea for "Hole in the Wall" was taken from a Japanese show that has been on for a few years here"
Dave Webb, Okinawa, Japan, in the TMS inbox

Wicket falls
0652 - WICKET - Laxman c Bell b Swann 26 - Ind 224-4 (56.4 overs)
A single from Laxman gets India off double-Nelson, then Tendulkar sweeps for a comfortable single. But when Laxman tries to guide Swann to leg, he guides it straight to Bell who takes a reflex catch at short leg! Big wicket.

0650 - Ind 222-3 (56 overs)
Panesar is in Ashley Giles mode, bowling over the wicket into the rough outside Tendulkar's leg stump. Tendulkar is watchful, and a maiden ensues.

Text in your views on 81111
"Think England need one magic spell to get these wickets during the afternoon session! If we just pick up the odd wicket through the day we won't get there!"
Natalie, Liverpool, via text on 81111

0647 - Ind 222-3 (55 overs)
Can Swann make the breakthrough? After a single from Laxman, Tendulkar gloves it past the stumps and they run a couple. A single takes him to 31. And we've had a few suggestions for where Steve in Perth [0551] can watch the game...

"Steve, there is no better place to watch the cricket in Perth (apart from the Waca where I will be) than the Left Bank next to the Swan in East Freo" Lee, Perth
"Paddy Maguires Irish pub - Subiaco. And it's on Setanta Sports" Andrew Baker, Sydney

0642 - Ind 218-3 (54 overs)
Monty comes over the wicket to Laxman, who cuts the first ball of the session down to third man for a single. Aggers on TMS explains how media opinion was hugely split at the interval over the likely result - though Gus Fraser is going for England ("65-35"). Tendulkar keeps the score going with a two to reach 28, while Laxman may catch him up soon after adding three more.

And for those of you asking why we keep saying four results are possible, rather than three - it could be an England win, an India win, a draw or a tie.

0639: We're ready to resume - the Montster has changed ends.


0606: Right, while I grab some brekky, have a listen to TMS during the lunch interval - Simon Mann will be chatting to national newspaper journalists John Etheridge, Richard Hobson and David Hopps.

Vic Marks
"Whoever's scripting this Test is doing a magnificent job. I still quite fancy England, but with Laxman looking good and Tendulkar still there, I just don't know. England's seamers have given away too many free runs, but Flintoff can't bowl all day and Pietersen will need Harmison at some point, although it looks like he doesn't trust him. Swann's getting more turn and bounce than Panesar, but he gives away runs more freely. India will be looking for a win, but I don't think a draw's out of the question either - all four results are still possible"
Vic Marks on TMS

0600 - Ind 213-3 (53 overs)
Monty takes a rest with figures of 14-2-50-0 (0-14 from seven this morning), Swann returns and some Vaughan-style field tinkering means this may be the last over before lunch. Tendulkar uncharacteristically goes for a big slog-sweep from outside off stump towards mid-wicket, but it turns, bounces and misses everyone and two leg-byes are run. Swann gets more turn off the last ball of the session, but Tendulkar defends his stumps and Swann has his first maiden in Test cricket. That's lunch - 82 runs and two wickets in the session - and 174 more runs are needed by the home side.

"Excitement hard to contain in my lonely night vigil in the Eastern US. The cat yawned when I squealed on PC's Gambhir catch"
Sid Bayan, rural Virginia, in the TMS inbox

0555 - Ind 211-3 (52 overs)
Freddie overpitches and Tendulkar works it off his legs for a single. Another well-timed drive from Laxman, straight back past the bowler this time, brings another four and takes his score to 20.

"Hole in The Wall [see 0510] is already on Aussie TV, and to show you the standard of TV (or the viewing public) over here it's actually one of the most watched programmes, along with Friends, The Kids of Degrassi Street (I kid you not) and Two and a Half Men. If you're longing for British TV however there's always the double episode of The Bill on Saturday nights. C'mon England"
Chris, Melbourne, in the TMS inbox

0551 - Ind 206-3 (51 overs)
A change of direction by Monty - he bowls over the wicket, into the rough to Tendulkar, who nudges him into the covers for a single.

"As much as I enjoy the updates, I wondered if anyone knew where I could watch the cricket in Perth, WA (western suburbs)? Even though this would mean my kids don't get the Christmas tree up until the hangover clears"
Steve in Perth, in the TMS inbox

0546 - Ind 205-3 (50 overs)
With Jimmy withdrawn, England turn to Flintoff again - so Harmison still hasn't bowled all day. Is it a question of injury, or trust? Simon Hughes reveals on TMS that he spoke to bowling coach Ottis Gibson earlier, and there's a slight injury doubt over Harmison as he may have tweaked a muscle while batting yesterday. But presumably he must be fit enough to bowl, as otherwise there would be no point in his being out on the field. After Tendulkar runs a bye, another "shot of the day" contender from Laxman as he cover-drives for four again.

Vic Marks
"England have got to be patient with Monty - look at Harbhajan's figures from the third innings, he took 1-91 and he's got a lot more experience in these conditions"
Vic Marks on TMS

0540 - Ind 200-3 (49 overs)
The runs continue to flow as Laxman beautifully cover-drives a half-volley from Monty for four to bring the crowd to their feet. Prior claps his gloves together to encourage Monty, who keeps the rest of the over wrapped up tightly - 20 minutes until lunch.

"First time I've contributed to the live text, long time fan! I've got it on the laptop and the commentary on the DAB while duveted up. Got made redundant last week so no need to get up early, I can enjoy an all-nighter with the cricket! Got to start getting into the winning habit again otherwise next summer's Ashes could get very messy for us... Keep up the good work!"
James in the TMS inbox

0537 - Ind 196-3 (48 overs)
Laxman cover-drives a loose one from Jimmy for his first four, then a single allows Tendulkar to flick another four over slip. ("A wristy flourish you might see on a fast pitch like the Waca", says Aggers on TMS). KP and Freddie consult, possibly about a bowling change as Jimmy is bowling a little raggedly.

"That's quite harsh, posting that link to the 'Hole in the Wall' series when you know full well us overseas types aren't able to view it. Bad form Sirrah!"
Lachlan Kerr, Malaysia, in the TMS inbox
[Hey, I don't make the rules about who can watch and listen to stuff and who can't! Maybe you could try to persuade Malaysian TV to buy it off the Beeb! MM]

0531 - Ind 187-3 (47 overs)
Laxman pops one into the air but it lands safely into the mid-wicket area. Then, in a strange moment, VVS indicated he wasn't ready as he plays defensively and Ump Harps calls "dead ball". It's smiles all round between Monty and VVS though, and the tall right-hander nicks the strike with a single to fine leg.

"I'm sat here in Dubai at work constantly using F5 in the hope of inducing a wicket or two when another surprise greets me - my brother's name appearing in the inbox enquiring about the fate of Dale Winton. I didn't realise he was such a fan of his work"
Dave Pass (brother of Andy Pass, 0510), Dubai, in the TMS inbox

0528 - Ind 186-3 (46 overs)
VVS ducks a bouncer from Jimmy, then guides another single to leg.

Sunil Gavaskar
"Panesar's bowling far too quickly on a flat trajectory - when Swann bowled slower and tossed it up, he got turn and bounce"
Indian batting legend Sunil Gavaskar on TMS

0523 - Ind 185-3 (45 overs)
Tendulkar is watchful against Monty, but a leg bye brings Laxman on strike, and he's off the mark with a flick off his legs.

"Mark, in what I hope is not an omen, my Victorian-style mailbox I installed last summer and my Union Flag pole on my garage roof have both collapsed in the midst of a blizzard here in the Upper Midwest. Despite my protestations the wife won't let me clamber up on the roof to raise the flag"
Andrew, Minneapolis, MN, in the TMS inbox

0519 - Ind 183-3 (44 overs)
New batsman is VVS Laxman, who prods his first ball to backward point. Just when India were looking comfortable, the pendulum swings back towards England - we could have plenty more twists and turns today.

Wicket falls
0517 - WICKET - Gambhir c Collingwood b Anderson 66 - Ind 183-3 (43.5 overs)
Gambhir has to duck an Anderson bouncer, then uncharacteristically hangs his bat out and gets a thickish edge to gully where Colly takes a great tumbling catch!

"I'm the only English person working for an Indian company and I started on the same date as the first ODI. The tea-boy has been taking great delight in bringing me my morning beverage whilst updating me on the scores throughout the series. Happily I have not seen a cup of tea for four days!"
Daniel Woolstone, Dubai, in the TMS inbox

0513 - Ind 183-2 (43 overs)
A rapid over from Monty as Tendulkar and Gambhir manage just a single apiece.

0510 - Ind 181-2 (42 overs)
Anderson strays down the leg side to Tendulkar, who's not happy with people moving in front of the sightscreens, but the "Little Master" ends a run of 11 dot balls with a single.

Dale Winton
Darren Gough
"What's this about gameshows starring Dazzler Gough and Dale Winton in the UK? Doesn't dear old Dale do Supermarket Sweep anymore? Shame we don't get it here in Oz as I'd happily tune in. I thought Victoria 'Pendle Power' Pendleton looked rather fetching in her blue number at last night's award ceremony. As for England, please clean up these last eight wickets so I wind up my colleagues at work and tell them how KP and the boys will give them a sound thrashing in blighty next year!"
Andy Pass, Canberra, Australia, in the TMS inbox
[The Gough/Winton show is a cult show on BBC1 called "Hole in the Wall", with Gough and other celebrities trying to dodge through weird-shaped holes in giant moving walls, while Winton shouts "Bring on the Wall!". Has to be seen to be believed, really - MM]
Watch Darren Gough in "Hole in the Wall" on BBC iPlayer
Photo gallery: Victoria Pendleton and others at Sports Personality

0501 - Ind 180-2 (41 overs)
Gambhir takes a big stride to Monty, smothering the spin with a combination of bat and pad, and we have the first maiden of the day as Mr Panesar keeps it tight. Drinks break time.

Simon Hughes
"My rickshaw ran out of petrol this morning in the middle of a three-lane highway, it was more scary than anything else I've seen here. I felt sorry for the driver so I helped him push it to the side of the road"
Former Middlesex and Durham seamer Simon Hughes, aka "The Analyst", on TMS

0457 - Ind 180-2 (40 overs)
It's a double change in the bowling as James Anderson - who got knocked round the park by Sehwag in the only two overs he bowled last night - replaces Flintoff. Tendulkar tips-and-runs a quick single to Cap'n KP at mid-on but his underarm throw misses the stumps. Gambhir (whose bat has been hand-inscribed "Dear Gautam, make lots of ton, best wishes, Sehwag" by his opening partner) turns an easy single to Alastair Cook, who's out sweeping on the mid-wicket boundary. Tendulkar and Gambhir are happy to rotate the strike, you sense the game is starting to slip away from England the longer these two get set.

"I'm predicting another retirement announcement among India's veteran batsmen soon. Actually, I'm kind of hoping for one (no disrespect to you-know-who walking back into the pavilion)!"
Virinder, Portland, Oregon, USA, in the TMS inbox

Monty Panesar
0451 - Ind 176-2 (39 overs)
After that expensive over from Swann, it's Monty time! His first ball to Tendulkar (who was his first Test victim three winters ago) sees the ball fly straight to Bell at silly point... off the pad. Monty needs to calm down his appealing a little. As well as the helmeted Bell, there's a slip in and Strauss perched at the position I like to call Reasonably Short Extra Cover. But Tendulkar steers a single through backward point, and Gambhir rocks back to carve a four past third man.

"Just nipped into the kitchen to make the first of many coffees and Freddie strikes... that's me going to the kitchen every 30 seconds for the next few hours"
George in Skelmersdale, in the TMS inbox

0446 - Ind 171-2 (38 overs)
Gambhir shoulders arms to Flintoff, before getting a slightly fortunate edge past the stumps for four and then guiding a two to leg. Fred is switching his angle of attack to the left-hander, bowling round and then over the wicket, but Gambhir looks fairly comfortable at this stage.

"I've been reading the text updates the following day... and it's not the same. It's like your mates talking in the pub about a party you didn't go to. So here I am... better be worth it...soon as I turn up, Dravid out! Didn't you miss me!"
Vicki Hartley in the TMS inbox

Angus Fraser
"Swann's yet to bowl a maiden in this match - I think India's batsmen seem to have many more options than England's"
Former Middlesex and England seamer Angus Fraser on TMS

0441 - Ind 165-2 (37 overs)
Tendulkar reacts late but guides Swann down to Monty at fine leg for a single, as does Gambhir. Monty is temporarily a ball magnet as Tendulkar paddle-sweeps Swann from outside off stump for two. Are they deliberately targeting the Montster? Tendulkar then carefully tickles another two to third man, before another paddle-sweep past leg slip for four. 10 runs from that over (nine to Sachin).

Text in your views on 81111
"Mark, am on the nightshift, thanks to Sehwag my fingernails cannot be bitten any further. Will England snatch defeat from the jaws of victory?"
Dan in Southampton, via text on 81111

0436 - Ind 155-2 (36 overs)
Flintoff goes round the wicket to Gambhir, but bowls his third no-ball of the day. Aggers reveals on TMS that Billy B is still waiting to see whether he'll be standing in the second Test, or whether Asad Rauf gets his visa sorted out in time - otherwise, Bananaman could be on his way back home to New Zealand for Christmas tonight. Switching to over the wicket, Fred bowls another no-ball, so it's a long over, which concludes as Gambhir works a two off his legs.

Michael Vaughan
"It's going to be a tricky day for us. I believe it's a must-win game for England. It's a game we have to win to try and get momentum up to next year's Ashes"
Former England captain Michael Vaughan, speaking at BBC Sports Personality of the Year

"For England to win, I reckon they need to take six or seven wickets by tea. For India to win, if they can limit the damage to four wickets by tea they will be in with a shout. Either way it's a cracking prospect to promote Test match cricket"
Gavin, Bradford, in the TMS inbox

That's 50
0430 - Ind 151-2 (35 overs)
Gambhir reaches his eighth Test fifty from 105 balls - having played the support role to Sehwag's assault yesterday - with a single off Swann. Still wearing his sunglasses, Swanny is then down on one knee with an lbw appeal when Tendulkar offers no shot, but umpire Daryl Harper shakes his head.

"I think I just broke my hands clapping in celebration at Dravid losing his wicket. Could be something to do with my pre-cricket night out on the town..."
Ewan, in Dublin, in the TMS inbox

0426 - Ind 150-2 (34 overs)
Aggers takes the mic on TMS - he's "a little bit croaky", he explains - as the Flintoff-Tendulkar duel resumes. Another no-ball from Fred is signalled by Umpire Billy "Bananaman" Bowden (one there for anyone following yesterday's coverage). Tendulkar has the crowd on their feet with a superbly-timed cut past gully for four to bring up 150 for his side.
Day 4's text commentary - including Billy Bowden's banana

"Alas, it's bedtime for me in South Carolina, USA. But I hope to wake up to news of an enthralling England win. Congratulations to both sides for making an exciting match of it. Who would have thought that bowling at the rate of 1980s West Indies and batting at the rate of Chris Tavare and David Steele could make for such a good match?"
Mike Hart in the TMS inbox

0420 - Ind 145-2 (33 overs)
The question has been posed by some - can Graeme Swann become the new Shaun Udal for England? (As in, bowl them to victory in a Test in India, then never get picked again?!) Gambhir nudges a single, Tendulkar guides another off his legs.

"Good morning from the East Coast of the US. 'Tis 11pm here! I had to stay up and read about the first few minutes of Day 5 of this absolutely fantastic Test match! The world goes on in spite of those who wish it otherwise and try to do humanity harm. A hearty hurrah for the cricketers on both sides! Smashing, indeed!"
Joe, Philadelphia, in the TMS inbox

0416 - Ind 143-2 (32 overs)
A huge roar as Indian crowd favourite Sachin Tendulkar walks to the crease. He flicks his first ball just past short leg for a couple through mid-wicket, as Monty runs round from mid-on to field. The "Little Master" then has to weave away from a bouncer from the perspiring Flintoff, who then has him playing and missing. Great over.

Vic Marks
"The odds on the draw will have lengthened now Dravid's out"
Former Somerset and England off-spinner Vic Marks on TMS

Wicket falls
0411 - WICKET - Dravid c Prior b Flintoff 4 - Ind 141-2 (31.2 overs)
Dravid prods hesitantly outside off stump, Prior snaffles the catch and Flintoff's made the breakthrough!

0409 - Ind 141-1 (31 overs)
Off-spinner Graeme Swann, who removed Sehwag last night, will take the second over of the day and has four close catchers for Dravid - slip, leg slip, silly point and short leg. A stat attack on the former India skipper from Paul Grunill (my "gaffer" today) reveals that Dravid is averaging just 29 in the 14 Tests he has played in 2008. But he guides a single round the corner to fine leg, and Gambhir smacks a looser delivery past silly point for two. A single to third man takes his score to 48. Some prodigious turn from Swann out of the rough though, Colly takes it head-high at slip. Dravid dabs another single.

"I emigrated to snowy Vancouver four weeks ago and so miss the cricket coverage but I'm here with my Canadian beer watching the live TV ice hockey whilst waiting for the Barmy Army to battle it out. Please lads, a draw will simply NOT do!"
Justin in the TMS inbox

0405 - Ind 136-1 (30 overs)
Flintoff goes round the wicket to the left-handed Gambhir, who forces Paul Collingwood into a sprawling stop at backward point (that's gotta hurt) before Fred sends down a no-ball to get India going. Gambhir hooks a short one, but any hopes of a catch for the marauding Monty Panesar at long leg are thwarted as he miscues it and it sails very fine for four.

Text in your views on 81111
"Morning, Mark. Staying up to finish a massive literature review, pepped up on stimulation drink and hoping to listen to a match-winning final day's play from England to get me thru the rest of the night!"
Oli in Manchester, via text on 81111

0359: India's openers are ready for action - opener Gautam Gambhir, on 41 not out, is joined by Rahul Dravid. Or as they say on that Darren Gough/Dale Winton gameshow on Saturday nights, "Bring on The Wall!" Andrew Flintoff will take the first over.

Get involved on 606
0352: As the TMS crew get under way, our apologies again for the fact that we were hit with a power cut here at TV Centre which delayed publication of the last hour or so of our text coverage. But we want you to get involved - so e-mail us on (with "For Mark Mitchener" in the subject line), text us on 81111 or use 606. Let us know what you think.
Join the debate on 606

0343: In other cricket news, the rain-affected Test in Dunedin was finally washed out on day five, with the New Zealand players left playing cards in the dressing-room (as our photo shows) - while Chris Hoy was named as BBC Sports Personality of the Year last night. Lewis Hamilton was second and Rebecca Adlington (in a very nice red dress) was third.
REPORT: Dunedin Test drawn after wash-out
REPORT: Hoy named BBC Sports Personality

0335: Morning, everyone. I hope you're up with the lark for this one as we have a potential pre-Christmas cracker on our hands here. As BBC cricket correspondent Jonathan Agnew said in his close-of-play column yesterday, "you could not wish for a more enticing final day than what is on offer in Chennai".
Jonathan Agnew column

The match situation is that India will begin day five on 131-1, chasing a mammoth 287 to beat England, after we had a thrilling cameo innings of 83 from Virender Sehwag. I call it "Sehwag being Sehwag" - he can only bat one way, and he's put his side in with a faint hope of an unprecedented victory. By comparison, the highest successful fourth-innings chase in Tests in India was 276-5 (West Indies in Delhi in 1987/88), although in the famous tied Test on this ground in September 1986, India were bowled out for 347 chasing 348 to beat Australia.
INTERNET LINK: The tied Test from 1986, on CricketArchive

see also
England in India 2008
01 Dec 08 |  Cricket

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