India v England, first Test, day four, Ahmedabad, as it happened

Alastair Cook's unbeaten 168 carries England to 340-5 - a lead of 10 - by the close of day four in the first Test against India.

18 November 2012 Last updated at 11:41 GMT

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As it happened

  1. 1120: 

    Headingley 1981? Brisbane 2010? Johannesburg 1995? The memories are flooding back - England can reflect on a superb day's effort with the bat. They'll start the fifth day's play tomorrow morning effectively 10-5 in a one-innings match, a position of which we didn't dare dream four sessions ago. And with Cook and Prior in such form, who would dare predict what will happen? All four results are most certainly still possible.

    So, you REALLY won't want to miss the finale tomorrow morning - we'll be here from 0330 GMT to take you through the day, with TMS on air from 0345. Enjoy the rest of your Sunday, raise a glass to Captain Cook (who has shown plenty of Endeavour today) and make sure you join us on the morrow. See you then.


    Simon Aindow on Twitter: "Headingley '81 anyone?"

    Geoffrey Boycott, BBC Test Match Special

    "From Cook's point of view, he's the sort of lad who takes it [captaincy] in his stride and concentrates on his batting. Because most of the England batsmen have played sensibly, the Indian bowlers have looked pretty ordinary. But we've given ourselves a bit of pride back, and I hope the England supporters are listening."


    Mike Eyles on Twitter: "Only managed to watch this match between 8-11am on Sat and Sun and not seen us lose a wicket yet! Im taking credit for this!"

    Geoffrey Boycott, BBC Test Match Special

    "Thankfully we've convinced ourselves that it's not a minefield, we can play on it and just because there's slow turn, it won't necessarily get you out every time. Trott played very nicely until he got a good ball which turned. Another half-an-hour or 40 minutes and he'd have been away. Then we saw Pietersen, and that was the only sad part of the day. Was he going to play sensibly? No, he did something silly, with a premeditated sweep shot to a full delivery which pitched outside leg and hit the top of off stump. I don't think he will accept that sometimes he's too aggressive, and that he's got a problem against slow left-armers. You know that they'll always put left-arm spinners on against him now. I was glad that Bell settled down and played well - again, he nearly got in, but I liked the way he attempted to play. Samit got a shocker again - I do sometimes think that a lesser player new to Test cricket doesn't get the decisions. Would Tendulkar, or the captain of England have been given out there?"


    From Tim in Marlow, via text on 81111: "In answer to Chris in Newcastle [1046], my esteemed Indian work colleagues say that an England lead of 150 would be too much for India to chase!"

  7. 1105: 

    Geoff Boycott is joining Aggers for their review of the day, which will be available as the TMS Podcast later...


    Ed Salinger on Twitter: "Such a rocking feeling when you check the BBC updates on your mobile and there's no blue."

    Vic Marks, BBC Test Match Special

    "It was a brilliant, understated display of character and clear-headed technique from Cook. If anything, the captaincy seems to be enhancing him at the moment. The bowling got incredibly docile after a while, but to bat with such flawlessness, against such a massive deficit, is brilliant."

    Andrew Samson, BBC Test Match Special statistician

    "Cook has batted for eight hours, 22 minutes. There have been 306 balls in this partnership, Prior has faced 190 and Cook 116."

    We've also heard it's the longest individual innings (in terms of time) by an England player in a follow-on...


    Ryan Kirkham on Twitter: "Cook in this form is arguably one of the best batsmen England has ever had. Countless times he has produced when England need it most."


    From Jonathan in East Yorkshire, TMS inbox: "I am concerned that the captaincy may be impacting on Cook's batting. If you compare this innings with Brisbane, Cook would have had 200 by now."

  13. 1100: 
    CLOSE OF PLAY- Eng 340-5 (LEAD BY 10)

    India bring a couple of helmets out - neither side look too keen to bowl more than their quota of 90. And after that one-over spell from Yadav, India turn back to Ojha to bowl to Prior, with most of the close catchers routed - there's only a slip, a deep gully and a fairly short cover in. Bit of time-wasting shenanigans between deliveries doesn't impress umpire Dar, Prior plays out the maiden and that's the close of play. What a monumental effort by England's captain - Cook walks off with 168, Prior has 84, and this stand is an unbroken 141.


    From Richard in London, TMS inbox: "Atherton and Russell? I'd prefer to compare this to Botham and Dilley, Headingley '81, in their follow-on innings. Now, if they can get a 100 or so ahead, could Swann then do a Willis and get 8-43?"

  15. 1055: 
    Eng 340-5 (LEAD BY 10)

    We've two overs of the 90 to bowl, so safe to say we'll be playing until 1100 GMT. India aren't in much of a hurry, Zaheer's trotting in off his full run and Prior pulls a single through mid-wicket to take England's lead into double figures.


    Australia legend Shane Warne on Twitter: "Awesome batting from Captain Cook in India... Headlines during the Ashes series will be hilarious!"

  17. 1051: 
    Eng 339-5

    Yadav switches to the TMS commentary end for the first time - it's very rare that India have utilised both their seamers in tandem. Cook is only operating in singles at the moment, moving up to 168. Prior takes a single off the last ball, the Sussex man has 83 and this stand is now worth 83.


    Some other memories being stirred on Twitter:

    Nityanand Naik on Twitter: "Reminds me of that epic Eden Gardens match in which India defeated Australia after being asked to follow on. Can England do the same?"

    Andy Horrill ‏on Twitter: "Distinct VVS Laxman and Rahul Dravid feel about this Test."

  19. 1046: 
    Eng 337-5 (LEAD BY 7)

    India turn back to seam with Zaheer Khan - no slips in and four on the boundary for the veteran left-armer as Dhoni won't want to give England any free runs. When he strays down the leg side, Prior - who's scored 82 of this stand of 137, compared to Cook's 51 - helps himself to a single. Cook turns a single off his toes to move to 167, and a match which looked like it could have ended in three days, will now go into a fifth.


    From Chris in Newcastle, via text on 81111: "So how much of a lead do we think we need before the Indians might crumble? About 400?"

    Is any score safe when there's Sehwag to come in?

  21. 1040: 
    Eng 335-5

    Virender Sehwag has a smile on his face, at least, as Ojha spins down a maiden to Cook.


    From Matthew in York, TMS inbox: "Re: Charlie Damonsing [1006]. Better than the rest of the team."

    Vic Marks, BBC Test Match Special

    "There will be a mixture of emotions in the dressing-room. They'll be thrilled they're still in the game, but one or two batsmen will be thinking that Cook and Prior have shown that they can bat out there - 'so why couldn't I'? I think some of England's upper order exaggerated the difficulty in their own heads, hence the harum-scarum batting."

  24. 1036: 
    Eng 335-5 (LEAD BY 5)

    An unofficial, unscheduled mini drinks break takes place as Monty Panesar (in his whites) and Jonny Bairstow (in his training shirt and shorts, and sporting a handlebar Movember tash) carry on some liquids for the batsmen. With six overs of the 90 still to bowl today, nobody minds too much as we'll easily get them in. Ashwin begins a new over, Cook moves to 166 with a single, and England are "net" 5-5.


    Nick Agarwal on Twitter: "Are India regretting asking England to follow-on? Should they have batted on day three and given their bowlers some rest?"

  26. 1032: 
    Eng 334-5

    After a single from Cook, Prior blasts a four through extra cover to level the scores. India must bat again. Another four, whipped through backward point, puts England in credit, while Ojha joins Ashwin in having conceded over 100 runs. Prior's up to 81.


    One Cricket Fan on Twitter: "Cook is such a greedy individual when it comes to getting runs. I'd hate to be behind him at an all you can eat buffet."

  28. 1028: 
    Eng 325-5 (TRAIL BY 5)

    Ashwin the bowling centurion is into his 40th over, Cook helps himself to an easy single before Prior sweeps to Tendulkar at fine leg, they run two and Cook shows his fitness, even after batting for ever and a day, by sprinting the second run. Cook now has the fourth highest score by a visiting captain in India (although Clive Lloyd's epic unbeaten 242 in Mumbai in 1975 will take some beating).


    From Frank in the Philippines, TMS inbox: "Cook is batting so well, is it time to check KP's phone in case he is tempted to send 'provocative' texts to MS Dhoni?"

    Rahul Dravid, BBC Test Match Special

    "It's been a fighting innings from Matt Prior, he's been quick to punish anything from the Indian spinners and he's shown a lot of character and courage. It will be an achievement now it looks like they will get India to bat again."

  31. 1024: 
    Eng 322-5

    It's slow but careful progress from England as Prior dabs Ojha for a single, Cook pokes the ball to the cover sweeper and trots through for another one. With two slips in, Prior tries to work the slow left-armer through the covers but picks out a fielder. When he gives himself some room, he does find the gap and lashes a four to the point boundary to reduce the deficit to single figures - India lead by eight.


    From Dan in Qatar, TMS inbox: "Has Jim [1005] been off shore near Angola for several years? Prior has been the best wicketkeeper-batsman in Test cricket for a very long time. He would be the best in one-day cricket too, if England would only select him."

  33. 1021: 
    Eng 316-5 (TRAIL BY 14)

    Cook breaks the two-over deadlock with a single, Prior guides one down to fine leg and that's the hundred up - yes, off-spinner Ashwin now has figures of 0-100 in his 39th over. Cookie has 162, Prior(y) has 66.


    England all-rounder Danielle Wyatt on Twitter: "Class from Cooky! Best innings I've seen him play. Making it look easy peasy! Youngsters take note! Eng boys puttin up a fight here. Love how crazy the Indian fans are! It's my second best place to tour. Lovely people, food and the country is unbelievable."

  35. 1018: 
    Eng 314-5

    Prior has to restrain himself a little, batting out another maiden over from Ojha.


    From Ashley Barrett on Twitter: "Another 150 and we are in business, problem is we lose 1, we'll lose 5."

    Rahul Dravid, BBC Test Match Special

    "Alastair Cook's been batting for nearly seven hours, the Indian spin bowlers have bowled long spells too, and this is a critical part of the game."

  38. 1014: 
    Eng 314-5 (TRAIL BY 16)

    Ashwin to bowl his 38th over, while Rahul Dravid on TMS is echoing the comments of one of our emailers, Steve in Turkey (see 0832), comparing this partnership to Mike Atherton and Jack Russell... Cook prods past silly point, Prior wants a single but the captain sends him back and sees off a maiden over.

    Rahul Dravid, BBC Test Match Special

    "If England can get slightly ahead by the end of the day, who knows? It will give India something to think about overnight."


    From Will in St Albans, via text on 81111: "Good as Prior is, I'd be more worried about seeing AB de Villiers on the team sheet as a wicketkeeper/batsman... Different gravy."

    ABDV is a world-class batsman, I'll grant you, but his batting seems to suffer when keeping wicket. He averages 50 as a pure batsman but only 34 as a keeper, and hasn't passed 50 since taking the gloves against England in the summer after Mark Boucher retired.

  41. 1011: 
    APPEAL - NOT OUT- Eng 314-5

    Ojha to continue for his 39th over, Cook begins the last hour of play with a single, then there's an enormous appeal for lbw against Prior - Ojha is down on one knee - but umpire Aleem Dar is unmoved, and Rahul Dravid on TMS points out that the batsman was a long way down the track.

  42. 1006: 

    This is quite a long drinks break - the Indians are sitting around on the outfield like a village side, but eventually they're persuaded to get up and resume their battle with Cook and Prior.


    From Jon, stuck in hospital in Ashford, TMS inbox: "Re: 0947. I'm sure Chris Martin could attend both if he made use of jet engines and parachutes..."

    Particularly if he travelled at the Speed of Sound...


    Charlie Damonsing on Twitter: "How good is Alastair Cook?"

    Is that an essay question? What's the word limit?

  45. 1001: 
    DRINKS BREAK- Eng 313-5 (TRAIL BY 17)

    We've not had too many boundaries down the ground, in the "V", today - but Prior gives the crowd a treat when he hammers a four back past the bowler. Prior then tries to force him down the leg side but misses, there's a fumble from Dhoni and they run two leg byes (which are lucky not to be signalled as byes as Prior didn't get anything on it). Time for liquid refreshment.


    From Jim, offshore near Angola, TMS inbox: "Prior is surely now the best wicketkeeper-batsman in Test cricket? A class act."

    Geoffrey Boycott, BBC Test Match Special

    "If we have Monty Panesar bowling with Graeme Swann, I think our spinners are as good as theirs. Swann's a top-class bowler, you can't tell me Ashwin's a better bowler than him, and Monty got wickets in the UAE. It's just that their batsmen are better than ours."

  48. 0956: 
    Eng 307-5

    Aggers and Boycs briefly see themselves on TV in the TMS box as Ojha brushes his hands and begins a new over to Prior - but hopes of a third successive maiden are thwarted when he spins the fifth ball down too short and Prior helps himself to an easy single.


    Ex-England captain Mike Gatting discusses possible changes to the team for the second Test on BBC Radio 5 live's Sportsweek.

    He says: "There is not much they can change apart from bringing in Panesar or not. The batting is all there - they are the batters you wanted and I am sure Cook is happy with that."

  50. 0952: 
    Eng 306-5 (TRAIL BY 24)

    Ashwin sends down a rapid maiden over to Cook as India look to put the squeeze on. Cook has 160, Prior has 60, England trail by 24.


    Simon Aindow on Twitter: "England need to bat about another 70 overs yet to save this game. Who has the most Test centuries if a double-century counted as 2 and a triple counted as 3?"

    Geoffrey Boycott, BBC Test Match Special

    "England should have been ready for this - they know what India's like, the pitches have been like this even since I've been coming here."

  53. 0949: 
    Eng 306-5

    We've got another 17 overs to bowl today so we shoudl finish promptly at 1100 GMT - unless (he said with undue pessimism) a rush of wickets prompts India to claim the extra half-hour. Prior is momentarily becalmed as plays out a maiden from Ojha.

    Joe Wilson, BBC Sport in India

    "As I sit in my elevated position in the press box I can see a huge dark cloud surround the Motera cricket ground, threatening rain for days. Oh, hang on, must take my sunglasses off. It's sunny, as usual. Curses."

  55. 0947: 
    Eng 306-5 (TRAIL BY 24)

    Ravichandran Ashwin is on for his 35th over, but Cook and Prior help themselves to two singles apiece - Ashwin is into the nervous nineties, he has 0-94.


    Kenny Duncanson on Twitter: "Following Test from Sydney football stadium watching Coldplay - well done Cook!"

    Just as well New Zealand didn't select Chris Martin for the current Test in Galle, if his band's got a gig in Sydney! Let's hope Cook doesn't have A Rush Of Blood To The Head...

    Justin Goulding, BBC Sport

    "In reaching 149, Alastair Cook became England's 12th leading run-scorer in Tests, passing Graham Thorpe's tally of 6,744. Graham Gooch sits top of the pile with 8,900 - but, at 27, time is on Cook's side to overhaul that."

  58. 0943: 
    Eng 302-5

    Yuvraj has been taken off, at least an over too late, and India turn back to Pragyan Ojha who's been their talisman in this match, but his first ball is far too short and Prior dismissively rattles it through mid-wicket for four - that's 300 up for the tourists. A single takes him to 58. Cook has exactly 100 more than his partner, moving to 158 with a single.


    Some more praise for the skipper:

    Hemal Malde on Twitter: "Alastair Cook is class! First shot I see this morning is an elegant cover drive. Could get into any side in world cricket."

    Antoine McGuinn on Twitter: "Take a bow Alastair Cook. Captain's knock if ever there was one."

    Michael Nunns on Twitter: "Big ego 'gun' players should be looking up to the skipper for lessons in grit and courage. Outstanding knock."

    Geoffrey Boycott, BBC Test Match Special

    "I want England to bat all day and make India bat tomorrow, even if they have to make them get 100. We won't win the game with that, but that would be something."

  61. 0939: 
    Eng 296-5 (TRAIL BY 34)

    India rotate their two seamers as Yadav replaces Zaheer for the 109th over of the innings. Cook waits for the bad ball, hooking a short delivery for four - this stand is now worth 97.


    From James in Derby, via text on 81111: "Clever batting by England - followed on so they didn't have to bat fourth on this pitch."

  63. 0934: 
    Eng 292-5

    Dhoni persists with Yuvraj, presumably for his own reasons. Cook keeps plugging away with a single, Prior chops the ball to the cover sweeper and they scamper a well-run two.


    England all-rounder (and BBC Sport columnist) Laura Marsh on Twitter: "Well played Cooky!! 150 runs and he still hasn't broken sweat!"

  65. 0930: 
    Eng 289-5 (TRAIL BY 41)

    Cook is back on the defensive against Zaheer, eventually flicking a single through mid-wicket.


    Adeel Teladia on Twitter: "England need to choose Monty, Swann & Patel for the next game and give KP the ball more often, drop Bell and have an extra bowler. In the subcontinent you need two full-time spinners like Ashwin and Ojha and two part-time spinners like Yuvraj and Sehwag."

  67. 0925: 
    COOK 150- Eng 288-5

    Cook cuts Yuvraj for two down to third man, and gets a generous ovation from the Ahmedabad crowd for reaching 150 for the sixth time in his Test career. A single rotates the strike, I can't see Dhoni persisting with Yuvraj for much longer as he's rather leaking runs and he's not been the "partnership-breaker" he sometimes is.

    Vic Marks, BBC Test Match Special

    "Just looking at Alastair Cook, he's already played an absolutely superb innings but he'll know he's got a long way to go before England are anywhere near safety. He looks a little weary, he's not trying to hit the ball too hard and he'll have enjoyed that boundary after two hours."

  69. 0921: 
    Eng 285-5 (TRAIL BY 45)

    Was Captain Cook listening to Andrew the scorer? He leans forward and cover-drives Zaheer for his 19th four, breaking that two-hour drought, and a quickly-taken single off the last ball takes him to 148.

    Andrew Samson, BBC Test Match Special statistician

    "Cook has only faced 48 balls in this partnership, in which time Prior has scored 51 from 111 balls. Cook's last boundary was nearly two hours ago."


    From Paul in Bungay, via text on 81111: "England 50 ahead at stumps, add 80-90 in morning then game on."

  72. 0917: 
    PRIOR 50- Eng 280-5

    Prior guides Yuvraj off his pads for two, that's his fifty - he gets a small smattering of applause from the crowd and a big "hands above the head" clap from the England players and coaching staff. His fifty is celebrated even more enthusiastically by an England fan in the crowd wearing a cut-out Matt Prior mask! A single brings Cook on strike, he slices a well-run three to third man. Cook has 143 and the deficit is down to 50.

    Justin Goulding, BBC Sport

    "In other cricketing news, Sri Lanka are fighting back against New Zealand in the first Test in Galle. From 50-5, they have recovered to 190-5 thanks to unbeaten half-centuries from Mahela Jayawardene and Angelo Mathews, and look well placed to overhaul the tourists' 221."

  74. 0914: 
    Eng 274-5 (TRAIL BY 56)

    Zaheer runs in to Prior... and drops the ball as he passes the umpire, so he has to go back again. Prior moves to 47 as he dabs a single to third man, Cook cuts one to move to 140. Prior nicks the strike by opening the face to run the ball down to third man for another single.


    Michael Fisher on Twitter: "So Prior can't bat at 6 to allow a fifth bowler? Probably because he needs to bat at 4 given the performances of others."

    Vic Marks, BBC Test Match Special

    "Prior's naturally aggressive, and to be fair he's earned the right in this innings to play those shots. Yuvraj is an occasional bowler so you'll probably get easy runs against him anyway if you play on merit. But Prior's been England's second-best batsman in this match. It's not difficult to do the old one-two rankings."

  77. 0909: 
    Eng 271-5

    Even though his great rival Kevin Pietersen has been back in the hutch for more than three-and-a-half hours, Yuvraj Singh is back into the attack with his part-time left-arm spin. Prior looks to take him on, whacking a couple of twos but playing a couple of risky shots as he sweeps and misses. When he does connect with a sweep, it only brings him a single to fine leg.

    Vic Marks, BBC Test Match Special

    "When Blowers first came to India half a century ago, I imagine every Test ground was packed to the rafters as there was no one-day cricket then. Yuvraj is coming on to bowl, something usually happens when he comes on..."

  79. 0905: 
    Eng 266-5 (TRAIL BY 64)

    India will start the evening session with seam as Zaheer Khan replaces Ravichandran Ashwin, he's once more bowling round the wicket in the manner of Wasim Akram. Cook starts chipping away at the deficit again with the umpteenth single off his legs as his personal tally ticks round to 139, Prior jabs a single to move to 41.


    From Dan in Qatar, TMS inbox: "From Santa, how about we get Captain Cook a two-headed coin (make sure you call heads, Al)."

  81. 0900: 

    These tea intervals just fly by... Captain Cook and Chief Petty Officer Prior are ready to drop anchor for the evening session... shiver me timbers, aarr...


    From Simon in London, TMS inbox: "Captain James Cook died 231 years ago, which by some amazing and totally made-up coincidence is how many more runs England need to ensure this Test is not a one-sided affair."


    Ben Thapa on Twitter:‏ "Is Patel really a better spin option than KP?"

  84. 0846: 

    Right, stand by for the Denis Compton interview from the archives on TMS...


    Former England captain Mike Gatting tells BBC Radio 5 live's Sportsweek: "Alastair Cook has kept it very simple. He has probably played three shots very well, he knows what he is doing and does not look in any trouble at all.

    "There were some soft dismissals (in the first innings). They seemed to have a different mind-set in the second innings, but it just shows you can bat if you have a method and are patient.

    "You could say we have two spinners already with Samit Patel, but on wickets like this you need two top-line spinners."

    Geoffrey Boycott, BBC Test Match Special

    "Cook will be getting tired, but I think he can bet through the day, he's done it before [in Brisbane]. Prior worries me as he's a late middle-order batsman and wants to accelerate, but this is not quite the situation for that. I'd have batted him at six ahead of Patel at seven, and played Monty instead of one of the seamers. But how many Tests has Prior played? How many fifties and hundreds has he scored? He averages 42, he's been there and done it, so why put a new guy in Samit above Prior?"

    Jonathan Agnew, BBC Test Match Special

    "My old colleague Gordon Parsons used to be able to walk off at the end of a County Championship day's play and not only know his own bowling figures, but everyone else's - mine, Les Taylor's and Paddy Clift's."


    Hamza A. Khan on Twitter: "Is Cook the best batter from either side? He smashed the Indians at home and now has a daddy 100 in India."

  89. 0840: 
    TEA INTERVAL- Eng 264-5 (TRAIL BY 66)

    In the face of some gentle teasing from Geoffrey about his batting career, Aggers reveals he was only lbw once in his career - to Chris Old, though he nearly perished to Imran Khan by that method - Ojha to bowl the last over before tea, Prior shoulders arms and the ball runs up his pad as he tries to get his bat and gloves out of the way, silly point Cheteshwar Pujara can't get a hand to it. But Prior plays out a maiden and that's tea. He has 40, Captain Cook is unbeaten on 138.


    Rachel T on Twitter: "Cook needs a Grandmother-of-Boycott hundred."

  91. 0837: 
    Eng 264-5

    Ashwin comes round the wicket to Cook, who cover-drives for two and it's fielded by substitute fielder Harbhajan Singh - there's a cheer as he slips over after throwing the ball in. Probably time for one more over before tea.

  92. 0835: 
    Eng 262-5 (TRAIL BY 68)

    With tea approaching, Ojha whips through another over, yielding just a single to Cook.


    Marc Harris on Twitter: "Re: Jed Gore [0754] - in 2001, Lara scored 221 and 130, but the West Indies lost by 10 wickets against Sri Lanka, anyone got anything else?"

  94. 0832: 
    APPEAL - NOT OUT- Eng 261-5

    Prior survives another loud lbw appeal as he sweeps at Ashwin and is hit on the pad... umpire Hill stands tall in the face of some histrionics from the bowler. Another sweep, another miss, another failed lbw appeal, but why has he suddenly started sweeping? Bit of a risk, although if he's sweeping on line, he can't be out lbw if he's hit outside the line of off stump and he's playing a shot. Maiden over.


    From Steve in Turkey, TMS inbox: "Anyone remember Atherton and Russell in Johannesburg? OK, it's South Africa and not slow turners, but captain & wickie might just stick there."

  96. 0829: 
    APPEAL - NOT OUT- Eng 261-5 (TRAIL BY 69)

    "No review system lads, bad luck!" crows Geoff Boycott on TMS as India fail with an lbw appeal against Prior, although a replay shows it's a good decision by umpire Dar as there was an inside edge on it. A single takes him to 40.

    Meanwhile, stand by your beds for TMS during the tea interval - they're going to play an archive interview with Nick Compton's grandad Denis.


    Mark Lovell on Twitter: "Captain Cook always going on about daddy hundreds with Goochie. Needs a Granddaddy here to save."

  98. 0826: 
    Eng 260-5

    Cook continues his sedate progression with a single, Prior sweeps and deals the short-leg fielder a nasty blow on the posterior, but adds a single as Ashwin completes his 43rd successive over (across both innings) without a wicket.


    Mally Graveson on Twitter: "Anyone else think Prior is wasted at number seven? I think he's a proper batsman."

  100. 0823: 
    Eng 258-5 (TRAIL BY 72)

    We're about 20 minutes from tea - Prior and Cook add a single apiece, then Prior gets a nick but it doesn't quite carry to Virender Sehwag at slip.

    Jonathan Agnew, BBC Test Match Special

    "Cook's an amazing example of concentration, the way he just bats on and on."


    Andy Morley on Twitter: "Happy to give BCCI (deserved) stick for DRS, Photographers etc but credit where due. Four-match Test series is a proper series."

  103. 0820: 
    Eng 256-5

    Cook adds another single off the first ball of Ashwin's over, and Blowers has spotted a pigeon as Prior sweeps a single. he has 37, the skip has 133.

    Geoffrey Boycott, BBC Test Match Special

    "With Patel, if that had been a well-known big-name player, would that have been given out? I'm not so sure it would have been, which is what happens sometimes if you're a lesser name."


    Wisden editor Lawrence Booth on Twitter: "Poor old Samit: bats like a dream in the warm-ups, then gets two dicey decisions in the Test against the bowler England least feared..."

  106. 0817: 
    Eng 254-5 (TRAIL BY 76)

    Single from Cook, then Prior can't beat the infield when he tries to hit out against Ojha.


    From Simon, TMS inbox: "Playing against spin is like driving a rear wheeled drive car in the snow. You know the back end is going to want to spin out so you compensate for it."

  108. 0814: 
    Eng 253-5

    Ashwin has changed ends, he's back on at Zaheer's end and a single from Cook lifts the England skipper's score to 131. Prior, the face of this bat seemingly free from any manufacturer or sponsor's logo, clips a well-run two off his legs. It seems like he's not been in long, but he's scored 36.


    Jack Mendel on Twitter: "England's two best players over the last few years at the crease - Prior and Cook are both truly world class."

    Vic Marks, BBC Test Match Special

    "Prior's batting record as a wicketkeeper is phenomenal - he averages about 42 with the bat, the only time he was dropped by England was after he had a poor series with his wicketkeeping in Sri Lanka [in 2007] - his batting was never in question, and now no-one challenges his wicketkeeping."

  111. 0811: 
    Eng 250-5 (TRAIL BY 80)

    Off-spinner Ashwin is taken off after only a two-over spell - perhaps after that Prior boundary in his previous over - and there's more work to do for slow left-armer Ojha, but Prior dismissively swats a four past the diving fielder at backward point. A single takes him to 34 and brings up the fifty partnership from only 75 balls, it's been fairly rapid progress by Test match standards. Cook guides a single to the man trotting in from the cow corner boundary.


    From Ade, via text on 81111: "I'm getting used to humiliating defeats - I can almost accept them - but if Flower and Cook don't come out and admit they made a horrific job of their team selection, that may just be the last straw."

  113. 0807: 
    Eng 244-5

    Henry Blofeld on TMS likens Cook to "the brave Horatius on the bridge" - there's not enough allusion to events in the sixth century BC in modern sport, I feel - as the heroic England skipper and his faithful wicketkeeping buddy add four singles to the score against Zaheer.


    Andy Hornby on Twitter: "MS Dhoni keeps wicket like he frequently forgets that he has hands."

  115. 0803: 
    Eng 240-5 (TRAIL BY 90)

    Ashwin, with 0-75 from 28 overs, allows Prior a single, then Cook tucks one off his legs for one to move to 127. Prior takes the off-spinner on, hoisting him towards mid-wicket for a first-bounce four.


    From Andrew in Co Durham, TMS inbox: "Usually it's the hope that kills you... thankfully I'm past that when we play on the subcontinent."

  117. 0759: 
    Eng 234-5

    Yadav is out of the attack after bowling precisely 10 deliveries with the new ball, and Zaheer returns. Cook rotates the strike with a single which takes England under the psychological barrier of an innings-and-100 defeat, Prior drives a two through the covers, then jabs his bat down as India appeal for lbw but an inside edge allows him a run.

    Vic Marks, BBC Test Match Special

    "Ojha has caused England a lot of problems and they don't have many left-handers. They have Cook in this team and Morgan in the wings in terms of left-handers in the top order. I'd have thought Bairstow is next in line, but if you thought they were identical, you might go for the left-hander. As to whether they play Monty in the second Test, it depends whether the pitch in Mumbai is rather like this."


    Angus McPhail on Twitter: "Re: Ramster in Luton [0746], Swann/Ashwin, and in relation to Ojha, England have a very good left-arm spinner/drinks carrier on the tour."

  120. 0754: 
    Eng 230-5 (TRAIL BY 100)

    Ashwin - who's not taken a wicket for 38 overs - returns in place of Ojha, Cook unleashes his favourite cut shot but there's a man out there and they can only run one. The skipper has 125 from 241 balls. Prior sees off the over, he has 19 from 38, and England trail by exactly 100.


    Jed Gore on Twitter: "Has anyone ever scored a Test double hundred in an innings defeat?"

    Vic Marks, BBC Test Match Special

    "i thought I'd come on air and talk about how to play reverse swing, before realising that my fellow summarisers were Geoffrey Boycott and Rahul Dravid! Yadav has got three wickets, all lbw, so it's important to work out where your left leg is. I spoke in the press box to Mike Atherton, who faced Wasim and Waqar in their pomp in the early 90s, that was an awesome sight, Rahul would have played against them."

  123. 0751: 
    Eng 229-5

    Prior and Cook add two singles apiece against Yadav, with the new ball coming off the bat a little quicker, as you'd expect.


    Priyam on Twitter:‏ "England will do well to ask for all Indian spinners to disappear around Christmas."

    Rahul Dravid, BBC Test Match Special

    "I hope Samit Patel has a bit more luck in this series as he hasn't made many runs - his batting is his stronger suit as his bowling is at best a fill-in, being kind to him, but in the practice games he showed a good run of form which saw him selected ahead of Eoin Morgan. I feel for him as a fellow batsman."

  126. 0746: 
    Eng 225-5 (TRAIL BY 105)

    Despite having taken the new ball, India will stick with spin from one end as Ojha begins his 29th over. Prior drives and misses, the ball rebounds off Dhoni's glove and Sehwag gets a hand to it to prevent any byes. But Prior shoulders arms to the next ball and they run a bye as the ball rebounds off the keeper.


    More suggestions for letters to Santa:

    From MJ, TMS inbox: "Dear Santa, Box of Jelly Beans please! Yours, Ian Bell."

    From Jim Snipe, TMS inbox: "A broom for KP to sweep properly with."

    From Ramster in Luton, via text on 81111: "Santa, can you produce England a clone of Ojha and Ashwin as we cannot produce one here."

  128. 0742: 

    And it's time for drinks.


    David King on Twitter: "Surely you can't get told off by the match referee just for shaking your head? Especially when you've hit it and been given lbw."

    I think Patel would be very unlucky to be fined for it, but I've certainly seen people given a slap-on-the-wrist reprimand for "showing obvious dissent at an umpire's decision", though it's rather a subjective offence.

  130. 0740: 
    NEW BALL- Eng 224-5

    Rahul Dravid explains on TMS how Sachin Tendulkar flew all the way to Germany to get a particular pair of cricket boots, while Aggers reminisces about the pleasure of when he got a new pair delivererd. Prior guides Yadav for another four off his legs, and India's response is to take the second new ball mid-over. But Prior doesn't mind, he square-drives Yadav and the ball disappears to the boundary in no time at all. He repeats the shot off the last ball, this time there's a fielder out there and they can only run one.

    Joe Wilson, BBC Sport in India

    "Cricket authorities in India expect Mumbai to be 'back to normal' by the time England arrive there next week for the second Test. The cremation of the political leader Bal Thackeray today has led the city being 'locked down' with no-one allowed to enter or leave. If England had attempted to travel there today it would probably have been impossible. Security is likely to remain high over the next few days in Mumbai."


    From Julian in Wimbledon, via text on 81111: "How many times has Bell been dismissed by right-arm seam in his career? Does he have a problem with it?"

  133. 0735: 
    Eng 215-5 (TRAIL BY 115)

    Prior helps himself to a two and a single against Ojha, who's quickly through his over. Still no sign of the new ball.


    Christmas present suggestions on Twitter:

    Alex Clarke-Cornwall: "Just turned the cricket on after reading your commentary on the phone. My husband's genius idea for Xmas pressies is bigger bats!"

    Thomas Kirman: "Samit Patel wants DRS for Christmas."

    Harry Adams: "I think Samit should ask for his very own umpire."

    Rahul Dravid, BBC Test Match Special

    "John Wright, who coached me for India and Kent, told be the less support staff you have the better, as the more you have, the more shoulders there are to cry on for players and they can make excuses. There's too much information and too many cones out there in the mornings."

  136. 0733: 
    Eng 212-5

    No sign of the new ball being taken as a Dhoni fumble allows Cook to run a bye, then Prior's off the mark, cracking Yadav through backward point for four. A single takes him to five, but he's not happy with his bat and calls for a replacement between overs. "I rarely got through even obe bat in one or two seasons," admits Aggers on TMS, as Prior is brought a choice of bats, and the unmistakeable figure of Monty Panesar carries on a drink for Cook.


    Oscar Moseley on Twitter: "Cook should ask Santa for some support - I was told St Nick got his sainthood for an unbeaten 45 off 239 on a turning wicket."

    Rahul Dravid, BBC Test Match Special

    "I did find being captain challenging, as there's a lot to do these days. It took me a while to adjust, but Cook's taken to it like a duck to water. He's unflappable, the way he bats and his demeanour."

  139. 0728: 
    Eng 206-5 (TRAIL BY 124)

    "The Indians are clearing their throats for victory," says Aggers on TMS, as Cook cuts Ojha for four to reduce the deficit to 125. Aside from the close catchers, most of the fielders are so far back that it's an easy single off his legs for Cook, and the field then comes in for Prior. The second new ball is available.


    We've been asking what cricketers should ask Santa to send them for Christmas - here's John in the Wirral, via text on 81111: "A mini digger for Trott?"

  141. 0725: 
    Eng 201-5

    Prior swigs a couple of pills and some water brought on by the 12th man between overs, before Yadav, on a hat-trick, bowls to Cook, and he withdraws his bat at the last minute as it whistles past off stump. Cook creeps up to 117 with a single.


    Ralph Brooker on Twitter: "England's middle order should ask Santa for an acute dose of Delhi-belly. The only guaranteed method of getting runs in India."

    Stephan Shemilt, BBC Sport

    "Cook aside, England's other members of the frontline top six; Compton, Trott, Pietersen, Bell and Patel, have contributed 114 runs in this Test."

  144. 0720: 
    Eng 200-5 (TRAIL BY 130)

    Cook steers Ojha for a single to bring up England's 200, but those were two body blows for England's hopes of extending this match into a fifth day, let alone saving it. Prior, who batted well in the first innings, sees off the rest of the over. And Samit Patel's mood won't be helped by the snickometer showing that there was a bit of bat on his lbw.

  145. 0717: 

    Replays show he may have hit that... Patel wasn't happy with the decision and was shaking his head as he walked off, which may earn him a little visit to the match referee's office at the close of play if he's not careful. Matt Prior is the new batsman.

  146. 0715: 
    WICKET- Patel lbw b Yadav 9 (Eng 199-5)

    Samit Patel is the new batsman, he got a bit of a dodgy lbw decision in the first innings when he was out for 10 - DRS may have reprieved him there, but it also might have seen him given out for four. Samit's first ball hits him on the pad, and umpire Hill raises his finger again! Patel goes for a golden duck and Yadav will be on a hat-trick next over.

    Rahul Dravid, BBC Test Match Special

    "Very good captaincy by Dhoni. He moved the fielder in front of Bell's face at short mid-on to get him to play the ball squarer, and Yadav got it to reverse swing to get him lbw. Good bowling, good thinking."

  148. 0713: 
    WICKET- Bell lbw b Yadav 22 (Eng 199-4)

    Four overs left until India can take the second new ball (should they wish), so Zaheer takes a rest and Yadav comes on, bowling right-arm seam round the wicket to the southpaw Cook. A single takes him to 115, and Bell unleashes what looks like a back-foot defensive press which runs away past the bowler and nearly reaches the boundary as they run two. But he's pinned back on the crease as he tries to whip Yadav (back over the wicket) to leg, and umpire Hill raises his finger straight away.

  149. 0708: 
    Eng 196-3 (TRAIL BY 134)

    Ojha, who's been India's danger man in this Test so far, replaces the increasingly ineffective Ashwin (who's taken 0-74 from 27 overs) but after a single from Cook, Bell shows his class with a square cut for four.


    Stephen Chater on Twitter: "12 Panesars 11 Panesars 10 Panesars 9 Panesars 8 Panesars 7 Panesars 6 Panesars 5 Panesars 4 Panesars 3 Panesars 2 Panesars and a Monty Panesar."

    That's the "Twelve Days of Christmas" song beloved of the Barmy Army!

    Geoffrey Boycott, BBC Test Match Special

    "If England can bat out today, they'll have done a pretty good job. They're probably not going to win the Test match, and I'm not putting my money on a draw, but we need to get some pride and credibility back, batting on these surfaces."

  152. 0705: 
    Eng 191-3

    Bell pushes Zaheer for a two through the covers and flicks a single to fine leg. Cook nicks the strike with a nibble off his legs for one.

    Joe Wilson, BBC Sport in India

    Slight diversion on my way to the ground his morning. Driver weaved past reversing motorcycle rickshaws, bricks, children, cows and a camel. "Service road," he explained patiently.

  154. 0700: 
    Eng 187-3 (TRAIL BY 143)

    Cook swiftly moves off Nelson with a single off Ashwin, Bell moves to the similarly superstitious score of 13 with a single through square cover.

  155. 0657: 
    Eng 185-3

    Bell steers a single to move to 12, Zaheer shuffles his field for the left-handed Cook - while Geoff Boycott on TMS remembers how some people were questioning Cook's place in the side in the summer of 2010 after a run of eight Test innings without a fifty, only for him to hit a century in the penultimate Test against Pakistan and then have a stupendous Ashes series in Australia. A single takes him on to Nelson - 111...


    From Dick, TMS inbox: "For Christmas, Stuart Broad, and those responsible for continuing to select him, could replace their post-lunch pudding with humble pie served with lashings of realism. He simply is not good enough enough of the time. Any other decent first-class cricketer given his amount of Test cricket would also have had the occasional good knock and spell of bowling."

  157. 0652: 
    Eng 183-3 (TRAIL BY 147)

    A double change in the bowling as Ashwin, who was bowling from Zaheer's end before lunch, has changed ends. Cook is the model of calmness at the crease, as befits a man who doesn't sweat, and plays out a maiden.


    From Anon (a KP supporter), via text on 81111: "The thing that gets me is surely Pietersen plays spin in the IPL or Champions League, so either Cook needs to take him to one side and show him how to play his way against spin or Pietersen needs to go Twenty20 mode against it. Not worked for him today but for me I would rather see him being positive and attacking than defending (attempting) and getting out still... However, shot today seems like a man lost."

  159. 0648: 
    Eng 183-3

    Zaheer Khan takes the second over of the session, he has a first slip and a man at about third or fourth slip for Captain Cook. A single takes him to 110.


    Toby Weiniger on Twitter: "Tim Bresnan needs to ask Santa for some pace."

    Geoffrey Boycott, BBC Test Match Special

    "Cook needs to do like Pujara here. A hundred's not enough, if England are to save the game he needs a double century. Just keep playing the way he's done and be there at tea."

  162. 0643: 
    Eng 182-3 (TRAIL BY 148)

    Ojha begins the afternoon session, bowling to Bell with two slips and a silly point, and it's a maiden first up.

  163. 0639: 

    Almost ready to resume as India skipper Mahendra Dhoni - who's got more than a few flecks of grey in his stubble these days - gathers his fielders in a huddle before walking back to the middle.

    Geoffrey Boycott, BBC Test Match Special

    "I don't think Ashwin bowled the right line at Cook this morning. He's got to bowl into the footmarks. I don't think he's as good a bowler as Harbhajan Singh at his best."


    Martyn Wilcockson on Twitter: "Wondering if KP will ask Santa for a book on how to play left-arm spin?"

    That's an idea - what presents should other cricketers be asking Santa for this year? Email us at, text 81111 or tweet us via #bbccricket

  166. 0634: 

    TMS are now playing highlights of the morning session - if you're not up with the lark for this series, you can listen to highlights of each day's play on BBC 5 live sports extra - today's start at 1800 GMT, by which time even those of you who've been carousing all night, should be up and around.


    From Robert Liffey, TMS inbox: "I wonder would England have been better of taking K-Fed to the subcontinent instead of KP."

    Cue lots of cricket fans having to find out who K-Fed is... I certainly did...


    Former England all-rounder Derek Pringle, now of the Daily Telegraph, on TMS: "Bell's played 80-odd Tests, and he should know that if the ball's turning, you do not try to hit it over long-off!"


    From Jeremy Berg, via text on 81111: "It's at times like this that we miss Paul Collingwood. Would the Indians be sporting enough to allow us to bring in Colly and Monty for the next Test?"

    Colly's commentating for the BCCI (clad in an official BCCI blazer), I wouldn't imagine they'd allow him to play!

  170. 0610: 

    Right, keep an ear on TMS for Aggers and the journalists' panel - we're taking a quick break, back soon.


    The BBC's Rahul Tandon in Mumbai, on TMS: "England fans coming out for the Test in Mumbai should know that if you want to make a friend in Mumbai, just say two words - Sachin Tendulkar - and they'll love you for life."

  172. 0608: 

    As Aggers mentioned, the funeral of Hindu politician Bal Thackeray is taking place today in Mumbai, which has brought the city to a standstill. The BBC's Rahul Tandon in Mumbai says he's been told categorically by the Mumbai Cricket Association that there is "absolutely no chance that the Test will not go ahead on time", and England fans heading out should not have any concerns on that front. However, what it may affect is the India-Pakistan one-day series at the end of next month, as Thackeray had opposed Pakistan playing in India.


    Ady Lee on Twitter: "Despite moving from UK to Jakarta on other side of the world, familiar rain has scuppered my match. Going home to watch Eng vs Ind!"

    Vic Marks, BBC Test Match Special

    "Ojha has currently got Pietersen's number. He said last night 'I knew I'd get him if I got the ball in the right areas' and Pietersen's premeditated sweep made it a horrible dismissal when he was bowled round his legs."

  175. 0601: 
    LUNCH INTERVAL- Eng 182-3

    If India can whip through another maiden here, they might even get another over in... but the run of dot balls is ended as Cook drills a three down to cow corner. After a bit of shenanigans with Cook - who Ashwin isn't happy with about his backing up, and he stops in his delivery stride with Cook out of his ground, does that constitute a warning? - Bell steers a single and that's lunch.

    Ashwin also experimented a little in that over - running in with a run-up similar to that of a left-arm spinner, but still bowling his right-arm off breaks.

    Jonathan Agnew, BBC Test Match Special

    On Twitter: "Journo panel at lunch - Stephen Brenkley, John Etheridge and Derek Pringle - after report on implications for Mumbai test after Thackeray death, Should say the Indian sources I have consulted say there should be no issue for the Test which starts next Friday."


    Jonathan Kendall on Twitter: "This innings may now go down quicker than Suarez in the penalty box."

  178. 0557: 
    Eng 178-3 (TRAIL BY 152)

    Ojha to Bell, there's an appeal, not sure whether if it's for a catch behind or lbw, but it didn't touch anything on the way through so Bell survives for the third successive maiden over India have sent down.


    From Robert Liffey, TMS inbox: "Maybe drop two of the batters for the next Test, but then replace them with two specialist spinners to play with Swann, because apart from Cook and Compton, the rest of the batsmen are somewhat pointless or do I mean runless?"

  180. 0554: 
    Eng 178-3

    Change of bowling as Yadav - who's taken 0-32 from 12 wicketless overs this innings - is replaced by Ashwin, who's going to have a twirl in the lead-up to lunch. He spins down a maiden to Captain Cook, I'd think we'd get two more overs in.


    Josh Butler on Twitter: "Is there any wonder KP splits the dressing room playing shots like that to get out?"

  182. 0552: 
    Eng 178-3 (TRAIL BY 152)

    Ojha bowls another maiden to Bell - he has 2-54 from 22 overs. And he also has Kevin Pietersen's head, stuffed and mounted, metaphorically hanging on his living-room wall.

    Justin Goulding, BBC Sport

    "Who says subcontinental pitches don't suit seamers...? New Zealand's Tim Southee has taken 4-19 to reduce Sri Lanka - replying to the Kiwis' 221 - to 62-5 on day two of the first Test in Galle."


    From Gerry, TMS inbox: "On holiday in Hawaii, checking on progress whilst getting ready for a Saturday night out in the warmth. Hopefully in about 4 hours time when I return after a few too many mat tai's we will have a lead and still only 2 wickets down."

    (NB Gerry sent this before Pietersen's dismissal!)

  185. 0548: 
    APPEAL - NOT OUT- Eng 178-3

    Cook clips Yadav through mid-wicket, the outfield remains slow but Cook has the expert timing of a Swiss watchmaker as the ball just has enough on it to cross the boundary before the fielder can retrieve it. There's an appeal for leg before as he prods forward, but that hit him (possibly on the glove) so far outside the line that it's barely worth appealing for.


    The Sun's John Etheridge on Twitter: "Cook is understated, stumbles words speaking publicly, doesn't beat his chest. But, mentally, when it comes to batting, he is hard as nails."

  187. 0544: 
    Eng 174-3 (TRAIL BY 156)

    Ojha's mesmerised a few England batsmen in his match, but not Captain Cook who carefully sees off the over, taking a single off the last ball.


    From Tom Upton, via text on 81111: "In Luton airport wondering how to cope with the four-hour cricket blackout the flight to Turkey will bring."

    Never mind that, do you think Luton Airport should be renamed "Monty Panesar Airport" in honour of one of the town's favourite sons?

    Vic Marks, BBC Test Match Special

    "It's been a flawless century by Cook, but Pietersen's dismissal will haunt him for a while. If you don't have a problem with left-arm spin, you don't play a shot like that when you've only just got in. He doesn't feel able to defend for 10-15 minutes against left-arm spin on a pitch that's only turning a bit."

  190. 0541: 
    Eng 173-3

    Cook adds a single, Bell cuts a looser delivery from Yadav for four to move into double figures.


    James Green on Twitter: "And I was almost starting to become optimistic..."

    Joe Wilson, BBC Sport in India

    "After play yesterday the first questions from Indian journalists to Pragyan Ohja were all about how he felt getting Pietersen out (in the first innings). Never mind the other four wickets. His wicket still seen as the 'prize' here."

  193. 0536: 
    Eng 168-3 (TRAIL BY 162)

    While the adulation for Captain Cook's feat dies down, Ojha bowls a maiden to Bell.

    Geoffrey Boycott, BBC Test Match Special

    "He'll easily pass my record soon."

    Cook, Pietersen and Andrew Strauss all have 21 Test hundreds. The England record is 22 jointly held by Geoffrey, Wally Hammond and Colin Cowdrey.

  195. 0531: 

    And that's the first time anyone has ever scored hundreds in their first three games as Test captain. It's also Cook's fifth Test ton on the subcontinent, an England record, and his 21st overall.

  196. 0531: 
    COOK 100- Eng 168-3

    Cook pushes Yadav off his legs for two to reach his hundred!

    Andrew Samson, BBC Test Match Special statistician

    "That's now 25 times Kevin Pietersen has been dismissed by left-arm spinners, in his 89th Test."

    And that doesn't count the number of times he's been dismissed by left-arm spinners in county cricket - Hampshire's Liam Dawson got him twice for first-ballers last season, and he's not even Hampshire's best left-arm spinner!


    Jed Gore on Twitter: "Ohh dear. Some things will never improve for English cricket... Number three problems again??"

  199. 0529: 
    Eng 166-3

    Ian Bell is the new batsman, on a king pair, he defends the first ball and then he's off the mark with an off-driven four which is superbly timed and sails to the boundary with the minimum of effort. "When you can play like that, why would you go down the pitch first ball like he did in the first innings?" asks Geoff Boycott on TMS. A fiercer cut shot brings Bell two more.

  200. 0526: 
    WICKET- Pietersen b Ojha 2 (Eng 160-3)

    Ojha to Pietersen, he misses with an awful slog-sweep and he's bowled around his legs by a fullish delivery which spins back and hits his off stump!

    So that's Kevin Pietersen bowled by left-arm spin in both innings. But as he keeps telling us, he doesn't have a problem with left-arm spin. He just keeps getting out to it!


    Patrick Cummuskey on Twitter: "Sitting in Goa airport enjoying the coverage. Hoping for more good news when I land in UK tonight."

  202. 0524: 
    APPEAL - NOT OUT- Eng 160-2 (TRAIL BY 170)

    Cook, three runs short of his century, slices a single to Tendulkar at deep backward point, while the TV cameras show Geoff Boycott, resplendent in his MCC tie, in the TMS commentary box. There's a short mid-on in for Pietersen, and there's an lbw appeal from Yadav... but he edged that onto his pad. The crowd are getting rather raucous, KP's quite popular over in India because of his heroics for Delhi in the Indian Premier League, and he doubles his score with a single to fine leg. Cook calmly sees off the rest of the over.


    From Robert Maxwell, enjoying BBC text and Sunday lunch in Shanghai, TMS inbox: "The 'missed stumping' icon [0423] resembles an eagle flying over the stumps. Time for England batsmen to soar."

  204. 0520: 
    Eng 158-2

    It's KP o'clock... Kevin Pietersen is the new batsman. Facing left-arm spin, which as we all know, he doesn't have a problem with (despite keeping getting out to it). He pushes his second ball to mid-on for a hasty single, Cook squeezes one off his legs to move to 97.

    Jonathan Agnew, BBC Test Match Special

    "I don't think he could have done much about that. He didn't chase it or get too far forward, he just nicked it."

  206. 0516: 
    WICKET- Trott c Dhoni b Ojha 17 (Eng 156-2)

    Trott pushes at an absolute beauty from Ojha, who's changed ends, it turns and he nicks an edge to Dhoni who finally holds on to one.


    From Richard Butler, TMS inbox: "On a beach in Thailand listening to all this - great fun. My beer is telling me will win this and set India an impossible target."

  208. 0514: 
    Eng 156-1 (TRAIL BY 174)

    My mind is now racing, thinking what Geoffrey (and indeed the rest of the TMS crew) would be like in a Bond film... do text or tweet us with any thoughts in that direction. India replace Ojha with right-arm seamer Umesh Yadav, probably the quickest of India's current crop of bowlers, and Cook powers a four through mid-wicket to move to 96. Desperately trying not to jinx him...


    From Neil Jones, TMS inbox: "I am in India, representing the UK and the Royal Air Force, at the Indian Defence Academy. I could do with a real performance from England as the banter from the 420 Indian Military Officers is close to reaching intolerable levels."

  210. 0510: 
    Eng 152-1

    Play resumes after drinks with Aggers mentioning that he didn't make it through all of "Die Another Day" (if you've not been following this Test, there's a TV channel showing Bond films every night) last night, while Geoff Boycott variously expresses his praise for Ursula Andress, Sean Connery and the original Ian Fleming books. Meanwhile, back on the pitch, Cook and Trott help themselves to three singles and a two against Ashwin, who tries a leg break in addition to his usual off-spin.

    Jonathan Agnew, BBC Test Match Special

    "I had double-strength turmeric last night, which tasted foul, but hopefully I'm less nasal and the cold is on the wane."

    Geoffrey Boycott, BBC Test Match Special

    "It's been nice to see the application England's batsmen have showed in the first hour. With the naked eye, I thought Compton's dismissal might have pitched outside leg stump, but the replay showed it pitched on. He had to work really hard, for a guy playing his first Test match that was a good performance."


    From Warwick in Abu Dhabi, TMS inbox: "Sat at my desk in our site office trying not to make it too obvious that I'm following the text commentary on my phone. Hoping that 'Trottsky' and 'Ding Dong' can show some of the class we all know they have, and that we can at least post a reasonable target for the Indians in their 2nd innings."

  214. 0500: 
    DRINKS BREAK- Eng 143-1 (TRAIL BY 187)

    Cook pushes Ashwin to mid-on where there's a big cheer as Tendulkar does the fielding. Maiden over, and the players take drinkies.


    From Ewan in Dalston, via text on 81111: "Have you ever had a DJ text in? I'm in a Dalston nightclub, having finished my set, keeping myself entertained by shunning social activity in favour of TMS updates. As a Bell fan, I'm hoping for him to quiet the doubters with a masterful hundred. But there's no getting away from it; his dismissal was mental."

  216. 0458: 
    Eng 143-1

    Cook moves to 90 with a single between mid-wicket and mid-on, then Ojha drops one a little short and Trott rocks back to square-cut it for his first four, as the TV pictures show Rahul Dravid in the TMS box (together with Blowers' left arm).


    Hary Manoharan on Twitter: "With risk of upsetting Indian fans, Dhoni has looked average with the gloves and the bat recently."

  218. 0455: 
    Eng 138-1 (TRAIL BY 192)

    Cook pushes Ashwin for a single, allowing Trott to have another go at scratching his guard. The Warwickshire man is watchful in defence for the rest of the over. Gambhir's substitute fielder, by the way, is batsman Ajinkya Rahane.


    From Chris in Pembrokeshire, via text on 81111: "Surely to have any chance, England need to bat four sessions, probably including two centuries."

    Rahul Dravid, BBC Test Match Special

    "Trott has shown in the past he's capable of batting for a long time and he's looking solid so far."

  221. 0452: 
    Eng 137-1

    Left-arm spinner Pragyan Ojha replaces Zaheer so we have spin from both ends. Trott moves to eight with a two.

    Henry Blofeld, BBC Test Match Special

    "Gautam Gambhir is not on the field today as his grandmother has died and he's flown back to Delhi. Our thoughts are with him."

  223. 0448: 
    Eng 135-1 (TRAIL BY 195)

    Ashwin, still twirling his arms as he runs in, bowls to Cook who nudges a single - while with no pigeons or buses to look out for, Blowers on TMS is asking summariser Rahul Dravid about turbans. Trott and Cook rotate the strike well with another couple of singles, before Trott drills the last ball to mid-on and really gets his head down well as he runs a quick single.


    From John in Kathmandu, TMS inbox: "Here at least it is no problem logging in to keep up with England. Quietly confident that our batsmen will save a draw, but bring back Morgan for the second Test!"

  225. 0445: 
    Eng 131-1

    Trott pushes forward at Zaheer, but a good diving stop at mid-off denies him runs. Zaheer tries to bang in a bouncer, but there's not much in the pitch for him as the ball barely rises to head height as Trott ducks. A maiden means Zaheer has economical figures of 7-3-9-1.

    Rahul Dravid, BBC Test Match Special

    "There's been a lot of action this morning - the missed stumping didn't cost India very much as it turned out. I think Compton will have gained a lot of confidence from this experience."

  227. 0440: 
    Eng 131-1 (TRAIL BY 199)

    Ashwin has a slip, silly point, short leg and leg slip encircling Trott, who swats a single past silly point.


    The Sun's John Etheridge on Twitter: "If Trott plays a long innings on this dry old pitch, the trench to mark his guard is going to be a chasm."

  229. 0437: 
    Eng 130-1

    Jonathan Trott coming to the crease isn't the worst sight for a text commentator as he takes so long to take guard that it gives you time to catch up with everything. He's off his "pair" with the first ball he faces as he guides it for two off his legs past the two fielders stationed at short mid-wicket. Dhoni dashes up for a word with Zaheer between deliveries. A single reduces England's deficit to exactly 200.

    Prakash Wakankar, BBC Test Match Special

    "It's funny how some players raise their game with captaincy, while others can't keep up to those high standards."


    Michael Barton on Twitter: "Anyone predicting something other than defeat clearly haven't been following England long enough."

  232. 0432: 
    Eng 127-1 (TRAIL BY 203)

    Jonathan Trott, on a pair, is the new batsman - he's the non-striker as Ashwin begins a new over to Cook, who passes 1,000 runs against India (in his 12th test against them) with a confidently swept four.

    Vic Marks, BBC Test Match Special

    "Compton was positive in defence last night, but he couldn't quite rediscoer that serenity this morning - it's the wily old seamer who's got him in the end. Important wicket for India."

  234. 0428: 
    WICKET- Compton lbw b Zaheer Khan 37 (Eng 123-1)

    Compton plays and misses at one that keeps low, but eventually falls to the last ball of the over when Zaheer swings one back in to the right-hander's pads. Let's have a look at the replay, did it pitch in line? Yes. Just. On the line of leg stump.


    Josh Jones on Twitter: "Just on the night bus home in London. 04:17 here and well and truly locked for the day!"

  236. 0423: 
    MISSED STUMPING- Eng 123-0

    Big stumping chance as Compton charges down the track... but captain Mahendra Dhoni, who's not had a great game behind the stumps, fumbles again and the chance is missed when Compton would have been out by a yard. Reprieved, the Somerset man steers a single to move to 37, while Captain Cook shovels a two through mid-wicket - he has 82. We've had 44 overs this innings.

    Vic Marks, BBC Test Match Special

    "They used to say that Denis Compton's first call [for running between the wickets] was merely the opening of negotiations. You could probably say the same about dear old Nasser Hussain."

  238. 0421: 
    APPEAL - NOT OUT- Eng 120-0 (TRAIL BY 210)

    Compton pushes Zaheer for a quick single to backward point after a bit of hesitation, Yuvraj shies at the stimps and Cook only just makes his ground at the striker's end. Then Zaheer bellows an lbw appeal against the left-handed Cook, but umpire Tony Hill's having nothing of it. "It's not quite the serenity of last night," notes Vic on TMS.


    Some rather confident England fans on Twitter:

    Stamford Raffles: "A cheeky 400 runs in 5 sessions to set up an unlikely win, simple."

    Freeddie Mickshik: "Cook and Comp to bat the day, double each, and Swann to snick the lot off tomorrow?"

    Vic Marks, BBC Test Match Special

    "There's a long, long way to go but there would be an irony if this match were drawn when DRS might have got India more wickets."

  241. 0416: 
    APPEAL - NOT OUT- Eng 119-0

    India summon helmets and shin pads for another close fielder, while Aggers chides Vic on TMS for "going for the safe buffet again" last night. "Live dangerously for one time in your life," he teases. There's a slip, silly point and short leg in as Ashwin bowled to Compton, who's hit on the pad but umpire Aleem Dar shakes his head as India appeal excitedly. And the TV replays show that with DRS, Compton may have perished there... They run a leg bye, while two singles push the score along.

    Alison Mitchell, BBC Radio 5 live

    On Twitter: "The weather in Ahmedabad is....... the same as it has been every other day we've been here. Sun. No cloud. Bit of haze."

  243. 0411: 
    Eng 116-0 (TRAIL BY 214)

    Cook faces Zaheer for the first time this morning, the left-armer strays with his line allowing Cook to cut him for four. You can't bowl to the England skipper there - he moves to 79, while Compton has 34.


    From Brian Seward, TMS inbox: "Over here in Western Canada it is 8pm Saturday night. I am looking for not three centuries but Four... and a win. Well I can dream can't I..."

  245. 0407: 
    Eng 112-0

    It's going to be pace at one end but spin at the other, not unexpectedly, as off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin, eyes hidden behind sunglasses, bowls round the wicket to England captain Alastair Cook, who pushes the first run of the day wide of Sachin Tendulkar at mid-on. Meanwhile, Aggers is having fun trying to distinguish the various Indian military and police at the ground by their different coloured uniforms. "I might take a picture of them, do you think I'm allowed to?" he asks Vic.

    Vic Marks, BBC Test Match Special

    "If you've not seen Compton bat, he stands rather like Tony Greig - though he's not as tall as Tony Greig - or as Gooch did in the latter years of his career, with his bat raised."

    Alison Mitchell, BBC Radio 5 live

    On Twitter: "Here we go then. England need to bat all day and then some. Probably past lunch tomorrow."

  248. 0404: 
    Eng 111-0 (TRAIL BY 219)

    Batting coach Graham Gooch looks on with a cuppa as Zaheer steams in to Nick Compton, who defends well with two slips in. Zaheer switches to bowling round the wicket for the last ball, and completes a maiden over with England still on "Nelson".


    Tom Shaw on Twitter: "Me again! Here's to hoping that England give me cause to stay up beyond the 4:30 mark unlike last night! 100 for Cook."

  250. 0359: 

    The players emerge and walk to the middle, we're ready to begin day four and left-arm seamer Zaheer Khan will take up the attack for India.


    The Sun's John Etheridge on Twitter: "Extra security at the ground this morning, presumably because of the death of Bal Thackeray [Hindu politician] and worries about possible reaction. England have batted for 37 overs in their second innings. Another 140 should guarantee safety. Expect more zip from refreshed bowlers this morn."

    Vic Marks, BBC Test Match Special

    "We don't know who will replace Bell in the second Test when he goes home [to see the birth of his first child] - it'll probably be Jonny Bairstow or Eoin Morgan, and if they make a significant contribution in Mumbai, it's difficult to see how Bell can just walk back into the side."

  253. 0353: 

    Aggers and Vic on TMS agree that getting through the first half-hour unscathed will be crucial for England today, before they can dare to dream of batting through the day. "The middle order have a few demons floating around their heads," notes Vic - Ian Bell's crazy dismissal yesterday seems to have had a serious psychological effect on the commentators and fans, let alone the players...

    Vic Marks, BBC Test Match Special

    "If your mind's clear about how to play the spinners, it becomes easier. And the evidence so far suggests that Cook can still score runs while he's captain, while it was encouraging the way that Compton batted for an entire session. The challenge is to see whether he can do it again today."


    From Roger in Sydenham, via text on 81111: "Deliberately got on the wrong night bus to help me stay up for this. Come on Cooky, let's have a grandaddy."

    Vic Marks, BBC Test Match Special

    "One of the beauties of watching cricket in India is that the tempo can change so suddenly. It all seems serene then bang, one wicket changes everything, it lifts the crowd and the pressure comes on. But Cook scored 74 in the session yesterday, in a very measured way."

  257. 0345: 

    TMS are up and running, there are some big crowds going, and Aggers's cold sounds a lot better than it was a couple of days ago. The big question remains unanswered at this stage... did he make it three Bond films in three nights yesterday, by watching "Moonraker" on his malfunctioning TV?

    Meanwhile, there's another Test going on in Sri Lanka, where New Zealand were bowled out for 221 on the first day of the first Test in Galle, and Sri Lanka will begin day two (which starts at 0430 GMT) on 9-1.

  258. 0337: 

    Jonathan Agnew points out in his column reflecting on day three that although England could lose this in four days, "Cook and Compton have shown the others that it's perfectly possible to make runs". He and the Test Match Special gang will be on air from 0345 GMT.

    But what do you think? Whether you're rooting for England or India, you can email (with "For Mark Mitchener" in the subject line), text 81111 if you're in the UK (with "CRICKET" as the first word) or tweet us via #bbccricket - will England enjoy an India summer with the bat, or will Ian Bell's first-ball brain-melt yesterday spread to the rest of the side?

  259. 0334: 

    After three days of the first Ashes Test in Brisbane in November 2010, England were staring down the barrel of a possible innings defeat, trailing Australia by 202 but with all 10 second-innings wickets standing. What followed was the stuff of legend - and I'm proud to say I was there at the Gabba to witness it. England made 517-1 with Andrew Strauss (110), Alastair Cook (235 not out) and Jonathan Trott (135 not out) all hitting centuries, and the draw was assured.

    Now, I recognise that England will bat today in completely different conditions to that day in Queensland, and India have a far more potent bowling attack than the Aussie line-up with featured spinner Xavier Doherty (0-107) and wild paceman Mitchell "he bowls to the left, he bowls to the right" Johnson (0-104). But it's food for thought...

  260. 0333: 

    Wicketkeeper Matt Prior was put up for interview yesterday and toed the party line by insisting that a draw was still possible. However, there is one precedent to suggest that this may not be the hopeless lost cause many see it as. Let me tell you why...

  261. 0330: 

    Morning, everyone. At this time yesterday morning, I was asking if England could play spin - and the dog's breakfast of the first hour's play suggested they could not. However, despite having to follow on, they seemed to improve as the day went on - and certainly had the better of the final session.

    With two days of the first Test remaining, the tourists will resume on 111-0, a mere 219 runs behind India, with openers Alastair Cook (74) and Nick Compton (34) looking increasingly assured.

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Live Scores - India v England


  • India beat England by 9 wickets
  • India: 521-8 & 80-1 (15.3 overs)
  • England: 191 & 406 (154.3 overs)
  • Venue: Ahmedabad

India 2nd Innings

Player outReason Bowledby Runs
Total for 1 80
Sehwag c Pietersen b Swann 25
Pujara not out 41
Kohli not out 14
Extras 0

England in India 2012-13

India's Mahendra Dhoni and England's Alastair Cook

Reports and scorecards from England's one-day tour of India, which includes five ODIs.