England tour of India, 2008/09 / Commentary

England in India Test Series - 1st Test

India v England

India won by 6 wickets

Overs 1-50  | Overs 51-100

"At this point Freddie's bowling and batting average are exactly the same at 32.22. I wouldn't have thought that that happens too often," muses Tim Luxton.

50.1

Flintoff to Dhoni, no run, short of a length and wide so Dhoni gets across and leaves it be

50.2

Flintoff to Dhoni, no run, 135ks, on the stumps, he shuffles and pushes it to mid-on

50.3

Flintoff to Dhoni, (no ball) 1 run, oversteps, Dhoni punches the ball to mid-off and calls early

Hasn't been anything in the pitch for Flintoff or Panesar this morning.

50.3

Flintoff to Harbhajan Singh, no run, hits a length, Harbhajan drives to a tumbling Anderson at cover

50.4

Flintoff to Harbhajan Singh, no run, does well to hop up and keep a short ball down in front of point

50.5

Flintoff to Harbhajan Singh, no run, swing nearly draws a loose leading edge, as Harbhajan shapes to whip the ball to the on side but the balls straightens and he almost ends up hitting it back

50.6

Flintoff to Harbhajan Singh, no run, staunchly defended, this ball nips back in off a length and Harbhajan hustles to cover off stump and dead-bat it into the off side

End of over 51 (2 runs) India 174/6
Harbhajan Singh    16* (27b 3x4)      A Flintoff    15-2-38-1
MS Dhoni    38* (52b 5x4)      MS Panesar    11-3-37-1

Panesar decides to go over the stumps ...

51.1

Panesar to Dhoni, 1 run, sharp bounce, tossed up generously, Dhoni pushes at it and the inside edge flies oh so close to Bell under the helmet at forward short leg, dropping tantalizingly in front of his fingers and then rolling through his legs

51.2

Panesar to Harbhajan Singh, 1 run, straightens after pitching and he paddles it around the corner

51.3

Panesar to Dhoni, 1 leg bye, more turn and bounce, wrong line though and Dhoni nudges fine

51.4

Panesar to Harbhajan Singh, FOUR, good shot, a firm paddle sweep to beat short fine leg

51.5

Panesar to Harbhajan Singh, no run, slows the pace and tosses it up well outside leg stump, Harbhajan clears the front leg and swings, the ball balloons up off his pads and goes wide of Bell

51.6

Panesar to Harbhajan Singh, no run, again he kneels down and sweeps one tossed up outside leg, misses and Panesar belts out the appeal as the ball flies to the off side, but no one else is interested

The move to around the stumps has got Panesar some bounce

End of over 52 (7 runs) India 181/6
Harbhajan Singh    21* (31b 4x4)      MS Panesar    12-3-43-1
MS Dhoni    39* (54b 5x4)      A Flintoff    15-2-38-1

Steve Harmison into the attack. This a hand partnership for India

52.1

Harmison to Dhoni, 1 bye, sloppy from bowler and wicketkeeper, Harmison bowls it full and wide down the leg side, Dhoni cannot reach it but Prior fumbles the diving take and allows runs

52.2

Harmison to Harbhajan Singh, no run, walks down the track, Harmison bowls it short down the leg stump and this time Prior dives and collects it well

There are dark clouds overhead. The rain is on the way.

52.3

Harmison to Harbhajan Singh, no run, a big appeal for one down the leg side, Harmison strays and Harbhajan shuffles to try and lap it fine, there's a massive noise and Prior tumbles and takes it, they all go up in appeal but Bowden walks to Harper at square leg to consult, they reckon it was off the thigh pad, as replays later indicate

52.4

Harmison to Harbhajan Singh, 1 run, too straight and he gets a single, nudged away to the spaces

52.5

Harmison to Dhoni, no run, stretches well forward and pushes the ball to cover

52.6

Harmison to Dhoni, 1 run, too full and he flicks across the line to Bell at deep midwicket

You've just got the feeling England are letting India off the hook. Dhoni and Harbhajan are doing well.

End of over 53 (3 runs) India 184/6
MS Dhoni    40* (57b 5x4)      SJ Harmison    9-1-31-1
Harbhajan Singh    22* (34b 4x4)      MS Panesar    12-3-43-1

53.1

Panesar to Dhoni, no run, tossed up on leg stump and Dhoni defends to the off

53.2

Panesar to Dhoni, no run, pitches outside leg and he shoulders arms, padding it off

53.3

Panesar to Dhoni, no run, goes back to pull a short ball but inside edges onto his boot

53.4

Panesar to Dhoni, 1 run, goes back and across and tickles one off his pads to fine leg

53.5

Panesar to Harbhajan Singh, FOUR, now he produces the reverse sweep, and for four too! Panesar tosses it up into the rough outside leg stump and Harbhajan paddles it over slip, that shot raises the 50-run partnership, though Dhoni walks down and has a chat with his partner

53.6

Panesar to Harbhajan Singh, no run, makes room and punches a good-looking drive to KP at mid-off

End of over 54 (5 runs) India 189/6
Harbhajan Singh    26* (36b 5x4)      MS Panesar    13-3-48-1
MS Dhoni    41* (61b 5x4)      SJ Harmison    9-1-31-1

Its getting dark.

54.1

Harmison to Dhoni, no run, short and down leg stump, still he struggles for his line

"Dravid was shown reading a book in the pavilion - "Critical Choices That Change Lives: How Heroes Turn Tragedy Into Triumph"- wonder why?" says Diwakar. "Anyway, I googled it and it has 5 star rating- so he is going to get a century in the second innings."

54.2

Harmison to Dhoni, 1 run, too straight and it allows Dhoni to nudge the ball to midwicket

54.3

Harmison to Harbhajan Singh, no run, short down the body, he awkwardly tries to leave and the ball clips his arm guard, bobbing up towards the on side where Prior runs around

54.4

Harmison to Harbhajan Singh, no run, short down leg stump, he goes to pull and cannot connect

54.5

Harmison to Harbhajan Singh, no run, short on the off side this time and he gets tall to defend to cover

54.6

Harmison to Harbhajan Singh, 1 run, shuffles across and turns a short ball to midwicket, so there's a clear plan to Harbhajan but so far he's playing Harmison and the short stuff well

End of over 55 (2 runs) India 191/6
Harbhajan Singh    27* (40b 5x4)      SJ Harmison    10-1-33-1
MS Dhoni    42* (63b 5x4)      MS Panesar    13-3-48-1

Swann into the attack from over the stumps

55.1

Swann to Harbhajan Singh, no run, tossed up and Harbhajan comes on the front foot and defends it

55.2

Swann to Harbhajan Singh, no run, turns down the leg side, he misses a paddle and Swann appeals, but that was pitched down the line of impact and spinning too much

55.3

Swann to Harbhajan Singh, no run, tossed up and he drives this one to the off side this time

55.4

Swann to Harbhajan Singh, 1 run, down the pads and he shapes to paddle it towards short fine leg

55.5

Swann to Dhoni, no run, reaches out and drives to the man at cover

55.6

Swann to Dhoni, no run, comes across and works the ball to the on side

End of over 56 (1 run) India 192/6
MS Dhoni    42* (65b 5x4)      GP Swann    8-0-36-2
Harbhajan Singh    28* (44b 5x4)      SJ Harmison    10-1-33-1

56.1

Panesar to Harbhajan Singh, no run, flat down the leg side, turns back from the rough, Harbhajan misses the sweep and Monty gets animated as he thought the ball had hit the stumps

56.2

Panesar to Harbhajan Singh, no run, tossed up and he drives to the man at cover

56.3

Panesar to Harbhajan Singh, no run, beaten as he comes forward to defend a teasing delivery

56.4

Panesar to Harbhajan Singh, 1 run, too straight and he nibbles it to fine leg for a single

56.5

Panesar to Dhoni, no run, tossed up and he defends it back

56.6

Panesar to Dhoni, no run, too short but Dhoni fails to beat the off side with his cut

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End of over 57 (1 run) India 193/6
MS Dhoni    42* (67b 5x4)      MS Panesar    14-3-49-1
Harbhajan Singh    29* (48b 5x4)      GP Swann    8-0-36-2

57.1

Harmison to Harbhajan Singh, FOUR, ah, edged flat over the slips for four! Harbhajan sees room and flays the bat at it, getting a thick outside edge over the cordon

57.2

Harmison to Harbhajan Singh, no run, much straighter and now Harbhajan defends it back

57.3

Harmison to Harbhajan Singh, FOUR, shot! Harbhajan puts 200 on the board with a shot that even Dravid cannot pull off these days, just transfers the weight and smacks a length ball superbly between point and cover and admires the shot, which was one a top-order batsman would be proud of

57.4

Harmison to Harbhajan Singh, 1 run, overpitched on the pads now and he clips a single to the deep

"I wounder which book has Harbhajan read to change tragedy to triumph. Must have read Something extra-ordinary. Because he keeps frustrating opposition more than by bat instead bowl," says Singh from Hong Kong.

57.5

Harmison to Dhoni, no run, pitches on a length and Dhoni plays it back to Harmison

57.6

Harmison to Dhoni, no run, too straight and Dhoni turns the ball towards midwicket

That will be drinks. There's another big series coming up, Australia v South Africa. Have you made your Fantasy League teams yet?

End of over 58 (9 runs) India 202/6
MS Dhoni    42* (69b 5x4)      SJ Harmison    11-1-42-1
Harbhajan Singh    38* (52b 7x4)      MS Panesar    14-3-49-1

Panesar has had a change of ends. Slip and forward short leg in while mid-off is deep.

58.1

Panesar to Harbhajan Singh, no run, tossed up on middle and off and Harbhajan defends

58.2

Panesar to Harbhajan Singh, 1 run, another pleasing shot, just pushed with a straight bat to cover

58.3

Panesar to Dhoni, 2 runs, quicker delivery, Dhoni punches sweetly through cover for two

Two fielders come to catch at cover

58.4

Panesar to Dhoni, no run, 96ks, a bit too flat and Dhoni pushes the ball to point

58.5

Panesar to Dhoni, 3 runs, skips out and collects on the full to clip out to deep midwicket, he and Harbhajan run hard but Dhoni looks to be in trouble because he pulls up and hobbles, looks like he sort of slipped while turning back for the second run, yeah he looks in pain

Dhoni has get some medical attention. He will bat on.

58.6

Panesar to Harbhajan Singh, no run, tossed up outside off and he misses a booming sweep

End of over 59 (6 runs) India 208/6
Harbhajan Singh    39* (55b 7x4)      MS Panesar    15-3-55-1
MS Dhoni    47* (72b 5x4)      SJ Harmison    11-1-42-1

Swann comes back into the attack. Slip and forward short leg in place.

59.1

Swann to Dhoni, 1 run, too short and Dhoni shuffles to muscle the ball to square leg

59.2

Swann to Harbhajan Singh, 1 run, tossed up wide and Harbhajan greets the quicker delivery by opening the face and steering it wide of slip and down towards third man, thats smart batting

59.3

Swann to Dhoni, no run, tossed up on a length and Dhoni goes back and defends

59.4

Swann to Dhoni, no run, bit of flight but too full and Dhoni clips straight to midwicket

59.5

Swann to Dhoni, 1 run, too quick and flat, Dhoni walks across his stumps and dabs it fine

The sun is back out.

59.6

Swann to Harbhajan Singh, 1 leg bye, slower delivery down leg stump, paddled to short fine leg

End of over 60 (4 runs) India 212/6
Harbhajan Singh    40* (57b 7x4)      GP Swann    9-0-39-2
MS Dhoni    49* (76b 5x4)      MS Panesar    15-3-55-1

60.1

Panesar to Harbhajan Singh, OUT, and he goes, simply turning a tossed up delivery off his pads to a diving Bell at forward short leg, end of a strong partnership and a useful innings from Harbhajan

Harbhajan Singh c Bell b Panesar 40 (87m 58b 7x4 0x6) SR: 68.96

That stand was worth 75. Panesar has struck. Dhoni is on 49 and running out of partners. Zaheer and Ishant have proved in the past they can stick around. Lets see what happens. Three men hover around Zaheer.

60.2

Panesar to Khan, no run, oh thats a superb shout for lbw! Zaheer comes forward to defend a quicker arm ball, it raps him flush on the front pad and they all ask the question but Billy Bowden shakes his head .. tell you what, thats a good shout!

60.3

Panesar to Khan, no run, tossed up again and he comes forward to defend

Yes, Panesar can consider himself unlucky. Replays show that ball hitting leg stump. Billy, Billy ...

60.4

Panesar to Khan, no run, tossed up, defended

60.5

Panesar to Khan, no run, tossed up, defended

60.6

Panesar to Khan, no run, comes forward and defends to complete a wicket-maiden

Billy Bowden is not having the best of matches. Panesar still believes he had his man.

End of over 61 (wicket maiden) India 212/7
Z Khan    0* (5b)      MS Panesar    16-4-55-2
MS Dhoni    49* (76b 5x4)      GP Swann    9-0-39-2

61.1

Swann to Dhoni, 1 run, dances down the track and turns the ball to deep midwicket and thats the Indian captain's half-century from 77 balls, a very crucial innings under pressure

61.2

Swann to Khan, 1 run, plenty of turn, slower too, spins into Zaheer, who tickles it fine

61.3

Swann to Dhoni, 1 run, too full and so Dhoni turns it to midwicket for one more

61.4

Swann to Khan, no run, tossed up this time and he defends to the off side

61.5

Swann to Khan, no run, short and spinning down and he taps it to short leg

61.6

Swann to Khan, no run, strides a long way forward and defends to the off side

End of over 62 (3 runs) India 215/7
Z Khan    1* (9b)      GP Swann    10-0-42-2
MS Dhoni    51* (78b 5x4)      MS Panesar    16-4-55-2

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62.1

Panesar to Dhoni, no run, tossed up outside off stump and Dhoni defends it back

62.2

Panesar to Dhoni, 1 run, thats flat and short and cut out to deep point for a single

62.3

Panesar to Khan, no run, lovely dip on that one and Zaheer blocks it to silly point

62.4

Panesar to Khan, no run, pitches on off stump and Zaheer comes forward again

62.5

Panesar to Khan, no run, much slower at 78ks, short too and he defends going back

62.6

Panesar to Khan, no run, slides down leg stump, balloons off the pad to short leg

End of over 63 (1 run) India 216/7
Z Khan    1* (13b)      MS Panesar    17-4-56-2
MS Dhoni    52* (80b 5x4)      GP Swann    10-0-42-2

So just about 30 minutes until lunch on day three. Back comes Flintoff.

63.1

Flintoff to Dhoni, 1 run, starts off with a half-volley, which Dhoni drives to deep cover

63.2

Flintoff to Khan, no run, defends with an edge along the ground to gully this time

63.3

Flintoff to Khan, OUT, simple enough decision for umpire Harper to give, that one pitches back of a length and comes back in to rap Zaheer on the pads in front of the stumps, its the back leg so that out

Z Khan lbw b Flintoff 1 (16m 15b 0x4 0x6) SR: 6.66

So yet again a bowling changes brings about an immediate wicket. India are eight down. Flintoff continues to have a good match with the ball. England need two more to nip. Amit Mishra comes to the crease.

63.4

Flintoff to Mishra, no run, pitches full and beats the bat as he drives outside off stump

63.5

Flintoff to Mishra, 2 leg byes, slides down the pads and he glances it down to a diving Monty

63.6

Flintoff to Mishra, no run, pushes down the wrong line to a beauty and misses out again

Top over that from Flintoff.

End of over 64 (3 runs) India 219/8
A Mishra    0* (3b)      A Flintoff    16-2-39-2
MS Dhoni    53* (81b 5x4)      MS Panesar    17-4-56-2

64.1

Panesar to Dhoni, OUT, and now Dhoni goes! Panesar strikes again as the Indian captain dances down the pitch and slogs the ball straight down Pietersen's throat at deep mid-off, the wheels are indeed falling off this one and England are loving it

MS Dhoni c Pietersen b Panesar 53 (162m 82b 5x4 0x6) SR: 64.63

64.2

Panesar to Mishra, FOUR, thats the way to hit em, skips, says Mishra, who uses his feet well and clubs that one over mid-on for a boundary

64.3

Panesar to Mishra, no run, pitches on the stumps and turns away, Mishra goes back to defend, the ball takes something and flies to first slip and England all jump up in appeal but there's no reaction from the umpire

64.4

Panesar to Mishra, 1 run, slides down the pads and he paddles it down to fine leg for a single

64.5

Panesar to Sharma, no run, tossed up and defended

64.6

Panesar to Sharma, no run, quicker ball, he goes back and defends to slip

End of over 65 (5 runs) India 224/9
I Sharma    0* (2b)      MS Panesar    18-4-61-3
A Mishra    5* (6b 1x4)      A Flintoff    16-2-39-2

65.1

Flintoff to Mishra, FOUR, ah, picks the gap between gully and the slips! Flintoff hits a length and Mishra hops backwards, opening the face somewhat to edge it safely for four

65.2

Flintoff to Mishra, no run, nips back in off a length and Mishra defends confidently to point

65.3

Flintoff to Mishra, 1 bye, arches his back to steer a bouncer over the slip cordon but misses, the ball doesn't carry to Prior and then beats his tumbling dive

65.4

Flintoff to Sharma, no run, back of a length and now its Ishant's turn to defend to the off

65.5

Flintoff to Sharma, 1 run, full and fast and straight and Ishant does well to clip it for a single

65.6

Flintoff to Mishra, no run, looks for the yorker down leg stump but doesn't quite get it right, Mishra makes room and flicks, mistimes the ball to midwicket, sets off, and gets waved back

End of over 66 (6 runs) India 230/9
A Mishra    9* (10b 2x4)      A Flintoff    17-2-44-2
I Sharma    1* (4b)      MS Panesar    18-4-61-3

India trail by 86 runs ...

66.1

Panesar to Sharma, 2 runs, tossed up and he drives down to KP at mid-off, who's deep

66.2

Panesar to Sharma, no run, tossed up wide and he stretches forward to drive to cover

66.3

Panesar to Sharma, no run, short outside off stump, Ishant gets across and leaves it be

66.4

Panesar to Sharma, 2 runs, arm ball, Ishant walks across and picks it, turning it square

66.5

Panesar to Sharma, no run, tossed up wide, well judged by Ishant, who shoulders arms

66.6

Panesar to Sharma, no run, nice drive, except silly point cops it on the boot

End of over 67 (4 runs) India 234/9
I Sharma    5* (10b)      MS Panesar    19-4-65-3
A Mishra    9* (10b 2x4)      A Flintoff    17-2-44-2

67.1

Flintoff to Mishra, 1 run, pitches and angles in, Mishra defends and edges past gully

Ishant pulls out because something is in front of the sight screen

67.2

Flintoff to Sharma, no run, back of a length and he shuffles across to defend

67.3

Flintoff to Sharma, no run, gets right behind the line of the ball and defends it back real well

67.4

Flintoff to Sharma, 1 run, low full toss on the pads, tapped towards midwicket

67.5

Flintoff to Mishra, 2 runs, shuffles across and clips one down to Monty at deep square

67.6

Flintoff to Mishra, 1 no ball, oversteps, Mishra hears the call and dabs a short ball to Cook at gully

67.6

Flintoff to Mishra, no run, ohh, pitches and straightens and just beats the outer edge

End of over 68 (5 runs) India 239/9
A Mishra    12* (14b 2x4)      A Flintoff    18-2-49-2
I Sharma    6* (13b)      MS Panesar    19-4-65-3

Last over before lunch. Its Anderson.

68.1

Anderson to Sharma, no run, bouncer over the stumps gets Ishant ducking out of the way

68.2

Anderson to Sharma, 2 runs, shuffles across and nicely nudges one down to square leg

68.3

Anderson to Sharma, no run, 135ks, short of a good length and Ishant plays and misses

68.4

Anderson to Sharma, no run, ah, another one sneaks past the outer edge of his bat as he gets across to outside off stump and pushes like a tail-ender, the ball doesn't carry to Prior

68.5

Anderson to Sharma, no run, thats better from Ishant, getting in line and defending well

68.6

Anderson to Sharma, no run, ends the session with tight defence, getting right behind the ball

11.30am India trail by 75 and keep England in the field. England will be happy with their progress - three wickets in the session. It took 75 minutes because Harbhajan Singh (40) and Mahendra Singh Dhoni (53) put on 75. Once they were separated England picked up steam. They need one wicket.

We'll be back for the second session at 12.10pm. Remember, you can read Cricinfo's commentary anywhere in the world on your mobile phone for free. Click here to download Cricinfo MobiCast and follow every ball even when you are on the move.

End of over 69 (2 runs) India 241/9
I Sharma    8* (19b)      JM Anderson    11-3-28-1
A Mishra    12* (14b 2x4)      A Flintoff    18-2-49-2

12.10pm Welcome back, hope you've had a chance to eat, sleep, catch up on work or whatever it is you needed to do during the lunch interval. The players are ready and so are Binoy and myself.

"Chennai has given some thrilling test matches..Tied test btw Ind vs Aus.,Historical series..Ind Vs Pak when Sachin scored atone and Pak wen to win..Ind vs Aus..Ind went on to win the series with harbhajan hitting the winning run..Will the current test will be one such..India will go on to win? ..though may concede a lead.Sure there is going to be a result," says Jayaram.

Mishra, on a personal Test best, marks his guard and asks for the sight screen to be adjusted. Flintoff has the ball, Pietersen has a word with him. Just one slip.

69.1

Flintoff to Mishra, no run, wide enough to be driven and he mistimes the shot to cover

69.2

Flintoff to Mishra, no run, tight line and length and Mishra defends it back to Flintoff

69.3

Flintoff to Mishra, no run, looks for movement off a fuller length but Mishra drives to mid-on

69.4

Flintoff to Mishra, OUT, cleaned up and thats the end of that, Flintoff pitches it full and straight and gets the ball to skid on pretty low to beat Mishra for pace, playing back instead of forward, losing his stumps

A Mishra b Flintoff 12 (29m 18b 2x4 0x6) SR: 66.66

So Flintoff needs little time to bowl India out for 241, no runs added since lunch and England maintain that very handy lead of 75. India have their work cut out. We'll have England' second innings shortly.

In the meantime, check out our selection of cricket wallpaper here.

Overs 1-50  | Overs 51-100
Series Results
India v England at Mohali - Dec 19-23, 2008
Match drawn
India v England at Chennai - Dec 11-15, 2008
India won by 6 wickets
More results »

Match Coverage

Photos

Dec 15, 2008

Sachin Tendulkar closes his eyes, India v England, 1st Test, Chennai, 5th day, December 15, 2008

Sachin Tendulkar closes his eyes

© AFP

Dec 15, 2008

The trophy is not a distant dream for Mahendra Singh Dhoni, India v England, 1st Test, Chennai, 5th day, December 15, 2008

The trophy is not a distant dream for Mahendra Singh Dhoni

© AFP

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