defended this time
6.40pm Stumps Well, that's been a most extraordinary day., with the outcome of this match thrown into utter doubt after Umpire Hair changed the ball in the 56th over of England's innings, unhappy with its condition and then Pakistan staged a protest after tea, refusing to come back on to the pitch at first.
Do check our match cluster to read in-depth pieces on the events, and scroll down to find out what happened. It's been utter chaos at the Oval and we're still not even sure whether the game will go ahead tomorrow, but you can find out on the site shortly after the ICC concludes its crisis meeting.
Thanks for joining us today... and we will hope to be back with you tomorrow.
6.32pm Bob Woolmer has just announced: "The team is upset by the inference they have been accused of tampering with the ball and therefore cheating. It is a no-win situation as the umpires refuse to come out."
6.30pm The ECB have just announced that the ICC have told them that meetings will be held immediately after play to determine whether the match will go ahead tomorrow. We'll obviously bring you that news as soon as we have it.
6.15pm Play has been officially called off for the day, according to Sky. That leaves open the possibility that there will be cricket tomorrow. That all needs to be confirmed and hopefully we'll have that news for you shortly.
6.05pm According to Sky, the fourth umpire has just informed the teams that there will be no more play today.
Just a little extra from the bemused ECB spokesperson. "It's certainly nothing to do with the spirit between the teams. That much I can tell you. Just like the rest of us, they are sat there in astonishment waiting for someone to tell us what's happening."
6.00pm An ECB spokesperson has just said: "It's entirely a matter for the ICC and the PCB. England's batsmen were out there and all ready to resume playing." They are going to sit tight and wait for someone to make a decision. For obvious reasons, ie it's not really anything to do with them, the England camp won't be making any further statements on this situation at the moment.
5.50pm "We are hurt and we are disappointed," says Shahrayar Khan, "and we are registering our complaints through the relevant channels."
He also added this, on Sky: "We have indicated very clearly that we can go out and play, in fact the boys came out and that we want the Test match to continue. We want this issue to be finished and resolved. We want the umpires to come out. We have indicated we are ready to come on to the field and play."
About the incident earlier he had this to say: "Nobody was consulted and nobody was told that something was wrong with the ball and they felt deeply aggrieved for the country and for the fans. They said that we want to register a protest and they felt that they could do it by just waiting a few minutes. And then we were ready to come out and we felt it was extraordinary that we were ready to come out and the umpires say they are not. It's very sad that this has come to pass."
He added further: "I hope the match can continue. It's bad light but even if we can continue for half an hour, that would be good."
Looking ahead, whether this would affect the one-dayers, Khan didn't say. "I don't know what's going to happen in the future. We have absolutely no complaint with the English board. We have very good relations and atmosphere, the spirit of this series has been excellent. If this match is abandoned it wont be because of the English board or the team it will be because of an incident that has been brought to the fore by the umpires."
Nasser Hussain added this: "The problem is the conflict with the boards and the ICC. This is an ICC matter. The ICC and the umpires are the ones that are supposed to be running this game of cricket. Who is in charge of this game?"
5.45pm No individual has been accused, by the way; Cricinfo have been told by sources inside the Pakistan camp.
5.40pmAt last there's an announcement over the tannoy for the crowds.
Meanwhile, Mike Atherton's opinions on Sky are scathing of Darrell Hair, saying his decision lacks any historical context and that they lacked common sense. "It's bound to inflame things. It would have been best to leave it to the end of the day. He's not a man to back down. He's a stubborn character, a strong character.. so even though Pakistan said they were willing to come back out [after the bails removal/apparent forfeiture] you could imagine him sitting in the dressing room refusing to come out."
5.32pm It gets more bizarre. Pakistan are now walking off as the umpires aren't coming out.
"It sums up the ICC for me," says Nasser Hussain on Sky. "They talk about irrelevant things. You've got a major sporting issue here at The Oval, surely Mike Procter sits down with the main people and says, "Right what's going on?" Do it behind the scenes and get a decision made and this would stop all these ridiculous scenes of players going up and down stairs."
There are press cameraman loitering at the bottom of the steps capturing these extraordinary scenes, and who can blame them. These photos will be making the backpages tomorrow for sure.
Some people aren't hanging around - fed up with the nonsense, spectators are starting to leave.
Andrew McGlashan has just had a call from a friend at the ground who confirms that none of the spectators has been told anything about what is going on.
5.30pm Boos from the crowd as Pakistan take to the field. The crowd haven't been kept informed of what's been happening, but it'sgood that Pakistan are on.
Darrell Hair is now saying that if Pakistan take the field, he won't.
It's all very sad, and very messy.
5.27pm A ha, the Pakistan team have spoken with Mike Procter, the match referee, and have apparently confirmed that they will take the field. But, oh dear, the light has deteriorated so the England batsmen could take the light if they go back on the field. This is a complete farce of Carry On proportions, but without the humour.
5.25pm In a further surprising twist, the covers are now coming off and that's greeted by a huge cheer. But the stumps have still not been replaced. Whatever it is, it's a mess.
5.20pm Here's what Andrew Miller has for us. "The issue would seem to boil down to evidence. Has Darrell Hair got any proof that the Pakistanis were tampering with the ball? Did he see a specific player scratch at the seam, or did he take a look at a ball that is 55 overs old and draw his own conclusions? As Ian Botham has just said on Sky Sports, it's a matter of honour to the Pakistanis. If Hair has no proof, then they are well within their rights to take this stance." Thanks for that update, Andrew.
5.15pmThe Pakistan officials and David Morgan are now going into the Pakistan dressing room for talks.
5.10pm Kamran Akmal has been called back into the dressing room, presumably for a team meeting, whereas Shoaib Akhtar has left. They're shaking hands on the balcony. David Morgan, the ECB chairman, has just shaken hands with Zaheer Abbas. Now Morgan and Sharayar Khan, the chairman of the PCB, are sitting around to have crisis talks. Stay with us.
5.05pm Still waiting for news, as is everyone else... so bear with us...
5.00pm The bails are coming off now - suggesting the game is over - and the umpires are roundly booed by the crowd. The umpires are walking off as are the batsmen. Have Pakistan forfeited the game? We'll let you know as soon as we've got anything on that. This is a hugely serious situation - and the crowds have no idea what's going on. Stay tuned and we'll bring you the news as it develops.
4.55pm The batsmen are coming out now, to great cheers, but there's no sign of the Pakistan team. Oh, there goes Kamran Akmal, on the balcony, but he just sits down and takes his gloves off. He's making a statement of intent here, picking up his paper and just reading it. Pakistan are clearly not going to take the field now. The only people out on the field are the two batsmen and two umpires. This is most peculiar.
4.50pm Jenny here, while Andrew goes to find out what's going on... nobody seems to know, though, as the Pakistan team have delayed their arrival on to the pitch. We will let you know as soon as we know what the latest situation is, but an extraordinary day is just getting more baffling. The crowd are entertaining themselves with a Mexican wave, in the absence of any entertainment out in the middle. Stay with us.
4.45pm Zaheer Abbas, Pakistan's manager, is talking on his mobile phone on the balcony, but no sign of Inzamam or Bob Woolmer, the Pakistan coach, who was seen before tea striding towards the match referee's office with the rule book in hand.
No doubt about it, we've got a protest in progress here.
4.40pm Now then, this is interesting. The umpires are out there, but the Pakistanis are not coming out of the dressing-room. We could have a bit of an incident here.
The slow-hand claps start to ring out ... but there is nothing doing from the Pakistanis. The England batsmen are ready, and now the umpires are having to troop back indoors.
Inzy was threatening to come out, it would seem, but now they are going deeper back into the bowels of the pavilion. I sense a major incident is about to kick off here.
4.35pm The covers are coming off, and it's looking bright enough for a resumption. And here come the umpires
Tea So the umpires call an early tea as the skies get gloomier... We'll keep you updated as to when play will recommence but meantime everyone will be reflecting on the unexpected events this afternoon. Drop us a line to let us know what you think
down the wicket, didn't quite get to the pitch but dragged it well enough over mid-on off the front foot and he watches that all the way
that's pushed right up there and defended on the front foot
defended on the front foot.
bouncer and that's easily ducked under
dug out and sent to cover
played on the back foot
rushed down the off side channel, bent away slightly
defended again and that's a very well bowled maiden
rushed out to mid-wicket
unconvincing forward defensive; this is good bowling by Kaneria
defended on the front foot
dropped on leg stump and that's defended forward
wide and that's cut away behind point
Tea will be taken at 4.10pm today
defended on the front foot
terrific bouncer and that surprises the batsman and he takes his eye right off it as he hooks it behind square