Preamble Good afternoon. I hope you're all well rested, stress free and ready for a belting conclusion to this 6th ODI. England lead 3-2, and are in pole position to clinch the series after scoring in a pulsating morning's play. Anyone after any proof that this England side are heading in the right direction need look no further. England had slumped to 83-4 and 137-5 (after a calamitous run-out of Kevin Pietersen), before two players with very different points to prove set about smashing the Indian attack to all parts. Owais Shah was under immense pressure to make a score after a horrible mix-up with Pietersen, and anchored the second half of the innings with what he must hope will prove a career defining knock of 107*, but the real star of the show was Luke Wright. The young Sussex all-rounder proving an instant hit with a blistering 50 from 39 balls on debut, before he was also run-out, but his was an innings that completely changed the complexion of the game, scattering the Indian fielders to all parts and putting fear in the minds of the bowlers in a way that even Pietersen hadn't managed. All this allowed Shah to open his arms, and laid the foundations for a devastating late spell of hitting from Dimi Mascarenhas, who again showed what Shane Warne sees in him, hitting five sixes from the final over in a whirlwind 36 from 15 balls. The momentum is firmly with England, and with James Anderson and Stuart Broad back in tandem a few early wickets could prove crucial. The highest successful chase at the Oval is England's 265 against South Africa, but don't let that fool you, it's a belting pitch, and India's top four have been scoring runs for fun recently. So can Sachin score the ton his form has warranted to guide them home? Let's find out.
The Ashley Giles question. He's still on TMS. Why?
Chants. I've got a season ticket at Spurs and our chants are consistently rubbish. 'One nil and you still won't sing'(normally sung to the away fans sadly), and 'England's number one, England's, England's number one', just don't cut it for me. Nor does just chanting a player's name again and again in some formulaic tune, a chant has got have something to it, what has happened to the dry wit that every fan would love to see themselves possessing (I say this while sitting at my throne in an Orange 'FAN' t-shirt), Has itbeen deadened by the Soccer AM generation? I'm talking about something like the Liverpool fans (to the tune of 'Put your hands up for Detroit') 'put your hands up for Dirk Kuyt, he loves this city', or one for England fans, 'One Emile Heskey, one Emile Heskey, He used to be shite, but now he's alright, walking in a Heskey wonderland.' Both are a world better than those Chelsea thugs, sorry fans, no actually, thugs, 'Celery, Celery, Celery'. It's not funny guys, although I suppose it's understandable as remembering more than one word might prove difficult for them. Anyway, I want your best chants, football, or, even better, cricket, either heard or just made up at your desk because you've nothing better to do.
Dog names. If anyone bothered reading on Sunday and still cares what I called my new dog, I went with Charchan in the end, despite the Happy Days link and all your kind suggestions. But thank you, and yes, it is very sweet, and yes, it has already pissed on me.
1st over: India 4-0 (Ganguly 4, Tendulkar x)
Broad opens up for England, fortunately Jon Lewis is straightening his hair, but Ganguly knows all about straight lines as he eases Broad back down the ground for two to get the first runs on the board. Broad then beats him with a jaffa, before straying onto his legs for another couple of runs. I like Nic Harrison's style, "Being a Fulham fan, I also liked the one we sang back in about 1995/96 (roughly) on a wet evening in Bury. We were losing 3-0 and we were just happy to have avoided relegation under a young Micky Adams also around the time of the beef CJD scare... "We've been eating beef, we've been eating beef, we've been eating, weve been eating, we've been eating beef" Classic." Van Persie, dodgy character but what a player. Fulham, after Saturday you are dead to me.
2nd over: India 15-0 (Ganguly 9, Tendulkar 4)
Lewis is back on the field for Owais Shah, gerrrimoff. Anderson is off line and first Ganguly and then Tendulkar help themselves. I love this Sun Jihai one from Mark Robson, "personal favourite at city when he plays is singing ai ai yippee sun jilhai but as for cricket ones i have spent most of the afternoon sining Lukey Wright Wright Wright to the Ian Wright song and Shah Shah Shah of the devil (shout of the Devil), these are rubbish i need better ones". You're right Mark, the cricket ones need a lot of work, but it's a start.
3rd over: India 22-0 (Ganguly 10, Tendulkar 10)
You're right, Mike Wakley, this is genius. "Give me a T. Give me an I. Give me a T. Give me an S. What have you got : TITS. What do you do with them, OLDHAM, OLDHAM, OLDHAM !!!!" Tendulkar is again harsh on Broad as he strays onto the leg-side, England need to put a stop on things now.
4th over: India 23-0 (Ganguly 11, Tendulkar 10)
Good comeback from Jimmy Aaaaa, just a single off the over. Portsmouth fans and Djimi Traore, who i'm sure is reading this, look away now, thanks to Alan White, "To the tune of the Jackson 5 "Blame it on the Boogie": Don't blame it on the Biscan, Don't blame it on the Finnan, Don't blame it on the Hamann, Blame it on Traore, He just can't, he just can't, he just can't control his feet...."
5th over: India 25-0 (Ganguly 12, Tendulkar 11)
Broad is up to 88 mph, and you have to hope he wasn't to affected by what happened at Headingley, he's such a talent. This over is better, just the two singles from it. El-Hadji Diouf is coming in for a fair bit of flak, this one's from Rob Hill, and true to form it's a corker, "He drinks, he drives, he spits in people's eyes, El Hadj Diouf, El Hadj Diouf".
6th over: India 36-0 (Ganguly 17, Tendulkar 16)
Just when some pressure was building Jimmy let's it go, one four brushed past Prior off Tendulkar's hip is followed by an off-stump half-volley to Ganguly that was never going anywhere but the rope. This is cricket after all, and Archi Campbell has slipped his effort through the net, " For a cricketing chant how about 'Dhoni don't like it. Rockin' Owais Shah. Rock Owais Shah.' To the tune of Rock The Casbah. It doesn't make much sense, but I wanted to shoehorn in some sort of chant to an underused tune." Again, a worthwhile effort Archi, but we need more!
7th over: India 37-0 (Ganguly 18, Tendulkar 17)
There are some belters coming in that I can't possibly put up, but they're making me chuckle so it's ok. Here's one from Guy Espitalier-Noel that i've turned a blind eye to, as it shows Spurs fans do have a sense of humour, ""posh spice is a slapper, she wears a wonderbra, and when she's 'making love to' Beckham, she thinks of Ginola". Brilliant. For the record, I'm not dissing, charming word that, Spurs fans, I just think we can do better.... And we can! Another tight over from Stuart Broad, 9, as he struggles boyishly to keep to a lid on things.
8th over: India 50-0 (Ganguly 17, Tendulkar 30)
Ok, this is poor from Anderson. He's had a great summer but this spell, and this over in particular, is far from his finest hour. Three fours for Sachin from the first three balls, one though mid-off and two off his legs, and India are sprinting towards the England total. Dennis Wise is a thoroughly nasty git, and Paula Finn agrees, "Oh Wise, Wise, whatever have you done? You've taken Leeds to division one, And you won't win a cup and you won't win a shield, Your biggest game will be Huddersfield." Many people feel sorry for Leeds, I'm not one of them.
9th over: India 55-0 (Ganguly 21, Tendulkar 31)
Peter Williams undoubtedly epitomises the cosmopolitan makeup of the average OBO reader, "Dale a tu cuerpo alegria Mascarenhas, Que tu cuerpo es pa' darle alegria y cosa buena, Dale a tu cuerpo alegria, Mascarenhas, Ehhhhhhhhhh, Mascarenhas!" All the rage at the Rose Bowl. Does rely on your average Hampshire fan being fluent in Spanish though." Nasser correctly predicts, no, really, that Sourav wants to come to the party after the Sachin show it's been so far and he does, advancing down the wicket and launching Broad high over extra cover for a one-bounce four. Broad shows his mettle by bouncing one into his chest as he tries to do the same again, and verbals are exchanged. Broad certainly has some balls, and now the Umpires are getting involved. Nothing serous though.
10th over: India 57-0 (Ganguly 21, Tendulkar 33)
Mascarenhas into the attack for Jimmy A and it's a tight one, Ganguly is watchful and just two from the over. Here's one that watchers of Setanta will be chanting at their TV's soon from Arjan de Jong, "The north bank to the Vieira tune whilst giving Tottenham the run around 'Tim Sherwood whooaaoh, he comes from boreham wood, he ain't no bloody good'. Sherwood, Why?
11th over: India 66-0 (Ganguly 28, Tendulkar 35)
Ganguly launches Broad high for six over mid-on towards the Pavilion where a young lad totally bottles the catch while giving a look as though he is Hyacinth Bucket and the ball is a pigeon discharging on her shoe. Shameful.
12th over: India 71-0 (Ganguly 28, Tendulkar 40)
I like this Emmanuel Petit chant from Matthew Hothersall. "He's French, he's quick, his name's a porno flick. Emannuelle, Emannuelle". It's funny, saucy hinting at more, and yet ultimately good clean fun for all the family. Well done sir. Equal congratulations to Sachin for a wonderfully improvised paddle-sweep off Mascarenhas that runs away for four, otherwise it's another good over, at this stage England were 52-2.
13th over: India 84-0 (Ganguly 28, Tendulkar 53)
Collingwood's on, it's a power play by the way, and if I were so inclined I'd call him and Dimi the boredom brothers, with their 70 something dobbers designed to bore and frustrate both batsmen and crowd. However, needs must, and it's probably the way forward as pace is going everywhere. Collingwood's plans go quickly awry when he drags down a slower ball and Sachin powers him over mid-on. He then lifts him straight, easy as you like, for four more, it's an exhibition. Four more come off an uppish skit through third man, and it's getting away from England here. That's his half-century, his 124th in ODI'S! "Well", says Rusell Wheeler, " the old Brighton Player Kerry Mayo married a woman called Kerry, leading to similar chants for him "Two Kerry Mayo's, there's only two Kerry Mayo's".
14th over: India 100-0 (Ganguly 29, Tendulkar 64)
Sachin seems to be taking a personal exception to the boredom brothers, they might need to be known as the beating brothers from now if we were to continue this lame duck of a joke, as that's what they're taking. First he lifts Dimi high over mid-on for six, and then crushes him through the off-side disdainfully for four. It really is getting away from England here, 416 would still be in reach of Sachin in this form, and they need a new plan fast. The hundred is up.
15th over: India 109-0 (Ganguly 38, Tendulkar 64)
Anderson is back at the Pavilion end and this could go either way for England, wickets or a lot of runs. It's the latter as Sourav steps down the pitch, bends Anderson over onto his knee and spanks him down the ground for another four, before pulling him for four more two balls later. Curious decision to put more pace on the ball, surely Monty is the way to go at this stage, although with Sachin in this form it probably doesn't matter.
16th over: India 115-0 (Ganguly 43, Tendulkar 65)
Collingwood has delayed the power play, and right on cue brought Panesar into the attack. There's turn right away, and a lot rests on his performance today. Ganguly uses his wrists delightfully to deflect him past Stuart Broad at short third-man for four, more cricket chants please the purists are protesting!
17th over: India 124-0 (Ganguly 43, Tendulkar 74)
Mascarenhas continues, and Tendulkar continues to improvise brilliantly, taking fours either side of Panesar at fine-leg. Hugh Maguire isn't a snob, but has a confession to make, "Slightly off message - but I loved this chant at school. McSherry, McSherry, He drives a transit van, McSherry, McSherry, He calls his granny "gran". It was a fairly posh school and Master Mcsherry had a regional accent." Disgraceful. I hope master McSherry has recovered from this considerable trauma.
18th over: India 126-0 (Ganguly 44, Tendulkar 75)
Good over from Monty, two from it, and it's definitely turning. Timothy Woods is keen to lay into cricket's favourite gnome, "I was at the Oval Ashes in 2005 and Justin Langer got a fair bit of stick, and quite right too. "Are you fielding in a ditch?" got a good ten minutes, followed by "Justin, Justin give us a wave/dance/song". To be fair to the notoriously grumpy Aussie, he did respond to the first two. "Ashley Giles is the King of Spain", to the tune of 'Lord of the Dance', also got a rousing rendition towards the end."
19th over: India 134-0 (Ganguly 50, Tendulkar 77)
Luke Living is the type of inventive soul we're after, "We were at a county Twenty20 game in June, and sang to Surrey's [Someone] Dernbach "Ooh, if I could Dernbach time..." and even managed to follow it up with "I'm just a teenage Dernbach, baby!" We were very drunk." Ganguly has fifty after smashing Dimi off the back-foot over mid-off, that was a baseball shot. This is Tendulkar and Ganguly's 25th century partnership in ODI's.
20th over: India 139-0 (Ganguly 50, Tendulkar 82)
Monty continues, and Collingwood takes the final power play. As Athers points out, it's a risk, but at this stage they don't really have much to lose as they have to take wickets. Sachin takes four from a wonderful cover-drive and there's still no hint of that elusive wicket.
21st over: India 143-0 (Ganguly 50, Tendulkar 86)
Stuart Broad is back on, and it's really Collingwood's only option. It's the selection dilemma, Mascarenhas or a third frontline seamer? Without Mascarenhas' late hitting England would have felt short of a defendable total but now their attack is being utterly exposed. It all serves to emphasise further that, as many times as it's been said, you just cannot replace someone like Flintoff. A good over from Broad but still a four sneaks through the off-side as Tendulkar continues the inevitable march towards his hundred.
22nd over: India 150-0 (Ganguly 53, Tendulkar 90)
Tendulkar moves into the nineties with a cut four from Panesar, as England struggle to stop the one bad ball an over. Sachin has a long break to receive treatment for hamstring cramps that allows me to slip off for a no less pressing natural break, but we're both back on form. Geoff Spick's ditty is interesting, despite the tune, which is the Flintstone's, "Freddie, Freddie Flintoff, Has a long-standing medical history, Lofted over mid-off..., His kidney's seen more action than Pete Doherty's'. Line three needs work I feel.
WICKET! India 150-1 (Ganguly c Pietersen b Broad 53) Ganguly falls trying to lift Stuart Broad over the infield but cannot clear Pietersen in the covers. Finally a breakthrough for England, and Ganguly continues his pattern of getting and and out without pushing on in this series.
23rd over: India 150-1 (Tendulkar 90, Gambhir 0)
A wicket-maiden for Broad, and how England needed it. The rate is back above six-an-over now, and England must seek to put pressure on Gambhir while Tendulkar struggles with cramps at the other end.
24th over: India 154-1 (Tendulkar 94, Gambhir 0)
If Sachin is struggling you wouln't guess it as he shimmies down the wicket to Monty and guides him through extra for four. It's the final over of the power play and you have to say that it has worked for England, as they have taken the wicket they needed and put a lid on things somewhat.
25th over: India 155-1 (Tendulkar 94, Gambhir 1)
Collingwood is back into the attack, and Gambhir is struggling to rotate the strike. His struggles are compounded by the fact that Tendulkar is clearly in no little discomfort now, and has asked for a runner from the dressing room, it appears Ganguly is coming out to run for him. It's an important passage of play this one as England can really put some pressure on.
WICKET! India 156-2 (Tendulkar c Collingwood b Panesar 94) What an important wicket for England, as Tendulkar surrenders his wicket in a limp way, driving Panesar down Collingwood's throat at cover after making room for himself. It was an inauspicious end to what has been a memorable innings, peppered with some typically inventive strokeplay as well as some brutal hitting. He's gone in the nineties again and England breathe a huge sigh of relief. Doubly galling for Sachin as his cramps mean he cannot get up the stairs to the pavilion.
26th over: India 156-2 (Gambhir 2, Yuvraj 0)
The Tendulkar wicket comes just at the right time for England, after a period of play when they have really managed to shut down the Indians run-scoring. Yuvraj is in now, and he sparkled at Headingley.
27th over: India 163-2 (Gambhir 9, Yuvraj 0)
Gambhir shows what he's got in his locker as he lifts Collingwood for a glorious four back over his head. It's an important innings for him, and that will do wonders for his confidence after a sticky start. Over to Gary Naylor, "I find your 21st over comment re Mascarenhas puzzling. Apart from Flintoff, a bowler who would get in every team in the world even if he never scored a run, who would be a better bowling option to these two than Dimi? Lewis? Rashid? Hoggy? Ravi? Dalrymple! Dimi has shown twice that he is a devestating late order bat who can bowl a bit. Flintoff is a once in a generation player, and we have to learn to live without him. Dimi (and Wright) should be part of a new kind of England ODI team not dependent on a great bowler who happens to balance the side by being a useful batsman." I will answer you in a second Gary.
28th over: India 174-2 (Gambhir 16, Yuvraj 1)
Gambhir has really come out of his shell, dancing down the pitch and planting Monty over his head for a huge six. Gary, I think you misunderstand me. I am a big fan of Wright and Mascarenhas, but in the current makeup of the team we definitely seem a frontline seamer short. Anyone disagree?
29th over: India 179-2 (Gambhir 18, Yuvraj 4)
Gambhir and Yuvrak work Collingwood well, five off the over. At this stage it's worth casting an eye back on Staurt Broad's figure thus far, (8-1-32-1) which are very impressive in the context of the game bowling to Tendulkar in full flow, and doubly so when you consider that he went for 80-odd at Headingley. What a prospect he is.
30th over: India 186-2 (Gambhir 19, Yuvraj 10)
Panesar slips in another rank bad ball, which Yuvraj siezes upon and smashes over straight midwicket.
31st over: India 192-2 (Gambhir 19, Yuvraj 10)
Another tidyish over from Collingwood, without boundaries and India content to work the field. "The problem with Dimi", says Richard O'Hagan, " is that an average of one wicket every half dozen ODIs is worse even than Collingwood's. England just cannot afford to have both of them playing at the expense of a bowler, as really they add up to the 5th bowling option. It is like India making up their 5th bowler from Tendulkar, Ganguly and Yuvraj, only with less latent talent."
32nd over: India 196-2 (Gambhir 22, Yuvraj 15)
England surprisingly turn to Owais Shah for some part-time off-spin, which must thrill KP. Collingwood must be hoping it will be Shah's day all-round, but disappointingly he starts with a wide. It's pretty unimpressive stuff from Shah, but somehow India fail to take a boundary from him. I can't see them giving him another over, and that's drinks.
33rd over: India 204-2 (Gambhir 29, Yuvraj 16)
Gambhir again drives straight convincingly, and he is beginning to look a handsome player. Aside from that Collingwood is tidy again, but England cannot afford to let these two get set, especially with Dravid and Dhoni to come. "I agree totally", says Alexander Higgs. "While it's great that collingwood and mascarenhas are capable of boring people out and getting through overs economically as we've seen today they're not really capable of removing in form and set batsmen which is why we need at bowlers in the team who are dangerous partnership breakers. And if one/two of them have off days things get worrying, as they did today when only Broad put his hand up as a genuine wicket taking threat."
34th over: India 208-2 (Gambhir 31, Yuvraj 18)
Perplexingly Shah continues, but perhaps it's just me who doesn't see the light as once again he concedes only four from it.
WICKET! India 209-3 (Yuvraj c and b Mascarenhas 18) A real stroke of fortune for England as Yuvraj appeared almost perplexed by an extremely slow delivery by Dimi, stopped his shot and succeeded only in bunting it back to the bowler where Mascarenhas took a sharp reaction catch just above his head. In comes Dravid, that wicket came at a crucial time for England.
35th over: India 212-3 (Gambhir 33, Dravid 2)
Mascarenhas has answered the criticism in the best way possible with Yuvraj's wicket, suddenly the lack of pace on the ball is a good thing as the incoming Indian batsmen are struggling to take the initiative in the way that Ganguly and Tendulkar did earlier.
WICKET! India 216-4 (Dravid c Collingwood b Shah 4) A vital wicket for England as Dravid falls to a top-edge trying to work a very wide ball from Shah from outside the off-stump. That's Shah's first wicket for England and what an important one, I must hang my head in shame, and England must take advantage of the excellent position they find themselves in.
36th over: India 216-4 (Gambhir 35, Dhoni 0)
What a breakthrough for England and Shah and if they can get rid of one of these two they're really in the driving seat. It really show's the importance of runs on the board and suddenly 317 looks a long way off.
37th over: India 219-4 (Gambhir 36, Dhoni 2)
Another tight over from Dimi, and India haven't scored a boundary for a while.
38th over: India 225-4 (Gambhir 41, Dhoni 3)
Finally Gambhir breaks the deadlock as he dances down the wicket and hits Shah inside-out over the cover field for four. Just Uthappa to come for India after these two of the recognised batsmen.
39th over: India 227-4 (Gambhir 41, Dhoni 3)
A fine over from Masacrenhas that Dhoni struggles to get away, and just two from it. The pressure is on. Gary Naylor is quick to defend himself, and well he might given the score, "In response to yourself and O'Hagan, if we had Marhall, Garner, Roberts and Holding, even I would play four seamers, but the package offered by Dimi and Wright (or Ravi and Swann if you prefer) of quick runs, deep batting, dynamic fielding, but dibbly-dobbly bowling is one I prefer to, say, Saj Mahmood's 10 - 0 - 68 - 3 type figures. As if to prove my point, India have had a superb start but are under pressure and behind the rate because England have the runs on the board. Who gets the wickets doesn't matter (and some will be run outs), fielding and scoreboard pressure is doing the job of the third seamer." Fair enough Gary, but you can't deny that at 150-0 you weren't slightly wishing for another bowling option.
40th over: India 232-4 (Gambhir 45, Dhoni 6)
Panesar is back into the attack, and Gambhir offers a hint of a chance as he doesn't get hold of an attempted bludgeon over mid-on. He's struggling with his timing after that promising patch a few overs ago but India need him to find his fluency quickly as five from the over is not good enough.
WICKET! India 234-5 (Gambhir c Panesar b Mascarenhas 47) Now Gambhir's gone too! He hasn't been timing it and an attempted big hit off a Dimi slower ball over mid-on goes straight up in the air, where the in-rushing Panesar takes a confident catch. Monty celebrates as we all know how and India are staring down the barrel here.
42nd over: India 245-5 (Dhoni 12, Uthappa 5)
Panesar ties Dhoni in knots with a slightly slower ball, lovely flight. Uthappa and Dhoni look slightly like rabbits in the headlights. Uthappa does manage a lovely sweep off Monty for four, before Dhoni, who looks in no touch at all, screws four off the edge to third man. 72 needed from 48 balls.
43rd over: India 253-5 (Dhoni 13, Uthappa 7)
Mascarenhas concedes four wides, a double blow as the Indians get another ball. Apart from that another good over as Dimi finishes with 10-0-55-2, a good comeback after an expensive opening spell. Stuart Broad is back on the pitch after a spell in the dressing room. Pressure, pressure now for both sides.
44th over: India 261-5 (Dhoni 16, Uthappa 12)
Collingwood brings himself back into the attack and starts things off with an awful long hop that Uthappa does not need a second invitation to tuck into. Much of India's hopes depend on whether Dhoni can find his touch and replicate some of the England hitting, both these batsmen are set now and from an Indian point of view the onus is very much on them to produce. Collingwood is bowling a good mix of slower-balls and yorkers that both batsmen are finding difficult to get away.
45th over: India 269-5 (Dhoni 22, Uthappa 14)
It's a big moment for James Anderson, coming back after his initial five overs went for 45 and bowling with the added responsibility of fine-leg within the circle. His first four deliveries are fast, full and swinging, great bowling, he's taking the lead role England need him too here. Anderson exchanges words with Dhoni and tempers are rising on both sides as well they might, what a match. Calamity to end the over as Pietersen inexplicably lets one bounce through his hands on the deep long-on boundary. He looks disgusted with himself as well he should. 48 from 30 needed.
46th over: India 275-5 (Dhoni 23, Uthappa 19)
The chase is still on as Collingwood slips in the dreaded full-bunger wihich Uthappa paddles to the deep square leg boundary for four. The rest of the over is good though, and India have to do better. "I'm sitting in a café in banff," boasts Tom Hopkins, " with no means of following the cricket other than the OBO and you're clearly lying to me. Dravid dismissed by Shah? Come on, what's really happening?" I promise you Tom. Honest. 42 from 24 needed.
47th over: India 290-5 (Dhoni 33, Uthappa 23)
Wonderful boundary fielding by Dimi saves a certain four and puts Uthappa on strike, but India have their four next ball when Uthappa edges an Anderson full toss past Prior to the rope. It always goes fine at the death. Anderson is unlucky, this is good bowling, before a bounce off the stumps gifts India another run. Disaster for England as Dhoni gets away with an attempted sweep to a full toss that flies over Prior's head and bounces an inch inside the boundary. This is the big over that India wanted, fifteen from it, and they need just nine-an-over now, 27 from 18 balls.
48th over: India 294-6 (Uthappa 25)
WICKET! India 294-6 (Dhoni b Broad 33) Stuart Broad is back into the attack, and is aiming full and straight.What pressure for the young man, who responds brilliantly to a premeditated Uthappa sweep by digging it in short for a dot ball. The Indian batsmen keep finding the fielders at mid-on and mid-off, top over from Broad but can he finish it with a dot ball? I have no nails left! And he's bowled him! Tring to sweep a full ball from outside off-stump he succeeds only in deflecting the ball onto his off stump as England celebrate a critical breakthrough. 23 needed from the last two overs.
WICKET! India 307-7 (Agarkar run out 1) Anderson and England hold their heads as two more good full deliveries are squirmed fine for four, one through Uthappa's legs, then a Panesar mis-field gifts the Indian's two at short-fine leg. Agarkar is then run out in extraordinary circumstances as he tries to sneak two and Anderson throws down the stumps at the striker's end. That's the end of the over and India need ten from the last over.
49th over: India 307-7 (Uthappa 37)
WICKET! India 309-8 (Khan run out 1) Excellent fielding from Broad taking the ball on his follow through, turning and dismissing Khan who had backed up too far. Uthappa sweeps the next ball for four and India need four to win from the final three balls.
IT'S ALL OVER! India win by two wickets! What an innings under the most extreme of pressure from Robin Uthappa who finishes undefeated on 47 from 33 balls. He drives the fourth ball of the 50th over from Broad through mid-off for four to level the series 3-3.
What a game that was. England will be severely deflated after that loss, but should take heart from the way they clawed the game back after such a brilliant start by Ganguly and Tendulkar. Anderson did not bowl badly at the death, but the breaks went with India. It is more appropriate to focus on the tremendous character shown by both sides, as well as batsmen (Shah, Wright, Mascarenhas, Uthappa) seeking to establish themselves in their respective sides, helped to produce one of the all-time classic ODI's, and that is not an exaggeration. Thanks for reading, and tune in again on Saturday for a nailbiting decider.