Cow Corner

Swann on song in Chennai

Cow Corner

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11:30: India 155-6 (45 overs): WICKET! Some chat out in the middle and maybe Yuvraj gets distracted as he drives loosely at a wide-ish delivery from the returning Harmison and bucket hands Flintoff takes the catch at second slip. Cranky shot eight minutes before the close and it's definitely been England's day.

That's stumps! Join me back here at 4am tomorrow for more from Chennai. We are definitely looking at a positive result in this match.


11:15: India 136-5 (42 overs): Cook is flying through the air like a salmon at backward point and gets a fingertip on a streaky Yuvraj cut be he can't hold on. Dhoni drives Swann for consecutive boundaries to compound the misery. kgh_r - well done on your 'crown' and I'm sure you are well received in whatever care in the community programme you were placed in.

11:00: India 123-5 (39 overs): A rank over from Panesar sees Dhoni drive a half-volley down the ground and Yuvraj cut a long hop through the covers. We are in the 30 minute extra time period although there will definitely be no penalties at the end of it. kgh_r talk me through how you gained as a person by typing 100 into comments 99 and 100 respectively.

10:45: India 111-5 (36 overs): Five for India - a wild throw from Swann, a half baked attempt of catching the ball at the bowler's end by Monty and some dodgy backing up. Yuvraj and Dhoni will pressure the fielders with their quick running. Yuvraj is 27 today, let's hope he gets leathered tonight and forgets to turn up at the ground tomorrow.

10:30: India 103-5 (33 overs): WICKET! Panesar is as safe as houses with his catching - well as safe as a house bought by an Icelandic banker with a Northern Rock mortgage but he's just snaffled a quite fine caught and bowled. Laxman smacks it back at him and Monty plucks a smart catch out of the air by his right knee. Yuvraj brings up the 100 by smacking his fourth ball but then WICKET! a loosener from Flintoff as he begins another spell and Tendulkar lobs a dolly return catch to him - simply through the shot too early.

10:15: India 97-3 (30 overs): Tendulkar cuts and drives Panesar through the off-side for boundaries three and four. If these two are still in overnight, they could add about ten thousand to the gate tomorrow. 17 overs left tonight so about another hour - and I don't get paid for overtime. Could be worse, I could be in the pin selling industry or something just as mundane.

10:00: India 86-3 (28 overs):  I don't think I've ever seen a human being with longer fingers than Panesar - if he retired from cricket I'm sure they could put railings around him and charge an entry fee for people to point at them in shock. He's getting some grip off this surface but this partnership is looking a tad menacing.

09:45: India 77-3 (24 overs):  Swann has been hit out of the attack so Harmison returns and is greeted by a thump through point from Tendulkar and then a thick outside edge - both result in boundaries. Time for some Monty action and all of that 'in no way annoying' appealing. Perhaps annieh96 and jonathangrosskopf can settle their argument in the only way possible - through the medium of expressive dance.

09:30: India 63-3 (21 overs): VVS
Laxman is an attractive watch and I mean that strictly in a platonic
way. He clips Flintoff through mid-wicket for a boundary and is again
very wristy in dispatching Swann to the leg-side fence.

09:15: India 55-3 (17 overs): There is a Seinfeld episode where George Costanza always leave on a high note. If he could get people to laugh he would say, "All right! That's it for me". Swann might have followed that ideal and retired from Test cricket at tea, happy with a final average of 3.5, rather than seeing his fourth ball after the adjourment swept into the stands by Sachin Tendulkar.

09:00 TEA TIME NERD FACT: Graeme Peter Swann is the first man ever to take two wickets in his first over in Test cricket.

08:40: India 37-3 (14 overs): WICKETS! Swann strikes with his third and sixth ball in Test cricket. No shot offered from Gambhir and umpire Daryl Harper lifts the deadly digit. Replays indicate it was going to flick the top of off. And then on the stroke of tea, sharp turn beats Dravid's inside edge and after a long think, the Aussie says out. Hawkeye says clipping leg-stump.

08:30: India 28-1 (12 overs): Did you know that a 2-0 England series win will see it move up one place to fourth in the Test standings, ahead
of Sri Lanka.

08:15: India 25-1 (9 overs): Rahul Dravid has been in a trough recently - metaphorically obviosly - but he gets off the mark from the tenth ball he has faced. After 4-1-9-0, Harmison is not only out of the attack but off the field, if khart052003 is right he's probably back in the dressing room doing his online check-in. Decent first over from Flintoff, fastest delivery of 89mph, while Anderson is also averaging in the 140kph which is 87mph for all those people who remember Ted Heath. 

08:00: India 16-1 (6 overs): WICKET! Sehwag, the second leading Test run scorer in 2008, punches Anderson
down the ground for four with a glorious shot but then goes next ball.
He is cramped for room as the Burnley Bronco gets one to cut back and
the opener plays on, attempting to cut. First blood to England and stunned silence around the ground - it's as quiet as a crowd ten minutes into a Jim Davidson stand-up show.

07:45: India 12-0 (4 overs): No third man for either Harmison or Anderson and Virender Sehwag and Gambhir in turn guide each of the new ball bowlers through that vacant area for boundaries.

07:30: Here we go for the India innings. The spread betting firms - who I can't mention by name without some form of backhander involving yachts or at least a rubber ring - have chalked up the home side's first innings runs at 420 - 440. 

07:20: England 316 (128.4 overs):  WICKET! Sharma returns and traps Monty Panesar lbw - plumb as a plum in a plum field. We will soon see if that's a sub-par total on this track. And never fear I have just received a fax from a Mr E Doors to confirm he is in the building and that his latest Pulitzer Prize winning article will be published before 9am today.

07:10: England 312-9 (126 overs): A fifth Test fifty for Prior, coming off 96 balls with just one boundary. He brings it up by working Harbhajan for a single off his pads and his wagon wheel shows not only jam and marshmallow but that 80% of his runs have come on the leg-side. Now the question is for the comeback boy - can he catch?

06:55: England 304-9 (123 overs): Harbhajan and Yuvraj Singh in a spin tandem after lunch and England bring up the 300 as Prior works the latter through mid-wicket for two. WICKET! But Harmison departs to the part-time slow left-armer as he gets the faintest of faint edges through to Dhoni - the big Durham man even walked, how 1962 of him.

06:40: The players return to the MA Chidambaram Stadium where it is now in the low 30s. johnnyevz82 - I hope you have a very good reason for being up this early.

06:00: England 294-8 (119 overs): LUNCH! A little partnership of 17 from 32 balls between Prior and Steve 'can't block, won't block' Harmison before the samosas. 65-3 in 29 overs in that session. Even-ish stuff. See you in 40 minutes once I've focused on the neglected food groups such as the whipped group, the congealed group and the chocotastic.

05:45: England 277-8 (114 overs): WICKET! Graeme Swann's first Test innings last six balls before Harbhajan gets one to spit like El Hadji Diouf near an away fan and the debutant can't do much apart from glove it to Dravid at first slip. Joel Garner probably would have been happy with that amount of bounce.

05:30: England 272-7 (111 overs): A proper cricket shot from Anderson as Harbhajan drops a tad short and he plays a delightful backfoot crunch through the covers for his second boundary. Then the commentators' curse. WICKET! After preparing that 'after getting to 20 once in the first five years of his Test career, he has now done it three times in seven innings', Anderson opts to make that statment moribund by sweeping Mishra straight to Yuvraj Singh on the mid-wicket fence and he goes for 19.

05:15: England 261-6 (107 overs): Jimmy must have been on the pernod at drinks because he's scored a boundary, England's first since about 46 BC. And it's a cheeky reverse sweep off Mishra - he should get eight for that. And into the attack comes the man who could have an argument in an empty room, it's Harbhajan. His first ball is dispatched to the mid-wicket boundary by Prior and England have gone from pacifists to North Korea in about ten minutes.

05:00: England 248-6 (104 overs): It has been an educational hour's cricket and by that I mean it has made me want to read a book. 19 runs in 14 overs. But compared to Chris Tavare's 35 in 6½ hours in this city in 1982 this has been batting on steroids. Time for drinks (or a sedative perhaps).

04:45: England 244-6 (100 overs): Sharma replaces Zaheer after an opening burst of 4-2-5-0. It's 27 degrees this morning, the humidity is 94% and to quote Ravi Shastri "bloody hot" so he could do with the break. And then from the third ball, an escape for Jimmy Anderson as he slashes at a ball - that is too close to him to cut - and Rahul Dravid drops a regulation catch at first slip. The phrase 'shelling peas' and 'not' spring to mind.

04:30: England 239-6 (96 overs): Get the bunting out. Jimmy Anderson steers Zaheer down to third man for a single - England have their first run in 33 balls! Matt Prior races to seven as the tourists finally quit their binary approach to batting. New Zealand are playing West Indies in the series that is being promoted as 'the battle to find the worst team in the world not called Bangladesh' - but the second day in Dunedin was abandoned without a ball being bowled after heavy overnight rain made conditions unplayable.

04:15: England 229-5 (93 overs): WICKET! England in blocking mode this morning and Andrew Flintoff goes to the 17th ball of the morning. After an over each from Zaheer and Sharma, MS Dhoni throws the ball to his young leg-spinner Amit Mishra. Freddie plays a nothing shot and it's a regulation bat-pad to Gautam Gambhir at short leg.

Harbhajan Singh criticised England for being "defensive" on day one. So far this morning  they've put nine men behind the ball and someone of the quality of Ian Olney up front on his own.

04:00: England 229-5 (90 overs): Good morning cricket fans, agoraphobes and somnipaths! It's about minus five in London and people are still stumbling home from their Christmas parties with traffic cones on their head but there is top quality sport on offer in Chennai. England need another 100, according to our blog with Graham Thorpe.

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