Live Commentary: India vs. England - First Test, day four - as it happened

Live Commentary: India vs. England - First Test, day four - as it happened
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Sports Mole brings you live commentary as England try to halt India's progress on day four of the first Test.

England started day four of the first Test with India knowing that they faced a battle if they were to claim an unlikely draw.

Wickets fell at regular intervals for the tourists in the early part of the day as India's bowlers once again embraced the conditions in Ahmedabad.

However, a superb partnership between Alastair Cook (168*) and Matt Prior (84*) meant that England closed day four on 340-5, to hold a lead of 10 heading into Monday.

Read how today's drama unfolded below.


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3.52amGood morning, everyone. England need to perform impressively if they are to stand any chance of earning a draw in the first Test. Cook was unbeaten on 74 overnight while Compton was made to fight for his score of 34 yesterday evening.

3.55amAshwin and Ojha seemed to struggle late on yesterday but I think it will probably spin more on day four. However, Cook and Compton have shown their England teammates how to bat on this surface.

3.58amIf the tourists can reach lunch without another wicket falling, the chances of a draw will improve for Cook's men. India will be eager to see the pitch play a big part once again today.

ENG 111-0The players are out and today's play is just moments away. Zaheer Khan will bowl the first over.

ENG 111-0Good start from Zaheer, who shields the ball until the last possible moment despite the lack of swing. Maiden over.

ENG 112-0Ashwin is given the ball from the other end. This will be interesting for Indian fans. Not too much spin for the right-hander but there's just a single on offer.

ENG 116-0Zaheer really is one of the most deadly bowlers you will see at this level but he only has to alter his length slightly to allow Cook to earn four runs with a cut past point.

ENG 119-0Compton has left the ball much more often in this innings and that's a good tactic. Ashwin does get one to turn later in the over but Aleem Dar rejects the hopeful appeals for lbw. Three singles from the over.

ENG 120-0Compton calls for a single to point and despite Cook's slow start, the England skipper is safely home when Kohli misses the target. Zaheer calls for lbw from the final ball but Cook clearly gets bat on the ball there.

ENG 123-0How does Dhoni miss that? Compton takes a couple of steps outside his crease but he misses the ball, however, Dhoni can't take the ball and a stumping chance is wasted. Good signs from the pitch for India though and England have three runs from the over.

ENG 123-0Compton is looking scratchy this morning as he plays and misses outside off-stump to Zaheer. Signs of reverse swing from the Indian seamer.

ENG 123-1Wicket! Compton (37) lbw b Zaheer

ENG 123-1Zaheer pitches one just in line and Compton fails to get bat on ball making the lbw decision pretty simple for Tony Hill. Great start for India, Jonathan Trott next in.

ENG 127-1Good start to the over from Ashwin but he does concede four runs when Cook creams a sweep past the fielder at deep square leg.

ENG 130-1Trott gets off the mark nicely with a whip past the two fielders close on the leg-side. Zaheer responds well and Trott struggles to find the middle for the remainder of the over. England trail by 200 runs.

ENG 131-1Ashwin, who claimed Trott's wicket in the first innings, has plenty of fielders close to the bat. The Warwickshire batsman does find a single in the over but that's all Ashwin concedes in the six balls.

ENG 131-1Zaheer chooses to not go round the wicket to Trott and he finds some bounce midway through the over with a well directed short ball. Maiden over.

ENG 135-1These two are are probably up there with England's best players of spin. The strike is rotated well against Ashwin and there's four singles in the over.

ENG 137-1Pragyan Ojha replaces Zaheer for his first bowl of the fourth day. Not too much considerable spin for the left-arm bowler, he may have to increase his pace.

ENG 138-1Great work from Ashwin as he keeps the England batsmen lunging forward. England need a bi partnership here.

ENG 143-1Cook moves into the nineties with a nudge through mid-wicket, Trott won't miss out on a short ball from Ojha. The number three rocks back and cuts four runs through the covers, good shot.

ENG 143-1India team news: Gautam Gambhir has flown back to Delhi following the death of his grandmother.

ENG 143-1Cook's defence is very solid against Ashwin. England lose one wicket in the first hour of play and it's time for a drinks break.

ENG 148-1Ojha is giving some flight to the ball this morning but he hasn't been encouraged too much by the pitch, yet. Trott beats substitute fielder Harbhajan Singh to pick up four runs through cover. Five runs from the over.

ENG 152-1A push to cover from Cook brings up the 150 for England and byes down leg-side from Trott give the tourists two more runs.

ENG 156-1Yadav comes on for the first time today and his pace is once again impressive. Super timing from Cook as he clips the ball off his hips for four runs on the leg-side.

ENG 156-2Wicket! Trott (17) c Dhoni b Ojha

ENG 156-2Brilliant bowling from Ojha, who has changed ends, as he gets one to leave Trott and catch the outside edge with Dhoni taking a smart catch behind the stumps.

ENG 158-2Kevin Pietersen is the new batsman and he gets off the mark in trademark fashion with a push to mid-on. A Cook single ensures the skipper keeps the strike and moves to 97.

ENG 160-2Cook has a single from Yadav with a thick edge just in front of point and the Indian seamers asks for lbw against Pietersen but there's plenty of bat on that. Two from the over.

ENG 160-3Pietersen (2) b Ojha

ENG 160-3Once again, Pietersen goes to left-arm spin! Ojha does enough to beat Pietersen's slog-sweep and the ball crashes into the stumps. Ian Bell is the new batsman.

ENG 166-3Bell is off the mark with a gorgeous cover drive for four runs. it's an important innings for Bell following his poor shot in the first innings and he has two more with a well placed cut shot.

ENG 168-3Century for Cook Cook is close to reaching three figures with an edge that Kohli does well to stop in the slips but he does reach his century with a nudge for two on the leg-side. Three times he has captained England and three times he has scored a century as skipper.

ENG 168-3Here's a fact for you. Pietersen has now been dismissed by left-arm spin 25 times in 89 Test matches.

ENG 168-3Ojha is bowling a beautiful line to Bell but the Warwickshire ace is equal to the spin in the early stages of innings. It's a maiden over.

ENG 173-3Yadav continues anew spell but it might be a good time to give Ashwin another bowl. Cook gets off the strike with a single and Bell adds four runs with a push to the third man boundary. Yadav asks the question when Bell gets himself in a tangle and the ball goes to Kohli at slip but there's no bat there.

ENG 174-3This century really is proof that there isn't too many better batsmen in the world than Alastair Cook at the moment. Good over from Ojha though, as he forces the skipper to defend on the back foot.

ENG 178-3Beautiful shot from Cook to find the mid-wicket boundary with a simple push on the front foot. Yadav pleads for lbw against Cook but the captain does enough to get outside the line of off-stump.

ENG 178-3Bell will be tested by the accuracy of Ojha but he looks equal to the task early on and plays out a maiden over.

ENG 178-3Ashwin begins a new spell as lunch approaches and he starts well with a maiden to Cook. A wicket before lunch would be huge for India.

ENG 178-3A great length from Ojha is so close to finding Bell's outside edge and that has the Indian fielders excited. Even more excitement when Bell's back pad is struck but the ball may have been just missing off-stump. Another maiden over.

ENG 182-3Full toss from Ashwin at the start of a new over and Cook has three runs to mid-wicket. Good response from the spinner and there's one more run before lunch.

ENG 182-3Lunch: it won't be a surprise to England fans to see Alastair Cook reach three figures once again in an England short but three wickets for India mean the hosts are closing in on an innings defeat. The tourists still trail by 148 runs, join us again in around 30 minutes ahead of the afternoon session.

ENG 182-3Welcome back. England face a big innings in the afternoon in India but early wickets could caue a quick end to this Test match.

ENG 182-3To be honest, England can probably only afford to lose two more wickets in the whole day if they are to have any chance of claiming an unlikely draw.

ENG 182-3Ojha bowls the first over of the second session.

ENG 182-3Really good start from Ojha and he's close to finding Bell's outside edge on more than one occasion in a maiden over.

ENG 183-3It's Zaheer who gets the nod from Dhoni from the other end and it's a typical accurate over. A nudge onto the leg-side for a single by Cook is the only blemish to the over.

ENG 183-3Ojha only has one over but he's quickly replaced by Ashwin. It's a surprise how little the ball has been spinning in the last couple of the days and that makes this situation look even worse for England. Another maiden for India.

ENG 185-3There's a single for Bell in the deep on the leg-side but it's a good over from Zaheer with only two runs being scored.

ENG 187-3It's another good over from an Indian spinner as Ashwin causes Bell a couple of problems. Three singles are scored and we're seven overs away from the new ball.

ENG 191-3Zaheer stops his appeal short when he realises a ball that hits Bell's pad is clearly going past leg stump. Four singles in the over.

ENG 196-3Ojha returns but it's a sloppy over and England have the first boundary of the sessions when Bell rocks back to cut through the covers for four runs.

ENG 199-4Yadav is back for a new spell which suggests that he will not take the new ball. Bell punches the ball down for three runs nicely.

ENG 199-4Wicket! Bell (22) lbw b Yadav

ENG 199-4India may not need the new ball! The bowling change does the job for Dhoni as Yadav brings one back enough to beat Bell's bat and the ball was probably clipping leg stump. Samit Patel in next.

ENG 199-5Wicket! Patel (0) lbw b Yadav

ENG 199-5It's a very tight decision as Tony Hill raises his finger once again when Yadav swings the ball into Patel's pads to claim a second lbw in two balls. Matt Prior is the new batsman and Yadav will be on a hat-trick when he begins his next over. Massive couple of minutes for India!

ENG 199-5Oh dear! Having looked at the replay, it's clear that Patel got some bat on the ball. Poor decision from Tony Hill.

ENG 200-5Ojha gives Cook a single at the start of the new over and Prior is content to defend the first five balls of his innings.

ENG 201-5Cook leaves the first ball of Yadav's over, so there's no hat-trick for the seamer. However, there's definitely some signs of reverse swing.

ENG 206-5Somehow, Cook still remains untroubled at the crease despite the madness around him. A perfect cut shot brings four runs to the skipper and there's one more single from Ojha's over.

ENG 212-5England still trail by 123 runs at the start of Yadav's new over but a wider delivery allows Prior to reduce that deficit by four backward of point. Cook does edge the ball but it drops well short of Kohli at slip.

ENG 215-5Ojha continues but Dhoni may be wise to bring back Ashwin soon. Singles are on offer for the England batsman. Three from the over.

ENG 224-5Yadav is finding swing but he strays to far onto Prior's pads and the England wicketkeeper helps himself to four runs at fine leg. The new ball is taken by Dhoni but Prior remains watchful outside his off-stump and manages to find four more with a powerful drive. It's time for a drinks break.

ENG 225-5Ojha finds plenty of turn with a looping delivery but he's inches away from catching the outside edge of Prior. Good over, one run from it.

ENG 229-5Yadav continues with the new ball but he can't quite get his length right in the over and four singles are given away.

ENG 230-5Ashwin is brought back into the attack by Dhoni and allows Cook to get off strike with a push to cover. The spinner does get plenty of over-spin on the ball to test Prior's defences but the England number seven looks good in defence.

ENG 234-5The deficit is now in double figures as Cook nudges one to mid-ff for a single at the start of a new spell from Zaheer Khan. A cracking drive from Prior only brings two runs at deep cover but the England ace is close to chipping the ball to cover when Zaheer decides to slow his pace down. Big shout for lbw at the end of the over but there's an inside edge on that from Prior.

ENG 240-5Rare false shot from Cook, who is lucky not to edge Ashwin behind with a mistimed cut. Brilliant from prior later in the over as he uses his feet well before launching the ball over mid-wicket for four runs.

ENG 244-5Zaheer is beginning to use the slower ball with more regularity but Cook looks equal the challenge. Four runs from the over, Cook is on 129 and Prior has made 29.

ENG 250-5A combination of a short ball and poor fielding from Zaheer allows Prior to earn four runs at point from the beginning of a new Ojha over. Prior finds another single and this partnership is now worth 50.

ENG 253-5In truth, Cook has look completely untroubled by the India attack all day. Three runs from Ashwin's new over after the spinner changes ends.

ENG 254-5Prior is close to getting in trouble when he just misses an expansive cut shot. Close to the edge there, good over from Ojha.

ENG 256-5So close for Ashwin as he beats Prior's outside edge but the ball just manages to evade the off-stump. Two singles from the over, England trail by 74.

ENG 258-5Ojha's accuracy has been a key factor in India's success in this match. Prior is inches away from being dismissed when he edges the ball just sort of Sehwag at slip.

ENG 260-5Pujara takes a painful one at short leg when Prior sweeps powerfully but it's a dot ball. Two runs from the over.

ENG 261-5Prior gets a thin inside edge to save him from an lbw appeal at the start of Ojha's new over. One single on offer for England's wicketkeeper.

ENG 261-5Ashwin begins a new over and Prior survives another lbw shout by getting just outside the line of off-stump while sweeping. Maiden over from the off-spinner.

ENG 262-5India's spinners are beginning to get the better of Prior and he'll be happy to last until tea. Plenty of bounce from Ojha but Prior doesn't feather an edge to Dhoni from the final ball.

ENG 264-5Ashwin fins Cook's edge again but frustratingly for India the ball drops short of Sehwag. Two singles from the over.

ENG 264-5Ojha bowls the last over before tea but it's a largely uneventful one until Prior almost gloves the ball to silly point.

ENG 264-5Tea: Two more wickets fall in the second session of the day but crucially for England, Alastair Cook is still at the crease on 138. Prior has applied himself well to reach 40 but India will still be confident of recording a victory.

ENG 264-5Cook has been superb for England in this innings, India have almost given up on trying to get the skipper out. It would have been an embarrassing defeat a long time ago if Cook had not been around.

ENG 264-5India will want to wrap up this innings tonight but England do still have batting to come.

ENG 264-5It's time for the final session of the day. Zaheer will bowl first.

ENG 266-5Zaheer predictably accurate in the first over after tea and only concedes two runs from it.

ENG 271-5Yuvraj Singh is given a big ovation when Dhoni throws him the ball to have a bowl. Prior will have a go at Yuvraj but he can't quite find the boundary with two expansive drives. Five runs from the over.

ENG 274-5Zaheer drops the ball on his approach to bowl the second ball of a new over. There's an appeal for lbw from Zaheer but Cook does manage to get an inside edge on the ball. More swing on show from Zaheer since tea and there's three runs from this over.

ENG 280-5Fifty for Prior A paddle sweep to fine leg brings Prior his half century. Very good knock from England's wicketkeeper. Good work from Yadav in the deep prevents Cook from finding the boundary with yet another cut shot.

ENG 285-5Cook only needs to lean on a full Zaheer delivery to earn four runs through extra cover. Gorgeous shot from the captain, five runs from the over.

ENG 288-5150 for Cook Two runs to deep point gives Cook his 150. What an innings from the opener but there's a long way to go for England.

ENG 289-5Cook looks so solid at the crease and he just doesn't seem to tire. Good over from Zaheer, though and he just concedes one run.

ENG 292-5This pair rotate the strike well at the beginning of the over and Yuvraj then almost gets through Prior's defence with a quicker delivery. Three more runs to England.

ENG 296-5Yadav is thrown the ball to begin a new spell following his exploits in the afternoon session. A short ball is picked well by Cook and the centurion earns four runs behind square-leg.

ENG 302-5Ojha begins a new spell very poorly with Prior easily dispatching a short ball for four runs to bring up the hundred partnership. It's looking like India will be made to bat again. England now trail by only 28 runs.

ENG 306-5New over from Ojha is much better than his previous six balls. It's a maiden and he's so unlucky not to find Prior's outside edge with a beauty.

ENG 306-5Cook is more than happy to leave outside off-stump with Ashwin failing to get much considerable spin but when one does bounce, Cook almost feathers an edge to Dhoni.

ENG 307-5Superb fielding from Yuvraj at mid-on restricts Prior to just a single following a clip off the back foot. One from the Ojha over.

ENG 313-5Ashwin starts the over well but a full toss provides Prior with the opportunity to earn four runs past mid-off. It's all a bit easy for England at the moment. Two leg byes and it's six from the over. Time for a drinks break.

ENG 313-5England look like they can last the day without losing another wicket. I said, when England were three down, it was important for them to not lose more than five and they're on target for that now.

ENG 313-5India had a quick sit down during the drinks break and it looks like they're tiring for the first time in this match.

ENG 314-5Cook manages to get out of the way of an Ojha delivery that somehow manages to bounce over the England captain's head. Where did that come from? Big appeal from the Indians for lbw against Prior but Aleem Dar shakes his head. It struck pad first and that looks like another bad decision from Dar, who has been poor in this game. Just a single from the over.

ENG 314-5Excitement around the bat when Ashwin beats Cook's outside edge and that's about as close as he's got to being dismissed today. Ashwin bowling slightly fuller in this spell, maiden over.

ENG 314-5Ojha finds Prior's outside edge but there's not enough pace for the ball to reach gully. Prior seems to be getting better with every innings he plays and looks as relaxed as Cook in this final session. Another maiden over.

ENG 316-5Good spell of pressure from India since tea but England don't seem to be troubled by the spinners. One single each for Prior and Cook in the over. England trail by 14.

ENG 322-5Four runs for Prior when he rocks back to cut powerfully into a large vacant area on the off-side. Six runs in Ojha's over, good stuff from England.

ENG 325-5Prior is happy to play shots in any situation and gets two runs with a firm sweep to fine leg. Cook gets another single and it's three from the over.

ENG 334-5Cracking shot from Prior as he levels the scores with a perfectly placed cover drive. A thick-ish edge gets four more for the England wicketkeeper behind square on the off-side and he looks eager to increase the tempo.

ENG 334-5Cracking shot from Prior as he levels the scores with a perfectly placed cover drive. A thick-ish edge gets four more for the England wicketkeeper behind square on the off-side and he looks eager to increase the tempo.

ENG 335-5India's field as started to spread as this partnership continues and England can only pick up one single from a good Ashwin over.

ENG 335-5Ojha begins his 43rd over but he still can't seem to cause problems for Cook. It's a maiden though and there's 20 minutes of play left today.

ENG 337-5Zaheer is back for a new spell and I think this could be a good move for Dhoni, especially if there's some reverse swing. Plenty of variations from round the wicket on show but Prior hands the strike to his partner with a nudge to mid-wicket. Cook adds another single and it's a good return for Zaheer.

ENG 339-5It's pace from both ends now as Yadav is introduced for a final spell before the close of play. Prior is lucky not to see the ball spin back onto his stumps following a defensive shot. Two singles from the over.

ENG 340-5Zaheer's pace has been good all day, something the England seamers struggled to match. Prior picks up a single with a mistimed hook shot but that's the only blemish to a good over.

ENG 340-5Close of play: It's Ojha who is given the ball to bowl the final over of the day. Prior refuses to take any risks though and this partnership will continue tomorrow.

ENG 340-5Cook and Prior deserve enormous credit for their performances today. England still have a long way to go if they are to claim an unlikely draw. However, that magnificent century from the captain keeps England's hopes alive.

ENG 340-5Tomorrow promises to be another fascinating day of Test cricket as India attempt to force victory. Join me again from 4am tomorrow!

Alastair Cook
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