Tue, Jun 16, 2009 - Page 18 News List

India crash to fired-up England

FAILED BATTING England topped India by three runs, with the defending champs’ coach Mahendra Singh Dhoni praising their opponent’s bouncers and short balls

AFP , LONDON

India’s Yusuf Pathan prepares for the final over of the ICC Twenty20 World Cup match against England at Lord’s cricket ground in London on Sunday.

PHOTO: REUTERS

Defending champions India crashed out of the World Twenty20 on Sunday while Sri Lanka stayed on course for the semi-finals, but only after surviving a scare by Ireland.

India lost by three runs to England at a packed Lord’s, a result that left Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s highly rated team to face some tough questions over their tactics when they get home.

England, meanwhile, who started the tournament with an embarrassing defeat to the Netherlands, can still reach the semi-finals but needed to beat the West Indies at the Oval yesterday to stay in contention.

India restricted England to 153-7 after electing to field in good batting conditions, but then fumbled their reply to be stopped at 150-5 despite scoring 56 runs in the last five overs.

Needing 15 off the last three deliveries, Yusuf Pathan smashed Ryan Sidebottom straight for six off the first, but managed only a single off the next before Dhoni hit the last ball for four.

Dhoni (30 not out) and Yusuf (33 not out) added 63 for the unbroken sixth wicket after half the side was back in the pavilion by the 14th over with only 87 on the board.

Kevin Pietersen, with 46, top-scored for England.

England captain Paul Collingwood said the boos of Indian supporters helped fire his team to victory.

“When we were practicing, we were booed by the Indian fans. It was hard to believe we were playing at home. So we used those boos as motivation to put on a party piece,” Collingwood said.

Dhoni admitted his team’s batting performance was unforgivable after they plodded to 87-5 from 14 overs.

“Their bowlers started really well. They were aggressive and used the bouncer and the short ball well,” Dhoni said. “We failed in the batting. There is no excuse.”

Sri Lanka preserved their unbeaten record with a nine-run win over Ireland.

Set a modest 145 to win, Ireland were on course at 87 for one before Andrew White holed out to Nuwan Kulasekara.

It was the start of a collapse that saw three wickets lost for four runs in seven balls with spinner Ajantha Mendis striking twice to get rid of Kevin O’Brien and brother Niall, who made a game 31 before he was stumped.

At 91 for four Ireland were in trouble and Lasith Malinga then took two wickets in two balls to reduce them to 105 for six.

But John Mooney (31 not out) kept Ireland in the hunt and off the last over, from the unorthodox Malinga, they needed 18 to win — a target that proved beyond them as they finished on 135 for seven A fine all-round display in the field saw Ireland, who at the 2007 World Cup in the Caribbean beat both Bangladesh and Pakistan, restrict Sri Lanka to just 144 for nine.

Only former Sri Lanka captain Mahela Jayawardene’s 78 prevented complete collapse in an innings where only three batsmen made double figures and the next best score was Sanath Jayasuriya’s 27.

“Mahela was brilliant. He’s been doing this for years and he was nearly at his best today,” Sri Lanka skipper Kumar Sangakkara said.

■WOMEN’S TWENTY20

AFP, TAUNTON, ENGLAND

Claire Taylor made 75 not out to steer England into the Women’s World Twenty20 semi-finals on Sunday in a 71-run win over Sri Lanka.

England, the World Cup holders, made 140-7 before Sri Lanka limped to 69-8.

The hosts, with two wins out of two, will top Group B if they beat Pakistan today, with a clash against Australia looming in the next round. Sri Lanka, meanwhile, was to battle it out with India for the other semi-final slot when the Asian rivals met yesterday.

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