World Twenty20: England sent spinning to defeat by Indian pair

India 170-4 England 80

The R Premadasa Stadium

England's plan to get on a roll and become unstoppable in pursuit of their second successive World Twenty20 title ran into a spot of bother in Colombo last night. Having opened their title defence with a crushing defeat of Afghanistan they rather intended it to be the launch pad to glory.

Unfortunately, they found India in much less generous mood and were summarily swept aside by 90 runs. Chasing India's challenging but not unsurpassable score of 170, they were dismissed for 80 in under 15 overs. It was England's lowest total and heaviest defeat in T20 matches, a huge reversal, marked by their traditional incompetence against spin on Asian pitches.

If they thought they had learned to cope they were manifestly wrong and their anticipation of the Super Eight stage of the tournament which begins on Thursday will now be accompanied by familiar nightmares.

As both sides had already qualified, the edge in this group game had been removed. This was neither excuse nor explanation, however, especially since the teams adopted different approaches. Stuart Broad, England's captain, insisted that his side needed to win for the sake of all-important momentum, while M S Dhoni of India said he was using it for a bit of jolly practice and proved it by resting three players including the illustrious Virender Sehwag and his best bowler Ravichandran Ashwin.

England were clueless, their footwork of the type to be found in a three-legged race, their shot selection, usually across the line, executed as if in a blindfold. Duncan Fletcher, coach of India but once in charge of England, must have been reminded of the old days. Perhaps the wily old fox knew what might happen.

It was only natural to ponder what might have taken place if Kevin Pietersen had been in their ranks, not least because he was being paid as a pundit in a television studio a few miles away. Looking a little further ahead it can spread only alarm and despondency about England's prospects in the Test series against India in India, which begins in November. If they cannot cope in a T20 innings where anything goes, the rigours of a Test match are likely to cause mayhem.

Broad was disappointed but not disheartened. "Some days we play spin really nicely but then there are days like today when we all play it badly together," he said. "As a captain I'm pleased it happened today and not in a match that could've knocked us out.

"We showed the other day against Afghanistan what we could do by hitting straight down the ground and it was disappointing that we lost wickets hitting across the line. We will have to learn from this match and the good thing is they're young guys who learn quickly."

England's council of war spent an age looking at the pitch before the match. They stopped short of taking turf samples to be sent away for examination by experts but it must have been a near thing.

They were trying to judge whether to play one spinner or more. In general the answer to that question on subcontinental pitches should always be in the affirmative but England went with four seamers.

The upshot was that Graeme Swann, England's solitary spinner, was commendable in taking 1 for 17 runs. India's pair of Harbhajan Singh and Piyush Chawla, who were thought to be little more than travelling reserves, took 6 for 25 between them in eight overs.

It might have been different had left-arm seamer Irfan Pathan not made early inroads into England's top order, which cleared the route for the spinners. England felt they had no time to wait but it was nonsensical stuff as Harbhajan produced his top spinner which batsmen tried to cut or slog.

 

Get Adobe Flash player

 

England's batting made India's total seemed gigantic. It could have been 20 or so fewer. The fielding was not at its sharpest, some of the bowling was awry in length. The top scorer was Rohit Sharma who made an unbeaten 55 in 33 balls but the innings was given its impetus by the prolific Virat Kohli.

When Swann had him snaffled in the deep for the most assured 40, England might have briefly presumed their troubles were over. They were just starting.

Colombo scoreboard

World Twenty20 Group A match, R Premadasa Stadium. India (2pts) beat England by 90 runs

England won toss

INDIA

Runs 6s 4s Bls Min

G Gambhir c Kieswetter b Finn 45 0 5 38 70

I K Pathan b Finn 8 0 1 8 14

V Kohli c Bairstow b Swann 40 0 6 32 32

R G Sharma not out 55 1 5 33 47

*†M S Dhoni c Hales b Dernbach 9 0 1 8 23

S K Raina not out 1 0 0 1 1

Extras (b1 lb3 w8) 12

Total(for 4, 20 overs) 170

Fall: 1-24, 2-81, 3-119, 4-166.

Did not bat: Yuvraj Singh, P P Chawla, Harbhajan Singh, A Dinda, L Balaji.

Bowling: S T Finn 4-0-33-2, J W Dernbach 4-0-45-1, S C J Broad 4-0-36-0, T T Bresnan 4-0-35-0, G P Swann 4-0-17-1.

ENGLAND

Runs 6s 4s Bls Min

†C Kieswetter c Kohli b Chawla 35 2 4 25 37

A D Hales b Pathan 0 0 0 2 2

L J Wright lbw b Pathan 6 1 0 4 6

E J G Morgan b Harbhajan Singh 2 0 0 6 11

J M Bairstow b Chawla 1 0 0 8 4

J C Buttler b Harbhajan Singh 11 0 1 12 15

T T Bresnan c Gambhir b Harbhajan Singh 1 0 0 8 4

*S C J Broad c Gambhir b Dinda 3 0 0 3 10

G P Swann st Dhoni b Harbhajan Singh 0 0 0 3 0

S T Finn not out 8 0 1 10 15

J W Dernbach run out 12 0 2 7 12

Extras (w1) 1

Total(14.4 overs) 80

Fall: 1-2, 2-18, 3-39, 4-42, 5-51, 6-54, 7-60, 8-60, 9-60.

Bowling: I K Pathan 3-0-17-2, L Balaji 1-0-10-0, A Dinda 2-0-26-1, Harbhajan Singh 4-2-12-4, P P Chawla 4-1-13-2, Yuvraj Singh 0.4-0-2-0.

Umpires: Aleem Dar (Pak) and S J A Taufel (Aus).

P W L T NR Pts R/R

India (Q) 2 2 0 0 0 4 2.82

England (Q) 2 1 1 0 0 2 0.65

Afghanistan 2 0 2 0 0 0 -3.47

News
The cartoon depicts the UK (far left) walking around a Syrian child refugee
newsIn an exclusive artwork for The Independent, Ali Ferzat attacks Britain's lack of 'humanity'
Life and Style
Man taking selfie in front of car
health
Sport
footballManager attacks Sky Sports pundit Jamie Redknapp after criticism of Diego Costa's apparent stamping
Life and Style
food + drink
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Greece elections: In times like these, the EU has far more dangerous adversaries than Syriza

Greece elections

In times like these, the EU has far more dangerous adversaries than Syriza, says Patrick Cockburn
Holocaust Memorial Day: Nazi victims remembered as spectre of prejudice reappears

Holocaust Memorial Day

Nazi victims remembered as spectre of prejudice reappears over Europe
Fortitude and the Arctic attraction: Our fascination with the last great wilderness

Magnetic north

The Arctic has always exerted a pull, from Greek myth to new thriller Fortitude. Gerard Gilbert considers what's behind our fascination with the last great wilderness
Homeless Veterans appeal: Homeless in Wales can find inspiration from Daniel’s story

Homeless Veterans appeal

Homeless in Wales can find inspiration from Daniel’s story
Front National family feud? Marine Le Pen and her relatives clash over French far-right party's response to Paris terror attacks

Front National family feud?

Marine Le Pen and her relatives clash over French far-right party's response to Paris terror attacks
Pot of gold: tasting the world’s most expensive tea

Pot of gold

Tasting the world’s most expensive tea
10 best wildlife-watching experiences: From hen harriers to porpoises

From hen harriers to porpoises: 10 best wildlife-watching experiences

While many of Britain's birds have flown south for the winter, it's still a great time to get outside for a spot of twitching
Nick Easter: 'I don’t want just to hold tackle bags, I want to be out there'

'I don’t want just to hold tackle bags, I want to be out there'

Nick Easter targeting World Cup place after England recall
DSK, Dodo the Pimp, and the Carlton Hotel

The inside track on France's trial of the year

Dominique Strauss-Kahn, Dodo the Pimp, and the Carlton Hotel:
As provocative now as they ever were

Sarah Kane season

Why her plays are as provocative now as when they were written
Murder of Japanese hostage has grim echoes of a killing in Iraq 11 years ago

Murder of Japanese hostage has grim echoes of another killing

Japanese mood was against what was seen as irresponsible trips to a vicious war zone
Syria crisis: Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more refugees as one young mother tells of torture by Assad regime

Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more Syrian refugees

One young mother tells of torture by Assad regime
The enemy within: People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back – with promising results

The enemy within

People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back
'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

Survivors of the Nazi concentration camp remember its horror, 70 years on
Autumn/winter menswear 2015: The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore

Autumn/winter menswear 2015

The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore