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

Arts and Entertainment
Attenborough with the primates
tvWhy BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter
News
people
News
Campbell: ‘Sometimes you have to be economical with the truth’
newsFormer spin doctor says MPs should study tactics of leading sports figures like José Mourinho
News
news
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Voices
Lance Corporal Joshua Leakey VC
voicesBeware of imitations, but the words of the soldier awarded the Victoria Cross were the real thing, says DJ Taylor
Life and Style
Alexander McQueen's AW 2009/10 collection during Paris Fashion Week
fashionMeet the collaborators who helped create the late designer’s notorious spectacles
Sport
football
News
i100
News
Perry says: 'Psychiatrists give help because they need help. You would not be working in mental health if you didn't have a curiosity about how the mind works.'
people
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

War with Isis: Fears that the looming battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

The battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

Aid agencies prepare for vast exodus following planned Iraqi offensive against the Isis-held city, reports Patrick Cockburn
Yvette Cooper: We can't lose the election. There's too much on the line

Yvette Cooper: We can't lose the election. There's too much on the line

The shadow Home Secretary on fighting radical Islam, protecting children, and why anyone in Labour who's thinking beyond May must 'sort themselves out'
A bad week for the Greens: Leader Natalie Bennett's 'car crash' radio interview is followed by Brighton council's failure to set a budget due to infighting

It's not easy being Green

After a bad week in which its leader had a public meltdown and its only city council couldn't agree on a budget vote, what next for the alternative party? It's over to Caroline Lucas to find out
Gorillas nearly missed: BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter

Gorillas nearly missed

BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter
Downton Abbey effect sees impoverished Italian nobles inspired to open their doors to paying guests for up to €650 a night

The Downton Abbey effect

Impoverished Italian nobles are opening their doors to paying guests, inspired by the TV drama
China's wild panda numbers have increased by 17% since 2003, new census reveals

China's wild panda numbers on the up

New census reveals 17% since 2003
Barbara Woodward: Britain's first female ambassador to China intends to forge strong links with the growing economic superpower

Our woman in Beijing builds a new relationship

Britain's first female ambassador to China intends to forge strong links with growing economic power
Courage is rare. True humility is even rarer. But the only British soldier to be awarded the Victoria Cross in Afghanistan has both

Courage is rare. True humility is even rarer

Beware of imitations, but the words of the soldier awarded the Victoria Cross were the real thing, says DJ Taylor
Alexander McQueen: The catwalk was a stage for the designer's astonishing and troubling vision

Alexander McQueen's astonishing vision

Ahead of a major retrospective, Alexander Fury talks to the collaborators who helped create the late designer's notorious spectacle
New BBC series savours half a century of food in Britain, from Vesta curries to nouvelle cuisine

Dinner through the decades

A new BBC series challenged Brandon Robshaw and his family to eat their way from the 1950s to the 1990s
Philippa Perry interview: The psychotherapist on McDonald's, fancy specs and meeting Grayson Perry on an evening course

Philippa Perry interview

The psychotherapist on McDonald's, fancy specs and meeting Grayson Perry on an evening course
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef recreates the exoticism of the Indonesian stir-fry

Bill Granger's Indonesian stir-fry recipes

Our chef was inspired by the south-east Asian cuisine he encountered as a teenager
Chelsea vs Tottenham: Harry Kane was at Wembley to see Spurs beat the Blues and win the Capital One Cup - now he's their great hope

Harry Kane interview

The striker was at Wembley to see Spurs beat the Blues and win the Capital One Cup - now he's their great hope
The Last Word: For the good of the game: why on earth don’t we leave Fifa?

Michael Calvin's Last Word

For the good of the game: why on earth don’t we leave Fifa?
HIV pill: Scientists hail discovery of 'game-changer' that cuts the risk of infection among gay men by 86%

Scientists hail daily pill that protects against HIV infection

Breakthrough in battle against global scourge – but will the NHS pay for it?