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India crash out of World Twenty20 by three runs


London : England inflicted a heart-wrenching three-run defeat on India to send the defending champions crashing out of the World Twenty20 at Lords’s here Sunday.

Set to score 154 in 20 overs in their crucial Group E Super Eights match, India could manage only 150 for five and were eliminated from the tournament, having lost an earlier Super Eights match against the West Indies by seven wickets.

Man of the Match Side Ryanbottom and Graeme Swann picked up two wickets each.

Put in to bat, England made a challenging 153 for seven in 20 overs after Kevin Pietersen hit a breezy 46 and opener Ravi Bopara scored a run-a-ball 37. Indian spinners Harbhajan Singh (3-30) and Ravindra Jadeja (2-26) arrested the run flow in the later stages of the game but couldn’t stop England from posting a competitive total.

While chasing, the Indian bastmen faltered right from the start. Opener Gautam Gambhir scored a run-a-ball 26 while Rohit Sharma (9) and Suresh Raina (2) failed to get their big shots going against the precise bouncers of Sidebottom, Stuart Broad and Luke Wright.

Taking a cue from the West Indies win over India, the England bowlers unsettled the Indian batsmen with a flurry of bouncers and by the time skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni and Yusuf Pathan came to the crease, the required run rate had touched 11 an over.

Jadeja, playing his first match of the tournament, scored a painstaking 25 (35) while Dhoni (30 not out) and Pathan’s (33 not out) heroics in the closing stages were just not enough to keep India in the tournament.

England once again made a poor start as opener Luke Wright (1) skied a catch to Pathan off the bowling of Rudra Pratap Singh.

Bopara and Pietersen then shared a 71-run stand for the second wicket before both fell in quick succession to Jadeja’s slow left-arm spin.

Dimitri Mascarenhas (25 not out) was promoted up the order to increase the run flow, but he struggled along with Owais Shah and failed to produce the big shots.

England made 82 from their last 10 overs while Harbhajan arrested the run flow by removing James Foster and Graeme Swann in successive balls in the final over.