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England 80 all out after 14.4 overs
J Dernbach run out 12 (7b, 2×4)
India did it all today. They batted well, bowled well and even managed to get a run out. This is just about as perfect a performance as one could have expected from India. But the tougher matches lie ahead and so do the tougher decision — does Dhoni keep Sehwag and Zak out of the playing XI? Does he bring them back in? England had no idea about the spinners. The man of the match is Harbhajan Singh. It is also England’s lowest Twenty20 total, India’s biggest T20 win and England’s biggest T20 loss.
England 60-9 after 12.1 overs
SCJ Broad c Gambhir b Dinda 3 (3b)
Humiliation is complete for the skipper. Broad walking back… defending champions… ha!
England 60-8 after 11.4 overs
GP Swann st Dhoni b Harbhajan Singh 0 (3b)
Another England batsman walking back. Stumped by Dhoni, wicket for Bhajji. Swannnyyyy the batsman. Bhajji’s figures at this stage are 4-12.
England 60-7 after 11.1 overs
J Buttler b Harbhajan Singh 11 (12b, 1×4)
Bowled! Third wicket for Bhajji… and he clapps…. are they really the defending champs? Buttler gone.
England 54-6 after 10 overs
T Bresnan c Gambhir b Harbhajan Singh 1 (8b)
Bhajji gets another wicket…. Bresnan caught in the deep. Let the party begin. This match is over.
England 51-5 after 8.1 overs
C Kieswetter c Kohli b Chawla 35 (25b, 4×4, 2×6)
Hahaha… another wicket. Chawla gets it! This was as easy as taking candy from a kid. Eng 51-5. Kieswetter gone. This is England that most Indians love and remember.
England 42-4 after 7 overs
JM Bairstow b Chawla 1 (8b)
Another wicket!!! Chawla this time… with a googly… it’s all happening here… Bairstow was another big hitter… they must be wishing Pietersen could walk out of the commentary box into the dressing room… just about now.
England 39-3 after 5.2 overs
E Morgan b Harbhajan Singh 2 (6b)
Bhajiiii… that’s bowled!!!! Morgan is gone.. that kept coming in with the arm and Morgan was cramped for space. Wow… will we witness something special from the Turbanator?
England 39-2 after 5 overs
Kieswetter 30, Morgan 2
Kieswetter doing all the scoring for England but it’s been enough to put India on the backfoot.
England 30-2 after 4 overs
Kieswetter 22, Morgan 1
Nice and easy. England have worked their way to 30 for the loss of two wickets. Irfan has been India’s best bowler. No one else has got close.
England 18-2 after 2.4 overs
L Wright lbw b Pathan 6 (4b, 1×6)
The umpire took his time giving his decision but India got it to go in their favour. The wickets should allow India to get some control over the proceedings. It didn’t look out though but replays show that it would have hit the leg-stump and pitched in line. The umpire by the way was Simon Taufel.
England 2-1 after 1 over
A Hales b Pathan 0 (2b)
Hales played all around it. India and Irfan have a wicket. Luke Wright is in next and he made 99 in the last match.
Players back on the field. Ready, steady… go. With Viru, Zak and Ashwin missing… at least the fielding should be top class. They have no excuse now.
Ind 170-4 after 20 overs
Rohit 55, Raina 1
Wow. That really sets things up. England have a powerful batting line-up and India have 5 bowlers. This should be a fun match. By the way, India finally managed to hit a six in the last over.
Ind 166-4 after 19.4 overs
MS Dhoni c Hales b Dernbach 9 (8b, 1×4)
Great teamwork by the England fielders on the boundary lines. Buttler caught it first but couldn’t keep his balance right on the boundary line and then Hales completed the catch. Meanwhile, Rohit got his fifty in 31 balls.
Ind 153-3 after 19 overs
Rohit 42, Dhoni 9
Still no sixes in the Indian innings. Amazing.
Ind 143-3 after 18 overs
Rohit 35, Dhoni 7
India are unable to get the ball away. They need at least 160 on this wicket. Can Dhoni work some last-over magic?
Ind 132-3 after 17 overs
Rohit 31, Dhoni 0
Crowd chanting Dhoni’s name and this is Sri Lanka remember. Crazy stuff. But Rohit’s playing some clever cricket. Not as brilliant as Kohli but clever all the same.
Ind 119-3 after 15.5 overs
G Gambhir c Kieswetter b Finn 45 (38b 5×4)
Gambhir edged that to the keeper and just walked. It was a good innings — not great. Good because he managed to spend some time in the middle and that might help later in the tournament. Not great because he just wasn’t able to time the ball well enough.
Ind 114-2 after 15 overs
Gambhir 43, Rohit Sharma 15
Still waiting for things to go absolutely ballistic. The clock is ticking… tic.. tic.. tic.
Ind 106-2 after 14 overs
Gambhir 37, Rohit Sharma 13
Another decent over. But it’s tough to say what’s a good total. England completely annihilated the Afghanistan bowlers and they might do the same to India as well.
Ind 97-2 after 13 overs
Gambhir 30, Rohit Sharma 11
Outstanding spell from Swann: 4-0-17-1. He alone stood against the onslaught from the Indian batsmen and has pulled it back for England a bit. Not starts the tough bit.
Ind 91-2 after 12 overs
Gambhir 28, Rohit Sharma 7
Nice start to the innings for Rohit. He smashed one for four. Gambhir is looking steady but perhaps he needs to get a move on now. Just 8 overs left.
Ind 81-2 after 10.3 overs
V Kohli c Bairstow b Swann 40 (32b, 6×4)
Frustration just got the better of Kohli. He was looking to get the ball away but Swann was in fine form. There was a missed stumping of Gambhir off the first ball as well. Well deserved wicket but was Kohli pissed or what!
Ind 78-1 after 10 overs
Gambhir 26, Virat 40
Wow. Brilliant batting by Kohli. Yes, we need to move on but Kohli’s making that a tad difficult at the moment. A short ball from Bresnan was pulled away for four in the last over. He’s showing no signs of stopping.
Ind 70-1 after 9 overs
Gambhir 24, Virat 32
Kohli’s batting well but Swann is bowling beautifully as well… nice battle in the middle.
Ind 66-1 after 8 overs
Gambhir 22, Virat 30
India have a platform now. Perfect for the big-hitters like Raina, Yuvi, Rohit and Dhoni to exploit. Someone needs to go pretty crazy now. Come on India.
Ind 58-1 after 7 overs
Gambhir 20, Virat 24
Quiet over for India. The first over after the field restrictions were lifted and India didn’t get a four. Swann did a good job too.
Ind 52-1 after 6 overs
Gambhir 18, Virat 21
India’s fifty is up and it’s not a bad start as all. Pathan fell early but the others have batted brilliantly. Especially Kohli. The longer Gambhir stays there, the better he’ll feel too.
Ind 41-1 after 5 overs
Gambhir 13, Virat 15
Just yesterday Dhoni spoke about how Virat usually takes some time to settle before he starts playing his shots. Today, he wants to prove that he doesn’t. One classic four in the last over from Bresnan, Kohli took a couple of steps down the pitch and smashed it over the infield. Stunning shot.
Ind 34-1 after 4 overs
Gambhir 12, Virat 9
Virat is looking so good that he doesn’t even need to try. If it’s in his slot, it’s gone before you can blink. Hopefully, some of that confidence rubs off on Gambhir as well. Then India will be set.
Ind 24-1 after 2.4 overs
I Pathan b Finn 8 (8b, 1×4)
Big gap between bat and pad. That crashed into the off-stump. First experiment is a failure. Beaten for pace, not the right man to open.
Ind 16-0 after 2 overs
Gambhir 10, Pathan 3
And the innings is up and running — two wonderful fours from Gambhir. The first one was a pull shot and the second was just pure timing through the point region.
Ind 6-0 after 1 overs
Gambhir 2, Pathan 2
Irfan didn’t have much of an idea against Finn. The lanky speedster is too quick for him. Slow start for India.
Irfan it is!
So that was a good guess! Hehe. Should be interesting. Big match for the guys who were outside the team. If they perform, Dhoni will have a happy dilemma.
So who will open for India?
Early indications are that it might be Irfan Pathan. He took to the nets early and batted for a long time with Fletcher keeping a close eye on him. But he has always been suspect against genuine pace and England have that. Rohit Sharma might be a good option too but would you want to uproot him from the middle order?
Toss and squad
England have won the toss and will be bowling first.
England players who have been rested: Bopara, Briggs, Lumb, Patel.
India have rested: Ashwin, Sehwag, Zaheer, Tiwary.
England: C Kieswetter, AD Hales, LJ Wright, EJG Morgan, JC Buttler, JM Bairstow, TT Bresnan, SCJ Broad*, GP Swann, ST Finn, JW Dernbach
India: G Gambhir, V Kohli, SK Raina, Yuvraj Singh, RG Sharma, MS Dhoni*, IK Pathan, Harbhajan Singh, PP Chawla, AB Dinda, L Balaji.
Football for India, Military drills for England
England pretty much sticking to cricket — some running around, some catching practice, India play some football — not the best but certainly on par with at least the I-League. Heh.
Both the teams have arrived at the venue and are warming up. Indian skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni did that by playing some football with the groundstaff at the R Premadasa stadium in Colombo. Nice, sweet moment.
India will go into their first big match of the World T20 competition and sadly enough, the result won’t matter. The format of the tournament is such, that each group has one really weak team, which means that in most cases by the time the stronger outfits meet, they have already qualified for the Super 8s and the match has been rendered inconsequential.