Holders India have surprisingly crashed out of the World Twenty20 tournament after losing by three runs to host nation England at Lord’s — their second successive Super Eights defeat.
England’s score of 153 for seven, in which star batsman Kevin Pietersen again excelled with a superb 46 off 27 balls, looked vulnerable against the hard-hitting Indians. But some superb containing bowling by England, with the recalled Ryan Sidebottom taking the key wickets of Rohit Sharma and Suresh Raina, left India needing an impossible 15 from three balls. Late drama saw Yusuf Pathan smash Sidebottom straight for six off the first, but he managed only a single of the next before captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni hit the last ball for four. Dhoni (30 not out) and Yusuf (33 not out) had added 63 for the unbroken sixth wicket after half the Indian side were back in the pavilion by the 14th over with only 87 runs on the board. The defeat means India, who also lost to the West Indies by seven wickets in their opening Super Eights match, cannot now qualify for the semifinals.
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England, who lost their first match to South Africa, now face the West Indies on Monday in a match that will almost certainly take the winners into the semifinals along with favorites South Africa. Meanwhile, in the day’s first match, Ireland provided highly-fancied Sri Lanka with a major scare before sliding to a nine-run defeat, a result that sees the plucky Irish bow out of the competition. Having lost by 83 runs to New Zealand in the opening match of the Super Eights stage, Ireland were expected to slump to a similarly emphatic defeat against the fancied Sri Lankans. But instead Ireland gave Sri Lanka as many difficulties as any team have managed, by restricting them to a modest 144 for nine. However, Ireland then slipped to 135 for seven in reply after a 59-run opening stand. The victory moves Sri Lanka two points clear of Pakistan and New Zealand at the top of Group F and they remain in pole position for a semifinal spot.