Updated: 27/09/2012 07:28 | By pa.press.net

England crash to heavy defeat



India's Harbhajan Singh took 4-12 as England were all out for just 80

India's Harbhajan Singh took 4-12 as England were all out for just 80

England faltered alarmingly to Harbhajan Singh's off-spin on the way to their lowest Twenty20 international total and heaviest defeat at the Premadasa Stadium.

A hard-working performance with the ball helped Stuart Broad's team restrict India's stroke-players and power-hitters to 170 for four after he had chosen to bowl first under lights in this final ICC World Twenty20 Group A match.

But in a contest of little tangible consequence for two teams already through to the Super Eight stage, defending champions England lost two early wickets to left-arm seamer Irfan Pathan and then repeated their worrying history of haplessness against sub-continental spin. Harbhajan finished with Twenty20 international career-best figures of four for 12, as he and leg-spinner Piyush Chawla wreaked havoc to set up India's 90-run victory.

Rohit Sharma had top-scored with an unbeaten 55 from 33 balls, including five fours and a last-over six over point off the expensive Jade Dernbach.

But Graeme Swann - the only spinner selected by England - bowled well as India threatened to cut loose with the bat but never quite did.

England's response did not start well as Alex Hales missed a heave to leg at Pathan to be bowled for a duck. In-form number three Luke Wright got off the mark by hitting Pathan for a six over long-off, only to go lbw to the next ball when he missed an attempted pull.

England still had a powerhouse middle-order on paper, but Harbhajan made short work of Eoin Morgan, out-thinking the left-hander and knocking out middle-stump as the left-hander tried to cut one that scuttled on with the arm.

When Bairstow also went in Chawla's first over, smearing to leg and missing a googly, there were some uncomfortable echoes already of England's travails in the sub-continent and Asia for much of last winter.

Opener Craig Kieswetter had clubbed two early sixes off pace but edged a Chawla leg-break to slip, and Tim Bresnan picked out deep square-leg with a sweep at Harbhajan.

England had gone from 39 for two after five overs, before the introduction of spin, to 54 for six after 10. A recovery was highly unlikely, and did not materialise, before England were all out for 80 in only the 15th over - eight runs short of their previous-worst total in this format.

9Comments
23/09/2012 19:17
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pathetic performance...... could not bear to watch so turned over to the football!
23/09/2012 20:49
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So much for a side selected for it's fielding ability. Too many all rounders, ie, can't bat, can't bowl. Found out by a little bit of true class. Thrashing Afghanistan means nothing. Luke Wright is not an international batsman, just an agricultural slogger. Bresnan??? What's the point??? I could go on. The team needs quality. 
23/09/2012 19:51
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didnt relise i was watching my club team!
23/09/2012 22:57
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When will our selectors football, rugby and cricket realise that to win we have to pick teams based on ability and ignore politics or personal problems. Sack the lot!
23/09/2012 20:50
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They did better than i thought with the team they picked. I think this was plan B.
24/09/2012 01:21
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I do not think this England Side will ever win anything again and neither is the selection choice going to improve. A lot of people talk about choosing the right players who can do the job instead of players based on their credibility but that does not make sense. I dont feel England have enough players to make a team that is outstanding in each format of the game. On this occasion everything that could go possibly wrong - went wrong!!!! Selection is debatable - performance of each individual in the team was just poor. Fielding was  not upto scratch considering majority of the players are young in age. Bowling was not a threat as such cause India posted 170 / 4 in 20 overs. Batting even worse - where do I start. Hales, Wright, Morgan, Buttler, Bresnan,Broad - never did anything much with bat or ball and neither were exceptional in preventing or restricting India. Swann best bowled in England - Yeah sure!!!! not in the world though. Bring KP back - WHY???? It does not matter because KP retired from T20 international cricket. All u idiots out there who think that the ECB should Select KP to play for England again should go out and be unprofessional at your workplace or profession and see where that leads. There is no coming back from that and the sooner the idiotic fans and KP realise that the better. I do not see England going past the Super 8. ICC WORLD T20 Wold cup defenders - My a***!!!
23/09/2012 21:44
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yes pride often comes before the big fall ! too proud to let KP return and using inexperienced players in defending their title serves them right...
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I KNOW ONE MAN DOE'S NOT MAKE A TEAM. BUT THEY SHOULD HAVE STOOD BACK AND PICKED KP MORE FOOL THEM...WE SHALL NOW GO BACK TO THE BAD BLACK DAYS WHEN ENGLAND WAS EVERBODYS CHOPPING BOARD....
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