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England notches up a competitive total

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VITAL CONTRIBUTION: Kevin Pietersen made a 27-ball 46 to prop up England.
VITAL CONTRIBUTION: Kevin Pietersen made a 27-ball 46 to prop up England.

S. Dinakar

Pietersen plays a delightful knock; Jadeja impresses for India

London: Kevin Pietersen hustled the young Ravindra Jadeja — he moved toward off even as the bowler delivered — and dumped a full toss over the mid-wicket ropes.

The left-arm spinner quickly regained composure to strike with the next delivery.He changed his trajectory — the delivery came in with the arm — and Pietersen missed a sweep to be caught in front.

The Englishman’s 27-ball 46 was a delightful exhibition of inventive batting but he could have inflicted a lot more damage.Jadeja was the pick of the Indian bowlers as India restricted England to 153 for seven in a crucial Super Eight Group ‘E’ match of the ICC World Twenty20 at a packed Lord’s on Sunday.

A defeat in this game will knock the defending champion out of the competition.

Extras galore

Off-spinner Harbhajan Singh mixing his pace and bowling a fuller length scalped James Foster and Graeme Swann in the final over but conceded leg-side wides in attempting to fire the ball in. England went beyond 150; the final over yielded it 10 runs. In all, India conceded 14 wides and the fielding was rather ordinary.

The host was able to put up a competitive total — runs came off nudges, wides and a few misfields — despite big-hitter Dimitri Mascarenhas (25 off 27) not firing towards the end. England lost momentum after the influential Pietersen’s departure till the 16th over when the rather erratic Ishant Sharma conceded 13 runs. Mascarenhas soon cut Jadeja to the fence but Owais Shah, struggling to accelerate, was held on the boundary off Harbhajan. Skipper Paul Collingwood, trying a reverse sweep, was adjudged leg-before to Zaheer.Earlier, Dhoni, braving the pressures of the chase, elected to field.The conditions were bright and sunny to begin with.

There was success for India at the start; in the fourth ball off the second over to be precise. The dangerous Luke Wright opted to pull Rudra Pratap Singh — the delivery was not quite short enough for the stroke — and Yusuf Pathan at short fine-leg held on to a skier. Pietersen got underway almost immediately, flicking Zaheer past the ropes when the paceman erred in line.

Opener Ravi Bopara pulled R.P. Singh and the runs were coming thick and fast for England. When Ishant replaced Zaheer, Pietersen picked the paceman from the off-stump and whipped him over mid-wicket for a boundary.

Pietersen, using his feet delightfully, continued to dare the bowling.He waltzed down the track to blast R.P. Singh down the ground. The host was 40 for one after six Power Play overs. England continued to collect runs briskly.

Dhoni employed the left-arm spin of Yuvraj Singh ahead of Jadeja and both Bopara and Pietersen, employing the sweep, picked boundaries off the occasional spinner. It was Jadeja who eventually dismissed Bopara for a fluent 37-ball 37. The right-hander skipped to the leg-side to create room on the off but was castled by a fuller ball that spun a shade away after pitching.

Changes

India made two changes in the playing XI, bringing in R.P. Singh for Irfan Pathan and replacing Pragyan Ojha with left-arm spinning all-rounder Jadeja. R.P. Singh was picked for his greater pace and firepower with the new ball while Jadeja was included to provide the batting greater depth.

England opted for left-arm paceman Ryan Sidebottom for leg-spinner Adil Rashid.

SCOREBOARD

 England: R. Bopara b Jadeja 37 (37b, 3x4, 1x6), L. Wright c Yusuf b R.P. Singh 1 (7b), K. Pietersen lbw b Jadeja 46 (27b, 5x4, 1x6), D. Mascarenhas (not out) 25 (27b, 2x4), O. Shah c Jadeja b Harbhajan 12 (10b, 1x4), P. Collingwood lbw b Zaheer 7 (5b, 1x4), J. Foster c & b Harbhajan 6 (5b), G. Swann b Harbhajan 0 (1b), S. Broad (not out) 3 (1b); Extras (lb-2, w-14) 16. Total (for seven wkts. in 20 overs): 153.

Fall of wickets: 1-3, 2-74, 3-92, 4-122, 5-138, 6-145, 7-145.

India bowling: Zaheer 3-0-26-1, R.P. Singh 3-0-13-1, Ishant 4-0-36-0, Yuvraj 2-0-20-0, Harbhajan 4-0-30-3, Jadeja 4-0-26-2.

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