Search

Harbhajan Singh spins his web as England lose dead rubber against India

18:28 23 September 2012

England

England's Jonny Bairstow, left, loses his wicket as India's captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni, right, looks on during a ICC Twenty20 Cricket World Cup match between England and India in Colombo, Sri Lanka. (AP Photo/Gemunu Amarasinghe)

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 tonight.

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, who spent time with Essex in the summer, 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.

They promoted Pathan to open in place of the rested Virender Sehwag, but the left-hander was undone by Steven Finn’s extra pace when he was bowled in only the third over.

Number three Virat Kohli played according to his reputation - brilliantly - in a second-wicket stand of 57 with Gautam Gambhir, until Swann capped a fine spell by having him caught at deep midwicket by Jonny Bairstow for a high-class 40 from 31 balls.

Gambhir was unable to keep up that momentum in his anchor brief as Swann ruled the middle overs.

But by the time the opener was caught-behind slogging at Finn for 45 from 38 balls, the springboard was nonetheless still in place for India’s cleanest hitters to cash in.

Rohit was already established and stuck largely to orthodox cricket shots.

Broad would have run him out for 32 with a direct hit, one of a clutch of minor fielding misdemeanours from England.

But as India attempted to apply the pressure - to significant, but not devastating, effect - Jos Buttler’s wonderful piece of skill and quick thinking on the wide long-on boundary kept another six off the total and cut short Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s accustomed late surge.

Buttler somehow stayed in the field of play as he caught the ball and ferried it to nearby outrider Alex Hales to complete a memorable dismissal - and surely boost England morale to boot.

The high did not last long for Hales, though, missing 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.

The outcome had been easily predictable long before then.

The defeat, and even the margin of it, has no direct relevance to England’s prospects of retaining the only International Cricket Council global trophy they have ever won.

But when they reconvene for their next assignment in Pallekele on Thursday, against either West Indies or Ireland, they will quickly need to erase some bad recent memories.

0 comments

Latest Hackney Sports News

Arsenal's Santi Cazorla (Adam Davy/PA Wire)

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger says Santi Cazorla and Jack Wilshere will remain sidelined for at least the next two or three weeks.

Tottenham head coach Mauricio Pochettino

Mauricio Pochettino says he is enjoying the best time of his managerial career as he prepares to take Tottenham to Manchester City for a title showdown on Sunday.

Leyton Orient's Jobi McAnuff celebrates after his goal at Portsmouth (pic: Simon O'Connor).

League Two leaders come to E10 tomorrow and O’s are looking to beat them

Yesterday, 13:00
Leyton Orient player-manager Kevin Nolan (pic: Simon O'Connor).

Brisbane Road boss looks ahead to clash with League Two leaders

Kevin Wimmer:

Tottenham defender Kevin Wimmer is yet to concede a goal in the Premier League since replacing Jan Vertonghen – and he is aiming to keep it that way as he prepares to face Sergio Aguero in Sunday’s title showdown at Manchester City.

Yesterday, 10:04
Youngsters from Baden Powell Primary School have signed up for the Run Hackney Half Marathon Schools' Challenge

Hundreds of Hackney youngsters are signing up for the third Run Hackney Half Marathon Schools’ Challenge, which takes place in the build-up to the main race in May.

Yesterday, 09:54
Action from Regent's Park Rovers' (red) 4-0 victory over South London Sharks in the Jack Morgan Cup. Pic: Gavin Ellis/TGS Photo

El Valiente staged a superb comeback to squeeze into the next round of the Dickie Davies Cup after a 3-2 win over Bethune.

Yesterday, 05:28
Junior Gunners

Arsenal head up to Manchester United later this month for what is always one of the most eagerly awaited clashes of any season.

Most read sport

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Competitions

Champagne experience

This Valentine’s Day, the Coca-Cola London Eye is the perfect destination for lovebirds, offering a range of romantic experiences from Friday 12th February - Sunday 14th February 2016.

Sony Smart Ultra HD 55'' LED TV

Enjoy the ultimate entertainment experience in your living room with the Sony Smart Ultra 55’’ LED TV. Be the envy of all your friends with this huge TV- you can change your living room into your own cinema! Get the boys around to watch the football or get the girls around to watch the DVD of 50 Shades.. this is a prize that everyone would enjoy! Stand a chance to upgrade your current entertainment system by wining this fantastic prize.

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the
Hackney Gazette
e-edition today

Subscribe