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India crash out of World T20
London, Jun 15 (IANS/PTI):
Published on 15 Jun. 2009 11:23 PM IST
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England inflicted a heart-wrenching three-run defeat on India to send the defending champions crashing out of the World Twenty20 at Lords’s here Sunday. Set to score 154 in 20 overs in their crucial Group E Super Eights match, India could manage only 150 for five and were eliminated from the tournament, having lost an earlier Super Eights match against the West Indies by seven wickets. Man of the Match Side Ryanbottom and Graeme Swann picked up two wickets each. Put in to bat, England made a challenging 153 for seven in 20 overs after Kevin Pietersen hit a breezy 46 and opener Ravi Bopara scored a run-a-ball 37. Indian spinners Harbhajan Singh (3-30) and Ravindra Jadeja (2-26) arrested the run flow in the later stages of the game but couldn’t stop England from posting a competitive total. While chasing, the Indian bastmen faltered right from the start. Opener Gautam Gambhir scored a run-a-ball 26 while Rohit Sharma (9) and Suresh Raina (2) failed to get their big shots going against the precise bouncers of Sidebottom, Stuart Broad and Luke Wright. Taking a cue from the West Indies win over India, the England bowlers unsettled the Indian batsmen with a flurry of bouncers and by the time skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni and Yusuf Pathan came to the crease, the required run rate had touched 11 an over. Jadeja, playing his first match of the tournament, scored a painstaking 25 (35) while Dhoni (30 not out) and Pathan’s (33 not out) heroics in the closing stages were just not enough to keep India in the tournament. England once again made a poor start as opener Luke Wright (1) skied a catch to Pathan off the bowling of Rudra Pratap Singh. Bopara and Pietersen then shared a 71-run stand for the second wicket before both fell in quick succession to Jadeja’s slow left-arm spin. Dimitri Mascarenhas (25 not out) was promoted up the order to increase the run flow, but he struggled along with Owais Shah and failed to produce the big shots. England made 82 from their last 10 overs while Harbhajan arrested the run flow by removing James Foster and Graeme Swann in successive balls in the final over. Fans protest Cricket fans in the Jharkhand capital Monday burnt Indian cricket captain and city boy Mahendra Singh Dhoni in effigy to protest India’s exit from the ICC Twenty20 world cup following successive defeats in matches against the West Indies and England. Around 50 cricket fans, mostly youth, gathered near Siddo Kanhu park and shouted slogans against Dhoni. The protesters also burnt Dhoni effigy. “Dhoni took the T20 world cup lightly. It seems Dhoni is more fascinated by glamour world instead of cricket,” said Shyama Kumar, one of the protesters. Another protester Ravi Kumar said they were “shocked and disappointed” at the way India played in the tournament. “India should have taken a lesson from Australia which failed to get place in Super 8,” he said. “Dhoni should take responsibility for the loss. India could have done well had he avoided unnecessary controversy surrounding Veeru (Virender Sehwag) in the middle of World Cup, which affected the concentration of the team members,” claimed one of the indignant fans after burning Dhoni’s effigy here. Former cricketers, however, sided with Dhoni and admonished the fans for their ‘fickle nature’. Police patrolling near the under-construction house of Dhoni at Harmu road in the city has been beefed up. There were fears that angry fans could also attack it, like 2007 when India was ousted from the world cup. The protesters had demolished the boundary wall, but after India’s victory in the Twenty20 tournament the same year, cricket fans had come to rebuild the wall. Dhoni apologises Indian cricket captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni apologised to the nation for his champion team’s early ouster from the T20 World Cup and admitted sending Ravindra Jadeja ahead of Yuvraj Singh in their Super 8 match against England was a mistake. “We are more disappointed (than you) and we respect the emotions of our fans and the country. We gave our best and we say that with an open heart, we have nothing to hide. But the next Twenty20 world cup is coming again in nine months and we would have an opportunity of proving ourselves,” said a dejected Dhoni after India’s heart-breaking three-run loss at Lord’s last night. Dhoni sent Jadeja ahead of Yuvraj and himself but the young all-rounder consumed 35 balls for his 25 in the middle overs to put pressure on his batting partners which ultimately led to India losing the match by three runs to crash out of the tournament. “Sometimes you don’t know what would happen. We thought Jadeja could stabilise the innings as well as go after the bowling. He did try but somehow he always found the fielders. It was unfortunate it didn’t work for us. We needed somebody to play percentage cricket at that stage.” Dhoni, however, defended his decision to include Jadeja in the playing eleven in place of Pragyan Ojha, as well as his opting to field after winning the toss. “We were looking at a combination in which our batting could be lengthened. We need lower order bats to contribute. Ojha may be a better bowler but Jadeja is an excellent fielder and both bat and bowl well. It also encourages us to include an extra fast bowler,” he said. “As for fielding first, we realised that under lights the wicket became better for batting.” The India captain held his batting colleagues responsible for the team’s loss and said there cannot be any excuse for their failure to chase down a modest target of 154. “We failed in batting. If the opposition scores 153 and you cannot achieve that on a track like this, I don’t think there can be any excuse. You just cannot explain that,” Dhoni curtly said. “We lost simply because we did not bat well. I’m rather happy with the performance of the bowlers,” he added. Dhoni was candid enough to admit that England bowlers had bounced India out of the match, sending down short-pitch stuff quite consistently. “They started really well. They looked aggressive and used the bouncers really well. All of a sudden our batsmen could not change their game plan. “They used short deliveries very well -- bouncers and slow bouncers. That really did the job for them,” he said.

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