Harbhajan, new-look India stun England in World T20
AGENCE FRANCE PRESSE
COLOMBO, Sept 24: Harbhajan Singh grabbed 4-12 on his return after a year in the wilderness as India demolished defending champions England by 90 runs in the World Twenty20 on Sunday.
Rohit Sharma hit an unbeaten 55 off 33 balls as the new-look Indians scored 170-4 before England were shot out for their lowest T20 total of 80 in front of 20,000 spectators at the Premadasa stadium.
India rested seamer Zaheer Khan, spinner Ravichandran Ashwin and opener Virender Sehwag for the group A match that held only academic interest since both teams had already qualified for the Super Eights.
But it was a morale-boosting win for the 2007 champions ahead of the next round, as they dominated England from start to finish.
Harbhajan, 32, who had been out of favour with the selectors since August last year before being recalled for the World Twenty20, claimed a wicket off his second delivery when he came on in the sixth over.
When his spell finished in the 12th over, England had slumped to 60-8 and lost their ninth wicket also at the same total.
England were in danger of falling for the lowest ever total in Twenty20 internationals -- 67 by Kenya against Ireland in 2008 -- before the last-wicket pair of Steven Finn and Jade Dernbach prevented the humiliation.
But the total still fell below England´s previous lowest score of 88 against the West Indies at the Oval last year.
Leg-spinner Piyush Chawla, who was also an unexpected selection for the match, claimed 2-13 as England faltered against both pace and spin.
Seamer Irfan Pathan bowled Alex Hales and trapped Luke Wright leg-before in his first two overs to reduce England to 18-2.
Wickets fell at regular intervals and the innings ended in the 15th over to complete a dominant win for India.
Other notable contributions for India came from Gautam Gambhir, who made 45, and Virat Kohli, who smashed 40 off 32 balls.
Makeshift opener Pathan fell for eight before the in-form Kohli hit six boundaries during a second-wicket stand of 57 with Gambhir.
Sharma and skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni took 38 runs in the last three overs to lift India past the 150-run mark.
England made one change from the team that beat Afghanistan, dropping left-arm spinner Samit Patel to play seamer Tim Bresnan.
World Twenty20: Pakistan defeat New Zealand by 13 runs
PALLEKELE, Sept 24: Pakistan beat New Zealand by 13 runs in an exciting finish to their Group D World Twenty20 match at Pallekele stadium.
Pakistan scored 177-6 in their 20 overs before restricting New Zealand to 164-9 in their 20 overs. Nasir Jamshed top-scored with 56 while Saeed Ajmal finished with 4-30.
Earlier in the first inning, Nasir Jamshed hit a maiden half-century to guide Pakistan to a challenging 177-6.
The 22-year-old left-hander made a 35-ball 56 and added 76 for the second wicket with skipper Mohammad Hafeez (43) after Pakistan opted to bat under bright sunshine at Pallekele stadium.
Jamshed hit two boundaries and four sixes as Pakistan plundered 92 off the first ten overs. Hafeez hit two fours and two sixes off 38 balls.
Pakistan raced to 47 by the sixth over with Imran Nazir hitting five boundaries during his rapidfire 16-ball 25 before he gave a return catch to Tim Southee, who finished with 2-31.
Saeed Ajmal celebrates the wicket of New Zealand cricketer Daniel Vettori during the ICC Twenty20 Cricket World Cup match between Pakistan and New Zealand.Photo: AFP
Jamshed was aggressive from the start, smashing paceman Adam Milne for a six before hitting two off spinner Nathan McCullum’s successive overs. He reached his maiden fifty off just 27 balls, improving on his previous best of 45 he made against Australia in Dubai last month.
New Zealand reined them in in the middle overs, claiming three wickets for just 11 runs including that of Jamshed caught in the outfield off Daniel Vettori.
Umar Akmal scored 23 with three boundaries and a six.
New Zealand were uncharacteristically sloppy in the field, with Ross Taylor dropping Hafeez on nought in Kyle Mills’s first over while Rob Nicol failed to hold on to a head-high Jamshed hook off the same bowler which went for six.
The top two teams from the group will advance to the Super Eights round.