Defending champions crumble against the spin

Felix Austin | cricket20

England suffered a trial by spin as they collapsed to a disappointing total of just 80 to seal a comprehensive 90 run defeat against India in their Group A clash at the Pallekele International Cricket Stadium.

The England batsman were bamboozled by India’s spinners as Harbhajan Singh (4-12) and Piyush Chawla (2-13) tore through the defending champions middle order who no answer to the twin threat of the Indians.

Craig Kieswetter (35) offered some resistant’s but once Harbhajan Singh and Chawla took control of the match as England’s batsman departed in quick succession as they collapsed from 39-2 to 80 all out.

Gautam Gambhir (45) led the way for India who got off to a rapid start before England slowly forced their way back into the game before a cameo from Rohit Sharma (55) left the defending champions with some work to do with the bat.

India lost Irfan Pathan (8) early on before they took control of the match with Gambhir and Virat Kohli (40) sharing a 2nd wicket stand of 57 to put England on the back foot before Graeme Swann struck to remove Kohli in the 11th over.

Having slowed India down during the second half of the innings, England’s bowlers once again lost their way as Sharma and MS Dhoni (9) enjoyed a useful partnership of 38 during the closing stages of the match to set up an intriguing run chase.

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