New Delhi: Indian pacer Irfan Pathan struck in his very first over to claim the wicket of England opening batsman Alex Hales for a duck in 10th match of the Twenty20 World Cup played at R Premadasa Stadium in Colombo on Sunday. In the first innings, Under-fire Rohit Sharma hit a superb unbeaten half century while Gautam Gambhir also found some form as India posted a challenging 170 for four against England. Teams:
Promoted to number four, Rohit finally came good in an international match as he planned his innings to perfection, hitting 55 not out off 33 balls with five fours and a slashed six off Jade Dernbach.
An upper-cut off England captain Stuart Broad was also a treat to watch as the Mumbai youngster finally repaid the faith shown by his skipper who persisted with him despite repeated failures.
Gambhir also scored an useful 45 off 38 balls, hitting five boundaries in the process as the Indian side which have six specialist batsmen did admirably well against the English pace quartet.
The four-pronged pace attack of Broad, Tim Bresnan, Steven Finn and Dernbach used the short ball liberally to test Gambhir but he played the horizontal bat shot with a lot of control.
In-form Virat Kohli looked good during is 32-ball-40 as he set the tempo with a fluent knock.
The unlikely bowling hero for England turned out to be Graeme Swann who gave away only 17 runs in his four overs.
Gambhir started with a pull shot off Jade Dernbach and then steered the bowler past third man region for consecutive boundaries. Trying to find some form, the two shots worked wonder for the senior opener.
Dhoni's gamble to open with Irfan Pathan in place of an injured Virender Sehwag flopped as the left-hander could only manage eight runs before a delivery from Steven Finn held its line after pitching and, in the process, knocked down the off-stump.
Kohli, who can do no wrong these days, started with an exquisite cover drive off Finn. The next boundary was a square drive off Broad while the third one came when he gave Tim
Bresnan the charge to lift him over extra cover. The fourth boundary, an elegant on-drive off Finn, was though the best shot of the innings.
With Gambhir giving him good support, India crossed the 50-run mark within the Powerplay overs when the left-hander got one to bisect between the point and cover fielders.
It looked as if Kohli had grown special liking for Bresnan after he twice flicked the bowler over the mid-wicket region for boundaries.
However, it was a moment of indiscretion that brought about Kohli's downfall. Watching Swann flight the ball, he gave charge but came too close to the pitch of the delivery and the resultant shot was pouched by Jonathan Bairstow at deep mid-wicket boundary.
Kohli's 40 came off 32 balls and he hit six boundaries. The Indian 100 came up in the 14th over with Gambhir getting a boundary through the extra cover region.
Gambhir was finally out when he tried an expansive drive off a fuller delivery from Finn only to nick one to Craig Kieswetter behind stumps.
However, Rohit and Dhoni got together as they ran brilliantly between the wickets apart from finding the boundary balls, adding 47 runs in only 3.5 overs with the Mumbaikar being the dominant partner.
India: Mahendra Singh Dhoni (C), Gautam Gambhir, Virat Kohli, Suresh Raina, Yuvraj Singh, Rohit Sharma, Irfan Pathan, Harbhajan Singh, Piyush Chawla, Ashok Dinda and Laxmipathi Balaji.
England: Stuart Broad (C), Craig Kieswetter, Alex Hales, Luke Wright, Eoin Morgan, Jos Buttler, Jonny Bairstow, Tim Bresnan, Greame Swann, Steven Finn, Jane Dernbach.
New Delhi: Indian pacer Irfan Pathan struck in his very first over to claim the wicket of England opening batsman Alex Hales for a duck in 10th match of the Twenty20 World Cup played at R Premadasa Stadium in Colombo on Sunday.
In the first innings, Under-fire Rohit Sharma hit a superb unbeaten half century while Gautam Gambhir also found some form as India posted a challenging 170 for four against England.