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Thursday, September 20, 2007

Twenty20: India beat England by 18 runs

Stuart Broad was hit for six sixes in an over as England's World Twenty20 bid ended with an 18-run defeat by India.

The young seamer was savaged in the 19th over by Yuvraj Singh, who made 58 off 16 balls, as India amassed 218-4.

South Africa's win over New Zealand had already eliminated England and, despite some brave hitting, they were always struggling to keep up with the rate.

The top five all got starts, with Vikram Solanki making 43 and Kevin Pietersen 39, as they ended on 200-6.

But this game will be remembered solely for the dramatic events in the final over of Broad's spell - which leaked 60 runs in four overs - as Yuvraj made the fastest fifty in international history, off 12 balls.

The ball disappeared with tremendous velocity over wide long-on, backward square-leg, extra-cover, backward point and mid-wicket while Broad and skipper Paul Collingwood played the role of startled rabbits.

It ultimately proved the difference between the teams - and yet there was no hint of the carnage to come when the openers cautiously went about garnering 23 in the first four overs.

They stepped on the gas to make more than double that in the next 24 balls as Gautam Gambhir pulled Andrew Flintoff and Virender Sehwag flogged Dimitri Mascarenhas over extra-cover for sixes.

England should have had a breakthrough when Sehwag sliced Collingwood to fine third man on 39, where Mascarenhas over-ran to miss the chance.

The right-hander profited by hammering over backward point for six and thrashing through the covers to reach 50 off 38 balls, while Gambhir got to his fifty off two fewer deliveries by punishing a Chris Tremlett full-toss.

Tremlett, who had come in for some severe punishment in his first appearance had two moments of joy when he knocked back Sehwag's leg-stump and cleaned up Robin Uthappa.

However, any suggestions that the innings might fizzle out were truly shattered by Yuvraj, who left England needing to hit the leather off just about everything from the start.

There was some humour at the end when England began the final over needing 36, and Luke Wright helped them get half of those before being brilliantly caught on the boundary by Harbhajan.

But, ultimately, they had no-one with Yuvraj's midas touch.

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