Colombo: R Premadasa stadium in Colombo witnessed yet another scintillating performance by the Men In Blue while they beat the current World Cup champions England by 90 runs on Sunday evening.
After having put in to bat by the Stuart Broad, Gautam Gambhir (45 off 38), Virat Kohli (40 off 32) and then Rohit Sharma (55 off 33) led attack, threw Englandâ€™s promising bowling line-up off-shore. India hanged the board with 170/4 in the allotted 20 overs.
India were off to a slow start after they didn’t have Virender Sehwag as an opening option. Irfan Pathan was sent with an additional responsibility on his shoulders to fill in for the brutal Sehwag, he failed. Pathan was castled on 8 by Steven Finn. By then India was in a spot of bother but then came Virat Kohli with his prime form.
He played some elegant strokes and made the maiden fifty runs partnership with Gambhir of this year’s World Cup. He took the England bowling on task in his own way and thrashed a rapid 40 off just 32 balls.
After this Rohit Sharma got the promotion and he didn’t lead anyone down. He was on song too. He was standing tall and delivering high against the English team. Sharma got to fifty in almost no time with 5 fours and a huge six on the off side that he elegantly timed.
However, Steven Finn proved out to be expensive giving away 33 runs to grab just two Indian wickets. But the pick of the bowlers for the Britishers was Graeme Swann. He picked up the price scalp of Kohli and conceded just 17 runs of his four.
In their reply, there’s not much to write as far as England’s scoreboard is concerned. Harbhajan Singh’s havoc swept England off their feet as they were wrapped up for 80.
It was a return of Turbanator Harbhajan, who the world knows. He proved out to be tricky enough to pick 4 off his 4 overs conceding just 12 runs and 2 maidens to add to it. Piyush Chawlaâ€™s leg spin also came handy on a turning wicket as he took 2 for 13 in his 4 with one maiden. But Balaji and Ashok Dinda couldn’t do much. Dinda conceded 26 off his 2 and remained wicketless.
Harbhajan Singh was picked up man of the match.
The match might have ended but India’s dilemma with pace bowling is still on.