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Twenty20 international: India v England - as it happened | Rob Smyth | Sport on Astini News

Preamble Hello. A crazy thing happened on 12 April 2006: England beat India in India. In the 2026 days since then, their record in all forms of the game is P15 W0 D1 T1 L13. Few would expect them to improve that today. It's a different form of the game, and England are the best side in the world according to the new ICC rankings*, but one format tends to bleed into other, particularly when you have just been thrashed 5-0. There's a whiff of the inevitable, and we haven't even had the toss.

* Though they will drop to third if they lose today, with India jumping from fifth to second and Sri Lanka going top

The pitch is the same one that was used during Tuesday's special collapse, which means another trial by spin for England. Permission to take up residence behind the sofa? Permission granted. Rumours that India have recalled Bishan Bedi, Bhagwat Chandrasekhar, Rajesh Chauhan and Arshad Ayub in a team of 11 spinners are unconfirmed.

India have won the toss and will bat first. The England captain Graeme Swann says he would have batted as well, and you would expect the pitch to turn increasingly as the match progresses. England have two chances in this match, and Slim really needed to bat first. An England victory would be gloriously illogical.

India Uthappa, Rahane, Kohli, Raina, Y Pathan, Dhoni (c/wk), Jadeja, Tiwary, Ashwin, V Kumar, P Kumar.

England Hales, Kieswetter (wk), Pietersen, Bopara, Bairstow, Buttler, Patel, Bresnan, Swann (c), Finn, Dernbach.

This is England's last match of what has been a momentous year. A gold star for the person who can tell us when they last had no international matches in November and December.

An email from Mike Selvey at Eden Gardens "I can tell you that Samit parked himself down next to me at lunch (half a chicken wrap, no salad for him, I promise you) and told me he was batting at four. We shall see but personally I think he has played the spin as well as anyone. Anyway he says he is not going to die wondering today. No surprise that KP makes the cut. This is the equivalent of Asprey's shop window for him and he wasn't going to miss it." He's had a decent tour, hasn't he? I feel a bit sorry for him having to come in at No7 all the time. It's no place for an orthodox batsman, but he has done okay there. In fact he has only twice come in higher than No7, and one of those was when he belted 70 not out last week.

"They did not play in October and November of 2001 (and only started again at the end of December)," says Ian Copestake, "so I am hitching my inadequately researched star to 2001." Nup, the Test series against India started in December. Look at that England team!

WICKET! India 1-1 (Rahane c Kieswetter b Finn 0) After all sorts of faffing, the game finally gets underway, and Steve Finn strikes with the fourth ball! Rahane edged a drive at a very full delivery, and Kieswetter dived to his right to take a magnificent one-handed catch.

1st over: India 5-1 (Uthappa 1, Kohli 4) Kohli pings a lovely boundary through midwicket. Lord Selvey suggests 1988 as the last year in which England had November and December off. In fact it was 1993, ahead of the West Indies tour. Which for some reason always reminds me of Beth Jordache and Margaret kissing in Brookside. I think it's because Brookside happened to be on in the background while I was listening to one of the Tests on a Friday night; Trinidad maybe, Haynes b Salisbury 38, you know the one.

WICKET! India 5-2 (Uthappa c Kieswetter b Bresnan 1) What's going on here then? England have struck twice in the first eight deliveries. Uthappa fenced at a shortish delivery from Bresnan and edged it to the right of Kieswetter, who took a smart diving catch. It wasn't a blinder like the first, but it was still a very decent take.

2nd over: India 5-2 (Kohli 4, Raina 0) Raina feels outside off stump for his first ball and pings it just short of point, and then he checks his second ball not far short of the bowler Bresnan. "After another blinder by Kieswetter, it might be a good idea for him to forget that he has two hands," says Anand. "He seems to do his best work with one hand."

3rd over: India 12-2 (Kohli 5, Raina 6) This is a vital partnership of course, with both men in exceptional form at the moment. Raina shows that by driving Finn for a magnificent straight six. What a way to get off the mark! "By far the strangest aspect of that scorecard is the fact that in India's first innings Mark Butcher took the first wicket," says Tom King. "After 9.1 overs. Whagwan?!" First change ahead of Flintoff and White? Blimey. I assume it was swinging, and Nasser had a hunch.

4th over: India 21-2 (Kohli 14, Raina 6) Kohli swats Bresnan extravagantly over mid on for four, a marvellous stroke, and then helps a short ball on its way to the fine-leg boundary. This is a wonderfully confident and assertive response from Kohli and Raina. "1993 eh," says Mike Selvey. "That must mean I had two months off and didn't even know it."

5th over: India 26-2 (Kohli 17, Raina 10) Jade Dernbach comes on to replace Steve Finn. He could do with a decent game after a chastening ODI series. After a decent start to the over, Raina cuts a filthy delivery for four. "The inclusion of Buttler makes this a potential On the Buses tribute side," says Ian Copestake, "to be bolstered further by picking a Blakey, an Olive and a Chalky." Picking a Blakey is India is not to be advised.

WICKET! India 26-3 (Kohli c Hales b Bresnan 15) A fantastic running catch from Alex Hales gets rid of the dangerous Virat Kohli. He hoicked a slower ball from Bresnan high towards cow corner, and Hales charged round the boundary before holding on just a fraction inside the rope.

6th over: India 32-3 (Raina 15, Tiwary 1) Raina smears Bresnan back over his head for four. He is in a brutal mood. "Great link to the 2001 Test team – love it," says Jon Devaney. "To be fair that's a pretty good top six, few complaints. And as bowling attacks go? Well, at least there was Hoggy. How we got the, out for only 469 I can only fathom..." That was the start, really, of the 2005 attack. Flintoff and to a lesser extent Hoggard came of age as Test bowlers, Giles put daylight between him and other spinners like Robert Croft (who, like Andy Caddick, pulled in the aftermath 9/11) and then Harmison and Jones made their debuts the following summer.

7th over: India 38-3 (Raina 16, Tiwary 5) With the Powerplay over, Samit Patel can come into the attack. Tiwary premeditates a lap sweep for two in a obundaryless, six-run over. "Put a link in to Dick Blakey's autobiography then," says Mike Selvey. As sports books go, it does have one of the better titles: Taking It From Behind.

8th over: India 54-3 (Raina 31, Tiwary 6) The captain Graeme Swann replaces Bresnan, and his first over disappears for 16! Raina cuts the first ball for four and then slog sweeps a huge six. He is in fantastic nick and has moved to 31 from 21 balls.

9th over: India 61-3 (Raina 31, Tiwary 13) Tiwary works Patel for three consecutive twos and then edges an attempted sweep over Kieswetter for a single.

10th over: India 65-3 (Raina 33, Tiwary 15) Graeme Swann replaces Graeme Swann with Jade Dernbach, who bowls a good over at a cost of only four singles.

WICKET! India 66-4 (Tiwary b Patel 15) Tiwary slogs across the line of a quicker delivery from Patel that hits the off stump. Well bowled Samit, although that wicket might be a mixed blessing for England: here comes MS Dhoni.

11th over: India 66-4 (Raina 34, Dhoni 0) A superb over from Patel brings a wicket and a solitary run.

WICKET! India 74-5 (Raina c Bairstow b Finn 39) This is a big wicket for England. Finn returns to the attack, probably with one eye on Dhoni, but he picks up Raina instead. It was a short, wide slower ball, and Raina slapped a cut straight to point.

WICKET! India 74-6 (Jadeja b Finn 0) Two in two balls for Finn. Jadeja tried to cut a ball that was too close for the shot, and dragged it back onto the stumps.

12th over: India 74-6 (Dhoni 3, Y Pathan 0) "Dhoni has not only proved himself to be an excellent limited-overs batter, but also a startlingly effective laxative," says Phil Sawyer. "Every time he walks to the wicket when England are bowling he makes my stomach go watery. God knows how he makes the England bowlers feel but I wouldn't be surprised to see their habit of mysterious disappearances to the dressing room increase even further."

13th over: India 81-6 (Dhoni 5, Y Pathan 5) England have a huge shout for caught behind against Dhoni turned down. Dhoni pushed at a ball from Swann that looped up in the air off the pad and was taken by Kieswetter down the leg side. England were certain there had been an inside edge; replays suggested they were probably right. Yusuf Pathan gets four to fine leg later in the over.

14th over: India 83-6 (Dhoni 6, Y Pathan 6) Dhoni survives Finn's hat-trick ball, but there are just two singles from the over. Finn ends with outstanding figures of 4-0-22-3. It'll be fascinating to see if he jumps the queue to the Test team in the new year, because he is starting to look like a serious bowler. "Never mind 'On The Buses'," says James Wrout. "Some of us of a certain age can't wait to see Buttler and Anderson teaming up again. It would be music to my hearing aid."

15th over: India 87-6 (Dhoni 7, Y Pathan 9) A diabolical piece of umpiring from S Ravi reprieves Pathan when he pushes around a very straight delivery from the new bowler Ravi Bopara. Hawkeye suggests it would have hit leg stump. Still, another very good over for England. Pietersen had a right go at the umpire at the end of the over, which isn't really on, no matter how bad the decision was. "Just realised that Suresh Raina is the Michael Bevan of the 21st century!" says Anand. I know what you mean – brilliant in ODIs, poor at Test cricket because of a struggle against the short ball – although they are different types of batsmen. Bevan, as Christian Ryan said, had a "tweezer for a bat", whereas Suresh Raina has a sledgehammer for a bat.

16th over: India 91-6 (Dhoni 10, Y Pathan 10) Dhoni's too quiet. Far too quiet. There are only four runs from Bresnan's final over. He ends with superb figures of 4-1-19-2, and Dhoni has 10 from 19 balls. England are probably on top, although even 110 could be a tricky target against all those spinners. "Is there a T20 change to the lbw law I don't know about?" says Mike Selvey. It really was a hideous decision.

WICKET! India 91-7 (Y Pathan b Bopara 10) Superb bowling from Ravi Bopara. Yusuf Pathan is beaten by consecutive slower balls and then cleaned up emphatically by a quicker one that sends his off stump flying.

WICKET! India 91-8 (P Kumar b Bopara 0) Bopara is bowling beautifully here, and bowls Boom Boom Kumar second ball with a fine inswinger that knocks the middle stump over.

17th over: India 91-8 (Dhoni 10, Ashwin 0) A double-wicket maiden for Bopara, whose figures are 2-1-4-2. A double-wicket maiden in Twenty20! "So when was the last time England fielded three wicketkeepers, all of whom took catches?" asks John Starbuck. Hales isn't a keeper, is he? As for fielding three keepers, Trescothick, Stewart and Crawley (who all kept wicket in international cricket) were in the same Test team in Australia in 2002-03. No idea if Trescothick and Crawley took catches, though.

18th over: India 95-8 (Dhoni 12, Ashwin 2) Dhoni comes through for a suicidal single and is miles short of his ground when the throw from backward point misses the stumps. That's one of four singles in Dernbach's over, and now it must be time for Dhoni to open his shoulders.

19th over: India 107-8 (Dhoni 13, Ashwin 12) The penultimate over of the innings, from Bopara, costs 12. Ashwin drives a lovely boundary through extra cover, the first for 33 balls, and chips another over mid off later in the over.

WICKET! 20th over: India 120-8 (Dhoni run out 21; Ashwin 17 not out) The final over goes for 13 and includes – do not adjust your set – the wicket of MS Dhoni. First Ashwin drags Dernbach for four, and then Dhoni gets a reprieve. He swiped a slower ball miles in the air, and it dropped through the hands of Bairstow, running round from mid-on. In fact he hardly got hands on it. It was a costly miss, because Dhoni whirled an astonishing bottom-handed six down the ground next ball. He was then run out off the last delivery by the bowler Dernbach. So England need 121 to win and stay at the top of the T20 rankings. It could be a deceptively tricky target. See you in 10 minutes.

1st over: England 8-0 (target 121; Hales 1, Kieswetter 6) The offspinner R Ashwin opens the bowling, and starts with a beautiful doosra that beats Alex Hales. Craig Kieswetter survives a big LBW shout later in the over after missing a slog sweep – there was a doubt over height – and then makes room to drive expertly over cover for four. An eventful first over. "Your wish is my Saturday afternoon with not much else to do, Rob," says Phil Sawyer. "Catches from Messrs Tresco, Crawley and Stewart in the first innings of this match. Also in the fifth Test. Not many catches from any England fielders in the matches in between, mind."

2nd over: England 14-0 (target 121; Hales 5, Kieswetter 8) It'll be offspin from both ends, with Yusuf Pathan to share the new ball. Has there even been a boy born who can swim faster than a shark a Twenty20 innings in which only spinners have bowled? India could do that here if they wished. Pathan's first over isn't the best, a touch too straight, and England are able to milk ones and twos into the leg side. I wouldn't give Pathan a second over if I were MS Dhoni. I wish I were MS Dhoni.

3rd over: England 20-0 (target 121; Hales 6, Kieswetter 12) The dangerous Kieswetter pulls a terrible delivery from Ashwin round the corner for four. It's a fine over apart from that, with just two more runs from it.

WICKET! England 21-1 (Kieswetter c Tiwary b Jadeja 12) Here we go. Kieswetter advances to the new bowler Jadeja and drives him in the air to long off, where Tiwary takes a cool catch. That was a bit of a naive shot from Kieswetter, although I suppose we can't have it both ways.

4th over: England 22-1 (target 121; Hales 8, Pietersen 0) Pietersen has a big drive at his first ball and is beaten by a beauty that turns sharply. This is going to be very difficult for England. "By bowling the spinners first up, has Dhoni made sure England are more focused?" says Anand. "I thought the strategy was to give some runs to England against the seamers, make them feel everything is all right and then bring in the spinners."

5th over: England 26-1 (target 121; Hales 10, Pietersen 2) Pietersen tries to drive Ashwin and screws it luckily over the leg side. It's all a bit too manic for England's comfort – and now Pietersen has been dropped! He top-edged a slog sweep over the head of short third man. Three fielders converged, and eventually Raina got himself in a poor position before dropping it. He should have taken that. "Right, you have one wish," says Mike Selvey. "You can be either Rob Key, Martin McCague or MS Dhoni. Which is it to be?" Mike Selvey. Actually, Rob Key is very good in the Sky studio; he should do more of it. Between innings he said that "if Finn bowls like this in England, he is going to be unplayable." I got quite excited when he said that.

6th over: England 28-1 (target 121; Hales 10, Pietersen 2) This is filthy cricket from England. They are all over the place on an admittedly tricky pitch. Hales misses a premeditated reverse sweep, and then Pietersen survives a huge shout for LBW after missing a sweep. It looked extremely close, although I suppose it might have been missing leg. Hawkeye suggests it was indeed missing leg. Pietersen has two from nine balls; Jadeja has figures of 2-0-2-1. "Another question which some OBO reader may be able to answer: has anyone seen the Ladyboys of Bangkok's act?" says John Starbuck. "My wife is going tonight with a bevy of her old school friends and I'd like to know what state I can expect them back in."

WICKET! England 40-2 (Hales c Rahane b Y Pathan 11) Yusuf Pathan returns in place of R Ashwin (3-0-7-1). Pietersen Dilscoops his first boundary straight over the keeper's head, and then switch-hits a monstrous six over extra cover/midwicket. Pick that out. It was shaping up to be a brilliant over for England, but then Hales fell to the last delivery. He lifted Pathan towards deep midwicket, where Rahane charged in from the boundary to take a superb two-handed catch diving forward.

7th over: England 40-2 (target 121; Pietersen 13, Patel 0) Samit Patel does come in at No4, as Selve said he would.

8th over: England 45-2 (target 121; Pietersen 14, Patel 2) A wonderful diving stop from Raina saves four when Patel slaps Jadeja through the off side. Patel then survives an optimistic pair of shouts for caught behind and LBW. Great stuff from Jadeja, though: his figures are 3-1-7-1. "Having been used to abysmal fielding by India through the 90s while our batsmen's catches were plucked out of thin air by the likes of Mark Waugh, that last catch by Rahane felt good," says Anand. "I said a 'wow' to myself."

9th over: England 61-2 (target 121; Pietersen 25, Patel 7) Samit Patel clatters Pathan down the ground for four, an excellent stroke. Then Pietersen takes 10 from two balls, a sweet lofted stroke over deep midwicket for six followed by a vicious smear to the same area. Pietersen started abysmally and is now playing majestically.

10th over: England 74-2 (target 121; Pietersen 32, Patel 9) Praveen Kumar bowls the first over of seam in this innings. Pietersen slams a majestic pull over midwicket for four and then sweeps four more through square leg. Thirteen from the over and 29 from the last two. Pietersen is playing sensationally; he has 36 from 21 balls.

11th over: England 80-2 (target 121; Pietersen 36, Patel 15) Vinay Kumar also comes on to bowl, and Samit Patel dumps his second ball lazily over long on for six. What a shot! Those are the only runs from the over, mind, and Patel would have been run out from a direct hit off the last ball of the over when Pietersen sent him back.

12th over: England 82-2 (target 121; Pietersen 37, Patel 16) India need a wicket from Jadeja in his last over. England sense this, and are content enough with a couple of low-risk singles. Jadeja ends with brilliant figures of 4-1-9-1. England need 39 from 48 balls and will have to work very, very hard to bugger this up.

13th over: England 95-2 (target 121; Pietersen 48, Patel 18) Pietersen hammers Vinay Kumar through extra cover for four and then belabours a slower bouncer over deep midwicket for his third six! Wonderful stuff. England are cruising.

14th over: England 98-2 (target 121; Pietersen 49, Patel 20) R Ashwin's last over is surely India's last chance. Pietersen survives a huge LBW shout after missing a reverse lap. That looked plumb, and replays confirm that Pietersen was lucky. Three singles from the over, and Ashwin is done for the day.

WICKET! England 100-3 (Patel c Tiwary b Kohli 21) A soft end to a decent supporting innings from Patel, who slices the new bowler Kohli high in the air towards cover. He takes a comfortable catch, his second of the innings.

15th over: England 102-3 (target 121; Pietersen 52, Bopara 0) Earlier in the over Pietersen drove Kohli down the ground to reach fifty from only 34 balls. He was manic for the first 10 balls; since then he has been majestic.

WICKET! England 106-4 (Pietersen LBW b Raina 53) Pietersen gets a shocking decision from the umpire. He missed a switch hit at Raina, bowling around the wicket, and was given out LBW. The ball pitched miles outside leg stump. Ah well, it happens. Pietersen played a brilliant and probably matchwinning innings of 53 from 39 balls.

16th over: England 106-4 (target 121; Bopara 2, Bairstow 0) England need 15 from 24 balls. They couldn't, surely. "Did the umpire think KP was batting left handed?" says Anand.

17th over: England 113-4 (target 121; Bopara 8, Bairstow 0) Bopara pulls Kohli meatily for four to calm any burgeoning nerves. The target is down to 8 from 18 balls.

18th over: England 118-4 (target 121; Bopara 13, Bairstow 1) Bopara survives a big shout for LBW from Raina, with the ball straightening from around the wicket. That was out. The umpires haven't had a great day.

18.4 overs: England 121-4 (Bopara 15, Bairstow 2). ENGLAND WIN BY SIX WICKETS WITH EIGHT BALLS TO SPARE Ravi Bopara steers Virat Kohli for a single to complete a superb victory for England, who stay No1 in the world as a result. It's also their first win against India in India since 2006. Kevin Pietersen struck a fantastic 53, while Steve Finn and Ravi Bopara bowled beautifully. Graeme Swann also had a good day, as captain if not with the ball, and England have ended a miserable little tour on a high. Thanks for your emails; see you next year for the trips to the UAE and Sri Lanka.

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