ICC World Twenty20 Super Eight, Group E, Lord's: England 153-8 beat India 150-5 by three runs Match scorecard
By David Ornstein
Highlights - England beat India in thriller (UK only)
England kept alive their hopes of reaching the World Twenty20 semi-finals by eliminating holders India in a nail-biting Super Eights encounter.
Kevin Pietersen top-scored with a battling 46 off 27 balls as he and Ravi Bopara put on 71 for the second wicket and helped their side post 153-8.
England then shone in the field as Graeme Swann (2-28) and Ryan Sidebottom (2-31) put their side on course to win.
India were restricted to 150-5 as the hosts claimed a three-run victory.
The result puts England level on points with West Indies in Group E, while it means South Africa have now qualified for the semi-finals.
England play the West Indies at The Oval on Monday and the winner of that game will join the Proteas in qualifying for the last four.
India face South Africa at Trent Bridge on Tuesday but they will be playing for pride alone after seeing their title defence crumble at an electric Lord's, where their supporters were in the majority and the atmosphere was sensational.
Boos inspired us - Pietersen
They needed 19 off Sidebottom's final over to clinch victory but, although Yusuf Pathan smashed a six and skipper Mahendra Dhoni a four, England held their nerve under immense pressure to triumph.
India would have noted that England's comprehensive defeat by South Africa on Thursday came after they batted first and Dhoni's decision to send the hosts in after winning the toss came as no surprise.
It appeared to be a good call when, after just 1.4 overs, Luke Wright attempted to pull a full-pitched ball from RP Singh but succeeded only in top-edging it to a diving Yusuf Pathan scampering backwards from leg slip.
England were off to a terrible start but the departure of Wright was perhaps a blessing in disguise because it marked the arrival of Pietersen.
The right-hander, nursing a chronic Achilles problem, was quick to signal his intent with a couple of flicked boundaries and he was ably assisted by Bopara, who pulled Ishant Sharma for a massive six to calm any nerves.
Dhoni handed the ball to Yuvraj Singh - a player described by Pietersen as a "pie-thrower" during England's tour to the sub-continent last winter - but he was carted all over the ground before being pulled out of the attack after just two overs.
India would have the last laugh, however, as Harbhajan Singh (3-30) reduced the run-rate with a terrific spell and Ravindra Jadeja (2-26) then sent both men packing.
Bopara's stumps were split after stepping outside leg and missing his shot, while Pietersen was trapped lbw as he tried to slog a second successive ball over midwicket for six.
England promoted Dimitri Mascarenhas up to four and the runs began to flow but unfortunately for the Hampshire player he was losing partners with alarming regularity at a crucial point in the innings.
Harbhajan was the destroyer-in-chief as Owais Shah holed out to Jadeja at deep mid-wicket, James Foster fell caught and bowled and Swann was bowled.
India supporters were in the majority at an electric Lord's
In between the Shah and Foster wickets captain Paul Collingwood was ousted by Zaheer and, although England took five runs off the penultimate delivery, India would have been the happier of the two sides.
But their reply got off to an unconvincing start in the face of some aggressive bowling by the England seamers.
James Anderson coaxed Gautam Gambhir into miscuing a pull shot that landed safely and Sidebottom came inches away from bowling Rohit Sharma via an inside edge.
Rohit Sharma would not be so fortunate when another inside edge did cannon into his stumps and Sidebottom had his second victim in as many overs when Suresh Raina was snapped up by Wright at deep square leg.
England's disciplined bowling and excellent work in the field kept boundaries to a minimum and ensured India remained some way adrift of the required run-rate.
That began to change when, the ball after Mascarenhas had Gambhir caught at short fine-leg, Yuvraj lofted the same bowler over the top for six.
But the ineffective Jadeja was magnificently caught by Broad just in front of the long-off boundary and then came the killer blow.
Yuvraj famously smashed one Broad over for six maximums during the inaugural World Twenty20 in 2007 and, while still at the crease, he was always going to be dangerous.
But England had clearly done their homework on the left-hander this time round and when Foster showed lightning reactions to whip off the bails after Swann had beaten his outside edge, Yuvraj was gone.
Dhoni and Pathan were India's last genuine hope of salvaging victory and they gave it a good go, but they ran out of time and the day belonged to England.
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