India crash, Sri Lanka suffer Irish scare

LONDON, June 14, 2009 (AFP) – Defending champions India crashed out of the World Twenty20 on Sunday while Sri Lanka stayed on course for the semi-finals but only after surviving a scare by Ireland.

India lost by three runs to England at a packed Lord’s, a result which left Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s highly-rated team to face some tough questions over their tactics when they get home.

England, meanwhile, who started the tournament with an embarrassing defeat to the Netherlands can still reach the semi-finals but need to beat the West Indies at the Oval on Monday to stay in contention.

India restricted England to 153-7 after electing to field in good batting conditions, but then fumbled their reply to be stopped at 150-5 despite scoring 56 runs in the last five overs.

Needing 15 off the last three deliveries, Yusuf Pathan smashed Ryan Sidebottom straight for six off the first, but managed only a single off the next before Dhoni hit the last ball for four.

Dhoni (30 not out) and Yusuf (33 not out) added 63 for the unbroken sixth wicket after half the side was back in the pavilion by the 14th over with only 87 on the board.

Kevin Pietersen, with 46, top-scored for England.