Determined England seal vital win
England produced a superb performance with the ball to claim a narrow three-run victory over India - a result which knocks the defending champions out of the ICC World Twenty20.
The hosts successfully defended their total of 153 for seven in front of a packed house at Lord's and now find themselves one win away from the semi-finals.
Early wickets put the pressure on India and although skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni and Yusuf Pathan shared an unbroken stand of 63 in the final six overs, it was to no avail.
Recalled left-arm paceman Ryan Sidebottom and off-spinner Graeme Swann picked up two wickets each for England, while Stuart Broad bowled four economical overs for 21.
Kevin Pietersen had earlier top-scored with 46 from 27 balls as Paul Collingwood's men posted a competitive total having been asked to bat first.
Spinners Harbhajan Singh (3-30) and Ravindra Jadeja (2-26) led the way with the ball for India, but their efforts proved to be in vain.
England included Sidebottom in place of young leg-spinner Adil Rashid as they looked to strengthen their pace attack.
India, who knew they would be knocked out of the tournament should they lose, brought in Jadeja and RP Singh for Irfan Pathan and Pragyan Ojha.
Singh was the man to make the initial breakthrough with only his fourth delivery, tempting Luke Wright into a pull stroke which flew high into the sky before dropping into the hands of Yusuf at leg slip.
The breakthrough left England struggling at three for one in the second over, but Ravi Bopara and Pietersen got the scoreboard moving thereafter with a series of impressive strokes.
The introduction of Ishant Sharma, in place of Zaheer, proved to England’s liking - with the tall paceman’s first set of six costing 13 runs, including a superb pull for six by Bopara.
Yuvraj Singh was also expensive, his two overs yielding 20 runs as Bopara and Pietersen got into their stride.
It was another India spinner who eventually broke the second-wicket partnership - Jadeja bowling Bopara as the batsman backed away to the leg side.
Pietersen then clubbed a Jadeja full toss over square leg for six, but was heading back to the pavilion next ball after being trapped lbw looking to repeat the feat.
Shah joined the promoted Dimitri Mascarenhas at the crease and England’s run rate predictably slowed as the pair looked to play themselves in.
The former fell for 12, caught at deep midwicket by Jadeja off Harbhajan, but England were still able to find the necessary acceleration late on - something that was to prove crucial later in the match.
After Collingwood had departed lbw to Zaheer attempting a reverse sweep, Harbhajan picked up the wickets of James Foster and Graeme Swann in successive balls in the final over of the innings.
However, England still managed to take 53 from the last five overs, helped by two sloppy deliveries from the otherwise impressive Harbhajan, which each leaked down the leg side for five wides.
Although England’s total appeared defendable, it was clear the bowlers would need to perform strongly if Collingwood’s side were to have any chance of victory.
Thankfully they responded magnificently, with the pacemen particularly impressive in bowling short and straight at India’s batsmen throughout.
Sidebottom dismissed Rohit Sharma in the second over of the innings - the opener chopping an attempted pull onto the stumps.
And the Nottinghamshire bowler struck again in his next over as Suresh Raina miscued an attempted hook into the hands of Wright, who made impressive ground running in from the square leg boundary.
The required run rate soared as England continued to bowl accurately and India were reduced to 62 for three in the 11th over as Gautam Gambhir top-edged a paddle sweep to Broad at short fine leg.
New batsman Yuvraj made a typically flamboyant entrance by smashing his first ball straight over Mascarenhas’ head for an enormous six.
Jadeja, however, was struggling to score quickly at the other end and another fine over from Broad left India needing 76 from 42 deliveries.
Yuvraj effortlessly lifted Swann down the ground for another six, but the off-spinner fought back strongly, having Jadeja caught on the long-on boundary by Broad for 25 from 35 balls.
Swann then claimed the priceless wicket of Yuvraj, the agile Foster completing a superb stumping after a looping off-break had deceived the batsman.
Dhoni picked up his first boundary with a fortunate edge past Foster off Sidebottom before Pathan launched Swann high over midwicket for a much-needed maximum.
With 50 needed from the final four overs, India were in need of serious fireworks if they were to remain in the tournament.
But although Dhoni and Yusuf swung the bat at will, England’s bowlers held their nerve, with Wright, Anderson and Broad all avoiding serious damage to leave 19 required from the final over.
With the equation then reduced to 15 from three balls, Yusuf sent pulses racing with a superb straight six off Sidebottom.
However, the powerful all-rounder could only manage a single off the next delivery, meaning Dhoni’s final swipe for four proved meaningless.
As well as knocking India out, England's win ensures South Africa are assured of a place in the last four.
England will now face West Indies at The Oval tomorrow to decide the other qualifier from Group E.