Durban:A power performance by Yuvraj Singh helped India beat England by 18 runs in their Super Eights encounter on Wednesday to keep their hopes alive in the Twenty20 World Cup.
Chasing 219, England reached 201 for six in their stipulated 20 overs.
Earlier, England openers Darren Maddy and Vikram Solanki gave the England chase a solid boost with a 53-run partnership which came in just 32 deliveries.
Maddy scored 29 off 20 deliveries which included three boundaries and one six before falling to Infan Pathan. Solanki was also all fired up and made 43 off 31 balls with the help of five fours and one six before Pathan's intervention.
Despite losing Kevin Pietersen for 39, Paul Collingwood (28) and Owais Shah (21) kept England in the hunt with a brisk 44-run partnership before RP Singh struck to remove the duo to give India some respite.
Yuvraj's power hitting
Yuvraj power knock helped India amass a huge total of 218 for the loss three wickets after Indian skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni elected to bat.
The southpaw set Kingsmead ablaze as he clobbered Stuart Broad for six consecutive sixes in the 19th over to register the fastest fifty in a Twenty20 World Cup - the feat coming off just 12 balls.
There was an exchange of words between Yuvraj and Andrew Flintoff that got the left hander all charged up and he ended up giving vent to his annoyance taking the aerial route in Broad's over - leaving the youngster bemused.
Indian openers Virender Sehwag and Gautam Gambhir were edgy early on and struggled with the constant change of bowlers. Though they notched up un unbeaten fifty-run partnership in the seventh over, the runs mainly constituted of singles and doubles.
But starting the eighth over, the batsmen showed courage and hit some big shots off Flintoff and Dimitri Mascarenhas.
Sehwag's fifty helped India achieve a run rate of close to about 10. His half century came off 39 balls and had two fours and three sixes among other good shots. He was bowled at 68 by Chris Tremlett in the 14th over.
Gambhir got his 50 off 37 balls (6X4,6X1) and took the partnership to 136. But he also returned soon after his 50 when Broad caught him at a Maddy ball.
England: Darren Maddy, Vikram Solanki (wk), Kevin Pietersen, Paul Collingwood (capt), Owais Shah, Andrew Flintoff, Luke Wright, Dimitri Mascarenhas, Chris Tremlett, Stuart Broad, James Anderson.
India: Virendar Sehwag, Gautham Gambhir, Robin Uthappa, Yuvraj Singh, Mahendra Singh Dhoni (wk), Irfan Pathan, Harbhajan Singh, Sreesanth, RP Singh, Joginder Sharma, Rohit Sharma.