COLOMBO - Harbhajan Singh grabbed 4-12 on his return after a year in the wilderness as India demolished defending champions England by 90 runs in the World Twenty20 on Sunday.

Rohit Sharma hit an unbeaten 55 off 33 balls as the new-look Indians scored 170-4 before England were shot out for their lowest T20 total of 80 in front of 20,000 spectators at the Premadasa stadium.

India rested seamer Zaheer Khan, spinner Ravichandran Ashwin and opener Virender Sehwag for the group A match that held only academic interest since both teams had already qualified for the Super Eights.

But it was a morale-boosting win for the 2007 champions ahead of the next round, as they dominated England from start to finish. Harbhajan, 32, who had been out of favour with the selectors since August last year before being recalled for the World Twenty20, claimed a wicket off his second delivery when he came on in the sixth over.

When his spell finished in the 12th over, England had slumped to 60-8 and lost their ninth wicket also at the same total.

England were in danger of falling for the lowest ever total in Twenty20 internationals — 67 by Kenya against Ireland in 2008 — before the last-wicket pair of Steven Finn and Jade Dernbach prevented the humiliation.

But the total still fell below England’s previous lowest score of 88 against the West Indies at the Oval last year.

Leg-spinner Piyush Chawla, who was also an unexpected selection for the match, claimed 2-13 as England faltered against both pace and spin.

Seamer Irfan Pathan bowled Alex Hales and trapped Luke Wright leg-before in his first two overs to reduce England to 18-2. Wickets fell at regular intervals and the innings ended in the 15th over to complete a dominant win for India.

Other notable contributions for India came from Gautam Gambhir, who made 45, and Virat Kohli, who smashed 40 off 32 balls. Makeshift opener Pathan fell for eight before the in-form Kohli hit six boundaries during a second-wicket stand of 57 with Gambhir.

Sharma and skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni took 38 runs in the last three overs to lift India past the 150-run mark. England made one change from the team that beat Afghanistan, dropping left-arm spinner Samit Patel to play seamer Tim Bresnan.



G Gambhir c Kieswetter b Finn    45

Irfan Pathan b Finn    8

V Kohli c Bairstow b Swann    40

R Sharma not out    55

M Dhoni c Hales b Dernbach    9

Suresh Raina not out    1

Extras: (b1, lb3, w8)    12

Total: (for four wickets, 20 overs)    170

FOW: 1-24, 2-81, 3-119, 4-166.

Bowling: Finn 4-0-33-2 (w3), Dernbach 4-0-45-1 (w3), Broad 4-0-36-0, Bresnan 4-0-35-0 (w1), Swann 4-0-17-1 (w1).


C Kieswetter c Kohli b Chawla    35

A Hales b Pathan    0

L Wright lbw b Pathan    6

E Morgan lbw b Harbhajan    2

J Bairstow lbw b Chawla    1

J Buttler b Harbhajan    11

T Bresnan c Gambhir b Harbhajan    1

S Broad c Gambhir b Dinda    3

G Swann st Dhoni b Harbhajan    0

S Finn not out    8

J Dernbach run out    12

Extras: (w1)    1

Total: (all out, 14.4 overs)    80

FOW: 1-2, 2-18, 3-39, 4-42, 5-51, 6-54, 7-60, 8-60, 9-60, 10-80.

Bowling: Pathan 3-0-17-2 (w1), Balaji 1-0-10-0, Dinda 2-0-26-1, Harbhajan 4-2-12-4, Chawla 4-1-13-2, Yuvraj 0.4-0-2-0

India won by 90 runs

Man of the match: Harbhajan Singh (IND)

Toss: England

Umpires: Simon Taufel (AUS) and Aleem Dar (PAK)

TV umpire: Kumar Dharmasena (SRI)

Match referee: Ranjan Madugalle (SRI)