Harbhajan Singh spins India to 90-run victory
Making a stunning comeback to the international cricket after more then one year, Harbhajan Singh claimed four-wickets as India crushed England by 90 runs in their final group league match of the ICC World Twenty20 in Colombo on Sunday.
Harbhajan Singh, who last played for India in July 2011, recorded the remarkable figures of 4-12 as England were bundled out for 80 inside 15 overs, the same score on which England had dismissed Afghanistan in their opening match to record a big 116-run victory.
Spinner Piyush Chawla, who replaced out-of-form Zaheer Khan, and paceman Irfan Pathan finished with 2-13 and 2-17 respectively.
Earlier, put into bat, India rode on the blistering unbeaten 55 off 33 from Rohit Sharma and useful contributions from Gautam Gambhir (45 off 38) and Virat Kohli (40 off 32) to post a challenging of 170. .
India, who had defeated Afghanistan by 23 runs in their tournament opener, finished as the toppers of Group A.
Barring Craig Kieswetter (35 off 25), no England batsman failed to make impact. Seven of them are even unable to reach double-digits.
Slumping to 60-9, England were in danger of falling for the lowest ever total in T20 internationals — 67 by Kenya against Ireland in 2008 — before the tail-enders Jade Dernbach and Steven Finn prevented the humiliation.
Harbhajan Singh scalped the wickets of Eoin Morgan (2), Jos Buttler (11), Dernbach (1) and Graeme Swann (0).
Earlier, skipper MS Dhoni’s decision to to open with Irfan Pathan in place of an underperforming Virender Sehwag flopped as the left-hander could only manage eight runs before being bowled out off Steven Finn.
Gambhir and Kohli, shared 57 runs for the second-wicket before latter fell to spinner Graeme Swann after hitting four boundaries.
Gambhir hit five boundaries in his sagacious knock before getting caught behind off Jade Dernbach.
Rohit switched on a show of glowing hitting with emergence and entertained the spectators with sparkling shots. His unbeaten vigil was laced with five boundaries and a six.