Harbhajan Singh made a brilliant comeback into the Indian squad, picking up four wickets against England as India stormed to a 90-run victory in their final Word T20 group encounter at the Premadasa Stadium in Colombo.
India made four changes to their team from the Afghanistan game, giving a rest to the likes of Zaheer Khan, Virender Sehwag and R Ashwin in what was a dead rubber against England. That decision, however, gave the opportunity to Harbhajan and Piyush Chawla to make a mark, who ended with figures of two for 13, on a wicket that offered a little bit of spin.
England won the toss and put India into bat, with Irfan Pathan, who started the England collapse with a brilliant opening spell, partnering Gautam Gambhir at the top of the innings. The all-rounder, however, soon perished for eight, leaving Gambhir and Kohli to take their side to a good total.
The two batsmen did exactly that, putting on a 57-run partnership for the second wicket, with Kohli falling for a 33-ball 40 while trying to increase the run rate. Rohit Sharma, however, continued from where Kohli had left off, putting on 38 with Gambhir, who made 45.
Sharma took on the England bowling in the final few overs, reaching his 50 in 32 balls, and propelling India to 170, when at one time it looked like they would struggle to get near 160.
England, in reply, did not begin well, Alex Hales seeing his stumps torn apart by Pathan in the last ball of the first over. Luke Wright could not repeat his heroics from the last match where he scored an unbeaten 99, becoming Pathan's second victim.
Craig Kieswetter played a few nice shots, a six down the ground particularly catching the eye. But once the spinners came on, it was all over for the English, who looked all at sea against the slower bowlers.
Harbhajan (four for 12) and Chawla combined to pick the next six English wickets to pretty much end the match as a contest. England were eventually bowled out for a measly 80 from 14.4 overs, leaving captain Stuart Broad and coach Andy Flower plenty to think about as they head into the Super Eights stage.
In the early match, Pakistan got their World T20 campaign off to a sound start, scoring a comfortable 13-run win over New Zealand. Choosing to bat first, Mohammad Hafeez (43 off 38) and Nasir Jamshed (56 off 35) starred for the Pakistan, guiding them to 177 for 6.
New Zealand threatened in patches to haul down the total but some excellent bowling from Saeed Ajmal (four for 30) put paid to those hopes.
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