Colombo, Sep 23: Harbhajan Singh is back. What a way to make your international return. The offspinner took 4/12 to power India to a commanding 90-run victory over England at the ICC World Twenty20 2012 at the R Premadasa Stadium here on Sunday night. This was India's biggest win in T20Is in terms of runs.
Playing his first T20 International since June, 2011, Harbhajan roared back to his best at the R Premadasa Stadium. It was a game where India's concern, bowling, did wonders. The other main spinner in the playing XI, Piyush Chawla, who was also a comeback man, claimed two wickets for 13 runs.
England batsmen were in caught in a web of spin and were humiliated to be bowled out for just 80 runs in 14.4 overs. This was their lowest T20I total.
Harbhajan registered India's best ever T20I bowling performance. His excellent spell of bowling included two maidens. Piyush too was equally good with one maiden in his four overs.
Earlier, Rohit Sharma's unbeaten 55 lifted India to 170/4 in 20 overs. Gautam Gambhir made 45 while Virat Kohli added 40 runs. India opened with Irfan Pathan after having rested Virender Sehwag for this game. Irfan was dismissed early, just for eight runs.
England won the toss and sent India to bat.
India have left out out-of-form Zaheer Khan and brought in Ashok Dinda. Virender Sehwag is also not playing today and so is R Ashwin. Harbhajan Singh and Piyush Chawla are the two spinners.
England made one change, bringing in Tim Bresnan for Samit Patel.
There is not much significance attached to this game as both teams have qualified for the Super Eight stage from Group A. However, both will be looking to carry the winning momentum forward.
In their opening matches, both India and England had defeated Afghanistan. India did not have a convincing win over the minnows but England thrashed them with Luke Wright smashing a hurricane 99 not out.
India will be in Group 2 of Super Eight with Australia and South Africa. Pakistan are likely to be the other team.
England will be in Group 1 in the next phase. They have Sri Lanka and await two more teams to join.
Super Eight contests begin on September 27.
India: MS Dhoni (captain and wicketkeeper), Gautam Gambhir, Virat Kohli, Yuvraj Singh, Suresh Raina, Rohit Sharma, Piyush Chawla, Irfan Pathan, Lakshmipathy Balaji, Harbhajan Singh, Ashok Dinda.
England: Stuart Broad (captain), Jonathan Bairstow, Tim Bresnan, Jos Buttler, Jade Dernbach, Steven Finn, Alex Hales, Craig Kieswetter (wicketkeeper), Eoin Morgan, Graeme Swann, Luke Wright.
Umpires: Simon Taufel (Australia) and Aleem Dar (Pakistan)
Third umpire: Kumar Dharmasena (Sri Lanka)
Match Referee: Ranjan Madugalle (Sri Lanka)