Harbhajan leaves England in a spin
Harbhajan Singh marked his return to the India side with four wickets as England were dismissed for their lowest Twenty20 total in a 90-run defeat at Colombo's Premadasa Stadium.
Both sides had already progressed to the Super Eights after beating Afghanistan, but England showed a vulnerability against spin as India secured top spot in World Twenty Group A.
Harbhajan - playing for India for the first time since the Trent Bridge Test last year - finished with 4-12 from four overs and only Craig Kieswetter, with 35 at the top of the order, offered any meaningful resistance as England were dismissed for just 80 inside 15 overs.
Earlier India had made 170 for four, with Rohit Sharma’s unbeaten 55, Gautam Gambhir’s 45 from the top of the order and Virat Kohli’s stylish 40 underpinning their total.
Graeme Swann, with 1-17 from four overs, was easily the pick of the England attack, after Tim Bresnan had replaced second spinner Samit Patel at number seven.
Stuart Broad opted to field first and Steven Finn soon bowled Irfan Pathan. Fellow opening batsman Gambhir and Kohli responded with a 57-run stand for the second wicket until Swann had the latter held at deep midwicket.
Finn returned to have Gambhir caught behind, but Rohit made his runs from just 33 balls while Mahendra Singh Dhoni was brilliantly held in the deep by the combination of Jos Buttler and Alex Hales off Jade Dernbach.
In reply, Alex Hales was bowled by Pathan in the first over. Kieswetter and Luke Wright both got off the mark with sixes but the latter, who made 99 against Afghanistan, was pinned lbw by left-armer Pathan next ball.
The introduction of spin in the sixth over ultimately proved to be England’s undoing, as Harbhajan and Piyush Chawla bamboozled a procession of batsmen.
Eoin Morgan was bowled by a quicker one from Harbhajan, Jonny Bairstow took a swipe across the line at Chawla and, when Kieswetter edged the same bowler to slip, England’s chances were slim.
Bresnan sent a towering catch to deep square-leg, Buttler was bowled trying to cut, Swann was stumped and Broad picked out deep midwicket as England lost seven wickets for 21 runs.
Finn and Dernbach had a late flurry of boundaries before the latter was run out attempting a single to short fine-leg to end proceedings.
5:58pm - WICKET & END OF INNINGS! Dernbach run out (Balaji) 12; Eng 80 all out - A tame innings ends in meek circumstances as Finn and Dernbach dither over a single to fine-leg, and a direct hit sends the Surrey man packing.
5:57pm - Dernbach survives a stumping appeal as Chawla’s final over yields four singles. That’s 2-13 for the spinner, as Finn and Dernbach go second on England’s list of highest partnerships today.
5:52pm - Jade Dernbach and Steven Finn aren’t known for their ability with the bat, but the latter slaps one to the midwicket fence before Dernbach laces a cut to the cover boundary and lifts a short ball over the wicketkeeper. This 13-run cameo is already England’s third-highest partnership of the innings.
5:47pm - WICKET! Broad c Gambhir b Dinda 3; Eng 60/9 - The only good thing you can say about this is that the outcome of this game has no bearing on qualification. Once more it’s not pretty from England as Broad pulls a short ball from Ashok Dinda straight to Gambhir in the deep. The fielder didn’t have to move to pouch that one.
5:43pm - WICKET! Swann st Dhoni b Harbhajan 0; Eng 60/8 - This is turning into a procession. Graeme Swann is a fine spinner but, like his team-mates, shows little nous in playing it as he charges Harbhajan and leaves Dhoni with an age to take the bails off. That's a double-wicket-maiden, and Harbhajan has 4-12 on his first India appearance since last year's Trent Bridge Test.
5:40pm - WICKET! Buttler b Harbhajan 11; Eng 60/7 - England are struggling to bat for 20 overs now, never mind chase India’s total. Buttler is the latest to take a swing and a miss, as Harbhajan sends one through with the arm and straight into middle stump.
5:35pm - WICKET! Bresnan c Gambhir b Harbhajan 1; Eng 54/6 - I think it’s safe to say this isn’t England’s best day at the office as Tim Bresnan, having taken one run from seven balls faced, launches Harbhajan high into the air but straight to Gautam Gambhir at deep square-leg. Captain Stuart Broad is next in to face trial by spin.
5:29pm - WICKET! Kieswetter c Kohli b Chawla 35; Eng 51/5 - This is bringing back some bad memories of last winter’s tour to the United Arab Emirates as England struggle against India’s spinners, until Buttler reverse-sweeps Harbhajan for four. Kieswetter perishes next ball through, reaching out to an orthodox leg-spinner and edging Chawla straight to Virat Kohli at first slip. That's another wicket-maiden for India.
5:23pm - WICKET! Bairstow b Chawla 1; Eng 42/4 - After the success of Harbhajan’s first over of spin Dhoni decides to put Piyush Chawla on at the other end. It works too, with Bairstow taking a swipe at a straight delivery and being bowled. Huge pressure on Somerset pair Kieswetter and Jos Buttler now.
5:20pm - Harbhajan thinks he has Jonny Bairstow first ball as he turns one the other way and Mahendra Singh Dhoni whips the bails off. The Yorkshireman never left his ground, however, so the TV umpire hands him a reprieve. That is still a wicket-maiden though, and England end the powerplay on 39 for three; India were 52 for one at the same stage.
5:16pm - WICKET! Morgan b Harbhajan 2; Eng 39/3 - You get the feeling that this game could be determined by how England deal with India’s two frontline spinners. They don’t start well, as Morgan - who never looked comfortable at the crease - tries to cut one which is too full and has his middle stump pegged back. Advantage India.
5:14pm - Pathan stays on for a third over and Kieswetter gets one past fine-leg for four, before opening the face and running one down to the vacant third man boundary.
5:10pm - Eoin Morgan is the new batsman, and Pathan beats his outside edge first ball. Ashok Dinda hurries the diminutive left-hander with a short ball in the next over, but it drops short of long-leg and Kieswetter batters the next ball over long-off for another six, before an agricultural pull through the on-side for four. Twelve from the over and England reach 30 for two from four overs.
5:03pm - WICKET! Wright lbw Pathan 6; Eng 18/2 - England have a long way to go if they are to pull this run chase off, but they have already hit more sixes than India as Luke Wright gets off the mark with a maximum over long-off. He goes next ball though, as Simon Taufel raises his finger after considering Pathan’s appeal for what seemed an age.
5pm - India needed 115 balls to hit their first six, but England take just 10 as Kieswetter relieves some of the early pressure by launching Lakshmipathy Balaji over long-on. The next ball gets creamed through the covers and, after something of a false start, England are up and running on 12 for one.
4:52pm - WICKET! Hales b Pathan 0; Eng 2/1 - Good start from Irfan Pathan, who opens up with three dot balls. The pressure gets to Craig Kieswetter, who calls Alex Hales through for a dicey single off the fourth ball, and if Yuvraj Singh had hit the stumps from mid-off the England keeper would have been well short. The reprieve does not last long for England, however, as Hales is bowled by a Pathan inswinger.
4:37pm - END OF INNINGS; Ind 170/4 - Dernbach’s final over goes for 17, including three wides. Sharma finishes unbeaten on 55, and Swann’s 4-17 is easily the pick of the bowling for England, who will need 8.5 an over to chase this total down.
4:35pm - WICKET! Dhoni c Hales b Dernbach 9; Ind 166/4 - Dhoni sends a slower ball out towards deep midwicket, which Jos Buttler catches. But the Somerset man cannot stay inside the ropes, and tosses the ball up in the nick of time for Hales to come in and take the catch. Great teamwork.
4:34pm - FIFTY! Rohit (31b 5x4 1x6) - Dernbach to bowl the final over, and it doesn’t start well from an England perspective with a wide followed by a huge six over point as Sharma latches onto another widish delivery. England’s fielding has left a lot to be desired today and Rohit squirts the next ball past the man at square-leg for a boundary that brings up his half-century.
4:26pm - Dernbach is back into the attack with his bag of tricks, but Dhoni has no trouble squirting him away over point for four. Bresnan struggles to get his line right in the penultimate over as he first drifts down leg then throws down a wide full-toss that Sharma helps to the third man boundary. A single from the fourth ball of the over brings up India’s 150.
4:16pm - Rohit lifts a Broad bouncer over the slip region for four, which is all the more impressive as he had his eyes shut when he hit it! A slower short one gets pulled behind square for four more, and when Broad does pitch it up there’s a play-and-miss dot ball. Rohit then sends one high in the air, Bairstow can’t quite get there but pulls off a remarkable bit of fielding to pull the ball back from over the rope and save one. The final ball of an eventful over sees Broad retrieve the ball from Dhoni’s pad to try and run out Sharma, but his shy at the stumps is off target.
4:11pm - WICKET! Gambhir c Kieswetter b Finn 45; Ind 119/3 - You can’t say they aren’t trying; Gambhir launches Finn high into the night sky towards cow corner, but it drops between three fielders just inside the rope and it’s two runs. He’s gone next ball, though, as Kieswetter takes a good catch after the left-hander went for another wild slog. Here’s the captain, Mahendra Singh Dhoni.
4:09pm - Gambhir gets Bresnan away fine on the leg side for four, but the India run-rate has slowed marginally in the last few overs - still no sixes in this innings, either.
4:01pm - Gambhir brings up the India 100 with a back-foot thrash through the covers after Broad drops short again. It’s safe to say India are handling the chin music better than Afghanistan did on Friday.
3:54pm - Rohit Sharma announces his arrival at the crease with a brutal pull for four off Dernbach.
3:49pm - WICKET! Kohli c Bairstow b Swann 40; Ind 81/2 - India are 80 for one at the halfway stage, and Kieswetter misses a stumping off the first ball of the 11th over as Gambhir advances to Swann. A wicket does fall two balls later, however, as Kohli lofts the ball to Jonny Bairstow at deep midwicket to bring an end to his stylish innings.
3:44pm - Kohli pulls Bresnan away with impunity but the ball bounces just inside the rope, so it’s four rather than six. That brings up the fifty partnership and suffice to say England would very much like to see the back of these two.
3:38pm - There’s not much turn for Swann, but his tidy line forces India to deal in singles. Kohli responds in the next over by whipping Broad away over midwicket for four - the ball just evading Swann’s fingertips.
3:30pm - That’s just glorious. Kohli latches onto a fuller ball from Finn and laces an on-drive to the rope, on what looks a great track to bat on. Gambhir has been something of a spectator at the other end but he brings up the India 50 with a cut through point. India are 52 for one after the six-over powerplay and England, who could do with another wicket, bring Graeme Swann into the attack.
3:26pm - Tim Bresnan comes into the attack for his first action of this World Twenty20, but Kohli thrashes him over extra-cover for another boundary as seven come from the over.
3:20pm - New batsman Virat Kohli made 50 against Afghanistan and he looks in good touch again as he gets off the mark with a glorious cover-drive off Finn for four, before dispatching Stuart Broad through the off side in the next over.
3:14pm - WICKET! Pathan b Finn 8; Ind 24/1 - England make the breakthrough. You can talk about bowlers using variations in the shorter formats all day long, but Finn sends down a perfect line and length delivery that moves in a fraction and pegs back Pathan’s off-stump.
3:10pm - Jade Dernbach shares the new ball and, after a couple of dot balls, Gambhir pulls him beautifully to the midwicket fence. That’s followed by a cut for four, and Pathan survives yet another leg-before shout off the final ball of the over - he got a faint inside edge so another correct call.
3:05pm - With Virender Sehwag rested, Irfan Pathan moves up the order to open and he pulls a couple to midwicket before surviving an lbw shout - replays confirm the ball pitched out side leg stump. That’s followed by a leg-side wide, and another unsuccessful appeal, with six runs coming from the first over.
3:00pm - Steven Finn to open the bowling for England. Gautam Gambhir on strike and he gets off the mark straight away with a single to third man.
2:55pm - One small piece of housekeeping before play starts; Pakistan have beaten New Zealand by 13 runs in their Group D clash at Pallekele. Bizarrely, it’s the Kiwis who progress as their run-rate cannot be bettered by both Pakistan and Bangladesh. Bangladesh will need a huge victory over Pakistan on Tuesday to go through at the expense of the 2009 winners.
2:53pm - The teams have made their way onto the field. A quick rendition of the two national anthems, a few handshakes, and we’ll be good to go.
2:49pm - Harbhajan Singh, Piyush Chawla and Ashok Dinda are the men in for India, who have reverted to playing five specialist bowlers.
2:36pm - India, who were given a much closer run for their money by the Group A minnows, make three changes, with Virender Sehwag, Zaheer Khan and Ravichandran Ashwin left out.
2:32pm - ENGLAND WIN THE TOSS AND FIELD - Stuart Broad calls correctly and puts India in to bat. It is a sign of the strength of England’s squad that Samit Patel could take two wickets in the 116-run win over Afghanistan and still be left out of the next game. Yorkshire seamer Tim Bresnan comes in.
2:09pm - These two sides also have a happy knack of producing extraordinary moments against each other in limited-overs cricket. Dimitri Mascarenhas’ five sixes at the Kia Oval, Andrew Strauss’ 158 in a thrilling tie in Bangalore and Yuvraj Singh hitting six maximums in an over off Stuart Broad just some of the highlights in recent years.
2:00pm - Team news and the toss will follow shortly, but just in case you’re not excited about this match yet allow me to point out that this contest pits defending champions England against 2007 winners India who are also the current 50-over World Cup holders.
1:56pm - Both sides are safely through to the Super Eights after beating Afghanistan, but don’t expect either to take their foot off the pedal in a format where momentum is everything.
1:53pm - Good afternoon and welcome to ecb.co.uk’s live coverage of England’s second World Twenty20 game against India at Colombo's Premadasa Stadium.