England crushed in Colombo
Harbhajan and Chawla combine to take 6-25 from their eight overs
Last Updated: 24/09/12 7:51am
England spectacularly failed their trial by spin in Colombo, slumping to a humiliating 90-run defeat at the hands of India in the ICC World Twenty20.
After an unbeaten 55 from Rohit Sharma helped India to 170-4 England were bowled out for just 80, their lowest total in the shortest form of the game.
Off-spinner Harbhajan Singh was their tormentor-in-chief, his final figures of 4-12 being the best by an Indian bowler in Twenty20 cricket.
Piyush Chawla also weighed in with 2-13 with his leg spin as the reigning champions were skittled in 14.4 overs, Craig Kieswetter the only batsman to come out with any credit after making 35 from 25 deliveries.
Both teams had already qualified for the Super Eight stage after wins over minnows Afghanistan, allowing India to rest big-name trio Ravi Ashwin, Zaheer Khan and Virender Sehwag.
England opted to select seamer Tim Bresnan instead of all-rounder Samit Patel, a decision they will perhaps look back on with regret after seeing how well the slow bowlers performed in what was effectively a dead rubber.
Graeme Swann was comfortably their best bowler, getting through his four overs at a cost of 17 runs. He also claimed the key scalp of Virat Kohli, who lofted the off-spinner out to deep mid-wicket to depart for 40 from 32 balls.
The breakthrough ended a second-wicket stand of 57 with Gautam Gambhir after the early loss of stand-in opener Irfan Pathan, undone by the sheer pace of Steven Finn in the third over.
Finn (2-33) also ended Gambhir's knock of 45 when he feathered a slower delivery through to wicketkeeper Kieswetter, leaving the score at 119-3.
Jade Dernbach claimed the other wicket - Jos Buttler and Alex Hales teaming up to great effect in the deep to catch out Mahendra Singh Dhoni - but it was an otherwise difficult day for the Surrey seamer, his four overs leaking 45 runs including 17 off the last after he'd asked for the ball to be changed.
England then lost a wicket in the first over of their innings for the second successive match, Hales spectacularly cleaned up by an inswinger from Pathan that left just one stump standing.
Luke Wright was unable to repeat his heroics against Afghanistan as he went lbw to the same bowler for six, umpire Simon Taufel seemingly take an eternity before raising his finger.
From then on England's chase collapsed at the hands of Harbhajan and Chawla, the pair combining for astonishing figures of 6-25 from their eight overs. The batsmen looked like rabbits caught in the headlights, unable to determine just which way the ball was going and where exactly to hit it.
Eoin Morgan and Jonny Bairstow were both bowled for single-figure scores while Kieswetter - who belted four boundaries and two sixes - was snared at slip by Kohli to make it 51-5.
Buttler (11) did manage to reach double figures before Harbhajan cleaned him up, while Stuart Broad and Swann also fell with the score on 60.
At that stage England looked set to record the lowest ever T20 score. They at least managed to avoid that ignominy thanks to Finn and Dernbach, who was run out to end the match, putting on 20 for the last wicket.