Batsmen Prosper, Bowlers Struggle In Run-Fest
India 337-5 (Kohli 144, Karthik 106no) beat
Sri Lanka 333-3 (Dilshan 84) by 5 wickets
ICC Champions Trophy 2013, Warm-up Match
There were runs aplenty at Edgbaston as the sun shone and India recorded a warm-up win over Sri Lanka to get their campaign for 2013 ICC Champions Trophy off to the best possible start.
Despite slipping to 110 for four, it was the 2011 World Cup winners who romped to their victory target of 334 thanks to a mammoth stand between Dinesh Karthik and Virat Kohli.
The bowling from both sides was poor, but it was Kohli and Karthik who capitalised best. Both completed centuries at comfortably better than a run a ball and put on 186 in 140 balls. When Karthik walked to the crease following the dismissal of Suresh Raina, clean-bowled by Sachithra Senanayake for a breezy 34, the required run rate stood at eight, but by the time Kohli was caught off Shaminda Eranga, it was little more than six and the game was as good as won.
Sri Lanka’s attack looked toothless and they were unable to build on the promising start that the wickets of Shikhar Dhawan (1), Murali Vijay (18) and Rohit Sharma (5) had given them. Their spin quartet of Rangana Herath, Senanayake, Tillakaratne Dilshan and Jeevan Mendis all conceded in excess of six runs per over and returned combined figures of one for 137 from 19 overs.
The back-up seam bowling was little more incisive, with none of Nuwan Kulasekara, Angelo Mathews, Shaminda Eranga, Thisara Perera or Dilhara Lokuhettige gaining significant seam movement from an Edgbaston track that was virtually underwater just 48 hours previously.
India’s bowling had been just as poor earlier and it was only the decision to retire Kushal Perera and Tillakaratne Dilshan that prevented Sri Lanka from notching a brace of centuries themselves.
Perera continues to look at home at international level and Sri Lanka had reached 160 for none after 26 overs by the time he walked off when on 82 off 94 balls. Dilshan followed soon after for 84 off 78 balls, with Mahela Jayawardene (30 off 31 balls), Kumar Sangakkara (45 off 32), Dinesh Chandimal (46 off 48) and Thisara Perera (26 off 16) all enjoying useful time at the crease as Sri Lanka waltzed past 300.
India’s spinners fared slightly better than Sri Lanka’s, with R Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja, although wicket-less, both going at less than a run a ball, while Amit Mishra ended with one for 53 from eight overs. It was their seamers that were familiarly lacklustre. Irfan Pathan, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Ishant Sharma and Vinay Kumar all did little to inspire confidence on a pitch that was admittedly flat.
Both sides know that their bowling will have to improve if they are to seriously challenge in a tournament that is played with two new balls and held in England and Wales in early June.
© Cricket World 2013
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CT 2013 Fixtures
Champions Trophy History
1998: South Africa
2000: New Zealand
2002: India/Sri Lanka
2004: West Indies