India 178-4 (Kohli 74no, Raina 54) beat
England 158-6 (Ali 46) by 20 runs
ICC World Twenty20 2014 warm-up, Mirpur
In their final warm-up match before the all-important ICC World Twenty20 2014 encounter against arch-rivals Pakistan on Friday, India beat England by 20 runs.
Virat Kohli and Suresh Raina struck half-centuries to guide the score to 178 for four in 20 overs and it proved too high a target for the Englishmen, who could only manage 158 for six in their reply.
Chasing 179, England were given a stormy start by Michael Lumb as he carted Bhuvneshwar Kumar all around the park. Alex Hales (16) too gave him a hand at the other end, but lost his wicket in the process, the bowler coming back to take his wicket. The openers had given them a good platform at 43 for one in first five overs.
But things unfolded thereafter as India put on their spinners and part-time slow bowlers. Suresh Raina (1-23) struck to remove Lumb, who scored 36 runs off 25 balls and hit six fours and one six. Eoin Morgan (16) was dismissed by R Ashwin (1-20) as England were reduced to 87 for three in the 14th over.
Moeen Ali then stroked a quickfire 46 runs off 38 balls, with four fours and one six, and put on 41 runs for the fourth wicket with Jos Buttler.
The latter made 30 runs, off 18 balls with two fours and two sixes, and it was their partnership that could have possibly turned around the match. Even so, Ravindra Jadeja (2-23) dismissed Ali against the run of play and then had Buttler stumped to wreck the chase.
Too many runs were left for the rest of the batsmen to chase down as England finished 20 runs short. Mohammad Shami (1-29) was the other wicket-taker.
Earlier, England won the toss and asked India to bat first. All eyes were on the openers to see if India tried out a new opening combination at the top, but it was Rohit Sharma who walked out with Shikhar Dhawan, and not Ajinkya Rahane.
Their pairing didn’t last too long as Sharma (5) was the first to go and Dhawan (14) soon followed him to the dugout. Yuvraj Singh (1) was dismissed shortly afterwards to reduce India to 39 for three in the sixth over.
Thereafter Virat Kohli and Suresh Raina added 81 runs for the fourth wicket. They started off slowly, repairing the innings as the score only crawled towards the 100-run mark. But then, suddenly Raina cut loose, punishing Ravi Bopara in the 15th over of the innings.
He also crossed the 50-run mark in doing so, off 30 balls, hitting six fours and two sixes. He was out when he was caught magnificently by Chris Jordan in the deep on the penultimate ball of that same over.
Kohli then stepped up a gear and added 58 runs for the fifth wicket with skipper MS Dhoni in the last 5.1 overs. He was unbeaten in the end, scoring 74 runs off 48 balls, with eight boundaries and amazingly didn’t hit a single six despite a strike-rate of nearly 155.
Dhoni did hit a six as well as one four, as he finished unbeaten on 21 off 14 balls, taking India to 178 for four. England used eight bowlers with Jade Dernbach (1-27), Tim Bresnan (1-31), Jordan (1-37) and Ravi Bopara (1-25) finishing among the wickets.
© Cricket World 2014