Wins For India And Australia In World T20 Warm-Ups
The ICC World Twenty20 saw its second day of warm-up matches today with wins for India over Sri Lanka, Australia over New Zealand, Bangladesh over Zimbabwe, and Afghanistan over Sri Lanka A.
India batted first at the P Sara Oval in Colombo and made 146 for five from their 20 overs thanks to a fifth-wicket stand of 78 off 64 balls from Rohit Sharma and MS Dhoni. They had struggled early on with Gautam Gambhir retiring hurt in the first over, and Nuwan Kulasekara picking up two early wickets to help reduce them to 51 for four in the ninth over.
However, Rohit and Dhoni played fluently, with the former reaching 37 before being caught by Mahela Jayawardene off Lasith Malinga. Dhoni, though, remained until the end and ended on 55 not out off 42 balls.
Sri Lanka lost both their openers – Dilshan Munaweera and Tillakaratne Dilshan – early in their run chase as Irfan Pathan struck with the new ball. Kumar Sangakkara then led the partial recovery with a run-a-ball 32, while Lahiru Thirimanne (24 off 27 balls) and Jeevan Mendis (26 off 22) both chipped in. Pathan returned to remove Mendis and also picked up the wicket of Mahela Jayawardene, coming in at number eight, on his way to figures of five for 25 as Sri Lanka were bowled out for 120 in the final over.
Over at Nondescripts CC, Australia thrashed New Zealand by 56 runs. They struggled with the bat, making just 139 for six, as New Zealand’s seam bowlers Doug Bracewell (two for 31) and Adam Milne (two for 27) bowled impressively. Opener Shane Watson top-scored with 27 and was one of four Australian batsmen to make scores in the 20s.
The Black Caps never looked like reaching their target of 140 and had slipped to eight for three by the third over as Shane Watson, Pat Cummins and Clint McKay each struck in their first overs. Ross Taylor (22 off 20 balls) and Kane Williamson (17 off 33) added 31 for the fourth-wicket, but Brad Hogg picked up three mid-innings wickets and they were all out for just 83 after 17 overs.
Zimbabwe were subjected to their second convincing defeat of the tournament at the Colts CC Ground in Colombo as they watched Bangladesh ease past their total of 134 for six with time and wickets to spare. Brian Vitori removed Tamim Iqbal early in the Bangladesh run chase, but Mohammad Ashraful (38 off 25 balls) and Shakib Al Hasan (28 off 17) added a brisk 52 for the second-wicket and they never looked back. Mahmudullah (23 not out of 32) and Ziaur Rahman (26 not out off 20) completed the job in the 19th over, with Graeme Cremer the only Zimbabwe bowler to prosper, taking two for 10 from his four overs.
Vusi Sibanda had earlier anchored the Zimbabwe innings with a 47-ball 40, but he, like most of the Zimbabwe batsmen until Craig Ervine’s cameo of 19 off seven balls, struggled to find the boundary. Abdur Razzak (two for 21) and Shakib Al Hasan (one for 16) were their chief tormentors.
Afghanistan piled up 209 for seven against a second-string Sri Lanka at the Moors Sports Club Ground. They overcame a first-over double strike from Nuwan Pradeep thanks to a fast-paced third-wicket partnership of 109 between Mohammad Shahzad (48 off 25 balls) and Asghar Stanikzai (50 off 39), while Mohammad Nabi added late momentum with a 24-ball 51. Only Kaushal Lokuarachchi offered any control for Sri Lanka A’s captain Thilina Kandamby with figures of three for 16 from his four overs.
Only all-rounder Kosala Kulasekara (63 off 38 balls) made a meaningful contribution with the bat in the home side’s run chase as Dawlat Zadram took three wickets to help dismiss them for 158 in the 19th over.
© Cricket World 2012
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