India would be happy with this performance going into the main draw © AFP (File photo)
By Nishad Pai Vaidya
Mar 19, 2014
It was a win that would give India tremendous confidence ahead of the main draw of the ICC World T20 2014. After losing to Sri Lanka in the first warm-up game, India managed to beat England by 20 runs. Captain MS Dhoni would be satisfied as his batsmen put the runs on the board and the bowlers did a good job to defend the score.
Chasing 179, England started off quite well as Michael Lumb attacked the Indian bowlers. Alex Hales also did his bit in the beginning as they sped away to 43 off the first five overs, before he was bowled by Bhuvneshwar Kumar. That brought Moeen Ali to the crease. Initially, he was a bit slow to get going as Lumb was the attacking batsman in the centre.
Lumb was marching along quite well and looked in control against all spinners, particularly Ravichandran Ashwin. However, Dhoni handed the ball to Suresh Raina and he foxed Lumb in the air and had him stumped. In the next five overs, England added only 32 runs as Eoin Morgan was trying to find his touch. Ali was still going slow. However, after essaying a reverse sweep or two, he holed out to the deep off a full-toss by Ashwin.
Ali then came in his zone, stroking four fours and a massive six. He took his strike rate higher and had given England a chance. The shot that stood out was a flick through mid-wicket. It was quite Kumar Sangakkaresque. However, on 46, he tried to hit Jadeja over square-leg, but was caught by Rahane. England were 128 for four in 17 overs. From there on, it was very difficult and although Jos Buttler fought hard, they fell short.
Earlier, Suresh Raina and Virat Kohli had powered India to 178. India had stuttered, after being put in to bat by Morgan. They persisted with Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan at the top, but the pair didn’t last long. Yuvraj Singh was also dismissed for a solitary run and India were struggling at 39 for three in six overs.
Raina and Kohli;s partnership brought some fresh air to the innings. They worked the strike around well and also attacked when the opportunity came their way. Raina got to his fifty of 29 balls, smashing Ravi Bopara to all parts in the 15th over. Kohli was in his zone as usual, using his feet to the spinners, going inside out, using his wrists to the seamers. That took India to 178, a score that proved too much for England.
India 178 for 4 in 20 overs (Virat Kohli 74*, Suresh Raina 54) beat England 158 for 6 in 20 overs (Moeen Ali 46; Ravindra Jadeja 2 for 23) by 4 wickets.
(Nishad Pai Vaidya is a Correspondent with CricketCountry and anchor for the site’s YouTube Channel. His Twitter handle is @nishad_44)