Suresh Raina © Getty Images (File photo)
By Nishad Pai Vaidya
Mar 19, 2014
Led by Suresh Raina and Virat Kohli‘s aggressive fifties, India scored 178 in their ICC World T20 2014 warm-up against England at the Shere Bangla National Stadium, Mirpur. India had stuttered early on but Kohli and Raina’s partnership helped them recover and post the score. This is an encounter both sides would use to get their plans in place ahead of the main draw of the T20 World Cup.
India persisted with Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan at the top. The move didn’t work as Rohit was dismissed in the third over as he tried to pull Jade Dernbach and top-edged it to fine-leg. Dhawan did crack one through the off-side for four, but then was out as he cut one straight to point off Tim Bresnan. In the last over of the powerplay, Yuvraj Singh was out as he edged one to the wicketkeeper. At 39 for three, Raina joined Kohli in the centre.
The partnership between Kohli and Raina changed the complexion of the innings. Being proactive at the crease, they kept working the strike around. However, they then started to unleash their power. Having started with a few boundaries, they seemed to be in good touch. While Kohli has been India’s man in form for a long time, Raina did find some form in their first warm-up.
When Stephen Parry bowled the 13th over, he was smashed for 17 runs. Kohli first smashed him straight down the ground and then lofted him inside out over cover. But, Raina then charged down the ground and bludgeoned it over mid-wicket. And, then Ravi Bopara bore the brunt of Raina’s blade as he smacked 18 off the first four balls of the 15th over.
Raina was unstoppable and attacked Bopara. He cut him, drove him for four and then swept him for six. In the process, he reached his fifty, but fell soon after when he tried to pull a short-ball. Chris Jordan ran in from deep square leg and took a brilliant catch diving forward.
That brought MS Dhoni to the middle and one of the highlights of his innings was an upper cut for six off Dernbach. Kohli and Dhoni kept the pace and also worked a few quick runs between the wickets. Meanwhile, Kohli reached his fifty off 38 balls with a four through the covers. In the last over, Kohli managed two inside edges for boundaries and then was able to amass 17 runs. Kohli finished on 74 off 48 balls.
India 178 for 4 in 20 overs (Virat Kohli 74*, Suresh Raina 54) vs England.
(Nishad Pai Vaidya is a Correspondent with CricketCountry and anchor for the site’s YouTube Channel. His Twitter handle is @nishad_44)