Kohli smashes 73 as India beat England by 20 runs

India gained the much-needed boost ahead of its ICC World T20 opener against Pakistan when it comfortably defeated England by 20 runs in the second and final warm-up game here on Wednesday.

Riding on a cavalier unbeaten 74 off 48 balls from Virat Kohli and an equally entertaining 54 off 31 balls from Suresh Raina, India scored an imposing 178 for four in 20 overs. Mahendra Singh Dhoni used seven bowlers in all and R. Ashwin was once again the best as he returned with economical figures of one for 20 from his four overs.

Raina also impressed with the ball as he gave away just 23 runs in four overs, and also picked up a wicket in the process.

Final onslaught

India scored as many as 105 runs in the back-10 as Kohli and skipper Dhoni (21 not out) added 51 runs in only 5.1 overs. The final over bowled by Tim Bresnan produced 17 runs, with Kohli hitting him for three crisp boundaries. He hit eight in all.

Put in, Rohit Sharma (5) was out mistiming a pull as a delivery from Jade Dernbach kept climbing on him and the skier was taken on the deep fine-leg boundary by Alex Hales. Shikhar Dhawan (14) bisected the off-side field twice before a powerful but uppish drive was taken by James Tredwell diving to his right in the cover region. Yuvraj Singh (1) had a bad day in office as he got an under-edge trying to pull a back-of-the-length delivery from Chris Jordan to be taken by wicketkeeper Jos Buttler.

In six Power Play overs, India had lost three wickets for 39 runs before Kohli and Raina joined forces.

In reply, England’s left-handed opener Michael Lumb, a T20 freelancer who has played in IPL and in the Big Bash, took advantage of the Power Play field restrictions as he repeatedly gave charge to Bhuvneshwar Kumar hitting him over the in-field. In fact, he came out lofting him over extra-cover for a six.

Having scored a quickfire 36 with six fours and a six, Lumb’s luck finally ran out as he tried to give Raina the charge, misreading the flight and subsequent turn and Dhoni effected an easy stumping. Eoin Morgan (16) holed out in the deep trying to clear Ashwin over long-on.

Moeen Ali was slow to begin with but did play some strokes once he got his eye in. His partner Butler spanked the spinners as he lofted Jadeja for a six over long-on and then dug out a blockhole delivery to the wide of the long-on fielder.

The scores: India 178 for four in 20 overs (V. Kohli 74 not out, S. Raina 54) bt England 158 for six in 20 overs (M. Lumb 36, Moeen Ali 46, J. Buttler 30, R. Jadeja two for 23).

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