Photo: AFP/Getty Images
Irfan, Balaji strike as India beats Sri Lanka
Hosts go down by 26 runs as Indians give strong indicator of their intentions
15 September 2012 - 01:06pm IST
Apart from the fact that Gautam Gambhir suffered a blow to the right hand off a Lasith Malinga screamer and had to retire hurt, things mostly went right for India in its warm-up match against Sri Lanka on Saturday (September 15).
Batting first, India made 146 for 5 after a top-order wobble and then bowled Sri Lanka out for 120 to seal a confidence-boosting 26-run win in the match played at the P Sara Oval in Colombo.
India won the toss, chose to bat, but then, off the third ball of the very first over, saw Gambhir leaving the field. Gambhir later underwent x-rays, but nothing serious was detected.
It was all Sri Lanka after that as India sank to 51 for 4 by the ninth over, with Nuwan Kulasekara sending back Suresh Raina (12) and Virender Sehwag (12), while Angelo Mathews accounted for Virat Kohli (8) and Rangana Herath had Yuvraj Singh (11) stumped by Kumar Sangakkara.
The innings took flight courtesy determined batting efforts from Rohit Sharma, who hit four fours and a six in a 26-ball 37, and captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni, who was superb in an unbeaten 55 from 42 balls, studded with four fours and three sixes.
The duo ensured India had a respectable total on the board.
The Sri Lanka reply never really took off with Irfan Pathan and L Balaji running amok. Irfan returned figures of 5 for 25 while Balaji bowled his 3.3 overs for 3 for 28.
A number of the Lankan batsmen got starts, with Sangakkara scoring 32 from 32 balls, Lahiru Thirimanne scoring 24 from 27 and Jeevan Mendis getting his 26 runs from 22 balls. But as those numbers prove, scoring runs was tough. And with wickets falling regularly, Sri Lanka eventually folded up for 120 in 19.3 overs.
This was Sri Lanka’s last warm-up match, while India will play Pakistan in their last warm-up game on Monday (September 17).
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