India, New Zealand Warm Up With Wins

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Rohit misses out on a century; Anderson, Munro and Guptill in good touch against Sri Lanka

India and New Zealand secured comfortable victories in their ICC World Twenty20 2016 warm-up matches on Thursday(March 10). India saw off the West Indies by 45 runs in Kolkata, while over in Mumbai, New Zealand’s batsmen starred in a 74-run win over Sri Lanka.

At the Eden Gardens, Rohit Sharma continued his impressive recent form, scoring an unbeaten 57-ball 98 to help India post 185 for 6, before the bowlers ensured victory was achieved in 19.2 overs, bowling out the West Indies for 140.

There was no toss as India batted first on mutual consent. Initially, Rohit was a lot more circumspect than Shikhar Dhawan, his opening partner. Dhawan scored a 17-ball 21, including a six off Johnson Charles, before falling to the left-arm spin of Sulieman Benn. Ajinkya Rahane didn’t last long, becoming Benn’s second wicket and India was reduced to 56 for 2.

Yuvraj Singh then walked in to form a solid alliance with Rohit. The two were together for 7.4 overs, putting on 89 for the fourth wicket at an eye-catching run-rate of 11.60. At one point, Rohit even ploughed three consecutive boundaries against the offspin of Ashley Nurse – a six sandwiched by two fours. Yuvraj then responded with consecutive fours off Darren Sammy.

While Yuvraj fell to Sammy for a 20-ball 31, and Ravindra Jadeja (10), Pawan Negi (8) and Hardik Pandya (0) struggled to blast away, Rohit carried his bat to boost the total, although he fell short of a century by two runs.

A Chris Gayle blitz helped the West Indies get its chase off to a good start, but it couldn’t capitalise once he was dismissed by Jasprit Bumrah for a 11-ball 20 in the fourth over. It was a steady procession of wickets thereafter.

Andre Russell attempted to bat his way out of trouble, putting away two fours and a six in a 13-ball 19. But once he fell to Pandya, only Jason Holder’s late unbeaten nine-ball 13 served to delay India’s victory.

Over at the Wankhede Stadium, Sri Lanka was buried under a mountain of runs as half-centuries from Corey Anderson and Colin Munro and a 25-ball 41 from Martin Guptill helped New Zealand post a mammoth 226 for 4. Sri Lanka was then restricted to 152 for 7.

New Zealand chose to bat, and even as Guptill shot off the blocks, Kane Williamson laboured to a nine-ball 10 before falling to Suranga Lakmal, the medium pacer. Guptill was joined by Munro, and the two stepped on the gas – 41 runs were added in the four overs of their second-wicket association.

There was no let-off for Sri Lanka even after Guptill’s dismissal to Dasun Shanaka, the medium pacer. Munro and Anderson pillaged the Sri Lankan bowlers: the 10th over, sent down by Shanaka, yielded 29 runs, with Munro hammering four consecutive sixes to propel New Zealand past the 100-mark. Anderson then picked consecutive sixes off Tillakaratne Dilshan.

The breakthrough arrived when Shanaka was brought back on. He ended Munro’s 34-ball knock of 64, which comprised seven sixes. Anderson, having scored a 29-ball 60, which included four fours and five sixes, then retired, allowing Grant Elliott and Mitchell Santner to negotiate the death overs. Santner (1) was run out, but Elliott scored a 21-ball 36 to add further gloss to the total.

Sri Lanka was in trouble early in its chase after Anderson had Dilshan dismissed for nought, even as Dinesh Chandimal struggled to a 17-ball 8. Lahiru Thirimanne and Chamara Kapugedera steadied the ship with a 66-run stand for the third wicket.

Ish Sodhi broke the stand, which had spanned 7.4 overs, with the wicket of Thirimmane – his 29-ball 41 comprised five fours and two sixes. Kapugedera fell in the very next over to Milne for a 27-ball 38.

Angelo Mathews went on to seal up one end while scoring a 21-ball 25, even as New Zealand chipped away at the other. But with Sri Lanka shifting its focus to time in the middle for its batsmen, the intensity frittered away and New Zealand soon sealed a comfortable win.