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Thursday, 6 June 2013

Champions Trophy 2013 warm-up: Australia skittled out for 65 as India post 243-run win


This warm-up match at the Sophia Gardens in Cardiff was a tale of two power plays. The India XV (only XI could bat or field) stuttered to 39 for 4 from their first ten overs. When it was their turn to bat, Australia’s side managed a feeble 28 for 5. India finished with a massive 308 for 6 after Dinesh Karthik and MS Dhoni added 211 for the sixth wicket from just 191 balls. Australia, who tried out Shane Watson – centurion in the previous warm-up against West Indies – at No.7, managed a paltry 65 in response.    

Umesh Yadav, bowling at full throttle for the most part, took each of the first five wickets to fall. Matthew Wade and Phil Hughes both inside-edged attempted pulls on to their stumps, while David Warner slashed one to R Ashwin at slip. George Bailey, who led the side with Michael Clarke nursing a back injury, was looking to China as the ball went toward Europe, and Mitchell Marsh was given out caught behind when the ball appeared to miss the inside edge.  

Watson made just four before inside-edging Ishant Sharma on to the stumps, leaving only Adam Voges (23) to emerge with anything like credit from the wreckage of an innings.  

The Indian innings had been in similar disarray, with Mitchell Starc and Clint McKay sharing the first four wickets. When Shikhar Dhawan followed after a scratchy 17, Karthik and Dhoni were left to assess a situation as bleak as the one Karthik and Virat Kohli had found themselves in during the warm-up against Sri Lanka.  

They built steadily, never letting the run-rate stall, but the acceleration in the second half of the innings was just astonishing. Dhoni whacked six fours and four sixes, one of them a monster over midwicket, in a 77-ball 91, while Karthik timed the ball magnificently at times during his innings of 146. Australia shelled catch after catch, and missed at least three run-out chances in a below-par fielding display.  

Starc finished with 2 for 73, as Karthik took 33 off the 19 balls he faced from him, while McKay escaped with the impressive figures of 2 for 39. Just to add insult to considerable injury, Ravindra Jadeja came in after Dhoni’s exit to add 42 with Karthik from just 21 balls.  

The Australian innings lasted just 23.3 overs. With the experienced core gone and Clarke struggling for fitness, the defence of the title will be an arduous task. As for the Indians, a much improved bowling display will keep them in good heart ahead of Thursday’s tournament opener against South Africa.  
source: icc-cricket.com


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