Leicestershire v Indians, Twenty20, Leicester August 29, 2011

Indians warm up with another win

ESPNcricinfo staff

Indians 161 for 5 (Parthiv 40, Rohit 29, Joshua Cobb 2-22) beat Leicestershire 146 for 7 (Andrew McDonald 44, R Vinay Kumar 3-29, A Mishra 2-19) by 15 runs

R Vinay Kumar bowled fast, slow and smart to finish with a three-wicket haul that helped the Indians complete a hat-trick of wins in three warm-up matches in five days, providing a much-needed boost ahead of the lone Twenty20 international against England at Old Trafford on Wednesday.

After a series of cameos pushed the Indians to 161, Leicestershire started on a positive note and were 48 for 1 by the end of the Powerplay. But Suresh Raina, leading the visitors in the absence of a resting MS Dhoni, used his bowlers cleverly, rotating the trio of R Ashwin, Amit Mishra and Vinay to put the brakes on the chase. The hosts required 33 runs from the final two overs, but Ashwin and Vinay gave them no room to play their shots and conceded just 17 runs.

The fall of Joshua Cobb, hero of Leicestershire's triumph in the Friends Life t20 on Saturday, in the first over did not deter the tall pairing of Andrew McDonald and Will Jefferson. They had little trouble against Varun Aaron, regarded as India's fastest bowler, during his spell from the Bennett end. Aaron started off with a half volley which McDonald punched to the cover boundary. Aaron responded with a slower delivery, but the ball skimmed McDonald's pads for four leg byes. A ball later Aaron once again faltered with his line, swinging it too far down the leg side, allowing McDonald to easily glance another four.

Aaron's problems continued when he failed to intercept a straight drive from Jefferson at long-on, gifting Leicestershire a boundary. Aaron came back from the Pavilion end, but his misery was far from over. Jefferson hit the Indian seamer over long-off for a four and then McDonald lofted him over cover for a six that bounced onto Milligan Road. Aaron, a last-minute replacement for Ishant Sharma, had joined the Indian squad only two days ago. He was rusty but finished the over by firing in a short ball that beat McDonald for pace.

Against the spinners, Jefferson made use of his 6'10" height to try to kill the turn. In Mishra's first over he swatted the legspinner past long-on for a four and then lofted another boundary over mid-off. While trying to sweep Mishra, though, he was beaten by the flight and was trapped plumb lbw.

Raina shuffled his slow bowlers well and the spin pair of Mishra and Ashwin slowed down the Leicestershire train. Vinay chipped in as well, keeping a tight off-stump line and had James Taylor, who tried hitting across the line to an outswinger, caught behind. McDonald, a bit anxious to seize control, smashed Vinay for two fours but the bowler hit back by delivering a slower ball in his next over that beat McDonald's attempted slog and crashed into the stumps.

At that stage Leicestershire needed 78 from 52. With Abdul Razzaq walking in, the Leicestershire fans still kept the faith given his ability to destroy the best of bowling attacks. Razzaq started by crashing Rohit Sharma towards the straight boundary. When Praveen Kumar pitched short on the off stump, Razzaq came up with a tennis-like high forehand, forcing Praveen to take evasive action as the ball zipped to the left of his head, for a straight four.

But with Paul Nixon, playing his farewell match at Grace Road and in England, finding it hard to connect at the other end, the asking-rate was peaking. Leicestershire needed 59 from the last five overs but 14 runs including two savage uppercuts by Razzaq to the point boundary from Aaron's third over raised hopes. Next over he slogged Praveen over cow corner for another six.

Razzaq swept the first delivery of the penultimate over for a couple but perished trying to hit over deep square leg where he was caught by Virat Kohli. Leicestershire's challenge was virtually over and then Vinay gave just eight runs in the final over.

Like with their bowling, the Indians' batting also had several players making small but significant contributions. Parthiv Patel and Ajinkya Rahane started confidently, and though Parthiv rushed into his shots, desperate to make a quick impact, the fluency of Rahane caught the eye.

Rahane, a late replacement for Virender Sehwag, who had to return home after the Test series, rolled his wrists neatly to glance a full, inswinging delivery from Matthew Hoggard to the fine-leg boundary. When Razzaq bowled short he pulled him strongly for another four. Trying to rush into another short delivery, this time on the off stump, he could only steer into the hands of the short third-man.

Rahul Dravid ran hard during his near-run-a-ball 29 to keep the score ticking steadily before a late charge by Rohit, which included consecutive sixes off the medium pace of Wayne White, took India to a challenging total.

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Martin on August 31, 2011, 17:40 GMT

    @CricFan108 ; "The shameless Dravid"!!! What!!! - you mean the best player in India!!!

  • Rakesh on August 31, 2011, 9:01 GMT

    @5wombats - Broad was MOS in tests. We are talking about limited overs here. Lets the games begin we say. I do agree with you about the Indians giving too much preference to IPL. most of my friends hate it. I will happily eat my words if England play well and win.

  • Rakesh on August 31, 2011, 8:58 GMT

    I hope shamelss dravid bails out of the game for someone like rahane to be tried. I dont understand the tactics of playing Dravid in limited overs.

  • Dummy4 on August 31, 2011, 7:15 GMT

    Now,the game transform from test to one day and i still believe that this indian team have the capability to change the at any circumstances despite debacle performance in test matchs. With the absence of key player they can perform better and they are world champs. So, it's going to be very riveting series so, i and all indian fans eagerly waiting ......

  • Gaurav on August 31, 2011, 6:02 GMT

    Indians should not ride high because of these wins in practice matches,its very likely that ECB may provide pitches with lot of pace and bounce to give home advantage to their players.

  • Martin on August 30, 2011, 22:48 GMT

    @rahulcricket007; your talk always supposes that Yuvraj can stay at the crease long enough to score any runs at all. Look what happened to Sehwag in the Tests! No England fan here has raised any England player up to be a god or a legend. Don't underestimate England bowlers in their own conditions. You need to be wary of mentioning Broad - it draws attention to the fact that india don't have any bowlers. I'm looking forward to the ODI series. It'll be fun to watch. PS take your caps lock off.

  • Martin on August 30, 2011, 19:05 GMT

    @Aayush Kataria - you can quote me as much history as you like - your history is out of date. Haven't you noticed that things have changed in world cricket? Try openning your other eye. History suggests that England batsmen will flog indian "bowlers" all around the park - just like we did in the last World Cup and in the Tests (LOL) and history suggests that England Bowlers will be taking wickets for fun - just like we did in the Tests. Enjoy the series...

  • Valavan on August 30, 2011, 18:41 GMT

    @rahul, we dont hype broad as Ambrose. I dont think even you can say zaheer khan in Ambrose calibre. Yuvraj. Ye he hit 6 sixes in one game when broad started his career. Its not gonna be low and flat. I think Yuvi is still pedestrian out of sub continent, if i remember even rohit sharma or Kohli can adapt cricket. Golf swinging aint possible in green wickets. India can play Yuvraj when they play ODIs in subcontinent. and broad is getting about mature.

  • rahul on August 30, 2011, 16:59 GMT


  • Dummy4 on August 30, 2011, 16:26 GMT

    Dying to watch dravid in the ODIs. Hopefully he ends a glorious career on a high! All the best to him. Also hoping he won't be the lone warrior this time around.

  • No featured comments at the moment.