Sri Lanka v India, World Twenty20 warm-up, Colombo September 15, 2012

Dhoni, Irfan perform in warm-up win


India 146 for 5 (Dhoni 55*) beat Sri Lanka 120 (Irfan 5-25) by 26 runs

A 78-run recovery stand and a belligerent finish from MS Dhoni and Rohit Sharma paved the way for India's 26-run win over Sri Lanka in a warm up match on a P Sara surface with plenty of bounce.

Sri Lanka's seamers reduced India to 51 for 4 after 8.3 overs, with Gautam Gambhir having retired hurt, but Dhoni and Rohit first steadied the innings, before reaping 62 runs from the last four wayward overs to reach 146 for 5. Sri Lanka never had their chase on track, losing wickets throughout their innings as the required rate ballooned. However, they were effectively without their best Twenty20 batsman, Mahela Jayawardene, who only came in to bat in the 19th over, having had time in the middle against West Indies in Sri Lanka's first warm up match. 

At the end of the 16th over in the first innings, India were only on 84 and Dhoni had scored 14 from 28 balls. However, with three boundaries behind square off Nuwan Kulasekara in the 17th, Dhoni launched the salvo India had carefully built towards. Lasith Malinga's abysmal run against India continued in the 18th and 20th overs - both of which cost 17 - as Rohit and Dhoni employed aerial square-drives to flay Malinga's wide yorkers over backward point. Rohit was dismissed attempting that stroke in the last over, but with the helicopter shot whirring nicely, Dhoni launched a six to finish the innings and propelled India to a formidable total on a difficult track. 

The recovery had come after Gautam Gambhir had been struck on the wrist by Malinga in the first over, and though he retired hurt as a precautionary measure, Gambhir did not sustain anything worse than a bruise. Kulasekara removed Suresh Raina and Virender Sehwag, but was expensive again, having also bled runs in Sri Lanka's first practice match.

India's collapse called for caution early in Dhoni and Rohit's association, and the pair were content to accumulate, as a disciplined Sri Lanka attack allowed few chances for risk-free hitting. With Ajantha Mendis and Akila Dananjaya rested - perhaps to give India as little exposure to the pair as possible, should the teams meet in the knockout stages - Rangana Herath fired in three overs for eight runs, having earlier picked up the scalp of Yuvraj Singh with a doosra.

Sri Lanka's seamers continued to exploit the bounce in the surface, but unlike the top-order batsmen, Dhoni and Rohit were not tempted to attack the short ball until the late charge came. 

In reply, Dilshan Munaweera missed a straight one from Irfan Pathan to begin Sri Lanka's own top-order decline, before Tillakaratne Dilshan and Angelo Mathews also departed before the Powerplay overs were through. Kumar Sangakkara and Lahiru Thirimanne played at firefighting, attempting the same recovery-then-explosion that Dhoni and Rohit had provided, but neither could make their expansive strokes stick when the time for acceleration came.

Jeevan Mendis offered Sri Lanka some hope with a busy 26, but tight bowling from India's seamers ensured Sri Lanka had too much to do in the final few overs. Five Sri Lanka wickets fell in a heap in the last two overs, as they attempted their belated surge.

Andrew Fernando is ESPNcricinfo's correspondent in Sri Lanka

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Bilawal on September 18, 2012, 15:12 GMT

    U welcome Sinhaya.. just ignore the haters SL fans should b proud of their team. Every team has ups and downs but fans should stay behind them no matter what.

  • Prashan on September 18, 2012, 13:25 GMT

    Thanks a lot PakCric786

  • Bilawal on September 17, 2012, 19:09 GMT

    SL is dangerous side so indians should not be happy over one warm-up game. I want to see Pak vs SL final and Pak winning it.. ;)l

  • Harmon on September 17, 2012, 10:45 GMT

    @gabrialgihan: If you had cared to read why I said what I said then you would not have called it pointless. FYI, the chap I was replying to was giving excuses about some unknown injury Jayasuriya had when SL played India in 2003 WC and I merely told him that Sachin played the whole tournament with a finger injury, scored 673 runs and also scored 97 runs vs SL. And look just how incorrect you are in what you say. You say that SL have been finalists in WC 3 consecutive times. That is incorrect. 2003 WC final was between India and Aus, SL was no where in the final unless the 11 players came to see the match and you count that. You need to check your stuff. 2ndly, SL may have played in 2 successive Finals and 1 T20 Final but have they won any? Since 2003 Ind have played 3 WC Finals and have won 2 of them. Which one is better? As for CB series, we won it 08. It is SL who get owned everywhere.

  • Prashanth on September 17, 2012, 10:22 GMT

    @Sinhaya Dude Sachin has been given out on 99 most of them times incorrectly by the Umpires and you say sachin is favoured by Umpires

  • Rajesh on September 17, 2012, 8:05 GMT

    @colombo_sl well said mate...

  • Zara on September 17, 2012, 5:54 GMT

    Hello guys!!! Join my FANTACY LEAGUE... The code is 7075.. Its called ''cricNerdzz'' ;)

  • Rajesh on September 17, 2012, 5:37 GMT

    @sinhaya what umpires Scared to give tendulkar out because he is a master?whereas sehwag is unlucky?....did you know SHOULDER BEFORE WICKET?sachin was once been given out in that sachin is lucky and sehwag is unlucky, are silly stuff from you....if water does not come in your home dont tell its SACHIN'S fault...

  • Susantha on September 17, 2012, 4:46 GMT

    @sobers fan: Why this Kolaveri Diiiii?

  • Susantha on September 17, 2012, 4:40 GMT

    @I feel we should respect India in terms of good cricket. But i can't agree that we should be humble against them. Are you sure bro?

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