Match report: SL v Ind – WT20 Warm-up game
Colombo, Sep 15: Irfan Pathan took five for 25 and MS Dhoni hit an unbeaten half-century as India trounced Sri Lanka by 26 runs in their first warm-up game of the 2012 ICC World Twenty20. After Dhoni’s unbeaten 55* pushed India to 146 for five, Irfan Pathan’s five-wicket haul completely derailed the hosts’ run-chase.
Earlier, India posted a sub-par total of 146. A 78-run stand between Rohit Sharma and MS Dhoni for the fifth wicket was the highlight of the Indian innings. After Gautam Gambhir (5) retired hurt, when he was struck on his hand by a Lasith Malinga delivery in the very first over, the hosts reduced the visitors to 51 for four with Nuwan Kulasekara bagging a pair of wickets early on. Sharma (37) and Dhoni (55*), nonetheless, revived the visitors’ innings, scoring 62 runs off the last four overs to take India to close to 150.
Chasing 147 to win, the hosts struggled from the word go. Irfan Pathan removed openers Dilshan Munaweera (3) and Tillakaratne Dilshan (1) in his first two overs to leave Sri Lanka struggling at 15 for two at the end of three overs. Then, with L Balaji, Harbhajan Singh and Zaheer Khan bagging a wicket each, Sri Lanka slipped to 92 for five in 14.2 overs. As the hosts struggled to get anywhere near the asking rate, Irfan struck thrice in the 19th over to finish with figures of five for 25 from his four overs. Balaji put an end to the Sri Lankan innings shortly afterwards when he bagged the wickets of Kulasekara (0) and Malinga (0) off the first three balls in the 20th over.
India now play their final warm-up game against Pakistan on September 17 before clashing with Afghanistan in their first encounter of the 2012 ICC World T20 on September 19.
Brief scores: India 146/5 in 20.0 overs (MS Dhoni 55*, Nuwan Kulasekara 2/39) beat Sri Lanka 120/10 in 19.3 overs (Kumar Sangakkara 32, Irfan Pathan 5/25) by 26 runs