Report: Ind vs SL - 2013 CT warm-up
In the run fest at Edgbaston, Virat Kohli (144 off 120) and Dinesh Karthik (106* off 81) helped India conquer the massive 334-run target in the practice game against Sri Lanka ahead of the 2013 ICC Champions Trophy.
Although the Sri Lankan batsmen piled on 333 runs and their bowlers claimed three early wickets in the Indian innings, Kohli anchored the Indian innings with a brilliantly compiled hundred to set up victory for his team. Dinesh Karthik ably supported Virat with a 186-run partnership in putting the team in an advantageous position. After the departure of his partner, Karthik took the team across the line with MS Dhoni at the other end.
Earlier, put in to bat, Kushal Janith Perera and Tillakaratne Dilshan got Sri Lanka off to a flying start. The pair added 160 in 26 overs until Perera retired for 82 (off 94 balls). Mahela Jayawardene then joined Dilshan who continued to clobber the Indian attack before retiring for 84 off 78 at the end of the 32nd over. The Indian bowlers who had gone wicket-less for the better part of the innings then got their first breakthrough when Ishant Sharma brought back into the attack and struck on the very first ball. Jayawardene hit the pacer straight to Irfan Pathan at short fine-leg to walk back for 30. However, building on the solid platform built by the openers, Kumar Sangakkara continued to garner runs with ease. After getting a life early in the innings with just a run against his name, when Vinay Kumar missed a difficult return catch, the south-paw was on song until Amit Mishra halted his innings five runs short of fifty.
Dinesh Chandimal and Thisara Perera then took Lankans past the 300-run mark. The partnership was ended at 46 runs with Chandimal edging Bhuvneshwar Kumar to the keeper in the last over. Adding eight runs off the last five balls Sri Lanka finished the innings with a mammoth 333 for three.
Facing a stiff target India needed their openers to put up a similar effort as their SL counterparts. However, with just five runs on the board, Shikhar Dhawan was run out in the second over while trying to sneak in a single. Virat Kohli then joined Murali Vijay at the crease and the duo had added 47 runs before Shaminda Eranga sent back the opener. Rohit Sharma who replaced Vijay, followed him back after contributing just five runs to the total. A short ball from Thisara Perera saw the back of the stylish middle-order bat who hit the ball to Nuwan Kulasekara at mid-on to leave the team struggling on 62 for three.
But, Kohli and Suresh Raina kept the score board ticking and the asking rate in the check while taking India past the three-figure mark. However, Sachithra Senanayake thwarted their attempt to rebuild the Indian innings by dislodging the left-hander’s bails for 34. However, Kohli found an able ally in Dinesh Karthik and the duo put up a fight to keep India in the fray. While Kohli held up one end, Karthik took the attack to the bowlers. With the run rate creeping up and the fielders aiming for the stumps, the batters ran quick ones and twos.
As they continued to build on the partnership in the batting powerplay India’s No. 3 bat brought up his century and attacked the bowlers with gusto. Growing in confidence Kohli stepped out to the bowlers and found the gaps and ropes with ease. Runs flowed freely for India as the batsmen unleashed themselves on the SL bowlers and marched towards the target that had seemed insurmountable especially when four of India’s top-order batters were back in the pavilion.
In the absence of bowling spearhead Lasith Malinga, Angelo Mathews used as many as nine bowlers in an effort to break the partnership but to no avail. Scoring steadily Kohli-Karthik had wrested the advantage from the opposition and brought the required run rate to run-a-ball.
However, change of pace by Eranga saw the back of Kohli bringing the India captain to the middle who then partnered with Karthik to help secure a five-wicket win with an over to spare.
Brief scores: Sri Lanka 333/3 in 50 overs (T Dilshan 84*, K Perera 82*) lost to India 337/5 in 49 overs (V Kohli 144, D Karthik 106*) by 5 wickets.