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Report: NZ vs Ind (Women), WT20 Warm-up Match

Indian eves lose despite Raj’s half-century

India Women lost their first warm-up game of the 2014 ICC Women’s World T20 to New Zealand Women by 17 runs. Chasing 139, the batting line-up of the Mithali Raj-led side was held to 121 for eight by the White Ferns.

Chasing the competitive score, the Indian line-up collapsed after a 26-run opening stand. Smriti Mandhana, who came out to open with captain Raj, was sent back by Morna Nielsen in the fifth over. Dealing a double blow, she also accounted for Shikha Pandey in the same over to leave India on 27 for two. In her next over, Nielsen dismantled Poonam Raut's woodwork, and Hayley Jensen followed up with the wickets of Madhuri Mehta and Latika Kumari.

Raj continued to stoically hold up one end and she went past her half-century. However, she did not receive much support from the other end, until she eventually retired hurt on 53.

Harmanpreet Kaur and experienced campaigner Jhluan Goswami then strove to salvage the innings, but they could not stem the fall of wickets.

With the team struggling on 117, Kaur was dismissed by Sophie Devine for 27 in the penultimate over. With her team in the driver's seat, Frances McKay caught Sravanthi Naidu off her own bowling and trapped Soniya Dabir lbw as NZ sailed to a comfortable win.

Earlier, after Raj chose to field first, the Goswami-led attack dealt a few early blows to leave NZ Women on 27 for three in the fifth over. Goswami, who has been spearheading the attack for the Indian eves, bowled Sam Curtis out for zero and Devine for five, while Pandey removed Suzie Bates. Sara McGlashan and Katie Perkins then stemmed the fall of wickets and had taken the team to 93 when Archana Das struck to remove the former. 28 runs later, Goswami accounted for Perkins’ wicket, and in the following over, Pandey claimed Nicola Browne and Rachel Priest.

Besides Pandey's double strike in the penultimate over, Morna Nielson too returned; she was run out for one. Hayley Jensen, who then joined Frances McKay in the last over, helped add four and took her team to 138 for eight by the end of the innings. 

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Report: Ind vs SL, WT20 Warm-up Match

India lose to Sri Lanka in a low-scoring game

Back in Bangladesh for the ICC World T20, India lost their first warm-up match of the tournament to Sri Lanka by five runs at the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium in Mirpur. Ravichandran Ashwin claimed three for 22, while Suresh Raina scored 41 off 31 balls in the encounter.

Earlier, opting to field first, India restricted Sri Lanka to 153 for six in 20 overs. The Indian spinners struck at regular intervals to keep the SL line-up in check. Ravichandran Ashwin picked three wickets, while Amit Mishra and Suresh Raina claimed one each. Varun Aaron, who gave India their first breakthrough by dismissing Kusal Perera, was the only Indian pacer to get a wicket. Mishra then caught Mahela Jayawardene off his on bowling to leave SL on 65 for two. In the next over, Ashwin followed up with the wicket of Tillakaratne Dilshan without a run being added to the scorecard. And 12 runs later, Kumar Sangakkara was castled by Raina. About three overs later, Ashwin accounted for Angelo Mathews’ wicket and also sent back Dinesh Chandimal in his next.

With the team on 119 for six, Nuwan Kulasekara joined Thisara Perera in the middle, and in a late onslaught helped add 34 runs in an unbroken stand in three overs, at over 11 runs per over.

Chasing 154, India lost Shikhar Dhawan and Rohit Sharma early in the innings. Kulasekara removed Dhawan, while Rohit was sent back by Lasith Malinga to leave the team on 19 for two in the fifth over. Back in the side for the shortest format of the game, Suresh Raina then made a quick-fire 31-ball 41 and was involved in a 35-run partnership with Yuvraj Singh before being sent back by Ajantha Mendis. Ajinkya Rahane followed him back without contributing to the chase. With India on 56 for four, Virat Kohli joined Yuvraj in the middle mid way through the 10th over. Halfway through the innings, Yuvraj went after the SL attack and smashed the ball over the ropes. Kohli too had hit a boundary and six before falling to Malinga. Ravindra Jadeja, who then took guard opposite Yuvraj, helped take the team past the three-figure mark.

But with 43 runs required and less than five overs left, Yuvraj was sent back by Kulasekara for 33 and Rangana Herath sent back Jadeja in the next.

With India on 115 for seven and the required run-rate around 11 runs per over, Ashwin joined Stuart Binny in the middle in an effort to scale the target. The pair put up a fight to keep their team in the contest. Ashwin played a cameo as he fought to take the team across the line. But with seven required off three balls, Binny was run out trying to steal a single. A run later, Ashwin was sent back off the penultimate ball by Malinga, who castled Mishra off the last delivery to bowl India out for 148.