The Indians defeated Middlesex by 95 runs in the one-day warm-up match at the Lord’s. Virat Kohli (71) and Ambati Rayudu (72) were mainly responsible for India’s score of 230 all-out after they were inserted in to bat by Middlesex.
India’s bowling performance was a true team show as every bowler barring part-time slow bowler, Ravindra Jadeja, picked up at least a wicket. Karn Sharma cleaned up the tail to finish with 3 for 14 in 4.5 overs.
It was Bhuvneshwar Kumar who drew first blood, getting Nick Gubbins to edge one to the keeper in the third over. Mohammad Shami produced the perfect full and straight delivery to bowl Dawid Malan out off the first ball of the fourth over.
Sanju Samson took two more catches behind the wicket when Umesh Yadav and Mohit Sharma dismissed Paul Stirling and Eoin Morgan respectively. Dhawal Kulkarni joined his fellow pacers on the wicket-takers’ list by getting rid of Ryan Higgins. Middlesex had lost half their side for 67 runs in the 17th over. In all, Samson held three catches and affected a stumping.
John Simpson and Andy Balbirnie steadied the ship for a while before Ashwin broke the stand trapping the former lbw in the 28th over. The Middlesex innings fell apart when Rayner was run out.
Batting first, the Indian openers departed inside six overs with the score just 29. While Shikhar Dhawan (10) hit one straight into the hands of mid-off, Rohit Sharma (8) holed out at third man on the side of the 45-yard boundary. Ajinkya Rahane’s (15) stay at the crease lasted for 26 balls before he miscued an uppish drive at mid-on.
Virat Kohli and Ambati Rayudu came together with the Indians on 52 for 3 in the 14th over and put up a stand of 104 runs.
Virat played and missed a few in the first couple of overs before settling down well at the crease. He got off the mark with a well timed straight drive for four off Steven Finn before working his way to his first half-century on this tour. It was a typical Virat one-day knock – busy yet relaxed and sensible yet laced with some fine shots to fetch nine boundaries, one of which was the innings’ only six.
Virat got fine company in Rayudu, who played himself in before unleashing the big shots. He took special liking to pacer Gurinder Sandhu and left-arm spinner, Ravi Patel, sending them for three fours each.
The flourishing partnership ended on 104 when left-arm spinner, Ravi Patel, got Virat to nick to the wicketkeeper. Patel came back to get rid of Ravindra Jadeja, who holed out in the deep.
Rayudu retired on 72 after the last ball of the 40th over and the next two balls fetched the wickets of R Ashwin and Stuart Binny. Ollie Rayner, the off-spinner, missed the hat-trick. The slide, however continued for India as Rayner dismissed Sanju Samson and last man in, Suresh Raina, to end the Indian innings on 230 in 44.2 overs.