India Lose 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.