The fifties: Liam Livingstone made an impressive racket and ball for England before leaving the field with a finger injury. KL Rahul and Ishan Kishan‘s fifties at the top of the rankings led India to a victory at Sevenwicket in their first preparation match against England.
Before the game, Virat Kohli indicated that Rahul would open with Rohit Sharma, who was rested for that game at the start of the tournament, and that he himself would win the third. Rahul showed why his captain would want him at the top of the order.
The 82-run opening partnership between Rahul and Kishan with just the fifties balls not only formed the basis for a successful 189-ball chase.
But also left India an interesting pick ahead of the actual tournament-opening game.
With 51 of just 24 balls, he kicked off and continued the dazzling form he had shown in the last game of the IPL season for the Punjab Kings.
With a 46ball 70, Kishan made sure he was also a strong case for the team, in the midfield, if not at the top.
India won with an over to save, but the match was closer than that advantage suggested. Chris Jordan sent a wide, high pitch that was ballless and went over the goalie to the limit to change the equation from 16 that required 9 balls to 11 out of eight.
Hardik Pandya swayed on the next free throw and sent a lead to the limit of the third man before Rishabh Pant finished with a tie of six. Pant was undefeated in a 14ball 29, which also included six straight from Moeen Ali.
There were also positives for England, especially with the bat, with Jonny Bairstow, Liam Livingstone, and Moeen making strong contributions in between. Livingstone’s leg twist also cleared the wicket of a submissive Kohli deep in the 16th. England hopes the injury is not serious.
Liam Livingstone left the field with a finger injury
Mohammed Shami landed three wickets for India. But his most impressive cast on the ball was Jasprit Bumrah. They knocked out Bairstow with a perfectly targeted Yorker and conceded only 26 in his four overs. R. Ashwin was even more frugal, walking less than a run per ball. And defending the national team in the attack with effect from India.
However, leg shooter Rahul Chahar was expensive, as was Shami and especially Bhuvneshwar Kumar. They conceded 54 in his four overs, including Moeen, who hit him 4, 6, 6. Of the last three balls of England‘s innings.
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