New Delhi, Jan 6 (IANS) India 'A' defeated the visiting England XI by 53 runs in a shortened match here at the Palam 'A' Ground, Model Sports Complex, Sunday.
This was the first of the two practice One-Day Internationals (ODI) the English team is to play ahead of the five-match bilateral series against India starting Jan 11. England will next play Delhi Tuesday at the Ferozshah Kotla, where India is taking on Pakistan in the third and final ODI Sunday.
Even before the match began, the game was shortened to 49 overs.
Put in to bat, India 'A' started well with openers, skipper Abhinav Mukund (57) and Murali Vijay (76), striking a 118-run opening wicket partnership in 23 overs before Mukund was stumped by Craig Kieswetter on the bowling of James Tredwell.
Earlier, bad-light stopped play when India 'A' were 15 for no loss in five overs and the match was reduced to 39 overs.
Right-arm pacer Jade Dernbach took 2/23 in his seven overs.
In reply, England XI started decently before opening batsman Kevin Pietersen was caught at 19 with the scoreboard reading 32 for no loss.
Thereon, the visitors continuously kept on losing wickets. Despite a heroic 91 by skipper Ian Bell while chasing a revised target of 229 runs in 39 overs under the Duckworth-Lewis method, England XI fell short by 53 runs.
Apart from the openers, only two other batsmen reached double figures -- Tim Bresnan (22) and Steven Finn (15).
Left-arm orthodox bowler Menaria of Rajasthan took 3/43 in his seven overs while Mohit Sharma and Jalaj Saxena took two wickets each for the hosts before they wrapped up the England XI innings for 175 in 36 overs.