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Virat Kohli and birthday boy Dinesh Karthik scored impressive hundreds as India overcame the failure of their openers to chase down a big target of 334 against Sri Lanka in a warm-up game for the upcoming Champions Trophy.
Electing to bowl in Birmingham, Sri Lanka were given a big start by Kushal Perera and Tillakaratne Dilshan, both of whom retired after scoring eighties. This is an unofficial game where more than 11 players per side can be fielded for practice.
India’s bowling was lackluster. In friendly batting conditions, Perera and Dilshan added 160 for the opening wicket. The first Sri Lankan wicket took 35 overs when one-down Mahela Jayawardene hit Ishant Sharma to short fine-leg.
India began poorly when Shikhar Dhawan was run-out by a direct hit from Shaminda Eranga. Murali Vijay did little to enhance his reputation on wickets with a bit of bounce and seam. He tamely lobbed a bouncer from Eranga to cover’s hands.
Rohit Sharma also failed: despite his success on flat wickets for Mumbai Indians, he continues to disappoint at the highest level. Today, he tried to pull Thisara Perera but was beaten by the bounce and miscued the shot to mid-on.
India looked out of the game at 62-3 in the thirteenth before Suresh Raina’s cameo gave the chase momentum. But it was the 186-run partnership between Kohli and Karthik that stunned Sri Lanka.
India needed nearly eight an over in their last thirty overs. The game turned around when Karthik and Kohli started taking on the spinners. An over from Jehan Mendis went for 19 runs and suddenly, India were back in it.
Kohli completed a hundred in 95 balls, while Karthik got there in just 79. Skipper MS Dhoni came out to help knock off the 38 runs needed after Kohli’s fall.
India next take on Australia in their second warm-up game.
Karthik, Kohli star in warm-up win over Sri Lanka
CHAMPIONS TROPHY WARM-UP: India chase down 334 in Birmingham.Yahoo! Cricket – Sat 1 Jun, 2013 2:36 PM IST
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