Rohit and Manish fifties buoy Indians

Indians 249 (Rohit 67, Pandey 58, Porter 5-37) beat Western Australia XI 185 (Morgan 50, Carder 45, R Dhawan 2-28, Ashwin 2-32) by 64 runs
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details

Rohit Sharma top-scored for the Indians with 67 © AFP

The Indians needed a pair of half-centuries from Rohit Sharma and Manish Pandey to patch up an underwhelming batting performance, but their bowlers had little trouble defending 249 against Western Australia XI in the warm-up one-dayer at the WACA.

This was India’s final practice match before facing Australia in the first ODI on Tuesday and everyone in their squad was given a go, except fast bowler Ishant Sharma, who was benched as a precaution owing to a cut on his finger. In his absence, the visitors were able to further assess Barinder Sran (7-1-22-0) and Rishi Dhawan (7-1-28-2). Only three fours were hit off their bowling in the first 10 overs before MS Dhoni turned to his spinners R Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja to further the squeeze. Western Australia XI was bowled out for 185 in 49.2 overs, which meant that they faced one ball more than the Indians did.

Having opted to bat, Shikhar Dhawan and Virat Kohli were dismissed inside six overs. Both men had shown excellent form in the warm-up T20 on Friday, but that did offer the rest of the line-up some match practice. Rohit, who had run himself out in the last game, played steadily to reach his half-century off 64 balls, with five fours and two sixes. He would strike one of each kind of boundary before he was caught spectacularly by D’Arcy Short at slip.

For most of his innings, Rohit had the company of Ajinkya Rahane and their 88-run stand for the third wicket came at a healthy 5.33 per over. Rahane managed three fours in his 53-ball 41 before chopping legspinner James Muirhead onto his stumps.

Then the Indians decided to test some of their lower-middle order options. A flatfooted Gurkeerat Singh received a lovely outswinger and nicked off for 6 off 13 balls. Drew Porter was the wicket-taker and he finished with 5 for 37 from 9.1 overs. The 30-year old fast bowler was the main reason for the Indians finding themselves at 171 for 6 with MS Dhoni back in the pavilion for 15 off 35 balls.

But Manish Pandey was able to progress fluently at No. 6. He struck only three fours, but was able to maintain a strike rate near 100. His 58 off 59 was vital to India crossing 200. Jadeja chipped in with 26 off 25 balls, but his greater contribution was working in tandem with Ashwin in the second innings. The two spinners got through their 20 overs for only 70 runs and picked up four wickets. Axar Patel provided a couple of breakthroughs as well and maintained an economy rate of 3.62.

There were only two Western Australia XI batsmen who managed a strike-rate of 80. Opener Jake Carder (45) and No. 7 Jaron Morgan (50) were the only sources of concerted resistance.

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Source: ESPN Crickinfo

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