Pant, Pandya Power India to Warm Up Victory

The match was a mixed bag for the Indians as they did find some answers but were also left with some questions…reports Asian Lite News

The 2007 champion India proved their preparations for the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2004 are on track with a comprehensive 60-run victory over neighbours Bangladesh in their one-off warm-up match at the Nassau County International Cricket Stadium, New York, on Saturday.

Electing to bat first, India rode on a blazing half-century by wicketkeeper-batter Rishabh Pant (53) and blistering knocks by Suryakumar Yadav 31 off 18 balls and a 23-ball unbeaten 40 by Hardik Pandya to post a challenging 182/5 in 20 overs.

Pant, who made an impactful return recently from a 15-month break following a near-fatal car accident in December 2022, hammered four boundaries and an equal number of sixes to top-score for India before he retired out. SKY blasted four boundaries in his 18-ball 31 while Pandya struck two fours and four sixes in his 23-ball unbeaten 40.

Defending the score, India restricted Bangladesh to 122/9 in 20 overs with pacer Arshdeep Singh claiming 2-12 in three overs and 2-13 by Shivam Dube. Skipper Rohit Sharma used eight bowlers with Jasprit Bumrah (1-12), Mohammed Siraj (1-17) and Hardik Pandya (1-30), and Axar Patel (1-10) being the other wicket-takers.

For Bangladesh, former skipper Mahmudullah struck 40 off 29 balls (4×4, 6×1) while another former skipper Shakib Al Hasan scored 28 off 34 balls.

The match was a mixed bag for the Indians as they did find some answers but were also left with some questions. Former skipper Virat Kohli was not included in the team as he joined the squad only a day ago.

Instead of using Yashasvi Jaiswal, the Indian team management used Sanju Samson was sent in as Rohit Sharma’s opening partner but could manage only one run. Rohit scored 12 off 19 balls, hitting two boundaries and one six. Indians scored 55/1 in the Power-play.

Pant was sent higher in the batting order and was also given the wicketkeeping gloves and he did well with the bat before he retired out for 53. He added 48 runs for the second wicket with Rohit and 44 runs for the third wicket partnership with Shivam Dube (14).

Pant and Dube showed good touch as did Hardik Pandya, who is under pressure after an indifferent performance in the Indian Premier League (IPL), also did well with both the bat and ball.

Pandya came down the order and struck a fine unbeaten 40 and also one wicket though he conceded 30 runs in three overs.

Brief scores:

Indians 182/5 in 20 overs (Rishabh Pant 53, Hardik Pandya 40 not out, Suryakumar Yadav 31, Rohit Sharma 23; Mahedi Hasan 1-22, Shoriful Islam 1-26) beat Bangladesh 122/9 in 20 overs (Mahmudullah 40, Shakib Al Hasan 29; Arshdeep 2-12, Shivam Dube 2-12) by 60 runs.

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