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England win warm-up, Dhoni fires with willow

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England win warm-up, Dhoni fires with willow

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SportsCafe Desk


MS Dhoni’s final match as captain of an Indian team in blue jersey ended in a defeat as India A went down to England by three wickets with seven balls to spare in a warm-up game at the Brabourne Stadium in Mumbai on Tuesday. However, a packed house went home happy as Dhoni smashed a 40-ball 68.

Brief scores: India A 304/5 in 50 overs (A Rayudu 100, MS Dhoni 68*, Yuvraj Singh 56; David Willey 2-55, Jake Ball 2-61) lost to England 307/7 in 48.5 overs (Sam Billings 93, Jason Roy 62; Kuldeep Yadav 5-60) by 3 wickets.

The tourists got off to a winning start in the limited-overs leg after losing 4-0 in the preceding five-Test series that concluded last month. They play another warm-up at the same venue on Thursday before the three-match ODI series kicks off in Pune on Jan 15.

Brabourne, on Tuesday, was all about 35-year-old Dhoni. Nothing else mattered. India’s most successful skipper had relinquished his limited-overs captaincy on Jan 4 and was playing in a competitive game after over two months in the build up to the ODI series.

And no, he didn’t looked rusty, as he smashed eight fours and two sixes. Dhoni the finisher was also on view, as he clubbed pacer Chris Woakes for 23 runs in the final over of the innings, including two sixes and two fours.

Earlier, Ambati Rayudu’s ton helped set the base for the home side’s 304-5 after being asked to bat. Yuvraj Singh, a surprise recall to the ODI squad, hit 56 off 48 deliveries.

Chinaman bowler Kuldeep Yadav took five for 60 but that couldn’t prevent the tourists from eking out a close win.

Sam Billings top-scored for the visitors with an 85-ball 93 after Jason Roy (62) and Alex Hales (40) put on 95 for the opening wicket. Jos Buttler and Liam Dawson hit 46 and 41 respectively down the order to help seal an England win.

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