India players setback to their ICC World T20 campaign as Gautam Gambhir injured his hand in the warm-up match against Sri Lanka at the P Sara Oval in Colombo. Irfan Pathan took 5 for 25 in India’s World Twenty20 warm-up victory against Sri Lanka in Colombo.
Gautam Gambhir was batting on 5 runs from 4 balls when a Lasith Malinga delivery hit him on the hand. Reports say that he was hit on the wrist and was sent for a check up immediately. MS Dhoni scored an unbeaten half-century as India overcame early jitters to post a respectable 146 for five against Sri Lanka in their opening warm-up match of the World Twenty20.
MS Dhoni’s smashed 42-ball 55, including four fours and three sixes, revived India’s fortunes after Sri Lankan bowlers had initially pushed the visitors on to the backfoot with early wickets. Reeling at 51 for four at one stage, Dhoni, in the able company of Rohit Sharma (37), put up a 78-run stand for the sixth wicket to take India to a decent total. It was Nuwan Kulasekara who provided the Lankans the early breakthroughs by sending back both Sehwag (12) and Raina (13) cheaply in the fifth over.
Virat Kohli and Yuvraj Singh were expected to steady the boat but Angelo Mathews spoilt the Indians’ plan by dismissing the former for eight. Yuvraj, who made an emotional return to international cricket scoring a 26-ball 34 against New Zealand in a T20 match, also could not put up any resistance as Rangana Herath struck in the very next over to leave India struggling at 51 for four in 8.3 overs. Yuvraj fell for a 12-ball 11, that included two fours. However, Dhoni and Rohit managed to consolidate the team’s position and take the score past 100. In the last over, Rohit fell for a 26-ball 37 with four hits to the fence and a six.
Sri Lankan innings too started off on the wrong note as both the openers – Tillakaratne Dilshan and Dilshan Munaweera – were dismissed cheaply by an in-form Irfan Pathan. Kumar Sangakkara who had to step in along with Angelo Mathews, who was promoted up the order, to counter-attack. They did so for a brief period as the partnership assumed dangerous proportions. Mathews was then removed by Laxmipathy Balaji for 16.
Harbhajan Singh, playing in the Indian squad (albeit warm-up) after a long time, settled in well and got Sangakkara to give India a vital breakthrough. Sri Lanka did attack with Lahiru Thirimanne (24) and Jeevan Mendis (26) but could not sustain. When Zaheer Khan got Thirimanne, Sri Lanka still required 55 runs. A brief partnership of 26 ensued between Thisara Perera and Mendis to keep the Islanders in the hunt.
But the return of Pathan meant death-knell for Sri Lanka. He grabbed Perera, Jayawardena (who came in late) and Mendis in the same over to end all hopes. Balaji then finished off with a couple of wickets in the last over to round off a clinical display in the end.