PERTHE: KL RahulThe punch went in vain as Western Australia stunned India with a 36-point victory in the second practice match in Perth on Thursday.
Western Australia posted 168/8 in their 20 overs due to gritty half-centuries by Nick Hobson and Arcy shorts. Ashwin’s three-wicket haul helped India restrict Western Australia’s run flow after the side had a blistering start to the innings.
India began the pursuit vigilantly, with KL Rahul and Rishabh Pants trying to see the initial swing and the seam of the new ball. Pacers Jason Behrendorff and Matthew Kelly stayed true to their line and their lengths.
Both bowlers played with great control and continued to ask questions with the ball, forcing the batters to play it safe. Pant tried to break the chains but perished in the attempt. Behrendorff sent it back to fifth over for 9 that came off 11 balls.
Deepak Hooda was promoted in their order given his rich form in the limited opportunities he has for the Indian team which also includes a T20I century against Ireland. However, the batter failed to make a mark and was sent back to the locker room by Lance Morris for a paltry 6 (9).
The Indian team couldn’t exploit the restrictions on the field and ended the power play with 29/1.
Hardik Pandya came on at number four and immediately made an impact as the all-rounder smashed two huge sixes in quick space. The batter, however, was unable to continue his innings and was sent out by Hamish Mckenzie for 17 (9).
Versatile Axar Patel was dispatched ahead in pursuit of a few quick runs but the southpaw played a scratched 2 (7) inning before pulling away against Morris in the 13th to leave the team at 79/4 in the 13th .
India’s recently appointed finisher Dinesh Karthik then teamed up with Rahul to take India past the 100-point mark but was unable to close the game unlike the few previous games where he won the winning points. He was dismissed for 10 (14) in the 16th for leaving India struggling at 107/6 at the end of the 16 overs.
The men in blue needed 62 runs from the final four overs with Rahul still in the crease reaching his fifty from 43 balls with Harshal Patel joining him in the crease.
Rahul played powerful shots in the latter part of his innings, breaking 21 runs on the 17th to give the team a glimmer of hope, but was dismissed by Andrew Tye ending India’s hope of win the game. The opener was dismissed for 74 of 55 balls, including nine limits and two sixes.
India finished their innings at 132/8, giving Western Australia a 36-point victory.
Short scores: Western Australia 168/8 (Nick Hobson 64, D’Arcy Short 52; R Ashwin 3/32) India 132/8 (KL Rahul 74, Hardik Pandya 17; Lance Morris 2/23)



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