The script didn’t quite go according to plan even though Mahendra Singh Dhoni smashed an unbeaten half-century in his final match as captain of an Indian side.
Riding on Sam Billings’ brilliant 93, England defeated India A by three wickets in the first 50-over warm-up match at the Brabourne Stadium here on Tuesday. (Watch: Fan rushes out to touch MS Dhoni’s feet at Brabourne Stadium)
Billings, Jason Roy (62), Jos Buttler (46) and Liam Dawson (41) were the major contributors for the visitors, who chased down India’s 304-5 with 1.1 overs and three wickets to spare.
Earlier, put in to bat, the Indian side posted 304-5 with Ambati Rayudu slamming an unbeaten ton. He scored 100 runs in 97 balls before being retired out.
Apart from him, opening batsman Shikhar Dhawan (63), Yuvraj Singh (56) and Mahendra Singh Dhoni (68 not out) contributed handsomely to India’s cause.
For England, David Willey and Jake Ball scalped two wickets each.
Chasing a challenging 304, England started off on a good note as openers Roy (62) and Alex Hales (40) forged a 95-run partnership before Hales was sent back to the pavilion by chinaman spinner Kuldep Yadav in the 15th over of the innings. (Good to see huge turnout for warm-up game, it shows their love for me: Mahendra Singh Dhoni)
Soon after his departure, Yadav scalped his opening partner Roy in the 17th over. His 57-ball knock was laced with nine fours and two sixes.
Skipper Eoin Morgan (3) also failed to step up to the occasion as he was sent packing in the next over by leg-spinner Yuzvendra Chahal, with the visitors at 112-3.
The fall of Morgan’s wicket brought in Butler, who along with Billings, stitched a crucial 79-run fourth-wicket partnership to help England bounce back into the match.
Yadav removed Buttler in the 31st over to raise Indian hopes again as the batsman offered a catch to Mohit Sharma.
Moeen Ali was the next batsman to join Billings but was dismissed in the same over with the scoreboard reading 191 for five.
Later, the sixth-wicket partnership of 99 runs between Billings and Liam Dawson (41) put the visitors back in command.
When Billings was bowled by medium pacer Hardik Pandya in the 46th over, the damage was already done and England needed barely 15 runs to win.
Lower-order batsmen Chris Woakes (11) and Adil Rashid (6) then completed the formalities to give the visitors a boost ahead of the much important One-Day International (ODI) series.
For India, Yadav was the pick of the bowlers, scalping five wickets for 60 runs.
Brief scores: India A: 304-5 (Ambati Rayudu 100, Mahendra Singh Dhoni 68 not out, Shikhar Dhawan 63, Yuvraj Singh 56; David Willey 55-2, Jake ball 2-61). England: 307-7 in 48.5 overs (Sam Billings 93, Jason Roy 62, Jos Buttler 46; Kuldeep Yadav 5-60).