Rahul, Ashwin shine but India go down to WA XI in second warm-up game

KL Rahul and Ravichandran Ashwin were standout performers in India's 36-run defeat to WA XI in their second warm-up match in build-up to the T20 World Cup 2022.
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Rahul scored 74 off 55 with nine fours and two sixes.

India went down by 36 runs in their second warm-up game against the Western Australia XI at the WACA, Perth on Thursday, October 13. The two matches served as a preparation for the Rohit Sharma led side in build up to the T20 World Cup 2022.

India didn’t have a great start to the 169-run chase, with Rishabh Pant, who walked in to open alongside KL Rahul, falling to Jason Behrendorff for 9 in the fifth over. Deepak Hooda managed 6, with his dismissal leaving India at 33/2 at the end of seven overs. Hardik Pandya scored 17 off 9 and Axar Patel (2) and Dinesh Karthik (10 off 14) too, failed to contribute, while Rahul carried on to get to his half-century off 43 balls.

Rahul switched gears at the back end, and was dismissed for 74 off 55 with nine fours and two sixes but that could take India only as far as 8/132 in 20 overs.

Earlier, Arshdeep Singh dismissed wicket-keeper batter Josh Phillippe in the second over of the game after India opted to bowl. D'Arcy Short (52 off 39) and Nick Hobson (64 off 41) added a brisk 110 off 12.3 overs to put Western Australia in a commanding position of 125/1. However, Short got run-out, and Harshal Patel dismissed Hobson to get India back into the contest. Ravichandran Ashwin then ran through the middle-order, including the key wickets of skipper Ashton Turner and Cameron Bancroft to cap off an impressive spell of 3/32 from four overs.

Harshal, who had an underwhelming run in the home T20Is against Australia and South Africa recently, returned 2/27, as WA XI were limited to 168/8 at the end of 20 overs.

India had won the first game, played at the same venue on Monday, by 13 runs, with Suryakumar Yadav scoring 52 off 35 in India’s first-innings effort of 158/6, while Arshdeep returned 3/6 in his three-over spell.

India will play their two warm-up matches in the build up to the World Cup against Australia and New Zealand at The Gabba, Brisbane on October 17 and 19 respectively. They’ll kick-start their T20 World Cup 2022 campaign with a Super 12s game against arch-rivals Pakistan at the Melbourne Cricket Ground on October 23. Mohammed Shami is the frontrunner to replace injured Jasprit Bumrah in the 15-member squad, with an official confirmation expected to be made by Friday, October 14.