Perth: India started their limited-overs tour of Australia on a positive note, comprehensively beating a second-string Western Australia XI by 74 runs in a Twenty20 warm-up game here today with Virat Kohli and Shikhar Dhawan striking fluent half-centuries.
Batting first, India scored a healthy 192 for four in 20 overs with Dhawan and Kohli contributing 74 runs each. The duo added 149 runs for the second wicket after Rohit Sharma (6) missed out on a run feast on a bouncy WACA wicket.
Skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni, who promoted himself to No. 4, also hit a quickfire 22 off 14 balls.
India's Mahendra Singh Dhoni plays a shot during the T20 cricket match against Western Australian XI in Perth on Friday. Pic/AFP
In reply, Western Australia XI could only manage 118/6 as rookie left-arm speedster Barinder Sran bowled impressively to notch up figures of 2/24 from 4 overs.
More importantly, Sran hit the right length, hurried the batsmen with short balls and also showed his skills of being able to swing the white kookaburra at a lively pace.
He got opener Darcy Short (5) with a delivery that kicked up as the batsmen was hurried into playing a shot and an easy catch was taken at mid-wicket.
Sran also got rival skipper Will Bosisto (1) with a delivery that was just short of three-quarter but Bosisto, trying to hit over long, on provided an easy skier for Ravichandran Ashwin.
Western Australia were never in the match save for former Australia opener Travis Birt, who scored an unbeaten 74 off 60 balls.
Among other bowlers, left-arm spinners Axar Patel and Ravindra Jadeja had identical figures of 2/13 from three overs. In all, Dhoni used six bowlers resting Ishant Sharma for tomorrow's warm-up one day match.
Earlier, Test captain Kohli came back from a well-deserved break and warmed up nicely with a 44-ball 74 that had seven boundaries and three sixes.
Dhawan, whose form has been patchy of late, also looked in good touch as he played 46 balls hitting eight boundaries and an equal number of sixes.
The Delhi duo was helped by the fact that the ball came onto the bat nicely and they were able to play their strokes in free-flowing manner.
Dhawan hooked fast bowler Matthew Kelly for a couple of sixes and also punished leg-spinner James Muirhead with a slog-swept six over deep mid-wicket.
Kohli, on his part, looked more solid as he hit medium pacer David Moody for two sixes including one that was pulled in front of square. He also flicked Kelly for his third six.
Brief Scores: Indians 192/4 in 20 overs (Shikhar Dhawan 74, Virat Kohli 74) vs Western Australia XI 118/6 in 20 overs (Travis Birt 74 not out; Ravindra Jadeja 2/13 and Axar Patel 2/13, Barinder Sran 2/24)
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