Virat Kohli hits 132 at Canberra
Royal Challengers Bangalore batsman Virat Kohli converted his overnight score of 55* into 132, helping India post 269 in their first innings in the second warm up match at the Manuka Oval in Canberra.
India had ended Day 1 of the match against the Cricket Australia Chairman’s XI on 162/4 with Kohli unbeaten on 55 and Rohit Sharma with him on 38*. Sharma fell on 47 off Peter George, caught by Jason Behrendorff in the sixth over of the day, bringing to end the 101 run partnership for the fifth wicket. Spinner Jon Holland bowled well; he dismissed MS Dhoni and R Ashwin without substantial partnerships, forcing Kohli to accelerate.
The onus of scoring fell mainly on Kohli, who hogged strike and reached 132 before being caught behind by keeper Tim Ludeman off Jon Holland, the team total reading 263/8. Made over 171 balls, his innings included eighteen 4s and even 2 sixes. Holland cleaned up the tail soon after Kohli’s dismissal to finish with figures of 6/70, India having posted 269.
Royal Challengers Bangalore medium pacer Abhimanyu Mithun gave India a great start, dismissing Dave Warner in the first over of their innings. But the RCB pacer that everyone was waiting for, Zaheer Khan couldn’t make much of an impression. His first spell lasted 6 overs in which he scarcely threatened the batsmen and his second spell, 4 overs long was as futile. He went to the dressing room at the end of each spell instead of remaining on the field, ending with figures of 10-0-41-0.
The CA Chairman’s XI batsmen, opener Ed Cowan and no. 3 Usman Khawaja added 76 runs in a brisk partnership for the second wicket. Neither Khawaja nor no. 4 Phil Hughes could carry on and post a bigger score after getting starts. Tom Cooper, who had struck a 182* against the Indians in the previous match joined Cowan, a potential prospect for the Boxing Day Test. Cowan played brilliantly and had made 109 of the XI’s total of 184 when he was dismissed.
Ashwin, who had dismissed Hughes got India the breakthrough with the wicket of Cowan and followed it up by getting rid of Alex Doolan and Cooper. Ojha’s wicket of Cameron Boyce saw the Chairman’s XI reduced to 214/7 with Ludeman on 15 not out, trailing India’s score by 55 runs.
The match, a three day game, is India’s second and final warm up game on the tour of Australia before the first Test begins on 26th December at Melbourne.