Canterbury, Aug 27: In a rain-enforced T20 game, India managed to sneak home by five runs in a thriller against Kent at Canterbury. Heavy rains ensured that the match originally meant to be a 50-overs affairs was reduced to a T20 game.
Batting first, India lost Parthiv Patel in the first over itself. The diminutive wicket-keeper batsman who had played well in the match against Sussex on Aug 25, could manage to score only a single run of the three balls he faced. Dravid, who is certain to play in the lone T20 game against England was then joined by Virat Kohli and the duo put on 49 runs for the second wicket.
The former Indian captain, was caught by Trendwell after being of Ball for 15 of 14 deliveries. It was then that India's best phase of the game began and it was no coincidence that the two involved are hoped to carry forward the legacy of the great Indian batsmanship - Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma.
The young duo milked Kent's bowler without any apparent discomfort and put on 69 runs in 8.1 overs to give the Indian lower-middle order a good platform to flex their muscles. Rohit, who had remained unbeaten in that game against Sussex, was clean bowled by Riley for a score of 30 from 28 deliveries.
Kohli was the next to go after being run-out for 78 of 53 deliveries. His innings included 3 sixes and 7 boundaries.
Raina and Dhoni then departed cheaply with a contribution of 4 and 0 respectively. It was then left to the R Ashwin and Amit Mishra to take the team's total to a safe position. Ashwin's unbeaten 12-ball 23 and Amit Mishra's two-ball 5 helped India reach a daunting target of 164.
But Kent's inning barring the exception of Denly was dismal to say the least. Denly, who scored 100 of Kent's final total of 159 was spectacular in his stroke-play and took the Indian bowlers to the cleaners. Barring him none other managed to reach a score of 20. At the end, Kent managed to score 159/4 in their quota of 20 overs thus falling short of the Indian target by 5 runs.
For India, R P Singh again was the highest wicket-taker with figures of 2/36 from his four overs. The other two wickets were taken by Munaf Patel and R Ashwin.