India beat Afghanistan in WC warmup

India beat Afghanistan in WC warmup

beat mSYDNEY: India finally celebrated a first win on their marathon Australia tour Tuesday with a resounding 153-run victory over outclassed Afghanistan in a World Cup warm-up.

The defending World Cup champions piled up 364-5 in their 50 overs at the Adelaide Oval with record-breaking batsman Rohit Sharma making 150 with 12 fours and seven sixes.

He was well-supported by Ajinkya Rahane’s 88 not out with Suresh Raina hitting a stylish 75.

Afghanistan, who will be playing in their first World Cup when the tournament starts on Saturday, batted their full 50 overs but managed just 211-8.

Nawroz Mangol was the only batsman to make an impression with 56.

There had been some early encouraging signs for the Asian minnows when they had India struggling on 16-2 after Hamid Hassan and Dawlat Zadran got rid of Shikhar Dhawan and Virat Kohli.

But once Sharma and Raina had put on 158 for the third wicket, there was no way back for Afghanistan who opted for batting practice rather than chase down the total.

“I’m not a big fan of practice games, but a bit more time in the middle does help. Overall it has been quite good,” said India skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni.

Afghanistan captain Mohammad Nabi admitted his bowlers couldn’t build on the solid foundation given them by the opening pair.

“The bowlers couldn’t put ball in the right place, but India are a champion team and their batting is quite long,” said Nabi.

“We started well when we batted but then the ball began to skid and we struggled. We played out the 50 overs, that was a plus point.”

At Sydney’s Olympic Park, meanwhile, Scotland clinched an impressive 179-run win over Ireland, the strongest of the Associate nations who stunned England and Bangladesh at the 2011 World Cup.

Matt Machan made 103 for the Scots with skipper Preston Mommsen (56) and Richie Berrington (52) also in the runs.

In reply, Ireland skipper William Porterfield (23) and Paul Stirling (37) put on 57 for the first wicket inside 12 overs.

But medium pace bowler Alasdair Evans then dismissed both openers as well as Ed Joyce and Niall O’Brien to finish with 4-17 off five overs.

Ireland lost nine wickets for just 60 runs with only Gary Wilson (15) managing to join Porterfield and Stirling in double figures.

The Irish side were all out by the 27th over.

“We have worked hard on our fielding although I feel we could have been busier in the middle overs with the bat,” said Machan, who once opened the batting for the England Under-18 team.

“We take inspiration from what Afghanistan and Ireland have done. For us the journey starts now. I hope this group can hang around for the next five years.”

Porterfield rued his team’s boor batting.

“That wasn’t a 27-over wicket. We were sloppy in the field — there’s no excuse for where we ended up,” he said.

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