Western Australia XI 168 for 8 (Hobson 64, Short 52, Ashwin 3-32) beat Indians 132 for 8 (Rahul 74, Lance Morris 2-23, Kelly 2-26) by 36 runs
KL Rahul made a patient 74, but India struggled on a fast WACA pitch against a strong WA XI attack in a 36-run defeat ahead of the T20 World Cup.
After a tight 13-run win in their first warm-up on Monday, India’s batters other than stand-in captain Rahul were thwarted in their chase. Hardik Pandya was India’s second-highest scorer with 17. Regular captain Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli did not bat although they fielded during WA XI’s innings.
Chasing 169, India’s openers Rahul and RIshabh Pant started slowly against effectively BBL champions Perth Scorchers’ pace attack. Pant struggled for fluency once again as he swung and missed at several attempted slogs against the accurate left-arm pace of Jason Behrendorff.
Pant finally made contact but miscued to the deep, as India’s top order looked uncomfortable on the bouncy pitch. After being held back, in-form speedster Lance Morris came into the attack in the seventh over and showed why he might be the quickest bowler in Australia.
Coming off a Player-of-the-Match performance for WA against New South Wales last week, Morris bowled sharply from the get-go and it proved too much for Deepak Hooda who holed out.
After a brief counterattack, Pandya fell to the left-arm spin of youngster Hamish McKenzie to leave India at 58 for 3 with Rahul particularly sluggish. India’s required run rate grew out of hand with Rahul lacking support as his team-mates threw away their wickets.
Rahul was the exception as he batted cautiously before opening up with a couple of sixes in the 18th over off Behrendorff to give India a sniff of an unlikely victory. But his dismissal in the next over effectively snuffed out the contest as India split their warm-up games in Perth.
WA XI controlled the game throughout after electing to bat in sunny conditions. Their batting was strengthened by the inclusion of BBL star Josh Philippe, but the opener holed out to Arshdeep Singh in the third over.
Much like in the first game, quicks Arshdeep and Bhuvneshwar Kumar conjured sharp bounce on a quick deck but wickets were harder to come by after that.
Veteran spinner R Ashwin, who didn’t play on Monday, came into the attack in the sixth over and was promptly smashed by D’Arcy Short who combined with Nick Hobson in a blistering 110-run partnership.
Hobson, who plays for Perth Scorchers and is an accountant in his day job, was particularly belligerent against the spinners and hit four sixes in his 41-ball knock.
But his dismissal triggered a WA collapse with Ashwin getting into good rhythm after a tough start with wickets in consecutive balls to remove captain Ashton Turner and Sam Fanning, who starred in game one with a half-century but the 21-year-old unwisely tried to reverse sweep on his first ball.
India were sharp in the field, marked by two direct-hit run outs, and well marshalled by Rahul although captain Rohit was still giving instructions.
Kohli did not play in the two warm-up matches in Perth, much to the disappointment of locals, but did field and spent time at first slip and the deep. He also jogged laps before play.
A strong crowd of 2500 fans attended with the AUD 5 entry fee going towards the WA Cricket Foundation.