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Pathan bowls India to warm-up win

Paceman takes five wickets as Dhoni bats impressively, while Australia beat New Zealand

Image Credit: AFP
■■ Indian cricket captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni plays a shotduring a warm-up match against Sri Lanka in Colomboyesterday. India won by 26 runs.
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Colombo: Irfan Pathan grabbed five wickets as India prepared for the World Twenty20 with a 26-run victory over hosts Sri Lanka in a warm-up match in Colombo on Saturday.

The paceman finished with 5-25 off four overs as India bowled Sri Lanka out for 120 after posting 146-5. He was superbly backed by fast bowler Lakshmipathy Balaji, who took three wickets for 28 runs.

Kumar Sangakkara top-scored for Sri Lanka with 32.

India were struggling at 51-4 before skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni (55 not out) and Rohit Sharma (37) propped up the innings with a 78-run stand for the fifth wicket.

Dhoni cracked three sixes and four boundaries in his 42-ball knock.

India are in Group A with England and Afghanistan while Sri Lanka are in Group C with South Africa and Zimbabwe. The top two teams from each group advance to the Super Eights round.

But there was some bad news for India as opener Gautam Gambhir hurt his wrist during the match. The 30-year-old was on five when a rising Lasith Malinga delivery hit him on the wrist. He winced with pain and was later sent to a nearby hospital for a check-up.

In another practice match in Colombo, Brad Hogg took three wickets to bowl Australia to a 56-run win over rivals New Zealand.

The 41-year-old spinner finished with 3-23 off four overs as Australia dismissed New Zealand for 83 after scoring 139-6.

Pacemen Shane Watson, Clint McKay and Pat Cummins each bagged two wickets for Australia.

Australia are in Group B with the West Indies and Ireland, while New Zealand are in Group D with Pakistan and Bangladesh.

Bangladesh defeated Zimbabwe by five wickets and Afghanistan beat Sri Lanka A by 51 runs in other warm-up games.

The World Twenty20 starts on Tuesday.

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