England warm up for India ODIs with win

January 11, 2017

Sam Billings top-scored for England as they looked to shake off their poor performance in the Test series by securing a victory in the first of two warm-up games ahead of next week's ODI series against India.

Although only a warm-up, there was plenty of talent on display among the India A side England faced in Mumbai, including Shikhar Dhawan and Yuvraj Singh, but the big draw was MS Dhoni, who was leading an Indian side for the final time after resigning as one-day captain last month.

He certainly looked to make the most of the occasion, hitting 68 not out off just 40 balls to help India to a total of 304-5 off their 50 overs, with Ambati Rayudu top-scoring with 100.

In years gone by, this would have been an imposing total for an England ODI team, but openers Alex Hales and Jason Roy embraced the more positive approach of recent times as they raced to 95 at a rate of more than six an over before Hales fell and brought Billing to the crease.

The Kent wicketkeeper-batsman, who has experience in Indian conditions with the Delhi Daredevils IPL side, hit eight boundaries on the way to 93 before being bowled by Hardik Pandya.

Despite a few wobbles and the familiar problem of losing wickets in clusters, England will have been pleased with their overall batting performance, which saw five batsmen make scores of at least 40 as they chased down their target with seven balls to spare.

With big hitters Ben Stokes and Jonny Bairstow rested and Joe Root yet to arrive in India after staying behind to witness the birth of his son, the result could bode well for the three-match ODI series, which gets underway on Sunday January 15th.

England will be hoping for a strong performance in India to set them up well for the ICC Champions Trophy 2017 later in the year, which is no doubt something fans booking corporate hospitality at Edgbaston and The Kia Oval will be looking forward to

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