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Ballistic Dhoni sends warning, India crush Jamaica by 116 runs

Written by: Staff
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Montego Bay, Ma 17 (UNI) Mahendra Singh Dhoni's brief blitzkrieg of a 23-ball 45 took the wind out of Jamaica's sail and Team India players made the most of their warm-up match at the Jarrett Park which saw the visitors spank the local side by 116 runs.

In their only warm-up match before the five-match ODI series against the West Indies kicks off tomorrow, India opted to bat and made 289 for seven in 50 overs, as the star batsmen got a hang of the pitch and conditions here. Defending the total, visiting captain Rahul Dravid deployed as many as nine bowlers -- the skipper and the keeper were the only ones who did not bowl -- and skittled out the hosts for a paltry 173 to win the match with five overs to spare.

The opening pair of Virender Sehwag and Dravid gave the side a fine start with a 61-run stand in 12 overs before the vice captain fell to Darren Powell after a breezy 33, while the impressive Andrew Richardson removed Dravid (31) in quick succession.

Yuvraj Singh's (18) fall brought the Uttar Pradesh duo of Suresh Raina (50 retired) and Mohammad Kaif (49) together and the left-right combination milked the Jamaican attack with consummate ease to take the score past the 200-mark. Both, however, were lucky to have escaped early dismissals, with Kaif surviving a strong leg before appeal while Raina was dropped at point.

Raina retired to give chance to his team mates but Dhoni's arrival meant there was no respite for the Jamaican bowlers.

The Jharkhand swashbuckler smashed three sixes, including one that cleared the ground, and four boundaries in his 23-ball knock of 45 and India reached 289 for seven in 50 overs.

Defending the score, Irfan Pathan earned the breakthrough, removing Danza Hyatt and Jamaica lost wickets at regular intervals.

Tamar Lambart (33) tried to arrest the slide but that was not to be. Munaf Patel derived good pace from a not-so-fast pitch while R P Singh generated enough bounce to stun the batsmen. Darren Powell's 22-ball 24, with two sixes, brought some cheers for the local crowd but in the end, India had the last laugh as they bundled out the hosts for 173.

Munaf was the pick of the Indian bowlers, claiming three for 30 in his nine overs, which also included two maidens. Harbhajan Singh scalped two while Pathan, RP Singh, Agarkar, Yuvraj and Sehwag claimed one each.

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