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Denly hundred in vain

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Virat Kohli

Virat Kolhi underpinned an India victory for the second consecutive day as Kent were beaten by five runs at Canterbury

Joe Denly’s rapid century was insufficient as India continued their preparations for the NatWest Series with a five-run victory over Kent in a rain-reduced match at Canterbury.

Denly’s 100 from 68 balls saw the hosts to the brink of the 165 they required from 20 overs, but the opener went in the penultimate over as they fell short – five wickets down.

Virat Kohli top-scored for the tourists with 78 from 53 deliveries, in a total of 164 for six, after a lengthy delay saw the match reduced from 50 overs a side.

That proved enough for India to claim their second warm-up win ahead of the Twenty20 and five one-day internationals with England, having beaten Sussex yesterday when Kohli also led the way – with 71.

In today’s game David Balcombe soon rewarded Martin van Jaarsveld’s decision to field first by having Partiv Patel caught behind in the first over.

Kohli dominated stands of 49 with opener Rahul Dravid, who fell to Adam Ball for 15, and 69 with Rohit Sharma, who was bowled by Adam Riley for 30.

In the next over, the 17th, Denly ran out Kohli – who struck seven fours and three sixes – and Tredwell snared Mahendra Singh Dhoni first ball. The spinner bowled Suresh Raina cheaply in his next and finished with 2-18 from three.

However, Ravichandran Ashwin’s cameo 23 from 12 balls lifted India to a competitive score for a 20-over game.

Although RP Singh bowled Daniel Bell-Drummond for 11, Denly shared a 60-run alliance with van Jaarsveld, who Ashwin dismissed for 17, and 73 with Darren Stevens – the latter dominated by the opener.

Singh returned to bowl Denly, who hit eight fours and three maximums, leaving nine required from the last seven deliveries.

Munaf Patel produced a tight final over during which Sam Northeast was run out by Dhoni and Stevens cleaned up for 17.

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