Bell the bright spot as England fall short
Ian Bell provided the main positive with a defiant 91 as England suffered a 53-run defeat to India A in their opening warm-up fixture at Delhi.
The tourists, led by Eoin Morgan in the absence of Alastair Cook, who is suffering from a slight cold, inserted their opponents in a game reduced to 39 overs a side due to early-morning fog and bad light.
India A duly posted 224 for four on the back of half-centuries from each of their top three, before England stumbled in pursuit of a revised target of 229.
Bell, who struck eight fours and two sixes in his 89-ball innings, was comfortably the pick of the batsmen, with Tim Bresnan the only other player to pass 20 as wickets fell at regular intervals.
An initial collapse from 32 without loss to 72 for six left England with far too much to do, although Bell refused to give up and shared in respective stands of 44 with Bresnan and 51 with Steven Finn, the last man out in a total of 175.
Even Bell, England’s best batsman on the day by a distance, was dropped twice - on 16 and 35, although he appeared in fine touch when opening his shoulders as the end came closer.
India A had earlier batted with few problems despite the grimly cold conditions.
Murali Vijay top-scored with an entertaining 76, while skipper Abhinav Mukund contributed 57 to an opening stand of 118 and Kedar Jadhav made a tidy unbeaten 52.
Jade Dernbach turned in 2-23 to emerge as the pick of the attack, while James Tredwell kept things relatively tight with his off-spin.