sport

Kohli finds form, India win

Virat Kohli and Ambati Rayudu were the difference as India eased to a 95-run victory over Middlesex at Lord's ahead of the one-day series against England next week.

Captain for the day Kohli and Rayudu were the only bright sparks with the bat, making 71 and 72 respectively, although the loss of four wickets in as many overs to off-spinner Ollie Rayner saw the tourists slump to 230 all out in 44.2 overs.

Any thoughts that the hosts could spring an upset were soon dashed though as the Indians put on a fine bowling display, led by Karn Sharma with three for 14, as Middlesex collapsed to 135 all out in 39.5 overs.

Shikhar Dhawan looked to be teeing up a torrid afternoon for the county side when he clubbed successive fours off Gurjit Sandhu in just the second over of the day, but he could only add two more runs before Sandhu exacted his revenge.

Rohit Sharma (8) and Ajinkya Rahane (14) also failed to register decent scores before Kohli and Rayudu steadied the innings with a fourth-wicket stand of 104.

That ended when Kohli fell to Patel in the 30th over and Rayudu eventually retired out with India on 211-6, with Ravindra Jadeja dismissed cheaply in between.

Apart from Kohli and Rayudu, who hit eight fours apiece with Kohli adding a six, Ravichandran Ashwin produced India's next best score with 18 as Rayner single-handedly tore through the tail to finish with 4-32.

Middlesex's chase got off to a disastrous start as Nick Gubbins and captain Dawid Malan both fell inside four overs to leave them on 11-2.

The Indians bowlers were in a miserly mood and they were happy to share the wickets out as Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Mohammed Shami, Mohit Sharma, Umesh Yadav, Dhawal Kulkarni and Ashwin all took one each to put Middlesex in trouble on 101-6 off 28 overs.

Ryan Higgins joint top-scored for the hosts with 20 off 24 balls during that devastating spell and it did not get any better with James Harris only managing to equal Higgins' efforts at No 9.

Karn Sharma might have been late to the wicket-taking party, but the leg spinner's finished things off in style by taking three wickets as the tourists claimed a comfortable victory.