India sneak 5-run win over Kent in rain-truncated match

Joe Denly's century went in vain as India eked out a thrilling five-run win over Kent in a rain-curtailed 20-over-a-side practice match at the St Lawrence ground.

With the win over Kent, India registered its second victory on English soil.

The Indians had earlier defeated Sussex by six wickets in their first limited overs practice match at Hove on Thursday.

Chasing India's competitive 164 for six, Denly turned out to be the lone warrior for Kent with the bat as he anchored the hosts innings with a 68-ball 100.

Martin van Jaarsveld and Darren Stevens tried hard to give Denly support from the other end with an identical 17 but once the centurion departed Kent's chase fell apart and the home team could only manage 159 runs for the loss of five wickets in 20 overs.

Left-arm seamer RP Singh shone with the ball for India picking up two wickets for 36 runs while Munaf Patel (1/22) and R Ashwin (1/30) scalped a wicket each.

Earlier, sent into bat Virat Kohli slammed a quickfire 78 to help India post a competitive 164 for six.

Kohli started from where he left against Sussex on Thursday, and notched up his second half century of the tour in just 52 balls with the help of seven boundaries and three towering sixes.

India's other half centurion against Sussex, Rohit Sharma gave Kohli good support from the other end with a run-a-ball 30.

The duo shared 69 runs for the fourth wicket off just 48 deliveries to lay the foundation for India's score, especially after the visitors lost both the openers - Parthiv Patel (1) and Rahul Dravid (15) - cheaply.

Off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin played a good hand down the order with a 12-ball 23, but captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni and Suresh Raina once again failed with the bat.

It was the Doni's first-ball duck which sent tongues wagging at a packed St Lawrence ground.

Dhoni had just arrived at 132 for four in the 17th over when he slammed his first ball from spinner James Tredwell hard but uppishly at mid-on to take the wind out of Indian innings.

A ball before, Kohli was run out after he was pushed for a non-existent second run by Raina, whose poor form continued as he could score just four before being bowled by Tredwell.

Torrential rains had earlier forced the 50-over-a-side match to be reduced to a Twenty20 fixture.

Sent into bat, India lost openers Parthiv and Dravid with the scoreboard reading 53.

While Parthiv edged one to wicket-keeper Geraint Jones, Dravid offered a difficult catch to Tredwell at mid-on off left-arm pacer Adam Ball.

For Kent, Tredwell turned out to be the pick of the bowlers picking up two wickets for 18 runs