Opener Murali Vijay helped India register a five-wicket win over second division English County side Derbyshire in the final tour match at County Ground on Thursday, ahead of the five-match Test series against England, starting 9 July.
The last day of the second warm-up fixture brought some smiles for the Indian team as both batsmen and bowlers managed to stamp their marks. There was a much-needed improvement in the Indian seamers as they hit the right areas.
Derbyshire started the day 15 runs behind India's first innings total and were rocked early, when Bhuvneshwar Kumar dismissed opener Ben Slater for a duck in the third over. The 23-year-old kept the batsmen knotted in the first session and finished with impressive figures of 6-3-5-1.
Stuart Binny provided India the second breakthrough by sending skipper Chesney Hughes (20) back to the pavilion and breaking a 32-run partnership for the second wicket. Binny also had an impressive outing in the match as he made an unbeaten 81 in the first innings, but it is unlikely that the 30-year-old all-rounder will be part of the playing XI in the Trent Bridge.
Mohammad Shami, who didn't bowl in the first innings because of a calf strain, returned in the second innings and looked in good rhythm. Shami opened the bowling with Bhuvneshwar and bowled accurately in his first spell.
The 24-year-old struck in the second spell, when he got Paul Borrington (29) plumped lbw. He bowled 11 overs in the day - most by any Indian bowler - and made up for his first innings absence.
Spearhead of the Indian pace attack, Ishant Sharma looked more accurate and sent down his best performance of the tour so far. He managed to overcome from no-ball troubles and finished with excellent figures of 7-1-10-0.
Indian skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni didn't use his frontline bowlers in the post-lunch session as the hosts managed to post 142 runs target for India. Billy Godleman struck a fine unbeaten 86-ball 56 and made a 78-run partnership with Alex Hughes (36 not out).
In the chase, Matt Higginbottom gave India an early jolt, when opener Shikhar Dhawan (9) was trapped lbw in the fourth over. Vijay (41 retired out) found his lost touch and made a 63-run partnership with Ajinkya Rahane (39 retired out) for the second wicket.
The visitors lost Rohit Sharma (10) and Wriddhiman Saha (19) in quick successions, but Gautam Gambhir (21 not out) and all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja (0 not out) completed a five wicket victory over Derbyshire.