Indians 149 for 8 (Harshal 54, Karthik 34, Glover 3-33) beat Northamptonshire 139 (Zaib 33, Avesh 2-16, Harshal 2-23) by ten runs
Glover, the Netherlands international, ran in hard and hit the pitch harder in his maiden T20 outing for the Northamptonshire first XI this season. After going past Suryakumar Yadav’s outside edge twice, the seamer found it and had him nicking off for a duck. When Ishan Kishan hauled a half-tracker from left-arm wristspinner Freddie Heldreich, India were 51 for 4 in the ninth over.
Coming out to bat in the third over and dealing with wristspin isn’t Karthik’s stronger suit in T20 cricket. He, however, counterpunched his way to 34 off 26 balls. In the last over of the powerplay, Karthik powerfully swatted James Sales, the son of former Northamptonshire stalwart David, to the midwicket boundary.
Karthik then laced Cobb through the covers for four and slog-swept legspinner Alex Russell over midwicket for six. When Karthik attempted a similar shot for a similar result against Helderich, he couldn’t get enough elevation, with Ricardo Vasconcelos snagging a spectacular diving catch at deep midwicket.
Karthik’s dismissal left India at 72 for 5, with almost nine overs left in the innings. Harshal and Venkatesh Iyer then forged a 60-run partnership off 44 balls to push India closer to 150. Harshal had a slow start, but he turned up the tempo to notch up a 34-ball half-century. He reached the landmark in grand style when he launched a six into the top tier beyond long-on. All up, Harshal hit five fours and three sixes during his 36-ball 54, providing a throwback to his pinch-hitting heroics for his domestic team Haryana.
Prasidh Krishna, who had been yanked out of the Test squad, hit splice-jarring lengths in the powerplay and had opener Vasconcelos slicing a thick outside edge to deep third man for 5. Arshdeep Singh couldn’t quite control the swing in the early exchanges, but tightened up to have Cobb weakly chipping a catch to Kishan at short midwicket. Much like Prasidh, Avesh explored hard lengths before breaching Ryan Rickelton’s defences with a rapid full one.
Northamptonshire slipped further to 77 for 6 in the 11th over when Venkatesh trapped Sales for 12 off 14 balls. Indians might have been sensing a comfortable victory at that point, but Zaib gave India’s seamers a workout before Harshal castled him in the last over.
Glover (15) and Nathan Buck (18) gave Zaib good company before Yuzvendra Chahal, who was bowling with a beanie, dismissed both of them. Indians then closed out the game with yorkers from Arshdeep and Harshal.
Having swept Ireland 2-0 and beaten Derbyshire in the T20 tour games, a Rohit-led India will run into England in the first of the three-match T20I series, in Southampton on Thursday.
Deivarayan Muthu is a sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo