Dhoni, Raina run riot as warm-up with Kiwis heats up

Chennai: Mahendra Singh Dhoni smashed an explosive century and Suresh Raina cracked a brisk 50 as India posted an imposing 360-5 against New Zealand in a World Cup warm-up match on Wednesday.

Skipper Dhoni hammered three sixes and 11 fours in his 64-ball 108 not out while Raina hit three sixes and four boundaries in a 26-ball knock to put the New Zealand attack to the sword in the day-night match.

The pair added 124 for the fifth wicket off just 56 balls to boost their team's hopes of recording a second successive win in warm-up games.

Dhoni's best came when he smashed seamer Jacob Oram for five successive fours. The New Zealander suffered again when he was hit for three sixes in an over by Raina.

The stage for the closing-overs onslaught was set by Gautam Gambhir (89) and Virat Kohli (59), who put on 106 for the third wicket after India lost openers Virender Sehwag and Sachin Tendulkar for 42 runs.

Record-breaking batsman Tendulkar, who recently missed the last three one-day internationals in South Africa due to a hamstring injury and was rested for the first practice game against Australia, contributed 17.

His eagerly-awaited return lasted just 23 balls before he was deceived by a slower one from paceman Tim Southee and bowled.

India suffered another setback when hard-hitting Sehwag (23) was bowled by an Oram delivery that kept low, but Gambhir and Kohli steadied the innings with their sensible knocks.

Gambhir hit 11 fours in his 85-ball stay while Kohli hit seven boundaries in a 68-ball innings.

India open their World Cup campaign against Bangladesh in Dhaka on Saturday, while New Zealand take on Kenya in their first match the following day in Chennai.

India are in Group B with South Africa, England, the West Indies, Ireland, Bangladesh and the Netherlands, while Group A comprises Australia, Pakistan, New Zealand, Sri Lanka, Zimbabwe, Canada and Kenya.

Four teams from each group will advance to the quarter-finals.

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