India completed their preparations for next week's first Test with England after beating Derbyshire by five wickets on the final day of their last warm-up fixture on Thursday.
Both sides had already agreed to evenly split the third day so that the tourists could enjoy 45 overs of both batting and bowling in front of what turned out to be a sparse crowd at the County Ground.
India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni and coach Duncan Fletcher will ultimately have been pleased with what they got out of their three days in Derby.
India used 9 bowlers against Derbyshire, including one over from Dhoni to get 5 wickets. Practice for all or portents of things to come?— Cricketwallah (@cricketwallah) July 2, 2014
In particular, Dhoni will have been relieved that experienced fast bowler Ishant Sharma—who is expected to be handed the responsibility of taking the new ball at Trent Bridge next Thursday—appeared in much better rhythm than on the first day, when he was bedevilled by no-ball problems, as the lanky paceman delivered seven overs at a cost of just 10 runs.
India actually made the perfect start to the morning session when Bhuvneshwar Kumar had Derbyshire opener Ben Slater caught by Murali Vijay at second slip in just the third over of the day to leave Derbyshire none for one, Dhoni having declared overnight 15 runs ahead of the home side.
|Slater||c Vijay||b B Kumar||0||10||8||0||0|
|C Hughes||c Dhoni||b Binny||20||57||41||4||0|
|A Hughes||not out||36||38||36||5||0|
|Extras||3nb 0w 10b 2lb||15|
|Total||for 3 (45.0 ovs)||156|
|Fall of Wicket|
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|Ro Sharma||c Durston||b Wainwright||10||26||19||2||0|
|Saha||c Cotton||b Cork||19||36||43||1||0|
|Extras||0nb 1w 2b 1lb||4|
|Total||for 5 (36.3 ovs)||143|
However, India managed to capture only two more wickets thereafter as middle-order batsman Billy Godleman made his second unbeaten half-century of the match before Derbyshire declared on 156 for three from their allotted 45 overs, with the 25-year-old 56 not out off 86 balls.
India therefore needed 142 runs to win from their 45 overs, which they achieved at a canter thanks to a breezy 41 off just 53 deliveries from Vijay at the top of the order, including eight fours, and 39 from No. 3 Ajinkya Rahane, with six boundary fours, before both men retired in order to give their team-mates some time in the middle.
And India win the Royal Crown Derby Trophy! They knock off 142 against Derbyshire with just less than 10 overs to spare.— David Coverdale (@dpcoverdale) July 3, 2014
And that even meant a knock for the previously unseen Gautam Gambhir, whose 21 not out coming in at No. 6 saw the tourists achieve their victory target with eight-and-a-half overs still left in their second innings.
Now all Dhoni and Fletcher need to do is settle on the makeup of their final XI for Nottingham.