England hit by Livingstone injury scare in Twenty20 World Cup warm-up

England hit by injury scare in Twenty20 World Cup warm-up after Liam Livingstone leaves the field in pain after damaging his finger while dropping a catch

  • Liam Livingstone left the field after dropping Ishan Kishan on the boundary 
  • Jonny Bairstow scored 49 and Moeen Ali hit an unbeaten 43 in England’s 188-5 
  • Kishan made 70 before Rishabh Pant saw India home with an over to spare 

England were left sweating on the fitness of Liam Livingstone on Monday night following defeat to India in the first of their Twenty20 World Cup warm-ups.

Livingstone, deputising for the recuperating Ben Stokes at the tournament which starts in earnest this weekend, damaged one of his own digits dropping a catch towards the death of the six-wicket loss at Dubai’s ICC academy ground.

After flooring a spiralling chance in the deep from Rishabh Pant when India required 41 from 30 balls, the Lancashire all-rounder left the field immediately wringing his left hand. The injury will be assessed in the next 24 hours, the ECB confirmed, once the swelling in his little finger has gone down.

Liam Livingstone left the field after dropping Ishan Kishan on the mid-wicket boundary

A fracture would threaten the participation in the competition of a player who highlighted his game-changing qualities last summer with an England record 42-ball hundred in a one-day international win over Pakistan.

In this behind-closed-doors encounter, he awoke his side from a mid-innings doze with 30 from 20 deliveries before dismissing Virat Kohli with his assortment of spin.

For the record, India got home with six balls unused but the result was never important. Nor was getting a look at a potential latter-stage opponent given that exactly half of England’s 32 international fixtures in 2021 have been against India.

It was about exposing players to scenarios and conditions they will face in the UAE over the next few weeks. They face another stern test when they take on New Zealand on Wednesday ahead of Saturday’s opener versus West Indies – a repeat of the 2016 final.

Jonny Bairstow scored 49 and Moeen Ali hit an unbeaten 43 in England’s 188-5

With Eoin Morgan sitting out after his recent exertions captaining Kolkata Knight Riders, some of the England players looked rusty.

The top order failed to clear the ropes at all in the first 13 overs of their innings and the bowlers struggled for breakthroughs in defence of 188-5, not helped by the dew that made it difficult for spinners Adil Rashid and Moeen Ali to grip the ball.

England took some momentum into their bowling courtesy of a late-innings injection by Moeen, whose breezy, unbeaten 43 included successive sixes off the final two deliveries from Bhuvneshwar Kumar. Moments earlier, Jonny Bairstow had departed for 49, yorked by the master death-rattler Jasprit Bumrah.

But the quality of the surface was put into context by the way in which India were propelled out of the blocks by their opening combination.

Kishan made 70 off 46 balls before Rishabh Pant saw India home with an over to spare

KL Rahul extended his rich IPL form to hit a 23-ball 50, including three sixes, but departed immediately after reaching his landmark when he toe-ended an aerial blow off Mark Wood.

England appeared powerless to halt Rahul’s charge prior to that indiscretion but were made to regret gifting Ishan Kishan – given match practice with Rohit Sharma rested – an early life.

Only 13 runs were on the board when Chris Woakes spilled a third-over chance created by the impressive David Willey, who then saw his next delivery shovelled narrowly shy of Livingstone at deep midwicket.

Kishan made them pay when he kicked into gear after the mid-point drinks break, launching Rashid for two monstrous sixes in three deliveries, the second of which brought up his own half-century.

He retired with 70 to his name, soon after Livingstone left the field to have his injury assessed by England’s medics. And that was the primary concern for England as Pant crunched the final nail in the coffin by hauling Chris Jordan over the square leg rope.

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